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  1. #1
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    Tamarancho Flow Trail Heartache

    Don't get me wrong, I am very greatfull for all the hard work that people have put into improving Tamarancho's flow trail....but is it just me or has Endor (flow trail) brought out some knuckleheads....I have always encountered people while riding Tamarancho and with the trails being tight and true singletrack there has been some close calls. But with the Flow trail open it has been really bad lately, I wasn't even up ironsprings today and here comes some dude with his motocross helmet going about 30 on the wrong side of a blind corner, just about took me out couldnt even say anything as he didnt even attempt to slow his dumbass down after he almost hit me....then I ran into about 10 guys...again all geared up with motocross gear coming down serpentine. I had an older guy and his what I assume to be grandson riding in front of me and the guys coming off the flow trail didnt even try to slow down let alone give the right away to the bikes going up....People acting like this are going to give Tam and the Flow a bad name....Hopefully the newness wears off and the knuckleheads get tired of the climb up there.....

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHart94949 View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I am very greatfull for all the hard work that people have put into improving Tamarancho's flow trail....but is it just me or has Endor (flow trail) brought out some knuckleheads....I have always encountered people while riding Tamarancho and with the trails being tight and true singletrack there has been some close calls. But with the Flow trail open it has been really bad lately, I wasn't even up ironsprings today and here comes some dude with his motocross helmet going about 30 on the wrong side of a blind corner, just about took me out couldnt even say anything as he didnt even attempt to slow his dumbass down after he almost hit me....then I ran into about 10 guys...again all geared up with motocross gear coming down serpentine. I had an older guy and his what I assume to be grandson riding in front of me and the guys coming off the flow trail didnt even try to slow down let alone give the right away to the bikes going up....People acting like this are going to give Tam and the Flow a bad name....Hopefully the newness wears off and the knuckleheads get tired of the climb up there.....
    Seems to me that Tamarancho is the perfect test bed for all sorts of progression in the MTB world. Etiquette being the next great frontier.

    What rules of conduct can we create? I'm thinking first offense = 30 days probation. Second offense = 6 months. 3rd strike, you're out.
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Seems to me that Tamarancho is the perfect test bed for all sorts of progression in the MTB world. Etiquette being the next great frontier.

    What rules of conduct can we create? I'm thinking first offense = 30 days probation. Second offense = 6 months. 3rd strike, you're out.
    Are we going to bring Chris Lang out of retirement...who is going to enforce this, and how?

    You have to remember that a couple careless riders, wether they are caught up in the moment or really are dumb asses...can create a bad vibe. Didn't we already go thru this? Maybe we should just go for a ride and wait for things to work themselves out

    I rode Tamarancho yesterday and had a great time...no dumbasses

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle mama View Post
    Are we going to bring Chris Lang out of retirement...who is going to enforce this, and how?

    You have to remember that a couple careless riders, wether they are caught up in the moment or really are dumb asses...can create a bad vibe. Didn't we already go thru this? Maybe we should just go for a ride and wait for things to work themselves out

    I rode Tamarancho yesterday and had a great time...no dumbasses
    I dunno. I was just thinking this is a good test case to police ourselves and find good policy/ideas that can be extended elsewhere.

    But if not. That's fine. I'll just go back to pummelling pvd on my fat bike!
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    I dunno. I was just thinking this is a good test case to police ourselves and find good policy/ideas that can be extended elsewhere.

    But if not. That's fine. I'll just go back to pummelling pvd on my fat bike!
    since when do you have a Fatbike? Really? Sweet!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    I dunno. I was just thinking this is a good test case to police ourselves and find good policy/ideas that can be extended elsewhere.

    But if not. That's fine. I'll just go back to pummelling pvd on my fat bike!
    Pete likes to get pummeled

  7. #7
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    More users means more dumbasses. That's with a constant proportion of dumbasses to non-dumbasses. Let's not jump to the conclusion that a 'different type of rider' has been brought out, and conflicts can be laid at their feet.

    Any one can make an anecdote sound really convincing if it plays to the audience's prejudices. Like this one:

    I spent over 7 hours on Endor Saturday and saw exactly one rude user. Older guy, white, fit, team kit (spandex boyee), XC bike, flying past people who were waiting at the top of the flow trail for their turn. The reason he flew by? I have no idea, but I'm going to make something plausible up and many will believe me. Some of the Strava segments for flow trail begin at the intersection w/ B17 extension. Some dudes are sprinting down B17X right through the connecter to Endor. Strava-tard skids through the f-ing staging area where responsible riders are lined up, watching the progress of the riders below so they can gauge when to begin.
    Totally plausible, right?

