Launceston Mountain Bike Club - Trails Update

The latest Launceston Mountain Bike Club newsletter provides this update on the tracks and trails at Kate Reed and Trevallyn (copied verbatim):

"Unfortunately September has been a particularly wet month and the tracks and trails at Kate Reed and Trevallyn have taken a bit of a hammering and are still quite wet and boggy. As the weather fines up and the tracks start to dry out the club will endeavour to reopen some of the closed tracks. The club is hoping to schedule some working bees in mid November to cap the extension of the "Berm Track" that is currently closed and are currently liasing with Parks and Wildlife to set a date. As reported a few weeks ago the Aboriginal Heritage Assessment of the proposed trail network at Trevallyn has been completed and is waiting for the final approval from Parks and Wildlife before work can commence. Once work has commenced within Trevallyn, certain areas of track will need to be closed off as the there will be machinery in operation, the club asks that all user respect these track closures."


Subscribe to LMBC's excellent newsletter or join their facebook page for updates.

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Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Master Plan Update

There's been an update released (August 2012) on work underway or planned by the different land management agencies involved in the Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Plan.

It's worth a read as there's some great initiatives underway including the opening up of a few key links on the mountain like the lower pipeline track as well as planning work on routes such as the proposed Chalet Downhill Track.  In the bigger picture apparently there's some thinking going on about a Hobart to Dover regional trail, including the opening up of a track from Ridgeway to Mt Nelson and also from Mt Nelson to Kingston.  It would be awesome to be able to get back into those areas again.

It also looks like the Hobart City Council are looking at setting up a volunteer register to help with the design and construction of tracks, Parks and Wildlife are working (as resources allow) on the development of a mountain biking policy as well as management plans for both Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area & the Meehan Range Nature Recreation Area.

There's not enough space to plug all the great initiatives going on, but click on the links to the Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Plan and have a look and stay up to date.

While you're thinking about Mt Wellington, check out the Draft Management Plan for Mt Wellington which is out for comment until October 26, 2012.  Chapter 9 includes mountain bike use, and there's been some useful comments over in the forums on pedalbite.com if you want to get your head arond things the quick way.

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Great Western Tiers Cycle Trails

I stumbled across this old brochure about the Great Western Tiers Cycle Trails whilst I was up north this weekend.

I've been been meaning to get up and do some of these rides ever since the brochure was released a couple of years ago and maybe this is the reminder I need to do so.

The novelty of these rides is that you can download podcasts for your iPhone or iPod to listen to as you cycle the various routes.

The four rides in this brochure are mainly on-road rides, so if you've been looking to try something different, or are already planning on riding through this area, why not check them out.

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Scottsdale Rail Trail Ride

TBUG and Scottsdale Rotary are organising a ride of the 18km section of rail trail from Tonganah to Legerwood on Sunday 30 September. 

This looks to be a great chance to ride the trail and support the work that the Rotary Club of Scottsdale has been doing to develop the North East Rail Trail.

According to Malcolm Cowan of TBUG, the day will give riders the opportunity to provide comments to Rotary on the standard required for the final surface and the infrastructure needed to enhance the ride eg shelters, picnic points etc.

The surface varies from rough stones to smooth dirt. A good hybrid or mountain bike is required.

Continue reading
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Mt Roland - Developing a Destination

A recent ABC online news article reported on a new cable car plan for Mt Roland. 

Behind this headline it appears that the Kentish council commissioned a report to look at the possibility of establishing "an adventure hub, including mountain biking, camping and hiking" around Mt Roland.  A quick read through the May 2011 Report, available from the Kentish Council website, shows that a mountain bike park is one of the three serious options recommended by the report.

In terms of looking for the ultimate win however, I liked this idea hidden away on page 91 in the appendices.  It is attributed to a Cradle Coast Mountain Biking Club member:   "Cable car: If this idea was progressed, bike hooks could be attached to the pods to tow bikes to the top, from where a downhill course could begin. This would be a world famous attraction". 

I agree.

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MTBNav-Metro on Eastern Shore, Hobart

Here's a chance to try something a bit different on your mountain bike and a great way to explore parts of Hobart that you many not have seen before ...

On Sunday 21st October 2012, Rogaining Tasmania will be running a MTB navigation event on Hobart's Eastern Shore.  You can choose to enter either a three or six hour event but you have to compete in teams of at least two people.

If you've not participated in a MTBNav event before, the way they work is you're given a large map of the area with 'controls' marked on it a couple of hours before the event start.   Each control is worth between 10 and 100 points (usually the value reflects their difficulty in being reached), and you have to devise your own route with the aim of collecting as many points as possible in the time available ...

Of all the MTBNavs, this one is the most suitable for youngsters riding with their parents and for less experienced riders as much of the riding is on hard surfaces on paths and roads. Being a suburban area, there are many opportunities to visit a cafe along the way, and if your team finds the riding (or walking) too tiring it is just a matter of staying in the flatter areas, or returning to the assembly area at any time.

