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slower than you
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After the Great Pumpkin has come and gone, my children, but well before Saint Nicolas has made his yearly appearance, charging so boldly through the night with his gifts and reindeer, is the best season to look for the advent of The Nightranger.

Indeed, The Nightranger may in fact appear at any time, but he always only visits trails that have been "bad" all year, most often on cold nights, when all is dark and abandoned and the cloak of night is best able to hide him. Between the cycles of the full moon (for too many moon-lumens make his goggles useless) he reworks the trails, not to make them stable, but to make them smooth and without impediment lest a toe be dabbed or a pedal struck.

If you make prayerful appeals to the Nightranger, either in person or via other means, and in so doing attempt to ask him to stop, or attempt to persuade him with a well-reasoned rationale as to why he should, he will surely defy you. If you leave him your anonymous burnt offerings trailside in hopes that your gifts will compel him to move on, he will only despise you more.

You must remember,children: The Nightranger hates you. He hates your elitist attitude. You may say you love a challenge, the chance to practice and improve, but only The Nightranger truly understands: smoother trails will ultimately improve you as an individual despite your intractable attitude which, in its futility, attempts to insist that the truth is otherwise.

And so was Rocky Ridge, upon who's tangled turns and pebbled path was many a mountain biker trained, at long last redone, remade, reworked by The Nightranger, into a simple, buff'd, foresty path free of obstacle, relieved of challenge. And thus was it renamed: Rockyt Ridge: the Ridge of the Rocket! Henceforth no longer a trail worthy of challenging anyone, but instead a trail to be ridden without effort by all.

All credit to The Nightranger!
 

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rc:

Great Post. I stole your work and posted it on the Cailf forum to give them a chuckle. It has been raining cats and dogs there, so they have all been hunkered down for a couple days.

I got word today through the grapevine that the Nightranger has gotten some severe criticism from some of his closet friends and that he has gone tooooooooooo far on his last sanitation tirade. Hopefully the pressure from those friends will do a hard wire change to his excessive compulsive nature.
 

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The initial "work" that had been done in the last couple of months was more than enough, as we all discussed in the other thread. I just got a report from a riding buddy that RR has been totally buffed to "new schultz" like status. I have not been on RR for a couple of weeks at most.

Am I understanding this correctly that more work has been done since the last thread and my riding buddy was correct?

Does anybody know if this was official trail work or otherwise?

This sucks big time if true. I am going to ride it tomorrow to check it out for myself.
 

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The initial "work" that had been done in the last couple of months was more than enough, as we all discussed in the other thread. I just got a report from a riding buddy that RR has been totally buffed to "new schultz" like status. I have not been on RR for a couple of weeks at most.

Am I understanding this correctly that more work has been done since the last thread and my riding buddy was correct?

Does anybody know if this was official trail work or otherwise?

This sucks big time if true. I am going to ride it tomorrow to check it out for myself.
I understand the Nightrander is somewhat suicidal, so please go easy if you are not happy with the current status.
 

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The initial "work" that had been done in the last couple of months was more than enough, as we all discussed in the other thread. I just got a report from a riding buddy that RR has been totally buffed to "new schultz" like status. I have not been on RR for a couple of weeks at most.

Am I understanding this correctly that more work has been done since the last thread and my riding buddy was correct?

Does anybody know if this was official trail work or otherwise?

This sucks big time if true. I am going to ride it tomorrow to check it out for myself.
None of it is official or legit. The Nightranger works for no-one. Also spotted on Little Bear.
 

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Well then. F that guy indeed. I would not mind this guy being exiled for 6 months and fined ala TrailDoc.

I am usually not in favor of such sillyness, but he just ruined a great trail with a lot of local flavor and history.

There is a rather timely article in the latest Dirt Rag magazine about how maybe the trend of building IMBA sustainable trails has gone too far... leading to characterless buffed out flow trail after flow trail. It is a good read, given the slated work that may or may not be done on the Elden system, as well as Sedona.
 

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Well then. F that guy indeed. I would not mind this guy being exiled for 6 months and fined ala TrailDoc.

I am usually not in favor of such sillyness, but he just ruined a great trail with a lot of local flavor and history.

There is a rather timely article in the latest Dirt Rag magazine about how maybe the trend of building IMBA sustainable trails has gone too far... leading to characterless buffed out flow trail after flow trail. It is a good read, given the slated work that may or may not be done on the Elden system, as well as Sedona.
It was a great article. The author did a great job on reporting about current trail building trends without a one sided biased opinion. I think it did sum up with tho that we need easier trails to get more people interested in mountain biking but we will always need the challenging trails as well. If the trails system on Elden was well thought out and created I don't think RR is the best location for a very difficult trail, it's more of a main artery/feeder trail into more isolated areas of the mountain. Either way people don't have the right to just go out and change trails without getting permission from land managers and I'm guessing that the NR is pissing a lot of folks off. Honestly I could care less, I don't look to the XC trail system for the technical challenges I enjoy, it's more for the flow and exercise. I won't miss the rocks on RR either, like I said it's not a destination line for me, just a connection and one I really don't care to waste my energy on getting all blown out, I need that energy for the trails that SHRED!
 

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I once had plenty fun working grunt lines on RR....with that being said, it's a connector trail....and when I view it in its totality, which means part of the AZT....I'm not worried that the AZT will find "some" way to provide a beatdown somewhere between mexico and utah.....
 

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I hear you... it was just fun to have something that close to my neighborhood that when linked with one or two other trails provided a ride with some challenge and character when I was needing a "short on time and daylight" after work ride.

