Weekener report


The BikeFit Weekender was held on May 14, 15 with the first ever eliminator run by the club on the Saturday and the cross country event on the Sunday.

The eliminator saw a small turnout of 15 riders. However the small number didn't mean it was any less fun, with the riders who took on the 1.3km route having a great time. The short, figure-of-eight shaped course meant it was great for spectators too.

The seeding run gave a good indication of how the day might go with Josh Foster posting the quickest time - an impressive 3min.14sec.

A first round saw the winners go on to battle for a place in the cup final while the third and four placed riders went to the plate division. Liv Bishop was the only woman to enter, giving most of the guys a good run for their money.

Three rounds and some 12 races later and the two finals were decided, with the seeding times having proven almost totally accurate, save for one or two "lower" seeded riders sneaking into the cup final (perhaps they held back in the seeding).

In the end it was a dominant Josh who reigned supreme in the cup final, while Bailey McKay took the win in the plate final.

Cross country report and results


Soup n Bun 2 - 2016 - Homebrook

If the soup had been ready at ten o’clock it would have been tempting to just sit in the sun and soak up the warmth.  Graham Cooper not only let us use his place, but he also turned on a cracker of a day despite his need for lots more rain.

Amongst the 41 riders taking part, there was a very serious 4 year old, and a very competitive 70 year old, plus the usual array all ages in between. 

Justin set out two courses and included a new piece of single track, which proved to be very popular.  Race brief said that riders could mix and match the courses so lap times could be misleading.  I did hear of riders repeatedly lapping the awesome single track section and it is good to know that despite the competitive nature of the sport, it can also be used purely for fun without encroaching on those who want to race.

First to complete lap 1 were the Morrison ladies who zipped around the short course in pretty quick time.  These guys were also on hand at the end of their second lap to assist a distressed young Billy who had come a cropper on the road and was leaking blood and tears.  Hope Billy gets over his wee drama and comes back for more showing his battle scars.

At the front of the field Josh and Khan were neck and neck after the first circuit with Jeremy not far behind struggling with gearbox problems.  Chef/mechanic Justin helped to get him flying again after a short pit stop.  Josh put in a very quick second lap to open up a wee gap on Khan while Jeremy was trying to make up for lost time in third place.  These three were pretty focused and flew through the start finish to go for a third lap.  At the end of the day the gap between first and third was less than a minute with some serious effort from Khan and Jeremy trying in vain to close down Josh.

Mean time amongst the two lappers, the two Roberts, Kennedy and Miller, were swapping bikes mid course without swapping race numbers.  Their lap times are a best guess and probably way out, which is the usual result when old timers get confused.

Soup was pretty good though thanks to David, it was thick enough to make sandwiches eh Justin !  All in all a great morning.  Don’t forget the big double weekender next week with the “Eliminator” on Saturday at the MTB Park and Kevin’s Epic on Sunday at Dumgree.  Get your entries in to BikeFit before Thursdays deadline.


First WilkesRM Soup and Bun - the Pyramid

It would be hard to imagine a more perfect day for the first of the club’s Soup and Bun series.  The Waihopai Valley was benefiting from the recent rain and looked green and fresh, and The Pyramid was in its usual immaculate state.  Thanks to Chris and Julie Dawkins for allowing us to use their place and for turning on great weather, no wind, no rain, just plenty of warm sun to highlight the greenery.  The tuis were pretty vocal too so a great morning all round.

Despite many of our members busy harvesting, there was still a good turnout. 41 riders ensured that the soup was well tested and tasted.  Thanks to chefs Sven and Justin for the taste sensations.  These two also set out the course and Justin was also seen to be fixing one of the juniors bikes while not missing a stir of the pot.  You haven’t seen Jamie Oliver do that have you ?  Thanks also to Wilkes RM for their support/sponsorship.  While we are handing out thanks, George’s help gathering up arrows afterwards was much appreciated.

Attached lap times cannot reflect accurately who did which laps, long or short or a mixture.  A guess has been attempted so hopefully some of it is correct.  You will know what you did so if I have short changed anyone I apologise and if I have flattered anyone please do not blush on the rostrum.

The usual suspects dominated with Sarnim in serious mode and the rest in his dust.  He was having problems with his rear tyre and was pumping furiously before the start.  Khan was putting in a solid performance in second and Ken third defying the aging process.  Good to see newcomer Lucan too keeping everyone honest and Paul joined these in completing 5 laps.  It was a good testing course, climbs and technical bits and a splash of creek water thrown in for good measure.

Sarnim was slowing each lap with his tyre slowly deflating.  He stopped at the end of lap 3 to put more air in but stopped shortly afterwards with a complete flatty.  Frustrated he had another pump and could not resist the perfect riding conditions, so set out to chase Khan who had slipped by into the lead.  The hold up was too much and despite a scorching lap 5, the consistent Khan prevailed by just a few seconds. 

Sven and George were next completing 4 laps heading Jut.  Jut turned up in a very old VW Beetle and was riding a CX bike.  Organisers could not find a rule to disqualify him on either of these counts.

