If you build it, they will come.
The commonly misquoted line from the 1989 baseball film Field of Dreams* couldn't be more apt to describe what's happening in Dungog.
"They" are certainly coming in droves to the Dungog Common, a picturesque 263 hectare (650 acre) reserve on the outskirts of town.
"They" are a biking enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, keen to try the two world-class flow tracks built on the communal reserve..
Earlier this year, with funding from Dungog Regional Tourism, Eastcoast Mountain Trails designed and constructed the tracks, adding to the common's pump track installation.
Within days of the flow tracks being opened, hundreds of people were descending on Dungog to ride the tracks and the ripple effect generated a mini boom for local businesses.
While always popular with walkers, runners and horse riders, around 500 people a week now visit the common.
Dungog Common is a Crown Reserve managed by Dungog Common Recreation Reserve Trust and cared for by volunteers - the Dungog Common Landcare Group, The Dungog Commoners.
Ride Dungog is a not for profit bike club which was formed in 2013 by passionate enthusiasts, dedicated to building community, trails and preserving and protecting the natural environment.
Founding Members Allen Shrimpton, Wolf Skafte-Zauss and Carol Skafte-Zauss have passed the baton to the next generation of passionate enthusiasts.
These include current Ride Dungog President Chloe Chick.
Since moving to Dungog more than two and half years ago she has been a driving force to help make the long-held combined dream of Dungog as a biking destination a reality.
"It's game changing," she said of the project.
"The atmosphere, the energy the collaborative approach.
"You couldn't ask for a better industry to be finding its feet in Dungog.
"It's healthy, it's passive in terms of being environmentally friendly,
"Everyone can be involved from two to 90 and all the ingredients are actually in place for Dungog to be a world class, premier mountain biking destination.
"It's now just a matter of making it happen."
She said the project had the potential to provide Dungog - once home to a huge dairy farming industry - a sustainable future.
"This is a tap that we only turn off it if is not maintained," she said.
"The better that we do it in terms of the high quality trails, managing the trails, looking after our visitors then this tap never has to tun off again."
While weekends are obviously busy, when the weather is good and the flow tracks are open mid-week the common is buzzing as well.
The Saturday business card drop sees volunteers plant a range of offers and freebies around the tracks for riders to find.
"Trade is up 300 per cent for most hospitality businesses, it's really being felt midweek as well as weekends," said Ms Chick.
"The marketing of Dungog going out through the biking community - it just has a knock-on effect."
For Dungog, a global pandemic has been an opportunity which Ms Chick believes will be far reaching.
"It will continue to be (an opportunity) for many years to come as people will not be able to do the long haul travel like they used to to destinations like Canada, Europe and New Zealand.
"So a family from Sydney who previously used to go mountain biking in New Zealand can now drive two hours north and have exactly the same experience on exactly the same quality trails at a fraction of the price.
Ms Chick said many people were relying on this to be the economic changer for Dungog and she had no doubt it would be.
"Every business can benefit depending on how they package and market themselves," she said.
Ride Dungog is aiming to raise $65,000 to help fund the sustainable design, community consultation process and construction of two more purpose-built trails.
Within two hours of the Go Fund Me Page going live, there were $1200 worth of donations which quickly increased. By Friday afternoon the donations were just shy of $40,000.
Secretary of Ride Dungog Julie MacCormick said the popularity of the flow tracks has been "amazing".
"This is the future, we are so lucky to live here," she said.
She said the essence behind the Go Fund Me Page was to demonstrate to government that there is an impetus for change and people are invested in the project.
"It doesn't matter how much people donate whether it's $1 or $1000 it shows the user base and where the engagement is," she said.
"The vision is that it will expand beyond the common, that Ride Dungog will encompass road and gravel biking and Dungog could become a biking destination where you can travel by train, you can link up by bike paths through the state forest and ride across Barrington to scone and link to Gloucester."
About to open their doors in Dowling Street is a new bike shop and a custom bike workshop, Tempest Bicycles.
Construction of the architecturally designed toilet block which will include hot showers has started.
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