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Does the Sydney Olympic XC trail still exist??

trentc76's picture

By trentc76 - Posted on 12 August 2012

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

hi guys,

just a quick question....does the sydney olympic xc still exist??? from searches i see it was at farifield farm but i have never heard of anyone riding out there???

hawkeye's picture

Some promise here:

I found this, but it looks like a Sunday meander on the bike paths with the kids:

The FourCross track is still there, though.

Hop fiend's picture

but from the comments on the various website's in Hawkeyes comment not much has happened in 2 years!

Flynny's picture

was talking about this just the other day

The Fair field city farm track was open on a pay to use basis, but the interesting sections were only open to people with club licenses as they were deemed to technical for bumblies.

Fees were to pay permanent maintenance staff. this was too costly and problematic, with riders not happy with the level of maintenance as it's main focus was on the horses and clubs frustrated volunteer labour could not be used long with big fees for hosting events there. From memory break even was about $60K per year...

It closed for ages but has been/is getting revamped as Western Sydney park. I know there is an open walking/cycle track and Steve Humpheries has been in talks about compitition mtb for just about ever but I'm not sure where that is up to

Form Steve H.
Fairfield City Farm track opened in 2000 after the Olympics, and closed in 2004.

The reason it closed poor management.

As part of the funding the local council Farifield City invested most of the money to construct the venue for the mountain bike event at the Sydney 2000 olympics on land controlled at that stage by Fairfield City (it was called Fairfield City Farm, FCF), planning and environmental concerns were wavered for the event. After the Olympics a council worker was instructed to maintain the venue roughly each week and the cost of this was placed on an account with the costs to be regained by use of the venue. Individuals could use the venue for a cost of $20 each, at a time when to ride at a Western Sydney Club race was about $5. The cost of riding at FCF was then to be recovered when clubs used the venue, the first club to try to use the venue was The University of NSW mountain bike club UTS dirt pigs (this was about 2001), UTS Dirt Pigs were told the cost of using FCF would be $2,000, UTS approached WSMTB and used their track for the $50 fee that was charged at that time by National Parks and Wildlife (NP&W). This was circulated around the mountain bike clubs that the venue was terribly expensive in 2002 UTS again tried to use FCF this time the fee was $4000 it had grown with the maintainance, again UTS used WSMTB track. No club used the track ever, only individuals, it was run by Fairfield City Council. The site still exists it is now part of Western Sydney Regional Park but NP&W have a say in the running of the park and the track runs through the protected species areas, and every time WSMTB has tried to ride since it was closed there has been a firm no! Steve Humphreys

hawkeye's picture

I think their cost recovery model of "slug the next user for the full amount of unrecovered costs accrued to date" was only ever going to result in an ever higher hurdle, and a "get stuffed" response.

Talk about setting up to fail!

Anyway, that's past. Let's deal with the current issues.

A trail audit would help uncover the maintenance issues that need to be knocked over, and some kind of map showing where the sensitive ecological communities exist would provide some clues as to where re-routing is required and what options are feasible.

trentc76's picture

so much for the legacy of the games....what a shame, surely could have done with world class xc trail around.

as someone said in one of the forum would be great if one of the races promoters such as rockytrail could get it up and running for a race day once or twice a year ....i'm sure it would be a win-win for both promoters and mtbérs! great venue in the middle of sydney...would have to be a winner???

herzog's picture

Good comment. The Olympics commentators mentioned that the Poms will be keeping their XC facility open for the public as a piece of games legacy infrastructure.

And what a great looking track.

Lach's picture

...I think it was about $10 entry and the most techy bit was cut out. Was still pretty steep in both ups and downs in a couple of places, so not much of a social ride. However, the whole area now linking with the other western sydney park areas still has significant potential.

Chuck's picture

"so much for the legacy of the games...."

Was thinking the same. Keeping chipping away guys, I'm sure we'll get the result we need soon.

ChopStiR's picture

The site is now managed by Western Sydney Parklands. Providing a Mountain Bike trail is in the plan of management. I sent an email not so long ago and they responded but can't remember the exact words but it will happen. I think they need a good push via email campaign and now would be a good time with the Olympics on.

