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  1. #1
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    Could we lose Marshall Canyon?

    First of all, I'm a new poster and this is a great forum. Hope I can get more good information here.

    Time for me to vent: I'm seeing signs of potential problems at Marshall Canyon that I'd like to nip at the bud.

    Problem #1: Speeding down the trails. I've come across a couple of riders that have been flying down this trail, and what I'm afraid of is the potential for an accident. For bike riders, I think it wouldn't be a major issue. I've fallen before--even accidentally crossed handlebars with another rider--and it's been something we can both shake off and keep riding. And believe me, I know how tempting it to go tearing down. I've had to hold myself back quite a few times as I'm going down this trail.

    BUT . . .

    . . anyone who knows the area is aware that we're sharing the trails with people on horseback, hikers, and joggers. In my experience, they've been very nice and accomodating. I don't want to change that. And let's remember that the profile of the people in the immediate area that ride horses is usually one of money. And of influence at City Hall (if it came down to that).

    I know I'm writing a lot to make a simple point (slow down), but it's just that I've seen how easy it is for one event (e.g. a mountain bike plowing into a horse or a hiker) to make an area like that off limits.

    Problem #2: Fortunately, this isn't a bike-related problem, but it's something we might help solve. I was heart-broken to find that some kind of idiots have been tagging (writing graffiti) around the bottom part of the trail (below the golf course, above the dam). I saw this graffiti about four days after I walked by about five guys lighting up a joint in the same spot. I can't be sure that the events are connected. And I don't have a problem with smoking a bit of weed in the privacy of your own home. But I do have a problem with people (who I assume are locals) giving the impression that Marshall Canyon isn't a family-safe area. I also despise any low-lifes that would make this beautiful trail into their own cesspool.

    What can we do? Report these jerks to the police. I already have. If you see it, call it in (La Verne Police: (909) 596-1913). Don't assume anyone else has. I'd like the police to hear from dozens of mountain bikers every time this happens. I'd like them to hear that we're upset about this. And if you see the idiots that are doing this and you feel safe confronting them AND can do it non-violently, please do so.

  2. #2
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    [QUOTE=KillYourTV]First of all, I'm a new poster and this is a great forum. Hope I can get more good information here.

    Time for me to vent: I'm seeing signs of potential problems at Marshall Canyon that I'd like to nip at the bud.

    Problem #1: Speeding down the trails. I've come across a couple of riders that have been flying down this trail, and what I'm afraid of is the potential for an accident. For bike riders, I think it wouldn't be a major issue. I've fallen before--even accidentally crossed handlebars with another rider--and it's been something we can both shake off and keep riding. And believe me, I know how tempting it to go tearing down. I've had to hold myself back quite a few times as I'm going down this trail.

    QUOTE]

    How about digging out dips and building speed bumps right after them! Works well in some neighborhoods to slow down traffic. Could make for some fantastic wrecks as well as some killer jumps at speed!

  3. #3
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    How about digging out dips and building speed bumps right after them! Works well in some neighborhoods to slow down traffic. Could make for some fantastic wrecks as well as some killer jumps at speed!
    Dips and speed bumps are so 90's. I'd go with flaming hoops for jumping through or maybe a few 'gators in the water crossings.

    Better yet--just get any 14-year old with a video camera and I'm sure one of his buddies will do a good enough wipeout to get on TV.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillYourTV
    Dips and speed bumps are so 90's. I'd go with flaming hoops for jumping through or maybe a few 'gators in the water crossings.

    Better yet--just get any 14-year old with a video camera and I'm sure one of his buddies will do a good enough wipeout to get on TV.
    It's funny that you mention that. In the late 80's logs and dips were placed in the trail as obstacles to the mountain bikers. Of course it only made the ride more interesting and fun, bunny hopping over the logs jumping the dips.

    There use to be quite a battle between equestrians and mountain bikers. The relationship has been relatively good for the past several years. I wouldn't want to see it regress. I know that sometimes I'm going way too fast down Marshall. There are a lot of us that need a reminder to slow down.

    Graffiti ... what can you do? This is a growing problem in many of our foothills and canyons. It sucks.

  5. #5
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    I ride Marshall Canyon often, weekend mornings and afternoons call for easy slow riding, the traffic can be heavy. just this past saturday there was a group of equestrians that numbered over 30 easily, all i did was just stop and watch as they passed by. no big deal, i know the weekends are just for easy riding. the only time i ever rip down the trails there is when i ride with my buddies there at night when nobody is there. night riding there is extemely great! no worries about any horses or hikers, maybe the occasional mountain bikers in a different group, but that's rare.

  6. #6
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    The sign at the catch-basin, telling mountain bikers (and not equestrians, hikers, taggers, fornicators, and crackheads) to respect the trail is the only indication of friction I have found at Marshall Canyon. I always stop to talk to the horses, and sometimes even to their riders. They've always been friendly, and it seems that we are getting along pretty well. But then, I've never crashed into a horse.

  7. #7
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    Years ago I had a very close call with a horse. The horse and rider were, understandably, pissed. I was very apologetic. Like Epic Mtn Biker, I try to ease up during high traffic times and let it rip at night. I don't know if you have noticed, but the equestrians are usually absent during peak hours on weekends and come out later in the day.

