I HAVE been writing Dirty Torque for well over a decade now and this will be the first time that I have dedicated my words to a particular facility.
But after recent events I felt it necessary to put my thoughts into words regarding Queensland Moto Park. South East Queensland has always had a large dirt bike riding community. Club tracks like Conondale, Echo Valley, Tivoli, Stanmore, Reedy Creek, Mike Hatchers, Kilcoy, Kingaroy, Coolum, Wheelstanders, Dalby, Mundubberra, Milmeran, North Brisbane, Warwick and Laidley have all been a large part of our racing lives while the RTCB (Reliability Trials Club of Brisbane) and Dalby Moto have been hosting well organised trail rides for as long as I can remember.
The State Forests are inundated with trail riders every weekend (some riding legal, some not) and the Queensland Enduro scene has always been strong numbers wise. To put it simply there are literally 1000s of dirt bike riders looking for somewhere to ride or race every weekend in South East Queensland.
Numbers like 230,000 active dirt bike riders in SEQ alone have been generated by recent research.
If you have been involved with dirt bike riding for more than a week you will know that we face certain challenges as far as being an accepted pastime to the non-motorcycling public, and that problem has been around since the ’50s and will be around long after I have hung up the boots.
And to be honest we as a small community haven’t done ourselves any favours but that aside the constant complaints from the general public has caused many tracks and trails to be closed down. In recent years we have lost several motocross facilities in South East Queensland alone and there are less and less trails available for us to ride.
After a lot of blood, sweat and tears Queensland Moto Park was officially opened on December 11, 2011. The park is an initiative of the Council of Mayors in South East Queensland, Motorcycling Queensland and the Queensland Government with a latter offering the 745 hectares and over one million dollars in funding to get the facility up and running while MQ contributed $900,000 and their expertise to the project.
The Council of Mayors raised another million dollars from eight participating Councils Australian Dirt Bike Adventures owner Ray Buchanan was put in charge of the facility and along with around 15 staff there have been some major structural changes since the opening, with a huge dam, track fencing, camping facilities and a toilet and shower block all on hand to make the day and/or stay more enjoyable.
QMP is also proving to be one of the biggest tourist drawcards to the Scenic Rim region and a policy of buying locally has seen QMP become a significant contributor to the local economy.
In fact, the new toilet and shower block has just been completed and it rivals any decent motel. Future plans include a grassed picnic area with tables and chairs with gas BBQs, and would you believe the cost of camping is just $5.00 per night. And as far as the riding goes Queensland Moto Park caters for riders as young as four on a purpose built minibike/starters track and junior motocross tracks as well as three motocross tracks and a stadium track for the senior riders.
The trail riders have 40 kilometres of trails available to them while the freestyle, trials and quad riders are all catered for as well and thanks to some strict rules the facility can handle 100s of riders on any given day and it all works very well.
Sure, there are certain people that struggle to read signs or simply can’t follow the rules but they are pulled up and educated by the staff at QMP, though as a side note I will say that I have been out there twice while the Quad riders have had a track all to themselves and for a mature bunch of riders their disrespect for the facility and rules imposed on them is disturbing.
From what I understand from having a chat to Ray is that the Council of Mayors are rapt with what the park is offering with the end result being less illegal trail riding in and around Brisbane and to date there have been as many as 40,000 riders who have frequented the facility. If I can be selfish for a minute, the best part of the facility for me is that there are four tracks to choose from that offer a wide variety of obstacles and challenges which are well prepared and watered throughout the day.
So, just like I did yesterday, last Saturday and Sunday before, I can head out by myself, pay my $35.00, park under a tree on a nice grassy pit area, head out on to any track I like and punch out several solid sessions on multiple well groomed tracks. I can even have a shit, shower and shave before I go home, how good is that!
Sure, while I put down as many fast laps as possible I have to put up with non-racing riders who aren’t completely savvy to motocross etiquette and often pull off the track at the most inconvenient times but as far as I am concerned I don’t have to break the lap record every time so if I have to back off for a corner or two to get around a wobbler so be it. And get this, just a few Sundays ago I rode from 9am through to 1pm, I got in six good sessions on the MX1 and MX2 tracks then drove home in time to wash the KTM 450 SX-F then sit down with a beer to watch the V8 Supercars. Very cool!
And finally, thanks to riding watered tracks all day the air-filter in the KTM was dust free so all I had to do is blow the water off it from the pressure cleaner and it is good to go for next week where I will be going where?
Queensland Moto Park of course and next week I am camping out on the Saturday night with my daughters…does it get any better?