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  1. #51
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    In Coe park while doing a walk through of the Jim Donnelly Trail, the district trails supervisor remarked to us that a rolling grade dip needed to be smoothed out because someone might slip on it. I was speechless. In that case - just don't get out of bed for crying out loud - you might slip on the way o the bathroom to take a leak.

  2. #52
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    I wonder if bay area land mangers are trying to make trails "ADA compliant" or something? I never seen anyone run mini-dozers down trails in other areas such as as the central coast. The trails down there are super rocky and they like them that way!
    Last edited by SS Hack; 01-20-2013 at 09:28 AM.

  3. #53
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    my SS Rigid loved that root section too...bummer!

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    Friends of China Camp: Our Team

    ^^^We need to get a mountain biker on this "team", looks like all hikers and runners, not exactly representative of the parks major user group.

  5. #55
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    Good point. This"team" does look pretty stacked, intentionally or not. Yet folk often end up in positions like this by default. Good devoted people find places here. That said, is there a mountain biker in the area who would be willing to devote themselves to involvement with this "team"? If there was I imagine a place would be found.

    Every time I look at a job that needs to be done I know that I would be able to do it. If I don't know how to do it I can learn and make things happen. It is a matter of having the talent and the will and finding the time. Few people put themselves in a position to actually do something and follow through.

    I keep waiting to see such people wherever I go.

    Story...
    The other night at a meeting there were 5 NorCal coaches/directors and 2 representatives of a local women's athletic group besides the group's board. After the meeting, over beers, the VP mentioned that it was a really great meeting with great people and that it would be great to recruit these capable folks to take an oar. What was clear, though, was that what we saw was a sampling of the kinds of people who actually do the work, so of course they looked like likely candidates. But there are limits to how much folks can take on; these folks were already dedicated to a chunk of work which fit in their lives.

    These sorts of folks are in limited supply.

    People with ideas and complaints are a dime a dozen.
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  6. #56
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    Well said Mike, I should clarify that I'm not trying to knock those on the FOCC 'team' but rather to highlight the need for a mtb representative in their hierarchy. I honestly have no idea how to get involved with them. I've tried contacting them through several channels with no response and it appears others have experienced the same. The only times I've heard of any chances to get involved with trail work is through MCBC.

    It seemed like FOCC did a great job of contacting people and getting the word out that when they needed $$$ before they were designated the park operators, while the info now seems to be much more sparse.

    It also seems like the major focus of the "team" is the preservation of the Chinese heritage at the park and that is all good and well, why those same people also are having major impact on the trail usage and maintenance is not clear, especially since they seem to lack anyone from the main user group. I do not believe there is a shortage of mtb advocates in Marin/Bay Area that would like to be involved or at least made aware of how they can be and I do not feel that is asking too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    n take on; these folks were already dedicated to a chunk of work which fit in their lives.

    These sorts of folks are in limited supply.

    People with ideas and complaints are a dime a dozen.
    Comrade Mike, you are part of the problem when you post crap like this and condone unnecessary trail sanitization (even if it is at China Camp)

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by testing1.2.3. View Post
    Comrade Mike, you are part of the problem when you post crap like this and condone unnecessary trail sanitization (even if it is at China Camp)
    I am not condoning anything of the sort. I am, rather, pointing out that we seem to be able to do little to influence the process. As long as people on the board/team can fall back on predetermined plans and programs which serve their own sense of purpose we are SOL.

    Placing someone on that board, or a couple someone's to offset the balance against us, is our best hope. This is hardly a new idea; it is the MO wherever we have needed to influence park managers to include our desires for land usage.

    Again, finding those sorts of folks in our Mtb community is very hard for the reasons I described earlier.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 01-21-2013 at 10:56 PM.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrieRider View Post
    Well said Mike, I should clarify that I'm not trying to knock those on the FOCC 'team' but rather to highlight the need for a mtb representative in their hierarchy. I honestly have no idea how to get involved with them. I've tried contacting them through several channels with no response and it appears others have experienced the same. The only times I've heard of any chances to get involved with trail work is through MCBC.

