Collie River Valley Fifty Cross Country Mountain Bike Race

DBCA were rapt to be present at the Collie River Valley Fifty mountain bike race run on June 16, 2019. It was a great opportunity to speak to locals and visiting mountain bikers about the Collie Adventure Trails project and get some early feedback.

It was a cool start, but for Collie locals it was probably balmy. Master of ceremonies, course setter, commentator and all-round good guy, Erik Mellegers was there rocking the orange crocs – a superb fashion accessory.

Riders, friends and officials took the opportunity for a last-minute coffee at Wagon 537 or elsewhere in town. The friendly Collie locals were welcoming and genuinely pleased to see the event in Collie

Chris Park from Perth Mountain Bike Club was also front and centre, making sure everything was in order for timely start – there were also a small army of volunteers. After some final tuning and much discussion about tyre pressure, trail condition, rain and many other variables, more than 250 riders hit the start line for what promised to be a fast course on some fire roads and taking in parts of the Arklow Forest trail network. Local member the Honourable Mick Murray MLA, sent riders on their way, promising them that next time they visited Collie, a huge new network of trails will have been started. He outlined how the $10M Collie Adventure Trails initiative would transform Collie into a trails and mountain biking mecca in coming years.

And they were off. After a frantic dash across a lumpy grass section, riders hit an open road and track, followed the Munda Biddi Trail for a way and then on and off some single-track sections. The first real corner delivered its first casualty as the race leader at that point, resplendent in his once piece tartan and ‘denim’ skinsuit demonstrated his versatility with a 20 metre swim across a large puddle. A quick section of Munda Biddi trail and then onto single track of Dead Cat, 220 and Pet Cemetery then back across the road craters and lumpy grass to finish back in town minutes before the rain set in – although it wasn’t heavy and didn’t last long.

After lunch at one of the many cafes or pubs in Collie, overall and category winners returned to Central Park for presentations. And weren’t they happy campers – the trophies were huge and bought to mind the Melbourne Cup or AFL Grand Final.

A great event for Collie and one that can grow in future years as the new network of trails around Collie also grows. Stay tuned for more news on the Collie Adventure Trails.

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