You can read our exploits at last years MTBNav Rogine here or you can go to the event web site for more information and to enter.  Entries close midnignt Wednesday 17 October.

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Kingborough MTB Park Update

Dirt Art have announced that the dirt jumps area at the new Kingborough MTBPark are now open for use.

This from their facebook page (get over there and like it to get direct updates):

"Please do not ride after rain or if the track surface is damp or soft. Bear in mind there is no landscaping or finishing works completed, so the surrounding area is a little rough. Unfortunately due to extreme amounts of ground water the trail network will remain closed until Spring. Please stay away from the fenced off trails as they will be severely damaged by use in their current condition. We hope you all enjoy the jumps, we look forward to opening the whole park in the not too distant future."

They've also provided this google maps link if you want to know where it is.

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MTB Skills Session

If you haven't already heard, MTBSkills.com.au have brought their courses, including a couple of women only courses, to Tasmania. 

I don't know these guys at all, but I have heard some good things about them second hand, and I think that anything that supports mountain bike skill development is a good thing so wanted to give them a mention.

They've currently got five courses on offer between July and October 2012, so if you are in the market, give them a go ... then let me know how it goes.

Note:  links have been disabled as MTBSkills has closed.

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Cycling for Active Transport Grants Announced

The Tasmanian Government Cycling for Active Transport - Local Infrastructure Development Fund Grants were announced on 26 June.  This fund was set up to provide grants to local government and community-based organisations to develop local cycling infrastructure, facilities and programs that encourage people to cycle for transport.
Whilst this means that the program wasn't specifically targeted at trail development, several of the grants are all for the betterment of the trail and track network that is slowly building in Tasmania.
Projects included: 

  • The Safe Routes to School Program in Kingborough by funding an off-road cycling connection between the Algona Rd underpass and Huntingfield;·       
  • Completion of the Barossa Creek off-road shared path in Glenorchy;
  • Improvements to on-road cycling lanes at four signalised intersections in Launceston;
  • Improvements to signage and line marking on the Intercity Cycleway in Hobart; and
  • Widening and other improvements to Bluff Track on Flinders Island to enable people to use it for cycling.

I particularly like the sound of that last one. 

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North East Mountain Biking Tourism Plan

According to a recent article in the North Eastern Advertiser (20 June 2012), moves are afoot to develop the tourism potential of Mountain Biking in the North East of Tasmania.

According to the article a discussion paper on the potential of developing a world class mountain bike experience in the North East has just been released.

The report titled "Mountain Bike Tourism Potential in Northern Tasmania" (10.4mb) is available on Northern Development Tasmania's (NDT) website.

There's no denying there's some great trails up that way, and according to the Advertiser article, a North Eastern Mountain Bike Development Project has been initiated by NDT which includes the development of 100km of bike trail infrastructure at a cost of $4.3 million.

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Blue Tier Access Reopens

According to reports in the Examiner Newspaper and ABC Northern Tasmania radio (13 June), Forestry Tasmania has re-opened the access roads to the Blue Tier which had been shut due to washouts since last year.

Hopefully this means that access to Poimena and the top of the Blue Tier Descent is open again.

If anyone gets up there and confirms it let us know.

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Dirt Devils Adventure MTB Rides

How cool is this, the Dirt Devils MTB Club is organising a series of social adventure rides for people who want to get out and spend an enjoyable day seeing new places on bikes with old and new friends.

According to the blurb, most of the riding will be on gravel or rough fire/4wd trails, and will be between 3 and 6 hours in duration.  Some MTB experience and a certain level of fitness may be required. The rides are free, but you will need an MTBA licence (social day licences available for $5 at registration).

The first ride is scheduled for Sunday 29th April. The route will be the Saw Back Range track out to Adamsfield and back alongside Lake Gordon (which is described here) in the south west past Mount Field. This ride will be around 5 to 6 hours with lunch (BYO) at Adamsfield. Meet at the junction at 9 am. 

If you want to know more then please check their website.

There's a second ride planned for the 27 May 2012 out from New Norfolk up to Sleeping Beauty and Jeffrey's Track, and a third 'destination unknown' ride pencilled in for June 24.  Check out their site for future updates.

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Kate Reed Reserve and Kaoota Tramway Updates

Although only recently added to the site, the track work in the Kate Reed Reserve is completely rewriting the network of paths available to cyclists and it's all for the good. 

The updated track notes now describe an 11km circuit which takes in most of the dedicated MTB trails in the park as well as showing the location of other paths in the park and surrounds.

This is also the first entry to have an elevation profile, thanks to gpsvisualizer.com

There's also been a small update to the Kingston - Kaoota Tramway circuit to take advantage of the new cycleway and underpass near the Antartic Centre which provide an easier and enjoyable entrance into the Peter Murrell Reserve with the advantage of bypassing the stretch along the highway in the previous route.

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Tasmanian MTB Trails getting some good exposure

It's been great to see Tasmania's MTB Trails getting some good coverage in outdoor magazines over the past few months.

