Hurunui Heartland Ride: “Just the Beginning”
The Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride officially opened this past Saturday in a wonderful ceremony and event at the Hurunui Hotel.
The opening of the Hurunui’s very own heartland ride* was about recognising the amount of work involved to get to this point and celebrating a great outcome for the district. Many came along to celebrate the ride’s grand opening and quite a few chose to ride to the event.
The event had speeches from the Hurunui Trails Trust, the Mayors of the Hurunui and Kaikoura districts, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), the New Zealand Cycle Trail and Dr Richard McCubbin - who had the original idea for the ride. The speeches were followed by a ribbon ceremony, cut by a trio of Mayor Winton Dalley, Jonathon Kennett from NZTA and Richard McCubbin, then everything was wrapped up with afternoon tea.
Mayor Winton Dalley said “it was a perfect day and a perfect venue”.
“It was a privilege to be in the company of a passionate group of cyclists and the equally passionate group who drove this project to fruition.” he said. “It was an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions that so many have made, over many years, to build a fantastic network of trails through our district – and an opportunity to inspire further trails to be added”.
Mark Inglis, Trails Coordinator for the Hurunui Trails Trust and MC of the event, said it was great to see all the tangible beginnings of the heartland ride come together.
“To see not just the signs on the road, but the cyclists using them and the ribbon being cut made the journey over the last few years very real” he said. “This is just the beginning, our aim is for the Hurunui to be leading region for trail design, support and community engagement New Zealand wide”.
“We could not have created this Heartland style ride without the support of the HDC, so it was great to have both staff and councillors present. A special thanks to the support that Stephanie Chin [Policy Planner at the Hurunui District Council] has given the trust and her work in shepherding me along - much needed and not easy”.
Cr Jason Fletcher, Chairman of the Hurunui Trails Trust, said the opening epitomised what the trust was is about, enabling and empowering local groups and individuals to achieve their goals. “We are proud to have facilitated the creation of this important trail” he said.
*The Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride is an on-road cycle route going all the way from Leithfield and Amberley, through our heartland countryside, to Kaikoura. It is designed to link some of our rural communities for cyclists and to provide them with a safe and scenic route through the district. It will also be the foundation leg of what will ultimately be a route going all the way from Cathedral Square the top of the South Island.
The cycle ride is a product of the Hurunui Trails trust, endorsed by NZTA and has received ongoing support from council throughout its design and installation.
For further information:
Mayor Winton Dalley, Dr Richard McCubbin and Jonathon Kennett
Jason Fletcher (Hurunui Trails Trust), Jonathon Kennett (NZTA), Dr Richard McCubbin, Mark Inglis (Hurunui Trails Coordinator), Mayor Winton Dalley (Hurunui), Mayor Winston Gray (Kaikoura), Geoff Gabites (New Zealand Cycle Trail)
Cr Jason Fletcher, Mark Inglis, Dr Richard McCubbin and Stephanie Chin