Final Trail map

Planned maintenance activities within Bruce Ridge

Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:23 pm

Hi all,

Stu Jefferis (PCL North manager) is moving to bigger and better things. As such he would like to push forward with a final trail plan before he leaves as getting us into Bruce Ridge has been his thing. Stu has been a big supporter from the PCL side of things and it will be a shame to see him go.

Attached is the suggested trail closures from PCL Senior Ecologist Greg Baines. Have a look and post up your alternate suggestions and the reasons why. Keep in mind this map was made prior to us getting involved in the management of Bruce Ridge. Some trails have already been closed.

If there is a major ecology/heritage issue then we don't really have much say against the trail being marked to close. All others we can argue the point to keep them open.

I have been asked to meet with PCL late this week in relation to it and get will get back to you.

Geoff
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Bruce Ridge Bike Trails_2.jpg
Bruce Ridge Bike Trails_2.jpg (2.31 MiB) Viewed 2765 times
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by RichardB » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Thanks Geoff. I'd be very interested to hear the feedback.

I've already passed on my views some weeks ago. I don't think the proposed closures will lead to the best conservation or track outcomes. I suggested some alternatives in the attached which I provided previously. My primary concern is that we don't close good tracks unless there are good reasons that have been assessed (against track use and conservation criteria). Particularly as there are still some terrible tracks (badly eroded, situated and not much fun) that are seldom used that could be closed down with little fuss.

I confirmed that the track that I marked as "does this exist" off Belconnen Way, does not exist. I seem to recall a track there many years ago, but it no longer exists.
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Bruce Ridge Bike Trailsrb.jpg
Bruce Ridge Bike Trailsrb.jpg (1.07 MiB) Viewed 2756 times
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:19 pm

Richard - I have printed the map with your suggestions on it to take to the meeting.

I will also take the initial trail assessment we all did last year in April. I agree the old 'multi-user' trails are in terrible condition and heavily eroded due to poor construction. They would be the first to go. We might even be able to get PCL to run through there and dig them up with the mini digger.
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Jamie Clout » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:33 pm

Hi all

I don't support closing J4 which is a key link, I7 or J8/9 which is a key link to the occonnor side.

These are all parts of my daily morning ride and I'd be gutted to lose them - particularly I7.

These sections don't seem to be in bad shape and link up the other sections very well.

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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:43 pm

Meeting postponed - will be in a couple of weeks now
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by shane gill » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:56 am

Hi all,

I've looked at the annotated map posted by Richard and agree with his comment re the link track. It is a great bit of track. However, the part between the trunk trail and fire trail does require remedial work. The rest of it below the fire trail is fantastic. There is a further link marked in green above this trail, above the trunk linking the top of the hill to the trunk. This too seems in good condition and not over ridden. Getting rid of it would seem to just make the trunk trail busier with the problems that come with that.

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Re: Final Trail plan

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:35 pm

Met with PCL (Stu Jefferis, Greg Baines and Craig Wainwright) yesterday. Friday 17 March 2012

Reason provided by Greg Baines (Senior Ecologist) for the trails he had suggested to close was conservation of fauna habitat. This is particularly relevant in drainage lines which is used by a large number of birds (some rare) which reside in and travel through Bruce Ridge. He made particular reference to areas where if you walk along the drainage line you cross 3 trails inside 100m. This is where he had simply picked a trail to close to create more habitat. His is not a final plan more an indication of where something needs to be done. Stu is happy with our work and will leave it up to us to work out some ideas to regulate the trails.

Areas which will need further investigation as to trail thinning are G/H-3/4, and J/k-4/5.

We discussed the heavily eroded walking trails. PCL will be placing a sign one of the trails indicating it will be closing and asking for feedback. This will gauge if anyone is actually using these trails. I have never seen a walker on the multiuse tracks myself. Given the very extensive fire trail network at Bruce Ridge they are happy to look at closing the existing walking trails.

New trails -
Easy trail around the edge of the caravan park joining K9 to O5 thus extending the outer loop around the entire Ridge.
Link to the Dryandra St round-a-bout.
These suggestions have the support of Stu, Greg and Craig. We are just waiting on final approval to put these in place. The boss wants to see a plan of what it will look like when finished.

