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  1. #1
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    China Camp Trail Sanitation

    Rode China Camp today. I guess I know where the money is going to go. It was already a beginner trail with a few semi-challenging spots. Apparently the goal is to have a smooth wide trail that won't twist an ankle or require a first timer to get off their bike. This spot was one of the fun ones, requiring the rider to pick a line and maneuver through tree roots. It had been like that for years and was not in need of repair. No, the new management brought in a Bobcat and tore out tree roots and rocks and left this freeway. This is the Bay View Trail right before the fire road comes in on the right (Going Downhill).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails China Camp Trail Sanitation-china-camp11.jpg  

    China Camp Trail Sanitation-china-camp12.jpg  


  2. #2
    Wēk Ss
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    weak! my 8yo son loved the China Camp loop! This sucks. Is the small rocky-ish bit at the top part of Bay View still there?

  3. #3
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    Is this Bayview? If it is, nothing new there. Been dozing that place for far to long. if you want kicks hit up the dark side of the moon!

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    is that the one section right after the bridge at Echo?

  6. #6
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    If you're talking about right before the fire road, this is what it looked like before.....
    ( i uploaded the pic from my iphone. the pic looked straight on my iphone but the computer had it turned to the side anyway re-uploaded it from my computer tonight sorry about that)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails China Camp Trail Sanitation-china-camp.jpg  

    Last edited by cannondalegirl120; 01-18-2013 at 10:47 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannondalegirl120 View Post
    If you're talking about right before the fire road, this is what it looked like before.....
    That's the section. I came in from Dominican side and didn't ride the whole trail today. That's the only part worked so far. The bobcat was still there. I was there last week and this is new.

  8. #8
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    Definitely WEAK!!
    If you see someone without a smile, give them yours

  9. #9
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    aw man, i liked that section! i used to clean it just fine dozens of time, then did an endo to faceplant while daydreaming about krispy kreme (got spooked for a few years) and returned last month after a long time to reclean it!
    94 Specialized Rockhopper

  10. #10
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    Ugh. Super lame.
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  11. #11
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    thats bullsh*t....


    there's no way I'm going to pay to ride bull-dozed double track

  12. #12
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    Ridiculous, that really sucks, I ride up that section about once a week and it was the only thing on the official trail system that could remotely be considered a challenge. FOCC is proving to be very bad for bikers, major bummer.

    -slide

  13. #13
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    That totally sucks. Here is a better pic of where I think the OP is talking about...



  14. #14
    (slight return)
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    Anyone know if MCBC was involved here?

    -slide

  15. #15
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    That is extremely disappointing.

    I have to admit, I was actually really upset for a few minutes after I saw that. Now I've gone through shock and denial and have moved on to a different stage of grieving.

  16. #16
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    This is infuriating!!!!

    That was the only remotely technical spot on the front main loop, fair challenge for intermediate riders and no problems for a beginner to walk that short section if they were not comfortable riding. That section is a fun link between other awesome trails there, now its no longer.....

    I don't understand why FOCC would expect mtbers to pay to ride sanitized double wide fire roads in disguise, let alone pay more than hikers/runners!!

    I am giving MCBC a call first thing in the morning tomorrow to see where they stand, I hope they were not supporting this action of destroying fun and perfectly good trails.

    CC is a gem to bay area riders and we are the major use group of the park, our input on the trail management needs to be taken into consideration, not bulldozed over so granny bird watcher has an easier stroll through the woods...

    Anyone who supports the trail use fees needs to think long and hard about where they are sending their money and what it is being used for, so far this is not looking like a winning proposition for mtbers.....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrieRider View Post

    so far this is not looking like a winning proposition for mtbers.....
    this also doesn't look like a winning proposition for the park, it's obvious they are not taking into consideration the damage they are causing the park by making these trails even less natural and even wider. In that very location on several instances I have seen young owls roosting in the trees they decided to cut down to make way for this freeway. Also, it doesn't appear as if they thought out drainage by removing all of the roots and rocks I dare say they will have increased erosion of this area several fold. What is means to me : shittier - less fun ride, that is not sustainable for the park and having to pay for the displeasure and destruction. What the hell, "F"oCC... what the hell.

    edit : Will someone PLEASE think of the children (taken at the exact same sanitized spot now missing most of the trees circa 2010)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocop View Post
    That totally sucks. Here is a better pic of where I think the OP is talking about...


