Bike trail could at­tract new op­por­tu­nity

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

MONEY spent on moun­tain bike trails could be the key to at­tract­ing a new type of tourist to the Whit­sun­days.

This is why Michael Sor­ley from the Whit­sun­day Moun­tain Bike Club would be de­lighted to see some of the $7 mil­lion post-cy­clone Deb­bie in­fras­truc­ture spend­ing ded­i­cated to just that.

“It would at­tract tourists who would oth­er­wise never come to the re­gion, peo­ple who don’t nec­es­sar­ily want to come for the reef or is­lands but would like to have a ride,” he said.

“It is not so much for cur­rent vis­i­tors but cre­at­ing new ones.”

Mr Sor­ley speaks from ex­pe­ri­ence when it comes to bike tourism with his own pas­sion dat­ing back to 2005 when he vis­ited Canada.

He also re­cently trav­elled to a small Tas­ma­nian town called Derby for the En­duro World Series where moun­tain bike tourism has done won­ders for the area where it is un­der­stood to have at­tracted 3000 vis­i­tors.

“Derby is a tiny lit­tle town with 200 peo­ple and since the mine col­lapsed there has been noth­ing there since, you couldn’t even buy food there on week­ends” he said.

“Moun­tain bik­ing is re­ally the only thing bring­ing peo­ple there.”

The Conway Beach cir­cuit was iden­ti­fied by Mr Sor­ley as an ideal start­ing point for in­vest­ment with an ex­pan­sion and up­grade of the track re­quired to make it more user friendly.

“The cur­rent track isn’t re­ally de­signed for rid­ing, some peo­ple may try it once and it might be too hard,” Mr Sor­ley said.

“Some ad­di­tional trails and up­grades to what is in place would be good.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

AC­TION: Michael Sor­ley would like to see more money put to­wards moun­tain bike trails.

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