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  1. #1
    JLE
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    Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing

    Just a quick rant to the guy that gave me grief today on South Mountain Park Phoenix Arizona trail today.

    I was bombing down a single track today and misjudged my line and hit a loose rock (technically a boulder as it was bigger than 10 inches) that was right after a nice drop and pinch flatted my rear tube. After I changed my tube I walked back and pushed the loose rock off the trail edge, again pretty narrow single track. Some D-Bag rounds the corner and sees me pushing the rock off the trail and starts giving me grief for "Sanitizing the Trail" and that he's been riding the trails for 15 years and never moved a rock and that if I have to move a rock, I should ride on the road. Blaaa, bllaaa, blaaa. Basically, a lecture of inappropriate comments on his superior opinion of trail maintenance.

    So to whoever you are mr. Ahwatukee / South Mountain Park super rider for 15 years that has never moved a rock. I'm just not as perfect and technical and Godly as you are. So give me and the other normal human beings a break a keep you comments and lectures to yourself or tell your psychologist next week when you go in for your normal appointment. Also, maybe ask them to double up on your medication.

    And moving a loose rock that likely fell or was knocked onto the single track is not "Sanitizing the Trail" its moving a rock/boulder fall out of the way so no one breaks their neck. End of line.

  2. #2
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    HOW DARE YOU TOUCH MY ROCK


    I've moved things out of trails that fall on them all the time, never seen it as an issue. It's not like you dug up the rock and moved it and left a hole there.

  3. #3
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    Some people are just wound too tight
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  4. #4
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    Sanitizing a trail is removing obstacles to make it less technical, usually more than one. Removing a pinch-flat menace....all good.

  5. #5
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    Wow. If those rules applied around here we'd be constantly riding over a bed of fallen branches of varying size that come down over the winter, after storms, etc. I think I would chalk your experience up to dealing with a d00shbag.
    All good things in all good time

  6. #6
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    One time I brought a little shovel to throw some dirt on the ONLY man made berm (and its small) in my local park. It had been desperately in need of some love for a long time. Everyone who past, were literally thanking me for giving it some attention. Then an a**hat on his cdale flash carbon 29er is coming up the hill and as he passes he asks me what Im doing in an accusatory tone. With out any reaction to his tone, I say exactly what I'm doing "throwing some dirt on the berm". He asks "why" again in an accusatory tone. "because its worn out and needs it". He gets to the top of the section of trail (now out of sight and hearing) and turns around and goes down the way he came up. As he passes this time he says "dont let the rangers catch you" said in a way that implied "I hope the rangers catch you". To which I simply say "yeah".

    To cut/ keep the story short, he goes up and down this section of trail, which is one of the steepest/fastest/most technical, several times making comments each time he passes. At this point comments are getting a little heated and the tone is getting nastier. (To keep this next classic comment in context: On the downs, he clearly has no skill at all. He goes slow as hell, goes straight through the S turn, riding off the trail to do so, skipping both the small man made berm and small natural berm each time. He doesnt lean his bike in the slightest. He doesnt have good foot position. His a** is on the seat. He isnt in the slightest resemblance of an attack stance. He is essentially a skill less noob who is in good shape and has a 8k +/- bike) As he is doing all this, he tells me "It's all about control, brotha" as if he were demonstrating his mastery of mountain biking. With this, if he wasnt really pissing me off, I would have been rolling on the ground laughing my a** off. The best I could come up with at that split second (this was as he was skipping the berms) was "No, its about about railing berms". He didnt have anything to say to that nor did I give him a chance to think it over before coming up the hill again. I grabbed my stuff and left before the situation escalated further.

    Sadly, you can run into all kinds of d***s on the trail.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtnord View Post
    One time I brought a little shovel to throw some dirt on the ONLY man made berm (and its small) in my local park. It had been desperately in need of some love for a long time. Everyone who past, were literally thanking me for giving it some attention. Then an a**hat on his cdale flash carbon 29er is coming up the hill and as he passes he asks me what Im doing in an accusatory tone. With out any reaction to his tone, I say exactly what I'm doing "throwing some dirt on the berm". He asks "why" again in an accusatory tone. "because its worn out and needs it". He gets to the top of the section of trail (now out of sight and hearing) and turns around and goes down the way he came up. As he passes this time he says "dont let the rangers catch you" said in a way that implied "I hope the rangers catch you". To which I simply say "yeah".

    To cut/ keep the story short, he goes up and down this section of trail, which is one of the steepest/fastest/most technical, several times making comments each time he passes. At this point comments are getting a little heated and the tone is getting nastier. (To keep this next classic comment in context: On the downs, he clearly has no skill at all. He goes slow as hell, goes straight through the S turn, riding off the trail to do so, skipping both the small man made berm and small natural berm each time. He doesnt lean his bike in the slightest. He doesnt have good foot position. His a** is on the seat. He isnt in the slightest resemblance of an attack stance. He is essentially a skill less noob who is in good shape and has a 8k +/- bike) As he is doing all this, he tells me "It's all about control, brotha" as if he were demonstrating his mastery of mountain biking. With this, if he wasnt really pissing me off, I would have been rolling on the ground laughing my a** off. The best I could come up with at that split second (this was as he was skipping the berms) was "No, its about about railing berms". He didnt have anything to say to that nor did I give him a chance to think it over before coming up the hill again. I grabbed my stuff and left before the situation escalated further.

