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.