The club's AGM for the 2013/2014 season was held on the 7th of August.
Read the minutes >>
I would like to thank my fellow committee members for their support and assistance during the 2013/14 membership year. Additionally I would like to thank those members (non committee) who frequently offer their assistance and time, and all members and sponsors for your continued support of the Wellington Mountain Bike Club.
We have seen consistent growth in our club membership over the last few years and a 23% increase in the last year (184 vs 149 in 2013), this has been largely in part to The Club widening its appeal to the community through our trail building, events and advocacy.
A year of solidarity
In 2013, the club was approached by a small group of parents, a couple of whom were already club members, who wanted to develop a kids loop track in Island Bay. They are lead by a highly motivated Janet Miller and Jeremy Blake. We talked them through their options in how they could operate and they decided the best long term option would be to undertake this project as part of the club’s umbrella. From here, the group and our committee worked together to gain tools, funding and expertise, all to ensure the projects success.
The South Coast Kids Track (in Island Bay) have been selected as finalists in the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2014 – Wellington City Region (Sport & Leisure Category) Thanks to WCC for nominating the project and to all of those who helped to build the track. We hope you're all out there putting it to good use!
In our first year of being a registered charitable organisation, the club received an impressive amount of financial support from both the public & funding organisations. This money has gone directly back into benefiting the community; through trail building, tools, equipment and secure storage.
Due to the success of funding received, in late 2013 the Club became GST registered with IRD. The Committee agreed for the Club to absorb the additional 15% in operational costs (rather than passing the cost onto our membership) as a large percentage of our GST payable can be offset through the Club’s events.
As you may have noticed, The Club has started promoting itself a bit more to the general public. We started with membership stickers for our members bikes, the sale of branded t-shirts (that we will be continuing) and the start of two brand campaigns (we will be launching posters in local businesses over the next few months).
I would like to personally thank the following businesses and organisations for their support over the last year – Burkes Cycles, Bike Barn, Bicycle, Mud Cycles, Dirt Merchants, Cycle Science, Place Makers Evans Bay, cSixx Products, Spoke Magazine, Bike Wellington, The Rock FM, BIG design, Floyds Cafe, Yeastie Boys, Gasworks, Infinity Foundation, The Lion Foundation, Transpower, Trail Fund New Zealand, Upper Hutt City Council and Wellington City Council.
Over the last year Tony Harvey, Adrian Armstrong & Dan Smith (along with their happy trail pixies) have all done an outstanding job ensuring the existing trails at Long Gully remain ridable for everyone to enjoy.
As many of you have by now heard, the future of Long Gully is set for some change. Tim Watson and his wife plan to build their family home on the section of land we use for our trails. The entire Watson family are extremely supportive of the Wellington Mountain Bike Club and wish to ensure we retain access to our trails on their property.
There will be some change coming – trail access and some trail location may be changing, also the Watsons have proposed raising the amount we pay them to help their ever growing cost to maintain the road we use for shuttling. Over the next few months the Committee will be working on ways The Club can ensure we can financially afford to keep access. This may also include raising the trail users cost to access Long Gully.
I would like to ensure you that The Club acknowledges the importance of Long Gully to its membership and we do wish to retain access, along with the trails, at Long Gully for everyone to enjoy.
This is an ongoing project and we will keep you updated with developments through our newsletters.
Miramar Track Project
The focus this year for Miramar has been on fixing trails after last July’s storms, and finishing off the Pump Track/Kids Area. A grant from the Infinity Foundation, together with funds raised from the enduro events was used to purchase a container for tools and to act as an in town base for the club for trailers and race equipment. With the assistance of local earthmoving contractors, WCC and South Star trails the pump track has been increased to twice it’s original size. MTP have been continuing with their rubbish collection and planting efforts. In the coming year, there will be some changes to the top of the tracks to re route around some dangerous trees and open up a family loop at the top of Mt Crawford.
Brooklyn Trail Builders
After the opening of the new Windmill climbing track and the revamped Car Parts, the focus for BTB moved lower down Polhill. The new Serendipity downhill track takes the load off the busy lower part of Transient and is already proving to be a hugely popular ride.
