31 July 2020

Biking booms as Tathra to Kalaru Bike Track nears completion

| Elka Wood
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Michael Parker riding his bike in bushland in Tathra.

Kalaru local Michael Parker spends his free time on the bike trails around his hometown. Photo: Supplied.

Justin Roscoe, a mechanic at Tathra Beach & Bike, says business has been booming in recent months as families focus on outdoor, socially distant activities.

“We’ve sold more bikes in the past few months than we usually would that’s for sure,” he says.

Tathra is already known for being a biking hotspot thanks to volunteers from Tathra Mountain Bike Club, who maintain 50km of mountain bike trails in the region and host the annual Tathra Enduro in June, which was unfortunately cancelled this year due to COVID-19.

“We are so spoilt here in Tathra with an awesome range of trails that cater to all skill levels,” says Michael Parker, of Kalaru, who loves to get out on his bike when he can, often with his wife and three daughters. “The crew that looks after the trails do such an amazing job.”

The small beach town is about to add to its credentials as a biking destination with the imminent completion of the Tathra to Kalaru Bike Track, the result of 2017-2018 funding from the NSW Government’s Active Transport Program.

“I’m very excited about the new bike path as it allows direct access to Tathra Mountain Biking Trails,” says Michael. “I know of quite a few people in Kalaru eagerly awaiting its completion. It will make riding to Tathra with family much safer.”

A section of the Tathra to Kalaru Bike Track under construction at the top of Evans Hill.

A section of the Tathra to Kalaru Bike Track under construction at the top of Evans Hill. Photo: Elka Wood.

According to a statement from Bega Valley Shire Council on 28 July, local contractors John Michelin & Son have completed about two-thirds of the track.

“A total of 2.3km of concrete path has been constructed from Kalaru to White Rock Road,” said the statement. “There is a remaining 1.135km of the path to be constructed between White Rock Road and the fire shed and a short section at the base of Evans Hill. Both are planned for completion by the end of September, weather permitting.”

The track will eventually be extended all the way to Bega, linking the coast with the highway.

“Having the Tathra to Kalaru Bike Track completed will make cycling in Tathra even better,” says Justin. “It’s a win-win because we’ll have fewer cars on the road and it’s a safer option for cyclists.”

Justin rides between Tathra and Bega now but says he chooses his time carefully, avoiding peak traffic.

“Some parts of the road are OK for cycling, but others are narrow and windy and you have to be really close to cars,” he says.

A section of the Tathra to Kalaru Bike Track.

The Tathra to Kalaru Bike Track will end at Tathra Public School. Photo: Elka Wood.

The cost to construct the 3.4km concrete track – which is 2.5m wide – between Tathra and Kalaru is approximately $1 million of the $3 million secured under the Active Transport Program, according to a council representative.

Council has also confirmed that further planning and design of the bike track is underway for the remaining sections within Tathra, through Kalaru and to continue towards Bega.

For more information, visit Bega Valley Shire Council.

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