Starfish extension blog
 

18 November update

Despite the weather gods continuing to not place nicely, good progress has been made on the new “Starfish Extension” line which starts at the end of Ridgeline Extension (so many extensions…).

We’ve cleared about 200 metres which is about the equivalent of the length of Big Tom’s Wheelie. We’re focussing on building it to complete standard before progressing on - there’s quite a lot of water run-off from SWIGG and Big Tom’s so we’re working hard to find the right balance of leaving roots and rocks while making the trail surface sustainable (i.e. not a bog).

 

27 October update

Quick dig today before the rain hit - the first berm is coming together nicely thanks to the large rocks provided by Horokiwi Quarry and delivered by Rapid Earthworks.

This section will get a rock garden added before the track is opened.

14 October 2018

We’re building some awesome new grade 4 single track from the end of Ridgeline Extension down to the start of Starfish. It will be a similar style to Ridgeline Extension with rollable drops and jumps, optional hard lines and plenty of stoke. 

We’ve scoped the line and it’s looking pretty sweet. Check out https://www.trailforks.com/trails/starfish-extension/ for a rough map and line.

 
 
 Map showing roughly where the new Starfish will run from the end of Ridgeline Extension through to near the transmitter at the end of SWIGG/start of Starfish

Map showing roughly where the new Starfish will run from the end of Ridgeline Extension through to near the transmitter at the end of SWIGG/start of Starfish

 
Park closure notice - Sun 18 Nov - Giant Wellington PNP Spring Series

The Giant Wellington PNP Spring Series is coming to Makara Peak on Sunday 18 November. While the whole park isn’t closed, all the tracks around the main entrance on South Karori Road including Koru, Sally Alley, Lazy Fern, Magic Carpet, Smokin, Three Brothers are being used for the event.

So it’s best to either plan to ride in the afternoon or use this as a chance to ride Polhill, Mt Vic, Miramar or even get out to Wainui, Belmont or Porirua. You’re not short of options!

If you haven’t entered before, the PNP series a great way to sample some racing action. PNP do a great job of running this series and there’s options for riders of various levels of fitness and ability plus a part of your entry fee goes straight back to the park for trail building and maintenance.

Visit https://www.pnp.org.nz/spring-series-race-5 for all the information about the courses, entry fees,

Latest new trail build underway

2018 must be one of the busiest years in the park’s history in terms of new trail being built, and it’s not over yet! TGL are weaving their magic on our latest new trail, which will see Swigg extended across and down to near the bottom of Lazy Fern. 

The intermediate grade trail is being built in part by digger and part by hand and goes through some amazing native bush.  

This complements the new Advanced trail currently being built by the Supporters which goes from the end of Ridgeline Extension to Starfish. 

2018 AGM notice

The 2018 Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park Supporters AGM is being at 7:30pm on Tuesday 13 November at the Karori Park Pavilion/Cafe - 400 Karori Road. 

Our AGM's tend to be a pretty laid back affair - we present the accounts and the report from the last 12 months, then elect a chair and the management committee. 

After the formalities are over, we eat a bit of pizza and talk about tracks and trees. 

Iain Feist will stand for re-election for the chair, so if anyone else is keen we get the excitement of a vote.  

Ricky Pincott, Mark Kent, Peter Leman, Oliver Martin, Simon O'Brien and Andrew Cooper are keen to return to the management committee.  

If you are keen to be involved - get in touch and we can give you an idea of what is involved. If people are interested in standing for chair or the committee we would like to circulate some brief bio's on Facebook a few days before the AGM. 

Otherwise - come along and look back at the achievements from the last year.  

Upper Leaping Lizard rebuild complete
 

26 October update

The final piece of the Upper Leaping Lizard puzzle was tidied up this week by Ricky, who widened, tweaked, and finished off the short link between the new (upper upper?) and lower (original/lower upper) bits of track. So you can now avoid the pinch climb all the way up to the 4WD track.

14 October update

TGL have been busy upgrading the lower section of Upper Leaping Lizard over the last few weeks, which has been paid for by WCC. They’ve been widening some narrow sections, removing ruts, improving the drainage, berming up some corners, and building an intermediate bypass of the advanced steep rocky section - which is being kept open for those who prefer a steeper line. The best of both worlds!

They’ve done a great job retaining as much of the natural, rugged feel of the track, while giving it an update as it hasn’t seen any major maintenance in quite a few years. This is a key section of track that all riders will use to access the south west corner of the park, where we’ll be building a lot of new intermediate and advanced grade tracks. So getting it back to intermediate grade was a priority.

