Bicycle Network: Regional Routes
Mountain biking is growing in popularity throughout Victoria, and riders and always on the lookout for new places to ride.
NSW launches MTB strategy
19 October 2011. New South Wales has got the jump on Victoria with the launch of a Sustainable Mountain Biking Strategy to encourage and guide the growth of off road riding in the State.
This strategy will help guide the provision of high quality mountain biking experiences that riders of all levels of experience will continue to use and enjoy, and at the same time ensure they will be provided only where they are appropriate and safe according to the most stringent environmental standards.
It outlines what planning requirements will be needed for any new trails, specifies track design requirements and highlights a small number of priority projects.
It also encourages continued partnerships between the National Parks and Wildlife Service and mountain biking groups to improve and maintain mountain biking tracks, and adopts a code of conduct so all visitors can enjoy their time in our parks.
Successive Victoria governments have ignored calls for such a strategy to be introduced in this State, although we have some of the nation's best mountain bike riding territory.
Rain damages mountain bike trails
23 February 2011. Rain damage to two of the State's principal mountain bike attractions has caused riders to explore the Forrest Mountain Bike Park in the Otways, which remains in peak condition.
The Otway Ranges is Victoria' wettest district, but this year has escaped the mayhem of the heavy rains which have closed the trails at Lysterfield and the You Yangs.
Lysterfield, which pulls about 140,000 riders each year has been closed due to significant damage to trails. Continued riding on them in their present state would threaten their long-term sustainability, according to Parks Victoria.
You Yangs Regional Park is also currently closed due to rain damage caused by recent heavy rainfall and is expected that the entire park will remain closed into March.
The deluge uncovered many culverts in the park, and a large number were found to be made of asbestos. Other hazards include extensive rutting on roads, tracks and car parks, and loss of road surface.
Rangers have worked to assess the full scale of damage and a reopening strategy is currently being developed.
Head for the hills
10 November 2010. The time has come for Victoria to join other Australian States and prepare a comprehensive plan for the development of mountain biking so that more people can ride, regional economies can blossom, and the environment be better managed.
Victoria needs a strategy that identifies the best sites, schedules their development, engages riders and locals, and leverages economic and environmental benefits.
Mountain biking is growing like Topsy in Victoria, but the uncoordinated growth is straining facilities and frustrating the community.
Regional towns with great prospects for the strong tourism stimulus that an attractive mountain biking environment could bring, are missing out because of the lack of planned development.
Of concern is the undesirable environmental degradation that can result from the 'guerrilla' construction of unplanned and unapproved mountain bike tracks in parks and valuable conservation zones.
Such damaging escapades would be unnecessary if there was a carefully matured strategic plan that gave direction and shape to the development of this important recreational activity.
Other States have taken the jump and launched such strategies, or are developing them and consulting the community about them.
Lets get started in Victoria.
Please write (politely and constructively) to the Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings, asking that he initiate the development of a plan for the development of mountain biking in Victoria.