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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Happy 40th birthday … to mountain bike racing. On 21 October 1976 in Marin County, California, the first MTB race was held. That Repack race kicked off our sport. Another 20 years and we were in the Olympics. It's amazing how far your sport has come in those 40 years.
On 8 and 9 October, Canberra Off-Road Cyclists held their last Scott 24 hr. It was also the Australian Solo 24 Hr Champions and a world-class field was there. Ed McDonald took the Australian title from Jason English after many years of battles between those two riders and Liz Smith won the Women’s title.   It was the first Solo 24 that Jason English has not won since July 2008 - the end of a winning streak of 25 races. This Scott 24 was the 18th edition of CORC’s 24 Hour and I would like to pay tribute to CORC for growing and sustaining this sport in Australia - a sport which has given Australia six Elite World Champions (Mary Grigson 2001, Craig Gordon 2006, James Williamson 2008, Jason English 2009-2016, Jess Douglas 2010-2013, and Liz Smith 2016) plus numerous age-group and single-speed world champions.  

I would also like to mention Paul Brodie and Paul Mason - two riders from Canberra (and the only two) who have ridden in every one of CORC’s 24 hour events. MTBA will continue to support an Australian Solo 24 Hour Championships into the future. But events like The Scott are not all about winners. Peaking at over 3,000 riders in 2006 and totalling over 30,000 riders across those 18 events, CORC has introduced thousands of people to fun, participation mountain biking at this innovative event.

Mary Grigson (now Mary Daubert and living in the USA) will be inducted into the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame in November in Melbourne. Mary is a multiple World Cup XCO winner, dual Olympian, five-times Australian Champion, Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist and was Australia’s first World Solo 24 Hour mountain bike champion.   Congratulations Mary !

The 2016 Gravity Enduro National Championships were held out of Eagle MTB Park in Adelaide on 16 October. This is the first year of a 3-year package for these championships in South Australia. Inside Line and the whole South Australian team did a great job of running these championships in very trying weather conditions. It was so wet that riders were driving up to the presentation podium in their cars. Some changes to stages had to be made but overall it was great racing and congratulations to Chris Panozzo and Philippa Rostan as our 2016 national champions.

This event also saw new trails opened up for racing and this will be part of the legacy that these championships leave for South Australia - more trails for all of us to ride.

On 13 October, I attended the ceremony for the memorial dedication and scattering of ashes of Kane Vandenberg at the top of Western Wedgetail at Stromlo Forest Park.   Kane died in a Downhill competition at Stromlo in 2013 and his family, friends, the ADF Cycling Club and many Service colleagues were there for the memorial dedication. There are now 3 memorials to members of the mountain bike family on Mount Stromlo, with James Williamson (2010) and Carolyn McKinlay (2009) also remembered. Justin Lenehan (2012) is also remembered every year at the ACT Schools mountain bike championships by a trophy in his name. It's very sad that we have to have memorials, but its good that the people will be remembered to future generations of mountain bikers. Thank you to Stromlo Forest Park for allowing us to remember in this way.

Russ Baker AM

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NEWS 

2017 XCM NATIONAL SERIES DATES CONFIRMED

Mountain Bike Australia has confirmed the dates for the 2017 Cross-Country Marathon National Series. The series will again visit four states and two territories, giving riders the opportunity to “Experience The Journey” of marathon racing across the country from February to October in 2017. https://www.mtba.asn.au/event/xcm-national-series/

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CX & ENDURO SERIES SET TO INCREASE

MTBA has sent out expressions of interest to clubs across the country to host rounds of the cylco-cross and gravity enduro national series for 2017.

It's anticipated the enduro series will expand to five rounds while the cx series could also increase.

For more info: eventsadmin@mtba.asn.au.

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2017 XCO & DHI National Series

Online entries are now open for the 2017 XCO & DHI National Series which commence in early January. Take advantage of the series discount when you register for 75% or more of the rounds in one transaction.

For info and to register: www.mtba.asn.au/event

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2017 National Schools MTB Championships

2017 SCHOOLS NATIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Bond University has secured naming rights to the inaugural 2017 Schools National Championships to be held on the Gold Coast in June next year.

For the full story: https://www.mtba.asn.au/news/

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE

Following the 2016 Cairns World Cup where MTBA partnered with Cycling Australia in the delivery of a successful event on time and under budget, MTBA advise at this time we have not been able to reach an agreement with CA to be part of the event delivery team for the 2017 World Championships in Cairns.

We acknowledge the delivery of such large scale international events can place heavy demands on a national organisation and we recognise the involvement of delivering these events must not compromise the core services to our members and the wider mtb community.

