Calls for submissions into Mountain Bike Feasibility Study


Central Coast Council is looking for community feedback on the contentious subject of mountain biking across the region, with consultation on its Mountain Bike Feasibility Study discussion paper open until March 22.

The issue has attracted heated debate in recent months between avid mountain bike riders and environmentalists who claim the practice can be damaging to bushland.

Council’s Unit Manager Environmental Management, Luke Sulkowski, said with participation in mountain bike riding as both a sport and a recreational activity increasing, it was important to plan ahead in a sustainable way.

“There is currently no strategic framework for managing the rapidly increasing demand for mountain biking across the Central Coast,” Sulkowski said.

“As the demand for the sport increases, Council needs to have a way to balance the requirement of the sport with environmental and heritage protections for our natural areas.

“By identifying the role that Council’s natural reserves may play in the provision of mountain biking experiences across the Central Coast, we will be better able to protect areas of high conservation and heritage value, minimise the building of unauthorised trail construction and maximise the safe use of Council reserves by all visitors.”

Council Administrator, Dick Persson, said it was important for the community to engage in the discussion with respect.

“We recognise there are different views within the community on how to respond to the demand for mountain biking on the Central Coast,” Persson said.

“However, our research shows there are also some areas of agreement – for example 95 per cent of survey respondents supported mountain biking continuing in areas where it is currently allowed.

“Our survey also showed that 87 per cent were concerned about the lack of authorised trails for mountain biking and 75 per cent about the lack of clarity regarding which trails are authorised.

“I strongly encourage all members of our community interested in this topic to review the discussion paper and watch the information video before completing our survey.”

In addition to the discussion paper and information video, community members are invited to submit a question regarding the discussion paper online though Council’s Your Voice Our Coast platform or register to talk to staff at a virtual drop in session.


Media release, Feb 24
Central Coast Council

1 Comment on "Calls for submissions into Mountain Bike Feasibility Study"

  1. What were you thinking??? Mountain biking and trail-building destroy wildlife habitat! Mountain biking is environmentally, socially, and medically destructive! There is no good reason to allow bicycles on any unpaved trail!

    Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: . It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else — ON FOOT! Why isn’t that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

    A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

    Mountain bikers also love to build new trails – legally or illegally. Of course, trail-building destroys wildlife habitat – not just in the trail bed, but in a wide swath to both sides of the trail! E.g. grizzlies can hear a human from one mile away, and smell us from 5 miles away. Thus, a 10-mile trail represents 100 square miles of destroyed or degraded habitat, that animals are inhibited from using. Mountain biking, trail building, and trail maintenance all increase the number of people in the park, thereby preventing the animals’ full use of their habitat. See for details.

    Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s good about THAT?

    To see exactly what harm mountain biking does to the land, watch this 5-minute video:

    In addition to all of this, it is extremely dangerous: .

    For more information: .

    The common thread among those who want more recreation in our parks is total ignorance about and disinterest in the wildlife whose homes these parks are. Yes, if humans are the only beings that matter, it is simply a conflict among humans (but even then, allowing bikes on trails harms the MAJORITY of park users — hikers and equestrians — who can no longer safely and peacefully enjoy their parks).

    The parks aren’t gymnasiums or racetracks or even human playgrounds. They are WILDLIFE HABITAT, which is precisely why they are attractive to humans. Activities such as mountain biking, that destroy habitat, violate the charter of the parks.

    Even kayaking and rafting, which give humans access to the entirety of a water body, prevent the wildlife that live there from making full use of their habitat, and should not be allowed. Of course those who think that only humans matter won’t understand what I am talking about — an indication of the sad state of our culture and educational system.

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