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  1. #1
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    Do Beginner Riders Know How to Build Beginner Trails?

    Recently I have heard that several Sedona beginner riders are upset about the FS considering adopting (thru scoping) more than 18 social trails in Sedona. What I am curious about is do beginner riders have the passion that better skilled riders have in building really nice sustainable trails?

    It seems like if you are a passionate beginner rider you would go out and find a really nice beginner route and then you would either ride your bike on it until there is a line to follow or you would contact the land manager and ask them for permission to build it.

    I personally would like to see more beginner trails in Sedona for entry level riders to ride and I have actually gone out and checked out a couple places to put such a trail, but to date I haven't contacted the land manager for permission to buld it because it isn't a high priority for me.

    What I don't get is why don't the beginner riders stop complaining about all the really cool more advanced trails and get out and build their own beginner trail. I am not sure what is stopping them are they just waiting for government to build something for them. I have news for them they could be waiting forever.

  2. #2
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    i think beginners (myself being one) should be passionate about building trails (like i am)... but in my case, all my buddies are reallly good so when we do build trails they end up pretty gnar... but that's good because i've come a long long way since i started riding a few months ago... i know my limits and what i can and can't do, so i'll just do my best until i can conquer the obstacle if i do have trouble with it... and yes, i agree that a lot of beginners just need to sack up and grow a pair (as i did) and just enjoy the trails... riding wouldn't be any kind of fun if it wasn't a difficult challenge and everyone could do it... so beginners, if you find yourself *****ing about a baby drop or a steep roller, or any other kinda of gnar on a trail, maybe it's time to think about taking up a new sport?!?! just a thought...
    i like these odds....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarHammer
    i think beginners (myself being one) should be passionate about building trails (like i am)... but in my case, all my buddies are reallly good so when we do build trails they end up pretty gnar... but that's good because i've come a long long way since i started riding a few months ago... i know my limits and what i can and can't do, so i'll just do my best until i can conquer the obstacle if i do have trouble with it... and yes, i agree that a lot of beginners just need to sack up and grow a pair (as i did) and just enjoy the trails... riding wouldn't be any kind of fun if it wasn't a difficult challenge and everyone could do it... so beginners, if you find yourself *****ing about a baby drop or a steep roller, or any other kinda of gnar on a trail, maybe it's time to think about taking up a new sport?!?! just a thought...
    GH:

    THANK YOU for your response it was great.

    From what you are riding I really wouldn't say you are a beginner. Do you have any plans on working with a landmanager on future beginner projects or will you just continue to build more difficult trails as your skills progress?

    What motivates you to build your own trails?

    Who do you think should be responcible for building beginner trails for Sedona tourists: the government, a tour owner or bike shops that rent bikes to the beginner tourists?

    TD

  4. #4
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    I think the bike shops should do it . By doing so they have a good chance as it would be a bunch of shop owners bettering the riding available while also possibily bringing in more tourism for the whole town including their shops.

    Also the gov would be more willing to listen to the owners of local shops vs. a group of riders. Shop owners would have more pull to get things done IMO
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  5. #5
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    I don't think its a good idea for beginners to build new trails.

  6. #6
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    I don't mind paying taxes for the "service" in forest service, and I do pay taxes.

    business owners as a group is a good idea for trail maintenance/creation, and of course trail users/volunteers. beginners should probably work under more experienced builders on projects that are already approved, though. things like water control are important.

    that all said, complaining really has no place. it doesn't accomplish anything.

  7. #7
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    Beginners should ride the trails available to them and everyone else. If you are not comfortable with a section, walk it! That's what I do. Beginners (that get addicted like the rest of us) don't stay on beginner trails for very long. The trails I started out on (San Tan, Pemberton) are good for a quick ride but are not high on my list when deciding where to ride on Sunday.

