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 weeks of data collected from the TRAFx counters are shown here (last updated 16th December 2017):
Let’s look at the daily totals for one of the new trails for both October and November:
We see some peaks when there are events on: 22nd October there was a club ride on a Sunday and the 13th November there was the third of the Monday night races that used the Track C option. We can see a slight increase in the average rides/day over the two months; maybe the better weather got more riders to be confident to ride down HTH………
The rainfall measured just down the road at Egmont Village on the 7th, 8th and 13th October didn’t deter riders from Highway to Hell. [Chart courtesy of the Taranaki Regional Council’s Environmental pages on their website].
What does a daily count look like now? We currently have 319 days (45.5 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 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.
We can get monthly averages. The trend on the 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 had an affect during September. Highway to Hell and Mandatory PowerPlay are now equally popular to ride down and out of the park.
Overall, lots of riders with heavy weekend use of the park has shown up in the past data, what does it look like for the past months?
For October and November 2017, Friday is the quietest day with an average of 18 trips/day on either Kahore Tau or Mandatory PowerPlay. These trails are at either end of the park. The rate rises for Saturday and Sunday to over 40 rides/day for these past two months.
Between 6pm and 7pm has been the most popular time to ride on Kahore Tau for October and November – will see if this alters for December and January.