Posts tagged access
Bad news from the organisers of the MTB Rendezvous:
We are in the unfortunate position of announcing the cancellation of the MTB Rendezvous 2012, due to take place in Knockree Youth Hostel this coming Sunday, 23rdSeptember.
We have received tremendous support for this new format of socialising on a bike, which encompasses all the good things about cycling. Both from the cycling industry in Ireland, the many individuals and cycling clubs looking to participate to the local businesses who welcome cyclist through their doors every weekend.
Unfortunately the success of this novel idea has been its down fall and has brought concerns from the forestry state body Coillte regarding access to their lands and the byelaws covering this. Due to these concerns we will not be continuing with the Rendezvous.
As organisers of the Rendezvous, our sole objective was to provide a social lunch for all who arrived at Knockree by which ever means they wished. It has never been to organise the routes anyone cycled.
Keen cyclist as we are, we are not members of any Cycling Ireland club, nor was this a competitive event. However the threat hanging over future Cycling Ireland events on Coillte land has been too great. We respect Coillte’s concerns and the byelaws governing their forests and access and do not want to jeopardise any future MTB events with the possibility of substantial numbers of cyclists on their land.
So I would ask all cyclists to do what you do every Sunday and enjoy your biking in designated trails. Thank you again for the interest you have shown in Rendezvous.
Good morning off-roaders!
I probably don’t need to tell you that Ireland has tremendous potential for walking, cycling and other outdoor recreation activities, and that wise management is required to deliver quality recreation experiences and long-term benefit.
Many of Ireland’s mountains are suffering the effects of erosion, whether through increased recreational activity or natural processes, or indeed a combination of these. As these areas have a high conservation value, it’s important to respond appropriately.
Helping the Hills is a conference on the management of upland paths, hosted by Mountaineering Ireland and taking place at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow on Thursday 13th – Friday 14th September.
The programme incorporates presentations, workshops and site visits. The conference will be jointly opened by Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Minister Alex Attwood MLA, Minister for the Environment (NI). We have a strong line-up of speakers, ready to share the lessons from their work in the management of recreation and upland paths.
This event should be of interest and value to those involved in the promotion, funding and management of outdoor recreation, local authorities, land managers, participants in outdoor recreation and all those with an interest in the sustainable management of upland areas.
Conference fee is just €80, for full programme and online booking, go to www.helpingthehills.ie.
We look forward to seeing some of you in Glendalough!
Hillwalking, Access & Conservation Officer
Coillte have made their new off-road strategy available on the Coillte Outdoors website. You can view the document here.
This strategy has major implications for mtb access and development around the country so it’s well worth taking the time to read though it.
Please see the response from the Offroad Commission here.
Coillte’s National Mountain Bike/Off-Road Cycling Strategy
As you may be aware, Coillte are in the process of launching their National Mountain Bike Strategy. The strategy has been in development for quite some time and involved numerous groups and stakeholders, including ourselves. We would like to explain the extent of our involvement in the process and our views on the final document – the positive opportunities it presents and also its shortcomings.
Over the past year we have been a member of the Strategy Project Group, working proactively with Coillte on certain aspects of the strategy. While initial relations between ourselves and Coillte were quite positive and our contributions were welcomed, late last year relations deteriorated significantly. Coillte are now refusing to engage with us any further on the strategy and are pushing ahead with a document that we are not 100% happy with.
There are several positive aspects to the strategy document. It deals very proactively with the areas of trail centres and club-based building projects. We cannot fault it in this regard and it is more positive than we initially expected. Coillte make it clear that they wish to see many more trail centres built, obviously contingent on funding. They will look to build a large number of facilities at new locations and to significantly reinvest in some of the facilities already in place.
Coillte have made it quite clear that they want to work with registered clubs to start local trail building projects. They have identified nineteen forest properties where they are ready to start dealing with clubs immediately on projects. They also make it clear that this list will evolve as new areas become popular and the scene develops. In the past, getting these types of projects started has been quite hard and we believe this strategy has dealt with possible issues making it far easier to get this type of project moving in future. In fact, pilot projects are already underway with more due to start in the not too distant future.
However, some aspects of the strategy are less than satisfactory. Firstly there are minor annoyances. There are references to bikes causing user safety issues and erosion. This is frustrating because it is largely untrue, but other than mentioning them as a reason why proper trail planning is important, no further mention is made so, other than the aggravation it will cause responsible riders, this issue is not critical.
The real shortcoming of the strategy is the whole area of general access and the bye-laws. Coille introduced bye-laws in 2009 which effectively ban mountain biking from their lands, except under permit. It was hoped that this strategy would offer a workable solution to the problems the bye-laws present to the mountain bike community. The strategy reiterates that the bye-laws are in place but doesn’t suggest any measure which deals with casual access, other than at a very low level in some forest parks.