    That is a great picture of what used to be a fun section. After riding through it and realizing what was done I fell to the ground and started crying like a little girl....well...ok..actually I was pissed off and snapped a few pics to document the damage. I'm sending an email to FOCC with before and after pics and politely explain that this was improper and a tragedy on a par with the Exxon Valdez. I fear for what other spots they think "need improvement".

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrieRider View Post
    This is infuriating!!!!


    I am giving MCBC a call first thing in the morning tomorrow to see where they stand, I hope they were not supporting this action of destroying fun and perfectly good trails.

    CC is a gem to bay area riders and we are the major use group of the park, our input on the trail management needs to be taken into consideration, not bulldozed over so granny bird watcher has an easier stroll through the woods...

    Anyone who supports the trail use fees needs to think long and hard about where they are sending their money and what it is being used for, so far this is not looking like a winning proposition for mtbers.....

    I would be very interested in hearing the result of that call. Hope you post back with an update. I've emailed Friends of China Camp with a number of questions with no reply.

  20. #20
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    This is really disappointing. This is simply an example of CSP trails policy and standard in action.

  21. #21
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    this is horrible! that spot is the only one on the entire front side where i have trouble on the ascent...in recent years as the roots have gotten more pronounced my clearance ratio has declined, but it is always a fun challenge. this sux big time. it can't be good for the trees either...

  22. #22
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    Why the heck do they do this stuff? Doesn't it cause erosion? Even when I hike with my wife and kids I'd much rather hike natural foot paths as opposed to narrow fireroads.

    Bring on the heavy rains, they'll fix it sooner or later.

  23. #23
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    [/QUOTE]

    R.I.P.

  24. #24
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    Hey guys. I believe the primary reason for this trail realignment happening is that the land managers and even bike advocates don't understand what mountain bikers want. The realignment may seem like an evil conspiracy but it isn't. The land managers, trail workers and bike advocates are the ones that through a system of volunteering and memorizing acronyms like EIR and CEQA create a power structure where they find themselves in charge. Now condescending advocates can tell the locals what is good for them. They create a process where the locals are not even made aware of changes that will occur and when the changes begin we are told sorry you should have been to the meeting we held months ago while you were out of town. They truly believe they know what is best for us.

    Since I started working the Tamarancho flow trail build I've heard the following: "this kind of trail building makes my job as a bike advocate more difficult" and "you are stealing all of our volunteers". The first comment showed that advocates have no idea what most mountain bikers want and the second shows a hostile power hungry environment. Volunteers for what I ask: for trail eradication or unpopular realignment? No wonder no one will help you I say. To be fair I have also been thanked for doing good work as well. Mostly, I have been made aware of a tremendous gulf that lies between "bike advocates" and intermediate ability and above skill level mountain bikers. The problem is that neither group understand the other very well. The conspiracy may be that creating a vanilla experience will drive mountain bikers elsewhere but I have no proof of that. For now I will just chalk it up to a big misunderstanding. The best solution that I see for all of us is to join the FOCC and be sure to give them an earful of feedback. MTBR chatter unfortunately will have zero impact on the course of action that takes place at China Camp. We need to be PRESENT at the FOCC meetings.

    I have seen that some of you have requested feedback from the FOCC and have not gotten any. This indicates a hostility toward mountain bikers. We need to document this. Please keep sending your feedback to FOCC and and post the response here. Also send feedback to MCBC and post the response here as well.

    I was called out for claiming that this would happen and made to feel a fool. Now it seems that I may have been right. I was going to lie low and finish the Tamo flow trail build. Now I will get involved. I need everyone's help. We need to form our own group that will truly represent mountain bikers in Marin. Not form a political compromise that will result in an experience that none of us want. What do you guys say?

    Davey Simon cejocky@gmail.com 916 337 9939 time to get started.

  25. #25
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    I am bummed, as a single speed rider these little obstacles become a bit challenging (FUN). They got rid of the FUN! I won't complain too much, as that work looks like it will look like the rest of that trail in a few years (good). My complaint is that there are many areas that need maintenance, and that spot could be left alone while repairs/drainage could be used in other areas.

  26. #26
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    Maybe post these pics and questions to FOCC Facebook page?

