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Government to make Canberra the mountain biking capital with ‘iconic’ trail network

Lachlan Roberts 28 March 2019 60

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman plans to install an “iconic trail network”. Photos: Supplied.

The ACT Government has revealed plans to make Canberra the mountain biking capital with an ‘iconic’ trail network that will traverse across the city.

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman announced that planning and design work has begun on a new “iconic mountain bike trail network”, as he opened a new pump track out in Majura Pines on Wednesday morning (27 March).

The Government has called on Canberrans to help develop its plans for a territory-wide mountain bike trail, inviting people to send in their ideas for the trail or to attend workshops that will be held in the coming months.

Mr Gentleman said Canberra is home to a strong and growing mountain biking culture and plans to provide a unique diversity of trails that cater for everyone from professional mountain bike riders to first-time riders.

“The trail network will showcase our unique landscapes and improve connectivity between our mountain biking hubs,” Mr Gentleman said.

“This project is a key component of the ACT Government’s Cycle Tourism Strategy that has the ambition to establish Canberra as a cycling destination of choice.

“We’re inviting trail users to have their say in a series of community workshops that will help shape the concept plan and identify priority trails.”

The trail will be suitable for all mountain-bike riders, from beginners to professionals.

The ACT Government said they are currently undertaking stakeholder consultation to gather ideas and develop a draft ACT Mountain Bike Concept Plan, and expects a full public consultation period to be undertaken from August to December this year.

The plan is expected to be finalised early next year before the detailed trail design will start by June 2020 at the latest.

Mr Gentleman said he is interested in hearing from a range of individuals including trail users of all ages and recreation types, competitive cyclists, tourism and cycle businesses, Instagrammers, photographers, artists, cycle tourists and nature lovers.

“We have a strong and growing mountain biking culture in Canberra and are encouraging people to contribute to the further development of our trails network,” Mr Gentleman said.

“Sustainable trail design is a key objective of the project and we will consider the fragility of local ecosystems and the value of parks and reserves to all users.

To have your say and learn more about the ‘best of Canberra mountain bike experience’ project, click here.


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60 Responses to Government to make Canberra the mountain biking capital with ‘iconic’ trail network
Melissa Flanigan Melissa Flanigan 10:29 pm 28 Mar 19

Ryan Walsch .. this would be your dream come true !!!

Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 10:45 pm 28 Mar 19

Thredbo is better

Thommo Tomtom Thommo Tomtom 7:21 am 29 Mar 19

Murray Farrell get among it!!!

Kingsley Newman Kingsley Newman 8:39 am 29 Mar 19

Duane Toohey you're a professor of bikiology right?

    Duane Toohey Duane Toohey 9:28 am 29 Mar 19

    Kingsley Newman not wizard level.. what's on your mind?

Lorraine Welling Lorraine Welling 8:43 am 29 Mar 19

While walking on the path from Hall to One Tree Hill yesterday my group was almost knocked down by a speeding mountain biker. No bell, no warning, just a sense of arrogance and intention that we, all in our 60’s should get out of her way! Not uncommon, either on this path or on any path in Canberra. This path that goes all the way to Bonner SHOULD NOT allow bikes. In many places it is narrow and these Lycra-clad speedsters appear from nowhere and refuse to slow down, expecting pedestrians to get out of their way.

My brother, also in his late sixties, was hit by a speedster on the path around Lake Tuggeranong. He suffered four broken ribs, one of which ended up perilously close to his spinal cord, a punctured lung, bruised lobe and a pneumothorax! I am fed up with hearing about laws to protect cyclists - we also need, urgently, laws to protect pedestrians. Starting with a requirement for cyclists to give proper warning when approaching a pedestrian and a MANDATORY REQUIREMENT for them to slow down to 5kmh when passing pedestrians or recreational bike riders eg a family on a bike ride. If they want a bike trail from Hall to Bonner build them a separate one!

    Tim Coleman Tim Coleman 9:23 am 29 Mar 19

    Is that what you do in your car every time you pass a cyclist? Blast your horn and slow down to 5km/h?

    Lorraine Welling Lorraine Welling 10:15 am 29 Mar 19

    Tim Coleman no I give them heaps of room as I pass! Because I am responsible- are you?

    Locky Gould Locky Gould 4:43 pm 29 Mar 19

    Lorraine Welling that really sucks and I have totally been there. However I think you need to be careful about brushing all cyclists with the same brush. Because you have had a traumatic incident I understand that naturally you will naturally move into a fear state as a form of protection, but this just limits your perception. Cycling culture is important for the region and it is important to work towards being more inclusive rather than exclusive

Elvis Goh Elvis Goh 4:00 pm 29 Mar 19

Matt Koerber thought you would be an ideal consultant

Monica Lindemann Monica Lindemann 6:21 pm 29 Mar 19

Great news!

Capital Retro Capital Retro 6:30 pm 29 Mar 19

How much will the people who will use this contribute to the establishment cost and maintenance of this exclusive for mountain bikes, tax-payer funded project?

My guess is the same as the number of people that reply to my post to confirm it will be zero.

Very few people participate in this “sport” so the tourism factor will not really help Canberra’s economy. Anyone who says it will please put forward the cost benefit analysis t prove it.

    Simon Kean Simon Kean 11:46 am 31 Mar 19

    Most mountain bikers are rate payers who ready subsidise a whole range of other sports and activities they may not partake in. That is the nature of being part of a society that caters for it’s members. Great to see mountain bikers are beginning to get more equitable treatment.

    Most riders are in the 25-55 age group and on average have higher incomes. They also are more likely to travel and spend more per day and stay longer than an average tourist which is why tourism organisations globally are spending more and more on mountain bikers.

    More people mountain bike than many other sports considered mainstream by the old guard. Mountain biking is mainstream.

    If you Google you can find endless studies confirming everything I have just said that have been produced in the last decade. Tasmania, Victoria, New Zealand, Canada and USA have some good data.

Harold Schranz Harold Schranz 10:49 pm 29 Mar 19

Wow. After decimating some of the best part of Majura with the Parkway ...

Leon Arundell Leon Arundell 10:47 am 30 Mar 19

How much is an ACT government “plan” worth?
In 2012, ACT Labor committed to 10.5% of journeys to work by public transport in 2016, and 16% in 2026.
The 2016 census recorded only 8.3% – up from 7.8% in 2011.

Daryl Blain Daryl Blain 1:33 pm 30 Mar 19

Renee Ker Richie Bates both Brisbane and now Canberra are doing a mtb strategy. IIllawarra Escarpment has 35k of trails fast tracked, and Creswick Victoria have 100k planned. All of these places are following the example that has been set by Derby, with a small investment, bringing tourists in from all over the country. We have a much longer mtb pedigree and better climate than all of these places.

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