Riding the bumps

This weekend the Gippsland Mountain Biking Club will officially open the Mt Taylor downhill mountain biking course.

According to club spokesperson Nick King, the project has been three years in the making and has involved a lot of people.

“A group started building the trail, then the club took over and took some ownership of the track,” King said.

“Then the Department of Sustainability and Environment at Bairnsdale stepped in, headed by Andrew Sharp, who helped us a lot with the bureaucratic side of it.”

The double-black downhill course was sculpted from the mountainside by expert track building company DirtArt, which is based in Tasmania.

“Our vision was to have mountain biking all over Gippsland, to promote opportunities for riding for everyone,” King said.

“Now we have legal venues for people to ride in the Valley and further afield.

“Trails that are recognised meaning they are safer, better signed, and basically provide more opportunities for people to ride in our area and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.”

For those who are not keen to launch themselves through the air, plenty of cross-country opportunities are planned as well as a basic skills clinic aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about downhill or cross-country riding.

A downhill shuttle will operate from 10am to 4pm and registration is required for this service, either on the day or via the website www.gippslandmtb.com.au

For the first time in the club’s history it will also hold a mountain bike swap meet.

Anyone who has an old piece of equipment or even a whole bike they want to tinker with, can take it along and swap, sell or donate.

The day will end with a three-hour twilight endurance race from 5pm.

“Everyone is welcome,” King said.

“A lot of hard work has gone into making this happen and we’re really excited about it, so we want to share it with as many people as possible.”

For information and registration details visit www.gippslandmtb.com.au