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Just in case anyone is lucky enough to be considering riding in the next two days please be advised that the whole of West Head is now closed until further notice. This obviously includes Elvina, Salvation, Towlers Bay, etc, etc. I would imagine Duck Holes & Centre might also be worth avoiding depending on the amount of smoke.
I have been advised that this should only last for a couple of days but please take note and check the NSW NPWS Fires, floods and park closures page for more details.
Currently it states,
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service wish to notify that as of 12:00 midday on Monday 14th November 2011 the West Head / Lambert Peninsula area of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park will be closed to all traffic and pedestrians due to a hazard reduction burn. The area closed includes West Head Road and all West Head walking tracks. It will remain closed until further notice.
Apologies for the late notice, but a very keen reader has spotted the NPWS run Garigal National Park Information Day has changed venue to Ararat Reserve, Bantry Bay Road, Frenchs Forest.
Please come along and see what NPWS are planning in the local parks and show your support.
Official notice from NPWS:
Our calendar entry:
In case you missed it over the weekend there was some great news coming out of NSW NPWS.
Firstly, the release of their long awaited Sustainable MTB Policy (discussion in NSW NPWS Sustainable Mountain Biking Strategy) which should benefit riders state-wide.
Then there was news of the equally long awaited Northern Sydney MTB Pilot Program (discussion in Get on your bike in NSW National Parks!). This included maps of proposed trails in Bantry Bay, Berowra Valley and Oxford Falls . There are information days on the first two of these where the public can learn more and show their support (see link for dates). If you care about this initiative and getting some authorised trails it would probably pay to show up and thank the authorities.
Coverage in the press:
Not time to celebrate yet, but it's certainly looking promising!
Greetings all. In case you forgot, submissions for Hornsby MTB park close tomorrow.
See the thread here: Hornsby Mountain Bike Park (submit a short letter).
HSMBA sent out a short update this morning and it seems that local NIMBYs are again trying to stir things up so it's vitally important to balance this out with messages of support from the MTB community.
Please send your positive submissions to email@example.com before close of business tomorrow.
For those that don't know, there was a meeting near Bantry Bay this morning between the Environment Minister, Treasurer, NSW NPWS Director and other such folk... oh - and a couple of local MTB riders
An announcement coming from the press (I'm yet to see the official NPWS press release, but trust the Daily on this one) is that, "Garigal National Park is about to get an official mountain bike track."
Massive thanks to all of you who believed and supported this for so long. No doubt there will be more news on this and other developments coming, so keep an eye out.
The Manly Daily story is here:
Update: There was a second story in the Daily that quote's Mike Baird as saying and announcement was expected in the “next few weeks.". Excellent news!
On Thursday 30 June 2011 a survey will go live on Council's website that aims to collect demographic and participation data from residents and visitors who ride mountain bikes in Warringah. The survey is an important component of the mountain bike research that is being undertaken by Council. It demonstrates to the mountain biking community that we are looking closely at the current and future provision of facilities in Warringah.
Terrible news for MTB riders: The area at Menai (aka Lucas Heights) has been closed to any kind of public access, which of course now means MTB riding there is banned.
This looks to be a very serious move, with signs erected and riders reporting federal police are now patrolling the area.
Sorry to report this everyone - it was a great area
See MENAI (LUCAS HEIGHTS) is officially OFF LIMITS to MTB's thread for more info.
Update 4/7/11: Having spent all day chasing the matter, Steve Mowle has managed to convince the ANSTO management to meet with Mountain Bike riders to discuss the use of Menai. This is an outstanding achievement.
Please show your support and attend the meeting if you can - see ANSTO/Rider Meeting (Re: Menai Closure).
Update 4/7/11: Correction: Sorry folks - this is not a public meeting. Please do not show up! Those who go will be sure to report back though.
Although I have had absolutely nothing to do with this venture, from what I hear local volunteers have put in a massive amount of work, showed much patience and stuck this through to achieve an excellent result:
That being that Manly Council have now officially recognised the dirt jumps and pump track at The Grove in Seaforth.
