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the need for a Peak trail building body and National standards survey

Flynny's picture

By Flynny - Posted on 05 November 2016

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

MTBA have releeased 3 options papers on the development and implementation of a National standard for Trail building, Trail builders accreditation and the formation of a peak body . The discussion papers and a survey can be found here

My personal opinion is it's bureaucracy for bureaucracy sake and that in such a large and diverse country the 1 standard fit all approach is unworkable.

It's also a lot of money to develop a Standard when we already have the IMBA guidelines.
Personally I think a guideline gives far more scope to create interesting trails that can change and adapt as bikes and riders change. Imagine if we set out a standard for trail design in 1984 and were still limited to those sorts of trails on modern bikes.

But anyway, have a read through and voice your opinion

grantd's picture

I haven't read it yet but i too was wondering what the argument for it was, considering the existence if IMBA's standards.

Lach's picture

.... Standards (if adopted by an appropriate body) are generally seen to be a more binding requirement from an OHS standpoint than guidelines. Could potentially mean that trails not complying with the Standard (but perhaps complying with the IMBA guidelines) were a greater risk for the trail owner / manager / sponsor as far as legal liabilities go, if somebody stuffs up on a ride and decide to try and sue the trail owner / manager / builder.

Flynny's picture

Makes sense when talking about something as easily defined as a building or a helmet but for something as dynamic, varying and unique as a mountain bike trail?

I'd be worried that a National Standard would lock us in to a particular type of trail with no room for localised knowledge and adaptations as well as make it far too hard for clubs to comply so every meter of trail suddenly has to be built by professional trail builders. Great for them, 1 more reason for grass roots riders to turn their back on official trails and return to the good/bad old days of building discretely

As for insurance and liabilities, mountain biking has been happening officially in aus since 1984 when AMBA was first created. How many trail builders have been sued? Zero.

hawkeye's picture

I think I said exactly this when it was originally proposed last year. For some reason I got howled down. Sad

IMBA guidelines work. Why not just adopt them?

But we're Australian. We gotta have rules, it's the national fascination. I think it's so all the Jobsworths can come out and say "but rules is rules" instead of having to use their brains and judgment. Can't have people thinking, it's dangerous. Don't get me started. Sad

Oops, too late.

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