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  1. #1
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    For the unemployed-- (nooner today)

    Chazza and I are riding the Apple Valley side of Hall this afternoon, if anyone wants to meet. Prepare for a slow ride, with lots of screwing around.

    12:30-1 in the Apple Valley/Hall Ranch pking lot.
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


    -The Good Doctor

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    Chazza and I are riding the Apple Valley side of Hall this afternoon, if anyone wants to meet. Prepare for a slow ride, with lots of screwing around.

    12:30-1 in the Apple Valley/Hall Ranch pking lot.
    Just saw this post. Hope it wasn't too sloppy. The bottom part of the trail nearest the parking lot is ok, but it's misleading. Once you get up into the switchbacks and up to the top, it's super duper sloppy. I was up late Sunday and decided against going down Antelope for the trail's sake. Might be a tad better now, but there was quite a bit of snow and slush still on it. Hasn't been too sunny in Lyons either. Bitterbrush is good all the way to the Nelson Loop, though. Stay off the loop, too. It's pretty bad right now.
    Redstone Cyclery
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  3. #3
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Nope--

    It's not OK. We made it most of the way up, with very careful hiking, before we realized we should not be riding. It made more sense to go over, though, and come back around on the road. Descending down the Apple Valley side would have been disastrous. The front side is in really good shape up to the bench. Chaz is going back to Oz Friday, and I wanted her to squeeze in one more ride before she goes.
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


    -The Good Doctor

  4. #4
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    front side is good to the bench.... excellent. i need a dirt fix and i should be able to get there about 4 tomorrow. should give me some time to play in then rock garden....and i havn't been to hall in a while...
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  5. #5
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    Hey Brian, I could make 4:30...

    If you want some company. I rode out to the loop yesterday (Tues.) and it was BUFF! A couple of soft spots on the back side of the bench hill, but mostly super tacky. You could send me a text on my phone 7202731806 (ATT).

    -Dave

  6. #6
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Gotta...

    go to a BOA/BP meeting tonight, and put Chaz on the plane Friday, so I don't think I'll be riding again until the weekend. Interested in (perhaps) Friday afternoon, or anytime Sat/Sun?
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


    -The Good Doctor

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser
    front side is good to the bench.... excellent. i need a dirt fix and i should be able to get there about 4 tomorrow. should give me some time to play in then rock garden....and i havn't been to hall in a while...
    Enjoy the rock garden whilst you can, for it will metamorphasize shortly. Too many cheater lines and freeride lines = Park Management reworking the rock garden.
    http://www.redstonecyclery.com/BLtrailcond.htm
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  8. #8
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    Hey Dave...is that for sure that it's being rerouted, or just an educated guess? That trail has changed from sweet ST to 4-10 foot wide trail in sections in the last 3-4 years I've been riding it. Kinda sad really that we (the biking community) couldn't have done better by the trail.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibmkidIII
    Hey Dave...is that for sure that it's being rerouted, or just an educated guess? That trail has changed from sweet ST to 4-10 foot wide trail in sections in the last 3-4 years I've been riding it. Kinda sad really that we (the biking community) couldn't have done better by the trail.
    Well, I got the same story from a Parks Interpreter and a Park Ranger on seperate occasions. I don't know that it will get rerouted per se, but my understanding is that it will receive a MAJOR overhaul. Boulder County has received many complaints about that section, be it too difficult, widened trail, user conflicts, freeriders, you name it. The "unnoficial" word is that the major trail project will take place on National Trails day, June 5ish, I think.
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  10. #10
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    sounds like it's time for an intervention. i can see it now - rerouted to follow the old ranch road... tickets to folks who try to ride the old section...

    how i miss the experimental trail....
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser
    sounds like it's time for an intervention. i can see it now - rerouted to follow the old ranch road... tickets to folks who try to ride the old section...

