Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ride report: Copper Mine, New Zealand

Posted by Darren | March 5, 2011 | 5 comments so far

Today we’’re going to ride a trail called the Copper Mine, which is another great trail. I’’ve done this once before & so has AJ. This used to be one of her training loops, but since then it’s under gone a major revamp with the good old digger having a good dig around and making things a lot more rider friendly for most bikers.

The loop takes around three hours with some nice long climbs, “yes long climbs” but hey! this is New Zealand!

Darren at Windy Point near Nelson, New Zealand

So we park the motor home up at the bottom of the hill, somewhere in the Town of Nelson. You start off on the Dun Mountain Trail which is this long long track up to the top which I’’d guess must be about 950m plus.

After the short steep climb it’s on to Dun and up by the way of an old railway track which was used to mine copper in the mid 1800s. By 1872 the railway was decommissioned, now it’’s a walkway and bike track. The track is about a car’’s width in places, with some amazing views over looking Nelson Bay. A lot of locals use this as a training ride.

After weaving through native bush and hugging the hill as you head up, we make a left turn and then onto some more singletrack with small rock gardens that aren’’t any trouble at all. Then it’s on up to Windy Ridge for a few photos in the cloud.
Amanda at Copper Mine near Nelson, New Zealand

After a wee stop we head onto the downhill bit, this is where the fun is going to start. The last time I biked down here I came face to face with this little digger on a blind corner. I would have come off worse. Anyway I have a quick look at the sign which say’s Advance bikers only. So we both head off with speed into the berms and then it starts to get real loose and a bit sketchy in places with big rocks getting flicked up onto my down tube; not great for carbon frames”.

You also have to contend with are the drainage ditches, which at speed can flick you over the handle bars with ease. I guess we must have now descended about 7-800m in about 30 minutes, which is just pure fun.

After some sketchy switchbacks and a river crossing to cool your feet it’s now back onto the unsealed road all the way back to Nelson, which will only take about 10 mins before we make a left and over a small hill. After almost 3 hours the small hill starts to take it out of our legs and then it’s the short singletrack back to the motor home when Amanda almost runs some kid over on a switchback, whoops! All good…

Then the hard bit. Pack the bikes up before the sand fly’s start eating us & make our way back to Takaka. We climbed over a 1000m and biked about 55km. OK, so who wants to carry our bags next year to NZ?!!

BTW, sandflys are a small black insect that suck the life out of you, they are bigger than a midge and just as pesky!

More photos of the Copper Mine trail are on Flickr.

Filed under Rides in March 2011


About the author

Darren spends his time riding bikes in the UK, South Africa and New Zealand. That's right, we're jealous too!

There are 5 comments on ‘Ride report: Copper Mine, New Zealand’

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  1. Keith says:

    Fantastic trails by the look of the pics. I really must get across to NZ as it looks fab.

    The rain has subsided a little in the UK tempting us into believing the trails will dry out, and in places they are.
    The buds of spring are well advanced and there is hope we shall see some sun soon! Dreaming of getting some heat on my back!

    Off today to do a short 25k race where I am told the trails are dry. We shall see.

    See ya soon guys I hope

  2. Dandy says:

    Sounds great, guys! Reading this as I eat my Sunday morning porridge. The Moles are off to Swinley today 😉

    It’s been a dry week, so we’re hoping conditions will be a little better than the thick mud we’ve got used to these last few weeks. The temp has dropped again, too, it’s about 2-4 C out there this morning.

    I guess it was a little warmer out in Nelson, judging by the bare legs and grins in the pics! Keep those warm weather ride reports coming, it reminds us that summer is just around the corner 🙂

  3. Keith says:

    Blimey! Us old Port and Stiltons must be the first up on the forum this morning and with the same thoughts!


  4. Dandy says:

    Well you were sitting opposite me with your velvet quilted dressing gown hanging provocatively open, you tease.

  5. Matt says:

    Oooh ladies, you’re spoiling us…

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