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  1. #1
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    Devil's Backbone Trail Day - New Trail Construction

    Upcoming Trail day on Sept. 17th!!! Save the Date!!

    MHTA will be building nearly 700' of new trail at Devils' Backbone on their Sept. 17th trail day in conjunction with Larimer County Trail Crews. The trail re-route is layed out, plans are approved, and we need at least 20 volunteers to make it happen. We'll be asking for RSVPs for the event since we are limited at 20 volunteers for the day. This is a unique event and an opportunity to see your volunteer labor last for years.

    We will be limited to only 20 volunteers for this unique event. Please post up on the Facebook invite with your RSVP if you plan on making it. If you accept and then can't make it, please retract your RSVP on Facebook so we can fill your position.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/p...A/375150294889

    If you don't have a FB account, reply to me via PM and I'll RSVP for you.

    Here is the FB event:

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?ei...51789738169243

    - El Beastro

  2. #2
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    Here is the section of Hunter Loop that will be re-routed. In the foreground is the existing trail.....known as Heart Attack Hill. In the background, the dotted line is the new trail line that will be built on Sept. 17th.



    --El Beastro

  3. #3
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    No more Heart Attack Hill? Boo.

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    Why?

    I understand that trails need to be maintained, but why does that always seem to be interpreted as 'make easier'? I love and hate that hill, and its a major part of that trail. I don't see any reason to reroute it. Getting up that hill can really make a ride for some people.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpramick View Post
    I understand that trails need to be maintained, but why does that always seem to be interpreted as 'make easier'? I love and hate that hill, and its a major part of that trail. I don't see any reason to reroute it. Getting up that hill can really make a ride for some people.
    Your comment is a popular opinion among trail users who don't get out to volunteer for trail days. Without any real experience of what it takes to keep these trails open, these people are left to come up with their own opinions about why the trail changes over time. It's easy to sit back, form your own opinions, and complain on a public forum....it's completely something else to get out, pour some sweat into your passion, and gain understanding of the local trail system issues. I invite you to come out for the Sept. 17th trailday and get involved. Bring a friend.....hell, bring two.

    When volunteering, you work with experienced trail builders who understand how trail systems mature and what techniques have been developed to maintain trails for the long term. Trail maintenance techniques have been developed by organizations like the US Forest Service, BLM, and IMBA. When volunteering, you begin to understand why trails change over time and you understand what land management is up against to keep the trail systems sustainable and safe.

    In the case of Heart Attack Hill, it's not been sustainable nor safe for quite some time now. The trail is creeping down slope and widening due to it's overly steep grade & off camber route. Cyclists are partially to blame for the safety concerns as the speeds they travel through this section cause them to skid their tires, pulling up the water bars and other components of the trail that keep the entire trail in place. There have been injuries directly related to this section of trail and for a public, multi-user trail system; safety is a key concern for land managers. Where you see this section of trail as challenging, the majority of other trail users see it as dangerous. How do we know this? Well, volunteers have given their time to go out to the trail, spend time interviewing trail users, observing trail usage conflicts, and developing data to make this conclusion.

    You have to keep in mind that accomplished, technical mountain bikers like many of us on MTBR are not the only users on the trail. These trails aren't in place just for our personal usage. They aren't in place just to be a technical challenge for the most experienced cyclists. They are in place for hikers, bikers, and equestrians to share...........and to share safely. If more challenging trails are required....I often point cyclists off to Round Mountain or Indian just up the Big Thompson Canyon.



    The County has been very good in listening to the concerns of the cycling community (volunteers) that have been willing to get involved in making this trail safe yet fun. MHTA has worked for the past 3 months with a professional trail builder, a landscape architect, and the County's own trail designers/builders to come up with a solution that makes the trail safe, sustainable, and fun. Granted the technical/steep aspect of this section will go away with the new trail, but the new trail will have great 'flow' making it a blast to ride. The new trail route will be safe and sustainable for all users and in the end, will keep this trail system open for years to come. The new route still covers the same elevation gain....so it's not like it's any easier from the perspective that it doesn't go as high as it did previously.

