Noel's picture

By Noel - Posted on 14 May 2008

I think if NPWS had their way every park would be fenced off and we would look at them from elevated walk ways.

Make the trails sustainable, don't sign post them. People are willing to help make them more sustainable.

It should be about making the trail "sustainable" to users, not removing the users. Do they really think the population and usage is going to drop. The highest increase in unstructured recreation in Hornsby Shire parks has been walkers, followed by Bike Riders. It is increasing and people don't really care that much about signs. Signage does not work.

kurt's picture

i think i love you

Daz's picture

Very well said Noel.

Took a ride around the Heath/Bare Ck track yesterday. There are some huge tyre rutts that have ripped up numerous sections of the trail that would have been caused by something like a 3-5 tonne truck.

The only indication of any work along the entire trail that would even remotely warrant access by a large vehicle........Yep, the installation of the anti-mountain bike totem.

Buck's picture

The truck would have been for the big rock they supposedly have put there

Heath Track Gate

Noel's picture

Although (as a law abider) I try to follow the signs and avoid no bike paths, if I ever got fined $300 for riding I would make sure I put in a common law claim for the next crash I sustained on a NP's fire trail that does not meet spec.

Flynny's picture

Now we are threatening to sue if we fall off... that's a sure way to get them to let us in. Not.

Don't start a trail of shame page. Most of the trails on gov control land were built ad hoc without permission, hell most of them are unknown to the land manager until someone posts about them on the interwebthingie

kurt's picture

that the 300 buck fine goes towards a new sign on another trail

Flynny's picture

as something that may have been harnessed to actually help achieve some ground has fast degenerated in to some silly ranting and foot stamping

Daz's picture

The damage to the trail by truck tyres is at the bottom of the Heath Track, about 3km past the gate.

The bottom part of the trail is still quite wet in places from recent rains, certainly no place for any kind of heavy vehicle unless absolutely necessary.

Nick R's picture

This comment has been moved here.

Noel's picture

You wouldn't be pissed if you were fined $300?

Reads to me like they can fine even if it is single and not sign posted.

Flynny's picture

Of course I would, then again when compared to the amount of money I spend to do my sport it's chicken feed in the grand scheme.

Would you be pissed if people started building stuff in you back yard, invited all the friends around, promoted hot laps on the internet and complained you aren't doing enough of the right things to maintain them and then kicked up a big stink when you kicked them out?

Are there any signs at your place to tell me I cant make a mini bike park in you bedroom?

Little-Ditty's picture

I would have to admit, that one is funny. Laughing out loud

arpit's picture

"Would you be pissed if people started building stuff in you back yard, invited all the friends around, promoted hot laps on the internet and complained you aren't doing enough of the right things to maintain them and then kicked up a big stink when you kicked them out?

Are there any signs at your place to tell me I cant make a mini bike park in you bedroom?

That is a fallacious analogy. He neither has a statutory duty, nor government funding to maintain his back garden for public use.
His back yard is privately owned.
He is not a public authority.
His role is to protect his private interest. This is in contrast to a public authority's role to protect public interests.
His back yard was not acquired through the use of taxpayer money, nor through special powers of compulsory aquisition.

And there is, of course, the obvious difference that his house in on inclosed land, whereas the parks are not.

Noel, it is correct that they can fine people for riding on singletrack where it is not signposted. The general rule is that you can only ride on singletrack if it is signposted that you may do so eg. Oaks. THis is in contrast to firetrail, which you can ride unless there are signs to suggest that you may not. (eg. Warrimoo track).

Activities in national parks are governed by secondary legislation and plans of management. These are obscure. An authorised officer will be more likely for that very reason to issue a warning (as opposed to a fine) where there is no signage than where there is signage.

The plans of management regulate many things. For example, the suggested protest ride through Bobbin head would be unlawful without written permission.

Stuart M's picture

for a minute.

Internal bickering, and not entirely contained in this thread, does none of us any good, just gives more fuel for other peoples fire when the time comes.

For now lets enjoy the trails we have legal access to and start in earnest to push for changes to legislation / POM's to allow us to once again ride the trails that we have for years, all be it without official permission. This of course would be done with the support of our hard labour to maintain said trails.

Noel's picture

Look I won't get fined cause I avoid posted trails as I know the liability could be more than $300. If something happened to me or to another person (as a result of me riding it) it could be really bad. Like much worse than $300.

I'm a stickler for rules, however most people will ignore the sign and ride anyways.

The reliance on signs in our world is excessive. They don't work.

I don't support Hot Laps.

You can come ride my back yard if you like (you would be surprised) but nobody is doing any riding in the bedroom except me and the misses.

The tone of the email from the NP's person just really got up my nose.

hawkeye's picture

If a tree falls over in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it really fall?

If you're caught by a ranger in the forest, and don't have any ID, is it really you?

Not that I would advocate this, but it just seems like a glaring weakness in their enforcement strategy, as the rangers have no power of arrest beyond those of a normal citizen, AFAIK.

Stuart M's picture

Arrest they can. I guess it just comes down to the interpretation of the particular legislation they are envoking

hawkeye's picture

I had started editing it as it's not the smartest thing to say, I agree. I'm just very upset that they're taking the lazy way out. Prohibition never works.

Cycling is a billion-dollar-a-year industry, and will only grow as fuel prices increase and public policy turns to cycling to meet health and transport objectives, and demographic changes favoring outdoor activities kick in. These are the reasons Super Cheap Auto quoted for their mid-teens ($millions) acquisition spend on an entry into the Australian cycling retail market in the last few days. New bike sales exceeded new car sales every year of the last five. Mountain bikes would be roughly half that I'm guessing.

If they think putting up a few signs and passing out a few fines is going to stem the growing tide of people enjoying their natural environment (for which they are custodians on OUR behalf) on a bike, then it seems to me they're still living in prohibition-era America.

If they had any brains, they'd be using the opportunity to work with the cycling industry NOW to encourage a culture of responsible trail behaviour before the genie is out of the bottle and they lose the opportunity to be a positive influence. Not only that, they could use us to help them achieve their aims far more effectively than they could by fighting us, as most of us are responsible and care about the environment - it's why we're out there in the first place.

Uninformed and inaccurate comments like those we saw about average speeds, and threats about losing our ability to influence them don't help their cause at all, and show just how reactionary, myopic and out of touch they are.

A concerted letter-writing campaign to our local federal and state members would be more effective getting their attention in my view.

hawkeye's picture

I've written a few letters to several politicians over the last year on a range of issues, and have received a reply in most cases. This as a surprise at first.

Originally-crafted letters seem to carry many times the weight of form letters, and it helps enormously to talk in terms of how doing meeting our interests will help them meet theirs. To be successful this requires us to empathise with them and understand what is important to them, and for us to maybe modify our position. In a negotiation it's the parties' *interests* that matter most. A position (eg, mtbing banned) is only a means to achieve that interest. If we can show them a better way to achieve it we have a better chance of getting what we want, which is sustainable trail access.

In talking with NPWS this is likely to be the most successful approach too.

I'd include the federal environment minister on the distribution list.

Comment viewing options

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

Best Mountain Bike