Cradle Coast Mountain Bike Club is a top story about the impact a small bunch of passionate mountain bikers and tight-knit community members can have.
Until quite recently riders in this area of the North-west coast of Tasmania have had to find their own trails; supporting infrastructure has been limited to say the least.
For over a decade one private land owner with property near Stubbs Rd/ Turners Beach has given local mountain bikers access to his land. Over this time riders have built tracks and helped maintain the area however, it’s earmarked for development. Time is ticking; new digs will soon have to be found.
This is in part the story behind the formation of the Cradle Coast Mountain Bike Club.
Members Marcus and Anne Langham, Jill Brady and Matthew Franks formed the group in 2009 as a means to lobby councillors and land managers to create areas dedicated for MTBers.
In a short time this group has expanded to around 50 members and when it comes to results, they’re punching well above their weight with some 50km of trail networks now up and running through the local councils.
Already they’ve been able to secure and begin development of Penguin MTB Park (land leased by the Central Coast Council). With the help of downhiller and free rider Marcello Cardona they’ve established predominantly blue trails with black features. Although the local riders have had some experience trail building, they’ve more or less cut their teeth through the eucalypt bush landscape of Penguin Park, experimenting and learning along the way.
The club has recently received a State Government grant to develop Little Devils Terrain Park, a network of novice trails ideal for beginners to develop their skills (due for completion March 2015). The club also runs a series of events including two and four-hour races, scrabble runs, social downhill rides and more. This year saw them roll out their very first Cranky Penguin MTB Marathon, a super successful 70km event winding through Penguin MTB Park and the nearby Dial Range.
It was such a hit it’s back next year – put 1st Feb into your calendar!
When it comes to mountain biking culture, this is a club that puts in as much as it gets out. Members don’t just ride the trails, they get key stakeholders on board to support them in the first place, and then they get their hands dirty having fun with the trail building.
Then they reap the rewards every time they get out on the bike.