    how i miss the experimental trail....
    No way they'd route down that road. I had a, uh, friend, poach that once. Said it was super steep and really rutted and rocky. Not very climbable for the average Joe. Geez, the reason Antelope doesn't follow the road on that side the entire way is because it's too steep. The Antelope jeep road is nowhere near the grade of the Bitterbrush jeep road. County folks made it sound like the trail would stay in the same location but it would just get the patented Boulder County sanitizing treatment. For what it's worth anyway, general Boulder County trail maintenance guidelines call for no rocks over 4" high protruding from the trail bed. I doubt it will come to that, though!
    Redstone Cyclery
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  12. #12
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    it will be sad to see the last technical trail in the boulder county open space get sanitized. the betasso conector used to be a challange - now it's no more difficult than betasso, save the first climb from the road... larimer county (and jeffco) seem to have a better variety of trails and difficulties. More car time to get to good rides i guess... how long until they put in the escalators for us?

    iganzjr, you going to be around this evening?
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  13. #13
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    well...there's still some techy stuff on Walker ranch in Boulder Co, that I certianly can't clean.... You're right though. There's certianly not much of it.

  14. #14
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    the technical parts of walker have been under attack from the county for a while - soon you'll be able to ride everything there - and so will your grandmother.

    I only get to walker about once or twice a year. i don't like all the wide open trails up there. and with the work they've done i get less and less interested in going there. especially since it's only a couple more minutes in the car to get to the peak to peak and the trails up thatta way...
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  15. #15
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    Too true. I remember two parts on it that I could never clean until the trail crew came in. One of them was VERY trivial for a hiker, but a challenge for my then below average skills. Too bad Boulder Co. can't see that their dollars would be better spent on making new trails and not sanitizing the current ones.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibmkidIII
    Too true. I remember two parts on it that I could never clean until the trail crew came in. One of them was VERY trivial for a hiker, but a challenge for my then below average skills. Too bad Boulder Co. can't see that their dollars would be better spent on making new trails and not sanitizing the current ones.
    Debaser - I'll be around tonight. Probably get home about 5:45ish.

    Now that I'm all riled up, on to my RANT.

    I got into a pretty detailed discussion with the ranger about this. He was pretty cool, actually. It's all about recreation vs preservation. Obviously, Boulder County is much more preservation minded than the other counties. Hence, Heil is Boulder County's biggest park acreage-wise, but has darn near the smallest amount of trail.

    Anyway, since Hall Ranch is adding more parking spots on the Hwy 7 side (may be news to some folks), I asked if their goal was to make the park's trails more crowded than they already are. We got into a discussion about multi use trails vs hiker only trails and people dispersion into the backcountry and all sorts of things. The main thoughts are that A) their primary goal is to manage open space for preservatoin of habitat and B) manage for "quality of experience" for the majority of park users. Obviously, since there are bike trails and no-bike trails, hiker and horses must qualify for a different "experience" than bikes. Also, since they manage for the majority of users, there are more novice riders at the parks than otherwise, therefore, Boulder County must manage with their "quality of experience" in mind. Since a lot of those folks can't or won't ride the rock gardens or anything else mildly challenging, they've been creating cheater lines to make it rideable by the skills they already possess rather than challenging themselves to learn new skills. Back to preservation - these new cheater lines have created, as Kirk mentioned, 10' wide trail in spots. 10' singletrack isn't leaving much to preserve and it's not doing much for habitat. Now all the challenging parts will be gone and we'll have Lyons Betasso.

    Forgive my pessimism, but this is just another example in which mountain bike riders have failed to police themselves. The result is a trail that is (arguably) a less desirable trail for bikes, horses, and hikers alike.

    I'll end my rant with a plea for everyone regarding the few remaining mildly technical sections in Boulde County - PLEEEEEAAASE, if you can't ride it, walk it or learn it. Don't create new lines. It hurts us all.

