The story behind our success
In 2004 the Hanmer Springs Mountain Bike Club was established by a few local enthusiasts to provide a voice for the establishment, development and future vision for the direction of Mountain Bike Trails around Hanmer Springs. For over 13 years now the Hanmer Springs Mountain Bike Club has worked hard to help develop the fantastic trail network we have today. As a club, and as the voice of all the hundreds of thousands of trail users, we would like to take the opportunity to thank the Land owners Ngai Tahu and the forest lease-holders Rayonier for their generous assistance in making this network become a reality.
In its infancy the club hand-built trails with the permission and licences of the lease-holder of the day Carter Holt Harvey. The success of these trails was soon evident and as usage rapidly increased it was deemed necessary to bring in an outside consultant to help provide an overview for the future direction of the network. The resulting report initiated work to improve the quality of trails, provide clear grades for the trails, link the network together and radically improve signage and maps and therefore visitors’ enjoyment of the network. It also highlighted the need for a consistent maintenance programme and that this was not sustainable by a few local volunteers.
This document then laid the foundations for the development of the Hanmer Springs Track Network Group. This group comprises local user groups, land owners, lease holders, Council, DOC, Thermal Pools, Business association and Community Board. The group provides a governing voice for the management, funding, and maintenance of the network. As a result, all future track development now requires sign off from this group as well as land owner and lease holder requirements. All new trails become part of the core network and are managed and maintained under the governance of this group.
To assess the best way for the network to move even further ahead, an outside consultant was used to collate a strategic document and provide a clear vision for the future of Mountain Biking around Hanmer Springs. Subsequently other trail user groups had a similar document produced. Recently the Mountain Bike Club produced a development plan and presented this to the Track Network Group for approval.
The following new projects were adopted
- Grading Trail and skills area to be built (approved by DOC Sept 2017)
- Easy Grade Trail (Basecamp trail, built 2016)
- Intermediate trail (Planning phase)
- Advanced Trail (approved by DOC and Rayonier Sept 2017)
- Expert Trail (Approved by DOC and Rayonier Sept 2017)
Because of all this work over the years we have an extremely successful network of trails, used by mountain bikers of all levels and abilities, providing healthy, fun recreation, with virtually no negative environmental impacts. Furthermore, the trail network ensures Hanmer Springs is now a true mountain biking destination, drawing more people to Hanmer Springs. This provides considerable financial benefits to the Hanmer Springs community and enhances the enjoyment of the growing number of domestic & international visitors.
Have fun but respect others & the environment while you’re having fun!
It is our belief that the way you ride & conduct yourself with others when you ride and the respect you show to the environment also has an impact on how Hanmer MTB Club is seen by our community. Please be a considerate trail user & help give Hanmer MTB Club a great name. All of our tracks are on land that we have been very kindly granted access to from Matariki/ Rayonier & DOC. We rely on solid relationships that have been developed over many years, with the land owners and managers, so that we can have access to these great locations, to be able to build trails and for everyone to enjoy on their bikes.
Below is the basic code that we request all mountain bikers follow. Mostly it’s common sense, but by not abiding by these, your actions can have a very negative impact for the Club. Thanks in advance!
The following Mountain Biker’s code was developed by Mountain Bike NZ in liaison with key stakeholders and DOC.
- Stay in control. So you can safely avoid others and keep yourself intact.
- Give way to walkers.
- Use a bell or greeting when approaching others. Most negative feedback from walkers on shared-use tracks concerns being surprised by bikers approaching without warning.
- Ride shared-use tracks in small groups. A ‘bike-train’ with a dozen riders displaces other users. 6-8, or less, is a better number.
Respect the rules
- Only ride MTB and shared-use tracks; stay off closed tracks – including those that are seasonally closed to protect the surface or minimise conflict with other users. Land managers are generally pretty reasonable so talk with them about issues or ideas you may have.
- Be prepared – take food, water, tools, First Aid and warm clothes. Plan for the unexpected – a change in the weather, an accident or getting lost and late.
- Obtain permission from private landowners before you set out.
- Leave gates as you find them either open or closed to keep stock where they are intended to be.
Respect the track
- Don’t skid, cut corners or make new lines. Skidding creates water channels and causes erosion. Use both brakes to slow down without skidding as you approach a corner. Cutting corners is cheating and damages fragile ecosystems.
- Avoid riding in the mud and rain. Both bikes and walkers damage soft, wet tracks.
- Clean your bike to prevent spreading weeds like gorse and didymo.
- Take rubbish home – like banana skins, old tubes and snack wrappers. Rubbish in the outdoors detracts from everyone’s experience.
Respect public access easements:
Some mountain bike rides travel along public access easements through private land. All easements and tracks are well marked. Please:
- Stay on the public easement track.
- Leave gates as you find them.
- Do not disturb stock – cycle slowly through livestock areas.
Most importantly – Smile! Have fun, enjoy the beautiful scenery & help others out if they need a helping hand.