    I hope my reply addressed some of your concerns. I'm not calling you out persay, but rather bringing attention to common misconceptions of the uninformed. Again, I invite you out to the trail day on Sept. 17th. Get involved.....be an advocate.

    --El Beastro
    Last edited by El Beastro; 07-13-2011 at 09:36 AM.

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  7. #7
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    Volunteer lecture aside, the re-route is a good idea even if it makes that climb easier for more experienced mountain bikers. The climb isn't the issue as much as the descent- a super steep descent around a blind corner is a recipe for disaster on a multi-use trail with that much traffic.

    I've RSVP'd. Looks like a nice re-route. Happy to help.
    Former New Yorker, now in Fort Collins
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Beastro View Post
    Your comment is a popular opinion among trail users who don't get out to volunteer for trail days. Without any real experience of what it takes to keep these trails open, these people are left to come up with their own opinions about why the trail changes over time. It's easy to sit back, form your own opinions, and complain on a public forum....it's completely something else to get out, pour some sweat into your passion, and gain understanding of the local trail system issues. I invite you to come out for the Sept. 17th trailday and get involved. Bring a friend.....hell, bring two.

    When volunteering, you work with experienced trail builders who understand how trail systems mature and what techniques have been developed to maintain trails for the long term. Trail maintenance techniques have been developed by organizations like the US Forest Service, BLM, and IMBA. When volunteering, you begin to understand why trails change over time and you understand what land management is up against to keep the trail systems sustainable and safe.

    In the case of Heart Attack Hill, it's not been sustainable nor safe for quite some time now. The trail is creeping down slope and widening due to it's overly steep grade & off camber route. Cyclists are partially to blame for the safety concerns as the speeds they travel through this section cause them to skid their tires, pulling up the water bars and other components of the trail that keep the entire trail in place. There have been injuries directly related to this section of trail and for a public, multi-user trail system; safety is a key concern for land managers. Where you see this section of trail as challenging, the majority of other trail users see it as dangerous. How do we know this? Well, volunteers have given their time to go out to the trail, spend time interviewing trail users, observing trail usage conflicts, and developing data to make this conclusion.

    You have to keep in mind that accomplished, technical mountain bikers like many of us on MTBR are not the only users on the trail. These trails aren't in place just for our personal usage. They aren't in place just to be a technical challenge for the most experienced cyclists. They are in place for hikers, bikers, and equestrians to share...........and to share safely. If more challenging trails are required....I often point cyclists off to Round Mountain or Indian just up the Big Thompson Canyon.



    The County has been very good in listening to the concerns of the cycling community (volunteers) that have been willing to get involved in making this trail safe yet fun. MHTA has worked for the past 3 months with a professional trail builder, a landscape architect, and the County's own trail designers/builders to come up with a solution that makes the trail safe, sustainable, and fun. Granted the technical/steep aspect of this section will go away with the new trail, but the new trail will have great 'flow' making it a blast to ride. The new trail route will be safe and sustainable for all users and in the end, will keep this trail system open for years to come. The new route still covers the same elevation gain....so it's not like it's any easier from the perspective that it doesn't go as high as it did previously.

    I hope my reply addressed some of your concerns. I'm not calling you out persay, but rather bringing attention to common misconceptions of the uninformed. Again, I invite you out to the trail day on Sept. 17th. Get involved.....be an advocate.

    --El Beastro
    so, let me get this straight - if i volunteer will i someday be as cool as you?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryhead View Post
    so, let me get this straight - if i volunteer will i someday be as cool as you?
    If you volunteer then you might be able to say you helped keep DBB open to bikes. The Beast has been instrumental in working with the Larimer County in keeping this trail (which was on the chopping block for bike access not that long ago) open.

    I bet if you come out and help for a bit, you'd find that Beast is a pretty good guy that has similar interests as you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdub View Post
    I bet if you come out and help for a bit, you'd find that Beast is a pretty good guy that has similar interests as you.
    yes, I am sure we both like to bike.

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    El Beastro - In your volunteer speech, you mention multiple times that the goal is to make the trail "safe and fun". If that's what people want, I recommend they stay home and masturbate.

