If you want to Ride Kowen/Sparrow now is the time

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Yep, I'm keen to continue my quest to ride Stairway to the top without putting a foot down. I only just conquered Ant Pinch at Majura last weekend (that final turn always fucked me, super steep and a little loose just as your legs were starting to burn).
Its a worthy quest, with the right amount of "fuck me this is hard..." to keep you going. Best I ever managed was two dabs and one complete stop. Watched a guy sail up it on a single speed without stopping once - bloody smart arse...

RIP Beer Garden....
 

droenn

Eats Squid
SS dude probably romped it because he was forced to keep up so much momentum. I think if you switch into too low a gear you're not going to have the power to get over some of those features, and you'll stall and have to dab. Hardtail also helps on this track.

You guys are making me want to get back out there now!
 

Shinigami

Likes Dirt
Its a worthy quest, with the right amount of "fuck me this is hard..." to keep you going. Best I ever managed was two dabs and one complete stop. Watched a guy sail up it on a single speed without stopping once - bloody smart arse...

RIP Beer Garden....

Pretty sure I might work with that SS guy
 

Kowalski Brothers

Legends of the Shovel
The clear fall plan

You may have seen coverage in the paper or online regarding plans for clear fall harvest of Kowen/Sparrow.

CANBERRA TIMES - HERE
RIOT-ACT HERE

There has been some chatter in social media also.

In a previous post you can see the area designated for immediate clearfall (and my visit yesterday showed that the compartment containing Beer Garden is being dropped right now.)
However the image attached here shows the trail network with the PCS harvest 5 year tactical plan overlaid so you can see the overall impact over this period – it represents a major reduction of the trail network. A quick count indicates that 106 trails (60 in East Kowen and 46 in Sparrow Hill) will be affected by clear fall and removed in the next 4-5 years (in the order of 70% of the trail network). What the image does not show is that the central pine compartments in East Kowen and the back left hand side of Sparrow (not currently coloured in) are of a similar age so are likely to be cleared in a similar time frame (such as 5-6 years for instance). Whether any trails can be preserved during this process remains to be seen. Our understanding of the process of clearfall and regen suggests it is quite disruptive so we expect more along the lines of a general reset button. If sections of trails remain after saw logs are taken then all the better.

As it stands, the current harvest plans will have a significant long term impact on trail riding opportunties in East Kowen/Sparrow, Majura Pines and the Canberra region more broadly. A loss of trail amenity of this scale may affect the bike industry, will reduce the viabilty of events and reduce the appeal of Canberra to mountain bikers (interstate and local). Personally, I don’t think Canberra should be losing trail at this rate without a clear strategy to support building of trail in new locations and to help fast track replacement of trails lost to harvest in plantation.

It certainly has become a challenging time to be a trail builder!
 

Attachments

Last edited:

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
Hey Al,

Let me know if there is anything we are Rotorburn can do to help with advocacy or if there is anything I can do as a local to assist.
 

Kowalski Brothers

Legends of the Shovel
Its a worthy quest, with the right amount of "fuck me this is hard..." to keep you going. Best I ever managed was two dabs and one complete stop. Watched a guy sail up it on a single speed without stopping once - bloody smart arse...
You know, it does my heart good knowing that Stairway to Heaven still asks riders the same questions we designed her to ask. She's not a hard climb by any stretch of the imagination – more of a thinking climb with little puzzles strewn about to test you. Master slow speed manoeuvring and the 'power move' or 'finese' at a puzzle and you'll be better prepared to ride more technical locations like British Columbia.

(and 'that' single speeder is likely to have been my fellow trail buddy and BC BIke Race bestie James Hall)
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
Hey Al,

Let me know if there is anything we are Rotorburn can do to help with advocacy or if there is anything I can do as a local to assist.
+1

I moved to Canberra a year ago, and the trails were a big part of the decision.

I wouldn't have made the move if it weren't for a growing affection for the place after years of attending the Mont.

So I guess the question is, where are some suitable areas to develop new trails, and who needs to be lobbied to get it to happen.

Happy to help out too.
 

Kowalski Brothers

Legends of the Shovel
+1
I moved to Canberra a year ago, and the trails were a big part of the decision.
I wouldn't have made the move if it weren't for a growing affection for the place after years of attending the Mont.
So I guess the question is, where are some suitable areas to develop new trails, and who needs to be lobbied to get it to happen.
Happy to help out too.
We have some ideas on that front. Probably best discussed in the presence of amber fluid.
 

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
Probably best discussed in the presence of amber fluid.
As is most subject matter. I'm all ears on where and when.

Might be worth considering looping in Craig from FoBR as well for a wider front of those of those like yourself, Al, who have a successful track record of working with local govt to build sustainable trails.
 

Kowalski Brothers

Legends of the Shovel
As is most subject matter. I'm all ears on where and when.

Might be worth considering looping in Craig from FoBR as well for a wider front of those of those like yourself, Al, who have a successful track record of working with local govt to build sustainable trails.
How about tomorrow arvo or sometime over the weekend? I haven't any plans for trail maintenance.
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Kowen trails have kept me (relatively) sane in this town and got me properly riding again.

Also happy to help where I can, I am in debt to the work and effort (and flat out genius trail design).
 

Kramer

FoBR
Yep, keen to catch up for a chat. I got contacted to contribute to Canberra tourism cycling strategy...but guess what - sessions are 9-5 weekdays (not like I have full time employment with extra EoFY smashing right now). They did give me some contacts to provide input, including Mr Kowalski. I'll probably make a written submission, but floating some ideas would be good. I can do Fri or Sat evening for beer (may bring kids and ply them with pub snacks). Lemme know where and when.
 

johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
What's the go, Al? We meeting this afternoon?

I didn't ride into work today so I'll be going to the pub regardless!
 
Top