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  1. #76
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    Well Ichabod's Oak is not longer an issue as the bypass was decommissioned and the branch removed, DPR?

    And what's with the closed sign as I thought that it's been closed for safety reasons anyway! About 50 seconds into the video will show you the safe way down Jim Donnelly

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  2. #77
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    Great video!

    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    Well Ichabod's Oak is not longer an issue as the bypass was decommissioned and the branch removed, DPR?

    And what's with the closed sign as I thought that it's been closed for safety reasons anyway!
    I just today learned that the DPR's Monterey District Trails Crew took care of the Ichabod's Oak situation.

    The signs remain a mystery; the MDTC Sprvr doesn't know who put them in; nor does the local Maintenance Sprvr.

    It'll all come out in the "wash"!
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    The signs remain a mystery; the MDTC Sprvr doesn't know who put them in; nor does the local Maintenance Sprvr.
    Huh?

  4. #79
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    Hi,

    I paid a visit this Monday to the Supervising Ranger, at his request. It was disclosed that he installed the closure sign. The Supervising Ranger said that the disposition of the JDT, whether closed or open, or something in between (lower section open, top closed) will be determined by District Trails Staff. I expect clarification after the VOCal event this weekend.

    In essence, the more people who show up and work this weekend, the closer this trail is to completion and being officially open.

    Oh and yeah, that's a great video TahoeBC!
    SOrCerer

  5. #80
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    Epilog...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post

    In essence, the more people who show up and work this weekend, the closer this trail is to completion and being officially open.
    ...or prologue???

    The Jim Donnelly Trail Re-Route (or JDT for short) project has definitely entered a new phase; I'm not sure if I should characterize it as a new chapter or a new book.

    The Volunteers for Outdoor California contribution is well documented in Vo' fo' Coe redux.

    My parting thought in this Vo' fo' Coe redux post; "Had the DPR not meddled with our original plans (building a "modified IMBA-style multi-use single track") VOCal could have easily finished (and impacted far less habitat!) the entire 4000' the project had originally encompassed (for the weekend) and thus completing the JDT's full length" probably should have been "vented" here in this thread instead. I was in a pissy mood...

    There are a lot of "shoulda coulda woulda" scenarios to consider; I'd rather leave further discussions of them to the comforts of a real "pub"---not the "virtual pub" of MTBR. We are being watched here at MTBR by both the protagonists and the antagonists of mountain biking within the DPR; venting is seldom productive in that context.

    I've heard very little from the DPR since the VOCal weekend; the last being this email from Larry Tierney (a big wheel; the Monterey District Facilities Manager) to the VOCal JDT Project group:

    "Henry W. Coe State Parks MTB Volunteers, Volunteers for Outdoor California (VoCal), and State Park Staff were involved in a large trail work project this past weekend on the Jim Donnelly Trail. The first report I received from Tim Heinrich, who was the Monterey Trails Crew liaison was that approximately 70 volunteers showed up and that the work went well. E-mails that I have been copied on from all parties area all positive. Below is a link to a cool You Tube video of some of the work, thanks to Paul L for posting.

    State Parks Monterey appreciates all of those who came out for the weekend and the leadership group that put this together. This is the second large trail project that VoCal has done in the Monterey; we hope to continue this pattern in the future."


    So at least there was sort of a smiley face at one level within the DPR; we know that there are some DPR "unhappy campers" but when you consider that (in regards to Coe) they're trying to make the Park work with 1/10 the funding they had back in the "good old days" some upset is understandable.

    I'd like to segue into the DPR "Trails Handbook"; I'll start a new thread shortly but I'll leave this one by saying that our problems with the DPR on the JDT project had little to do with what was in (or more likley not in) the Trails Handbook.
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  6. #81
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    ......................
    Last edited by vinnyl26; 05-09-2012 at 02:09 PM. Reason: ghdfs
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  7. #82
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    No way, there anti MTB forces with the state park system. Who would have thought? [/SARCASM]
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  8. #83
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    Maybe there just fixing the spelling mistake they made on the first sign
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  9. #84
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    I have a hard time understanding WTF is going on and to what purpose.

  10. #85
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    I am definitely writing this guy. My experience was not positive. Moving a 4' bench up and left two feet to try and reduce grade 1% is maddening.


    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    ...or prologue???

