Club works to open up track for all to enjoy

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Mountain Biking Otago has restored a track near the Pineapple Track and Nicols Creek, creating a new spot for members of the public to enjoy.
The track was used for one stage of last weekend’s Three Peaks Enduro mountain bike race and is open for walkers and runners.
Mountain Biking Otago enduro co-ordinator Donovan Isted said the club tried to do a positive thing for the community by opening up another track and aimed to improve it for all users.
“There were several boggy sections of the track where bikes would have made a mess, so club members reinstated drainage and installed several culverts with the intent to leave the track in a better condition than what we found it.”
Before the event, the track was relatively unused and “virtually impossible to find”, he said.
Even though the club only used the track for one day, members spent a considerable amount of time and effort – “about 200 man hours” – to make the track more accessible for walkers and runners, not just mountain bikers.
“The Pepper Tree Track has not been turned into a bike track. It can only be accessed from the Pineapple Track, which is not generally open for bike use, so it will remain predominantly a walking-only track.”
The maintenance on the track was undertaken by Corrections Department workers and volunteers.
Dunedin City Council parks and recreation acting group manager Tom Dyer said the council granted the club $20,000 this financial year to help with track maintenance around the city, which Mountain Biking Otago helped create.
Mr Dyer said the work on the tracks would enhance them for users. No large trees had been removed and the club worked to ensure it did not damage the tracks, he said.
Several recreational walkers and trampers expressed their outrage last week when they discovered the track linked to the Pineapple Track, which is for walkers only.