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Thu, 28 Jul 2005

ACT Mountain Bike areas hit the news - 19:04
Today the ACT Government Chief Minister's department made a media release, Mountain Bike Riders Reminded to Stay Off Designated Walking Tracks. Largely as an information exercise, trying to get some newspaper coverage and other coverage in the hopes of informing the wider mountain biking community about the Environment ACT regulations. Many mountain biker's do not know or pay much attention to this.

The main thrust in reality is a focus on some highly contentious tracks near Majura Pines. Many walkers groups and community groups worry about the mountain bikers riding on two tracks in the area. There are in other parts of Canberra multi use tracks with proper signage that appear to stand up to lots of use and all users are happy. I do however agree with the idea of closing the tracks near Majura to all users for regeneration as they were originally placed in a bad location for any users.

On the whole the best future course of action is for Environment ACT to recognise mountain bikers will not be going away or disappearing, irrelevant of the status of tracks around the city. If they work with the the mountain bike community in a similar manner to the Wellington City Council in NZ and allow the creation of sustainable IMBA standard tracks that allow all users to traverse them safely with no degradation would allow all users to attain a happier use status with all the other users.

Anyway a journalist from the Canberra Times rang me this morning for the CORC response to the release. We had received a heads up about the release early in the week and I hopefully responded sensibly pointing out we (CORC) do on the whole support the point of the release and are trying to push further cooperation with land use planning for allowing mountain bikers to fit in well with other users in the future.

The journalist said they would like to get a photo to go with the article, and asked if they could photograph me for it, I agreed to meet a photographer at Majura Pines at 2pm for a photo. The photographer eventually rocked up 40 minutes late, we got the photos and I headed back to work. I wonder if the article will appear tomorrow or in the next few days in the paper, giving me a few more media ho seconds of fame or something...

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