Good progress made on pump track

Starting from scratch . . . Graded Earth owner Matthew Coultas and staff member Lewis Taka are partway through building a new pump track in Waikaia which is stage one of the Waikaia Forest Trails Trust project. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The Waikaia pump track is well on the way to being finished.

The track is stage one of a Waikaia Forest Trails Trust project to build a network of mountain bike trails in the nearby forest.

The estimated cost of stage one last year, allowing for inflation, was about $220,000.

Graded Earth Ltd owner Matthew Coultas and staff member Lewis Taka are building the track.

Trust chairwoman Hilary Kelso said it was very satisfying to have the project under way after all the paperwork involved.

‘‘Our next step will be then looking at the processes and the planning and everything in place so we can start building in the forest.’’

She was impressed with the skill of the men building the track.

‘‘These two guys are constantly, as they’re building the track and compressing it, riding it to make sure they’ve got the flow and the bank [right] so that it does work.’’

Unlike the Balfour pump track which the men had recently finished, they had a ‘‘blank canvas to work with’’.

At Balfour the pump track was set among the trees that were planted near the playground.

It was hoped the track would be ready for asphalting at the beginning of next week.

The pump track was part of a hub which would mark the start of the trails.

‘‘The hub base means all trails that will one day be built in the forest, [will] . . .start from there so that people come into the town.’’

A bike wash and tool stand would also be available for bikers at the hub.

‘‘It’s a social place for the bikers to meet each other or come as a group.’’

The pump track would be a good place for inexperienced riders to learn how to ride the terrain found on mountainbike trails.

‘‘Or for kids just to have fun on.’’