BREAKTHROUGH: Heather Marsh and Rachel Sipple are excited about a mountain bike circuit to be built near Albert Park in Lismore.
BREAKTHROUGH: Heather Marsh and Rachel Sipple are excited about a mountain bike circuit to be built near Albert Park in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Lismore Mountain Bike Park will mean more on bicycles

BRING it on. That's the message from Richmond River Riders who expect the planned Lismore Mountain Bike Park to boost participation and competition across the Northern Rivers.

"This will open up cross country and trail riding in Lismore and the region so we hope riding around here keeps on growing," club member Rachel Sipple said.

"There's the rail trail coming in which will attract riders to the area, but we've also got the Commonwealth Games coming up and mountain biking is a Games sport.

"Cycling overall in Australia just keeps on growing."

Cross country and trail riding are the most common disciplines within Australia's booming mountain-biking scene.

Ms Sipple said some club members currently head to Minyon Falls or further afield to ride.

The proposed Lismore Mountain Bike Trail network.
The proposed Lismore Mountain Bike Trail network.

The club however has received $31,000 in funding from Lismore City Council to begin construction on the park at Keen St, a layout that will eventually offer 6.95km of track.

Ms Sipple said the funding, from the Lismore Sport and Recreation Fund, was a long time coming.

"It's been two years and a whole lot of work. We've had to get people to help and we've worked with council, who've been awesome," she said.

"It'll be closer to $400,000 to fully construct the park but it's a loop construction so it can be built in stages.

"We're very happy to see it all coming together, slow and steady."

Ms Sipple said the club will seek further funding from the State Government and will apply for any additional funding opportunities to finish the track.

"We're just applying for as many grants as we can as they come up," she said.

Ms Sipple said prerequisites for mountain biking are "lots and lots of endurance and the right attitude".

"It focuses it down to the now and you're concentrating on movement and breathing. You can't have the other stuff going on in your head," she said. "And everyone can be involved."

Ms Sipple, who owns Just Ride Cycles in Lismore, said the planned track was a hot topic amongst customers.

Lismore Council sport and recreation officer James Voght previously said the centrally located track will offer vast benefits to the sport regionally.

Biking Basics

  • Mountain biking involves riding specially designed bikes off-road.
  • Disciplines: cross country, trail riding, all mountain, downhill, freeride, dirt jumping and trials.
  • Bikes are built for durability and improved rough terrain performance.
  • Core strength, balance, bike handling skills, endurance and self-reliance are important.
  • In the early 2000s it went from a little-known sport to a mainstream pursuit.


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