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Mountain bikers may get extra Heaphy fix

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/05/2016

The proposed extension to the mountain biking season would start in April and end in November, giving riders three more warmer months to tackle the track. © Getty Images The proposed extension to the mountain biking season would start in April and end in November, giving riders three more warmer months to tackle the track. Mountain bikers may get an extra three months a year to ride the Heaphy Track under a proposal to get more people on the 78km-long great walk.

Mountain bikes are allowed on the track for five months of the year between May and September but the Conservation Department wants to extend that to eight months.

The track in the Kahurangi National Park was opened up to mountain bikes in 2014 after a trial found minimal conflict between walkers and riders.

Since opening the track up to those on two wheels the numbers using it has risen by around 2000 to almost 6900 annually.

"The current mountain biking season is mostly in winter when cold weather, including snow, can make riding the track more difficult.

"Most mountain bikers are choosing to ride it in May and September and numbers on the track rise considerably in those two months," said DOC's Andrew Lamason.

The proposed extension to the mountain biking season would start in April and end in November, giving riders three more warmer months to tackle the track.

Submissions on the proposal can be made until July 12.

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