Roller Coaster Gets a Revamp

Elliot Smith scrubs the first step down.
I’m a Wellington fan. I fly the flag whenever I’m traveling, telling every pro rider who’ll listen that a stop in Wellington to ride is definitely worth it. Thing is, as much as i’m a fan of our trails, part of me hopes sometimes that they won’t stop (normally they don’t), sure Wellington has some good tracks, but to link the fun ones together in a way that would impress international visitors always involves a car and a bunch of driving. But things are changing in the Capital. The addition of Yeah Gnar and the revamped Starfish and Swigg tracks at Makara now offer up a combination of high-speed tech and our first full scandi-flick dedicated track. Pavlova in Wainui completes a pretty rad there and back involving Morepork and Mt Vic, well Mt Vic just stays rad. But in the last month, Polhill has gone from being a place that you would maybe ride cos’ you couldn’t justify the drive out to Wainui, to a serious DESTINATION. The Polhill volunteer builders recently put the finishing touches on Ikiguy, a super fun high speed dedicated flow trail from the top of Rollercoaster, it’s fun, flowy, fast, and is thankfully one way. No more almost colliding with headphone-wearing runners (I’m sure it will still happen). This weekend past, less than a month after Ikiguy officially opened, Cam Cole and his team from Trail Pro have added another yet another gem to entice riders to Aro Valley’s trail network and that is a top-to-bottom revamp of Wellington Classic Roller Coaster.
Riding it like he told some guys how to build it, Cam Cole with the speed.
There are a few different types of trail builders out there, some can’t ride that well but can build amazing trails, some are amazing riders but just can’t seem to convert that riding ability into a decent track and then there are the rare breed that can ride AND build, Cam and his crew are most definitely the latter. The former Junior DH World Champion has been building trails under the Trail Pro banner for the last few years, shaping piles of dirt all the way from Auckland to Blenheim and everywhere in between. He’s assembled a crack team of builders (who all shred too) to help execute his vision. And boy did they get it right on the new Roller Coaster. I’d heard rumours he’d been asked to build a Grade 3 trail, which would be pretty damn hard to build given the narrow corridor available and the steepness of the hill. If it was true I’m sure glad he didn’t deliver. The finished track is like a grade 3.8, you can roll it top to bottom and not leave the ground, but if you want to leave the ground, well there are so, so many opportunities to make that happen, there’s rollers, hips, step-downs, doubles, triples and a shit ton of immaculate berms, oh there’s even some sneaky berm to berm lines too. Cam knew what Wellington was missing and the new Roller Coaster sure fills a welcome void, the sheer numbers doing laps on laps at the opening of the trail is a testament to that. When the next visiting riding rider comes through Wellington, there will be no apologies for our trails and I won’t have to dive to Wainui (at least not on the first day!).
I can see my house from here, Elliot Smith knows that Roller Coaster has views for days.


James Rennie and his steel Honzo hardtail float down the upper section of Roller Coaster.


Cam opts not to hit one of the sneaky inside berm to berm lines and instead manuals though this sweet roller/corner.


Stepdown number two… You can go seriously deep on this bad boy.


James Rennie catching the backside on one of the many perfectly sculpted rollers on this downhill pump track.


This section about midway down the track is a work of art, a perfect berm into this sweet double is followed by a small triple into yet another perfect berm…


See just like I said, Cam leads builder Boaz Hebblethwaite and Paul Grey though this super fun section of trail.


Boaz with the tweak on the step-down. Ban this Seb!


On top of the sneaky berm to berm gaps, there is this monster triple, Elliot in full yank mode.


The youth of today. Malachai Smith getting sidewise on one of the only remnants of the old track. The lower hip has been totally reshaped, it’s just smack bang in the same place is the OG one.


Boaz shutting it down with this lofty T-Bog.


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