NRM South has released the Ride Clean brochure and poster urging mountain bike riders to keep their bikes clean to stop the spread of weeds and disease in our natural areas.
Three of the most dangerous diseases which could devastate natural areas are Chytrid fungus which calls frogs, Rock Snot algae which smothers waterways and Phytophthora mould which kills the roots of plants.
NRM South says the greatest risk comes from riders who move between trails and undertake long rides, rather than riding in one place. Each time riders move to a new trail they should be washing and disenfecting their bikes to stop the spread of disease and weed seeds.
What to do
NRM South advises riders to follow three steps:
- Wash your bike using a gentle water spray and biodegradable detergent getting into all the nooks and crannies with a brush. Don’t forget to also wash shoes, gloves, backpack, helmet and anything else that gets sprayed with mud.
- Let your bike and gear dry completely as most of the riskiest organisms need water to survive. If you don’t have time for it to dry then spray with F10 which is a biodegradable veterinary disinfectant.
- Re-lube the chain and cassette. A clean drive train is easier to clean again after the ride is over.
The NRM South campaign comes after concerns have been raised about a proposed track to be built between Derby and the Bay of Fires.
North East Bioregional Network opposes the new track because it believes it will aid the spread of Phytophthora in the Mount Pearson State Reserve and endanger threatened species there.
To mitigate against the spread of Phytophthora, Break O’Day Council is proposing wash-down stations for bikes, similar to stations that exist for bush walkers to clean boots and poles at the start of major walking tracks around the state.
It also intends to provide education to riders about the need to completely wash bikes before and after riding, every time.
The Ride Clean poster and brochure are available to download at nrmsouth.org.au/rideclean so you can help spread the word to riders.