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Phytophthora Dieback, are you a carrier?

ChopStiR's picture

By ChopStiR - Posted on 12 December 2011

Recenlty I took part in the Jet Black 24hr held at Mount Annan Botanical Gardens. The Gardens had an important message to share with everyone. The images shown are the posters that were up at the event. This is extremly important and every mountain biker should be aware.

Phytophthora (pronounced fy-TOFF-thora) is a devastating plant killer. It attacks and rots plant roots, destroying the food and shelter of many animals. It is a water mould which spreads naturally in water or roots. It is spread much faster and further by humans moving contaminated soil or plant material, even small amounts.

When you're in the bush, please take care
not to spread this devastating disease.

Infestation is permanent!

Don't be a Phytophthora Dieback carrier!

  • don't cycle when it's wet and muddy
  • park your vehicle in a designated area
  • start your ride with clean tyres and shoes
  • stick to designated roads and tracks
  • don't pick plant material
  • don't take mud and dirt home with you
  • use sticks to dislodge clods of dirt
  • use foot baths and cleaning facilities if provided
  • disinfect footwear and equipment

Not only your tyres! Soil sticks on anything that touches the
ground: backpacks, walking sticks, tent pegs and of course
shoes and car tyres, and even clothing while you're sitting!
So dust yourself off and discard any mud or soil as you go.

Disinfecting is easy if you spray with 70%
methylated spirits diluted with water.

moggio's picture

This is where it would be good to have a wash station at somewhere like Knapsack. Then if people get into the habit of carrying the metho mix in the car its very easy to have a disinfected bike after its been rinsed. People can do it while still talking crap after a ride so its all art of the day.

For those riders with a herd of bikes, they could have a bike for each location. Smiling

Muninjitsu's picture

In the real world advertising does little for prevention. If these groups want to get serious about disease control then they need to put in active measures, as suggested by moggio. I take it these advertisiments are in the areas where there is currently disease problems?

ChopStiR's picture

I will need to confirm but I think its the other way around. Mount Annan Botanical Gardens is pro mountain biking and part of being a Botanical Garden is to try and educate its visitors.

The picture of the mountain bikers in the posters is a little misleading. The dead sticks all around the trail are from an Olive weed that the Gardens are slowly removing.

While wash stations sound like a brilliant idea, they can be costly and spraying your bike with water doesn't do anything. The best protection is a hairspray water bottle with a 7part metho to 3part water mix.

moggio's picture

You need the wash station to get off the mud in the first place and then to spray it. Its no use just spraying the mud either.

Getting people to wash if there is a wash station I think would be easy and is a step in the right direction. The spraying is hard though. Ever see any bushwalkers doing that? Its only ever the few conservationist types who are aware that do so this need hasn't entered into standard practice in that holier than though realm either.

Really its something that will have to slowly work its way into the common mindset.

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