Trail Talk: Grid lock on the Great Taste Trail
Grid lock! In a car during rush hour, it’s a problem. On a bike, during a trail opening, it’s a blessing. I’ve not seen so many happy cyclists in one place for a long time.
Last Sunday, a few dozen riders met at the Nelson i-Site to ride the first 26 kilometres of the Great Taste Trail, but our numbers quickly grew. Our destination was Brightwater, and the highlight we were looking forward to was a new bridge across the Waimea River.
As we headed south along the smooth, sealed railway reserve path riders kept joining us. At the Nelson Airport we also picked up John Dunn, Craig Wilson and a group from a local bike hire company.
The closer we got to the Brightwater Bridge the more cyclists there were, by the time we reached the banks of the Waimea River the crowd was huge. Mayor Kempthorne from Tasman District Council officially opened the bridge and for the rest of the day it had a steady stream of riders crossing it.
The only complaint I heard was that the approaches are too steep. These will be modified later as funds become available. For now though, it forces cyclists to stop and look around at the stunning scenery.
Before the end of the year the Great Taste Trail will be extended further south to Wakefield, and west to fully connect with Mapua. A 175-kilometre loop ride will then be available using a mix of cycle paths and quiet country roads.
The Nelson Tasman Trails Trust will also extend the trail out to Kaiteriteri this summer. This gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park is a popular holiday destination, and will provide tourist operators with a range of potential products.
If you are passing though Nelson, check out the Great Taste Trail. You won’t be disappointed.
New Zealand Cycle Trail