When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride with kids, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great day’ on the bike with kids there are simple things to think about, plan and do.

In this story we are riding in the – Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park (Tasman) on some of the beginner to intermediate tracks with Rhea 11yrs old – mountain bikes occasionally, Isaac 8yrs old – mountain bikes occasionally.  
Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.
youth mountain bike helmet

Where is it?  What is there?

Located 1km from the Kaiteriteri main beach on Martin Farm Road.  Alternative entry/exit at Bethany Park Holiday Camp or on the main road into Kaiteri following The Great Taste Trail.

Parking can be difficult right at the park entrance, 100m further up the road is entry to a trailer park which gives you direct access to the beginning of the tracks.  This trailer park can be extremely busy in summer and not open in winter. There is parking on the Kaiteriteri water front – again in summer this is very busy with holiday makers and tourists.

The Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park is run by an incorporated society of volunteers and is also part of The Great Taste Trail.  It does not require a permit to ride in but donations for track maintenance and development are appreciated.  You can either buy a Park Tag for $20 or put a donation into the box at the park entrance.

If you need to hire bikes see Trail Journeys on the Kaiteriteri waterfront….

The ride – is it doable for you?

This park has something for everyone. It is a matter of working out what will work best for your family.  For first time riders the layout of the bike park can be confusing so find a map and study it before you go. There is a map board at the main entrance but it’s always a good idea to carry a map the first few times you ride in a new environment.  Paper maps are available at the camping ground offices.  Forests can be very confusing to ride through and if there are lots of junctions you will soon get lost.  Kaiteriteri has great signs and small map boards can be found throughout the park.

Here is the link to Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park where you will find the map and info outlining what to expect.

Biking Distance?

The length of this ride is entirely at your discretion you have approximately 30km of grade 2, easy, to grade 5, advanced, single track to choose from but if your kids don’t mountain bike as a sport they will be restricted to the easy to moderate tracks. Where you ride is totally dependant on your families or your skill level as long as you understand the signs/terminology  (green tracks = beginner/easy, blue tracks = intermediate, black = advanced, red = jump track)!

Biking Surface/Biking Skills required/Level of biking fitness: Easy Rider is a family friendly beginner track and perfect for first time riding. To enter onto any of the other tracks in the park basic mountain biking skills will be needed but again the easiest tracks are well designed for beginners.  Just be aware that the tracks will be narrower, have more challenging undulations, climbing sections and tighter corners so ideally your kids should be riding a bike with gears.  The biking surface in mountain bike parks is varied but mainly compact dirt with a few gravel or pine needle sections and some tree roots to contend with.

Can you ride with Kids Attached? This is a ride that you can enjoy with kids being towed or attached to your bike.

Some additional support may help get the kids riding in Codgers Mountain Bike Park.

    • For independent riders : The Tow Whee Tow Rope may help assist getting them up a hill, or keeping up with older siblings.
    • Attached to your bike: The Shotgun offers you the ability to enjoy the mountain biking park with your younger kids. You will need to ride to your ability making sure you are keeping them safe.

Some Trails that our group enjoyed.

For younger and/or beginner riders:

From the main entrance, Easy Rider gives you access to the park and as the name suggests ‘Easy Rider’ is wide, smooth and gently undulating – a perfect introduction to off road riding.  Easy Rider takes you 3km (6km return) to the eastern edge of the park with the last 500m being a downhill switchback (tight cornering) section until it stops at the road.  Your only option here is to continue along The Great Taste Trail cycle track back towards Riwaka (approximately 5km) or to turn around and go back the way you came.  So before taking on the down and up assess your kids energy levels!!

Easy Rider is one of the only two way tracks in the park so expect riders coming towards you and use your bike bell on blind corners.

For confident beginners to intermediate riders:

Start off on Easy Rider but at the first junction ride straight ahead following the sign that says To Mtn Bike Tracks.  You’re looking for Cruise Control which will take you to the Monster Hub.  At the hub you will find water and a great view down onto the beach.  If your kids are young or not used to long distances on a bike this may be enough for your family – so return along Swamp Monster.

 

If they are enjoying themselves and have more energy continue onto Glade Runner.  This is Rhea’s (11yrs old) favourite track through a beautiful glade forest.  Return via Puff (yes this is a climbing track, see photo) to Monster Hub then along the flowing, fun Swamp Monster to the carpark.  Where you will hopefully have some smiling excited kids, talking about what fun that ride was… 20 to 40 mins depending on how often you stop and how fast you are back up the hill.

Section of Easy Rider in beautiful native forest

There is a skill park and pump track at the entrance to the park

Monster Hub has a seat, tap for water and view down into Kaiteriteri

Switchback climbing track called Puff

Be safe and comfortable when riding in Codgers Mountain Bike Park.

How far you are venturing away from your base will determine the amount of gear you need to carry. As the riding network is quite extensive it is good to be prepared so you can manage any situation. Whether that be an injury, energy or water requirements. Also the option of layers to ensure everyone is riding at a comfortable temperature.

Enjoy the experience and have fun

Some things to look out for on the

  • Bike Skills & Pump Track at main park entrance.  The kids, particularly Isaac, really enjoy the fun and challenge of riding on a pump track.  The Bike Skill area is a great way to warm up before heading off into the park.  Both the kids rode over and off things that initially looked scary to them – what a great confidence boost.  These types of bike skill obstacles create great learning environments – testing balance and decision making skills.  The whole idea is to play around and get used to the feel of your bike and body moving together.  Also to try things several times and watch what other people do.
  • Let the kids lead the way.  Let them find the tracks and work out what signs and names they should look for along the way.  The signs in this mountain bike park are well done so are perfect for those new to map reading.
  • Isaac also really likes the “jump” right next to the main entrance trailer carpark at the very bottom of Half Pipe.  He does this over and over again hoping to get a millimetre or two more air!
  • This region of Tasman is a holiday destination.  There are two camp grounds in Kaiteriteri which are extremely popular in summer
  • If you are making a day of it Kaiteriteri has a stunning beach, for a post-ride swim and shops restaurants to refill hungry kids
  • Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park is also part of the Great Taste Trail (NZ Cycle Trail multi day cycle way).  For more on this track see our story – Riding the Coastal Section of the Great Taste Trail with Kids

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