Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby Trail on Tue 6/Apr/10 2:51pm

fatwombat wrote:
Giantman wrote:proveto me that mountain bikes do more damage then walkers.


Walk along some MTB routes that haven't been made sustainable with gravel or plastic mesh with your eyes open. Better still, join a bike park supporters' group and spend a few months doing track maintenance and it will become very clear.

I love MTBing, I like gnarly technical bush riding, I'd like to see as many tracks as possible open for MTBs, but I can't imagine what you're thinking to suggest that bikes don't do more damage than feet. Feet make separate isolated marks so it is very unusual for walkers to all step in exactly the same place; bikes make a continuous groove which becomes a line for subsequent riders to follow. That means that, even on flat tracks, bikes are going to wear a groove in a way that walkers wouldn't.

Once you get onto slopes the relative performance of bikes against walkers is even worse: going uphill, back wheels spin and make little gouges; descending, the way most youngsters and beginners ride is to go as fast as possible and lock up the back wheel around the corners. But even careful descenders are likely to get some slide.

These grooves and gouges can amount to a significant amount of track damage by themselves. On a surface that hasn't been designed for riding, they will also become runoff channels for rainwater, and this leads to serious erosion damage in a relatively short time.

I hope this gives you a starting point to rethink your perspective. I also hope you can convince the council to open up tracks for MTBing, even if that means user group has to be set up to fund preliminary upgrading of track surfaces. Just don't tell them to "prove that mountain bikes do more damage then walkers", or the project will never get off the ground.


Fark, for someone who professes to "love mountain biking" you have a pretty tarnished view of what happens out there!! I sure hope I dont have to ride any of the mountain bike tracks you have built with your gravel and plastic mesh, that just makes for a horrible riding surface!!

Look at the Rotorua tracks. How much gravel and plastic mesh have you seen used there?

I do a fairly large amount of riding on tracks that were never designed with a mountain bike in mind, in fact a number of my favorite tracks would have been around many years before the idea of riding a bike off road was considered. These tracks have been walked for many years, and are now starting to get bikers on them as well... and guess what?? You can hardly see the difference!!

Specific Down hill tracks where people are getting shuttled to the top and bombing down on big bikes can create the sort of wear you are talking about, but I have yet to see one track that has been wrecked by people biking up it :lol:

How about numbers. Sure there are people out there who love their walking and walk those tracks a lot, but in general I think you will find that there is a whole bunch more of the population interested in getting out and about on their bikes. Why should the minority have more right to the tracks than the majority? :blink:
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby fatwombat on Tue 6/Apr/10 6:42pm

thelongwalk wrote: below is a link to the IMBA guys with an oldish summary (2004) of research into track erosion by users - in summary mtb do not erode quicker than other users -though this is from the states

Thanks for that reference material, it was an interesting read, can't be all bad because it quotes some aussie studies as well as septic ones :p

The author starts by pointing out that other researchers approach the subject from a biased perspective, but as a spokesman for IMBA he's hardly likely to be disinterested himself! As he warns in the preamble, none of the previous research really analyses the question of comparative damage. The only concrete conclusions in there are that horses are much worse than feet or bikes (which was very obvious where I used to ride around Sydney), and that on moist surfaces "there was significant wear from skidding tyres" when comparing walkers and bikers (Chiu & Kriwoken).

Don't take my comments personally guys, I'm not lobbying the council against you. If bikes cause a lot of wear to tracks, or if there is a perception that they do, that doesn't mean MTBing shouldn't be allowed, it just means we need to have a good answer when the matter comes up with the council. If you say to the council "It's not a problem" and refuse to explore the subject, you're the ones who will lose out.

Just saying.
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby nickmiller on Tue 6/Apr/10 7:37pm

Trails around auckland are great, and the ambc does a sweet job looking after us, the only down side for most aucklanders is that if we wana ride our great trails we have to make a decent length trip out to them. i would be stoked as if there were trails in the waitakeres for the sole reason that they would be within riding distance fom the city. not botherd on the quality of them(to a point), just somthing close to ride would be nice.
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby Giantman on Tue 6/Apr/10 10:23pm

im not gona quote every ones comments so here my veiw.

im not going to join AMBC as im already a member of AKDH.

another reason i dont want to join the club is im to opioniated and have tendency to rock the boat so ill just stay away thanks.

i have spent more time trail building then most of you have spent riding. i use my own equipment that i own to build tracks, some where others can enjoy them but mostly now cause of peoples moaning where there not going to be found.

i would like some trails made dual use and would like the option of building aswell, being a Qualified arborist would help in getting council on side.

