With Ground Effect Slush Fund's support, Motu Trails Charitable Trust has purchased four steel Trail Tools and a ‘Wheeled Beast’ wheelbarrow, all made by WMC Trail Tools in Dunedin, as well as several long-handle spades.
“This is awesome for us,” said Jim Robinson of the Motu Trails team. “We do general maintenance on both the Pakihi Track and on the Dunes Trail. Pakihi must rate as one of the most dynamic tracks in the country, with rock and gravel coming down almost continually. We do maintenance every week for much of the year, it’s extremely tough terrain for tools. The Dunes Trail is a lot easier but it still needs regular removal of wind-blown sand.”
The WMC (Weapons of Mass Creation) Trail Tools incorporate a thick steel rake plus a cutting blade, which Jim expects will be ideal for clearing the numerous small slips that regularly happen on Pakihi through winter — often a twisted mess of rock, roots and branches.
“The track is too narrow to be easily machine accessible. After heavy rain you might have six or eight places with slips that each need a couple of hours work by two or three of us. I expect these tools will help our work efficiency, which is critical to keeping the track open.”
The ‘wheeled beast’ is a double-wheeled, large volume barrow with a brake, which should help improve the track surface over time, he said.
“The paradox of Pakihi is that on one hand you’re continually dealing with track damage: but on the other, in many places you’re also being gifted an endless supply of beautiful fine gravel, piling up on the track. It’d cost a fortune in the building yard! The wheeled beast should be great for moving a bit of that material to nearby parts of the track,” he said.
“It’s not about turning the track into a highway, that’d be impossible anyway. It’s about being proactive and preventative with maintenance, staying on top of rutting, and controlling water flow to minimise the chance of track dropouts. We are really appreciative of Ground Effect for helping our work,” Jim said.
Ground Effect has been designing and manufacturing cycle clothing in Aotearoa New Zealand since 1994. Each year the Ground Effect Slush Fund hands out thousands of dollars to community led projects, helping to expand and care for the mountain bike playground.
“The Ground Effect Slush Fund was stoked to stump up with some cash for new tools for the hard working Motu Trails team,” said Cherie Rusbatch.
Gareth Hargreaves of WMC Trail Tools Ltd commented, “As New Zealand's original trail tool manufacturer I'm stoked to get involved with this and other amazing projects to develop the growth and maintenance of the awesome trails around this fantastic country.”
“I'm looking forward to seeing what Jim gets up to with his new toys — err tools! — and I really need to get a big road trip planned to 'inspect' the handiwork! I am fully stoked to be involved and always keen for feedback, thoughts opportunities to make trail builders lives easier,” Gareth said.