A year on, a small Wagga club has bounced back from the theft of 13 track bikes worth $14,000.
Juniors who didn’t own bikes and relied on Wagga Cycle Club stocks for training stopped, and numbers declined from 35 to 10.
But, thanks to donations from local sponsors, bike shops, and NSW cycling clubs, the club replaced the bikes one-by-one, allowing kids to return to the sport.
“We’ve had an influx of kids,” spokesman Cameron Oke said.
“It was a pretty solemn time, but we’ve had incredible support from businesses and the community and bounced back.”
Now it’s not uncommon to see 50 kids down at the track on Kincaid Street on Monday or Tuesday night.
Oke also attributed the participation boost to successful events such as Beers and Gears, and positive role models in Wagga.
“What Sophie (Mackay) did in the US was great ,” he said.
“She’s always out riding, she’s an incredible ambassador for the kids.”