    It seemed like FOCC did a great job of contacting people and getting the word out that when they needed $$$ before they were designated the park operators, while the info now seems to be much more sparse.

    I do not believe there is a shortage of mtb advocates in Marin/Bay Area that would like to be involved or at least made aware of how they can be and I do not feel that is asking too much.
    It is very hard to get a seat at such a table. A formal vetting is challenging but the informal political vetting is really the hardest to get past. As always, when folks have things the way they like them, why allow influences into the mix which undermine their goals?

    As to your second point, we do our best to pay people only after they have done what we have asked. Unfortunately our goodwill was scooped up from our beneficence, as we wanted to help. Now, in some sense, we have been swindled. Going forward there are quite a few folks who now have no intention to give these FoCC folks another dime now that they have shown their real colors.

    Thirdly; I have to disagree with you about the ambient presence of volunteers from our community to do this work. Sure plenty want to be informed but such a paradigm just sets up a reactionary force which can only look foolishly irritating to the folks at the table when they complain. Such bodies learn that all they have to do is wait that energy out and it will spend itself and go away. That never gets mtb anywhere. An advocate who had the time and energy to endure the board and its processes, AND, run the gauntlet of vetting successfully is certainly a low likelihood. Even the MCBC is held aside. Yet, that is our best shot.
    I don't rattle.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrieRider View Post

    It seemed like FOCC did a great job of contacting people and getting the word out that when they needed $$$ before they were designated the park operators, while the info now seems to be much more sparse.
    +1
    Seemed to me as if representatives of FOCC were around every corner, and behind every tree when they were looking for donations to save the park. Willing to talk for fifteen minutes or more about how pro-MTBing they were. Now I see none of them. To give credit where credit is due however, they do seem to be able to get downed trees out of the way much faster than the previous management could. I ride CC a lot. I donated to keep the park open. Now I am frustrated and regret my donation.

  11. #61
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    Volunteer Workday at China Camp this weekend

    Volunteer Trail Workday at China Camp, January 27
    Help MCBC repair eroding trails and trim vegetation

    MCBC, in cooperation with Friends of China Camp (FOCC), announces an opportunity for volunteers to help repair eroding trail surfaces and trim vegetation on multi-use trails at China Camp State Park. MCBC, FOCC and California State Parks staff have planned a volunteer workday on January 27, from 9 AM - 1 PM. All necessary equipment and materials, along with water and snacks, will be provided at the worksite. Just bring muscle power and enthusiasm! Volunteers are advised to dress in layers and to be aware that poison oak can be found in the area.

    We will meet at 8:45 AM at the main China Camp entrance gate off North San Pedro Road, and then walk or bike to the work site. RSVP to April Spooner at april@marinbike.org, or (415) 456-3467 x 7#. Heavy rain will cancel the event.
    Last edited by Piranha426; 01-22-2013 at 12:10 PM. Reason: It was originally meant as a reply to an e-mail farther up in the thread that for some reason got misplaced, so I changed the intro.
    Quote Originally Posted by jbt56
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrieRider View Post
    Friends of China Camp: Our Team

    ^^^We need to get a mountain biker on this "team", looks like all hikers and runners, not exactly representative of the parks major user group.
    Ernest (the FOCC director) is a mountain biker, and he's trying really hard to engage the MTB community. They show up at Ales and Trails and had an event last year that focused on MTB (but it was scheduled for the day after Biketoberfest so not a lot of people showed up). I don't know the rest of the team, but I think they're all learning a lot of this as they go along...
    Quote Originally Posted by jbt56
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  13. #63
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    MTB has been encouraged to support such efforts in many venues in the name of building relationships. This includes areas to which mtb has no access.

    Mtb in the East Bay has offered to help on trails, and offer expertise, tip it is blue in the face but is only allow through organizations such as V-O-Cal. The BTCEB has, however, managed a very direct relationship in Joaquin Miller which has benefited mtb a great deal in spite of other trail users resistance.

