Proposal to open Kepler Track to bikes

GRANT BRYANT
Last updated 11:28 11/09/2013
Southland Times photo
GRANT BRYANT/Fairfax NZ
Queenstown Mountainbike Club president Tom Hey at Coronet Peak's Rude Rock mountain bike track. Mr Hey is keen to see the Kepler Track opened to mountainbikers, and is encouraging submissions on the subject.

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Mountainbike club members and bikers in general are being urged to make submissions to the Conservation Department that could result in the Kepler Track being opened to mountainbikers.

Under the conservation management strategy review, the Kepler Track could be opened to bikers during certain parts of the year, similar to the department opening the Heaphy track in Kahurangi National Park to bikers between May and September.

Queenstown Club president Tom Hey said he had written a submission on behalf of the club, and also supported the Te Anau Cycling Club's submission.

"This is a massive opportunity to get some amazing terrain, which doesn't otherwise exist in scale and beauty, open to bikers, " he said.

"The club's submission covers all of our members, but I've encouraged individual members to do their own submissions, and would also encourage anyone who loves the freedom of getting into the back country on their bike to make a submission too."

The subject of whether the Kepler should be open to mountainbikers has run red hot on social media and tramping and mountainbike forums, and Fairfax's Stuff website, with many trampers saying mountainbikers are dangerously selfish, destroy tracks and would force them to look over their shoulders every five seconds to ensure their safety.

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