50 Days and 50 Ways – #29


Promote Mountain Biking in the Hinterland

Finding that balance between advocacy for the hinterland and advocacy for the whole city can be a challenge. A bold local Councillor is passionate about his local area, but also tries to align the advantages of the area he or she represents to the whole of city objectives, leveraging the promotional capacity of the whole city to best advantage.

One under-promoted potential opportunity is the adventure sports in our Hinterland and, in particular, mountain biking. We have a natural advantage in this sense, given the mountains and hills, heavily vegetated and ideal for cross country and downhill MTB experience. The impact is also limited, considered significantly less even than horse riding, which I advocate for and many enjoy across our beautiful division.

There are a few opportunities we’ve already realised.

gcmtbThe Gold Coast Mountain Biking Club is based adjacent Hinze Dam and we’ve been working with them to help out a number of projects since 2012, revegetating their marshalling area, delivering some funding for concrete supports to seating areas, and assisting on a successful State Govt grant of over $50,000 for improvements to their track. If Cross Country mountain biking is your cup of tea, you should join the club!

The Outlook Riders Alliance started, really, as a disorganised group of recreational downhill riders whose loosely aligned “members”, if there could be such a thing for an informal meeting of friends, had constructed illegal wooden ramps and jumps throughout Kirribilli Reserve, a council park between Worley Drive in Gilston and Chevron Rise in Highland Park. Some of the videos of the group were impressively daredevil, rating highly amongst riders from around the world and attracting underground filmmakers to sneak in a dawn to record footage. Ironically, the illegal track was quite a tourism drawcard, but unfortunately was an unacceptable imposition on residents due to parking, traffic movement, and a considerable safety/insurance risk for the ratepayer. A solution had to be found to retain the group and the riding, but make the park safe for other users, until long-term riding could be appropriately delivered.


In a great example of our collaborative and strategic approach to problem solving, we contacted the Boomerang Farm, a small boutique golf course with 200 or so acres of undulating and unutilised vegetated land that already had a network of fire trails for bushfire preparedness. It seemed a perfect marriage and has become a proud partnership between the King family and Outlook Riders, who will host their 2nd state title event this year, attracting 400-600 of the best mountain bikers in the state to Mudgeeraba. The Outlook Riders Alliance are now an organised, strategic group of passionate bikers helping shape a growing community of adrenalin junkies who love mountain biking at breakneck speed down steep bushland.

Similar groups and projects to Outlook are now surfacing at Numinbah and Guanaba, and the Commonwealth Games assets at Nerang State Forest, add to the network of riding opportunities to promote our city as a mountain biking destination. Council has commenced preliminary work on a new Bonogin track near Tourmaline reserve, and in 2016/17 planning will recommence to connect the new Gilston local shops to the planned town centre at Pacific View Estate in Worongary via a series of tracks over the hill.

This is important for local riders, riders from all over the city, and visitors who will come to our city to ride.

You should Vote 1 TOZER on March 19 to see this important planning and strategic sport tourism advocacy continue.

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