    Sadly, you can run into all kinds of d***s on the trail.
    An introduction of his front wheel's spokes to your shovel? j/k

  8. #8
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    I don't know. You said yourself that you made a mistake, misjudged your line, and flatted as a result. Rocks, like trees, are only dangerous if you hit them. The trail was not unsafe. Your riding was. Mistakes have consequences in MTBing. Removing that obstacle makes the trail easier, and is therefore 'sanitizing the trail'. Boulders are not the same as deadfall. A free standing rock of that size should stay IMO. It has enough heft that it need not be buried.

    I bet you wouldn't make the same mistake again. That rock is a learning tool.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    I don't know. You said yourself that you made a mistake, misjudged your line, and flatted as a result. Rocks, like trees, are only dangerous if you hit them. The trail was not unsafe. Your riding was. Mistakes have consequences in MTBing. Removing that obstacle makes the trail easier, and is therefore 'sanitizing the trail'. Boulders are not the same as deadfall. A free standing rock of that size should stay IMO. It has enough heft that it need not be buried.

    I bet you wouldn't make the same mistake again. That rock is a learning tool.
    Give it a break. It's a loose stone, not a national monument. OP did the right thing. Sanitising the trail my backside! Tell me, if you wipe your butt after going to the toilet, does it make your butt less of a nice place to be? Is it still called "your butt" and will you continue to use it?

    If you want to ride natural terrain then go find some - it will not be called a MTB trail.

  10. #10
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    he's probably too lazy to move rocks

  11. #11
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    For those that live in places that have things fall on trails and you need to move them, that is not the case in arizona. Our trails are rocks, you ride over and around them. When they get moved it effects the flow and the character and there is definitely a trend as more and more mountain bikers buy larger travel bikes to "sanitize" sections they can't clean. SoMo is a pretty big trail system with a lot of riders and they are pretty particular about the trail. Best thing would have been to explain that you had hit it, knocked it loose and were returning it to its original position, which is what you probably should have done anyways.

    It isn't moving a downed tree, it is moving a part of the trail and it could lead to erosion in the next monsoon cycle or other rocks falling into the trail or a new bypass trail forming, all things that are detrimental one way or another to the deserts trails. I have all too often seen a rock moved to bypass something and a new trail open up only to have it erode radically during a monsoon and destroy both options.

    Disregard for your riding environment is what got this rider angry. If you like riding SoMo consider his words in the context of the desert.
    Try this: HTFU

  12. #12
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    Re: Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing

    This is a hard one for me to judge. I want to take both sides. Sometimes I have a rock that I really like and don't like having touched. Sometimes I kick rocks on trails. Crap.


    Can you go back and get pictures of this rock?

  13. #13
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    I'm a regular rider at South Mountain. What trail were you on?

    For those of you not from Phoenix, our trails are rocks. While I wasn't the rider the OP met today (would've loved to be out riding), we do tend to take our trails seriously and would strongly prefer that they not be changed or modified to make them easier.

  14. #14
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    Op you're all good. My only advice is if something gets knocked outta place, try and return it to its original location if possible. Sounds like the guy you talked to was worked up over a small situation, don't sweat it. Take it for what it's worth and keep shredding.

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    ... and if we just ...

    Wow! the sandy and orange little rocks must be sacred to warrant such attention. we have plenty of ugly boring grey rocks here and lots of them get knocked around by riders, hikers and horses... And some of them get kicked in the bush or removed.

    We're talking about a rock that was knocked there and the guy just removed it so no one behind would get hurt.

    We made all our trails in the first place, not riding a natural path... A little bit of loving that's all this is.

    Every year I take my chainsaw to remove dead-fall after a long winter on my local trails. I got many thanks from riders (both bike & horse). A tree or a rock, same obstacle. If the trail was constructed that way with dead-fall and/or boulders build up, it would remain that way by "local standard".

    But common guys, it's pretty obvious when these obstacle were not met to be in our front wheels.

    I love riding in the desert but I am pretty sure, even with the great work the trail crews are doing, that my wheels have kicked more than one rock away or in the path of travel. How many times have I ridden behind a friend and gotten a baseball to my shin? Lots...

    By the way, great work to the trail crew on Captain Ahab... Impressive. As far as Porcupine goes, there's more rocks being removed by our bikes from coffee pot rock down to Jackass than the sanitizing going on. There's plenty of gnar around. I have done porcupine at least a dozen time (over the year travelling there), always seemed a little different, ALWAYS been great.

    Keep up the good work out there.
    Last edited by Silly Man; 04-18-2013 at 10:55 PM. Reason: mispelled

  16. #16
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    Re: Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing

    This is th AM forum. If you don't like riding rocks, you're likely in the wrong place. I dig up rocks to put them on or in the trail, not the other way around.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    This is th AM forum. If you don't like riding rocks, you're likely in the wrong place. I dig up rocks to put them on or in the trail, not the other way around.
    Watch out for this guy! He's desanitizing trails! Call the trail police immediately!

