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De Luge Trail Rebuild

Empy's picture

By Empy - Posted on 14 March 2017

De Luge is now slated for a rebuild around the end of this month.
Subject to final REF (Review of Environmental Factors) approval.

There have been some questions and concerns around the need for this work so I’ll try to explain.

This has been a long time in the planning as there are several important issues for the NPWS

Firstly the trail does suffer from continual erosion, mostly due to the extended fall-line sections. This has meant an on-going and difficult maintenance chore.
The constant rebuilding of grade reversals (water bar humps) and clearing drainage is not a long term solution.
(The name De Luge comes from a play on words around deluge and Luge track, so it’s always had problems)

Also the location of the trail and the high speed exit onto the management trail in an area of high pedestrian use is seen as a possible user conflict issue

But most importantly this area is home to a threatened species of native plant - Tetratheca juncea. It is listed as vulnerable and is fairly prevalent in this area. The NPWS see this as a priority to preserve this area and reduce the impacts as much as possible.

There is also some minor evidence of Aboriginal artifacts but the planned trail diversion is already away from those areas.

I have met with the NPWS Rangers quite a few times to discuss the options available with the most important concern for us being the preservation of the overall character of the trail.
Being somewhat unique the flowing descent, although short, is a favourite among local riders.

I believe that we have reached a fairly good result in the planning stage.
A corridor has been identified that manages to avoid any significant impact on the Tetratheca, create better water management and drainage opportunities with turns and lengthening of the trail without loosing the descending and flowing character.

In fact I think it should be better than the existing trail.

The exact form of the trail is difficult to show with any accuracy as there are many subtleties to the design that will be subject to change as we go to suit the needs of drainage, sustainability and ride-ability.

It utilises some of the original trail with the entry in the same area but with the trail to be consolidated to the north of the NPWS Depot – the most popular as it is now.
There are more turns – but the overall trail is longer.
Even with more turns every effort is being made to keep it fast and flowy.
Technical Trail Features (TTF’s) may be used to enhance drainage and/or rider experience.
There may be a need for multiple – A,B,C, lines.
The bottom end will be moved slightly to allow for a safer exit onto the management trail.

The plan is for me to work with the NPWS field officers while they move the materials on-site and do the major machine building work. As this progresses and we begin the hand tool work I will advise for volunteers to come and help.
The main volunteer work day planned for the Saturday – probably April first – but to be confirmed depending on progress with the machine work.

I’ll post up a work day in the GTA Calendar closer to the day.

Please feel free to post up any questions and discussion here.
I’ll try to keep this updated as we go and get some photo’s up as soon as anything actually happens.

Empy's picture

I've posted up the volunteer workday for Sat. 1.4.17.

Still waiting for some NPWS paperwork to be sorted but it looks like going ahead.

I will post up during the week prior when we get the stage that volunteers can help out.

uppo75's picture

I was looking forward to this but I'll be down in Canberra for the Mont24.
Hopefully the next one will be in the near future.

Empy's picture

I have been working with the NPWS guys for the last two days, Tony and Will have also been in to give a hand and things are starting to shape up.

Having trouble with photo's ATM, but.

We have been working on the long straight rut lines, re-routing some of that to put some turns in - still trying to keep it fast but just with a bit more shape.

This should help with the drainage issues that the NPWs want to address as well as make the trail more interesting.

We're also working on the drainage overall - creating better opportunities to get the water off the track.

As well as adding some more riding features.

Here's hoping the weather holds out so we can get all the machine work done in time for Saturday's build day.

Empy's picture

Hoping to get the trail rebuild finished this time see the calendar for details -

Empy's picture

Just a reminder that we're working on DeLuge again today and tomorrow so it won't really be rideable.
Volunteer day is on Saturday so we should have it finished this time.

If you want to come along and help more details in the Calendar.

Empy's picture

A big days work today with only a small crew - so thanks heaps to those guys that showed up.

DeLuge is finished and open again!

More berms and flow now - Looking really good;

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maverick's picture

Great effort to all involved, rode it a few times today. Do have a concern though, there is a LH bermed corner about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down the trail with a large tree right in the midpoint of the corner, in a fairly high speed section. If you screw it up and run wide you'll nail it...thoughts?

Empy's picture

Hey, thanks for the feedback.

I think the trail rides really well but the mid section with the tight L-R-L-R is really tricky and dare I say 'Technical' - hard to get it just right.

ATM things are a bit dry so that makes it even harder.

I'm hoping it will all ride-in a bit and after we get rain we'll do a touch-up on it.

The sweeping left with the tree is another difficult feature - the whole area is pretty heavily wooded so riding through there at speed is a challenge that requires full concentration. I think people need to be responsible for themselves and ride to their ability otherwise we're forced to dumb-it-down and I'm pretty sure people don't want all the trails to be like that.

Paddo's picture

Although I did manage to ride it today, twice.

Congratulations on a job well done. It's certainly flowy and fast.

I didn't notice any trees on the outside of corners too busy looking at the next upcoming corner!!

Ant71's picture

I road it yesterday 3 times I'm no expert but I think it rides really well. I use to ride this track 20 years ago and it was my favourite track then when I started riding again last year it was one of the first tracks I road and I think the work has improved it. On the tree I can see what you are talking about but I only noticed it on my first two runs on the third i didn't maybe I was on a better line

Dee's picture

There is still a trail closed sign on a tree at the top of the run. Should it now be removed? Can swing past on my way home from work this arvo if required.

Empy's picture

The NPWS put those up and I did see it Sunday but forgot in my excitement to ride.

fairy1's picture

It got 20 minutes of rain yesterday so that should help it pack down some.

I saw the sign up on Sunday so I just rolled down very slowly, looks like a lot of work and a bit of extra length on the trail.

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