New facilities for booming mountain bike industry

MOUNTAIN bike enthusiasts of all ages have some new challenges available to test their skills with the opening of a new section of the Clarence Mountain Bike Park trail network in Mornington.

The project has been run by the Meehan Range Trail Groomers with funding from Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) and Clarence City Council.

The facility was put to the test during round three of the Giant Tas Gravity Enduro Series earlier this month.

Meehan Range Trail Groomers volunteer coordinator Jason Unwin said the track was especially good for younger riders and those wishing to advance their skills.

“The project involved the construction of a mountain bike skills park, pump track and dirt jumps in the entry zone of the Clarence Mountain Bike Park,” Mr Unwin said.

“For the younger riders, it is important to have adult supervision and have social interaction with other riders, so the design allows novices to be closest to the car park with improved riders slightly further away in a loop configuration.

“The skills park will expose riders to different techniques progressively in a safe environment and we are already seeing riders young and old enjoying the facility.

“We were excited to see the tracks used for competition and there was some thrilling action for spectators to see for themselves.”

The Meehan Range Trail Groomers coordinate volunteer trail building and maintenance activities in the Meehan Range.

This includes seeking approval for track building, coordinating build days, removal of fallen trees across tracks and installation of signage posts.

TCF chairperson Sally Darke said volunteer organisations like the Meehan Range Trail Groomers played a vital role in ensuring community projects like this got off the ground.

“Tasmania is growing in its reputation as a Mountain Bike destination,” she said.

“It is important that our city has these facilities to be enjoyed by locals and visitors for years to come.

“This project meets many of the TCF’s objectives to improve the wellbeing of Tasmanians and ensuring our people have the opportunity to access infrastructure that promotes healthy lifestyles.”

There are further plans to continue to improve the infrastructure around the Clarence Mountain Bike Park, including the addition of toilets and change facilities.

The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 1999 following the sale of the Trust Bank.

The independent funding body provides grants to community organisations that make a difference by improving the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of the Tasmanian community.

For more information on how to apply for TCF grants and to view grant recipients from Grant Round 34, visit www.tascomfund.org.

Caption: Clockwise from back left, Tasmanian Community Fund senior executive officer Lola Cowle, Cycling South’s Mary McParland, Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman, Alderman Kay McFarlane and Meehan Range Trail Groomers’ Clint Siggins at the new section of the Clarence Mountain Bike Park trail network in Mornington.