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stop modifying trails (rant)

Old 07-29-10, 09:12 AM
  #1  
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stop modifying trails (rant)

what is wrong with some people? why do some people feel they have a right to modify trails because the trail is "too hard"? here is the thing: if you can't ride a section of the trail, walk it, or keep trying until you learn to ride it. DO NOT make a trail around the rock you can't get up, remove the tree stump in your way, ass rocks to a drop off, make a new side trail to avoid the drop off, etc.

we have a local trail that is very technical (we have a few, but there is one in particular), it's one of my favorite trails. it took me quite a while, including riding it every day for a week, and riding it with people who know the lines, until i could ride it well (there are still two parts i have to walk). it's a challenge. the obstacles are there to make you a better rider and for better riders to enjoy.

some people feel "the trial is too hard, it should be easier so i can ride it." well, if you can't ride it, either get better, or ride a trail you *can* ride. by riding around things you can't get up, by taking rocks or trees "out of the way" you are not only ruining the fun parts for some people, you are potentially damaging the trail, making it wider, making it more susceptible to erosion from water, etc.

i know it doesn't just happen here, it happens everywhere, i've seen it.

ride the trail as it's meant to be ridden. if it's too difficult, learn to ride it, walk, or ride something easier. leave the damn trails as you find them.
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Old 07-29-10, 12:11 PM
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It goes with the dumbing down of America. Lets just set the bar so low that no one will suffer a bruised ego.

There are two sections close by that I have nicknamed, Not My Friend and Lungbuster. My goal is to climb them, no dabs, by the end of the year. I have lots of trails that are my friends. I need some unfriendly stuff to make me mad.
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Old 07-29-10, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
...I need some unfriendly stuff to make me mad.
And that stuff makes people better riders.

Smoothing of trails sucks...unless you're building an A-Line.
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Old 07-29-10, 01:50 PM
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This recently happened to me... there was a set of singletrack I and my friends enjoyed because of the obstacles - logs, rocks, ruts etc. Unfortunately the singletracks were also used by some young gonzo jerks who were traveling from one location to more difficult trails. One weekend they came in and removed all the logs, rocks and ruts making the trail a smooth "freeway"... those guys were lucky I wasn't around to find them doing that! The only comfort I take is that shortly after, we had some heavy rains and the whole area flooded. It's been under water for 6 months now and I suppose will be back to its normal, technical self after the water receeds.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:03 PM
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I agree about removing obstacles, making the trail easier for the people who want something harder - that sucks.

I don't really agree about creating trails around obstacles, though. If I'm going biking with my friends who are worse than me, it's a lot more fun to go on a medium trail and tell them to just take the shortcut around the obstacles. If I'm biking with people who are better than me, I prefer to not have to just go home if they want to do a tough trail.

Fact is I can't keep everyone I know who mountain bikes skill level at exactly the same level, and it's a lot more fun to be able to ride the trail with them, even if I know I'm wimping out on the really technical stuff. I mean I'm doing this for fun, we're not saving lives here - if the little routes around the big obstacles are to tempting, I would suggest perhaps the problem is a lack of self control, not that there's easier routes around the hard stuff.
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Old 07-29-10, 03:08 PM
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I don't have too many problems with that at my trails of choice. There will be some areas where you find yourself going too fast around a turn & a second trail has been made to make things a little bit wider, but I just choose to ignore it & use the tight turn to hone my power-braking. The biggest problems we've had down here is that the fallen trees are generally rotting lighter wood & after people ride over them a lot, they crumble into nothing but small bumps. However, erosion takes care of keeping the trails technical. My favorite section at Dauset Trails has increased in difficulty at about the same rate as my increase in skill due to erosion, & that's kept a lot of the beginners from attempting it more than once.
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Old 07-29-10, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
I agree about removing obstacles, making the trail easier for the people who want something harder - that sucks.

I don't really agree about creating trails around obstacles, though. If I'm going biking with my friends who are worse than me, it's a lot more fun to go on a medium trail and tell them to just take the shortcut around the obstacles. If I'm biking with people who are better than me, I prefer to not have to just go home if they want to do a tough trail.

