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  1. #1
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    NOTE FROM PAUL B: I've moved this portion of the thread to its own discussion so I can sticky Absolute's announcement on its own. Feel free to continue but please, please don't make this personal. p.

    Anthony,

    Have you sent anyone out to repair the extensive damage to Lower Oldham that resulted from the race you sponsored earlier this year? Did you learn anything at all that might suggest it isn't the best idea to schedule another race during the heaviest monsoon rains in recent memory? I like the idea of promising to repair some of the trail damage afterwards. I just wonder if those sent out to do some token repairs, will set their sights on doing anything more than tossing a few buckets of soil onto the deep ruts that were created during the race down Lower Oldham. The monsoon rains have made those race ruts twice as wide and deep and fixing the damage is no small task for a few volunteers to attempt to accomplish in a few hours. The Fort Valley race should have much more accoutability, after what happened earlier this year. I recall that after last years race, there was massive erosion and loose rocks all over the trail, as well as some short cut trails made by racers. None of those were ever repaired and some flagging was also left along the trail.

    Maybe the people putting on the Barnburner race have the right idea. You have the race somewhere you don't have so much impact and upset so many local riders and people who volunteer a lot of their time to do trail work, only to see it all torn up in one weekend worth of racing. How much rain and mud would it take before the race gets cancelled?
    Last edited by Paul B; 08-04-2010 at 07:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sweeet!!! This is always a super fun event for a really good cause! I look forward to this one every year - super laid back, fun course, fast riders and a great awards ceremony at pay and take! Everyone should go up and do it!

  3. #3
    bland
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    Anthony,

    Have you sent anyone out to repair the extensive damage to Lower Oldham that resulted from the race you sponsored earlier this year? Did you learn anything at all that might suggest it isn't the best idea to schedule another race during the heaviest monsoon rains in recent memory? I like the idea of promising to repair some of the trail damage afterwards. I just wonder if those sent out to do some token repairs, will set their sights on doing anything more than tossing a few buckets of soil onto the deep ruts that were created during the race down Lower Oldham. The monsoon rains have made those race ruts twice as wide and deep and fixing the damage is no small task for a few volunteers to attempt to accomplish in a few hours. The Fort Valley race should have much more accoutability, after what happened earlier this year. I recall that after last years race, there was massive erosion and loose rocks all over the trail, as well as some short cut trails made by racers. None of those were ever repaired and some flagging was also left along the trail.

    Maybe the people putting on the Barnburner race have the right idea. You have the race somewhere you don't have so much impact and upset so many local riders and people who volunteer a lot of their time to do trail work, only to see it all torn up in one weekend worth of racing. How much rain and mud would it take before the race gets cancelled?
    Yeah Anthony stay off his trails. Have the race on some boring FS roads. We all know that absolute never sponsors trail days or anything like that. SARCASM As a local rider that has been here for over 26 years you have my blessing on the race. The real locals understand what you are doing. Keep it up Anthony.

  4. #4
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    I entered and rode the trail 2 weeks ago for a trial run and the trails were superb, keep up the good work!

  5. #5
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    sounds like someone has an axe to grind.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo
    sounds like someone has an axe to grind.
    Just a bit. I asked Absolute not to route the first race with riders going down Lower Oldham, but rather up Lower Oldham, in order to prevent all the skidding in corners. By making that suggestion/criticism, they retaliated by firing me from running the FBO mobile trail crew. You have a strong opinion about something Absolute does and suddenly FBO comes after you. It turns out Absolute is FBO and FBO is Absolute. Criticizing one is the same as going after the other. It's part of the reason other shops don't participate much in volunteer days. They've told me Absolute wanted to make all the decisions about what gets done and where. Not really a team effort.

