Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
All too frequently I read posts from well meaning trail gurus who often takes existing trail sections and modifies them to a bicycle standard. Meaning to be ridden by many but not all riders. Some trail maintenance folks do the work without saying a word, and some tell the stories here on MTBR and other forums. Or perhaps a well known rock on a well known trail gets moved or a tree is cut, or feature altered and people notice. And there is when the argument starts. Words of SANITIZING, and DUMBING DOWN on public trails on public land. This thread is not about bike parks or privately held trails. But rather about what happens when people step up and "fix" a section of trail. Who is that and why do they do it maintenance sort of fashion?
I do claim to do a sizable chunk of trail maintenance. Both on my own and with the USFS on trail work days. Our most recent project was in Sedona, AZ. The thread is here. http://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/sedo...il-improvements-munds-wagon-trail-748117.html
As you can see, this pattern repeats itself again and again. And I'm sure that the USFS gets real tired of this kind of thing, just as I do.
So, out on a ride yesterday I spent most of the time thinking about this whole trail thing being not so much as a static thing, but a progression of different applications of maintenance for different reasons and situations. At the extremes there is the thought that once a trail is ridden, it should never be altered, just let nature and tires of riders determine the experience. On the other extreme, there is the thought that all trails will eventually be brought down to the lowest common denominator, the mass public trail. Well, the answer most likely is somewhere between the two extremes. My idea of using a better tool that creates consensus for trail "experience" may help the trail gurus keep their trailworking skills sharp and to help land managers better understand MTB riders. It also allows the biking community to effectively manage the trails to their liking, rather than go into a rage when something is altered out of the norm. Or shrug shoulders and ride away somewhere else.
Most trail descriptions are generic and understandable, but one thing I struggle with is rating the trail. Its usually Novice, Intermediate, and Expert. Or I see more the the bike/ski park rating of Green, Blue, and Black used to define what? Difficulty? And what is the difference between Novice and Intermediate, to whom? I purpose using a number system which is strictly observed by watching actual riders going up, down, over, under, and around the features on the trail. And I propose using a rating based on watching 100 random riders on a trail. Then choose up to 10 technical features to observe rider behaviors. Simply note how many of the 100 riders clean the feature and how many step off the pedals. Each feature will develop a score of say, 70/30 or 10/90 or 51/49. So that says that 70 riders cleaned it and 30 did not. And the next numbers,10 cleaned it, and 90 dabbed. Once data is collected from several technical points along the trail, a rating can accurately be assigned to the trail. From there, a trail can be altered to fit into the standard of the overall experience that the rider goes through.
The next bit of trail information is better defining what kind of trail it is. For simplicity I use the XC rating of a trail that is commonly ridden in both directions. Again to determine this rating, watch 100 riders and note which direction they are riding. The AM rating is for trails that are ridden predominately in one direction. Finally, the is the DH rating which speaks for itself. So something like Munds Wagon I'd rate it a AM 40/60 in its current state (I have not watched 100 riders go up it thou, but have watched many go down).

Almost another topic, but it is related to all this above is why remove a tough bit of trail with a reroute or "fix"? I don't think most trail gnomes are intentionally dumbing down a trail because of their own inability to ride a section of trail. There is something else going on, mostly an understanding of how that section of trail is developing with use and projecting what will develop in the future. Erosion from nature and the off handling skills of riders who can't ever ride properly are destroying what is there currently. A trail builder then steps in and creates a change that sheds more water off the trail and often allows more riders to pass through still on the pedals. Removing the challenge (which is really an erosional issue) Sometimes that goes too far with some fixes, but would be understood if there was a system that gave trails a clear user consensus.
Finally, this type of trail communication (which exists on actual paper) can be presented to a land manager for future trails development. As riders skills and MTB technology develop, trails themselves will have to be retrobuilt or new trails developed to meet the demand.
 

