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WYLDE MTB Trail Roly Poly A-Line: Take Extreme Care!

Volker's picture

By Volker - Posted on 18 September 2014

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

Hi All,

I smashed my collar bone into three pieces last Saturday trying to ride over the raised platform which I think is called the Roly Poly A-Line. Apologies if I got the name wrong, I didn't bother to go back and check.

The man-made raised platform has three gently rolling up and down bumps and then ends in a large drop back down to ground. The drop is too big to roll off even on a 29er as I learned the hard way. You are very likely to go OTB trying that. AND you see the drop so late that it is hard to launch off it properly. The drop does take one also by surprise since other obstacles on the trail are pretty smooth to ride over and nothing like this one.

I did send a note to the park management and we talked about it, but not sure if they have already taken action.

Otherwise a great trail and enjoy the opening day!

Before you come after me for riding a trail that is not yet officially open: It is open, 12 October is just the community opening day.


steveh's picture

hi volker- i'm sorry to hear of your fall and injury. That's not good at all. I was out at Wylde on monday and did a few laps and found the course extremely enjoyable. The first 2 laps i took the b-line as i haven't been on the MTB for 6+ weeks and not too confident, but each time i rode past it- i looked at the a-line to measure it up. I agree that the platform wouldn't be good for a roll down at the end.

On the 3rd lap i took it on, and had too much speed over the first 2 or 3 roly polys (?) so slowed down, and at the drop off did a little hop down no probs. The last lap i hit the roly poly's with less speed, and on the last downward ramp accelerated and hit the drop with more speed, and found it quite a smooth landing. Quite enjoyable actually in my opinion

I reckon full credit to everyone involved with Wylde it's a fantastic course and as it beds down more over the next 6 months will get better and better.

Take care on the roly poly (or anywhere that you haven't quite sussed out properly) and measure it up before you attempt it-nobody wants to end up injured and off the bike

crank's picture

If you look ahead you can see the drop before you even have to choose the A or B line. That feature is clearly labelled as the A line. If you aren't sure about something you should always stop and have a look before just giving it a go. It will be a very sad day if this or any other feature on the Wylde track is removed because people can't ride them and complain about them.

What action do you expect the WSPT to take?

I hope the collarbone heals up quickly. Smiling

Volker's picture

Two possible actions I discussed with Park Management, and no I did not complain at all:

-add some rocks at the bottom of the drop. This would give the front wheel of people rolling off the drop a forward momentum and reduce the OTB risk. This would not interfere with launching or jumping off, which is probably what the trail designers had in mind

-add a "Drop Ahead" sign at the beginning of the platform

I clearly told them that it is a great trail, that I still enjoyed it a lot, and that I will be back. I just found this one particular spot standing out quite a bit from the rest of the trail.

Hasbeen Racing's picture

I rode Coondoo on the weekend and the signage there is fantastic, including warning of a ramp with no back (sounds kinda similar). However, if you're on natural trails there is no signage and it's rider beware. I like the self responsibility of the latter but recognise the modern reality of man made trails being our normal riding environment and therefore the requirement for the former.

Scottboy's picture

When I was there the roly poly wasnt open I don't think but there is a substantial drop at the end if you arent carrying speed but it is clearly marked the A line .

leximack's picture

I rode it with my 26" bike with no problems. Putting rocks at the bottom? do you mean bottom of the drop? thats crazy, your going to create more OTB as riders wheels dont make or clear the rocks properly.
If you come up to an A Line and not sure then have a look at it first, assess if you think you can achieve it and what way to attack it.
I like the Wylde course, i just wish it had MORE A line options to mix it up a bit.
I hope they dont remove or make that A line easier, it would be a great shame.
All that is required IMO is as well As the Aline sign some additional info such as "drop ahead, some big red down facing arrows and caution" something like that should be enough of a warning


DigDig's picture

Sorry about your injury but its great no way you can roll it you can see that before you get on it.But a small manual is all you need.

hawkeye's picture

Ah, dude, sorry to hear about the injury. Hopefully no need for pinning?

Let me know when you are able to get on a stationary bike. I can loan you my hardtail and a hydraulic trainer to help keep the kilos off.

For those saying "don't touch it!", maybe you're right but to my mind the sheer numbers of people reported as getting hurt tells me something is wrong. Take a look here:

Styler's picture

It is a A - line people, you can see clear as day when coming around the bend there is a drop. There is way to much simplifying of trails as it is.

hawkeye's picture

It needs a better filter at the start.

Something is not right here.

Andy Bloot's picture

I have sympathy for anyone who gets hurt because lord knows it's happened to me often enough
But I'm in 2 minds about too much signage

A line to me means you should be very confident in your skills and expect the unexpected
On an A line I would be expecting gap jumps, gnarly rock gardens, and drops higher than waist level
I would get off my bike and have a look before riding

I haven't ridden Wylde, and overall it sounds quite tame
I guess this could lull one into a false sense of security
In this case, as Hawkeye says, some sort of filter may be needed at the start of the A line trail
This would be preferable to a sign at every obstacle stating there is an obstacle

marto71's picture

maybe it just needs, different signage, blue or green trail as b line and triple black diamond as A line, agree with Mt Bloot, A line generally means advanced riding skills

bmar560's picture

Yikes, get well soon.

