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The Queenstown Mountain Bike Club officially opened its revamped "Mini Dream" area, part of Fernhill’s Wynyard Jump Park, on Saturday during its Season of Shred fundraiser, attracting more than 1000 people, many of whom came with their bikes.
Club president Chris Conway said the original jump park was constructed in about 2003 and even then was ahead of its time.
"But 17 years later, riding had kind of moved on and a lot of different things had evolved, so we’d been thinking for a few years it was time to give it a bit of a birthday."
Mr Conway said the new-look area, which contains beginner, intermediate, advanced and pro lines, as opposed to the former single line, was the brainchild of club committee member Emmerson Wilken, who had spent years investigating the area and drawing up plans, using the lay of the land to build something new.
"We haven’t completely shaped the land, but we’ve removed a lot of the area that was covered in weeds, so that’s exposed new area where we can make better use of the terrain."
Having saved and raised enough money to complete the $65,000 project, the club decided to "pull the trigger on it" this year.
For the past two months Elevate Trail Building had been hard at work, supported by countless volunteers, to get the park ready for Saturday’s event.
Along with the new jump park and lines, a metre-deep mulch jump had been added, to provide a safer landing area, and an airbag had also been bought, which would be run monthly to give riders another element to practise on.
An irrigation system had also been installed, making it easier to water the terrain.
The project was not 100% finished yet — the club still wanted to connect Mini Dream to McNearly Gnarly and Dream Track to create a top-to-bottom flow, with different slopestyle features also being installed, Mr Conway said.
"The entire thing is a community project, from raising the funds to be able to engage professional trail builders to do the big earthworks, to the committee doing all the work behind the scenes and working with council on our lease, to Emmerson drawing up designs and then actual volunteers getting out there on the rakes and shovels to finish it all off and run the plumbing for the irrigation system — it’s pretty much all been a huge community volunteer project.
"I don’t think anywhere else has somewhere where the community has got together like this and built something of this standard ... We’re pretty excited to see what it’s going to do for the local riding scene over the coming years."