  8. #8
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    i would say let us beginners build beginner trails, but that wouldn't turn out too well... it's funny and sad the lack of common sense some people have when it comes to trail building...i think it sound be a coalition of gov, bike shops, skilled riders, trail-build groups, AND beginners, so as to be a learning experience for everyone... i think the mtb community has, not really an obligation, but more of a responsibility (kinda/sorta) to build trails and progress the sport as a whole... i'd love to get w/ landmanagers and the proper "authorities" to work on some trials, beginner and advanced.... i think i owe it to all the others who have built b4 me and given me the oh-so-awesome experience of riding the trails i love today. i also believe that building trails can increase any riders skill levels... and if you build it, you better hit it
    i like these odds....

  9. #9
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    Am I the only one scratching my head here? It seems to me that a beginner rider (of which I still remember myself being one) quickly graduates from a beginner trail and starts seeking more challenges/variety.

    I suppose, I could argue that the terminal beginner rider (a rider who never progresses beyond....lets say....bell rock pathway) would get board of riding the same trail again and again....but that's a stretch.

    Again....I'm scratching my head on this one....

  10. #10
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    the park managers, land managers and anyone working for an established park\system\etc etc will build all the beginner trails ever needed. The more public and establishment they are, the more they need to appeal to a "broad range" which is code for "lowest common denominator.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    the park managers, land managers and anyone working for an established park\system\etc etc will build all the beginner trails ever needed. The more public and establishment they are, the more they need to appeal to a "broad range" which is code for "lowest common denominator.
    cb:

    Your first sentence doesn't make any sense in Sedona. We really only have one nice beginner trail of any distance which is Bell Rock Pathway. The people who want more beginner trails here don't want the FS to bring in the 18 or so scoped trails since none of those trails are beginner trails.

    There point is that is if they can't get any beginner trails then the more skilled riders shouldn't get any of their trails either.

    My point to them is they should get off there butts and go out and look for some good terrain to build a beginner trail and either build it themselves or talk someone else into building it for them. They are obviously very dependent on having other people do things for them.

    I have gone out and located a nice spot to build such a trail and I just don't get why the complaining people can't do the same. I really don't think building a beginner trail is too difficult since the route is going to be fairly flat, so one has to find some flat terrain to build it on. If there is no flat terrain available for a new beginner trail then maybe they are just jealous and don't want the more skilled ridrs to have a nice trail system to ride while they are stuck on Bell Rock Pathway.

    These same people complain that many of the trails being scoped are too dangerous and that many people who get on those trails will be injured. Apparently they possibly suffer from very poor judgment themselves and they figure every other less skilled mountain biker must also have poor judgment.

    The problem with their argument is that more people get injured on Bell Rock Pathway then any other trail. Since people get injured on Bell Rock Pathway should it be shut down?

    If someone understands his or her point of view please help me understand it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer
    Am I the only one scratching my head here? It seems to me that a beginner rider (of which I still remember myself being one) quickly graduates from a beginner trail and starts seeking more challenges/variety.

    I suppose, I could argue that the terminal beginner rider (a rider who never progresses beyond....lets say....bell rock pathway) would get board of riding the same trail again and again....but that's a stretch.

    Again....I'm scratching my head on this one....
    M:

    Maybe this will help you stop scratching your head. The complaining person is not a beginner rider, but makes money from begining tourist riders and therefore would benefit from having more than just Bell Rock Pathway to do beginner rides.

    I personally want more really cool beginner trails in Sedona, but for a different reason. My reason is to speed up getting the citizens in Sedona to become more supportive of the sport, a really cool beginner trail could bring locals with kids into the sport. I believe a family who becomes involved in the sport will be more supportive of a well thought out trail system.

  13. #13
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    Some sweet buff beginner type trails out in Turkey Creek. The times I have been out there we don't see many out there. I guess lack of signage and off the tourist radar keeps them relatively unknown.

    Dean

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    cb:

    Your first sentence doesn't make any sense in Sedona. We really only have one nice beginner trail of any distance which is Bell Rock Pathway. The people who want more beginner trails here don't want the FS to bring in the 18 or so scoped trails since none of those trails are beginner trails.

    There point is that is if they can't get any beginner trails then the more skilled riders shouldn't get any of their trails either.

    My point to them is they should get off there butts and go out and look for some good terrain to build a beginner trail and either build it themselves or talk someone else into building it for them. They are obviously very dependent on having other people do things for them.

