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Our submission to QLDC’s 2017/18 Annual Plan

The Queenstown Mountain Bike Club (QMTBC) was founded in 2003 with the express purpose of facilitating the development of mountain bike trails and biking areas within the Queenstown area in a coordinated, safe and legal manner. Over the last decade and a half the club has built or adopted the maintenance of over 40 trails in the Wakatipu Basin. The QMTBC trail network has become internationally renowned, featuring regularly in magazines, videos, photo journals and websites. It is not uncommon to have overseas visitors turn up to volunteer on our Wednesday Night Digs having got off the plane that morning. This is all despite the relatively small network of trails we have.

This popularity increases the need for more trials. While QMTBC designs and constructs our trails with a focus on sustainability and erosion reduction, heavy, concentrated use leads to an increased maintenance requirement. A more diverse and wide spread network reduces the intensity of wear and tear and hence ongoing maintenance costs. Concentrated use can also negatively impact the rider experience as a feeling of remoteness can be lost.

We also have a lack of certain types of trail in our network. In particular we could use more cross country style loops, where the rest of the ride is an attraction in itself and not solely in service of riding down the descent. Riding new trails is also fun! Constant trail development keeps things fresh for locals and brings out of town riders back for repeat visits.

In terms of mountain bike grades the Queenstown Trail is entirely grade 1. The QMTBC’s trail network covers grades 2 to 6. The millions of dollars spent on the Queenstown Trail has been money well spent as this is an important piece of infrastructure, but these trails do not overlap with QMTBCs network and serve a very different purpose.

QMTBC is in the process of conducting an economic impact study to quantify the importance of mountain biking to the local economy. While this report will not be ready before the deadline for annual plan submissions it is clear that mountain biking is an important part of what attracts a large group of visitors to Queenstown.

Mountain biking is the primary recreational pursuit of many local people, and a large part of what makes people love living here. Anecdotal evidence shows that mountain biking even is part of what attracts foreign billionaires to buy land here. The council’s own draft Parks and Open Space Strategy states in its introduction:

“There are a variety of open space and reserve areas that play a vital role in making this area a great place to work and play. This lifestyle is part of the cultural identity for many of the people that choose to live here or to visit.”

Excellent mountain biking is a very important part of the lifestyle this document eludes to. If Queenstown is still to be the Adventure Capital of the World then it cannot neglect one of the most popular adventure sports. Mountain biking is a natural fit for Queenstown.

Perhaps because of this natural fit, we have an enthusiastic volunteer base and have achieved a lot with thousands of volunteer hours contributed to the club each year. Despite this enthusiastic base, active volunteers still make up a very small proportion of people riding our trails and the use of contractors is necessary to expand our network at an acceptable rate.

The QMTBC has plans to develop a series of climbing and linking trails to better facilitate access to our existing trails in and around Ben Lomond reserve. We also have several new descents planned for the area.

This will create enjoyable climbs from Wynyard Crescent to high points on either side of the One Mile valley and complete loops suitable for intermediate riders. This makes the excellent riding on the club’s Ben Lomond trails more accessible to a wider audience.

These trails will be able to be ridden in many different permutations allowing for different loops of varying difficulty and length. This comparatively small amount of new trail linking our existing trails would offer great value for money.

Please see the attached Central Queenstown portion of QMTBC’s strategic plan for more detail on these planned trails.

The Queenstown Mountain Bike Club would like to apply to the council for $100,000 towards this trail building programme on QLDC land on Ben Lomond.

We believe this is a modest level of support, given recent examples of other district and city councils funding their local mountain bike clubs, for example:

The Timaru District Council is supporting the South Canterbury Mountain Bike Club by $100,000 per year for 20 years. http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/68926175/cycling-clubs-seek-council-funds

Nelson Mountain Bike club was allocated a total of $178,000 in Nelson City Council’s last Annual Plan. http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/79924792/Mountainbikers-and-gondola-big-winners-in-Nelson-City-Councils-annual-plan-changes

The Queenstown Mountain Bike Club covers its operational and maintenance costs from members dues and other fundraising. QMTBC will be responsible for the maintenance of these new trails, as they are for the existing network, therefore construction of these trails will not create a burden for the council.

