A Mount Gunjin special celebrating the opening of WAMBA's largest project to date
Gunjin is OPEN!
WAMBA are extremely excited to announce that the new Mount Gunjin redevelopment is complete and the trails are open and ready to ride!
This is the largest project that WAMBA has undertaken, has taken several years in planning and execution and substantial funding, the majority of which has come from a Lottery West trails grant. The trails were constructed by Dirt Art (thanks also to them for the photos in this newsletter).
The new Mount Gunjin trails connect with the ever expanding Kalamunda trails network to now provide around 40km of singletrack in the area.
The flag ship of these new trails are three new descents from the top of Mt Gunjin, heading north-east back towards Mundaring Weir Rd. In addition there is a new climb from the end of these trails back to the very top, a new short descent west off of Gunjin to join Muffin tops and a slight re-jig to the existing trails which will improve the flow of riders in the area. For all the details read on...
So Tell Me About the Trails
The Mount Gunjin re-development has seen the addition of 8 new named trails to the Kalamunda network.
These trails are:
Judderbars (Blue Square - Intermediate)
From Kiwipedia (yes it's a real website):
When you see this awesome flow trail you will see why! There are many rollers on the trail which you pump, manual or link up and double if your speed allows.
Access this trail by taking the right fork off of the blue line at the top of Gunjin. It joins up with Lazarus at the power lines and continues in to Alchemy after Loco joins and when the gradient flattens out.
Loco en el Coco (Black Diamond - Advanced)
Starting at the top of Mt Gunjin and descending North towards Mundaring Weir Rd, this Black Diamond run will test your skills with two large drop offs, good flow, a couple of ramps that give you the option to shoot through some corners and a large wall ride to finish. Loco crosses the power lines and remains rather black. The trail style turns moderately bike park style with two largish doubles into a 90, then 180 degree berm followed by another two large camelbak doubles to put a smile on your dial. There are more rollers and ramps before the trail merges back to blue where the gradient flattens out. THIS IS AN ADVANCED TRAIL WITH LARGE JUMPS AND UN ROLL-ABLE DROP OFFS. EXPERIENCED RIDERS ONLY.
Lazarus (Blue Square - Intermediate)
Loco's little brother is a great training ground for those who like it technical. Littered with rock gardens, rock drops, ramps and ladder drops and tricky lines. This trail also starts at the top of Gunjin and is the second blue trail off to the right. It merges with Judderbars before the power lines by taking the small ramp to the right. If you want to go black and a little Loco, then take the larger ramp to the left which will take you to the jump park style doubles.
Alchemy (Blue Square - Intermediate)
After the three trails above have merged we have turned iron (well semi-ferrous pea gravel) in to gold. This trail is flat, twisty and loose. Look out for the wall ride half way down and the table top to finish. At the end take Brand New Second Hand to head back up to Gunjin or the short link to the shuttle bay on Gunjin Rd and towards the Dell.
Goldilocks (Blue Square - Intermediate)
This flow trail might be short but it packs a lot of fun in. Descending from the west side of the clearing at the top of Gunjin it takes you to the start of Muffin Tops or Three Bears.
Three Bears (Blue Square - Intermediate)
This is section of trail which used to be two way and includes the XXXX jump. With the addition of the Mother-in-law climb this has now been switched to a one way descent. There is only one bear at the moment (the XXXX jump) but when we get some clay moved up there our volunteers will be adding two more great table tops, which will make a 4th long descent off of Gunjin by linking this with Goldilocks and then continuing on to Mercury St.
Brand New-Second Hand (Blue Square - Intermediate)
We have reclaimed an old trail, turned it round and this gentle climb, which takes you as far as Gunjin Rd, is the first part of the long drag back up to Gunjin that we are all going to get very familiar with...
Drago (Blue Square - Intermediate)
Like Dolph Lundgren's character, Ivan Drago, in Rocky III this climb is not as hard as Rocky Balboa. In fact its a simple non technical climb for those who want to cruise back to the top to do it all again. Continuing on from Brand New Second Hand it merges with Rocky near to the power lines.
NB. The last part of Rocky Balboa, ater the merge, now takes you to Mercury St only. If you want to ride Muffin Tops you must take Mother-in-law to the top of Gunjin and then Goldilocks.
Mother in Law (Blue Square - Intermediate)
Like the mother-in-law, this final part of the climb to Gunjin is going to be hard work. Try not to bite your tongue though, just think you could be climbing the pea gravel wonder that was the previous link...