They are having an opening ceremony June 16 @ 3:30pm and riders are invited to take part and enjoy a BBQ afterwards.
Please see the flyer below and RSVP by phone to 9976 1487
Well done all involved - this just goes to show good things can happen!
Well it's been a while, so time to have a quick look at what people have been talking about here.
First up - good luck to all competing in the Dirtworks Classic 2011 on Sunday. Plenty of talk about that including the Dirtworks Canoe Bridge, Dirt Works Tyre choice and what went on at GNR on Easter Monday.
Now might be a good time to remind everyone that we have constantly updating graphs of BOM rainfall here, including Ten Mile Hollow (the half way point) and the rain doesn't look as bad there as it has been in Sydney. Also remember not to use the forum for trading of any kind, that is what the classifieds are for - and there has been a good deal of trading in Dirtworks event entries this week - anyone wanting to get in now could probably score an entry well under cost. That said, your bike will probably need a whole lot of TLC as despite the above the track certainly won't be dry!
Other threads getting a lot of traffic recently:
BigJosh asked about a Bottom bracket repair.
Hans noticed a New standard issue bike for NPWS rangers?
Given all the rain, jonp was looking for Suggestions for places to ride in wet conditions?
Sadly we also had a bit of talk about riding on Illegal tracks - although personally am not convinced the trail in question is illegal (see thread).
Some Newbie advice needed here.
Broc needed some First timer advice for Ourimba (sic)
How about some Music while riding speakers?
Or does anyone have recommendations for Phone sports tracker apps?
On my way to the office this morning some young kid tried to follow me through the Cityrail ticket gate. I stopped this person and a few insults were exchanged. The bottom line was they didn't get on that train and I would hope they might think next time before trying to skip a fare.
So you're thinking, "Meh... goodie, goodie - what has this got to do with mountain bike riding?"
It has to do with a sad but true fact of life - the majority of people want to do the right thing, but as the saying goes, "Evil prevails when good men do nothing". That is - if you know something illegal or illicit is going on but idly stand by and let it happen you are just as culpable as those performing these acts of 'evil'. A second side to the message is that those who are tempted to bend and break the rules are more likely to change their ways when confronted by their peers (ie. not a figure of authority).
Which brings me to this: it has come to my attention that in various locations in Sydney certain riders are making themselves busy with illegal trail construction on public land. Let me make this real easy for you to understand:
Illegal and unauthorised trail construction can only end one way: badly!
If you think for one second I'm wrong here read on for an explanation...
If you are reading this then I thank you for taking a break from your crack pipe or putting down your spray can.
Well as this is a mountain bike forum one assumes you're a mountain biker, and if one is to believe the labels put on us recently we are all involved in "... Vandalism, Graffiti and possibly widespread use of Drugs and alcohol...". That quote comes straight from a flyer that has been circulating in Hornsby to try and sway locals against a plan for mountain bike skills areas and trails.
It's a sad state of affairs that with no actual evidence, logic or reason to argue against a small, yet much valued mountain bike plan Ku-ring-gai council has approved, those who oppose the plan have resorted to throwing around wild accusations.
Yet the worst of it is that Ku-ring-gai council staff have actually listened to submissions based on this nonsense and changed their plans, scrapping part of the project, holding a second phase indefinitely and wasting funding on studies called for by various scaremongers. To be frank, it's disgusting.
To be clear, such a turn of events will affect much more than this one plan: If mountain bike riders are to ever receive fair treatment and planning for the facilities they require this council and other authorities need to be shown that the accusations levelled in the flyer are pure nonsense and riders will not stand to be labelled in this way.
If you too take offence at being labelled a vandal and drug addict just because you choose to ride a mountain bike please take a minute or so and write to the Ku-ring-gai council and let them know this. Let them know you are disgusted that they would lend any credence to such claims and modify already approved plans as a result. It might also help to mention if you support both stage one and two of the Golden Jubilee mountain bike plan and call for both stages to go ahead unchanged.