    Then, just a month ago, I'm out riding in Fort Valley and I get a call from the Forest Service LEO's, who come out to talk to me. When they arrive, and interupt my ride, they tell me they are going to arrest me. It turns out that someone else (who posts on MTBR) with an axe to grind, tipped them off that I posted pictures of the Schultz Fire on this forum, telling them I had committed some sort of crime by being out riding on Monday morning, less than 24 hours after the fire first started. I guess it didn't matter that I added commentary under the photos, stating I did not violate and closures and only noticed the barricades as I rode out of the woods. I understand the incident may not have happened if I was more friendly towards people I disagree with here. I just didn't expect to go on a ride (the day after the trails reopened) and be tracked down by the law and threatened with arrest based on an MTBR snitch and some very poor investigative skills by the FS. I'm also not suggesting anyone at Absolute was the tipster. They don't post here unless they are putting on an event. It just happened shortly after their first race concluded and I inspected the course with the FS, to figure out what level of damage had occurred. That, and the Schultz Fire, put me in a particularly unfriendly mood.

    I'm not sure what a "real local" is or why he feels I take ownership of the local trails. He may be confusing taking responsibility for maintaining trails with actual ownership. I will ask ranger how often he gets out and rebuilds the trails that he uses. I put in 4 hours today, 180 hours for the year, and I'm hovering at around 5000 hours total, since '96. Half the trails locals ride would be abandoned, much like Upper Oldham, if a lot of us weren't out there maintaining them. Is it really asking too much for people who make money sponsoring races, spend some of that coin to pay people to restore the trails to the condition they were in prior to the race?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo
    sounds like someone has an axe to grind.
    Agreed. Keep up the good work Anthony. You do a great job with the race and with Flagstaff Biking Org. I look forward to another great race this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    The monsoon rains have made those race ruts twice as wide and deep and fixing the damage is no small task for a few volunteers to attempt to accomplish in a few hours.
    Blame the monsoons then.
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  8. #8
    slower than you
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    ding-ding-ding!

    263 + 489 = 752

    somebody i know just got a second star on his 700 Club membership badge!

    congratulations, tony! you deserve it!!!
    "Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles." Ed Abbey
    http://www.rockychrysler.com/

  9. #9
    bland
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    I spend plenty of time maintaining the trails I use. I don't clock every hour on my internet fight/soapbox excel spreadsheet so I can't give you an exact # but early in the season after snow and after monsoons its weekly. I get the ownership of the trails thing because you talk like you own the trails, especially oldham. Remember when someone wanted to put a super d race down your trail?

    With the "real" local thing my point it this:
    To everyone on MTBR that is not from Flagstaff. We are not this guy. We like people and we want you to come and enjoy the trails up here. Don't let this guy scare you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    I put in 4 hours today, 180 hours for the year, and I'm hovering at around 5000 hours total, since '96.
    Wow, I guess you really do own the trails in Flag and you should be the deciding factor on who uses them or not. The only "damage" I've seen on the trail from any recent races is from people sanitizing the course and not from the amount of people riding the trail. Sure some corners might not be as nice as others afterwards. But hey, do you want the trail to be exactly the same everytime you ride it? Maybe so.

    Share the trails, share the world.

    Ever thought that maybe it's the influx of people coming up to Flag to enjoy the nice weather and trails that could be causing "damage" to your trails? Maybe we need a limit on how many people can use the trails each day? Oh yeah and those dogs off lease.....Sheesh! Damn Flagstaphians.

    Mountainbike racing should be on singletrack. Ruts, washed out turns, rocks and all.

    Passion deserves a place more positive.
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  11. #11
    My other ride is your mom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdss

    Passion deserves a place more positive.
    I struggled to form a responsible and cool headed response to the negativity because I had such a good time riding the trails yesterday....so I did not respond.....but this quote sums up my feelings just as well.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdss
    The only "damage" I've seen on the trail from any recent races is from people sanitizing the course and not from the amount of people riding the trail. Sure some corners might not be as nice as others afterwards. But hey, do you want the trail to be exactly the same everytime you ride it? Maybe so.

    Ever thought that maybe it's the influx of people coming up to Flag to enjoy the nice weather and trails that could be causing "damage" to your trails?