Sarnim was not the only rider with tyre problems, David was seen mid forest successfully affecting a repair, but spoiling his lap time for lap 3.  There were other with mechanical issues, as mentioned previously one of the younger juniors lost his chain and Kathryn also had transmission problems, enabling her to stop and take photos and first dibs in the trough.  

Lots of juniors tried the shorter track and some mixed and matched, but all seemed to be having fun.  We hope that interest remains for the rest of the series but it would be hard to guarantee the same ideal conditions we enjoyed today.


AvantiPlus Blenheim Multi-Hour

THE 2 & 4 HOUR EVENT - Stirring up the dust
Ron 'Father Time' Milbanke reporting
The organisers will be heartened by the responses received from the riders on the inaugural 1, 2 and 4 hour event. It was targeted as an experimental event among club and close friends with the view of opening it up to a wider audience in future. To those who rode the event the organisers would like to hear your comments so that they can improve the next one, so please don’t be backward in coming forward if you have any ideas to make it better. We have heard the odd murmuring but in the heat of battle some of the comments will be forgotten. SO please let us know how it went for you.

The one hour event for the younger set looked to be a great success and it intermingled with the 2 and 4 hour riders without incident or hold-up. With a bike up for grabs for one lucky youngster, Peter came up with an innovative idea for choosing the winner. He had a cardboard box file with a small picture of a bike on the inside of the lid. The kids were each given a four inch nail with their names attached, and they had to hammer the nail into the top of the closed lid. The nail closest to the bike was the winner. Seems like a great way to pick a winner, maybe the next President of the USA could be chosen this way, although I suspect that the nails could be better used on one of the candidates.

The four hour event got away shortly after ten, and it was only a few minutes old when one of the favoured riders returned to the pits with a dismantled pedal. He managed to find a replacement and was very quickly on his way, a big setback for team SMS losing around 6 minutes. No such problem for Josh who blistered round in just over 21 minutes with teammate Aaron watching on with a grin. The next through after lap 1 were Mitchell, Jeremy and Kiel, the first three solo riders and in very close contact. Josh continued on in similar vein on lap 2 but Jeremy broke a derailleur leaving Mitchell just in front of Kiel in the solo race. Tim was next solo feeling all the bumps on a hard tail, then a couple of raiders from over the hill were quietly going about their work behind Tim.

As the laps reeled off the lap times were stretching out and by lap 5 Tim looked the worse for wear. Sure enough he was gobbled up on lap 6 by the intruders from Nelson. Kiel’s lap times were also increasing at an alarming rate and on lap 8 was added to the list of victims of the Nelson duo. Mitchell was in no danger out front with a comfortable cushion.

Josh and Aaron were the only team to complete 10 laps with almost 4 minutes to spare before the clock struck 4. Completing 9 laps, Mitchell was first solo, then a great effort by Khan and Bailey saw the Young Guns team come home third. Also completing 9 laps were team SMS, Sarnim Matt and Sharn, a great recovery from the earlier mishap. Gary and Susie from Nelson were the next two soloists with Jeremy the last to finish 9 laps following them home, a great effort after losing heaps of time on lap 2 with the mechanical.

The Tenacious Turtles and team Google and Chrome were unlucky to have their last laps disallowed finishing just outside the 4 hours in 4:01:20 and 4:02:20 respectively. Soloist Bruce was also outside the time with a 4:04:35 finish.

There were huge cheers as wee Georgia brought home 3 Little Racers with just 45 seconds to spare to complete an impressive 6 laps. Georgia, Tom and Tyler cannot muster 30 years between them so they should be very proud. There was a little sour note here with Georgia being abused by an unknown rider who should have more tolerance. If you know who you are, please learn from this and come back next year a better person.

More cheers for the Avanti racers who had just four seconds to spare to complete their 8th lap.

In the 2 hour event Joel took an early lead and was 2 minutes clear with a lap to go. Ian snuck up on him on the last lap to take overall honours by 30 seconds. Joel took out under 18 honours with Finlay 2nd. Logan was best under 12 just pipping Luke and Pogo was the only solo lady, another Nelson raider.

Lap times

The Circuit

Three K’s and a D completed a great circuit in the hill country behind Ward for the Rec Ride on the 28th February 2016.

The day did not start well with Dean C finding a flat tyre before he left home and then finding he owned two new tubes with the wrong valve. Kevin W offered a tube which promptly went down. Keith R came to the rescue with supply and Keith W was the mechanic.

The ride started in in the Ure valley about 3k up from SH1. A short ride on the road to warm up (it was only about 22O C), we crossed the dry river and rode up the valley in ‘Kilgram”. After about 2k it got really hot with a 300m altitude gain over 2k. The reward was great views of the surrounding countryside. Onto the mostly downhill Peggioh Road right to the end, through parts of Peggioh Station and Kilgram, over the river and 25k later we were back at the cars.

