By Susanna Mills jubes
From derelict wasteland to a community-directed outdoor asset…
Early in 2021, an awfully familiar ‘cycle’ was being repeated around North Wahroonga- namely the demolishment of a staggering 34 dirt bicycle tracks & jumps built by local kids and parents who committed the ‘cardinal sin’ of riding their bicycles in the hectares of bush surrounding their homes during the tribulations of 2020. A Change.org petition, which gained 800 signatures in just one week, failed to stop the demolishment. However, the tenacity of local bicycle advocates and subsequent support and recognition from within Ku-Ring-Gai Council has resulted in some very positive outcomes which all Greater Sydney Councils would do well to note.
A COMPROMISE WAS STRUCK BETWEEN EITHER
A) Kids and/or adult riders being officially excluded and thereby marginalised into building illegal trails and jumps on a regular basis, OR
B) The riders of 2076 partnering with KRG Council and redirecting their energies into the existing, but very unloved Jubes ‘Bike Park’ (Community News May, 2021)
Deputy Mayor Cedric Spencer took the time to listen to his constituents with regards to the initial local trail demolitions and the community’s needs. Jacob Sife and James Brisebois of KRG Council’s Sustainability Team have since been working with a community Trail Crew Team to establish a model whereby the community and council can work together to achieve a bike park build that fits the needs of local mountain bike riders. During this process (held in April and May) the community has participated in both a design workshop and onsite planning day. The designs presented by our young riders on these days have been incorporated into a final group design. The design plan will be, to some extent, fluid to allow changes as the park progresses during its development.
At a follow-up site field day, KRG Council was urged by riders to commence Jubes reconstruction works quickly, in order to fulfil demand and thereby prevent any further illegal builds in the bush.
Riders, Trail Care and council contractors have since been working together on a daily basis, with some of the kids coming over to volunteer at the site after school.
Community representative Allison Underwood said, “ I’m amazed not only at how much our local kids love to ride but also by how much they enjoy the sheer physicality of digging and building trail features to ride.” From a derelict wasteland, shunned by Sydney riders, Jubes is now being transformed into a community-directed, outdoor asset to the area.
Stage one is now rideablealthough not fully complete at time of writing- due to the mandated COVID halt to all construction activities. There are now three new jump lines which can be experienced down the old ‘Flow’ Trail.
PURSUANT TO FURTHER FUNDING, STAGES 2-4 ARE ANTICIPATED TO INCLUDE:
• The planting of trees and construction of a shade shelter with water and seating at this very exposed site.
• The decrepit Jubes Mtb skills feature area and pump track will both be demolished and become a new asphalt pump track.
• There will be a dirt jump area with plans for the possibility of a learners jump with an air bag to land on safely while developing jumping skills, in the future
• The Flow Trail is proposed to be extended further down the steep gradients of the recycled hill Jubes is situated on top of, to create a new Black Diamond Pro Line.
LOCATION: Jubes Bike Park is situated at Jubilee Park, off Esk Street in North Wahroonga.
CONTACTS & UPDATES: Excellent information regarding the revitalisation of Jubes Bike Park on the Ku-Ring-Gai Council website. Sydney Mountain bike riders are invited to register as Trailcare volunteers for Dig Days. Further questions and registration are via KRG Council’s Natural Areas Program Leader: [email protected] PH: 94240982
Jubes MTB Trail Crew Convenor: Alison Underwood on 0402818764 or join Ku Ring Gai MTB Facebook Page or @jubes_mtb_park on Instagram