by Chris Tobin
Geraldine, not Timaru, should be the starting point for a new cycleway, the instigator of another new cycle trail says.
Geraldine Heritage and Trails owner John Jensen has proposed a 46km Kakahu Lime Bike Trail, encompassing Geraldine, Temuka and Pleasant Point with large sections using Opihi River and Orari River trails.
“One of my concerns is that the group from Timaru is using money doing a trail along a road-rail corridor when there’s an established track on the south side of the Opihi River from Arowhenua up to Point.
“If they go ahead there will be two parallel trails within 10km of each other.
“My original thinking was to have a bike trail with Geraldine and Pleasant Point down tracks on the Opihi River to Temuka and ultimately to the coast joining the Orari stock bank system.
“I’m not against getting Timaru involved. I really want it to be more than a commuter route.
“They need to originate where the tourist traffic is.”
He did not believe Timaru had the resources for originating a bike trail.
“When you look at what we’ve got, we have double the b&bs in Geraldine than there are in Timaru.”
Mr Jensen said what happened to his proposed trail depended on the Central South Island Cycle Trails’ plans.
“If they go ahead with their route from Timaru to Fairlie, we might say, you do your thing, we’ll do a much more scenic route up Orari to the Blue Mountains over the top of Lake Opuha and join the main road at Kimbell.
“It depends on a number of factors if the idea goes ahead.”
Mr Jensen acknowledged Central South Island Cycle Trails was more advanced in its plans.