2 Wheel Academy

Current Season – August 2021 to March 2022

Bendigo is the last of the original 2WA groups operating in Australia. The Bendigo MTB Club have worked hard to provide a sustainable model for the club and riders. As such, we cap our full time riders list and we are heavily over subscribed. We also work closely with local clubs (particularly the Castlemaine Rocky Riders) – recognising that there is a scarcity of these opportunities.

We have a casual riders list – and the best way to become involved is to email the club email:

info@bendigomtb.com.au

Overview

Formed in 2016, Bendigo’s 2 Wheel Academy (2WA) is a key part of the junior development program of the Bendigo Mountain Bike Club (BMBC).  The 2WA provides a structured training, development and coaching environment for competitive junior cross country mountain biking and for kids who simply want to make MTB their main sport.

The Bendigo 2WA was the vision of Dave Richardson (former Vice President of BMBC).  Dave recognised that to build a healthy club for all ages requires the support, development and a pathway for juniors from an early age.  So far, over 60 junior riders have taken part in the 2WA program with 30 riders currently providing a full compliment.

Established nationally in 2015, 2WA was co-founded by Dean Clark (Motion) and Matt Battye (completewealth) – with a goal to provide a team environment for junior riders to develop a broad range of skills. 

The 2Wheel Academy currently has 28 full time riders and 15 casual riders where participants are aged from 10 to 18. Participants undergo a selection process prior to entry into the 2WA.  Intakes are typically conducted mid-year and riders are required to demonstrate not only a passion for mountain biking, but also a commitment to training, skills development and community and club involvement. 

2WA Coach Stu MacGregor explains “Growing up in Bendigo in the 70’s and 80’s, I would always spend time riding in the bush.  Providing an opportunity for junior riders to be part of a team, club and have passionate people provide quality coaching on dedicated trails has been pivotal to the success of 2WA”.

The BMBC has invested significant time and money into developing facilities and people to support mountain biking in the broader community.  Developed jointly with the City of Greater Bendigo, the Spring Gully Trail Head was a $200,000 investment that includes: a skills loop, pump track, community loop, bike repair facilities and pavilion/clubroom.

The 2WA calendar runs from September through to March. The Academy meets each Sunday for training sessions which alternate between structured skills sessions and destination rides on a fortnightly rotation. Head coach and founder of Trailhead Coaching Jo Wall, understands the importance of exposure to structured skills sessions alongside the need to consolidate these skills through general riding and time on the bike. ‘We feel it is important for riders to experience the many varied locations and terrain types accessible to us in Central Victoria.’ Destination ride locations include; Harcourt, Castlemaine, Woodend, Redesdale, Goldfields Track, One Tree Hill, just to name a few.

 The BMBC have recognised the importance of having qualified and experienced coaches to provide structured skills sessions, not only to our riders but also our general community through club social rides and skills sessions. Each year the club invests in suitable members to complete the Level 1 PMBIA (Professional Mountain Bike Association) instructors Course. The PMBIA course is the global standard for MTB Skills Instruction.

The Bendigo 2WA has provided a much needed community service to Regional Victoria.  Riders attend from as far away as Sunbury, Boort, Taradale, Echuca, Castlemaine and of course Bendigo.  In fact, the BMBC have a memorandum of understanding with Bendigo South East College to deliver mountain biking co-curricular as part of the Athlete Development Program.

A highlight for the 2WA riders is the annual training camp held in January.  The camp is held in the cycling mecca of Bright.  Over 60 riders, coaches and family members have the opportunity to spend three days at Bright forging team bonds and developing their skills. 

As noted by Stu MacGregor “The range of ages within the 2WA provides an ideal opportunity for mentoring and leadership for all riders – it is heartening to see the respect fostered within the 2WA and the sense of achievement that comes from challenging personal boundaries”. 

This sentiment was highlighted when the entire 2WA riding group was able to welcome to Bendigo a former World Mountain Bike Champion – Cadel Evans.  Keep an eye out for a potential World Champion when you next hit the trails around Bendigo.

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