Winter at last and the rains have arrived just in time. Cool days, no dust, firm trails - what could be better?
Lots of activity both on and off the trails this month. Here's what's been happening:
York Gets Major Upgrade
York Shire has thrown down the challenge to other local government authorities with a major upgrade of their public MX practice facility.
The works include an expanded car park with covered shelter, gas barbecue and ute-unloading bay; re-graded track with some decent jumps; a brand new 'Junior Nippers' track to keep the little riders and the big riders separate; fencing and bunting, emergency gates, 24 hour security camera and a trail riding area to the east of the main circuits.
The facility looks fantastic, is open 7 days a week and is free to ride. More photos and details available on the RTRA web site.
Trails Classifications - Opportunity to Comment
The RTRA has been working with DEC's Motorised Off Road Vehicle Working Group to compile a relative difficulty grading system for trail bike trails.
Just like ski runs or mountain bike trails, the trail bike trail classification system will help riders make informed decisions about which trails to attempt based on an objective assessment of the trail's features.
Riders will be encouraged to provide feedback on the Assessment Matrix when it goes to a public consultation phase - but RTRA members with an interest in the topic can get a sneak preview (and provide early feedback) by checking out the draft version.
Pilot Trail Opening Soon
Work is continuing on the Pilot Trail Bike Trail at Metro Road.
Several sections of trail have been selected for attention, with the objective of testing different methods of design and maintenance.
There will still be plenty of whoops on the 16km trail, but the variety of conditions should suit intermediate riders.
If you have expressed interest or volunteered to assist with this project you can expect to receive an invitation to preview the trail over the next couple of weeks.
DEC Leaders Marvel at Pinjar
The Pinjar Off Road Vehicle Area played host to some of DEC's most senior Parks and Visitors staff this month when a special site visit was arranged as part of the annual Statewide PVS Leaders conference.
Everyone was impressed with what has been achieved at Pinjar and from the questions that were asked we got the impression that similar facilities are now under consideration in several regional areas.
Dave Bylund brought along his electric Stealth Bomber bike for a show n tell, and Steve Pretzel gave some of the more adventurous DEC visitors a 'spirited' taste of the Family Trail aboard a Polaris RZR. It was great to see this project receive such critical acclaim from people who develop and manage recreational facilities around the state.
Karratha Study May Create Opportunities
The Shire of Roebourne has commissioned a study into trail and quad bike riding and facilities in Karratha.
Trail bikes and quads are increasingly popular up north, and there is some great riding - but also the typical problems of noise and people riding through residential neighbourhoods.
The first stage of the project is an online survey. RTRA members who live or ride in Karratha are encouraged to respond.
May Social Night Hits the Spot
Results are in and our May 2 Social Night was a big success. The results of our followup survey were positive (88% said 'Good' or 'Brilliant') and just under 80% said they would definitely attend a future event.
A special mention to the Department of Environment and Conservation representatives Shawn Debono and Ewan McGregor for their update on the strengthening relationship between DEC and the RTRA, and to presenters Brett Grandin (Victoria trail ride) and David Bylund (Stealth eBike) who both delivered informative and entertaining presentations.
We'll let you know when the next RTRA members event is planned.
RTRA West Coast Safaris Rides
There's still time to book your place in one of our two RTRA special rides with West Coast Safaris.
This year we have arranged two dates for RTRA members - a 1 Day 'Intro' ride on June 9 and a 1 Day Ride on July 7.
RTRA members booking either of these rides are entitled to a $25 discount (pays your membership for the year!) and will enjoy some of the best trails on offer in the South West. Book direct with West Coast Safaris and mention your RTRA membership to claim your discount.
Milestone Reached at State Trails Conference
Ever since attending our first State Trails Conference way back in 2006 we have dreamed of the day when trail or quad bikes would be included in the photo montages of trail-related activity used to promote these events.
So we were stoked to see the depiction of a quad bike in the official State Trails Conference logo this year!
Now it might seem insignificant, but this actually represents a huge shift in the attitudes of the trails fraternity in WA. Previously the only time we would have seen a quad bike on a trails poster it would have had a red circle and a line through it!
Now this doesn't mean that trail or quad bikes are welcomed or allowed on walk, mountain bike or canoe (!) trails, but it does mean that there is a recognition that trail bikes need trails too.
There is no doubt that this shift in perception of trail bike riders has been achieved through the actions of the RTRA and its members. So to all our members - thank you!
Rider Safety - Three's Not a Crowd
Most riders know not to venture out into the bush on their own. You really don't want to have a breakdown or injury when you're miles from anywhere, your mobile is out of coverage range and no-one knows exactly where you are.
It's safer with two, but it's even better with three.
With a group of three riders you have one who can go for help while the other one stays to assist an injured rider. That's got to be a whole lot better than being alone, injured and not knowing when help will arrive.
Minimal Impact: Is There a Car Wash on Your Way Home?
With the wet season now upon us everyone knows how important it is to properly wash your bike between rides to prevent the spread of dieback. But here are three good reasons to wash your bike at a car wash on your way home.
So remember to keep some change handy and plan a route home that will take you past a car wash.
- Mud is easier to get off while it’s still wet
- One less thing to do when you get home and you really just want to put your feet up and grab a beer
- You may not realize it but washing your bike at home can actually introduce dieback into your backyard or neighbourhood.
If you haven't yet checked out the new RTRA blog, head over to www.RTRA.asn.au/blog. Each week we will feature a different perspective on trail bike riding in WA. If you would like to make a contribution please contact secretary@RTRA.asn.au.
Spread the Word
The more members we have, the more we can achieve. If you have riding buddies who are not yet members of the RTRA, forward them this email and give them a prod to join up.