the reason why phil has started this thread is because there seams to be a shit load of talking and fuck all doing and when there is access we get saunder or sanders reserve which doesnt interest me in the slightest, ive been there and ridden and didnt enjoy it much.

the trails id like to build would have minimal benching and not be groomed, if you want groomed trails go to woodhill or parts of river head. they would be a basic build, remove the least number of trees, dig out the stumps bit of touching up here and there then ride. its a rock base in there so they wouldnt need the attention that a clay track gets.


ive been riding in there now for couple years (early in the morning to avoid other trail users) in the dry and the pissing rain, and i could count on 1 hand the places where there is evidence of bikes using the trails.
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby blackadder63 on Wed 7/Apr/10 12:14pm

Aucklanders and their trails...are we all to bloody precious or what! Everyone seems to think if they have a spade and a gorse cutter that it qualifies them as a trail builder and advocate!

Look at where some of the best work is being done and it is often from within a club. Look at what Pete Stoneham started with Underground trail blazers in Western Springs...great idea but because it didnt go through the correct channels it got shut down. Arch Hill is very close by...its not Rotorua singletrack, but it has the approval of Auckland City Council, and is built with their money. Ok...its not perfect, but it is a start, and there are now some people in the decision making areas of Auckland City Council and ARC who ride and are just as passionate about getting more trails built. Lets hope that these people who are helping get more trails built in Auckland dont disappear in the Super City system.

There are some good things happening in Auckland at last after years of campaigning by some very determined people both from within AKMTB Club and independently...Hunua (which is in a ARC Regional Park and has impressed the socks of people within ARC...yes, the same people who run the Waitaks!) Arch Hill, Sanders Reserve, Hamlins Hill, The Royal Albany Trails and the others offered up by trancemaster. There is great work being done by WCRC in Riverhead and the group in Whitford. None of this is being done illegally, people have submitted a plan and sought and got approval. We shouldnt take it for granted that Woodhill will always be there to use as it is in the middle of a commercial forest and they do want to chop it down, probably within the next 5 years. The AKMTB, through Geoff Olliff, Dave Gabbitas, Pete Stoneham (and others) and more recently Marke Jennings -Temple and Simon Yates are now being taken seriously. We are being asked for our submissions, so if you are really passionate about more trails in Auckland, we would love to have your energy on the AKMTB Committee.

Giantman, Last time I looked AKDH (Jamie and co are doing a brilliant job) arent particularly strong on trails and access, and we have many members who belong to both AKDH and AKMTB for the strengths that each group offers. We dont care if you are opinionated and rock the boat. You will need to be more than a qualified Arborist to get council on side...unfortunately they are beaureacrats and love strategy plans, submissions and hearings. Im with you Giantman, i just want to ride trails, some groomed, some au natural. As you say, Phil started this thread because there is a shit load of talking and fuck all happening. If we had some of the talk energy being directed into what the AKMTB is trying to do we would be all better off in the long term. Believe me the results dont come straight away which for some one as impatient as me is a living hell....If you hadnt guessed I do have an agenda, I am on the AKMTB committee and I just wish more people with energy and enthusiasm would come on board to help build more trails for all! But you are more than welcome to come one board and help, even in a small way. It all helps in the end.
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby trancemaster on Sat 10/Apr/10 6:18pm

great post above.
I have some news coming soon on trails in the biggest Ak Reg park. Rangers are dead keen.
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby Spokes on Sat 10/Apr/10 8:31pm

The Waitaks need a BMX track more.......
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Sat 10/Apr/10 8:43pm

Spokes wrote:The Waitaks need a BMX track more.......


This has nothing to do with MTB in the Waitakeres and beside there is a BMX track in Glen Road.
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby Spokes on Sun 11/Apr/10 7:20am

FLATULENTFRIEND wrote:
Spokes wrote:The Waitaks need a BMX track more.......


This has nothing to do with MTB in the Waitakeres and beside there is a BMX track in Glen Road.


Orly?
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby benw on Sun 11/Apr/10 9:06am

fatwombat wrote:Don't take my comments personally guys, I'm not lobbying the council against you. If bikes cause a lot of wear to tracks, or if there is a perception that they do, that doesn't mean MTBing shouldn't be allowed, it just means we need to have a good answer when the matter comes up with the council. If you say to the council "It's not a problem" and refuse to explore the subject, you're the ones who will lose out.

