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  1. #1
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    Who's Junking Up the Trail? Rare Sighting

    Have you ever gone on a ride or hike and wondered who is junking up one of your favorite trails? Well, up until today I had never come in contact with one of these determined individuals.

    It was another beautiful day in Arizona and I decided to go for a ride on one of my favorite trails. About halfway though the ride I decided to take a break and enjoy an energy bar. There wasn’t any nice place to sit next to the trail, so I decided to sit on a rock ledge about 20’ away from the trail. As I was sitting back enjoying the scenery I heard someone talking out in the distance.

    I thought to myself there must be riders coming from the opposite direction and I wondered if it was someone I knew. Instead of riders I noticed one lone hiker who for some reason was talking very loudly to herself. While she was talking and moving in my direction she was placing rocks in the middle of the trail.

    When I first noticed her she was about 150 yards from me and she had no clue I was watching her. As she moved closer to my location I thought to myself what am I going to ask this person when she gets close to me?

    She continued to talk to herself as she got closer, and when she got to about 30 yards from me she finally spotted me. At this point she stopped placing rocks in the trail and after aboout 30 seconds she continued to move in my direction. She was still mumbling to herself and as she drew closer, I finally decided to ask her the BIG question, why are you junking up the trail?

    She really didn’t come up with a coherent answer, but there was something about bikers and erosion damage kind of gibberish being conveyed. When I asked her why she didn't get off the trail and walk through the brush to keep the trail from becoming eroded, she just kept mumbling to herself about bikers and erosion damage.

    After passing me she didn’t put any more rocks in the trail, but she kept walking down the middle of the trail rather than out in the brush as I suggested. I wonder if she got the point ?

    Curious if anyone else has had a similar experience?

  2. #2
    Gold it's the new Pink!
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    I would of followed five feet behind her either walking or riding my bike. Most likely mumbling something along the lines of stupid &*$#. Then followed to her car and took pictures of her liscense plate and reported her to the rangers station. I had problems last season when a retarded rock ninja was putting rocks on the shuttle runs of Somo.



    This was the largest. FYI that is a Van 36 rc2 with a 2.5 Nevegal upfront.

    Crimson

  3. #3
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    That was me dude. I like to multitask: lift weights, practice my Esperanto, and see the sights.

    In drag, bien sur.

  4. #4
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    worldclass.....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    Have you ever gone on a ride or hike and wondered who is junking up one of your favorite trails? Well, up until today I had never come in contact with one of these determined individuals.

    It was another beautiful day in Arizona and I decided to go for a ride on one of my favorite trails. About halfway though the ride I decided to take a break and enjoy an energy bar. There wasnít any nice place to sit next to the trail, so I decided to sit on a rock ledge about 20í away from the trail. As I was sitting back enjoying the scenery I heard someone talking out in the distance.

    I thought to myself there must be riders coming from the opposite direction and I wondered if it was someone I knew. Instead of riders I noticed one lone hiker who for some reason was talking very loudly to herself. While she was talking and moving in my direction she was placing rocks in the middle of the trail.

    When I first noticed her she was about 150 yards from me and she had no clue I was watching her. As she moved closer to my location I thought to myself what am I going to ask this person when she gets close to me?

    She continued to talk to herself as she got closer, and when she got to about 30 yards from me she finally spotted me. At this point she stopped placing rocks in the trail and after aboout 30 seconds she continued to move in my direction. She was still mumbling to herself and as she drew closer, I finally decided to ask her the BIG question, why are you junking up the trail?

    She really didnít come up with a coherent answer, but there was something about bikers and erosion damage kind of gibberish being conveyed. When I asked her why she didn't get off the trail and walk through the brush to keep the trail from becoming eroded, she just kept mumbling to herself about bikers and erosion damage.

    After passing me she didnít put any more rocks in the trail, but she kept walking down the middle of the trail rather than out in the brush as I suggested. I wonder if she got the point ?

    Curious if anyone else has had a similar experience?
    now you know how she feels when someone builds a trail where, typically, the trail is not supposed to be - according to the land managers.

