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Barossa bike hub meets grape expectations

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The Barossa Cycle Hub taps into a strong cycling culture to encourage more people to visit and explore the wine region.

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The hub, which was established last year, provides bikes for hire, including power and assisted bikes for beginners or less confident riders.

It also acts as a bike lock-up centre, and provides riders with interpretive maps and access to cycling accessories.

Craig Grocke, who is in charge of economic development at the Regional Development Australia Barossa, said the hub was established to help cater to South Australia’s growing cycling culture and gives visitors more riding opportunities.

“South Australia has really grown internationally and has become a bit more known for its cycling culture – I think the Tour Down Under has been a big promo of that,” he said.

“The cycling hub is an effective way to help people get out and experience the region. It is also a chance for us to diversify the wine region offerings.”

The award-winning hub is situated in Tanunda and is the start and finish of a 40km sealed bike path network through the Barossa Valley.

Cyclists on the part of the network of sealed bike paths. Photo: Tony Tervoert

Cyclists on the part of the network of sealed bike paths. Photo: Tony Tervoert

The trail has averaged 320 trips per day since opening in January 2015 and is used as a meeting point for riders to begin their Barossa tour.

The network includes the Jack Bobridge Track between Tanunda and Gawler, and the Barossa Trail, which links the townships of Angaston, Nuriootpa and Tanunda.

Notable wineries along the path include Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek, Rockford and Grant Burge.

Visitors staying in Adelaide can access the network by catching a train with their bikes from the city centre to Gawler, which takes about an hour.

Grocke said the Barossa Cycling Hub was helping attract more tourists to wineries by making the region feel more familiar to visitors.

“There are lots of cultures within cycling in itself, from mountain biking to single speed to casual recreation to road racing. People now have to think of having powered bikes,” he said.

“Europeans have grown up with cycling and it’s already a big part of their culture, so when they come here to experience our wine regions, they automatically gravitate to cycling.

“More people are coming to South Australia with their bikes because they are recognising that there are quite a few opportunities for riding.”

South Australia has multiple cycling trails that go through the state’s wine regions, including the Riesling Trail and the Rattler Rail trail in the Clare Valley, and the Coast to Vines rail trail, which takes riders through the McLaren Vale vineyards.

The Barossa Cycle Hub.

The Barossa Cycle Hub.

The Barossa Cycling Hub is a joint initiative of the Barossa Council and the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund.

Barossa Valley Mayor Bob Sloane said the hub was opening up cycling to new demographics and helping to make the region more accessible.

“We are working towards creating the Barossa as a genuine cycle-friendly destination which perfectly complements our reputation for premium food and wine,” he said.

This article was first published on The Lead.

 

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