    OP moved a hazard, as he said it was a loose rock. If its such a problem, individuals who maintain the trail can dig and put the rock back in place. Loose boulders have no place on the trail, a stuck boulder does however.

    I am against sanitizing trails, but the OP did the right thing.

    Step down from the trail podium you seem to be preaching from.

  18. #18
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    I find it funny that the guy brags that he has done zero trailwork in 15 years

    My rule of thumb is that if a rock is loose and small enough to get moved around when you hit it, I get rid of it. Of course, if the trail is all loose stones, that is a different story. In most situations, if a single loose 10" stone was sitting in the middle of the trail, I'd move it. I think it comes down to deciding whether something is part of the trail, or something that is ON the trail, and this is rather subjective.

    In reality, there are no hard and fast rules about what is trail maintenance, and what is "sanitizing". It's an ongoing process, and you have people on both extreme ends: Those that feel you should never in any way alter the trail (like the d!ckwad you encountered) and those that want to make every trail an IMBA style flowtrail that your grandmother could ride down, and an out-of-shape slob can climb.

    I think the one rule to not violate is don't change the trail just because it is to hard for you, this does get me pretty hot under the collar.
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  19. #19
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    sanitizing is one thing
    removing trail hazard is another.
    trails evolve over time, some people make some section easier, then they erode and become harder, some other build hard feature in them.
    to me, as long as people takes care of the trail I'm happy as the challenges changes oover time.
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  20. #20
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    1 loose stone amongst several is a trail feature; 1 loose stone by itself is not a feature. OP was right.
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    Re: Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing

    I wonder what the guy thinks about trail maintenance. Does he think some fairy takes care of it? The rocks move themselves accordingly? Maybe he knows something we don't.

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  22. #22
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    Maybe he saw a thread here about thread sanitizing and felt it was his duty to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silly Man View Post
    Wow! the sandy and orange little rocks must be sacred to warrant such attention.
    Silly man, the rocks on SoMo are not orange nor are they little. Moving a rock from the trail because someone lacks the skill to ride over or around it is lame.

    Sanitizing a trail in that way sucks. If you can't handle a trail feature, pick another trail or just walk your bike.

  24. #24
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    I'm sort of confused at this point. My interpretation was that the OP had hit this rock that was outside of the line into the line and that this wasn't a "I don't want to ride over rocks because I suck" situation.

    Wouldn't it create more of a problem for the regulars on this trail to all of a sudden have some new, loose, rock in the middle of the line after a drop? If it were me I'd be happy that the OP had put the rock back where it came from so I didn't unexpectedly nail the thing. I dunno...that's just me.
    All good things in all good time

  25. #25
    JLE
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    Thanks for all the great back and forth dialog on this issue. I totally agree with many points that some Posters have stated and I would like to point out a few items just to clarify for those Bikers that don't know what it's like to ride on a desert mountain trail.

    This is in the South Mountain City Park (Largest City Park in the USA) and has designated trails and the park rangers request that people stay on the trails and don't blaze new trails or destroy the desert environment. This is a protected park not an All Mountain opportunity to go where ever you want.

    Most if not all of the trails are basically lots of rocks and boulders with some cross country style gravel/sand riding mixed in between lots of rocks and boulders. Again, lots of rocks and boulders in the desert out here.

    The trail in question is a very narrow single track on the side of a step hill with about a 40 degree up hill slope on one side and a 40 degree down hill slope on the other side. I want to paint the picture as this rock/boulder was either knocked loose from the up hillside or most likely a large chunk of rock/boulder that cleaved off the bottom of the rock ledge I was coming off.

    Just to make it clear, after years of riding, I have never removed a trail obstacle on the trail before to make it easier or less technical for me to ride, period. I have removed a few jumping cholla catus buds that break loose and roll into the trail and put 40 small holes in your tube as you roll over them. If you not familiar with this desert riding feature, key in "Cholla Catus Images" and take a gander. No fun.

    Also, one time there was a whole saguaro cactus that fell down after a storm that I ended up dodging around for a few weeks but I never "Sanitized" that Saguaro Cactus in the trail, it was much to big for me to handle but I think the Park Rangers "Sanitized" it and pushed it out of the trail.

    Back to point, if the rock/boulder is question was anywhere but on this narrow single track ledge, I very likely would have never touched it, as there would be room to ride around it and it wouldn't be a safety issue.

    For all those who think I should have just left the loose boulder sitting in the middle of the narrow single track as and "Fun Obstacle to Dodge" or "Learn Lesson Boulder" for the riders that followed me, know that I actually call the South Mountain Park Rangers Office and spoke with one of the rangers yesterday. The Ranger said that in the situation that was described, I took the right course of action and she said that anyone with any common sense should do the same.

    So to all the "Don't Sanitize The Trail People!!!" Relax, ask me if I need assistance or help, if you see me stopped on the side of a trail with my bike upside down

    Also, unless you see me with my pick-ax going to town hacking and chopping through a ridge or boulder or cutting a new trail, keep your opinion and lecturing to yourself and move on but most importantly "Have a Great Ride".

