Saul Webb from the Avanti Shop take Chris and Mick for a splash through one of Rotorua's icon trails - Split Enz
Grade 3. Length 2.4km. Opened in mid-2007 - Murray Avery, who built most of it, has hit another home run. It's a cracker.
In 2010 - this trail was reopened after logging operations.
Starts off Loop Rd and you have to earn it, either up Hill and Moerangi Roads or the south side of Moerangi or from Tuhoto Ariki. The last one is the toughest option because to get to Tuhoto you have to climb to the top of Tawa Rd. Whichever way you get there, it will be worth it.
Connecting the high altitude trails, Billy T and Tuhoto Ariki, to the top of Pondy Downhill, Split Enz creates an epic loop that will be the key to great long days out as well as a stunning option for an hour and a half of spectacular riding.
The entrance to the trail is off Loop Rd, which cuts off Moerangi Rd at the top of the town side of the climb. So, out of Billy or Tuhoto and turn left, then climb for five minutes and turn right into Loop Rd. Ride to the end of this road.
The entrance is signposted, and the first section of the trail is flowing and quite open with some very cool berms that will pack in and be mint.
The Murray-built section is very obvious for anybody who has ridden his lovingly-crafted trails, the exact squareness of the benching and perfect camber and width of the trail beggars belief. It is a magic carpet ride for the next couple of kilometres, with so many neat little sections that after one run down it can't be properly recalled except in a general, whoop and holler way.
Halfway down the trail sketches along the top of a steep area that provides the best view in the forest. Muzz has cut out a little spot for a bench, and built a platform in front to stand on while you ogle the scene. Then the flowing goodness starts again, and the trail descends to an old skid site.
The trail exits onto the skid site at the end of Pondy Rd.
Out of this part of Split Enz, ride a short, fast, connecting section of the end of Pondy Rd and drop into more Split Enz goodness on the left, that spits you out about halfway down the second part of old Pondy Downhill for a quick run to Pondy New and on to Rollercoaster. Split Enz is special, and opens up a heap of cool options.
Think Pondy New cubed - and with wonderful views. It's a lot of fast, flowing trail.
Planned by RMTBC built by Murray Avery. A master class in trail building - should have been called Triple A Trail. Ride it now.