Stuffing it for everyone

Simon's picture

By Simon - Posted on 07 June 2012


Can you please help me get the message out to everyone.

Tell your mates and get them to tell theirs.

The biggest potential we have for more legal trails or not losing more informal ones is in getting approval from the majority land owner in this region that is not NPWS.

TrailCare has been working with the traditional owners and guardians of this land and meeting them for some time now and things were going well.

However this is being jeopardised (20-40km of AM trails at Red Hill and Oxy) and we had to do some smoothing over today.

All of the rock shelf at moon rock on the opposite side of the fire trail from the model aeroclub is sacred and out of bounds. It is thousands of years old and needs to be protected.

This INCLUDES the informal reroute.

Continued riding over this land threatens our access to most of Red Hill, proposed links back to Oxy and also the entire DH/FR track at Oxy.

This has the potential to blow up VERY big. I am meeting them again in a couple of weeks.

obmal's picture

Can you post that on a Moto site.. They are the bogans that are ruining Red Hill..

Simon's picture

How moto's are managed is a seperate issue we need to tackle.

Please help us to get the message out about this site.

When I say blow up big I mean BIG.

Lenny_GTA's picture

Have to say, I agree with that.

When something goes wrong, we are after quick to point the blame elsewhere or look for justification for whats going on. We really need to put the moto issues aside and focus on sorting our own issues first.

I am not familiar with the area, is a wholesale closure of the affected area feasible?

Simon's picture

Some closures could be enforced and tracks flattened.

However it's more that from discussions today the potential is an outcome that will undo much of the work riders have been doing to improve our image and hose down the NYMBIE's and alarmists that don't want riders anywhere.

Not to mention the months of firefighting and time it will us to get close to the position we are nearly in with multiple land owners in this region.

Say, wipe out two years of work and write off our chances at resolving current access and environmental issues.

The people that will take the hit unfortunately will not be the ones causing the problems.

hakea's picture

I hope we can catch the offenders. Its so unfair that the reckless obnoxious few will ruin it for EVERYONE.

Simon's picture

Note the fines for unintentionally damaging the site are up to $110,000 per person and up to $550,000 for intentional damage per person.

Chain rings, catching pedals and locking brakes included.

nrthrnben's picture

What has happened,when, where and who?

Burt de Ernie's picture

Do the motos even ride the moon rock?

I personally have only ever seen cyclists there.

I believe this issue is our own......

FOB's picture

Is there anywhere we can find a map of the areas that are out of bounds ?

FlyingTomato's picture

Is the banned area signposted with details about the fines and sectioned off so it looks pretty clear you're not to go there??

it could be not so much that people are specifically riding there after they've been told not to... just that they didnt get the memo..

its all good for them to throw their toys outta the cot... but surely they have to take some responsibility in regards to awareness.

obmal's picture

Sorry.. I was confused by the Red Hill reference and thought that you were referring to riding Red Hill and yep its another issue... sorry for the Hijack.

Red Hill has also got carvings and places that are of significance to the traditional owners, these carvings and rock formations also need to be preserved. whoops another Hijack..

nrthrnben's picture

Its hard for everyone that rides around the beaches to know where to go and where not to,we have people come from all over Sydney and Australia to ride here,some just get on there bike and ride.

If there is a trail that is causing trouble, lets close its entrances and working with MLALC erect signs to clearly show the protection zone, why the area is important and the fines that can be imposed if bikes, motos etc are riden in the protection zone.

PS I have seen motos all over the trails at Oxford Falls, there is a place that they cross the road from Red Hill.

kitttheknightrider's picture

signage was erected back in MArch 2008 when we were first notified that this area was out of bounds and given very clear reasons for it being so.

Again, the narrow minded minority removed those signs, presumably in the believe that no signage would suddenly make it legal again.

Simon's picture

As long as no one chopped it down there is a new sign as of two weeks ago.

Burt de Ernie's picture

If the area has such great significance then why not sign and fence it?

The majority of riders both cyclists and motos would adhere a more passive and informative method of keeping people out rather than just having the chinese whisper method that seems to be the current method.

Most people want to do the right thing.

