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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

The Olympics are over and congratulations to Dan McConnell, Bec Henderson and Scott Bowden on both their selection and rides, plus also to Scott for his great ride in the road Race. Probably not the rides that Dan and Bec had hoped for, with Bec injured and Dan getting pushed into a fence and breaking some spokes on the start lap while in 3rd, but great to see Dan come back through the field from 40th to finish 16th and both Bec and Scott giving their all for their country. I am sure it was a great learning experience for all of them.   At the national level, I suspect there will be reviews of the whole Australian team performance, not only cycling, but never let this take anything away from our athletes’ commitment and dedication to their sport. I also would like to thank the huge number of people who have supported these riders to get where they are over many years - Parents, Clubs, Coaches, Sponsors. Our sport cannot exist without you.

There are more world cup rounds and world championships to come in the next couple of weeks. Sharon Heap, Les Heap and Craig Peacock are riding for Australia in the UCI Masters World XCO Championships at the end of August. Then the World Championships in Observed Trials take place in early September, followed by the World Championships in 4X and Downhill the following weekend. Best wishes to all the Aussie team, including current Womens World Champion in Trials, Janine Jungfels and the aussie cyclocross riders including newly crowned national champions Chris Jongewaard and Rebecca Locke who are in China for the Qiansen Trophy.

Back home, it was great to see 600+ riders take part in the ACT Schools Mountain Bike Championships last Friday at Stromlo.   Congratulations to CORC for this event, running for well over a decade. While some of the school teams populated with our best national juniors did expectedly well, there were other teams of less known riders snapping at their heels. I suspect those riders won’t be less well known for much longer. Victoria also had a round of their School series and Queensland’s Chicks in the Sticks attracted a very good turnout, promoting Women’s mountain biking, while further north, the MTBA women’s skills days in Townsville also attracted good numbers.

As I raised in a previous newsletter, MTBA will be recommending to our membership that MTBA change from an Incorporated Association to a Company Limited by Guarantee.   You will receive formal notice of this in late September and MTBA will hold a Special General meeting on 22 October to vote on this change.   For many of you, you will not see any direct change to your riding.   Mountain Biking will still be the great recreational activity and sport that we all love.   But there are several reasons why this change is important for the future development of Mountain Biking and MTBA.

*A National Organisation. The Company Limited by Guarantee structure is more appropriate for an organisation that operates nationwide and has a significant number of employees. It is the model recommended for national bodies by the Australian Sports Commission it its mandatory governance principles. It is expected that operating as a Company Limited by Guarantee will improve MTBA’s relationships with the Australian Sports Commission, State Governments and potential sponsors.

*Better Governance of MTBA. A Company Limited by Guarantee is Regulated by ASIC and operates under the Corporations Act with a more robust structured platform for transparency and guidance, with the duties of directors more clearly defined.

*Directors. A Company Limited by Guarantee tends to attract more highly qualified people to act as directors, creating greater certainty and better governance for MTBA.

MTBA continues to seek applications from people willing to support mountain biking as Directors of MTBA under the Company Limited by Guarantee model. Thank you to those who have already expressed interest, but we are always open to receiving more applications and are especially seeking Female Directors. Should you wish to be considered by the nominations committee, please email me at president@mtba.asn.au

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NEWS & EVENTS

Dwellingup100

The Act-Belong-Commit Dwellingup 100 is on this SATURDAY 3 September! Join us for race 5 of the National XCM Series and see why the event was awarded the MTBA 2015/16 Event of the Year.

Check out our latest video from Course Director (and all-round MTB legend) Tony Tucknott, who talks new course additions and all things-Act-Belong-Commit Dwellingup 100.

Click here to view the video. Entries close Friday midday, 2 September – click here to enter.


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Course map

Flight Centre Epic

There's just over a week until entries close for the Flight Centre Epic, stop 6 on the XCM National Series, with already over 1500 entered for the 10th of September, all you need to do is head here to register. 

Check out the map, the final 10km of the 50km race is yet to be released but by all accounts from the organisers it will be just as rad as the rest of the course and of course one to challenge everyone on two wheels.

If you are keen to know more about this iconic race whip over to the website and read more about the event that keeps riders coming back for more. 

http://www.cycleepic.com/

 

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2016 Australian Mountain Bike Market Profile Survey

If you haven't already had a chance to fill this out do take the time to take part. The survey conducted by these guys can go a long way to having a significant role in justifying new trail developments across the country, as well as creating an industry that better-suits all riders.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MTBmarketprofile2016

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UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

The next two weeks will see a heap of Aussies competing at the MTB & Trials World Champs over in Val di Sole, Italy. Janine Jungfels will be defending her rainbow jersey in the elite women trials this weekend. While the downhillers won't hit the track until Thursday 8th. To follow head to: http://www.valdisolebikeland.com/

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MTB Wagga 6 Hour Enduro

On Sunday Wagga Wagga will host the fourth race in the Evocities series, with the running of the Wagga 6 Hour Enduro. This 6 hour event is now in its 10th year and has a dedicated group of participants who love riding Wagga’s rocky trails. The likes of Jason English, Shaun Lewis and Ed McDonald are jostling for top spot with the women’s series being fought out between Liz Smith and Kathryn McInerney, but with four races to go the series remains open.

