Having recency driven from Kingston in the south east to Naracoorte there is a disused railway line.
Touring around there seems an extensive network of disused/abandoned railway lines.
Having ridden the rattler trail and other tracks riding on the road where the speed limit is 100Km or over seems a good thing to avoid.
Do people think there is much demand for basic bicycle tourism type activities?
that would be catered for if theed disused railway lines were converted to basic bike tracks?
Or are the fully catered 5-6 star holidays the way most people go these days?
Another way to enjoy old rail tracks:
News on the trail from Gawler to Tanunda:
Bicycling is the New Gold Rush
Certainly a lot of opportunities for visionary local councils to put in rail trails. See link.
I can see a lot of the cost would be labor and some of that labor would be filling out forms for government grants ect.
While bitumen wold be nice.
Would compacted earth for a hybrid or MTB be adequate?
Compacted earth becomes MUD with a little moisture. Having designed and built a rail trail your local council would like to gain a year-round benefit. The Riesling trail surface is fine gravel, much better than dirt/mud. Ditto the Laura-Stone Hut rail trail. The local earth tracks further south along the trail (Gladstone-Laura) are unrideable long after a decent rain.
but is a trail that is usable say 200 days a year better than no trail at all?
(in dry areas it may be more than this)
Perhaps this depends on how many users the trail gets and how they use it commuters would need a more reliable trail than recreational people.
do you have a lot of trails that are of low quality or less trail that is of hight quality?
do you have some sort of mixture depending?
Trails that are marketed as "adventure trails" e.g. the Mawson Trail, can have any kind of surface so long as it's understood and it's stated beforehand. However rail cycle trails tend to be marketed to tourists who may be drawn to then because of their perceived lower difficulty/gradient, so need a bit of quality of manufacture. It's also a liability matter, build a trail and it needs to have a minimum standard of safety. Personally, the idea of having a set trail doesn't always fill me with joy, a good map and GPS and I'll nut out the local backroads for myself!
When the Rattler Trail first opened, the surface was atrocious (loose ballast stone) and the adjacent dirt roads were much better. I hear its much improved now.
As an example of a difficult surface on a rail trail, the Nurragi Conservation Reserve
is accessible to walkers but can be cycled with some difficulty (done that). Feel like a day out down south?
Rail trails website:
A day down south?
if you are keen on Nurragi Conservation Reserve.
Would Strath to Milang and return with some detours work?
Will you be at the ATC meeting on Anzac day?
we could form a plan then.
I did the rattler trail before Christmas and it is now mostly dolomite and a reasonably easy ride.
Yes, yes and yes. See you then.
It's a great idea and one that the tourism mobs should be chasing.
The problem with road bitumen is that it relies on being constantly worked by traffic - this is why old roads pack up so quickly. I'm guessing that bike path bitumen needs to be a different mix and it may be that adds to the cost ... or I could be completely wrong. On the other hand, sprayed tar and gravel seal works ... except people will complain that it's not a perfectly smooth surface.
Having spent a fair bit of time on American forums, I've often been jealous of pictures showing wide, well built, well marked lanes through lovely scenery - dem yankees are spoilt in some places.
I couldn't agree more. My Parents live at Mount Pleasant so I can't wait for the Amy Gillett trail to be completed!