There has been a lot of buzz lately about some new trails that have been created out at Lake Mangamahoe. But who are these mysterious out of town trail fairies and what exactly have they been up to?
The magical trail fairies go by the name of TrailPRO, the geniuses behind the epic 440 mountain bike park. But its not just downhill gravity fed goodness that they do. Oh No! Fear not my XC pedal pals, the lads have been carving some sweet flowing grade 3 cross country lines, as well as a more challenging grade 4 downhill line. The exact grades of the trails are still to be confirmed, as are the names of the new tracks, but if you fancy exploring the new delights on offer, and its not too wet, here’s where to find them and what to expect.
Trail W was the first track to be cut by TrailPRO over their 9.5 week stay, it runs down the hill slope opposite Slice of Heaven. The best way to reach it is to ride up Slice of Heaven, which has also seen a sprinkle of TrailPRO magic to the top section, from there turn left and head up the road a little bit and the entrance is on your left. Ride down, enjoying the free wheeling flow, negotiating tree stumps and jumps, over the bridge we built and back out by the start of Slice, ready to do it all again.
In early May, Niels Piebenga and other volunteers built the wooden bridge that crosses the stream after you have come off the hill, great work team!
Trail Q, far from the rest of the trails, is well worth the extra effort to get to. Head out down Buddhafinger, notice the new line which goes up and over avoiding the muddy slop. This was a sterling effort from the latest working bee where over 100m of new track was cut in just a few hours. It avoids getting too wet and muddy, while adding extra decent to the main Buddhafinger line. Be cautious though, as there is still some work to be done here. Anyway, back to the new tracks, after Buddhafinger the new trail begins to the right, on the opposite side of the road. It is a great addition to this end of the forest, as it provides a much more interesting way back up to the rest of the trails, avoiding the boring fire road. Q is an undulating trail, where pinch climbs are rewarded with flowing downhill sections, before heading back up, then down, then up again.
This trail will take you to the entrance of Kahore Tau, making for a decent length cross country loop back towards the main hub.
Trail U is a further extension to this cross country network, adding even more distance to your rides. U track is a re-mastered Bates, starting out on the original Bates track, on the right as you head back to the carpark from Anti-Climb Ax. The old Bates track still exists, but the addition of the U trail has added a leg burner of berms and switchbacks which wind up and down for 2 km. The short downhill sections make the climbs all worth it, and there is even the option of a few hucks and jumps for those with a keen eye! This trail ends opposite the start of W, giving you the perfect descent back down to the car park.
The usual run back to the van, Mandatory Powerplay, has also had some digger love. The TrailPRO crew had some time left over to spruce up one of the more popular trails in the park. It has been widened and bridges removed to give you an excellent progressive jumps trail. All the jumps can be rolled down easily, as I found out when running out of energy in both legs and lights the other night. But the jumps have potential to be fun and fast when pedaled with pace. Just watch out for the digger which is still on the side of the track about half way down!
If you still have some energy left in the tank after all that, check out the new Fence Line trail in the Kiwi network. Take Kiwi Hi or Mid out and instead of coming back along Kiwi Lo, you now have the option of going along Fence Line. The hard work put in by the Sinclairs and club volunteers is a gentle meander back down to the carpark featuring bridges, berms and even a new wooden feature to negotiate. Perfect for the beginners to build on their skills and add variety to the already established Kiwi trails network.
While you may be already kitted up ready to shred the new trials, please keep in mind that these are fresh tracks and the recent wetness plus your wheels means they will need more work to repair and maintain. If a trail is closed, please respect the tape and stay off. There are plenty of other trials to ride which hold up better in the wet. Riding in the wet means more kit and bike cleaning to do and who wants that anyway! Respect the trails and they will be running sweet ready for summer shredding.