Govt rides mountain bike wave

Melanie Coram
The State Government is promoting mountain biking for locals and as a tourism drawcard. Picture: Mogens Johansen, The West Australian

Almost 120,000 mountain bikes are bought in WA each year and around half a million West Australians own a mountain bike, pointing to a need for better bike tracks, say the State Government.

The government this morning announced a strategy for the growing sport, saying it had a world-class vision.

Acting Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Redman and Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the WA Mountain Bike Strategy 2015-2020 would guide sustainable development for locals and embellish it as a tourist attraction on the world stage.

Related: Perth's best mountain-biking tracks

The strategy highlights the economic, tourism, environmental, health, social and community benefits of mountain biking. Its vision is for WA to support sustainable mountain biking as a leading recreational and tourism experience which delivers opportunities, maximises participation and shares benefits.

The strategy was funded and supported by the departments of Sport and Recreation and Parks and Wildlife and prepared by WA's peak cycling body WestCycle and the West Australian Mountain Bike Association.

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"WA's landscape is unparalleled and we're perfectly placed to give people from across the State and all over the world an experience which is uniquely ours," Mr Redman said.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said there were many mountain bike trails in WA, most of which were managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife with community groups.

"The Munda Biddi Trail is the world's longest continuous off-road cycle trail, which draws tens of thousands of international, interstate and local riders each year," Mr Jacob said.

"The Kalamunda Mountain Bike Circuit is estimated to have experienced more than 50,000 rides last year. Because there is so much interest in mountain biking and because we are creating and managing more and more facilities to support this activity, it is essential we have a framework in place to ensure it is developed sustainably and using world's best practice."

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