  6. #6
    Lone Wolf McQuade
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    LOL, well, not really, We've been experiencing just the opposite here in Las Vegas. We've had rocks go MISSING from our favorite technical sections of trail Someone has been clearing out the trails and making it easier to cycle through...well, that's what mountain biking is NOT about. We've been complaining in our forums but we're pretty sure whomever is doing this doesn't really participate in here. We'll glady take some of your rocks! Matt
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    I should be out riding....

  7. #7
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    We have a nice faceless fellow here in our neck of the woods who apparently is unhappy that one of the social trails on the Prescott National Forest runs within a few hundred yards of his back door (rather than being grateful that he is allowed to park his big-ass home on the edge of one of the largest national forests in the country), so he routinely moves logs and even cuts down standing trees to fall across the trail.

    He's been fighting that fight for 3-4 years now... and we just keep riding through.

    I try to have compassion for someone so incredibly obsessed by a few hikers and bikers passing by his house now and then. It has to be a miserable existence fueled by some degree of mental illness.

  8. #8
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    I've recently discoverd that an area that I spent 2 years of my life, spending countless hours to preserving our right to MTB on the trails, has a new individual, that decided that it was a perfect time to build illegal freeride trails.

    glad I worked so hard to preserve his right to build social trails.
    b

  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Came up on a rider a few times in Granite Basin that was removing lots of rocks from the trail in the name of a "race". There was a race, but I doubt the "rock removal" was sanctioned. The thing was that he was doing it with no regard to the erosion, and a good example was semi-switchback-steep downturn in the trail, and there were some rocks in the middle of it, once you take em out, it is going to erode like crazy and become a wash-out. For some reason he didn't realize this. Trail 345 is chunky in some places, but if you're going to go removing some of those rocks you realy have to think about what it entails, whether there's a "race" going on or not. Anyway, I came back the next day and put a lot of those rocks back in place, which has worked so far, but if you're wondering why trails end up as huge washouts and piles of small babyhead rocks, it's due to poor design and erosion control. Once you start taking out those measures, it's going to get bad.

    On the other hand, if they are illegal trails...what can you do?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1

    I try to have compassion for someone so incredibly obsessed by a few hikers and bikers passing by his house now and then. It has to be a miserable existence fueled by some degree of mental illness.
    Velo:

    The few times that I have crossed paths with these unfriendly individuals they all seem to be a little wacky. Their reasoning is so far out there it is hard to take them seriously, you really have to feel sorry for them. More than likely the footprint of their home is many times larger than the actual trail.
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  11. #11
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    Agreed, Traildoc.

    Social trails aren't all bad. There are good ones and bad ones. The more forward-thinking land management agencies such as in Yosemite NP have recognized that social trails are one of the best indicators of traffic flow and have wisely incorporated that concept into their management plans. In other words, accept the fact that users of the land are trying to get from one point to another via a certain route, thus the existence of the social trail in the first place, and then find a way to improve that route/trail so that it is laid out in a sustainable fashion.

    Of course, then there are the social trails that are silly and exist only because they are a shortcut for lazy hikers/bikers/equestrians. That's not so good.

    Nor are overly steep, fall-line trails designed only for descending on mountain bikes. (If such a trail is responsibly designed and built somehow, fine. Unfortunately, many are not.)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson
    I would of followed five feet behind her either walking or riding my bike. Most likely mumbling something along the lines of stupid &*$#. Then followed to her car and took pictures of her liscense plate and reported her to the rangers station. I had problems last season when a retarded rock ninja was putting rocks on the shuttle runs of Somo.



    This was the largest. FYI that is a Van 36 rc2 with a 2.5 Nevegal upfront.

    Crimson
    It takes "crazy strength" to move a 100# non-rolling rock of that size. I'd tell you to throw rocks at that person but they probably have the "crazy speed" to go with the crazy strength. Damn, that's a wheel killer of a rock.

