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 RTRA eNewsletter
December 2014

In this issue:


Metro Road Cleanup 


Junior Riders' Licence
No-Fault Insurance
Summer Riding Tips


Pinjar Maintenance Morning Dec 6

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Helping to save your riding areas

Dear Member

This month we take a look at a couple of related issues - the Junior Riders' Licence and No-Fault Insurance.  With the hot weather just around the corner we've also included a couple of important tips for getting through Summer safely.  

As this will be our last eNewsletter for 2014 we would like to thank all of our members for your support this year and wish you an enjoyable and injury-free Christmas and festive season.

Trail Bikes and Young Driver Experience 

Most people would agree that there is a logical connection between the number of hours of experience gained driving while on L plates and the likelihood of passing the driving test. Research from Sweden shows that more driving experience also equates to fewer crashes in the first few years of driving.

Teens under 16 years can’t get that experience here on the roads - but they can on trail bikes. Riding trail bikes gives kids valuable experience in the mechanical aspects of driving - throttle, clutch, brake, gears and steering - so that these skills are properly 'patterned in’ when they start driving on public roads, leaving the mind to focus on what is going on outside the car or bike. Dirt bike riding also gives kids great experience about hazard perception, traction on different surfaces and conditions, braking distances, reaction times and the unpredictability of other riders and drivers. An early start also allows for more parental influence - a twelve year old is more likely to heed the advice of his / her parents than a sixteen year old!

This is why the RTRA advocates for better recognition of the value of trail bike riding for kids - and the need to access proper trails to gain this experience. A ‘junior riders’ licence’ could enable kids under 16 to ride with their parents on designated trails. The idea is recommendation 5.18 of the State Trail Bike Strategy and the RTRA intends to push for a study into this concept to being in 2015.

New Push for No-Fault Insurance 

Momentum is building for the introduction of ‘No Fault’ insurance in Western Australia. Ironically it is a footballer injured in a car accident with a horse that is capturing the media attention, but the benefits of such a scheme would be very significant for trail riders as well.

Beyond the obvious funding of ongoing treatment costs for injured riders, a no-fault insurance scheme would also remove one of the major hurdles preventing public land managers from allowing non road registered vehicles onto their land. And this, of course, is the biggest hurdle faced by the idea of the junior riders’ licence.

We’ll be following this issue and will throw our voice behind the push for this sensible insurance reform.

Pinjar Maintenance Morning - December 6

Our next Pinjar Maintenance Morning is on this Saturday, December 6. We’ll get underway an hour earlier, at 9am, so we can be finished before the weather heats up.

All riders and families who enjoy the Pinjar area are encouraged to come along and lend a hand.                      

Another Successful Metro Road Cleanup

Thanks to a small but effective group of RTRA volunteers we successfully cleaned up three major areas at Metro Road last month.

This was the first cleanup under a new arrangement with DPaW which provides the RTRA with funding which can be used for trail maintenance and development if it is not all expended on cleaning up.  If riders can keep the area clean we can spend more of DPaW's money on improving the riding out there. So remember to do a little cleaning up whenever you are out there and encourage fellow riders to do the same.

Summer Riding Tip #1: Adjust to the dust 

With summer now here it's time to adjust to the dust.

Here are three easy things you can do to make your summer rides more enjoyable and safer:
  • Give it a minute. If you use a corner man system on your rides it doesn't matter how spread out the group gets. So give it a good minute or two before you take off after the rider in front and let the dust settle.

  • Pick your position. After the first few regroups you should know where you sit within the group in terms of speed. Don't take off first if you know everyone is going to pass you, and don't take off last if you know you're going to pass everyone else!

  • Think of the guy behind. A bit less throttle equals a lot less dust, particularly when taking off or entering a dirt road. And if someone faster comes up behind, let them pass at the earliest opportunity.
Adjust to the dust and you'll not only enjoy the ride more but you'll save some time on all that air filter cleaning!.

Summer Riding Tip #2: Be Fire Safe 

Any recreational activity in dry bushland is a fire risk, but trail riding has some added risks so we have to be extra careful when we're out there.
Here are some tips to stay fire safe this summer:

  • Don't park your car on long grass. The hot exhaust can ignite dry grass.

  • Take care when refuelling. Fill up before you go or at a petrol station and if you must refuel from a jerry can make sure you're on bare ground.

  • No campfires, and if you must smoke, extinguish cigarettes on bare ground and pour a little water from your camelback on it just to make sure.

  • It should go without saying, but never remove your exhaust's spark arrestor.

  • Stay on track.

  • Observe fire bans and be aware of total vehicle movement bans that can be proclaimed on extreme fire ban days.

  • If you have an off and your bike goes down on grass or pine needles pick it up as quickly as possible and check to make sure it hasn't spilled any fuel. Hot exhausts can ignite dry grass. It there's any signs of smoldering use your camelback or whatever you have handy to dampen it down.
Our continued access to forests during summer could be jeopardised by a single trail bike-related fire, so we all need to be aware and take extra care.! 

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.

Recreational Trailbike Riders' Association of WA Inc