The issue of the bye-laws and the whole area of general access was the principal motivation for us to get involved in the development of this strategy. The fact that it has not been dealt with leaves us in a situation where we will struggle to reconcile the reality of day to day Mountain biking in Ireland to Coillte’s position on general access.
Despite the concerns mentioned above, we would encourage clubs and individual bikers to embrace the positive aspects of the strategy. Apart from the possibility of new trail centres, clubs will now have the opportunity to legitimise their trails in popular areas. These are significant steps forward and will help ensure that our sport has a positive long-term future.
Cycling Ireland Off Road Commission.
Following the discovery of the tree-disease P. ramorum in Moneyscalp forest, large areas of trees are to be felled to prevent the spread of the disease. The forest is closed to all users during the felling and access will be limited to forest roads only for a period of 3 years. We urge all mountinbikers to observe the access restrictions.
There is a risk of the infection spreading to nearby Tollymore and if this is occurs, similar restrictions must be put in place. The Forestry Service hopes to be able to confirm the situation in the spring.
The CI Offroad Commission is currently making submissions to Coillte regarding a draft National Mountain Bike Strategy.
While we are confident we are aware of many of the key hotspot areas for mountain bike activity, there may be areas of Coillte lands being use that we are not aware of.
If you are a local club active in an area that you feel we may not be aware of please email email@example.com, with details of both your club and the location.
The purpose of this exercise is to gain a better understanding of the level of activity across Coillte lands and to form the basis of a frame work which may lead to future trail development at both local and national level.
All information will of course be treated as confidential and will not be used for any form of punitive reasons.
There is quite a tight deadline which we have to work to so as far as possible could you please send submissions by Sunday 30th October.
If you feel you would like to make a submission but have concerns please feel free to contact Sean Herlihy at 087 9854445 to discuss.
CI Offroad Commission
In partnership with Cookstown District Council, CAAN is working on a project to deliver approximately 11.5kms of multi purpose trails within Davagh Forest.
A concept plan was completed by Dafydd Davis in 2009 and this will form the basis of the new trail system.
Funding has been secured and it is hoped that the new trails will be in place by end of September 2012.
More details HERE
This is excellent news for the development of MTB in the region, thanks to all who have made this possible and especially Carn Wheelers whose very successful round of the XC NPS in 2011 proved that this is an excellent venue for both racing and casual mountainbiking, and riders from all parts of the country will again be eager to head north in 2012 to race once again at this scenic and exciting venue.
Dublin’s first official mountainbiking trail was officially opened yesterday. Minister for Sport, Leo Varadkar; Coillte Head of Recreation, Bill Murphy and Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Lettie McCarthy conducted the ceremony at Ticknock. Over 200 riders of all ages were in attendance for the inaugural Dublin Biking Blitz event.
Photos from the day:
|From Ticknock Trail Signs|
Signage for the new purpose-built mtb trails at Ticknock in Dublin is now in place. There is a large information board at the summit of three rock and smaller signs along the trails.
We’re receiving reports of other forest users (runners, horse riders etc.) using these trails so please exercise caution when using them. For further information contact the Dublin Mountains Partnership.
The official opening of the trails will be marked by the Dublin Blitz on May 8th, organised by Biking.ie.
The Dublin Mountains Partnership and Coillte is to construct the first purpose built and sustainable Mountain Bike Trails at Ticknock Forest with work commencing on Tuesday 19th October 2010.
This is a very exciting time for Dublin-based mountainbikers, with official trails now being constructed within cycling distance from the city-centre.
It is also a boon for the access aspect of Dublin mountainbiking, as it shows the very positive result of the cooperation, work and negotiation between Coillte and MBI/Cycling Ireland which has been ongoing over the past few years in the aim to secure official designated biking trails.
Sean Herlihy from MBI, pictured below, is qouted as saying “I’m stoked beyond comprehension man!”
The success of this initial project is crucial to the construction of other trails on Three Rock/Ticknock, so your cooperation with this project is much appreciated.
Coillte and Metro Building Contractors Ltd are liasing with the Cycling Ireland Offroad Commission & MBI to ensure the construction progresses as smoothly as possible.
To this end, the Offroad Commission & MBI are asking all mountainbikers to avoid the section of forest where the construction is taking place.
Riding the trails before construction is completed is dangerous and will delay construction, as well as cost additional funds to repair, funds which are in limited supply to build more trails with, so it is in all our interests to wait until the trail is complete before riding it.
More information on the Coillte website
Further updates will be advised on this site as work progresses.
Cycling Ireland Offroad Commission/MBI.