Happy New Year! The RTRA wishes all our members, friends, industry partners and families a healthy, prosperous and injury-free 2013.
May your trails be loamy and plentiful this year!
Pinjar Western Car Park Open
The new western car park to service the Intermediate / Advanced precinct at Pinjar is now complete - and looking great.
DEC have retained more of the trees on this side so there's plenty of shade and generous bays to set up close to your vehicle.
A two-way 'feeder loop' now runs all the way around the two car parks, meaning riders can access both sides of Pinjar without having to ride on the car park roads.
The North Loop has been realigned and is now accessed from the south-west corner of the car park. Both the North Loop and the Short 'n' Curly trail have been graded.
Please take it easy on the car park roads and feeder loop. These have been surfaced with limestone but are not designed to cope with aggressive riding. Basic rule of thumb: don't break traction on these roads.
ABS Data Shows Drop in Trail Bike Riding (Maybe!)
Did you know that the Australian Bureau of Statistics now records the number of people who claim to ride trail bikes for recreation?
It's only since 2010 that the ABS has recorded Trail Bike Riding separately to generally Motorsports. In 2010 trail bike riding was the 25th most popular recreational activity in Australia - ahead of ice & snow sports, sailing and powerboating, skateboarding, rugby league and rugby union.
However the 2011 figures show a 48% decline, counting just 65,000 people nationally claiming to participate at least once a year. This just doesn't make sense given that sales of off road motorcycles fell by only 4.5% in 2011 and 36,637 new bikes were sold nationally.
We'll do some digging to see if we can get a more realistic figure, but meanwhile it serves to highlight the importance of associations like the RTRA showing strength by active membership numbers. Know anyone who is not yet a member? Give them a prod to join up.
Family Trail Re-Surfacing Waits for Rain
The project to resurface the Pinjar Family Trail won't be scheduled until late Autumn. The work relies on having the surface wet, and keeping it wet under use to bed it in.
Much as we would have liked to get going sooner we do not want to risk the project by starting it when the trail will quickly dry out and be vulnerable to damage.
Metro Road Pilot Trail Survey
Thank you to everyone who has submitted comments on the new Pilot Trail at Metro Ride via our online feedback survey.
The survey indicates that the trail is hitting the mark with riders, although (perhaps not surprisingly) most would prefer it to be longer!
This feedback is really important for the project, so if you have ridden the trail please jump online and fill out the survey. It will only take a few minutes.
LAMS Day - January 14
The long-awaited Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme comes into effect in WA on January 14.
From this date learner riders will be legally permitted to ride most 450 and bigger dirt bikes - see the Department of Transport web site for full details. The list of approved motorcycles is also available from the RTRA web site.
Of course, just because it's legal doesn't mean it's a good idea for a learner to hop on a large capacity dirt bike. If you're new to off road riding you'll probably have a lot more fun on a smaller, lighter bike.
Psst .. Anyone Got Any Clay?
A chance conversation with a member at the 2011 AGM led to us sourcing all the clay used in the resurfacing of the PeeWee trail.
Now with the prospect of building and surfacing more trails at Pinjar this year, we are on the lookout for more good quality clay - the type of material often excavated and removed from building projects in the hills.
If you are in the construction game, or know someone who is and have some clay to dispose of, please let us know.
Minimal Impact - Be Fire Safe
After a mild start to summer the hot weather is now here in spades. Any recreational activity in dry bushland is a fire risk, but trail riding has some added risks so we have to be extra careful when we're out there.
Here are some tips to stay fire safe this summer:
- Don't park your car on long grass. The hot exhaust can ignite dry grass.
- Take care when refuelling. Fill up before you go or at a petrol station and if you must refuel from a jerry can make sure you're on bare ground.
- No campfires, and if you must smoke, extinguish cigarettes on bare ground and pour a little water from your camelback on it just to make sure.
- It should go without saying, but never remove your exhaust's spark arrestor.
- Stay on track.
- Observe fire bans and be aware of total vehicle movement bans that can be proclaimed on extreme fire ban days.
- If you have an off and your bike goes down on grass or pine needles pick it up as quickly as possible and check to make sure it hasn't spilled any fuel. Hot exhausts can ignite dry grass (there was a fire at Pinjar last year caused by a bike going down). It there's any signs of smoldering use your camelback or whatever you have handy to dampen it down.
Our continued access to forests during summer could be jeopardised by a single trail bike-related fire, so we all need to be aware and take extra care.
Follow the RTRA on Facebook
Our new Facebook page is proving popular and we'll continue to expand this as a way of making it easier for our members to engage with the RTRA.
We hope you 'like' it - and don't forget to share it with your friends!
You'll find us at www.rtra.asn.au/facebook
Spread the Word
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.