Friday was a good day for mountain biking in the Auckland Region. Simon Yates – independant Planner and club member prepared a submission for us on the Draft ARC Regional Parks Management Plan earlier this year which you may remember me talking about. Well, on Friday of last week, Simon and I presented our submission to the councillor forum and it went down really well. There was genuine interest in the content and some well thought through questions afterwards. Overall the Plan is very forward thinking anyway and there was already a good amount of off-road cycling already in there in principal. What we did however was help them to understand the difference between off-road cycling and mountain biking and the importance of good trail design to discourage damage and encourage users to make the trip to visit these places.
Perhaps the greatest achievement was the recommendation from the forum that it is to be specifically inserted into the Plan that the Auckland MTB Club must be consulted on all matters of MTB trail development and as such, we have already been invited to input into the concept designs of two new ARC parks.
This is a significant step forward for developing new trails around Auckland that are legal, endorsed by Councils and built properly. There will be a continuation of off-road cycling tracks in ARC parks for beginners and families to enjoy but through our hard work on the submission, we feel that the demands of ‘proper’ mountain bikers will now also be met.
A huge thank you to Simon for gifting his time to complete this work. We’ll post updates as we have them.