Lucky I didn't attempt to roll it off, after the first attempt I looked back and the drop was at least 2ft high. Went with more speed the 2nd time around. My landing could be smoother at both attempts.
There isn't any room to back off or stop before the drop so go with a bit of speed, and you'll be right.
When I saw the A line sign, I was expecting a rock garden, with steep roll offs.

ingsyboy's picture

haven't ridden it yet, but lots of people have stacked there from what I am reading. Cant wait to give it a go so I can gloat like a twat about A lines....

Hope your shoulder gets better.

First Photo in the stream from Dirtz FB page. is this the Roller we are talking about?'s picture

I had a nasty fall on it (as described in the Wylde status) but please discount mine because I really wasn't concentrating at all. Been so long since I fell off that I forgot I could.

BTW has anyone found a key for a range rover in the vicinity of the nasty drop on the roly poly?

Everyone was super nice after my fall. While I was riding around bleeding from the head looking for my key so many people asked if I was ok.

The trick with that type of feature is to watch people ride it. The trail riding types all riding in groups and watching each other do tech features is the way to go.

I don't have any complaints about it, maybe for signage just indicate how many victims it has claimed.

Great trail, when you know the lines it will be one fast track! Kids loop is excellent, pre teens will be able to to a real race.

ChopStiR's picture

That sucks about the injury, I have avoided it every lap so far.

On the topic of false sense of Security. I found the berms to be more of a problem. Almost every single corner has a berm. Even on the slow uphill climbs there is redundant berms. Several places I found you would build up a lot of speed with every corner having a berm then the last or second last would be off camber, stop short and drop off camber or the corner/berm itself is too sharp for the speed that's travelling into it.

Sad to say it but I'm disappointed with Wylde. Wish I could tweak it in a few places.

Fatboy's picture

I went out today and did my first laps of Wylde.

First impressions are they did a great job of the carpark, drinking fountains and bike wash and the pump track looked good. A quick look at the map and off I went. It was well sign posted so I was able to do the whole lap without any confusion. I agree with @ChopStiR about the berms as I was thinking there were many on the uphill that didn't seem to have a reason. Maybe they are there so the course can be run in reverse?

The part where @Volker had his stack was a bit strange. They are man made mounds that are quite steep and slow to ride followed by a small drop off. I came into it slowly then saw it actually has a soft downhill landing so thought it was quite sedate. Maybe there should be a sign near the drop off. Next lap around I went harder but just found those steep mounds tossed me vertical which slowed me right down so found it hard to ride that bit with any speed.

At the end of my last lap I was hooting around the blind left hander just above the carpark when I came face to face with 3 motor bike riders coming the wrong way up the track. I nearly went off the track avoiding them. Great! Our brand new track will be hacked by motor bikes...

Apart from @Volker's drop off there is nowhere on the course a beginner couldn't ride. I would have hoped for some technical bits. It compares to Mt Annan except it is spread over a larger area, has minimal sharp turns, no steep bits or technical. It is quite flowy without the constant feeling of turning back on yourself like Mt Annan. It will be a difficult track for races as you seem to be on it nearly the whole time so hard to take a drink and there isn't much overtaking room. It is also on the western side of the hill without much tree cover in a lot of spots so will be very hot in summer.

It's great to finally have a track nearby. Thanks Western Sydney Parklands!

Barnesy's picture

Firstly Volker, sorry to hear about the injury. Personally Ive done both collarbones twice and had rods in each. S'pose I could get heart disease on my lounge and never have broken a bone though.
We built a trail that can pretty much be done by any novice with the exception of 1 x specific A line...aka Roly Poly It was tested by an 8yr old, an 11yr old and 2 x complete novice MTBers before we set the height. The technicality in the obstacle revolves around fore and aft movement. To do the rollers you need to be forward and pump ( everyone please learn this on the Pump track ) you then need to shift your weight rearward for the drop. Unfortunately many people have a tendency to over rate their skills, not truly understand obstacles and/or not walk an A line and see why it is rated as such before they ride it. Pros do this every time they race the World Cup yet novice riders apparently think they don't need to ?
I am sure we will be asked to ramp off Roly which will mean that during events it's purpose will have been negated.
Please, if you can't do the entire pump track ( without pedalling ) AND clear all of the jump track at the trail head, then you are not an A line rider, as much as you think you might be. The 8yr old and 11yr old I used, can do both these things yet neither of them would call themselves an A rider.
I hope you heal quick Volker and get back to riding
All the best

Hasbeen Racing's picture

I rode here for the first time today. Nice day. As others have said, nice carpark and good signage. Unfortunately the track is disappointing. There are way too many man made features that just don't make sense and two a I viewed as dangerous. There's a little double jump in the braking zone for a corner and a weird rock / ramp in the middle of a down hill with lines either side. The rock garden on the uphill switchback is just silly.

