Clowning around

COASTING along a smooth lane, bombing down a rocky incline or mashing in the mud, Andrew Dunn is happy to rise early on a rainy Sunday to hit the tracks in Byfield with fellow mountain bikers.

As a member of the Rockhampton Mountain Biking Club, Dirt Clowns, Yeppoon resident Andrew meets on a regular basis for social rides in Byfield and competitive events at the club's track at Seoni Park.

"There are a few short cross country races starting in March in Byfield and a six-hour day/night event in May, which is the most popular event all year," Mr Dunn said. "We get about 60 to 70 riders to that one. It's a lot of fun."

The hills and rocky lanes in the Byfield Forest are a popular destination and there is a marathon-style event on the cards for later in the year.

"It's popular for longer rides. There are so many tracks out here."

Riding mainly cross country and marathon, Mr Dunn travels to events from Pomona to Port Douglas, along with his wife and daughters.

In May, the family is headed to the Rural Rainforest Reef Endurance Challenge, which starts in Mount Molloy, travelling 70km down the fast, steep "bump track" off the Great Dividing Range and along Four Mile Beach to the finish line at Port Douglas Surf Life Saving Club.

Although the salt air can be a bike's demise, Mr Dunn has included beach rides in his training for the ride.

"At low tide, if you pick your wind, with the north-easterly behind you, it's a fantastic ride."

Travelling for sport and adventure is a great way to explore other places and with the track at Seoni Park, events at Byfield and the possibility of the Rail Trail opening up, the Capricorn Coast could become a popular adventure tourism destination.

"The mountain biking community is really positive about the Rail Trail. Cawarral would be an easy family ride and the town would do quite well from it," Mr Dunn said.

 



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