    Seriously though, I understand the need for a re-route to please the horse/walk crowd, but why not leave the original trail open as a "black diamond" option?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggs View Post
    Seriously though, I understand the need for a re-route to please the horse/walk crowd, but why not leave the original trail open as a "black diamond" option?
    My thoughts exactly, I love when trails have options. Can help reduce user conflicts between less & more experienced bikers. Also, I would think those who ride more also ride under more control, and if more advanced bikers were the main users of the old route, there would (theoretically) be less issues with stuff like tire skidding. Of course I could be way off as I am not a trail expert, but I play on online.

    The bottom line is, props to those who build & maintain the trails, and as long as we can still ride out there then we shouldn't be complaining too much!

  13. #13
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    Wouldn't solve the issue of riders coming in too hot on the descent around the blind corner- there's a tight choke there as you enter the drainage, and the re-route will have to start just up from that out of the middle of that turn. And that slope is so steep there's no way to build in a grade reversal, so it would just be ongoing maintenance from volunteers year after year, fixing those drainage nicks and building new waterbars... a big waste of time for a piece of trail that's not *that* fun to ride!

    Maybe it's just me, but by the time I get to Laughing Horse, I'm not crying about the fact that there isn't technical stuff earlier on the trail.

    You never know what the county trail contractor will find when he gets in there with a machine to rough in the new route- very well could be some cool rock sections to route the trail over and potential tech lines...
    Former New Yorker, now in Fort Collins
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggs View Post
    El Beastro - In your volunteer speech, you mention multiple times that the goal is to make the trail "safe and fun". If that's what people want, I recommend they stay home and masturbate.

    Seriously though, I understand the need for a re-route to please the horse/walk crowd, but why not leave the original trail open as a "black diamond" option?
    I'm going to sound like some fool politician here, but let's remind ourselves what Open Space properties are. Open Space properties are public owned properties that protect the land as a resource and provide recreational access to enjoy those protected lands. They aren't use specific terrain parks, race tracks, training grounds, or skills courses.

    The mission of the Larimer County Open Lands Program is to preserve and protect significant open space, natural areas, wildlife habitat, and develop parks and trails for present and future generations. These open lands provide opportunities for leisure, human renewal and protection of our natural and cultural resources. - Larimer County Open Lands Mission Statement

    The general public has the privilege to use the trail system as a recreational resource on foot, tire, or hoof and it's the County Open Space land manager's job to see that the trail is designed and maintained to be used in a safe manner. As soon as a user group proves they can't safely play with everyone else, their privileges can be revoked.

    The County has already proven they will revoke access to any user base that can not use the trails safely with courtesy. In 2006, the County closed 2 sections of DBB to cyclists citing that mountain bikers were causing dangerous trail conflict. Here is a quote taken directly from the existing Resource Management Plan if you think I'm full of ****:

    The two northern existing loops of the Devil’s Backbone trail system, the “Wild Loop” and the “Hunter Loop” trails, will also be designated so that the westernmost segments of both these loops will be closed to mountain bikes. Mountain bikes will be restricted to the easternmost portion of these loops in part due to cyclists using these loops for speed as well as multi-use congestion. The use patterns will continually be monitored at the Devil’s Backbone Open Space to determine if changes are needed in the future. - http://www.co.larimer.co.us/naturalr...s/dbb_plan.pdf


    It took 40+ MHTA members a year of trail adoption and volunteer work to show the County that cyclists can be responsible advocates. The County reviewed the trail usage per MHTA's request to do so and re-opened one trail on a semi-permanent basis citing that trail conflict caused by cyclists had been actively reduced. Now one can argue back and forth about their findings and how that came to be, but the fact remains that it took an organized group of mountain bikers a year of volunteering at trail days to get enough street credit to warrant the request for the review.

    Trail closings are a slippery slope. Just like in legal cases, as soon as trails get closed in one location, other locations site that previous closure as grounds for their closure. Before you know it, there are more trails closed than open.