    Concerning China Camp this thread has exposed feelings of alienation, of being outside the process, of being ignored, and even excluded. This trail work day does make an opportunity to make contact and keep an eye on what is done.

    If you are invested in China Camp then this is a great chance to make some contacts and show these other trail groups what we are about.
    I don't rattle.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    Man, that sucks. Used to head up there from San Jose to get a variety on the riding, but it's quite a bit of a ride from here so I haven't been up there in a year.

    From what I understand, FOCC is now controlling China Camp, which means China Camp is no longer part of the State Parks, is that correct?
    No. China Camp is still a State Park, and is still owned by State Parks, and governed by State Parks rules and regulations. The main difference is that instead of State Parks signing the checks for its operations (paying employees, purchasing supplies for maintenance, etc.), FOCC is signing them.
    Quote Originally Posted by jbt56
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  15. #65
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    CSP Trail Standards for multi-use

    Quote Originally Posted by Piranha426 View Post
    No. China Camp is still a State Park, and is still owned by State Parks, and governed by State Parks rules and regulations. The main difference is that instead of State Parks signing the checks for its operations (paying employees, purchasing supplies for maintenance, etc.), FOCC is signing them.
    Herein lies the problem; once a trail in a State Park is designated multi-use (hike-bike-horse) then there are established guidelines to be followed (which I personally don't agree with) that in most circumstances result in a trail that is at least 4' wide.

    If Sorcerer doesn't beat me to it; I will post the CSP classification matrix and you'll see how the Park's staff may feel obligated to maintain the trails in the manner you see posted here. It's loaded against narrow/technical trails for bikes.

    Incidentally; staff may not agree either but it's the job they're being paid to do. It varies somewhat from District to District as the District Superintendent is given some leeway on interpreting the standards.

    IMHO; MTBers would be better served if some State Parks were changed to State Recreation Areas where the standards are more lax. Fodder for a different thread...
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  16. #66
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    Lot's of state parks haven't been maintained since the 70s and the trails show it - not sure why they're picking on CC. We all know government drones aren't allowed to use any commonsense of course - I was even told this by some poor hapless mid-pen dozer operator after he hosed a trail.

  17. #67
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    That is really a bummer. My son is going to be so disappointing, as that was his favorite part of the trail.
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    Riding slowly since 1977.

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    China Camp, the new CX mecca! <Sarcasm>

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Herein lies the problem; once a trail in a State Park is designated multi-use (hike-bike-horse) then there are established guidelines to be followed (which I personally don't agree with) that in most circumstances result in a trail that is at least 4' wide.

    This, along with pretty much everything Berkeley Mike said, is reality.

    Doesn't matter how screwed up/outdated/retarded it is-it is what it is and it'll take a hell of a time commitment to change it.
    Until these things change, all FOCC will be doing is trying to maintain the crappy status quo. I dont agree with it, but I'm not going to spend a lifetime trying to change it either. Nonetheless, I choose not to support them.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Herein lies the problem; once a trail in a State Park is designated multi-use (hike-bike-horse) then there are established guidelines to be followed (which I personally don't agree with) that in most circumstances result in a trail that is at least 4' wide.
    Ban horses. It is 21st century, people should not keep pack animals around for entertainment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Ban horses. It is 21st century, people should not keep pack animals around for entertainment.
    They really wreck trails.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    I am not condoning anything of the sort. I am, rather, pointing out that we seem to be able to do little to influence the process. As long as people on the board/team can fall back on predetermined plans and programs which serve their own sense of purpose we are SOL.

    Placing someone on that board, or a couple someone's to offset the balance against us, is our best hope. This is hardly a new idea; it is the MO wherever we have needed to influence park managers to include our desires for land usage.