    Mountainbike racing should be on singletrack. Ruts, washed out turns, rocks and all.

    Passion deserves a place more positive.
    Birdss, I'll try my best to discuss this with you. The first sponsored race, as you know, was scheduled to be held on a different route, but was moved because the heavy winter snows had not melted and Little Bear was unavailable. The race was postponed a couple weeks to let the trails dry out more to prevent serious damage. What I asked the Forest Service and Absolute was to simply run the race up Lower Oldham, to mitigate the skidding caused by hundreds of racers going very fast downhill on a trail not designed for speed. The course was inspected before and after the weekend races. It turned out that Schultz Creek Trail showed almost no damage from the Super D and Rocky Ridge was only torn up near the top. Schultz seems to handle high-speed traffic quite well and Rocky Ridge doesn't allow much high speed riding, so it also holds up well. Lower Oldham allows downhill riding to gather a lot of speed and then forces them to scrub it off quickly. This was evident during the race, as I watched dozens of riders locking up as they entered turns. In at least two locations, 6-8 inches of soil was shaved off of important structures that were built to divert water off the trail. Some riders are aware of these structures and attempt to protect them by not over-braking. A race pushes riders to their limits and they can't concern themselves too much with riding responsibly as they would on a normal ride. It would also explain why an influx of out of town riders enjoying this or any other trail, are not responsible for the damage. They are not group of over one hundred riding at high speed. Regardless, the trail was inspected before, during, and after the race to pinpoint the damage and it's cause. That is why the FS inspected the trail prior to the race and asked Absolute to make repairs to the trail afterwards. It's hard work and requires skills and several visits to repack the new soils. It's likely that if the race went up Lower Oldham and not down it, there would have been almost no damage, with the exception of the steep downhill section in the middle, which is already fairly blown out.

    You may enjoy ruts and washed out turns but they are the enemy of a sustainable trail. If we all wish to continue riding breat single track trails, erosion and trail damage have to be addressed as quickly as possible. The recent heavy rains have taken advantage of failing grade dips and cut 2-6 inch deep ruts in trails that will need to be repaired as quickly as possible. If not, riders will high-side to avoid them and the trails will double in width, as they once did on Lower Oldham in the late 90's. Part of the back story on Lower Oldham includes the manager of Absolute telling me that Lower Oldham is a "turd" of a trail and "there is no use trying to polish a turd". That was in response to ten years worth of trail work to restore and maintain this magnificent trail, despite it's many design flaws. That work was finally completed shortly before Absolute went to the FS and asked to route their race primarily on Lower Oldham, doing several laps and running all the racers down it and not up it. It was my conclusion that if a person doesn't have much regard for a particular trail to begin with, he is unlikely to look for the least damaging route when using that trail for a race course. I hope this gives you a broader view of the issue and you can draw more reasonable conclusions than what you posted above.



    last three...

    Small Hours by Pogues
    Femme Fatale by Owen
    Bob's Yer Uncle by Happy Mondays

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by m77ranger
    I spend plenty of time maintaining the trails I use. I don't clock every hour on my internet fight/soapbox excel spreadsheet so I can't give you an exact # but early in the season after snow and after monsoons its weekly. I get the ownership of the trails thing because you talk like you own the trails, especially oldham. Remember when someone wanted to put a super d race down your trail?

    With the "real" local thing my point it this:
    To everyone on MTBR that is not from Flagstaff. We are not this guy. We like people and we want you to come and enjoy the trails up here. Don't let this guy scare you.

    Outstanding. It's highly commendable that you put in the hard work of maintaining the local trails. As a rider and trail steward, why not take it to the next level and spread the good word. Let people know that you want them to come and enjoy the trails up here, but you would like to remind them to use those trails responsibly and not ride during, and just after heavy rains, avoid skidding, and be careful when building and putting out their camp fire. You aren't trying to scare them, you are merely giving a friendly reminder that may prevent something bad from happening to the trails, like maybe a 15K acre wildfire, or a few thousand dollars of trail repairs.