My car broke down at the Ward Café but after a pie and a coffee, the problem seemed to go away. Thanks to Kilgram Farm Ltd and Peggioh Station for access.

January 21st Picton

Our first visit to Picton for the summer brought out the locals to guide us round their fantastic challenging tracks.  Peter and Justin set out a course with stiff climbs, tricky corners and some gorse to test the commitment of the 33 riders who turned up on this warm summer evening.  It really was a great place to be, and there would have been some very sweaty satisfied riders at the end of the day.

There was a choice of courses and while the majority lapped on the long course, Yvette and Selena alternated between short and long, and Jimmy and Mikey completed 6 of the shorter laps. 

On familiar territory and with great athleticism and fitness, Mitchell showed no mercy and blitzed the field.  He established a one minute gap on lap one, extended it to two minutes on lap two and was almost four minutes clear at the end.  Warren brought along his visiting son Nick, and at the end of lap one he was showing some good speed in second slot.  Kiel and Connor were in close company filling third and fourth then Khan and Josh just a few seconds further back.  The Gold Card brigade were out in force, we had six over sixties defying the aging process with Robert the quickest of these ahead of Warren and Peter W.  John Pick had a small rest after two laps and was waiting for some company for his third lap.  We haven’t had anyone get lost yet but with so many seniors around, carers are something we may have to look into.

Lap two and the tussle for fourth was heating up, Mitchell and Nick were holding station while Kiel had established a gap in third then Connor and Khan were neck and neck.

At the end of lap three Nick was being caught by Kiel and was further hampered by a dislodged chain.  Khan had passed and cleared away from Connor and Justin was sneaking up on the leaders spinning like crazy on his single speed. 

Five riders completed four laps.  Mitchell was never challenged in front, then Kiel managed to stay ahead of a consistent persistent Khan who also managed to keep Justin off the podium.  Nick eventually struggled home in fifth, admitting that the chain was only part of the issue and tired legs helped his demise.

Alana was best performed lady with Donna also competing on the big course.

It was a great all round effort on a perfect evening and I think we had around 33 satisfied customers at the end of the day.  We will try again next week at the MTB park where Justin will fill in for Peter setting out the course.  Hope to see you all around 6:30 for a 7:00 start.


MTB Park Thursday 14th Jan

The warmer weather stirred a few extra bikes into action this evening, there were bikes every which way, but not all joined us for our wee bit of fun.  Peter was inhibited in his course layout by many social riders on the track so it was plan B that was brought into action to accommodate everyone without hindrance.  So a few little climbs and a few unusual directions proved a good test of fitness and ability.  Peter tries each week to introduce something new or different to help develop bike skills.

24 riders exploded off the line, some fresh back from holiday and trying to get serious again for events to come.  It is NZMTB Cup timebut I have not heard of any club members following this series, some are looking at the one off MTB Nats in Wanaka on 19th 20th March.  Always good to see our club represented at this level.

The first lap saw a close battle between Sarnim, Jeremy and Khan with only 3 seconds separating this trio at the front.  George and Joel were another 10 seconds back with Sven and Tim closely matched a further few seconds behind.  Young Fin was also up with the leaders but had taken a shorter route on this first lap.

By the end of lap 2 the field had started to string out and Sarnim had put 40 seconds on the field and was very focused, (maybe on Wanaka ?).  Jeremy was gritting his teeth in second and Khan was alone in third spot.  Joel had edged in front of George and Tim was very close to Sven.  Adam Logan and Jacob were out there just having fun egging each other on to do another lap.  Adam rode off on Jacob’s bike for a lap together with Jacob’s drink bottle.  Jacob pondered in the pits, probably thinking up a revenge strategy.

So this natural order prevailed for the remaining laps with the exception of Sven who was overtaken by Tim, Sven’s chain was jumping off so he lost some ground there. 

At the 50 minute mark only the front three riders achieved six laps. Tim did not hear the call and put in a sixth lap after hours, just after Sven had got back in front of him.   Yvette, Selena and Donna showed the way for the ladies and the Huren kids were having great fun on the shorter lap.  Cody was also entertaining doing speedway cornering.  Tyre manufacturers will have a regular customer here.

Next week the plan is to ride at Picton, registration from 6:30 for a 7:00 start from Endeavour Park. 

We need someone to do the timing on Thursday 4th Feb.  Not sure where the ride will be on that evening, but if you know anyone who can help please reply to this email.  A personal training session can be arranged, it is a simple system to operate.


Conders Bend 7th Jan

Happy New Year.  With a few of our regulars still enjoying the summer break, wherever summer may be, the year got underway with a good mix of familiar and new faces.  We welcome newcomer Yvette who seems to know how to get around this track, and it was good to see the long awaited return of Tim.  He was riding a great bike, bought from a very reputable source.  Tim was once the “man to beat” before doing the big OE and picking up a wife on his travels.  He has been busy renovating their house so the cool bike has been neglected.  Let’s hope that we see more of Yvette and Tim on future Thursdays.

