Topping for new MTB track

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Lending a hand with the new track track extension work on Saturday were (from left) Martin Reid, James Reid, Mike Kettley, Brad O'Brien, Roger Wilson and Graham Russell.

Mountain Bike Ashburton is progressing well with a new section of trail at the Ashburton River track that has been named Bendibus.

Volunteers were out on Saturday packing down more clay along a section of the cut 700m trail.

The Allenton track extension has been open for a few weeks and work is ongoing to shape it for a smooth, fast ride.

Mountain Bike Ashburton president James Reid said the new track ran through the trees and down to the skills park.

The project had started four months ago and the objective was to carve out a dedicated bike track.

Previously the track ran down from the high point of Mt Ash and through the trees before joining up with the vehicle track used by Environment Canterbury.

That section of track ran for around 500m to the skills park and had proven popular with runners and walkers since covid.

It was thought prudent to create a separate track for bikers because it would separate users and improve safety, said Mr Reid.

The extension had been supported with funding of $2000 from the Trail Fund, $10,000 from the Mid & South Canterbury Trust and volunteer bike club labour.

ACL had given the club a good deal on the clay being put down.

Mr Reid said a second new section of bike track would follow in the future.

It would be cut through the trees and run from the skills park to the State Highway 1 bridge.

The existing bike track to the bridge would be widened and would give better access for walkers and runners.

“One day we would love to extend further again and from the other side of the bridge to Trevors Road,” said Mr Reid.

Since covid there had been a big spike of multiple users of the Ashburton River track.

-By Mick Jensen