Please write to these councillors and the local politician, and explain all this as tactfully as you can:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
In case you didn't notice (and I hope you didn't!) we are now up and running from our new virtual home.
We are now on a shiny new virtual server which replaces the last move and should make for a more robust site. Not that I think anyone can complain about the old one, but perhaps a secure data centre with not only battery backup, but generators and redundant Internet links will be even more reliable.
The new infrastructure has been very generously donated by the crew at DCWest... big shout out to them.
Like I said, you shouldn't notice any difference (aside from a likely speed increase as this VPS has more grunt than the old box!), but please let me know ASAP if you do.
All, there is some disappointing news to share here, but perhaps we can turn it into a positive.
It has come to my attention that the Colong Foundation has questioned the validity of forums NPWS set up last year as part of the submission process for their mountain bike discussion paper.
... The Colong Foundation for Wilderness has today called for the results from these public meetings to be thrown out and for National Parks and Wildlife to explain why it granted such a sensitive task to a mountain bike advocate and who is also involved in building tracks.
Mr Anthony Burton, the facilitator of the bike forums for National Parks and Wildlife appears to be a mountain bike advocate and consultant...
NB: It seems NPWS will only put on these forums if there is enough demand. So I would discourage people from contacting NPWS to confirm their attendance in the hope some of these meetings might not even happen. Call your local NPWS office or the venue a few days before the meeting you'd goto and confirm if it is on if you are interested in attending.
Just in from the Rangers...
Good Afternoon Bike Riders,
We have engaged contractors to undertake vegetation trimming along the single use sections of track, and this work is scheduled to take place during the week of 7-11 February 2011. Due to the use of power tools and the narrowness of the track, the track will need to be CLOSED while work is in progress for the safety of both riders and contractors.
Works are scheduled to take place between 7:30am and 4:00pm on the following days/locations and riders will need to plan alternative routes as access will be blocked. The contractors have been asked to clear all debris from the track at the end of each work day so early morning and late afternoon riders should not be inconvenienced, however all care should be taken.
Monday the 7th and Tuesday the 8th on the track in the southern section of the park between Seaforth Oval and Wakehurst Parkway Fire Trail
Thursday the 10th and Friday the 11th on the track in the northern section of the park between the turn off from the fire trail below the Roosevelt Avenue tennis courts at Allambie Heights and King Street, Manly Vale.
We appreciate your cooperation.
Manly Dam Rangers
Hope you were all out there yesterday. A belated Happy Australia to all!
Just a quick round up of hot forum threads this week:
- The Black Flash made some Interesting observations regarding the different help one can expect after an off on dirt and the black stuff.
- And talking of offs, someone else asked was it time for a New Helmet?
- Rune wants a Guide to building my own MTB?
- muzg doesn't want to build, just to know Which XC dual suspension bike for under $3K?
- While others don't care, they just wanted to share the joy of My new Rig
- But what everyone really wants to know is 29er vs 26er what's the verdict
- Once you've got that bike, Motneb asked about filming One hand video anyone!
- Yet another thread surfaced on Shimano shoes
- Find some humour in the freaky snake! thread
- Elsewhere the BMORC guys should be congratulated on their BMORC BBQ Fundraiser Results!
As the holidays approach hope everyone is in great shape and looking forward to some great riding coming into the new year.
It seems a few people are heading overseas and there was a question about Packing up a bike - very handy for those who'll be flying. Sadly not everyone has been having luck with their equipment though, jp even asked, Anyone got a contact at Giant? regarding a problem with his BB. Might be best to go easy on the guys in the LBS over the next week or two though, as they are under the hammer it seems. More shiny new bikes on the trails in the near future then!