Not only does the Wagga 6 Hour attract top notch riders, but the relaxed atmosphere of the event ensures more social riders feel welcomed and included in this exciting event. There is a shortened race aimed at under 12 riders, a Local Schools Challenge and with the ride landing on Fathers Day there is always a great turn out of families. 

Registrations and more information are available online at http://6hour.mtbwagga.asn.au/

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2016/17 National Cyclo-Cross Championships

Two new elite champions were crowned at the NCXC at Adelaide Parklands with Rebecca Locke (Elite Women) and Chris Jongewaard (Elite Men) taking out their categories. Over 200 riders competed on what was a testing course set out by the Port Adelaide Cycling Club. For full results head to: 

 www.mtba.asn.au/news

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Gravity Enduro National Championships presented by SRAM

Excitement is building in Adelaide ahead of the 2016 Gravity Enduro National Championships presented by SRAM. The event will be held on the weekend of 15-16 October at Eagle Hill MTB Park. 
To register for the event click here.
Join our Facebook event page to stay up-to-date as more information becomes available.

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XCO & DHI National Series / National Championships

Entries for the 2017 XCO & DHI National Series will open on October 1, 2016.

Four new venues are included in next years series.

For all the dates head to the event page on our website www.mtba.asn.au/events

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Townsville MTB Festival

Planning is well underway ahead of the inaugural Townsville MTB Festival to be held 29 April - 5 May 2017.

This event will incorporate the following rides and races:
29 - 30 April:    XCM National Championships
1 May:             Castle Hill DH Eliminator
1 May - 5 May: Explore Townsville Adventure Ride

Whilst, the final format and schedules for all events are still being finalised, we can give you some information about the two new events being offered.

Castle Hill DH Eliminator Challenge will include a mix of invited and “wildcard” riders to form a final field of race contenders. Riders will race off against each other in two’s, starting at the top of Castle Hill, racing down the red terrain, onto the closed roads incorporating a series of urban downhill elements to finish near the beach. It will be a short, quick course, offering spectators excitement from top to bottom. Winners will progress until we are left with only one. Riders competing in a qualifying round conducted in the same way as the final, until all wildcards are filled to win entry into the final. Dependent on entry numbers, a lottery may need to be held for riders who wish to enter the qualification round. Race entries will be limited to a maximum of 32 for the final.

Explore Townsville Adventure Ride is an activity designed to suit all riders of all levels. Riders will ride for approximately 3-4 hours each day (either morning or afternoon) and explore some of the beautiful sites and trails on offer in and around Townsville. Riding each day from Monday to Friday, this family friendly activity should provide participants with some unique and enjoyable experiences, including riding on the amazing Magnetic Island. Other stages currently being considered include Ross River, Douglas Mountain Bike Reserve & Lake Ross Trails.

Stay alert for more information in the coming months.

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2017 National Schools Mountain Bike Championships

Mountain Bike Australia are excited to announce the inaugural National School Mountain Bike Championships to be held on the Gold Coast from June 2 - 4, 2017. Incorporating Cross-Country Olympic, Cross-Country Team Enduro & a Cross-Country Eliminator, this event will be a welcome addition to MTBA's annual calendar. More information will be available in the next month.

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MEMBERSHIP

Membership Prize Pack

Spring is just around the corner and our 2-weeks of binge-Olympic-watching is complete. It's time to get back out on the bike!  


Take out a 12-month MTBA membership (new or renewal) during September 2016 and go into the draw to receive FREE Membership and a MTBA Merchandise Pack!! 


There are 5 prize packs to be won. Winners will receive CASH BACK for the MTBA component of their membership purchased.

Winners will be contacted on 3rd October 2016!

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MTBA Products

Quality MTBA form-soft Hooded Jackets are available to purchase at the MTBA web-store. Available for $40 plus postage in Mens and Womens sizes. Stock is limited so don't miss out!
Check out the other products and merchandise for sale, including Bike Insurance, World Cup Tees, MTBA Caps and Drink bottles, Trail building books, and more....
Purchase now! https://www.mtba.asn.au/store/

 

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Membership Price Changes

Junior Membership

MTBA have introduced reduced Junior membership pricing for Recreation and Value-Add members, effective from 1st July 2016, making it even more accessible for riders aged 18 years and under to enjoy the benefits of an MTBA membership.

Junior Recreation 12-mth membership |  $35 + Club fee

Junior Value-Add 12-mth membership |  $60 + Club fee

Head to www.mtba.asn.au/membership for a complete breakdown of membership packages and prices.

Day Permits

Recreation members of all ages and junior non-MTBA riders (aged 18 yrs & under) now have a $15 Race Day Licence option to participate in a race events hosted by MTBA and their affiliated clubs and promoters. Senior riders without a MTBA membership can still participate with a $25 Race Day Licence.

Non-MTBA members also have access to an optional Recreation Day Permit for social rides held by affiliated clubs and promoters. At a cost of $7 for juniors and $10 for seniors, it provides the rider with public liability and personal accident cover for the ride.

