A bigger, better Bom Bom Blitz planned for 2015
WHILE the GBomB is only two months away preparations for next year's Bom Bom Blitz are well underway.
Bom Bom Racing's Michael Powell and professional mountain biker Morgan Pilley teamed up to present the first Blitz in May.
The pair were overwhelmed by the huge turnout of junior riders on that day, and are well into organising the next instalment.
Pilley, who is based in Italy, is currently sorting his next races and will be back on the competitive circuit soon after the mid-season break.
In the meantime, he's kept in regular contact with Powell, and they have planned to expand the Blitz to a two-day event.
"Morgan's planning to be back in January, so we'll hold it then," Powell said.
"We haven't set a date, but we have a wish-list and some other details sorted."
While the first day of the Blitz is focused on juniors, Pilley and Powell are planning a six-hour race for the Sunday.
The event is designed to equip junior riders with mountain biking skills and allow them to participate in what Powell aims to make the sport of choice among youngsters.
Junior cricket's move to weekdays may help mountain biking's quest, with little to no alternative club sports in the morning.
"We want to get to a position where cycling is the number one sport," Powell said.
"It is a long-term goal.
"We can't be rugby or soccer, but we can cater to these kids."
Another avenue the pair are pursuing is a mountain biking program as an option for school sport, which Pilley said would only help junior riders' development.
"We're working on making MTB the number one sport in the Valley in the next few years," Pilley said.
"We're looking at getting schools involved and more race/ride days aimed at kids.
"There's great people involved from the Grafton Cycle Club and there's fantastic trails on offer at Bom Bom Forest.
"It's still a relatively unknown sport in the area, but it's gaining in popularity.
"There's some talented kids already showing potential. I was impressed last time and look forward to seeing them develop in time."
One of the biggest challenges Powell and Pilley could face is the unpredictable summer weather, but that's something the pair can't control.
What they can control is the format and presentation of the Blitz, which could see youngsters tackle a longer race.
Prizes, including medals and trophies, are also under consideration.
"The format will be the same as last year; with a skills ride, short sprint races followed by longer XC race in the afternoon," Pilley said.
"This time we'll be more prepared, more prizes and giveaways too."