This evenings Express printed the welcome news of a $16K grant from MDC to finish the new loop track around the MTB park.  Good work from those applying the pressure and we can look forward to trying out this asset in the months ahead.

So where was summer this evening ?  The wind turned 18 degrees into a very cool evening and the spectators were well rugged up (both of them).  Young Cody slept through the whole procedure and would not have been a happy camper waking up to realise what he had missed. 

Big brother Joel had warmed up for the evening with a “cross-fit” session while Alana, Logan and Joe rode into the wind from Renwick.  Khan and Bailey rode out from Blenheim and that wind was very strong and blustery.  So these guys had prepared well, while at the other extreme Justin and Sven arrived at the scheduled start time just managing to suppress a yawn with everyone else chomping at the bit.  Justin now has a hectic schedule with just bike preparation and riding to fill his day. 

From the outset, Justin established a good pace in front of Khan with Sven hanging on in third place.   Joel then led a gaggle of six in close formation, including a very hairy Gavin sporting Christmas whiskers, Jim also with whiskers, then Bailey Keith and Tim.  A battle was also developing among the Vet 4’s with Warren and Peter rattling gold cards, then Alana headed the ladies.

Lap 2 saw Justin extend his lead with a very quick lap and Khan was maintaining station over Sven.  Joel was creeping away from Gavin, who was still leading the whiskered category from Jim, and Tim was getting to grips with the track up to 7th.

Lap 3 and Justin put in a scorcher, the bike polishing was having an effect, while Sven had passed a tiring Khan who was still a full minute ahead of Joel.  Tim had passed Gavin and Jim, while further down the field the gold card gap was down to just 1 second with Warren right on Peter’s wheel. 

So ten riders beat the 50 minute barrier to get in a fourth lap, with Alana and Bailey just missing the cut.  Justin cruised to victory despite Sven putting in a burst on lap 4.  Third place was shared with a fast finishing Joel crossing the line alongside a fast fading Khan.  Not too far behind was Tim who improved with each lap and indicated that there may be more to come if bike hours are allowed.  Jim had a good final lap and won the hairy battle, and Keith also passed Gavin on the last lap.  Note to Gavin – don’t just shave the legs.  The battle of the gold cards came down to the wire with Peter just holding out Warren.  This was Peter’s personal best for Conders, making the 50 minute cut easily for the first time.  Must have been a lean Christmas.

Alana was first lady ahead of Yvette.  Josh was escorted by dad for three quick laps with mum riding with Tyler before completing her ride back to Blenheim.  Megan was on escort duty for Joe for two laps. Logan and Mikey took the short option for lap 3 whileJimmy put in a great effort completing 3 full laps.

Peter says MTB park next week – hope to see you all there.


King of the Hill MTB Challenge

Resuls for King of the Hill are in - big thanks to Ron "Father Time" Milbank for doing the time keeping and putting the results together.

There was a great turnout of 44 riders varying in age from mid-teens to, well-aged.

The head of the race was a matter of somewhat better-aged Sarnim leading from the start with a pack of youngsters snapping at his heals. However, after the Mapp Track and the punishing climb up to Mt Vernon he had pulled a good gap that only stretched as the race progressed.

Mitchell wasn't to far behind and came in second with Kiel just over six minutes back after apparently suffering on the climb, but using his descending skill to catch and pass some of the youngsters ahead of him.

Next home was was Ken, who showed the rest of the young guns that age is no barrier to putting in a quick time, with Ethan crossing the line seconds later.

The top five did well to cover the course, which involved over 800 metres of climbing in under 1h20.

In the ladies race young Liv showed her strength to take the Queen of the Hill title around a minute ahead of a hard charging Angela, while Kathryn came in a little later in third spot.

In all almost the entire field finished without trouble, with Jason suffering a broken chain (and vowing to throw the bike in the rubbish bin when he got home) while Basil and Matthew got lost.

The organisers would like to thank the sponsors - Avantiplus, Bikefit, Cycleworld, The Honey Company, Dodson Street and who ever it was the bags of chocolates came from. Also, a big thanks to farmer Pete Ryan for opening all the gates for us.

The aim this year was to keep the event fairly simple and next year we will look to make a more interesting course.

Thanks for taking part.

Cheers and have a blessed Christmas


Thursday 10th December

It is a sport with a wide range of possibilities, from nannying along a groomed track through to climbing cliff faces, it can all be categorised as mountain biking.  So this evening Peter threw in a couple of the tougher elements along with the option of bypassing these if they did not suit your palette.  As a result the leaderboard had a wee bit of a shuffle and those adept at crossing rock strewn river beds and dodging moving trees, came to the fore.  The riders reactions to the track ranged from “awesome” to unprintable.

