The wheels were set in motion by Mountain Biking Kerry (MTBKY) to seek planning for the constructing of an urban bike park in Tralee that would feature a pump track, mountain bike skills course and a children’s cycle development area.
Led by Anluan Dunne, MTBKY presented their pitch at the first Tralee Municipal District meeting of Kerry County Council in 2020.
The presentation was to further a proposal to construct an urban bike park centred on a competition grade pump track.
Key to the presentation was a request to Kerry County Council to commit to a site to locate the project upon. A funding stream to enable design and construction was also sought.
MTBKY, a community group run by local mountain biker Anluan Dunne, have been working with the council and Kerry County Cllr. Norma Foley on the project for the past two years.
- Proposal was given unanimous backing by all Tralee MD Cllrs.
- Senior Council Manager Michael Scannell will assess three sites in the town and return to the next MD meeting with them
Another reason to visit Shannon! @ivanrajkov laying down first tracks on the new pumptrack there. The place looks class. 🔥.Reposted from @ivanrajkov – Quick pumptrack session before Raw yesterday, only scratched the surface 😜 🎥 @leog123.#irishbmx #pumptrack #shannon #wildatlanticway #galway2020 #irishmtb #deltabmx #bmxireland #feelrad #bmx #cycling #cyclinglife #bmxracing #ireland #freewheelin
Posted by Freewheelin' on Monday, 25 November 2019
Shannon recently opened a pump track
What is being proposed
The bike park proposal outlines three different experiences for riders.
The first being an asphalt pump track. A pump track is a series of berms (banked corners) interlinked with rollers (smooth bumps) connected together with transition areas to allow riders to flow without having to pedal. This first section is designed to cater for all ability levels.
The second area is specifically for mountain bikes and involves a short circuit of gravel track. The track will include common features found on mountain bike trails such as rocky sections, banked corners, off-camber trail and drop-offs.
For younger and less experienced riders, the third section includes a “learn to pedal” area linked to a mini road network of roundabouts, junctions, one way and two way “streets”. This area is designed for use by school age children to learn the rules of the road while having fun.
Tralee a gateway town for adventure sports
Anluan Dunne began the presentation by outlining the benefits to Tralee and what was needed from Kerry County Council:
“This proposal has the potential to transform Tralee. It is a tourist attraction, local amenity, provides youth engagement and can be easily scaled. Today we are seeking a commitment from Kerry County Council to provide a location for the project and the identification of a funding stream.
“Tralee is the natural location for the facility due to its population size and its established position as the county’s gateway town for adventure sports.”
Anluan Dunne continued: “The explosion in Irish mountain biking is recognised by government through their investment of €13.6 million in mountain bike trail development. Unfortunately none of this investment is coming to County Kerry. This project will deliver an urban bike park at a fraction of the cost of a national trail centre.”
Engaging Local Youth
“The amenity will also be highly beneficial to the local community,” Anluan Dunne said. “Facilities like this are proven to engage local youth.
“The development of Wishaw Pump Track in Glasgow has shown significant reductions in youth crime, drug use and vandalism in the local area. Add to this the draw to the town from a tourism perspective, particularly families, physical and mental health benefits and the ability for the bike park to scale and you have a perfect recipe for success.”
“In Kerry we have a healthy mountain biking community. We have young people crying out for more to do with their idle time. This proposal will deliver on a tourism level, as a local amenity, as a community space and most importantly delivers all of this in an environmentally responsible, cost effective manner.
“We can use this bike park to host local, national and even international events. With the right approach the possibility exists to host a qualifying round of the Red Bull Pump Track World Cup. With further development, hosting events such as the Cycling Ireland National Points Series also exists.”
MTBKY will continue to work with Kerry County Council and elected representatives to deliver this project.
Head to www.mtbky.ie for more information and to link up with local mountain bikers.