On yer bike: Royal National Park rangers wheel out new mountain bikes

Mark Speakman says mountain bikes will be "a useful technique for education, emergencies and, unfortunately in some cases, compliance". Picture: John Veage

Mark Speakman says mountain bikes will be "a useful technique for education, emergencies and, unfortunately in some cases, compliance". Picture: John Veage

Royal National Park rangers have a more effective way to patrol remote areas areas of bushland.

National Parks and Wildlife Service has purchased two mountain bikes for use on the park’s 100 kilometres of riding trails.

Mark Speakman with rangers Anita Zubovic and David Croft on the new mountain bikes. Picture: John Veage

Mark Speakman with rangers Anita Zubovic and David Croft on the new mountain bikes. Picture: John Veage

Environment Minister Mark Speakman said it meant rangers could cover more ground and better engage with park visitors and other mountain bike riders.

“It's a useful technique for education, emergencies and, unfortunately in some cases, compliance,” he said.

“Park visitors can expect to see rangers on bikes patrolling most of the popular riding areas including Helensburgh, the Temptation Creek area and between Loftus Oval and East Heathcote.”

Mr Speakman said the education role of rangers included discussing bike safety, encouraging cyclists to wear a helmet and reminding cyclists to use marked tracks.

“Mountain bikes have been used at times by rangers in other parks but, there is no current use elsewhere,” he said.

Ranger David Croft said the bikes would enable them to access areas which were difficult to reach in a motor vehicle.

Mr Croft said mountain bike riding was in Royal National Park was increasing.

“Every year, we see more and more riders,” he said.

”Like all user groups, there is a very small element who create some issues.

”It will help us to pass on messages about protecting the environment, wearing helmets,riding to the conditions of the  track and having some sort of emergency plan.”

Mr Croft reminded park users they could download an emergency app for their mobile phone, which enabled their exact location to be established if they needed help.

”We have had a number of search and rescue missions for injured riders where we could have got there much quicker if we could have pinpointed their location,” he said.

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