Queenstown thrill parks truckin’ along

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Despite what the photograph (right) may appear to show, this Queens­­­­­­town biker didn’t take on a truck – but he did attack the new Gorge Road Jump Park last Satur­day.

Around 100 bikers hit the packed dirt mounds in front of 200 spectators at the park’s launch.

The Queenstown Moun­­tain Bike Club’s Nathan Greenwood created the public-use park in two months – helped by local bikers and philanthropic companies.

Greenwood, who did much of the work himself on a tight budget, says the event raised $1500-plus to help pay for further irrigation, landscaping and dirt – but the money hunt isn’t over.

“I’ve put in my drinking tap and my picnic table and all the important fundamental things, but there are quite a few things in the picture in my head I’m going to have to keep applying for funding and keep whittling away at.”

Fine-tuning aside, Green­­wood says the park im­­pressed riders.

“Everyone seems amazed at how it looks and rides. All the kids just adapted to the place within no time and started tearing it up. It’s border-lining on a world-class facility – guys like [BMX legend] TJ Lavin have said they’ve never come across a facility like this [elsewhere] in the world.”

Professional BMX rider Lavin – in town to film an MTV reality show – opened the park, a DJ provided entertainment and Re­­volver’s Jonno Stapleton cooked some snags.

It wasn’t only mountain bikers getting a handle on new curves at the weekend. Just down the road at Queenstown Gardens, New Zealand skatepark design guru Jason Parkes (right) also tested out his international-standard creation at its launch last Sunday.

Parkes collaborated with local skaters to create the Queenstown Lakes District Council-funded skatepark, complete with rails, banks and ledges for street skaters, and a bowl for freestyle, transitional skaters.