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  1. #51
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    First off, thanks to everyone for the hard work!

    The new changes provide a good basic beginner trail. I did like the old school Culvert since I had been riding it for decades. After last years changes, I warned people to be careful not to over jump the tabletops that were put in (easily done). I was ok with the mix that the trail had... not so much with the most recent changes.

    Culvert used to provide improving riders with enough challenge to get all of their attention. The more experienced riders would rip down it, but still have to pay attention to avoid bouncing off the wrong thing. This new Culvert provides very little of either of those (except where the old lines still exist). After recently riding Paradise Royale, I have to ask why did we have to get so drastic on the taming of Culvert? Big sweeping turns where they really were not needed. The base trail may have flow for beginners, but past that it feels very forced. And there seems to be ride around options for every rocky option, effectively turning it into more trail sprawl than was there. So I guess I am a bit confused...

    I had the same feeling after the CCC went through and "adjusted" Darrington Trail. Luckily it only took a decade-ish to let nature fix the issues that were created.

    I think the idea of leaving Culvert in its original state (with minor corrections for drainage) and creating a completely new trail that connects in to utilize the "culvert" to pass under the road and then splitting off again would have been a better overall solution. More trails!!

    That said, what's done is done. I do hope to see more interesting features added, and perhaps a little more consideration given to safe progression options. Hopefully after the upcoming changes, I can start describing it as super fun and not just super buff.

    Thinking of a new name for the new Culvert... perhaps Nulvert?

  2. #52
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    This should be interesting...

    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillRider View Post
    Look at The Connector trail. This trail was built with rocks as *part of the trail*, not something avoided so that huge equipment can plow a wide bike path that I can just as easily ride on my cyclocross rig. Flow does not equal a cement-like bike path.
    It was? The Connector was roughed in with a tractor just like the new Culvert Trail. The few rocks on the Connector are on the only south facing slope, a very shale loaded hillside - of which a lot of rock has been revealed through wearing in of the trail. The few boneyards on the old Culvert were 10 feet wide after those rocks were revealed from wearing in and erosion - then the trail went around the rocks as most riders looked to avoid.

    All trails are built wide, then the foliage grows in and narrows the trail. That was true of the Connector Trail when it was first built as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillRider View Post
    I don't see a compromise here at all. I saw (first hand mind you) a few designers who ignored the reason Culvert was so loved in the first place and imposed their ideas for a new trail that had nothing to do with the best aspects of the existing trail. When approached, they were haughty and dismissive. Again, I saw this first hand as a *volunteer on this project*.
    On the new Culvert I see a lot of new jumps, some stunts some speed and some flow. The old Culvert was all of that, except the flow, it was just a straight line down a hill to the tunnel.

    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillRider View Post
    To claim that people who feel this way are haters and don't contribute is ridiculous. I've racked up many, many hours of volunteering in ASRA and elsewhere. Dismissing volunteers like this is indicative of the original mindset problem of the designers. My way or the highway-like-trail.
    Many hours of meetings were had, plans laid out, documents submitted. Agreement was achieved on what to do. When it is time to do the work, should the builders stop and redo the plan because a helper voiced a concern? Or does one continue with the plan and back solve the minor issues?

    BTW, thanks for your efforts and your passion. They are appreciated.

    Hating on the people who build... makes them not want to build in their free time. Think about it.

    Is the new Culvert what I want? Not exactly. But as I see it I lost a casing cutting boneyard, a few lame hucks to flat and an awkward turn for a lot of burms, bigger tabletops and a lot trail. When I dial in the flow, I'll be loving it.

    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillRider View Post
    FATRAC can learn from the experience and maybe next time bring in the crew that knows what it is doing and listens. The group that led construction of Connector would be great. Or IMBA Trail Solutions.
    IMBA has some great solutions...
    Flow Trails | International Mountain Bicycling Association


    Also, just to push this point home. We were not at the meetings establishing the goals of the trail work, and what ASRA demands that needed to be met. So we do not know the parameters of the project and therefor cannot judge the execution of the build.

    We can however judge our ride experience. Again, for me, it's better than a rutted fall line down the hill.

    You can dislike the trail and how it works with you, but don't write up a bunch of false reasons and hating on the builders, just say you aren't diggin' it.

    P
    Last edited by Mr.P; 02-22-2013 at 08:00 AM.

  3. #53
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    I can't wait to ride it...haven't been there yet this winter/spring. But I can understand the need to redo a lot of the trail which was getting pretty worn out in spots. Am I going to miss the rockgarden switchback--absolutely--but overall I think I will like the new trail as I did the old, just in a different way. As others have said, there are other important things going on here such as working with state parks to ensure and enhance trail access. If there is a slight 'give' in terms of 'natural' trail features, it is probably worth it.

