Oxford Falls DH - Meeting 7 October

Funkychicken's picture

By Funkychicken - Posted on 03 October 2008

Dear all, I have just received the following email and thought I'd better spread the word.

Basically, a meeting will be convened @ 7:30pm 7/10/08 at the Christian Covenant School (Dell St, Belrose - off Forest Way) to discuss the future of DH at Oxford Falls. Alas I can't attend since I'll be overseas for the week, but the meeting is between a group of MTB riders, Oxford Falls residents, and the local State member John O'Dea. The *common* push (from both riders and residents alike) is for the development of a MTB park (possibly shared with equestrians) in the area. This is a very positive development guys. Email is as follows:

Hi all,

Been a long time coming I know but here is the first installment of the oxford falls email list. The idea of the list is to provide an additional means of communication (other than net forums) for those who are interested to discuss oxford falls trail issues and to organise/plan trail maintenance days etc. I will provide regular updates of the contacts list as new people wish to join or people wish to be removed. Please feel free to get others who may be interested in being added to the list to email me their details. Alternatively, if you would like to be removed from the list or like an alternative email address added, please let me know.

Just to recap where things are at.... We agreed at the riders meeting a few months back that we would take a more active role in management of the downhill tracks. This included developing an unofficial riders 'code of conduct' and displaying this on a sign at the trail head, and contacting local residents so we could try to adress their MTB related concerns. I have contacted the residents by means of a letterbox drop and the 'code' is in the process of being prepared - we aim to finalise this after we have met with the residents to we could incorporate their ideas.

It took a while after the letterbox drop for the residents to contact me - apparently they all got together to discuss the MTB activities first and agree on a common approach from their end. The outcome is that they would like to meet with us at the next Belrose Rural Community Association meeting (most of the locals belong to this group) to discuss. The preson I spoke to praised us for being proactive with regard to trail management and being cognisant of their concerns. I was advised that the residents agree there is a need for more MTB trails in the local area given the popularity of the sport, however, I get the impression they would like to see us move on from oxford falls to an alternative venue, this being the Belrose tip site. Therefore, I suspect the MTB related discussions at the meeting will be two-fold; to discuss the use of the existing tracks in the short term and to discuss the need for an alternative venue. I have also received word that the local resident Connie Harris, who has just been elected to Warringah Council, will be campaigning hard for the tip site to be developed as a DH MTB venue and equestrian centre (this has come from an email she sent that I was forwarded).

Initially only a couple of us were invited to attend the meeting, however, I have since been advised that the residents have organised for the local State member, John O'Dea, to attend and they would now like us to trun up in numbers. The idea will be to demonstrate to him that there is a real need for the tip site to be redeveloped as a MTB park, which is likely to require some degree of state level funding to reach its full potential (think Stromlo on a smaller scale). The meeting is on at 7:30 pm next Tuesday 7 October, to be held at the Christian Covenant School (Dell St, Belrose - off Forest Way). Sorry for the late notice on this people, but I only found out about this change this morning. Please let me know if you can make the meeting, would be great if you could.


Dave Yonge

DH Coordinator


Little-Ditty's picture

What a cool development!! Pity I will be playing basketball though. I would have attended otherwise.

Anyone that rides at OF, you should attend and put forward some constructive requests for the group! Smiling

dez_b's picture

I will do my best to attend , this is a great outcome looking forward to hearing the residence side of things

LadyToast's picture

I'll do my best to attend.

sensai_miagi's picture

I'm not on this mailing list but do enjoy riding there sometimes so I'll attend.

LadyToast's picture

I was reading on the Farkin forum that they might not want "too" many bikers to attend.


I'll probably go along and get a feel for how many too many might be, if there are mobs of cyclists it might appear a little overpowering for the others there.

christine's picture

because i have a girlfriend who lives at the bottom of Nursery Rhymes - you know, the dirt road at the end of the downhill tracks? Anyway, she knew nothing about the meeting at all and she is a resident and also a horse rider...which makes me wonder, which residents are they talkiing with? Surely more than just the two or three houses at the top of the hill?

Bruce's picture

I missed out on the meeting last night due to a doctors appointment.

Did anyone go? if so what happened?

dez_b's picture

Good turn out resulting in a friendly open line of communication between riders and residence .

It is a difficult situation as the land has multiple owners depending on where the trail runs so council has no juristriction and no one has talked to the Aboriginal land council about use of the land so at this point we are all trespassing.

Short term :
A Code of conduct to be drawn up with a sign at the trail head listing the wants of the residence such as noise , parking and especially rubbish. TAKE IT WITH YOU AND PICK UP ANY YOU SEE !!

A policy of self policing by the riders to encourage other riders to obay the rules.

A team of representatives made up of three members from both sides to review the trail to decide which lines will remain open (trails that don't impinge on sensitive areas of flaura and fauna) which will be marked off.

Apparently the residence dont want the proposed development either and are worried that the increased MTB activity will scare away or damage threatened species which is their biggest leverage against this development .

One of the best results IMO is that now they realize that the removal the Nth Shore jumps and berms has actually encouraged more destruction by riders making new lines , so this group will review the jumps/berms and decide which ones will stay and be improved resulting in the longer term of less erosion and damage to the environment by getting the wheels off the ground. If good lines are in place riders will be encouraged to keep to those trails

Long term:

To get access to Belrose tip site for a MTB park and equestrian area to which at the present is unused land other than the methane recovery wells for electricity production . The body that manages this land has been promising council/government for years to develop this area for public use but have done nothing , they would be happy to leave it empty with closed service roads.
The reps will be meeting there next month to review the site and decide if it has the appropriate fall line needed for DH MTB, the chance of funding by the state government has buckles due to it falling in a blue ribbon Liberal seat with a Labour state government , so if it eventually gets the go a head it would have to be built and funded by the riders which is not an issue as there is enough riders to throw time and sweat into building a great riders venue.
Fingers crossed we will get a dedicated DH XC park on the Nth beaches using Stromolo as a model minus the millions spent by ACT government.
There will be an email info line set up through Manly Warringah Mountain Bike Club and through David Yonge [email protected]

Little-Ditty's picture

You 'da man, Dez! Cool

Sounds like a sensible course of action may actually be reached on this issue. I am more than willing to lend a hand with anything, if I know where and when that will be.

LadyToast's picture

Great write up, thanks Dez_b. Sounds like an encouraging outcome to a productive meeting.

Caro's picture

for the write up!
Sounds like there are possibilities

blackbetty's picture

In the long term, does that mean they might make a four cross track and trials area like stromolo has?

dez_b's picture

It is still all up in the air at the moment blackbetty until the site is accessed by the nominated reps. for suitability for all disciplines of riding , if you are interested contact David Younge and ad your name to the mailing list for updates on all matters concerning the future of this site and how you can help if willing to contribute and for updates on the protocols for riding Oxford falls.
fingers crossed we will eventually get a new venue.

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