Lawrence trails draw 1100 riders

Ready to go . . . Clutha Valley off road enthusiasts (from left) Josh Shane (11) Henry Crawford (12) Ben Judson (13) and Elliot Hunter (12) are all ready to head out for their first ride of the day at the Lawrence Lions Clubs annual trail ride. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

NEARLY 1100 riders took part in the annual two-day Lawrence Lions Club trail ride held at Craigellachie, near Lawrence, over the weekend.
Lawrence Lions treasurer Karen Robertson said the popular event is always meant to be a family fun day out.
“The weather forecast for the weekend was great, so we expected and got a great turnout.
“Everyone who came along had a lot of fun, and we noticed that there were many new people this year,” she said.
Mrs Robertson said the riders came for a couple of great days of riding the many different challenging trails on hand, which also offered great views and lots of scenery.
“We have big tracks and little tracks for both young and older riders. It is a great family day out,” she said.
Saturday dawned foggy but that soon became bright and clear, excellent riding weather for more than 700 riders from all over Otago and Southland who lined up at the start.
organisers rerouted the direction of many of the trails at the Benington farm this year, to offer riders new challenges and adventures on more than 90km of riding trails through seven farms.
The event is one of the Lawrence Lions Club’s major fund raisers each year and Mrs Robertson said all proceeds will be redistributed back into the community
Don McLeod of Queenstown rode with his son Hunter (10) because he had heard there were great tracks that were easy for kids.
“Friends told us it was great so that’s why we came over,” Mr McLeod said.
The damp conditions underfoot caught a few riders out early on Saturday morning but by the afternoon the sun had dried it up and riders were having a lot of fun.
Wayne Baxter of Alexandra said the first early morning ride was a bit slippery and muddy but with the sun on it, it made it much more fun.
“It is a great family day out and it’s the only time I ever get to ride on these farm properties in this area,” he said.
Overnight rain settled the dust for the Sunday riders and another 400 riders signed on for a second day’s riding in the Tuapeka Hills.