    Again, finding those sorts of folks in our Mtb community is very hard for the reasons I described earlier.
    Sign me up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Ban horses. It is 21st century, people should not keep pack animals around for entertainment.
    Save a horse ride a bike!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Ban horses. It is 21st century, people should not keep pack animals around for entertainment.
    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    They really wreck trails.
    Remember we are the majority user now. I say we try and show that we will clean up the horse damage and gladly work on trails that suit mountain bikers. If there was just some way to build trails that mountain bikers found enjoyable and were allowed to participate in the maintenance process on public land. Volunteers would be able to clean up any damage that was caused by horses. It is all just dirt. If the routing of the trail is sound you can fix it. The number #1 cause of erosion is water. Like 99% caused by water. The last one percent is what everyone is worrying about. I could give a hoot if horses ride someplace and tear it up. If there is a committed crew of mountain bikers that are allowed to maintain a trail without being fined or jailed the damage will be fixed. The trail will rip for everyone.

    The most frustrating moment at the flow trail build so far was when 3 or 4 hikers and 3 or 4 pairs of hiking sticks came up to visit the flow trail build. I could tell there was some kind of evaluation going on. They were standing there taking it all in so I decided to speak with them. I didn't hassle them about passes or get confrontational. Just said hello. They all started in about how these kinds of trails didn't suit hikers and hikers couldn't walk on them. Meanwhile volunteer workers were walking all over the place up and down the flow trail with tools and heavy split redwood logs no problems. For sure one of the strangest conversations I have ever had.

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    The ability to freely maintain trails is crucial in keeping trails in good shape, fear of fines is the reason so many trail go without maintenance. So funny that some hikers came by and stated that the flow trial wouldn't work for them, they have hundreds of miles of other hiking trails. I would also wonder if they have ever picked up a tool and helped build or repair trail?

    I did a lunch ride on the front side of CC today and saw first hand what had been done to the traiil, it looked far worse than what the photos had shown, It appeared that they demolished several trees at least.
    A couple of rangers where hanging out near by but didn't speak to them as it seemed unwise to start an argument, especially when you don't have a pass either.

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mt. Tam Haze View Post
    A couple of rangers where hanging out near by but didn't speak to them as it seemed unwise to start an argument, especially when you don't have a pass either.
    This reveals something interesting: the relative nature of trails is precluded by the question of rights of access. That is Haze didn't comment because he did not feel he had a right to be there.

    This is fundamentally what Advocacy is about.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 01-23-2013 at 09:24 AM.
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  27. #77
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    Marin..bummer.

  28. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbd View Post
    Marin..bummer.
    Indeed

  29. #79
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    Always drama. Never chill. Everyone is all righteous. Miss it sometimes, then I go to Ft. Bragg and I forget all about it.

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbd View Post
    Always drama. Never chill. Everyone is all righteous. Miss it sometimes, then I go to Ft. Bragg and I forget all about it.
    Marin doesn't have nearly as much cannabis smoke in the air, you know.

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Marin doesn't have nearly as much cannabis smoke in the air, you know.
    Well, that's debatable.
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  32. #82
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    I rode this section late yesterday evening. Hard to tell from the original photos but, holy crap, this is a complete re-route. I thought maybe they just pushed some dirt over the existing route but nooooo.

    Looks like somebody hadn't played with their Bobcat tractor in a while and was making up for lost time.

    George

  33. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post

    The most frustrating moment at the flow trail build so far was when 3 or 4 hikers and 3 or 4 pairs of hiking sticks came up to visit the flow trail build. I could tell there was some kind of evaluation going on. They were standing there taking it all in so I decided to speak with them. I didn't hassle them about passes or get confrontational. Just said hello. They all started in about how these kinds of trails didn't suit hikers and hikers couldn't walk on them. Meanwhile volunteer workers were walking all over the place up and down the flow trail with tools and heavy split redwood logs no problems. For sure one of the strangest conversations I have ever had.
    You did tell them the trail is NOT for hiking right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    You did tell them the trail is NOT for hiking right?
    I thought those trails are stickily for bikes? Hikers have the rest of the county and most of all the other better counties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    You did tell them the trail is NOT for hiking right?
    Having to watch for hikers on the flow trail would be a bummer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    You did tell them the trail is NOT for hiking right?
    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I thought those trails are stickily for bikes? Hikers have the rest of the county and most of all the other better counties.
    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    Having to watch for hikers on the flow trail would be a bummer.
    Yeah they knew the trail was not for hiking. I'm am certain the anti bike people are keeping tabs on us. It was like that Sesame Street song. One of these things is not like the other.