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COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE VERSUS INCORPORATED ASSOCIATION

In past editions of the member’s newsletter information has been provided about the preference for MTBA to no longer be an incorporated association and to become and company limited by guarantee. For this change in governance to occur, members must vote and agree to this course of action.

There are a few administrative tasks, including preparing a new constitution, to complete before asking members to vote, therefore a date for this to occur has yet to be determined.

Below is a brief summary outlining the difference between an incorporated association and company limited by guarantee.

More in-depth information is available on our website, or via the Australian Sports Commission Mandatory Sports Governance Principles

Structure

•  Company limited by guarantee may operate Australia wide.

•  Company limited by guarantee is the structure preferred by the Australian Sports Commission for National Sports Organisations.

• Incorporated association can operate in the state/ territory of incorporation.

• For a company limited by guarantee, members vote to appoint a Board of Directors with the Chair appointed by the Board.

• As an incorporated association, members currently vote to appoint a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and discipline representatives to MTBA’s management committee.

•  Board members of both organisational structures are appointed for specified terms.

Legal Status

• No real difference.

• Company limited by guarantee is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Trading Ability

• A company may trade in any State or territory in Australia.

•  An incorporated association may trade where it is consistent with its purposes but must be registered to trade outside of its local jurisdiction.

Winding up and the liability of members

• No real difference.

• Limited by guarantee means the liability of the company’s members is limited to the amount of the guarantee (that is the amount a member has agreed to contribute in the event of the company being wound up. This is normally a fixed nominal amount and is specified in the company’s constitution.

Office holders’ and directors’ duties and liabilities

•  Similar standards for office holders and directors.

Compliance and governance obligations

• Higher onus for a company means more robust structure with more checks and balances.

Profits

• Both a CLBG and an incorporated association cannot distribute profits to members.

Costs

•  Costs associated with administering an organisation are slightly higher for a CLBG.

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THULE SUPPORTING MTBA EVENTS THIS SUMMER

Mountain Bike Australia is pleased to confirm that Thule’s support has been secured for the 2017 season. 
For expert bike transport advice and solutions, keep an eye out for Thule representatives and Thule prizes at National Series events for various disciplines over Summer. Check out  thule.com.au for ideas to get you started.

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MEMBERSHIP

The Groover Method

MEMBER BENEFITS FOR NOVEMBER

From today, MTBA Members have 2 weeks to take advantage of a 25% discount on The Groover Method Online MTB Skills Course.

 A Step-by-Step Online Skills Guide, suitable for any level of rider and highly regarded by MTBA's skills instructor Evan James! 

Click HERE to purchase your subscription with the Discount Code: GROOVER25. Available only to financial MTBA members so have your number handy!

 

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NOVEMBER MEMBERSHIP MAGAZINE MADNESS!

Renew or sign up for your MTBA membership in November and go into the draw to win a 12-month magazine subscription of your choice to one of the following MTB magazines!

Australian Mountain Bike; Mountain Biking Australia; [R]evolution

Congratulations to our five winners from September: Timothy White, Hilton Mcgill, Amanda Pease and Steve Turrell receiving free membership of MTBA and merchandise pack.

Our October prize winner will be announced next newsletter!

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Membership Prices

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 an 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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SCHOOLS SECTION

MTB SCHOOLS OF EXCELLENCE

Mountain Bike Australia has released a MTB Schools of Excellence program to recognise schools which have successfully integrated mountain biking into the curriculum. We have developed this certification to enable parents and students to identify schools who are committed to MTB and which may give them the opportunity to develop their interest in the sport. 

For the full story: ww.mtba.asn.au/news

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MACKAY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE RECOGNISED

MTBA have awarded the first School of Excellence Certification to Mackay Christian College. The school delivers mountain biking as a subject in the curriculum for two terms of the year as well as hosting the Central Queensland Interschool MTB event and the Zach Mach adventure race.

The school has also designed and patented a custom bike trailer which it uses to transport its fleet of bikes to events. These are for students to use and are also loaned to students of other schools so that they can participate. 

Teacher, Peter Lister, has been the driving force in the MTB revolution at Mackay Christian College along with a team of dedicated staff and parents. Many hands have made light work and provided the school with an excellent mountain bike skills park in the school grounds which students can access during school hours. 

We congratulate Mackay Christian College on providing their students with a high standard of mountain bike participation opportunities and are delighted to award them the School of Excellence title.

For more information about our School of Excellence program, see our website or contact Jodie Willett at devcoach@mtba.asn.au. 