 

* Includes Affiliated Club and Promoter events, MTBA National Series, MTBA National Championships, Crocodile Trophy.

# Example: UCI MTB World Cup, UCI MTB World Championships.

^ International Travel Insurance is mandatory for attendance at UCI International Events. Travel insurance can be sourced independently or is available to purchase through Cycling Australia, however it must include cover whilst training and participating in cycling events before your UCI licence is approved. 

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DEVELOPMENT

Womens Skills Weekend - Townsville 

Our first Sport Development women’s specific skills sessions were held in tropical Townsville over the weekend. Using the Cape Pallarenda park and trail network, the course was privileged with a view of the coast and the most scenic of settings. The participants were more interested in learning the fundamental skills of mountain biking however, and were taken through two days of lessons which included positioning on the bike, cornering, clearing obstacles and basic mechanical tips. Many of the participants had never changed a tyre or repaired a chain but they all got the opportunity for some hands-on experience.

The amount of trail development in Townsville, led by the Rockwheelers club in conjunction with the local council, has made this a hot-bed of activity. In 2017 the city will host the National Marathon Championships as well as a week-long festival of events aimed at showing off the vast network. The terrain can be challenging though with rocks and loose gravel typical of the terrain. In order to learn the skills to deal with those challenges, sometimes the best way to is learn in a ‘safe’ environment such a grass park, which is where our group spent the majority of the weekend. This is a step many beginners to mountain biking miss and they are rushed onto the trails before they have learned how to ride and it becomes a negative experience.

Local coach, Keith Spencer, assembled some great mountain bike obstacles out of plywood and old pallets. In conjunction with the ubiquitous orange sports-cones, all the challenges the riders were likely to encounter on the trail could be simulated – minus the gravel rash. Once the riders had practiced and gained confidence, the group hit the trails to apply the new skills. This seemed to go well as they only person who crashed on the weekend was the MTBA Development Coach – something about confidence exceeding ability?

Statistics show that 45% of mountain bike riders are women, but women only represent 15% of MTBA members. This is a figure we are trying to change by providing services that women are seeking. Apart from a few riders, participants weren’t members of the local club or MTBA. Of those who had attended group rides, they found them not suitable for their ability:

“I used to go to the club rides for the beginners group. But after a while, the ride kept getting faster and faster until I couldn’t keep up. It wasn’t very ‘social’ so I stopped going.”

This highlights an area where clubs need to provide rides of an appropriate level to encourage beginners to ride within their abilities. Having strong group leaders and trained coaches is a great way to ensure this occurs. And if riders are not interested in club-led activities, they can become MTBA Recreational members and benefit from the insurance cover that our membership provides. This protects, not only the rider, but the damage the rider may cause to others. The full range of MTBA membership benefits can be found at www.mtba.asn.au/membership

If you or your club want more information about women’s specific events, please contact Jodie Willett the MTBA Development Coach at devcoach@mtba.asn.au

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CEO'S MESSAGE

Many years ago a marketing expert for one of the world's premier perfume brands was asked about what they were selling and he replied "Hope".

It's an interesting premise.

With a high number of Australian's not necessarily in the best physical shape, for many the thought and challenge of physical activity is daunting and avoided. This is not to say, that many of these individuals have a desire to participate and I'm sure imagine themselves actively participating in activities and fulfilling the image of the all-Australian sportsperson.

Recently I attended a bike demonstration day, something I rarely do, along with other MTBA staff. So what was different about it? The demonstration was for pedal-assisted E-bikes, limited to providing assistance up to 25kph and only when the rider is pedalling and remain stationary when there is no pedalling. I can appreciate there exists other types of E-bikes, some that generate motion even when not on the pedals.

There has been comment around the damage that E-bikes provide to trails, but I feel the comments need to be measured to the mode of bike operations. It was not possible to spin the wheels of the bike I rode anymore or less than could be done on a traditional bike.

So what's the key message? The introduction of E-bikes (as I experienced) are an incredible enabler and beneficial piece of equipment to the increased growth, participation and opportunities for riders of all abilities, especially those new to mountain bikes.

As a novice rider myself, my personal experience was that I was able to ride further, experience and participate more with other riders in the group. In essence we all seek experiences and want to share these with others and some of us just secretly hope we can be better.

The introduction of E-bikes gives that opportunity. And before everyone tells me to just get better let's consider people with health conditions, injuries or disabilities or just a lack of confidence, and what the introduction of assistance bikes would be for them.

In the past decade we have seen sports equipment evolve and enhance the playing pleasure for the participant, you only have to look at tennis and golf as prime examples, and it remains to be said MTB is no different. 

I look forward to seeing how far our sport can go and grow.

Shane Coppin 

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SHARE YOUR STORIES WITH US!

Is there someone you know in the mountain bike community that has a great story and should be told? Is there a interesting story surrounding how your club came about? Are there great things happening in your area? 
MTBA is keen to hear from you and help bring the stories within the club and the community to life.
Send your spiel to comms@mtba.asn.au and we'll get back to you.

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Photo Credits: Russ Baker, Jiri Cech Photography, UCI @Marco Patrizi