SHOW­ING PEO­PLE THE BEAUTY OF THE RED CEN­TRE

Australian Mountain Bike - - Between The Tape -

Clarke Pet­rick is one part of Out­back Cy­cling, who run tours a bike shop and bike hire both at Uluru and in Alice. Clarke and his wife Jus­tine are a cru­cial part of cy­cling’s growth in the Red Cen­tre, and the news about fur­ther ex­pan­sion fits the de­mand.

“On the tours rid­ers get in­ter­est­ing his­tory and ge­ol­ogy, and in­dige­nous sto­ries. It suits the full-on moun­tain biker but as a tourist there’s that ex­pe­ri­ence too. Bet­ter on a bike than a bus!” Clarke en­thused as we asked about the tours they run. But the chance for a long-dis­tance route to come to Alice is ex­cit­ing, es­pe­cially to

truly ex­pe­ri­ence the area. “It is re­ally im­por­tant we have some­thing of scale,” said Clarke, adding that the new in­fra­struc­ture will draw the fo­cus away from Alice Springs and fur­ther into the out­back. It’s a broader ex­pe­ri­ence for any vis­i­tors, and of­fers a greater chance to en­gage with the coun­try, the peo­ple and the sto­ries.

We stayed on in Alice Springs for Las­seters Easter in the Alice, and ex­pe­ri­enced ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect from a visit to the Red Cen­tre. We rode dry trails, saw bril­liant sun­rises and epic sun­sets. We went to swim­ming holes with lo­cals, hiked up Mt Gillen, and soaked up the warm, dry air. Best of all – we slowed down. Alice Springs is the throb­bing heart of Cen­tral Aus­tralia, but the pulse isn’t so fast that it’s not a hol­i­day. We can’t wait to see how the moun­tain bike master plan plays out, al­low­ing fur­ther ac­cess to the great noth­ing­ness of red rock, blue sky and desert trails in Cen­tral Aus­tralia.

AMB re­mem­bers Paul Dar­vodel­sky, who shared his pas­sion for moun­tain bik­ing in Alice Springs via the LEITA event and through his broad net­work of friends. Vale Paul.

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