Trail bikes [1]: so, what’s the problem?

The second successful FOBIF youth walk for 2015 took a circuit from Garfield Wheel to Forest Creek on Sunday September 6. [see our post above].

You can find a good account of the walk by John Ellis on the Facebook page. One interesting feature of this report is that it draws attention to the fact that the quiet bush atmosphere  was a bit degraded by the presence of a couple of trail bike riders circulating close to the wheel and kicking up dust in the nearby cyanide pits. The report provoked angry–well, abusive, actually– responses from Facebook readers keen to defend the riders’ rights to do their thing in the area.

Trail bike riding on registered bikes on formed roads is a perfectly legal activity. So, what’s the problem?

There are two, actually.

The first is noise. This concerns not only bushwalkers, but residents on town margins who find their quiet weekends poisoned by riders circulating, quite legally, on nearby private land. One rider can intrude on the lives of dozens of people.

The second is illegal riding off track on public land. This can cause serious erosion and destruction of important vegetation.

The responses to John Ellis’s Facebook post seem to show that there are some riders who don’t see either of these as anything to worry about–and that, it seems, is the real problem

Land managers and municipalities have wrestled with this stuff for some time. Solutions have been put up, but things appear, on anecdotal evidence, to be getting worse. We look at the solutions below, and ask why they haven’t worked.

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