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TRAILS

MTBA considered developing a free app to provide a one-stop shop of places to MTB ride in Australia. However, given the number of free apps already available that provide this information, MTBA decided to encourage Clubs and members to make use of an existing app.

Trailforks, is a free mountain bike trail database and management system for riders, clubs and associations and is owned by Pinkbike. Many MTB clubs, trail care alliances and riders within Australia already use Trailforks to log trail networks, places to ride, submit trail reports and add photos and videos. There is also a facility for users to make donations (Trail Karma) to clubs and associations to assist with trail maintenance and construction activities.

Trailforks relies on the fact that there are thousands of people out riding every day, many of whom share their experiences via GPS devices. Trailforks provides an opportunity to share trail information in a central location under a structure where every individual contribution accumulates and adds to the value of the database for the benefit of the entire mountain biking community. Users also help moderate the site by voting to approve or deny new trails and report bad data.

The Trailforks downloadable app is user friendly and allows users to download offline trail maps for use while out riding.

Trailforks is also a valuable tool in providing data to assist with painting a picture of the MTB landscape and community in Australia.

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 NEW ITALY MTB FOREST 

MTBA regularly liaise with Clubs, Councils and other land management agencies in regards to trail development projects. Recently there seems to have been an increase in the number of regions striving to become the next Australian MTB destination with many more stakeholders recognising the social, health and economic benefits of mountain biking. Late last month MTBA attended the official opening of the first stage of purpose built MTB trails at the New Italy Mountain Bike Forest located in Doubleduke State Forest at Tabbimoble, Northern NSW. The Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Mountain Bike Club in partnership with Forestry Corporation of NSW have established 20 kilometres of mainly beginner trails plus a car park and signage. There are plans to further develop the network with the addition of 15 kilometres of more technical trails. The open day was a huge success with Club Secretary; Sheryn Da Re reporting approximately 350 riders attended the opening. For more information on the trails and to download a map, visit the club website www.dirtywheels.org

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NATIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL PROJECTS

As reported in previous editions of this newsletter, MTBA in collaboration with stakeholders from across the MTB industry have been working on projects to help guide the future of MTB trail building in Australia.

The working group has completed preliminary investigations into a range of options to deliver:

• National MTB trail standards/guidelines

• A professional certification/ accreditation framework and curriculum program

• A not for profit peak body to represent the Australian MTB trail building industry.

A survey has been developed to help gather feedback from the MTB community, land management agencies and trail builders.

To participate in this survey and provide feedback you must have read the option paper for each of the above projects. Click here to access the survey.

State and territory land management agencies and trail builders will receive an email inviting them to participate in the survey and provide additional feedback through targeted consultation.

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MTBA STRAVA CLUB

Mountain Bike Australia has established themselves as a club on Strava. If you are a Strava user and wish to join the MTBA club, search for Mountain Bike Australia. In the future MTBA will run competitions and giveaways through the club. The data collected on riding habits will combine with other data being collected to assist MTBA paint a picture of the Australian MTB landscape.

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DEVELOPMENT

2016 REGIONAL JUNIOR SQUADS

The MTBA Regional Junior squads have kicked off for 2016. The 9 month program offers riders face-to-face coaching with an accredited MTBA instructor, as well as specific advice on all aspects of high performance including nutrition and recovery.

Riders will be working towards competition at national level throughout the coming season.

Squads are located in the following areas:
Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Geelong, Perth, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Launceston.

The next intake for these areas will be in July 2017. If you are interested in applying please use the online form here.

Squads in other regions will be announced when coaches become available. Any coach who wants to lead a squad, please contact the MTBA Development Coach at devcoach@mtba.asn.au.

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Do you want to work with the Australian Junior Downhill Team?

The position of Junior Downhill Coordinator has been re-advertised and applications are opened until November 2. Estimated remuneration for this position is $4400 subject to changes due to variations in travel days. More information about the position can be found on our Employment page:

https://www.mtba.asn.au/about/employment/

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YOUR TALES FROM THE TRAILS

ALPINE CYCLING CLUB JUNIOR DEVELOPMENT DAY

On Saturday 15 October 80 children aged 5 – 14 came from across the region to participate in the annual Alpine Cycling Club Junior Mountain Bike Development Day. Children benefited from skills coaching by professional coaches provided by CyclePath Bright, ATC, Halkswood Training Systems and Fastline Bikademy.

 One of the highlights was a team scavenger hunt where riders split into teams and followed a series of clues to find their way around the Mystic MTB Park. Riders also enjoyed the bike games, team relay and ‘tricky stuff’ session where they learnt to mono, bunny hop and skid.

