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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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 08:51 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.

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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.

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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 )

  26. #26
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    The OP says the trail is ruined? Really? The same exact machine that built the awesome flowy trail you say it was has now ruined it?

    I have not seen the work that was done but I do know the trail was not perfect as some say it was. Yes it was fun to ride but there were several areas that lacked drainage and this was leading to some serious erosion of the trail. Hopefully while they have the machine in there they will handle some of the drainage issues. It would be a huge task to do by hand! Especially with the small amount of volunteers we get to work on this trail. If you don't deal with the drainage the trail will eventually have some serious issues! It is not just about your ride today! You have to look at the long term effects of erosion and how it will impact the trail.

    Last time a machine went in and worked on a section of this trail around 6 years ago it was the same story. The MTB community was outraged and said they would have come out and worked on the trail by hand! Yeah right! Well Dusty has it wrong! We do not get an average of 25 people out for our trail work in the Santa Monica's. We do in the San Gabriels but the riders in the Santa Monica's just don't do it! Out last work day in August on this trail we had five people show up! All of them like myself rarely ride this trail! Heck I work on this trail more then I ride it! Then I heard people complained because we only were able to brush 1/2 mile of trail!

    I have a copy of the multi use guidelines if you want to see them out e mail me at hans@corbamtb.com. Yeah good luck if you think you can change them! If you did we would have even less of a chance of ever getting any of the miles and miles of singletrack that is currently closed to bikes on State land ever open to bikes! The fact is almost all land managers have multi use trail guidelines that state a trail should be 5'-6' wide. Lucky for us very few have the resources to maintain that width.

    Now stop your whining! Give it some time and it will come back! Oh and yes please do come out to help the CORBA Trail Crew with some trail maintenance some time! See the calendar at www.corbamtb.com for the next work day. It is El Prieto on 11/7! You can subscribe to the calendar and get an e mail anytime a work day is added or changed.
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  27. #27
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    Upset

    Quote Originally Posted by isilverman
    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.
    Oh look at me! I do trail work, I'm better than you. I do more work than you. Get off your high horse. If you don't understand it, then re-read your post.
    Last edited by Once_Upon_A_Time; 11-02-2010 at 09:41 AM.

  28. #28
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    I didn't say that. You did. And if you're feeling bad about the amount of work you put in (I have no idea whether you do anything to support local trails or not) that's on you.

    Anyway, I understand how internet trolling works but I'm still kind of confused that my comments elicit the get off your high horse response. Pardon me for respectfully disagreeing and expressing my belief that it was possible to maintain with hand tools assuming there is a decent volunteer response. You think perhaps it's relevant that I have first hand knowledge to express this opinion?

    Probably shouldn't have replied at all but this got under my skin. Feel free to have the last word.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Presidente
    The OP says the trail is ruined? Really? The same exact machine that built the awesome flowy trail you say it was has now ruined it?

    I have not seen the work that was done but I do know the trail was not perfect as some say it was. Yes it was fun to ride but there were several areas that lacked drainage and this was leading to some serious erosion of the trail. Hopefully while they have the machine in there they will handle some of the drainage issues. It would be a huge task to do by hand! Especially with the small amount of volunteers we get to work on this trail. If you don't deal with the drainage the trail will eventually have some serious issues! It is not just about your ride today! You have to look at the long term effects of erosion and how it will impact the trail.

    Last time a machine went in and worked on a section of this trail around 6 years ago it was the same story. The MTB community was outraged and said they would have come out and worked on the trail by hand! Yeah right! Well Dusty has it wrong! We do not get an average of 25 people out for our trail work in the Santa Monica's. We do in the San Gabriels but the riders in the Santa Monica's just don't do it! Out last work day in August on this trail we had five people show up! All of them like myself rarely ride this trail! Heck I work on this trail more then I ride it! Then I heard people complained because we only were able to brush 1/2 mile of trail!

    I have a copy of the multi use guidelines if you want to see them out e mail me at hans@corbamtb.com. Yeah good luck if you think you can change them! If you did we would have even less of a chance of ever getting any of the miles and miles of singletrack that is currently closed to bikes on State land ever open to bikes! The fact is almost all land managers have multi use trail guidelines that state a trail should be 5'-6' wide. Lucky for us very few have the resources to maintain that width.

