A groundswell it appears is happening in Australia with Mountain Bike trail access. There was once a time where you could easily list the key places to ride in Australia, now there are ride destinations all over this country and new trails are popping up in many towns, parks and forests around Australia. Like a well funded dream, in the vein of Field of Dreams’ build it and they will come, the Alpine Shire in Australia, which covers Bright and surrounding districts, have acquired funds and go ahead to build one of the more exciting developments for Australian mountain biking that we have seen.
The recent success of the national Mountain Bike round, that was held in Bright, Vic, whereby the likes of Sam Hill describing the downhill course as one of the best, has continued to build upon an already enviable reputation, of Bright being a fantastic place to ride interesting, challenging and flowing trails. This is combined with the multitude of riding options for all riders (mountain, road and recreational/family) to being one (if not the number 1) of Australia’s great cycling towns.
On my last two occasions to Bright, that coincided with the Bright 12 hour event and the 3 peaks road event, there was definitely a buzz and excitement in the town about cycling and the number of visitors who travelled to experience it.
The new trails will be built in the beautiful bowl below the Mystic launch point (paragliders), utilising the pine plantation land, owned by HVP (see image 1). The trails will integrate into the current trail network with an estimated 140Km of trail to be built. The amount of trail is a huge amount considering the popular Victorian ride locations like the You Yangs and Lysterfield, which have 50Km and 35Km, respectively.
At their completion, these new trails and the visitors expected to stay and ride, will contribute $4.75M to the local economy. This is a sizable boost, considering the investment. For councils out there that are looking for alternatives to boost their local economy, the lucrative mountain bike tourist may be a good place to start. Clayton Neil, Alpine Shire’s Manager for Economic Development highlighted that “we are extremely lucky to have an initiative like this taking place here in the Alpine Shire – we will certainly be making the most of it now and into the future.”
Bright Mountain Biking – New Trails – The Numbers
– 140Km (87 miles) newly built trails
– 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of available land for recreational use
– $150K State Government funding
– $25K Alpine Shire Funding
– $25K HVP Pine Plantation funding
Planning and Construction – Bright Mountain Bike Trails
So when we can ride it?
Well that is now in the hands of the Alpine Shire. Hopefully we will see the first phase to be completed by the end of 2013, in time for Summer.
Have you ridden in Bright? What do you think of the news of new trails opening up? Please leave your comments below.