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  • Parks Victoria Trail Audit Update 
  • Trail Fundraising
  • Forest Rd Roundabout Works 
  • Committee Member Profile - Shane O'Brien
  • Anglesea Bike Park
  • Around the State - Red Hill Riders

For those new to the group... 

Welcome! The GMBC Surf Coast Trail Group is a collection of passionate local trail riders and runners who have recently come together to promote trail use in the Anglesea / Eumeralla area. We are a subcommittee of Geelong Mountain Bike Club inc. (GMBC).
Our goals are to act as a trail advocacy and maintenance group and to liaise with the various land managers in order to retain a varied and interesting trail network in the area. When and where permission is granted, we will endeavor to keep the network well maintained and sustainable for the enjoyment and safety of users. We will favourably promote MTB riding and trail running as healthy, environmentally responsible pastimes enjoyed by many in our region and that they carry significant local economic benefits.

Parks Victoria Trail Audit Update

Great News!!! When this group first formed, the entire Eumeralla trail network was proposed to be closed. The trails were not authorised and without a local group willing to offer significant assistance with maintaining the network, it would have been unfeasible for Parks to retain those trails. The formation of the Surf Coast Trail Group has enabled this decision to be significantly reversed and the end result looks to be the retention of most of the existing trail network. We hope to hear very soon exactly what shape the network will take and we'll be able to share that as soon as that decision is formalised. 

In the near future, you may notice some works being carried out at Hurst Rd. Parks has been allocated some funds towards creating a more suitable trailhead at this location that will allow for more car parking and will also see some cleaning up of some nearby sections that tend to get very wet.

Working Bees


Once the formal sign off has occurred, we'll be able to start regular trail maintenance. We're looking for a core group of people interested in assisting at various times. No experience is necessary as we'll have experienced trail builders leading each working bee. We'll be aiming to hold them monthly with the hope that those interested will be able to attend a couple of times each year. There's no obligation or minimal commitment. 

If you're interested in being involved, please email Brett at (or simply reply to this email) with your mob and we'll add you to the group. 

Trail Fundraising

Now we can shift our focus towards actually doing trail work - woohoo! And that means we need to look at how to raise trail funds. Some of our group are working hard on grants but we can also raise trail funds in other ways. We have two to announce here:

1. Surf Coast MTB Night (Sat Dec 4)

We'll be holding our inaugural social night on Sat Dec 4 - save the date! There'll be time just to chew the fat but we'll also have a bit of entertainment including: 

  • Some unique MTB videos sourced by members of the group that very few will have seen before. 

  • Raffle some fantastic prizes (pretty much anything we can get our hands on) with the top one being the custom built Hettly Titanium Bike Frame (Road or MTB) valued at $1350. Hettly Bikes are super keen to support our local trails and we thank them enormously for their generosity! 
Full details including location and time to be confirmed shortly.

2. Vollies = trail funds!!! Can YOU help on Sat Sep 19???

As we all know, the local trails support a large number and variety of events. Rapid Ascent's Surf Coast Century Run (Sat Sep 19) offers us a chance to earn significant trail funds and support this local event and it's participants. 

Vollies are required ASAP. Rapid Ascent can match your interests and available times to a position. It may be assisting at registration if you like that sort of stuff, or simply sitting out on course for a few hours with your kids. Simply complete the form located HERE and hit send. If you can help out, please also let us know by replying to this email so we can build our trail funds!

Works planned at Forest Rd that will affect the trails

Works to construct a roundabout at the intersection of the Great Ocean Rd & Forest Rd are scheduled to run from mid-September until Christmas. The Forest Rd trailhead will be closed as will the trails immediately adjacent to that. We hope that will only be temporary but we don't have confirmation of this at present. 

The roundabout is completely separate to the Parks Vic review. We're sure there'll be supporters and non-supporters but it's going ahead regardless! One bonus is that crossing the Great Ocean Rd at this point will be much easier once it's complete and there will be plenty of chocolate just up the road for all to enjoy!!

Committee Member Profile - Shane O'Brien

Like most of us, it started with that one bike that sticks in the memories of childhood.

For  me, Santa delivered a British racing green dragster with the 3 speed T-bar gears (with  Neutral) all mounted on the top tube, complete with banana saddle and white wall tyres. As early as I can remember, my father would round up other kids in the neighbourhood with bikes and we would go for a ride. These rides were adventures. These adventures lasted all day, interrupted with fish and chips somewhere. So my dad’s love of being on a bike was definitely passed onto me. 

I had the pleasure of growing up in Werribee. It was a vast urban sprawl with a population of 30,000 people, so as my friendships grew so did the need to get about. My bike was my freedom machine. Free range kids, free to go wherever my legs took me. Most weekends my friends and I were on the bike getting out and about and being home on dark.

I was a mechanically minded kid, so tinkering with bikes was considered fun for me. So me and  two mates opened a bike repair shop in Macca’s mothers  old chook shed - “Macca, Shane and Leon’s bikes repairs”. I think we went into administration 6 months later! 

