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Queensland Mountain Bike User Survey An interim report of findings Research coordinated and prepared by QORF on behalf on behalf of the Qld State Wide Mountain Bike Forum 6/27/2013
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  • Queensland Mountain Bike User Survey

    An interim report of findings

    Research coordinated and prepared by QORF on behalf on behalf of the Qld State Wide Mountain Bike Forum

    6/27/2013

  • 1 | P a g e

    Background

    On behalf of the State Wide Mountain Bike Forum, coordinated and facilitated by QORF, a MTB user

    survey was distributed to Qld MTB Riders in April 2013. This survey replicates a survey tool created

    by John Carney from Single Track Minds and provided to QORF by the Department of Sport and

    Recreation, WA. We thank them for their cooperation and support.

    The findings presented here are described as interim because two of the questions have incomplete

    analysis due to the size of the respondent pool and the diversity of open ended responses. QORF

    shall endeavor to analyse these results in more detail but believe that there is sufficient value in

    making the majority of the findings available now.

    Prepared by:

    Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation

    Sports House, 150 Caxton Street

    Milton Qld 4064

    Ph: (07) 3369 9455

    Fax: (07) 3369 9355

    W: www.qorf.org.au

  • 2 | P a g e

    Queensland Mountain Bike Rider Survey

    About the survey

    There were 2076 respondents who participated in the survey. Almost 90% of the respondents were

    male and the most common age groups were 35-50 years (48%) and 26-34 years (25.2%). The

    majority of respondents (82%) lived in South East Queensland. Other respondents came from Far

    North Qld (6.3%), North Qld (6.1%), Central (3%), Wide Bay Burnett (1.8%) and the remainder of the

    state (about 1%).

    How often do you ride mountain bike trails?

    Almost half (49.8%) of respondents ride mountain bike trails ‘2-3 times a week’. A further 27% of

    respondents ride mountain bike trails ‘once a week’ and less than 4% ride mountain bike trails less

    than once a month.

    How long have been you riding a mountain bike?

    Over a third (35.5%) of respondents have been riding a mountain bike for ‘10 years plus’. A further

    20% have been riding for ‘6-10 years’ and 25% have been riding for ‘3-5 years’. Only 6% of

    respondents have been riding a mountain bike for less than a year.

    What type of mountain biking do you do? (more than one answer possible)

    The most common type of mountain biking, selected by more than 88% of respondents, was ‘Cross

    Country (Fire trails and single track)’. This was followed by ‘All Mountain’ (47.7%) and ‘Downhill

    and/or 4X’ (26.6%). There were a number of different responses in the ‘Other’ section but review of

    these indicated that some fit under the options provided. Some of the multiple responses included

    How often do you ride mountain bike trails?

    Every day

    2-3 times a week

    Once a week

    A couple of times a month

    Once a month

    Once every few months

    Less than once a year

  • 3 | P a g e

    ‘adventure racing’, ‘commuting/road’, ‘cyclocross’, ‘endurance’, ‘mountain bike orienteering’, and

    ‘observed trials’.

    How would you describe your level of riding ability?

    Over half (56.8%) of respondents described their level of riding ability as ‘Intermediate’ and more

    than a third (36.4%) described it as ‘Advanced’. Less than 7% described their riding level as

    ‘Beginner’.

    Why do you ride a mountain bike? (more than one answer possible)

    The most common reasons that respondents ride a mountain bike were:

    Fitness and/or exercise (93.4%)

    Fun (83.5%)

    Experience the bush and outdoors (74.8%)

    Socialise with friends (73.7%)

    Competition in events (49.7%)

    Less than 5% of respondents provided an ‘Other’ response. The most common groups of responses

    given here were: health benefits such as ‘stress relief’ and ‘mental health’; and safety, with the

    location often seen as a safer alternative to roads with cars. A number of respondents indicated skill

    development, adventure and challenge were key reasons. Some respondents rode mountain bikes

    for work or as a means of transport while others did it for the love, freedom or adrenaline.

