Mt Tamalpais in California, USA, is widely regarded as the birthplace of mountain biking back in the early 70’s, where thousands of enthusiasts have 'paid homage' to that magic mountain and the early pioneers who had the vision and determination to go against popular cycling opinion. Today the culture has progressed into a professionally disciplined sport with specialities such as Downhill, Cross-country, Dual Slalom, Freeriding, 4X and Trials to name just a few.
There is a World Cup Series and a World Championship held every year – where the HBMTBC currently have a top 10 world ranked rider competing in Downhill:
- Brook Macdonald - Trek World Racing (also sponsored by Red Bull)
- 2009 UCI World Junior DH Champion
- 2012 NZ Mountainbike Cup Champion
- 2012 UCI World Cup - Downhill Round 6 winner
- 2012 UCI World Cup - 7th overall
- 2012 world ranking # 6 (downhill)
- 2013 UCI World Champs - 24th
- 2013 NZ National Champion
New Zealand is one of the greatest places in the world for off-road cycling & people travel from all over to ride on our turf. Specialist mountain bike parks are popping up all over the country as the sport grows from strength to strength. Mountain biking can be for recreation, training or as a competitive profession.
Just 10 minutes drive north of Napier on the East Coast of the North Island, one of New Zealands largest and very highly regarded Mountain Bike Parks is located. Set within the privately owned, productive working, Pan Pac ‘Tangoio’ Forest is the Hawkes Bay Mountain Bike Club’s main, purpose built facility, known internationally as "Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park".
This 2170ha facility is broken down into 5 blocks: [ blocks aerial map ]
• Waipunga (370ha); - logging in 2016
• Tait (300ha); - logging in 2016
• Replanted (210ha);
• Mill (440ha);
• Pakuratahi Valley (850ha) - New Downhill Park
NB: Pakuratahi Valley is still under development - NO General Riding Allowed.
290m of elevation at the highest peak allows tremendous views across the Bay and plenty of scope for a huge variety of trails, currently with over 100km of purpose-built cross-country, freeride and downhill trails, plus over 40km of forestry roads and 4x4 tracks to cater for all levels of rider ability – from the novice beginner through to the experienced professional.
Click image to enlarge. Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park. Photo by Dave Keys (July 2006)
Hawkes Bay Mountain Bike Club Incorporated (HBMTBC), is New Zealands largest cycling club with approx 1800 members, [best year was in 2009 with a total of 2069 members]. The requirement for a large, specialist area to cater for all the different styles of riding and abilities associated with the sport is well provided for at Eskdale.
At least 80% of the year the clay/dirt based trails in Hawkes Bay are sprinkled with pine needles and are hard, dry and ride very fast, creating an awesome riding experience on the open and flowing style single-track.
Refer to the PARKS page for more information on the venues this club have created or other riding areas in the region.
The HBMTBC have hosted a DH & XC round of the NZ MTB Cup nearly every 2nd year (1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011 & 2012). Since 2008 we have also hosted a round of the very popular NZDH Series every year with great success.
The HBMTBC is very grateful to the generosity of Pan Pac Forests Ltd for allowing the club access to their land. Due to being privately owned 'working' forests, a permit is required for access to these 2 areas. This is obtained, by either joining the HBMTBC, or by purchasing a 'Visitors Permit' (valid for 3 weeks) from any of the main cycling shops, Info Centres, Bayview 4 Square - See the full list on the JOIN page.
If you want to help or learn how to build or maintain the trails, then please contact:
PAN PAC ESKDALE MTB PARK
(Pan Pac Forests Ltd)
Park Manager - Ross Mepham 021 220 7444
TARADALE DIRT PARK & PUMP TRACK
Park Manager - Scott Richardson 021 460 247