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For nearly a decade, the local Hawkes Bay Mountain Bike Club Incorporated (HBMTBC) have been the largest cycling club in New Zealand.
They have grown heavily across a 9 year period between 2000-2009, doubling in membership every 24 months growing to over 2000 members by mid 2009, a far cry from the early days when the club formed in 1991 with just a handful of keen cyclists.
The HBMTBC operate 5 separate off-road cycling facilities around the region, with 3 of these venues within privately owned but commercially operated forest blocks that require permits for access.
Club membership covers the required permit for access into Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park, Pan Pac Aropaoanui DH Park & Pukeora Hill MTB Park, which is valid up to June 30 each year. For visitors the club have setup a "Visitors Permit", which is valid for 3 weeks.
Membership & Visitor Permits also cover runners who wish to run on the great pine-needle covered dirt trails.
The HBMTBC's main hub is at the very popular Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park.
Located just north of Napier, where the club have built up over 80km of mountain bike trails covering all the different disciplines now found within the sport, including cross-country, downhill, trials & freeride, along with over 25km of forestry roads spread within the 356ha block of land.
With the highest point at 290m above sea level there are tremendous views across the Hawkes Bay north to Mahia Peninsula & across to Napier, Cape Kidnappers, Hastings & Te Mata Peak.
Another Pan Pac owned forest further north is at Aropaoanui, where an intermediate level, purpose-built downhill track exists.
The newest facility of the 3 private forest venues is located just out of Waipukurau in the Central Hawkes Bay on the main road at Pukeora, where for 2 years between 2007-2009 the club secretary almost single-handily built over 10km of family friendly cross-country trails within the 50ha forest.
This park also has a couple of Jump/DH tracks to add to the mix of trails on offer for the local community.
The other 2 facilities run by the HBMTBC are located within Napier, with the Marine Parade Pump Track the newest addition located right next to the Rotary Pathway, consisting of 2 small dirt loop tracks aimed at the beginner and kids to learn bike handling skills & the art of 'pumping' the bike around the track (without any pedalling).
The fifth off-road facility is located on Hawkes Bay Regional Council land next to the Pettigrew.Green Arena in Taradale.
The Taradale Dirt Park is a family friendly jump park all contained within a fenced off area, consisting of 4 lines ranging from Beginner to Expert.
In late 2011 a new full sized Pump Track has been built next to the Dirt Park. Both of these 2 venues are FREE for the general public to access at anytime.
For more info about the HBMTBC, the facilities, the members, events & permits (including an online facility), check out www.hawkesbaymtb.co.nz
Hawkes Bay MTB Club is NZ's largest MTB club, operating one of NZ's largest & internationally reknown mountain bike parks just north of Napier, located on private property - known as "PanPac Eskdale MTB Park", with over 60km of trails, within 1300ha.
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