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    Nierka by Dead Can Dance
    Paths of Victory by Cat Power
    Anada Is The Ocean by Future Pilot AKA

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    Birdss, I'll try my best to discuss this with you. The first sponsored race, as you know, was scheduled to be held on a different route, but was moved because the heavy winter snows had not melted and Little Bear was unavailable. The race was postponed a couple weeks to let the trails dry out more to prevent serious damage. What I asked the Forest Service and Absolute was to simply run the race up Lower Oldham, to mitigate the skidding caused by hundreds of racers going very fast downhill on a trail not designed for speed. The course was inspected before and after the weekend races. It turned out that Schultz Creek Trail showed almost no damage from the Super D and Rocky Ridge was only torn up near the top. Schultz seems to handle high-speed traffic quite well and Rocky Ridge doesn't allow much high speed riding, so it also holds up well. Lower Oldham allows downhill riding to gather a lot of speed and then forces them to scrub it off quickly. This was evident during the race, as I watched dozens of riders locking up as they entered turns. In at least two locations, 6-8 inches of soil was shaved off of important structures that were built to divert water off the trail. Some riders are aware of these structures and attempt to protect them by not over-braking. A race pushes riders to their limits and they can't concern themselves too much with riding responsibly as they would on a normal ride. It would also explain why an influx of out of town riders enjoying this or any other trail, are not responsible for the damage. They are not group of over one hundred riding at high speed. Regardless, the trail was inspected before, during, and after the race to pinpoint the damage and it's cause. That is why the FS inspected the trail prior to the race and asked Absolute to make repairs to the trail afterwards. It's hard work and requires skills and several visits to repack the new soils. It's likely that if the race went up Lower Oldham and not down it, there would have been almost no damage, with the exception of the steep downhill section in the middle, which is already fairly blown out.

    You may enjoy ruts and washed out turns but they are the enemy of a sustainable trail. If we all wish to continue riding breat single track trails, erosion and trail damage have to be addressed as quickly as possible. The recent heavy rains have taken advantage of failing grade dips and cut 2-6 inch deep ruts in trails that will need to be repaired as quickly as possible. If not, riders will high-side to avoid them and the trails will double in width, as they once did on Lower Oldham in the late 90's. Part of the back story on Lower Oldham includes the manager of Absolute telling me that Lower Oldham is a "turd" of a trail and "there is no use trying to polish a turd". That was in response to ten years worth of trail work to restore and maintain this magnificent trail, despite it's many design flaws. That work was finally completed shortly before Absolute went to the FS and asked to route their race primarily on Lower Oldham, doing several laps and running all the racers down it and not up it. It was my conclusion that if a person doesn't have much regard for a particular trail to begin with, he is unlikely to look for the least damaging route when using that trail for a race course. I hope this gives you a broader view of the issue and you can draw more reasonable conclusions than what you posted above.
    I agree with most of what you say here. It's all about educating the mountain bike community about proper trail maintenance and care. No trailblazing. No sanitizing.

    During monsoons it's probably best not to ride as to prevent trail damage. But with most riders, the bike usually wins. Also this year, we have received double the rainfall that we usually get. I know I've said to myself while riding, "these trails are muddy, I probably shouldn't be out here." But, I am. And I will do my trail maintenance.

    Ride when appropriate. Maintain when necessary. Yield when possible.
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  15. #15
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    Thanks to all for the kind comments!

    See you at the race, just riding the trails, or when were fixin' and makin' new trails.

    -Anthony

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockychrysler
    ding-ding-ding!

    263 + 489 = 752

    somebody i know just got a second star on his 700 Club membership badge!

    congratulations, tony! you deserve it!!!
    Membership to the 700 Club is not a right or a priviledge, it has to be earned
    Last edited by rockman; 08-05-2010 at 03:26 PM.

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