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Underground Trailblazers - Political Action Group

Postby UndergroundTrailblazer on Fri 8/Dec/06 11:32am

I am the Spokesperson for a newly formed mountainbike political action group called Underground Trailblazers (UTB).

UTB require that Auckland City meet its longstanding obligations to provide a variety of purpose built off-road urban recreation opportunities for the Mountainbiking Community. Until these alternatives are in place we undertake to continue building ad hoc trails in underutilised areas of urban open space.

Auckland City has the unenviable claim of having a Mountainbike Policy with zero purpose-built trails to their name. This is a longstanding grievance held by the Auckland Mountainbike Community from my perspective of having been personally involved in this campaign for urban trails since 1999. Some progress has been made, under the auspices of the Auckland Mountainbike Club, albeit mostly talk and very little action.

The Hobson Community Board even saw fit to bestow on me a ‘Good Citizen Community Service Award’ for my efforts. Unfortunately being a ‘good citizen’ and following proper process for seven years didn’t get us any trails. We believe it is now time to take direct protest action as Councils seem to work best in a reactive rather than proactive environment e.g. the skateboard community and its numerous facilities.

Do we have a mandate for 'direct political action', in Auckland, from the Mountainbike Community?

Peter Stoneham
Underground Trailblazers Spokesperson

“People are participating in an ever-expanding range of activities, usually in a casual, unstructured fashion. Requisitions from organised sports for grounds, courts and arenas will still be received, but they have been joined by the demands of those whose penchant is for easy going, spur-of-the-moment leisure.” (G Bush, Local Government and Politics in New Zealand, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 1995, p 156.)

P.S. We have vinyl bumper stickers of our logo (see attachment) to give away in exchange for your email address/ membership (free or koha). If you would like one fresh off the press - we havent even taken delivery of them yet - please send a stamped and addressed envelope to;

Underground Trailblazers
c/- Virtualight Ltd
Private Bag MBE M150, Auckland
Blazing their own Trails low-res.jpg
UTB on Front Page of Auckland Harbour News 6-12-06
Inaugural bridge crossing anon - low res.jpg
UTB trail and bridge crossing in Western Springs Pines.
UTB Logo.gif
Underground Trailblazers Logo
UndergroundTrailblazer
Member for: 10 years 9 months

Postby CrustyMTB on Fri 8/Dec/06 11:36am

Good work, Viva la (cycling) Revolucien!

Crap that the councils are no use... :(
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"Tucker's Law "If some cunt can fuck something up, that cunt will pick the worst possible time to fucking fuck it up, cause that cunt's a cunt.""
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Postby inzane on Fri 8/Dec/06 11:40am

If all other avenues have produced nothing...

Look at skate parks. Too many kids skating on buildings and streets etc... so to take them off these there have been skate parks built... This might work for the bikers too... but biking on a trail that is not in the face of people might go underneath the radar a little too...
inzane
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Postby Henry Dorset Case on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:11pm

I think its a really bad, really stupid idea.

All you guys will do is completely ruin whatever working relationship you had with Council, AND poison any future hope of creating a positive outcome. I forsee entrenched positions, removal of illegal stuff ("its a hazard" "its illegal") and a lot of wasted time effort and energy by all parties.

So you havent gotten anywhere with the Council in seven years?

keep trying. This half cocked idea will only end in tears.

and no, thanks, I dont want a sticker.
Henry Dorset Case
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"[b]DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH IN WHAT?[/b]"
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Postby Henry Dorset Case on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:12pm

oh, and builidng among regenerating native bush?

great idea, way to go to piss off the Maoris the greenies AND the council. Good effort.
Henry Dorset Case
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"[b]DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH IN WHAT?[/b]"
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Postby Dinsy on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:12pm

inzane wrote: If all other avenues have produced nothing...

Look at skate parks. Too many kids skating on buildings and streets etc... so to take them off these there have been skate parks built....

skateparks will never solve the problem with people skating in buildings or streets or whatever public property.
Dinsy
Member for: 15 years 4 months

Postby lubie on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:24pm

inzane wrote: but biking on a trail that is not in the face of people might go underneath the radar a little too...

Must be aware of it to some degree, enough to know about the structures and remove them at least.

Wouldn't submitting a petition, or running for local council (so you know, there's a bike friendly person on the 'inside') be easier and better long term than going all "resistance" styles?

I'm with HDC on this one... Good on you for wanting to make a difference, but I think there are better ways of making it happen. Dual access to the Heaphy track is a great example! Maybe talking to some of the guys who made that happen would give you some alternatives to taking 'terrorist trails' action.
lubie
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Member for: 14 years 8 months

Postby ape on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:31pm

My first instinct was don't do it.., it's a stupid idea.. then I thought about it., and I can see where you're coming from. Numerous times I have read council policy documents, and got really excited about the fact that trails were going to be built, etc, then it just doesn't happen... ok, you're allowed to ride on Hamlin's Hill.., but not on the walking tracks.., (that leaves some open Farmland..., goody). So, I say, go for it!!, just be very carefull where you choose to make trails, as long as you don't get in anyone's way or damage anything, the council will continue to remove any structures.., but as they do, simply replace them with simpler, more rickety plank-across-a-stream structures untill they realise that they're actually creating a hazard.

In short, be careful, but go hard!! (oh, and I hope you don't end up in court) thanks.
ape
Member for: 13 years 2 months

Postby Clarky on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:31pm

DURKA DURKA MOUNTAINBIKE ISLAMIC JIHAD!!
Clarky
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Postby UndergroundTrailblazer on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:39pm

The trails in Western Springs ‘Pines’ have not been blazed through pristine native bush.
UndergroundTrailblazer
Member for: 10 years 9 months

Postby hickie on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:39pm

I think your problem is simply that the Auckland city council doesn't have anywhere where they can have trails of any significance developed. A quick look at Google maps in hybrid mode will show you the hopelessness of your cause.

I would suggest you would be better of advocating for better cycle lanes.
hickie
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Postby UndergroundTrailblazer on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:45pm

What really inspired UTB is the fact that the Chairman of the Western Bays Copmmunity Board is blazing his own unofficial trails in Purewa Valley in Kepa Bush (East Auckland). Here is an email from Greame Easte to David Simpson (Chairman of the Hobson Community Board)

"Hi David - yes I have been making tracks in the Purewa Vally but NOT for bikes - it is difficult enough building them to a suitable standard for walkers without having to deal with rutting from mountain bikes - we can handle the odd bike group coming through but not en masse - please do not encourage the bikers through there"
Graeme Easte
UndergroundTrailblazer
Member for: 10 years 9 months

Postby UndergroundTrailblazer on Fri 8/Dec/06 1:48pm

We intend to link areas of underutilised open space around the North Western Cycle Way i.e. western springs Arch Hill reserve, Nixon Park, Fowlds Park, grafton gully. this will make for a substantial ride.
UndergroundTrailblazer
Member for: 10 years 9 months

Postby james on Fri 8/Dec/06 2:06pm

Council parks officer Graham Marchant says although the area is not used by the public, it is designated for the regeneration of native trees.


Mr Marchant says the council is in discussions with community boards and the Auckland Mountain Bike Club about creating suitable facilities.


:hmmm:
Last edited by james on Fri 8/Dec/06 3:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
james
Member for: 13 years 7 months

Postby Kyle on Fri 8/Dec/06 2:17pm

Just, correct me if I'm wrong here but in the second photo, those are pungas but they aren't native?
Kyle
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