    Let people see how the money is being spent.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah View Post
    Let people see how the money is being spent.
    I just posted a comment on their FB page.

    I was hoping to get out for a quick lunch ride at China Camp today, but just thinking about running into this bulldozed section totally discouraged me.

    This is just lighting a fire under my ass to get over to Tamarancho for some real singletrack and trail digging this weekend.
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  28. #28
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    letter sent. unreal whats going on around here. Glad there are great things happening up at Tamarancho however.

  29. #29
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    i sent a note to focc, gave them a failing grade in stewardship so far.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Hey guys. I believe the primary reason for this trail realignment happening is that the land managers and even bike advocates don't understand what mountain bikers want.
    Hi there Davey,

    I think while this statements has merits what I am trying to understand is how is bulldozing through habitat is beneficial for the park, for it's users and for the creatures that call CC home. My feelings aside as a cyclist, I don't see how this practice of turning single track into wide double track + is helpful for the overall health of the park. If anything, they should be trying to restore features to their [more] natural state pushing back run outs so that the trails remain within their boundaries and stop creeping wider and wider (as they have over the years of overuse and under-maintenance). I see that the FOCC has tried to eliminate some of the cut corners and unsanctioned trails, that I understand but cutting out roots, moving rocks and making trails artificially wider than they already are seems counter productive. This section currently in question is now virgin soil without the roots and rocks that have been there for some time, in the middle of winter. I only can predict that this section will be a giant washed out rut by the time winter comes to an end.

    Mean while I am impressed with the work that you and your volunteers have been putting in at T-ranch, if CC subscribed to similar sentiments in terms of their trail maintenance I feel CC would be better off in the long run. Better for sustainability, preservation and for the enjoyment of all parties who use CC for leisure and recreation.

  31. #31
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    Such a bummer. This section always made for a nice little (climbing) challenge, and I think actually made the descent safer: there are some blind corners in this area, and having to scrub some speed for the rooty section lessened the likelihood of collisions. Let's evaluate: 1) exacerbated erosion, 2) increased speed & chance of collisions, 3) damaged plants & risk to the tree, 4) greatly diminished fun-factor.

    Nice work, people. No way will I be paying a trail fee to these jackholes.
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  32. #32
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    I guess I'll just stick to the unmarked trails near my house for roots. As a rigid single speeder these root areas are a challenge (for me) and I like trying to clear them on climbs.

    For what it's worth, they do the same thing at Skegg's and it normalizes fairly fast in winter.

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

    I have seen that some of you have requested feedback from the FOCC and have not gotten any. This indicates a hostility toward mountain bikers. We need to document this. Please keep sending your feedback to FOCC and and post the response here. Also send feedback to MCBC and post the response here as well.
    Keep in mind any lack of response may be a result of ones approach and tone as well. You know the saying about honey and vinegar. To be physically present at meetings would be key, as electronic communications largely go unnoticed or unheeded and don't accomplish much. Everything has a process and to be hostile, demanding and rowdy (which is common for forums) won't do much. There may not necessarily be hostility toward the mtb crowd...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie_G View Post
    Keep in mind any lack of response may be a result of ones approach and tone as well. You know the saying about honey and vinegar. To be physically present at meetings would be key, as electronic communications largely go unnoticed or unheeded and don't accomplish much. Everything has a process and to be hostile, demanding and rowdy (which is common for forums) won't do much. There may not necessarily be hostility toward the mtb crowd...
    Not a good excuse. I did PR for a semi government agency for years and we answered all emails within a couple business days no matter what the tone. The place I worked had a lot of haters too. It's just part of your job.

  35. #35
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    I am bummed too.

    CSP trails would be monotonous if mother nature wasn't such a brute.

    Let me show you my experience about the hypothesis that it seems as though State Parks has a bias against mountain biking.

    Jim Donnelly Enters Rehab

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  36. #36
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    Spoke with someone from MCBC today, doesn't sound like they knew of this bulldozing plan, but I was not able to reach their "Dirt Director". I made it very clear that as a MCBC member I am disappointed something like this would happen at a trail system they are now encouraging us to pay to access and that it does not fit within the goals of environmental stewardship, they have a trail work day scheduled for the 27th, why did they have to do this ahead of time?

