The stunning coastal village of Tathra on the far south coast has always been renowned for its beautiful beaches and estuaries, but it is also gaining a reputation as an excellent mountain bike destination.

Tathra local Andy Johnson unknowingly launched a major tourist drawcard in 2001, when he started constructing a track. Since then, 53km of track has been created, the Tathra Mountain Bike Club has been established (complete with race committee) and there have been regular races and events that riders from all over the state travel to Tathra to compete in. Along the way, Andy was also awarded an OAM in the 2016 Australia Day Honours List for services to the Tathra community. Not a bad effort for a guy who admits he started riding in his forties purely for health reasons.

There are now two tracks – the Bundadung and the Fireshed Loops that combined, total a whopping 53km. There is a 43km smooth sweet single track linked by 10 kms of fire trails. Andy explains that he had the idea to start creating the tracks after riding the ‘Dirt Surfers Track’ in Bermagui and wanted to enjoy something similar closer to home.  It seems he was not alone in this desire, as he discovered numerous likeminded mature age people who also wanted to improve their health through mountain bike riding. He has received much help building and maintaining the tracks from locals and other enthusiasts like Tom Park – a farmer with a strong passion for mountain biking who moved to the area.

The ‘Tathra Enduro’ is the major event on the Tathra Mountain Bike Club calendar Andy explains that is staged every year on the June long weekend. It has become a huge event for the seaside town with hundreds descending to compete and support. Its success and growth in numbers led the organisers to incorporate rides for all levels of mountain bike fitness. The event now includes:  Lap-it-up- short course races for those new to the sport or escalating their level, as well as a Tuff 25km, a Mitas-Rubena 50km and in 2016 the mother of all courses has been introduced- the 75km King Nelba. The tracks require much maintenance and their excellent condition is definitely a major factor in the trails’ popularity. All monies raised from the Enduro go to renewable energy projects, volunteer community groups and on-going track maintenance.

For further information on the Tathra Mountain Bike Trails and the Mountain Bike Club head to:

www.tathramtbclub.com

www.facebook.com/tathramtbclub

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