This is HUGE NEWS for Margaret River! Read on if you want to understand why there are so many Mountain Bikers coming to town …..
Margaret River has moved a big step closer to becoming Western Australia’s premier mountain bike tourism destination with recent approval of a major grant from Lotterywest.
After years of planning, research and meetings, MRORCA (the Margaret River Off Road Cycling Association) has received $100,000 funding from Lotterywest for construction of a proposed network of sustainable trails alongside The Pines off Carters Road. This is a major step forward for the fledgling group and marks the start of serious development of permanent mountain biking trails to replace the existing Pine trails.
The grant application for the $100,000 was only made possible through dollar for dollar matched contributions from MRORCA’s long term supporters. The Cape to Cape MTB Race contributed $27,000 to the proposed facility to secure the Margaret River special stage with funding to the club now totaling over $40,000. Land managers of the proposed site, Department of Parks and Wildlife, contributed $20,000 and the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association (AMRTA) contributed $2,500 with the remainder of funding and in-kind labour coming directly from MRORCA.
MRORCA has grown steadily since its inception in 2010 and currently has 105 members who have spent many long hours volunteering to help create the intricate network of world-class trails throughout The Pines.
The existing trails in The Pines are also a big highlight and favourite for riders in the annual Cape to Cape race. This year the race attracted a record number of riders with many advocating the trail offering in Margaret River and returning throughout the year to ride again.
MRORCA’s chairman, David Willcox has seen significant growth in the adoption of mountain biking amongst Margaret River locals and awareness of the trails through visiting mountain bikers.
“Many riders who come to ride the trails can’t believe what we have got down here and on weekends we are seeing hundreds of bike riders using the trails. What is most rewarding is seeing young families, school groups and the general community using the trails.
“You only have to look at the number of cars with mountain bikes on the back in town to see how fast this is growing and to realise the tourism potential for Margaret River is massive.
“We’ve also had fantastic support from Department of Parks & Wildlife in preparing the trail plan and now with this grant from Lotterywest we are one step closer to commencing the development of a totally new, properly planned and designed mountain biking park for Margaret River.”
The estimated construction value of the network is $30.00 per metre, so these trails will be worth over $400,000, but with the fantastic help of our volunteers on trail building days we have previously held we are confident we can produce a world-class trail network the region will be proud of.”
The funding will be used to develop 13km of permanent trails in a new section running along The Pines to replace the current trails which will be lost when the plantation is logged as part management plans.
In total MRORCA has now raised over $200,000 funding to go directly towards development and promotion of trails in Margaret River.
“MRORCA’s relationship with our funding partners is flourishing and we thank them for helping us secure a permanent mountain bike facility for Margaret River,” said Mr Willcox.
The proposed facility will be publicly advertised in the near future and is currently undergoing final approvals with Department of Parks and Wildlife. Construction is slated to begin in the first half of 2014.
MRORCA is seeking support from anyone who rides the existing trails to become a member of MRORCA or donate to the cause.
Donations, membership details and detailed information on what is being done can be found at www . mrorca . org . au
Margaret River Discovery Tours
Sean Blocksidge is the owner operator of the Margaret River Discovery Company, an avid photographer, blogger and South West WA ambassador. In 2010 he won Western Australian Guide of the Year and his tours have been rated the #1 thing to do in Australia on the Tripadvisor website for the past two years.