New Plymouth Mountain Bikers

NZCT has awarded New Plymouth Mountain Bikers a grant of $75,143 for track development to create an enduring recreational infrastructure for mountain bike tracks at Mangamahoe, New Plymouth.

Club President Kyle Beggs says -

The main beneficiaries of this latest NZCT grant to the NPMTB club are going to be the kids of Taranaki. The Mangamahoe Mountain Bike Park is free for all to use, and this has made it a great place for local families to enjoy, and return to again and again. The bulk of our membership are families, and over half of the competitors in our local MTB Enduro races are under eighteen. It has been wonderful for our club see so many of our local kids developing from their first rides to being some of the best MTB riders in the country. It’s just as satisfying seeing locals having a great time out in the park, enjoying family time and while being physically active in our wonderful outdoors.

The first mountain bike track we are redeveloping with NZCT funding is “Kiwi Kids”, a mellow Grade 2 track that situated at the very front of the MTB park, and it is many local kids first taste of mountain biking. This track is about a 1K loop that winds it way through mature pine forest with a very lush native understory. It’s safe, fun, and even suitable for tots on balance bikes. However, the track surface has become progressively rougher with exposed tree roots in recent years. We will now comprehensively resurface the track with a clay base to keep those little wheels rolling smoothly.

Earlier this year we lost two of the clubs favourite family-favourite trails, Fantail and HiHi, after wind damage forced early harvest of this area of the plantation forest. This area which is on the banks of the Waiwakaiho river is now to be replanted in natives by the city council, so this will be our opportunity to remake these tracks into something very special that will be enjoyed for generations to come as the new tree grow. Our NZCT grant will now allow us recreate these tracks to the new Recreation Aotearoa ‘Adaptive MTB” track standards, to make them as accessible as possible to differently abled riders. This should also make tracks that are fast, flowing fun for both the cross-country races that we run, and fun for family rides.

Next, we are bringing the excitement of ‘dual slalom’ racing back to the MTB park with the building of a new race course. This will allow us to run a whole new category of competition events that are bound to be very popular with our local young shredders. And finally we we’ll build a ‘big air’ mulch jump that will help those same young shredders advance their skills with the advantage of a softer landing if they get it all wrong.

The club is enormously grateful to NZCT for providing the funding for all the above projects. The result will be some great additions to our always popular MTB park, more reasons for kids to get out on their bikes, more opportunities for the differently abled to enjoy our sport, and great new facilities for local families.

Treasurer Phil Armstrong adds -

Mountain biking is a sport the whole family can do together and therefore helps develop communities, which is why it’s been such a growth sport here in Taranaki. NPMB now has over a thousand members and we need to ensure we can not only continue to meet their requirements, but also to grow and develop our park. These three new trails are all at the front of the park and will be ideal for young children and families to start developing their skills and enjoyment of mountain biking.