Plan to develop bike trails

Jason Thomsen (left) and Jimmy Pollard ride some mountain-bike trails in Clyde, similar to the...
Jason Thomsen (left) and Jimmy Pollard ride some mountain-bike trails in Clyde, similar to the ones that could soon be taking shape near Cromwell. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/Q-FOTO

A lack of mountain-bike trails in Cromwell could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to one rider and his supporters.

Rider Alex Bartrum has formed the Cromwell Mountain Bike Club and now plans to establish some new trails for mountain bikers in the area.

Mr Bartrum hosted a meeting earlier this month which attracted about 100 people.

"The reason for that meeting was to gauge interest in the town about who wants to form a club. The response was positive.''

His aim was to eventually give the club charitable status so it could gain some of the funding needed to build trails - something the area lacked, he said. "There's no mountain-bike trails, which is what I'm trying to develop.''

He said there was potential to create some of those trails in the hills surrounding Cromwell, which meant people would not have to leave the area to access such facilities.

"Everyone that turned up [to the last meeting] was keen to support it in some way.''

Of those people, a "good number'' also signed up to be part of a committee.

Mr Bartrum has scoped out areas suitable for the trails and was confident landowners would support it.

"I've got a good relationship with some local landowners about areas that we could use to develop community trails, but nothing is signed off yet.''

Discussions were ongoing, something he did not want to rush to ensure the trails were developed in the best location.

The aim was to be "clever'' about where the tracks were placed and to ensure it was done "properly''.

He said there was only so much he could achieve on his own, which was why he was now calling for public support.

"I've been working in the background,'' he said.

"We want to do it in a way that we don't ruffle any feathers - we want these trails to be here for a long time.''

A meeting to establish the committee will be hosted at the Victoria Arms Hotel function room on August 29 at 6pm.

"If you missed the first meeting but are interested in being involved in the committee or just want to help, come along,'' Mr Bartrum said.

The next step was to look at ways to fund the project, he said.

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON @alliedpress.co.nz

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