WHETHER you like to hurtle down a banked trail or prefer to gently coast along and enjoy the scenery, a new mountain bike park in the heart of Lismore offers all the options.
While the new Captain Rous Park Mountain Bike Trails in Goonellabah are still receiving their final grooming ahead of the official opening August 20, the Northern Star took the opportunity to go for a ride and check out the routes.
Together with Richmond River Riders president Chris Irish, your intrepid reporter took to the trails, admittedly at a far more cautious pace.
Thumbs up, five stars, highly recommended.
This custom-built trail is a credit to Lismore City Council and to the RRR members who spend years lobbying for it's construction and were involved in the layout and design
While there are some tricky elements including banked corners and jumps which will delight experienced riders, there's plenty of alternative trail options to keep those new to the sport happy as well.
According to Mr Irish, stage one of the trails have already received a fantastic response.
"Insanely positive has been the response from the community," he said with a grin.
"Some weekends it's been standing room only, with people of all ages having fun."
Mr Irish said the trails have bedded down beautifully and are already a hit with riders of all ages.
He said participants so far have included families with kids on balance bikes through to their fearless older siblings, grandparents and those with loads of dirt riding experience.
"Just having this in the middle of town makes it easy for people to get here as they don't have to load up the car and drive a long way," he said.
"It's a great place for people to give mountain biking a go, as we made this for everyone from absolute beginners to more experienced riders."
Mr Irish said even before completion, the park has been popular.
"The car park has been full on these beautiful sunny days as parents can virtually sit anywhere in the park and see the whole trail, so they watch their kids having fun," he said.
"Everyone can come around and have a ride on Sunday August 20 at 11am, the Captain Rous Park Mountain Bike Trail will be officially opened and celebrations will continue until 2pm."
The official opening will be attended by Lismore Mayor, Cr Isaac Smith and Member for Lismore Thomas George MP.
Mr George said he was delighted the park was ready to be launched and said he looked forward to attending the celebrations.
"The reason I supported their original proposal was because not only their enthusiasm, but also the professionalism of the application and the benefits in visitor and competitors numbers in overnight stays and dollars to the local economy," he said.
Mr Irish said everyone is invited to bring your bike, family and friends to help support Richmond River Riders.
"Sausage sizzles, drinks, raffle tickets and membership details will all be available on the day with all proceeds going directly to the club," he said.
"We look forward to seeing everyone there and enjoying this family-friendly atmosphere."
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