  26. #26
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    You are wasting your time. The only people ticked off by your actions are the most self-righteous of the trail purists, and you will not be able to satisfy them with your explanation.

    Heck, you've made their day by giving them someone to feel superior to. They are unlikely to give that up.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  27. #27
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    Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing

    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    This is a hard one for me to judge. I want to take both sides. Sometimes I have a rock that I really like and don't like having touched. Sometimes I kick rocks on trails. Crap.


    Can you go back and get pictures of this rock?
    It's like there is a difference between maintaining a trail (good) and sanitising a trail (bad). When in doubt, leave it be.


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  28. #28
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    I've ridden Geronimo, Holbert, and National(South Mtn trails) many times. South mountain is basically one giant rock, with millions of large rocks making it more rough. Throwing one boulder off because you knocked it out of place is no big deal. The guy who b1tched was the jerk.

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    You've provided a whole lot of information without answering a specific question: What trail were you on?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    You've provided a whole lot of information without answering a specific question: What trail were you on?
    Why, do you think you might know the loose stone he moved?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    I'm getting to much harassment so I think I will quit my 25 years of MTB biking and weep.

    Sorry if I called your BOULDERS orange.

    People should read the entire reply and not just a few words so it would put in perspective what is being said.

    Pardon my french...

  32. #32
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    Correction.... largest city park is Chugach state park. Largest "real" city park would be Forest Park in OR. Pushing rocks of trail in south mountain that your mad at because you flatted is sacrilege. Buy a road bike

  33. #33
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    Sounds like the OP used common sense and the park rangers agreed with his actions. /end thread
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  34. #34
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    I dont' know, this is a tricky one. If everyone removed a rock because it caused them issue, there wouldn't be too many rocks on the trail, would there? I think you should probably take a step back, and acknowledge that the person you're talking to might just see a lot of trail changes and you are yet another trail changer. As the one of few trail changers that person has likely come across, you get the brunt of his frustration and let's be honest, you are removing a trail obstacle so he's got a point.

    This came up in a current thread in the Utah forum, there is a fine line between trail sanitization and trail maintenance. Sometimes maintenance appears to be sanitization even if that's not the intent, which seems to be the brunt of the discussion about Porcupine Rim's new look. Trails change over time, rocks get moved and kicked out, and erosion exposes new "features" but don't be too surprised if you get scolded for moving a boulder off trail no matter where it came from or how it got there. Removing obstacles is removing obstacles and if you find it hard to justify people removing obstacles or creating ride-around then it should be equally hard to justify removing a rock that caused you a pinch flat.

    Don't forget: some people are just a-holes; you can't fix a-hole for all the trail maintenance in the world.
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    Rocks are really heavy. Its a LOT of work. If enough riders feel the need to put the effort into moving enough rocks from the trail I ride, I might be the out of place rider...

    I might be misinformed.. but how many super gnarly trails are really being sanitized? I cant speak for everyone, but locally it seems like the out-of-place fun features do tend to get removed. The notoriously rough trails seem to ward off sanitizers. It definitely would suck if people are clearing out a consistently difficult trail.

    Theres always "that guy" but its tough work to really change a few miles of trail. the tough trails here seem to stay tough, or even get revamped with new stuff every season or so. The mild trails stay mild or get cleaned up. I think im alright with that overall.

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    If the boulder fell on the trail from above and you can't find its original location it's like a tree and should be evaluated as an unrideable hazard and moved or as the start of a new technical feature to be added to make things more challenging. If it changes the flow too much it should probably go.

  37. #37
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    Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing

    Based on the OPs follow up post that describes the situation in detail, its cut and dry. Common sense said to remove it. The park rangers agreed based on the story.
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  38. #38
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    I never mess with the trails, I just
    ride them.

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    Was it the Desert Classic? Cause if it was I totally know which rock you're talking about. Good call.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I dont' know, this is a tricky one. If everyone removed a rock because it caused them issue, there wouldn't be too many rocks on the trail, would there? I think you should probably take a step back, and acknowledge that the person you're talking to might just see a lot of trail changes and you are yet another trail changer. As the one of few trail changers that person has likely come across, you get the brunt of his frustration and let's be honest, you are removing a trail obstacle so he's got a point.

    This came up in a current thread in the Utah forum, there is a fine line between trail sanitization and trail maintenance. Sometimes maintenance appears to be sanitization even if that's not the intent, which seems to be the brunt of the discussion about Porcupine Rim's new look. Trails change over time, rocks get moved and kicked out, and erosion exposes new "features" but don't be too surprised if you get scolded for moving a boulder off trail no matter where it came from or how it got there. Removing obstacles is removing obstacles and if you find it hard to justify people removing obstacles or creating ride-around then it should be equally hard to justify removing a rock that caused you a pinch flat.

    Don't forget: some people are just a-holes; you can't fix a-hole for all the trail maintenance in the world.
    A very good answer. Alert: this is going to be a long post.

