Person hospitalised after lockdown mountain bike ride near Taupō goes awry

Source: 1News

A lockdown bike ride has ended in a person needing to be winched from a Central North Island mountain bike park and taken to hospital.

A person riding a mountain bike on a trail (file).

By Andrew Hallberg

Medics, including the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter, were called to the Craters of the Moon Mountain Bike Park located 5km north of Taupō, around 12.45pm yesterday.

Due to the dense nature of the bush at the track, a rescue helicopter was required to winch the patient from the park.

1 NEWS understands Search and Rescue and police were also alerted to the accident.

A website set up by the Mountain Safety Council, promoted by a local mountain biking group in the Taupō region, suggests that you can ride “easy local tracks” that can be “readily accessed from your residence” during Alert Level 4.

In a Facebook post, Bike Taupō suggests that it is OK to ride at the Crater Mountain Bike Park so long as you don’t bring your car.

“We should not be seeing cars parked in the carpark area, please ride your bikes,” the post reads.

When asked today if mountain biking was an appropriate activity during Alert Level 4, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that biking can be a safe way to exercise, but "we would encourage people not to engage in things that are high-risk". 

Hipkins said if it's nearby, safe and there is "not any risk of them being injured", bike rides can be "a legitimate form of exercise".

"Don’t do anything risky that might require you to need assistance," he added.

Police were alerted at 1pm yesterday but did not attend the scene.

In a statement, police said the mountain biker will be spoken to at a later date, and enforcement action will be considered.