Start ’em young!

The Kennett Brothers have supported Bikes in Schools since day one, by designing and building the first Skills Track in 2010. Since then we’ve helped with several others, and are now over the moon to see that schools around the country are adopting the Bikes in Schools programme. There are so many benefits. Rather than list them here, we are putting up this great little video which explains what it is all about.

Carterton MTB Park and Mount Dick Lookout

The weather was great in the Wairarapa, so we nipped over the hill for one last research trip at Carterton MTB Park, and Mount Dick Lookout (both next to each other).
It’s a great park for little kids as it only has two 1-km long tracks and they are really well built. For exercise Mt Dick is perfect, and it offers stunning panoramas from the shelter on top. Chilly downhill though!





South Island Research Trip

We’ve just got back from another massive research trip around the South Island.


We started off checking out a fresh track in Oamuru, then we headed to Dean’s Bank.


Next we had a brilliant day riding at Rude Rock. We came up with a cunning plan to do it while it was still frozen – there was no mud at all. It also gave Jonathan a chance to test the ECR in the snow (it’s awesome!).

Then we spent the afternoon being shown the best tracks at Rabbit Ridge, thanks to our guide Olly (who knows the area like the back of his hand). There are heaps of new tracks being built there this year.


Coronet Peak, the top of Rude Rock.


Parts of the track are covered in snow and it’s only June. We guess the track will be best left until summer to ride. Paul wiped out on some ice just around the corner from this shot!


Lake Wakatipu. No idea what the mountains are. The track is Rude Rock.


Olly guiding Paul down the Paddock Track at Rabbit Ridge.


Paul and Olly at Donna’s Dually – the most fun Grade 2 track in the country!

The next day was another fantastic one. We’ve got to hand it to the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club – they have created some excellent trails over the last three years with very strong connectivity that helps create longer, better rides. Awesome!

We headed out to do a great new version of the Moke Lake circuit, then Paul and Olly did Seven Mile while Jonathan headed off to the Moonlight Track.


Another day in Paradise at Moke Lake


Gold Digger – a great track by the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club that does away with the sealed road climb up to Moke Lake.


Olly shows us how it’s done at the Seven Mile MTB area.


There hasn’t been any sun on this part of the Moonlight Track for a while.


There’s some unbelievable track building on the Moonlight Track!

Man down! We only had one river crossing to go this morning, and a snow fed one at that. Otherwise it was a good ride on the Dusky Trail.
In the afternoon we were pleasantly surprised by the new track work at Lake Tekapo. There is some great flowing single track, and, of course, excellent scenery.

Well, it was an awesome research trip. Seven days of fine weather; met lots of great people and rode many kilometres of single track. Now we are on the ferry, heading home to work on the next edition of Classic NZ MTB Rides, due out 1 November.


Paul crossing a higher than usual Twizel River. All about to go pear shaped.


Paul is not a strong swimmer, so I was torn between taking photos and helping him out.


The single track built through Tekapo Regional Park is a lot of fun! Does anyone know who built it? Must have been a mountain biker.

Reefton, Waiuta and Hanmer Forest


We’ve just got back from an awesome research trip in the South Island.

Reefton rocks! Seriously, it rocks more than ever. Even with a bit of drizzle. DOC have done some amazing work. Kirwans is in great nick, and the new loop possible around Murray Creeks makes for a brilliant night ride. Konini was the icing on the cake.


The next day we were off to Waiuta. It was a tough day. So much water on the Big River and Waiuta Tracks, and several tree falls. Fantastic scenery though, and the work DOC have done on Waiuta was much appreciated. Then went and checked out the new track (under construction) near Craigieburn. Can’t believe Murray took his shoes off to ride across the stream barefoot. Whimpy!





Barefoot cycling – not recommended, but he did keep his shoes dry.

Fat is fun! We tried fat bikes in Hanmer Forest and had a ball. Don’t laugh until you’ve tried them. They stick to the tracks like superglue and yet getting air is incredibly easy. You can hire them from Mark at Mumbles Cafe. He’s a fat bike ambassador, and the food it great too.