·
pedal fatass!
Joined
·
93 Posts
Good post, and worth a lot of thought. I think the "dumbing down" is more likely to be exclusively in the minds of mountain bikers when there are other user groups to be considered during the design process. The thing is, unless you're very lucky and/or have a sympathetic land manager, you don't always get to design for just bikers, and in most cases 2 way traffic is the norm. Trails that "work" for bikers, equestrians, hikers, and trail runners in both directions are probably not going to flow that well on a bike, and are not likely to have much in the way of technical features.

In a bike park setting, the ratings can be kind of misleading for sure. As I understand it, a Northstar Black trail is like a Blue at Whistler, and so on. It's not consistent. I don't consider myself a great rider, but Black trails at Northstar weren't really a problem. I'd probably be in the hospital if I attempted Whister under the same impression. It wouldn't surprise me if things get knocked back a bit over the years, especially in the US where lawyers grow from trees along trails, waiting to sue some poor trailbuilder after some kid on a Walmart bike yard-sales it.

I was actually thinking about the "dumbing down" kind of thing earlier today watching a video from Mammoth, when I realized that all the corners on the featured trails were built with pavers. I understand they build them to last under winter snowpack, and they have their place, but used to that extent it seemed a bit too clean. It's supposed to be a trail, not paved in concrete. To be fair I haven't ridden there yet though I hope to next season, and it looks rad, but going back to the "dumbing down" thing, it just made me think about building for the "lowest common denominator" user.

Good food for thought, thanks!:thumbsup:
 

·
Subject to Whimsy
Joined
·
404 Posts
Most people have no clue about drainage and erosion and just merrily go along their way doing whatever it is they do whether walking, running, mtn biking, etc. and dirt is something to walk on, not study.

I have seen sections of trail that have been destroyed and put back to an"original" state by individuals who, if they took a moment to observe what was intended by the work they were destroying, would have realized that what they were ruining was in fact for the benefit of all users and of particular benefit to the trail's longevity and usability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
I purpose using a number system which is strictly observed by watching actual riders going up, down, over, under, and around the features on the trail. And I propose using a rating based on watching 100 random riders on a trail. Then choose up to 10 technical features to observe rider behaviors.
i don't like your rating system for people and bikes do progress. So this tool may become outdated as the community changes. Sure the same thing can be said about a 4 level difficulty rating, but at least there is wiggle room. It's a neat idea, but it's a bit too specific, difficult to equate for now you have 100 level rating system.

i do like the notion and movement to educate the community, riders and land managers on trail theme, and define experience.

. And there is when the argument starts. Words of SANITIZING, and DUMBING DOWN on public trails on public land.
Difficulty level is important, but it's not everything. If you have 10 trails if there is variety of experience to be had, explore what that means and how it can be preserved. If there is an interpretive aspect, or a good view, there is just so much more to appreciate in a trail experience than difficulty level. If there is a lack of trails that are technical then the community should move towards creating and/or preserving some, but not every trail is supposed to provide a technical challenge. If you have a stretch of beautiful nature to ride through, you can make a smooth buffed meandering trail that highlights the awesomeness of being outdoors. Don't need a log drop off to the side, all things in balance.

As I understand it, a Northstar Black trail is like a Blue at Whistler, and so on. It's not consistent.
i think it's a great idea, to standardize the rating system. Would be nice if it was close on a world level, but i feel much more important if you can get consistent on a local level.

. At the extremes there is the thought that once a trail is ridden, it should never be altered, just let nature and tires of riders determine the experience. On the other extreme, there is the thought that all trails will eventually be brought down to the lowest common denominator, the mass public trail. Well, the answer most likely is somewhere between the two extremes.
You got a good handle on the balance here, i do think what would be helpful is localized standard ratings, but i say also educating the community riders and land managers on theme. Which might be difficult with land managers as sometimes there can be a disconnect because they don't ride. Then banging the drum to get people involved in the process. You dig you get some say, and that a good motivating incentive.

