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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For any of you that plan to ride the Happy Jack trails near Laramie, WY (or race the Laramie Enduro 111k), we could use your help. The local Medicine Bow Nordic Association (MBNA) is formulating a plan that they will present to the Forest Service this Spring. The plan as currently posted will widen much of the trail system to 14' and then smooth them (and I mean complete rock removal) so that the ski groomers can groom the trail when there is little snow. The skiers want a longer season and more terrain at the expense of MTBers, runners, etc who want at least some challenges. I don't know about you, but if I wanted a smooth, wide trail I'd go ride a road...

Here is the plan: http://www.medbownordic.org/long_range_plan.htm
Including: "1. All groomed trails will be cut to 14' wide, as skied, to allow enough width for a skate lane and classic track. The summer surface of the groomed trails will also be smoothed out as much as possible. Justification - Width: A nice trail width is 13'. This allows for a 6" buffer between the groomer and trees. In places where we have this width we have found that the grooming is much cheaper. It is possible to groom faster because no weaving in and out of the trees is needed and our equipment lasts longer because it is not constantly hitting trees. Smoothing: This allows us to groom with less snow on the ground, so our season is longer (or in some years exists at all). It also reduces damage to the grooming equipment caused by hitting barely covered obstructions."

Also... I resent being told that ONLY skiers can be on them in the winter. Not too many steps away from having MTBers excluded from some trails in the summer.

April 24th is when the MBNA will reformulate the plan based on input.
So please input away...
Please contact: Via e-mail at [email protected] (or PO Box 2251, Laramie, WY 82073).

Just gets me so agitated! :mad:
 

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MBMBPer said:
For any of you that plan to ride the Happy Jack trails near Laramie, WY (or race the Laramie Enduro 111k), we could use your help. The local Medicine Bow Nordic Association (MBNA) is formulating a plan that they will present to the Forest Service this Spring. The plan as currently posted will widen much of the trail system to 14' and then smooth them (and I mean complete rock removal) so that the ski groomers can groom the trail when there is little snow. The skiers want a longer season and more terrain at the expense of MTBers, runners, etc who want at least some challenges. I don't know about you, but if I wanted a smooth, wide trail I'd go ride a road...

Here is the plan: http://www.medbownordic.org/long_range_plan.htm
Including: "1. All groomed trails will be cut to 14' wide, as skied, to allow enough width for a skate lane and classic track. The summer surface of the groomed trails will also be smoothed out as much as possible. Justification - Width: A nice trail width is 13'. This allows for a 6" buffer between the groomer and trees. In places where we have this width we have found that the grooming is much cheaper. It is possible to groom faster because no weaving in and out of the trees is needed and our equipment lasts longer because it is not constantly hitting trees. Smoothing: This allows us to groom with less snow on the ground, so our season is longer (or in some years exists at all). It also reduces damage to the grooming equipment caused by hitting barely covered obstructions."

Also... I resent being told that ONLY skiers can be on them in the winter. Not too many steps away from having MTBers excluded from some trails in the summer.

April 24th is when the MBNA will reformulate the plan based on input.
So please input away...
Please contact: Via e-mail at [email protected] (or PO Box 2251, Laramie, WY 82073).

The Forest Service will eventually get this plan, so let them know too...
Paul Blackman [email protected] (really level guy who I hope will not allow this).

Just gets me so agitated! :mad:
Fourteen inches, or fourteen feet? Holy crap, that's looney talk. If they want to groom trails, do it in a local park in town, not out in the woods!

I'm really fond of the area as it is, and I'd hate to see anything change(with the exception of more singletrack of course!). Good riding all over up there!
 

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I imagine it's 14'. 14" isn't enough to ski on, and if they want to "groom" with equipment, they'd need some space.

Seems like a lot of work for one user group.

Does anyone ride up there? Are they changing trails that are traditionally biked upon in the Spring/Summer/Fall? It seems like a lot of work for the short winter season. Or do the trails they want to affect get reserved mostly for the ski crowd anyway?
 

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I be interested to see...

exactly what trails they are talking about.

I actually do a good bit of skate skiing up there in the winter. It is very sweet for this. I'm thinking that there are a lot of trails there besides the skate ski ones and the only ones they would "smooth" would be the groomed skate ski trails. Also, I don't know what these trails look like in the summer (I'm planning to get up there this year and ride), but they are already wide cuts through the trees -- not exactly single track, I'm guessing (one of the trails is the road to the campground in the summer, for example).

On the attached map all of the red dashed trails are not groomed, and I'm assuming would not be "widened." If you overlay the ski area map on the Laramie Enduro map, it covers maybe 1/50th of the total area -- not much impact to Mt Biking IMHO.

So, some already wide trails will be "smoothed." Some new snowshoe trails will be built. And the vast vast majority of the trails in the area will not be touched. Sounds pretty good to me.

Oh, and to have a groomed skate skiing trail open to other users ruins it. That's why there are snowshoe trails and skate ski trails (and why they are planning on adding more snowshoe trails). I don't think this in any way implies or relates to someone saying "that might lead to mt biking trail closures." Apples and oranges.

Seems to me like skate skiers and mt bikers may be the same people in many many cases.

Maybe this isn't as bad of a deal as it seems.
 

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I've been skate skiing there and it's friggin awesome. I would support the smoothing of trails as long as it would be a limited amount of the total trails. The mountain biking is also very good and I wouldn't want to see the outer loops smoothed. I think this area provides a unique opportunity to jam on forrested trails in the off mountain bike season. Some mountain bikers are skiiers too.

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many of the trails that they want to "smooth" are somewhat smoothed already and pretty wide - last year our bike patrol had complaints from riders about sections that were changed so that they were "nothing more than a dirt road now". I just don't agree with that. If there isn't enough snow to cover the rocks, well... don't groom the trail/ski.

But one area of concern is the expansion of grooming onto the Crow Creek trails - currently narrow single track which is planned to be widened to 14'. I enjoy riding Crow Creek - not very technical - but being narrow and twisty makes it interesting. A 14' wide "dirt road" on the other hand...

As for limiting access to skier only - the rationale is partially destruction of groomed surface and partially slow speed. Well, the slow speed argument does not hold water - if there is a danger becasue one use if moving quickly and another slowly, well the quicker moving person will have to slow down until speed is controlled, just like biking. If we tried that argument - mountain bikers are screaming down the trail, so those slow hikers should not be allowed... we'd be laughed right out of the Forest Service office. Destruction of the groomed surface I can partially agree with - they do a lot of work to keep the trails nice and runners/hikers would posthole, although snowshoers don't cause that destruction (if they stay out of the classic lane). I just feel that Forest Service trails should be multi-use and once we start segregating trails and usage, bikers often lose. Trying to head that off. Seen it happen in too many places.

The propose map is here:
http://www.medbownordic.org/long_range_plan.htm
I am guessing that all of the new snowshoe trails will NOT be summer use trails as well, although if that was surprisingly the case then we may end up better off.
 
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