NPWS Sustainable Cycling and Mountain Biking Workshop
As previously discussed (see Northern Beaches National Parks to pilot Sustainable MTB Access) today was the day for a "full day of consultation" which consisted of a NPWS facilitated workshop, "... to explore opportunities for sustainable cycling and mountain biking in the region.".
Pictured here you see the smiling faces after a full morning of discussion. We had reason to smile too, as the session was very useful, well organised and well mannered. The day consisted of a few presentations, splitting into groups for smaller discussion, whole group discussions and other brainstorming.
In the afternoon we visited a (rather wet) Bantry Bay and walked through the area discussing various issues. The good news here was that trail design and maintenance guru Glen Jacobs (from World Trail) saw nothing here that was a major challenge or problem.
I have to say the group was very lucky to have Glen there today as his experience really shone through. The NPWS staff seemed very enlightened by what he had to say, particularly when talking about how proper trail design can be used to effectively control rider behaviour. We are like sheep aparently - give us sweet single track and we'll follow it anywhere
We were also very fortunate to have Tony Scott (MTBA) and Nick Bowman (of the newly formed IMBA Australia) along with a couple of NPWS Directors (Carl Solomon and Bob Conroy). It would appear that a way forward can be found at a high level between these senior guys that will be beneficial to everyone working a 'grass roots' level - that includes everyone out there that has supported efforts publicised here on this site, and through others (such as HSMBA) and our local clubs. It has to be said, that without everyone's support this workshop could have never happened - thank you all!
As usually there isn't much in the way of planning that can be shared, but a couple of choice quotes from the 'Next steps' closing. NPWS are committed to "remain relevant" to the community and park visitors which obviously includes catering for the very popular and ever growing MTB base. They are also committed to, "selection, design & development of sustainable trails" in the future.
As usual, will keep everyone up to date with further progress, but going on this showing some good things are coming... although there is always a down side - it will be slow progress as always, but you already knew that, right?
P.S. Couple more images from the soggy site visit: