One man’s plan to bring thrillseek­ers to Mt Perry

Central and North Burnett Times - - CENTRAL & NORTH BURNETT TIMES - Emily Smith

MT PERRY has an as­set that could bring thou­sands of peo­ple to town each year.

Years ago a sin­gle event, the Queen’s Birth­day moun­tain bike event, brought hun­dreds of rid­ers to the small town to en­joy the trails that are known to ri­val the best in south-east Queens­land.

Now one out­door events co-or­di­na­tor wants to see the thrillseek­ing moun­tain bik­ers re­turn.

MOUN­TAIN bik­ing is go­ing gang­busters.

The ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for Queens­land Out­door Re­cre­ation Foun­da­tion, Mur­ray Ste­wart, wants to see th­ese thrill-seek­ing cy­clists in Mt Perry.

“The sport has such a big fol­low­ing,” he said at an out­door forum in Eidsvold ear­lier this month.

The Queen’s Birth­day moun­tain bik­ing event at Mt Perry used to bring hun­dreds of peo­ple from as far as Rock­hamp­ton and Bris­bane.

But it has not been held since 2012.

“This is some­thing that could be reignited and at­tract a lot of peo­ple,” he said.

Thanks to the hard work of the Cooloola Trail Care Al­liance, coun­cil and pri­vate land around the Gympie re­gion is now wo­ven with trails, bring­ing tourists in their droves.

“When it comes to (moun­tain bike) trail mak­ing we have a say­ing ‘build it and they will come’,” Gympie’s CTCA sec­re­tary An­drew McLaugh­lin said.

He has rid­den the Mt Perry tracks many times him­self, and said they held even more po­ten­tial than the Gympie ones be­cause of their nat­u­ral beauty.

Moun­tain bik­ing is also the type of sport that is likely to at­tract a ded­i­cated crew of young vol­un­teers, he said.

“Moun­tain bik­ers are gen­er­ally peo­ple who are on­line savvy, so we can co­or­di­nate ev­ery­thing by Face­book.

“That also means there is very lit­tle mar­ket­ing required.”

He said moun­tain bik­ing not only helped their tourism in­dus­try, but the blood, sweat and tears the lo­cal youth poured into the tracks helped them forge a con­nec­tion with the town.

Mt Perry coun­cil­lor John Bowen said reignit­ing the town’s moun­tain bik­ing scene might hold po­ten­tial.

“The kids are so ex­cited about the skate park that’s go­ing in and this could be some­thing else to get some in­ter­est in the town,” he said.

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