New Zealand has been popping up quite a bit on the radar lately, and the more I hear, the more I want to figure out a plan for getting down there and checking it out. A few weeks ago I was out with local DH Racer/ Ripper Mikey Haderer and we were putting the New Zealand designed DH frame the Zerode though its paces for a bike check for Vital MTB. Shortly after that I went on a ride with a native New Zealander now living in the bay area. Clearly the universe is telling me I should pack up and move to New Zealand. Or visit and ride their trails.
Their summer runs from December through February, which makes it a highly desirable destination for those that have X-Mas vacation time saved up, especially if you’re a rider based in the northwest that needs a break from the wet and cold. There is a big push in their marketing for cycling tourism with at least two bike parks that I know of, the Woodhill Mountain Bike Park and the Queenstown Bike Park. The Queenstown Bike Park recently opened, and from all the photos that have been popping up online, the scenery looks epic.
Not content with some apparently sweet downhill tracks, there is also a jump park. For pump track fans they’ve also added a new pump track that’s designed to act as a social hangout for locals and tourists alike near the bottom of the Skyline Gondola. The track is sponsored by the Outside Sports Ride Centre, and to make the track a reality, they brought Pro DH racer Justin Leov on board to design it and get it made.
Their planning for the pump track wasn’t terribly complex. Often times you see these computer drafted images that look great, but sometimes just getting a rough plan is all you need. Sometimes these things are way over designed and things that look good on paper don’t always turn out as planned. In the end, regardless of your design, you’ll end up changing things up if you really want to dial it in.
It is great when you have good soil to work with on site. Often times it isn’t the case.
Once the track was officially open, they celebrated by having a big jam making an edit. Looks pretty fun for a public track!
Photos courtesy of Outside Sports Ride Center.