Our journey of discovery starts at Piropiro Flats. And I couldn't be in better company; not just Simon and Jonathan Kennett, two of the three brothers who've been at the centre of New Zealand mountain biking since it began, but also Hoz Barclay, who's – what? The designer? The discoverer? I think Author of the Timber Trail is a fair description. And what he's showing us is very much a work in progress.
The first stretch is gentle, the trail already cleared and levelled, though not surfaced. It's easy, just a little soft in places. Then, half an hour in, the trail cuts off on the brink of a deep wooded gorge. The suspension bridge is merely a gleam in Hoz's eye, so we shoulder bikes for a slithering descent, followed by the crossing of the Maramataha Stream.