Illegal tracks

willy101's picture

By willy101 - Posted on 24 April 2011

Can someone explain to me how so many people get away with riding on very popular walking tracks at manly dam?

When walking the dog this morning on a nice bit of walking track near where the construction work took place last week about 3 or 4 people rode past me?

One of them was flying and yelling for me to get out of the way.

Also on the sandy bit there were lots and lots of tyre tracks.

As i like ranger mtb rider cooperation it annoys me that people jeoperdise the reputation of mtb riders by riding illegally....

As i know allambie heights (A-Town) super well and the walking tracks i know for a fact that the some of the trail on the YouTube video "trek remedy manly dam review" is illegal.....

do the rangers turn a blind eye or is it a fluke that the video with over 100 000 views hasn't had any suspicion?

[Mod. moved to Northern Beaches Trail Advocacy]

Rob's picture

Hey, can you please post a link to this video where you think the rider is on an unauthorised track?

Also, precisely where is this walking track riders were on earlier? Please visit then zoom in and find the spot, right click there and choose 'Center map here' then copy/paste the link it will provide when you click the 'link' in the top right corner.

Why I ask for that is twofold: To make sure this is not authorised riding just in case you are mistaken (not implying you are - just want to know for sure) and secondly, to educate everyone that they shouldn't be riding there if that is not the case.

FWIW, it's very poor form for riders, wherever they are, to come barrelling up behind walkers shouting at them to get out of the way. A slow approach and "Excuse me - riders", followed by, "Thank you - have a nice walk" or similar is the go.

willy101's picture

This track (just to quickly explain) is just asd you are in that long flat bit of track right before the final downhill to the hydro station (the one that i saw riders on today)

Also the video on youtune:

the parts that he is on illegal track are:

1 minute and 46 minutes in to 1:52

this is the google map thingo

hope this helps............can envision a day when walkers and mtbers respect each other.........anfd the rangers

Rob's picture

I'd imagine there's rather a lot in that video that he shouldn't have been on Sad

Could you try again with that link - it's just centred on a large green patch with no trails whatsoever.

willy101's picture

sorry this is the best i could do.........looking that way in the image imagine you are riding down to the hydro lab..........................about halfway through that flat bit of connecting track there is an availible right turn for walkers...........this track is quite sandy and this morning me and thew dog saw quite a few fresh tire tracks...

hawkeye's picture

That's the junction at Nyrang Avenue and the track leading down to the shoreline, with a turnoff back up to the main trail near Monserra Avenue . Definitely should not have been there.

The reason they do it is becasue they think they can get away with it, that it doesn't matter and it has no consequences to them. This is why I think rangers need to start issuing on-the-spot fines to riders riding in the wrong place or during trail closures. There's possibly a place for impounding bikes on the spot as well.

There is no pain for disregarding the closure. Education alone doesn't work - the impact needs to felt personally.

Hop fiend's picture

& does BBF know of the illegal trail used?

hawkeye's picture

Posted January 13 2011.

willy101's picture

as i walk my dog there regularly i know there is a clear sign saying "track closed to bikes"

Nice comment on youtube Smiling

thshs's picture

.........but how good is that bike!!!

craked's picture

I reckon that dude riding it has some good skills too! he would probably make a Huffy look good... Eye-wink

thshs's picture


hawkeye's picture

... as the Whisperer! Eye-wink

willy101's picture

"From memory this video was filmed a couple of years ago. Im not sure all of these areas were closed back then?"

This was a reply on the youtube clip..........................but how can it have been filmed a few years ago if it is this years remedy?

Flynny's picture

Why the need to whinge and dob on each other.

Stay off illegal trails? Absolutely.
Have a quiet word to those you see on illegal trails to let them know what they are doing harms the good work done by advocates? Absolutely.
Use a public forum to bring it to the attention of the land managers? I'm not sure that is the best way forward.

Wouldn't it be far better to to email the shop in question and say how disappointed you are that a vid advertising them is shot on illegal sections of trail and ask them to get it editted?

Rob's picture
Why the need to whinge and dob on each other.

Dunno... I know it's 'Unaustralian' (although I find using that as an excuse to turn a blind eye to illegal activity in poor taste) but maybe some people have become sick of trying to do the right thing and have a quiet word?

There are still those out there who don't think or don't realise their actions affect everyone. Perhaps a few hundred bucks missing from their wallet might remind them of this?

That said, does anyone here have a relationship with the staff at BBF? Could someone give them a call about this when they are back open (appear to be closed today)?

mikethebike's picture

yes it was filmed years ago

Rob's picture

Re: 'filmed years ago'

A few clues as to when this was flimed:

- The still brown bushfire scars.
- The lack of wire on the poles and trail encroachment by the steps.
- The 'Bikes Ahead' sign in the final scene.
- The golden hue on the forks.

That said...

I would question the original posters claim about that segment 1:46 minutes in to 1:52. It looks a lot like the sharp pinch just after the school firetrail - only ridden in reverse. I think you can just about make out the right turn in the distance. This doesn't add up to the OP's claims as neither of the trails in the area they think this is in have that sort of bend in.

