We just rode Te Iringa Track again and wanted to share how the trail rides after the combined efforts of the Hawke's Bay Mountain Bike Club and Bike Taupo through funding from Trail Fund NZ via DOC's Community Conservation Partnership Fund. See announcement. The track has had a major clean up with windfall cleared, ruts opened up, brush cut back, and water control put in place.
Te Iringa is a Grade 5 out and back trail located in the Kaimanawa Forest off the Napier-Taupo Road. The 19km trail follows an old Maori route through the forest.
On this trip we chose to ride half way to the stream junction and return (21km) to get the two big climbs and descents all in a little under 3.5 hours of riding. Our first full Track report from February 2015 can be found here. Although it was a great back country ride in February it was very arduous and extremely tough with at least 100 bike carries one way, mostly over huge trees and bogs on the latter half of the track. The funding allowed a huge amount of work to be done and details on the work completed can be found here.
So how does it ride now? Awesome. A few of us already rated it as our favourite trail but the improvements have made it less grueling and frustrating and therefore much more enjoyable. Its also means the trail is now more acessible for a lot more riders. It is still a Grade 5 back country trail and needs to be respected and you need to have good skills and fitness but brute strength is no longer needed in such large doses. The two main descents out and back were already quite rideable, but the big traverse was where most of the windfall and washouts were with a large amount of bike carries required. That was the point the where most people began to have melt downs and wanted throw their bikes over the bluff. Now the traverse is very rideable both ways and links the two descents/climbs well. Climbing both ways has improved and your legs will give up before the trail becomes unrideable. There are still a few bike carries and there always will be but that's what make this trail so magic. The tech descent to the carpark still has the rooty features we love but with foot deep narrow ruts opened up it now rides even faster with better flow.
The natural character of Te Iringa that we all love has been maintained in this beautiful Forest in our backyard. A big thanks to HBMTB Club, Bike Taupo, Taupo MTB Club, Trail Fund NZ, DOC, Impel, McFarlane Contracting and HeliSika and all others involved for all of the volunteer time and effort that went into making this amazing track even better.
Two of us from The Hub were joined by Kris Withington from Wide Open (Rotorua) for the day trip.
We shot some footage on the spur of the moment of the two descents to give you an idea of what it's like. The first descent on the way out is a fast and flowing on Beech leaf litter and the last decent (from 5.36 minutes onwards) down to the carpark is tighter and more technical. The battery ran out before we could capture the best bit of this descent. There are also photos we shot on the fly with phones below. Considering it's the middle of Winter on a grey day with a little snow still around it's still remarkably beautiful. In the warmer months the greenery is mind blowing - it's like a lush jungle.
See you out there and Enjoy the Trail !!