23 Aug 2013

Members of the Marlborough Mountain Bike Club are faced with hours of manual labour to repair damage to the Conders Bend Mountain Bike Park outside Renwick after it was repeatedly ridden on by motorcyclists.

(As appeared on the Marlborough Express. – http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/9078151/Motorbikers-wreck-mountainbike-park)

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Messed up: Marlborough Mountain Bike Club committee member Kevin Wilson inspects the damage to the Conders Bend Mountain Bike Park tracks by motorbike riders.

Club president Mondo Kopua said that only mountainbikes are permitted on the purpose-built track, but illegal off-road motorbikes were unfortunately not a new problem.

“We are really disappointed that this damage has been done. There are members of the club who have put in a huge amount of time and effort to develop those tracks,” said Mr Kopua.

The damage was spotted on Wednesday morning by club secretary Alana McLucky. She suspected that something even larger than a motorbike may have been through the park, cutting up the normally smooth and flowing corners.

Marlborough District Council drainage and floodway reserves officer Steve Bezar said that while he had not yet inspected the damage, there had been problems with motorbikes being ridden on the track in the past. “Unfortunately there are people out there who think they can do what they like. We have also had problems with vandalism like the sign at the park being smashed, which happened again the other day,” he said.

The mountainbike park is a joint collaboration between the club and council, with much of the funding and manpower coming from the club.

“It’s a great resource for Renwick people – they don’t have to come into Blenheim to ride a mountainbike park. The guys who built it did a really good job and the tracks are suitable for all ages,” Mr Kopua said.

He had himself encountered motorbike riders on the track while he was there with his young children, who were frightened by the experience.

The number of working hours and possible cost involved in the repair work was not yet known.