Technical Decent - Divert around the reentrant it currently cuts through between the fire roads (bird habitat) then linking to the gullies at the bottom. The link track heading back up will also be staying. This has been identified by us as a must have to stop illegal track building and a type of track which is needed on the Ridge. PCL agree with us on this one and want it to go ahead fairly soon. They will seek some funding to get Darren on board to consult etc. Might see if we can get him out there on his digger to cut in the main section of trail.


If you are finding it hard to put your head around what is going on I don't blame you. The map we are currently working off is now outdated with all the good works we have been doing.

Greg will be adding the changes we have discussed and producing a new map in the next week. We will also be asking for volunteers to sign out a PCL GPS and ride every trail they can find.
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by shane gill » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:41 pm

Geoff,

Thanks for for thoughtful hard work on this

Shane
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Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:16 pm

Some of you will start to notice black and yellow caution tape hanging about the start of several trails. After a review of trail network and in line with the PCL goals (reduce trail density) a plan has been developed. I will be posting up a map in the next couple of days with what the end result will look something like. I have spent the last 2 days up there riding every trail several times and went over it today with AB. ( I have not marked anything South of the ridge spur.

The caution tape is marking trails which may close. Look at them and assess critically - take a map with you. And before anyone gets cranky think:

Trail density is high - PCL have stated the trail network needs to be thinned. They have left this mostly up to us and have left it up to us to deliver. This means - if there are 2 trails within 100m going the same direction - one needs to close. Stop and look as some sections have multiple trails within 5-10m. This tends to be missed when riding.

Old multi use tracks - are currently all earmarked for closure - they are heavily eroded and poorly aligned. We know this. you may see some signs up around the ridge shortly about this.

Some linking between trails will need to occur and some alignment rejinking to make it work.

There are several proposals sitting with PCL at the moment which will:
Extend the outer loop around the caravan park adding maybe 3km to the outside easy loop.
Link to Dryandra St round-a-bout
add a new flow/technical descent trail. (old will close)

I am well aware that some sections are trails which are regularly ridden and part of peoples main ride. This is the same for me. I think wth reducing the trail density we will be able to deliver some really quality trails for some great riding. The end result should be about 18km (which is what is there now) of singletrack which is dual direction. Ride it both ways and add a lap around O'connor and you have 40km of riding with almost no fireroad.

I think we are on a pretty good thing here so lets make it work.

Geoff
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:06 am

Have added a couple of maps for your consideration and feedback. You will notice that some of the trails (Technical descent, and around the caravan park) are not on the ground.. yet. PCL so far have indicated their support for these new trails although final approval has not yet come through.

Some caution tape has been removed from the trails already so print yourself a map and get out on the ground.

Green - Easy trails
Blue - Moderate trails
Orange - trail closures
Attachments
BR - March 2012 - option 2.JPG
Option 2
BR - March 2012 - option 2.JPG (85.75 KiB) Viewed 2484 times
BR - March 2012.JPG
Option 1
BR - March 2012.JPG (85.72 KiB) Viewed 2484 times
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by shane gill » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:35 pm

Option 2 set out by Geoff seems to be the better one. While it cuts out some of the main trail on the western side (if I've understood it right) the remaining linkage means that is not a great loss, with the benefit of the retention of other trails beig the tradeoff. Further, the new alignment linking the main trail on the caravan park side with the trails below the fire trail seems a necessary improvement, given the state of the old link and the likely heavier traffic with the new trails being formed near the caravan park.

Great work again Geoff.

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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:38 am

I probably should point out there are only minor differences between option 1 and 2. Mostly centred around the area a little NE of the Western reservior and which route should be taken. Currently option 1 is the primary route although it is far steeper in sections and the track in parts is eroded and will need some work (grade dips etc). This said I am a big fan as it's twisty and steeper than most other sections at Bruce Ridge so offers something different.

Option 2 is the road less travelled and probably easier to maintain as it traverses the slope alot more and is a longer route to the top of the hill.

The other differences is the Technical descent plan. Currently just lines roughly drawn on the map. I had in mind something a bit like ‘front 9’ (option 2) at East Kowen although when the IMBA course looked at the ground they came up with something a bit more like skyline at Stromlo. Craig had something else in his mind as well. Any option will involve washing off a lot of speed before crossing the fireroad and caution signage placed around it. Craig came up with the idea of pushing the XC trail onto the fireroad at the same crossing point to aid in visibility and create a junction. This seems a sensible option to me.