    Now stop your whining! Give it some time and it will come back! Oh and yes please do come out to help the CORBA Trail Crew with some trail maintenance some time! See the calendar at www.corbamtb.com for the next work day. It is El Prieto on 11/7! You can subscribe to the calendar and get an e mail anytime a work day is added or changed.

    Understood on all fronts. However my main point is that the widening of the trail seems excessive to me. Fire road wide.

  30. #30
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    next time just lite a fire........lol

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by morandi
    Understood on all fronts. However my main point is that the widening of the trail seems excessive to me. Fire road wide.
    The width makes the difference between needing trail work again next year, or in 5 years. Mutli-use trail guidelines withstanding.

  32. #32
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    pictures plz so that we can see what all the whining is all about.

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    next time pick a shovel a go dig/maintain your favorite spot, that way you keep others from "overdoing it".

    My favorite trail is ruined because they cleaned it up too much, I mean I didn't help!!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    next time just lite a fire........lol
    SHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
    They are gonna put two and two together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozzerr1
    next time pick a shovel a go dig/maintain your favorite spot, that way you keep others from "overdoing it".

    My favorite trail is ruined because they cleaned it up too much, I mean I didn't help!!
    Excellent point. I wish I would of thought of doing that. Dammit!! So simple, and to think we could have avoided this whole thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by morandi
    Understood on all fronts. However my main point is that the widening of the trail seems excessive to me. Fire road wide.
    I just saw some photos of the trail and heard from the State Parks maintenance staff that they made the trail 8' wide to SP guidelines. I have to agree this does seem extreme. I figured they were going the width of the machine and that is 4' wide. I believe multi use trail standards in State Parks say 4' minimum and 5' maximum. Unless that has changed recently? I sent an e mail to maintenance staff to confirm this. He said some areas are wider because they had to deal with drainage issues.

    There should be something on this on the CORBA blog later today. www.corbamtb.com
    www.corbamtb.com CORBA-Working for MTB Access in the L.A. area.
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  37. #37
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    hans, any chance that Corba will organize a trail day (or several) to work on this?
    nothing witty here...

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Presidente
    I just saw some photos of the trail and heard from the State Parks maintenance staff that they made the trail 8' wide to SP guidelines. I have to agree this does seem extreme. I figured they were going the width of the machine and that is 4' wide. I believe multi use trail standards in State Parks say 4' minimum and 5' maximum. Unless that has changed recently? I sent an e mail to maintenance staff to confirm this. He said some areas are wider because they had to deal with drainage issues.

    There should be something on this on the CORBA blog later today. www.corbamtb.com
    See...I wasn't being an alarmist.
    I received a message from the Superintendent of Will Rodgers and she greatly appreciated our concern over the park and was looking into finding out what exactly the plans were. She said this was the first she had heard of it. She said that the Backbone was not and should not be turned into the width of a fire road.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozzerr1
    next time pick a shovel a go dig/maintain your favorite spot, that way you keep others from "overdoing it".

    My favorite trail is ruined because they cleaned it up too much, I mean I didn't help!!
    yep.....honestly look in the mirror and ask yourself....do I do my fair share of trail maintenance.
    then tell yourself....get out there

    5 people showing up on trail day

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozzerr1
    SHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
    They are gonna put two and two together.
    I am always out of state when they happen

  41. #41
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    Well I can't really contribute much to this thread other than by confirming what others have been saying. I rode the BB trail for the first time this past weekend and was super excited from all the hype it has. I was quite disappointed with the first few miles of it because of what has been done.

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    Kinda like what they did on Backbone in Pt. Mugu State Park. Bobcated the thing into a 4foot freeway. Seems there's an agenda to ruin the whole trail. Too bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbbikerider
    Kinda like what they did on Backbone in Pt. Mugu State Park. Bobcated the thing into a 4foot freeway. Seems there's an agenda to ruin the whole trail. Too bad.
    I only wish it were 4 feet.....try 8 feet...

  44. #44
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    I think when it comes to trail work, everyone should put in their share. How much? it depends 5-10% is a fair number. I don't have a 9-5 job and get my weekend off, but I'm flexible enough to do show up on the early ones before I go to work on the weekend.

    I don't hike, but I walk my trail(s) once a month picking up trash, evidently left by cyclist, oh yes we do toss out trash, not as much as hikers I observed. I rather ride the trail I hike but it's my contribution, since there's no organize trail works on the week days. If our economy gets better and I can get my weekends back I'd love to do it again. Last time I did with NRMBC, it was rewarding.

