During the recent school holidays, the Tumut Mountain Bike Club was disappointed to find a series of dangerous and unsustainable trails built adjacent to their existing trail network. The club will now have to repair the damage, and is asking for those responsible to come forward and help.
The club’s Vice President, Graeme Martin, said a working bee to repair the damage, which is believed to have been done on Thursday, September 30.
The working bee will be held Saturday afternoon, meeting in the trails carpark at 1.45pm.
“They just made an absolute mess,” he said.
“It’s bloody disappointing.”
The damage included a series of drop-offs and jumps, with trees cut down along the boundary between land owned by State Forests and National Parks. Mr Martin said the club would take responsibility for the repairs, as part of their ongoing relationship with the two agencies.
“It’s just disheartening that they’ve just gone and done it. We’ve put 15 years’ work into these trails and we have a high degree of trust [with State Forests and National Parks],” he said.
“Because our MTB trails border on National Park, we’ve got to be able to have conversations with them. State Forests, they trust us as well.”
Mr Martin said the club wasn’t pursuing any police intervention at this time, hoping that the people responsible for the trails will turn out on Saturday to help rebuild the area.
“As a mountain bike club we’re going to repair the damage, because that’s the right thing to do, but if they don’t show; it’s like cleaning up after someone’s snotty kids,” he said.
The area has already suffered some erosion after last weekend’s storms, and Mr Martin said the way the jumps were created, the damage will only get worse if the club doesn’t step in.
“We’ll put it all back to as close to natural as we can,” he said.
“They haven’t done it with any thought at all to sustainability. It’ll just wash out and erode so badly.”
He said for anyone wanting to help build or maintain trails in the area, there’s always a project on the books, and someone ready to connect new volunteers with the existing crews.
“There’s always a crew of us that have a maintenance plan or a trail building plan,” he said.
“There’s always something happening and we’ll put you in touch with the right people.
“Just leave a message on the facebook page – Tumut MTB. Someone will get back to you.”
In the meantime, the club hosts a social ride every Tuesday night at 5.30pm for anyone who wants to join.
There’s also ongoing trail development to join several existing trails, which Mr Martin said has all been approved through forestry.
“Trail maintenance is always ongoing,” he added.
“Some of the trails are the best part of 20 years old now and we keep using them because we keep maintaining them.”
Saturday’s working bee is also open to all volunteers, starting 1.45pm at the trails carpark near the golf course (off Herbert St). Mr Martin said the volunteers will meet in the carpark and drive together to where the damage is located.