You are hereForums / By Discipline / Mountain (off road) / By Location / Australia / NSW / Blue Mountains / Blue Mountains Trail Advocacy / Have Your Say "Downhill Bike Track Knapsack Reserve" - BMCC

Have Your Say "Downhill Bike Track Knapsack Reserve" - BMCC

moggio's picture

By moggio - Posted on 27 July 2011

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

from the Blue Mountains Gazette by the BMCC.

Have Your Say Downhill Bike Track Knapsack Reserve

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for the Knapsack Park Mountain Bike Plan is now on public exhibition.

Public exhibition closes: 5pm 15 August 2011
Closing date for public submissions: 5pm 29 August 2011

Have Your Say

The REF and submission forms are available at:

-Council's Sprinwood and Katoomba offices
-Springwood, Blaxland and Katoomba libraries

Public Meeting

Interested persons are invited to attend a public meeting to review and discuss the REF followed by an onsite walk of the proposed bike track.

Sunday 7 August 1-4pm
Soccer Clubhouse
Knapsack Park (cnr Levy & Barnett Sts Glenbrook)

ChopStiR's picture

Cheers Mog for posting this up.

Can we move/copy this post to "Trail Advocacy" So it is shown on our associated sites eg NobMob?

moggio's picture

So from the information on that page

"Making a Comment is NOT making a Submission
Please note that comments made through this website are anonymous and as such cannot be considered as a formal public submission on the REF. However, a summary of all comments made through this website will be provided to Councillors along with public submissions to be considered when finalising the Plan.

Formal submissions on the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for the Knapsack Park Mountain Bike Plan are welcome and encouraged. "

So has the submission form you can either post or email back to council.

Do this and don't rely on someone else. These have to be done by 29 Aug 2011.

hawkeye's picture

A bit of a novel, but here you go:

I support the construction of both Downhill and Cross-country trails at Knapsack reserve.

The evidence is clear from overseas studies and local experience that mountain bike trails have similar impacts to walking trails. The main issue with any trail's environmental impact and sustainability is water flow.

When routed and constructed to internationally recognised standards (IMBA) water flow is controlled and the trails are sustainable. In many cases in the US, NZ, and now also in South Australia, IMBA routing, construction and maintenance standards have been adopted by statutory land management authorities for all their trails, including walking tracks, because of their least-impact and least-maintenance results.

Mountain biking stands out for its high rate of volunteerism, and the local mountain biking community is more than willing to get involved, both in construction and ongoing maintenance, as demonstrated by the many trails already in existence in the area.

It is important that the Downhill discipline is catered for, not only Cross Country. While not my chosen form of mountain biking, it is important to satisfy the younger age group with suitably challenging and appropriately constructed Downhill trails to the appropriate standard to suit a range of abilities.

If not done, this key stakeholder group will feel ignored, and will have nothing to lose and much to gain by continuing historical practices. The key aims of controlling the spread of unauthorised trails into more sensitive areas and preventing the use of inappropriate alignments (e.g., straight down-slope) will then not be met.

It is also important that the positive lessons from the Rotorua trails experience be taken on board.

There, local trail maintenance groups (known as "trail fairies") are assigned specific trail sections, and have their group's name on signs as being responsible for the segment. In addition to performing maintenance they are authorised, empowered *and funded* to shut down and rehabilitate any new unauthorised trails immediately they appear. This has the advantage of using peer pressure to minimise their occurrence. By shutting unauthorised trails down immediately before they become established and habitual, the cost of doing so is minimised.

Delays while a request for authorisation to act go up and come back down through the layers of bureaucracy can be critical. I have seen this in my local area where in the space of four weeks the intrusion of motorcross bikes onto an off-road cycling trail area has gouged soil away to a depth of a metre and a half down to bedrock for a length of 50-60m by 2m wide, and created a flora "island". If local off-road pedal cycle use of singletrack had been authorised, and local cyclists empowered to attend to this issue immediately, the damage could have been much less severe and probably capable of reversal.

I hope that expected adverse comments about mountain bike noise will be appropriately discounted. These comments inevitably spring from confusion in many members of the public's minds between motorbikes and mountain bikes, no doubt due to the pronunciation similarity of the terms.

As I'm sure you are aware, motorbikes are frequently very noisy, weigh 80-100kg without the rider, and have 30-45kW of power that is capable of flinging topsoil across a wide area, and inflict a lot of damage.

In contrast, mountain bikes are pedal bicycles. They weigh 10-20kg, and have a maximum of 0.3kW of power, provided by the cyclist's legs. Very little soil is displaced. Turns are coasted through to avoid striking a pedal on the trail. The loudest noise you are likely to hear will be ... heavy breathing.

Mountain biking has a proven track record for attracting tourist visitation and improving the local economy.

The Coed y Brenin trails in Wales are credited with significantly boosting visitation rates and today 90% of all tourist visits to the area are for the purpose of mountain biking. On the verge of having its trail centre shut down by Forestry, the introduction of mountain biking has completely turned things around. It has led to much improved exercise participation amongst the local population and transformed the area from being where drunken and disenchanted youth went to do burnouts, drink, dump rubbish and take drugs to being the site of a favourite activity. Rates of antisocial activity have fallen dramatically.

The same experience has been duplicated elsewhere repeatedly. Government authorities are investing in mountain biking facilities for a reason:
... and there are more.

I trust the above information is useful.

herzog's picture

Thats a cracking letter Hawkeye

Hop fiend's picture

it hits all the right spots

Chuck's picture

Nice work Hawkeye and thanks for the your support. Smiling

hawkeye's picture

Feel free to use it as a template, but make sure you use your own words and add a couple of items of your own, otherwise it will look like an organised campaign and will carry *much* less weight.

Now if only I could ride half as well as I can talk! Sticking out tongue

Chuck's picture

Now if only I could write half as well as I can talk! And apparently riding and taking doesn't work for some.

moggio's picture

Yeah I got to try and write something that makes some sense....

xtc's picture

Mine's done and dusted. Not quite as informed as Hawkeye but they'll get the message.

deadparrot's picture

Just had my say as well, and yes kept it nice.

moggio's picture

Just bumping this up again... the more submissions the better!

J the B's picture

Had my say. Short and to the point.

Flynny's picture

Mines in. Top work guys

HEC's picture

You gotta love office jobs.
I actually look like I am working away at my job, haha... submission in!

moggio's picture

Just bumping this up again....

Has to be done before Monday, so don't put it off anymore and do one this weekend!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Best Mountain Bike