City of Ballarat is in discussion with Ballarat mountain biking group Club Mud to prioritise maintenance work of mountain bike tracks at Black Hill Reserve, fourteen months on the from the completion of a $320,000 upgrade.
Club Mud president Graeme Coutts said members of the club had been volunteering their time to complete minor track maintenance on the downhill tracks, but the responsibilities of council and the club had not been clearly defined since the completion of the reserve upgrade in late 2017.
“At the moment the process of track maintenance is being adjusted between the council and the bike clubs to try to come to some understanding of what is expected from the clubs and the council,” he said.
If it is promoted properly, we could get people who can jump on the train to get to Ballarat and ride.Graeme Coutts, Club Mud president
“We are in a sort of transitional period. The council spent so much money to build the tracks, I suppose they are still trying to figure out what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. The only way that is going to happen is if the clubs work with council and communicate with council because at the end of the day they are the ones that allow you to do it.”
Watch a video showcasing mountain biking at Black Hill below.
City of Ballarat Director People and Communities Neville Ivey confirmed City of Ballarat has responsibility for the maintenance of Black Hill mountain bike trails and the city’s sport, active living and parks teams work collaboratively to support the facility.
Club Mud members will be working hard between now and June to prepare the mountain bike tracks for popular downhill race series King of Ballarat.
They are also working to prepare for the under 12s junior development event Mini Muddies in April.
Mr Coutts said the sport was growing and the creation of new facilities could develop Ballarat as a mountain biking hot spot.
Almost $3 million has been invested to develop a network of more than 100km of purpose built mountain bike trails in Creswick. The entire project is anticipated to open to the public by the end of 2020.
Trails in the Canadian Forest are also popular with riders and the Goldfields Track and Skipton Rail Trail offer further cycling options.
“If it is promoted properly, we could get people who can jump on the train to get to Ballarat and ride all this stuff. It is something that could be really pushed,” Mr Coutts said.
For Black Hill Reserve users, the next priority is public toilets to cater for the increasing number of visitors using the trails for walking and cycling, and provide a facility for the connecting Goldfields and Yarrowee Trail users.
Mr Ivey said drinking fountains will be installed at the top of the hill by July.
He said other facilities such as toilets and barbecues included in the Black Hill Masterplan could be considered as part of future council budgets.