    The first report I received from Tim Heinrich, who was the Monterey Trails Crew liaison was that approximately 70 volunteers showed up and that the work went well. E-mails that I have been copied on from all parties area all positive.


    I'd like to segue into the DPR "Trails Handbook"; I'll start a new thread shortly but I'll leave this one by saying that our problems with the DPR on the JDT project had little to do with what was in (or more likley not in) the Trails Handbook.
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  11. #86
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    Good Trails Attract Visitors

    Here's more commentary on the topic of the JDT. My comments will not come out complete all at one sitting. It will take a few sessions here.

    In this post , after a couple of salutations, I'll go over the feedback process we've been working with, and say a few general things about DPR standards and the procedure we used for construction. More specifics will come in future posts.

    First I'd like to acknowledge all of the work and effort from all of the volunteer people seen, and unseen, and from DPR staff, also seen and unseen, and thank them for helping to get the JDT on it's way up to Steer Ridge Rd.

    Second, it's a huge consolation that merely feelings are being hurt, and that misunderstandings are at the most fundamental level the result of a communication break-down. Building a trail involves the undertaking of many potentially dangerous acts. Safety is the number one concern on the job site. We have done well.

    From the beginning I have sought feedback from the trail using community. Premier among the trail using community are DPR staff. Obviously the rangers and the maintenance staff and supervisors have been intrinsically a part of the weekly events during the build-out of the JDT so far.

    In the follow-up to the volunteer tread work shut-down, supervisory staff have told me two things: People's opinions on the trail don't count and that recreation in California State Parks comes last. These are a couple of reasons why the JDT got into trouble, and why State Parks are in trouble. I took these edicts somewhat personally as it sounded like my opinions don't count, and my reasons for recreating in the park were not important.

    Over a year ago, at my suggestion, Pliebenberg placed a clip-board soliciting comments on the trail hanging from a sawhorse about 1/3 the way up, by the picnic table. The installation of the picnic table itself was the product of grass-roots commentary. It would function as a mounting post for equestrians, as well as a picnic table.

    The JDT was always to be a first class multi-use trail.

    The comments pages filled, and I was pleased to read overwhelming happy and encouraging words. However, it was not my intent to seek compliments. I wanted to find out what people really had problems with so that we could make corrections. Given that the format was truly anonymous, I thought there was a good chance of getting some honest opinions. Instead, while it was not disappointing to read that everyone was happy to see a new "humane" trail being constructed, the comments became a form of validation. Since we are all volunteers here, we get paid in validation - satisfaction.

    Staff was informed about the comments facility by email and at trail meetings. There was no evidence that any staff ever looked at the contents of the comments or bothered to hike up the trail and checked on progress until recently. All along I think I had every reason to expect regular inspections of the trail by staff. After all, this was the first significant new trail construction in the park in many years that was being hand built by a meager volunteer force composed mostly of mountain-biking addicts and horseback riders. Some staff had hiked a short ways up the trail, even past Canary Corner, a small number of times, and no critical comments were heard until recently. To me, this amounted to consent.

    All along there have been a small minority of critical comments from the public about requiring greater trail width. This would be answered in due time with a nearly uniform four foot wide full bench tread construction per DPR standard. Overall, with very few exceptions, the four foot wide bench has not been satisfied.

    Since the original lower section of the trail from the bottom of Middle Steer Ridge to the JDT picnic table was unusable, at our suggestion, the maintenance chief gave us the go ahead to open the new unfinished yet usable tread for public use during construction. The main construction efforts moved up the ridge while simultaneously ongoing construction took place below. The volunteers, like me, all sought to flesh-out the entire trail from top to bottom, in a usable fashion, and then go back and make corrections. This makes sense because access (including emergency access) to the work sites is enhanced when there is usable tread in place.

    When the Superintendent at last hiked the trail with me he thought that the trail should have been built from the bottom up to be perfectly in DPR compliance as we go. The Superintendent's suggested tactic was not the procedure outlined in the Project Evaluation Form and was never considered as practical. I believe the Superintendent seeks remedial work to be outlined in a plan of future trail work.
    SOrCerer

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel~ View Post
    Ridiculous.

    It appears that "sustainable" means "supportable via continued volunteer maintenance".

