After two years of hard work the Kangaroo Valley Community Project Pump Track will be opened this Sunday, May 2.
The official opening and an event to celebrate all the hard work of all the volunteers involved and the contributors who made it happen, will be held from noon until 3pm.
After a challenging 2020 the Kangaroo Valley community are looking forward to the completion of stage one of their locally inspired pump track project.
The Valley community was heavily impacted by the Currawong fire in January, many residents losing their houses and countless others sustained property and infrastructure damage as the fire swept towards the township.
Thankfully, a wind change meant the fire stopped at the outskirts of the main village, however many individuals and businesses in the community have suffered from the impact.
The local township relies heavily on visitors and tourism but due to the fires Kangaroo Valley had an empty main street for most of December and January.
As the town began recovering the Corona virus kicked in around the month of March.
This was a double whammy to local business and meant the community struggled with not much to look forward to in 2020.
Eighteen months ago, several residents got together and decided a worthwhile project would be to resurrect a local, rarely used, BMX track and convert it into a pump track.
A pump track is a recreational space where bikes are ridden over a series of bumps and rollers and around berms using balance and core strength.
A professional concept plan was put together by Dirtz, who specialise in the design and construction of off-road cycling facilities, and permission was sought from the local Shoalhaven council.
After much hoop jumping, permission was finally granted and the project got the go ahead.
This was about the time of the fires, so plans were put on hold as higher priorities took over.
Post fires and during COVID the KV Pump Track committee saw the importance of the project not only as added infrastructure for the Valley but also something the community would look forward to that would boost wellbeing in the community and put a smile on the face of local young people.
The pump track committee applied for several grants and were lucky to garner the support of the Commonwealth Bank through a community bushfire recovery grant, the UCI cycling group and Shoalhaven council.
Adding to this contractors such as JBG and Downer Seymour White have been generous in trucking almost 1600 tonnes of clay and soil to the site at no cost.
The local community has also offered support with local families, individuals and some businesses donating to the project.
Local contractors O'Connor Group begun work on the pump track project and the track is now ready to be ridden on.
In an interesting twist, Shaun O'Connor, the track builder and several other locals who have been instrumental in making the track happen used to ride on the same site as teenagers.
The team who constructed the Kangaroo Valley Pump Track were asked to pull down the jumps they had built on the site approximately 20 years ago as nothing was approved.
Their homemade jumps built on the site were deemed dangerous as they increased in height and resulted in several trips to the local hospital.
Since that time Shaun has competed as a professional downhill mountain biker winning the junior Australian title and representing Australia at the 2011 world mountain bike championship and was a regular finisher in the top 10 of world class events such as Fort William in Canada. Shaun has slowed down a little since then, but his experience as a rider is invaluable throughout the construction process particularly during the finer shaping procedures.
He has had a chuckle as he reflects upon building the track on the site where he and his mates were once asked to leave and hopes the new pump track can become a source of both enjoyment and skill development for the local kids.
With the pump track becoming a reality the local community is excited to see things moving and there is a buzz among the Kangaroo Valley youth.
Several working bees to complete landscaping have been held with the track surfaced with asphalt so it becomes maintenance free and can also be ridden by scooters, skateboards and balance bikes.
Anyone interested in this project or supporting the track should contact Dave Johnsonon 0409 903440 or check out the facebook and instagram page @kvpumptrack.
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