Singletrack Club



Vulcaniser Update

Posted in: News

Last nights decision to cancel the Vulcaniser came at the end of a rather frustrating week.  It began last Saturday with the scrubcutter breaking with about two hours of work left to do to get the course ready for the race.  Then during the week we had various issues with the timing laptops not behaving as they should.  We eventually got everything sorted and planned to head back up to the course at lunchtime on Friday to finish the scrubcutting and set up the HQ area.  There was only about 4mm of rain forecast for Thursday (for Waipara), nothing for Friday and the forecast for Saturday was looking great.  Before we left on Friday we checked the rain radar and we could see that a heavy band of rain was moving quickly up the country.  It hit Christchurch about 12 and we could see that it would have passed by 3 so decided to delay leaving until then.  The sky brightened, we saw blue sky and we were off.  On the way the rain began again, and it rained and it rained and it rained.  Didn’t see that on the radar.  When we turned off at Omihi the sky was clear out towards the coast so we were glad of that.  We put up the signage and started to head up to the course.  Went through a gateway and promptly sank into soft mud.  We unhitched the trailer and told Graham who was following behind with the toilets to stop.   This was our first uh-oh moment.

We realised that participants cars were not going to make it to the car parking area (almost 2 km further on) so we stopped to discuss our options.  No matter what scenario we thought of, there was going to be issues logistically especially as it wasn’t safe to take the trailer to the course so getting all our gear there was going to be difficult and we still wouldn’t have had the toilets.  If we started further back where we could park we could have got people to do their laps and ride back down and not worry about getting lap times.  Before deciding what to do we thought we should have a look at the course so we piled into our car (yay for 4WD) and drove/slid up to the course.  We walked around part of the course and found it to be dangerously slippery in places and with multiple bike passes it would only get worse.  We thought that if we ran the race there was likely to be many injuries and first aid crew would be really stretched which could put people at risk.  We needed to make a decision quickly and let people know as there were people coming from Nelson, Blenheim, the West Coast and Timaru.  One of the few people we didn’t get hold of turned up at the course and as he was an experienced rider with a 4WD car we said he could ride around the course if he took it easy.  We talked to him afterwards and he said that he felt we had made the right decision.

We went down to the landowner’s house and he was wonderful. He let us use his phone to call all the pre-entered riders and then put us up for the night, which we particularly appreciated since there was a frost and ice on all our gear this morning.   He also told us that they had had over 42mm of rain on Thursday and Friday. So it is no wonder the access road was so soft.

 We apologise to all those concerned and we’ll be sending out an email to organise refunds to those who pre-paid.

We will discuss what to do with the prizes with the various sponsors.   Hopefully we can retain most of them for a future event. 

If we get a dry spell and you would like to ride up there in your own time, get in touch with us and we will give you the farmers phone number.  It would be a shame to see all that mowing and scrubcutting not get utilised.


  • Comment by Michael Allison — March 13, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

    No worries about the race and my neighbour told me this morning that mt vulcan pretty much got the worst of the storm.

    I dont know about other people on how they may feel, But, I would prefer my entry for the race to stay with the club and go towards something much needed or something with-in the club, rather than coming back to me.

    To do with a dry spel etc, It would be great to have the farmers phone number so contact can be made and can go up and ride it.

    All thumbs up so far :)

  • Comment by Darren Leslie — March 14, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

    No need to offer any apologies, I don’t believe you wanted to cancel such a great event but it’s obvious you had no choice. Fingers crossed for better conditions next year and thanks for everything that you guys do :-)

  • Comment by Paul — March 14, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

    What both guys have said. Thanks for taking your time to let us all know. Maybe we should all set a weekend to just go up and ride? What do you think?

  • Comment by Craig Phillips — March 15, 2010 @ 6:43 am

    Thanks heaps to C, R & the others for all the effort you put into organising the Vulcaniser (again) this year and I’m sure you must be more disappointed than any of us that it had to be cancelled. I really appreciated the trouble you went to to ring around on Friday night to let us know!!

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.