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  1. #1
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    Group Rides... How many is too many?

    As far as organized group rides go, what is the cut off for # of riders?

    Example: This last Saturday, I encountered a group of about 20 riders on Romero Canyon trail in Santa Barbara. It was a mix of all rider types and abilities. At the head of the pack was a guy sporting an old school helmet and hard tail and right behind him was a guy with a 7" FS bike decked out with leg armor. There was even a guy that appeared to not have a helmet.

    Everyone was polite and courteous. However, it seemed like the number of riders was a bit much. Is this standard for group rides? I can't say for sure but I don't think that they all had bells either.

    The most I've seen on this trail is groups of 5. The norm is 2-3.

    Trail background: Romero Canyon Trail is a multi-use trail. There are usually quite a few hikers on the trail during the weekends. Also, Santa Barbara front country trails have been plagued with user conflicts in the past and have been/are threatened.

    The Romero Canyon trail ascent is about 2/3 old jeep trail and 1/3 single track. Unless you go all the way to Camino Cielo then I think it's 1/2 and 1/2.

  2. #2
    Just Ride!
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    Ahh group rides

    [size=3]Im not really sure when a group ride is one too many but when you mentioned about riders being out of hand, that ticks me off. There are some group riders out here who act like tourists. They take up the whole expanse of the fire road and thats one wide fire road (Sullivan). Its so funny because some of these riders will act like Oh, Im such a extreme rider so I will not respond to your good morning. Well, on the bright side, such a beautiful day today so it is time to ride [/size]

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pigtire
    [size=3]I�m not really sure when a group ride is one too many but when you mentioned about riders being out of hand, that ticks me off. There are some group riders out here who act like tourists. They take up the whole expanse of the fire road and that�s one wide fire road (Sullivan). It�s so funny because some of these riders will act like � Oh, I�m such a extreme rider� so I will not respond to your �good morning�. Well, on the bright side, such a beautiful day today so it is time to ride [/size]
    I can see where that would be a bummer. This particular group was friendly, and I made sure to stay ahead of them. Eventually we chose to take a break and let them all pass and we made a break for it and headed down earlier than we had planned. So the impact was minamal but I'm concered more about hiker/biker conflicts. Particularly in this neck of the woods.

  4. #4
    Just another Homer
    Reputation: Pain Freak's Avatar
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    Depends

    On a lot of factors,but considering all the turmoil in the front range over there, I'd try to limit my group size to no more then 6 or 7 at a time.Break them up over at least 15 minutes apart. Having been on a hike and then coming upon a large group of mountain bikers was a thrill for me, but I could see where a hiker could feel uncomfortable with it. At the same time I've seen as many as 30 to 40 hikers all together on a hike.Really funny group and no bad vibes at all from any of them. Santa Barbara is a different story though.Has it calmed down at all?
    I may not be as good as I once was.
    But I'm as good once, as I ever was.
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  5. #5
    Glad to Be Alive
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    3 to 5 with 5 to 8 minute break apart

    ALWAYS WEAR BELLS IF IT IS A MULTIUSE TRAIL
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  6. #6
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    Anymore than 4

    Quote Originally Posted by burninator
    As far as organized group rides go, what is the cut off for # of riders?

    Example: This last Saturday, I encountered a group of about 20 riders on Romero Canyon trail in Santa Barbara. It was a mix of all rider types and abilities. At the head of the pack was a guy sporting an old school helmet and hard tail and right behind him was a guy with a 7" FS bike decked out with leg armor. There was even a guy that appeared to not have a helmet.

    Everyone was polite and courteous. However, it seemed like the number of riders was a bit much. Is this standard for group rides? I can't say for sure but I don't think that they all had bells either.

    The most I've seen on this trail is groups of 5. The norm is 2-3.

    Trail background: Romero Canyon Trail is a multi-use trail. There are usually quite a few hikers on the trail during the weekends. Also, Santa Barbara front country trails have been plagued with user conflicts in the past and have been/are threatened.

    The Romero Canyon trail ascent is about 2/3 old jeep trail and 1/3 single track. Unless you go all the way to Camino Cielo then I think it's 1/2 and 1/2.
    offroad, detracts from my (parkways of) wilderness experience.

    Train rides are for the road, which aren't always bad either.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by burninator
    As far as organized group rides go, what is the cut off for # of riders?

    Example: This last Saturday, I encountered a group of about 20 riders on Romero Canyon trail in Santa Barbara. It was a mix of all rider types and abilities. At the head of the pack was a guy sporting an old school helmet and hard tail and right behind him was a guy with a 7" FS bike decked out with leg armor. There was even a guy that appeared to not have a helmet.

    Everyone was polite and courteous. However, it seemed like the number of riders was a bit much. Is this standard for group rides? I can't say for sure but I don't think that they all had bells either.

    The most I've seen on this trail is groups of 5. The norm is 2-3.

