Cobargo, north of Bega, is a small village of 776 people and 210 families. It is famous for its dynamic folk festival, its community of creators and producers, its homebrew shop, and its butcher shop – and now its BMX track.
Built in just three weeks using 1000 tonnes of fill from the massive Dignams Creek roadworks, the track was opened at the weekend, the culmination of nearly 400 hours of volunteer labour.
“We had volunteers from 16 to 67 years of age raking rocks from the track, wetting and whacker-packing and even primary age children helping grass-seeding the outsides of the berms,” says Tania Lingard, Cobargo Skate Club.
“Equally significant to the completion of the track are the local men with their heavy machines who also volunteered their time.”
The concrete ramps, rails, and half pipe of the Skate Park next door opened in 2012; also the result of community muscle and fundraising.
“The Skate Club’s vision has always included a BMX track,” says Susan Bear, Cobargo Skate Club.
“We ran into a few problems at the time and the idea has just sat there for the last 6 years.
“We needed something for our youth, the pool is great in summer, but they get a bit restless.”
The launch of the BMX track also doubled as the start of the town’s next effort – a full basketball court to complete the Skate Club’s vision of a recreation area for youth. Up to $40,000 is needed to make it real within the same block of land.
“Cobargo just makes things happen – when the word goes out people just start helping,” Susan says.
“One of the important things is that young people see us doing something for them, I think that makes them feel better about this place – part of the community.”
The designer of the track Hjalmar Arnold says its an “awesome achievement’ for Cobargo.
“We like it one rider at a time so that kids don’t cross over and get tangled up,” he says.
“This is a place for kids to learn and develop their skills.”
With bumps and jumps big and small on the inside and outside of the new track, all ages and levels of experience can find their place.
“I’ve been playing on bikes for a couple of decades now and it’s this style of riding that put the first smile on my face,” Hjalmar says.
“The skills you learn here can be taken to all disciplines of cycling – road riding, BMX racing, mountain biking, and freeriding – all internationally renowned sports.”
The Cobargo BMX Track and Skate Park can be found on Park Street, opposite the football ground.