We've never had problems finding members to volunteer for projects, but recently several members have shown great initiative in suggesting projects and ideas that have been particularly valuable.
Special thanks go to Peter Mathieson for his excellent open letter to Minister Waldron, Marty Jones for alerting us to some valuable clay and Mike Klenner for initiating and coordinating the recent Julimar cleanup. Thanks guys!
This will be the last newsletter for 2011. We thank all members for your continuing support of the RTRA and hope you have a happy and safe festive season.
New Projects Funded
Some great news on the funding front! Thanks to the efforts of Motorcycling WA and the RTRA, the Department of Sport and Recreation has provided $60,000 in funding for recreational trail bike initiatives for education and communication, volunteer management and community awareness.
The RTRA and MWA will be using the funding to:
To progress this work the RTRA will be recruiting an Administration Officer on a 3 day per week, 10 month contract commencing mid to end of February 2012. The position will be advertised and members notified within the next couple of weeks.
- Develop a Volunteer Management System that supports the creation and ongoing management of local “Friends of” groups for off-road vehicle areas. The “Friends of Pinjar” will be the first group created.
- Raise awareness of the activity, the regulations, the riding locations and minimal impact riding.
- Consult with local government, retailers and trail and quad bike manufacturers to involve them in the issues and potential solutions that affect their areas.
New Clay for Pinjar
Thanks to an on-the-ball RTRA member we have been able to secure around 600 cubic metres of Midland clay to stockpile for a future upgrade of the PeeWee trail at Pinjar.
Marty Jones mentioned after the AGM that he knew of the clay material which had to be removed from a building site. Several phone calls later we had a deal whereby the clay would be made available for free, with the transport cost subsidised and the whole cost paid for by DEC. It can't get much better than that!
The Midland clay is similar to that which was used on the original 'Pilot Trail' and will make a vast improvement to the rideability and durability of the new PeeWee trail. Depending on how much is needed for that we may be able to also surface parts of the Family Trail.
Ministers Meet to Discuss Strategy
The State Trail Bike Strategy is still on the political agenda. A meeting of key government ministers was convened last week and our understanding is that the three key agencies - Transport, Environment & Conservation and Sport & Recreation are now working together on progressing the strategy.
This is a positive move as it avoids the niggling question of which one agency should 'own' the strategy and brings together the agencies with the greatest involvement.
Not included in the lineup (but not missed) is the Department of Local Government who achieved nothing for the last thirty years and is best left alone to continue doing nothing.
Getting the Strategy across the line has been - and still is - an incredibly slow and frustrating process but we are convinced that Sport and Recreation Minister 'Tuck' Waldron really is trying to get this through. The support of Ministers Buswell and Marmion will add much needed weight to the push.
Julimar Cleanup a Success
RTRA members teamed up with four wheel drive enthusiasts to clean up several areas within the Julimar State Forest.
DEC District Senior Ranger, Paul Udinga, lent a hand and also cooked up a sausage sizzle to feed the volunteer workers.
Thirteen wrecked cars were pulled from the bush and brought to central locations to be removed by a scrap metal merchant and dozens of garbage bags were filled with bottles, cans and smaller rubbish and removed.
Thanks to the members who lent a hand and to Mike Klenner who organised the day.
ATVWA includes RTRA membership for 2012
The ATV Social and Racing Club will include membership to the RTRA as part of its 2012 membership package as part of a commitment from both organisations to work more closely to develop better opportunities for the quad community. The ATV Social and Racing Club operates an excellent family-friendly quad facility in Woodridge north of Perth and we will be collaborating in 2012 on the development of recreational events for quads.
Fires Delay Gnangara Work
Work on the new trail at Gnangara has finally started after a delay caused by the recent fires. DEC are providing a loader and operator for the trail clearing and all available resources were despatched to fight fires in the south west.
The trail clearing work commenced this week and it is expected that trail signage will be completed in time to open the new trail prior to Christmas.
A4DE - Start Planning Now for 2013
This is a “heads up” to make sure that all local riders have advanced notice of the 2013 Australian Four Day Enduro Championships.
The Trail & Enduro Motorcycle Club will be conducting the A4DE from Harvey, W.A. from 17th – 20th July 2013.
If you are thinking of being involved in the A4DE in any way it is strongly recommended that you book accommodation now through the Harvey Visitor Centre on 9729 1122.
Our story about the KTM Freeride 350 last month certainly stirred up some interest. Here are some more options to consider if you're looking for something different:
Stealth Electric Bikes is an Australian company developing electric powered mountain bikes.
If you prefer 4 wheels, check out the Epic AMP electric ATV. And for another take on the conventionally powered trials / enduro cross have a look at the Sherco X Ride.
Compared with the incremental improvements of dirt bikes over the past decade or so the next few years could be very interesting indeed!
Minimal Impact - Maintain Momentum on Hills
There's nothing quite like that 'Yeeha!' moment when you get to the top of a challenging hill.
Watch a good rider tackle a gnarly hill and you'll see that they pick a good line and hit the hill with enough momentum to ride smoothly to the top. If they don't make it they'll roll down to the bottom and start again.
There are a couple of tips on this. First, have a look at the hill and plan your line. Knowing where you want to go will give you more confidence to tackle the hill with a bit more speed. Then go back to a point where you can accelerate so you hit the base of the hill at the right speed and in the right gear. Don't try to start right at the bottom and accelerate up.
Most damage to hills comes from riders trying to start half way up and revving the bejeesus out of the bike with the back wheel spinning and digging a trench. Once the dirt is loosened like that the next rain will start a rut forming. And once a rut starts on a hill it can only get worse. Before long the hill will be a mess and 'those bloody trail bikes' will be blamed.
Get the technique right and you'll not only look like a hero but you'll also be protecting your trails!
If you haven't yet checked out the new RTRA blog, head over to www.RTRA.asn.au/blog. Each week we will feature a different perspective on trail bike riding in WA. If you would like to make a contribution please contact secretary@RTRA.asn.au.
Spread the Word
The more members we have, the more we can achieve. If you have riding buddies who are not yet members of the RTRA, forward them this email and give them a prod to join up.