When the mountain bike club uses contractors we work closely with them to get very good value for money. It typically costs us $10 to $15 a metre to build either machine or hand built singletrack trails.

We trust you will look favourably on our submission as investment in mountain bike trails offers excellent value for money, both in terms of economic returns and the well being of the community.

Time is running out to make submissions for QLDC’s Annual Plan

We only have a couple of days left to get submissions in for this year’s QLDC Annual Plan. We have asked for funding in previous years and have not been awarded it. This year we are making a push to get as many supporting submissions as possible. We ask that you please make a submission, and talk to your friends to make sure they have made their submissions.
Submissions can be made here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F3S8SFZ

If you are having trouble writing a submission, you only need a couple of sentences to say:

  • Mountain biking is important to you and the community.
  • Mountain biking is an important part of what attracts a significant group of visitors to Queenstown.
  • You want more mountain bike trails.
  • Queenstown Mountain Bike Club Builds the type of trails that you want to ride.
  • You want to QLDC to financially support QMTBC’s efforts to build more trails.
  • Any other information you think is relevant

In our own submission QMTBC is asking for $100,000 towards a project to build several connecting trails and descents on QLDC land on Ben Lomond. This will open up many permutations of new and existing trails, creating a lot of new loops of different lengths and difficulty.

This is in line with other recently publicised examples of local council Mountain Bike Club funding. Nelson MTB Club got $178,000, and South Canterbury MTB Club, $100,000 pa in their councils’ last annual plans. The Wakatipu Trails Trust receives $50,000 pa to cover operational costs, but we cover any operational costs ourselves from club dues.

It is obviously better that you write your own submission, but if you really don’t have the time you can copy and paste the example below.

I am a keen mountain biker and really enjoy riding the trails that the Queenstown Mountain Biking Club has built over the past 15 years. These trails attract visitors from all over the world, and Queenstown has become a renowned mountain biking destination. Even though the club has built some excellent trails I want them to build more. Considering the spin off benefits to the town in general, and how much the club has achieved on the smell of an oily rag, I think it is only fair that the council financially support for the club in their efforts. I support the club’s request for funding to be included in the Annual Plan.

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New Tools from the Sisterhood of Shred

The awesome Kat Sweet from Sweetlines has recently donated some $’s for QMTBC tools at Wynyard Bike Park.  The funds were raised at the screening of the new Sister Hood of Shred movie.  If you haven’t watched it yet then make sure you do.

Thanks heaps Kat!  Look forward to shredding with you next time you’re in New Zealand

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Specialized Bike Demo at 7 Mile – Sunday 30 April

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Outside Sports are hosting a Specialized Demo Day next Sunday (30th April) and would like to spread the word!

Head down to 7 Mile bike park on Sunday for a BBQ and take the latest Specialized trail bikes for a free ride!

TURBO LEVO’s (pedal assist trail bikes), ENDURO’s and STUMPJUMPER’s available in a range of sizes.

WHERE: 7 Mile bike park, Wilsons Bay, Queenstown-Glenorchy Road
WHEN: 1pm-5pm, Sunday 30th April

Can’t make it on Sunday??
Outside Sports have all these bikes available to demo from their Queenstown store from 26th April – 2nd May. Drop in and take one for a spin!

EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/1259419017488431/

 

 

Please Help by Making a Submission on QLDCs Annual Plan

Submissions for QLDC’s 2017-18 Annual Plan close on Friday the 28th of April. If you would like council funding for mountain bike trails you need to let them know!

Currently QMTBC do not receive financial support from the council and the only way that will change is if as many people as possible make submissions in support of the club.

You can make submissions as an individual or on behalf of an organisation so please pass this message along to your friends or any business owners who benefit from the work the club does.

It’s easy to make a submission you just need to fill out the form here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F3S8SFZ

This is potentially a very important source of funding for the club that would allow us to dramatically increase the speed and scope of our projects.

missing linkThanks to Quentin Kenning for the sweet shot of Emmerson Wilken riding the club’s Missing Link trail.