    It's great to help out the way you can, but it's important to keep it balance, if you do trail work 25-50% of your riding time you'd dread the feeling. I wish IMBA, or CORBA would put an outline of trail work schedule and what needs to be done on their website. There's more than just manicure the trail or digging.

    For example, this Sunday they are doing El Prieto, it's my trail and I can't make it, I want to contribute, if extra manual labor work is needed on the weekday, say clearing out brushes or picking up trash on certain parts or in general, and it's posted I can sign up to get that done, without 24 other volunteer. I don't mind doing the other aspect of trail works, as I have no knowledge of how to build or organize the trail. I have my time, and willingness to put in the work necessary to get the job done. Heck I can bring newbies and my family to help out, it'd be a fun hiking days with lots of pic

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    Backbone photo's

    Rode the backbone this morning (hot as hell!) and was absolutely dismayed by the brutal destruction of the magical backbone trail we all love. The short very top section is OK where you turn off Temescal Canyon Fireroad and ride through the trees. But as you make a sharp right onto the "main" trail the bulldozer carnage begins and goes for about a mile. Here is a photo, taken with my shitty phone:



    This one is looking back down the first little technical climb, annihilated!



    I did speak to Lynette as suggested in a previous message and it does look like the whole project is on a temporary hold while they work out what is going on, you know, bureaucracy pointing fingers at each other.

    Hopefully this will get resolved and they will simply fill in the ruts and cut back the foliage which is all this beautiful trail needs.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LetsRide98
    Rode the backbone this morning (hot as hell!) and was absolutely dismayed by the brutal destruction of the magical backbone trail we all love. The short very top section is OK where you turn off Temescal Canyon Fireroad and ride through the trees. But as you make a sharp right onto the "main" trail the bulldozer carnage begins and goes for about a mile. Here is a photo, taken with my shitty phone:



    This one is looking back down the first little technical climb, annihilated!



    I did speak to Lynette as suggested in a previous message and it does look like the whole project is on a temporary hold while they work out what is going on, you know, bureaucracy pointing fingers at each other.

    Hopefully this will get resolved and they will simply fill in the ruts and cut back the foliage which is all this beautiful trail needs.
    Thanks for the pic, it doesn't look too bad. I thought it's hard pack all the way across. I'd say give it some time add some water. It would be back in $hitty condition we all love.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    I think when it comes to trail work, everyone should put in their share. How much? it depends 5-10% is a fair number. I don't have a 9-5 job and get my weekend off, but I'm flexible enough to do show up on the early ones before I go to work on the weekend.

    I don't hike, but I walk my trail(s) once a month picking up trash, evidently left by cyclist, oh yes we do toss out trash, not as much as hikers I observed. I rather ride the trail I hike but it's my contribution, since there's no organize trail works on the week days. If our economy gets better and I can get my weekends back I'd love to do it again. Last time I did with NRMBC, it was rewarding.

    It's great to help out the way you can, but it's important to keep it balance, if you do trail work 25-50% of your riding time you'd dread the feeling. I wish IMBA, or CORBA would put an outline of trail work schedule and what needs to be done on their website. There's more than just manicure the trail or digging.

    For example, this Sunday they are doing El Prieto, it's my trail and I can't make it, I want to contribute, if extra manual labor work is needed on the weekday, say clearing out brushes or picking up trash on certain parts or in general, and it's posted I can sign up to get that done, without 24 other volunteer. I don't mind doing the other aspect of trail works, as I have no knowledge of how to build or organize the trail. I have my time, and willingness to put in the work necessary to get the job done. Heck I can bring newbies and my family to help out, it'd be a fun hiking days with lots of pic

    Well said, thanks for your help.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    Thanks for the pic, it doesn't look too bad. I thought it's hard pack all the way across. I'd say give it some time add some water. It would be back in $hitty condition we all love.
    I totally agree. I hope the temporary hold on the project isn't for too long, and they can finish the rest of the trail with the sweco. Then we can get busy "shaping".

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    Somebody should be fired for that destruction. Unbelieveable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbbikerider
    Somebody should be fired for that destruction. Unbelieveable.

