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Saturday, October 11, 2014

October Dig Day

A beautiful springs day dawned at our most recent dig day.

With old members and new, we got stuck into the new Traverse Track, there was fair amount of bush bashing, rock breaking with equal parts elbow grease and swearing. As usual with perseverance and a lot of hard work, we transformed the seemingly impossible into a track that will in time bed in and season and become another awesome feature.

A case in point is that we have discovered a pretty big obstacle in the shape of a car sized rock, which is a bit of a pain. But past the rock the proposed track looks pretty easy digging again, and we reckon the big rock is just sitting on the surface, so we hope to jack it out of the way and mosey on.

Of course, six months later, when you are riding along the track, you won't even notice or realise the efforts that went into making the track, but that's why we do it! That said we never say no to extra assistance.

We've got three additional tracks on the go at the moment, two of Ali's traverses and another top to bottom track that will probably go from the Skills Area to Scollywood.

Anyhow, that's about sums up the Dig Day, lots of hard word, well earned metres gained on our tracks and a whole lot of fun and trash talking. Now onto the important stuff...

The Muur and AliTrack are both open for riding now - they are still a couple of areas we are working on, plus the trail corridor still needs knocking back in a couple of places, but it's all completely rideable. AliTrack was built as a climbing track and we ask that you respect the wish of the trailbuilders. Handily, the Muur is only a couple of minutes away and can be ridden in either direction. It's been close to two years in the making but we now have two tracks that connect the lower and upper track networks - no more nasty drive, well unless you want to! Today for the first time since we started trail building that I was able to ride over 25kms and not use the drive at all. Great stuff!

Here are a few photos of what you can expect at Haven.

Reclining on Frank'N'Furter.
Arty Farty Shot.
Natives going gang-busters on the River Track.
Another Arty Farty Shot.
Skills Area - Are you game?
Anti Disestablishment.
Lounging on Anti Disestablishment.
Camouflage Bike on AliTrack.
Four Track Intersection.
Eagles Nest.
Project G.
Horsing around on the Packhorse.
Bye Bye Pine Forest.
McQueens Valley.
The Muur.

We hope to see you out over Summer.
May your wheels remain forever true.

Mr Haven.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September Dig Day

Spring has officially sprung and we have seen rampant growth, lots of native birds, and the orchards are starting to flower, typically we have also seen plenty of rain and sun and a couple of cold snaps.

Plenty of work has been happening to prepare the park for a long summer of riding.

All but two tracks have been cut and sprayed - Yay!
The trail corridor has been opened on all the tracks - Yay!
The old tracks are all in good order - Yay!
The new tracks are seasoning well - Yay!
The natives are growing fast and strong - Yay!
We are building new tracks are extraordinary speeds - Yay!

Ali has gone to extraordinary lengths to finish off his track, including building a bridge and getting over it! We now have a bridge accross the creek to allow access to Fenceline and then on to AliTrack - it looks and rides great! No more wet feet!

We've also smartened up the wet corner by the waterfall on Fenceline.

Work is commencing very quickly on the Ali Traverse Track (2) which is branching off Ali Track and making it's way down to the Skills Area, we've had a preliminary bush bash and it looks like it will be another amazing track predominantly in regenerating native bush. We're benched 100m of track or so and are  finishing off our first set of corners and hope to avoid any more corners until we get closer to the end of the track.

Here's an impression of how it's been going.

Before Shot:

Initial Bush Bash - Clear Trail Corridor: 

Initial Benching:

The next steps after this are:
Finishing touches on benching
Seasoning (couple of months of wind, rain and sun)
Cut back trail corridor and spray.

We are looking forward to more trail development and planting and having a lot more visitors over the next season of riding. Come out and have some fun at Haven.

Happy Trails
Mr Haven

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August Dig Day

Another month has passed us by, and we've been busy as bees and the weather has been rather spring like.

Foggy in Christchurch???? muhahahahahahaaaa
The short version is that we have finished benching The Muur, which is a pleasant climbing track that will also be a fun downhill cutting out the need to slog up the drive (unless that's what you are into.)

We also finished AliTrack, a kilometre long climbing track with a staggering 35 corners, hand-built by Ali.

We have also given Chicken Run between the two new tracks a tickle up too, the first in the 7 years since we have built it.

Both new tracks will be ready for this Summer - w00t!!