On the other side of the valley, a substantial grant from Transpower has allowed the club to run a paid trail crew, working on a hand built uphill called Clinical. The track runs through some very challenging terrain that’s difficult to build in and whilst progress is slower than originally planned, the end result will be very high standard. The track should be completed by summer.
BTB have been very busy with planting both at the Aro Valley park end and up on Sawmill. Planting days have been very well attended, and have been well supported by the local community and schools. The work by volunteers has been supplemented by the recent investment from WCC to tidy up the entrance to the trails in Aro Valley. Design work is ongoing for a new descending track (Lady Lumps) that will connect into Clinical. The hope is that approvals will be granted for this track in the coming year.
Mt Vic was hit particularly hard by the July storms. From this devastation new opportunities have presented themselves. Once again club members and other riders mobilised in large numbers to help clear the debris on the trails. A fallen tree on Hippy’s, become a brand new table top, thanks to WCC and some digger time from Southstar Trails. Trail Leader Steve Wallace worked very closely with the council on mapping out the existing trails and installing trailhead makers. The super d line is now marked top to bottom with special trail makers. In terms of new build, the climbing track from the saddle now provides an easier climb up to the top of Mt Alfred and helps separate riders from walkers on this busy area. Steve has since stepped down from the trail leader role to focus on a new professional opportunity, and we thank Steve for his efforts in establishing Mt Vic Trails. This coming year we welcome back Rod Bardsley into the fold who will be continuing Steve’s good work.
South Coast Kids Track
As mentioned earlier, this brand new project has proved itself an instant success. The club is proud to be associated with this project and commends the hard work from the team of parents who drove this project. The project received significant support from both Trail Fund, for tools and trail surfacing, and the WCC Community Fund which allowed the club to contribute towards Southstar Trails digger time. The expertise from Southstar, combined with the grunt from the digger meant this track could be largely realised in less than a week. There has already been interest from other Wellington communities in this type of trail and the club looks forward to contributing to these projects and the development of these very junior riders.
The timing of the July storms could not have been crueller to the Portal trail crew. No sooner had they put in place some new, quality structures, the storm came through and decimated large portions of the hill. Undeterred, Eugene, Jourdan and the rest of the crew have been chipping away at the track, rerouting new obstacles and revitalising a number of the old stunts and creating new ones.
The storms were again brutal on Karori. But thanks to the efforts of local diggers, led by Tony Harvie and the WCC tree team, the track was cleared and ready for racing in round 2 of the DH series. This was a huge ask given the amount of tree fall.
Tony has sinced moved out of Karori and has turned over care for the trail to Curtis Johnstone. Huge thanks to Tony for all his efforts, and his continuing work on the Race Track in Long Gully. Curtis is working with the likes of Ricky Pincott and the council on a possible extension to the track that would move the start line to further up the hill and make the most available vertical. This extension should add some more time to the track and with a little luck and much effort, it could be ready for the DH series this spring.
Maidstone had been one of the areas that was in need of some TLC and some leadership around the trail crew. Our thanks to Kerry White for putting his hand up here. Thanks to his hard work, both on the tools and coordinating other volunteers, the track was in tip top shape for the first round of our DH series.
Mt Albert 4X
Another area that was in need of someone putting their hand up to take some leadership in the care and maintenance, the 4X had become somewhat neglected. Kudos needs to go the club members who organised some impromptu work parities to clear the line and reshape the lips last spring. In the coming year we look for better and bigger things to come with Dan Smith and Peter Cassidy coming forward to coordinate digs on the track. The goal is to get some casual Friday night racing going again over the summer.
The Club has continued our strong relationships with both Revolve & PNP in support of both there and our events. A special thanks goes out to Bernie Cruze for his help in providing quality timing at our events.
After taking a year off, 2013 saw the long awaited return of our Downhill Series. The series proved to be popular again with 79 individual competitors competing across the three events. We are eager to build on this momentum and plan for this years series to attract even more riders to Wellington.
As part of the series in 2013, we secured $5,000 worth of funding. This ensured the purchase of a new PA system and Portable Generator (these have both been put to good use) along with some money to go towards the cost of hiring First Aid, Toilets and Shuttle Vans.