    On a positive note, I was pretty impressed with the MCBC rep, I spoke with him this morning and he was not aware of any work that had been done at the trails, he then followed up with me in the afternoon after he had a chance to ride the front loop out there.
    He assured me MCBC had no involvement and was not aware of the work being done. He also said he spoke with some of the FOCC and State Park folks that did this foolish work and their claim was that trail sanitization had been planned for some time because there had been several injuries in that section not just limited to bikers , very lame excuse and pretty frustrating they decided not to share their plans with anyone and that they would excute it in such a crude and damaging manor. He also said they had no other work of that nature planned and that he tried to confer to them that MCBC and the mtb community is noticing all the trail work they do and that they should take input from mtbers since they are a major user group at the park. While I still disagree with MCBC position on the trail use fees, I really respect and appreciate someone form the organization taking the time to check out the trails first hand and make an effort to convey to the park operators the perspective of mountain bikers.

    I'm with you Davey, we need to be PRESENT at FOCC meetings to make sure our voice is heard and that we are taken seriously as a user group.
    Last edited by IrieRider; 01-18-2013 at 07:03 PM.

  37. #37
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    Davey- I'm with you on this, we need to make a stand.

    I have tried to join FOCC to voice the opinion of mtbr's but the "join" link on the website merely takes you to a donations page, WTF. I refuse to donate to this organization and will not join if donating is mandatory.

    FUCC FOCC!
    Last edited by Mt. Tam Haze; 01-18-2013 at 08:47 PM.

  38. #38
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    The sanitizing of bike trails using this method has happened elsewhere. One of my frequent rides is at Red Tail trail in Chabot. The trail was plowed, widened to about 6-8 feet wide and the tracked, skid-steer machine they used stirred up the dirt so bad that it was not virtually unrideable, but REALLY unrideable. The dust and dirt was about 6 inches thick, so it was just like riding on the beach. When I walked through Red Tail to finish my loop I noticed there were no tire tracks or foot prints. Nobody used the trail. I did not go back for about 8-9 months. However, in all fairness, the trail did come back and it now almost the way it used to be, so there is hope for that section at China Camp.

  39. #39
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by omanwurmi View Post
    Nobody used the trail. I did not go back for about 8-9 months. However, in all fairness, the trail did come back and it now almost the way it used to be, so there is hope for that section at China Camp.
    Okay everyone, how many times have we seen this sort of "trail-work" happen in our various neighborhoods? Even with noble ideals, the machine work is more often borne by trail users like us as some sort of meteorological cataclysm; the opposite of the functional intent.

    Furthermore, in many cases the released sediment takes flight in dust during dry times and coats indigenous flora and fauna with grit, and gets washed wholesale down gulches and into riparian habitats. Not always, but too often, this kind of trail maintenance also damages the surrounding canopy. Not only that, proper finish work, including deberming, blending the upslope, measuring and finishing the bench to proper outslope (taking into account actual measurements, side-slope and not just some guys rule of thumb), creating drainage features, ensuring drainages are countersunk, etc, are often not done.

    Worst case scenarios include: Cutting tree roots will stress trees. They will fall. Animals who live in these trees fall. The trees hold up a good part of the hillside. More damage. Domino effect. Sweco or trail machine undercuts unstable back slope and a year later a land-slide takes out the trail. Sweco or trail machine cuts into surfacing water over shallow bedrock, a spring, and the trail becomes a perpetual mud bog in situ.

    State parks strive to make their trails safe to "insure public safety"(sic). CSP's goal of safe smooth and wide trail means no fun and a deep scar upon the landscape and a take on wildlife for the rest of us.

    Any trail which might cause a problem are the kinds of trails we like here. CSP would spend our money to either sanitize them or close them, unless we pushback very very hard as a group.

    The CSP "one-size-fits-all" trail standards are wrong. The CSP strategy is analagous to the "shot-gun approach". We should not let them manage State Park trail systems this way.

    Last edited by Jack Burns; 01-18-2013 at 11:46 PM.

  41. #41
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    Man. Right when I started mountain biking I remember sitting at this section and trying to climb it over and over again. I also remember the first time I cleaned it and how stoked I was on mountain biking, progression, etc.
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie_G View Post
    To be physically present at meetings would be key, as electronic communications largely go unnoticed or unheeded and don't accomplish much.
    Guys, this has all been done before, all been heard before, in the 26 years of advocacy.

