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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think everyone here would agree that removing a rock, filling in a rut or rerouting a trail to make it easier to ride would be taboo.

What about riders who reroute trails or cut new lines to make a trail more challenging? Wouldn't this too be taboo?
 

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I am the owl
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jaybird said:
I think everyone here would agree that removing a rock, filling in a rut or rerouting a trail to make it easier to ride would be taboo.
More times than not, filling in a rut is to keep the trail sustainable and prevent it from deteriorating. Ruts channel water and continue to grow bigger.
 

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Work with maintaining group

Speaking from personal experience, my group is working hard to keep the park management happy (as well as the people riding the trails). I really don't appreciate people adding their own lines to what we've done already.

Is it really that hard to find out who is maintaining the trail and show up for the work days? I bend over backwards to give people input, the ones who show up. Is there a good reason why you get to change things later?

Walt
 

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jaybird said:
I think everyone here would agree that removing a rock, filling in a rut or rerouting a trail to make it easier to ride would be taboo.

What about riders who reroute trails or cut new lines to make a trail more challenging? Wouldn't this too be taboo?
I think an operative word that is needed in your question would be "permission".

Rerouting a trail and cutting new lines to add options on a trail for both technical and non-technical riding without the land managers permission would be taboo.

Going through the proper channels to add lines and features with the land managers permission would be a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Walt Dizzy said:
Is there a good reason why you get to change things later?

Walt
I'm not rerouting or cutting new lines - I ride the trail that rolls out before me. Well, I sometimes walk sections but that's another story.

I ask because there's a trail that I've been riding for, oh, about 15 years (National), and in that time I've seen the trail widen significantly and new reroutes sprout up so that riders can challenge themselves with larger drops and jumps. These trail modifications are easily seen and are along a heavily traveled (mtb & hiker) trail. I see these offshoots and started wondering if the riders would freak out if I filled in the "waterfall" section so that I didn't have to dismount and scramble down.
 

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Do It Yourself
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jaybird said:
I'm not rerouting or cutting new lines - I ride the trail that rolls out before me. Well, I sometimes walk sections but that's another story.

I ask because there's a trail that I've been riding for, oh, about 15 years (National), and in that time I've seen the trail widen significantly and new reroutes sprout up so that riders can challenge themselves with larger drops and jumps. These trail modifications are easily seen and are along a heavily traveled (mtb & hiker) trail. I see these offshoots and started wondering if the riders would freak out if I filled in the "waterfall" section so that I didn't have to dismount and scramble down.
If it's rideable by someone in it's current condition, I wouldn't touch it. You'll be depriving someone else of the challenge and limiting yourself as well.
 

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nobody
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jaybird said:
I see these offshoots and started wondering if the riders would freak out if I filled in the "waterfall" section so that I didn't have to dismount and scramble down.
Think about it this way: "you're there to ride the mountain, not necessarily to make the mountain ridable".

I read that somewhere once. I don't remember who said it but it makes a lot of sense to me.
 

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jaybird said:
I'm not rerouting or cutting new lines - I ride the trail that rolls out before me. Well, I sometimes walk sections but that's another story.

I ask because there's a trail that I've been riding for, oh, about 15 years (National), and in that time I've seen the trail widen significantly and new reroutes sprout up so that riders can challenge themselves with larger drops and jumps. These trail modifications are easily seen and are along a heavily traveled (mtb & hiker) trail. I see these offshoots and started wondering if the riders would freak out if I filled in the "waterfall" section so that I didn't have to dismount and scramble down.
I really hate it when people nerf my favorite trails, I always wonder where they think they have the right to pave a trail and take away from my riding experience.
 

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On one of the trails that I used to ride on, the local land council built a set of steps up a quite challenging climb. They used treated pine logs and fine blue metal between the steps.

First decent storm washed the stones into the local creek, as the climb is a sometimes watercourse when it rains hard.

Ever since then, the washed out steps are a hazard because of the steep drop-offs and washaways between the logs.

Of course, the damn council has never looked like fixing it up again, and they "skillfully" managed to stuff up that part of the track for everyone.

It would have been way better if they had left it in it's natural state. At least then it was walkable and bikeable, now it's neither.

