NZCT has recently awarded a grant of $7,770 towards completing the bike skills park in the Mid-Canterbury town of Methven.
Bike Methven and its 100-strong club membership have put all available resources into developing the skills park. However, without additional funding it was not possible to weatherproof the main track and add in new features for more advanced riders.
Alastair Gilchrist from Bike Methven says that the club is thankful to NZCT for making it possible to complete the track. “This grant from NZCT is very important. The work would have to wait indefinitely without it,” says Alastair.
As the park has been gradually developed by Bike Methven, it has become increasing popular among young riders from Methven. Completing the park and weatherproofing the main track is important to keeping these riders engaged in the sport and will enable year-around use of the facility.
“Winter has been problematic in the past,” says Alastair. “The new limestone track sealing will protect the surface in wet weather and provide a smooth surface on the tracks which is important for the riders. The new track sealing will also decrease the need for maintenance. The additional features planned for the park will widen the number of riders that are interested in using it.”
The park has given an opportunity for young riders in the community to improve their skills. Once the park is complete, the fresh challenges presented by the new features will help develop their skills further. This is something that Bike Methven is eager to see continue as Alastair explains, “The club is running ongoing skills sessions for Methven riders at the park, mostly with young riders. The park is well used after school and in the weekend and provides a healthy recreational activity for the young people in the community.”
The recent grant from NZCT continues the funder’s support of mountain biking in the wider Methven area. It previously approved a grant towards the bike trails on Mt Hutt that are very popular with riders.
“Mountain biking is a growing sport in our community and NZCT is an important partner in this. With the skills park in town, and the trails on Mt Hutt which NZCT made possible, the number of riders is increasing,” says Alastair. “It is a sport that all of the family can take part in. Our club’s youngest riders are 5 years old with the oldest being in their seventies.”