  4. #54
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    follow up on previous post and new culvert section

    When I got back after first riding the new zig zag traversing turns at the start of the culvert, and the ride arounds of classic rock sections, I felt I had to write in this thread with a long time perspective (20plus years) on this trail and the changes. I also felt I had to follow up and see how it's going now, so I drove down the hill to see the last re route section just before the road.
    I walked it yesterday, and I have to say, at rough in, it looks really good. I believe the planners may have taken some of the volunteers feedback, as well as the boys from Auburn Bike Works and created a trail that meanders better and traverses less. I was impressed with the work I saw when i walked it yesterday. I am anticipating a great result here.

    I also thought adding some comments on what I dislike about the last section and how it could be addressed may be worthwhile.

    as a tahoe resident who skis 3 or 4 days a week, and a long time mountain biker, the idea of "braking" turns, opening up into a straight traverse is exceptionally annoying. I believe the first section off of the firebreak, into the section that was completed last year w/ the dowhill gap is exactly this, braking turns into straight traverses. To address this, the turns can be opened up, and the straights shortened and even some re directions added between the turns. you can have a couple snappy little turns in there to pump and create engagement. In extending the 2 turns, they could also be finished slightly uphill and then redirected in those pumping turns. An image I have here is the sovereign trails in Moab. Recently made, pretty smooth, but still fun. their is one section less then 50ft long w/ 5 short little turns that is many peoples favorite section. In the length of these existing straights, something like that could exist, but the "flow" stick would have to ignored. I also believe the area right above the tunnel has the traverse to braking turn feel to it and could be tweaked a bit.

    One of the things Zach with FTA said when I met him for the first time yesterday, is "it's all dirt, things can be changed", so maybe they are open to tweaking this.

    the other primary issue I had with this section was taking lot of rocks out and adding ride arounds. the little rock climb after the right hander wasn't technical, but it took foresight and skill to carry speed over it. why ride around that with a straight level trail. I personally believe that ride around should be scrapped. Right after that, there was a rocky section, and maybe that ride around is appropriate, as it was developing on it's own from people who didn't like riding the rocks, and haven't learned that rocks are fun and a big part of mountain biking. leaving that one as an option seems OK.

    Mr. P
    "So we do not know the parameters of the project and therefor cannot judge the execution of the build.
    We can however judge our ride experience. Again, for me, it's better than a rutted fall line down the hill."


    I also have to comment on a couple things Mr. P above said, as I thought they may be directed at my earlier post. yes, we can judge. Just because we don't live in the area or have a vested interest in the project like the builders and bike shops, we can have an opinion and offer feedback. These guys have reasons to go to meetings and be part of the process, those of us that this isn't our work and we have families to raise may not have time to be part of those meetings or even trailwork. We can have an opinion. I work on my local trails and you have an opinion on those I bet. I have an opinion on Moab and Northstar trails, and didn't do work on them. we can have an opinion, and we can voice it to those that are being paid to work on a project that affects our play time.

    and, degrading the confluence to a "rutted fall line downhill" is a silly insult of a classic trail that has entertained and inspired us for many years. Yes, their were areas that probably needed work, but it was far more then you have characterized it as. People (including me) wouldn't have driven hours and ridden it hundreds of times to ride it if it was "just a rutted fall line downhill", sorry.

    I also wanted to say how much I appreciate that work ABW, Mike and Pete especially, have been putting into this project. I know they were/are pissed at me for voicing my opinion so openly. that said, I believe the public feedback may help, as this latest section is looking great. I also don't think giving feedback is "hating" as has been expressed here, but much more "HOPING".

    thx,
    Wade Holiday
    N. Tahoe
    Last edited by holiday; 03-16-2013 at 11:03 AM. Reason: title

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P View Post

    On the new Culvert I see a lot of new jumps, some stunts some speed and some flow. The old Culvert was all of that, except the flow, it was just a straight line down a hill to the tunnel.
    Um, I've ridden the old culvert many times. That IS flow, a trail that's downhill that allows you to keep your speed up while making turns with features.

    A trail that switchbacks on itself every few feet to keep you from going over 15 mph is hardly "flow", when it's a predominately downhill trail IMO. Kind of the opposite...
    "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.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Um, I've ridden the old culvert many times. That IS flow, a trail that's downhill that allows you to keep your speed up while making turns with features.

    A trail that switchbacks on itself every few feet to keep you from going over 15 mph is hardly "flow", when it's a predominately downhill trail IMO. Kind of the opposite...
    Don't you live in Arizona? lol. So you must be in touch with the goals of the project, right? And you have loads of experience riding the new trail, right?