Storm in a teacup? Eye-wink

willy101's picture

i really really think this is a walking trail in allambie hieghts as i walk it a few times a week, i will try and get some photos?....

another clue it is not made a few years ago is the laddr at the 0:58 jump...........apperently that is a new edition

hawkeye's picture

Have a quiet word first? Sure, I've tried that a few times. When it's a pro production like this, nothing changes because of cost, and they ain't gonna toss out their investment and take it off.

The circuit trail's been published since it was supposedly 'approved' by WSC. I'm guessing something like 10 years plus? The 1998 POM figures in this somewhere. All other sections are by definition off limits, and have been signed as such for a very long time, at least since I started riding mid-2006

I doubt the bike is that old (bling Avid Elixir brakes), sections of trail maintenance appearing in the video are relatively recent, like the hydro lab steps (late 2009), and BBF hasn't been promoting Trek for all that long if I recall correctly.

The burnt trail section I'm pretty sure is Allambie and not on the main trail.

Anyway, I'm sure we'll hear from BBF in due course and I'll find out if I have to eat my words or not.

willy101's picture

If only i had a camera.................went for a jog today with the dog to find out once and for all and took music player witht the video. Got to the suspicious section of track and matched them up.................they are exactly the same........there is no doubt he was riding illegally

BBF is also my lbs..............

Noel's picture

You keep your dog on a leash eh?

willy101's picture


hawkeye's picture

Strictly speaking, dogs off leash are prohibited as well.

My response to the question would be: "Who does?" It's very rare to see dogs on leash on the trails. I can remember seeing only one, and it struck me at the time "wow, that's unusual".

Being purely selfish, I prefer dog owners don't use them if they're around me when riding - don't want to get tangled up if the dog darts to the wrong side.

Nevertheless, protection of native fauna like lizards, frogs, small mammals, birds etc is the issue driving the prohibition and it would be better if you complied.

Noel's picture

I get kind of annoyed if a dog comes rushing up when I'm walking with my little kids. We live near some bushland and they like to walk out there. The dogs are annoying. We have 4 off dog leash areas in Hornsby so WTF is with these people?

craked's picture

how did this thread become about dogs? wily said he uses a leash all good then!

jedijunglesnow's picture

I live 300 m from the top of Nyrang and am yet to see anyone keeping their dog on the leash.

BBF said the video was filmed a couple of years ago " all good then" !

Andy Bloot's picture

Question: Can someone explain to me how so many people get away with riding on very popular walking tracks at manly dam?
Possible answer: Perhaps council staff have better things to do

In the 3 years I rode on the northern beaches I saw the majority of my fave trails closed
And still have yet to see anything of worth opened to replace any of it

Do we really kid ourselves by thinking that this is because some riders choose to ride illegal trails

Rob's picture
Do we really kid ourselves by thinking that this is because some riders choose to ride illegal trails

No, it's because some officials in various land management organisations don't like mountain bike riders.

Oh, and why is that?

Footnote for those who don't like subtlety: I have explained more than once that the 'straw that broke the camels back' for NPWS (I cannot speak for other land managers, but heard this directly from a NPWS director) in the area appears to have been the sighting of riders (and a particular LBS van) at a trail that was illegally and poorly constructed and completely unsustainable. Said trail was discussed on this site and we asked people many times not to ride it, but were ignored.

So the answer is: various land management organisations don't like mountain bike riders because some of them ride illegal trails.

Now, you could argue (and we do all the time!) that it is unfair for land managers to penalise the caring and responsible majority just because the moronic minority think they are special and don't care or understand or even take the time to consider what would happen if everyone acted as they do.

Andy Bloot's picture

Well wouldn't the solution to that be build some legal trails for the masses of riders
Rather than herd them onto one (and for the volume of riders to the amount of maintenance done) unsustainable trail

The director of the NPWS could cite any reason for the lack of interest in 'legal' MTB trails and the closing of others
Bikes outsell cars, and to think that all these riders will conform to exactly what is good and proper is totally unrealistic
And to use this as an excuse is garbage and just incites the sort of arguing amongst ourselves that this thread has caused

Rob's picture
Well wouldn't the solution to that be build some legal trails for the masses of riders

Yeah, I completely agree.

Doesn't alter the fact that the selfish few make a lot of people look bad, which I think was the topic here.

It's the same in any activity or sport mind. The authorities should know this and should provide for the demand all the same. You don't see all the roads getting closed just because some people can't drive (and the consequences are far worse there of course).

Andy Bloot's picture

But I'm with Flynny that 'outing' unauthorised trail riding or unauthorised trails on an open forum is not good
I will never agree with this and it has nothing to do with dobbing

It can be used against us and very difficult to take the higher moral ground on

I just don't get what good anybody thinks can come from this

Rob's picture
I just don't get what good anybody thinks can come from this

Perhaps when some anti-MTB person mentions in a meeting in the future that all bike riders are the same. Would could tell them that some of us do try and ask people not to misbehave. They would probably just laugh and say, "Yeah, sure you do!" In that situation you can pull up this thread, and those like it and show them that we do try on a regular basis.