Dr Chris O’Brien generously donated his time to conduct a session about looking after your riding buddies which included what to do with snake bites and bike injuries.

We are about to kick off our Junior MTB race series on 19 November, the series consists of 5 races in different disciplines for kids aged 4- 16. This year, we are excited to be supporting two of our older juniors to run the series.

If you are interested contact info@alpinecyclingclub.com.au

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WHEN ABBEY MET TRACEY

Last year, while travelling around Australia, 8 year old Abbey took to mountain biking in a big way. As a keen mountain biking family, we visited the top 10 mountain biking destinations in the country. When we were riding the trails in Smithfield, Cairns, a local from Cairns saw Abbey riding and called her a 'mini Tracey Hannah'. At this point, Abbey became very interested in Tracey and very quickly became Tracey's biggest fan.

Earlier this term at her school, Abbey was asked to do a presentation on her favourite athlete. She chose to do it on Tracey and researched her personal attributes, career highlights and the reasons why Tracey chose mountain biking as her sport. This presentation was done BEFORE we knew that Tracey would attend the Southern MTB festival in Albany. Abbey's info included why she chose Tracey as her favourite athlete and other interesting facts about.

When Abbey heard that Tracey would be here in Albany for the event, she wrote her a personal letter and asked her to come and visit her class at school.

The current World Number 3 visited the Year 2/3 classroom and answered many questions from the excited kids. She had brought with her, her two recent medals the gold medal from the Crankworx Air Downhill Championships in Whistler, Canada & bronze medal from the recent World Cup in Italy, and her World Cup downhill jersey she wore. At the conclusion of the Q&A session, Tracey presented her jersey to Abbey as a gift and a thank you for the invitation to visit her class. Of course, Abbey was not expecting this and overjoyed!

 Abbey went on to compete in Tracey's jersey at the Kids Urban Downhill event in Albany on Saturday where she placed second and also was also lucky enough to try on Tracey's helmet and even got a ride on her bike!

By Renae O'Donnell.

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CLUB COMMUNICATION

AT MTBA we are keen to find out "Where In The World" your club is and what you are up to. So add us to your newsletter distribution list or drop us a line so we can help spread the word about the great work and activities you are doing in your region. comms@mtba.asn.au

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 WHERE IN THE WORLD?

Meet the crew from the Kimberly Action Sports Incorporated who are based in Kunnanurra.

They aren't the biggest mtb club going round but are doing their bit to improve mountain biking in the north of WA around the Kimberley.

They've already built the first official single track in the Kimberley and are now working with Parks to build one in our neighbouring National Parks. They also have met with the Shire to build a Skills trail. 

www.lakeargyleadventurerace.com.au  

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CEO'S MESSAGE

Over the past 15 months Mountain Bike Australia has seen a significant increase in membership with a growth rate of 22.8%.

There has been an 89% increase, in the growth in our recreation membership, which now, makes up approximately 15% of our near 15,000 members.

This significant escalation in membership highlights the attractiveness of mountain biking to the general population, and also cements its place as an active and healthy lifestyle, as much as it is a sport.

MTB is as much about the bike you ride as opposed to where and how you ride, and MTBA are focused on creating an organisation that caters for all individuals who want the benefits of being a member of a national sporting body.

The reflection of mountain biking’s popularity can also be seen in the commercial sector, with major companies now using mountain biking as part of their advertising campaigns, which further widens mountain biking’s appeal.

MTBA recognises the need to ensure that we continue to source and provide resources, services and programs to support our growing membership and provide value to the grassroots and recreation levels, and general mountain biking community as much as the performance focused end of the sport.

MTBA has recently made great progress in engaging schools with mountain bike specific programs, with more to be rolled out in the new year.

MTBA’s coaching and skills programs have gained popularity with over 230 persons undertaking the new Level 0 skills course since January.

This course is specifically targeted at those who are just starting out and keen to learn and develop mountain biking at the basic level for the beginner rider.

MTBA is currently investigating funding options to establish a program of mountain bike participation officers, whose role would be to engage directly with clubs, members and other mountain bike related bodies and establishing stronger relationships between the national body.

As part of that process, MTBA continues to lobby for National Sports Organisation status from the Australian Sports Commission, which will enable MTBA access to a wide range of resources and funding opportunities.

MTBA recognise the need to be more than just a race focused organisation, and ensure it appeals to the broader cycling community who simply want to ride their bike for, health, lifestyle and social benefits.

Shane Coppin

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Photo © : Russ Baker, Ryan Finley Photographics, Jaime Black Photography