    0.0%

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    30.0%

    40.0%

    50.0%

    60.0%

    70.0%

    80.0%

    90.0%

    100.0%

    CrossCountry (Fire

    trails andsingle track)

    Downhilland/or 4X

    Freeride Dirt jumps All mountain Mountainbike touring

    e.g. multi daytrips

    What type of mountain biking do you do? (more than one answer possible)

  • 4 | P a g e

    How long would your average ride be?

    About 45% of respondents indicated their average ride would be ‘2-3 hours’. 41% had an average

    ride of ‘1-2 hours’ and more than 11% had an average ride of ‘3 hours plus’. Only 1.5% had an

    average ride of ‘Under an hour’.

    What is your ideal length of ride?

    The most popular “ideal length of ride” for respondents was ‘21-30km’ (36.7%) followed by ‘10-

    20km’ (30%). More than a quarter of respondents indicated an ideal length of more than 30km while

    less than 6% indicated ‘Under 10km’ as the ideal length.

    0.0%

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    30.0%

    40.0%

    50.0%

    60.0%

    70.0%

    80.0%

    90.0%

    100.0%

    Fitnessand/or

    exercise

    Experiencethe bush and

    outdoors

    Socialise withfriends

    Socialise withfamily

    Competitionin events

    Fun

    Why do you ride a mountain bike? (more than one answer possible)

    How long would your average ride be?

    Under an hour1-2 hours2-3 hours3 hours plus

  • 5 | P a g e

    What limits the riding that you do? (more than one answer possible)

    The two most common limitations on the riding of respondents were ‘Lack of time to ride’ (65.3%)

    and ‘Lack of close, legal trails’ (53.2%). The next most common responses were:

    Lack of trails that suit my preferred riding style (29.8%)

    The trails are too far away to regularly ride (27.4%)

    Lack of maps and signposting so I know where I am (18.6%)

    Poor quality trails (17.3%)

    Lack of people to ride with (14.3%)

    I’m not aware of many places where I can ride (12%)

    A number of ‘Other’ responses were also provided but many of these fit under the existing answer

    options such as the lack of trails, type of trails and lack of signage. The most common ‘Other’

    responses related to bad weather and the ability of the trails to handle the weather. There were also

    a number of responses about other commitments or interests, lack of motivation and access to the

    right type of bike. Other less common limitations included age, fitness and injury. Some respondents

    indicated that trails were too crowded and a few suggested the time spent on trail-care limited their

    riding.

    What is your ideal length of ride?

    Under 10km

    10-20km

    21-30km

    31-40km

    40km plus

  • 6 | P a g e

    Do you participate in organised events and if so how many per year?

    Nearly a quarter of respondents (24.4%) do not participate in any organised events. Almost 30%

    participate in 1-2 organised events per year and about 21% participate in 3-5 organised events per

    year. More than 15% of respondents participate in 7 plus organised events each year.

    Do you belong to a mountain biking club?

    More than half of the respondents (55.8%) do not belong to a mountain biking club. Nearly 39% of

    respondents are members of one mountain biking club and about 8% of respondents are members

    of a Mountain Bike Trail Care Alliance.

    There was a variety of ‘Other’ responses to this question. Many of the responses indicated an

    alternative membership, most commonly with a peak body, e.g. Cycling Australia, IMBA, or with

    another type of riding club, e.g. Cycling, Mountain Bike Orienteering or Off-road Triathlon. Some

    respondents indicated they were members of online forums while others had their own social

    groups which they belonged to. A considerable number indicated they were ex-members and many

    Do you participate in organised events and if so how many per year?

    None1-23-55-77 plus

    0.0%

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    30.0%

    40.0%

    50.0%

    60.0%

    I don’t belong to a club

    I am a memberone MTB club

    I am a memberof two MTB

    clubs

    I am a memberof three or more

    MTB clubs

    I am a memberof a MTB TrailCare Alliance

    Do you belong to a mountain biking club?

