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New line right?

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 11 July 2009

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

There seems to be some sort of line forming here. On the second step up looks like there is a route to the right that avoids the rocks and goes round behind that bush.

Not sure if this is by design (authorised or not) but didn't seem complete.

BT's picture

This bit annoys me. Looks like it's from riders who can't climb the rocks and are looking for an easier way to get up....Just improve your skills and learn to ride up the rocks instead of cutting new lines around obstacles!

Matt P's picture

to ride this section please shove some rocks, branches, trees, car parts, small utility buildings, dead dogs and rubble in there to suitably impede access.


cambowambo's picture

...they were gone again next time I rode past Sad

When I was learning to ride it seemed obvious to me that the only way to improve my skills was to actually have a go and if I was too scared to do that then I just got off and walked the obstacle. It took me a long time to be able to ride Manly Dam without putting a foot down somewhere.

For some reason these days the trend is to try and ride around the obstacle. I don't get it.

* How will you learn how to ride something if you always go around?
* What is the point of riding off road if what you prefer to ride is a road?

Still, it seems to be the new reality. I think a bit of education is required.

P.S. It would be a good place for the AMBC people to stand hand out flyers on a Saturday morning.

jedijunglesnow's picture

There actually used to be a wire fence there preventing people from taking that line, the metal pole in the rock is the last remains of this. Was complete with a sign spouting the damage that was being done to the fauna by people taking that line.

Totally agree with Cambo, the trend these days for people to try and ride around the obstacle is shocking, and the number of b and c lines and trail widening that has developed at the Dam around rocks and roots as a result is ridiculous.

Buck's picture

Just a question then....why is it acceptable for B/C lines on say a DH course? I don't seem to hear the same level of opposition to those?

jedijunglesnow's picture

I think you got the wrong idea about what I was saying.

B & C lines are definately not bad by any means, on any sort of trail. But I'm not refering to existing lines or planned lines that are built properly into a trail.

What I was referring too is lines that are being formed around The Dam as a result of people not being able to ride a certain trail obstacle, or in some cases simply not wanting too ( as said obstacle is often a 3cm high piece of wood ) , that are causing damage to the environment that we ride in, and unnessecary trail widening.

nrthrnben's picture

For difficult uphill obsticals it is only natural to have a B line, keeps the walkers happy aswell.

A and B lines are fine as long as they are sustainable and dont look unsightly. Not everyone is a xc racer with crazy uphill skills, what about the newbies?, im sure just like us, they dont want to get off their bikes every 50 meters and carry it over the only available A line. A well designed single trail will have A and Blines both in the Uphill and the Downhill if it is so needed.

agree with the riding on the wood, i think people dont like riding or walking the wood when its raining(and dams still open) because its mega slippery,especially when its steep.

It just poor trail design as the climb should not be that steep anyway, it should be gradual across the slope.

jedijunglesnow's picture

Mate in relation to this particular step climb at the Dam, it's always been there, and it's always been the way that if you can't ride it you walk it. It's one of those things iconic to The Dam.

And how will cutting a new b line through the bush here keep walkers happy??

Nobody's talking about get off their bike every 50 meters to carry it over the only available A line, this is the only line on the whole Dam circuit that is like this.

What do you want next, a b line around Heartbreak Hill?

nrthrnben's picture

Just becuase its always been there it doesnt make it right, i have no probs riding it, but im sure newbies would appreciate a B line. If there is no B line, maybe the Rangers might dub the Aline too difficult for walkers and start smoothing out the entire climb.

Wouldnt mind a b line around heartbreak actually a properly designed single trail snaking up the hill.

On a side note, i think as someone posted earlier,we need to lobby for single trail to replace the firetrail up and down.

B lines keep walkers happy in general as they dont have to negotiate hard obsticals to get along the trail(Creekjump track for example) walkers will take the b line every time and im sure they apreciate it.

Mick's picture

I agree nrthnben. I would much rather see a properly constructed B line than a dumbed down A line. I also agree that we need to lobby for more sniggle at the Dam. It would keep the walkers AND the riders happy. By memory, with the exception of the creek crossong where there is a walking trail on either side of the fire trail, you could pretty much create sniggle from the start of the downhill section at Wakehurst Pwy to the start of the sniggle at Allambie Heights. I'm certain this will happen one day. I just hope I'm still able to spin the legs by the time that day rolls around.

cambowambo's picture
Just becuase its always been there it doesnt make it right, i have no probs riding it, but im sure newbies would appreciate a B line. If there is no B line, maybe the Rangers might dub the Aline too difficult for walkers and start smoothing out the entire climb.

It has always been there and for the first 9 years I've been riding the Dam those who couldn't ride it just hopped off and walked it. Those who wanted to have a go did so, eventually they learned how. Those who could already do it just did.

Life was simpler then.

But this year, for whatever reason, there has been a tendency to go around every obstacle - thereby *creating* B lines - which all the newbies follow: never trying and never learning how.

Combine that with the Council's dumbing down of the track (wider, smoother, straighter) with their recent works.

