Meet Jim Robinson from Motu Trails


Jim Robinson - Motu Trails

We asked Jim Robinson from Motu Trails to talk to us about all things biking and Opotiki.  Modest as ever, Jim said it pushed his comfort zone a little, feeling happier behind the page not on it.  We’re thrilled to have gleaned a few snippets and look forward to the next chapter as this exciting Trail goes from strength to strength.

Q How long have you been involved with Motu Trails?

A I was on the Motu Trails Charitable Trust as a Trustee from I think late 2011 then took on the Trust’s Executive Officer role in mid 2014.  The trust promotes and is the governance hub of the Motu Trails/Rere Falls Trail. The trails’ governance partners are Opotiki and Gisborne Councils, DOC, and the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board.

Q When did your love of biking start?

A I got into biking during the early 1980s.  I did a good deal of touring and moved into road racing, MTB, and Multi-sport. I was the cycling correspondent for several years for the Evening Post in Wellington from about 1988.  I have also written several cycling stories for North & South magazine since 1990.  A few years back I was Cycling Editor for the now defunct vo2max magazine. I wrote one of the Kennett Brothers cycling legends series (on Bill Pratney) and also a book on adventure racing a couple of years ago called Checkpoint 25.  I have copies for sale if anyone wants one!  I’m married to Nikki Slade Robinson, children’s book illustrator/author, and she sneaks in bikes and enviro stuff wherever possible.

Q Which of the Great Rides have you ticked off?

A I have a hopeless Great Ride record. I’ve done Te Ara Ahi, bits of Hauraki and A2O (running) but that’s it. I must try harder! I’ve ridden widely though. I lived in Wellington until 2004, so I love going back and seeing the evolution of trails, and most of all the regeneration of native forest around them, places like Polhill, Mt Albert, and of course Makara Peak.

Q What do you love most about the Motu Trails?

A I’m on the Pakihi often, running or riding, and love it. The forest is stunning and has a wild edge. The thought that people cut the track by hand a century ago is plain crazy.

The eastern BOP/Eastland region is a deeply wonderful place to get out and beyond, whether it’s biking, running, kayaking or tramping.  Motu Trails is part of that bigger picture. It is great to see people simply connect with and respect the place, it goes well beyond bikes. It is great to see the ongoing restoration of the Dunes Trail environment, something that would not be happening without the trail. I also enjoy exploring the history around the trail and have written quite a few articles.