MMBCC News - 14 February 2011

Apologies that there hasn't been much in the way of newsletters lately; I've been away. In case you were wondering, "yes, the snow was great! Thanks for asking!"

The club website should be up very soon. I'm hoping this will be one of the last newsletters I email out to you. From very soon, all this type of news will be listed at and you can have a look through whenever you like. Until then, here is the news …

Road bike for sale

Tracey Shipley has her Giant road bike for sale. As new, ridden only 20km, Women’s XS. RRP $1200; will sell for $650. Email Tracey Shipley for more information.

Ventou Marysville Lake Mountain Challenge - Saturday 26 February

8am start from Marysville. Distances: 35km, 80km, 120km, 160km. (The 80km & 160km rides include the climb up Lake Mountain.) For more information and entries visit I have three free entries available from Ventou, the maker of the MMBCC kit. Keep reading to find out how you can get one.

Dirt Crits track at Riflebutts Reserve

With many thanks to all the volunteers who turned up on Sunday (and especially Shannon and the Bocks, who seem to have done a lot of the work) the new Dirt Crits track is ready for its debut on Monday night.
Kids race starts at 5.30pm; Adults at 6.00pm. Even roadies are encouraged to grab the old mountain bike out of the shed (you know, the one with all the cobwebs on it!) and ride up for a look.  In fact, the first three 'roadies' to ask me about the Lake Mountain Challenge while at Dirt Crits on Monday night will get the free entries.

MMBCC entry offer for SHCCC

The cheap entry offer to the SHCCC ($75!) is still open to MMBCC members. But remember, you need to have a full set of club kit to wear during one of the rides. If you need to get some club kit, see Shannon at All Terrain Cycles. If he doesn't have your size in stock, we'll arrange an order. You'd better do it straight away - the SHCCC is only 5 weeks away and Ventou will need all that time to make up your order. And you need to email me about the discounted entry offer.

Wang Autumn Series

The Wangaratta Cycling Club has released its Autumn Series calendar but it doesn't appear to be on their website yet (They've emailed it to me but the formatting has gone awry and it's not easy to read). The MMBCC is listed as an invited club so you can ride in a Wang race without having to have an 'Open' licence. For those interested, the Two Day Tour is listed for May 21 and 22.

Cycling Promotion Media Release - Bikes outsell cars by 2,000,000!

2010 has continued a decade of dominance with bicycles outselling cars each year for the past decade by over 2,000,000. Over 11.5million bikes were sold in that time. Selling over 1.3million bikes in 2010, the Australian bicycle industry is now showing clear signs of returning to its record levels of 2007. These figures represent a 12% increase from the previous year and a 67% increase from 2001.

The sales of bicycles are supported by figures released by the Australian Government indicating a 32% increase in people choosing to ride a bike in the same period, Australians are choosing the bicycle for transport, recreation, fitness, general health and sport in increasing numbers.

The choice to ride a bicycle is increasingly broadly based across the entire population; it’s not just the domain of the fit, the fast or the sporty. With the community’s support for and participation in cycling and the benefits extending to the economic, health, environmental and social arenas, there are strong arguments for the government to do more to support it.

The recent release of the National Cycling Strategy 2011 - 2016 by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport shows the time is right for the federal government to commit more funding to achieve its objectives. Signed by all federal, state and territory transport ministers the National Cycling Strategy aims to double the rate of cycling by 2016.

Federal leadership and increased investment in infrastructure, educational and promotional programs will be needed however if this goal is to be achieved. The Cycling Promotion Fund applauds the recent federal commitment to the national AustCycle program which will encourage more Australians to acquire the skills they need to cycle safely, but there’s more that needs to be done.

The Australian Government is facing critical decisions on key transport issues. In 2005 the cost in lost productivity through transport congestion was $9billion per year, forecast to grow to $20billion per year by 2020.

We are facing an obesity crisis, the average Australian would get their daily requirements of physical activity if they walked, rode a bicycle or caught public transport to work. The use of bicycles for transport, recreation and fitness continues to have increasing benefits to the Australian economy and these will continue to increase as bicycle sales continue to grow. The Cycling Promotion Fund calls on the Federal government to invest in support of the increasing numbers of Australians who are voting with their feet and choosing to ride a bicycle.

Rail Trail update

Happy New Year
2011 will be a very busy year for the rail trail team and the contractors that are building the trail. December 2011 is the completion date so with less than twelve months to go it will be full steam ahead. Weather conditions have caused delays but we hope to get some dry conditions in the coming months so we can gain access to areas that have been under flood.

Murrindindi councillors gave the all clear for the trail to proceed through their shire at its December meeting. A committee will be formed in Murrindindi Shire to oversee the fencing project which will be funded from sales of surplus concrete and steel bridge beams to the project and interest gifted to Murrindindi from Mansfield Shire.

Construction Update
Contracts have been let or will be let this month for gravel supply, pavement laying, bridge deck removal, concrete decks, toilet facilities, vegetation removal, revegetation, bridge replacement and supply of hand rails. Designs are still being finalised for some road crossings and timber bridge replacement/rebuilds. Vegetation removal is taking place across the three shires currently and revegetation will begin in the autumn.

The above average rainfall has caused noxious weeds to flourish along the GRHCRT. To combat this contractors have sprayed for St. Johns Wort, broom, briar rose, hawthorn, gorse Patersons Curse and blackberries in the Mansfield Shire at Mansfield Shire's expense. Many areas along the trail have been well maintained by farmers and neighbours since the last train ran in 1978, but other sections have had no stock or maintenance done for some time.

Holiday Makers
From all reports the trail in Mansfield had lots of use over the holiday period. One local cyclist described crossing the Bonnie Doon bridge “like we had cycled to Queensland – blue water, people on skis and swimming, boats and jet skis. Holiday houses were full and there was a great buzz.” (This obviously was before the Queensland floods). Many walkers are also taking advantage of the smooth surface of the trail, rather than bush tracks, and the beautiful scenery. Lots of comments and complements on how good the “sort of bitumen” is to ride on (actually describing the black chert).

That's all for now … see you out there. Perhaps on Monday night at Riflebutts Reserve?


Bruce Halket