YOUNG Alfredton-based BMX riders have been negotiating with City of Ballarat for a purpose-built track after jumps they made became an iso hit.
At its peak, the home-made track at Alfredton Recreation Reserve was attracting up to 50 young riders at one time.
A City of Ballarat spokesperson confirmed the track had to be cleared because it was not in an appropriate location at the multi-use venue, on walking tracks behind water tanks and in a water retention drain. The track also posed serious safety concerns from some residents and council's risk team.
But the youngsters' enthusiasm brought forward the City's long-term plans for a BMX track to start early next year. The City has been working with riders and their parents on how this might take shape.
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BMX riders Nick, Lachlan and Oscar, who were among the founding group of riders, said they just wanted a fun place to rider closer to home.
The nearest BMX track was across town in Black Hill or there was the racing track in Sebastopol. While there is a pump track in Victoria Park, the boys said this was more suited to little kids or those using scooters.
Riders and parents will meet with City of Ballarat on Wednesday afternoon for a second consultation on draft plans for the track and the boys were hoping to find council had listened to their feedback.
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While it was unlikely they would get their perfect track, they were learning what could be possible in designing and collaboration.
Their ultimate track would be big jumps and big gaps for tricks, Nick said. They had also hoped for smaller jumps for little riders in the neighbourhood, like a small pump track, but that was unlikely to make budget.
The boys said they were devastated when their track was first cleared. They started with a few jumps coming off a downhill and their project grew. Riders were taking turns to protect the jumps with carpet in the rain, others were co-investing in rakes and shovels from Bunnings for maintenance. They installed bins to collect rubbish.
Oscar said neighbours to the reserve were generally supportive and interested.
Their efforts have captured the attention of ABC Melbourne breakfast radio host Sammy J this week and Victorian BMX champion Josh Jolly, from Cardigan, who showed them some tricks.
More than 70 per cent of respondents to City of Ballarat's community surveys indicated Alfredton Recreation Reserve was the best of five potential sites for a BMX track in the neighbourhood.
The proposed location at the reserve is near the playground, out the front of the oval precinct, where there is shelter and enhanced safety and security features.
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