There are a number of ways we monitor trail use; some of these are informal and rely on club members reporting on who they talked to while out riding.
However, there are a couple of more formal methods used:
- The NPDC has an infra-red counter at Mangamahoe. The NPDC pass the traffic information to us. Some of the data from this counter will graphed and shown on this page in the future.
- We have installed four MTB counters that work using a magnetometer on a number of the trails (they do pick up carbon bikes!) at Mangamahoe. We are using these TRAFx trail counters operating in Bike mode. The trails that were part of the first period of monitoring were: Kiwi Kids, Mandatory Power Play, Lawsons Loop – GDO Link and Kahore Tau. Subsequently the counter from the Kiwi Kids track has been moved to the new Highway to Hell trail, so data from that trail’s use is now included.
Some of the results provided from the 36 weeks of data collected from the TRAFx counters are shown here:
Between early July and the end of September, just over 140 bikes/week on Mandatory Power Play on average with a peak of 289 for the week ending 27th August. Just over 95 bikes/week on Kahore Tau and just under 50 bikes/week headed out the back along Lawsons Loop/GDO Link. Highway to Hell has had a counter active since the 14th June, over 130 bikes/week are now heading down this trail on average.
We now can see some trends on the descending trails; Mandatory PowerPlay and Highway to Hell. Since the beginning of July, the two trails are almost equally popular with around 20 bikes/day with peaks happening on fine weekend days.
What does a daily count look like? We currently have 257 days (almost 37 weeks) of data:
There are some clear spikes that correspond with events e.g. Manga and Bangas on the 5th March which gives the big spike of 392 bikes/day on Kiwi Kids and the 4 hour teams event giving Mandatory Power Play a count of 206 bikes/day on the 19th March. A regular weekly cycle shows up that corresponds to the high weekend use of the park.
There was a quiet period in June through the weather and trail closures, but it picked up during July and August. There was a quiet period lasting from the 6th September to the 14th September where only 145 bikes were recorded over 9 days, whereas there were over twice that in the two days of the 23rd and 24th September. There are some days when no one is riding these trails but you can see the averages per day.
Sunday is still the most popular day to ride these trails at Mangamahoe with Thursday being the quietest. On a Sunday on average over the 37 weeks, almost 60 per Sunday on Mandatory PowerPlay and over 30 per Sunday on Highway to Hell. On average over the 8 months, around 80 bikes were passing a counter sometime during the weekend.
Since the end of June, what times has the riding been happening during the day?:
The trails show a pattern, morning riders then numbers increasing during the afternoon. There are some odd times of the night when someone is using Kahore Tau and Mandatory Power Play for some night riding. Mandatory PowerPlay is a clear favourite in the late afternoon.
We can get monthly averages; the data shows that over 1100 bikes per month were riding on the Kiwi Kids track whereas the ones further out have less. The trend on the other trails is generally upwards since June with the new Ara Hoki trail attracting more riders to the northern end of the park, the wet spring having an affect during September.
Overall, lots of riders with heavy weekend use of the park, so what are the predictions for the total number of bikes recorded for 2017?
Will be interesting to see how these estimates trend as the year progresses.