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Trail vandalism at parramatta reserve..

GW's picture

By GW - Posted on 18 September 2012

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

Hi guys, Ive been around for a bit but this is my first post here. (awesome site, your effort is greatly appreciated)
Living reasonably close to Parramatta the reserve at the lake is my local after or before work track.
Personally it sickens me that Parramatta council aren't willing to open up more of the reserve to cyclists
(yet they seem to turn a blind eye to the idiots that take motor cross bikes and 4x4's in there from the north rocks (seville reserve) side)(or the dog walkers that seem to think there's an exception to their dog being on a lead and cleaning up its sh*t)

I like most other locals have read the councils excuses for not opening up more of the reserve to cyclists(which frankly is BS), and I honestly believe not a single council member has ever waked or spent any time in the reserve to make an educated decision ( In their reply a particular council member refers to a youtube video, not only had this part of the track not existed for years, not to mention wasn't actually on Parramatta's land (it was the kings school)

They have no understanding of our sport or comprehension of how much we love and respect the trails we use and that most of us would be willing to work with the council to maintain the trails and have no desire to build drops or modify the trails as they were in the "youtube video"

Ok, its to late to make a long story short and im probably going on a bit but this is somewhere I truly love (for mountain biking, jogging or just a sunday walk with the family) and its a very heart felt subject for me.

So today I went to the lake to find some idiot has gone and spent hours covering parts of the trails with large broken branches and logs (not fallen, maliciously placed), I honestly cant begin to comprehend why someone would want to do this. I assure you its going to cause a few things to happen. Firstly its going to cause someone to be seriously injured, maybe it will be a cyclist (or a kid cycling with a parent which ive seen lost at the reserve many times) as it seems this is the target but it could just as easily be a jogger or walker. Now the track is completely unusable, it will over grow as there's a snowflake's chance in hell of Parramatta council ever maintaining any of the trails over there, the only reason there's still a trail there at all for anyone to use is because people cycle it, other then that it would be long since over grown. If nothing else Parramatta council could take their finger out and signpost there land to show the public exactly what is and isn't usable to stop things like this happening.

My only hope is someday ill be lucky enough to live within the Warringah or Manly council areas where recreational sport is respected and

cambowambo's picture

I don't know Parramatta but I do know Councils. I also know trail vandals.

Vandals/morons definitely enjoy putting objects on tracks to see what happens but they do not do it in a major way (too much effort - that makes it like work) so if the amount of branches and logs across the tracks is as you describe that suggests it was deliberately done.

Which means Council did it, or Rangers acting for Council, or some Organisation looking to solve a problem (maybe to "prevent erosion" or "improve habitat" or etc.) for Council or maybe just some organised group of log lovers. If it is major covering of tracks as you described then it was official.

So get onto Council and spend a bit of time locating the person responsible for the Reserve, and find out why it was done. That's your first step.

Then you need to get a local chapter of TrailCare going and start the long hard (but occasionally interesting and rewarding) slog towards getting some official tracks in your area Smiling

GW's picture

Thanks Cambowambo,
I appreciate the help and advice. I contacted the council this morning. They don't have any knowledge of a work order or plan to do anything in the area although they are going to investigate it further and get back to me.
I did think myself initially that it might have been a council or ranger, but usually the councils are willing to put up a sign (laminated A4 page) with a warning or notice. I honestly think this was done by a moron or a group of them with an hour or two to spare. They didn't cover huge amounts of track, maybe a couple of kms (to the best of my knowledge,since I turned around and headed back the other way) but they covered enough to ruin a good loop (that kept cyclists out of the path of walkers) and cause an accident or two, and waited for a blind corner where speed would be built up before putting anything down.

I understand it has been tried before but it cant hurt to get back in contact with TrailCare and get the ball rolling again and try to get some additional track for cyclists use, there's more then enough land there for everyone to enjoy safely and I believe if the people making the decision understood the lay out and how much land was really there they might just change there mind. I agree with Parramatta council that there is land there that needs to be respected and protected, the "lake circuit" is somewhere id never consider taking my bike but I see people do it on a regular basis simply because they're lost. They hear there's a bike track at the lake, they go over and get completely lost due to no signage of any description(and we're not talking fullface helmet w/ body armour wearing DH'rs, we're talking a family with a kid or two, of someone that just bought there first hardtail from the local bike store) , The council then use these examples as reasons not to allow any further extension off the fire trail. There's a good reason people dont go to MD and cycle the walking trails! There signposted ! The reserve could be divided into a walking trail around the "lake circuit" and a bike trail could be signposted from the lake (along the fire trail) to Seville reserve, at very least I think its time the council coughed up some money and clearly marked what can and cant be used to eliminate confusion and give us some hope of showing that we are willing to play by the rules when they're clear for everyone to see! and maybe somewhere down the track the'll reconsider opening up more land to us. (To be perfectly honest I think its time the state took over this land and made it a national park before Parramatta councils negligence or unwillingness to spend money allows it to be destroyed any further!)

Ill update when I hear back from Parramatta council.

ozgti's picture

Hey GW,

Which part of the loop did they vandalize? I don't want to stack it because of these idiots. I ride there every week and am gradually seeing new lines and tracks being made. People should just ride the existing trails. Making new trails just makes matters worse for MTBs.

Scottboy's picture

was out there today & there are no new lines or trails created there , the part that has been vandalised or sticks laid on the track has happened b4 ,it's the area known as the D's by the locals , we just ignore it & ride past that area

ozgti's picture

Maybe they are just new to me then Smiling Probably coz they did the back burn recently. There have been some improvements too to the trail eg. Wooden creek crossing, some rock armouring. If only they could formalize the trail, it would ensure better maintainence and less erosion.

RobB's picture

I took some photos of the sticks and rocks on Sat but not sure how to link them in this post... and it looks like it is fixing the muddy areas as it gets very wet and water stands there for weeks sometimes.... I suppose we should thank who ever takes the time to fix it up, looks like a bit of work!

FOB's picture

had a spin around yesterday and all is back to normal, the sticks and rocks were put in by some trail fairies quite a few months ago to soak up some boggy patches

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