The Glentunnel School (Mātai Rangatira) and Community Bike Track was destroyed in a storm in September 2021, and now, just two years later, it has been reopened. The community banded together to rebuild their bike track and reimagined it!

“After the Friday 10 September 2021 storm of 160kph winds, 16 eucalyptus trees weaved throughout the clay-based bike track were uprooted, causing irreparable damage. We put the challenge to Glentunnel School tamariki to tell us their dream bike track,” explained Glentunnel School Principal Ed Trotter.

“Jumps, different levels, obstacles, a picnic area and native plantings topped the list of the children’s dreams. A committee was formed to see if we could take these dreams and make them a reality. A plan was formed with world leading expert in bike tracks, Cam Bissett from Dirt Trailbuilding contracted to help us.

At the start, the target of raising $86,000 to build the track was daunting. We gained funding from several organisations early, which made it seem possible. The community then got behind this project in a big way. Of the $86,000, half has been raised through community initiatives like raffles, cake auctions, quizzes and the most fantastic student Cyclethon.”

The bike track is nestled on a river terrace below the school grounds, adjacent to the Glentunnel Domain. It has been designed for all wheels, bikes, scooters, roller blades, with a total area of 55m x 36m (1,980m2). It includes an asphalt surface with natural and wooden elements and native planting throughout.

Students and the community got to walk the track and celebrate achieving this project just before school broke up on 11 December. Cr Lydia Gliddon officially opened the track with the help of the youngest student, Effie Brown. While the asphalt was too soft for wheels to be used at this opening, students enjoyed running around the track and look forward to riding it!

“Completing this project is an excellent example of what a community can achieve together when we have a shared vision. This is more than a bike track; it is a place of connection where people can come together, have fun and have a healthy hauora (wellbeing).

A huge thanks to the funders, sponsors, raffle donors, local businesses and people who have got behind our vision and helped make it a reality,” said Ed.

Hororata Community Trust Chair, Ainsley Walter commented, “The Hororata Community Trust was proud to work alongside the Glentunnel School and community to achieve the new bike track. It was a true collaboration. Congratulations to the committee and school board for creating a great place for people to come together in our community.” 

The Glentunnel School and Community Bike Track will officially open on Tuesday 19 December 2023. Using the track is free, but the school asks users to respect the area and follow the guidelines so everyone can enjoy this great asset. 

Thanks to the Bike Track sponsors