Hobart- More MTB Trails Needed & Gold Level Ride Centre Developed

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I want to lobby the Will Hodgman State Government to make Hobart MTB riding great and become a International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Gold Level Ride Centre, or at least get on the path to becoming one, and eventually becoming the premier MTB riding destination in Australia.

What is a Gold Level Ride Centre? The IMBA web site has loads of information, like this explanation of what a ride centre is.

What is an IMBA Ride Centre?
The Ride Centre™ designation represents IMBA’s Model Trail recognition for large-scale mountain bike facilities that offer something for every rider. Bring your full arsenal of bikes to these destination-worthy areas. From backcountry adventures to shuttle-served gravity trails, and from expert-only to family-friendly, you’ll encounter the best the sport has to offer. Ride Centres range from renowned Gold Level destinations like Park City, UT, and Oakridge, OR, to smaller towns that totally revolve around the ride like McCall, ID, or Marquette, MI.

IMBA Ride Centres are designed for every type of mountain biker, provide a positive mountain bike experience with progressive skill building, and include facilities that break down the barriers for entry with bike rentals, quality maps, clear signage, and available instruction or guiding. These model trail systems broaden the demographic of the mountain bike community by providing a model beginner experience that is family-friendly on the same site that challenges an expert rider. A Ride Centre demonstrates the best practices in mountain bike trail design and construction for grassroots replication. Ride Centres also bring major economic benefits to their host communities. IMBA has compiled resources that describe the ways that mountain biking supports tourism and enhances economic development in communities around the globe

It means sweet MTB trails for the locals and great for MTB tourists flocking to our shores to ride our trails. I’ve been channelling our brethren in Canberra who currently have 1572 signatures on a change.org petition and successfully grabbed front page news in the Canberra Times on 3rd September, 2018. Why are we doing this? I believe it’s time that Hobart gets a clear direction on MTBing in Hobart so it can become the premier MTB destination in Australia and the southern hemisphere.

I think we’re just about there for a bronze ride centre and we’re on the path for a gold level. Currently Mt Buller is the only ride centre in Australia with rating of bronze and New Zealand has two Gold Ride centres. A IMBA ride centre will include everything within a 30 minute drive time from a designated Ride Centre – once the centrepoint is determined for example Clarence Mountain Bike Park (Meehan Range), then the Ride Centre would also include Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park, the North/South Track etc, and any new trails that were required to be built. 

Not only will this ride centre put Hobart on the map, the benefit will be felt across all MTB sites in the state – a rising tide lifts all boats. 

How will we pay for all this? If we get enough signatures and it was clear there was support for a proposal like this, the next step would be to crowd fund for the initial $10K-$15k it would require to get the IMBA certifiers here from the USA to either certify us or put us on the correct path. Crowd funding would ideally come from MTB riders, local tourism businesses, airlines, the state government and the private sector. There’ll be many stake holders who would see the huge up side of Hobart becoming an IMBA Ride Centre. 

It’s time for action. Click on the link, read, sign and let a friend know about the petition. Let’s get it happening and all benefit from the classification.