I took up triathlon when this sport began and continued this sport on and off for 20 years. It took me all over the place. From triathlon I drifted into swimming as I found this was the sport I was best at.

After two years of travelling around Australia with my now wife, Leanne, we settled in Jan Juc in 1997. 

Now you will not believe this next bit, (Tony may not remember), I soon bumped into Tony Smales and we got talking!!  Do you believe that??? Anyhow he showed me some trails that he had ridden. The trails were the trails we all still ride now! So I got hooked. 

As I aways loved racing I started  racing with Geelong MTB. We did races in the spring creek paddocks and on a trail network that existed above the Anglesea BMX track. These got shut down soon after by Alcoa. By this stage I was totally hooked on Racing in the dirt!! 

In 2001 my wife Leanne got a gig in the USA teaching primary School. We got posted to Vail, Colorado!!! The old red blood cells got a huge boost as we lived at an altitude of 8,400 ft, (higher than Kosciusko) for over a year. From my house, most rides went up, so a lot of riding was done around 3000 Mts (9000ft) and sometimes higher on our epics. 

We landed a week before the September 11 attacks on the trade towers, so this halted my working visa for many months. Bummer.  So while Leanne worked,  I became somewhat of a Neo-Pro in the sport of X-terra. This time of my life was absolutely the highlight of my cycling. Colorado is heaven for a cyclist. I hooked up with some of the best athletes in the area and took my MTB and cycling to another level, too many epic adventures to mention.

I now have two great boys, a 9yo and 7yo.  It seems that they also have the bikes culture under their skin. Why walk when you can ride is often said in this house? So I will be doing my best to keep up the interest for my boys.

Not many weekends go by that I am not out on our trails running or riding. I say it most times that I am out there, “These areas are  world class. I am so lucky to live here.” 

MTB would have to be the friendliest sport that I have encountered. I often come home from a ride and say to Leanne, “I have got a new Mate !!” This is greeted with the eye rolls as she has been hearing this for 20 years!! 

This is why I am on this committee. I love the area, I love the trails, I want to maintain what we have and develop new ones in the future. I want my kids and other kids to be riding in this area for the next 20 years. 

Have you tried the Anglesea Bike Park?

It’s a great family friendly facility located in Camp Rd Anglesea. It was opened in 2006 and features include Victorias’ first professionally designed 4X track, two jumps lines, an extensive trials area, a small XC trail and a pump track. There is running water, toilets, a large shelter and plenty of parking. The park is a great place to practise your skills, hang out with the kids or to start your longer forays on the nearby XC trails. 

The Park is managed by the Surf Coast Shire through a Committee of Management made up of local riders. The park is situated on Alcoa land and as such discussions are underway to ensure the area can be enjoyed by riders into the future. A major overhaul of the 4x track is about to get started. Once completed, some tree planting will also take place so the park is only going to get better. 

Drop past for a ride or why not drop in to one of their working bees. No skills or tools are required. They are held on the last Sunday of all even months (except December) at 2pm. The next working bee is this Sunday 30th August.

Hope to see you down there! 

For more info, check out the website and Facebook Page.  

Around the State

The Red Hill Riders MTB club was formed on the Mornington Peninsula in 2009. Since that time the club has grown considerably and has riders competing in many disciplines and age groups at races around the country and overseas.

The formation of the club also allowed mountain bikers to have a voice in conversations with land managers around trail use on the Peninsula. Much like our own trails on the Surf Coast, the need to review mountain bike riding in the area had been previously highlighted by authorities due to a significant increase in riding activity, particularly in Arthurs Seat State Park. After 6 years of building relationships and understanding between all parties involved (Red Hill Riders, Shire Council, Parks Victoria, Rotary and other Local Action Groups) and following an  extensive 'Public Consultation Process', Parks Victoria  very recently announced the trails at Arthurs Seat/Red Hill to be officially sanctioned. Trail head signage and individual trail information bollards are currently being installed by Parks Vic with help from the club. 

With well over 100 km of shared roadside trails, XC specific trails and some quality DH trails, the Peninsula is a great place to visit for a day trip or a weekend’s riding. There is even a MTB trail in the local secondary college where the Victorian schools championships have been held for the past three years. 

The Red Hill Riders Trail Crew hold regular trail building working bees to ensure the sustainability and longevity of the trails. Everyone is welcome so why not join them if you get a chance? A BBQ lunch is normally provided afterward.

For more info, check out their website and Facebook Page

What can you do to keep our trail network open? 

Please help us to extend our voice!

  • Like our Facebook Page.
  • Get friends to sign up to our monthly email update database HERE.
  • Forward this newsletter to interested friends.

Newsletter Archive

November 2013
January 2014
March 2014
May 2014
August 2014
December 2014
April 2015
Next Issue

We expect the next issue will be out in October / November.  If there are significant updates, we’ll aim for earlier.

If you have any enquiries please email us. We would love to hear from you so please shoot through any feedback or questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Happy riding, stay safe and we’ll see you on the trails.
Surfcoast Trail Group
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