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  1. #1
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    Will Rodgers Backbone Bummer!!

    Trail maintenance = trail ruin.
    So they have bulldozed the section of the Backbone from topanga fire road to the top of the first hill climb, turning it essentially into a fire road (you can now drive a buick through it). I do not know how much further they plan on going, but the beautiful flowy section that was recently built from the fire road is now a bummer of a trail. I am all for trail maintenance but this seems a bit excessive. We have so few longish sections of flowing singletrack in this part of the Santa Monicas that it was a major blow to have this trail mowed through. I know the trail was in need of some overgrowth upkeep but this seems a little excessive. Oh well........ Anybody know anything about the future of the rest of the trail?

  2. #2
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    You mean that little trail from Topanga that jumps to Will Rogers? I love that section! Its fast, flowy with great turns and the dip in the end. Crap

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing!
    You mean that little trail from Topanga that jumps to Will Rogers? I love that section! Its fast, flowy with great turns and the dip in the end. Crap
    Yes. Its such a great beginning to the backbone.
    The level of trail maintenance just seems a bit extreme to me.

  4. #4
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    It's good and bad I guess. Last time I was there it was after the rain quite a few months back, it was way over grown, and certain part was not rideable.

    So grading the trail would improve the bad parts but sure take away the fun out of the backbone. With the steepness of the trail, it should be restore to it's prime condition soon though. Just add water

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    It's good and bad I guess. Last time I was there it was after the rain quite a few months back, it was way over grown, and certain part was not rideable.

    So grading the trail would improve the bad parts but sure take away the fun out of the backbone. With the steepness of the trail, it should be restore to it's prime condition soon though. Just add water
    I think that's another part your talking about. I crashed there and broke some bones trying to break the sound barrier They trimmed the brush about a month ago. Nothing on the ruts just yet.

  6. #6
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    Keep in mind, if you ask the land agencies, they don't know what "singletrack" means. To them, they're either fire roads, or "multi-use" trails.

  7. #7
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    I can't believe they destroyed this, the best section of singletrack on the westside. The only "maintenance" this trail needs could be accomplished by a weed wacker.

    I rode from Temescal and kept thinking the damage was going to stop... I rode 2+ miles before turning back in disgust. Clearly this was not Han's leading the CORBA trail crew. I can't believe a biker, hiker, or equestrian would be happy with what happened. Hopefully el nina will help mother nature reclaim this gem. Really disappointing...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by damagr
    I can't believe they destroyed this, the best section of singletrack on the westside. The only "maintenance" this trail needs could be accomplished by a weed wacker.

    I rode from Temescal and kept thinking the damage was going to stop... I rode 2+ miles before turning back in disgust. Clearly this was not Han's leading the CORBA trail crew. I can't believe a biker, hiker, or equestrian would be happy with what happened. Hopefully el nina will help mother nature reclaim this gem. Really disappointing...

    I know.....I wanted to cry.....This is a ride I do on a regular basis.
    Sullivan canyon I could accept, this has been a hard pill to swallow. It just seems bad for everyone that uses the trail, its like an eyesore now.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by morandi
    I know.....I wanted to cry.....This is a ride I do on a regular basis.
    Sullivan canyon I could accept, this has been a hard pill to swallow. It just seems bad for everyone that uses the trail, its like an eyesore now.

    How is Sully now, did the rain help at all?, last time I went quite a few months ago, it was just a smooth fireroad.

    Crying? The fire took out El Prieto less likely to be the same again

  10. #10
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    Rode there today. I just don't get at all the point of this trail work???

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    How is Sully now, did the rain help at all?, last time I went quite a few months ago, it was just a smooth fireroad.

    Crying? The fire took out El Prieto less likely to be the same again

    Sully has been off limits for the last two months as the Gas co has been doing more work down there. After the first round of work it got okay again, but I'm sure now its just a super highway.
    El Prieto made me cry too, but a natural disaster is one thing you have no control over, whats going on on the backbone is just a waste of a trail due to a lack of sensitivity.

  12. #12
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    *!%$^T%$#)%^#%))!#*$^@!#@@((@#*($^*&%^!!!!! It was the section from Temescal.