    I have gone out and located a nice spot to build such a trail and I just don't get why the complaining people can't do the same. I really don't think building a beginner trail is too difficult since the route is going to be fairly flat, so one has to find some flat terrain to build it on. If there is no flat terrain available for a new beginner trail then maybe they are just jealous and don't want the more skilled ridrs to have a nice trail system to ride while they are stuck on Bell Rock Pathway.

    These same people complain that many of the trails being scoped are too dangerous and that many people who get on those trails will be injured. Apparently they possibly suffer from very poor judgment themselves and they figure every other less skilled mountain biker must also have poor judgment.

    The problem with their argument is that more people get injured on Bell Rock Pathway then any other trail. Since people get injured on Bell Rock Pathway should it be shut down?

    If someone understands his or her point of view please help me understand it.
    interesting points, TD. the way you explain it, and in light of the Sedona dynamics, i would agree with you. Especially if its your business, jeez, go build something scenic and easy and hopefully its win-win. Maybe the Pink Jeep types are bent cause intermediate to advanced riders come to Sedona and don't spend a dime on them, but I'm happy to patronize the good shops who are supporting some of the awesome challenging Sedona stuff.

    I am basing my statement, and granted with a much more limited viewpoint and limited building experience compared to you, on things like the county and city parks here in the Valley. We're not a tourist economy, but a "bedroom community", from the pov of where our mtb money comes from. everything in the "public" systems is under some degree of political control and the trend seems to be towards sanitizing. Twisted Sister in Hawes - not so hard anymore. parts of White Tanks, some of the best descents in the McDs along with some new trails in the McDs, Javalina on Somo - dumbed down. The entire McDowell Park - personally i find dull. So why on earth would i want to contribute\volunteer for any of that when its under the whim of someone who feels the need to make more more more suitable for beginners? It will happen anyway, let em do it without me and without my fees.

    I've got almost no experience with places that intentionally create expert and beginner terrain, but seems like they have ties to ski resorts where the attitude towards balance for everyone and the individual's assumption of risk is different.

  15. #15
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    I am by no means and expert on Sedona trails. However, (I am typing this from my room at teh Holiday inn) the few times I have been there, I have linked advanced trail using what I would consider beginner trails or easy trails. Beginners (most) don't have the stamina to ride more than 5-10 miles so they don't need much- why not find a way to loop what is already there? But- beginners should not be in charge of building them, although they should operate the long handles!

    Or- and this could go for any trail system- build "option" lines around tough sections. The option lines usually get inadvertently made anyway and this could stop the "rock fairies".

    I believe that to experience things like sunsets/sunrises, fantastic views, idyllic mountain streams and such away from the hustle and bustle, one should earn it. When you earn something you tend to take care of it. Plus, I would not be too concerned about a local shop (s) trying to build easy trails to lure new riders. Those newb's will become experienced riders and marketing reports show that experienced athletes spend more on their sport than do beginners and usually purchase higher end or better performing (read $$) items. So- the plan could work out for everyone.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem
    I am by no means and expert on Sedona trails. However, (I am typing this from my room at teh Holiday inn) the few times I have been there, I have linked advanced trail using what I would consider beginner trails or easy trails. Beginners (most) don't have the stamina to ride more than 5-10 miles so they don't need much- why not find a way to loop what is already there? But- beginners should not be in charge of building them, although they should operate the long handles!

    Or- and this could go for any trail system- build "option" lines around tough sections. The option lines usually get inadvertently made anyway and this could stop the "rock fairies".

    I believe that to experience things like sunsets/sunrises, fantastic views, idyllic mountain streams and such away from the hustle and bustle, one should earn it. When you earn something you tend to take care of it. Plus, I would not be too concerned about a local shop (s) trying to build easy trails to lure new riders. Those newb's will become experienced riders and marketing reports show that experienced athletes spend more on their sport than do beginners and usually purchase higher end or better performing (read $$) items. So- the plan could work out for everyone.
    cstem:

    Your idea about trying to connect easy trails to other easy trails is good, but the new connector would probably have to go over a big rock formation or several difficult wash sections (i.e. Arizona Cypress Trail), so the cost to build over the big rock formation would be expensive and the feasibility of keeping the wash crossings beginnerish would require constant maintenance.

