Mountain biking in Australia

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The start of the men's under 23 cross-country event at the 2009 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Canberra.

Mountain biking in Australia is a mix of dedicated mountain bike parks, ski resorts with mountain bike facilities, and other parks that have become popular with mountain bikers despite lacking dedicated facilities. The peak body for the sport is Mountain Bike Australia.[1]

Facilities[edit]

Victoria[edit]

Since the early 2000s, investment in mountain biking facilities has produced a number of areas of high quality trails. The 2006 Commonwealth Games in particular caused the creation of the Lysterfield Park mountain bike network, including the 6.4 kilometre race circuit. Nearly 60 mountain biking clubs are registered with Mountain Bike Australia. The trail network at Mt Buller is one of only three "IMBA Ride Centers" outside the US designated by the International Mountain Biking Association.[2][3]

Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) have assisted with the creation of trail networks in recent years, such as at Forrest and Lysterfield Park. In 2012, Parks supported the creation of a downhill trail in Kinglake National Park, the first mountain bike trail in a Victorian national park. The trail, Shepherds, follows an existing powerline easement to minimise environmental damage.[4]

From the mid-2000s, a large number of tracks began to be constructed, with support from government agencies, local councils and tourism bodies. Reasons for the growth included the need to replace shrinking or displaced industries (as with the timber industry at Forrest), the need to supplement short ski seasons (as at all the ski resorts except Mt Hotham), the desire to attract more visitors to the national parks (as with Kinglake) and the need for facilities to support a growing sport (as with Lysterfield Park).

Formal trail networks:

Location XC trails (number) XC trails (km) Downhill trails Lift services
Lysterfield Park[5] 14 21 2 -
You Yangs[6] 15 37.6 2 -
Mt Baw Baw 10[7] 10 1[8] Shuttle (specific dates)
Mt Buller[9] 16 50+ 7 1 lift, 1 shuttle (seasonal)
Falls Creek[10] 4 67.4 (under construction) 1 (specific dates)
Big Hill (Mt Beauty)[11] 14[12] 40-50 2 -
Mount Hotham[13]  ?  ? - -
Lake Mountain[14] 8 15 - -
Forrest[15] 16 50+ - -
Beechworth[16] 9 19.2 1 DH, 1 jumps -
Wombat State Forest[17] 1 23 - -
Nowa Nowa[18] 7 27.4 - -
Kinglake[19] - - 1[20] (2 under construction) -
Erica[21]  ? 30 - -
Colquoun State Forest[22]  ?  ? - -

Other important mountain biking areas include:

Great Dividing Trail
This 280 km hiking trail has several sections which are popular with mountain bikers, especially between Daylesford and Castlemaine.
Wombat State Forest
Site of the annual 100 kilometre endurance event, the Wombat 100.
Dandenong Ranges
Avoca
Site of the annual Marathon Challenge.[23]

Competitions[edit]

Major races and other competitions include:

External links[edit]

  • Bancoora website extensive list of locations with photos and videos of a lot of Victorian trails.
  • Trailmate list of locations.
  • [1] Independent commercial organisation providing a relatively comprehensive list of competition events run by clubs and private promoters.

Australian Capital Territory[edit]

Mt Stromlo's downhill track, during the 2009 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships.

Mt Stromlo Forest Park has international standard tracks including a downhill track, 60 kilometres of cross-country, four-cross track, and a dedicated mountain bike trials course. There is also a testing track known as "the playground" for training and testing demonstration bikes.[27]

Athletes[edit]

Downhill mountain biker Jared Rando.

Successful Australian mountain bikers include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.mtba.asn.au/about
  2. ^ http://www.mtbuller.com.au/Detail/Summer/Mountain2/Latest-News2/322
  3. ^ http://www.imba.com/ride-centers/current
  4. ^ http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/kinglake-national-park/things-to-do/bowden-spur-mountain-bike-area
  5. ^ Lysterfield District Trail Riders
  6. ^ You Yangs Mountain Bike Inc. Trail Maps
  7. ^ Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort
  8. ^ Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort
  9. ^ Mt Buller - Mountain Biking
  10. ^ Mountain Biking - Official Home of Falls Creek Alpine Resort
  11. ^ http://www.thedirtydozen.com.au/Pages/The_Dirty_Dozen/Mt_Beauty/The_Trails/Big_Hill_Mountain_Bike_Park.aspx
  12. ^ http://www.kiewaview.com/graphics/MB%20MTB%20Trails.pdf?attredirects=0
  13. ^ Mount Hotham - Cycling
  14. ^ Mountain Biking | Lake Mountain Alpine Resort
  15. ^ Forrest Mountain Bike Trails - Official Site
  16. ^ The Beechworth Mountain Bike Park
  17. ^ http://www.rideguideblog.co/2012/10/23/woodend-mountain-biking-melbournes-singletrack-alternative/
  18. ^ http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/102054/FS0115_NowaNowaMTBpark.pdf
  19. ^ http://www.outeredgemag.com.au/news/article/downhill-mountain-bike-trail-opens-in-kinglake
  20. ^ http://www.outeredgemag.com.au/news/article/downhill-mountain-bike-trail-opens-in-kinglake
  21. ^ http://www.bancoora.com/Erica%20Rides/Erica%20MTB%20Park%20Trail%20Information.html
  22. ^ http://www.gippslandmtb.com.au/index.php/where-to-ride
  23. ^ 2013 Marathon Challenge - Mountain Bike Event Avoca, Victoria, Australia 2013
  24. ^ http://www.vicorienteering.asn.au/mtbo/
  25. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/murrindindicycleclub/granite-grind
  26. ^ http://www.rapidascent.com.au/bikebuller/
  27. ^ http://www.stromloforestpark.com.au/mtb/