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 RTRA eNewsletter
March 2017


State Election
ORVAC Committee




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Helping to save your riding areas

Dear Member

Another summer down and we now look forward to the prospect of some milder days ahead. We're also heading towards the State Election and this month we look at what we can expect from the major parties.

And we open the conversation on the future for electric bikes: whose trails will they use?

The State Election 

On March 11 the citizens of WA get to elect a new government.  You've probably already seen all sorts of promises made by the major parties, and are wondering "what's in it for trail riders?"

We have been using the opportunity to sound out the major parties away from the media spotlight on how they would address the needs of riders, particularly the continuing need for more legal areas for kids to ride.

As a voting bloc, trail riders don't have the raw numbers that cyclists (road or off-road) have, so we're not expecting any major media announcements favouring trail bike riders. However we're quietly confident that the election will lead directly or indirectly to some good outcomes.

We will provide an update in the week leading up to the election.                  

Favourable Public Response to Manjimup Trails Plan

A public meeting held in Manjimup last month was well attended and the response to the Manjimup Trails Hub project was overwhelmingly positive.

The project was praised for its potential as an economic development opportunity and as a way of positioning Manjimup in a new and emerging tourism market.

Of 48 written responses received over 95% were supportive. 

The Shire of Manjimup is currently compiling all the responses which will then go to Council for final endorsement.

More Upgrades for York

The Shire of York has invited local riders to submit suggestions for improvements to the York Off Road Vehicle Area.

The RTRA has been represented at two rider community meetings where ideas to improve drainage, the flow of the circuit and the durability of the trail surface has been discussed.

Council and the local riders are keen to ensure that the area is retained primarily as a facility for local riders, but there is not intention to prevent out-of-towners from visiting.

The next stage will be a Master Plan to document all necessary and desired changes and to generate a scope of works for the upgrade.

What is the Future of eBikes?

They're electric and they're coming. Electric bikes are still a long way from being common on the trails, but as power and range goes up, and weight and prices come down, their long term future seems assured.

But where will eBikes sit in the trails spectrum?  It appears that the mountain bike community isn't exactly keen to welcome eBikes onto mountain bike trails, so it may be that we will see more of these bikes on the trails that we use for motorised trail riding.

The RTRA has long argued that the old distinction between motorised and non-motorised trail users is not appropriate.  Our view is that trail bike riders and mountain bike riders have much more in common with each other than trail bikes and four wheel drives.  Maybe the growth in eBikes will help bridge the gap between trail bikes and mountain bikes?

Let us know what you think via our one question survey.

Minister Miles won't overturn ORVAC Committee

The RTRA has received a response from the Minister for Local Government saying he will not be overturning the Off Road Advisory Committee approved by his predecessor, Tony Simpson MLA.

The committee is, in our view, not properly constituted according to the Act and does not have an appropriate level of representation of off road vehicles.

We have met with the Opposition Spokesperson for Local Government, David Templeman MLC to brief him on the issue.

Package of Works Created for Funding Application

Following discussions with Lotterywest, the RTRA is compiling a package of works for potential funding in 2017.

Eight priority projects have been identified and a brief has gone out to seek costing proposals. The projects are:
  1. Pinjar ORVA Friends of Pinjar ­ program design and implementation
  2. Pinjar ORVA Video and mobile application
  3. Pinjar ORVA Pinjar research and case study
  4. Pinjar ORVA Junior trails and skills development
  5. Gnangara ORVA Trails Development
  6. York ORVA Master Plan
  7. South Metro ­ Peel Trail Bike Regional Master Plan
  8. South West Trail Bike Regional Master Plan
There's no guarantee that we will receive funding for all of these projects, but as the saying goes: "You've got to be in it to win it".

Membership Auto-Renewal

If your RTRA membership falls due for renewal in March you will shortly receive a Renewal Invoice.

If the credit card you used last year is still valid and hasn’t expired you don’t need to take any action - your renewal will happen automatically. We’ll get in touch if you need to update your card details.

This is a new system (we announced it last year but it’s only now processing the auto-renewals) so we can't guarantee that there won't be the odd glitch.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Minimal Impact: Watch for Wildlife

During the hotter drier months 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.

Help Spread the Word

New to the RTRA?  Here are the four key objectives the RTRA pursues:
  • To protect and extend quality, safer off-road riding opportunities for Western Australian recreational trail bike riders of all ages.
  • To promote and encourage safety and responsible riding attitudes, including minimising noise and trail damage.
  • To actively pursue the needs of trail bike riders with State and Local Government, landowners and other stakeholders.
  • To improve the perception of trail bike riding as a recreational activity.
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