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Ride Lightly: How to combine mountain biking and conservation

Heard about the 'Ride Lightly' campaign? These short videos are specifically for mountain bike riders, with the top tips for conserving the bush, and how to have less of an impact to ensure a sustainable future for the beautiful Aussie bush AND mountain biking.

Here are the articles and links for videos, provided by NSW Government: Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

How to combine mountain biking and conservation

Mountain bike riding is exciting, great for keeping fit, and for getting into nature. The Ride Lightly Campaign by the Saving our Species program is working with the mountain biking community to show how to explore the beautiful Australian bush, all while appreciating and protecting the amazing threatened species that exist nowhere else in the world.

Top tips for protecting the bush while mountain biking:

1. Avoiding riding in the wet – biking in the mud causes erosion

2. Be courteous of other park users, particularly on multi-use trails – we are all out enjoying what we love

3. Don't modify tracks or create shortcuts – this can have devastating effects on endangered plants

4. Clean your bike after every ride – it's good bike maintenance and it removes weed seeds and diseases spread by bikes.

Keeping mountain bike trails in good nick

Paul is the keenest of mountain bikers. He loves a mountain bike trail with great flow and fun, and appreciates that the bush is a vital part of the experience.

Paul Lidgard is the President of Trailcare NSW. He also runs a mountain bike trail advocacy group that works with National Park and Wildlife Service to design and build trails for riders and wildlife. Paul knows what work goes into making great trails and how to keep them in good condition.

Sustainable trail building needs to consider the threatened species, the Aboriginal heritage, the terrain including the soil types and drainage, and materials used to build the trails. Ride lightly because we love our bush areas and we want to keep them as they are.

Protect one of the rarest plants in Sydney

A fight for survival for this threatened plant - and mountain bikers can help save it.

Caley's grevillea (Grevillea caleyi)

There are only about 1000 Grevillea caleyi plants left in the wild, in the suburbs of Terry Hills, Ingleside, Belrose and Duffy's Forest, all in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Volunteer bush regenerators and National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers work hard to protect these plants from weeds and disturbances to safeguard the species for future generations.

Grevillea caleyi is killed by fire, and so regeneration relies entirely on seed stored in the soil. That's why it is so important that illegal tracks aren't set up – because even though this plant may not be obvious and flowering at the time, the seeds may be waiting for their moment in the sunshine, lying in wait under the ground. National Parks and Wildlife Service spends a lot of time planning where to place tracks to protect this species. In the past this crucial habitat and the seeds stored beneath the soil have been damaged and fragmented by people illegally creating trails for horse riding and mountain bike riding.

This plant's survival depends on everyone sticking to established tracks and trails, appreciating the natural world, and riding lightly.

On track with Chris, Brigitte and Paul (Flow Mountain Bike, Garigal Gorillas and Trail Care)

Mountain biking and conservation can go hand in hand - find out how to have less impact on the bush.

Mountain bike riders Chris, Brigitte and Paul love everything about mountain biking. They love being in nature, they love escaping from the busy city and travelling to amazing places. The beautiful Australian bush is a central part of enjoying mountain biking as a sport, so mountain bike riders play an important role in looking after it.

'The reality is that mountain bikers are the custodians of the bush, and we have an opportunity to cement the future of mountain biking to see it grow sustainably throughout Australia.'

Mountain biking for all ages

Fin Wardman has been mountain biking for 9 years and knows that one of the best things about mountain biking is being out in nature, appreciating a different aspect of the world.

We should all avoid trashing the bush, so that young mountain bikers like Fin can enjoy their sport for decades to come. Creating shortcuts on a mountain bike could damage the bush and kill plants that might never grow back, some of which might be endangered.

Conservation is everybody's responsibility to protect what you love and please ride lightly when on your mountain bike.

Newcastle's mountain biking drawcard

Laura is a mountain biker who regularly enjoys the sounds of the beach and the birds as she bikes through the stunning Glenrock State Conservation Area in Newcastle.

Growing close to the mountain bike trails in Glenrock – and nowhere else in the world – you can find the beautiful Newcastle rough doubletail orchid (Diuris praecox).

In Newcastle, the trails are susceptible to damage and erosion. Riders must keep to the trail, don't ride in the wet and don't make unsanctioned new trails. The mountain bikers of Glenrock are the custodians of the bush and this rare and threatened species.

The Glenrock National Parks and Wildlife Service office is always looking for volunteers to help with trail maintenance, and to learn about threatened species and cultural heritage in the area.

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