1 March 2019
The Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride is really starting to make its mark on the district as road signage for the route appears throughout the Hurunui.
The Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride is an on-road cycle route going all the way from Leithfield and Amberley, through our heartland countryside, to Kaikoura. It is designed to link some of our rural communities for cyclists and to provide them with a safe and scenic route through the district. It will also be the foundation leg of what will ultimately be a route going all the way from Cathedral Square the top of the South Island.
Along with the cyclist relevant safety signage that has already appeared on our roads, official signage marking the ‘Hurunui Heartland Ride’ will be installed throughout the district over the next two weeks. This signage directs cyclists onto quiet country roads that are a mix of seal, gravel, flats and hills.
The New Zealand Transport Agency covered the cost of all of the signs, which were then donated to the council for the route.
Mark Inglis, mountaineer, researcher, Paralympian, Motivational Speaker and also the Trails Coordinator for the Hurunui Trails Trust has been tasked to oversee arranging the signs and any legal and safety requirements for the route. He has also been responsible for engaging with local communities and will be advertising the Hurunui as a tour biking destination.
Inglis said bed and breakfasts, cafes, businesses, cycle services and more have already put their hands up to cater to cyclists as they pedal through the district. They are making use of “the opportunity to use this new 'spine' and fill it with great services and experiences the Hurunui has to offer” he said.
With the first of the signs already installed and more being installed in the coming weeks, Inglis said the celebrations can really begin. “The dancing - well actually riding - in the streets moment is here. The first stage of the Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride is from Amberley to the Hurunui Hotel, riding through the high country that is the Waipara Gorge and across the fertile edge of the Amuri basin. It’s great to offer a taste of our back yard not seen from the state highways” he said.
Mayor Winton Dalley sees good things to come from the cycle route. “We are looking forward to welcoming touring cyclists through our uniquely beautiful district” he said. “We are also looking forward to seeing what economic prosperity it brings to the communities along the route as its popularity grows”.
The official launch date of the Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride is expected in mid-April, 2019.
View a video demonstration of the Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride here.