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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Access to the Park

Whilst Lisa and I love to have visitors and show off the tracks, we have had quite a few people just bowl with no contact round lately.

This is a timely reminder that Haven MTB Park is accessible to individuals through membership of the McQueens Valley Mountain Bike Club. This is for a number of reasons:
1. It is about rewarding and recognising the efforts of those who are making this happen. The cost is not prohibitive and goes towards future development and maintenance of the trails.
2. This is private property as is all of our neighbours land. We all value the privacy and lifestyle that we all have here and no-one wants to be invaded by swarms of people.
3. The ability to control access will allow the tracks and trees enjoy the most benefit and provide us all with the most fun in the long term.
4. Please do not explore the Valley as most of the Valley and surrounds are not accessible to the public.
5. You must make contact prior to coming out. A very good map will be sent to you to ensure you get to the right place. Please do not distribute the map.
6. You can find out about joining here -->  Join
7. Community groups, schools, clubs may use the park for no charge, please contact us for more details around access.
8. If you are visiting for a short amount of time or from far away please contact us for details around access.

If in doubt, please contact us. We are also on Twitter and Facebook
Night Time Fun on Chicken Run
Shredding on C1

May your wheels stay forever true.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dig When the Digging is Good

A week passed and Colin and I had the bug from last week, so we got the Digger out again. Thanks again to the lads at Hirepool Hornby for sorting us out.

I was a bit worried about the weather with the rain on Friday being a bit harder and longer than anticipated, but Saturday dawned early and bright. By close of play we had reached 41 degrees C. Damn hot work.

Although not an official Dig Day, we had plenty of visitors. Our friend Wally from Timaru came up for a pedal, explore and offered a helping hand as did our neighbour Andrew and his son John.

We start the day with the corner we were preparing at the end of last weekend.
Cornering Fun.
We were starting to make progress to the easier (flat) part of the land when there was a loud crack and the track on the Digger exploded. Luckily Hirepool was still open and they rushed out with a new track and we were back on track in 90 minutes. Very impressed. This was also good as we managed to plough through the scrub and build corner after corner and flowy track that wouldn't have happened if we were marooned for the weekend.

Lisa and Wally had been brave and were out in the beating sun to work on Lisa's corner whilst we sweltered in Jungle like conditions in the canopy.

It was a long hot day by the time we finished, the beer was delicious as was the hot shower, topped off by a delicious roast lamb, spuds and veggies. Yum Yum.

End of play Day One.
Day Two dawned quickly and whilst we were weary and sleep deprived, Colin and I were both excited to be getting back into the action. Luckily nowhere near as hot as yesterday, rain was forecast and indeed it happened, but not enough to deter us. The afternoon burned off the cloud and the sun beat down again.

Mahoe Corner
We ducked and dived and flowed along beside the creek, never really knowing what to expect as we could only really explore by digger. Colin does a great job of pleasing me (with wiggles, ups and downs) whilst staying safe. We managed to find a near perfect place to cross the creek right by the cliff we started at last weekend. An impressive old Mahoe clings to the side of a rock and valiantly fights off the browsers.
Great spot to cross the creek.
Crossing the creek we are close to the quad bike access road to the Skills Area. This is a flattish area that slopes gently uphill, completely overgrown with Old Man's Beard, BlackBerry and other horrible scrub. Colin does a great job of mauling and murdering all the bad stuff, keeping the good stuff alive and creating a bunch of sweet corners crossing the area up to the the next traverse section. What's really cool is that we are really maximising the use of the land, you will be able to catch glimpses of a heap of tracks but be quite some distance from it. Great stuff.

What lives beneath the scrub, sweet cornering fun and small children!
Andrew and John came and helped out which was appreciated. We then plan to traverse and find another suitable spot for crossing back across the river, as we can't progress much further on this bank before it becomes a gorge and cliff-like. After a bit of reconnoitring and discovering so many more reasons why it was such a good move to buy the place, we settle on a plan of action, and built a lookout for a seat when Lisa and I become old and want to just watch the world go by as well as a climbing and chicane track through the pines. Colin just as the sun goes down, builds the last corner before we plan to move back and then down to the river.

The last corner at the close of play for the weekend.
Another long but extremely satisfying day in the office. Thanks Col, we appreciate all the work you put in for us and the people who will enjoy these trails and trees when we are gone. Things are progressing extremely well and we built just over 440 metres of track. Fantastic work considering the amount of scrub and terrain, as well as features we have made.

Until next time....

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 2010

Hey Hey. HavenMTBPark is well and truly back on Track!

December so far has been lots of fun and lots of work, an equal helping of biking and maintenance. It makes Lisa and I so happy to have left Christchurch for this crazy plan of mine.

More Digger action and this time it's big and small. We got Ralph from Ralph Ogg Contracting in to clear some broom and scrub as well as build me a quad bike road for when the wood-lots grow up big and strong and require access for logging.

Ralph also re-opened the 4WD track, widening it so you could contemplate taking a four-wheel drive up there. He also cleared the area of broom that his boom could reach for planting out next year. A fantastic effort!

We also got the plans for the River Track's next stage under way as well. Sidetracked by appalling weather and the Big Rattle, it was all action stations. We spent one day clearing the broom to see what the lay of the land was like and to see what kind of climbing traverse we could make. Although the river took a lot longer to turn thus making the planned traverse track a lot longer, the terrain looked good. The next question was could we get round the cliff and what the digging would be like.

Checking out the cliff! Exploration by Digger
We couldn't explore far by foot as the area was full of Onga Onga. As you will see by the photos to follow, it went very very well. We had to make a significant part of the track completely with fill as we crossed a steep gulch. The bench was taller than the digger!

Col is becoming very expert with the Digger now, if the rest of the property allows us this amount of latitude, we will be able to make Digger built trails across most of it.

The area we are building in at the moment is a nicely burgeoning native forest of Mahoe and Cabbage Trees. The odd Elderberry and Broom is nicely being devoured by the  Muehlenbeckia vine. As well as the ever present Onga Onga.

How could you not enjoy being here. We managed to build in a lot of wiggles and ups and downs to keep the track exciting.

It slopes nicely downhill to allow speed but it should also be a nice trail to climb the other way.

Big ups to the lads at HirePool Hornby for sorting us out each time with an awesome deal.

We just kept nosing along following the contour, Col knew I wanted to turn back and come back closer to the creek, but we decided to keep going until we found the perfect place for a corner instead of trying it on somewhere too steep. We were stoked to find a flat spot, the perfect place for a corner, and fairly rare for Haven! I am super stoked and Colin had his big Digger grin on again. We finished with the corner mostly cut and prepared for the next session.

I can't wait to be putting rubber to the track, the great thing is that it can be tonight, as the trail is hard-pack and ready. We will put in a few berms when we finish, but this is the way to build!