High hopes for bike complex

Lawrence Bike Club (LBC) members and Flux Trail trail-building consultants (from left) Jacob O...
Lawrence Bike Club (LBC) members and Flux Trail trail-building consultants (from left) Jacob O’Donoghue-Price (Flux), Josh Bradfield (LBC), Matt Begg (Flux) and Luke Tweed, Adam Robertson, Steve Wither and Jash Chahal (all LBC) gather for an informal sod-turning, marking the start of construction of a $420,000 downhill mountainbike complex at the Wetherstons Creek Reserve in Lawrence this week. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
Project leaders hope an ambitious downhill mountainbike trail project will help make Lawrence a biking destination.

Wetherstons Creek Reserve project spokesman Adam Robertson said the recent completion of the Clutha Gold Trail extension from Lawrence to Waihola meant Lawrence had an opportunity to position itself as a key destination on the cycle touring map.

The eventual $420,000 complex, which could take four to five years to complete using a mix of volunteer and paid labour, would double as a destination downhill park for recreational and competition use, and an incentive for Clutha Gold Trail users to spend more time in the township, he said.

Initially, the 46ha, pine-forested site could include more than 12km of trails.

"We have a detailed proposal in place, a memorandum of understanding with partners Clutha District Council and City Forests and we’ve built a pilot trail to prove the concept, funded and constructed by Lawrence Bike Club.

"The club and other local supporters like Goldpark Campgrounds want to create something for Lawrence.

"We’ve got this great potential mountainbiking resource at our back door, which can tie in with the rail trail and as an attraction at the gateway to Central Otago.

"We’re motivated, and excited to be moving into the next phase of construction."

Mr Robertson said the club had taken on trail-building consultants Flux Trail, of Central Otago, to ensure the complex was of the highest design and safety standards.

"We’d like to hold standalone events, and maybe become a stop on national competition tours in future, so we’re building this to last."

The club hoped to have the first trail open to the public by the end of this year.

Initial trails would be accessible for riders of all skill levels, and free to use.

Mr Robertson said grants and other funding would be sought.

"We’d welcome interest from additional funding partners."