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There will be a town hall style community feedback session held in the conference room at Settlers Tavern on Tuesday April 9th starting at 6:30pm. All club members and users of Big Hill Mountain Bike Park are invited.

  • Overview

    The following is a series of recommendations to be made to Big Hill Mountain Bike Park. As part of the process of signing licence agreements with the landowners of Big Hill Mountain Bike Park (DEECA and AGL) an audit of the current trail network was undertaken (Appendix 1).

    The recommendations in this document have arisen from potential improvements identified during the recent trail audit and feedback provided on the proposals by current TMB members and the TMB club committee. The survey response rate from cub members was quite poor (23 out of a possible 191 club members. Appendix 2) and thus the data should be used with caution. A town hall style meeting will follow the publication of these DRAFT recommendations for further public consultation where both TMB members and the general public will be invited to attend.

    The principles these recommendations have been based on are community feedback, accessibility, safety, trail naming and mapping clarity and current trail network design practices. There will always be design challenges for a network like Big Hill that has grown organically over several years as opposed to some of the newer trail networks in Australia that have been planned from the beginning on a blank slate.

    The recommendations are small in scope when taken in the context of a large trail network like Big Hill and aim to address the principles mentioned above. It should be acknowledged that there will be some resistance to change and that attachment to current trail alignments, routes, technical difficulty, and naming is valid. It is hoped that the solution to obvious conflicts is communication and engagement. It is hoped that the recommendations will be seen as a driver for positive evolution of Big Hill and will enhance the riding experience for a large proportion of people who enjoy mountain biking at Big Hill.

    The major themes that stand out from the club members responses are that there is little support for closing any trails, high attachment to the current alignment of Big Hill DH, huge support to continue a climbing trail from Cattleyards up to Big Hill Rd, high support for the future projects listed and also restoring certain trails to previous difficulty grades.

    The recommendations are listed in a loose order of priority and clustered either by location or type.

  • Cattleyards

    Recommendation 1

    Continue building Big Easy Up as a moderate difficulty climbing trail from the Cattleyards up to Pole Tk and on to the Cattle Tk/ Big Hill Rd junction.

    Recommendation 2:

    Realign the start of 1995 to begin between Bananarama and Wombats Tk.

    Recommendation 3:

    Realign the start of Rolling Stoned to begin along the present alignment of Big Hill DH, into the old Bananarama start and then a new short section to join at its present alignment.

    Recommendation 4:

    Realign Big Hill DH to exit Cattleyards and rejoin its present alignment below the old Bananarama start.

    Recommendation 5:

    Extend Wildside from its present end at Big Hill DH all the way to AU or Middle Tk.

    Current trail network design demands all trails have distinct starting points, end points and alignments. These changes follow current design principles and will create a fantastic destination point at the Cattleyards and as a node for onward travel. Allowing riders to begin a number of trails from this unique point and follow distinct alignments greatly enhances user experience. Having multiple trails start at a unique point massively increases mapping and trail naming clarity. The obvious downside is the need to realign 50 metres of Big Hill DH as it passes through the Cattleyards. While there is resistance to changing the alignment of Big Hill DH, there is precedence. Both Big Hill DH and Bananarama have been realigned not so long ago and are arguably better trail because of that.

  • Shady Gully

    Recommendation 6:

    Review Shady Gully layout.

    Recommendation 7:

    Refurbish Secret Tk and realign trail at Shady Gully end.

    Recommendation 8:

    Turn the jumps on MCs Tk into tabletops.

    Recommendation 9:

    Prepare a proposal to develop a small trailhead at Shady Gully.

    Shady Gully is a well contained precinct that should be a progression focussed trail area for groms, novice and intermediate riders. With the Big Easy Up providing good travel to this area for intermediate riders it is arguably time to look at how to further reinforce this area as a groms and novice/intermediate rider zone. Installing a mini trailhead at Shady Gully would facilitate riders visiting this precinct who still find the ride from the main trailhead too challenging. Modifying the jumps on MCs Tk would allow better progression in jumping technique, there is a good degree of different trails in the area to challenge groms and novice/intermediate riders and a coherent loop from the Shady Gully carpark would provide for a positive experience. Perhaps the best way to manage the recommendations around Shady Gully would be to instigate a working group that includes stakeholders such as the groms programme co-ordinators and novice/intermediate riders.

  • Trail Routes

    Recommendation 10:

    Rename a trail route that includes Rolling Stoned (from new start at The Cattleyards), AU, and Snake Gully Log Ride, and Tight and Turnie as Rolling Stoned.

    Recommendation 11:

    Rename a trail route that includes The SS’s, Cranky Charlie Loop Enduro Link, Cranky Bernie, Pole Tk, Cranky Charlie Loop Lower (above Pole Tk) and Long Weekend at Bernie’s as Long Weekend at Bernie’s.

    Recommendation 12:

    Rename Harry’s Tk from Dart Spur Tk to Nirvana as Nirvana. This would create a singularly named trail from Dart Spur to The Cattleyards (via the Big Easy turnoff). Harry’s Tk would then travel from Nirvana (at the junction with The Dippers) to 5 Ways.

    Recommendation 13:

    Rename Jarrahs Berms as Nirvana

    Renaming several trails makes for a much simpler mapping task and enhances the user experience. While there may be some attachment to the current names, significant trail names have been kept with these recommendations. Similar to previous recommendations, there has been precedent set for changing trail names to create longer trail routes.

  • Trail Restorations

    Recommendation 14:

    Restore Tupac’s Back, Jumping Jacks, El Presidente, Ooh La La and Wombat’s Log to previous difficulty levels.

    These trails are grouped together because they have all deteriorated over recent times with weather events and rider volume. Each of these trails would become more accessible if some work were put into restoring them.

    In the case of Tupac’s the recommendation is to remove the B-lines, restore previous trail lines, treat the drop offs similarly to the work done recently on the log drop on Blair Witch and add drainage. The drop offs would be restored as features and while rollable would still be a challenge. The exit of the second log roll should be tidied up and the end of Jumping Jacks has exposed roots that never used to be there. Wombat’s Log is trenched beyond a manageable level, and while Big Hill DH travels the same path to Cattleyards, Wombat’s Log should provide a means of getting to that point with a lesser degree of difficulty.

    The collection of these trails provide an opportunity for moderate riders to progress to advanced riders and are necessary to providing a path if progression to the more technical trails and the downhill specific trails in the park.

  • Further Works

    Recommendation 15:

    Extend Adams Tk along the pole line bench and climbing up to Red Door after crossing Big Hill Rd.

    Recommendation 16:

    Extend Stay Woke back to the trailhead.

    Both recommendations offer an opportunity to create further trail distance and at different levels of difficulty. Stay Woke would provide another option for the gravity focussed and extending Adam’s Tk would create a great adventure ride to the top of the park. Building these extensions would also be a great way to transfer trail building knowledge.

  • Other Works

    Recommendation 17:

    Realign Big Hill DH and Gregs Detour near Cattle Tk so they don’t overlap.

    Recommendation 18:

    At some point in the future, the trail layout in the area between Dart Spur and Pole Tk should be reviewed. There are several trails generally called Crikey Bernie and they don’t currently form a single coherent trail and have varying degrees of difficulty. This makes trail naming and mapping very difficult.

  • Appendix