Creators, cyclists and councillors are hoping a new mountain biking stronghold will increase tourism and the prominence of the sport in the region.
With the success of Creswick’s 2018 Brackenbury Challenge over the weekend, focus has now turned to the mountain biking trail system soon to be connected in the area, with a new master plan released for Hammon Park.
Construction tenders are currently being sought for the planned pump track, an off-road BMX-style circuit which caters for experienced and novice riders.
When it’s complete, the full system will boast more than 100 kilometres of purpose-built mountain bike trails, with hopes Creswick will host 80,000 visitors annually by 2022.
Brackenbury Challenge race director Chris Chatham said mountain biking was a “sleeping giant”, with the dedication of event riders competing on Mother’s Day and braving the weather testament to its popularity.
“I fully expect the Brackenbury and cycling around here is going to explode,” he said.
Construction on the trail head, which was meant to begin in April, is expected to begin soon. Hepburn Shire’s Crewick Ward councillor Don Henderson said the delay was due to conversations between landowners including DEWLP, Parks Victoria and nearby residents.
“It’s no mean feat to have negotiated with government departments and privately leased properties, so it’s taken us a little while,” he said.
Enduring Domain Building Design principal Matt Turner, also a keen cyclist, said the positioning of Hammon Park and the inclusion of ample parking and V/Line connections made it a crucial piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
“It’s going to be the launching place, it’s just one block away from the main street, so it will be hugely crucial to the town being able to take advantage to the follow on business and new business opportunities.”
Cr Henderson said following the Brackenbury Challenge, the word would spread about Creswick’s mountain biking flair.
“The thing is Hammon Park is current and will bring fresh visitors to the town, because you can’t rely on your history forever,” he said.
Cr Henderson said while the plan shows the removal of amenities currently at the site, like toilets, replacements would be funded from another section of the council’s budget, which provides for upgrading sporting facilities.