George shot out of the blocks and was way ahead after lap 1.  He later confessed that he may have missed a wee bit out and estimated a 15 second “cheat”.  The rules were though, that if you were not comfortable on certain sections, there were alternative granny routes.  Khan and Joel followed some way back having endured the real track, with Sven, Bailey and Aaron next and Kris lurking back in 7th.  George was putting in a fine effort and took the real route on subsequent laps but Kris was enjoying the elements and clawing back the field.  Justin was also making progress after a slow first lap, he chose a bike with no suspension and fat tyresthe only respite from the lumpy rocks.   So as the laps reeled off Kris and Justin forged their way to the top two steps of the podium with George fading into 3rd concentrating on composing his story for the judiciary.  Glad we aren’t sailing, just out there having fun and trying to improve our skills and fitness.

Further down the field there were a couple of notable rides with young Mitchell and relatively new Selena not shying away from the tough bits.  Tom also had a huge moment which involved big rocks, but he managed to stay aboard and a satisfied grin will be fixed to his dial for the next few days.

So after a hot day there was a bit of relief with a breeze and some cloud, but in the background there were huge plumes of smoke.  Rumour had it that the source was from a familiar spot in the Wairau Valley where the club has been fortunate enough to hold Soup and Bun events.  Our thoughts go out to the forest owners and we hope that damage was limited.

Next week we will be back at the MTB park where the race/ride will be followed by refreshments to celebrate another year of fun and achievement.  Hope to see you all there in big numbers.  

Another reminder of the event next Saturday 19th December, registration from 8:45 a.m. for a 9:30 start at the top of Redwood Street.  This will be a tough climb up to Mt. Vernon with rewarding views from Africa to America and the Antarctic if your eyes are powerful enough, and not watering.  Just $10 entry with spot prizes afterwards.  There may even be a trophy, no pressure Justin.


Dec 3rd Conders Bend

More wind !  Surely they must be running out of the stuff by now.  The wind was everywhere but the rain was centred on Conders Bend and we had cool squally showers sent specially for us.

Another good turnout with 32 riders line abreast facing the starters command.  It is always a heart-stopping few seconds as 32 riders reduce down to 1 as they enter the single trackand battle for the advantage of a clear track ahead.  Justin got the hole shot.  Ideally of course the fastest riders will get there first and the slowest will be last.  Realistically though, some of the slower riders make a mad dash off the line, get to the single track and run out of puff.  This can hinder faster riders on the skinny single track.  Most riders are aware of faster riders behind them and will pull over and let them past.  It is an unwritten rule, and it is important that newer riders are made aware of this so that we all remain good mates.  We are just a wee club trying to give everyone the opportunity to have fun without getting frustrated by mobile chicanes.   Please keep a wary eye on your rear and let the fast guy through.  You may get a few tips by watching him and learn how to go faster.

So Justin got the hole shot and took full advantage, he had 8 to 10 seconds on the chasing trio after the first lap with Sven, Khan and David locked together in the hunt.  A further 18 to 20 seconds saw old dude Warren and young dude James battling it out.  Keith was thereabouts but was having issues on his new million dollar bike, he fell off, the chain fell off and all the free stuff fell out of the rubber bits.  He got going again after a long drawn out pit stop to get more free stuff into the rubber bits.

After lap 2 Khan was beginning to fade, probably as a result of his ride to the venue into that horrible head wind.  He had probably run out of fuel, not often that you have to tell teenage boys to eat more.  So Justin was slowly getting away from Sven by just a few seconds per lap, it was a great effort by Sven though, I cannot recall him going below the 15 minute mark previously, and here he managed to break the barrier on4 consecutive laps. 

Keith was also breaking personal bests once the new bike was in racing trim and Warren and Leo both got faster as they learnt the track.  Warren had a wee lapse getting lost on lap 3. 

So at the end of the day 15 riders completed 4 laps with Justin, Sven and David on the podium, Sharn came home in fourth with young Connor impressing and getting quicker on each lap, in fifth. 

Donna managed to get the better of Selena in the ladies category and the Luff boys with Logan mixed up the long and short laps to fill in their evening’s fun.

Next week, 10th, we will return to the recycle centre and ride the popular riverbank tracks.  Then on 17th Peter is conjuring up a novelty event at the MTB park. 

Also worth noting – on Saturday 19th December, the club is organising a Mt Vernon Traverse challenge.  This will start from the car park at the top of Redwood Street and take in The Mapp Track heading east, then turn right up Cob Cottage Track to Mt Vernon.  Return will be on the Split Apple Track, Taylor View Track, our newly built track next to the Witches Hat before finishing on Rifle Range track next to the Lower Farm Track.  Will be a great challenge.