If there was an inventory of what theme each trail is to provide, and explanation of experience, and if a high difficulty level is part of that, then you can try to preserve that. As well as preserve what makes certain trails great for beginners, or racers, or scenery afficianados, or cardio freaks, and all the tweeners.

My idea of using a better tool that creates consensus for trail "experience" may help the trail gurus keep their trailworking skills sharp and to help land managers better understand MTB riders.
Yes and while i feel difficulty is part of it, it's not everything either. i'm all for better definitions, especially for the problem you illustrate. But i don't think the solution should focus strictly on tech to define the entire experience. So there is a certain percentage of truth you can derive from these complaints, but at a certain point there is alot of ignorance to them, where you lose productive solutions and can start chasing your tail.

Case in point.

I was actually thinking about the "dumbing down" kind of thing earlier today watching a video from Mammoth, when I realized that all the corners on the featured trails were built with pavers. I understand they build them to last under winter snowpack, and they have their place, but used to that extent it seemed a bit too clean. It's supposed to be a trail, not paved in concrete. To be fair I haven't ridden there yet though I hope to next season, and it looks rad, but going back to the "dumbing down" thing, it just made me think about building for the "lowest common denominator" user.
i have no connection to Mammoth, but i can pretty much guarantee you from my experience why they do this. First you have super dry summer soil, then you have some riders grabbing handfuls of rear brake on corners. Possibly you, when you ride there because you are self admittedly not super awesome, and you're probably not used to riding alot of sustained gravity if you don't live next to a mountain range.
Maybe i'm right, probably wrong on my assumption of your braking ability, but tip of the day to people who are curious, USE MORE FRONT BRAKE THAN BACK. Not doing so creates chatter bumps, or braking bumps. More and more people use it, now you have really good riders who normally don't need to brake on these corners, but now they have to because the brake bumps are getting worse. Eventually everybody is coming into the berms weird, compaction breaks down and the blue groove fails, and the berm breaks down into a near unrideable mess that they have to continually go back and re-do. Screw it, let's armor it up with turfstone...*

This principle is exactly the same on some technical sections that people complain about, and hence the problem derives. Some trails are indeed naturally tech. But these are 2 factors that need to be addressed with all of this too. Peoples skill levels get better with time, so like their hair grows they think a trail used to be alot harder than it was. It could be a misfire of perception as they just sucked and are now a better rider.

And the other factor is what we're discussing here, how very poor erosion masquerades as an intentional technical feature to some that don't know the difference. Which ties back to the ignorance comment i made above in bold.


* there is an argument here on how a trail is routed for flow, but that's for another thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
And this is a horrible job of being an intermediary between land managers and a user group btw.
You want people to help out and represent rubbing peoples noses in this respect only exacerbates the problem.

Probably alot of bs getting to the point of this approach, but all the same this is just a toxic approach that will lead to problems that don't have to be.

Today over 20 plus volunteers showed up for some much needed maintenance and trail improvements on the well known Munds Wagon Trail. Fat Tire Bike shop sponsored the event and provided a lunch barbecue and beer for those who stopped to take a break for lunch.

Myself and three other volunteers were able to improve five previously unrideable uphill sections that I and many lesser skilled riders were previously unable to climb without dabbing or having to walk.

As usual there was a group of highly skilled riders who rode through one of the new improved section that weren't happy about the improvement. It is always fun to see those unhappy riders ride through.

Many thanks to the FS crew Justin and Mike for showing up with tools and protective gear to help us with the project. Justin actually stayed with Wes and I after his shift was over and helped us with the last trail improvement at the end of the long slickrock section. He actually allowed us to use two of the rockjails along a re-routed section for material necessary to complete our final project.