    Only the OP was there when he went off line and hit a rock. He did not impact a wall of stone, but pinch flatted after going off a drop and hitting a loose stone larger than 10 inches. Let's say he didn't pinch flat, but biffed, took skin off, broke his bike and had to walk out. In that case removing the rock may prevent someone else suffering the same or a worse fate.

    We ride a fairly stony area and it is common to find loose stones on trails. Having to deal with large stones on the riding line is a fact of riding and mostly you would just fly by. Lots of loose rocks like scree also build up in some places and you have no choice but deal with them. Sometimes you have to move stones that create risk or ruin the line for other riders.

    The OP incident sounds different. One loose rock off the line after a drop. As a trailbuilder, I think it is unacceptable to have any large rock or other danger adjacent to a fast and technical section of trail. I am presuming this bit was fast and technical as the OP describes a drop, not a crawl up a tech climb. No corral rock should ever be hit because you went off line on a drop. If a 10 inch rock is a trail feature, then I feel sad for your trail.

    We had someone throw a rock off a corner this week and replace it with some loose stones. It was about 12 x 12 x 12 inches and was there before the trail was built. It was embedded and created a choke with another rock that affected both climbing and descending lines. The corner was designed to be technical in both directions, but reward a good line downhill with acceleration into a pump section leading to a double jump. Maybe someone decided that rock was on the only line allowing enough exit speed. It wasn't. Removing it makes no difference to the best line. It was part of a spine of rock left as a technical option in a technical turn. "The Rock" in question is at the top; the one with the white spot above the grey spot. It was quite exposed on the upper edge and the little black, flat stone near it was smashed away by riders, leaving a slot.

    Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing-p1090357.jpg

    Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing-p1110378.jpg

    Here's a little more of said turn. You have to image the rest of the trail. It's more fun - this bit is tricky.

    Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing-p1110379.jpg

    If you have made it to this point of the thread, then you are probably wondering why a rock can create such emotion and commotion. It's a rock. There are others. I know what it is to know every rock on a trail and love them individually However, MTB trails are about riding and having fun riding and loving where you are. As you can see from the pics above, things change - seasons, attitudes and the trail moves on. Over a metre of rain fell here between the pics.

    Should I be sad "my" rock was removed and thrown down the hill, or happy it now lives near the tree on climbers right near it's mates, watching the riders go by?

    Should OP have removed the loose stone? I think; my petty opinion only - yes.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    I never mess with the trails, I just
    ride them.
    Yes, most people never do any trailwork.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    I never mess with the trails, I just
    ride them.
    So you only take and never give? and you brag about it?
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    I do trail work, I just don't mess with or move things while
    on a ride. It isn't my place to decide what stays or goes. I just
    didn't say it quite right I guess.

  44. #44
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    Can't please everyone and people shouldn't be too selfish. If that guy really wanted that rock there, he could just put it back himself. If he doesn't, well, deep down, he's probably fine with it and is just one of those over-reacting guys that rejects change without thinking much about it. People with personal issues...
    I like to jump to conclusions, oversimplify, gossip, and participate in popularity polls.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    I do trail work, I just don't mess with or move things while
    on a ride. It isn't my place to decide what stays or goes. I just
    didn't say it quite right I guess.
    Who's place is it?

    As someone who DOES do a lot of trailwork, I can tell you that it sucks having to waste time removing fallen trees and other trail debris (including loose rocks) that users can take care of on there own. Our trails really rely on people taking smaller matters into their own hands.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Wow, so many opinions on a rock. I ride south mountain. The trails are multi use.

    The very act of riding moves rocks, and changes the character of the trails. Not to mention all the little side trails being cut to avoid the very obstacles so many like to brag about clearing.


    It's a rock for gosh sakes! Give it a rest.

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    Frankly judging by OP description and by my experience riding in the South Mountain Park he was flat wrong. SMP is all about riding boulders - and it was boulder, not just "loose rock". It is not wilderness riding, it's high traffic area which is pretty unique and deserves respect. I would not make any comment to the OP in the similar situation - but I would note to myself that he was wrong. Again, it's high traffic area inside big city, it's not Moab with enough gnar for all. And it is trail sanitizing by very definition. I had very painful encounter with cactus there - should I have removed the "trail hazard"? There are many cacti in Arizona after all...

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    Seems like quite a commotion.... Maybe the rock was put there for someone who misses the line, as the OP said he did, as encouragement to NOT miss your line.... We can all sit here and speculate all day. The OP did what he thought was best for the trail at the time and now it's done. It is only one rock. And if it was a loose rock, I can't say that I wouldn't have done the same thing.

  49. #49
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    I went and put the rock back. All is good in the world now.

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    blah blah blah, I'm right, you're wrong, your sister is lame, blah blah. It's a rock. Keep calm and eat some taquitos. The end.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Club Mud View Post
    I went and put the rock back. All is good in the world now.
    Thank you for that. Now I will be able to sleep at night.....

  52. #52
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    Every stone is sacred.
    Every stone is great.
    If a stone is wasted,
    God gets quite irate.

    Every stone is wanted.
    Every stone is good.
    Every stone is needed
    In your neighbourhood.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Every stone is sacred.
    Every stone is great.
    If a stone is wasted,
    God gets quite irate.

