The Te Miro Mountain Bike Park situated between Cambridge and Matamata in the Waikato Region were one of the first recipients of funding from Trail Fund NZ. Aidan Forrest from Trail Fund NZ put together a few questions for Andy McLean, one of the key folks involved in Te Miro, to find out a bit more about the project and what they’re hoping to do.
Tell us a bit about the area the trail project is situated in.
The area is a Matamata Piako Council reserve (about 138 ha) which is situated around the Morrinsville town water supply. It’s covered in native bush, pines, redwood forest and some scrub. The main car park looks out over a large, grassy reserve before the lake and large hill behind covered in native bush. It really is beautiful. The council has replanted the pine areas with redwoods and the area has been designated an adventure park. There will be no more logging.
How did this trail project come about? What’s got you guys so keen to put time into this?
The project has been on everyone’s minds for a while. It was a discussion on Facebook that got us together initially and that was where it was decided we would get a club started. The tracks got started in the mid 90s and since then there’s been ‘ad hoc’ development with interruptions due to logging.
Since the logging there’s been a bit more serious development. Firstly by a local bike shop owner and then by an extremely hard working individual who added a heap more single track (>10km and growing). These tracks mainly link existing tracks in the network and as a result, usage has dramatically increased over the last couple of years. Currently we have about 21km of tracks in our system.
Describe the rider experience you envisage at Te Miro.
The tracks at the moment are more orientated towards the experienced rider with plenty of tight single track on steeper terrain with a few easier tracks more suitable for families. One of the aims of our club is to develop more tracks that will suit beginner and intermediate riders and to put in a pump track where basic skills can be developed.
What are the main challenges you’ve had in getting this project off of the ground?
One of the main challenges we’ve faced has been dealing with all the different information that we receive whilst getting on with all the other things that go with balancing busy work and family lives. At our AGM that we just held in April we recruited another 3, possibly 4 new committee members so now we can start delegating different projects amongst ourselves which should help us manage better.
Another challenge we’ve faced recently is differences in opinions about trail design which we’re currently working through. We’re viewing this as an opportunity to up-skill our trail builders and develop strategies to ensure our trails are well designed and sustainable.
Our website is also starting to take shape which will help bring our communications to a central point where they can be viewed and shared more easily amongst new and existing members, and other interested people.
What future plans are in the pipeline for the Te Miro trails?
We have a few plans up our sleeves for the future but we need to get a list together and prioritise our projects and then knock them off one at a time. Some things for our wishlist include sealing the road on the Cambridge side of the park, larger parking facilities and a toilet, family tracks, a pump track and shuttle access for the DH. What was suggested at last night’s AGM was getting everyone’s ideas down and starting to look for commonalities so we can begin to prioritise.