Van­dals cre­at­ing il­le­gal trails put moun­tain bik­ers’ safety at risk:

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE - Liana Walker Liana.Walker@bor­der­post.com.au

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

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

BE­WARE: Trail bike rid­ers should keep off il­le­gal trails.

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