[talk-au] Cycle routes and MTB routes

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 22:15:13 GMT 2013

On Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 12:29 PM, Barker, Nicholas <nbarker at pb.com.au> wrote:
> As many of you will know we have a few well known long distance (100km+)
> cycle routes, some of which cross state boundaries. These routes are also
> rugged and designed to be ridden on mountain bikes or hybrids only. A few
> examples of these are:
> The Bicentennial (VIC/NSW/QLD)
> The goldfields track (VIC)
> The Mawson Trail (SA)
> The Munda Biddi (WA)

Hi Nick,

  Like John, I can only know one of these well - the Great Dividing
Trail (aka "goldfields track"). It's extremely rough, and very little
of it could be sensibly ridden by anything less than a mountain bike.
So, definitely MTB route only.

I'm actually intending to ride (and hence map) the entire thing in a
bit less than a month.

> As these are extended bicycle routes (albeit for MTBs or tough hybrids) are
> of national significance do they constitute a national cycling network and
> should they be mapped as such?

They would constitute a national mountain biking network, if such a
thing existed. But LCN/RCN/NCN are clearly for cycling in the sense of
"a practical way of getting from A to B".

> Indeed if they do not cross state borders are the only of state significance
> and to be mapped as a RCN?

That's a harder problem. I don't think crossing state borders is
relevant. In the case of walking routes, I think the most nationally
significant routes (eg, the Overland, the Lara Pinta...) should be NWN
in order to show up prominently on route maps.

> If a cycle route is rough enough to be MTB only (an unsurfaced rail trail
> for example) does that relegate it from the LCN, RCN or NCN to just being a
> MTB route only?


> Should these routes carry two relations, NCN and MTB routes?

I think you'd only see that situation where a section of track is part
of two distinct routes, like where a mountain bike route temporarily
uses a rail trail or something. If a significant section of an MTB
route is suitable for normal cycling, it might be worth creating an
extra relation - discuss maybe? Could happen on the BNT.

The easiest way to think of it is that MTB and cycling are two
completely distinct activities. If you can't ride a hybrid with
panniers along it, it's not a cycle route.

I haven't done it, but I understood the Mawson Trail to be dirt roads
rather than mountain biking, so would be a better candidate for an RCN
tag. Similarly, I'm pretty sure the Munda Biddi trail is intended for
all kinds of cycling.


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