A new track is slowly appearing beside the old natural one, but I fear that this will get washed away pretty badly as soon as it pours rain next time.

It's a pity that some people are so short-sighted.

I do trail maintenance when i'm out riding sometimes, but try to leave the tracks in much the same "untouched" condition as I find them.


R.
 

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Walt Dizzy said:
Speaking from personal experience, my group is working hard to keep the park management happy (as well as the people riding the trails). I really don't appreciate people adding their own lines to what we've done already.

Is it really that hard to find out who is maintaining the trail and show up for the work days? I bend over backwards to give people input, the ones who show up. Is there a good reason why you get to change things later?

Walt
Following the land manager's rules, the IMBA guidlines, common sense and building consensus among users and authorities ended up getting Mr. Dizzy and I the title of trail managers at a state park and landed us the opportunity to take over leading a project that will make the best and biggest trail network in our area. It's not the fast way but the end result will be tremendous. Even with the authority we have we still make sure several agree with even slight changes and fixes, and we always make sure the head ranger agrees.

The down side of course is it does not satisfy my hedonistic self that loves instant gratification. I just keep realizing how it will eventually mean 18 miles single track instead of 3 miles of gravel covered ski trails.

I am also slow to make some changes because I have many years of fighting erosion due to involvement in trout stream and bike clubs and you get a sense of what will work and not work. You want design that minimizes the amount of annual maintenance so have time to make new progress or ride.

BTW: It's rare when Mr. Dizzy and I see a line somebody did on their own that seems to hold up to 4 seasons that include rain, snow and ice, and it usually just prolongs the time needed on annual maintenance.

Bottom line is respect the land manager and build consensus for best results.
 

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jaybird said:
I see these offshoots and started wondering if the riders would freak out if I filled in the "waterfall" section so that I didn't have to dismount and scramble down.
This is a joke right? Making a point that no one should make new trails without permission? Please tell me your kidding, otherwise we will have ninjas waiting to jump you from the rocks above the waterfall. :D
 

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JamR said:
I think an operative word that is needed in your question would be "permission".

Rerouting a trail and cutting new lines to add options on a trail for both technical and non-technical riding without the land managers permission would be taboo.

Going through the proper channels to add lines and features with the land managers permission would be a good thing.
that is the best way....Rangers have been very helpful this year
 

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Contact land management ...

jaybird said:
I'm not rerouting or cutting new lines - I ride the trail that rolls out before me. Well, I sometimes walk sections but that's another story.

I ask because there's a trail that I've been riding for, oh, about 15 years (National), and in that time I've seen the trail widen significantly and new reroutes sprout up so that riders can challenge themselves with larger drops and jumps. These trail modifications are easily seen and are along a heavily traveled (mtb & hiker) trail. I see these offshoots and started wondering if the riders would freak out if I filled in the "waterfall" section so that I didn't have to dismount and scramble down.
Contact land management and try to get in touch with any existing trail management group. I'm 100% sure that the Rangers wouldn't object to an IMBA method of erosion control.

However, if there is already a well travelled re-route you may be doing more harm than good. And local riders WOULD probably freak out if you take away a rideable obstacle (likely others can ride it).

In my trail group, I am a bulldog about shutting down any unauthorized single track. It start with a few new lines and eventually you end up with an ugly ass BMX track. Lines must be chosen and ENFORCED. Not everyone in the trail groups get their way. They have to negotiate with their club members. Why do users presume that they should get their way on a whim???
 

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I'll add one thing ...

JamR said:
I think an operative word that is needed in your question would be "permission".

Rerouting a trail and cutting new lines to add options on a trail for both technical and non-technical riding without the land managers permission would be taboo.

Going through the proper channels to add lines and features with the land managers permission would be a good thing.
Newbies shouldn't be surprised if the local trail group (who have probably been doing that for years) want you to show up and do some work for a while before they take your requests seriously. The number of people willing to ***** is everybody. The people willing to show up and do work that the group consents to is a LOT smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am kidding of course.

