Mountain Biking In South Canterbury

Postby mr splodge on Fri 26/Jun/09 12:59pm

Hi everyone. This is my first post here.

I've just moved to Fairlie and I've been searching this forum, and the internet, leaflets, guide books etc for places to ride.

It seems most of the so-called mountain biking around here is on public gravel roads. While no offense is intended to people who dig that I don't really see it as mountain biking and I'm personally more interested in some single track, or at least rough 4wd track with some nice hills for a workout on the way up and a challenge on the way down.

I've been given a map of central s. island tourism that has plenty of little mountain biker icons on it, and the stick man actually looks like he's enjoying a bit of downhill but on further research I find these are either road rides (on gravel) or I can't find any information about them whatsoever.

I see from searching here that I can go up the Mt John observatory and hit some single track on the way down which would be nice. Is there anything else like that in the area? I plan on getting over to Methven at some point for the Mt Hutt DH trails but it's a long way away. Centennial park in Timaru looks like it has some short but fun trails but everything else I've found is either graded easy, on roads, or both.

I would consider driving as far as Geraldine, Timaru or Tekapo just to see what's up but any further and I'd have to know it was going to be worth it.

I'm looking for rides that can be done in a day or a half day and finish more or less where they started.

Can anyone help? I've just moved from Wellington where finding tracks to ride is somewhat easier!
mr splodge
Member for: 10 years 10 months

Re: Mountain Biking In South Canterbury

Postby Trail on Fri 26/Jun/09 1:27pm

There is not a lot in the way of single track around Fairlie that i know of. There are a lot of farm 4wd tracks that head up into the hills around there though. Especially up towards Fox Peak, and Blue Mountain Station. We used to do a loop from Geraldine which went up through the Orari gorge and back down through the Te Moana gorge. There is also the Coal Hill Mountain bike marathon route in the same area.

There are the tracks that they use for the Pass to Pub (Burkes Pass to Cave), again these are 4wd farm tracks and pretty flat.

You are not supposed to ride the single track that goes up the front of Mt John through the trees, but the other tracks on there are fair game I think.

There is some trail building going on in Timaru, but I have not done any riding on it.

We used to ride the forestry roads in Kakahu forest, but we had permission to be in there.

Go to Timaru and have a chat with the Cyclery. Grant Hannam (owner) was running the Mountain Bike Marathon and a number of other events for years, and has been in the South Canterbury MTBike club for years. He is likely to be able to point you in the right direction of finding good riding info for the area.
Trail
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"Concentrating on technique"
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Re: Mountain Biking In South Canterbury

Postby Trail on Fri 26/Jun/09 1:28pm

Oh, and if you like the look of exploring a 4wd track on a farm my suggestion is that you turn up at the owners place with a box of beer under your arm and ask nicely :thumbsup:
Trail
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Re: Mountain Biking In South Canterbury

Postby DogsBollocks on Fri 26/Jun/09 1:38pm

I (think) I saw a link on Vorb the other day regarding the tracks the South Canterbury MTB had just completed at the Orari racecourse. From memory there was 30, 60 80K loops on 4WD/single track from the racecourse and up the riverbed ? Check with the club or the info centre in Geraldine. If you find it post it back up, I'm down there next month and wouldn't mind checking it out. :thumbsup:
DogsBollocks
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Re: Mountain Biking In South Canterbury

Postby Trail on Fri 26/Jun/09 1:40pm

Did you find this info http://www.fairlie.co.nz/FairlieMtBike.pdf

Raincliff and Pioneer park from memory had some singletrack, but it was pretty short and built for walkers. I have not been there for years, so it might be worth a look??

North Opuha conservation area is probably worth an explore. Have not been up there myself, but I know there are plenty of big mountains in that direction!
Trail
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Re: Mountain Biking In South Canterbury

Postby Trail on Fri 26/Jun/09 1:44pm

DogsBollocks wrote:I (think) I saw a link on Vorb the other day regarding the tracks the South Canterbury MTB had just completed at the Orari racecourse. From memory there was 30, 60 80K loops on 4WD/single track from the racecourse and up the riverbed ? Check with the club or the info centre in Geraldine. If you find it post it back up, I'm down there next month and wouldn't mind checking it out. :thumbsup:


http://www.geraldinebikechallenge.co.nz/

From what I have heard those tracks are pretty much 4wd track through trees along side the river... which being out on the plains means that it is pretty flat. Good to have them there, but I think splodge is looking for something more challenging.
Trail
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Re: Mountain Biking In South Canterbury

Postby Trail on Fri 26/Jun/09 1:48pm

These guys run events down in Sth Canty http://www.specialevents.co.nz/

South Canty mtbike club... look like they are still very active http://www.southcanterburymountainbikeclub.co.nz/
Trail
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Re: Mountain Biking In South Canterbury

Postby mr splodge on Fri 26/Jun/09 2:12pm

Raincliff and Pioneer park from memory had some singletrack, but it was pretty short and built for walkers. I have not been there for years, so it might be worth a look??

My first night here was spent at the Pioneer park DOC camp site. I remember reading in the Kennett book that those trails are not worth the trip but since I was already there I thought why not. The DOC board says 3.5hrs loop to walk the track, with my bike it took me over 2 hours, probably closer to 2.5. I was hauling my bike over fallen tree trunks, up 7' high river embankments, pushing it up steep slick rooty and rocky track with steps and gingerly sidling along on a 10" wide algae covered bench on near vertical hillside.

Some sections of it were fun, but there's no way in the world I'd recommend anyone go there for it. Great walking track though.

The Fairlie walkway was given a good review by the Kennett bros but right now the second section of it is a mud swamp. It was a workout pedaling through the mud and then my derailleur hanger broke and I had to push the bike 7ks all the way home.

I've heard about Raincliff forest. Open to MTB w/e and after 6pm week days. I'll check that out when I next get a Saturday or Sunday off work.

It was Timaru Cyclery that gave me the maps and leaflets I have but I didn't chat long about the kind of riding I was after. I have to go back there next week to pick up a new hanger so I'll ask more specific questions then.
mr splodge
Member for: 10 years 10 months

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