Thumbs up on new track

Last updated 13:18 12/12/2012
Bike track
Emma Dangerfield

We’re off! Dwayne Fussell, left, and Andrew Spencer lead the eager bikers up the start of the track. Dwayne and Andrew have both been instrumental in getting the project off the ground

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The newly constructed cycle track which leads from Ocean Ridge to Mt Fyffe has been officially opened, with more than 60 people taking part in the opening day ride.

The track takes in native bush along the side of the Kowhai River, parallel to the river stopbanks for the most part, and is a relatively easy terrain to manage regardless of biking ability.

Active mountainbikers and young children all joined in the fun on Sunday afternoon.

Some opted for a good stretch of the legs on the 18km course, while others were happy to take the more family-friendly distance of 7km.

A sausage sizzle was enjoyed by all participants back at Ocean Ridge.

Mayor Winston Gray, who has been a keen advocate of the track and part of the extensive volunteer workforce behind the initiative, said the day had been a great success.

A few cyclists had wandered a little off course, but everyone had really enjoyed the chance to ride the new track on a sunny day.

"We had some really positive feedback afterwards," he said. "The good thing about it is that they will all tell other people about it and we'll get lots of people coming to use it."

Mr Gray, himself a keen cyclist, believes the track, once completed, will become another visitor attraction for Kaikoura, just as other cycle trails are taking off elsewhere around New Zealand.

While there is a little tidying up of the existing track to be done, including putting down metal on some parts and installing signage, Mr Gray anticipates the group will get started on the next phase, from Hapuku to the beach, as soon as they can.

There was a lot of energy for the project and offers of help were coming in regularly, he said.

The eventual plan is to create a 60km loop which will lead from Ocean Ridge, up to Mt Fyffe, across to Hapuku and back to town.

The Kaikoura Cycle Club secured $20,000 funding from the council as part of the long-term plan process. To date, $6000 has been spent on the work.

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- Kaikoura Star

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