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Manly Dam, Dangerous trail fairies

R_M.G's picture

By R_M.G - Posted on 22 November 2014

So last week I went for a ride at the dam,

All was going swell until the final section of the downhill single track.
I was coming in pretty hot on the sandy right hand corner (before dropping into the twisty dutch ladders) when I was caught off guard by 7 fist size rocks that were placed across the corner, at right angles, cutting it in half.
Luckily I had enough time to stop before getting off and chucking them into the bush. I had wondered who put them there, my first thought was that it might of been to slow riders down for some kind of dangerous track change that occurred in the following section
(fallen tree, missing rock, loose ladder) but found nothing.
Today, on the same corner, more rocks and even a large stick had been placed in the same pattern blocking popular line, however further around the corner so if you came in without looking you'd ride straight into them. I didn't stop to demolish it as I was timing myself and had a pretty good flow (I know, I know, poor etiquette - under any other circumstance I would of gone back)
Who's doing this? Does someone actually think this is a good way to warn riders of anything? Personally I think that its a group of teens looking for some trouble.

TheOneRing's picture

Interesting shot. I don't ride at the Dam very often but was there last weekend and saw the same collection of rocks. Thought that it was really odd but, at that stage, there was a gap through the middle so it wasn't a big deal. There were also numerous rocks in odd spots around the next boardwalk section. Those were certainly on my line and required some last second adjustments to clear them.

There were enough large rocks in odd spots that I was going to stop on the next lap and kick them out of the way. You obviously got in there first. Thanks.

My guess is that there were beginner riders in the area who needed spotter rocks for their line choice, not knowing/caring that it may have been dangerous for other riders who were faster or on other lines.

Whatever the cause, it happens regularly enough in certain sections that you just need to be ready for the unexpected. We ride in the dirt. Things move. Branches fall. Part of this sport is learning to adapt. I don't think that there was any malicious intent.

hawkeye's picture

Some clown did the *exactky* same thing on Muppet Show in the sandpit at the very bottom of the major descent heading east.

Unfortunately it didn't end so well for me. I was carrying a fair bit of speed, these rocks were right on my line on the apex of the corner. Resulting emergency braking on the front while trying to change lines in sand with the bike leaned over in the corner is never a good combination.

No bones broken or skin off but my thigh took most of the force of the landing to the point where it cut my ride short. Very uncomfortable trip home.

Worst of all, I was coaching a mate on basic bike skills, so now the ego is permanently bruised! Sad

BAD fairies! No treats for you this Christmas. Sticking out tongueSad

Rob's picture

I'm going to state the obvious here... you should always ride in control. If you can't stop within the distance you can see in front of you, then you are going too fast.

Someone posted the other day that they only just stopped in time for a tree down. Again - really no excuse for that.

Come on people - have some common sense.

hawkeye's picture

... Captain O. Sticking out tongueEye-wink

andyfev's picture

Rode the dam this morning but didn't see anything unusual. Thinking laterally it may not actually be inexperienced riders as everyone is assuming. It could be dog walkers, runners or even resisdents old or young trying to cause havoc. Just my thoughts

Rob's picture

@Hawkeye... If you crashed due to 'unexpected' objects my comment can't be all that obvious Sticking out tongue

StanTheMan's picture

OK its time for a chill pill.

I consider myself experienced enough to deal with unexpected objects. When i Posted the warning about a tree being down I was realy just trying to make people aware . Yes there was 4 of us going in a road train quite fast, but I wsan't trying to have a whinge.

I understand hotlaps need to be done a a certain time of day. Before peak hr traffic & all that. I take resonsibility for my actions.

40 min eralier one of our riders went throgh there. There was no tree in the way. We all stopped in time. The tree has been moved since then . Its all good. If anything It was kind of funny. And a highlight of a lap.

Truthfully those rocks in that pic perhaps wouln't have even registered with me. My bike & legs have plenty of scratches. I like to have a go. But at apprtopiate times. Not in peak hr traffic.

It wasn't meant to be a whinge. Just a warning on my behalf. Thats all. I suppose just like the OP. in this thread.

hawkeye's picture

Just teasing Rob Eye-wink And taking the mickey out of myself for not doing what i should have, which is scanning further down the trail. You are of course quite right. Smiling

I have no idea what Bad Fairy was trying to do with the rocks though, the placement couldn't have been worse, on the apex. Very weird. I kicked them all off the trail.

ido09s's picture

looks to me like someone isn't happy with the bike trail. Probably an issue for the rangers i reckon

Lach's picture

... but if you can ride down any northern beaches fire trail then a few rocks on a smooth trail should't be too much of an issue??

Andy Bloot's picture

Fun police are universal
They are united by an inability to accept anything that travels faster than a dawdle
Not much council can do
If you're not on a hot lap, remove them if they serve no other purpose other than to annoy or injure

R_M.G's picture

Just to clear up any the idea that I found them to be threatening to my safety certainly wasn't the case, obviously I could ride over or through them without any issues (as somebody pointed how fire trails are littered with rocks) and I agree with having to adapt with track changes are all part of the fun that make mountain biking such a challenging sport
However, the point I was concerned by is that these rocks were placed on purpose, by somebody for some reason.
Not knowing the intent or other riders ability to handle the same obstacle I figured I best make a post.

hank's picture

Had exactly the same thing happen at the same spot around 5pm Saturday. I stopped to move them off the trail. Looked like something a bunch of kids would do to me and local ones if they keep moving them back.

Brenos's picture

Locals and dog walkers, not trail fairies.
Locals may be doing it to deter night riders. Plus they still think the trail is for walkers only

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