Brains in gear for bike track

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Hinds School classmates Maisie Hancox, Charlie Pickford and Morgan Harbutt show some of the planned bike track features via the classroom clay table-top model.

Berms, a see saw, triple jumps and a pump track are some of the features planned for a pupil-led bike track on the grounds of Hinds School.

The pupils have been fundraising for the project since the start of the year. It will cost around $20,000 and they are over halfway in their fundraising efforts.

Year 7 pupil Charlie Pickford, 12, said the rural school was mostly surrounded by 100km roading zones, so many of the pupils did not have safe areas to ride a bike. He lives on the east side of Hinds and crosses State Highway 1 to get to and from school, so biking to school was not ideal.

The pupils were compelled to do something after having a wheels day at the school and wanting to ride all the time. Charlie and his school mates banded together to get a school bike track.

The senior class, Piwakawaka, put together a case study, made a clay table-top model of their design ideas and learned skills from school parents such as Kate Moorhead who spoke to the children about approaching businesses and organisations for sponsorship.

Other fundraising ideas have included iceblocks sales, sausage sizzles and an adventure race event.

Preloved clothing will also be sold at the school’s Country Day event.

Once completed, the track will wind 620 metres around an unused areas of the school grounds.

Often used areas of the field have been built into the design and will not be affected.

The track will have weaving and log sections as well as bypasses around some of the tricky spots.

The project has had the experience of bike track engineer Cam Bisset, who helped tweak and polish the children’s original design into a 3D model. The 3D model is used by the children to show prospective sponsors, with differing levels of sponsorship available in bronze, silver or gold.

The children are also looking to have a shipping container on site to store spare bikes that children without bikes can use.

The container will include a small workshop where children, using parents or bike shop owners, can be taught basic repairs and maintenance on the bikes.

So far there has been great community support including gold sponsorship from rural companies such as Rylib, Align, Rural Transport, Phillip Wareing Transport and Rangitata Dairies but the children are still seeking more to complete the project.

They are hopeful it will be done by the end of the year so departing pupils can enjoy the track before they leave.