TD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
A lot of the problems with trail maintenance occur because the Land Managers have partially or even sometimes completely abdicated the responsibility to maintain trails due to budget shortfalls. Without maintenance the trails start to destroy themselves, which makes the trails harder to ride and often converts easy trails to expert trails. Trails users, unfortunately with wildly varying levels of knowledge, start trying to maintain the trails they can see deterioriating from year to year. My experience is that 75% of the wildcat trail maintenance actually benefits the trail (clear blowdown, remove loose rocks, clear waterbars) and the negative 25% rarely causes irreversible damage (removal of trail features, closure of challenging spur trails). Unfortunely, if we don't have the resources to prevent a trail from destroying itself, we definitely won't have the resources to replace it once it does, so we need to perform trail maintenance somehow.

My experience with expert riders is they are against the maintenance of trails, regardless of the intended difficulty of the trail, until the damage becomes so severe that even they can't ride it. Our solution now is to sometimes leave the old trail open until it finishes destroying itself. When the experts can no longer ride it they complain about the lack of maintenance. We try to recruit them to do the maintenance, they decline, and we close the trail permanently.

I personally think trail systems should be managed similiar to ski resorts with not only graded trails (green, blue, black, double black) but with trails that were designed from scratch to fit into those four categories. Most of our expert trails were never designed to be expert trails, so they are often unsustainable and maintenance nightmares.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
specs

I am involved in maintaining both historical trails (trails that were not built with mountain biking in mind), and purpose built mtb trails.

These types of issue are far more prevalent on historical trails.

When we set out to build a purpose built mtb trail we don't just start randomly building trail. Up front we have a trail difficulty rating (IMBA rating system) and a concept for the character of the trail.

This results in trails that have a particular character and difficulty rating. Trail maintenance on these trails is then done to the same standards. Since the trail work doesn't change the character of the trail, we get few complaints.

Historical trails often have no rhyme or reason. They may have long stretches of easy trail with expert level stuff randomly spread throughout the trail. So a beginner rider may say a trail is great, expect for the technical spots and an expert rider may say the trail is great, except for the boring parts. Its hard for trail workers, when there are a wide range of expectations on each trail.

Saying that those who show up get to decide how hard a trail should be is really the best way to go. This leads to one group making a trail easier, and then another group coming behind them and making it harder.

Ideally, there should be a master plan for the trail system. The desired specification for each trail should be documented and future trail work should been done with that specification in mind.
 

·
pedal fatass!
Joined
·
93 Posts
i have no connection to Mammoth, but i can pretty much guarantee you from my experience why they do this. First you have super dry summer soil, then you have some riders grabbing handfuls of rear brake on corners. Possibly you, when you ride there because you are self admittedly not super awesome, and you're probably not used to riding alot of sustained gravity if you don't live next to a mountain range.
Maybe i'm right, probably wrong on my assumption of your braking ability, but tip of the day to people who are curious, USE MORE FRONT BRAKE THAN BACK. Not doing so creates chatter bumps, or braking bumps. More and more people use it, now you have really good riders who normally don't need to brake on these corners, but now they have to because the brake bumps are getting worse. Eventually everybody is coming into the berms weird, compaction breaks down and the blue groove fails, and the berm breaks down into a near unrideable mess that they have to continually go back and re-do. Screw it, let's armor it up with turfstone...*

[/I]
Actually my braking balance is one area of riding I feel pretty good about, because I do get to ride down a fairly technical mountain range every week, but it's a good point to bring up as one of the greatest contributors to trail degradation related to rider skill. I've ridden with guys who just grab a handful of rear brake right before turning in to whip the bike around, or who just flat come in too hot and lock it up, and it rips things to shreds.

