Cycling dream now a reality
By STEVE ARCHBOLD
TERRY Maclean has devoted much of his time to the developing the sport of cycling in Coffs Harbour.
The deteriorating condition of Brelsford Park has been a major concern for Coffs Harbour Cycle Club which has been on the lookout for a new facility since 1983.
Sites at Marshalls Estate and Hulberts Road were considered before Coffs Harbour City Council decided to go ahead with the construction of a new velodrome off Minorie Drive.
"Brelsford Park was good in its day but it started cracking up and falling to pieces to the extent it became too dangerous for race on," Maclean said.
While the club's road racing program hasn't been affected the club has been forced to stage their regular criterium races on a circuit at Craft Close and Hi Tech Drive.
"The people it affects the most are the younger members of the club who have nowhere to race," he said.
"I think since we stopped racing at Brelsford Park our numbers have dropped off especially in the younger age groups but I think once the new velodrome is completed our numbers will rise again."
Maclean said to see work starting on the new hot mix complex off Minorie Drive was like a dream come true for everyone associated with cycling in Coffs Harbour.
"There have been a lot of hard yards put in by many people in the club over the years pushing to have something done," he said.
"We were hoping to have the complex finished last year to take advantage of Australia's success at the Olympic Games but it didn't happen, at least now the youngsters will have a proper facility where they can learn their craft and then move on to bigger and better things."
Maclean said the new facility would provide safer racing off the road.
Club member Dave McDonald said the new track would also provide a place for recreational riding as well as a venue for rider education programs.
"Once the outer criterium track is completed in the next stage, people from all sports will be able to use this as a training facility," McDonald said.
"The schools will be able to come over here and use the track for sport whenever they want, the new complex will be available to more people than just cycling club members."