The RTRA has achieved many victories for riders over the past five years. But this week we achieved success in a long running campaign that has the potential to eclipse all our achievements to date...
Trails Grant Approved!
It's taken over five years of patient and persistent lobbying, but we have finally been advised (unofficially at this stage) that our application for a Lotterywest Trails Grant has been approved.
The direct impact is $86,000 in Trails Grant funding towards the resurfacing of the Family Trail at Pinjar. This will be matched with a combination of funding and services by DEC - so winning the Grant has effectively unlocked $150,000 of funding for this project.
Even more importantly, this is the first time ever that Trails Grant funding has been provided for a motorised trail project. Previously these Grants were reserved for non-motorised purposes - a position that we have always felt was unfair, but one that took a huge amount of effort to shift.
All we ever wanted was for our projects to be assessed on an objective and equal basis with projects for walkers, horse riders, canoeists and mountain bikers. Trail bike riders are part of the trails community and this is the most significant recognition of that fact.
We'll provide more information when we receive the official notification.
New Car Park signals Pinjar Expansion Plans
Work is now well underway on the western car park at Pinjar. Trails in this sector have been temporarily closed so intermediate and advanced riders are encouraged to use the South Loop trail instead.
We hope to have the North Loop realigned and re-opened as soon as possible and the plan is to create more trails mileage on the western side so that riders using this area will have plenty of variety.
Let us know what you would like to see in this area. And don't forget - we're still looking for riders who use this area to be part of the 'Friends of Pinjar' group.
Works complete on Metro Road Pilot Trail
The Pilot Trail construction work is now complete. Some water bars have been created, some (not all!) sections of whoops have been moderated and a couple of sections have had minor alignment changes to better shed water off the trails.
We've had great feedback from riders so far, with the consensus being that the trail is not easy but not too hard - and a good workout.
When you ride it we'd love to hear you opinion via our Rider Feedback Survey.
Master Planning for Metro Road in 2013?
The management team from DEC's trails unit visited the Pilot Trail last week to review progress.
Trails Unit executives Stuart Harrison and Terry Goodlich along with Senior District Ranger, Paul Udinga, were impressed with the sustainability features of the trail - a stark contrast to the degraded areas where unplanned, unmanaged access has been occurring for many years.
Everyone agreed that the area has great potential for trail riding, and that the challenge will be to develop a network of trails and facilities to provide better riding experiences while also better protecting the environment. We are hopeful that Master Planning for the area will commence in the first half of 2013.
Industry Forum Promoted to Dealers
The latest edition of the Motor Trades Association magazine features a full page article on the recent RTRA / MTA Off Road Motorcycle Industry Forum.
The article quotes Honda Shop owner Eddie Peters saying dealers need to get behind the initiative - otherwise it will be like jet ski riders who are restricted to riding freestyle at just the one place on the river.
Amen, Eddie! Let's see some more dealers get involved with the Forum and the RTRA.
Silence of the LAMS
We've fielded quite a few questions about the timing of the new Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme.
At this stage the Department of Transport still hasn't officially announced the timing of the scheme's introduction, but keep an eye on our Facebook page and we'll provide an update as soon as we get some new information.
Camillo Community Meeting
The RTRA was invited by Tony Buti MLA, Member for Armadale, to address a meeting of concerned residents of the suburb of Camillo.
The locals are angry about unregistered bikes and quads being ridden on streets, footpaths and ovals - often late at night.
RTRA President, Steve Pretzel and Committee Member, David Bylund spoke to the meeting to assure residents that the RTRA does not condone such activity - and that we share their frustration. Not only does this type of activity give trail bikes a bad reputation but to add injury to insult a lot of it is probably occurring on motorcycles stolen from RTRA members!
The meeting concluded that more police presence was needed and that residents needed to get behind the push for the State Trail Bike Strategy to be funded and implemented.
Minimal Impact - Watch for Wildlife
During summer it makes sense to get out early or late to avoid the mid day heat. Turns out we're not the only ones out there with the same idea.
Early morning and late afternoon is a busy time for wildlife, particularly kangaroos. If you're riding a property fenceline, remember that the 'roos will generally be heading towards the property out of the bush in the morning, and back to the bush in the late afternoon.
Watch in both directions, of course, but pay closer attention to the side the 'roos are most likely to appear.
Follow the RTRA on Facebook
Our new Facebook page is proving popular and we'll continue to expand this as a way of making it easier for our members to engage with the RTRA.
We hope you 'like' it - and don't forget to share it with your friends!
You'll find us at www.rtra.asn.au/facebook
Spread the Word
If you think the RTRA is having a positive impact for riders, just think how much more effective we'd be if we had double the members. It's actually not that hard - all it takes is for each member to find one other rider to sign up. If you have riding buddies who are not yet members of the RTRA, please forward them this email and give them a prod to join up.