Thanks to Townsville Rockwheelers Mountain Bike Club for supplying this article.
The opening of Townsville’s newest mountain bike trail was held on Sunday. This event had all the hallmarks of a debutant ball, with music playing and some riders wearing their formal best as the newest member of the mountain bike world was debuted to an appreciative audience of 98 riders.
The riders had their dance card filled, as not only did the race entertain with a lap of the new trail, but included all the old favourites as well. The first dance was a quick loop of the Lagoon Trail. While not difficult, it did allow the field to spread out and ready itself for the rhythm of the trails that lay ahead.
Second spot on the dance card was Under the Radar, one of the most popular trails in the Townsville area. Next was the loop of Smedley’s Hill – the newest addition to the Townsville trail network – which did not disappoint. Also graded intermediate, the added difficulty of steeper climbs and technical features pleased the experienced riders and gave the newer riders a challenge which was rewarded with stunning views of the coast and the dry plains on the city-side of the hill.
Townsville Rockwheelers Mountain Bike Club president Peter McLean says the trail is a credit to the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sports and Racing (NPRSR) and the local rangers who have given Townsville and the mountain biking community a magnificent venue: “This will attract a greater number of participants to our sport, plus encourages the enjoyment of physical activity in a natural environment.”
As for the race, the 44km event was a gruelling affair with heat, dust and rocks the order of the day. Local Elite rider Jeff Rubach took the honours completing the course in 1 hour 49 minutes. Karl Bull was second with a time of 1 hour 51m and Sam Steadman was third, a further 2 minutes behind.
Race coordinator Greg McLindon said that the event was a great success with a good field spread across all the skill levels: “While we had the party theme going at the venue, the point-to-point course was tough and really tested the riders with some only making it home after four hours of riding.”