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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I mountain-bike the trails at Paris Mountain State Park quite often, sometimes several times each week. For quite sometime now I have noticed a disturbing increase in ride-arounds on Mountain Creek trail, beginning at the park office and to the wooden bridge. Since those who make ride-arounds are not likely to be intelligent enough to know the meaning of the term, I will explain in case one or more of them reads this. This assumes they can, in fact, read.

A ride-around is an illegal detour in the trail purposely made to ovoid roots, rocks or other technicals. While discussing the problem with a park ranger today, he agreed with me when I stated that they are not only unsightly but also encourage erosion of the trial due to uncontrolled water runoff during rains. Park officials have received complaints from other trail users (including other concerned mountain bikers besides me) but they have yet to decide what action to take. This was not discussed during our conversation, but it is a good time for me to mention that riding mountain bikes at Paris Mountain is a privilege and not a right supported by law. In other words, you and I could lose a wonderful and convenient place to mountain bike due to the actions of a few irresponsible and thoughtless individuals.

Blocking the run-arounds with logs and brush has proven to be unsuccessful as most are soon removed. A better solution would be to catch the culprit(s) in the act and charge them for the violation. I have several trail cameras that I use during deer season and plan to offer the loan of them to the park. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with this device, it is an inconspicuous little box chained to a tree and it is difficult to spot due to its camo finish. Anything moving within view of the camera gets its photo taken numerous times, whether it is a deer, a raccoon or a mountain biker clearing a blocked ride-around. Hopefully, park officials will take me up on my offer and will install those cameras at various trouble spots.

As I said, I ride at Paris Mountain a lot and if ever I spot anyone removing limbs and brush that have been used to block a ride-around you can bet your bippy I will report them in a heartbeat. Not only that, but I'll be waiting in the parking area with the park ranger to make face-to-face identification.

The way I see it, anyone who finds Mountain Creek trail too difficult to ride should stay off of it rather than spoiling it for the rest of us. There’s Firetower Trail or if it proves to be too difficult, the paved road through the park is always there. Even better for the rest of us, stay at home and cruise around in your subdivision and leave Paris Mountain to those of us who are not afraid to ride over a few roots and rocks. :madmax: :madmax: :madmax:
 

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When I see them I stop and spend a great deal of time putting stick and rock barriers in the cut. Sometimes I have to do it several times. But when the lazy riders finally realize that someone (me) is not going to stop, they give up. Signs at the trailhead warning people not to do it is also a good method.
 

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Stupid indeed. They are mountain biking. Why go out on a trail if they don't attempt the technical features? They are depriving themselves of a, "Yes! I did it!", moment.

One of my fellow trail builders rode up on one such person in a rage removing ride-around blockage over a simple step up. He told him he was being disrespectful to the trail builder, who was present, and suggested attempting the step up, rather then circumvent, or stick to fire roads. The blockage hasn't been touched since.

Point being, persistence is good, but confronting the culprit will put it to a stop.
 

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Totally agree with you stump bumper. Here in PA, we have certain problems with people cutting corners on trails and also removing the rocks and logs from them. IF YOU CANNOT RIDE THE EXISTING TRAIL, PLEASE GO RIDE SOMEWHERE ELSE.
 

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"Ride Lots" Eddy Merckx
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stumpbumper said:
Hopefully, park officials will take me up on my offer and will install those cameras at various trouble spots.QUOTE]

Agreed....we need more cameras, law enforcement, and fear of the man!!

What exactly would one do with the footage? What would you charge these evil do-ers with? How are you going to ID them? I know....you should charge a membership fee and require all riders to display front and rear plates with current registration stickers!
 

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Big B's Trails
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kkjellquist said:
stumpbumper said:
Hopefully, park officials will take me up on my offer and will install those cameras at various trouble spots.QUOTE]

Agreed....we need more cameras, law enforcement, and fear of the man!!

What exactly would one do with the footage? What would you charge these evil do-ers with? How are you going to ID them? I know....you should charge a membership fee and require all riders to display front and rear plates with current registration stickers!
:madman:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
kkjellquist said:
stumpbumper said:
Hopefully, park officials will take me up on my offer and will install those cameras at various trouble spots.QUOTE]

Agreed....we need more cameras, law enforcement, and fear of the man!!

