Gearing up . . . Five Forks School pupils are looking forward to hitting the track at the Five Forks Foothills Trail Ride next weekend. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Henry Smith has his fingers and toes crossed his master plan can be pulled off.

The Five Forks School pupil has been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get a new 140 Kawasaki dirt bike to use at the Five Forks Foothills Trail ride next weekend.

But if it did not arrive in time, due to Covid-19 delays, Henry will settle for using his 125 Suzuki bike.

The 12-year-old started trail riding when he was 5, and loved attending the annual Five Forks ride each year with his friends and family.

“I like how the tracks change every year because then there’s different parts, and different muddy bogs,” he said.

There were five tracks to choose from this year – peewee, junior, intermediate, advanced and family.

School principal Belinda Brosnan said the trails ran through 45km of mountainous countryside, across several farms, providing the “best views in North Otago”.

The annual school and wider community fundraiser attracted more than 500 people each year, and raised $23,000 last year.

It was a large undertaking for the committee, but it was an amazing two-day event.

“[It’s] bringing all of our community together again. It’s just a fantastic weekend out for everybody,” Mrs Brosnan said.

“There’s huge preparation that goes into it by our families, so it’s an opportunity to sort of celebrate the success of bringing all that together.”

On-site camping was available for those wanting to make a weekend of it, with people travelling from as far away as Christchurch and Southland to take part.

She was “incredibly grateful” to the North Otago community for its support.

The trail ride will take place on March 6-7 at Balruddery Rd, Five Forks.