Vandals creating illegal trails put mountain bikers’ safety at risk:
THE Southern Downs Mountain Biking Club is concerned for rider safety after vandals created an illegal trail on the Mountain Marlay network.
A “pirate” trail was discovered last Monday on the most difficult trail, The Hammerhead.
Trail coordinator Nick Nelson said the illegal trail put riders at risk.
“The trails are built and audited by trail works.
Any deviation from their designs compromises the tracks,” he said.
“If you’ve got two riders, one ascending and one descending, the descending rider could not see the other rider and cause an accident.”
Mr Nelson said erosion was another major concern.
“What people do is they build a direct route down, it funnels the flow of any water down that way and it causes extreme wash outs and erosion.”
He said it was disappointing to discover the illegal trail but its existence was not unexpected.
“When it was the first time, and it was quite a large deviation, it came as a bit of a shock.
“We are aware that these deviations are going about and have been happening and we are keeping an eye on them.”
The vandalism has been reported to police, however because the trail was a public facility Mr Nelson said it would be difficult to find the culprits.
“We’ve just put the word out that we’re not very impressed about the vandalism.
“We’ve been up there already and put a few hefty rocks in those deviations.”
His biggest concern was riders unfamiliar with the trails thinking the illegal trails were an alternative route.
He said if someone did find themselves stuck on the more difficult trail to simply turn their bike around.
“Stick the blue and green trails, improve your ability of riding.
“Once you think your abilities are to a certain standard then you can attempt the more difficult levels.”
When it was the first time, and it was quite a large deviation, it came as a bit of a shock.
— Nick Nelson
BEWARE: Trail bike riders should keep off illegal trails.