  • 7 | P a g e

    indicated an intention to become a member of a mountain biking club. Some respondents indicated

    that even though they were not a member they volunteered their time for trail maintenance or

    coordinating events.

    What are the name/s of the MTB Club or Trail Alliance that you are a member of? (e.g. Mareeba

    Mountain Goats, Mareeba)

    The most common Trail Alliances identified by respondents were:

    Trails Alliance QTY

    Gap Creek Trails Alliance 30

    S.E.Q Trail Alliance 25

    Logan City Trail Care Alliance 21

    Outlook Riders Alliance 16

    The most common mountain bike clubs identified by respondents were as follows:

    Club QTY

    Brisbane South Mountain Bike Club 93

    Rock wheelers Townsville 85

    Toowoomba Mountain Bike Club 53

    Gold Coast MTB Club. 52

    D'aguilar Range Cycle Club - DRCC 49

    Cairns Mountain Bike Club 44

    Downhill From Here (DFH) 33

    Kenmore Cycle Club 28

    The Riders Club 23

    Bushrangers MTB Club 18

    Gravity Mountain Bike Club 17

    Noosa Trailblazers MTB club 16

    Rockhampton MTB Club 14

    MAD (Mackay And District) Mountain Bike Club 12

    Mareeba Mountain Goats 12

    NRG Cycle Club 12

    What level of trail difficulty would you like to see more of? (more than one answer is possible)

    The most commonly desired trail difficulty of respondents is ‘Blue-moderate difficulty single track

    with moderate trail features’ (82.9%) followed by ‘Black-difficult single track and downhill with

    difficult trail features’ (58%). The least desired trail difficulty is ‘White – very easy, open, wide off-

    road trails’ (9.7%).

  • 8 | P a g e

    How important to you are the following riding infrastructure and facilities?

    The riding infrastructure and facilities that was most commonly viewed as ‘Extremely important’

    were ‘Signposted trails and trail head maps’ (18%) and ‘Drinking water available’ (13.7%). Those

    most commonly viewed as ‘Very important’ were ‘Signposted trails and trail head maps’ (26.9%) and

    ‘Good car parking’ (22.7%). Alternatively the options most commonly viewed as ‘Not important’

    were ‘A place to rent bikes’ (76%) and ‘Café or shops nearby to buy food/drinks’ (50.9%).

    Incomplete Analysis: Please list the three trail networks you ride most frequently. (If the trails

    don’t have names, please explain the area you are referring to)

    A lesson learned in this survey for future investigations, is to identify the trails that are most

    commonly used and provide these as choices in the survey. As we did not do this, there were more

    than 6000 different responses to this question, with many different spellings and titles given to

    trails.

    0.0%10.0%20.0%30.0%40.0%50.0%60.0%70.0%80.0%90.0%

    White – very easy, open, wide

    off-road trails

    Green – easy single track with

    minimal to no technical trail

    features

    Blue – moderate difficulty single

    track with moderate trail

    features

    Black – difficult single track and

    downhill with difficult trail

    features

    Double Black – very difficult trail

    and downhill

    What level of trail difficulty would you like to see more of? (more than one answer is possible)

  • 9 | P a g e

    A review of these responses however reveals that the most frequently ridden trails/ trail networks

    for the respondents were:

    Gap Creek/ Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane

    Daisy Hill, Redlands/ Logan

    Bunya/ Bunyaville, Brisbane

    Mt Joyce Recreation Park, Beaudesert

    Nerang, Gold Coast

    Parklands, Nambour

    Douglas Mountain Bike Reserve, Townsville

    Clear Mountain, Moreton Bay

    Smithfield, Cairns

    Further work is required to unpack these results into more precise data.

