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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep having this idea that it would be cool to do on some local trails, at different spots along the trail. have 'em update to a website, simplified on a color scale for rideability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was thinking along the lines of multiple sensors set up in an area, be it public lands where we have LOTs and LOTS of users or private lands where we can't afford to have people out there riding the trails when conditions are absolute crap. The sensors report back and give a rough idea of what sections are rideable, which are to be avoided, and allow for folks that live an hour or so away the ability to make educated decisions about making the drive to the trail.


It would take a while to get them dialed in but it might be a fun project.
 

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It would be more fun to get motion sensors on Tiger that take the poacher pictures for the wall of shame. :thumbsup:

Seriously though, it would take a lot to assess just what is "ridable" and what isn't. And, "who" decides the scale to live by. Some places are really wet for a short period but drain well. Others are perpetually wet/muddy but the ground is pretty firm underneath, etc.

It's been proven time and time again that there's a certain percentage of any user group that will claim ignorance or simply refuse to abide.

But, an interesting concept.
 

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donutboy said:
I keep having this idea that it would be cool to do on some local trails, at different spots along the trail. have 'em update to a website, simplified on a color scale for rideability.
Had my sensor out at syncline today and It was green......good to go until the ground freezes (hopefully no more of that). Didn't see you there today?!?!

Trail sensors would be great..... But every trail has way too many varying conditions. Many times post canyon is a swamp fest on the lower section but then fine once you get up to the pine needles. Many mtn rides can give you dust, mud and tacky all on the same trail. There is just no way of determining an entire section as good or bad and not enough trail options to divert around small trail portions. Just my $.02
 

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Wierdo
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donutboy said:
The sensors report back and give a rough idea of what sections are rideable, which are to be avoided, and allow for folks that live an hour or so away the ability to make educated decisions about making the drive to the trail.
And the sensors report back how?

Sorry to be such a curmudeon but it's an implementation detail that's rather, well important.

Let me give you a hint: It's going to be cheaper to have somebody ride the trails in question and update the website manually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
oh sorry- report back via cell or radio.

sorry they would report back via radio or cell. There would need to be multiple sites in an area but it might just give a good feel of what is good to go and what needs to wait a day. It might be cheaper in the short term for someone to go ride it, but in the long term when you are dealing with a large chunk of private land that is open to all mtn bikers it could help to keep access open.

TTRD- Yeah I was on Mr Mom duty yesterday and again today. I MIGHT get out this week but I doubt it. Mamma has to make the coin ya know. You going to the fundraiser tomorrow for the indoor pumptrack?
 

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Justin Vander Pol
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A way to do this without custom equipment might be similar to the Galbraith Mud Index.

The Seattle Rainwatch Page might have the necessary data, not quite sure. The way to do this would find a student at UW in the meteorology program who mt bikes, and have them create the system as a side project.

Alternatively, you could hire Fluke to build a sensor with the right radio/phone inside, and hire BSQUARE to write the software to run it. I'd guess you could probably pull it off for $600k or so, but it would definitely be beta equipment at that price. :D
 

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Wierdo
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donutboy said:
sorry they would report back via radio or cell.
You could do that and you could do it with off the shelf gear. Most of the large farms have wireless moisture sensors deployed around them.

All you'll need it about $2000-$3000 initial investment in gear (depending on how many sensors you want to deploy) and then you'll need to sign up for a data plan which is going to run about $25/month. That assumes that there is actually cellular coverage where you want to set the network up. The sensors themselves are pretty cool - battery powered, solar recharged (could be a problem around here in the winter when you need the network most), batteries that are rated for about three years and environmentally hardened.

Juice's idea of re-creating the Galbraith Mud Index is a good one. If there is a school near the place you want to monitor, many schools participate in the "school net" of weather stations so you can easily scrape rain, temperature and wind data off the web. Do some corelation between the amount of rain, temp, maybe wind conditions with trail conditions and you probably have a pretty decent proxy for spending a bunch of cash on gear that's probably going to get busted up or stolen anyway.
 

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I5Troll
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BTW, KC Parks is planning to install user sensors/counters somewhere along the boardwalk at Duthie and at several other parks. I just assumed they report back by some kinda cell phone doohicky. :)
 

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Wierdo
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mwestra2 said:
BTW, KC Parks is planning to install user sensors/counters somewhere along the boardwalk at Duthie and at several other parks. I just assumed they report back by some kinda cell phone doohicky. :)
Most of the sensor/counter doohickeys log the data and store it locally until they get plugged into a PC and then they give it up...
 

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Depends on what you want/have to spend, but you can get solar powered ones that run to 4-6 different sensors up to 500 ft away, (buried telephone wire) they can be downloaded or as you move up the cost range, viewed online and set to record rain/wind and ET every 30 secs to 1 hr intervals. Probes set at whatever depth that you want to dig to. We use them all over the farm to track moisture levels to maintain water patterns and avoid over watering.
 
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