VICTORIA’S peak cycling body has warned that the recently-opened Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail is only suitable for experienced riders.Bicycle Victoria is not recommending the 36-km trail to beginner riders or people riding bikes that are not sturdy.”Currently, it is ideally tackled by more experienced and adventurous riders, preferably with mountain bikes or equally hardy bicycles and suspension is definitely an asset,” the organisation warns on its website.”There is no doubt that this trail oozes potential. Based on the conclusions delivered by our recent rail trail study, we know that riders prioritise scenery, views and natural attractions when deciding what trails to ride. This trail already ticks those boxes and then some.”It says the trail’s surface is “very much a work in progress”, requiring further effort to bring it up to a good standard for bicycle riders.”The surface material is still loose and rocky in many places. Due to the choice of material, the surface will stay rough until there is a chance to bring heavy rolling machinery in to flatten down the surface.”Bicycle Victoria said it would continue to work with the trail’s management committee to deliver a better riding surface for bikes.Corangamite Shire provided just $15,000 towards the rail trail’s construction and management, with $250,000 coming from the State Government and $207,000 from BHP Billiton.This compares with a $50,000 shire contribution for the Skipton to Ballarat Rail Trail, which also opened late last year.The entire length of the Camperdown-Timboon route runs through the shire, compared to only 10 per cent of the 53km-long Skipton-Ballarat route.Councillor Matt Makin is pushing for the shire to play a “more significant role” in maintaining the proposed $5.4 million Twelve Apostles Trail that will link Timboon to Port Campbell and Princetown along the Great Ocean Road.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.