Quiet achievers get park blessing

• Sam Wilkinson and Jesse Webster-Wilkinson get some air time at the proposed mountain bike track in Booyeembara Park. Photo by Steve Grant

WHEN the Friends of Booyeembara Park discovered mountain bikers had been using a makeshift track for more than a year without anyone noticing, the group decided it warranted support for a more permanent facility.

Late last month Fremantle council also gave its blessing to a formalised bike track tucked up against the back nine of the Royal Fremantle Golf Club, setting aside $9000 in next year’s budget for a feasibility study and another $15,000 towards building it, if everything goes to plan.

Pump track

The track is the brainchild of local bike enthusiasts Mark Taylor, Sam Wilkinson, Richard Parker and Jahn Goodman who formed the Fremantle Mounting Biking Collective about a year ago.

Mr Goodman told the Herald a local trail would put an end to the two-hour drive he and his son Charlie face every time they want to get some airtime in the bush, as the nearest track is in Kalamunda.

Mr Wilkinson said the planned Booyeembara track would be about 300 metres long and hopefully include a pump track at the end so young riders can work on their skills.

• Sam Wilkinson, Jahn Goodman and Richard Parker with young mountain bike enthusiasts Jesse, Charlie, Max, Lilah, Emma, Oliver and Oscar.

“Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with more than 120,000 mountain bikes purchased in WA every year.

“One of the reasons we want to formalise the track is because particularly by the end of summer the ground is really sandy and people start to change the track and it gets wider, and we really want to keep the impact to a minimum,” Mr Wilkinson said.

Long-time Friends of Booyeembara Park member Stephanie Jennings said her group liked the fact the collective was initiated by local riders who had a bunch of kids ready to get outside and exercising.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said while the concept was worthy, he cautioned that there was asbestos in the area and a site management plan in place.

“The first step in moving this concept forward is to carry out a land-use compatibility study to find out if the trails could be developed and managed in accordance with the site management plan,” Dr Petttitt said.

“If that study finds the site is suitable we could then move on to a more detailed design phase.”

by STEVE GRANT

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