There are a series of switchbacks on Morning Glory trail here that just get murdered every summer when things dry out, with really bad braking bumps on the approaches, and gouges through the apex. They get rebuilt every year, but there's not really a good alternative. We've got seriously dry soil in the summer too, and pavers have been used in many other high impact areas for that reason. They just kind of bum me out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Have you tried creating pinch points just prior to where the braking bumps usually start. You don't even have to actually pinch the trail, just make is look like an area of increased difficulty and people will naturally slow down. For example, move a large log across the trail and cut a gap in it the width of the trail or move a couple of large rocks up to the edge of the trail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the thoughtful input here. I am now challenging myself to create a model to record the history and project the future of one little section of trail. If this one experiment seems successful, I hope to expand the program to a system of trails. Goals are to create a standardized set of measurements and data collection. Though this, the idea is to be able to effectively forecast the health of a trail system (rate of erosion and use), and project the future of maintenance needs. Land managers should like this kind of tool to set trail budgets and better understand the future needs of trail development.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Trail Themes: How many kinds are there out there? Is it possible to have say, five or six that are fairly universal that can be accurate without getting overly complicated?

I think of: destination(s), views, # of solitude, technical difficulty, aerobic level, good to bring a date or family on, historic, urban.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Trail Themes: How many kinds are there out there? Is it possible to have say, five or six that are fairly universal that can be accurate without getting overly complicated?

I think of: destination(s), views, # of solitude, technical difficulty, aerobic level, good to bring a date or family on, historic, urban.
I would separate some of your items. To, there is the reason for a trail and then the trail Theme. Getting to a destination or a place of solitude are reasons for a trail to exist, and not so much a comment on the trail itself.

Historically, trails had utilitarian purposes. Typically, to get some where. With respect to the trails I am involved in, the point is to experience the trail, and not so much to get any where. Of course we hit all the cool spots and views along the way, but the goal isn't to get any where fast.

When I talk about trail themes, I am talking about the characteristics of the trail itself. Does it have wide sweeping turns that let you carry speed and rarely have to break. Does it have tight turns and punchy climbs that force you to break and shift gears. Do the climbs encourage you to suffer or do you gain altitude with out really noticing it. Do you want technical stuff like logs and rock features.

In the grants I admin, I need to be on the same page as our pro trail builders. While we do agree on a difficulty ratings, we also have a discussion about the aesthetics of the trail. How is it going to use the available elevation, are turns going to be tight or wide, are we using logs and rocks as features, are there going to be optional lines and jumps, etc...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
860 Posts
Chalkpaw, thanks for your work on the trails in Sedona. I was riding a loop on the west side of Sedona yesterday, almost entirely on trails built by a small group of locals.

Skookum, like most people who don't understand what is happening in Sedona, you have no idea of how important Trail Doc is to that town. I use to think I have done more work to benefit mountain bikers in Northern Arizona than anyone else. Now I realize that Trail Doc has that honor. He has made the town a perfect place to ride for people of all skill levels. He is relentless, which one has to be to endure the level of criticism you get doing trail maintenance, trail restoration, or trail construction. Nobody knows how to "just get it done" better than Trail Doc. He can work closely with the land managers when they show an interest, and he can go it alone, when they fail to do their part. That is exceptionally rare to see in a trail builder. Most believe it is forbidden to be involved in wildcat trail work. Somewhere up thread there was a comment someone made about the Forest Service not being able to accomplish something because of budget cuts. If you believe everything the FS says, like many do, you'd believe such a statement. I've seen them fail to spend grant money year after year because they don't want the added paperwork, or are simply being lazy. I've seen higher ups at the FS divert trail funding intended for mountain bike specific trails to horse trails they and their friends use. Like most things the government involves itself in, they waste the majority of the funding. Sedona is a bit of an exception. The FS is getting some good things done. But it pales in comparison to what Trail Doc has accomplished. The guy is a warrior, and has earned our respect. His people skills are what they are. His critics are people who would never offer to help anyway, so they are going to sit behind their keyboards and take cheap shots at him. They are meaningless comments made by folks best ignored. I hope you can visit Sedona and go on a ride with Trail Doc and see his passion and dedication for improving our riding experience in Sedona.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
Chalkpaw, thanks for your work on the trails in Sedona. I was riding a loop on the west side of Sedona yesterday, almost entirely on trails built by a small group of locals.

