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 Track W, so some data from that trail’s use is now included.
Some of the results provided from the 33 weeks of data collected from the TRAFx counters are shown here:
Between mid January and August, just over 195 bikes/week on Mandatory Power Play, just over 105 bikes/week on Kahore Tau and just under 50 bikes/week headed out the back along Lawsons Loop/GDO Link. The new Track W has had a counter active since the 14th June, initially it was the one on Mandatory that got moved to allow the trail work by TrailPro to proceed without damaging the counter and then on the 29th June, the MPP counter was moved back and the Kiwi Kids one relocated to Track W. Over 115 bikes/week are now heading down this trail on average.
The weekly totals show a dip at the end of March and the first weeks in April but picked up again during May. The trail closures due to the forestry trimming and thinning operations and the weather on the new trails made June’s figures go all over the place. The winter riding during July and August appears to be holding up, backing up the evidence of the car park being pretty full during the weekends.
We now can see some trends on Track W with just under 100 bikes/week with peaks happening on fine weekend days and when there’s an event at Mangamahoe e.g. the club race on the 16th July.
For 78 days on the W Trail, the above shows the numbers/day. An average of 17 bikes/day [with a maximum of 97] used the trail. The weather plays a part, the peak happened on the 5th August on a fine Saturday. Let’s see how this new track compares with the upgraded Mandatory PowerPlay:
For the 65 days since the end of June that both trails have been open, we are getting the same number per day with that high peak down MPP on the 5th August.
What does a daily count look like? We currently have 227 days (32.5 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 has picked up during July and August.
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 and Friday being the quietest. On a Sunday on average over the 32 weeks, over 60 per Sunday on Mandatory PowerPlay and almost 40 per Sunday on Track W. On average over the 8 months, around 80 bikes were passing a counter sometime during the weekend.
Since the end of June, when has the riding happening?:
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 very early morning riding.
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 upwards since June with the new Q Track attracting more riders to the northern end of the park.
The June values for Mandatory Power Play were affected by the trail upgrade work and Kahore Tau’s by a week’s closure due to trees being across the trail from the forestry operations.
Overall, lots of riders with heavy weekend use of the park: