Bracing for the dirt and jumps, Westmere Primary School's new mountain bike track is open and reading for riding.

Over the duration of two years, the school and the wider school community have come together to get funding and materials to hand-make a track and purchase 15 new mountain bikes for students to use.

On Thursday morning, Westmere Primary formally opened the new track with student Billy James, a mountain biking enthusiast, cutting a ribbon and then alongside other students having a go riding their bikes over the new track.

Deputy principa, Kent Wilson said one thing the school found before the project was that some students did not know how to ride a bike properly.


"With the Government pushing and driving to get more people on bikes I thought we've got a hole somewhere and it worked within those healthy community initiatives.

"As a school, we talked about what we wanted and we're really lucky we've got such a passionate community and they were like, 'Hey how do we make this happen'," said Wilson.

The school worked with Sport Whanganui to kick-start the project and apply to certain trusts but they got turned down. Wilson said they a were still determined to make it happen.

Higgins Contracting jumped on board the project and funded a substantial amount from its trust fund, Wilson said.

Bit by bit, the community used local resources and began building the track at the start of 2018.

Wilson said Tartek supported Higgins by giving $2000 towards shell shocks. Higgins gave $10,000 worth of shell shocks to go over the top of the track.

Easttown Timber donated $500 worth of timber and stainless steel screws that will not rust.

DML Builders came to their aid with timber and a student's grandparent used their tractor to smooth over parts of the track.


Bikes in Schools helped to support their project even further by donating 60 bike helmets students can use.

Overall, the project tallied around $40,000.

Wilson said a lot of parents have jumped on board and private families, including the Hayes family, the Broadie family and the Dobbie family, donated time and funds to the project.

Sport Whanganui and Ngaio Pastoral have also supported the project, Wilson said.

After six working bees and around 120 hours of labour the mountain bike track has a seesaw, a swing and wooden bridge, stumps you can negotiate your bike around and half rounds buried under the ground to create tight corners.

Wilson said they did not want something that was flat and that went around in a circle, they wanted to copy texture from real life.

"With the wooden bridge, it's got little gaps and big gaps and sometimes when you're riding through rockery it's bumpy and it's about getting the kids to keep the front wheel pointing straight," said Wilson.

Wilson said he buried half rounds to create tight corners as often riders are forced to make tight turns on many mountain bike tracks in New Zealand.

"It's a real mix between little kids who can't ride a bike and providing them a challenge up to your Year 8s who are top bike riders and having something challenging at each level," Wilson said.

The school has three students riding at a national level and last year had around 20 riding at a regional level.

A lot of parents within the school community are also avid and professional riders.

"We're building a bike track but effectively what we're doing here is building a community," Wilson said.

The bike track will be open for use all year round and on weekends.