What exactly would one do with the footage? What would you charge these evil do-ers with? How are you going to ID them? I know....you should charge a membership fee and require all riders to display front and rear plates with current registration stickers!
The cameras shoot high-definition digital images. Faces and mountain bikes belonging to the culprits would be easy to identify. The park has only one entrance and it is often manned. Photos would be posted there for possible ID as people enter.

Park rangers have the authority to issue citations (and they often do) for violations such as entering the park without paying the required fee and for damaging park property and that includes the trails. I'm not sure about the amount of the fines but my guess is they are enough to discourage mountain bikers from creating run-arounds or removing obstacles placed by park personel to block them.

Had not thought of the front and rear license plates and will give you credit for the idea next time I see a park official. Would you also be in favor of park rangers tatooing the foreheads of repeat offenders? :eekster: :thumbsup:
 

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"Ride Lots" Eddy Merckx
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stumpbumper said:
kkjellquist said:
Had not thought of the front and rear license plates and will give you credit for the idea next time I see a park official. Would you also be in favor of park rangers tatooing the foreheads of repeat offenders? :eekster: :thumbsup:
Tattoos can be expensive and removed. Why don't you just setup shotguns to shoot these people automatically!
 

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this is frustrating. On local trails, I know the lines and avoid the ride arounds.

But when I am out my area, riding trails I am less familiar with....I hate it when I get sucked into the ride around and miss the "real" line.

I realize I can go back and "do it over", but that breaks the flow.

And that is my big complaint about ride arounds.

But the camera's and whatnot....are perhaps something I couldn't go for. But that is just me.
 

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I am actually surprised that the go arounds surprised you. I mean we are talking about Paris mtn here where 98% of the "mountain bikers" there ride back down the road instead of riding down Sulpher Springs which difficulty wise would just be considered another good trail in Pisgah.
 

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Drinker w/ Riding Problem
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Paris Mountain

Mountain Creek trail gets the most travel due to it being the closest to the park entrance and really the single artery trail from the lower end to the upper trails of the park.

you've got to remember PMSP is 6.5 miles from the center of downtown Greenville pop 4oo,ooo+ it' has the highest volume of park users out of all SC State parks.

The biggest issue i see is most of the riders on the lower end trails don't know the rules (plain and simple) they've gone to Walmart or Target; purchased a cheap bike, and want to go mountain biking! no helmets, no skills and don't know anything about Rules of the Trail... They see something they don't like, and feel it's within their power of "making it better" or "making it easier"

my recommendation? call the park and complain. Enough complaints and hopefully they'll do something to resolve it. whether that evolves signs posted at the trailhead(s) or handouts of Park policies as people enter the Park.

or join an advocacy group and get ridiculed here on the forums
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
litespeedchick said:
I'd be in favor of telling the Ranger you saw some militant Sierra Clubers w/ carbon walking sticks making the WALK-arounds.
Best solution I have received thus far. In fact, now that you mention it, I may have observed several of those crazed Sierra Clubers using ride-arounds to zip pass MTBers on climbs without ringing their bell or yelling "passing on your right" or "hit the dirt knobby-breath". ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jeremy R said:
I am actually surprised that the go arounds surprised you. I mean we are talking about Paris mtn here where 98% of the "mountain bikers" there ride back down the road instead of riding down Sulpher Springs which difficulty wise would just be considered another good trail in Pisgah.
Don't recall saying the ride-arounds "surprised me". I did say I am one of a number of MTbers who is fed up with people who continue to make them. I have not actually made a count but I'd say there are now at least half a dozen ride-arounds in a 1.5 mile stretch of Mountain Creek trial. That's a lot! The latest is around the big clump of roots toward the end. Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time blocking it and another fairly new one but am sure they will have been cleared in a few days.
 