    When you do encounter a horse, speak to it. It seems to comfort them. All the riders have been very friendly lately. MTB and equestrian relationships are good, let's keep it that way.

    I found out there was an equestrian "ride event" a couple of weeks ago. This is probably why the trails have been over sanitized. I have no idea why the trails need to be so flat for horses. Any equestrians out there who can enlighten us?

  8. #8
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    I've also found the equestrians real friendly--even understanding.

    ---

    As for the other subject: there was more grafitti on the trail today. I spoke with a couple of hikers a few hundred yards up and they were also concerned. One of them (an older woman) said that her grandchildren think they know who it is. Apparently there's some local gang-wanna-be's who've been doing this around the neighborhood for a while.

    Really pisses me off.

    I'm planning on going to the next City Council meeting and see what resources they can put onto this issue.

  9. #9
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    I agree that with any trail where hikers and equestrians are out in numbers that we should all be aware that speed can be dangerous and ultimately result in accidents and trail closures. I also agree most equestrians are pretty accomodating when it comes to trail right of way.

    We all need to watch our speed especially around blind corners on fireroads.

    I was reading through the messages and thought about one time when we were riding from Claremont to Marshall when 2 guys on horseback in cowboy gear came around a corner on a trail at a full gallop and nearly took all of us out. We yelled something at them but they kept on going.

    I can't remember but I'm pretty sure that they must have been wearing black hats. I thought that was pretty ironic.

  10. #10
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    I used to ride Marshall a lot and have been in close calls with downhill speeders. I didnt really give because I know better to try to get out of the blind spots. Now I ride El Prieto, Pasadena. Its a way better route and closer to home. I'll be back to Marshall to make a trail map. For now, Marshall riders, ride safe.

  11. #11
    Just another Homer
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    I used to

    ride Marshall as much as 3 times a week as my office was right down the street. I've seen it all there,but my biggest problem has been with people who refuse to leash their dogs. I got pissed one day and yelled at a lady to leash her dog. About that time a jogger who I'd passed coming down (who also had two lose dogs) yelled to me to obey the 15 mph limit. I told him I was way under which I was and I had control over my bike which was more then he could say about his dogs.This has been my main issue with Marshall,not runaway dh'ers.I just don't see it that much. I've helped with the rescue of equestrians that were pitched from their horses and gave up hours assisting in the recovery and treatment of these two equestrians till the ambulance arrived. I've met a lot of the regular equestrians that ride there and for the most part we are liked,but it doesn't take much before we will hear of any mishaps. I've been to two city council meetings in La Verne when Marshall Cyn was being discussed and the feeling I get from the members is Marshall just requires to much money and effort. We should tread lightly here if we want to continue to ride.
    I may not be as good as I once was.
    But I'm as good once, as I ever was.
    Toby Keith

  12. #12
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    some ideas that work

    Graffitti
    Graffitti is usually a low priority nuisance for a cash strapped park district. Yet it is jarring at best, and can convey a sense of neglect or lack of safety. If some of you locals wanted to take this on, I bet the city or parks department would be grateful. Many city and county recycling programs give away free paint that they've collected as Household hazardous waste. They blend it into a few standard neutral colors, such as brown and gray. a gallon of paint and a cheap brush can cover up a lot of tags very quickly. Likely you'll have to repaeat the exercise at regular intervals at first, but if you are persistent, the taggers usually give up on that spot. The faster tags get painted over, the less likely they are to draw competing tags.

    Horses
    Horses are a prey animal, so they are very reactive to fast moving objects and seeing strange things they don't understand. They particularly don't like fast moving or strange objects coming from behind them. Slowing down and saying hello lets the horse identify you as human, and gives you, the horse, and the rider time to react.

    Avoiding Close Calls
    It's really helpful if you can somehow design the trail with good sight lines. If there are blind corners, those are places where trail features that slow traffic and direct it in the safest line. Narrower trails can be safer than wide ones in this regard, as riders need to control their speed through corners more.

  13. #13
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    Don't forget that Marshall Canyon is administered by the COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES.

    La Verne does have some jurisdiction over the lower portion of the trail, but the upper
    part is county of L.A.

    It's always 'sanitized' in the fall, right around the time of the big equestrian events
    and the San Dimas Western Days and rodeo. Happens every year.

    Realize that it's always crowded there on weekends, so ride, hike, walk your dogs, etc.
    accordingly. Common sense should tell you how to do this.

  14. #14
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    thats's right

    Don't forget that Marshall Canyon is administered by the COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES.

    I tried to see if we could get the trails to be left alone for a couple years and to let nature take it's course,but both entities would have to be in agreement and a friend of mine that was on the city council said it wasn't going to happen. They really are or were very nice people (La Verne city council), but they do lean to the equestrian side of things as Marshall has been a horse riding area for years and the reason some people have even moved there. The riding there was the best it's ever been after thiose big rains of the last year. We had a number of obstacles which turned the trail almost into something with some real challenges and gave it a unique character.
    I may not be as good as I once was.
    But I'm as good once, as I ever was.
    Toby Keith

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