Exciting news for mountain bikers- as part of the South Australian government’s drive to turn the Adelaide Hills into a world class MTB destination, it has been announced that a number of Recreation Parks and National Parks will be closed to walkers on weekends. The move is designed to improve safety for riders and limit environmental issues created by walkers.
A spokesman said “Mountain bike riders have rapidly become our no.1 trail user in terms of numbers, so it makes sense to look after them. It is well known that walkers cause many issues in parks and cause a danger to other users, in particular riders. The biggest safety issue is they move slowly and create a dangerous obstacle to mountain bike riders . It’s very dangerous for a rider to come around a corner to confront a slow moving obstacle that can weave randomly, often carrying walking sticks and in blinding hi-vis clothing. Not only a danger, it also ruins the flow of the poor innocent rider’s ride, and can also cause strava-stress.”
“When riders approach a walker, the walker regularly will have earphones in and not hear the approaching rider, or will wait until the last minute and then jump in totally the wrong direction just as the careful rider tries to pass them safely. They congregate in groups, causing more issues. Often walkers are also undertaking other dangerous activities such as bird watching, and not actually paying any attention to other users, which itself is a danger. They also regularly scare the wildlife with their clothing.”
“Hikers also regularly cut corners rather than following the designated trails, thus causing erosion, and also trample off the trails and cause damage to wildflowers and orchids under their boots, causing enviromental damage.”
Parks to be restricted may include Cleland Conservation Park, Sturt Gorge Recreation Park and Belair National Park. A small group of elite Park Rangers have recently undertaken extensive bike training, and will be patrolling the parks on bikes for any illegal walkers. Any walkers will firstly be fined $500, and repeat offenders will have GPS trackers fitted and used for strava-based GPS-tracker fox hunting for riders. Fines can be avoided by agreeing to volunteer to do trail maintenance or to undertake a ‘MTB awareness’ course. The course includes modules covering subjects such as “Mountain bikers are human too” and “When a rider approaches you, stand still, look at them and refrain from jumping into their path at the last minute”.
Parks will be open to all users during the quieter weekdays, however walkers will be expected to yield and give way to riders. Walking poles and selfie sticks are to be banned, as will hi-vis clothing and activewear.
This news of course comes from a parallel universe far far away.
OK, clearly this was in April Fools day joke. Thanks to all who commented. Obviously we would never actually want this to happen, there is no need, if we all share then there is no problems with shared use trails. I guess this was just a funny way to highlight the issues of having multiple users who don’t understand the other- the same exact thing happened with snowboarding and skiers. I just thought it funny to look at the type of complaints we get from walkers from the other side.
Of course no walkers were GPS tagged and hunted…. Thanks to DEWNR for being so pro-active with riding in parks, we love your work!
(we really do love walkers and occasionally even walk ourselves (when our bike is being serviced!) and think shared-use trails rock, it would be great if everyone shared better! 😉 )