There are some great views from the track over Cook Strait and the South Island, plus looking back to the swing bridge and the Peak. Once it’s complete, there’s going to be a great intermediate loop in the South West from the summit down Upper Leaping Lizard, into the easy section of Leaping Lizard and then back along Supa Kanuka and Aratihi. Advanced riders have got a bit more choice with Nikau Valley or Leaping Lizard into Bail Out or back up via Possum.

We’ll post something on Facebook as soon as it’s open - only a couple of weeks of finishing and surfacing to go.

 
It's releasing season

After another successful planting season, we’ve a little bit of work to do to ensure the seedlings survive their first few months in the ground. We call it 'releasing', and it's usually just pulling back grass from around the seedlings to make sure they don't get swamped.

We provide gloves and a snack - you provide some muscle. It usually takes about an hour (a bit longer if there's a walk into the planting site).

Don't forget: once you've done three work parties this year, you get a pair of top notch Makara Peak riding gloves.

Wednesday 17 October at 6pm: Meet at Hazelwood Green next to the overflow car park

Wednesday 24 October at 6pm: Meet at the entrance to Bailout, then head into the Leaping Lizard goat exclosure

Wednesday 31 October at 6pm: Meet in the main carpark and picnic area

Wednesday 7 November at 6pm: Meet at the end of Magic Carpet/Koru

Wednesday 14 November at 6pm: meet at the container before heading into Ridgeline Extension and Miro

Tweaks made to bottom corner on Ridgeline.

Ricky, Scotty and Red Dawg made some tweaks to the bottom corner on Ridgeline on the weekend. The big ruts are gone, now replaced with some rock ledges which provide hard or harder lines. If you haven’t ridden Ridgeline recently - get into it. It’s pretty sweet at the moment.

Upper Leaping Lizard bypass underway

There was a good trail building session on the Upper Leaping Lizard bypass on Saturday, with about 30 metres scratched out by a keen group of volunteers.

This short section of new trail will bypass that nasty pinch climb and create better flow between the new section of Upper Leaping Lizard and the old bit (which is currently being upgraded).

One more session this Saturday and we should have it completed.

Spotted some Puawhananga in flower as well.

ULL bypass 1.jpg
ULL bypass 3.jpg
Ridgeline Extension rebuild continues

Ricky has been tweaking, rock breaking and armouring on the top (older) section of Ridgeline Extension. It’s looking pretty mint! Designed to improve flow and drainage, we’ll continue to increase the fun factor and incorporate new features.

Volunteers, TracksSimon O'Brien
Makara Peak tree of the week - the Sally Alley Rimu
Tree of the Week - Rimu.jpg

This is one of just four rimu that existed in Makara Peak at the time it became a MTB park. It's about 10-12m tall, and lives 10m above Sally Alley, about 80% of the way along the track.

We’ve planted hundreds of rimu in the park over the last 20 years - 80-odd we know have reached sapling height.
— Simon Kennett

Rimu can grow to well over 35m tall in their 800-900 year lifespan, and are an important food source for many native birds.

Conservation, PlantingSimon O'Brien
Kennett Brothers inducted into Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
Kennetts.jpg

The legendary Kennett Bro's have taken their rightful place in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame!

Their list of achievements covers everything from being a pioneer of the sport in NZ, competing on the world stage, publishing, thinking up and organizing events (the Karapoti Classic and Tour Aotearoa ring bell?!) and, of course, being the driving force behind the establishment of Makara Peak and its development over the 20 years since. From the get go, they have mixed mountain biking with a strong conservation ethos which now a common theme throughout NZ.

They are a modest bunch - but the "Three Brothers" track name is a tip of the hat in their direction. That is the most they have let us do.

Here is the write up:

https://mmbhof.org/kennett_brothers/

Awesome work Paul, Simon and Jonathan!

Somes/Matiu Island visit

Tane, God of the Forest, looked over the Makara Peak plant care crew (Evan, Jamie, Sarah, Peter, Andrew, Simon and Don) as they joined ecologist Pete Russell on Somes/Matiu Island today. Pete gave a workshop on the art of releasing podocarp saplings from common, fast growing trees. 

The Supporters aim to get all the native podocarp species - rimu, kahikatea, matai, miro and totara - well established in the park, and we're now at the stage where looking after the ones we've planted is even more important than planting more.

If you'd like to join the crew and adopt an area of saplings, please flick us a Facebook message or email supporters@makarapeak.org.

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