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Hit the track . . . Papakaio friends Hudson Ferguson (6, left) and Cory Butson (5) had a blast at the Danseys Pass Trail Ride last Saturday. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Hudson Ferguson and Cory Butson have a shared love of dirt – dirt bikes, that is.

The Papakaio boys had a field day last weekend, riding the Danseys Pass Trail Ride tracks together.

Both boys agreed they just loved being able to get out on the tracks, but Cory enjoyed taking it up a notch for an extra challenge.

“I like the hardest pieces,” Cory said.

They were just a couple of the 1200 people – including marshals – involved in and competing at the 21st annual event.

Danseys Pass Trail Ride chairman Nathan McLachlan said the committee was incredibly happy with the turnout.

Entry numbers were similar to last year’s. While there were more pre-entries for this year’s event, there was a level of uncertainty over how many riders there would be, Mr McLachlan said.

“We weren’t sure how many people were going to turn up on the day and to actually get that many people – we were stoked,” he said.

A lot of track maintenance was required this year, following flooding in January and the Livingstone fire last October.

It was the “nature of working in nature”. Volunteers created fresh tracks through all the burnt trees that turned out very well, and there was a lot of clearing work after the floods.

There was a great response to the six tracks from the riders – and it all came together in the end.

“I guess a lot of the tracks are a bit harder and nigglier than you’d normally get, and I think that’s why they keep coming back.”

There was a very low number of injuries on the day, and Mr McLachlan said it was a result of good weather conditions and track speed.