With COVID Lockdowns and the Tokyo Olympics, kids have shown renewed interest in mountain biking and building their own ramps, berms, jumps and pump tracks. Unfortunately the activity is often unauthorised and sometimes conducted in environmentally sensitive or dangerous areas so council has historically gone in and put things to a halt, which is very discouraging for the kids involved.
A more recent trend with Councils across Sydney is that we are now actively engaging with the mountain biking community to build authorised tracks in an environmentally sensitive and safe manner. Earlier in the year our Council built a fantastic track at the back of Golden Jubilee Field in collaboration with the biking community, and yesterday our Council held a workshop with ~25 kids and their parents to explore what they would like to see happen at Little Soldiers Memorial Park Lindfield.
Mitch and I attended the event and were encouraged to see Council working consultatively with the biking community to work towards a design. Kids were given the opportunity to design their own tracks and present their ideas to the wider group. We also spoke about what it means for the mountain biking to be good neighbours to other users in the area (e.g. tennis, netball, cricket and bushwalkers), incorporating safety features in design, which areas were ecologically sensitive, and how to leave a positive legacy for future generations.
I spoke with organisers after the event to also confirm that discussions were actively being held with other user groups as part of the consultation process.
We would like to thank both the Council staff and community members from the Tryon Trail Crew for organising this workshop.