    I believe your story (why doubt it?) but I don't believe that full face and moto jersey guys are more likely to be bad trail users than other riders. What is true is that a lot of people who have never ridden Tamarancho are coming out. Many people (even some of the old guard) could use a refresher on good trail ettiquette. We're all going to have to work at leading by example and reaching out when appropriate.

  8. #8
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    I started this thread: Tamarancho étiquette about this very issue the first week that the Flow trail was opened due to a bunch of close calls over 2 days, including one guy and his teenage kid cursing and yelling at 3 us for not getting out of their way while we were climbing up Alchemist, a kid in jeans and a skate helmet with no shirt laying his bike down across the trail in a desperate, skidding attempt to avoid taking us out while he was coming down Alchemist, another kid that tried to pass me who clipped my handle bars and sent himself over the edge while I was climbing up Broken Dam, and another jeans guy that sent me into a tree while I was climbing near the top of Alchemist. I've since stopped riding there on weekends as I don't have the patience to deal with the egos and idiots that now flock there and don't really want to find myself in a physical confrontation with a guy in a full face helmet...

    It sucks that a few self-centered idiots have to make things suck for everyone else, and make the bike community look bad to the residents that live on Iron Springs road and the neighborhoods at its base.

  9. #9
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    MTBR is not complete without it's weekly DramaRancho thread.

  10. #10
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    If you think other cyclists are bad just wait til you encounter a hiker, a hiker with an unleashed dog, or god forbid someone riding a HORSE on you personal bike trail.

  11. #11
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    NIMBYism at it's best!
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  12. #12
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    I have to agree that folks need to keep it mellow on Iron Springs rd. But, how do you justify judging other riders based on the gear they choose? That mentality tears our user group apart.

  13. #13
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    Tamarancho has evolved a really great riding style over the years of largely XC riders. The cooperative nature of the style was amazing. We now have a new group of riders who have come to the Flow Trail in numbers as a destination, as well they should, with an unmitigated set of desires for their experience which sticks out like a sore thumb. It isn't as if this effect was not expected. At the instigation of the Flow Trail idea there were a substantial number of local riders who resisted the idea of this development for all of the reasons that we are hearing now.

    Experienced local riders and long-standing Tamarancho subscribers are neither stupid nor nimby. Highly skilled and community oriented riders are commenting at trailsides about the weirdness they are experience from the new populations of participants. It is as if these new guests represent that oft-cited "small percentage of riders who make it hard for all of the rest of us."

    In the past "policing" in Tamarancho did exist but it just wasn't apparent. It was pretty organic and non-confrontational; the style emerged from a mass of riders over many years who used a certain type of trail and those who fell outside of the style came into the fold gradually. The mass influx of very differently-styled riders is a major effect which will be intrusive. How we decide to manage it will be interesting and will take some time to develop and apply.

    iHeart suggests:

    "Seems to me that Tamarancho is the perfect test bed for all sorts of progression in the MTB world. Etiquette being the next great frontier."

    It's kinda funny for those of us who have worked to police ourselves for many years, and gotten no end of crap for it, to hear that the time has come to try and develop a method for it. We don't have to reinvent the wheel; there are plenty of people out there who know how to do this. It was developed by MBTC, BTCEB, and ROMP many years ago, and co-opted by IMBA. It is called Bike Patrol.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tamarancho Flow Trail Heartache-e120812aandt2210.jpg  

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottParsley View Post
    I have to agree that folks need to keep it mellow on Iron Springs rd. But, how do you justify judging other riders based on the gear they choose? That mentality tears our user group apart.

    I think it a mistake to deny that our user group is unsegmented. While we may all be on 2 wheels, different groups have different goals and needs to serve. Just listen to the different voices on the different forums.
    I don't rattle.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    I think it a mistake to deny that our user group is unsegmented. While we may all be on 2 wheels, different groups have different goals and needs to serve. Just listen to the different voices on the different forums.
    You are correct. Mountain biking is obviously segmented into groups with different needs. However, I don't believe that our[mountain bikers?] opponents differentiate as much as we do. We need not judge each other based on bikes, gear, components and such. It would be a mistake to deny that sticking together is better for us[mt. bikers?]

    So just to be clear, what type of helmet am I supposed to wear to correctly run people over on ISR?