It's a bit of a shame really. Clearly a lot of people have worked hard to get the track in place and they deserve kudos for that. There are some nice sections and the second half is better than the first but it feels like the track works against the terrain and tries to be too tricky.

Interesting that some are comparing it with Mt Annan. There are some similarities but I think Mt Annan does a much better job of working with the terrain.

Slydog's picture

I am not going to beat around the bush here, while I don't want to see anyone get injured, I'm sick to death of people trying to dumb down trails because they are not up to it. Volker, that drop is very easy to even an intermediate rider. Seriously, when a sign says A-Line, who doesn't check it first before hitting it? And honestly, if you found that particular drop difficult, you have absolutely no business hitting anything that says A-Line.

all74's picture

I'm sure Volker is feeling great now with all this encouragement Eye-wink But I at least do appreciate the warning mate. I have ridden some A lines, but I'm certainly more talented in my mind than on my bike and might have been tempted to give the metal monster a go. You saved me some pain I'm sure, and likely others too. Heal up soon.'s picture

The last thing you would want would be to see the trail dumbed down. I think Hawkeye is right in that it needs some kind of filter. The World Trail guidelines indicate how these are used. The problem at present is that it is a tricky line on a trail that is otherwise almost completely benign.

Given the position of roly poly it would be hard to precede the obstacle with something else. Maybe the roly poly could be modified so there are 2 exit lines - one with a smaller dropoff. This would mean riders could ride the easier dropoff and then progress to the harder one and not be caught by surprise. The 3 lines of the trail could be labelled as green blue and black.'s picture

The last thing you would want would be to see the trail dumbed down. I think Hawkeye is right in that it needs some kind of filter. The World Trail guidelines indicate how these are used. The problem at present is that it is a tricky line on a trail that is otherwise almost completely benign.

Given the position of roly poly it would be hard to precede the obstacle with something else. Maybe the roly poly could be modified so there are 2 exit lines - one with a smaller dropoff. This would mean riders could ride the easier dropoff and then progress to the harder one and not be caught by surprise. The 3 lines of the trail could be labelled as green blue and black.

crank's picture

There was a nice sign up this morning stating 'C Line - can't ride'.

I think the best option would be to concrete or asphalt the entire tread with metre wide soft material as found on childrens playgrounds to either side of the hard concret or asphalt surface. Then we can all safely ride our road bikes through the bush.

We are supposed to be mountain bikers aren't we?

Does this feature need a filter when you can quite easily see the shape of the feature and the drop off the end before you even need to decide if you are going to ride the clearly labelled A line or not?

Bikes's picture

I rode Wylde last week and really enjoyed it. But in terms of the ropy poly thing, I thought as a track feature, it just seemed out of place. I would have been just as happy with a narrow log ride or something a bit more natural looking that fitted in more with the track as a whole. I didn't find it difficult to ride, but it'll no doubt cause a few catastrophes once they start holding races there and people are bunched up closely.

Was anyone else reminded in parts of Stromlo? It seems to have that smooth, manicured feel to it. A good place to build fitness too. I reckon they've done a top job overall, and it's really worth a visit.

Muninjitsu's picture

Rode the track today, saw the roll polly and rode it the second loop. With sufficient speed its a nice drop off the end, just need to pump it. The kick at the end if tapered off would have been a better design option IMO. Better signage could also be a better option. All in all a good track, pump and roll with little time for rest. Would not like to be out there in the middle of summer.

leximack's picture

i dont know if you can see the photos without following me on strava but there is a few photos attached to this ride


Russh's picture

After a few rides last week I can honestly say I love it. The first lap was so/so but as you get faster at it and maintain some rhythm the jumps and berms feel great. 'Home run' and 'multiple choice' would have to be my favourite and I agree the Roly Poly feel out of place and to tight to get any real rhythm but as far as dangerous I am surprised with all the fuss.

Far more dangerous was the 2 brown snakes I almost ran over. The first in the farm section before the long climb up the fence line before you head toward the second zig zag to home run and the second was almost clipped in home run, luckily there was room to late swerve around the first and the second made a head start into the track line bush so i just missed its tail (i had no hope of stopping)

stay safe out there

Chicho's picture

Sorry guys if you thought that was hard get off your overpriced carbon MTB and trade it for a road bike. Many here are just way too soft, possibly never ridden out in the wild at speed.
Camon, this obstacle was no more than half a meter drop!!
A-line By-line..Z-line.. competent riders pick a line and smash through it! You fall you learn, you don't..go faster next time!
Anyone ridden red hill, Lucas hight or any no man made track, no line markers there!
let's protect the incompetent and pave the world!!
This su k s!!

hawkeye's picture

Like your spelling and grammar.

While it may not be that difficult for some, the lack of filter at the start meant the end came as a surprise to many riding it for the first time. Not the way to build an obstacle.

Anyway, it appears to have been moved and/or modified from what it was 5+ years ago, judging by my last trip around there earlier this year, so what you're trolling people about today is much milder compared to what it was when Volker stuffed his collarbone.

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