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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let’s say, hypothetically, that I was looking at some maps and I saw something interesting. A possible trail. Didn’t show up on Google maps, no Strava segments, only the faintest line on the global heatmap. But some topo maps showed it, and it seemed likely something was there.


So then let’s say hypothetically that I hiked it yesterday, and was delighted to discover that it was a full-on mountain biking trail, with a few jumps and berms and features. Recent trail work was evident, though some sections had encroaching brush. This is not a well-known riding area, totally off the radar of anything I’ve seen hinted at in these forums.


It goes without saying that I will be silent about its hypothetical location. But a few questions:


1) Aside from general fight club etiquette, what should I be considering before hypothetically riding this trail? This is not a situation like poaching a known hiking trail, this is someone’s hard work and it should be respected. (I don’t plan to bring any buddies to ride it with me.)


2) I would love to help out the folks who made this trail by putting in some work. I would imagine that cutting back brush would be appreciated, but working on any features would probably be a no-no until I meet the builders? How about something like digging out a better path around a hypothetical trail blockage? Too much or appreciated?


3) Let’s say I wanted to meet the folks who built this hypothetical trail. Would it be kosher to gently hint around at the local bike shop to see if anybody knows anything, or would that be a violation of fight club rules? The trail has a distinguishing feature that can be described without revealing anything about its whereabouts.


Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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NedwannaB
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12,792 Posts
Those hypothetical blockages and overgrowths may be there for a reason. I'd ride it and if one day hypotheticaly you come across another on it then that's when you work out those details you're inquiring about. Hypothetically ofcourse. 🤔
 

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Yeah, I was going to say... Even trail work that seems innocuous can go against the intent of the builders. Need to meet them first. If I were in this (hypothetical) situation, I'd ride the trail, keep it quiet, and bring a shovel for when I inevitably meet the builders.
 

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RIDDLELDDIR
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1,581 Posts
Hypothetically speaking, regardless of who built it, where it is, or how you found it, my advice, FWIW, is 100% do not include the bike shop in your quest for answers. The likelihood of someone at the shop that knows someone that knows someone could hypothetically draw unwanted attention to said trail. Freakin strava.. tsk tsk.. Nothing changes... Ever
 

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Is this trail on mtb approved land? If so its open slather as far as im concerned. Talk openly about it too people.


If not, if its some diss used hiking only track the bootleg mtbers have worked on then no don't openly talk about. Ride it and enjoy.


When riding bootleg tracks It is wise to consider other official users, hikers ect. When would they be on the track? try and avoid those prime times and ride the track when you
other actual users might not be on there.

I sculk into a number of dissused/partially used and sometimes well used hikers tracks up our local mountain. They are next level crazy natural enduro/dh style tracks. They are really awesome to ride. But a shitty old out of date government law considers bikes as vehicles and rules them out of the park. I've been riding these tracks successfully for 20 years without issues with other users. Namely because we avoid the high use tracks in peak times and ride the tracks in obscure times that hikers typically wont be out in.
 

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Hella Olde
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Leave a 'message in a bottle' at a feature that will be worked on with your burner email addy that they can use to communicate with you if they choose to. Let them know you are living by the Omertà code.

Edit - a message ON a bottle would be even better. Quality stuff.
 

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F*** it
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1,277 Posts
Disbursed hiking and shouldering of the bike at all Fight Club trail entrances and exits.
This either doesn't happen where I ride or it only lasts a season. But I was shown a trail entrance last year that I had ridden by 100+ times--and the trail (a good one) has been there a long time. Stealthy works!
 

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mtb'er
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Leave a 'message in a bottle' at a feature that will be worked on with your burner email addy that they can use to communicate with you if they choose to. Let them know you are living by the Omertà code.

Edit - a message ON a bottle would be even better. Quality stuff.
A sixer in a small cooler with a note is a nice touch too :thumbsup:
 

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Registered
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Is this trail on mtb approved land? If so its open slather as far as im concerned. Talk openly about it too people.
What is mountain bike approved land? I don't know anywhere where it's legal to build trails. Especially one with berms and jumps.

*I take that back, I do know places where trail building is permitted, but none of which are local to the Bay Area.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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39,157 Posts
The first rule of secret trails is to bring other people on the trails, then make sure they don’t tell anyone. When they bring people, they’ll do the same and pretty soon, it will be fully secret.
 

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I want to ride my bicycle
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287 Posts
Are you 100% certain that this is public land rather than someone's private property? There are a handful of private MTB trails sprinkled throughout the Bay Area...
 
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