“They’re destroying the place one sharp turn at a time”, exclaims concerned 58-year-old West Wodonga resident Ann Greebum. “My husband and I bought this land 25 years ago, (at the bottom of Hunchback Hill) and we have rarely seen fires up there during that time, until now. The only thing that’s changed over 25 years is the Council opening up that stupid track, bringing those Lycra Hooligans up here on their darn mountain bikes”.
Since Wodonga Council controversially announced plans to develop Mountain Bike Track’s throughout the hills surrounding Wodonga (primarily Hunchback Hill), many angry Baby Boomer’s who own land around these hills have petitioned and protested the development of such tracks. You know because why would we want to create something that encourages fun and fitness in the community. It’s madness! Well, it’s too late now anyway, because the tracks are there and very much in use by Mountain Biking enthusiasts throughout Albury/Wodonga and it’s surrounding areas. That’s right these tracks are bringing OUT OF TOWNER’S INTO WODONGA! Out of towner’s that could potentially be from anywhere. Even, dare I say it, Chiltern. I can see why people are so irate, sounds awful.
Anyway, local residents such as Ann Greebum are now concerned that these Mountain Biker Gangs are causing more than just a nuisance. They are adamant that the influx of Bikes to the area is the sole cause of fire activity throughout the hills in April. “As I said we’ve lived here for 25 years and rarely seen fires, especially in April”, says Ann Greebum. “The way they zoom through the hills on their pimped out mountain bikes, the velocity of the tyres and friction with the track causes the rubber to heat and spark. I’ve never witnessed it as I stay off anything with less than 4 wheels, but I’m sure that friction of rubber and earth would cause such sparking and fire, it’s simple, it’s science”.
In response to these accusations, President of The Albury/Wodonga Mountain Biking Club Cadel Armstrong had this to say.
“It’s ludicrous, the idea that the rubber from our tyres is causing bushfires is a new low for these people. Perhaps if the rubber of tyres is causing fires, Mr and Mrs Greebum should stop driving their Ute up the hill to tend to their property. Also just ignoring the fact that Wodonga just had its hottest April on record, but yeah it’s bikes causing fires, good one.
The track on Hunchback Hill has been a terrific initiative by the Council. Providing an avenue for locals to get fit and live a happy, fun and healthy lifestyle, while simultaneously bringing mountain bikers from other communities into Wodonga, boosting our local economy. The people protesting the track are doing so for their own selfish reasons and using the environmental health of the hill as a false scapegoat to push their own interest. We treat the landscape and track with the respect that it deserves and are really sick of these accusations. We won’t stop riding, they can’t stop us. We’ve invested too heavily in our lifestyle to just give it up, bike gear is expensive. For the record though, on the track, we don’t even wear Lycra that stuffs for road cycling everybody knows that”.
Wodonga Council refused to comment as ‘they have enough going on at the moment’.
Gee whiz all this over a Mountain Bike Track, if you ask me Ann Greebum and her bike-hating mates should all go have a Burger, Fries and a Beer at Urban Graze and chill out. What problem can’t be solved over a Burger?