It's a travesty Sad

nrthrnben's picture

My comments are based on IMBA trail construction guidelines, that’s what we all should follow, and if and when we do get back the rights to maintenance at the dam, there’s no doubt it will be on the condition that we follow IMBA guidelines to a tee.
Having a B line is a safety requirement that reduces the land manager/owners liability.
It allows the rider (sometimes in a split second) to decide hard line or easy line, this applies to uphill and downhill obstacles’ or stunts.
As the rider gains skill level naturally, they will take on the A lines.
Once again the Creek jump track is a great example.

The dam getting very popular this year, with a lot of new younger riders and some newer older riders also. Maybe this is the reason B lines are appearing.

hawkeye's picture

... really peeves me. Barf! Environmental vandalism - it must get up the rangers' noses more, though.

I haven't ridden since March, but even back then we had "D" lines appearing around parts of the 19th hole off to the right through the bush, with people breaking off saplings and doing all sorts of damage to the flora just so they didn't have to ride over those rocks between the trees that are really easy. And then the rock garden along the Golf Course Single track had widened to 3x its original width becasue newbies found it too rough to ride over the stones. For crying out loud, it's mountain biking, guys. Rough sections are part of the game.

I don't have a problem with B lines so long as they're properly constructed, but as a matter of principle they ought to cost you extra time so the rider with greater skill is rewarded, like they did at Ourimbah in the Fat Tyre last year. (For the record, being my first time there, I took the B options. Looking forward to going back and having a go at the A's away from the race environment.)

I struggled with the second and third step-up in the photo above, and will for awhile once I can get back on the bike, but I just walk the bits I can't ride (yet). Eventually I'll work it out from watching others, and have a go when I'm ready.

jedijunglesnow's picture

This thread has been hijacked.

I don't think anyone thinks b lines are a bad thing, but the original post and the pic in question was related more to unauthorised trail widening.

In fact in this case it's more like unauthorised trail cutting.

I think Hawkeye sums it up nicely.

For the record, I broke my left leg 12 months ago and have a steel rod in it now. I used to be able to ride it fine, but since being back on the bike I have yet to take on this line for fear of falling down the hole to the left and onto my bad leg. I still don't have a problem walking it.

As I said earlier - it is an iconic part of The Dam.

hawkeye's picture

thanks JJS.

Next time Leximack encounters some more of that fencing wire that the Deans Park retards are stringing across the M7 cycleway, maybe he could souvenir it for us so we can put it to more productive use fixing that fence. Sticking out tongue

O's picture

I was pleased to see (early Sunday) someone had taken the time and effort to create a knee high rock wall with large branches behind it leaving little doubt this alternate route was not to be used. Dissapointingly it's all torn down by today! Might this be an unexpected consequence of councils "smoothing" out of the trail to provide access to all levels of riders? Perhaps an increased level of "beginner" riders, unaware of rider etiquite and more likely to take easy options, will create more track erosion such as this.

marhleet's picture

it must get hard to figure who puts up the diversion
who covers it over
who tears it down

which is ranger sanctioned and which isn't

O's picture

If it's painted green, with excessive signs attached it's rangers (No offence rangers, love your work!!). If it's Flintstonesque, made from rocks and branches, it's riders.

marhleet's picture

good to know
official is offically posted
must get to the Dam for a ride, soon

Chester Copperpot's picture

Was out yesterday afternoon admiring the good work done to block that line. And now you say it's been destroyed? I'm about to go out and do a lap, will be interesting to see what's going on.

I noticed the far left line at 19th Hole had the sandstone rocks that were filling in parts of the A-line moved over to it and were added at the bottom of the first roll down and then a whole lot of smaller rocks piled up below the last drop off. Almost came off as it was unexpected to see and thought it may be put there to bring a rider down. I moved the rocks back to the A-line area. Could have been really bad doing the A-line with fill rocks suddenly moved. They didn't even put them back.

It's really sad we're loosing this battle from all fronts now, if we don't have all riders on board then we've pretty much lost all hope to resurrect Manly Dam. Then those beginner riders will start complaining how basic the dam is! Sad

Matt P's picture

Dr C,

Interesting that you moved those rocks back.

A friend and I did the far left line on Saturday (me = its been a while, him = first time). Another guy who was watching us then had a stab.

Now my mate and I like to think of ourselves as fairly accomplished riders and don't really need those rocks at the bottom of either section. However I wonder how many others may have attempted that section with the rocks there, then will come back next weekend and have another go (most likely without looking to see if the rocks are still there) and possibly get an extreme close up of sand / dust / rock etc? Of course the same could be argued for the removal of rocks from the original A Line (assume you mean the section immediately at the end of the boarded area and not the easy roll down just to the right of the boards).

Maybe it would be worth looking to see if there are other rocks that could be used that could be pulled from the surrounding bush that won't have an adverse affect on the local biomass and track?

But of course then maybe we should just all learn that movement of rocks to make things easier / harder / easier / harder again is just a part of the nature of MTBing? I'm positive that the "staircase" (the bit in the pic at the top) has become easier over the last 2-3 years with more rocks getting piled up at the approach to the first 2 steps and no-one seems to have mentioned that or taken any action?

