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Report backs new tracks for mountain bike riders

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 25 November 2011

From the Manly Daily:

SEVERAL opportunities for new mountain bike trails and dirt jumps have been identified in a recent report commissioned by Warringah Council.

Mayor Michael Regan said the council had already give “in-principle” agreement to link trails at Forestville Park to new tracks being built at Garigal National Park.

The paper it discusses can be downloaded here:

Mountain Biking in Warringah Research and Directions.

This is currently on the council's public comment page which says:

Submissions are to be addressed to the General Manager and can be emailed to or posted to the Civic Centre, 725 Pittwater Road Dee Why 2099.

Give us your comments by COB Thursday 15 December.

Full story in the Daily:

daveh's picture

Only had a quick glance but it looks really good. I know there is still a long way to go but it's at least indicative of some commitment and what I have seen makes sense and appears to be complete in terms of what has been discussed by the mtb community. It's obviously the results of the survey that most of us completed a short time ago and whilst there are no real surprises, it is interesting reading. I will be sure to sit back with a glass of red wine and have better look through!

nrthrnben's picture

I was very surprised by the effort they have gone to, and the research involved, also well done to the mountain bike community for the comment numbers, and to all those involved behind the scenes. Smiling

Great idea's for example: Red hill formalization, Links to Dam from Burnt Bridge, Downhill

Had a quick scan through, very, very long doc, Looks good but needs work, especially on the trails side of things, many trails are not shown on the maps that need to be formalized.

I could have missed something but after a quick look, Other than belrose tip in 5years for Very short polluted DH runs without trees, it all seems very XC focused

Downhill/Freeride and All mountain need more attention considering the very large numbers of respondents in those disiplines

Will have a long look next week and post up more comments

nrthrnben's picture

We need to create some momentum here, if you have had a look, post up you comments and also email them into council

If you haven't looked at the Doc, you need to do so now, as we only have until the COB 15/12/2011

The future of Northern Beaches biking XC/AM/DH/FR/DJ/BMX is in our hands, we need to act

Is it perfect? does it need work? in what area's? Let them know.

nrthrnben's picture

2 days left!

Can we get an idea of who has commented so far?

Ray R's picture

WSMTB have written to Council to lend support.

MarkkyMarkk's picture

Yep, I've sent a quick email of support for the draft document.

nrthrnben's picture

We need everyone to comment, if we get enough responses and input, we will end up with a world class multidiciplinary trail network on the beaches!

sounds good?

send a quick email, we need everone's input today!

nrthrnben's picture

Nows your last chance to help shape the future of Northern Beaches Mountain biking

Send a quick email with your suggestions

Have you helped out yet?

hawkeye's picture

Thanks for bumping this.

Email submission sent.

gfree's picture

This months Peninsula Living has a very biased and negative article relating to the proposed trails. The author only offers anacdotal and alarmist commentary without any real facts and without including any information from the mountain bike community.

Here's the editors email:

Make some noise.

Simon's picture

It was disappointing to see this article given how far the discussion has matured over the last 4 years.

The discussion presented can easily be discredited as we have done before on numerous occasions during NPWS State wide consultation which led to the new OEH Mountain Biking Policy and Strategy in 2011 and also when we met and briefed the former Environment Minister that helper lead to this change.

This change also brings NSW into line with most of the other States and also Internationally and is a step towards providing equitable and sustainable access for user groups to our bushland areas.

Based on statistics bush walkers and riders are similar in overall numbers except riders have only 1% of the single track trails available (and this is not in NPs) and yet we all enjoy the outdoors and value the environment. We are all rate payers, tax payers and as she points out many of the riders pay our fair share.

We have also received many complaints during her campaign on the underhanded miss information she has been presenting to the public in gaining her signatures.

The email response we received when we tried to engage her group last year while she was initiating her campaign is also enlightening.

nrthrnben's picture

This is all i could find, but it seems positive

Have you got a link or can you scan? Haven't got my copy yet

hawkeye's picture

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Smiling

Need to respond to this stuff promptly

hawkeye's picture

This is probably a bit long. It would be helpful if you were to respond under your own name to Penininsular Living addressing some of these themes

It is disappointing to read the same old innuendo and misinformation regarding mountain bike trails. It is interesting that this article states more openly than previously that the agenda appears to be simply to prevent any increase in people visiting these beautiful areas.

We need to remember that mountain biking is a mainstream activity in Warringah and elsewhere, and that mountain bikers are ratepayers in the municipality. Cycling is the fourth most popular recreational activity, and 70 percent of bicycles sold are mountain bikes. Mountain bike trails offer outstanding health and exercise benefits from unstructured recreation at a much lower cost-per-visitation than many other facilities currently supported by Council, such as sports fields and swimming pools. Visitors from outside the area bring substantial income to local businesses and is said that mountain bike visitation to Rotorua now brings more tourist income than the famous hot springs.

It seems Ms Loughnane hopes that by repeating the same worn-out claims continuously about mountain bike “unsustainability” they will become true. I’m sorry to disappoint, but facts do not work that way. The evidence is clear from both local and international sources for a number of years now that when the trails are routed and built according to sound sustainability principles, the impact of mountain biking is similar to walkers.

The consultation process has been going on for several years, with ample opportunity for all interest groups including local residents and environmental groups to have their views heard. This latest claim about “not being consulted” is simply not true, and is a ploy to yet again delay a process that has already been dragging on much longer than it should. The truth is the decisions have not gone their way because their claims are contradicted by the overall evidence.

At the recent NPWS consultation day at Bantry Bay, I heard in person Aboriginal community representatives express satisfaction at the fact that there were no tyre marks across the cultural sites visited and that the message about their sensitivity had been taken on board. Key to maintaining this good behaviour is re-routing the trail away from these sites through less sensitive corridors, and closing and rehabilitating the old trails.

The major environmental impact from trails in bushland areas is erosion due to water flow, caused by failure to avoid the fall line – the shortest route down the hill. Most of the old walking and cycling trails were cut along these alignments before there was much awareness of sustainable trail construction practices. These unsightly and unsustainable trails must be closed and rehabilitated to prevent further degradation and siltation of waterways, adverse impact on hanging swamps, and other downstream ecosystems. The mountain bike community as a whole supports this initiative.

The new trails that will take their place are to be built and managed following world’s-best-practice sustainability principles. These are described in the International Mountain Bike Association’s publications Trail Solutions and Managing Mountain Bike Trails. Mountain bikers have been building sustainable trails in other areas with manager permission inexpensively. Success stories can be seen at Fox Creek WA, City of Mitcham SA, Glenrock NSW, Lysterfield Victoria. Overall, we expect the number of trails through Garigal and connected areas to be reduced from their present number.

International Mountain Bike Association trail guidelines have been adopted by many government land management authorities throughout the US and in some Australian states as best practice for all their trails, not just the cycling trails. The trails provide tangible economic and social benefits to their local communities. Undesirable activity such as motor bike use, vandalism and anti-social activity is displaced.

Night time riding is not expected to have a noticeable impact. Due to the requirements of the activity, the lights from night-time mountain bike riders are narrow-beamed and focussed closely on the trail. The scope for disturbing nocturnal animals such as possums, bandicoots, bats and sugar gliders or other fauna is therefore quite limited.

I cannot remember the last time I saw a dirty mountain bike at the start of a ride. The risk of carriage of weeds and seeds from outside the area is – again – similar to that of walkers.

It is interesting that it has taken Ms Loughnane more than six months and countless hours spent midweek and at weekends at local shopping malls to gather her 500 signatures. It seems her petition is more reflective of her dedication to pursuing her cause than any real level of concern in the community.



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