    Classic Sesame One of these things is not like the other - YouTube

    I only spoke with them for a moment and then they plodded off past the work crew and directly up the closed work area. I'm sure they don't have passes either. But whatever. I'm not about to turn around and become a trail enforcer after spending my entire life despising trail enforcers.

    The trail will be downhill one way only and will be closed to non pass holders. I will lobby for the flow trail to only open to bikes but I'm not the "decider". Seems pretty logical to me. I wouldn't worry about this isolated incident. I only brought it up to discuss the closed mindedness of the people out there who decide things for all of us.

  37. #87
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    Thank you for that sober reminder. : (

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    I will lobby for the flow trail to only open to bikes but I'm not the "decider". Seems pretty logical to me.
    I like the concept of "bike priority" labeling. I've seen it used to good effect at Paradise Royale and in DuPont State Forest outside Asheville, North Carolina. I'm sure there are lots of other examples. It keeps hikers/runners from feeling excluded from the trail, but also communicates that bikes have the right of way, so people should watch out! Usually, that's enough to encourage hikers/runners to use other trails. At a place like Tamarancho, which is private property and an obvious haven for bikers, I would think such an approach would work.

    But then again, it's Marin, so, who knows.
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    Its funny that some part of the public demand "hiking only" trails but struggle with bikers getting even one of their own.

  40. #90
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    Photos from the trail yesterday. Order is heading uphill from power lines:


    Old route is visible on the right edge of new trail.


    Looking back down new section towards power lines.


    Corner now filled with rocks for drainage.


    Higher view at the corner looking back down towards power lines. Old route to the left.


    Looking up towards the next section and corner.


    And the upper corner now without any rocks.
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    Wow, looks like the stuff Mid Pen does to "prevent" erosion. San Mateo County did this at one park and covered it in compacted gravel so the pony princesses could ride in the winter.

  42. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanskellner View Post
    Photos from the trail yesterday. Order is heading uphill from power lines:


    Old route is visible on the right edge of new trail.


    Looking back down new section towards power lines.


    Corner now filled with rocks for drainage.


    Higher view at the corner looking back down towards power lines. Old route to the left.


    Looking up towards the next section and corner.


    And the upper corner now without any rocks.
    Damn.
    Who owns the dominican side?
    Can they do this over there?
    Damn is all i can say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    Damn.
    Who owns the dominican side?
    Can they do this over there?
    I think the short answer to this is no, or at least I really hope not....

    I believe that land is owned by the city of San Rafael and Marin Parks.

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    Rode this section today and it was a loose muddy disaster. About 3X more trail turned into a freeway than when I took the pictures last week. Gonna be ugly when the next real storm hits. Have to say I have learned a lot from these posts about the difficulties of working with California bureaucracies. Still disagree with the outcome but have a better idea of how it happens. Think I'm going to try the trail work Sunday and see what happens. Definitely not going to participate in any trail sanitation but maybe can see what their priorities are and find out if it's possible to steer them in a MTB friendly direction. Complaining about it is cathartic but futile. I did send FOCC a nicely worded email last week questioning the trail work and never heard back. Poor community relations to not respond to emails. Still haven't paid. Despite my outrage at being charged for a state park I would be more likely to cave if the fee was applied fairly. Oh, and I checked the state park website and it only mentioned charges for camping and parking, not for trail access. In fact it says, "There is no charge to walk or bike into these parks". Here's the link and you can check out the charges at every state park.

    Day Use Fees

    Regardless of how CC works out, the Tamarancho news is exciting and I need to spend some time helping out there. Rode there last week and talked to a couple guys working on the flow trail and it looks awesome!

  45. #95
    It's about showing up.
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    A contrarian opinion...