    What is the reason you ride these trails? (more than one answer is possible)

    Three quarters of respondents chose to ride a trail that was ‘Close to home’. Two thirds (67.8%)

    chose a trail because they ‘Enjoy the trail design’ and just under half (48.5%) chose a trail because it

    was ‘Suitable for my ability’. The other common reasons for riding a trail were ‘Length of trail’

    (45.6%) and ‘It’s close by and legal for me to ride there’ (43.3%). The least popular reason for

    choosing to ride a trail was ‘Sign posted and mapped’ (18%).

    There were also a number of ‘other’ responses which when categorised indicated that people

    wanted to reinforce the answers they had given. For example many indicated they rode trails

    because they were close to home or they had no other alternatives – close by, that were legal, or

    that were of the style of track that suited their riding preference. In addition, people chose trails

    because the trail design was superior, or because the location was desirable and enjoyable (e.g.

    ‘getting into the bush on shady trails’) or convenient (e.g. ‘the trails are on my way to work’).

    Having a variety of trails available was also a strong reason for trail choice. People liked trails that

    ‘are different in difficulty and trail design’ and offer ‘good variety of trails from easy to double black

    diamond’. A limited number of respondents also indicated the riding locations were influenced by

    where they were conducting trail maintenance, or by where their friends were riding.

  • 10 | P a g e

    What type of trail or riding experiences would you like to see more of in Queensland?

    Nearly 80% of respondents want to see ‘more single track circuits’ in Queensland. The next most

    common responses were:

    ‘trails close to regional towns or the city’ (65.1%)

    ‘more skill development areas’ (42.5%)

    ‘more multi day mountain biking events’ (28%)

    There were also a number of ‘other’ responses that were provided including a consistent preference

    for trails that were connected. Respondents indicated they would like to see trails that joined up

    different areas or were connected to create longer trail networks; but also areas for MTB that

    connected commuting paths to MTB trails, and communities to trails. People also commented that

    they sought more trails in general, more legal trails in particular, and more opportunities to ride on

    well designed, maintained and purpose built trails that tested skills and met a variety of needs (from

    the novice to the advanced rider).

    Respondents also believed that riding experiences more similar to those found in Rotorua New

    Zealand for example, would be valuable for Queensland as these attract a breadth of riders from all

    over the world. This would mean longer, flowing trails that join up with towns or communities and

    support services such as shuttles. They also commented that long and/ or multi day trails were

    sought.

    Specific types of trails were also recommended including, one way, legal downhill, pump tracks,

    more jumps and cross country/ all mountain trails.

    0.0%

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    Close tohome

    Sign postedand mapped

    Enjoy the traildesign

    Length of trail Suitable formy ability

    It's close byand legal forme to ride

    there

    What is the reason you ride these trails? (more than one answer is possible)

  • 11 | P a g e

    Incomplete Analysis: List your 3 top mountain biking areas (with one being your highest) that you

    believe offer the best opportunity for further development in the State (can be authorised or non-

    authorised networks), and why?

    More than 1600 respondents answered this question fully, providing a diversity of answers. While

    there were some consistent indications of areas that would benefit from trail development, QORF

    are not positioned at this time to finalised coding and analysis of this data.

    What is apparent however, is that the reasons why people think the trails they selected would

    benefit from further development is strongly aligned to the motivations of why people ride; a desire

    to see trails that connect to communities; and/ or that are being undervalued due to lack of

    maintenance. For example, people indicated that:

    The advantages of Parklands were that it was ‘accessible to towns on the sunshine coast, is well

    drained, has a good trail network, and fun features’. But to make it more desirable and sustainable it

    requires ‘more trails maintenance, armouring, bridges over damp ground, trail maps and signposted

    trails’.

    Whites Hill/ Mt Gravatt/ Toohey Forest and Gap Creek were considered desirable because they are

    close to the city, connected by public transport and commuter trails, and have suitable size and

    elevation. Only Gap Creek is currently a legal site, with the other venues closed to mountain biking.

