When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride at a fun destination, like Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park 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 I am going to introduce you to the idea of spending a ‘great day’ mountain biking with kids. In this particular case at the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park at Kaiteriteri, Tasman.
Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park – Where is it?
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….
Is it doable?
The ride needs to be doable for you and any riders (kids) you are biking with.
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.
EASY SUGGESTED ROUTE
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.
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….is it doable?
MODERATE SUGGESTED ROUTE
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….is it doable?
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…is it doable?
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)… is it doable?
Remember the weather on the day will effect your ride. Most of this ride is in a covered forest but there are some exposed climbing sections so sun screen is recommended on hot days, jackets in rain/wind – is it doable?
It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you want to feel comfortable. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day” on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are comfortable on the bike.
Water – you will need enough to last the ride. There is a tap at the Monster Hub installed by Kimi Ora Eco Resort. Also note that there are no toilets at the main park entrance. The nearest public toilets are at the playground on the beach front.
Protection – As you or the kids learn to mountain bike there is a chance for accidents – bike gloves, covered arms, covered legs, good helmets are some protection options. Please make them wear shoes. I know you’re near the beach but sandals or jandals on a bike are dangerous. Comfort on the seat can be a big factor so consider padded bike underwear – goUnders for Kids, see photo to right. Worn under their shorts or leggings these ‘undies’ protect soft tissue & prevent chaffing.
Food – we not only carried food but had a picnic lunch packed in the car. A museli bar or a bit of chocolate can be a great motivator or reward at the top of a hill. The closest food options are on the Kaiteri water front – restaurants, takeaways, dairy. If you’re not stopping for lunch it can be a good idea to have some food for the kids in the car. Start to replenish their energy or make a plan to find the nearest ice cream shop.
It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you want to feel safe. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day” on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are safe on the bike.
Maps – There is a map board at the main entrance but it’s always a good idea to carry a map the first few time 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. Kaiteri has great signs and small map boards can be found throughout the park.
Carry a basic biking first aid kit in your bag or on your bike. Have a more comprehensive kit in the car or a refill pack incase serious patch ups are required. Grazed knees, elbows and irrigation for eyes are the most common minor biking accidents. We had one grazed knee and one brambling bush shoot in the eye.
You – Am I safe to Mountain Bike Ride? or Am I Safe to Ride with Kids? A checklist to complete that ensures YOU are safe to goRide.
Bike – goRide pre-ride bike safety check – is it safe? A simple checklist to complete pre-ride so that you know your bike is in working order.
If you have worked through the points above then you will be more likely to enjoy and have fun on your ride.
There is so much fun to be had on a bike.
Some things you could plan to discover at Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park with kids
- Bike Skills & Pump Track at main park entrance. The kids, particularly Isaac, really enjoy the fun and challenge of riding on a pump track. See more on these great skill building tracks in our story – The Ups of Pump Tracks. 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 read the map. Let them find the beginner tracks and work out what signs and names they should look for along the way. The signs in this mountain bike park are really well done so are perfect for those new to map reading and navigating through a forest. Forests can be very disorientating – every tree looks the same!
Does it fit?
Does the ride ‘fit’ with what you want to achieve? Mountain Biking in a safe, well maintained, purpose built area with up to 30kms of tracks. The park has excellent entry level intermediate tracks aimed at introducing some of the elements that make up mountain biking. You will find steeper undulations, simple switchbacks, flowing downhill sections. We had a really great day on our bikes as the kids enjoyed the ‘mountain biking’ challenges that they were presented with.
The highlights for the kids were Swamp Monster & Glade Runner. Both these tracks allow you to get a good speed on as you deal with undulations and sweeping corners… it’s just fun.
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.
Here is the link to Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park where you will find the map and info outlining what to expect.
Have you ridden at Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park with kids? Did you have a ‘great day’ on the bike?
What went well, what could you work on for next time? We would love to hear about your ‘great day’ on the bike so tell us where you went and why it was fun.
get Inspired and goRide – Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park with the kids
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