Bikes vs rail: Multimillion-dollar cycle tourism plan divides locals

Guyra stationAn old railway corridor in northern NSW is set to be turned into a multimillion-dollar bike and walking path to attract high-spending tourists amid furious debate across regional NSW over what to do with disused railway lines.

At a heated meeting last Monday night, Armidale Regional Council voted 6-4 to proceed with plans to build the first part of a 103-kilometre “rail trail” between Armidale and Glen Innes, using the old Great Northern Railway corridor.

The full rail trail, once built, would run along the spine of the New England mountain range and would be one of the most elevated cycling paths in Australia.

But not everyone is happy….

Mendooran Food Cycle Weekend

Looking for a cycling weekend away – while sampling local food and wine?

Check out this event at Mendooran, north-east of Dubbo, on the weekend of 4th and 5th May.

The weekend seeks to introduce keen cyclists to the food and cycling opportunities of Mendooran, and be a fundraiser for the Central West Cycle Trail (CWCT).

There will be a number of organised rides, mostly on gravel roads, from 6km to 70km – something for everyone!

The key get-together event after your day of cycling (or just enjoying the town, bees, distillery, architecture, riverfront etc) is the Tastes of Mendooran, starting at 5pm on Saturday 4 May at the Showground – three courses for $30!

Importantly the weekend is planned so that it caters for the cyclist and non-cyclist.

Global Sea Otter MTB festival comes to Batemans Bay & Mogo

South-east NSW’s reputation as a must-visit location for mountain bikers from around the world has been bolstered by the announcement it will host one of the sport’s largest events.

MTB festival at MogoThe Sea Otter Classic started as a multi-day mountain bike festival in Monterey, California in 1991 and the now-annual event attracted more than 80,000 visitors last year.

Sea Otter expanded to operate editions in Spain in 2017 and Canada in 2019, and will launch its first southern hemisphere event in Australia in 2025.

The festival will be held in Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast and on the neighbouring Mogo mountain bike trails.

Read the full story at the ABC >>>

(It’s worth a read just to check out the aerial view of the track!)

Kiama BUG on Tour – 2024

Rail trail bridge

This year’s KBUG Cycling Tour will take in Victoria’s High Country Rail Trail and the Albury Wetlands, during the last week of March.

There will be three days of riding….

  • Monday 25th March: Shelley to Tallangatta (46 km)
  • Tuesday 26th March: Albury Wetlands (38 – 65 km with optional extension)
  • Wednesday 27th March: Lake Hume village to Tallangatta (62 km)

More information about each of the rides is available in the Ride Information package below.

Registration is now closed (11th March).

You will need to organise your own accommodation, staying in the area from Sunday 24th, to be ready to roll on the Monday morning, when we will be meeting at Tallangatta hotel at 8:00 am to drive to Shelley.

There is plenty of accommodation available in Albury and Wodonga, but with two of the rides (and if taking the extended option, the third ride) making use of the Rail Trail near Lake Hume, the Lake Hume Discovery Park (Victoria) will be the preferred base for most riders. The park offers a wide range of accommodation options.

More discussion and planning will no doubt take place on our regular rides over the coming weeks.

2023 KBUG Christmas Function

Santa cycling with presentsThe RSVP form is now closed. If you would like to attend, please contact Dianne – secretary@kiambug.org.au


Keep pedalling – to the Kiama BUG Christmas function….

  • Where: Sebel Restaurant
  • When: Tuesday 19th December, from 5:30 pm.
  • Cost: $20 per person
  • Menu: Mezze, cheese board, pizza slices
  • Drinks: From the bar

There are two steps to follow if you will be attending the Christmas function….

Step 1 – Transfer $20 pp to the Kiama BUG bank account….

  • Account name: Kiama Bicycle User Group Inc
  • BSB: 032-689
  • Account No: 135138
  • ‘To’ Description: Include your name, followed by the code CF23 (eg F Nurk CF23)

Step 2 – Let the caterers know you will be there….. Click/tap on the Kiama BUG Christmas wheel below to go to the RSVP form – submit before Tuesday 8th December…

RSVP wheel

RSVP

 

High Country Rail Trail

High Country Rail TrailWhile many of us are familiar with the Victorian Rail Trails around Beechworth and Bright, the High Country Rail Trail takes you on a scenic journey through iconic Australian landscapes in the Upper Murray region.

Stretching over 80 kilometres from Wodonga, through Old Tallangatta and out to Shelley, the High Country Rail Trail hugs the shoreline of the majestic Lake Hume.

Ride back in time to the 1950s when the town of Tallangatta was relocated, and the old town flooded by Lake Hume. Cross the sparkling lake over the bright red 600 metre Sandy Creek Bridge to visit the new and old town sites. Pack your panniers with regional produce for a lakeside picnic at Ebden, Ludlow’s or Huon Reserve, or take a refreshing dip while you simply soak up the serenity.

Explore the High Country Rail Trail >>>

Cyclists’ injuries at record high, riders blame aggressive motorists

Safe passing signA record number of NSW cyclists – 2330 – were taken to hospital in 2021, the most since complete hospital records began to be collected in 2005.

Cyclist David Page has experienced at least 12 serious incidents of dangerous driving and abuse from motorists while on the road in Sydney.

“If you want to kill someone, do it with a car because you will always get off,” said Page, a doctor who lives near Turramurra.

Bike riders now represent about one in four (23 per cent) of road crash hospitalisations, and are the only road user group to report increasing injury numbers recently.

From 2005 to 2021, 173 bicyclists were killed and 29,464 were seriously injured on the state’s roads. However, many of these injuries were not reported to police and did not involve another vehicle, Transport for NSW said.

In the 12 months to the end of January 2023, 20 fines were issued to drivers in NSW for breaking the minimum passing distance rule, but none in the Christmas holiday period of December and January despite several statewide traffic blitzes.

In comparison, since 2016, cyclists have received about 55,000 fines for a range of offences, mostly for not wearing a helmet or not having it correctly fastened (31,402 penalties), riding on the footpath (5645 fines), riding at night without a light (5678) and not having a working bell (2476). There have also been 207 fines for “not ride on far-left side of road”.

Read more (SMH) >>>

‘Vigilantes’ target cyclists on new Rail Trail

Nails on Rail TrailThe first section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, which opened on the 1st March, has apparently been targeted by people who aren’t so keen on the new trail.

The local council said the trail had drawn more than 8000 users in its first two weeks, prompting local businesses along the trail to extend their opening hours and offerings to cater for demand.

But councillor and Chamber of Commerce chairman Warren Polglase said someone was trying to spoil the party and had thrown tacks and nails on to the trail three times since it opened, puncturing tyres.

Polglase said some Tweed residents had opposed the project because they wanted to save the track and return it to the provision of rail services. Passenger trains stopped running in 2004.

Read more (SMH) >>>