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Trail maintence

Old 10-06-10, 02:07 PM
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Trail maintence

Hey guys just wondering whats the best way to cut out unwanted roots on a trail..axe i guess??Also what other things do you guys do as far as trail maintaince.Thanks
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Old 10-06-10, 02:26 PM
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I don't "own" any trails but I do try to help out on my local trails. I will put some of the trail constructions back together when they get a little discombobulated. Like if there's a rock bridge and the rocks are coming apart I'll re-construct it. The other thing I do is close down the un-official "short cuts" that people create when they ride around obstacles instead of over them. When I see one forming I cover it with sticks and rocks so that people stop short cutting off-trail. yeah, I guess I'm kind of a jerk as far as that's concerned.
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Old 10-06-10, 02:31 PM
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depending on where you live and terrain and such, water erosion is one of, if not your biggest, enemy (other than the jackwagons Chris F above mentioned, who make side trails and short cuts around obstacles). so try to keep your trail as "invisible" to water flow as possible. a good way to do this is take a tennis ball (from out of some BMX kid's spokes) and roll it down the hill. the tennis ball = a water molecule, and you can see where water will flow. build your trail so the water runs over it, not down it, creating a rut which, over time, becomes an ugly scar on the earth. water bars and such help.
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Old 10-06-10, 02:43 PM
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Roots?

Leave roots where they are. If they're eroded such that they are suspended too high above the ground, build it up with dirt.

For dead-fall blocking the trail, a folding bucksaw is much more effective than an axe.
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Old 10-06-10, 04:21 PM
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Double bevel mattock, aka grubbing mattock.

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Old 10-06-10, 05:56 PM
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Imba imba imba
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Old 10-06-10, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cryptid01 View Post
Double bevel mattock, aka grubbing mattock.

i thought that was called a pulaski
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Old 10-06-10, 06:43 PM
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It's similar to a pulaski but the head is less axe-like. I find the pulaski to be better at chopping down trees and through logs but the beveled mattock is the tits for roots.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:04 PM
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Why are you wanting to cut out the roots?
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Old 10-06-10, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cryptid01 View Post
It's similar to a pulaski but the head is less axe-like. I find the pulaski to be better at chopping down trees and through logs but the beveled mattock is the tits for roots.
ahhh. thanks, now i know...and knowing is half the battle...go joe!
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Old 10-07-10, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Milice View Post
Why are you wanting to cut out the roots?
Depends on the trail of course, but one answer would be to get through the organics down to the mineral soil. See post #6 above.
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Old 10-07-10, 08:16 AM
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Environmental-optics and similar issues aside, there have been several brawls here within the MTB community over the appropriateness of removing live roots from pre-established trails.

Suffice to say there is a local trail here that has gone from being a full-suspension favorite to a cyclocross bike favorite in a few short years due to trail "maintenance".

While recognizing that these circumstances may not exist in other jurisdictions, I'm sticking with my original answer.
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Old 10-07-10, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
Environmental-optics and similar issues aside
Whew! Because that discussion, although entertaining, would likely get tedious.

Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
there have been several brawls here within the MTB community over the appropriateness of removing live roots from pre-established trails.
Or logs, or rocks, or even leaves...

Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
Suffice to say there is a local trail here that has gone from being a full-suspension favorite to a cyclocross bike favorite in a few short years due to trail "maintenance".
And that's a damn shame. I personally hate trail sanitization, however well intentioned, even more than equine poaching. But somewhere between sustainability and fun there are compromises that have to be made, both in new construction and in maintenance. Each of those compromises is best evaluated on a case by case basis by an experienced, responsible trail builder. Probably what I should have first responded to the OP is "if you don't know what you're doing, then don't! Join your local club and do it the right way or learn to ride better."

Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
I'm sticking with my original answer.
Me too - I love my mattock.
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Old 10-07-10, 09:30 AM
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well i have been told to not remove any roots,just cut out some brairs,mark some trees that might be dangeroues near trail on downhill decents
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Old 10-07-10, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
i thought that was called a pulaski
Pulaski is quite different: a single-bitted axe with a narrow adze-like head at the other end:



. . . and as cryptid alludes, with much different strengths. Pulaski is a great tool for grubbing in ground infested with small-to-medium-size rocks and tangles of smaller runner-roots. For the heavy-duty stuff, the mattock is a better tool because of its sheer mass.



