For us here at Bike Glendhu, mountain biking is more than just a recreational activity; it’s a lifestyle, a community, and an opportunity to connect with the environment.
And while we’re lucky at BG to have a dedicated Trail Maintenance team that keeps our world-class trails in top shape, what many riders may not realize is that the community trails outside the park don’t magically appear and maintain themselves. These trails are often created, maintained, and protected by local mountain biking trail associations or clubs, in our case: Bike Wanaka. And so, supporting Bike Wanaka by buying a club membership is not only a way to give back to the sport, but also ensures that the trails you love will be there for future generations.
In this blog, we’ll talk about why it’s important to buy a Bike Wanaka membership and support your local mountain biking trail association or mountain biking club.
Trail Maintenance and Development
Mountain biking trails require regular maintenance to stay safe and enjoyable. Especially in Otago, where temperatures and weather can do a 180 on any given day; natural elements, erosion, and the wear and tear from countless riders can quickly lead to trail degradation. Without the efforts of dedicated trail associations and MTB clubs, trails can become unsafe and eventually fall into disrepair. By becoming a member of a Bike Wanaka, you’re contributing to the financial resources and volunteer manpower needed to maintain and develop the trails you love, like Sticky Forest, Kirimoko Trails, Lismore Jump Park and other skills areas.
Advocacy and Access
No matter where you are in the world, mountain bikers can sometimes face restrictions or even bans on certain trails or areas – many of which are perfectly justified. But for areas where there’s a case to be made for allowing mountain biking, MTB clubs like Bike Wanaka are at the forefront of advocacy efforts, to ensure riders’ access to trails, while promoting responsible riding practices. By working hand-in-hand with land managers, government agencies, and other stakeholders, Bike Wanaka protects and expands trail access.
Outside of trail networks, Bike Wanaka is passionate about making biking more accessible by advocating for urban cycleways in our community (like the most recent project on Anderson Road). This gives us all the choice to safely ride between home, school, work and play.
Community Events and Socials
Mountain biking clubs provide a sense of community and connection that goes beyond the trails. Bike Wanaka organizes rad group rides like their Women’s Ride Wednesdays, race events like the iconic Dean’s Bank 6-Hour or Wanaka Super Series, and fundraisers, fostering relationships and skill sharing among like-minded riders. Being a club member can be a fantastic way to meet new people, share experiences, and learn from others. We’re very proud of the fact that the mountain biking community in Wanaka is known for its inclusivity and welcoming spirit, making it a great way to make friends and share your passion for the sport, whether you’re just arriving to town or you’ve been here for years.
What’s really exciting about our bike club here in Wanaka is that they’re always pushing for the next thing. Whether it’s their Youth Development Program and scholarships, the rebuild of the Lismore Rock n Roll section or advocating for trail development on Mt. Iron. You never know what Bike Wanaka is going to be cooking up!
Buying a Bike Wanaka membership and supporting your local mountain biking club is more than an investment in your own enjoyment of the sport; it’s an investment in the future of mountain biking itself. These organizations play a critical role in maintaining trails, advocating for access, building a sense of community, and promoting responsible riding practices. By joining the club, you become a part of something greater than yourself, and you help ensure that mountain biking in Wanaka remains a thriving and sustainable activity for years to come. And that’s something we can all get behind.
Don’t forget! Bike Glendhu is hosting our annual Bike Wanaka Club Day this Sunday on November 5th, where Bike Wanaka members can ride for just $10! If you’re not a member yet, don’t sweat it – the Bike Wanaka committee will be here on-site, ready to sign you up! Find out more about that event here.