    Thank you for your opinion...

    P

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P View Post

    On the new Culvert I see a lot of new jumps, some stunts some speed and some flow. The old Culvert was all of that, except the flow, it was just a straight line down a hill to the tunnel.

    P
    This sums up my feelings for the new culvert trail. Some stated that culvert is an old historical trail? I see culvert now as new and refreshing. It was ok before, but now has much better flow than before with improved jumps. The top section with back to back turns is one of my favorite sections and an excellent section to practice high speed turns. They are not braking turns, your not supposed to brake in a turn like that. It takes more skill to get through those turns at speed then it did to ride down a straight trail like it was before. I also feel these are that type of trails that gravity oriented riders get excited about. It may not be everyones "perfect trail", but I really enjoy it more now than before. Any trail that lets me practice high speed turns, pumping terrain and catching a little air is a plus in my book! Every one has thier own opinion and this is just mine. I'm not saying anyone is wrong for not liking it. I just wanted to say that not every one dislikes it.

  8. #58
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    "They are not braking turns, your not supposed to brake in a turn like that"
    fuenstock, I appreciate that you like those first 2 turns into straight, you are first I've heard. Even the designers don't like it i believe.
    yes, it is historical. i rode this trail on the first rockhopper from mid 80's. it has had staying power, interest and engagement for riders for 30 years, from rigid bikes to 8inch travel downhill bikes.

    yes, turns like that are designed to slow you down ie: "Braking turns", even if you had no brakes on your bike, these are braking turns. They are turns to distinctively take away speed. even if you manage to stick to it w/ no brakes, it will slow you down, as designed.

    cheers,
    Holiday

  9. #59
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    I've ridden Culvert almost weekly for the last 6-7 years, and occasionally another 5 years before that. While I'm slightly bummed the old Culvert's rocky feel has been lost, I think the bulk of the new work is pretty fun especially the set of corners that replace the old rocky right-hand sweeper into the remaining rock garden. Those are some fun little jumps into some real ripping fun corners!

    However, the first two corners off fuel break suck. The first berm disappears into off-camberness right when you want it most, and the second turn sucks much of your remaining speed. The second section of the new-this-year corners right before the culvert are much better designed and constructed, but feel exactly like what holiday mentions above their sole reason (and feel) is to slow you down. I think holiday's suggestions about opening up some of the corners, and maybe increasing the berm size would add some variety to the trail.

    I rode Culvert yesterday afternoon, and the section that's currently being built (last one before the road) looks and feels pretty sweet. Thanks so much to ABW, FTA, and all the volunteers for all the hard work!! Now we just need to build a bike-legal alternative to Tinker's...

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillRider View Post
    The best way forward would be to abandon the ideas that:

    1) All rock either needs to be removed from the trail or avoided
    2) The trail needs to be completely re-created to be as smooth and fast as a skatepark

    Taking part in the trailwork as I did, I know firsthand who kept insisting on these ideas (hint: they wear silly white hats, shirts, collect money from the project, like to operate equipment and are completely unable to listen to any idea did not come from them).

    The FATRAC volunteers on this and other ASRA projects are AWESOME. They have produced some of the best riding in the state with Connector, FHDL. I know as I've worked alongside them for years.

    Like other projects, the quality of trailkwork are largely dependent on who is given authority over the design. Clearly in this case, the aforementioned White Hats took control, while it was obvious the project was *way* over their heads. See the drainage meltdown from last winter.

    Steve M and others are great people. Suggest they step back and think about re-incorporating the best parts of the old trail: *rocks*, challenges, slower sections. And think about sending the White Hats home if they continue to ignore what makes Auburn riding so special.
    I am pretty sure that I started the whole hater bit, but it was not based on people's constructive criticism, I welcome that kind of democracy. It was based on this user, FoothillRider, who hides his identity behind a made up avatar that he created just to attack FTA on this thread. Look at his profile, nothing there, he just joined MTBR in february, and his first post was an attack. In fact, this is the only thread he has posted to. He is not engaged in constructive criticism, but coming from a place of contempt for FTA (Troll).

    He says he worked on the trail but hides his identity, Why?

    This project was a collaborative effort, and believe me when I say that there were open minds and ears when we did walk throughs and discussed what we were gonna do.

    FoothillRider obviously has a beef with FTA. This fake user is being divisive, trying to rally the blame of some peoples dissatisfaction on us. He gives praise to one part of our group, while at the same time he shoots the finger at FTA, yes that most certainly is Hating.

