Rider Built Bike Jumps

Bicycle rider mid-air over a jump.

Recreational mountain bike riders have been building bike jumps and tracks in parks, bushland and reserves across the Shire for many years.

These jumps, known as 'Rider built bike jumps' are obstacles that have been constructed using soil, plant materials and other items to create a jump challenge.

For bike riders, especially younger riders, constructing these jumps is a fun, creative and challenging outlet, and particularly during the pandemic, the activity provided a valuable opportunity to get outdoors, to socialise and exercise during periods of isolation and lockdown. 

Over the last 18 months there has been a significant increase in the number of these jumps as well as their scale and unfortunately this has coincided with an increase in litter and debris left at the sites.      

We acknowledge the various benefits this activity brings to some members of our community but also the serious risks to public safety and our natural built environments. 

For this reason, rider built bike jumps have become a complex community issue that requires a balance in ensuring our young people have the opportunity for a creative and fun outlet while managing our duty of care.

We're currently searching for a solution that allows this activity to continue in a safer fashion that benefits the entire community.

We encourage you to read through the below frequently asked questions, so you are aware of the issues surrounding these jumps, the risks they pose and what alternatives exist. 

Why can’t people build jumps in parks and reserves?

We understands that it may seem like harmless fun to build bike jumps and tracks in a park, reserve, bushland or empty grassed area.

However, as a Council, it is our responsibility to ensure that anything built on Council land or land managed by Council considers a range of factors including: need, permission, standards, risk, impact on vegetation and community amenity.

Unfortunately, rider built bike jumps are seldom designed or constructed to industry standards, nor are they inspected, assessed and maintained like other Council assets. Furthermore, they have typically not been given permission by the land owner and have serious negative impacts on community amenity and natural vegetation.

The impact on our environment

Indigo Shire is home to some of the state’s most pristine natural environments. Rider built bike jumps pose serious risks to these environments which may be damaged during the building process. In some cases, these sites have been assessed to be beyond rehabilitation.   

When jumps and track are built by riders, damage can occur to trees and plants, grassed surfaces, garden beds, mulched areas and tree roots. While this may seem insignificant, rider built bike jumps can compromise areas of conservation, threatened species, native vegetation and/or aboriginal heritage value which has intrinsic community value. 


Why is Council acting on this now?

The number of rider-built bike jumps and tracks has increased significantly over the last 18 months. While they were once discreet and contained to specific areas that complemented existing trail networks, the emergence of ‘pop up’ jumps and tracks in our towns’ parks, vacant blocks of land and historical sites has become problematic. Litter, natural debris and in some cases vandalism have also been identified at sites.

There has also been a noticeable change in the scale and complexity of the jumps and tracks. Significantly larger and more riskier elements are commonly being identified. We don't want to see anyone getting injured doing something they enjoy, particularly if it can be avoided.

Regardless of the jumps perceived level risk, people can and do seriously injure themselves. 


Why is a Rider Built Bike Jump not acceptable when Council has skate and mountain bike parks?

There will always be some level of risk involved for users of a skate or mountain bike facility. The critical difference is that we can manage the risk by having facilities that are designed and constructed to industry standards and regularly assessed and maintained by professionals. 

We have an obligation to ensure that people using our places and spaces are safe. Providing community facilities that meet industry standards and keeping them in good condition helps ensure we are not negligent in our practice.

A well-intentioned rider-built jump doesn’t follow a professional design and construction process and presents a risk to the safety of users and passers-by.


If people choose to ride these jumps, isn’t it at their own risk?

We've been given clear advice that as the land manager for these areas, Council is responsible for managing the risks and failure to do so may be considered negligent. The potential implications would see Council held legally and financially liable for an injury.

Most importantly, we don't want to see  community members injured doing something that they enjoy, particularly if it can be avoided.

History shows that rider built bike jumps have typically been responsible for cuts and abrasions and, in rare cases life long injuries.


What will Council do when made aware of a Rider Built Bike jump?

When we become aware of a jump that poses a significant and unacceptable risk of harm to the community and/or the environment, we will investigate the appropriateness of removal based on the size, structure and impact of the jump.


Is there anywhere I can build a jump or track?

We'd prefer to see the passion that’s currently being channelled into rider-built jumps going towards our existing bike parks.

The Beechworth Chain Gang (BCG) is a fantastic and proactive community group that offers a range of free workshops throughout the year where you can learn how to build and care for jumps and tracks from industry professionals.

Contour Works and Specialized Bikes were recent visitors to the Beechworth Mountain Bike Park where they delivered sessions to improve and maintain the trail network.

Trail building is now a full time occupation and highly sort after skill. If you’d like to learn more or get involved please contact the Beechworth Chain Gang.


Where else can I ride my bike?

There are a number of alternative locations for riders:

  • Beechworth Mountain Bike Park – 117 Alma Road, Beechworth VIC 3747
  • Yackandandah Mountain Bike Park (Yack Tracks) - Yack Gate Road, Stanley VIC 3747




Get in touch

If you would like submit a comment, notify us of a Rider Built Bike Jump or even tell us about a jump you'd like to build, please complete the below form.