“Move on. Nothing to see here” became the theme of the day for the rec ride on Sunday 29th November 2015. We left Blenheim enjoying another stunning morning, hit the cloud at Seddon and low cloud and drizzle by Ward. Not a good look for a ride that was supposed to get to around 1,000m asl. And so it was to be.
We drove in the Blue Duck Rd, Seaward Valley for about three k before a big enough flat area was found to accommodate the vehicles. Fourteen riders started out and as we gained altitude so the drizzle started to thicken and the cloud ceiling got lower. After 8k at a 200m climb on the road we paid our tolls and the climb began in earnest on a series of five long zig zags. The gradient was very consistent, tough without being a real grind and the surface was good. By 2k the view disappeared, the temperature was dropping and the drizzle getting thicker. That trend continued for the next 2k after which the main Alexander ridge was gained.
Enthusiasm for riding the last 3k along the ridge to the communication structures was now low if all we were to do was get wetter, colder and not to see the view. The ride will be there another day so it was about turn to enjoy the downhill back to the cars. Funny, but there was more uphill on the way home than downhill on the way in!!
The techos had varying reports. Was generally agreed we had ridden around 23.5k but there was huge discrepancy in the altitude gain. One maintained that it just over 800m, two others maintained we had climbed over 1,600m. Either way it was a good day out on the bike with a great turn-out and the day was topped off with pies, coffee and cake at Ward. Thanks to the Pickering family for access.
Next rec ride is on 20th December up the Spray River, Waihopai Valley. Easier grade 2 ride. Organiser Justin Kenward. jtkenwardmtb@yahoo.com

Nov 26th MTB Park

Had to put rocks in everything to stop the winds blowing stuff away.  Pays to remove them though before trying to lift stuff over the fence at the end of the day.   All part of the slow learning curve I suppose. 

And so it was that 29 riders battled the extra element of the gale force winds to add to the climbing and technical and navigation stuff.  The later start allowed Peter more time to set out the arrows on this longer loop, and with everyone paying attention at race brief, navigational issues were cut to a minimum.  No names, but lap times will indicate the two main victims of wrong turns.  Still, a ride is a ride is a ride, and luckily it wasn’t the Olympics, and there was no gold at the end of the day, just a satisfied glow.

Kahn brought his cross bike, mountain bike was sick, and he was fast in some sections.  With inferior brakes and no suspension, the downhill sections would have been exciting.  Justin was riding his single speed machine just to add to his challenge. 

Josh led from go to woe, and fitted 5 laps into the allotted 50 minute cut-off time.  Justin chased hard for four and a half laps until his front tyre deflated after hitting a rock.  This allowed Kahn to pass him and take second slot.  These were the only riders to manage five laps.

Selena led the short lap option while other riders chose to mix and match long and short laps.

Lap times attached.

Next week ?  Peter has not confirmed, but thinks it may be Conders.  I will send out his decision as soon as I hear it.

Some of our riders will be heading to round 5 of the Nelson Cross Country series at Easby Park in Richmond on Sunday.  The word is that this course suits good climbers.  It is accessed from Hill Street then Churchill Avenue and Marlborough Crescent.  Good luck to all our riders contesting this series.  



Club Race 19th November Conders Bend

There was a hive of activity at Conders Bend for this evenings ride and the weather had vastly improved from that of previous weeks.  Ray and Mitchell from Cycle World had a Specialised demo going on and some of the riders took advantage and borrowed bikes for the duration of the ride.  It turned out to be a pretty good ad for the brand as demo bikes were first and second at the end of the day.  Mitchell in mechanic mode set up the bikes for each rider, Justin included, and then in race mode he demolished the field with some fast lap times.  Justin also put in some impressive laps but could not hang on.  Don’t know if the set-up was to blame, sabotage is such an ugly word. 

It was an impressive sight at the end of lap 1 with Joel just keeping out Mitchell and Justin, but lap 2 was incredibly fast for Mitchell and Justin.  New committee member Fraser had been working on the track and it was much improved and better defined, but there are still areas where it will become quicker with the same care and attention.  The good work will continue as time permits so lap times could dip under the 14 minutes before too long.

Kris Ross was enjoying the track, his lap times decreased with every circuit and he overtook Joel and a very quick David on the 4th and last lap.  Ten riders completed four laps in the time allowed, an excellent effort.  Khan had a wee pit stop after lap 3 to debate whether or not to extend himself for a fourth.  He had already put in some good work cycling to the venue into a stiff head wind.  Joining him were Connor and Bayley who both pulled the pin after three laps ready for the trek home.  The bad news was that the wind had fallen away so no assistance on the return to town.

Good to see newcomers Luke and Joe, Luke managed to get guidance from someone familiar with the track, but Joe not so fortunate and obviously took a wrong turn.  Mikey Luff had his serious face on and put in three good laps, Logan’s third lap was a short one, and young Cody rode a couple of short ones too.  He did not stop riding all evening until Mum stepped in and called an end to activity.

So some riders will have put something from the new Specialised range on their Christmas list, but for those with a smaller budget Andrew is preparing a push to sell the club’s own cycle clothing.  This is good quality gear made by Ultimo and would make an ideal gift, especially to yourself if nobody loves you that much.

Next week we will be back at the mountain bike park and with daylight lasting longer we can sign on from 6:30 to 6:45 for a 7:00 p.m. start. 

Lap times attached.



