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COVID-19: Cyclists ride the ups and downs of a pandemic

07 July 2020

Dianne and Jenny are two proud Sunshine Coast locals who love exploring their own backyard by bike.

They’ve spent several years off-road cycling through trails that twist and turn among Queensland’s unique bushland.

Jenny says off-road cycling is great for physical and mental health.

“It gets you out in nature, there’s friendship and comradery, it keeps you fit, and there’s a sprinkling of excitement,” she said.

Both Dianne and Jenny are members of the Caloundra Off-Road Cycling Association (CORCA) which, like all active recreation clubs, has adapted to a ‘new normal’ under COVID-19 restrictions.

“In the early months of the pandemic, we weren’t riding as a club at all, but we could still do individual rides,” Dianne explained.

“Usually we’d have up to 35 riders in a group, so we’ve needed to make some adjustments. At the height of restrictions, we were encouraging riders to get in and get out when exercising.”

If there is one positive to come out of the pandemic, it is the increasing interest in bike riding.

“At our home trail, Sugar Bag Mountain Bike Trails, we’re trying hard to cater to lots of age groups and families,” Jenny said.

“We’ve had children as young as three on balance bikes, and tweens trying some of the more challenging trails.”

For experienced riders, there is also the ‘playground’.

“We also get some of our young gun teens riding that course. It has skinny, winding features and large rocks to jump from,” Jenny said.

The club has recently benefited from a Queensland Government COVID SAFE Active Clubs Kickstart grant which will go to supporting their Women on Wheels (WOW) and CORCA Kids programs.

For more information about COVID-19 funding support for sport and active recreation organisations, visit the COVID-19 Return to Play website.