Members of the Fraser Coast Mountain Bike Club.
Members of the Fraser Coast Mountain Bike Club. Alistair Brightman

Here’s the dirt on the mountain biking scene

IN THE sport of mountain biking, the path to glory is not smooth.

Along the way, riders need to conquer the difficulties of varied bush terrains, tight twisty turns and natural obstacles like logs and rocks.

It's an exciting and adventurous sport that challenges both the body and mind.

With an infusion of enthusiastic riders, mountain biking has taken off in the region since the Fraser Coast Mountain Bike Club was formed in July last year.

Made up of experienced and beginner riders who enjoy the social and sporting aspects of mountain biking, FCMBC secretary Denise Cox said she was not surprised by how quickly the sport is growing.

"There were lots of different groups going out to Toogoom and riding casually and a lot of people in the community were riding recreationally," she said.

"A number of people were also members of Bundaberg to get licences to race or compete in events around Queensland."

Toogoom's Vernon State Forest is a natural and idyllic setting for the growth of the sport.

The club has already built five purpose built trails (6km in total) and thanks to two lots of funding from the Department of National Parks, Sport, Recreation and Racing, it will soon be constructing additional trails and a skills park, as well as holding come and try days.

Mountain bikers would be considered recreational, but Cox thinks the number of competitive riders tearing up the trails would increase with a bigger network of circuits and organised races.

"It will be an evolving project and grow continuously," she said.

"The club may work with Queensland Parks and Wildlife and go and establish trails in other parts of the region, but at the moment we're concentrating all our efforts out at Toogoom.

"There is still plenty of room on that parcel of land to do additional trails."

Cox, a former BMX rider, said the beauty of mountain biking is it catered for all different tastes of riding and skill levels.

"For me, personally, it is the adrenalin. I like to go fast and go downhill on the single trails," she said.

"I also like the obstacles and technical side of the sport, but then I also like being out in the bush and outdoors and in nature.

"Mountain biking can be in a lots of different environments.

"It's a challenge, but it's fun and exciting and a great way of developing your skills.

"You're not riding on the same flat surface all the time.

"You have berms, rocks, logs and hills to challenge yourself.

"There's something different every ride. It's never the same."

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