Cyclists of all shapes, sizes and ages turned up to celebrate the opening and cycle the new 9km Araheke mountainbike park that has options for riders of all abilities.

The park is in two parts, accessible only from the Wiritoa end and linked by a road and cycle trail past Scoutlands.

The Wiritoa end is 5ha with 3.5km of intermediate-level tracks. The Pauri end has 9.5ha of land, some of it used by a sailing club. It has 5.5km of easier "jungle" trails with animal cutouts for children.

"Some of us will cycle the entire track which will take about 45 minutes to complete and others can opt for the 4km track that will take about half an hour," said Mrs Rawlinson.


There was also a 10-minute "kiddie ride" for the youngest cyclists who had turned up with a range of two and three-wheeled options, and they received some advice from Nigel McIlroy of Kiwi Kids.

"Have fun and encourage your friends who may be beginners, look where you are going and watch out for obstacles," he told them.

Mark Humphrey of the Whanganui Mountainbike Club and Phil Stevens of the Manawatu club and national executive praised Mrs Rawlinson for her dedication and hard work in making the new track a reality.

Mr Humphrey said non-members were welcome to use the track but encouraged regular cyclists to become members to support the club and gain the benefits that membership offered.