REC RIDE - Sunday Sept 27th - Onamalutu Forest Trails

Up, Down and All-around – With One River to cross

After a quick catch-up at Springlands, an even quicker bike swap for one of our Japanese guests (ironically from a South African; good to see that rugby rivalries don’t carry over to MTBing) it was off to the Onamaltu Domain. Everybody was ready to ride in a flash and it was into it. In total we didn’t quite make the dozen with 11 riders braving the start of daylight saving and ready to ride out. Only one errant rider got discombobulated from the first turn but was quickly found and retrieved by our generous South African.

Up we went on loose shingle forestry road with much puffing, gear changing and wheel slippage; after 4 Km of climbing is was a long and winding descent down to an unexpected river crossing. After much shoe removal and fairy stepping all riders reassembled themselves with their footwear and it was back into more climbing. We slowly wound our way up to the Kiwi Pass/Wakamarina trail head turn off with a few rest and photo stops along the way. We were rewarded with stunning views from varying perspectives as we wound our way ever upwards.

Two silly old buggers shot up to the Wakamarina trail head (for no apparent reason) while the other 9 riders commenced their descent back to the start. In the end everyone made it back to the Onamalutu Reserve in one piece, had a quick lunch, said their farewells and headed home for a hard earned rest.

Great work on the park of the organiser, Justin, for not getting us too lost and only springing one river crossing on us; it’s going to be a great season of daylight saving riding.


Marlborough Mountain Bike Club

Committee Meeting Agenda for 19 September 2015

1.         Present: Stephen Bradley, John Pickering, Chris Mildon, Matt Squire, Aaron Black, Kathryn Richards, Keith Westoby, Rachel Madsen, Steve Wilkes, Kevin Wilson, Pete Webster, Sven Herselman, Justin Kenward.

2.         Apologies: Aana McLuckie, Andrew Benger, Chris McKendry. Proposed: Justin. Second: Sven


3.             Previous Minutes       July, 15, 2015.             Proposed: Sven.          Second: Aaron.

4.          Matters Arising:

5.         Treasurers Report:  Proposed:  Stephen                 Second: Kevin


6.            Membership Update: Half the subs are in, compared with last year, despite several reminders.           

7.         Correspondence

a. Email dated August 24 from Gil Peters RE Kiwi Crusade mountain bike race

b. Email dated August 27 from Dale Ashworth RE the Gumboot Games

c. Email dated August 29 from Ainslie and Robin Green RE rec ride on Bluff Station, alleging we trespassed and scared their cattle.


a. Email dated September 14 from Sven Herselman to Ainslie and Robin Green RE rec ride on Bluff Station, explaining that cattle were not spooked an every effort was taken to usher them off the road.

8.         Updates         

 a.            Publicity: Kathryn to take up this job.

b.            Website: Kat Pickford to be approached to help improve site, once she gets back from holiday. Matt Squire has agreed to take over responsibilities. Sven to show him the ropes once Kat has offered her advice. Sven to continue updating it in the meantime.

c.            School Liaison: Rachel to take over this job.

d.            Council Liaison: Kevin to stay on this job, with John as a ‘deputy’.

Kevin is now chairman of Bike Walk Marlborough Trust and John is on the committee. The group acts as to screen applications to council for funding for bike projects. Council has committed most available funds to urban cycle trails.

The club has a revised application for $49,000 for trails in Blenheim and Picton. There has been no forward momentum while the trust sorts its processes out.

e.            MTB Park: Justin will do pruning. Work on new track has begun and progressing well. Should be done within a week. Aim to get some publicity in local paper. Pete will continue to report on the park at committee meetings.

f.             Conders: Aaron will continue to report on it. There has been bad damage in placed at the park by 4x4 drivers. Aaron has emailed Steve Bezaar at council, who said he would look to get concrete blocks and wire rope, however the area needs to be fenced to prevent further damage as there are numerous access points.

g.            Funding: Kevin and Stephen will look after this.

Will seek to clarify if council allows wineries to sponsor sections of track.

h.            Property: Justin will take care of this job.

i.              Picton: John will continue reporting on the Picton tracks.

Two new tracks have been completed and opened. They will carry on with west side track out to the snout next year.

John attended Picton Smart and Connected meeting where people voted for walking/cyclway extension from Picton to Waikawa as top priority.

There is still a load of gravel to be spread on the new track.

j.              Rec Rides: Kevin will continue to organise with Justin’s help when needed. They have been successful so far. Suggested a new name for the rides (i.e. adventure rides).

k.            Downhill/Enduro: Fraser has offered to take up this job. Should tie in with school liason as many of the downhill and endure riders are youngsters. If anyone has contacts for Fraser to please pass them on to the rest of the committee.

l.              Cross Country: Pete to continue with this job.

Soup and Bun series finished and was successful. On Oct 11 a fun treasure hunt type event will be held as a final event in the series, with some spot prizes.

First of Thur eve races on Oct 1. It needs to be found out if the day of the races needs to be changed so it doesn’t clash with track training to get more riders turning up.

