Bike ride to plug gap

Plugging a ''hole'' in a swimming pool costs money but the Middlemarch Swimming Pool committee hopes keen mountain bikers might help provide a solution.

The pool committee is organising the Mountain to Middlemarch Bike Ride on April 26 to help raise funds for repairs needed to fix the town's much-used, leaky pool.

Committee spokeswoman Stephanie Macaulay said it was hoped about 100 riders would take part in the 35km event, which includes 10km of valley floor as well as mountain riding.

''People need to be mountain bike fit.''

The ride starts at the Rocklands Station covered yard. Bikers will climbthe Old Dunstan Rd to the Logan Burn before joining a farm access track winding down the end of the Rock and Pillar Range to the Strath Taieri Valley floor, down another farm track to Browns Rd and finishing with a downhill sprint to the Middlemarch Community Centre.

The ride would also help with the community board's aim of increasing recreational access to the area's mountains, she said.

It was hoped it would be well supported but, whatever the interest, it would go ahead.

The pool, built about 65 years ago and covered 15 years to 20 years ago, had given the community ''good, loyal service'' but was showing its age, Mrs Macaulay said.

''It is well used by the school and community but you have to keep up with the maintenance.''

The committee were well aware that if it lost the facility it would not get a new one.

They had worked hard this summer to make repairs and raise funds.

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