    Who? Mind sharing? it's a multi-use trail. It's just as easy giving Mtb no trail access. Any drastic action taken on the trail now is just going to be the ammo for the Anti-mtb group to shuts us down. If this is Whistler bike park, I'm sure someone would.

    Wanna do something about it just get more rider into the sport more voice we have more trail access we'd get. And become a Member Corba, or IMBA. When they go to the hearing they can bring the amount of members. If the number is significant then people would listen. If not who's going to care about our sport. Think sir

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    That does seem excessive. But then, major trail work is probably few and far between. Doing it that way gets the job done, for a good long time.

    While it may seem that a new path has been made, I looked at it closely yesterday (yes, I went up there) and it is plainly obvious that the work is just following the previous route that the bulldozer has already gone over. I am thinking that the single track formed when nature took back the fire road. The brush and the grass will take back the fire road fairly quickly.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing!
    That does seem excessive. But then, major trail work is probably few and far between. Doing it that way gets the job done, for a good long time.

    While it may seem that a new path has been made, I looked at it closely yesterday (yes, I went up there) and it is plainly obvious that the work is just following the previous route that the bulldozer has already gone over. I am thinking that the single track formed when nature took back the fire road. The brush and the grass will take back the fire road fairly quickly.
    Will Rogers was barely rideable all year with all the brush. It's going to suck for a few months but it will be back....

    - Singletrack returned to Westridge and Sullivan ridges 6 months after they were bulldozed and flattened to 50+ feet wide.

    - Singletrack returned to Sullivan Canyon 2-3 months after months of bulldozing and rebuilding with heavy equipment.

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    The very top section will require a lot of work before any heavy rain. Has no drainage without that it'll be destroyed. I rode there yesterday it's not as bad.
    Like Al said I'll get back in no time.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Presidente
    The OP says the trail is ruined? Really? The same exact machine that built the awesome flowy trail you say it was has now ruined it?

    I have not seen the work that was done but I do know the trail was not perfect as some say it was. Yes it was fun to ride but there were several areas that lacked drainage and this was leading to some serious erosion of the trail. Hopefully while they have the machine in there they will handle some of the drainage issues. It would be a huge task to do by hand! Especially with the small amount of volunteers we get to work on this trail. If you don't deal with the drainage the trail will eventually have some serious issues! It is not just about your ride today! You have to look at the long term effects of erosion and how it will impact the trail.

    Last time a machine went in and worked on a section of this trail around 6 years ago it was the same story. The MTB community was outraged and said they would have come out and worked on the trail by hand! Yeah right! Well Dusty has it wrong! We do not get an average of 25 people out for our trail work in the Santa Monica's. We do in the San Gabriels but the riders in the Santa Monica's just don't do it! Out last work day in August on this trail we had five people show up! All of them like myself rarely ride this trail! Heck I work on this trail more then I ride it! Then I heard people complained because we only were able to brush 1/2 mile of trail!

    I have a copy of the multi use guidelines if you want to see them out e mail me at hans@corbamtb.com. Yeah good luck if you think you can change them! If you did we would have even less of a chance of ever getting any of the miles and miles of singletrack that is currently closed to bikes on State land ever open to bikes! The fact is almost all land managers have multi use trail guidelines that state a trail should be 5'-6' wide. Lucky for us very few have the resources to maintain that width.

    Now stop your whining! Give it some time and it will come back! Oh and yes please do come out to help the CORBA Trail Crew with some trail maintenance some time! See the calendar at www.corbamtb.com for the next work day. It is El Prieto on 11/7! You can subscribe to the calendar and get an e mail anytime a work day is added or changed.
    With all those exclamation marks it seems like you are yelling while you type. In fact, it feels like you are yelling at me because I live near Santa Monica and I do not show up for your trail maintenance events. But instead of yelling, maybe you could listen to what some people are saying.

    Are you willing to consider the fact that trail maintenance can be performed in a way that makes people who are passionate cyclists happy? Perhaps listen to some of the complaints and change the way that work is done on the trails? If you would consider this, and implement some changes in the way maintenance is performed, I would guess more people would show up at the volunteer events. Speaking for myself, the only reason I do not perform trail maintenance at these events is the simple fact that I do not support the type of work performed by CORBA.