    Further analysis of this information is required.

    What attributes are important to create the best riding experience for you?

    The attributes most commonly identified by respondents as ‘extremely important’ were:

    ‘Quality of trail. E.g. trail flow’ (40%)

    ‘Built technical trail features e.g. jumps, berms’ (26%)

    ‘Technical challenge’ (21%)

    The attributes most commonly identified by respondents as ‘very important’ were:

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    What type of trail or riding experiences would you like to see more of in Queensland?

  • 12 | P a g e

    ‘Length of trail’ (40%)

    ‘Technical challenge’ (38%)

    ‘Quality of trail. E.g. trail flow’ (37%)

    ‘Physical challenge’ (37%)

    ‘Trail accessibility’ (36%)

    A number of other responses were also provided and while limited are worth commenting on as

    they demonstrate riders are keen for trails that are sustainable, well built and maintained, and that

    offer appropriate safety management qualities such as having mobile phone coverage, signage and

    maps to inform the rider, and more one way trails.

    How do you find out where to ride in Qld? (more than one answer possible)

    The most common way of finding out where to ride is ‘Word of mouth’ (84.2%) closely followed by

    the ‘Internet’ (69%), ‘MTB Dirt’ (38.1%), ‘Trail guide book’ (33.1%) and ‘Through clubs’ (22.2%).

    ‘QPWS or Council maps’ was the least used method for finding out where to ride in QLD.

    There were also a number of ‘other’ responses that indicated people found places to ride by utilising

    the online forums, but mainly by a history of experience, through exploration including searching

    using STRAVA and Google Earth, by riding until a trail ran out, and by seeking the advice and

    guidance of local bike shops.

    Some have suggested it would be good to create several primary trail network areas in Qld. How

    far would you travel to ride varying size of trail networks and destinations?

    Nearly 40% of respondents indicated they would ‘Travel 200km plus’ to ride an ‘Iconic experience’

    and 31% indicated they would travel the same distance for ‘Competitions/events’. The largest

    proportion of respondents indicated they would ‘Travel up to 100km’ for trails varying in length from

    31km to 50km plus. For trails varying in length from 0km to 20km respondents would most

    commonly only ‘Travel up to 25km’.

    0.0%10.0%20.0%30.0%40.0%50.0%60.0%70.0%80.0%90.0%

    Internet Word ofmouth

    Trail guidebook (e.g.Where to

    MTB in SEQ)

    Throughclubs

    QPWS orCouncil maps

    (e.g. GapCreek)

    MTB Dirt

    How do you find out where to ride in Qld? (more than one answer possible)

  • 13 | P a g e

    Answer Options Travel up to 25km

    Travel up to 50km

    Travel up to 100km

    Travel up to 200km

    Travel 200km plus

    0-10km of trail 1300 350 147 31 27

    11-20km of trail 791 688 296 45 28

    21-30km of trail 312 804 555 109 52

    31-40km of trail 149 641 767 204 93

    41-50km of trail 105 413 832 315 158

    50km plus of trail 94 268 726 428 327

    Competitions/ events 72 131 499 476 602

    Iconic experience e.g. high scenic value 72 184 422 389 742

    Do you travel to places outside Queensland to mountain bike? (more than one answer possible)

    NSW, Victoria and ACT were the most commonly visited states within Australia and New Zealand

    was the most visited international destination followed by Canada.

    Would you be happy to pay a small fee for parking at a trail network if this money was to be re-

    invested into trail maintenance and/or trail facilities?

    Overwhelmingly, 85% of respondents indicated they would be happy to pay a small fee for parking

    at a trail network if the money was to be re-invested into trail maintenance and/or trail facilities.

    0.0%

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    60.0%

    70.0%

    Do you travel to places outside Queensland to mountain bike? (more than one answer possible)

  • 14 | P a g e