    I loved that trail. I'm gonna poke around and see where this "multi-use" designation came from and try and figure out how to kill it.

  13. #13
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    Has anybody heard about what exactly is going on....? Or know the best way to find out?

  14. #14
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    In the words of Jack Bauer:

    "DAMMIT!"
    If not biking, then what?

  15. #15
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    Save Backbone - Contact the Superintendant in Charge! ASAP!

    I contacted a ranger today at Will Rogers State Park. The plan is to bulldoze the entire backbone trail down to Will Rogers.

    If you oppose this, please, tomorrow, call the Superintendant in charge of the project/area. Her name is Lynette Brody. 310 454 8212 extension 105n

    It's not too late to save the part of the trail that hasn't been bulldozed. BUT we need to be polite and constructive. We should express that it looks live overbuilding. And, offer to help with trail building / maintenance on a special day or days.

    I assume the SWECO will be running again tomorrow. Please, if you're able, call tomorrow to help influence them to stop this destruction of the best local mountain bike trail.
    Last edited by DesertRiderAZ; 11-01-2010 at 09:51 AM.

  16. #16
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    maybe they're going to build jumps??? Dale seems like the kind of guy that would totally build sweet jumps.

    glad a spent a day of my life suffering to cut brush back only to have them sweco it a couple months later. I think I remember Dale saying that they would rather just sweco the entire trail to make it last longer, the trail itself will be back in no time, hopefully.
    nothing witty here...

  17. #17
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    Yes, it will be a shame for a while. FOR A WHILE. Then, it will be back, back into singletrack that we all love.

    I used to be strongly opposed to heavy machinery used for trail work, that is, until I tried to maintain the Rogers Backbone....by myself, with a few friends, and also with CORBA's large trail crews. The fact of the matter is, attempting to maintain the Rogers Backbone with hand tools(even motorized) is a losing proposition. PERIOD. We organized several trails days with CORBA this summer, where an average of 25 people showed up, and each time we were able to clear(barely) about a 1/2 mile of trail. At that rate, with one trail day per month, by the time we would theoretically finish the last of the 6 miles, it would be time to start all over again. It doesn't work. And let's not forget, it's called "Rogers Road" because it is a road bed, not a singletrack, always has been.

    Yes, Dale and his crew are going to clear the whole trail top to bottom, and guess what ....IT NEEDS IT. I know the riding conditions won't be optimal for a couple months, but with a little rain, a little patience, a little effort, and a couple thousand tire tracks, this trail can be better than ever. What we need to do is get out there AFTER the sweco and shape the loose dirt to our liking. Don't complain from the sidelines, get your ass to the trail and do something about it. I know I will be.

    And please do NOT complain to the head of state parks. The fact is, State Parks have ZERO dollars to fund projects like this. Dale is basically doing us a favor after he joined us for a trail day in July and watched us work our asses off in 90 degree heat to fight a losing battle with the brush. Were you there with us?

    This is a blessing if we all stick together and choose to see the bright side. I'm sorry if your favorite ride has been altered for a couple months, but if the people complaining aren't putting in the hours to fix it, then shame on them.

    The good news is, once this project is finished(with our help), NONE of us will need to do ANY trail work on the Rogers Backbone for about 5 years. That prospect couldn't make me any happier. This is a good thing people.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for putting it in perspective. It just seemed that the widening of the trail was excessive. I couldn't understand what the hell was going on.
    I will do my best to make it fun again.

  19. #19
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    Dusty Bottoms,

    First, I appreciate your context and the work you've put into the trail.

    Second, I do not think this trail "maintenance" is necessary. I think the trail is perfect as-is (or as it was, before they moved in with the SWECO). The one trail with any somewhat technical sustained challenge accessible from Santa Monica without driving. I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with your assessment. I have been riding Backbone 1 - 2x a week, and from my perspective it was in perfect condition. I may like more rugged and technical riding than you; perhaps that's the difference. I don't mind getting smacked by the occasional bush, or plowing through tall grasses that make for an interesting visual challenge. I certainly don't like fire roads.