    I would love to be involved physically and financially with a local advocacy group that was dedicated to building and maintaining high quality single track trails but I donít feel that is what CORBA is. If I start seeing single track being maintained, and not smoothed out or made wider you can bet I will be back as a volunteer and donor.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by whydomylegshurt?

    I would love to be involved physically and financially with a local advocacy group that was dedicated to building and maintaining high quality single track trails but I donít feel that is what CORBA is. If I start seeing single track being maintained, and not smoothed out or made wider you can bet I will be back as a volunteer and donor.

    Good post can you define a high quality singletrack.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    Good post can you define a high quality singletrack.
    The definition of high quality single track is of course subjective.

    What it comes down to for me is the fact that every trail maintenance event I have been a part of has involved either making the trail wider or smoother. This, in my opinion, is not maintaining single track but changing the character of the trail. Adding drainage with out drastically altering a trail or cutting back over growth are examples of maintaining a trail without changing it.

  57. #57
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by whydomylegshurt?
    With all those exclamation marks it seems like you are yelling while you type. In fact, it feels like you are yelling at me because I live near Santa Monica and I do not show up for your trail maintenance events. But instead of yelling, maybe you could listen to what some people are saying.

    Are you willing to consider the fact that trail maintenance can be performed in a way that makes people who are passionate cyclists happy? Perhaps listen to some of the complaints and change the way that work is done on the trails? If you would consider this, and implement some changes in the way maintenance is performed, I would guess more people would show up at the volunteer events. Speaking for myself, the only reason I do not perform trail maintenance at these events is the simple fact that I do not support the type of work performed by CORBA.

    I would love to be involved physically and financially with a local advocacy group that was dedicated to building and maintaining high quality single track trails but I donít feel that is what CORBA is. If I start seeing single track being maintained, and not smoothed out or made wider you can bet I will be back as a volunteer and donor.

    This was not CORBA trail maintenance. This was done by State Park staff!

    Have you ever been out for CORBA trail maintenance? We only cut back brush and deal with drainage issues not smoothing out the trail. Sometimes we do get folks that show up that are lower level riders and will move rocks and smooth out the trail but that is not our policy. Also consider that sometimes when you are working on drainage such as restoring the outlsope this does lead to widening the trail but it is necessary to allow the water to sheet off of the trail. Sometimes all we do is cut back brush and people say we smoothed out the trail! I guess once the brush is cut back and you can see the trail it seems smoother.
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertRiderAZ
    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.
    She is not the right person to talk to. Maintenance and Rangers are two different departments and don't seem to communicate very well.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2w4s
    hans, any chance that Corba will organize a trail day (or several) to work on this?
    There is a work day tomorrow 11/6. It is the SMMTC and Sierra Club but all are welcome and encouraged to join. I can't make it because I have the El Prieto trail work on Sunday and don't have time for both days. Info is on the CORBA calendar.

    As far as scheduling other work days I am sure we can get something going. We just need a leader. I have had to resign from CORBA effective the end of this year. I am just to busy with my business. We are hopping to find people to lead work days on their favorite trails. This way we will have multiple leaders instead of one person being strapped with all the responsibility. I will probably lead a couple of work days per year but they will be on the trails in the San Gabriels where I mostly ride and get a lot of MTB community support. We had one guy that said he would lead some work days on Rogers but he flaked and did not show up on the last work day. The first requirement for leading work days is you have to show up!
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    I can't say at this point if I am for or against the work that has been done since I have not seen it. There are a few things that people may not be considering. This trail is an old road bed. Dirt roads are insloped and a berm is built on the outside to keep vehicles from going off the edge of the road. This works great for this purpose but it also keeps water trapped on the road. For this reason dirt roads are regraded every few years to smooth out the ruts caused by the erosive forces of the water trapped on the road. Rogers Road was never properly converted from a road to a trail. If it had been the berm would have been removed and the grade outlsoped to allow the water to sheet off of the trail. It is my understanding from communications with State Parks Maintenance staff that this is the work he has done on part of the trail. This trail is 6.5 miles long and it is difficult to maintain by hand. Especially since we get very low numbers of volunteers to help with maintaining this trail.

    My company is in the process of doing a project similar to this in Orange County. The difference is that the one we are working on is currently 8' wide. After we remove the berm, add grade dips and outslope the trail many parts of the trail will be up to 12' wide. It will narrow down to a 4'-5' wide trail after a year or so. The end result will be a sustainable trail requiring very little maintenance. If that is the States goal with Rogers then I would be all for it. Most people can't see that far into the future though.

