Summer is perfect for exploring trails, national parks and taking long rides however the devastating bushfire season has changed this. Below we have some tips for where to ride safely.
In bushfire impacted areas, roads can be slippery for bike riding because of fire retardant and ash. Without underbrush or ground-cover, ash can wash freely onto roads when it does rain, making it dangerous.
Debris and deceased wildlife will take time to clear from road shoulders in fire impacted areas.
Roads will also be closed because of damaged surfaces needing to be repair. However, this involves gravel and other material difficult for riding on, so it’s important to check the route beforehand.
Before you go riding, know that trails may be affected by bushfires. After bushfires have stopped, burnt out trees can fall and need to be removed to make the area safe. Regeneration programs may need to be undertaken to help local wildlife and plants recover.
“We know your planned rides might be impacted and it could take a while to get back to normal”, said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“If it is safe to ride in or near the bush, why not pack extra water and supplies to help if you encounter local animals in need,” said Bastien.
Billions of animals have died and many are suffering as a result of the bushfires. ABC shared a video of a rider stopped by a thirsty koala in Adelaide. Koala's can drown drinking straight from a water bottle therefore, it’s better to provide water in a shallow container, or your hand.
NSW Parks and Wildlife is also making food drops to help hungry animals in burned out bushland. If you want to volunteer, you could contact local wildlife services or parks. Alternatively, you can also register online to volunteer no matter where you are.