    Almost the entire pilot bench, which was cut prior to this group's involvement, was arrow straight for long sections, with no change in grade. At that point, you are faced with two practical options that will last, if you want to control water; you can re-route the trail away from the pilot bench, in order to introduce some long grade reversals, or you can add some rolling grade dips. Either is a considerable amount of work, with re-routing being frowned upon for leaving the original alignment. Outslope by itself is a fail. It WILL cup and trench over time, requiring constant maintenance. You can see this all over the Santa Clara county parks, with their ~5 year old Sweco built trails, before they started introducing more significant grade reversals. Drains by themselves are a fail. They silt up, trench, and lose their function, requiring constant maintenance. Outside drains at switchbacks? Coe fail. Even when properly constructed they rarely last more than a season before silting up and requiring re-excavation. All of these things sound great in the manual, and they look wonderful to desk jockeys reviewing Powerpoint presentations at their annual trail conferences.

    BUT, who is responsible for narrow trail upkeep and maintenance, once a trail is constructed at Coe? The volunteers (trail users). The state does no narrow trail maintenance other than some minor chainsaw support at the behest of the volunteer trail crew (playing around with the Sweco here and there does not count).

    One of the guiding principles of the JDT work has been to minimize the need for constant future tune-ups, assuming that these methods are consistent with those used in the CA state parks system, while creating a safe and sustainable multi-use trail.

    I for one have spend hundreds of hours at Coe "maintaining" poorly constructed trails that did not have proper hydraulic control built in at the outset, and it gets old visiting the same trails, with the same problems, year after year. The thought that there is a workable system in place, that is loved by 99.9% of the user base (there's one in every crowd), and that it might be on the brink of being undone, so that an "i" can be dotted on the future backs of the volunteers, is insane.

    Drew hit it on the head. There's a reason that the parks are failing: myopia+dogma.

    Having said that, it is pretty interesting how quickly the blinders open up when there's a $3M carrot dangling in front of your nose.

    -D
    You nailed it man. I have been doing tons of trailwork in Demo for over 10 years now and that's what we have found as well.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    This video show my wife and daughter riding the corner in question; my comment "it's flat on the inside" was answering their query something like "gorgeous corner but how does it work for horses":
    Your reason and logic obviously have no place here. That looked absolutely terrifying for the riders and their horses.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanedawg View Post
    Your reason and logic obviously have no place here. That looked absolutely terrifying for the riders and their horses.
    maybe dpr people don't know that horses have 4 legs and can motor up pretty much anything ! maybe they should see the pictures of the horse and rider teams climbing cougar rock on the western states trail =-O

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by zazzafrazz View Post
    maybe dpr people don't know that horses have 4 legs and can motor up pretty much anything ! maybe they should see the pictures of the horse and rider teams climbing cougar rock on the western states trail =-O
    Maybe different kind of horses?

    I dealt with horses in some remote corners of the world. Those did not care about misfiring motorcycles whizzing by.

    Bay Area horses apparently lose their "peace of mind" when a butterfly lands near it. How else would you explain their owner's opposition to sharing trails around here.

    I remain completely puzzled by this whole story. W.T.F. is their problem... Never could understand bureaucrats.

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by zazzafrazz View Post
    maybe dpr people don't know that horses have 4 legs and can motor up pretty much anything ! maybe they should see the pictures of the horse and rider teams climbing cougar rock on the western states trail =-O
    yeah. a couple years back I saw two horses climb a big rock slab along cold creek in south lake tahoe - unbelievable.

    fwiw I wanted to add my own thanks, to everyone who has worked on the jim donnelly trail. I recently visited Coe after 10 years away - what a great trail, and obviously the product of a huge amount of volunteer work. very unfortunate that DPR would have anything but appreciation for this substantial and well-thought-out effort, but at least it sounds like a lot of trail users are loving it.

    -LG

  17. #92
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    I'll have to go take a walk along that trail sometime to get a better "feel for it" and to try to understand the parks department poor planning in managing a horde of eager unpaid trailworkers.

  18. #93
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    So, what's the latest with the JDT?
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  19. #94
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    Maybe on Nov. 10th...

    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    So, what's the latest with the JDT?
    ...we'll be able to resume our "2nd Saturday" trails work days on the JDT. A couples of weeks back Sorcerer and I met with the CSP Monterey District Trail Crew Supervisor and compiled a trail log of details that need to be worked out to complete the JDT. Hopefully we'll be able do some dirt work then; weather and CSP staff permitting.

