I guess it had to happen. After months of nervous anticipation since the first notices of intent to extract deadfall from MacVicars/Worsleys surfaced on the Gravity Canterbury site, countless minutes of speculative trail banter and hours of dusty summer laps jammed in to wring out whatever life the zone had left, it would appear the day has finally come. Signs have been erected and yesterday on my way out I was stopped as huge piece of logging equipment was being rolled menacingly off the back of a truck trailer.
Worsleys has become arguably the most interesting new zone for Christchurch mountain biking in recent years, with terrain that boasts extensive forest cover, a good range of grades, decent dirt and has expanded from what was initially a small set of trails into a fairly substantial network, thanks largely to a sympathetic landowner. It is also, fingers crossed, destined to become home to the much anticipated Christchurch bike park, but that's another story. For me, somewhat selfishly, the reason it is so dear to my heart (other than the riding) is that it's the one place within a short drive that I can engage in my other bicycle related passion, building trails. I have toiled, some might say obsessively, for untold months in that piece of forest, crafting berms, turns and jumps, and although I never for a minute expected my or any of the other trails in there to necessarily be permanent due to their ostensibly illegal status, regardless, several of them have become my own personal, local favourites.
I am hopeful that the damage to the area will be minimal and the disruption short-lived. I was certainly buoyed by a conversation I had with a representative of the logging company who assured me that they will endeavour to keep the trails as intact as possible. But I guess for a while at least Christchurch riders will have to bid tracks like Tommys 2, Throw The Goat, Alices Restaurant, SMC, Fight Club, Mooseknuckle and Yoda a fond but hopefully only temporary farewell. What's the saying? “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.