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Trailcare Proposal - RedHill, Oxfordfalls

Nerf Herder's picture

By Nerf Herder - Posted on 20 February 2012

For those not attuned to other sections of the Global Rider Network ... I thought it was worth highlighting the Trailcare Proposal for sustainable mountain biking in the Oxfordfalls / Redhill areas of Sydney's northern beaches.

I bring your attention to section 2.2 which highlights many benefits pertinent to all areas, not just the northern beaches.

eg, the Healthy Schools Program in NSW state schools has an overwhelming level of demand for cycling and mountain biking specifically. However, the barrier to increased participation is the lack of dedicated facilities within easy reach of schools. Many "Off Road" facilities, namely bike paths can not be used for OH&S and student control purposes. Any true off road facilities are likely unapproved; do not cater for the beginner / intermediate level of ability most programs need to focus on; or are too far to be of practical use by school organisers. I learnt this whilst attending a cycling week training course with my children @ a local basket ball court, with a cycling NSW instructor.

Anyway, an interesting and well written proposal.

Section 2.2.
" Beyond the obvious recreation benefits, officially sanctioned mountain biking provides benefits to all groups of landholders and stakeholders, as briefly discussed below:

• Improved Environmental Management. Enabling a group such as Trail Care to organise rider-driven maintenance days (under the guidance of land managers) greatly reduces the possibility of further environmental damage (for example by following standards set out by IMBA). Furthermore, the current proposal includes scope for rider driven rehabilitation of existing unsustainable trails, thereby to address erosion concerns associated with some of the existing trails in the area (examples can be provided upon request).

• Efficient Use of Existing Public Resources: There are a number of existing public resources, particularly on NSW Department of Education land around Narrabeen Lakes that could benefit from additional utilisation. This could be achieved by using these areas/facilities as a staging area for cross country mountain bike events, car parking and possibly providing opportunities for after school riding programs.

• Respect for Areas of Cultural Significance: Particularly in terms of MALC lands, official trails increase the ability for mountain bikers to be educated as to the cultural significance of certain locations in the area (for example via signage and trail maps), and for trails to be designed to avoid impact on such locations.

• Events: Potential to use Sydney Academy of Sport as an event hub for local, state and national level competition and training camps. This provides an additional income stream for the facility through parking and commission revenue.

• Healthy Schools Programs: A lack of dedicated off road venues for school aged children has served as a barrier for many schools across the Sydney Metropolitan area, limiting participation rates. Dedicated mountain bike riding opportunities allow for both off road opportunities to allow schools to facilitate specific cycling programs to assist with efforts to combat childhood obesity and other associated aliments.

• Provision of long term training and skills facility: Mountain biking is an Olympic sport and there are good reasons to provide a facility on the northern beaches to adjunct existing sports and recreation facilities and provide area for training, skills development and local competition.

• Economic Benefits: These are inherent from bringing additional people to the northern beaches for recreational purposes. In addition to the increased opportunity to generate direct revenue streams (via commissions and parking income streams), indirect economic benefits via diffused income will be experienced by both cycling and non cycling related businesses. These benefits are inherent in the attraction of additional users attracted to the northern beaches from across the Sydney Metropolitan area attracted to legitimate recreation cycling opportunities created.

• Recognition for creating an asset of high community value for many user groups while protecting areas of remaining bushland: With the pressure to provide housing for an ever growing population there needs to be a balance between development and providing bushland for unstructured recreational activities so that Sydney and the Northern Beaches remains a desirable and liveable location.

• Increased legitimate use of land leading to reductions in problematic usage. The presence of mountain bikers throughout the area is expected to reduce illegal activities and problematic uses (such as illegal dumping, use of motorised vehicles, and generally antisocial/untoward activities)."

moggio's picture

Thats a good list of the positives to be sure. School usage is a great one and obviously the economic benefits.

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