    Good post Tdoc and way to keep a level head about it. Can't change some minds anyway.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson
    I would of followed five feet behind her either walking or riding my bike. Most likely mumbling something along the lines of stupid &*$#. Then followed to her car and took pictures of her liscense plate and reported her to the rangers station. I had problems last season when a retarded rock ninja was putting rocks on the shuttle runs of Somo.



    This was the largest. FYI that is a Van 36 rc2 with a 2.5 Nevegal upfront.

    Crimson

    that is funny! Ha!

  14. #14
    I will overcome
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    I love the title "retarded rock ninja" lmao

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dammule
    I love the title "retarded rock ninja" lmao

    Hey Mule:

    Welcome aboard, I looked up your profile and see you have ridden in Sedona. Hope to hook up wth you sometime. We can go out and ride some of the social trails and search for retarded rock ninja's, it's pretty entertaining. Maybe we can get a picture of one in action.

    If you get a chance you should also check out Prescott.

    Doc
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  16. #16
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    Was up there on Sun., weather was great but the trail we chose sucked balls (not the one in the picture). Can you tell me how to get to the "Hangover" trail or whatever it's called?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Havoc
    Was up there on Sun., weather was great but the trail we chose sucked balls (not the one in the picture). Can you tell me how to get to the "Hangover" trail or whatever it's called?
    It starts at the Cow Pies parking lot.
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    Last edited by traildoc; 11-25-2008 at 10:11 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Havoc
    Can you tell me how to get to the "Hangover" trail or whatever it's called?
    It's a boring little illegal social trail with a silly name. Women old enough to be your mother ride it. Don't bother. Much better riding on all those number trails over the mountain at Prescott. Ask anybody.




    Traildoc, did you say you were riding Thought you took up hiking.
    something's missing..

  19. #19
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    I thought traildoc was working on trails in nocal? Sure does get around.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by azjeff
    It's a boring little illegal social trail with a silly name. Women old enough to be your mother ride it. Don't bother. Much better riding on all those number trails over the mountain at Prescott. Ask anybody.
    I really love boring little social trails with silly names that really really old woman would find of little challenge, mostly because I like to push my bike up stuff that I will have to walk my bike down, so it just may be perfect for me.

    I've done 305 and a few others in Prescott and enjoyed myself, and will do many more trails in Prescott as time permits. I just wanted to check out some different stuff in Sedona.

    Where is the Cow Pie parking lot?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Havoc

    Where is the Cow Pie parking lot?
    3 1/2 miles up Schnebly Hill Road rom Hwy. 179. The parking lot is on the right and Cow Pies starts across from the parking lot. Have fun.

    Doc

  22. #22
    parenting for gnarness
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    that is one intense pic. bringing back memories of those gnarly switchbacks
    are you using Google Earth Pro? the demo edition won't let me import my GPX files. Thanks!

  23. #23
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    Illegal trails? What's that

  24. #24
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    Some ammo for the next time you run across this sort of "activist"

    The following is a link and summary of actual research for you to refer to when someone tells you mountain bikers mess up the trails.

    (LINK)


    New Study Examines Mountain Biking Impacts

    A study published in the summer 2006 Journal of Park and Recreation Administration (Volume 24, Number 12) takes a close look at the environmental impacts of mountain biking. Researchers measured trail erosion and other impacts on 31 trails used for mountain biking in the southwestern U.S. The study concludes that, "certain impacts to mountain bike trails, especially width, are comparable or less than hiking or multiple-use trails, and significantly less than impacts to equestrian or off-highway vehicle trails."

    Recreational ecologists Dave White from Arizona State University and Pam Foti from Northern Arizona University led the three-year research project titled "A Comparative Study of Impacts to Mountain Bike Trails in Five Common Ecological Regions of the Southwestern U.S." The researchers used "Common Ecological Regions" (CERs) to provide consistency in comparing the ecological effects of mountain biking with those of other recreational activities.