Originally Posted by cryptid01 View Post
I personally hate trail sanitization, however well intentioned, even more than equine poaching. But somewhere between sustainability and fun there are compromises that have to be made, both in new construction and in maintenance. Each of those compromises is best evaluated on a case by case basis by an experienced, responsible trail builder. Probably what I should have first responded to the OP is "if you don't know what you're doing, then don't! Join your local club and do it the right way or learn to ride better."
Quoted for the whole matter in a nutshell.
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Last edited by dminor; 10-07-10 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 10-07-10, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cryptid01 View Post
Whew! Because that discussion, although entertaining, would likely get tedious.
Indeed. I wasted enough time on my "education" to ascertain the difference between cutting a branch off a norway maple and "environmental damage".

But if the game of public optics means I have to play nice with some genetic-freak-show trees that escaped from some idiot's garden, I can do that too.
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Old 10-07-10, 03:30 PM
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I dint mean to open a can of worms here guys..im a noob to all this i just started mountain biking not long ago.Just wanted to help with my local mountain bike trail.
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Old 10-07-10, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NCROADBIKER View Post
I dint mean to open a can of worms here guys..im a noob to all this i just started mountain biking not long ago.Just wanted to help with my local mountain bike trail.
I'm a noob when it comes to trail maintenance and my rule of thumb is this: I'll do stuff to put the trail back to its "original condition" whatever that is. That's probably a good starting point for someone that's just trying to help out. Fix bridges and stuff that get broken, clear small branches (deraileur hangar breakers) that fall on the trail, pick up trash, block illegal short cuts. Stuff like that. That's what I do. It's pretty satisfying because you WILL notice the quality of the trail improving as you maintain it, especially if it's poorly maintained to start with.

I'd say away from major changes like moving logs, moving rocks, cutting roots until you know what you're doing.
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Old 10-07-10, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_F View Post
I'm a noob when it comes to trail maintenance and my rule of thumb is this: I'll do stuff to put the trail back to its "original condition" whatever that is. That's probably a good starting point for someone that's just trying to help out. Fix bridges and stuff that get broken, clear small branches (deraileur hangar breakers) that fall on the trail, pick up trash, block illegal short cuts. Stuff like that. That's what I do. It's pretty satisfying because you WILL notice the quality of the trail improving as you maintain it, especially if it's poorly maintained to start with.

I'd say away from major changes like moving logs, moving rocks, cutting roots until you know what you're doing.
Thanks bro for the input!!
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Old 10-07-10, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by NCROADBIKER View Post
I dint mean to open a can of worms here guys..im a noob to all this i just started mountain biking not long ago.Just wanted to help with my local mountain bike trail.

Where is local?
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Old 10-07-10, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
Where is local?
Fisher river park,Dobson NC
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Old 10-07-10, 08:25 PM
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I know we are talking about live roots, but a quote from Doug years ago might help bring this (BACK TO REAL)
" There is nothing magical about deadfall, it's just deadfall! Cut it off the trail!

Last edited by born2bahick; 10-07-10 at 08:26 PM. Reason: spellind you ****iing jerk
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Old 10-08-10, 09:28 AM
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As a noob, you should be looking for opportunities to learn on trail work days organized by a local group.

Toss fallen limbs aside, pick up trash, but don't just strike out on your own until you know what you're doing.
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Old 10-08-10, 10:06 AM
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my first thought was fear that someone well intentioned but didn't know what they were doing was trying to 'help' the trail. Like others have said, volunteer for a trail day and lean what belongs and what doesn't before making any unilateral changes. I have found that by the time I have recognized a problem, it's already being addressed by the trail coordinator, DNR, or both.
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Old 10-08-10, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by born2bahick View Post
. . . but a quote from Doug years ago . . . .
I hope that was the result of a search. It would be too weird to think that people actually remember the sh!t I say . . . .
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