Here's some stunning photos of The Muur and then I'l bore you with the longer version.

Here's the corner as we left it last time

Here's the corner now, much better, just needs some love with a rock breaker!

The top of The Muur!

Here are some photos of the freshly tickled up Chicken Run

So now the longer version.

The Muur
It's cut and benched but no riding please, you are welcome to walk on it, the edges are fresh and we still need to take a scrub-bar down to clear the trail, we also need to get a rock breaker in to a couple of corners and generally let the trail bed down and season, it's a stunner and I'm really pleased with both the speed and ease of which the trail was built.

We are progressively working down the track, tidying up a few traverses and finishing up the corners. This track is not to be ridden yet either please. We still need to take a scrub bar down on the trail corridor, but you are welcome to walk on it, stay off the berms, they need to sleep. The trail is coming along very nicely and hardening beautifully. Ali is working hard on drainage plans and it's just amazing how good it feels to be in the gully - damn it's a long track!

So what's next?
We will be getting a digger in soonish, to finish the River Track, Ali has grand plans for a track to the ford at the 4WD Track from the middle of AliTrack and then another climbing track that may start in the Skills Area and pop up into Scollywood.

Well that's us for August, we still got plenty to do and plenty of fun to be had. Come out and be part of it.

Happy Trails
Mr Haven

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Update

Well we've been digging regularly all through July on The Muur.

Conditions for digging have being perfect and Ali and I have had the luck/experience/we're just awesome to have chosen a line that has the most amazing soil to dig in and no insurmountable obstacles.

There was a bit of discussion about how to actually get to the finish, but in the end we soldiered on with the existing line and with only a moderate climbing and a fair bit of interest we've managed to pop out a line in Ali's Alley on Chicken Run, I can't think of any thing more fitting really. This should be fun, fast downhill as well.

In the last weekend of July, we have managed to cut a rideable bench along the entire track and we are now working on making it perfect, cutting back the trail corridor and then we will finish the corners.

Ali, as always, has worked tirelessly and diligently to make another amazing and intermediate track.

This track will be ready for Summer, and will mean, no more slogging up the drive! Well, unless you really want to!

I was going to take some photos but like a typical New Zealand day, what was sunny and fine yesterday is grey, wet and cold today.

The rest of the park is weathering winter well. The recent unseasonably warm weather and Nor Westerlies has meant the tracks and roads are all nicely dried out.

Winter Riding Rocks - Go Do It!
Mr Haven

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June Dig Day

Winter whilst wet this season has and continues to be great for digging.

However, the last couple of weekends have been perfectly dry, no wind or rain, the dirt has been fluffy and the spades have been flying through the air,  saws and loppers singing.

Other than the usual chores, we have had a couple of trees down across the tracks that have now been tidied up thanks to Col and his plethora of chainsaws. Grass has been beaten back down to submission and it's super to see a multitude of tyre tracks adorning the tracks.

We have also had great success with our hand built trail building. AliTrack is pretty much done, we are letting it season for a bit before going back and installing some drains and a wee bit more work on some corners. But all that finishing work can wait for a month or so.

We have also made the decision to complete The Muur which we started with the digger but will finish by hand. We've used our experience and a lot of luck to build a lot of great track in such a short amount of time.

Here are a few shots of progress. Doesn't it look superb!

Ali working hard on the corner that transitions from digger built track to hand built!

Here are a few teaser shots of one of the traverses, nice and long with plenty of interest and scenery!

Here are a few before and after shots - all in an afternoon's work!

1. Breaking out of a corner - cutting through the vine and trees and bramble

2. Traversing - thataway somewhere...

3. More and More Traversing - definitely thadaway!

4. Traversing - she just keeps on keeping on

5 - Still Traversing - but we had to bluff our way past this cliff (geddit?? hur hur)

And then we bust out of the broom and into the woodlot just around the bend is the site for the corner

Corner! Hard to believe that 3 hours earlier this was all big ugly gorse and millions of horrible vines to cut through - it will be a corner in another week or so and you will be riding it in a couple of months.

And that ends this month's picture show - we hope you enjoyed. Come out and give us an hour or so of your time, you certainly appreciate trails after helping out!

We are quietly confident that we will have both The Muur and AliTrack ready to go for Summer - giving us two great options to connect the Upper and Lower Trail networks.

Check us out
Mr Haven