    Every stone is wanted.
    Every stone is good.
    Every stone is needed
    In your neighbourhood.
    But are you a protestant or catholic?? Such a funny movie
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  54. #54
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    What about sperm?!!

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Club Mud View Post
    What about sperm?!!
    I think you shouldn't move it off trail either.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  56. #56
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    Is moving horse $h!t considered sanitizing?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Is moving horse $h!t considered sanitizing?
    Did you use purel?
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  58. #58
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    Let it go....some people just need to ***** about something. Go have a beer and think nothing of it again.
    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    "yeah, she's fat, but you'd take her for a ride."

  59. #59
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    it was one of these.
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tHJKKdEo8TQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  60. #60
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    Only Shaven Roadies move stuff off trail!

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Did you use purel?
    No way! Real riders don't dumb down the germs. If your immune system can't handle it, go ride on the road.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Consider the rock's feelings

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    I think you need to look at this as a complete system.

    By moving the rock to a location next to the trail, that location is now more rocky.

    Thus, rocky-ness is neither gained nor lost when moving a rock.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    My rule of thumb is that if a rock is loose and small enough to get moved around when you hit it, I get rid of it. Of course, if the trail is all loose stones, that is a different story. In most situations, if a single loose 10" stone was sitting in the middle of the trail, I'd move it. I think it comes down to deciding whether something is part of the trail, or something that is ON the trail, and this is rather subjective.

    In reality, there are no hard and fast rules about what is trail maintenance, and what is "sanitizing". It's an ongoing process, and you have people on both extreme ends: Those that feel you should never in any way alter the trail (like the d!ckwad you encountered) and those that want to make every trail an IMBA style flowtrail that your grandmother could ride down, and an out-of-shape slob can climb.

    I think the one rule to not violate is don't change the trail just because it is to hard for you, this does get me pretty hot under the collar.
    After reading the whole thread and REALLY thinking about the matter, I could hardly express my thoughts better. All I can add is that opinions seem to be based on the kind of riding one does: those who favor blasting downhill are ok with sanitizing; those who ride for the joy of the ride aren't.

  65. #65
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    Moving a rock has a detrimental effect on our environment to be sure. When you shift a rock, it upsets the balance of life in the ecosystem. Each rock left untouched, provides a haven for small invertebrates that aerate the soil and provide food for creatures above them in the food chain. When you disturb the natural resting place of a peaceful rock, it destroys the natural habitat of invertebrates and the result is an unwitting catastrophe that echos through the forest. Not only are the invertebrates robbed of their protective house, they are then bombarded with harmful UV-B as they have not evolved a natural protection from UV. And, as they are (not surprisingly - duh) unable to manipulate even the smallest bottle of sunscreen, they are doomed to die a horrible, indescribably painful death. BTW, invertebrates breed so there is the unsavory fallout from this that involves children and the unborn.

    You probably did not consider the double edged sword presented by moving that rock. Not only have you deprived some forest's creatures of a home, you have now moved it to a place where there were many others peacefully going about their business of tilling the soil and enriching the forest floor with nitrogen (I presume you do like the forest). Suddenly they are squashed by the equivalency of 10 tons of granite, and if not immediately terminated, then they most definitely suffer a long, slow and very frustrating, suffocation.

    I suggest that someone who has been riding the trails for 15 years might have some good experience to pass along to you and you would be well placed to consider his wise counsel. So I would suggest to you that maybe you should retire to a quiet place in your basement to reflect on the irreparable damage this selfish action has caused the planet. I do believe that the fate of the human race is very nearly solely dependent on us leaving a small a footprint as possible and above all else, not moving any rocks.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottenronny View Post
    Moving a rock has a detrimental effect on our environment to be sure. When you shift a rock, it upsets the balance of life in the ecosystem. Each rock left untouched, provides a haven for small invertebrates that aerate the soil and provide food for creatures above them in the food chain. When you disturb the natural resting place of a peaceful rock, it destroys the natural habitat of invertebrates and the result is an unwitting catastrophe that echos through the forest. Not only are the invertebrates robbed of their protective house, they are then bombarded with harmful UV-B as they have not evolved a natural protection from UV. And, as they are (not surprisingly - duh) unable to manipulate even the smallest bottle of sunscreen, they are doomed to die a horrible, indescribably painful death. BTW, invertebrates breed so there is the unsavory fallout from this that involves children and the unborn.

    You probably did not consider the double edged sword presented by moving that rock. Not only have you deprived some forest's creatures of a home, you have now moved it to a place where there were many others peacefully going about their business of tilling the soil and enriching the forest floor with nitrogen (I presume you do like the forest). Suddenly they are squashed by the equivalency of 10 tons of granite, and if not immediately terminated, then they most definitely suffer a long, slow and very frustrating, suffocation.

    I suggest that someone who has been riding the trails for 15 years might have some good experience to pass along to you and you would be well placed to consider his wise counsel. So I would suggest to you that maybe you should retire to a quiet place in your basement to reflect on the irreparable damage this selfish action has caused the planet. I do believe that the fate of the human race is very nearly solely dependent on us leaving a small a footprint as possible and above all else, not moving any rocks.
    Unfortunately, some people actually think this way. Also unfortunately some people are at the other extreme.