9.         General Business: Kathryn is keen to run an ‘intro to the MTB park’ day for beginner riders.

Kevin move the club give Nicola Bright a $100 Fairweathers voucher for her work with our finances. Sven seconded.

Opportunity for an enduro event on the Wither Hills. Chris McKendry has already scouted out routes. Fraser to be approached to help make it happen. Could rent timers from the Orienteering club. Stephen will ask when he attends their AGM.

Pete, Matt and hopefully Fraser to tackle this.

John move the club write a letter of thank to Mondo for being president for two years. Kevin seconded.

Chris Mildon says he could get his MTB skills clinic over to Blenheim.

Club members could help when the MTB Trails Trust do work at Lake Rotoiti.

Meeting closed: 8.45pm Next meeting: October 21.

First ride on Link Pathway

And Then……

…. there were ten riders ready to roll from the Picton water front car park on a beautiful morning that was designed for mountain biking. Phil, Eddie, Wayne and John were four new faces and great to have along. It was over the hill to Shakespeare Bay, up the next hill to the saddle and to the start of the near finished 6k new section of the Link Pathway.

There is a short sharpish muddy climb before the track eased in gradient and then starts on a persistent but easy down. Cerdwen rode a couple of kilometres before deciding she did not want to do all the return climb and then there were nine.

Kathrine persevered for another couple of k before she also turned back and then there were eight. The trail is a bit raw and sloppy in places but great riding and provides magnificent views across to Mistletoe Bay and surrounds. The final exit into Ngakuta is a short, steep and slippery descent. Justine decided it was time to leave us at this point and rode on to the family property. He had a ‘short’ warm-up by riding from Blenheim to Picton before we started. And then there were seven.

I attempted to ride back up the steep slippery section, caught some mud/stone/stick/trash, heard a loud crunch and was left with a very bent derailleur. Some wit helpfully said it would make a good paper weight! With some help from the team we converted my bike to a single speed and I took to the road. And then there were six. They reported that a good work out was obtained on the climb back to the top. 

We had a regroup and headed to Picton to meet up with Cerdwen and Katherine for coffee. And then it was off home to clean the bike. Took nearly as long as the ride to discover the bike was still black and still broken! Alana and Eugen were also part of the thoroughly enjoyable ride.

Next Recreation Ride Sunday 27th September, venue TBA. 

Soup and Bun #5 - Picton

The thermometer said minus 3 at Koromiko and it was very white.  By the time we reached Endeavour Park it had heated up to plus 1.  It was sunny and clear and no wind so all in all a very pleasant place to be.

Guess the frost persuaded a few to stay in bed, so a disappointing 27 was all we could muster.  Justin and Sven set a challenging course for the grown ups and a neat shorter one for the juniors.

Riley Satherley-Shea was the first to complete a lap, and he was having so much fun that he rode a total of five laps.  An impressive effort on his own and he was loving every minute.  Sofia Mosna was also impressive completing 3 laps with Glen guiding her.  These two young people are just 7 years old.

Bronny and Lois managed to persuade Louie and Leo to venture further afield after completing one lap of the shorter course.  All smiles so far.

Meanwhile out on the longer 6 Km course, smiles were hard to find.  There were tough slippery climbs and descents and quite a few involuntary dismounts.  One nameless rider had to go hunting for his bike in the bush after losing it on a slippery bit.  It was 21 minutes before we saw the first rider come past the start finish and Mitchell was alone by quite some distance.  Stuart was over 2 minutes back and a similar gap to Jack and Sean.

Young Mica Drake was impressive riding with Dad on the big boys track, and also an even younger Fergus Lane was showing his Dad around.  At the other end of the spectrum, there were 7 rider over the age of 50 with one approaching the elite Vet 5 (70+) status.  We may get some birthday cake at the next Soup and Bun if Keith isn’t going away.  Just goes to show that oldies can still have fun even if it is with their clothes on.

Lap times

Don’t forget the AGM on Wednesday 19th at Fairweathers 7:30 p.m., the more the merrier.  Come and have a say in how YOUR club operates.  There is rumour of some refreshments being supplied.

Plan B

The weather forecast was not good and a look at the western hills confirmed that the forecast was spot on. A ride in the rain, on clay roads and not seeing the apparent stunning views made the Hori Bay rec ride on Sunday 26th July a no go.

An on the spot Plan B came to mind. Start at the MTB car park, ride up Taylor Pass Road to the Taylor Pass Forest, do the loop and home via the back boundary of ‘Holmebrook’ and Shooters Gully. And it came to pass and 30k later we were back at the carpark and not wet – at least from the rain.

Good to have George and Kahn along. Andrew Benger had a young Japanese guest, Satoru, who had a rather brutal introduction to mountain biking. The biking tested his stamina and the top barb on a fence his agility. Sven went home after the forest loop to be disappointed with the result of the rugby. Kathryn, Craig and Justin on his tractor made up the rest of the group. Hori Bay will keep.

Thanks to Nelson Forests Ltd and Graham Cooper for access.

Kevin Wilson