With its variety of terrain, stunning scenery and handy shuttle bus, Rivenrock Mountainbike Park is looking set to put Wairarapa on the mountainbike track. It’s only been open for a matter of weeks, but Rivenrock Mountainbike Park near Mount Holdsworth already has the biking fraternity in a buzz.
Cam Cole, the 2006 junior downhill world champion who has ridden with some of the world’s top riders and over some of the best mountainbike tracks, says Rivenrock has the potential to be the best in New Zealand. While Wyn Masters, a former under-17 and under-19 junior New Zealand downhill champion who now rides for GT Factory Racing and competes on the international downhill series circuit including the Crankworx World Tour, has given it the thumbs up.
Rivenrock is a purpose built and professionally designed mountainbike park located on a private 500 acre farm 15 minutes from Masterton and Carterton, near the entry point to Mount Holdsworth. Stage One of Rivenrock opened in January and to date over 200 riders have entered the park’s gates exploring trails that range from beginner tracks to advanced. These include a family-friendly series of tracks on the lower slopes of the farm that have an easy-to-ride return track (all designed by BMX rider Paul Langlands)as well as single tracks that weave through pine forest and over farm land and steep downhills. There is also a shuttle service.
Masters and Cole also held special skills workshops for riders wanting to try mountainbiking and develop new skills, or for existing riders to fine-tune skills and learn some new tricks as part of Huri Huri: Wairarapa’s Bike Festival.
The Hind family, who own the land, believe Rivenrock’s special topography, incredible scenery and great location will help draw more people to the region to ride. They’re also amazed at how quickly the word has spread through the mountainbike fraternity.
“We always knew we were sitting on something special here and to have top riders like Cam Cole and Paul Langlands publicly talk about the potential of Rivenrock to become the country’s top mountainbike park is really exciting,” says Henry, who moved to the Wairarapa with his family just over a year ago after being inspired to create a mountainbike park similar to BikePark Wales
“We’ve had riders through of all ages - a 3 ½ year old did one and a half laps of Paul’s track and at the weekend a lovely lady came over from Wellington with her elderly father and they rode together. In fact they ended up spending an extra night in the region so they could enjoy a second day on our tracks, so that’s pretty cool.”
Hind envisages Rivenrock will become a playground for kids of all ages and a great starting point for those entering the sport for the first time. He also says having Cole and Langlands offer to help the family design and develop further trails will only add to the experience.
“This is an amazing piece of land and is attracting some really passionate people who are all determined to do things right and create a lasting legacy for riders,” says Hind.
In addition to the new trails there are plans to include more signage and further develop the track map which includes distances and colour-coded track gradings similar to a ski-field. Hind has also teamed up with John Hart from The Fab Lab in Masterton to create special laser cut signage and items such as key rings with the Rivenrock logo.
Prior to opening, the Hind family worked with local councils, Destination Wairarapa (the regional tourism organisation) and the local mountain biking community to gather support.
Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock says Rivenrock will become a vital asset to the region, adding another dimension to the Wairarapa’s diverse cycle offering including The Rimutaka Cycle Trail and its connecting routes, cycling the vines around Martinborough and Opaki and endless road cycling touring routes.
For more information about Rivenrock Mountainbike Park including opening times, entry fee and shuttle prices please visit: Facebook/Rivenrock Mtb Park.