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Discussion Starter #1
Out for a stretch this evening in the vain hope of lessening the pain if a full day at Blue Mountain yesterday. Right away I noticed that some folks had straightened out a few chicanes in the Crowthers Woods trail. This restores it to last year's path, more or less, as those chicanes were added to route around major tree falls.

On the way back, I took the option marked "Advanced" or "Difficult" and discovered that someone has been busy cutting a bypass around a signature obstacle. For the past few years at least, you either ride or carry your bike over this obstacle, there was no way to ride around it. Quite obviously the trail is no longer quite so difficult since you have the option of riding perfectly flat, featureless hard pack. The riposte to the thrust of that suggestion is that the trail is exactly as difficult as your tastes allow, since you have the option of the ride-over. Mind you, there is already an existing ride-around, you simply take the fork clearly marked "Intermediate" and you ride around the whole stretch of obstacles, rock gardens, and the steep rock wall.

I can imagine arguments on both sides, but I'm interested in hearing what you have to say. Is this a good thing? Neither good nor bad? Regrettable? What's YOUR opinion?
 

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sock puppet
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I totally don't mind cheater lines...

I almost never use them when riding for fun, but there are times when I have to, whether it is the bike or my skills (either 2'+ drops or very narrow and high skinnies).

This way anyone can ride our trails - regardless of their skill level, and build the skillset towards taking hard lines.

Or, when I take my son for a spin, he can slowly advance his skills by taking progressively (oops - here is the BUZZword) harder lines.

It'd be interesting if certain stakeholders :eek: would consider this dumming down the trail OR making it rideable to the greater group of stakeholders :eek:

Out for a stretch this evening in the vain hope of lessening the pain if a full day at Blue Mountain yesterday. Right away I noticed that some folks had straightened out a few chicanes in the Crowthers Woods trail. This restores it to last year's path, more or less, as those chicanes were added to route around major tree falls.

On the way back, I took the option marked "Advanced" or "Difficult" and discovered that someone has been busy cutting a bypass around a signature obstacle. For the past few years at least, you either ride or carry your bike over this obstacle, there was no way to ride around it. Quite obviously the trail is no longer quite so difficult since you have the option of riding perfectly flat, featureless hard pack. The riposte to the thrust of that suggestion is that the trail is exactly as difficult as your tastes allow, since you have the option of the ride-over. Mind you, there is already an existing ride-around, you simply take the fork clearly marked "Intermediate" and you ride around the whole stretch of obstacles, rock gardens, and the steep rock wall.

I can imagine arguments on both sides, but I'm interested in hearing what you have to say. Is this a good thing? Neither good nor bad? Regrettable? What's YOUR opinion?
 

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I hate cheater lines, because if they exist, I might use them.

But mre to the point, vegetation has been removed to widen a city-sanctioned trail it what appears to be an unsanctioned manner. At a location where less technical routes that go to the same place already exist. I think the new line should be blocked and re-vegetated.

What I'm really wondering: Who the hell can ride the muddy downhill rock garden 100' back but can't roll over that logpile?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
vegetation has been removed to widen a city-sanctioned trail...
This resonates with me.

What I'm really wondering: Who the hell can ride the muddy downhill rock garden 100' back but can't roll over that logpile?
The muddy downhill rock garden you speak of is a bypass line for folks who don't ride the rock wall. Perhaps this is a work-in-progress, and the rock garden will be tamed with a cheater line of it's own. :D

FWIW, I use the rock garden when riding this line north to south. I have no idea how to scale the rock wall.
 

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Evil Jr.
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The Don is under a lot pressure from the volume of riders that use it. I've been riding there for nearly 20 years now (holy cow I'm getting old, :eek:) and cheater lines are always popping up all over the place. Sometimes they go away, sometimes they become the new line.

Generally, I don't like them a make an effort to avoid them... unless they're actually more fun than the original (which is rare but is possible). :)
 

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Ms. Monster
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To me, there's a difference between cheater lines that just develop and planned chicken lines. I'm a fan of the latter, as it allows progression (I skipped that obstacle this time, but I can totally get it next time...). Also, in my current "condition", I appreciate the opportunity to ride the same trail without getting off my bike for every obstacle. But cheater lines (trail braiding) actually often make it more difficult to ride the trail as it was intended. I've found a few times where I end up taking the cheater line without meaning to, and it can sap the fun from the trail.