The trail around the caravan park is also a line on the map at the moment. This will need to be ground proofed and checked for any ecology concerns. There is a 30m slash zone around the caravan park which is low conservation value so we would look at using this area as much as possible.
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by autografika_kona » Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:27 pm

option 2 looks pretty sweet, the green loop near the caravan park is a good idea easy access for campers.
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by pekka » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:42 pm

Good work Geoff, glad you have been willing to take this on and do the hard yards - working out a final trail plan with PCS is a job that had to be done sooner or later and this really is the next big step in establishing a credibly sustainable MTB trail network at Bruce Ridge. Yes, there's a bit of pain but all worth it for the long term gain.

Personally, I think you guys have worked out an excellent compromise between what to keep and what we lose and I'd be quite happy with either option. As to the alternatives near the western reservoir, seems to me that if riders are voting with their wheels, option 2 seems to be the clear winner. Then again, I only discovered the option 1 route fairly recently - seems to me some others may also be still unaware of it?
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by pekka » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:29 pm

Correction to my previous post - just noticed that I got my options wrong, the first map turns out to be option 2 and second map is option 1.

So does that make option 1 the more popular judging by the wheel marks and the first map the route I recently discovered? I think I'll have to go for a ride!
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Anthony Burton » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:25 am

Good Work Geoff.

Both of these seem like sensible options with a trade off between good tracks, well loved tracks and track density - the aim being to keep an enjoyable and manageable route while reducing the (ridiculous) track density (we need to give the animals and plats a break!).

My preference is for Option 1 but understand that that will require extra grunt work to keep the trails in good nick. That said, I wont be dieing in a ditch over option 1 versus 2.
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by benandruby » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:23 pm

You gave my wife and I a very good excuse to spend much of the Easter weekend riding the trails. But in the end, we don't have a strong preference for either option.The trail we normally ride NE of the western reservoir is kept in option 1 and will require some work to control erosion etc. Under option 2 the section that is kept seems pretty under utilised at the moment and will also need some work to make it sustainable with an increase in traffic. So, in summary both options look fine to us - apart from the trails above the trail closures seem to mostly be short link trails where alternatives exist. Good work on putting it all together.

cheers
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Craig » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:33 pm

I have discussed this heaps with Geoff, but should publicly post my thoughts. I am a fan of option 2 (top image above) as it is a more sustainable track and will form more of an inner loop with the remaining trails.
So let's get closing some of the old, unsustainable trails!

Looking forwards to some trail work on Sunday.
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:20 am

Had a meeting with PCL today. Craig indicated for conservation Option 1 creates a larger area without any trails. This is a 'safe zone' for fauna. The maps will be taken to the conservator for his approval and formalisation of the network.

We will also need to develop a master works plan which covers all the track building etc..
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Steve Marshall » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:20 pm

Option 1 all the way!!!

I know the ridge very well, but couldn't for the life of me picture the track marked 'closed' just NE of the big resevoir in option 1.
So, last Thursday lunchtime I dragged a couple of mates up there and rode it (heading NW).
My thoughts are that it's not well used, tight, slow and a little overgrown. We all said "no wonder we never ride it!"

The popular route in that section leads to a great four-way junction where you can choose between the awesome fast section to the east, the southern slopes of the ridge or the switchbacks to the west that lead to the sweet new rock crossing!

It's also, as Geoff mentioned, much more fun and challenging, but comes with it's own problems. I'm inclined to try to work to save it though, as we don't want to homogenise the place too much. There has to be some challenging and/or technical sections or it will become boring for mid-advanced users.


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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:53 am

AL had some problems signing up so sent me an email. Here are his comments:

Hi Geoff,

The forum won't let me register (says its flagged me a spammer), so I'll just reply directly...

Thanks for putting this all together. Both options look good, I've a slight preference for option 1. Here are a few thoughts from someone who rides and runs the ridge at least twice daily (its on my commute :-) )

I like the new little link from the bike path entry in option 1 and new access options around the caravan park. Nice one.

