Years of hard work by the West Australian Mountain Bike Association (WAMBA) and its affiliated clubs and groups, the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPW), the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) and Westcycle has seen major progress for the Association and WA mountain biking in general over the last 12-18 months.
A milestone for mountain bike development and growth has been the release this year of the Western Australian Mountain Bike Strategy 2015–2020, a plan for coordinating and developing mountain biking in WA. It will ensure that Western Australia embraces sustainable mountain biking as a leading experience, and lead to more trails on the ground, a vibrant mountain biking community and increased tourism opportunities across the regions.
One of the key issues associated with the explosion of mountain biking in the state is the lack of suitable trails to cater for the need of all MTB users (beginners, weekend warriors, competitive riders, families) and styles (XC, DH, GE, touring). Thus a state-wide network of sustainable trails has been recommended in the state strategy to address this and other issues. Central to the creation of this network is the need to ensure that the right trails are developed in the right places, in the right way and for the right reasons.
The Perth Metropolitan, Peel, South West and Great Southern regions have been identified as significant mountain biking hotspots (with demand for trails high due to population density). Regional master planning is currently being undertaken to guide future mountain bike development for these areas. Other areas of the state may also require master planning in the future.
The following are recommendations from the state strategy:
WAMBA will continue to build and maintain strong partnerships with its key stakeholders, and work collaboratively to identify, develop and sustain mountain bike experiences in Western Australia.