Initiative to keep cyclists safe

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Back country . . . Rally organisers Trevor and Lorraine Stanley-Joblin compete n the first AA National Rally 21 years ago in their 1965 XP Falcon. Photo: Supplied

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Dr Richard McCubbin, who got the idea while cycling in Europe, says the proposal has generated a lot of “enthusiastic response” and he was now in the process of getting it off the drawing board and out on to the road.

A small group is working on producing a flyer with details about the ride which meanders through North Canterbury from Amberley to Kaikoura, well away from the busy main highway.

Local businesses, such as B&B’s, hotels, motels and others were being approached to contribute funds to help its production and to help with signage for the trail.

“We need funds to start the ball rolling,” he says.

The group is also approaching the Hurunui Cycle Trails Trust for it to become the “umbrella” group for the proposal so everyone was working in the same direction and their efforts co-ordinated.

Dr McCubbin says he is grateful to Trevor and Lorraine Stanley-Joblin for running a “Back Country Tour” on Sunday October 2, along part of the proposed route in the Pyramid Valley area to help raise funds for signage for the cycleway.

Mr Stanley-Joblin, the organiser of the popular Classic Car Tour and Canterbury Classic Christmas Picnic rally, he hopes the event will help Dr McGubbin establish the “off the beaten track” cycleway by raising money for signage and maps.

He says the 94km tour was something he had always yearned to include in a rally, but was put off because part of it was unsealed.

He has now mapped the route which includes 28kms of gravel and nine one-way bridges. With this in mind he has opened it up to all vehicles – modern, classic and vintage – so people can leave their classics or vintage models tucked up at home and bring their modern car if they are worried gravel might damage them.

There has already been interest from at least six Volkswagons from the VW Enthusiasts Club, including the iconic German-made Kombi Kamea.

The Back Country Tour will begin to leave Amberley under the flag of Hurunui Mayor Winton Dalley at about 9.40am and will finish at an historic farm where the owner has his own collection of classic vehicles. The farm is also hosting the National Veteran Rally and the Model A Club that day.

The public is invited to attend the start venue to inspect and see the vehicles depart.