    Actual presence at "meetings" is where the least amount of participation occurs. There are isolated occasions when the mob shows up enraged but that settles down sooner or later. The ones who sit at the front table are always there. How do you think that makes us look?

    MTB advocacy started, in the East Bay anyhow, in 1987 when we were totally shut out of parks. THEN everyone showed up and the BTCEB was formed. MBTC was formed about the same time. Once the urgency subsided, with renewed but limited access, the fall-off of participants was precipitous. An invested few remained to do all the work, trying hard to get people involved. Presence at "meetings", face-to-face, discussions, panels....many, many hours.

    Actual gains, specifically the sort expressed here as desired, were not possible, though it took years to admit this. Extant rules and guidelines did not include us and the antis used that as leverage. People, those who seemed to have the time and inclination, walked away from advocacy as pointless and further energy expended as futile. You can hear this in the voices of many.

    Many good advocates just quit. Many refuse to step back on board as they have learned their lessons. A few meetings won't do, especially if there are regulations and Master Plans in place that prescribe use and development. Numbers, political influence, money and time is what it seems to take. Once folks realize this, they go ride their bikes.

    We have to do something different and adjust our expectations. Repeating the same things over and over again........
    I don't rattle.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Guys, this has all been done before, all been heard before, in the 26 years of advocacy.

    We have to do something different and adjust our expectations. Repeating the same things over and over again........
    I'm sure most everyone here is open to what those with many years of experience with these issues think is best and most effective.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Guys, this has all been done before, all been heard before, in the 26 years of advocacy.

    Actual presence at "meetings" is where the least amount of participation occurs. There are isolated occasions when the mob shows up enraged but that settles down sooner or later. The ones who sit at the front table are always there. How do you think that makes us look?

    MTB advocacy started, in the East Bay anyhow, in 1987 when we were totally shut out of parks. THEN everyone showed up and the BTCEB was formed. MBTC was formed about the same time. Once the urgency subsided, with renewed but limited access, the fall-off of participants was precipitous. An invested few remained to do all the work, trying hard to get people involved. Presence at "meetings", face-to-face, discussions, panels....many, many hours.

    Actual gains, specifically the sort expressed here as desired, were not possible, though it took years to admit this. Extant rules and guidelines did not include us and the antis used that as leverage. People, those who seemed to have the time and inclination, walked away from advocacy as pointless and further energy expended as futile. You can hear this in the voices of many.

    Many good advocates just quit. Many refuse to step back on board as they have learned their lessons. A few meetings won't do, especially if there are regulations and Master Plans in place that prescribe use and development. Numbers, political influence, money and time is what it seems to take. Once folks realize this, they go ride their bikes.

    We have to do something different and adjust our expectations. Repeating the same things over and over again........
    So what should we do Berkeley Mike? I don't want to repeat past mistakes.

  45. #45
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    1. Start by defining what it is that people want. Mtbr is great for that, it's all here: create a list.

    2. Next talk personally with someone close to the situation about what is wanted and what might be possible: who might that be?

    I'm guessing you guys might not be too happy with what you hear but you need to take those steps.

    Then pick your battle, make a plan of attack, gather your resources, sally forth.

    1 and 2 are easy......
    I don't rattle.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon View Post
    Anyone know if MCBC was involved here?

    -slide
    Slide - no. We have tried to rally support for next weekend's trail work at CC, but were not a part of this week's work.
    Quote Originally Posted by jbt56
    Are you a whiny Marin liberal, or a hand-wringing Berkeley liberal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piranha426 View Post
    Slide - no. We have tried to rally support for next weekend's trail work at CC, but were not a part of this week's work.
    any chance you could put up the details of next weekend's trail work?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Now condescending advocates can tell the locals what is good for them. They create a process where the locals are not even made aware of changes that will occur and when the changes begin we are told sorry you should have been to the meeting we held months ago while you were out of town. They truly believe they know what is best for us.
    As someone who spends an enormous proportion of my free time as an (unpaid!) advocate for cycling, I'd love to know what else I can do to help alert "locals" (Who I guess have to be born here or something? I've worked in Marin for almost 10 years, rode here for 7, and lived here for almost 4, when do I get my "locals" card?) about changes to trails. I would honestly (no snark) love to know how we can make the process better for people, even though we have pretty much NO SAY in the development of that process. We post/send e-mails/make hay on Facebook about every single meeting. We post/send e-mails/make hay on Facebook about writing letters. We post/send e-mails/make hay on Facebook about advertised trail work days. We ride and ride and ride and talk with other riders that we encounter. We ask ourselves and other riders what they want to see. We spend too much time on forums like this. In terms of defining "what's best for us" (as if you can really know such a thing), how the hell else are we supposed to know what people want? Am I supposed to "have ESPN or something?!?"