ChopStiR's picture

Found the response, this was on Janruary 27th

Hi Tim,
thanks for your patience!

I've spoken to our Manager of Parkland Development and Strategy, and she has advised that course is a very important element of that plan.

Also as part of the plan, the Trust is investigating the different options available to us in the construction of a mountain bike course, and the budget required to construct and maintain it.

We are all really keen to see it happen in the Parklands as soon as possible, but it does take time, and we do need to budget for it.

Thanks so much for your email, it is really good to be reminded that there is a demand for it!

warmest regards,
Calli Brown

Lach's picture

Maybe you need to post Calli's a e mail address so she can get a few more "reminders"?

ChopStiR's picture

She was responding through the enquiries email address I posted above

Muninjitsu's picture

Email sent, keep them coming guys.

DudeistPriest's picture

I've sent something off too.

mrptl's picture

Sent something off too. Who's next?

trentc76's picture

i'm sent this morning.....thanks for posting the link. hopefully we can get a quite a few more to send some nice 'reminders'!

Styler's picture

There is some good trails running through the park. There is only a small area of the park being used at this moment, but the potential is huge.

DudeistPriest's picture

Does anyone know where the best place to park/start from is if I'm heading down from Gosford for a look around the parklands?


ChopStiR's picture

Western Sydney Parklands management is huge but there is only one location where a Mountain bike trail will be allowed to be built and even then there will be alot of due processes.

There are 2 good starting locations I can think.

The first is the roundabout that intersects Horsley Drive and Cowpasture road. The is also a driveway into the parks off this roundabout. Up the end is some parking and a good start point. Plenty of cycle paths and s bridge to cross over the waterway. More cycle paths and disused roads on the other side to ride around and explore. A really good steep hill to ride up also Smiling

The second location is just a few hundred metres south along cowpasture rd with another roundabout and driveway. Here you can gain access to the same cycle paths.

I work just up the rd on cowpasture rd. so a new MTN venue here would be ideal for me Smiling

ChopStiR's picture

I just found I still have the Parklands POM still on my iPhone. Was just reading up on it. Under Precinct 10 Abbotsbury
Investigate development of a Mountain bike course.

Under Precinct 10 they talk about increasing usage at the picnic grounds, moonrise lookout and the Ridge line. Improve access between these locations.

There is even an idea of a shop for bike hire in the plan of management.

I personally believe mountain biking can help achieve alot of there needs for this Precinct.

It's worth having a look at the POM.

Vinno's picture

Email sent also. This track was more along the lines of a traditional Cross Country circuit than a Mount Annan and it would be great to see it opened again. I watched the Oceana Games in 1999 and the Olympic Mens Race and it would be good to see another venue like this opened up again.

shano's picture

Back in my younger days I had ridden around the sugar loaf range before the M7 was built.
Most of the Parkland has so much cycleway you can get around it on a roadie.
I think in 2001 the FCF cost $11 to enter. So I would go up to the Oaks every weekend instead!

Muninjitsu's picture

Here is the response I got today.

Hi Charles,

Thanks for your email.

Yes, we have had many enquiries about a Mountain Bike track to be established in the parklands - I am pleased to say that there will be a feasibility study conducted. We dont have confirmed timings yet, however we are hoping it will be launched later this year.

many thanks for your email,

warm regards

Calli Brown

DudeistPriest's picture

I received a similar response today as well.

trentc76's picture

this was my reply today.....


You are one of many who have contacted us regarding this - we too think it would be fantastic to have. However we also have limited resources to oversee the development of 5 thousand hectares - so everything we do is a balancing act!!

I am pleased to say that we will be launching a feasibility study into having a mountain bike track, and we are hoping to start it later in the year. ( we are a very small team!!!)

thanks again for your email

warm regards

Calli Brown

.....maybe some hope there...certainly sounds promising but don't think it will happen in a hurry! must give calli credit though, sounds like these guys are repling to each email individually....pretty rare these days!

mrptl's picture

Got the same, nice of them to answer everyone.

Vinno's picture

Also got the same reply. Fingers crossed.

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