Open Day highlights volunteer-built bike trails at Tunnel Gully

Ntrailz volunteers at work in Tunnel Gully.

Ntrailz volunteers at work in Tunnel Gully.

A network of volunteer-built mountain bike tracks at the Tunnel Gully Recreation Reserve will be "opened" on Sunday.

Several intermediate-grade tracks have been built by NtrailZ, a group of local riders who want more places for riders in their own area.

Led by Kevin Blair, the group first approached the Greater Wellington Regional Council in mid-2015 about building a single downhill track in forest near Kaitoke.

Since then they have expanded their vision to create  the inter-linked trails in Tunnel Gully at Maymorn, north of Upper Hutt.

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"We now have eight sign-posted and graded trails which can be linked together," Blair said.

"Four were hand-built by NtrailZ over the last year and the others were existing under-used  racks that were repurposed for biking.

"Previously the Tunnel Gully area had tracks that had been built for walking or horse riding with relatively little mountain bike use but now, already, we are seeing regular mountain bikers," Blair said.

"So the word is getting out about the riding opportunities in this area which is exactly what we want.

Sunday's Open Day runs for four hours from 10am.

Mountain bikers can turn up at any time and either go on a guided ride with NtrailZ members or, after being pointed in the right direction, head out on their own.  

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The NtrailZ group has been set up as an incorporated society and its 40 members have given more than a thousand volunteer hours to their track building. 

Every weekend, a dozen or more NtrailZ members have been on the job.

The free Open Day will have plenty of information on the new trails available along with a barbecue. 

A tent for bike checks, tuning or any repairs   will be run by Andy Hanlon, a NtrailZ founder  who runs the Cycle Centre in Upper Hutt.

"The day is about getting the knowledge about these trails out but we are also always keen to sign up new members,"   Blair said.

"For this work we were fortunate to get a community funding grant from the Upper Hutt city council which has a programme in place to make the city a destination for mountain bikers," Blair said.  

*Details: Mountain Biking Open Day Sunday, 12 February. 10am-2pm
Tunnel Gully Recreation Area, Maymorn, Upper Hutt


 - Stuff


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