- Penmachno .. is it free to ride?
A Quick Poll, if you have used the Bro Penmachno provided trails at Penmachno and don’t mind telling the truth. This goes if you park at the start or anywhere along the route to start your circuit.
there is an honesty Box do you usually pop a donation in
a) when you start
b) after you finish
c) drive off forgetting to do it
d) Believe its a state gift and as a taxpayer it is free
e) never noticed the honesty boxPosted 8 years ago
I would like anyone still to post to do so but to answer a few questions that are arising…Antur Bro Penmachno is a local business group made up from residents who try to secure funding to implement funding to facilities that can help generate income into the local economy. They are not specifically mountain bikers and neither are an altruistic or philanthropists. They identified an opportunity to utilise their local facility , Penmachno Forest which had once been economically important not just through forestry work but also holding stages of several major rallies including the RAC.
The Forestry Commision gave the group the right to develop the trails on the understanding the FC would have no direct involvement in underwriting the cost of ongoing maintenance which is the groups concern. Although it can raise money to build trail grants to maintain are not forthcoming and the group will have to rely on donations and voluntary help to maintain the trails until it starts to generate sufficient revenue through local businesses that there is a willingness by businesses to help fund the ongoing repair.
On problem of the group is the Snowdonia National Park placed several severe conditions on the venture which relate to the development of a visitor centre and car parking for which they do not yet have sufficient funding, but until all the facilities are in place the planning permission does not allow them to promote the facility which would be essential to make it become an economic driver in the community.
I noticed today a general laxity of riders in slipping their hand in the yellow box when passing it and even saw two car based groups who missed it first time round and i then saw them finish and drive off with no donation so am interested in working out if these were one off accidents or part of a misconception by riders that this is a public facility with free car parking. I am not seeking to find fault with anyone who says they don’t pay but I will draw this to the attention of the consultant (who I have been working with over another project in the region) who prepared this project, to see what can be done to protect and improve this revenue stream so as to fund the needed ongoing repairs ensuring the future of the trail. If the trail is not repaired it is more than certain the Forestry Commision, who have no funds to maintain, would ultimately withdraw their consent to the trail operators, and close the trails to avoid any legal liability for accidents on their land. The individual who, I believe, was leading the maintenance todate was recently poached by Forest Commission Wales to be the Warden at Coed y Brenin.Posted 8 years ago
Sofaking.. it’s not my trail I am involved in the ongoing creation of MTB, Equestrian and Walking trails across North Wales through Public funding starting with the pre Red Bull route at Coed y Brenin, ever since it was planned I have worried about Penmachno’s long term future, it is run by a community ‘business’ group who could pack in tomorrow, there was the inappropriate riding of new trail before it was opened and more recently the loss of it’s keenest volunteer trail repairer although I am glad he has been able to find a good job down at CyB ,and the National Park have not been its greatest friend although Conwy Council have been more forthcoming.
I think it goes without saying that all riders should assume trails are not put in purely to benefit and amuse riders, there are back ground economic issues in rural that usually help the funding in order to bring revenue through tourist spend into the communities. Luckily it is currently held as a rule that Mountain Bikers, although prone to riding where they should not, also do generate substantially greater spend in communities than walkers do even though there may be less of them. The Welsh Assembly is very pro activity tourism. If you are currently enjoying trips to Wales riding and going home feeling a good day was knowing you spent nothing saving your money to by more Bike Bling from your LBS or CRC, you might be undermining your own long term enjoyment through lack of local justification for raising funding for new trails or maintaining old onesPosted 8 years agomattsccmMember
Probably been guilty of all versions. My two bobs worth is:Posted 8 years ago
what makes the place so nice is the total lack of anything like toilets e or a shop etc. It’s mountain biking isn’t it. Must admit it took me a while to realise it wasn’t an FC effort. I know its very old fashioned but I regard parking costs as wrong on public land and to many thats what FC is. but I do pay for the work done in maintaining tracks. Maybe a single notice board would be a good idea linking all business’s involved. Sorry to say but I have noticed little to promote the organisation and still regarded Penmacno as the place it was when I lived in North Wales in the 80’s (somewhere to avoid if you didn’t speak Welsh and only visited to go down big holes. Unless its policed charging for parking is pointless and the costs for that would probably outweigh the gains. No keep things as they are but have 1 big notice explaining the place next to a more visible honesty box. I say again, the best thing about it is the lack of facilities.B.A.NanaMember
Been once, but as there is no information out there, we parked in the village (probably to a few locals annoyance) and then found the trail by chance, so never saw any honesty box.
My thoughts would be that many people are sceptical about where their ‘donation’ goes, especially if it’s just putting money in a box on FC land. Maybe you need some signage explaining to people the situation and promising that every penny they donate will go into the trail upkeep not into FC pockets.
I dig at Stainburn forest and it’s amazing how many people ride there (and elsewhere), but how few of those people are willing to donate time and/or money.Posted 8 years agohustlerMember
Allways A. Don’t know how anyone can miss the box it as there is nowt else there. Anyone not willing to pay should piss off and play in the woods where no one has put any effort in to designing and building the trails. If you are wealthy enough to mountain bike then you are certainly wealthy enough to stick a few quid in the box.
Sorry for the rant but it burns me up when I see folk not paying for parking.Posted 8 years agoThe Sanity AssassinSubscriber
What amount do people consider to be a ‘reasonable’ donation then?
I rode Penmachno once, around 3 years ago. I saw the box but, for a variety of reasons that I considered valid at the time, didn’t donate. I’d more than likely stick some cash in now as my circumstances have changed, although I know plenty who wouldn’t.
I personally consider £7.00 for vehicular access to Dalby to be excessive, but do pay if I visit. I know others that deliberately park in the village down the road and ride to Dalby, purely to avoid paying.
One thing that did affect where I spend my money now was a brief conversation I had with a couple of locals near the trailhead at Gwydyr. I mentioned driving into ByC for some food and was asked why not go to Llanrwst(sp?) instead? Having thought more about it, next time I will.Posted 8 years ago
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