Fact is I can't keep everyone I know who mountain bikes skill level at exactly the same level, and it's a lot more fun to be able to ride the trail with them, even if I know I'm wimping out on the really technical stuff. I mean I'm doing this for fun, we're not saving lives here - if the little routes around the big obstacles are to tempting, I would suggest perhaps the problem is a lack of self control, not that there's easier routes around the hard stuff.
Paul, you don't agree about creating trails around obstacles? why can't they (or you ) just stop, walk through the obstacle, and continue on? they (or you) don't have to go home or not ride the trail, just walk the part you can't make and enjoy the rest of the trail. if they want to ride with you, perhaps you could stop with them and teach them how to ride those obstacles, and they can try each time until they get it, or they can stop and walk the obstacle each time. if a trail was built with an option to go around the obstacle no problem, but when you create a trail around it, you can end up doing damage to the trail. i've seen it happen here, people couldn't get up a rock, so they went around it, eroding the soil to the side, and now the tree next to it is almost dead and the singletrack is about 5 feet wide and each time people ride around the rock, the trail erodes a bit more.
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Old 07-29-10, 06:00 PM
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The problem is it's not the peeps reading mtb forums doing the sanitizing. Yesterday I felt like the indian in the littering commercial when I arrived at my favorite local trail...
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Old 07-29-10, 07:54 PM
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i like it when people go in and rebuild rotted out ladders for me.
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Old 07-29-10, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by victim View Post
The problem is it's not the peeps reading mtb forums doing the sanitizing. Yesterday I felt like the indian in the littering commercial when I arrived at my favorite local trail...
This...
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Old 07-29-10, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
Paul, you don't agree about creating trails around obstacles? why can't they (or you ) just stop, walk through the obstacle, and continue on? they (or you) don't have to go home or not ride the trail, just walk the part you can't make and enjoy the rest of the trail. if they want to ride with you, perhaps you could stop with them and teach them how to ride those obstacles, and they can try each time until they get it, or they can stop and walk the obstacle each time. if a trail was built with an option to go around the obstacle no problem, but when you create a trail around it, you can end up doing damage to the trail. i've seen it happen here, people couldn't get up a rock, so they went around it, eroding the soil to the side, and now the tree next to it is almost dead and the singletrack is about 5 feet wide and each time people ride around the rock, the trail erodes a bit more.
Actually, where I am (Minnesota), they DO built trails around all the small obstacles. It's really nice for the reasons I listed - you don't have to get left behind on the ride or hold up the people behind you because you walked the obstacle, but with a medium amount of skill you can still ride most of the trails with the group you're with.
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Old 07-29-10, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Actually, where I am (Minnesota), they DO built trails around all the small obstacles. It's really nice for the reasons I listed - you don't have to get left behind on the ride or hold up the people behind you because you walked the obstacle, but with a medium amount of skill you can still ride most of the trails with the group you're with.
ahhh, that is totally different. if there is an obstacle with an option to go around it built into the trail, then there is no problem. my problem is with people who come to a rock or whatever, can't make it up, and ride off trail around it, then the next person does it, and so on, etc, and after a while a "new trail" around the obstacle is created, which has potential to ruin the environment.
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Old 07-29-10, 11:28 PM
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i'm not gonna lie, i cut a limb because it was across the trail the other day. there's a wood bridge/ skinny, and this tree limb was blocking it, so i cut the tree down.
shame on me. i should have accepted the natural challenge and forged my way through.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:47 AM
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curse those handsome devils who clear the trails...
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Old 07-30-10, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
ahhh, that is totally different. if there is an obstacle with an option to go around it built into the trail, then there is no problem. my problem is with people who come to a rock or whatever, can't make it up, and ride off trail around it, then the next person does it, and so on, etc, and after a while a "new trail" around the obstacle is created, which has potential to ruin the environment.
What's the difference between building a trail to go around an obstacle & people "building" a trail around it by riding the path down???

Either way, the trail is wider & there's more than one line.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by edbikebabe View Post
What's the difference between building a trail to go around an obstacle & people "building" a trail around it by riding the path down???

Either way, the trail is wider & there's more than one line.
it depends where on the trail it happens. there are some spots where you can have two lines, one simple and one advanced, and trail builders may put in the "hard line" for advanced riders. but if the trial dictates you go up a certain rock, and people who can't make it up that rock start going around it, it could damage the trail and surrounding environment. i'm sorry i can't explain it better, but i do have a specific spot in mind, and i figure it is not the only place in the world like that.
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Old 07-30-10, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt View Post
i'm not gonna lie, i cut a limb because it was across the trail the other day. there's a wood bridge/ skinny, and this tree limb was blocking it, so i cut the tree down.
shame on me. i should have accepted the natural challenge and forged my way through.
hmmm, that sounds suspiciously like trail maintenance....unless that limb was there to be ridden over, in which case you are a jerk.
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Old 07-30-10, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
it depends where on the trail it happens. there are some spots where you can have two lines, one simple and one advanced, and trail builders may put in the "hard line" for advanced riders. but if the trial dictates you go up a certain rock, and people who can't make it up that rock start going around it, it could damage the trail and surrounding environment. i'm sorry i can't explain it better, but i do have a specific spot in mind, and i figure it is not the only place in the world like that.
+1 Trails are generally built certains ways on purpose (government specifications, environmental considerations, drainage issues, flow). Ride-arounds that are built to bypass mandatory obstacles should keep those considerations in mind during the design and execution. Shortcuts from people riding around a mandatory obstacle are not created with the same considerations.
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Old 07-30-10, 03:35 PM
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There is one modification I would like to do to our trails: REMOVE EVERY SINGLE #$@#$%^^&*@@&^ HORSE FROM THEM! Permanently!!

Our weekend two-race series was just cancelled because the Sierra Club got an injunction against the State Park that issued the permit - - on the grounds that a SEPA (State Environmental Protection Act) study was not done on the portion of park that was going to be used for the race. Seems that there is a very well-heeled, politically powerful and vehemently anti-mountain-bike equestrian group that is heavily involved in the local Sierra Club chapter.
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