Presidents Report 2016

Since becoming the president earlier this year I have enjoyed the challenges that it has brought for me. Some have been trying to say the least, however I am happy to say the positives far out-weigh the negatives.

I recently had the opportunity to represent BAMBA and attended the 2016 Trail Fund conference in Wellington. The main theme this year was “Partnerships” (and Relationships) so it seems only natural and timely that I say a huge thanks to the GWRC team who I am constantly working with to ensure our plans and goals for BAMBA and GWRC are met.

To Wayne Boness (GWRC Principle Ranger) – Thanks for believing in us and having faith in our abilities. It is great that we can work closely together and it is really pleasing to see we still hold a good relationship with you and GWRC as a whole. What’s more we appreciate that the lines of communication are still well and truly open. Thank you.

To Jeremy Patterson (GWRC Ranger) – A massive thanks and high five for your efforts and assistance. Personally I know it is hard at times to align the stars so we can get together, however when we do the relationship we hold certainly comes to fruition. This is clearly evident when I stop and look at examples of BAMBA working closely together; the planting days held at Hill Road, the whole process from start to finish with the new “Connect Four” trail, the scope work for replacement choppers and other related trail projects. I personally enjoyed working closely with you on the painting of the toilet block on hill road and placing of signage on 4 Degrees and Connect Four.

To Paul O’Hagan (Valley Landscapes) – A huge thanks for your free time and advice given to assist with both trail marking and building. The close working partnership we hold with you ensured the construction of Connect Four went smoothly and quickly. We hope to continue this partnership well into the future.

And lastly thanks to Amanda Cox from GWRC and Peter Matcham from FoBRP for the on-going relationships we hold and need.

So this brings me to our group BAMBA. We are a small band, of mostly merry brothers, who are doing what we all love most – being the Voice for MTB in Belmont, building trails, giving back to the community so others and ourselves plus families can get out and enjoy life.

Peter Wilson’s (President Federated Mountain Clubs) comment at the recent Trail Fund conference stated it perfectly, it is all about the “Spirit of Adventure” – Getting out and doing it!

So I guess it is good to remind our-selves at times what it is all about – enjoying what our beautiful backyard has to offer while holding similar beliefs and passions.
I have to personally admit that at times I do become frustrated. I naturally want BAMBA to do the best and offer the best to our trail users as I am passionate about what we are trying to achieve. I want us to have a great network of trails in our own backyard. Yes at times it can be hard and yes at times it is difficult to get other’s to see and contribute to the cause. However perhaps I for one, am trying to achieve too much and expect too much of you all.

It was only earlier this month that I was reminded that perhaps my expectations are too high, after all we are all only volunteers with our own lives to live. However It must be said that at times some of us can take too much of a back seat and let others share too much of the load. It is disappointing when only three or four turn up for the required trail work. Then again perhaps I should not expect so much.

I truly hope the scheduled work soon to start on the choppers replacement trail will again see our numbers of budding trail builders grow. I am 100% sure this trail will interest and benefit many.

So it is only appropriate now that I take this opportunity to stop and take the time to reflect on what we have achieved as such a small volunteer group. Looking back we have done well and come far since the logging operation commenced.
I firstly want to now take this opportunity to thank those committee members who are long serving and also those members who have contributed to the smooth running of BAMBA.

I would like to thank Bruce and Angus for their efforts as Secretary and Treasure respectively (I know it can be a thankless task at times). Also a thanks must got to Dan who has also stepped up onto the committee and has already had some great input and assistance into our small clan (The baking is especially appreciated from those who attend those lucky days trail building).

Finally a personnel thanks to those who are not here, but who do show up to build trails etc. and who give up their own personal time to share in the same passion;

“The Spirit of Adventure” – Getting out and doing it!

Thanks a million to you all, with-out you, we would be nothing and have nothing!

pauls

 

Paul Scoble, President.

bambasmalllogo

Foundation Document

Belmont Area Mountain Bike Association (BAMBA)

1.0 Background

Mountain biking in New Zealand arose during the mid 1980’s as Cross Country riding on existing off-road trails and tracks.  It has subsequently evolved into a mainstream sport, which now includes additional sub-disciplines such as Down Hill, Hill Climbing, Free Riding and Jumping.  The rapidly growing mountain bike (MTB) community is continually seeking new opportunities to enjoy these various expressions.

Mountain Bikers also want to ensure existing access to tracks is maintained, minimise impacts on the environment, and ensure existing assets and public resources are managed in a sustainable manner.  To be successful, this activity must be integrated with other legitimate user groups such as walkers, trampers, runners, guided tours, dog walkers, horse riders and outdoor nature lovers.

Belmont Regional Park (BRP) is situated to the north of Wellington City, and includes the skyline between Lower Hutt and Porirua Cities. It contains 3,700 hectares of land and stretches from the Hayward’s highway at its northern end to Petone in the south.  BRP is managed by Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) to safeguard its natural resources and historic features, and to provide for the enjoyment of visitors.  This park has close proximity to the large population base present in the greater Wellington area and is a very significant asset to the MTB community.

Historically the MTB community has been involved in BRP in a number of ways.

Local clubs have engaged with Parks’ staff and have run competitive Cross Country racing and Orienteering events at various locations throughout the park.

Clubs and individuals have also gained permission to develop MTB specific trails within the Stratton Street Belmont pine forest.  This has resulted in a network of widely promoted and frequently used MTB trails, including the “Danzig” track which was built by the Hutt Valley MTB Club over a decade ago.

The MTB community maintains these assets, and volunteer days are periodically held to re-bench and resurface the trails and keep foliage trimmed back.

These efforts have been assisted by the provision of external funding for trail building tools and materials. This generous support has been obtained from cycling and community group advocates such as Ground Effect Clothing and the Port Nicholson Poneke Cycling Club of Wellington.

The Belmont Area Mountain Bike Association (BAMBA) has recently been set up to represent MTB interests to GWRC and local authorities in relation to BRP and adjacent city reserves.

Messrs Matt Clarke and Marco Renall are the foundation members.

BAMBA will consolidate the efforts and ideas of the different clubs and individuals, and be the point of contact between GWRC and the MTB community.

2.0 Vision Statement

The following vision statement has been developed by BAMBA to express the future requirements and desires of the MTB community.

To maintain, enhance and develop BRP assets and resources within BRP and the surrounding Western hills, by providing a premier destination for Mountain Biking as a recreational and competitive
activity, and to successfully integrate this activity with those of other user groups while minimising impacts on the environment.

3.0 Key objectives

The foundation members of BAMBA have identified the following objectives to help achieve this vision.

  • Form a BAMBA Committee.
  • Develop regular formal dialogue with the GWRC Parks Department.
  • Maintain effective and regular dialogue with all MTB community stakeholders via a range of media (including email lists, internet forums and club networks).
  • Develop a Constitution as an operational framework for the association.
  • Strongly represent MTB community interests within the impending BRP Management Plan review process.
  • Maintain existing MTB trails in BRP with regular volunteer working bees, and assist GWRC staff with maintenance of these trails throughout the park.
  • Contribute to other annual BRP Community Partnership activities by regularly supplying volunteers for planting projects and pest control activities.
  • Encourage responsible riding on all trails, especially those that are designated “Shared” by applying the “MTB Code of Conduct” rules of safe riding.
  • Consider trail options throughout BRP and surrounds as a whole, and seek to increase/improve these trail networks to better meet the diverse needs of the MTB community and other user groups. Focus on easy to moderate multi-use trails.
  • Develop more family-friendly trails and the complimentary support infrastructure in BRP to provide improved riding opportunities for this rapidly increasing segment.
  • Become an Incorporated Society to assist with procurement of external funding from organizations such as SPARC and Gaming Trusts.
  • Work with Mountain Bike NZ and GWRC to establish and install appropriate MTB-specific signage (trail names, hazard signs and trail grades) throughout BRP to assist MTB visitors.  There is a
    current standard MTBNZ grading system being used nationwide.  Ensure this complies with the GWRC Parks signage protocols.
  • Promote the use of the NZ MTB Code on park maps, brochures and signage to help manage MTB rider behaviour.
  • Establish a formal agreement with GWRC (Memorandum of Understanding – MOU) regarding planning/development of future trail opportunities and provision of external funding in a Community Partnership arrangement.
  • Promote BRP as a premier MTB destination via a range of media including magazine articles, newspapers, high-profile events and MTB websites.
  • Develop a detailed BRP Track Guide for MTB opportunities and provide this on the internet from a link on the GWRC website, www.vorb.org.nz and www.tracks.org.nz in a printable format.
  • Assist MTB event organisers with marshals, event signage and route-marking to promote BRP as a top class event venue.