    A good example is around 6 years ago we had a similar situation on this trail when the section below the lone Oak was worked with a machine. Drainage dips were added and people were as pissed about that as they are now! I can honestly say that section is just as much fun to ride today and maybe even more fun then it was before this work was done. Who nows if those drainage features were not added that section of trail may be washed away now! These drainage dips have only needed maintenance one time since put it. That was last January when the CORBA Trail Crew went in and cleaned them out. It was a 4 hour job for a crew of around 15 volunteers.

    Regarding the trails present condition. A volunteer work day was scheduled for last saturday to do the hand work. Unfortunately it was rained out but it has been rescheduled for tomorrow 11/6. Come on out and lend a hand if you can. Info on the CORBA calendar
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  61. #61
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    Ive never ridden the trail bieng discussed and possibly never will, just "trolling"...If I was miles from anyone/anywhere flowing singletrack is great! but if this trail is in So Ca. I cant see what the "Width issue is about. If you came up behind me on the trail you'd be glad there's a passing lane!

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimwg
    Ive never ridden the trail bieng discussed and possibly never will, just "trolling"...If I was miles from anyone/anywhere flowing singletrack is great! but if this trail is in So Ca. I cant see what the "Width issue is about. If you came up behind me on the trail you'd be glad there's a passing lane!

    If this is "Trolling" it's gotta be one of your best. Actually brought up good discussion. Mountain bikers love more choices in terms of trails access. But love very little when it comes to line choices. It makes for challenging trail.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Presidente
    I can't say at this point if I am for or against the work that has been done since I have not seen it. There are a few things that people may not be considering. This trail is an old road bed. Dirt roads are insloped and a berm is built on the outside to keep vehicles from going off the edge of the road. This works great for this purpose but it also keeps water trapped on the road. For this reason dirt roads are regraded every few years to smooth out the ruts caused by the erosive forces of the water trapped on the road. Rogers Road was never properly converted from a road to a trail. If it had been the berm would have been removed and the grade outlsoped to allow the water to sheet off of the trail. It is my understanding from communications with State Parks Maintenance staff that this is the work he has done on part of the trail. This trail is 6.5 miles long and it is difficult to maintain by hand. Especially since we get very low numbers of volunteers to help with maintaining this trail.

    My company is in the process of doing a project similar to this in Orange County. The difference is that the one we are working on is currently 8' wide. After we remove the berm, add grade dips and outslope the trail many parts of the trail will be up to 12' wide. It will narrow down to a 4'-5' wide trail after a year or so. The end result will be a sustainable trail requiring very little maintenance. If that is the States goal with Rogers then I would be all for it. Most people can't see that far into the future though.

    A good example is around 6 years ago we had a similar situation on this trail when the section below the lone Oak was worked with a machine. Drainage dips were added and people were as pissed about that as they are now! I can honestly say that section is just as much fun to ride today and maybe even more fun then it was before this work was done. Who nows if those drainage features were not added that section of trail may be washed away now! These drainage dips have only needed maintenance one time since put it. That was last January when the CORBA Trail Crew went in and cleaned them out. It was a 4 hour job for a crew of around 15 volunteers.

    Regarding the trails present condition. A volunteer work day was scheduled for last saturday to do the hand work. Unfortunately it was rained out but it has been rescheduled for tomorrow 11/6. Come on out and lend a hand if you can. Info on the CORBA calendar
    Hans did your company do work on the Sam Merrill trail to Echo Mountain? I think it was about 10 or 11 years ago? After the 1998 El Nino rain storms, wreaked havoc on the trail it was rebuilt and has held up very well. It's really a fun trail to ride, well except for the heavy traffic. That's why I ride real early.

    Anyway, thank you very much for doing a great job for the mountain bike community. Good luck..

    sent from my rotary phone

  64. #64
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    Just received this email, VICTORY!

    "I just got a call from Lynnette Brody, the State Parks superintendent
    for our area and the boss of Dale Skinner. She said she was surprised
    at the work and has put a stop to it. She said this has been elevated
    to the attention of the state-wide trail director, Carl Knapp, and they
    are now going to fill a long-vacant position for the So Cal regional
    trails director. They are also now going to be doing a trail master
    plan for the district.

