Trail use

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 when the data becomes reliable and shown on this page in the future.  The counter has been having some issues.
  • 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 was moved to the Highway to Hell trail and the GDO Link one was moved to Lap It Up.
  • Last October the counter that was on Highway To Hell was moved to Sweet Spot and the one that was on Lap It Up was been moved onto Cash Flow Extension.
  • By the end of this January, the counters will have been in the park for 3 years.  There have been a number of things learnt along the way:
    • The 3 C size alkaline batteries in each counter have to be replaced every 7 months.
    • Don’t place the counters near growing large trees as the strong winds move the ground around the tree via the shallow roots of the tree.  The counter then gets moved through the earth’s magnetic field and counts that as a bike passing – we had some large numbers of bikes/hour on a trail halfway through the night on a couple of occasions until the counter was moved to a more stable location.
    • Daylight Saving is a pain if you want to adjust the timing intervals on all the data recovered to match summer time.  So the counters have been left in NZ Standard Time for the whole year.

Some of the results provided from the data collected from the TRAFx counters are shown here (last updated 12th January 2020):

What does a daily count look like for the generally wet months of the year?

As shown in the past, a regular weekly cycle that corresponds to the high weekend use of the park.  However, you can see the effect of our wet season with the daily use dropping off from early July with peaks when there is a fine weekend; e.g. Sunday 1st September obviously had fine weather and people got their fix of mountain biking.  The peak day was 22nd September where there were lots of people out riding.  There was another flat spot during November where the popular Mandatory and Sweet Spot were being less ridden.

During the 365 days to the end of December 2019, there were 7 days in this period where there were 2 or fewer bikes recorded over a 24 hour period on any of the counters: 13th May 2019, 3rd & 4th July 2019, 5th August, 12th August, 23rd August and 9th September 2019.  There were 3 more days when only 3 bikes in total were recorded.

The peak count per day summing all counters was 551 on 22nd September 2019 when there were over 210 bikes up Lap It Up.  There were 11 days where more than 400 bikes in total were recorded passing the four counters.

The minimum, maximum and averages per day over the 365 days to the 31st December 2019 are:

Cash Flow
Extension
Highway
to Hell
Kahore
Tau
Lap It
Up
Mandatory
PowerPlay
Sweet
Spot
Max/day 68 199 190 212 190 134
Min/day 1 0 0 0 0 0
Average/day 25 26 25 45 45 49
No. of days
with no riders
0 11 13 13 5 2


We now have 79 complete days data for the two trails that have just been started to be monitored (Cash Flow Extension and Sweet Spot):

The minimum, maximum and averages per day over the 79 days to the 4th January 2020 are:

Cash Flow
Extension
Sweet
Spot
Max/day 68 134
Min/day 1 0
Average/day 26 51
No. of days
with no riders
0 2

.

We can get monthly averages.  These are the monthly figures for the 12 months of 2019:

The monthly averages trended downwards to August and picked up again as spring and daylight saving took effect.

For the same period last year, these were:

For the same 12 months 2018, 3 had less 2018 traffic on average than they have had in 2019 whereas Lap It Up had more durig 2018 (1448/month) than 2019 (1375/month).

July was the quietest 2018 month whereas it was August in 2019.

Which was the most heavily ridden trail during 2018?

Apart from 4 weeks during 2018, Lap It Up was getting the most ridden each week.  Mandatory Power Play is next, Kahore Tau and then Highway To Hell.  This shows that as riders in 2018 we were heading out to the top end of the park to sample the new trails.

Has this continued during 2019?  The same four sites compared for the first 10 months of 2019 now shows this:

Highway to Hell and Mandatory took a bigger slice of the pie whereas the trend for Lap It Up to have less traffic showed up.  Kahore Tau remained pretty static.

.

What are the trends for the time since the counters have been installed?

Mandatory PowerPlay has come back into flavour which may be a reflection of recent work on the trail and the new Sweet Spot trail being opened up leading to more riders at the southern end of the park.

For 2019, each of the sites is seeing  25+ bikes per day on average with the three; Lap It Up, Mandatory PowerPlay and Sweet Spot having on average 45+ bikes/day.

There seems to be over well over 16,000 bikes in our park over any 12 month period.