Skookum, like most people who don't understand what is happening in Sedona, you have no idea of how important Trail Doc is to that town. I use to think I have done more work to benefit mountain bikers in Northern Arizona than anyone else. Now I realize that Trail Doc has that honor. He has made the town a perfect place to ride for people of all skill levels. He is relentless, which one has to be to endure the level of criticism you get doing trail maintenance, trail restoration, or trail construction. Nobody knows how to "just get it done" better than Trail Doc. He can work closely with the land managers when they show an interest, and he can go it alone, when they fail to do their part. That is exceptionally rare to see in a trail builder. Most believe it is forbidden to be involved in wildcat trail work. Somewhere up thread there was a comment someone made about the Forest Service not being able to accomplish something because of budget cuts. If you believe everything the FS says, like many do, you'd believe such a statement. I've seen them fail to spend grant money year after year because they don't want the added paperwork, or are simply being lazy. I've seen higher ups at the FS divert trail funding intended for mountain bike specific trails to horse trails they and their friends use. Like most things the government involves itself in, they waste the majority of the funding. Sedona is a bit of an exception. The FS is getting some good things done. But it pales in comparison to what Trail Doc has accomplished. The guy is a warrior, and has earned our respect. His people skills are what they are. His critics are people who would never offer to help anyway, so they are going to sit behind their keyboards and take cheap shots at him. They are meaningless comments made by folks best ignored. I hope you can visit Sedona and go on a ride with Trail Doc and see his passion and dedication for improving our riding experience in Sedona.
No thanks, i'm not into going out of your way in being a dick to get things done, and i really am not interested in elevating status for hero worship for anyone who goes that route.

There is just so much wrong with your response to me, i'm just not going to bother responding in detail on it.
 

·
Subject to Whimsy
Joined
·
404 Posts
No thanks, i'm not into going out of your way in being a dick to get things done, and i really am not interested in elevating status for hero worship for anyone who goes that route.

There is just so much wrong with your response to me, i'm just not going to bother responding in detail on it.
Well I for one would like to see your response.

I don't quite see what is at issue for you and maybe you could enlighten me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
Well I for one would like to see your response.

I don't quite see what is at issue for you and maybe you could enlighten me.
What's the point, i think i summarized well enough.

i have no stake in Arizona.

i do have an opinion, and i think any half smart individual can figure out exactly what' i'm talking about, and i'm quite certain you comprehend what i'm talking about you just disagree.

Yay.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
I am involved in maintaining both historical trails (trails that were not built with mountain biking in mind), and purpose built mtb trails.

These types of issue are far more prevalent on historical trails.

When we set out to build a purpose built mtb trail we don't just start randomly building trail. Up front we have a trail difficulty rating (IMBA rating system) and a concept for the character of the trail.

This results in trails that have a particular character and difficulty rating. Trail maintenance on these trails is then done to the same standards. Since the trail work doesn't change the character of the trail, we get few complaints.

Historical trails often have no rhyme or reason. They may have long stretches of easy trail with expert level stuff randomly spread throughout the trail. So a beginner rider may say a trail is great, expect for the technical spots and an expert rider may say the trail is great, except for the boring parts. Its hard for trail workers, when there are a wide range of expectations on each trail.

Saying that those who show up get to decide how hard a trail should be is really the best way to go. This leads to one group making a trail easier, and then another group coming behind them and making it harder.

Ideally, there should be a master plan for the trail system. The desired specification for each trail should be documented and future trail work should been done with that specification in mind.
This is pretty much the perfect theory, and this thread doesn't need to continue beyond this.
Unfortunately I just dont think a lot of builders/stewards have the experience required to execute such a task. It sounds so simple, but when you are out in a forest of dense trees and steep hillside, trying to get from point A to point B, looking at the entrance of this turn, the exit of this turn, and then the entrance into the next turn, well its easy to get caught up in what is the best way to get there.
"If I let it go to 12% for about 10 feet here, that will get me to a flat section where I can make a good switchback, which will save me 3 hours of digging. But is it still rideable for an intermediate rider?? hmmm... They should be able to manage."