    It seems everyone continues to post their opinion with out actually reading the thread (shocking, I know).

    The rock was rock fall. The equivalent of moving a branch that fell on a trail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtnord View Post
    The rock was rock fall. The equivalent of moving a branch that fell on a trail.
    Irrelevant. It's a potential new home.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottenronny View Post
    Irrelevant. It's a potential new home.
    If you are going to go that far... you better stop breathing because you are potentially killing millions of micro-organisms...
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  69. #69
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    All you purists who think it's sacrilege to move a loose rock should do all of your riding completely off trail because that section of the earth has not yet been "sanitized" by the original trail busters.

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    Looking at this from the rock's point of view I am a little torn on this.

    Was the rock falling onto the trail indicative of where the rock was truly meant to be?
    Or was this a cry for help on the part of the rock?
    Maybe the OP was just playing a part in the rock's destiny to cross the trail.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  71. #71
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    Moving a Large Loose Rock (Boulder) from a Single Track Trail in NOT Sanitizing

    Quote Originally Posted by rottenronny View Post
    Moving a rock has a detrimental effect on our environment to be sure. When you shift a rock, it upsets the balance of life in the ecosystem. Each rock left untouched, provides a haven for small invertebrates that aerate the soil and provide food for creatures above them in the food chain. When you disturb the natural resting place of a peaceful rock, it destroys the natural habitat of invertebrates and the result is an unwitting catastrophe that echos through the forest. Not only are the invertebrates robbed of their protective house, they are then bombarded with harmful UV-B as they have not evolved a natural protection from UV. And, as they are (not surprisingly - duh) unable to manipulate even the smallest bottle of sunscreen, they are doomed to die a horrible, indescribably painful death. BTW, invertebrates breed so there is the unsavory fallout from this that involves children and the unborn.

    You probably did not consider the double edged sword presented by moving that rock. Not only have you deprived some forest's creatures of a home, you have now moved it to a place where there were many others peacefully going about their business of tilling the soil and enriching the forest floor with nitrogen (I presume you do like the forest). Suddenly they are squashed by the equivalency of 10 tons of granite, and if not immediately terminated, then they most definitely suffer a long, slow and very frustrating, suffocation.

    I suggest that someone who has been riding the trails for 15 years might have some good experience to pass along to you and you would be well placed to consider his wise counsel. So I would suggest to you that maybe you should retire to a quiet place in your basement to reflect on the irreparable damage this selfish action has caused the planet. I do believe that the fate of the human race is very nearly solely dependent on us leaving a small a footprint as possible and above all else, not moving any rocks.
    When you travel back in Time, it is much worse. Touching anything, and certainly moving a rock, will change the future. Like the guy who was destined to endo and break his neck did not, and later became a serial killer. Be careful out there. And you CO and WA riders, don't ride baked, because trying to decide whether you are maintaining or sanitizing might become a problem so complicated you will never return home.


    Old enough to know better and old enough not to care. Best age to be.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Wow I can't believe I read all this. Good job moving the rock anyone who says otherwise is just a Dick

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    this just might be my alltime favorite thread, from the OP all the way through. seems like whether it was people taking themselves serious or people being totally sarcastic, it came across as comedians on top of their game! keep it coming fellas!
    breezy shade

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    Im sure the rock is happy you moved him out of harms way, someone has to protect the rocks

  75. #75
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    OP, was this on Natty proper or lower?

    Correction.... largest city park is Chugach state park, Largest "real" city park would be Forest Park in OR.
    SoMo is the largest municipal park in the world I believe, fwiw. Chugach is a State park (you even wrote that yourself, lol). Kind of a huge difference. Municipal = urban. I have no idea what governmental criteria are needed to be categorized as a "real" park so I won't comment on that.

    In fact the 2 largest municipal parks in the U.S. are both in Phoenix.
    The Straight Dope: What is the largest city park in the U.S.?
    South Mountain Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Anyhow OP, shoulda put the rock back where you got it, you mentioned you went off-line or off trail.

    ROCK ON! (literally)

    Last edited by eatdrinkride; 04-29-2013 at 03:22 PM.

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    Is that drop on the right doable, or is their a rock in the way?

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghglenn View Post
    Is that drop on the right doable, or is their a rock in the way?
    It's the preferred line down for most. The stair steps, while certainly rideable, are herky-jerky and not much fun, and have a tendency to taco 29'r wheels at 1mph, lol.

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    Hey kapusta, which one of those rocks do you think I should remove?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtnord View Post
    If you are going to go that far... you better stop breathing because you are potentially killing millions of micro-organisms...
    Now that's just silly. Obviously if I did THAT, I could DIE! duh.

  80. #80
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    if i were to shit under said rock then i would breed new micro-organisms so its a wash

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    Hey kapusta, which one of those rocks do you think I should remove?
    The one that looks like it is trying to cross the trail.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    I have correct answers to all of your well considered questions, kapusta.