    It won't be like the "good old days" but it won't be totally awful either. If weather/staff doesn't come through for us then we'll probably have a brushing party on X-Canyon and/or Kelly Cabin Canyon Trails.

    We'll start a new thread on MTBR when we know more.
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  20. #95
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    Does that mean "fixing all the DPR perceived problems first" or will they let you bench out the top part, cause if it's the first, I'd say don't bother let them do that crap them selfs if there that passionate about it. I rode it a couple weeks ago and it's a great trail in its current state, I wonder if the folks who complained would have thought all work was gonna stop and the trail was gonna stay the same, F them.
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  21. #96
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    Help! We're being held hostage...

    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    Does that mean "fixing all the DPR perceived problems first" F them.
    Yes, as far as the work the "2nd Saturday" gang does; we start at the bottom and build out to the CSP formerly known as the DPR Class One trails standard. (up to the picnic bench)

    Sorcerer and I expect that this work will consume most of this season given that it's projected that the majority of previous MTB volunteers will not wish to take part. (Prolly 80% of the work on the JDT has been done by MTBers) I don't blame you guys that hold off; I've conceded that we've lost this battle but I see this as enabling us to continue the war on other fronts (trails!) We might be wrong on this...

    As far as the upper sections go; the CSP formerly known as the DPR is counting on VOCal to continue where they left off last season; some weekends next spring have already been selected.

    As things now stand, until the JDT is completed to CSP formerly known as the DPR satisfaction there will be no other trail projects for us volunteers to work on at Coe. (especially new trails)

    The DPR to streamline "Change in Use Policy" thread will be very important to follow; directly relates to what is happening on the JDT right now.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  22. #97
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    Wow, that lower section to the table is better than nearly every other trail in Coe, what a colossal waste of time, I can't believe you guys would actually do it. Walk away boys, walk away............
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  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Yes, as far as the work the "2nd Saturday" gang does; we start at the bottom and build out to the CSP formerly known as the DPR Class One trails standard. (up to the picnic bench)

    Sorcerer and I expect that this work will consume most of this season given that it's projected that the majority of previous MTB volunteers will not wish to take part. (Prolly 80% of the work on the JDT has been done by MTBers) I don't blame you guys that hold off; I've conceded that we've lost this battle but I see this as enabling us to continue the war on other fronts (trails!) We might be wrong on this...
    The myth of Sisyphus comes to mind... Zeus err DPR/CSP punishing a man/mountain biker for his perceived hubris by making him perform absurd labor, over and over. Camus wrote a great essay about it; looks like the fine folks at CSP have found some inspiration reading...

  24. #99
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    MTBers back to work?

    Thanks for the update Paul and all the blood, sweat and maybe a tear or two you've put into the JDT and Coe.

    IMHO the DPR to streamline "Change in Use Policy" is important enough to get some MTBers to come back to Coe and volunteer again.

    Michael

    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Yes, as far as the work the "2nd Saturday" gang does; we start at the bottom and build out to the CSP formerly known as the DPR Class One trails standard. (up to the picnic bench)

    Sorcerer and I expect that this work will consume most of this season given that it's projected that the majority of previous MTB volunteers will not wish to take part. (Prolly 80% of the work on the JDT has been done by MTBers) I don't blame you guys that hold off; I've conceded that we've lost this battle but I see this as enabling us to continue the war on other fronts (trails!) We might be wrong on this...

    As far as the upper sections go; the CSP formerly known as the DPR is counting on VOCal to continue where they left off last season; some weekends next spring have already been selected.

    As things now stand, until the JDT is completed to CSP formerly known as the DPR satisfaction there will be no other trail projects for us volunteers to work on at Coe. (especially new trails)

    The DPR to streamline "Change in Use Policy" thread will be very important to follow; directly relates to what is happening on the JDT right now.

  25. #100
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    Was it "beer goggles"...

    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    Wow, that lower section to the table is better than nearly every other trail in Coe, what a colossal waste of time, I can't believe you guys would actually do it. Walk away boys, walk away............
    ...when we joined the CSP "Uniformed Volunteer" program??? At any rate; I have a vision that this exercise in trail building S&M will eventually lead to good things.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

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