Where to ride

Where to ride in Australia

[This really needs work by someone who knows a hell of a lot more about the issues nationally than I do. However, what follows is my understanding of the situation regarding land access for mountain bikers in Australia at the moment. I make no apologies for the sarcasm. The blinkered ignorance of many land management organisations toward bikes deserves no other response.]

Recreational lands in Australia are overseen by a mess of management bodies: National Park Services, State Forests, private owners, local councils, water boards and so on and so on. In general:

You are allowed to ride on dirt roads just about anywhere, though you need the owner's permission on private land of course. Exceptions are some roads in water catchment around Sydney, and roads through designated wilderness in Victoria. Of course, bicycles do far more damage to water supplies in Schedule 2 catchment than, say, coal trucks and the Victorian Wilderness Act specifically excludes bicycles. Despite what many people believe (and some of them work for the NPWS) the NSW Wilderness Act does not exclude bicycles from Wilderness.

You are not allowed to ride on designated walking trails. Never mind if the only reason those trails are accessible at all is that mountain bikers cleared the lantana out of them, they are off limits. In many cases these restrictions are perfectly sensible. Walkers should have somewhere to have their fun in their way. But since mountain bikers have equivalent environmental impact to walkers, so should we.

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