This year the club ran our first Enduro Series. Comprised of some already established events, the Escape from Mt Crawford, the Mt Vic Super D and Revolve’s Super V and two brand new events, the Wainui and Makara Peak Enduro’s. There were over 500 entries over the 5 events.
Funds raised from this series went directly to the trail centre’s hosting the races, with over $8,000 raised to go towards trail maintenance. The club drew no revenue from this series and were happy to do so as many of our projects were direct beneficiaries. Next year we will be looking to run the series again and take a small per rider fee to cover our costs. A huge thanks to the Yeastie Boys for their support of the series.
Our Shuttle Days have proven to be hugely popular with both members and non-members. Our Christmas Shuttle Day was hugely popular and we managed to raise $350 for Arthritis New Zealand.
Once again, by running these events both within and outside of Long Gully, the Club has also attracted new riders who would normally shy away from events.
Tom (the Pom) Adams was the brainchild behind the inaugural Klunkers for Chainless for Charity. The goal was to raise some funds and collect parts and bikes for the Mechanical Tempest and Bike Junction. A great evening of low key racing on bikes of all types.
In partnership with SPOKE Magazine, we showed the New Zealand premiere of Won't Back Down, the Steve Peat movie. The event had a reasonable turnout and the auction we ran was hotly contested in which we raised $220 for Sarah Atkin to help get her to the 2014 World Championships in Norway
WMTBC Members racing overseas
During 2014 the Wellington Mountain Bike Club have had club members racing internationally. After claiming the New Zealand title, Sarah Atkin secured the Oceania DH Womens Elite title as well.
Local rider Bryn Dickinson has been competing in both the European and World Cup races for the Devinci Global Racing DH team. Both Sarah and Bryn will make their way to Norway to compete in the 2014 World MTB Championships
Advocacy / Community engagement
Over the last 12 months our Committee has been working directly with the Wellington City Council (along with other community groups) to advise on the following topics,
- Town Belt policy
- Draft Annual Plan
- Capital Spaces Plan
- Transport planning
- EBikes policy.
This has involved a significant amount of time in the preparation of both written and oral submissions. The officers would also like to thank all club members who made individual submissions on these plans.
The committee has also been engaging with council officers on short and long term plans for track and mountain biking in the city. It is encouraging to see that the council is placing an emphasis on outdoor recreation and informal sport by looking to include it as part of the recent Sport and Recreation Forum that I and some of our trail leaders attended.
Our contribution and involvement in these projects has been widely recognised by Wellington City Councillors and has helped in solidifying our name further within the Wellington community.
Last year the committee laid out a Strategic Plan for this year. It is indeed encouraging that so much of what we set out to achieve was achieved in the areas of trail building, events, advocacy, and governance of the club.
One area that is ongoing is working on a suitable replacement for the 12 bike trailer. This trailer is really not suitable for use outside of Long Gully due to the size and nature of the tyres and width of the deck. A number of options have been investigated for new trailers and designs, with the committee very nearly closing a deal for a ready made trailer, only to find that although it was shorter, it was in fact wider than the existing 12 bike. Our thanks to Bike Wellington and David Woodnorth for the use of their trailers over the past year. The committee now has a plan for the trailers and is collecting quotations in preparation for a funding application to purchase at least one new trailer.
- Volunteers – We need to grow the number of people who can both help organise, perform jobs and marshall at our events. Without this help, we simply can not run events. We continue to look at ways to incentivise volunteering, but our ideal would be for club members to encourage friends and family to help out wherever they can.
- Trail user conflict – We encourage all trail users to be courteous to each other while using the trails. Even if the other user is at fault in an incident, by being polite, it will help build a good repore for all mountain bikers.
- Illegal trail building in the community makes both mountain bikers and WMTBC look bad - it affects our sanctioned work we are carrying out with the WCC.
Looking ahead to the next year.
The committee has developed a strategic plan which puts in place some tangible goals we are looking to achieve in the coming year. We will present this plan at the AGM. These goals have been aligned with a broader vision for the next 5 years. I encourage you all to review these plans, and invite you to help us make these a reality.
Please continue to support your Club & your incoming Committee. Thanks for all your support over the last year.
Best wishes to all in 2014 & 2015.