Last night was the Wellington leg of the BikeNZ Bike Plan road show. Forty or so people showed up to hear what they had to say which was pretty much what we all expected. But when I asked, “If you don’t want to join a club but want to support national advocacy and trail development, how do you fit in?” I got an interesting answer. They want to implement a Trail Pass. A what? A Trail Pass where you pay an annual fee, like $20, to BikeNZ and they funnel that money back to the trail builders and trail building training. It wouldn’t be compulsory but they would encourage non trail builders to pay up. The whole campagin would be based on guilt, which it should be, and then I’m guessing unless you read the one magazine that they support you wouldnt know about it. But I’m interested to know if you’d be happy to pay $20 to ride at Wainui, Rotorua or Makara Peak (or any other public park).

And I know what you’re all thinking, but BikeNZ promised they would make sure 100% of the money found its way back to the trails and not to track cycling!

0 Responses

  1. honestly, I would happily pay the $20 if it was regional (so all of the greater wellington area).But since it is not compulsory i would most likely not pay due to general lazyness.

  2. I would gladly pay the money, but not to BikeNZ since I have only ever had bad experiences with them. I already give money to existing trail building groups, so I don’t see why bike NZ should decide who gets what. Sounds like they are tying to kill off ‘grass roots’ work, since they would be unlikely to fund much of the stuff I actually like to ride.

  3. Let’s see: Makara Peak, Wainui, and Mt Vic tracks are on public land. Volunteers built and maintain most of the trails, with support from donors. So, why do we need BikeNZ in this picture? What has BikenZ got to do with day-to-day recreational riding or commuting? This smells like empire-building, not trail building.
    ps nice pic Caleb

  4. BikeNZ just seem to make this stuff up as they go along. Their corporate, race-focused, myopic vision is just so at odds with the simple act and freedom of riding a bike as to make it a joke outside the ‘bunch rider’, official magazine reading, wasteful hubris-calender appreciating 1%. An optional trail pass? There is a donation box at Makara, I will put $20 in there, and continue to donate by buying the Vegas trail map each visit thanks Corporate HQ.

  5. down this neck of the woods (no pun intended!) trails are built and maintained by volunteers (and PD workers) and peeps and businesses kindly donate gravel. There are other fund-raising things that happen to pay for machinery, tools etc. Keeping it local has a lot of benefits – including keeping locals ‘contected’ to their trails – vested interest and all that. Trail Pass = MTB tax?

  6. I already pay $30 a year at Makara, but if it means that more money available equals more trails then yep. $20 is a small price to pay for more fun and helping areas that have less people, as long as some of the money isn’t skimmed off the top for “Admin fees”.

  7. Based on BikeNz public plan, I would not pay them a cent. Until they support MTB at the same level as road and track cycling and prove it, they can forget about any support from me.

  8. Quick note – this trail pass is not actually a BikeNZ idea. This was actually created by MTBNZ.
    The concept is that a lot of people do not have the time to contribute to track building. By giving people the option to purchase an annual trail pass, they have an easy way to feel as though they are contributing to the mtb trail scene. It also takes into account the many people who travel to different regions to ride trail, but do not neccesarily contribute to the track development.

    Basically the track maps in Vegas is exactly the same concept, with a slightly different approach. This trail pass is more of a national initiative.

    The money would be ring fenced to only go back into trail building. Neither BikeNZ nor MTBNZ would administer the money – the idea is that it becomes a small organisation of its own.

    The money would be available to all trail builders in NZ to apply for. And as a trail pass holder, you could go and ride any of the thousands of KM of track in NZ, and know that you have contributed in a small way.

  9. No way would I pay BikeNZ. What drugs are they on? Best to keep trackbuilding and fundraising initiatives local in my opinion. What percentage of the funds are going to get creamed off for BikeNZ ‘management’? Sounds like the people at BikeNZ are fundraising for some payrises. It’s not hard to setup local fundraising initiatives, perhaps through local bike shops, if lack of funds is a problem. This works for the climbing community, with local bolting funds for putting up new sports climbs. Next you’ll be asking me to pay for a WOF for each of my bikes!

  10. I have no issue making a donation to an organisation if there is a commitment to funnel it back into trail development. But I’d be really sceptical about giving money to BikeNZ. Honestly, if we’re talking about an organisation that proposes to genuinely add value to cycling in NZ, my perception of BikeNZ right now is a bureaucratic intermediary that poses more of a hinderance than a help. Perhaps what they should be focussing on, before trying to implement anything, is giving the cycling community confidence in the organisation and gaining some credibility.

  11. To have more funds available to build more trails would be nothing but a good thing. But, would like to see this concept go broader than a sole BikeNZ jurisdiction to capture other trail users who benefit from the council edict for mtb trailbuilders to mainly build multi-purpose trails.
    If it goes ahead, make the most of it – dont beat about the bush and call it a pass, call it a permit.

  12. Makara is my ‘home’ MTB park, and I pay the annual membership. I don’t really count it as a club membership as such, mostly I pay because I can’t contribute to track building. I’d rather pay a nominal amount and ensure more tracks are built and maintained well. Don’t really think bikeNZ need to get involved but more users need to stump up some cash

  13. I would pay more than $20 to a trail fund. I’d expect that the $ were first hypothecated to my region and that good projects could bid for the $ available to them. If there were no qualifying projects then it would be cool if the dollars were distributed to other smaller regions to get a headstart. If Bike NZ clued up they’d understand the value of administering this non profit arrangement. More riders = more $ for Bike NZ salaries.

