Ocean Grove bike jumps partially flattened
THE City of Greater Geelong has partially flattened some makeshift bike jumps in a park in Ocean Grove but says is making progress on constructing a purpose-built facility for the town’s riders.
There has been a surge in amateur bike jumps and trails appearing across Victoria over the past 18 months as COVID-19 restrictions limited recreation activities and travel.
There have been several jumps built in the Geelong region – including along the Bellarine Rail Trail in Leopold and a large site in Newtown – that have been knocked down by the city.
One recent example is off Woodlands Drive in Ocean Grove, where the city placed signs to notify the public of coming works and then carried them out before Christmas last year, although photos posted on social media within the past two weeks seem to indicate jumps have been rebuilt in the same location or nearby.
“While we appreciate the benefits of healthy outdoor activity, some makeshift bike jumps have significantly damaged trees and vegetation at Woodlands Drive, with branches cut and severed,” the city’s director of community life Robyn Stevens said.
“We understand that kids want to have fun and we encourage healthy outdoor activities, but we have an obligation to limit risk on the land we manage.
“In line with the city’s Makeshift Bike Jumps and Trails Guidelines, jumps above 400mm were removed, holes were filled, and some fallen vegetation was removed.”
Last year, the council earmarked $100,000 for a feasibility study into building a district-level bike park in Ocean Grove, and has met with young people and residents in Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads to gauge their views on supporting informal bike jumps in the two towns.
“We’re working with young people and other community members in Ocean Grove to determine their needs for small scale jumps locally and plan for a larger bike jump facility,” Ms Stevens said.
“Work on the feasibility study has started and we will be engaging with the local community in the coming months.”
According to the city’s Makeshift Bike Jumps and Trails Guidelines, the council is “obligated, responsible and committed to the management of council land in a manner which is safe for all community users”.
Under the guidelines, the city will make an assessment of reported bike jumps and trails against a set of criteria, and if the makeshift bike jump and trail does not comply with these rules, “we may decide to remove some elements or the full site”.
To read the full guidelines, head to the City of Greater Geelong’s website.