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Riding instruction . . . Big Boys Trail Ride organiser Dave Laughton (left) briefs Oamaru riders (from left) Harvey Weir, Rick Selfe and Kelvin Weir in a previous event. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES

Trail bike riders from throughout the South Island are arriving in North Otago.

They are here for the annual Trotters Gorge Big Boys Trail Ride tomorrow and Sunday, a fundraiser for the Waitaki Rural Fire Unit.

“It’s the last big ride for the season,” volunteer firefighter crew leader Dave Laughton said.

He took two weeks’ leave to make final preparations on the tracks through farmland and forestry plantations.

They begin from the corner of Horse Range and Walsh Rds, signposted from State Highway 1, 6km north of Palmerston.

The main ride is a loop covering more than 45km, Mr Laughton said.

It included parts that had not been traversed in previous years.

Weeks of work went into the event, he said.

“It takes about 14 to 16 weekends to get it all marked out.”

A lot of the details could not be put in place until the week before, due to the land’s other uses.

Mr Laughton said Blakely Pacific staff were great at making the forestry terrain available for the fundraiser.

The trail ride runs from 9am to 3.30pm both days. Registrations can be made from 7.30am. The cost for one day’s riding is $50, including lunch. The fee for both days is $90.

Spark arresters are compulsory on bikes taking part.

All proceeds would go towards firefighting gear, to ensure the Waitaki Rural Fire Unit had up-to-date equipment.