  14. $20 sounds expensive if that’s just for a day, but in the UK we regularly have to pay £5/6/7 ($10/12/14) to ride a trail centre a day and it’s no issue, leads to better trails and seems to work well. Granted, the money goes to the trail centre rather than a central body though.

  15. Maybe another question to ask is who is going to pay this AND something like Makara Peak supporters?
    Would we see take up of the Trail Pass, with a corresponding decrease in Markara Peak supporters fees ending up as LESS money going towards building our local trails not more? Which would defeat the purpose.

    I only use Makara as a local example, I’m sure the same can apply in other areas of the country.

  16. Up here in the big smoke we have several places we ride; a commercial park, and several local club and informal forest networks. We work on trails or pay fees for those that we don’t, however, I know that my contributions to the non-commercial trails don’t come close to covering my usage. This said, there is know way I would pay trail fees to the behemoth that is BikeNZ to do a job that can’t be done better then passionate local trail builders. Centralisation only creates bureaucracy.

  17. I would happily pay $20 annually for a little tag to put on my bike. I used to do a bit of trail building but don’t have time anymore. I’ve supported MPS on and off over the years but the idea of one super low fee that goes towards all parks is way more attractive. Sure, MPS or similar membership might drop off a bit, but I can’t help but feel it would be more than offset and for the benefit of all parks. Where do the private parks where you already have to pay fit in? That’s up to them I guess. It’d be fantastic if BikeNZ could ensure people who would otherwise put in to MPS etc would see their money go straight back there anyway. Shouldn’t be too hard to ask which park they would normally ride at and put a decent portion of the fee right back there. I can see there are negatives but I think there are solutions to result in a win-win for all parties involved. User-pays is an inevitability – if it’s a low annual fee and goes straight back to the right places, as they’ve advised it will, I’m all for it.

  18. Boo to centralised beaurocracy. Give the $20 annual fee direct to the trail building org on the park where you ride the most. That will result in better maintenance/more trails/access than a centralised high admin-cost approach. MTBNZ may have signed an MOU with BikeNZ, but ultimately BikeNZ need to stick to their knitting and let the MTB community get the results in our own neck of the woods. Racing is such a small (though high-profile) portion of the MTB mix. NZ development of MTB opportunities should not be driven by that focus (and yeah, I’ve done plenty of racing in my time, starting in ’87). Local clubs and trail orgs should handle/receive direct any financial input for trail management/development, not a central administrative soak-hole. User-pays…sure. But lets make sure those funds go where there is the most bang for each buck. Cut out the middle-man!

  19. $20 for a year would be fine, maybe do a family pass as well, small price to pay as long as the money goes to the right people. who decides how much money goes to what areas?

  20. 20 is good, we pay 25 a year to ride summerhill in tauranga and its well worth it, or its gold coin donation wach time you rock…. if you want decent spots to ride someone has to put in the hard yards.
    If you dont dig dont complain

  21. I would be happy to pay too. I feel bad that I haven’t contributed much to our magnificent tracks. Tags for bikes is a good idea too.

  22. It’s a tricky one. I’d need to know more before I committed. It is only $20 but I’m not that keen to shell out more money and never see it used in smaller areas that need new mountain bike trails. I know Jordon has suggested it will be a fund clubs/trail builders apply for but hopefully the big places don’t request so much there isn’t anything left for the little fellas.I’ve ridden Auckland maybe twice in 12 years and paid at the gate already.
    You can actually build trails without money if the people who ride them actually spent some of their riding time building. OR if unable to do that contributing to the greater development and management of mountain biking, ie. on a committee, running club events, coaches. I do all of the above, including trail building, so perhaps should be exempt form paying more.

  23. Agree Raewyn, there are certainly people who should get this ‘trail contributor tag” for free.
    Not sure about trail pass as a term. Feels like it is the start of conjuring up more pay-as-you-go riding, which would kill many people’s ability to ride, especially youth.

    These inititiatives (like safety inititiatives) almost always get more and more criteria added on as the years go by.

  24. Nope. Not a chance would I pay a fee to a centralised body that has contributed nothing to my enjoyment of mountain biking. Yes I will continue to support local trails and trailbuilders and those trails I visit further afield. I shudder at the thought of NZ trails and trailbuilder training being centrally organised and planned. That is a great way to homogenise our riding and remove the diversity that makes NZ trails so good. It is a slippery slope to pay-as-you-ride and the souless experience of UK ‘trail centres’.

  25. $20.00, or come along to a dig/maintenance day and do some work for an hour.
    Applying for funding from this “fund” sounds like a potentially long winded process. How do they decide how and how much to allocate?

  26. Yeah right I say.What have Bike NZ ever contributed towards the development or maintenance of MTB tracks. A big ZIP.
    They can take their fee grabbing ideas and stick to the road and velodrome.

  27. Adding a trail pass will encourage riders not to ride at public bike parks. You want to encourage new people to try the sport and to have fun, not to direct people away from public bike parks…

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