    She said they will not be grading this trail into a fire road; the
    erosion gullies will be addressed but in a manner that keeps this a
    narrow multi-use trail for runners, hikers, equestrians, and bikers.
    There will be some brush clearance while they do the reduced scope trail
    maintenance, but it will grow back. She said the trail will be 36
    inches wide when done.

    She also said they are doing a Topanga Park general plan and will have
    their third public meeting in February.

    http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25956

    She was apologetic, and said she thanked us for bringing this to her
    attention."

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesinoc
    Hans did your company do work on the Sam Merrill trail to Echo Mountain? I think it was about 10 or 11 years ago? After the 1998 El Nino rain storms, wreaked havoc on the trail it was rebuilt and has held up very well. It's really a fun trail to ride, well except for the heavy traffic. That's why I ride real early.

    Anyway, thank you very much for doing a great job for the mountain bike community. Good luck..
    No that was another contractor. The same company that did the repairs on Strawberry Peak and Colby Canyon did the lower Merrill.
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    There is an update posted on 11/15 on the CORBA Blog.

    http://corbamtb.com/news/2010/11/15/...-trail-update/
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Presidente
    There is an update posted on 11/15 on the CORBA Blog.

    http://corbamtb.com/news/2010/11/15/...-trail-update/
    Wow, this is an extremely unfortunate development. If this trail is cut to only 8 feet wide it will be back to 2 feet wide with horrible visibility in 2 YEARS. You know it, and I know it.

    People need to take the "long view" with regards to this project. Does CORBA really want to be on this trail 4 times a year with hand tools for the rest of eternity? I know I don't. How did CORBA decide on it's "stance" without polling it's members? I am extremely bummed I just renewed my membership for what appears to be an aristocracy.

    "We were assured by both Superintendent Brody and Supervisor Skinner that the work will not continue until a Project Evaluation Form is completed and that trail users will have a say in the process, which they said could take several months to over a year."

    Great. Another year with CORBA's "crown jewel" Backbone in horrible condition while a few people(who probably on average ride the trail once a year) decide it's fate. Awesome.

    It's grows back people. Every time.

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    Seriously?

    Do you have some secret desire to only ride rutted fireroads? Cause that's where this trailwork is headed, not to the berm and jump filled pipe dream you have in mind.

    Are you listening to maintenance supervisor when he talks? He wants to put in pinch points for speed and otherwise manage the Backbone trail as a fireroad from Temescal to the Oak Tree. You think that is a good thing? That this guy is helping us? This work stoppage is a very very good thing for mountainbikers. If you want to do something useful call/email Lynette Brody and thank her for putting a stop to it.

    As far as this getting decided by a "small group of people who don't use the trail more than a few times a year." That's just wrong. Lynette received dozens, if not hundreds, of calls from concerned individuals (mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers) complaining about this destruction. All of the area homeowners associations weighed in against it. You think they would give a flying f if they didn't use the trails?

    For example, Bryan of the canyonback alliance happens to be a personal friend of mine and he's been riding the backbone trail and the Santa Monica mountains for decades. Our riding group who, by the way, were all unanimously opposed to this work, use this trail a few times a month. Even when it was supposedly "unrideable" all year (to be fair it was pretty bad in spots for a few months there). Most of us also DO participate in trail maintenance activities.

    Obviously you are entitled to your opinion, and this is just mine, but I didn't feel like letting this nonsense go unanswered in a public forum.

    Just so everyone is clear, DustyBottoms is bemoaning the fact that a rouge maintenance supervisor, who repeatedly stated to me that equestrian access is basically all he cares about, was prevented from grading another 3 miles of singletrack (that happens to be in very good shape as of 1 week ago) to a minimum of 8 feet wide (the sections that have been graded are far wider than this) and installing speed pinch features on the only narrow sections that remain. WTF. Here is the link, again, to the CORBA post explaining all of this:http://corbamtb.com/news/2010/11/15/...-trail-update/.

    And Dusty, if you want to grab a beer sometime and try and explain to me where I'm off base, pm me and we can meet up. I'd welcome it.

  69. #69
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    I agree Dusty Bottoms - only 8-12+ feet wide is just plain shortsighted. I wish they'd just pave it over and we wouldn't have to do any maintenance EVER...and it'll go so nicely with the highway they're (still) building down in Suli Canyon...

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