Lenny_GTA's picture

Signposting and fencing of a significant site is a double edged sword. Sometimes by finessing and signposting, it brings curious people in to see whats there leading to further destruction or damage.

I know of a number of significant sites in the hunter that aren't signposted/fenced for that very reason.

FlyingTomato's picture

but if you signpost and fence it, you are then able to remove people who innocently happen to wander in from those who intentionally are there to cause damage/trouble.

Think about it.. you aren't from the area and see a forum post/reference to trails in Oxy... you come to ride the spot, where you happen to see a clearly marked trail.
The very essence about XC Mountain biking is exploring hard to get to places and we love riding over rocks and difficult terrain.

Now imagine you get caught by a ranger who tells you that this is "sacred land of extreme importance" when you've just dropped your bike to have a rest and put a ding in with your pedal and he tells you its a $110,000 fine because you damaged this precious rock. What a joke.

I'm all for keeping this place for everyone to ride on but realistically you cant just say "tell everyone you know" and expect the problem to fix itself, unless someone is prepared to make the effort to clearly demonstrate DONT GO IN HERE.... you're always going to have people trekking through it who have no idea they shouldn't and we may as well kiss it goodbye now.

hawkeye's picture

Agree with FT.

Simon, I think there needs to be some expectations management with MLALC and some education of them around change management. At the very least, it seems to me Change Management now needs to be inserted into the discussion and trail planning process immediately as a formal topic, and have thought and resources devoted to it in the plan.

Human nature being what it is (inertia-driven to some degree), something needs to be done to break the momentum. One of those things has two key parts: the first is trail re-routing and the second is closure of the old trails coupled with providing a strong disincentive to go back to old habits. Without an effective disincentive to continue as they have been, people naturally resist change and they need to be 'helped'. Education alone is insufficient to get everybody using the "new system".

The Bantry Bay site has a big-assed fence around it that is not easily side-stepped or clambered over, and prominent signs stating the size of the penalty.

Something similar will be needed here.

hawkeye's picture

Perhaps we can put a call out for donations of materials to set up this barrier ourselves as a show of good faith? A few hundred dollars and some enginuity should do it.

To start things off, I have an unused timber railway sleeper sitting in my backyard that could go in the materials bank.

nrthrnben's picture

Not sure what signage they have put there, however im guessing it the usual anti MTB Totem.

Ok when we are talking about signage, i mean a meaningful sign not just a NPWS no MTB totem that was slapped on just about every good mtb trail on the beaches a few years back.

The sign could have, something that explains its history, why its important and why we need to preserve it, and consequences if not adhered to.Sammy, Due to its location, i dont think this will attract anyone to it, as the people that see it would already be there.

I have never ridden this section of trail in question, however, to be honest many mountain bikers on the Beaches most likely dont respect the normal NPWS no MTB Totems, because of the way they slapped them up across the board without any consultation with the user group. Imagine if they did that to all the unofficial walking trails people have been using for decades!, bushwalkers would be up in arms, and we where rightly so, and have been fighting to have this rectified ever since!
Whats done is done, and im not saying we shouldn't respect the No MTB totems, however i am trying to explain an underlying attitude that may be out there and would explain why signs are disregarded or even removed.

I can see this thing continue to happen until NPWS really embrace mountain biking on the Northern Beaches as Parks have started to do on the Central Coast and have succeeded in doing in VIC to an admirable extent, (National Parks in VIC have official Downhill trails, with more planned and even have a Ranger that posts on rotorburn to keep everyone in the loop and in a positive way).

As Simon says, We need to stay off this area so as not to harm the advocacy process, however i would be very surprised if anyone educated from this forum or trailcare would be riding there anymore. The solution may not be as simple as slapping up a totem, and i cant see this thing stopping full stop until land managers who are slowly coming to the party, recognize mountain bikers need official high quality multidiscplinary single trail to ride on the Beaches. Not just XC!
When there are good quality official single trail in non historically sensitive area's, people wont be forced to ride these area's to find a meaningful riding experience.

My suggestion for Moon is Trail redirection or closure(regen), meaningful signage and fencing(like bantry bay to stop moto's and mtbrs that may not know the extent of what they are doing. I'll put my hand up to come along and help if need be, and i'd bring the crew.

