After a catastrophic summer of fire, and now floods, many communities are struggling to survive and rebuild.
Our affiliated Bicycle User Group on the South Coast, EuroBUG, has been hit hard by the fires, but is now encouraging people to return to the area.
“State Forests and National Parks are closed. Many roads still have to be assessed and dangerous trees cut down before we can safely ride on them. Many of the normal routes have been impacted so we’ve had to scout for safer alternatives,” explained Guy Brantingham from EuroBUG.
Local RFS volunteers are reporting seeing trees falling due to fire damage. Therefore riding through fire damaged areas that haven’t been given the “all-clear” is dangerous.
Mentally, these fires have exhausted many members of the EuroBUG. Consequently EuroBUG have ensured the regular rides continue as an outlet for stress.
“Just being able to share experiences has been very therapeutic. Some people have lost houses. Everyone has been affected by the stress of having to repeatedly prepare themselves and their houses for possible fire or ember attacks. The constant packing of valuables into cars is very wearing. Planning evacuation strategies with different wind directions is mentally exhausting,” said Guy.
EuroBUG's most recent ride was into a safe burnt out area along the Tuross River.
“It was a sobering reminder of the damage done to houses, outbuildings and the environment. Three bridges on this ride alone had been destroyed by fire, temporary pipes had been put in place or detours created,” commented Guy.
Now, much of the area is also battling flooding after the recent rain.
“The Tuross River is now a raging torrent of muddy water, and those temporary pipes that were only just installed at the burnt-out bridges have been washed away,” said Guy. “How quickly times can change. We’re happy that the disastrous fires are now out.”
Eurobodalla Shire is still open for bike rides and hosts some of the most scenic in NSW. EuroBUG has compiled a few rides if you’re visiting the area:
Ride Ideas On The South Coast
Narooma to Central Tilba and Mystery Bay. Ride with GPS link here.
Moruya to Tomakin return is another easy ride along the coast also in an unburnt area. Ride with GPS link here.
Narooma to Dalmeny along the coast is short and easy but beautiful: Signposted in part as Nar 1. Ride with GPS link here.
Batehaven to Cullendulla wetlands short and easy. Signposted as BB2. Ride with GPS link here.