The rising tide of interest in bicycles is keeping Matakana Bicycle Hire owner Paull Robson busy.
Paull relocated from Matakana village to the country park about three years ago, placing him in a handy position for visitors wanting to rent a bike to do the 7km Matakana, Omaha, Point Wells cycle circuit.
He says he is looking forward to the development of the Puhoi to Pakiri pathways, which have been discussed for some time now.
“Visitors enjoy the Matakana to Omaha ride, but after they’ve done it once, then they don’t usually come back,” he says. “The longer route will be more of an incentive for people to revisit the area more often.”
Paull says the demand for good biking tracks in NZ is huge and growing. Cambridge, Nelson and Queenstown are leading the way in this regard, and he believes there are plans to develop Warkworth and Matakana into biking towns as well.
He says the introduction of electric bikes has made riding much more accessible to the community at large. Fitness and age are no longer such an issue.
As a keen mountain biker, he is also enthusiastic about the opening of a mountain bike park in the Waiwhiu Valley, in the Dome, later this year.
“We’re just waiting for sign-off from the Department of Conservation and then we can start developing carparks and more trail networks. The terrain will cater for beginners and intermediate riders.
“It will be another option for visitors who want a more adventure-based ride and will be great for families.”