    I have helped build trail in Arizona, but I was not part of the CORBA crew this past summer. I can't change the past; but go-forward I'd like to be involved locally.

    Finally, I don't think a few months will restore the trail to its current single-track glory.

  20. #20
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    Dusty Bottoms,

    First, I appreciate your context and the work you've put into the trail.

    Second, I do not think this trail "maintenance" is necessary. I think the trail is perfect as-is (or as it was, before they moved in with the SWECO). The one trail with any somewhat technical sustained challenge accessible from Santa Monica without driving. I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with your assessment. I have been riding Backbone 1 - 2x a week, and from my perspective it was in perfect condition. I may like more rugged and technical riding than you; perhaps that's the difference. I don't mind getting smacked by the occasional bush, or plowing through tall grasses that make for an interesting visual challenge. I certainly don't like fire roads.

    I have helped build trail in Arizona, but I was not part of the CORBA crew this past summer. I can't change the past; but go-forward I'd like to be involved locally.

    Finally, I don't think a few months will restore the trail to its current single-track glory.

  21. #21
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    So I was there for those CORBA trailwork days as well and I have to disagree with Dusty Bottoms. Clearing it with hand tools isn't hopeless. There was a max of 15 folks at each of the CORBA days and out of those there were about 6-7 who were actually working for any significant portion of the time. Even so, in two days those we took care of nearly 2 miles of trail that was hideously overgrown. And did so in such a way that it would have stayed in good shape (aside from perhaps some grasses) for a few years.

    Was it necessary to bring some heavy equipment down that whole trail at some point? Maybe. Probably, even. But it damn well wasn't necessary this year.

    Backbone was riding as well I've ever seen it and from where I'm sitting it's a slap in the face to run a SWECO down it mooting all the work we put in.

  22. #22
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    Anyway, I appreciate Dusty's efforts and understand his perspective but I'm still annoyed. Im also a bit more skeptical that it will be back to all good in a couple of months...but I hope to be proven wrong.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertRiderAZ
    Dusty Bottoms,

    First, I appreciate your context and the work you've put into the trail.

    Second, I do not think this trail "maintenance" is necessary. I think the trail is perfect as-is (or as it was, before they moved in with the SWECO). The one trail with any somewhat technical sustained challenge accessible from Santa Monica without driving. I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with your assessment. I have been riding Backbone 1 - 2x a week, and from my perspective it was in perfect condition. I may like more rugged and technical riding than you; perhaps that's the difference. I don't mind getting smacked by the occasional bush, or plowing through tall grasses that make for an interesting visual challenge. I certainly don't like fire roads.

    I have helped build trail in Arizona, but I was not part of the CORBA crew this past summer. I can't change the past; but go-forward I'd like to be involved locally.

    Finally, I don't think a few months will restore the trail to its current single-track glory.

    I appreciate everyone's perspective, and by no means would I ever think everyone would think this situation is positive. I'm trying to turn lemons into lemonade. I'm just excited because I know this means the Backbone will be wide open and crazy fast like it was about 8 years ago.

    I ride my bike from my house in SM just like you, and would be happy to show you some of the more technical trails in our area. The Backbone isn't technical at all, never has been. Send me a PM.

  24. #24
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    I think what was great about the Backbone was that it was one of the few long stretches of FLOWING singletrack. That it was kind of mellow, but fast, and still presented some challenges. There are so many wide open fast fire roads, but few long stretches of singletrack that are surrounded by vegetation. That is my only problem with this plan, we are losing something that the front part of the Santa Monicas really lack.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    Yes, it will be a shame for a while. FOR A WHILE. Then, it will be back, back into singletrack that we all love.

    I used to be strongly opposed to heavy machinery used for trail work, that is, until I tried to maintain the Rogers Backbone....by myself, with a few friends, and also with CORBA's large trail crews.
    I do volunteer work for sport fishing groups. What I know of what you guys are doing, is that those doing volunteer work are doing the best they can. I have not personally done any trail work myself except for somel trail clearing on rides, and I do appreciate groups that do.

    I'm new to the local scene. If you guys need additional man power, give a holler (or contact info )

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