    Advocates are generally not made aware in advance about the details of trail maintenance, unless it's the kind of maintenance for which volunteer labor is helpful/required. FOCC is primarily functioning as a funding vehicle for China Camp. They are not, and cannot, do anything that CSP would not or cannot do on its own. Neither FOCC nor CSP has any obligation (let alone history) of alerting trail advocates when they are going to do work that significantly changes the nature of a trail (unless that work falls under the purview of CEQA or some other regulatory process - hey, did you know that for the past two years, CSP has developed a state-wide programmatic EIR for proposed trail use changes? And that the public has had multiple opportunities for input to that EIR, all of which have been advertised here on MTBR?!?). The sanitation of the root rut on Bay View was most likely something CSP wanted to do well before FOCC began acting in the fiduciary interest of the park; FOCC just provided the funds to finally do it. But this was hardly some conspiracy by FOCC and local bike advocates to piss off "intermediate and advanced riders."

    As for why CSP wanted to sanitize the trail, and why they decided to do it the way they did - who knows. I don't. The advocacy community will follow up with both CSP and FOCC, and do our best to communicate what it means when these kinds of actions are implemented without the input of the local cycling community. But, damn, I don't know what else to tell people when these things happen. We do our best. We show up. We write letters. We make our opinions (and the opinions of the people we meet) known. But no one has to ask us for permission to do anything - like, really, ANYTHING - so I don't really see how it's our fault when things happen that people don't like.
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    If you own the land, personally, you can make the trails you want.

    If someone friendly to Mtb owns the land you might get the trails you want.

    If someone else who is not friendly to Mtb owns the land.....you are at their mercy.

    A park civically owned set up to serve the public will develop to serve everyone.

    What we want as Mtb trails are very different from trails mandated by general plans. The only reason the trails in China Camp were the way they were is that the Park could not manage to change them, not because they thought it was good for Mtb. As soon as the resources were found the trails were brought in line with predetermined standards. If we are honest, there are a fair number of riders who found those trails a joke, anyhow, which begs the definition of "what mountain bikers want," in the first place.

    I'm afraid that the idea that we have much influence over what the trails will be like in a State Park may simply be mistaken. At best the trails which cannot be effected by maintenance come closest to what some find somewhat acceptable.

    So in a Socratic effort what, then, can we expect to effect in a civic park?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piranha426 View Post

    As for why CSP wanted to sanitize the trail, and why they decided to do it the way they did - who knows. I don't. The advocacy community will follow up with both CSP and FOCC, and do our best to communicate what it means when these kinds of actions are implemented without the input of the local cycling community. But, damn, I don't know what else to tell people when these things happen. We do our best. We show up. We write letters. We make our opinions (and the opinions of the people we meet) known. But no one has to ask us for permission to do anything - like, really, ANYTHING - so I don't really see how it's our fault when things happen that people don't like.
    A MCBC rep told me yesterday the motivation for that sanitization was safety b/c there had supposedly been numerous injuries there.

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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.

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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 10:28 AM.

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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.

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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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    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)

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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 11:56 PM.
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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.

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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.

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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 01:10 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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    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.

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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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    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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    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.

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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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    China Camp, the new CX mecca!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 10:24 AM.
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    Marin..bummer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbd View Post
    Marin..bummer.
    Indeed

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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.

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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.

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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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    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

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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.

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

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  88. #88
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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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  89. #89
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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.

  90. #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.

  92. #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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  93. #93
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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.

  94. #94
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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!

  95. #95
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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....
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  96. #96
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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!


  97. #97
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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^^^
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  98. #98
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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
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  99. #99
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    Almost went to China camp a week ago and I didn't based on a rumor about all this.

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  100. #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)
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