    Regarding keeping the existing trail open post re-route, the option was reviewed a couple of times. Even as a 'more difficult' trail it would still need to be maintained. A trail review concluded it's not sustainable even with reduced usage based on the grade and placement of the trail. It's also got the issue of the blind corner that insights user conflict at the bottom. The trail was simply put in the wrong place initially and it needs to be closed. Keep in mind the County has very limited trail maintenance resources. Much of the County trail systems couldn't be kept open without the large volunteer workforce so something like the existing line at Heart Attack turns into a time sink for an already short handed resource to maintain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbogner View Post
    Wouldn't solve the issue of riders coming in too hot on the descent around the blind corner
    Ah yes, I forgot about the blind corner issue, it's been a while since I rode up there. I guess my post became more general than about DBB. Plus I climbed instead of riding this morning, so my judgement is clearly not spot on today...

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    MHTA has Full Throttle Coffee Shop ourt of Fort Collins signed up to provide awesome hot coffee and yummy pastries from 8am-9am on Sept. 17th for the volunteers at the trailhead.



    -El Beastro

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    If the reroute isn't hard enough you're not riding it fast enough. Pedal, dammit!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hirschmj View Post
    Pedal, dammit!
    You must be riding a Niner.... LOL!


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    Wife and I would love to help out. I won't know if I am off of work that weekend until August. I will check back with the FB event to see if you still need help when I know for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by memmot View Post
    Wife and I would love to help out. I won't know if I am off of work that weekend until August. I will check back with the FB event to see if you still need help when I know for sure.

    Your presence would be welcomed and appreciated. Check back with both FB and this thread....even if we reach the max. number of 20, we'd like to start an alternates list as some folks typically bail out at the last minute.


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    Bravo El Beastro!!! You are doing great work!! I can't believe that people are actually complaining about the re route! Give me a break people. You are f**ked in the head!! There are so many options to ride in Colorado!! That is why we live here and love to mountain bike!!! It is the complainers like you that gives mountain biking a bad name! Get a grip and go ride another technical ride if the short re-route is going to ruin your ride!! Jeez!

  22. #22
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    We the people ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pink Lady View Post
    Bravo El Beastro!!! You are doing great work!! I can't believe that people are actually complaining about the re route! Give me a break people. You are f**ked in the head!! There are so many options to ride in Colorado!! That is why we live here and love to mountain bike!!! It is the complainers like you that gives mountain biking a bad name! Get a grip and go ride another technical ride if the short re-route is going to ruin your ride!! Jeez!
    El Beasty has great points. I think the complainers are just intimidated by his avatar.

    I used to dig that hard section too but I he has great points. I say if those who whine want a challenge, go down the road to Bobcat....or go father to crosier.

    It's a fact of the suburban open space. Those trails on the front range that are accessed by the most people are going to be fashioned for the most people.

  23. #23
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    You don't have to go to another trail system for more more challenge- just ride further out!

    Rode DBB on my way in to work yesterday (nice commute- home in south FoCo to Coyote/Rim Rock/Blue Sky/DBB to work at 4th and Cleveland in Loveland). Even more excited about the re-route now- it'll be more fun to have a downhill section with open views that you can maintain speed through, rather than slowing down and grabbing brakes as you do now...
    Former New Yorker, now in Fort Collins
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    ... and if we just ... Re-route of heart attack hill

    I can't wait to go help re route this section, I've never cleaned it, but I like the challenge of going down it.
    Many times I myself have said, "if someone were coming round the first corner as I'm coming down, I would not be able to stop".
    We need to think of the other trail users,, as much as it pains us to.
    I think the re-route is a good idea for the safety and sustainability, that will ultimately benefit us all, and won't it be awesome if all the hikers ane EQ's see the BIKERS doing the work, how many brownie points do we score for our tribe !!!!!
    Ya, I understand that hill was a cool challenge, I made it halfway up once, and I thought that was cool. I've seen guys, and ladies clean it, I can't say I'll miss it, but I understand those that will PEACE.

  25. #25
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    the more and more i ride dbb the more and more it feels like........


    i understand trail work, and what you are saying about maintaining- however it seems like every month the trail gets more and more "paved" less challenge, more path.

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