For those who'll be looking to work of some stuffing and mince pies, Discodan asked about the Best club to start racing? Seems there are a few around our area, but nothing local. Oh well, if you can't beat 'em and all that. Although it looks like Sydneysiders have walked away with D and B grades as reported by CCOMTB D grade cross country champione! Well done guys! Brian noted Capital Punishment Entries Open, but this caused a little discussion due to the organiser's poor luck with their events last year.
Other random threads of interest:
While elsewhere on Global Riders the GTA crew discuss the merits or otherwise of a Maximum Adventure Race on the trails they have worked so hard on - tricky subject. And BMORC crowd said, Thanks to everyone for turning up tonight after their important meeting Tuesday night.
<Insert random quip about sunshine and how to mention this will mean certain rain>
Straight into a look forward to this weekend's riding, the pick of which will surely be the Spring Fat Tyre Festival 2010 at Awaba State Forest. First time for this event at Awaba, moving from the last three years at Ourimbah, but if it has the same vibe surely this will be a contender for event of the year? Good luck to all those going.
Oh, while mentioning Ourimbah though, there have been some Ourimbah forest access issues lately - please remember to park half way up the hill!
That's not to say there aren't plenty of other great events around, the keen are already planning for Dirtworks Classic 2011 and we have to congratulate everyone who recently completed the 2010 Highland Fling. Just a couple of blogs on the subject describing this year's Fling as Tough but educational and simply, Toast.
Closer to home Manly Dam is open this weekend but last weekend's closure brought some colourful discussion about Muppets who don't read signs. If this talk inspires you to take a more active interest in Manly Dam planning remember the Manly Dam Community Workshop on Monday night (the 29th).
Scanning through the 'hot topics' from the last couple of weeks we can find someone's First bike build who looks like they didn't need to ask, Just starting - what to buy and won't have to ask about Upgrading forks or help with bike's handling any time soon!
For the adventurous there was talk about riding the Six Foot track, Blue Mountains, but be warned - sounds tough and looks like you'll have to do some homework about how, precisely, you can do this ride.
For the semi-adventurous, why not hit Red Hill because tomorrow morning. Or take another local ride now the sun is shining! Just remember to add a ride meeting in the calendar if you want some company
Just a gentle reminder that Manly Dam is CLOSED today despite the sunshine. It will take much more than a couple of days like this to dry the trails out given the amount of rain that has fallen over the last few weeks.
Given Warringah Council has just released a Manly Dam Issues and Directions Discussion Paper it's even more relevant than ever that mountain bike riders show they can act with maturity and respect land managers decisions. If, as a community, we do not respect the council's closures, which are actually for our own good anyway, how can we expect them to respect our requests for input on the future of Manly Dam?
So please, do not ride Manly Dam today.
Please do not think, "My one lap won't hurt", because it will! Imagine if everyone thought that way, it wouldn't just be one lap, but more like 200. All it takes is for one person to be seen riding, and the excuse comes out, "Well - if they are riding, I'm going to too" and there you go - it's a snowball effect out to those 200 laps of damage.
I know it's frustrating, but please go for a spin on trails that are less susceptible to damage. There are plenty of firetrails in the area that fit this bill. Or failing that, take a spin class, ride on your trainer (or borrow one from a mate), do some cross training... hell - even ride on the road! Please, just do something other than ride Manly Dam today!
Just a quick note to thank everyone who commented on the NPWS mountain bike discussion paper over the last month or so.
It might have taken some prompting (sorry), but a nice flow of submissions ended up on the government's forum. The final tally was 2310 comments across the 6 topics listed.
To highlight what a sterling job mountain bike riders have done in showing the department what a massive demand for mountain biking facilities there is, just have a look at a couple of other topics on the 'Shape Your State' site and the interest they received:
- Health Reform received 242 comments across 13 topics.
- Barangaroo development received 290 comments across 17 topics.
So go mountain bikers! Hopefully these numbers will prove to be a message that the authorities just cannot ignore.
Haven't done one for a while, so here's a quick forum round up for those looking to pass time on a Friday.
