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Oaks Disaster - Sort Off.

Damien's picture

By Damien - Posted on 20 September 2008

Did my regular Oaks up and back ride this morning and have some sad news to report.

The graders and bulldozers have been back in there and this time they have really gone to town. Ok in terms of the trail if you were to start at Woodford and head down you can expect to ride through loose flat and very sandy fire trail all the way to the bottom of the first big downhill all the nice technical bits have been bulldozed and completely flattened there is no hard, rough or interesting bits at all and the first big downhill has also been totally flattened and is covered with loose deep sand and dirt all the way to the bottom. In fact it looks like the sand and dirt has been trucked in and dumped on the trail.

This made riding up this section a bit of a pain I even had to walk some sections of the trail as the dirt and sand was to deep and lose to want to ride through.

Looking at the scale of work that’s been done I would be amazed if they were to leave the rest of the trail alone now and suspect the other nice downhill bit and trail in general will be the next on the hit list.

I can understand why they might feel the need to flatten out the parts that had become rough to improve vehicle access but I don’t see the point of digging up the already flat and previously cleared fire trail and leaving it sandy and loose.

Just to clear things up a little I don't begrudge NPWS doing the work and fully understand the need for it. In regards to a disaster it is only a small personal one for me in terms of my regular weekly ride up there which wont be as enjoyable as it has been as it will probably be some time before the trail compacts down again.

LadyToast's picture


The bad news keeps on coming.. when are we going to get some good news regarding the trails we ride?

I'm all for doing my bit to help trail maintenance, but even that isn't happening at the dam anymore.

Little-Ditty's picture

Dude, you as a bike rider don't own that trail. And you use that fire trail at the sufferance of the relevant government authorities. Although I would agree with you and would love all these trails to fall into disrepair and become rocky and technical (love it! Smiling), the fact is fire trails need to be quickly accessible to fire fighting authorities. The rural fire service needs the use of those trails, and the easier and smoother it is, the better they can do their jobs. Also, the long range weather forecast for Sydney is now in, and hot and variable conditions are forecast for summer. This maintenance needs to be done asap as it would be too late to do by December. What if you owned a house in Winmalee or Hazelbrook, or any of the other high fire danger properties out there? I believe they can sleep a little better knowing the RFS have good and fast access to some of the dense bushland out there. It's unfortunate, but the need of the many outweighs the few. Also, they did the same grading on the Waratah or Salvation Track about a year ago. This graded sand was initially like riding through quicksand, but now many months later it is very hard packed and fast. I think you will be quietly impressed 6 months from now when you can scream down the Oaks on your 29"er at 40 km/h.

Damien's picture

Jeez what the.

My post was prety much just a heads up as to whats been done and a bit of a warning for anyone who is thinking of going up there any time soon.

My wheels are bigger than yours.

Little-Ditty's picture

Sorry, I read it as a complaint... my bad. My apologies. Eye-wink

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