  16. #16
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    A few more observations on the knucklehead factor:

    Saw 2 guys smoking at the top of the flow trail....real health nuts.
    Saw a guy come down the flow trail sporting a baseball cap, when I all but told him he was a moron, his reply was that going helmetless is OK because he rides a motorcycle.
    Have seen more than a few guys riding directly up Iron Springs past the regular trail head. I am guessing that they are too lazy to climb the first trail and just want to get to the flow trail in the absolute easiest way possible.

    Definitely a different crowd out there these days.
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  17. #17
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    I agree totally with the OP and that is I will only ride Tamarancho on the early weekdays to minimize the traffic and degree of dumbass encounters from riders that do not have any etiquette. It is unfortunate, I would love to contribute more time there but I would rather deal with fully suited "real" downhill bombers in Downieville, Demo, etc, where it is the norm and the etiquette in regards to direction of flow. I really feel for the locals and old schoolers that have been hitting this trail for over 10-15 years. The influx of new traffic must be annoying to deal with. Come over to the other side of the Bay and ride Skeggs! Its all good!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottParsley View Post

    However, I don't believe that our [mountain bikers?] opponents differentiate as much as we do. We need not judge each other based on bikes, gear, components and such. It would be a mistake to deny that sticking together is better for us[mt. bikers?]
    In this context we weren't talking about opponents but the fact of conflicting riding values and expectations. Those need to be recognized to apply an appropriate approach to managing the stress. It has nothing to do with dividing us.

    As to gear, if I see a guy in a full-face helmet at Tilden I know he has no idea what he is doing there. It would be obtuse to suggest that gear is not an indicator of riding behavior. As someone who has lead over 1000 group rides I depend upon my ability to make decisions about riders based upon what I see. Some folks don't like that; I depend on it and use it to advantage to make things work. Now, whether they behave well of not is another thing altogether.
    I don't rattle.

  19. #19
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    That sucks that people are having so many bad experiences with other users out at Tamarancho. I think it just goes with the territory though. The more popular a trail is the more likely it is that you'll encounter someone who doesn't care about anyone but themselves.
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  20. #20
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    I also agree with the OP, though not a hater, the changes are immediately evident. This is the first year I bought a season pass and now it is mostly going to waste. Last time I rode the loop (on a weekday) I noticed five or six guys congregating around a van parked directly in front of a house at the bottom of Iron Springs drinking beer and actually blasting music out of the back doors of the van. I know that sounds like a hilarious stereotype but I saw it with own damn eyes and had to double/triple take to believe it. Not that it means anything, but I also witnessed a couple of smokers leaning on their big travel bikes at the B-17/Flow intersection. Awesome trail, awesome people, but the change is readily apparent. I'm certain the residents are noticing

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocop View Post
    I bought a season pass and now it is mostly going to waste.
    Seriously? Did you forget you typed that in the middle of the story about the loud van, or does what happened once on a road near a trail system so strongly drive how often you ride there? I'm missing the part that makes this post make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocop View Post
    Not that it means anything
    This.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    Seriously? Did you forget you typed that in the middle of the story about the loud van, or does what happened once on a road near a trail system so strongly drive how often you ride there? I'm missing the part that makes this post make sense.


    This.
    Nope. I didn't forget anything. Thanks for asking though. Here is the part that will make sense to you........ Much more crowded. Does not feel like remote singletrack anymore. Therefore, time for me is being spent elsewhere. No biggie man.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    In this context we weren't talking about opponents but the fact of conflicting riding values and expectations. Those need to be recognized to apply an appropriate approach to managing the stress. It has nothing to do with dividing us.

    As to gear, if I see a guy in a full-face helmet at Tilden I know he has no idea what he is doing there. It would be obtuse to suggest that gear is not an indicator of riding behavior. As someone who has lead over 1000 group rides I depend upon my ability to make decisions about riders based upon what I see. Some folks don't like that; I depend on it and use it to advantage to make things work. Now, whether they behave well of not is another thing altogether.
    I once saw a rider with a Fox 40 DH fork on a Specialized Enduro climbing to the top of Palomares road... Can't judge a book by its cover.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourarm View Post
    Have seen more than a few guys riding directly up Iron Springs past the regular trail head. I am guessing that they are too lazy to climb the first trail and just want to get to the flow trail in the absolute easiest way possible.
    .
    I ride there quite a bit, am not lazy, and am hardly a beginner. I actually prefer riding the road all the way to the top, before starting my regular clockwise loop. First, its actually a longer climb. Second, no worrying about congestion on the one trail at Tamo that truly gets two-way traffic.

  25. #25
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    Tamarancho is mountain biking. It's a place where non-city people go.
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