Fallen rider 'would be proud' of city's cycle park
WITH the serious cyclists to those with training wheels hitting the track, the seven-year wait to open the Ipswich Cycle Park ended with a huge community celebration.
A sea of yellow littered the city's newest facility on Sunday as the region's politicians, residents and cyclists bonded in lycra to celebrate the park.
The $3.3million Ipswich Cycle Park opening was the culmination of years of fundraising following the death of Narelle Dobinson in 2011.
With a brave face and a community focus, Narelle's son Troy thanked everyone who supported the cause and attended the opening.
In the background at the event was Liz Wright.
Ms Wright was a lone-cyclist about nine years ago before Mr Dobinson introduced her to his mother.
"He gave me her phone number, I contacted her and I rode with her ever since,” she said.
Ms Wright was at another event on July 24, 2011 when Mrs Dobinson was killed.
"I should have been riding with her - but I was riding in Boonah,” Ms Wright recalled.
"We were all going to Mt Gravatt and Narelle decided to go and do a ride on her own.
"I got this phone call while I was up there and it just broke my heart.”
Her tinge of sadness at Sunday's opening was overwhelmed with pride for Troy's efforts and thankfulness to Narelle.
"She taught me a lot in riding - how to go up hills and what gears to get in,” Ms Wright said.
"Deep down, I'd love to see the Dobinson family name around here.”
Queensland's Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni praised the city's effort in building community spirit following a heartbreaking death.
"As long as you keep pedalling forward, you'll never fall off and that's what this community did for seven years.
Mr de Brenni had "no doubt” the park would save lives and said he would look at additional funding.
"What we'll be doing is assessing the turnout to this facility over coming weeks and months,” he said.
"I'm very confident that facilities like this one, that can demonstrate they're making community healthier and people are using them, then they'll be in line for further support from this government.”
Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the park opening represented a proud moment for the city.
"It will receive attention from all over the nation and it will be hugely popular,” he said.
"You know the community backs a project like this when you get so many people turn up and we've always known there's been a strong push from the community.
Cr Antoniolli praised Mr de Brenni's pledge to assess the use of the track when considering future funding.
"If you want more facilities here, if you want it to be the very best in the nation then patronise it,” Cr Antoniolli said.
Check out photos from the opening on page 12.
- Hayden Johnson