    I recall when they redid the section from Oak Ridge/Miwok to the beginning of Bay View near Knight in 2008. It was awful. 2,3 years later; it's pretty sweet and getting sweeter. Some sections of Bayview were getting pretty narrow, crumbling away into the ravine below. Just saying....
    I don't rattle.

  46. #96
    Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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    This is exactly what's happening, one by one, to the trails in the Northern Virginia/DC area. Everything that was remotely challenging (rocks and roots, off camber sections) gets bulldozed into 4' wide vanilla super highways.

    What was once a challenging semi-technical loop that held up really well to rain, is now an uninspiring path of mud anytime we get more than a light mist.

    In response to the mud, some trail managers lay gravel on the trail (super awesome ), while others close the trail system down for several days when they're even remotely wet. Since it rains every couple of days here in the summer, it's not uncommon for a trail system to be closed for 1-2 weeks at a time.

    This your future, N. Cal...resist we much!

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  47. #97
    middle ring single track
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mt. Tam Haze View Post
    The ability to freely maintain trails is crucial in keeping trails in good shape, fear of fines is the reason so many trail go without maintenance.
    This^^^
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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  48. #98
    middle ring single track
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    Define "MTB friendly"...

    Quote Originally Posted by timetraveler View Post
    Rode this section today and it was a loose muddy disaster. About 3X more trail turned into a freeway than when I took the pictures last week. Gonna be ugly when the next real storm hits. Have to say I have learned a lot from these posts about the difficulties of working with California bureaucracies. Still disagree with the outcome but have a better idea of how it happens. Think I'm going to try the trail work Sunday and see what happens. Definitely not going to participate in any trail sanitation but maybe can see what their priorities are and find out if it's possible to steer them in a MTB friendly direction. Complaining about it is cathartic but futile. I did send FOCC a nicely worded email last week questioning the trail work and never heard back. Poor community relations to not respond to emails. Still haven't paid. Despite my outrage at being charged for a state park I would be more likely to cave if the fee was applied fairly. Oh, and I checked the state park website and it only mentioned charges for camping and parking, not for trail access. In fact it says, "There is no charge to walk or bike into these parks". Here's the link and you can check out the charges at every state park.
    Having suffered through a similar situation at Henry W Coe SP I'm fairly certain we've "gotten to the bottom" in understanding the CSP's position on MTBs in State Parks.

    It varies somewhat from District to District but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    I'll elaborate on the "trail standards" in another post but here I'd like to point out that (in my opinion) current policies encourage biking to and in Parks to have fun; but not to have fun on a bike.

    In other words; they encouorage us to ride our bikes so we can participate in a secondary activity (like bird watching) but discourage us from enjoying any experiences that can only be had on a bike (speed, skillz, etc).

    This isn't an exact quote but CSP maintains that "trails should not be attractions unto themselves" in State Parks. (Important distinction; in State Recreation Areas different guidelines apply)

    In regards to the "muddy mess"; most Trail Crews know that the freshly-worked trails should be closed until after the first good rains (or one full season) but experience has taught them that users will disregard signs and hike/ride them regardless. (so why bother trying to post them closed)


    Vandalized "area closed" sign in Coe SP
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

    Windows 10, destroying humanity one upgrade at a time.

  49. #99
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    Almost went to China camp a week ago and I didn't based on a rumor about all this.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

  50. #100
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    Interesting...

    Quote Originally Posted by hanskellner View Post
    Photos from the trail yesterday. Order is heading uphill from power lines:
    ...set of photos.

    Perhaps they're not through working on this section yet (and photos can be deceptive) but this trail appears not up to State standards (not enough out-slope and back-slope still to steep) if indeed they're trying to maintain it as a Class I MUT.

    Highly unlikely but there's always a chance that this is a Class II MUT trail (2 ' in width) in which they will narrow it down by allowing the back-slope spoils to fill in the high side of the trail. Good luck on that...

    (It's often cheaper to machine-cut a trail wider and then narrow it back down than it is to hand-cut a narrower trail in the first place if paid labor is being used)
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

    Windows 10, destroying humanity one upgrade at a time.

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