In this case, it's not entirely clear if it's social trail or planned trail. The fence, I'm on it. At least the more difficult line is still the one with more flow; you'd have to take an intentional detour to avoid it.
 

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I use the rock garden when riding this line north to south. I have no idea how to scale the rock wall.
The only guy I can think of who might try to get UP the cobblestone wall is Tweek. Maybe some others lurk here. I don't even like going down it on the carbon hardtail, it's big-bike only for me.
 

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namagomi
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The Don is under a lot pressure from the volume of riders that use it. I've been riding there for nearly 20 years now (holy cow I'm getting old, :eek:) and cheater lines are always popping up all over the place. Sometimes they go away, sometimes they become the new line.

Generally, I don't like them a make an effort to avoid them... unless they're actually more fun than the original (which is rare but is possible). :)
Cheaters suck.

:)
 

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Evil Jr.
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Doing stunts like that on a cross bike remind me of the definition of a Literary Classic: "A book that everybody wants to have read, but few wish to read."
I've probably started Brothers Karamozov three separate times. It is SO depressing! :skep: :)
 

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A book that everybody wants to have read, but few wish to read.
Haha. It's just high-risk-low-reward. It's just as much fun on the big bike, and without the faint notion that a snapped clavicle is waiting for me at the bottom.
 

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Given that it's the Don, well, it just is. I can't say I like it but that's the way it's been for as long as I can remember, I've been riding there for over 15 years and cheater trails are just a fact of life. It's not private property like Hardwood so there's no one to stop people from cutting new trails or rerouting old ones, it just happens and the trail system's never the same from season to season.

Course sometimes it goes the other way, I remember a time when a whole bunch of stunts & obstacles were added to the trails which made it harder to ride. Things change, it just changes faster in the Don since there's so many people using it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Over on dropmachine.com, someone made an interesting point: This stunt is the very first one you encounter going north to south, shortly after taking the trail marked "difficult." Part of it's purpose is to alert riders of the quality of trail they are going to encounter. It's still easy to turn around and take the "moderate" fork. There is a similar mandatory rideover when you ride this option from south to north. That one has a lower option but is ridden uphill.

A cheater line around the first stunt lures unwary or unready riders deeper into the trail, where they my find themselves in over their head. As such, forcing riders to do th first stunt is not just about ego or aesthetics, it has a safety purpose as well.
 

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Team NFI
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There is a similar mandatory rideover when you ride this option from south to north. That one has a lower option but is ridden uphill.
Not so much now. As someone has pulled some pieces off. Simply because thee where piled together. I predicted it would happen and when mentioned to one of the IMBA faithful as well as a solution. Was brushed off and something about how it will be held together by good will nonsense was mentioned.

If you want to build stuff like this it can't be simply piled or fitted together. It has to be nailed and spiked so that it can't be taken apart as easily.

A cheater line around the first stunt lures unwary or unready riders deeper into the trail, where they my find themselves in over their head. As such, forcing riders to do th first stunt is not just about ego or aesthetics, it has a safety purpose as well.
Basically it acts as a screen.
 

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Unfortunately, the original pile at the south end was less of a "filter", and more of a test to make sure you were running a bashguard instead of a triple.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Unfortunately, the original pile at the south end was less of a "filter", and more of a test to make sure you were running a bashguard instead of a triple.
Over the winter I learnt that the rules for trials riding now consider any contact by rider or bicycle except for the tires is a dab. Bash plates, bash guards, and pedals can no longer be used to negotiate obstacles.

That really motivated me to figure out how to clear log piles without hanging up on a guard. I can't do every log pie yet, but every ride over on the advanced section can definitely be ridden in both directions using only the tires, including the bigger side of the south to north first ride over.

I am not trying to boast, rather I am suggesting that sometimes it is just a matter of having confidence that something is possible and then with a little effort, you figure out how to doit.

I wish the people dumbing down these stunts had the same confidence. I'm sure they would soon be clearing the stunts followed thereafter by flowing over the stunts smoothly and without losing momentum.
 
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