Sorry I'm not harping on your response, it is a great response and everyone should try to follow it or at least keep it in mind, I'm just venting some frustration from flagging a recent problem area. :thumbsup:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
860 Posts
I have a friend who voted for Obama. He now realizes he was not the person he thought he was. He is very disappointed. But guess what, he will vote for him again next year, even if unemployments rates rise and we enter into more wars, and Obama is charged with a crime for rewarding donors with half a billion dollars in loans that taxpayers got stuck with.

Ya see, that's how much my friend hates Republicans. There is no logic to it. It doesn't make sense and it will ultimately cost him loads of money. He is well beyond "half smart", and has made a fortune and lives the life of a 1%er.

There are Skookum's and there are Prodigal Son's. They each have their own preference for methods used to get more trail access for mountain bikers and more trail maintenance for the trails. There are some methods that have proven to be very effective that Skookum does not adhere to, and in fact, deplores. He'd rather lose trail access than use methods that he finds odious. The Prodigal Son is getting too old to waste time courting land managers or pretending to support equestrians as equals. He advocates only for mountain bikers and works only for mountain bikers. He uses the methods that work to achieve the stated goal, without apologies. Hows that for a summary?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,729 Posts
I have a friend who voted for Obama. He now realizes he was not the person he thought he was. He is very disappointed. But guess what, he will vote for him again next year, even if unemployments rates rise and we enter into more wars, and Obama is charged with a crime for rewarding donors with half a billion dollars in loans that taxpayers got stuck with.

Ya see, that's how much my friend hates Republicans. There is no logic to it. It doesn't make sense and it will ultimately cost him loads of money. He is well beyond "half smart", and has made a fortune and lives the life of a 1%er.

There are Skookum's and there are Prodigal Son's. They each have their own preference for methods used to get more trail access for mountain bikers and more trail maintenance for the trails. There are some methods that have proven to be very effective that Skookum does not adhere to, and in fact, deplores. He'd rather lose trail access than use methods that he finds odious. The Prodigal Son is getting too old to waste time courting land managers or pretending to support equestrians as equals. He advocates only for mountain bikers and works only for mountain bikers. He uses the methods that work to achieve the stated goal, without apologies. Hows that for a summary?
haha nice defocus.

You have an adversarial approach, which might be appropriate some of the time, but not appropriate all the time. You advocate that you represent mt. bikers, but you condone bashing people that don't fill your criteria. In other words if they don't do trail work on your trail work parties, their opinions don't matter.
You openly broadcast the inequities of the land manager you work with, that's a real trust building approach.
The trail for you becomes the myopic focus. The approach is blind in that in your quest to secure that of which is directly in front of you, you dry out growth in other areas.

i mean this stuff is textbook burning bridges kinda stuff.

There are many threads that contain concepts of inclusion. If within the journey, you're killing 10 projects to secure your concrete vision on the one, if you wind up making 10 enemies to your one solid friend. Some people might detest this, i wouldn't use that word. To me if you're lined out like that for the duration, it's just not the most effective sustainable approach for the long run.

Glad i don't live in Arizona, if i did, well i personally wouldn't lift a finger nor lend a dime for any of your groups efforts. Wonder if you have anyone else out there that feels the same, and would serve as an incredible ally in your endeavors. Guess we'll never know...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
860 Posts
haha nice defocus.

You have an adversarial approach, which might be appropriate some of the time, but not appropriate all the time. You advocate that you represent mt. bikers, but you condone bashing people that don't fill your criteria. In other words if they don't do trail work on your trail work parties, their opinions don't matter.
You openly broadcast the inequities of the land manager you work with, that's a real trust building approach.
The trail for you becomes the myopic focus. The approach is blind in that in your quest to secure that of which is directly in front of you, you dry out growth in other areas.

i mean this stuff is textbook burning bridges kinda stuff.