So Where Do I Get a Map of These Trails?
WAMBA are working away on a fantastic folding trail guide to the area (and we have more great trails to come yet). In the meantime, we have updated our existing map.
With the expansion of the network the map has got a whole lot busier. You might be best off taking advantage of the office printer and getting yourself a nice colour A3 copy.
Whilst the trails are open and ready to ride now, the official opening won't be for a couple of months. We have something a bit grander, and a helluvah lot more exciting, planned than the usual ribbon cutting, boring speeches and sausage sizzle. Unfortunately we are still waiting for one crucial permission so we can't reveal what we are doing just yet. Stayed tuned and we promise you will be the first to know.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
These two new trails (well one new, and one re-worked old one) were made possible by some of the extra funds from the Every Metre Counts raffle that WAMBA ran early in the year.
As you will remember that money was earmarked for the Scorpion/Farrell grove area. These projects are still going ahead but thanks to the fantastic volunteer work of Ian Humphrey, Ivan Svensen, Shane Williams and others this project is coming in under budget! This has allowed us to add this extra link trail to Muffin Tops and more volunteer work will eventually see the XXXX jump become XXXX,XXXX,XXXX (the Three Bears). In recognition of the fantastic contributions we decided to name this new trail in your honour. Thanks again everyone who contributed!
The journey to get legal trails can be a long and lonely. Without the efforts of WAMBA Vice-President Lindsay Alsop none of these trails would have been possible. Read the back story of how Mount Gunjin became a reality, by Travis Deane, and don't forget to buy Lindsay a beer every time you see him.
Itâ€™s puking rain, and yet there are a dozen committed trail builders all smiling like itâ€™s Christmas. At the centre is Lindsay Alsop who had just found out his commitment of the last couple of years had borne fruit. Over $100,000 in funding to build new trails. Something many believe couldnâ€™t happen.
WA is going through a bit of a purple patch with trails blossoming in the last two years. But it wasnâ€™t always like that. Lindsay remembers the first time out mountain biking in the Perth Hills with his wife, â€œWe found a map for Little Ovens circuit about seven years ago, went out and got lost... We never saw anyone on those rides. Slowly we began to see people, but it was trips to New Zealand and Switzerland that really opened my eyes. I realised that things had to change.â€
When WAMBA reformed Lindsay joined the handful of passionate volunteers. Lindsay started to talk to DEC and began to hear one word a lot. NO.
This is where a lot of people would give up, Lindsay stayed focused though and admits that it seems like you have to do your time with government bodies. â€œThey must see so many people come past, never to see them again. You need to be persistent, show you are going to be around for a while and show them that your sport is here to stayâ€.
But unknown to Lindsay, attitudes were slowly changing for the decision makers. Lindsay visited DEC on other business and had meetings with more senior DEC officials than the ones that had been telling Lindsay â€œnoâ€. â€œIt just kinda came up in the range of conversations we were having but for the first time the answer wasnâ€™t NO, it was MAYBEâ€.
Lindsay also had many meetings with Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) who were really supportive of the project from day one. â€œIt was really strange at first, but getting all this positivity really strengthened my resolve to keep pushingâ€.
While Lindsay was banging his head on the proverbial brick wall other new trails were attracting lots of mountain bikers, something that did not escape DECâ€™s attention. When the nearby Kalamunda Circuit opened over 400 riders were riding the trail every week. It seemed things were turning around.
Finally, the stalling tactics changed. With a month before the application was due, DEC weighed in and supported the project. However, there was a catch. To qualify for the Lottery West funding grant, WAMBA needed to match the amount they requested dollar for dollar.
â€œFinally we had support, but with 2 weeks to go I needed to find $100,000! For the remainder of the two weeks I was on the phone. If I got a No from someone, I went one rung up the ladder and asked again. I figured someone might eventually pay me to leave them aloneâ€.
Behind the scenes, there were people helping WAMBAâ€™s cause. Westcycle were writing letters to people of influence, people within WaterCorp were risking their necks, DSR were championing the cause. Money started to be pledged, with DEC contributing the largest amount.
Lindsay had hoped for $100,000 so when he discovered in July that he had been awarded $120,000 he was stoked. With DECâ€™s contribution and volunteer labour the total package is worth $200,000 â€“ enough to redevelop the north side of Gunjin with Blue and Black trails. One of these lines will have the apt name â€œLazarusâ€.
So what impossible dream do you have?
This is an extract from Australian Mountain Bike Magazine. For the full story see the October 2012 edition.