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 RTRA eNewsletter
July 2015

In this issue:

Special:
Ten Years!

Areas:

Metro Road Concept Plan
More clay for Pinjar
Manjimup Hub Concept
Serpentine-Jarrahdale

Advocacy:

Minimal Impact Riding

Events

Quad Only Day July 26
West MotoPark Coaching




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Helping to save your riding areas






Dear Member

Ten years!  That's how long the RTRA and its predecessor WATARC has been fighting for the sustainable future of trail bike riding in Western Australia. In this edition RTRA President, Steve Pretzel, looks back at the lunch that started it all and fast forwards ten years to bring you some pretty exciting updates.  Read on...                     

We've Got to Do Something...

Ten years ago this month the RTRA was born.  In late June 2005 I,  and current RTRA Committee member, Simon Mykolajenko, convened a luncheon meeting of the State Managers of Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha to discuss the very real prospect that trail bike riding would become a thing of the past.

At the time CALM (later DEC and now DPaW) was closing old logging trails, or converting them for walk, mountain bike or horse use.  Often because they simply didn't know trail bike riders needed them.

The City of Swan had closed the Red Hill Off Road Vehicle Area. The Town of Kwinana had closed the Kwinana Off Road Vehicle Area and the Shire of Gingin was set to close the Lancelin Off Road Vehicle Area. Gnangara and Pinjar were just lines on a map - wastelands that no one else wanted. 

The Department of Local Government was reviewing the Off Road Vehicle legislation and had come to the conclusion that fines had to go up, quad and trail bike registration had to be compulsory (at a cost of $200 per annum) and that all riders should be encouraged to join clubs if they wanted to ride.

Things were looking pretty grim.

The main problem was that there was no one advocating on behalf of riders.  No one saying: "Hey, wait a minute - this is a legitimate recreational activity and we need to be properly recognised and catered for!"

And that was the purpose of the lunch. To put it to the motorcycle manufacturers, via their State Managers, that if our riding opportunities dried up, so would their business.  And from that lunch WATARC - the WA Trailriders Access Rights Coalition - was formed.

WATARC became the RTRA in 2008 - the year the State Trailbike Strategy was handed to the Government.  As the voice of recreational trail and quad bike riders we finally started to get some real traction.  Ten years on and we still don't have government commitment and funding for an overall strategy, but we've been getting on with the job anyway.

In this edition of the RTRA eNews we bring you an update on some projects that simply would not have been possible were it not for the persistent work of the RTRA.  All of our members, past and present should feel proud. Your support has made these things happen.

Metro Road Concept Plan Seed Funding Secured 

Last week we signed a historic service agreement with DPaW to develop a Concept Plan for the Metro Road precinct.

Metro Road has been identified as the best option for a regional trail riding area close to the Perth.  The concept Plan is the critical next stage in the process and follows the success of the Pilot Trail Bike Trail Project.

DPaW is contributing funding towards the Concept Plan, and we will now seek additional grant funding to raise the balance of the budget needed for the plan.  We will, of course, be seeking rider input into the Concept Plan, so start thinking about what you would like to see developed there.


Jarrahdale Opportunity Moves a Step Closed 

The RTRA was represented at the second meeting of the Off Road Vehicle Working Group at the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale. The working group is keen to identify a location suitable for the development of an Off Road Vehicle Area similar to Pinjar or York - ie NOT like Gnangara or Kwinana!

Several potential locations were discussed, with one area within the Jarrahdale State Forest showing particular promise.

DPaW is now reviewing the environmental suitability of this area and the Working Group is required to report back to the full S-J Council before September.

We will keep members up to date with developments on this opportunity..



Traditional Owners Review Buller River Site

There has been some progress in the push for a new public Motorcycle Area just north of Geraldton.

On Monday, Amangu, Mullewa Wadjari and Naaguja representatives met with the RTRA's Steve Pretzel, Dr Mic Payne from the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) and Simon Lancaster from the Shire of Chapman Valley to discuss the plans for a potential family-oriented motorcycle area. 

The next stage will be a heritage survey and more detailed concept plan. There are plenty of challenges to overcome, but there is growing local support and a genuine desire to see this project come to fruition for the benefit of local families.


Manjimup Trails Hub Opportunity Progressing

The Shire of Manjimup has taken the next step towards the development of a feasibility study for Manjimup to become Australia's first trail bike trails hub.  The Shire has written to the Minister for Local Government seeking a contribution of funds to match money set aside by the Shire for this purpose.

We are optimistic that the feasibility study will be able to commence early in this new financial year and the RTRA will then be seeking the views of riders and families to provide as input into the process.


More Clay for Pinjar 

Truckloads of clay have been delivered to Pinjar this week to be stockpiled for maintenance and trails development work. Additionally, DPaW is planning to screen the existing clay to remove rocks so that this can also be used.  

With the stunning success of Pinjar as a family riding destination both DPaW and the RTRA are committed to continuing to develop the area with more trails and improved facilities. Re-surfacing the connector loop to help keep young riders off the carpark road, a small loop for first-timers and further improvements to the Short n Curly circuit are planned. And there will be plenty more to come!


Gnangara Entrance Upgraded

Anyone who has ever tried to turn onto Gnangara Road from the Gnangara Off Road Vehicle Area will appreciate the new entrance which is a byproduct of the lane duplication of Gnangara Road.  Situated just to the west of the original entrance, the new entrance will have a slip lane for safer turning and a sealed surface.

We can't claim any credit for this one, but we'll accept the improvement anyway.                      

Quad Day at AJS Club - July 26

The AJS Motorcycle Club will be running a Quad Only 'Go Moto' Day at their track on Wattle Ave next to Barbagallo Raceway.

It's open for juniors and adult riders and costs $20 per rider plus $25 for a one day licence if required. Gates open 7.30am. Riders must have safety riding gear to ride, plus nerf bars & lanyard kill switch.  

For more information contact Lorene 0407575949 or Darryl 0407722009                      

Coaching at West MotoPark - July 11,12

West Moto Park will be running coaching sessions on the 11th and 12th of July with Trevor Unstead from Moto Advantage.

Day 1 will be about core skills, suitable for beginners and anyone else interested in participating. Day 2 will be for more experienced riders or those who have completed Day 1.
                     

Minimal Impact: Avoid Wet Areas

Winter riding means some of the places we ride with minimal impact in summer will become waterlogged and prone to damage.

Water is the most damaging thing that can happen to a trail, and where - and how - we ride through wet areas can mess things up for years. You can help protect our trails by avoiding trails that develop known bog-holes or swampy patches and not creating or worsening ruts up hills. 

If there's standing water on the trail, slow down and ride through it rather than making the trail wider by riding around it.  And remember that dieback spreads more easily when mud is picked up on wheels and frames, so be especially aware of DRA exclusion areas and always make sure you wash your bike thoroughly between rides.

Winter is both the best time to ride and the time when the environment is at its most vulnerable. We all need to take responsibility for protecting our trails for the future.
 
More minimal impact tips...                     

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.


Recreational Trailbike Riders' Association of WA Inc