    The team also published a 60-page guidebook titled "Planning and Managing Environmentally Friendly Mountain Bike Trails" that includes a condensed version of the study, recommendations for trail management, and tips for responsible mountain biking. Funding for the research and guidebook was provided by a Shimano American Corporation donation, along with administrative contributions by Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

    The conclusions reached by the authors are consistent with previous trail research that suggest the impacts of mountain biking are similar or less than other trail use. "Our study contributes to the growing consensus that mountain biking can be a sustainable activity on properly managed trails," said researcher Dave White.

    Don Applegate of the BLM said, "These new trail monitoring techniques are defendable methods to sustain trail systems that respect the natural environment as well as the need for high quality recreational opportunities."

    IMBA has long worked to develop and share trail management techniques that minimize resource impacts and provide high quality visitor experiences. IMBA Trailbuilding Schools, held weekly for bike clubs, land managers and volunteers, highlight the principals of sustainable trail management. IMBA offers state-of-the-art trail design and construction services through its professional trail consulting program Trail Solutions, and has published a book on the topic of sustainable trailbuilding. Titled Trail Solutions: IMBA's Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack, the 272-page resource has drawn widespread praise from land managers.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCB Extreme Adventures
    The following is a link and summary of actual research for you to refer to when someone tells you mountain bikers mess up the trails.

    (LINK)


    New Study Examines Mountain Biking Impacts

    A study published in the summer 2006 Journal of Park and Recreation Administration (Volume 24, Number 12) takes a close look at the environmental impacts of mountain biking. Researchers measured trail erosion and other impacts on 31 trails used for mountain biking in the southwestern U.S. The study concludes that, "certain impacts to mountain bike trails, especially width, are comparable or less than hiking or multiple-use trails, and significantly less than impacts to equestrian or off-highway vehicle trails."

    Recreational ecologists Dave White from Arizona State University and Pam Foti from Northern Arizona University led the three-year research project titled "A Comparative Study of Impacts to Mountain Bike Trails in Five Common Ecological Regions of the Southwestern U.S." The researchers used "Common Ecological Regions" (CERs) to provide consistency in comparing the ecological effects of mountain biking with those of other recreational activities.

    The team also published a 60-page guidebook titled "Planning and Managing Environmentally Friendly Mountain Bike Trails" that includes a condensed version of the study, recommendations for trail management, and tips for responsible mountain biking. Funding for the research and guidebook was provided by a Shimano American Corporation donation, along with administrative contributions by Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

    The conclusions reached by the authors are consistent with previous trail research that suggest the impacts of mountain biking are similar or less than other trail use. "Our study contributes to the growing consensus that mountain biking can be a sustainable activity on properly managed trails," said researcher Dave White.

    Don Applegate of the BLM said, "These new trail monitoring techniques are defendable methods to sustain trail systems that respect the natural environment as well as the need for high quality recreational opportunities."

    IMBA has long worked to develop and share trail management techniques that minimize resource impacts and provide high quality visitor experiences. IMBA Trailbuilding Schools, held weekly for bike clubs, land managers and volunteers, highlight the principals of sustainable trail management. IMBA offers state-of-the-art trail design and construction services through its professional trail consulting program Trail Solutions, and has published a book on the topic of sustainable trailbuilding. Titled Trail Solutions: IMBA's Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack, the 272-page resource has drawn widespread praise from land managers.
    There are still things we can all do to help preserve our single track. My current pet peeve is flashy mountain bikers who want to show their great skill by riding off the trail when approaching or passing. Whoever yields should pull over, preferably in an already wide spot, and then stop.

    I've seen the kind of rocks traildoc describes placed on Phoenix trails. Sometimes I'll notice more than the usual number of loose, square-edged rocks and I've suspected that someone is making mischief. I'll usually stop and kick these off the trail.

    Just waiting for the rain and traffic to subside so I can head to lovely Sedona with my family for a long Thanksgiving weekend. I don't have the skills to ride Hangover, but I might try hiking it instead.

    If you see a guy with a Bionicon riding along with a really cute kid on a Fisher Aquila, smile and wave.
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