You are hereAction to prevent motor vehicles at Cascades

Action to prevent motor vehicles at Cascades

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 29 April 2008

I have been in contact with the Garigal NP rangers regarding stakes and logs and other entry prevention methods at Cascades. This was brought up in the none too tactful Cascades - NPWS Stupid, Dangerous and Ugly post.

Their explanation is below...

The metal star pickets at the side of the Heath trail gate are a temporary measure until we can get large sandstone blocks in place.

Two posts were originally placed there 2 weeks ago to stop large vehicles that have pushed over the trees next to the gate to access the area illegally.

The original posts all had white protection tops.

They were pushed over by a large vehicle so the were replaced by 4 posts, each with a white top, again as a temporary measure until we can put big rocks in place. If mountain bike riders see them as dangerous at that location, clearly visible next to a large gate the THEY ARE GOING TOO FAST.

The small logs were placed inside the metal posts & as previously stated – if they are also considered dangerous, then, THEY ARE GOING TOO FAST.

In regards to our meeting, I specifically stated that we also had concerns in the Cascades area including the illegal track that comes onto the heath track. We never stated it was JUST the Oxford Falls tracks. We said that was the area we would concentrate on initially.

The posts & sign on the illegal track that comes onto the Heath Track are again a temporary measure until we get a proper totem post in place. It was placed there as motor bikes are also accessing that illegal track & the erosion problems had been very much accelerated with all the rain we have had.

In addition, if the mountain bike users in the Cascades area do not slow down there is going to be a serious accident with a walker or horse rider very soon.

We have a numerous complaints from both walkers & horse riders about fast moving mountain bike riders in that area as it is a very popular walking area, often with large family groups & kids on weekends. I have personally had 2 bike riders recently nearly run into my vehicle, both times I was stopped & they came around a corner so fast they nearly did not stop.

Stuart M's picture

Good to see they are prepared to take the time and explain things when people actually speak to them about issues.

Flynny's picture

How does someone "Nearly" not stop?

This is the old perception verses reality issue again. If some one is not expecting to see a MTBer on a trail they will be startled when they do, they may even perceive the rider to be going too fast, or "almost not stop/run over/what ever"

How ever the riders may well have, and considering the lack of impact probably did, already see them and taken the necessary measures to safely stop/pass.

As Cessford points out this is a perception issue and easily addressed with education and signage.

ie let walkers know there may be MTB riders on the trail and they will not be startled when they see them. Let MTBers know walkers or horse riders are welcome on the trail and they will adjust their riding to suit...

Oh and while I understand what they are saying by the need to ride at appropriate speeds to ensure you are in control of your bike at all times, anyone who thinks metal spikes in possible fall zones is only unsafe if the rider is travelling too fast is a litigation case waiting to happen. Is there other, safer measures that could be implemented until the permanent barriers are in place?

And finally writing something in capitals DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY MORE RIGHT. Shocked

christine's picture

to be fair to the mountain bike riders and horse riders, we don't actually expect to see vehicles on those tracks anyway!

alchemist's picture

You don't expect to see a management vehicle on a management trail????

ar_junkie's picture

Aren't the fire trails for the vehicles?

Carlgroover's picture

expect to find a parked vehicle just around a corner on a fire road, but I'm sure I could avoid it if someone did park like that.
When mountain biking we all avoid hitting things at very short notice constantly, I really don't think I'll ever crash into a person or horse while riding single track.

Matt's picture

Can we have such a thing do you reckon? Front and centre on the home page in bold and with all new accounts having to agree to abide by it on the site and on NoBMoB rides?

It could deal with conduct on the site (No whingeing! and being nice to NPWS) and conduct on the trails (a cheery hello to everyone you meet and being super nice to Horses (sit down Stuart...) and walkers).

Tell me I'm dreamin'...


Stuart M's picture

You never know which one will end up in the next bar of soap you grab

Damien's picture

Is what I would of been if I had come across a parked vehicle around one of those corners on last Fridays blast from the Oaks helipad down to the gate.

Rob's picture

This is the beauty of MTB, especially in sniggle and down rough stuff. You feel like you are going a lot faster than you really are, but when it comes down to it you aren't really moving that fast and have honking big disc brakes to stop a lot, lot faster than you feel you might.

Also, I think you're being a bit harsh on yourself there Damien, you seem like an experienced dude... your bike skills are probably such you can easily manoeuvre around stuff when in a bit of a pickle.

I have talked to a few people lately and gone on about how nice it feels to have spent so much time riding lately that you just know exactly what your bike is going to do. Case in point was on approach to the creek at the dam a while back... hard on the brakes, the rear locking on and off as I feathered them, putting a bit more brake balance on the front and having the rear wheel gently lift off the ground, all while going round that last corner. Felt seriously nice to do this without a worry but I'm sure if you had been standing there observing and not known much about bikes it might have looked anything but the picture of control I paint! Eye-wink

All that said, of course, one should never ride without being in control and always be able to stop in the distance you can see. Common sense really - are we hearing that a lot lately? Puzzled

Flynny's picture

Something like this Matt?

Rules of the Trail

The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport's access and image by observing the following rules of the trail, formulated by IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These rules are recognized around the world as the standard code of conduct for mountain bikers. IMBA's mission is to promote mountain bicycling that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.

1. Ride On Open Trails Only.

Respect trail and road closures (ask if uncertain); avoid trespassing on private land; obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state Wilderness areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.

2. Leave No Trace.

Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trailbed is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

3. Control Your Bicycle!

Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.

4. Always Yield Trail.

Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.

5. Never Scare Animals.

All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a serious offense. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.

6. Plan Ahead.

Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding -- and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.

As for "No whingeing! and being nice to NPWS" We do need to work in together and try and get along but I don't think censorship of people who have a grievance (valid or otherwise) helps anyone move forward.

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