Bike track a hit with youngsters

Josh Bonnar (8), of Lake Hayes Estate, gets to grips with McBride Park's new track, which was officially opened yesterday. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Josh Bonnar (8), of Lake Hayes Estate, gets to grips with McBride Park's new track, which was officially opened yesterday. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Rain was not going to dampen the spirits of a group of excited children at Lake Hayes Estate, who gave the McBride Park's new bike track a resounding thumbs up yesterday.

Lake Hayes Estate Community Association member Maree Wheeler said the track, around the perimeter of McBride Park, had always been planned for the area.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council did not have money available to fund the project, so the community association set about fundraising.

An event last year raised about $11,000. Grants from the council, the Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust of Southland and SkyCity Queenstown raised a total of $84,000, enabling construction to begin in September.

The asphalt trail includes a track featuring a series of small loops, banked turns and jumps to teach children bike-handling skills; a beginners track, and the ''North Shore area'', which includes wooden features.

The track, suitable for scooters and skateboards, also has a traffic light to teach children road safety. The planned celebration yesterday was to thank the community for its support, Ms Wheeler said.

Despite the low turnout, due to the weather, the track had already proved popular with children in the area, she said.