Sorry to hijack the thread a little but as we're still talking about the changes to the dam this seems (albeit tenuously) relative.
Saturday was my first ride of the dam in a while, certainly the first since the recent changes. Riding with some slower guys mean't waiting and occasionally backtracking. In doing so, I actually found a few different lines / features etc which I may not have seen normally due to just being in the mind set of "just take the normal route".
My riding style could be described as anything from aggressive to playful - I like to take the technical lines, pop off features and generally have fun rather than just commit myself to slamming around the course at mach 7. I found that although the changes certainly change the track including the flow, it also presents new challenges to ride sections faster (when appropriate - not going to start a speed debate) and smoother. Plodding around on Saturday also revealed other sections of the same track to try. Yes, they would make my ride slightly longer (by seconds if that) but I now I can see sections that will provide some extra stimulation.

Anyway, enough harping on, lets fill in the hole in the hedge and stuff a head on a pike to deter the enviro - vandals!

nrthrnben's picture

This thread is like a Seinfeld episode:)

If the rangers have a problem with the "new line" someone’s put in, then, we can deal with it, close it off properly. Until then, leave the Bline for the newbie’s as its already there, personally i don’t mind if its there or not but its not a bad thing that its there, just like 4 lines at 19th hole is not a bad thing, there are different drops for growing skill levels.

Our time could much be better spent sending emails to manly council re: recent trail "down"grades and the draft rec plan.

BT's picture

I've done three night rides this week (including last night) and there have been branches and rocks blocking the new line.

Lets see how long it lasts on the weekend.

nrthrnben's picture

at least its now nice to look forward to something different every time you ride that section:)

adrian_mole's picture

there's a pile of rocks
and then a nice teepee arrangement of sticks
yesterday 4pm

nrthrnben's picture


Chester Copperpot's picture

2:50pm Tuesday, rocks removed.

BT's picture

I'll put 'em back tonight on my night ride. Smiling

mrsoldfart's picture

but has anybody bothered talking to the rangers about this to see if they are the ones moving the rocks / blockages?

I also wonder if anybody has thought about spending a couple of hours down there on a Saturday or Sunday to give less experienced / capable riders a few pointers on the best way to approach this section. Obviousy you won't help every one and the chances that come across the "culprit" is pretty remote but "passing it forward" has to have some benefit. The guys you show might show two or three of their mates next time etc etc and the ripple begins.

You could also then chat to them about the general state of the Dam, the damage done by corner cutting etc and point them to this site Smiling

Don't forget to take you bikes so you can have a play at the same time

nrthrnben's picture

but sorry its not me blocking or unblocking,waste of time:)

Prob not best to bring dam management into this, thats the last thing we need at the moment.

i really do think we should let this thread die a natural death, the line is not hurting anyone, and as said before if the rangers have a problem with it they will rectify in due corse.

We dont want to have to police on every stunt explaining how to tackle the hard line, skills come in time.

jedijunglesnow's picture

" the line is not hurting anyone "

No offence mate but saying that just shows your ignorance.

nrthrnben's picture

you got me:)

haha,cant believe this thread is still going,anyways.

1.why do you think its a bad thing that there is a Bline?

2.Do you think that everyone should Aline it or walk, thats an eleteist attitude.

If there where 5 or six legitimate lines i would understand where your comming from.

Until someone shows how it is detrimental to the dam,i sticking by the poor little Bline:)

jedijunglesnow's picture

There are many reasons why it's detrimental to the Dam. Everything from damage to the native fauna, to encouraging people to create their own new trails and trail widening.

nrthrnben's picture

I can see where your comming from, we all want to keep the dam natural and as single track as possible,but B lines are ok, especially if its always kinda been there hey.

It was just fenced off to stop people going down an old trail that used to be there as far as i know, but the said trail is now overgrown,so the fence was useless.When the fence went,someone reopened the line as far as i can tell.

I agree though people cant go putting in new trails everywhere without permision, but this reopened line's allright isnt it?, havent used the new line at all but looks harmless, and as said before its good for newbies so they can keep on the bike and not go over the back when atempting the Aline.
Aline is faster, bline is slower.

If nobody put new lines in we wouldnt have any gradual challenge training anywhere,take 19th hole for example,easy,medium,hard,expert.

Anyway, im out of this thread, and i'll just continue having a giggle to myself everytime i ride up to it wondering weather the poor blines been blocked by the trail police, or, unblocked by the trail fairies:)

Hate to see the trail police go for a good at red hill, they would die, Twice (if thats possible).

Anyway its all good.Have a nice day, Jedi

Buck's picture

I had a look on the weekend at this line and it's all on sandstone so I can't see it being overly damaging in the long run.

Also why was there not the same level of whinging when someone put a rock ramp to get up the first step in this section!?
Dreggsy's lanscaping

Why not the same level of talk about "dumbing down" the Dam when they made the second step easier?
Rock steps by the fence

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