You are hereForums / General Discussion / NoBMoB Chat / St Ives trails - Time for One-Way?

St Ives trails - Time for One-Way?

dougm111's picture

By dougm111 - Posted on 24 November 2014

I’m sure many of us have had some close calls on the St Ives single track and often though it’s bound to happen one day! Well on Sunday it happened to me . Thankfully no collision or injury, but it will cost me some $$$$$.

I don’t find the sniggle between the nursery and the show grounds an issue because speeds are quite low and with all the trees felled, visibility is pretty good. However, between the show grounds and the fork in the road for Muppets and Epiphany it’s a bit of a different story.

I was about 500 meters into the section immediately after the show grounds heading east. I was going at fair clap, the trails were hard, fast and flowing nicely so I do take full responsibility. I had just come around the fence behind that house, just before the first of the rock drops and spotted a helmet (that’s all you could see over the crest) through the shrubs coming up the other way. I hit the anchors big time and as luck would have it, with the front wheel fully loaded under brakes came into contact with a tree root. It wasn’t going to roll over the root with that much front brake on, so it snagged, twisted the bars and spat me OTB. I’d scrubbed off enough speed to have made it a relatively harmless slow speed stack, so no damage to me, no collision with the other guy, just a couple of minor scapes that’s it. BUT it did destroy my front wheel.

Of course all this happened about as far away from home (Manly) as it possible could have, and I was riding solo. Thankfully the chap coming the other way had his car at the show grounds and offered me a lift home, so a BIG thank you goes out to him.

It got me thinking though, with the increasing popularity of the trails at St Ives, is it time we start thinking about making it a one-way loop from the Show Grounds heading east. Anti clockwise; Showground -> Muppets -> Epiphany -> Show Ground. You can easily exclude Muppets from the loop if you didn’t want to go that far and just come back via Epiphany. This would require some signs going up but would keep everyone nice and safe and would probably make the trails more enjoyable as it would flow more nicely without the inevitable threat from traffic coming from the opposite way. It would probably also reduce damage to the flora being caused by people having to go off the trail to allow people past.


Lach's picture

Is it open again? Last time I had a look down there, there were about 3,000 trees down on the fire trail section and the link from the power line was rapidly disappearing.

staffe's picture

Carbon wheels wont bend.

Seriously, I know what you are saying, it is fun to go fast but when we are not racing it is every riders responsibility to keep it safe for walkers, other riders and what ever else may use the track in opposite direction and that track is seriously congested these days. Not good for your Strava KOMs but good interval training trying to get up to speed again after passing or meeting someone.

hawkeye's picture

That'll buff out Eye-wink

Possibly some merit and easy to do. Getting compliance might be harder.

Personally I think the more technical sections of the horse trail west of the Muppet/Epiphany junction are more pressing.

Another solution is to go in there and trim the vegetation back to improve sight lines. Given the horsy folk seem to want to share trails this may be something we should be proactive and attend to in order to avoid startling a horse ... and having to deal with the aftermath.

Interested in others' thoughts.

kitttheknightrider's picture

If people stopped treating it as their own personal race track and rode within the limits of rider, equipment, trail then there would be no issue.

These are shared use trails, slow down and enjoy the scenery for a change and save the racing for a race course.

Oh and before you come back and say you were riding in control, looking at the damage would say otherwise.

Rant over.

christine's picture IS actually a horse trial so being sarky won't help your cause. I'd suggest working with horse riders would make more sense myself since they built the trail...

Aside from that I Agree entirely with Stuart

donkerr's picture

That is a ridiculous idea. Mountain biking is in an uncontrolled environment. Lets leave that small part of our lives like that.

hawkeye's picture

"Sarky"? Puzzled

I would have hoped for some credit from you for at least thinking about horse riders interests and reminding people that mtbers are not the only trail users in this locality.

Carlosdjakal's picture


StanTheMan's picture

I'm on Don's side

I'm starting to really get tired of all the over regulations we have to suffer in this country.

Black Flash's picture

Dougm is simply raising a concern. It has nothing to do with equipment failure (he rides a specialized, can't help that haha). I too regularly ride this section of trail and I'm sure regulars would agree it's getting very popular and traffic levels seem to be rising. Now I've never encountered a horse (Christine if I did, I'd stop and allow safe passage... Smiling) but I've had my fair share of near misses with oncoming traffic around the twisty corners in the middle. Strava probably doesn't help. It also doesn't help that this little bit of trail is one of the few sections of legit single track within about a 5km radius. So it's going to be busy, and it is.
Anyways... We are mountain bikers, we accept risks, we ride fast and sometimes beyond our abilities, we make on the spot judgement calls. Most of us are courteous and will obey directions if they make sense. But we are also creative, and I'm sure many have pondered on a trail thinking "what would that be like to ride down?" Or "I wonder if I could ride up that bit without putting a foot down?" And that's what I love about riding a Mtb.
But on this trail, if there hasn't been a bad head on collision, there soon will be. Sure, you can say slow down, but will we?
It's a valid point being raised, with so much traffic, should an amount of risk be engineered out by making it directional?
Personally, I think no. Like all of us, I believe more single track options would be the best solution. Smiling
Time will tell, in that time I hope there aren't any horrific collision injuries.
And sorry about your wheel Doug. As it has been mentioned, go carbon. Smiling

hawkeye's picture

It's cheaper than you think

twotommos's picture

Interesting post.....

I was nearly taken out by a car coming from the shooting range towards Mona Vale road about 2 months ago. On that particular day, on my own, that small quiet voice said to me..."slow down and check the road". Glad I did cos I would have had more than just my wheel bent!

There's a little sign warning people about the crossing and asking people to slow down. When I've been riding in a group no-one really does unfortunately....

I've had visions of MTB riders with bells or cowhorns on their steeds, jangling them furiously as they approach those junglesque type sections.

Common sense and caution a great combination.

Comment viewing options

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

Best Mountain Bike