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Mowbray Park - Reserve Action Plan

Cadam's picture

By Cadam - Posted on 06 September 2010

Willoughby Council is asking for comment for the Draft Reserve Action Plan for Mowbray Park. This area contains some potential XC and even DH areas and is just outside of Chatswood. Even though MTB is not mentioned in the plan itself, it's open for the community to comment and is an oppurtune time to let council know about the need for MTB trails in the area.

A simple e-mail advocating an investigation into possible MTB trails in the area should be sufficient especially from Willoughby Council rate payers. So if you know anyone who lives in the area, maybe get them to e-mail. The link is below

hawkeye's picture

Based it on my email last week to Ku-ring-gai.

If anyone else plans to email (and you should), please feel free to use the ideas below, but IN YOUR OWN WORDS please. Original wordings (even if the themes are similar) carry VASTLY more weight. Cut-and-pastes of others' missives are quickly spotted and add little.

re: Mowbray Park Draft Reserve Action Plan

Dear Frances,

I’d like to voice my support for sustainable mountain bike trails to be an integral part of the Mowbray Park Draft Reserve Action Plan.

New bicycle sales have outstripped new car sales for the last 7 years running. Of these, 70% are mountain bikes according to industry sources.

There is huge pent-up demand for sustainable mountain bike trails, especially the narrow low-impact type known as “singletrack”, of which there is very little less than an hour’s drive away from Sydney. Singletrack is narrow cycling trail of little more than handlebar width, and which provides the best rider experience. In contrast, fire and power line management trails are regarded as dull and uninteresting, do not draw anywhere near the same rider numbers, and result in significant damage to the environment.

The only authorised singletrack within the Sydney metro area is at Manly Dam, and demand and usage is now so high that it is no longer coping with the load. Individuals and families are driving from all over Sydney to ride it, and more is desperately needed to meet demand. Hundreds of riders use it daily each weekend, year round.

The advantages of singletrack are as follows:
• Low impact, especially if routed and built to International Mountain Bike Association sustainability standards
• Best rider experience – people will travel significant distances to ride it, drawing tourism dollars to the area. It is credited with reviving a number of communities in decline in rural UK. 7stanes is one example. Rotorua NZ is another example of mountain bike trails networks becoming a major tourist attraction.
• Improved exercise rates among the local population
• Greater appreciation for natural heritage – if it is locked away and unavailable, it will rapidly become a case of “out of sight out of mind” and its value will not be understood, and consequently I fear its loss to development.

If you were to introduce sustainable singletrack mountain bike trail loops to your area, my son and I would definitely travel to use it, spending money on sustenance at a minimum.

If you wish to discuss further I can be contacted via this email address or on xxxx xxx xxx.

Kind regards,

Noel's picture

I sent a shorter one in this time, still based on yours.

"Dear Frances,

I’d like to voice my support for sustainable mountain bike trails to be an integral part of the Mowbray Park Draft Reserve Action Plan.



sean_c's picture

I'm not sure if you know the area, but it's pretty small (only a bit more than 1km along the river), half occupied by the athletics field, and the rest remnant bush between suburbia and the river. I can't imagine where you'd put the XC track and there's nowhere for a downhill run!

The priorities the council has listed are all about averting irreversible deterioration of the natural assets and looking after the Pardalotes (what's a Pardalote?). Any sort of sanctioned mtbing has Buckleys of getting through, and rightly so. Best to keep our heads down on this one I think.

chuckie's picture

I disagree about keeping our heads down

This council has been willing to listen to MTB'ers and this is evident in their recent approvals of the Holly St Dirt Jumps and the soon to be completed Pump Track/ SkillsPark facility at Northbridge.

Whilst this location may not be ideal, it is a good forum to voice that you support more of these facilities for off road cycling be made available

I am on the Commitee responsible for working with this council on the needs of local riders, and this is how we got Northbridge approved...from demonstrating the demand.

Trust me...this is a council that is willing to listen, so lets use this masterplan as an opportunity to get the message across. What have you got to lose? make some noise and support the might be surprised with the outcome

hawkeye's picture

Is it not possible to hook up a feeder through that reserve with The Great North Walk? Parts of the GNW trail are ridable further north

Noel's picture

Mowbray Pk has opportunity to be part of a larger offroad network connecting into the tar roads of LCNP and then you go over Beburges bridge and you can then follow Fire Trail to Pennant Hills Park, or Cheltnam.

sean_c's picture

There is a track along the riverbank connecting Mowbray Rd to the end of Fuller's Rd, at DeBurgh's bridge. At the moment it's not really ridable as it goes through the mangroves at the Mowbray Rd end, and I'm not sure what the official situation is with access along the side of the golf course at the other end (although that's perfectly ridable). It would be nice to see that opened up as a link from the Epping Rd bike path to Lane Cove Nat Park, and the GNW.

So as a MTB playground I think it's not on, but formalising the linking track I think would be great.

But I do think we should only make sensible claims for MTB access. If every time there's discussion about a chunk of suburban bushland we bombard councils with requests/demands for MTB facilities it's going to make it too easy to ignore us as a bunch of whinging activists. Keep your tinder dry, don't shoot till you see the whites of their eyes, boy who cried wolf, etc, etc.

Rob's picture

... for what is hopefully coming tomorrow Smiling

Sorry to tease, and apologies to the original poster but I somewhat agree that this is a small issue and we shouldn't focus too much on it. However, word on the street is that something big is coming very soon which will require everyone to stand up and be heard.

That said, if you could have a few jumps or short sniggle to ride, perhaps daily on your commute through the area in question why not?

nrthrnben's picture

Looking forward to the "news" Rob, no doubt when the need arises we will all do our best!
As you said, it cant harm to request some single trail in any plan with suitable land.

daveh's picture

I sent a short email. I think it is important to politely make some noise in support of our chosen pastime. Even if it is not this one, it is worth planting the seed as much as possible as long as it is done in a constructive manner.

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