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MTB Trails Trust Newsletter No. 3

Report from the Chair

It’s been a busy time for the Trust these last few weeks. It’s been really pleasing for us to have had a solid media presence with such a positive message coming through for what we are doing, and the potential for the region. Also fantastic to have had Trustees Andrew, Malcolm and Gary highlighted in the community papers for their wonderful contribution to the region’s trail development. 

Alan and I presented to the Nelson Rotary Club last week, and received some great feedback there. It’s an important part of the Trust’s strategy to pull in groups and people who otherwise mightn’t be involved with MTB activity. The support through the growing Friends of the Trust group shows it's not just mountainbikers who are getting on board.

The Trust also had a great meeting with the Nelson MTB Club committee this week – this should be a regular feature with our two organisations complementing each other so well. 

We wanted to highlight some trail etiquette messages this enews, as these important points often aren’t pushed as hard as they should be. 


 Riding Wet Trails – this time of year it only takes a brief shower of rain to top up moisture levels to slippery and greasy. While some trails will always cope well when wet (Involution is probably our best all weather build) most require time to dry before being ridden. Maintenance loads increase due to trail damage caused by riding them when muddy, and the club’s work on Turners is probably a prime example – fresh builds especially need some TLC, and making sure they have had at least a measure of decent drying time before ripping into them is just good etiquette. 


 Be Respectful – all our trails are multi-use, even those built specifically for mountainbikes. Walkers, runners, dogs, and all sorts of other users will use these trails, and everybody needs to share and show some tolerance. Say hello, smile and wave, and let other trail users know you’re coming up on them. We see a lot of runners out there with their earplugs in too, so sometimes some patience is needed before they realise there is a bike breathing down their neck! A little bit of friendliness goes a long way to furthering the MTB cause. Some of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had have been with foot bound strangers in the middle of nowhere, but they will never happen if we don’t make the effort to engage. 


 Keep it Clean – if you’re heading out for some miles, especially into the back-country, make sure you get yourself away with a clean bike, shoes and kit. There is some real evidence of rapid weed spread into the South Branch part of the Dun Mountain Trail, and it’s only been since the trail has been upgraded (and MTB use has increased) that this has appeared. It’s got key people at DOC and the NCC concerned, and the Trust is working on some code of conduct material to build awareness of mountainbikers’ responsibilities to help with this problem – enlightened trampers have known about this and managed it for years. The potential to carry and transfer weed seed by bike or kit is massive - think about the last time you brushed some hook grass on the side of the trails, that stuff can carry for miles. Education around this issue will be important for the Trust given the type of Epic Trails projects we are progressing, and especially with the Starveall/Lee loop as the first major target, we’ll need to get this right. 


Happy Trails, Chris

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 Friends of the Trust
If you haven't made a donation yet and become a Friend of the Trust, please give it consideration. To date the Trust has managed over $30,000 of in-kind contributions to the St Arnaud trails project and further sums for the popular new Escalator trail on Richmond Hills. We don't  expect everyone to turn up with a grubber in hand, but if you are able to contribute with a donation it will be greatly appreciated. Click this link to become a Friend.

 Big Bush Progress

Last weekend we had four diggers and a power barrow working on the Big Bush Track and pushed the trail a further 600 metres up the hill. Two of the diggers were busy putting in culverts and sorting drainage issues whilst Jono on the lead digger roughed out the line. Greg followed with a tilt bucket doing the finishing. These guys are really getting into the swing of creating awesome trail.


      

Rob clears the line.           A newly completed section of track winds through the bush

 

 

GPS plot of the new track. Track is mostly complete up to the Lead Digger point.   

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View up Rainbow Valley from Beebys Track
View up Rainbow Valley from Beebys Track

 Next Beebys Working Bee

We will be heading up to Beebys again on Sunday August 31st. Liz and Alan surveyed the climb out of the low saddle a couple of weeks ago, so that needs a bit of clearing and benching. With a good turnout we may just get the track finished. Bring grubbers, gloves, warm clothes, lunch and fluids. If you need 4wd transport up the hill please let us know in advance if you can so we can ensure there are sufficient seats available. Meet at Nelson Lakes Park HQ at 9am. It is about an hour's walk in to where we will be working.  More photos, and map of the route here and here.

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Sidewinder Trail

 Involution/Widdershins Update

Great news for access to this area. The logging contractors started hauling timber off the hill on Wed 13th and expect that this will only take the next week to complete. So especially for midweek riders, Glider Rd and the Barnicoat should be open again real soon. For those riders who have reacquainted themselves with sometimes rusty technical uphill skills by riding up Involution while this operation has been on, good on you. It has been fun, and so quiet up there!

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BC singletrack
MIles of sweet singletrack

 Rob Checks out British Columbia's Singletrack

Rob Kay recently returned from 5 week's riding in British Columbia where he was able to witness some of our local riders, Derek Milne, Doug Sharland, Warren Borlase and Lisa Savage come in well up in the placings. Derek Milne took second spot on the podium in his grade, which was fantastic considering the size of the field and the advantage the locals had with their knowledge of the trails. Read the full story here.

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 Trail Updates

Grampians:There are trees down on the old Kanuka and Mamaku. If you aren't sure which tracks are which on the Grampians take a look at the map.

Coppermine: Still one tree and a large root ball to climb around, but otherwise riding well.

More updates on local trails here.