Series chance for families to be involved

Nearly there . . . Margaretha Engels sets off on her final lap of the course. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

They say ‘‘great oaks from little acorns grow’’, and the same could be said for young mountain bikers in North Otago.

Mountain Biking North Otago’s K South Winter Series wrapped up on Sunday in chilly conditions at the Reservoir Forest tracks.

John Benny won the open men’s grade, Margaretha Engels won the open women’s, and Gus Leckie won the children’s event.

While only seven people braved the frost for the final race, a good number of children and adults entered the series over the three races.

Mountain Biking North Otago president Marcus Brown said the club’s main objective for the series was to get more children and families involved in the sport.

‘‘World champions start as wee acorns,’’ Brown said.

The club had been working for the past six years to build the junior and family base of the sport in North Otago — and this year the club had the strongest family entries on record, he said.

While riders were racing for trophies in the open men’s, women’s and children’s grades, everyone enjoyed the opportunity to bike on different tracks and spend time together.

‘‘People have had fun. There’s good fast times and people have just enjoyed themselves.’’

The club has poured a lot of volunteer hours into Reservoir Forest, Cape Wanbrow, Herbert Forest and other mountain bike tracks throughout the region.

Brown said it was great to see more and more people attending the series, especially as families.

Mountain Biking North Otago will host the North Otago Funduro on August 27.

The inaugural event, at Herbert Forest, is designed for intermediate to experienced riders and was created for more people to experience the tracks.

The club was thrilled with the support it had received from its series sponsor K South, and the Waitaki District Council to help build and maintain mountain biking tracks throughout the region, Brown said.