West Coast Wilderness Trail – Update From a Rider’s Perspective

Last week Jonathan rode the West Coast Wilderness Trail with Bronwen Wall and Martin and Marie Langley. We rode the whole trail from Ross to Greymouth (yes, that is backwards) and had a great time.
If you are planning on doing it soon, you need to be aware that much of it is not well signposted, and there are some bits worth riding that you may think are closed, as well as bits that are closed that you might think are open.
So here is a quick update. If you have any questions, let us know.


3 km out of Ross you will have to cross the Totara River. We walked across the river (30 cm high), but if you are careful you can go on the bridge. The railway line north of here has just been cleared of gorse and is an easy ride (last week we had to bash through 2 km of the prickly stuff).


Make sure you drop in to the Tree Tops Walkway and then do the Mananui Tramline (aka Mahinapua Walkway). It is all good to ride.


2.5 km north of the tramline, on the highway, you will reach a bridge at Mahinapua Creek and see the end of Golf Links Road 20 metres away. Squeeze through a wire fence and then ride down Golf Links Road. It is very quiet and takes you to the Hoki River Bridge, with a clip on taking you to the town.


You have to ride on the road most of the way to Kaniere and then along Lake Kaniere Road, BUT make sure you turn left at this sign (Hurunui Jacks). It leads to several kilometres of new track that is a lot of fun. About 1 km from this sign is an unmarked track fork. Turn left to stay on the new trail. It leads to Wards Road, where you have to turn left again, and then after 700 metres turn right onto the Kaniere Water Race. Lots of fun.


There is now brand new accommodation at Cowboy Paradise – right where you need it. There is also a saloon where you can buy drinks and meals.

This is a great place to stay, with LOADS of character. You’ll love it. Book ahead, as it is likely to be popular. The new phone number is 03 280 9559.


The track from Cowboy Paradise all the way to Kumara is finsished and everyone loves it.


An icon of how cycle trails can rejuvinate a small town. This is a great place to visit, but if it is booked out they will be able to help you find somewhere else to stay in Kumara. Several houses are being restored for cycists accommodation.


Now, from Kumara there is only 2.6 km of riding to do on the highway. Then turn off down Parsmore Road, and 5 metres down the road you will see the brand new section of cycle trail on your left. It leads all the way to the Highway near the Taramakau River Bridge.
If you are travelling from the north then make sure you turn down the Tram Road. This new section is really worth hunting out.


And here is the new section on the historic Kumara Tram Line. Last Friday there was only 200 metres left to build – easy enough to walk, and it might be finished by now.


From the Taramakau River Bridge, hang a sharp left and follow the off road trail all the way to Greymouth. It is obviously getting a lot of use from locals at this end. The path is worn smooth already.


Welcome Rock Trail

Have you ever thought what it might be like to ride miles and miles and miles of water race track through high-country Otago?

Welcome Rock Trail is on the way! It’s being built by a Southland farmer with a vision, and should be opened by the end of the year. Kath Kelly and Jonathan took a sneak preview and loved it.

More details will follow when the opening date is set – there is still lots of work to be done. Volunteers are welcome. Check out the Welcome Rock website:


The trail had a gentle gradient, but is narrow and twisty in places, making it great for interesting biking.


Tom O’Brien – a man with a vision of mountain biking heaven.


Connor on the left here has been working on the track full time since last Winter. On the right is a fit young German WWOOFer. They each build 30 to 70 metres a day in this terrain.


Kath Kelly on Welcome Rock, the highest point for miles around.

Heaven’s Door

Crystal night at Heavens Door on the Old Ghost Road. So many stars, blinded by a full moon and impressed by Venus. Checked out the trail building action for a couple of days. Almost 2.5 km hand-built in two months. Quite incredible really, but also fairly gnarly. Expert riders will love the latest section.






Wild Coast Track

Lots of people did BIG miles in the weekend! Mostly training for the Kiwi Brevet 2014.

Jonathan and Bronnie caught the train to Woodside and rode the new cycle-path to Greytown before getting pushed by a northerly down past Lake Wairarapa to the ‘Wild Coast Track’. It has just been signposted by DOC, but the track work has yet to happen, so it is still rough riding and there are several walking sections. We stopped in Days Bay for a mega burger afterwards and then cruised back to Wellington.

What a great day!