    When I considered building the really cool beginner trail I was thinking about providing a trail for my riding buddies who have young children. I went out to an easily accessible area and walked a route I thought would work, the more I walked the alignment the more I thought how much fun some kids might have riding the new trail.

    I agree Turkey Creek could be a good spot, but it is a long way from the majority of riders who would use it. The Verde Valley School could benefit from beginnerish type trails out there if they allow their students to go out and ride after class is out.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    the park managers, land managers and anyone working for an established park\system\etc etc will build all the beginner trails ever needed. The more public and establishment they are, the more they need to appeal to a "broad range" which is code for "lowest common denominator.
    Bingo!
    We have a winner here, that understands the system and the status quo. Beginner trails will be the most underused trails.

    While I don't mind using a beginner trail to go to and from somewhere more challenging, it's more a means to an end., or a "warm up." An example would be UpTown and DownTown at Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, to get to the good stuff. It serves a purpose, but there are no "guides" profiting from it's existence. More a sampler to get you hooked on mountain bike riding, kind of like a drug dealer giving a soon to be junkie his first fix, free. Everywhere else in the bike park, you need to pay to play, except lower "Uptown" and "Downtown" conveniently located right next to the bike rental facilities of Mammoth Mtn bike park.

    I have an immense distaste for "guide services" that exploit public property that all of us can use, for personal profit of the guide. Case in point would be fly fishing guides that hog the best fly fishing waters and honey holes on streams for their clients and tip money, in a most unethical way.

    Maybe if you need to hire a guide to ride a bicycle, you shouldn't be riding a bicycle? Seems rather elementary to me, maybe even preschool. I was riding a bicycle at age 4, I believe, maybe 5, certainly by the time I was in kindergarten.
    "i'll brazilian when YOU do boy, right around the ol' rusty star. Actually, whole fruit bowl. Get on it!" NicoleB

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    Bingo!
    We have a winner here, that understands the system and the status quo. Beginner trails will be the most underused trails.

    While I don't mind using a beginner trail to go to and from somewhere more challenging, it's more a means to an end., or a "warm up." An example would be UpTown and DownTown at Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, to get to the good stuff. It serves a purpose, but there are no "guides" profiting from it's existence. More a sampler to get you hooked on mountain bike riding, kind of like a drug dealer giving a soon to be junkie his first fix, free. Everywhere else in the bike park, you need to pay to play, except lower "Uptown" and "Downtown" conveniently located right next to the bike rental facilities of Mammoth Mtn bike park.

    I have an immense distaste for "guide services" that exploit public property that all of us can use, for personal profit of the guide. Case in point would be fly fishing guides that hog the best fly fishing waters and honey holes on streams for their clients and tip money, in a most unethical way.

    Maybe if you need to hire a guide to ride a bicycle, you shouldn't be riding a bicycle? Seems rather elementary to me, maybe even preschool. I was riding a bicycle at age 4, I believe, maybe 5, certainly by the time I was in kindergarten.
    RB:

    Well thought out post. I personally can remember my first bike ride on Stanley Blvd., Lafayette, CA approximately 56 years ago.

  19. #19
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    Do you want beginner type trails for riders to learn skills? Or more 'easier' xc trails accessible to everyone?

    I don't think beginner riders should build trails since they won't know how to route a trail to ensure it is 'sustainable', nor do they know how big rocks should be so that you don't have to keep going back and fix a section.

    If you want an area for beginners to learn skills to ride in that area then a skills park would be your best bet. This would also be a great place for tour companies to take riders to learn how to ride in the area.

    If you want people to learn how to build trails properly, including the most important factor which is the route, then the experienced builders should take them under their wing and teach them.

    As for the bike shops pitching in, doesn't work very well here in North Van, but the bike shops do help out the local advocacy group at trail days and events.

    As for who should put these trails in? Volunteers won't cause its thankless and they'll move on. Best one to undertake these kinds of trails is the landowners.

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