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A walker’s heart stopped, then a cyclist saved him

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world.

Imagine being on a cycle ride and seeing someone collapse on the path ahead. This is what happened to Bryan Buckley and his friend Isang Isang, who sped to the aid of the stricken walker on a trail in the US.

The walker, whose name is Christopher Holton, took a few gasps for air and his heart stopped beating. Buckley began CPR while Isang called for the police.

Numerous passers-by gathered, one of whom also knew CPR, so Buckley asked her to show the others what to do so they could take it in turns before the ambulance arrived. When it did, Holton was loaded onto an ambulance and driven away.

Imagine then being the two cyclists, riding the rest of the trail in total silence, unsure whether the man they’d tried to help had survived or not.

Fortunately, they received a phone call some days later with good news. Read more here

Almost $1 million given to improve trails

Great news for walkers and mountain bikers in Southland, as the trails on Bluff Hill are about to get a whole lot better.

A total of $981,380 has been given by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to upgrade shared trails, car parks and mountain bike tracks to a standard that’ll attract big events in the future.

“Southland is quite flat and Bluff is one of the few places with a good hill for people to train on,” Bluff Community Board chair Raymond Fife told Stuff.

“You would be surprised at the amount of people who come to Bluff, not only for the scenery but because the walking tracks and mountain bike tracks provide some challenge.” Read more at Stuff

Two trampers stuck on rock in swollen river

Emergency services were called when trampers got into difficulty on the Tuahu Track in the Kaimai Range.

The three walkers got stuck at a fast-flowing river – one at the edge and two on a rock in the middle of it.

By the time Land Search and Rescue had arrived, the two who were on the rock had managed to make their way back to land, and all were winched to safety by helicopter without obvious signs of injury. Read more at Bay of Plenty Times

Watch reflection saves 78-year-old who fell into a ravine

A 78-year-old Norwegian tramper survived a day and night in blistering heat after falling into a ravine while walking on the island of Gran Canaria, off the north-west coast of Africa.

A search team found him after his watch face flashed in the sun, and they realised he was in a bad way – semi-conscious after a heavy blow to the head and severely sunburnt in temperatures exceeding 30ºC.

Reaching the hiker was difficult, as he was at the bottom of the ravine, and the first job was to protect him from further damage from the sun. He was then airlifted to hospital. Read more here

Half of Great Rides have sections that don’t comply with law

DOC has a real mess to sort out over the legality of many cycle trails, but three years after the problem first arose, little seems to have been done about it.

Several years ago, DOC changed its approach to dealing with applications on its land. This left many unfinished trails on hold, even though track builders had been following the conservation management strategies.

It also meant that trails already complete were no longer complying with DOC’s demands, including hundreds of miles of Great Rides.

“All the tracks that cross public conservation land were built with DOC as part of the planning team and a key partner,” Gavin Walker of New Zealand Cycle Trails told Stuff.

“Now it turns out that we have this strange planning situation where some of the trails we thought were legally authorised under DOC, are not.” Read an in-depth look at this story here