I like the existing density, its one of the best things, especially for runners. There's an infinte combination and I can time a run to whatever window I have available, and change route to side tracks to avoid groups of riders - this is also a real safety issue as most bikers really don't expect to see me but I'm usually able to avoid them by knowing the trails, staying alert and occasionally going hard to stay ahead until the next sidetrack/junction. I'm sorry to say that mtbikers aren't as nice to runners are they are to each other. In the last 8 years I've only encountered a couple of dicks while I've been riding Bruce, but I cop shit at least every couple of weeks out running.

As for density and conservation value, surely if we really cared about that as a society then the two massive roads framing the reserve would not have been approved and the strong smell of chlorine when the tanks and treatment works outgas (i.e. large infrastructure installations) might also be looked at. I don't mean to ridicule the fact that the ACT Government attempts to manage already disturbed land as if it were wilderness, but hope there's some wiggle room on the perceived density issue.

If there is any wiggle room on density, the closure centred on F5 would be a pity.

There's a trail that crosses a firetrail at J/K4, with the north side of it marked to be closed. This'll leave a trail spitting riders onto firetrail and break continuity, which will increase the risk of someone just re-building a link to the trail immediately northeast (which wouldn't take much effort, maybe a few minutes because the bush is thin there). Perhaps realigning it to join another trail (although this might trigger that density issue) or just building the shortest possible link would be sensible.

On a similar note, is there any scope for a few short links to form sub-loops when the network is consolidated? There are a few spots where very short sections of extra trail could be used to increase options for runners' safety again. Am I the only voice so far for runners or other users besides mtbikers?

Anyhow, that's my 2 cents worth.. for what its worth.. Either of the options would still be great, and I'll happily keep helping implement them when my bones knit enough to swing a pick again.

Al
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:21 pm

Density has been sited by PCL as one of the major concerns of the singletrack at Bruce. They have indicated a strong preference for option 1 in the G5 (and surrounds grids) area as it creates a large buffer zone for any fauna. We should get the final outcome of that decision late next week. At the end of the day PCL are our primary client and we need to deliver to PCL conservation outcomes first and recreation/education outcomes second.

F5 closure - Option 1 has this trail to close, Option 2 has this trail to stay open. Where it links in to G5 I don't think any person has run or ridden in a long time as this section of trail has already rehabilitated quite well and is hard to see from either end (you have to know it is there to see it). Most of the replies I have prefer option 1 as the technical track in that one is not anywhere else on the ridge.

I am disapointed to hear you have had grief from riders when running. We would like to promote courtesy on the trails from any user and the signage which will eventually be put up will reflect this. Maybe we could look at a few more A & B lines in sections and some passing points on the singletrack to reduce this problem. So far you are the only person who has indicated they run the trails.

J/K4 was put in deliberately as a little straight fire trail climb also to reduce traffic through the dip slightly further up hill towards the water tank. If we direct the singletrack so it flows onto the fire road I don't think we will have too much of a problem. We may also be able to use it to put a technical feature on this section. Most areas have some short sections of fireroad (Stromlo, Majura, Kowen, Sparrow). Bruce is quite different in this respect at this time as there are very few sections.

There are a lot of people watching the outcome of what we do at Bruce. It is the first time singletrack, predominately looking at bike use, has been approved in Canberra Nature Parks in a high conservation area. There is a lot of pressure to get it right.
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by pekka » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:33 pm

Just came across this entry on the Berm:

"Wozza 4 hours ago (on Sunday April 22)
Are the new jumps etc. on Bruce Ridge OK ? I saw someone last Fri creating some serious DH jumps etc. in area between Reservoir Ridge, Bruce Pipeline, Bruce3&4. I just thought it must have been sanctioned by PCL as they were major works !"

Sounds like something that should be checked out, anyone aware of what's happening here?
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Illegal Jumps?

PostPosted by Craig » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:17 am

Hi Pekka - yep I saw this too. I'll try to get over for a look soon. If anyone does find these, can you please send/upload me a couple of pics.
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Re: Final Trail map

PostPosted by Geoff Hyde » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:10 pm

Went and checked out the 'new jumps' today. There is a new northshore style ramp on the DH track as well as a fair bit of work done on the berms on the same section. Nothing else new in the jump department though. This area gets a bit of new stuff built every school holidays.

It is a reminder that we need to get planning and approval sorted for the new technical descent trail.

If any member of FoBR sees someone doing illegal trail building stop and chat with them. If they are willing to get out and build then we want to work with them not against them, directing their talents and enthusiasm.
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