Fatw, I for one am not taking your comments personally, however own frustration with that post is that someone involved in the mountain bike community would come out the same ill informed point of view, one that anti-riding advocates have traditionally spouted. The issues are more complicated than your post(s) indicate. Whether a track is sustainable or not is influenced by a number of factors including water management (getting it off the track), whether or not you have a strong team of volunteers, and track design (for the water, for flow, speed management, for fun - to keep the volunteers engaged etc.).

Anyway, I thought I'd add some of my point of view for the Aucklanders based on my experience as a former committee member and chair for the Makara Peak Supporters and now helping lead a smaller effort in Miramar to build new tracks.

The first place to start is to describe what I believe to be the very positive situation in Wellington:

(a) Support from the elected members of Council. Sifter and I presented to the Council on behalf of the Makara Peak Supporters during the most recent view of the tracks policy and the support was obvious. In fact a speaker prior to us had try to put forward a extreme point of view (he wanted MTBing restricted to just Makara Peak) and he included arguments such as those that Fat Wombat was putting forward. Those views were challenged by not only ourselves, but also during his presentation by the Councillors themselves. Others made dozens and dozens of submissions by post. We got the change we wanted (see (c) below).

(b) A good working relationship with the team responsible for tracks, known as "Parks and Gardens" in Wellington. In a time where budgets are under pressure there is recognition that a volunteer led, council supported, approach to track development and maintenance is good value for money and good for the community in terms of engagement, recreation values etc. These guys turn out to help us on the tracks, fund what they can and generally do a lot of running around to help make our volunteer efforts more effective and fun. They act as a 'force multiplier' for us.

(c) Dual Use By Default. In Wellington, unless there is a good reason (technical issues such as too many stairs OR sustained and un-avoidable user conflict issues) that tracks should be open for walking / running and biking. It took a long time to get that, hell, we went years and years without a proper review of the tracks situation. There are still tracks closed to biking, but the number is trending down OR alternatives are being provided where possible (e.g. Polhill tracks) and other tracks are being considered for upgrading.

Getting to this point has taken years of sustained effort, kicked off by the likes of the Kennetts but carried through over the years by countless others. A big part of the success has been the supporters organization behind Makara Peak that has worked closely with Council to show we can build and maintain tracks over a number of years. That ability to point to the sustained success of a dual use facility (walkers and runners are welcome, but bikers have priority) allowed projects like Polhill and Miramar take off, and I believe it was a big factor behind the Hutt City Council supporting the Wainui project. Then there's the project Marco has going in Belmont, the great work done on Mt Victoria etc....It wouldn't have worked if the efforts had been spread over multiple areas from the get go.

So what Auckland MTB is doing seems like a great idea. You need better representation if you want to make progress and it needs to be coordinated. It wouldn't hurt to coordinate between Auckland DH and MTB, something that has happened only in an ad-hoc fashion here in Wellington but I expect more of that will happen going forward as we can't slip back off of the rivets if we are going to keep moving forward...Ownership / stewardship of an area closer to town (Hunua rocks, but it's out of sight for a lot of non-bikers / non-trampers) might help, it did for us, as did doing more than build track (plant trees, pick up rubbish, hunt pests etc.).

Now the person who said he couldn't join a club because he 'was too opinionated'. In my experience everyone I have ever met who has been involved in track advocacy has had very strong opinions. That's what keeps you going. The 'I am too much of an idealist to be in a Club' sounds like a cop out.

Good luck up there,
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby blackadder63 on Sun 11/Apr/10 2:53pm

trancemaster wrote:great post above.
I have some news coming soon on trails in the biggest Ak Reg park. Rangers are dead keen.


This sounds good! Cant wait to see what you have. :)
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Re: Waitakere Ranges Protest Ride - Good Idea Or Bad ?

Postby trancemaster on Fri 16/Apr/10 3:23pm

Rangers are keen on putting trails into Atiu Crek Regional Park into their new management plan
http://www.arc.govt.nz/parks/

Mtb potential :
· old bulldozer trails are existing, rough, a little overgrown, are linked by formed gravel road up-hill trails for easier access
· The highest elevation is only 100m, meaning modest gradients but easier uphill access for family/ beginner/ intermediate/ cross-country styles of riding.
· The exotic forest plantation blocks are north facing so sun and wind dries them out for better quality substrate for trails The exotic blocks are mature and pruned, so that there is good 1.5m+ of clearance between trees for trails. The acidic pine needles in the exotic blocks means there is very little undergrowth to clear - basically these trails can be formed almost as fast as you can rake and prune them

If the Rangers get this underway it will need some decent input into trail building esp from clubs and Warkworth/ Wellsford area local riders, stay tuned to vorb
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