Sunny started quite a discussion about servicing tools - a worthy investment for any budding mechanic, right? For those already competent with a hex key or two there were lots of new machines shown off. Then there's that nice story about a Lost Phone & Multi Tool in Cascades that ended well... lucky!
Finally, a big thanks to everyone who has taken a moment to complete the NPWS MTB Discussion Paper feedback form. Those comments are closing Monday so you still have time if you haven't added your voice yet!
So... someone let the NoBMoB domain expire. It was renewed just now (Sunday morning) but a lot of people might well still see an outage.
It might be too late to mention this, but you can access all the NoBMoB content (and that from other Global Riders sites) on the below URL:
This site is kindof 'test' status and needs some work on the homepage and theme, but it gets the job done.
Of course, you could just login to any of the other Global Riders sites and so long as you have 'Always view content from nobmob.com' check in your profile (access and content) will be able to see all that content too.
Apologies for this. The head hamster will be taken out on a bike ride and fed to the first carpet Python we come across!
... to all those who have added their support for the NSW NPWS paper.
When I canvased a few people and asked why they hadn't given their support yet, the main response was that they forgot, or just didn't have time. So I figured a subtle reminder was in order
Yes - 'popup' dialogs are annoying, but it's also annoying to see many people bust their ass for years to finally drag some key acknowledgements out of the department, only to then see only a few hundred people actually support that. Moreover when I know there are literally thousands of visitors to this site every day.
If you ride off road in NSW this surely affects you. Sorry for the none too subtle reminder, but please... take that 30 seconds and add your voice.
P.S. If you're on IE6 or IE7 you probably don't know what I'm talking about... please upgrade your browser
As you all know, the campaign for mountain bike access in NSW National Parks is hotting up. Feedback from the first forums is that email submissions are split 50/50 between those for and against the proposals put forward in the recent discussion paper.
This shows that there are opponents out there who do not realise the positive outcomes that this could mean for all parks users and who can organise a negative campaign. Yes, those positives are many, and they will benefit all users, not just mountain bike riders. This is a key concern to us - the trails are there to share!
While there are many comments online that support mountain bike riders, I know there are many riders out there who have yet to get behind this effort. Take a look at the enclosed graph knocked up earlier. This shows that there were big spikes in response early on, and again after a couple of organisations sent out email reminders. However, the number of submissions flowing has returned to a trickle once more. The comment count is currently not even 2% of the monthly visitors to NoBMoB which is pretty disappointing
Make no mistake - if you think your voice cannot be heard, or will not count, or that you can rely on others then you are wrong! It's is vitally important that we show the authorities how much we care and how many we are.
For those that think lobbying like this doesn't work, remember this:
- The Manly Dam closure earlier this year - completely reversed due to a massive campaign.
- Glenrock Regional Park - now with an official trail network after many years of such campaigning.
- Trail maintenance days in the Royal National Park re-instated - in no small part due to lobbying by local riders.
- This current discussion paper itself - a result of many efforts and has NPWS acknowledging several key points riders have been saying for years.
So please, take 30 seconds to visit the discussion site and leave your comments (scroll to the bottom of the page)... now!
If you can come to the NPWS MTB forum in Turramurra on Thursday night then all the better. See you there?
News just in from HSMBA. A great outcome for Northern Sydney
Hopefully this will take some pressure of Manly Dam. We should also hope other local landowners can follow this lead - well done Hornsby Council!
Quoting from the latest HSMBA mail...
On Wednesday 15th September Hornsby Council voted to support the establishment of a mountain bike facility within the Hornsby Park / Old Mans Valley area subject to funding.
The vote was unanimous and there were no objections.
If you get time go to the following site and leave a comment on the Mtb issue.
A bit of shameless self promotion never goes amiss
I was asked to write a piece on MTB for Pittwater Community Guide and very nice to see it received a full page to itself (see attached).
Let's hope this encourages more people in the area to get out there!