There are many threads that contain concepts of inclusion. If within the journey, you're killing 10 projects to secure your concrete vision on the one, if you wind up making 10 enemies to your one solid friend. Some people might detest this, i wouldn't use that word. To me if you're lined out like that for the duration, it's just not the most effective sustainable approach for the long run.

Glad i don't live in Arizona, if i did, well i personally wouldn't lift a finger nor lend a dime for any of your groups efforts. Wonder if you have anyone else out there that feels the same, and would serve as an incredible ally in your endeavors. Guess we'll never know...
It should be obvious that during the first months of winter weather, there are many of us who wish we were out doing trail work but are spending time on these forums or working out at the gym, dreaming of spring weather to come.

So, for the folks who have been following this thread...

Patton or Montgomery. Who was more effective and what was their methodology? How about Robert McNamara and Major General Curtis LeMay. Did they cross any lines with their strategy to win the War in the Pacific. Remember, you need a goal and you need a strategy to achieve that goal. McNamara and LeMay had a strategy that might not be accepted today. To defeat Japan, they said we should bomb and incinerate Japan's 50 largest cities, with no concern about civilian casualties. They were highly successful. 50% to 90% of each of those cities were destroyed, contributing to many of the 54 million casualties of the war.

Enough history. Some people will gladly cut off their nose to spite their face. You're saying exactly that. If you lived in Arizona, you would skip riding the best trails here, if me and my friends were involved in building them. I gues that would show us.

My approach is not blind, nor is it anything like you describe. Think of all the different bike companies out there. Each is trying to capture market share with their own specific design. It's like that with trail building and advocacy. There are plenty of folks having a degree of success playing nicely with the other user groups. Then others who are getting things done with lawyers and threats of lawsuits. That seems to be a particular favorite with rich equestrians. Younger folks have had good and bad results just going out and building trails on their own. Around here, we have Flagstaffbiking.org, who raises money and organizes volunteer events, essentially doing the Forest Service job for them. We also have two conservation corps to provide skilled labor. There are downhillers out building stuff without permission, which use to bother me but there are so many of them building so many new trails, the Forest Service has decided to reward them by building them new legal downhill trails. This has sent signals to many of us the FS is spineless and will capitulate to mountain bikers demands based on the fact they are the major user group and are doing almost all the trail work. You don't have to approve of such radical notions, but they are getting a lot more trail built than you are likely to see where your living.

But this takes us back to how you go into battle. What is your strategy. Can you use both diplomacy and force successfully, simultaneously? We have. It because we fully understand the politics of working with government agencies. We send in diplomats to build bridges. They play by all the rules. They go further and come up with additional funding and scores of volunteers. The conservation corps provide low cost labor and help get funding specific for land managers wanting to hire them. That still leaves some missing pieces. There is always a need for more connector trails. There are trail proposals that get stalled in government bureaucracy, or worse, there are land managers who are equestrians and use their jobs to stop mountain bikers from building new trails. That is when you see motorcycles cutting in new trails or small groups of trail builders, even individuals, who see a problem and can provide a quick solution, that most riders highly approve of. It is quite likely you and everyone else here has ridden wildcats trails. Some were built sustainably, some not so much. Again, around here, and in most western states I ride in, the wildcat builders have been legit volunteers for years and know exactly how to build trail that is at least as good as anything land managers lay out.

So there you have it. Everything you claim we do wrong, is working out better than ever. Because you don't approve of all of our methods, you try to imagine how badly they must be failing. But they are not failing. And what's even more impressive is that we are positioned far better than than most should the land managers lose all their funding in the future, as they are likely to do. We can carry on without them or their red tape. We believe we are more responsible trail stewards than they ever were. To them it was just a paycheck. To us, it is our passion and our lifestyle.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top