Black Bart said:
This is a joke right? Making a point that no one should make new trails without permission? Please tell me your kidding, otherwise we will have ninjas waiting to jump you from the rocks above the waterfall. :D
A bad joke I know, but your reaction makes my point. People would freak if this section were modified to make it easier. My question is, why don't people react the same way when riders create new, more challenging lines? Is it not the same thing<
 

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Homebrew said:
If it's rideable by someone in it's current condition, I wouldn't touch it. You'll be depriving someone else of the challenge and limiting yourself as well.
exactly.

jaybird, please explain the impetus behind the Lowest Common Denominator thought that urges you to decide that if YOU can't ride something, NOBODY can.

as to making a trail "more difficult" that is not only obnoxious, it is equally selfish in an equally damaging way.

if you need more challenge, find a new trail, or get permission to build one, or buy some of your OWN land and build it there.

why do people assume that they have the right to alter any trail they ride? that's what I want to know.
 

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caninus xerophilous
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National has been sooo wienered down!

jaybird said:
A bad joke I know, but your reaction makes my point. People would freak if this section were modified to make it easier. My question is, why don't people react the same way when riders create new, more challenging lines? Is it not the same thing<
I would say the ratio of "nerfing" vs "ruffing" on National is like 90 : 10. I know some of that sanitization is by the park folks but the vast majority is by users.

The sanitization is so bad most of the riders who crave technical riding, as in the form National once was, avoid that trail these days because it has become so tame.

Another observation is that most of the "nerf" bypasses are more destructive than the tech b-lines that have developed, which generally incoperate a trailside rock and are more sustainable than the nerf bypasses. I know some of the tech lines are bad examples but do take time and look at the nerf lines and the scars they leave.

JayBird are you afraid to post this in the AZ forum? We could use another shake up over SoMo there, thats where your post will have the most effect.be prepared for angry responses as National is considered hallow ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
SunDog, I didn't post in the AZ thread because I didn't intend to name National and didn't want to engage specific trail users - for reasons you so clearly state. My original intent was to spark a converstaion regarding trail modifications by unsactioned individuals. I see no difference between someone making the trail easier and more rideable and someone cutting newer, more challenging lines. I wanted to see if I was off the wall (I usually am) or if others agreed.
 

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jaybird said:
SunDog, I didn't post in the AZ thread because I didn't intend to name National and didn't want to engage specific trail users - for reasons you so clearly state. My original intent was to spark a converstaion regarding trail modifications by unsactioned individuals. I see no difference between someone making the trail easier and more rideable and someone cutting newer, more challenging lines. I wanted to see if I was off the wall (I usually am) or if others agreed.
Any unauthorized modification to the trail in a National Park or Forest is destruction of federal property, a felony. We had some local boys here in NC get caught blazing new trail in Pisgah National Forest and federal charges were brought up on them. :eek:
 

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caninus xerophilous
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No doubt.

Homebrew said:
Any unauthorized modification to the trail in a National Park or Forest is destruction of federal property, a felony. We had some local boys here in NC get caught blazing new trail in Pisgah National Forest and federal charges were brought up on them. :eek:
But it is an on going reality.

I understand what is at stake and when possible I work through land managers and local clubs to influence and develop the character of the local trails I frequent.

Unfortunately where I and where JayBird live there has been an explosion of out of state trail users and new MTB'ers who are generally nerfing up the trails through general use and ill advised trail simplification which are mostly in the realm of nerfing.

This is unfortunately inevitable and generally, where I live, results in de-ruggedization of the trails from their natural self sustaining form. Before the de-ruggedizing the trail in its developed state generally was self sustaining and endured years of use and weathering.

The locals who learned to MTB where I live generally developed the requisite skill set to ride the trails with minimum modification to the trails. The new comers, of which many are not used to the pre-existing trail conditions tend to modify (nerf) the trails, which in turn leads to erosion and often the unfortunate counter modification by locals and some new comers to add technical features to the trails.

I try to work with the land managers and local clubs to keep the trails technically challenging but accessible to all. This has resulted in B-lines; techie options that utilize existing armored trailside obstacles to satisfy those in search of a more technical ride. However the greater part of my efforts go into re-ruggedizing and sustainabilty rather than adding B-lines. IMBA now supports the B-line concept as it is a way to support all trail users.
 
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