I don't have a problem with change, or it being part of an over all plan with the AZ trail corridor. I do have a problem with one person taking it upon themselves to change the nature of well liked trail to their standards without permission or input.
 

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I hear you... it was just fun to have something that close to my neighborhood that when linked with one or two other trails provided a ride with some challenge and character when I was needing a "short on time and daylight" after work ride.

I don't have a problem with change, or it being part of an over all plan with the AZ trail corridor. I do have a problem with one person taking it upon themselves to change the nature of well liked trail to their standards without permission or input.
I agree, not a cool way to do things. It's funny, the way the guy has been doing these changes it's like he wants to piss people off and he wants to be caught, maybe this person is after some kind of recognition or attention?
 

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I have been riding up there since 1999 and have never considered rocky ridge to be a "connector" There is bypass called the road. Rocky Ridge has always been a highlight of riding on Elden for me. Schultz is fast flowing descent. Rocky Ridge was boulder fest before the big climb.

I will reserve judgement on the state of rocky ridge until I ride it again. That will probably be this summer. Riding is too go the deserts right now to make the drive.
 

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If Nightranger was still posting on mtbr this is what he would say, or did say, the last time Rocket Ridge came up:

I have taken on a new role. I am now the Obi Wan Kenobi of trail builders...

"You can't win Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine "

It's not a sideline position, it's a stealth position. You go out on a 40 mile ride this weekend and you'll likely pass by hundreds of locations where I've made improvements to the trail you are on. If you followed the Mujahideen, as they took on the Russian military in Afghanistan, you witnessed the power of a small group of dedicated warriors. For some trail workers, it can be liberating not to attend meetings, read studies, wait and wait for land managers to get moving. Just find trouble spots and make the needed repairs. It's a part of what it takes to maintain all of our trails. If you'd like to be embeded into a crew of one or two such warriors, let me know.

I wonder what the FS thinks about such a cavalier attitude but I guess they have bigger fish to fry than someone grooming a trail that quite possibly will be graded and bulldozed into submission in the future.
 

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There is a rather timely article in the latest Dirt Rag magazine about how maybe the trend of building IMBA sustainable trails has gone too far... leading to characterless buffed out flow trail after flow trail. It is a good read, given the slated work that may or may not be done on the Elden system, as well as Sedona.
That was a good article but I can see the benefit of flow country trails and they are fun and they do help introduce more folks to the sport and I don't think there's any big risk of them totally taking over (I would love it if someone came and built a couple of 'em off some peaks in my neck of the woods)...... but I agree that it can be taken to the extreme at the expense of regular technical or less flowy older trails that build other skills and that many of us cut our teeth on an still enjoy. I certainly wouldn't want all trails to be Flow Country.

It was funny that a week after I got my Dirt Rag with that article in it, my Bike mag showed up with an article proclaiming Half (Full) Nelson in Squamish (a flowy, machine built jump filled bobsled run) the greatest trail on earth.

I'm sure it's tons of fun....... but I'm glad that Angry Midget (old school, rocks, tech, switchbacks and steeps) still exists which parallels Half Nelson and is the trail I rode when I was up there. Good stuff.

As far as Rocky Ridge? That's just stupid. Will I miss the rocks after spending a day climbing up the Elden road and bombing Wasabi and other tech trails then riding RR back over to my car at Schultz Creek dead tired? No. But it still deserves to be what it is: Rocky Ridge.
 

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That was a good article but I can see the benefit of flow country trails and they are fun and they do help introduce more folks to the sport and I don't think there's any big risk of them totally taking over (I would love it if someone came and built a couple of 'em off some peaks in my neck of the woods)...... but I agree that it can be taken to the extreme at the expense of regular technical or less flowy older trails that build other skills and that many of us cut our teeth on an still enjoy. I certainly wouldn't want all trails to be Flow Country.

It was funny that a week after I got my Dirt Rag with that article in it, my Bike mag showed up with an article proclaiming Half (Full) Nelson in Squamish (a flowy, machine built jump filled bobsled run) the greatest trail on earth.

I'm sure it's tons of fun....... but I'm glad that Angry Midget (old school, rocks, tech, switchbacks and steeps) still exists which parallels Half Nelson and is the trail I rode when I was up there. Good stuff.

As far as Rocky Ridge? That's just stupid. Will I miss the rocks after spending a day climbing up the Elden road and bombing Wasabi and other tech trails then riding RR back over to my car at Schultz Creek dead tired? No. But it still deserves to be what it is: Rocky Ridge.
Good points KRob. I too would hate to have every trail a flow trail but some of those would be nice. Personally I like more steep natural gnar, it's just my style or ideally a mix of both to me is the best trail possible. There was another article in that same issue of Bike playing the devils advocate about the need for old school natural trails too.

I am trying to make sure that in our proposal for the DLHE plan will meet all of these needs here in Flagstaff. I worked really hard this past summer exploring and gps-ing possible lines just for that. Hopefully we can get some where at some point. Luckily my winter in Telluride skiing the San Juan back country taught me something about having patience because I sure need it to get through this lengthy process.
 

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A special thanks to Prince Humperdink (Rocky Chrysler) for furthering the legend of Dread Pirate Roberts (Nightranger). The minions working on dozens of trails appreciate the cover fire. Nightranger has agreed to take credit for any and all work done so others can benefit and his legendary status is enhanced.


"I'll explain and I'll use small words that you'll be sure to understand you warthog faced buffoon." The Dread Pirate Roberts is a little less than polite to the cowardly Prince Humperdinck.


Westley: Roberts had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. He took me to his cabin and he told me his secret. 'I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts' he said. 'My name is Ryan; I inherited the ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from is not the real Dread Pirate Roberts either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.'
 

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