Also NOBMOB, Trailcare, Rotorburn and NPWS could have a dedicated section of their respective sites for sensitive historical area's that we need to avoid.

Berserker's picture

The totem that was there is lying in the bush to the side burnt by the firies!

Simon's picture

Hi All

I am meeting with MLALC next weekend, maybe even on a bike, to check out some areas in TrailCare's Oxford Falls Red Hill proposal (see our website).

I have passed on people's offers to help them with Moon Rock which was positively received and we will discuss this next weekend too.

Meetings with Academy of Sport went well too and we have in principle support to look at trail routings. They control all the land to the ridge line including Drop Zone and Itchy and Scratchy. They would like to change our access point to address their legal requirements relating to child protection and assist in resolving the issues up there with the existing trails.

MLALC own the two valleys beyond adjacent to the parkway including rim ride and the two DH tracks off Mt Motocross and also most of the XC loop on the top of the ridge.

Crown Lands and MLALC also own most of the other side between the parkway and NP's. We need them on board so we can link Red Hill to Oxford Falls via single track without having to ride on the road.

The idea is to fix up and formalise the 30 year old 20km loop which adds to nearly 40km with sub loops and caters for XC, AM and gravity.

We have also got in principle support from some Green Groups as our plan will be a net positive on the environment compared with the existing situation.

We are working towards formal arrangements with all land owners.

ps's picture

Simon, that sounds like a complicated deal to pull together. I have ridden up to red hill from the academy a few times so think its a worthwhile task. Keep up the good work.

amarkie's picture

Hi Guys

Sorry I'm a bit confused here about the no go areas around Red Hill. The Oxford Falls area is well documented on your maps but I haven't noticed anything for Red Hill in the maps or on the trails?

Are there carvings and no go areas on Red Hill?


Simon's picture

There are some carvings at Red Hill, however they have pipe hand rails on the perimeter and near the top of 100m hill. The trail does not go over them.

The main areas with carvings giving us grief due to a minority are near the aero club at Oxy.

amarkie's picture

Cheers Simon, good info to know.

Simon's picture

Hi all

We are currently drafting up an MOU with Academy of Sport, Crown Lands and MLALC! There will be some review by all and changes but confident of getting an agreement that everyones happy with.

One of the motivations for the Academy of Sport to work with us is to resolve how riders access Red Hill.

All the land in their main area is legally restricted access so they can meet their legal requirements for child protection. If like me you have worked in a school or anywhere recently you know that you need to have police checks completed before you can go on site.

This is the reason why they are not happy about people cutting through the main area to get to the trails. They legally have to be unhappy about it. It is nothing against riders.

What we are looking at doing is linking the sealed fire trail if you take a left at the bottom of Drop Zone to Wakehurst Parkway with a new track behind the sports oval. This is currently a boggy drain. This would become the two way access from the Parkway rather than through the main Academy area to the bottom of Itchy and Scratchy. Currently getting the Environmental paper sorted and will provide concept to the Academy.

Hopefully this would be the first step in formalized access on a 20km+ loop through Red Hill and Oxy with enough to keep all disciplines happy.

amarkie's picture

That sounds like a great result with the Academy. I used to work down there and its a legal mindfield. You can't take your shirt off whilst training Laughing out loud (serious)

Where is Itchy and Scratchy?

rallyman's picture

gday guys

just curious has there been any further developments with regards to access via the sports centre to red hill?

Simon's picture

The MOU is currently being reviewed by 7 land managers.

I will be chasing up now that most people are back from holidays.

rallyman's picture

keep up the good work guys!!!

Simon's picture

Hi all

Unfortunately the MOU stalled with MLALC and made no progress.

We are being interviewed by ABC TV this week about ongoing issues at Moon Rock near the aero club.

Supposed to go to air on Saturday.

Wish me luck !

Matt P's picture

Assuming that Moon Rock is the enormous monolith just to the right of the aero club?

I was walking up there on Monday and found it almost by chance.

If it is the same place, unfortunately someone on XC tyres had been there very recently.

Best of luck for the interview.

Simon's picture


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