Mountain biking as a missed opportunity

Mountain biking is described in glowing terms. The ACT Greens submission to “The best of Canberra mountain bike experience” consultation last year is worth reading. It is well researched. Mountain biking is good value you for money and hampered by the inability of Government to exploit it.

“It appears that issues are currently managed through a collection of internal and disparate processes, which can be difficult for the public to understand, … aren’t conducive to making good long term strategic decisions.”

ACT Greens submission to “The best of Canberra mountain bike experience”, 2019

Derby is cited: how a little bit of money can go a long way.

“The Blue Derby mountain bike trails in Tasmania are a well-known example of an economic success story. Since 2015, 30 kilometres of trail have been built in Derby, the first stage of a planned 80-kilometre network that is scheduled to cost $3.1 million. It is reported that 30,000 visitors are riding the Derby trails every year, tourists are staying four to five nights in Derby, and another five days elsewhere in Tasmania. This adds up to an estimated $30 million-a-year return on the $3.1 million investment.”

ACT Greens submission to “The best of Canberra mountain bike experience”, 2019

Mountain biking is more than competitions.

“There appears to be a view in Government – which stems from work done for the Cycling Tourism Strategy – that mountain biking is a niche cycling tourism opportunity and that the mountain biking market is highly segmented. We would challenge this suggestion. In our view, this attitude underestimates the popularity of mountain biking, the ability of mountain biking destinations to attract specific activity-specific tourism, Canberra’s natural mountain biking resources, the ‘family’ nature of mountain biking (ie. children will happily ride off-road but often not on-road), and the ability of mountain biking events to attract competitors. Mountain biking is not particularly segmented, and most mountain bikers simply enjoy off-road riding. They also often participate in road cycling. If the cycling tourism strategy diminishes mountain biking to focus on general leisure cycling or road cycling it will miss a significant opportunity.”

ACT Greens submission to “The best of Canberra mountain bike experience”, 2019

The Draft Canberra Mountain Bike Report (December 2019) was released this week (September 2020). For cycling tourism, it is the next step.

Photo by Dorothy Castillo on Pexels.com

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