Outer Edge magazine kicked it off with their Dec/Jan 2012 issue which included an excellent article on Australia's Best MTB trails including coverage of the North South Track (including the Glenorchy MTB Park), the Blue Tier Ride and Montezuma Falls.  It's worth getting your hands on a back copy of the mag if you don't have one to swoon over the pics.

This was followed up by an article "Tasty Tassie Trails" in the Jan/Feb 12 edition of Australian Mountain Bike Magazine which again profiled the North South Track, but also gave a great write up for the trailwork happening up in the Kate Reed Reserve in Launceston.

 

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New Kingborough Mountain Bike Park

A new MTB park is being constructed down near the Kingborough Sports Centre.

Their is a sketch map of the proposed single trail on the counter at Treadlies, and some tantalising posts about the upcoming tracks from DirtArt on both Pedalbite.com and also on their facebook page.

According to the posts, the park will have 2km+ of single track flow trails developed in a series of loops, providing numerous different loop options.  There will be two short descents in the network, one of which will have more of a jump/berm focus.  The focus of the network is on skill development and fun. 

There will also be a jump park in stage one, with stage two development of a pump track and skills park, along with potential to develop more singletrack as well.

The eventual aim is to tie the network in with surrounding shared-use trails to link to Mt Wellington, Snug Tiers etc.

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Greater Hobart Mountain Biking Plan Moves Ahead

02 March 2012

According to the agenda of the Hobart City Council Parks and Customer Services committee, they will be considering endorsing the Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Master Plan at their meeting on the 16th February.

The recommendations before the committe include scheduling upgrades on several key trails over the next three years; commencing planning for the development of the Chalet to Junction Cabin downhill trail proposal; and nearest and dearest to my heart they're looking at making the following trails "shared-use":

  • Pipeline Track - McDermotts Saddle to Fern Tree
  • Huon Rd to Waterworks Link
  • Mount Stuart Track/Summit Loop, Knocklofty Reserve
  • Joggers Loop Link Track, Queens Domain.

I've always through the the McDermotts Saddle to Fern Tree route in particular is a key missing link for us cyclists as for me it's the easiest way to get up the mountain (not that I've ever ridden up there of couse).

Of course this is all subject to more reports, the completion of risk management works and the development of a monitoring and evaluation plan, and I guess the endorsement by this committee and the council, but it's a step in the right direction, so yay to that.

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Cycling for Active Transport Local Infrastructure Development Fund

1 March, 2012

Some potentially good news on the horizon, with the announcement of funding being made available to local government and not-for-profit community based organisations for new projects and initiatives that:

  • Create or enhance local transport oriented cycling infrastructure.
  • Support people to use a combination of cycling and public transport to undertake transport journeys.
  • Enable cycling for transport via provision of end of trip facilities for cyclists.
  • Increase people's acceptance of cycling as a viable mode of transport for everyday journeys.
  • Make cycling for transport safer and more accessible for people of all ages.

Funding will be available on a co-contribution basis, with local government/community based organisations expected to contribute to the cost of projects on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Whilst the expectation is that applicant organisations will contribute financially to proposed projects, there may be circumstances in which in-kind contributions may be considered.

$84,500 has been allocated to the program for this round of funding.

Continue reading
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New Hobart Bike Map

21 February 2012

A new Hobart Bike Map is available both in hard copy and electronically.  The actual map is printed on waterproof paper and includes city cycling routes, info on 9 family rides, 20 regional rides, skate parks, BMX tracks, MTB tracks, bike parking, contact details for cycling clubs, bike hire and camping. The map is available from bike shops, Council offices and the Map Shop ( RRP $8) or can be viewed on the Cycling South website A grant from Sport & Recreation Tasmania contributed to the production of the map.

Source: http://www.cyclingsouth.org, download 21 February 2012

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Scottsdale Rail Trail

15 February 2012

The Scottsdale Rotary Club has received $89,000 towards the North East Rail Trail first stage between Tonganah and Legerwood, about 20km. Tonganah is 5km east of Scottsdale where the rail ends at the recently closed saw mills. Spokesman for the Rotary Club, Robin Thompson, says that "The grant from the Community Fund will get the Trail up and running, although we will need further funds to complete surfaces to the standard we are aiming to achieve. We are excited about the opportunities for bike riders and local businesses. This first section will be the driver to extend the Trail through to Herrick at the bottom of the Welborough Pass and our long term vision is for the Trail to run form Launceston through Scottsdale to Legerwood and on the Herrick – a bike way to the East Coast".

The rail trail will complement the work done by the Legerwood community in developing the park area at the old station including the commemorative carvings.

Source: TBug Newsletter, 15 February 2012

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Cycle Plan Scrapped

3 September 2011

It's been reported by Matt Smith in The Mercury Newspaper on the 3rd of September that the proposed plan to turn old railway lines into a continuous track from Hobart to Smithton has been scrapped and replaced with a focus on specialist bike rides throughout the State.

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