Community collaboration gets wheels in motion
Riding their bikes over the jumps and bank turns in the newly opened Sherry Park Bike Track they helped plan and build, local residents Raf Miller and Tully Twining can’t wipe the smiles from their faces.
With a curious collection of speed, balance, physical skill and mechanics both riders go round and round in circles feeling very proud of the role they played in getting this unique family space to emerge from previously unused space.
Located adjacent the Mylor Oval, Sherry Park Bike Track is the result of a thoughtful collaboration between the Adelaide Hills Council, the Mylor Oval Committee, members of the local bike riding community, including Raf and Tully, and bike track specialists Ryan Lloyd from Lighthouse Youth Projects and Nick Bowman from Destination Trails.
As well as being a co-founder of Lighthouse Youth Projects, Ryan Lloyd runs Alpina Creations building bike tracks and jumps and says it was amazing working with the Adelaide Hills Council, Nick Bowman and local kids on this build to achieve the best track for the local community.
“With this track it was really important that we built all levels of track to suit the local kids and everyone looking to rider here who might range in age from two years to young adult,” Ryan says.
“So, we worked in conjunction with Adelaide Hills Council and local riders before Nick Bowman designed and built the pump track and we set our minds to completing the jump side of the build.”
Adventurous bike riders are thrilled there is now a dedicated space for all riders next to Aldgate Creek and adjacent Mylor Oval and its popularity, even during the colder winter months, is proving it is already a huge hit with local families like the Millers and Twinings.
Keen to have somewhere to ride their bikes together local riders Tully Twining, 17, and Raf Miller, 16, jumped at the opportunity to work with the Council to design and build the new tracks.
Raf says working with Tully, Ryan and Nick to design the track over the course of a year was a great learning experience that was totally worth the effort now that there is such a cool space for everyone to meet and ride on together.
“Now that we have got the bike track and jumps up and running it's a really positive thing – it’s definitely one of the best tracks I've been to and it's so much better than sitting inside all day,” Raf says.
Tully agrees expressing excitement that after a few meetings getting everyone together and brainstorming ideas and plans, Sherry Park Bike Track now offers something for everyone to explore and enjoy.
“I’ll probably be here at least a couple of times a week especially in the afternoons after school because it’s nice and close and its good fun,” Tully says.
Mylor Oval Management Committee spokesperson Alison Howard says the area is much loved and widely used by the local community and visitors so considering the diverse needs of all users and the landscape was essential.
“Our efforts have been focussed on minimising the impact of the bike track on Sherry Park including how it might affect flora, fauna and the unique beauty of the site,” Alison says.
Adelaide Hills Council Director of Corporate Services, Terry Crackett says the Council was delighted to work closely with the Mylor Oval Committee and the bike riding community to collaborate on Sherry Park Bike Track.
“This is a really positive shared outcome with all parties working together towards a solution that accommodates the needs of the local community, bike riders and the major users of the Mylor Oval and surrounds,” Terry says.
“We look forward to seeing the track become a great community asset for riders of all ages and abilities.”
Riders of all ages and abilities now have the choice of two classes of bike tracks featuring options ranging from gentle undulations to soaring jumps which Ryan Lloyd says emerged from designs Raf and Tully suggested and helped build.
“We always try and involve people in the build processes so we can make it the most suitable for the riders because activities like bike riding are such positive outlets for young people,” Ryan says.
Sherry Park Bike Track is located next to the Mylor Oval and is open seven days a week until sunset and with the adjacent playground and oval facilities there is something for the whole family to do in the great outdoors of Mylor.