Nor West News : January 27th 2011
www.nor-westnews.co.nz Thursday, January 27, 2011 New bike trails By CAROLYN THOMAS Free riding: Ryan Lovett and a few other mountain bike enthusiasts have spent 14 months building free bike tracks in the Riverhead forest. Photo: CAROLYN THOMAS Spoilt for choice: This map shows trails in Riverhead. Ryan's tracks are marked in red with ones being developed shown in the red triangle. MOUNTAIN bike enthusiast Ryan Lovett was not content with just riding around the nor-west. So he opened a bike shop and set about building six cycle trials. Ryan runs FreeRide'n' in Huapai with his wife Helen. His spare time is spent hack- ing through the Riverhead forest, clearing paths for others to use for free. Gorse is rampant out there,'' Ryan says. It's everywhere.'' Getting started about 14 months ago was not easy for him and a few buddies from the The West Coast Riders Club. It took about five years begging forestry,'' Ryan says. We've been getting diggers in to clear it all lately but before that we were doing it all by hand.'' The downhill trails are between 800 and 1300 metres and are open to anyone. He says people are spoilt for choice. You've got Muriwai, Woodhill and Riverhead,'' he says. At Woodhill you've got to pay so the whole idea of these ones is they're free.'' Ryan has had his bike hire, sales and repair shop for about seven years. It also serves coffee and he says it is the ideal business for Helen who wanted a cafe. There wasn't anything out here,'' he says. You had to go back to the Shore.'' He says people from all walks of life get into the sport. The two main reasons are for fun or for fitness,'' Ryan says. It's a terrific social thing.'' His goal this year is to build 10km of trail. But hiring diggers does not come cheap so he says he is always on the lookout for sponsor- ship or funding. You get as much enjoy- ment building it as you do riding.'' Go to www.nor- westnews.co.nz to see riders in action at the Riverhead bike trails.
January 20th 2011
February 3rd 2011