April 23, 2018
The McEuen Forestry area at the end of Wondai’s Mackenzie Street is becoming a popular playground for mountain bike riders.
It’s all due to hard work by members of the South Burnett Mountain Bike Club (SBMTB), which was formed by a small group of local cycling enthusiasts in October 2016.
Last December the SBMTB gained State Government approval to begin construction of a series of cycling trails through the forestry area under the watchful eye of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
Over the past four months, members have volunteered more than 200 hours of work to upgrade existing trails and build new ones.
They’ve now completed almost 8km of cycling trails and loops – the Giant, the Gully, the Overgrown and the Mongoose Loop – and plan to build a 2km “Green Trail” for beginners as well.
The Mongoose was completed earlier this month and all the trails will be getting their first full work-out this Sunday (April 29) when the club holds a social day in the forestry area.
Riders will meet in the park opposite Wondai’s IGA at 7:00am to ride to the forestry so they can test out the dozens of new features and improvements made so far this year.
There’ll also be bacon and egg rolls ($4) and cold drinks ($2) on sale, along with SBMTB tee shirts ($10) and the remainder of the club’s jerseys and polos, and non-members are very welcome to take part in the day as well.
The club has also received $37,500 in grants which will go towards several future projects, including a new machine-cut 3km trail, directional signage and a coaching clinic to encourage more women to ride.
The club believes the new 3km trail over rockier, hillier and steeper parts of the forestry will help further develop cycle tourism in the area and put more money in the pockets of local businesses.
The club says it appreciates the QPWS being receptive to the trails and working closely with members.
It hopes to gain QPWS approval to begin work on the machine-cut trail in July, and have it in operation by Christmas.
SBMTB secretary Jason Wyeth said the new trails are already proving to be a tourism drawcard.
“We have about 35 paid-up members now, but we’ve had another 60 riders come to take part in our events.
“They haven’t joined up either because they don’t live locally or they belong to other cycling clubs, but I think the numbers show this could be a great addition to the South Burnett Rail Trail.
“And the next trail we’ll build will be a good reason to stay overnight in Wondai all by itself,” Jason said.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the club, volunteering to help build the new trails or keeping up to date with progress on them is very welcome to join the club’s Facebook page, send an email, or phone Jason on 0455-896-749 for more information.
[Photos: South Burnett Mountain Bike Club]