    This was a group effort, and we all stand behind what we did. Next time you see Steve M, or Jon B, or Mike T, ask them if FTA completely disregarded their input, I guarentee it won't sound anything like Foothillrider is portraying. This fake person can say anything they want without any accountability. They can say off base hurtful things, and we never know where it is coming from.

    Bring on your criticism, I don't have a problem with that, just be honorable enough to stand behind what you say.

    Moss Quaglia
    White Hat

  11. #61
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    I rode the new trail last weekend, and it is as I thought, at least for me. Different, clearly. Do I miss some of the old 'roughness' of the trail such as the rocky switchback--clearly. Is it still fun in its new form...from my point of view yes. I'm not a downhiller so the new banked turns aren't what I would look for, but as a trail user I do appreciate the work that went into this. The new trail isn't going to impact whether I will ride Auburn. At the margin I probably preferred the old trail slightly, but when I think about how lucky we are to have areas like the ASRA I just can't complain.

  12. #62
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    this has been an interesting read......I found very few riders that really "liked" the changes, and the designers/politicians of the project seem to be the only ones defending the project. It's been said by a few, but what needs to be looked at is why did it fail? It's not a terrible trail by any means, but it sure is worse that it could have been, even with the contraints. So, in the future, I hope people take the opportunitiy to learn from mistakes. Yes, I'll ride culvert, but you can bet I'll take every chance I can to take Stonewall over culvert now, where they were a little more even in the past......Culvert was "dumbed down" ........ oh well..........to a better future of riding I hope we are all headed!! Cheers everyone!
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    ...but what needs to be looked at is why did it fail?
    How did it fail???

    The only thing I see that failed is communicating the goals of the project and the problems solved.

    Go git sum Stonewall! Woot!

    P

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillRider View Post
    It failed because the best aspects of the old trail were obliterated, when all that should have happened was to repair/armor/drain/change the unsustainable sections.

    Most people are upset with the new trail (and it is entirely a new trail) because does not offer any of the challenges and features of old trail. As someone else said, it isn't very Auburn.

    An advanced trail was replaced by a beginner trail. Which is why Stonewall now seems like a better option to some.
    *sigh*

    There were erosion, conflict and illegal stunt build issues on the Culvert. It was a problem.

    Riders were busting themselves up on some of the poorly built stunts. The ruts were deep and consistently bedded in by pinners on the saturated trail. Speaking of pinners, I run a 160mm bike down the trail, I know how fast speed got. So did ASRA.

    So there are your problems, how do you solve them in a 2 way multi-use trail environment?

    P

  15. #65
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    Smile

    Unfortunately the trail didn't get fixed. It got neutered.
    Last edited by pmaddy; 03-19-2013 at 01:42 PM.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoothillRider View Post
    It failed because the best aspects of the old trail were obliterated, when all that should have happened was to repair/armor/drain/change the unsustainable sections.

    Most people are upset with the new trail (and it is entirely a new trail) because does not offer any of the challenges and features of the old, much loved trail. As someone else said, it isn't very Auburn.

    An advanced trail was replaced by a beginner trail. Which is why Stonewall now seems like a better option to some.
    I thought tunnel sucked before,now there is some flow to it so thank you to all of you that helped. if you want some rocks (which are fun) go ride flood and murders!! those trails are way better than tunnel ever was.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmaddy View Post
    Unfortunately the trail didn't get fixed. It got neutered.
    Mr PMaddy,

    I believe you are in-correct. I recently rode the new section and there is in fact 1 stone left. Neutering would have required complete stone removal.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by dismount73 View Post
    Mr PMaddy,

    I believe you are in-correct. I recently rode the new section and there is in fact 1 stone left. Neutering would have required complete stone removal.
    So it is kind of like Lance now, some people like it some people don't but it only has one stone.

  19. #69
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    Being a resident of Auburn who has donated to FTA, FATRAC, supported the local shops, and have done some trail work in the past on Culvert, I didn't know what to expect with all the changes. I miss parts of the old Culvert, but enjoy the fact, that the new stuff is unlike anything else around here and am sure things will be added and tweaked with time. But as mentioned, there is Murders, flood/upper stage coach to mention a few that you can also ride. The great thing is if you don't like it, you don't have to ride it. There are lots of other trails where you can get you 500k of footies and KOM's on Strava. I appreciate all the hard work by all the parties involve.

  20. #70
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    Out of curiosity how do you get the murders or flood.

  21. #71
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    flood is off of stagecoach, near the top third.

    murders is off the center dh trail from where you exit connector/green gate. Sometimes called middle trail / stonewall. Stonewall is to the left after the newly built gate, murders is farther down the fireroad on the left. Both empty at the same place, most take rocky down from ranch trail.

  22. #72
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    Thanks for the heads up. I'll have to check those trails out.

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