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stumpbumper said:
Don't recall saying the ride-arounds "surprised me". I did say I am one of a number of MTbers who is fed up with people who continue to make them. I have not actually made a count but I'd say there are now at least half a dozen ride-arounds in a 1.5 mile stretch of Mountain Creek trial. That's a lot! The latest is around the big clump of roots toward the end. Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time blocking it and another fairly new one but am sure they will have been cleared in a few days.
Oh, I agree with you, I don't like the ride arounds either. I saw the one you are talking about last night too. Its near the very bottom where there are two big roots in a turn, and someone made a straight line through it. Lame. The one I really hate is the turn they cut out on short Kanuga where they straightlined around a big tree. Everytime I come around that corner fast, and forget which way to go. One day, I am gonna choose the middle and end up with tree bark in my teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
seenvic said:
this is frustrating. On local trails, I know the lines and avoid the ride arounds.

But when I am out my area, riding trails I am less familiar with....I hate it when I get sucked into the ride around and miss the "real" line.

I realize I can go back and "do it over", but that breaks the flow.

And that is my big complaint about ride arounds.

But the camera's and whatnot....are perhaps something I couldn't go for. But that is just me.
I totally aree with you on your first three points but having cameras on the trail (at least until the problem is resolved) is a whole lot better than losing a great place to ride. Not saying that will happen but since MTBers are already banned from the trails at Paris Mt on Saturday, not the mention the fact that hikers and nature-lookers, many of whom are not exactly in love with MTBers (some of it their fault, some of it our fault) greatly outnumber us, the possibility is always there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
brado1 said:
Paris Mountain

Mountain Creek trail gets the most travel due to it being the closest to the park entrance and really the single artery trail from the lower end to the upper trails of the park.

you've got to remember PMSP is 6.5 miles from the center of downtown Greenville pop 4oo,ooo+ it' has the highest volume of park users out of all SC State parks.

The biggest issue i see is most of the riders on the lower end trails don't know the rules (plain and simple) they've gone to Walmart or Target; purchased a cheap bike, and want to go mountain biking! no helmets, no skills and don't know anything about Rules of the Trail... They see something they don't like, and feel it's within their power of "making it better" or "making it easier"

my recommendation? call the park and complain. Enough complaints and hopefully they'll do something to resolve it. whether that evolves signs posted at the trailhead(s) or handouts of Park policies as people enter the Park.

or join an advocacy group and get ridiculed here on the forums
I and others have already complained several times. During another conversation with one of the park rangers today, he invited me to participate in the park's next trail work day and I accepted. We will further dicsuss the problem then and try to come up with a solution to the problem. It may take awhile and a bit of work but it it will be worth it because I love Paris Mountain and just hate to see its trails mistreated by those who do not appreciate it (enter violinists softly now) :D :D :D
 

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To answer the question of what you would charge them with: Destruction of property. Second thing: a good way to block GA'a are to take cedar logs and cement them in the ground in the middle of the GA's. Trust me when I say they won't want to try and deal with a cedar log(s) with 80 lbs of concrete stuck to it.

Up here at LKNM SP riding the trail when it's closed will get you a trespassing ticket of $140. You gotta pay to play. I hope you resolve your issue soon.
 

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Bear with me, I'm going to make an analogy.

The following are the only three ways I can think of to stop people from riding muddy trails:
1) Build trails that don't get muddy.
2) Build structures that keep people off muddy ground.
3) Close the muddy trails.

In turn, the following are the only four ways I can think of to stop people from creating ride arounds.
1) Build trails that don't allow or encourage them to be created.
2) Build permanent and fixed structures that block potential ride around routes.
3) Build intentional and sustainable bypasses to the technical options.
4) Close the section of trail.

You're arguing basically the same point beat to death, brought back to life, killed again, only to some day come back again to a theatre near you in the muddy trail threads. Your point may be right, but there's no easy fix that everybody is going to agree with. It will be an ongoing issue that, as seenvic points out, some of us will accidentally contribute to when we don't know a trail or just make a mistake.
 

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I would add this: Ride arounds are part of human nature. It's natural instinct to take the easy way out.

I'm not encouraging or condoning the behavior but if you want to effectively control the behavior it may help to understand why people do what people do.

Go ride a really steep and technical trail. Take a spin on the most difficult trail you can find. See if you find yourself riding on the edges of the trails just seeking that extra ounce of traction. See if you find yourself hitting the cheater lines on the climbs. I know I do. I know better but sometimes I just can't help it. There are points in mtn biking when pain and fear turn us to our primal instincts.
 
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