Making tracks in Canterbury

IDEA Services supports bike track maintenance in Canterbury's Burwood forest.

Most mountain bikers hurtling down Canterbury’s Burwood forest probably have no idea who maintains the tracks.

In fact, it’s a team of people supported by IDEA Services.

Every day between seven and 14 service users – and two staff members – tend to the gravel and prune the vegetation that make up the Christchurch tracks.

They’re a regular sight pretty much rain or shine, unless it’s pouring down, when they hunker down in a hut. Otherwise, they’re out at ten, and apart from a few breaks, work a solid day.

"It gives everyone a sense of purpose”

“They’re expected to be on time and do their job. It gives everyone a sense of purpose,” Christchurch/North Canterbury Area Manager Michelle Hickey says.

It’s a volunteer service, with any costs, such as protective equipment, covered by the rangers and council.

Although there’s a limit to new tracks, they’ll probably never run out of existing ones to maintain.

“Staff really enjoy it too, they get to watch people learn and grow,” Michelle says.

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