Tauranga Motorcycle Club finally has a place to call home after the grand opening yesterday of a 10km trail bike track at TECT All Terrain Park.
The track, traversing some challenging terrain at the top of Pyes Pa Rd, represents the first chapter of the club's much bigger ambitions for a neighbouring 40ha block where it plans to build an international-standard motocross track.
Western Bay Mayor Ross Paterson cut the ribbon to open the track, which includes the fearsome Death Valley Loop for advanced riders - named for its steep grades.
Mr Paterson paid a tribute to the club's "massive effort" since it was invited to be part of the TECT All Terrain Park in 2004.
He looked forward to the day when the park would become the playground for the North Island. "Days like this are very special. Things like this happen with a lot of heart and voluntary effort."
Mr Paterson said it was just the start for the motorcycle club, saying the facilities it was building would be for regional, national and, in time, international events.
Club president Andrew Hawkless said they were excited to have a place to call home.
"TECT All Terrain Park opens up so many possibilities for holding motorcycle off-road events," he said.
"Our next phase is to begin developing an MX track. We have received great support from locally-based professional riders to help design and build the track."
The club has the licence for the trail bike track and and an exclusive lease for the 40ha lot next door.
Club members will man the bike track each weekend to keep an eye on things. Riders will be charged to use the main track, with cheaper admission for club riders hopefully bolstering membership.
Committee member Craig Jeffrey said the club's involvement in the TECT park was building a foundation for the next generation of riders. "It will keep evolving from here. We are building a world-class facility."
He said there was a novice trail circuit, with the expert track having some "quite radical downhills and uphills".
"It is fantastic to finally get here and be part of the all terrain park."