While we are all homebound and most of the dedicated mountain bike tracks are closed, here’s something to put your energies into: providing feedback on the new blueprint for tracks in the foothills of kunanyi/Mount Wellington.
The City of Hobart has released a draft plan for 47 km of new MTB and shared use tracks across Wellington Park designed by leading track builders Dirt Art.
There are about 80 km of walking tracks on the mountain but only 3 km of dedicated mountain bike tracks.
When the City consulted initially on the plan, survey results found that 72 per cent of respondents preferred separated tracks so riders didn’t come into conflict with people walking or running.
The plan’s objectives include to:
- fill in gaps in the track network
- create a greater variety of track types
- provide opportunities for walkers and runners
- minimise environmental and community impacts
- improve safety for all users.
The 15 new dedicated MTB tracks would include
- 3 beginner tracks (green rated)
- 10 intermediate tracks (blue rated)
- 2 advanced tracks (black diamond rated)
- 3 shared use tracks.
“We’ve worked closely with leading mountain bike trail consultants Dirt Art and regular mountain users to design tracks to meet the future needs of locals, and also attract visitors to our city,” Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said.
“The design is also sensitive to the mountain’s environmental, historical and cultural values.
While the plan aims primarily to cater to local riders there is the opportunity to capture interstate riders heading to the Maydena Mountain Bike Park to increase their length of stay in Hobart.
Joining up the MTB network also opens the opportunities to create new access points to relieve pressure on The Springs.
There is a potential entry close to the Cascade Brewery if the City can get consent from the brewery owners, and the potential Halls Saddle visitor centre. If a visitor centre is built, it could have MTB specific infrastructure such as bike wash, bike racks, tools, and track information.
The plan provides an analysis of MTB use of existing shared use tracks and makes recommendations on which would should continue to be accessible to mountain bikes and which should be walking only. It also recommends which existing MTB tracks need more work and proposes seven loops/circuits that could be ridden once the network is completed.
It outlines the proposed tracks, with maps and descriptions of ratings, direction, surface types, elevation gain/loss, gradients and widths.
The City has received a $387,000 grant through the Tasmanian Government’s Cycle Tourism Fund to implement the first stage of the plan, but needs to source federal or state funding to complete the other two stages.
The first stage includes one beginner, four intermediate and one advanced track.
To view the draft plan and have your say, visit yoursay.hobartcity.com.au/riding-the-mountain.
Main image: Flow Mountain Bike