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Thursday, September 3, 2009

New initiative makes it easier for tourists to ‘Ride Canberra’

Australia’s mountain bike capital

More tourists can realise the Canberra region’s offerings for mountain bikers with the launch of Ride Canberra, an exciting new tourism venture dedicated to attracting interstate and international mountain bike visitors to Canberra.

With the international standard Stromlo Forest Park as its centrepiece, Canberra is fast becoming Australia’s number one mountain biking destination. The recent World Cup event, National Championships and this weekend’s World Championship, are firmly placing Canberra in the mountain bike spotlight.

“Tourism mountain biking is a rapidly growing tourism sector in Australia. Canberra’s vicinity to Sydney and Melbourne position the city in a prime location for weekend mountain bike and adventure tourists, as well as families looking for an active weekend away,” said Ride Canberra founder and mountain bike enthusiast, Clint Wright, of Threesides Marketing.

The first phase of Ride Canberra includes the launch of a dedicated website, the first of its kind in Australia, devoted to mountain bike based tourism.

“Ride Canberra is a one-stop-shop for interstate and international mountain bikers visiting Canberra. The website includes ride friendly accommodation and booking facilities, trail information, directions, trail reviews and maps, restaurants and bars, bike gear and tours,” said Mr Wright.

Ride Canberra will initially be delivered via the dedicated website, with plans to expand to a booking centre onsite at Stromlo Forest Park and a printed guide to mountain biking in Canberra. The business model is based on similar international models in Canada, Wales and New Zealand that Mr Wright, being a passionate mountain bike rider himself, experienced first-hand.

“Mountain bikers are tourists just like everyone else. Ride Canberra lets them know about all the great trails around the region, but can also assist with useful and practical information like bike friendly hotels. They can quickly access information such as distances of trails from accommodation, security for their bikes, bike wash facilities as well as other things to do and see in Canberra,” he said.

Ride Canberra is an initiative of two small businesses, Threesides and Early Bird Marketing and Events. The two Canberra based businesses have worked with the ACT Government through Territory Venues and Events and Australian Capital Tourism, to ensure the concept is able to leverage off the Stromlo Forrest Park Development, Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, and tourism industry development activity.

More information on Ride Canberra can be found at www.ridecanberra.com.au

KEY FACTS ON MOUNTAIN BIKING IN THE CANBERRA REGION

· Canberra and the region is home to over 150kms of purpose built mountain bike trails.

· Stromlo Forest Park is the host of Australia’s first ever Mountain Bike World Championship events 1-6 Sept 2009.

· Canberra has five dedicated mountain bike areas to suit all riding levels – Stromlo Forest Park, Majura Pines, Sparrow Hill, Tuggeranong Pines and Kowen Forest.

· Canberra is home to Australia’s largest mountain biking clubs – the Canberra Off Road Cyclists (CORC) www.corc.asn.au

· Mountain Biking is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia.

· Interstate and international mountain bike events are often hosted in Canberra.

· Canberra has more bike shops per capita than any city in Australia.
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