    Trail background: Romero Canyon Trail is a multi-use trail. There are usually quite a few hikers on the trail during the weekends. Also, Santa Barbara front country trails have been plagued with user conflicts in the past and have been/are threatened.

    The Romero Canyon trail ascent is about 2/3 old jeep trail and 1/3 single track. Unless you go all the way to Camino Cielo then I think it's 1/2 and 1/2.
    Polite and courteous, what's the beef? Seems like better representatives of the sport than a few DH'ers I've seen there (couldn't tell if they were locals or furriners). Do you want to hear 20 bells ringing away? That was a club having a once-a-year ride. Since you're a local worried about usage on "your" trail, tell me how many times a year you ride it. Did you take the Romero Canyon Road (fireroad) in both directions or descend the Romero Trail (singletrack)?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    Polite and courteous, what's the beef? Seems like better representatives of the sport than a few DH'ers I've seen there (couldn't tell if they were locals or furriners). Do you want to hear 20 bells ringing away? That was a club having a once-a-year ride. Since you're a local worried about usage on "your" trail, tell me how many times a year you ride it. Did you take the Romero Canyon Road (fireroad) in both directions or descend the Romero Trail (singletrack)?
    If you read and understood my post you'd undertand that I wasn't criticizing any of the riders. My concern is with conflicts with hikers period. If you know the area then you know that it's been a hot bed for several years. Things have cooled off, due to education on both sides. There has been a concerted effort to smooth relations by both hikers and bikers. I just think that group rides on trails like Romero should be limited in size. I agree with others who have posted that large groups should be broken up and spaced apart. That's accepatable. I can't speak for hikers though. How do you think they would respond to 5 groups of 4 coming down the single track one right after the other. Combine that with the fact that the single track is short (~1.5M) and 3-6 other smaller groups on the trail at the same time and you might have potential for conflict.

    I don't know which way the group chose to descend because I chose to make it a non issue for me and turned around early. I chose to descend the jeep trail because I am riding with a torn ACL right now. Is that acceptable?

    When did I claim it as MY trail? I usually ride Romero 3-4 times a month, is that enough for you? Someone always has to talk sh!t.
    Last edited by burninator; 04-05-2005 at 11:01 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by burninator
    If you read and understood my post you'd undertand that I wasn't criticizing any of the riders. My concern is with conflicts with hikers period. If you know the area then you know that it's been a hot bed for several years. Things have cooled off, due to education on both sides. There has been a concerted effort to smooth relations by both hikers and bikers. I just think that group rides on trails like Romero should be limited in size. I agree with others who have posted that large groups should be broken up and spaced apart. That's accepatable. I can't speak for hikers though. How do you think they would respond to 5 groups of 4 coming down the single track one right after the other. Combine that with the fact that the single track is short (~1.5M) and 3-6 other smaller groups on the trail at the same time and you might have potential for conflict.

    I don't know which way the group chose to descend because I chose to make it a non issue for me and turned around early. I chose to descend the jeep trail because I am riding with a torn ACL right now. Is that acceptable?

    When did I claim it as MY trail? I usually ride Romero 3-6 times a month, is that enough for you? Someone always has to talk sh!t.
    You made my point, thank you. Your 36 to 72 rides a year has a bigger impact on the hikers than that yearly group ride. Your profile says you are a local, and somehow when I see that you ride a Kona Stinky with DH upgrades I don't picture you stopping to smell the flowers. You didn't have to be there on the busiest day

    Face it, you turned around because that slow bunch of old dudes creeping up the hill would have blocked your downhill fun and you didn't want to wait for them to summit.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    You made my point, thank you. Your 36 to 72 rides a year has a bigger impact on the hikers than that yearly group ride. Your profile says you are a local, and somehow when I see that you ride a Kona Stinky with DH upgrades I don't picture you stopping to smell the flowers. You didn't have to be there on the busiest day

    Face it, you turned around because that slow bunch of old dudes creeping up the hill would have blocked your downhill fun and you didn't want to wait for them to summit.

    "slow bunch of old dudes creeping up the hill", now you're insulting the same people you chose to defend?

    The largest group that I've ridden with on that trail was 4 people including my self. 2 men and 2 women. The women usually descend the jeep trail, while the guys descend the single track. Usually I ride it by my self or with one other person. I usually do try to ride on off days but that's not always feasable for the other person/people I ride with.

    Are you bagging on me becasue I've ridden a long travel bike uphill? Actually, I've transformed said bike into a heavy duty trail bike. 5" Z.1FR front, 6" DHX rear. It's not what I'd call a DH sled by any means.

    Did you miss the part about the torn ACL. I'm not breaking any speed records these days.
    I stop and smell plenty of flowers on the way up

    Romero is one of my favorite trails. Yes, I do ride it often. Yes, that may cause an impact, but I try to make it as positive as possible by respecting all other users.

  11. #11
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    "With that said, until you have done a STR group ride- YOU HAVE NOT LIVED!"
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