Motorcycle fanatics are back tearing up the sand this winter with a series of race days at their Ruakaka track.
The Whangarei Motorcycle Club will hold club days on the first Sunday of every month for the next four months at Ruakaka Sand Track.
Riders move to the sand-based Ruakaka track during winter because it's easier to ride than clay-based tracks in wet conditions.
During the summer months, the club rides on two tracks at Hikurangi and the Tutukaka Coast.
The 2.4km track is sand-based with peat mixed in. It has a 40-gate start, bermed corners, step-ups, rhythm sections, hard-faced jumps and a 100-foot jump.
The track is suitable for all riders, with flag marshalls on major jumps and the club event is run under Motorcyle NZ rules and guidelines.
A new irrigation system has been installed at the track that volunteers took two years to complete, extending the time riders can race on the track during the year.
The better conditions at Ruakaka are attracting southern riders from Mercer and Pukekohe.
"They are absolutely loving it," said club president, Darren "Macca" McKenzie.
Fun/practice days are held on the the second Sunday of every month.
And McKenzie encourages non-members to attend the fun days.
"The best introduction is to come to a fun day.
"We encourage trail riders to come and have a go at motocross. Last weekend, 130 riders turned up, half were new riders," he said.
The fun/practice day costs $30 and no license is required.
Coming up in two months' time is the Battle of the Dunes between Whangarei Motorcycle Club, Far North Motorcyle Club and Dargaville Motorcycle Club. Ruakaka will host two of the three events in the series.
Whangarei Motorcycle Club has a membership of about 120, ranging for pre-schoolers to people over 50.
The next club day is on August 4.
The following club day will be on September 1.
Upcoming fun/practice days will be held on the following July 21 and August 18.
The Ruakaka Sand Track is located at 458 Marsden Point Road - behind Lawson's Cartage.