Yes, of course you could do this behind closed doors, but then where do we get evidence of trying to do the right thing for the opponents? Secrecy is not a good thing. We have nothing to hide.

Noel's picture

It's also a common statement from some.. that off-road cyclists don't publicise a MTB Code of Conduct enough. Whats the local one? There is an obscure Manly Dam one (I'd never heard of) that "ken" pulled out at the Tram shed, there is the IMBA one etc. How does NobMob promote it?

"Rules of the Trail
The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport's access and image by observing the following rules of the trail, formulated by IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These rules are recognized around the world as the standard code of conduct for mountain bikers. IMBA's mission is to promote mountain bicycling that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.

1. Ride On Open Trails Only.
Respect trail and road closures - ask if uncertain; avoid trespassing on private land; obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state Wilderness areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.

2. Leave No Trace.
Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

3. Control Your Bicycle!
Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.

4. Always Yield Trail.
Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.

5. Never Scare Animals.
All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders - ask if uncertain. Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a serious offense. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.

6. Plan Ahead.
Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding -- and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling."

willy101's picture

I really do walk my dog on a leash.......i waited years to get a dog and spent ime training him to behave properly on a leash, the only time he would be off leash is in a legal area.........although it is true that not many people use leashes in the bush

hawkeye's picture

I'm a bit surprised folks think they can keep riding illegally on walking trails secret from WSC by not talking about it on forums.

Do you think they don't know already? That the tyre prints on Dam trails aren't obvious?.

Interesting to note the two comments on the youtube page above, challenging BBF about riding on walking sections of the Dam trail have now been removed.

mikethebike's picture

So when was it filmed rob? You seem to know soooo much!

Rob's picture

From the points mentioned one can deduce it wasn't filmed 'years ago'.

If you know for sure, something the rest of us don't, feel free to enlighten us. Or if you can't add anything to the discussion please keep this kind of comment to yourself.

jedijunglesnow's picture

The bridge over the gap jump is the obvious tell. That was only put there towards the end of last year, and was ripped down early this year.

Fair enough Willy if you do keep your dog on the leash then good on ya! Funnily enough I was at the end of Nyrang last night around 6ish, and out of the dark comes an obvious mtb rider walking with two unleashed dogs. How did I know he was a mtber? Because he was walking along wearing his helmet so that he could use his riding lights to see! Sorry mate but I really thought I'd caught you out! Smiling

teeps's picture

Why not give it a positive spin. We all know that riding trails not designated for mtb's is the wrong thing to do and the problem is that people are going to still do it, you won't be able to stop everyone as there are alot of people out there that only care for themselves. But the one thing it does prove and something that I feel should be brought to peoples attention is, if people are riding on trails they are not meant to be then there aren't enough options out there for mtbing. I think as well that if people use it against mtb's then their point should be shut down very quickly. We don't decide not to lay down roads because people speed. People doing the right thing shouldn't be punished by those few doing wrong.

Flynny's picture
I'm a bit surprised folks think they can keep riding illegally on walking trails secret from WSC by not talking about it on forums.

Keeping things secret has nothing to do with it. It's about trying to get those rogue riders on side. You do that by positive education explaining to the riders why their actions are damaging to the whole and in this case explaining to the advertiser why you are disappointed in their ad.

the original comment of

Can someone explain to me how so many people get away with riding on very popular walking tracks at manly dam?

can come across as condescending (whether willy101 meant it that way or not, it one of the draw backs of a text based forum) and that's never been a good way to win friends and influence people.

Think back to times when people have complained about you doing the wrong thing, whether it was your sister whinging to your mum that you're not washing the plates properly or someone dobbing on you for passing notes in class. Pretty sure it would not have endeared them to you and made you want to join their cause.

It';s a fine line between leading by example and being seen as just another do gooder on his high horse

dangersean's picture

All the 'iffy' trails were up around the top near the retirement village and the playing fields at Allambie Heights. None of it is along the walking trails down to the shoreline near Nyrang Ave. I also walk my dogs down there and have thought how much fun it would be to ride, but alas have and will not.
Storm in a teacup. BBF weren't represented in that video anywhere at Manly dam showing a sign that does not permit them to be there.
This thread as a result of speculation has done nothing at all for the image of the MTB community in my opinion.

Rob's picture

I'll agree with you on that one DS.

Discodan's picture

This is all a waste of electrons, let's shut down the conversation and move onto something interesting like the 2012 Olympic course. I believe that also doubles as a leash-off dog path

willy101's picture

I have one dog (would be good to own two!)

nrthrnben's picture

at the dam my friends and I are confronted with walkers blocking the trail on the allambie downhill section, that is signposted mtb we care..not at all...we slow down and say hi and let them pass, but the point is...please dont have a go at ONLY mtbs that may stray onto trails that are not signposted as such, when some walkers/dog walkers are doing exactly the same and in my opinion on a much larger scale at the Dam.

If you have a problem with people using trails that are not signposted for the user,please admit that there are problems from both ranks and also police the walkers on their respective forums.

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