2014 has seen a fairly normal wet season, a couple of club working bees and a new batch of Trail Fairies to wave their magic wands on the hillsides of Douglas Mountain Bike Reserve.
In February, Townsville Rockwheelers held its second annual Trail Building Workshop, were those interested in getting more involved in trail maintenance learned the basics from our more hardened trail fairies. Workshop co-ordinator Haydn Tilley kicked things off with an International Mountainbike Association (IMBA) presentation on sustainable trail design. IMBA has been at the forefront of sustainable trail design for over a decade and their experts travel around the world supporting local organisations with advice and resources and preaching trail advocacy. Haydn is one of several Rockwheelers members who have attended IMBA training programs and combined with his Degree from the school of hard knocks, has a very good handle on what works and what doesn’t. IMBA’s trail building resources can be found online at https://www.imba.com/resources/trail-building.
Most trail construction is now done by contractors using mini excavators, so this workshop was really focused on trail maintenance. But good maintenance requires at least a basic understanding of how sustainable trails are designed. The IMBA presentation ran us through the key principals of trail design. Here’s a few of the most important ones:
Good trail has lots of wiggle – it’s fun to ride, and sustainable.
Haydn then introduced some of our newly crowned Trail Fairies who have been involved in the ADOPT-A-TRAIL program at Douglas MTB Reserve. Many will be familiar with the Herculean efforts of Lou Marou who has been beavering away on Wedgetail since early last year. Anyone who has ridden that side of the hill recently will attest to Lou’s continued efforts. We also met Kim and Steve Clarke who adopted Upper Bluering. Kim and Steve new they had a challenge on their hands and were duly advised by Peter ‘Mozzie’ McLean to ‘just go for it – they couldn’t possibly make things any worse’. Stay Tuned for an update on Kim and Steve’s progress on Upper Bluering. And finally we heard from Chris Rockemer who recalled his epic battle with the grass monster that was Lower Wedgetail. Armed with just enough info and caffeine to be dangerous, Haydn then led the group on a magical digging adventure up The Long Way. Here they were able to see sustainable trail design in the flesh, caress her curves, feel her smooth transitions and sense her desire to be fun and erosion free. The group followed up work done with a mini excavator the week before, tidied up some backslopes and realigned the junction of the Long Way and Hammerhead. Virtually all the trails at Douglas have been adopted again this year, but don’t despair those Trail Fairies need YOUR HELP. If you are interested in helping out with your favourite trail, or your just want to learn how, come along to our next club working bee and make yourself known. The club has a schedule of working bees to ensure our trails are ready for the race season, and that leisurely afternoon ride with your mates.
Thanks to all the trail fairies who have given their time to make the Adopt a Trail program such a success.
XC2 is now the Dougie Dash!
Due to conditions of Lake Ross post TC Ita XC2 on 4th May is now going to be the XC1 Dougie Dash!
All registrations for XC1 have been included in XC2. If you had registered for XC1 & cannot make the event contact the
So you've been training all summer, through the heat, humidity and rain....wondering all the time is it worth it, am I getting faster? Of course you are.....you're a machine!
We'll now's the time for you to find out for real......yes folks it's the start of the Cross Country Series....otherwise known as XC1. We've called this one the Dougie Dash :)
This race is suitable for riders of ALL abilities and fitness levels. We want to start the XC Race Season off with a nice social gathering, where you will have plenty of time to mingle with your club mates (to discuss the next bit of track you're going to work on), meet new members, have a coffee…..all while showing how fast you really are.
When: Sunday 4th May, 2014
Time: Rego opens at 6.30am, Briefing at 7.15am, Racing starts at 7.30am
Racing Format : Time Trial over a nice (relatively easy) fast track. Two separate laps, clockwise and anticlockwise. Click here for a map of the course.
Where: Race Starts from the Windarra Ave Carpark (next to the water tanks)
Parking: Limited parking at the top of Windarra Ave, so if you can't ride in (via Windarra, or Easy St Trail), try and park nose in so we can fit in as many cars as possible.
Registration: Click here to register online. You can register on the day with an additional $5 administration charge. Online regos help get the race started on time and place less pressure on volunteers to scramble with regos and timing system in the minutes before race start. Please, help take some pressure off our volunteers by registering in advance.
Volunteers: We need 4 marshals, people to help setup and pack up, and most importantly we need two First Aiders. Email
Catering : There will be a van onsite with coffee and refreshments
$25 Race fee ($20 for Rockwheelers Members - discount code emailed to Rockwheelers members)
$5 Race fee for riders 16 years and under
$20 Additional fee for Day Licence if rider does not have MTBA insurance
All riders must hold MTBA insurance or Day Licence required
Challenge – open to ladies and men who want to try a race or two this year.
Elites (the fastest guns) - 18 years and over.Age categories (based on the age you will be on 31 Dec 2014), seperated in to males and females:
Juniors – U15
Juniors - U17
Young Guns – U19
Opens – 19 to 29 years
Veterans – 30 to 39 years
Masters – 40 to 49 years
Super Masters – 50 to 59 years
Grand Masters - 60 years and over
Crazy, ridiculous, no gears Single speeders have their own category
Riders competing in Elites or an Age Category will accumulate points for the overall XC Series points contest, judged at the end of the year.
NOTE: only members of Rockwheelers or another MTBA-affiliated club are eligible to race in Elites or an Age Category. Non-members must race in Challenge. Support the club that invests in local mountain bike trails and racing - Join Rockwheelers!
25/04/2014Real Insurance XCM Series Race 5
25/04/2014 - 27/04/2014UCI MTB World Cup
03/05/2014Trail Working Bee
04/05/2014XC Series Race 2
11/05/2014DH Series Race 2
11/05/2014Trail Working Bee
We'll try keep this updated as often as we can but some days we might not be able to inspect the trails. Use common sense about wet trails - read the Wet Trail Closures article for more details.
Reminder about rule of thumb: 10mm of rain normally needs 6-8 hours of sunlight and drying time. Check rainfall data for Black Weir (Douglas, Ross River Dam Pallarenda on BOM website.)