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Looking at this from the rock's point of view I am a little torn on this.
    It is a good thing that put yourself in the rock's shoes. Otherwise you would just be selfish and that would cause you to just go ahead and callously move the rock. The planet needs more people who think like kapusta.

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Was the rock falling onto the trail indicative of where the rock was truly meant to be?
    Another carefully considered question. But if you think a little deeper, you will find the answer, Grasshhopper. Life works on a cycle. We are all just in transit. In the case of the rock, it is on a path to destiny. Eventually, like all rocks, it will be churned by the earth's mantle and forced deep into the center of our home. Here it will be heated up to just above the temperature of your oven and turned to liquid (yes, liquid .. not a typo) and disperse. Then it will randomly combine with some other bits of rock (which have also melted) and be forced to the surface somewhere on the Big Island in Hawaii, where it goes to the school for hard rocks. And the journey continues. But if that rock gets moved anywhere along the way by selfish human intervention, you have effed up its natural life cycle which sends a shock wave throughout all time. So to answer your question, yes, the rock is on a journey but it has a job to do along the way and it doesn't need anyones help, thank you very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Or was this a cry for help on the part of the rock?
    Here is where I started losing faith in you buddy boy. Have you ever kicked a big rock really hard? Who did the crying? Of course it was YOU. Rocks are big boys. They have feelings but they don't ever cry.

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Maybe the OP was just playing a part in the rock's destiny to cross the trail.
    I believe I have adequately answered this question above. Sheesh. I'm really tired now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    Hey kapusta, which one of those rocks do you think I should remove?
    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    The one that looks like it is trying to cross the trail.
    See my earlier post on this subject.

    They are all on a journey to cross the trail. That is why it is important to ride fast because in theory, if you ride too slowly they could hit you from the side and knock you flying. You have all probably experienced this when you have been unlucky and were struck by a powerful roundhouse blow from a larger rock. The rock is moving imperceptibly slowly but because of its great mass it has great momentum (similar to being hit by a bullet but the speed/inertia relationship is reversed). That is why it feels like getting shot when you have been laid out flat on the trail by the larger boulders.

    But we know from experience that this occasion is rare. In most cases we are the faster and are the ones hitting them in the sides. Still, they are on a journey too and their feelings need to be considered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    if i were to shit under said rock then i would breed new micro-organisms so its a wash
    It is a certainty that the gas cloud from your micro-organisms would kill all life, including large vertebrates, within a 10 yard radius so that is a fail.

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    You should fill that guys rear shock with pure oxygen, then oil the shaft nicely…

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    [QUOTE=tangaroo;10331621]Loose boulders have no place on the trail, a stuck boulder does however.QUOTE]

    There is a secret trail in Virgin, Utah called "Oh Deer", (yes, that's purposely "deer", NOT "dear"), which was featured in Thor Wixom's 2003 video, "Statement". The tread of Oh Deer is comprised of nothing but thousands of loose basalt rocks and boulders on the steep side of the mesa across North Creek from where the original Red Bull Rampage site was. Usually when I am riding behind another rider or riders, I take as different of a line from them as possible, so as I can look past them and get as much advance notice of the upcoming section of trail as is possible. On Oh Deer, this technique really didn't work like it normally does, since a ridiculous number of the thousands of loose rocks and boulders roll down the hill underneath a rider's tires as they pass by, and thus the tread of the trail can change significantly for each rider. When practicing my "sneak preview' technique on Oh Deer, I could literally watch the trail change right before my eyes, and some sections of it would be completely different when I got to them than they had been for the rider ten feet in front of me. If someone had tried to remove all of the loose rocks and boulders from that trail, it would be first, impossible, and second, would ruin the character of the trail, as that was the defining aspect of that trail, as much as any solid obstacle that most of us would want to remain in place on more normal trails defines those trails.

    The bottom line is this: When at all in doubt, LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE!!!
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

  87. #87
    mtbr member
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    Why was this not posted in the AZ forum where you would have had a better chance of communicating with Mr. Sanitize Police?
    Also if posted in the AZ forum you would likely have had people respond that know what SoMo is and how it is to be treated.
    Twice you have been asked what trail this happened on, and you've not responded.

    As such I am not confident we have the whole story.

    To those that don't ride SoMo, the trails were there long before there were bikes. They are hiking trails, and the park rangers intend on keeping the trails just the way they are without "improvements for bikes.
    Additionally, the rangers request you do not do trail work.
    Having said that, a group received permission from the rangers and boy scouts to make a specific trail, "improved", and while that one trail has thankfully eroded most of the improvements away, there are those of us that preferred the trail prior its... ahem... sanitation.

    At any rate, if the original poster wanted to get answers from locals this would be in the AZ forum, but, he would prefer to get the answer he/she wanted, and so it is here in the AM forum.

    To the OP, if you are going to continue to ride SoMo I would strongly suggest you go tubeless.
    My bike, Slayer 70

  88. #88
    I'm just messing with you
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTZ470 View Post
    You should fill that guys rear shock with pure oxygen, then oil the shaft nicely…
    The performance increase would be explosive
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

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