    END of rant.
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  17. #17
    DSR
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    Nooooooo! I was just wishing this AM that there were more trails around here that were Hall rock garden-esque. And now they're gonna go pave (in effect) Hall? A much better solution would be to put in a new alternate trail that bypasses the rock garden for those with that preference. There is certainly a problem of the ever widening trail there and certainly some is bikers' faults, but I've seen plenty of hikers cutting off switchbacks, etc. Either way though, any use (as well as melt-off) is going to constantly expose more and more rock. In fact, I think the rock garden has been getting more and more fun as more rock gets exposed. And you can see big rocks starting to pop up all over that trail. If only we could keep it narrow, it could be a techy rider's dream in a couple years. But in come the trail police. Argh! Rant over. Is IMBA or BOA aware and involved? S

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSR
    Nooooooo! I was just wishing this AM that there were more trails around here that were Hall rock garden-esque. And now they're gonna go pave (in effect) Hall? A much better solution would be to put in a new alternate trail that bypasses the rock garden for those with that preference. There is certainly a problem of the ever widening trail there and certainly some is bikers' faults, but I've seen plenty of hikers cutting off switchbacks, etc. Either way though, any use (as well as melt-off) is going to constantly expose more and more rock. In fact, I think the rock garden has been getting more and more fun as more rock gets exposed. And you can see big rocks starting to pop up all over that trail. If only we could keep it narrow, it could be a techy rider's dream in a couple years. But in come the trail police. Argh! Rant over. Is IMBA or BOA aware and involved? S
    To my knowledge, nothing official is lined up and I don't know how sanitized it will be. I'm hoping for some major dumping flash flood style thunderstorms this spring. The storms we got last spring really helped make that section a lot tougher. Come May, it'll probably be as wide and as difficult as it can be.

    I hear you on the hikers cutting, too. I just like to complain. I'm still stoked to have Hall, though. It's a great ride in a beautiful area.
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  19. #19
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    when i think of places like, say, white ranch or horsetooth, i think of the easy trails or the hard trails inside those parks. surely i'm not the only one that thinks that way.. when the little lady wanted to start riding, i took her to betasso, then heil, then the east side of hall. easy progression. in 5 years, what, betasso betasso, left hand canyon betasso and lyons betasso? why not a system of trails, like say those in front of the flatirons that allow a bunch of different experiences in one area? with boulder county, it's one trail per park. they just aren't using the populated space very well!

    i think hall is falls prey to "cheaters" becuase the switchbacks are so easily cut because the trails are packed pretty tightly in there. it's also easy to see "easier" or "more fun" lines there.

    the county might go in and construct the trail better - bury some rocks in the middle of the less desirable lines! anyone who's looked at the bottom of the old experimental trails knows the county has the knowhow... Perhaps they should down a few key trees (a'la the betasso connector) to keep people on the trail... or perhaps they should just build enough new trails (or open other trails to bikes say maybe the mesa trail) to get spread out the trail users throughout the whole system.
    Last edited by Debaser; 02-25-2004 at 12:48 PM.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  20. #20
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Aw, ****!

    Man, the things that will come to pass in a thread when it's left unattended all day! Sheesh!

    Well, this is crammed with really bad news, and some Revalation-esque things about BCOS. I think everyone has already touched on the problems, so I'll sum up:

    Too few trails, in too large a space, open to cyclists. Riders are left to one trail, regardless of its difficulty. In an area densely populated with sissy-yuppy types, there's much corner-cutting (hikers being the worst of the bunch as far as cutting switchbacks goes, and horses being the most destructive to the existing trail). Riders who can't ride, nor can they shed their egotism and walk, simply ride around. It's what Slime tubes are for, eh?

    Whatever the case, it seems cyclists are a very easy target for the brunt of the blame ("why can't they just ride on the road, anyway?")--horses have been grandfathered in, and hikers are on foot--what could they do?

    I've a BOA/NMBP meeting tonight, and I'll see if I can get anything concrete from our side of the fence (not that ignazjr hasn't done his research).
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


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  21. #21
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    One voice...

    That's it, I'm renewing my BOA membership this year, http://www.boa-mtb.org/index.html, and I'm going to email Boulder County Parks and Open Space.

    It's good to vent, better to take action.

    If we all speak with one voice, we will be heard.

  22. #22
    DSR
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    Agreed. I'd put in some serious trailwork hours to build an alternate trail that bypasses the rock garden. That seems to be the best answer. Have a blue square line and a black diamond line. Choose your adventure. With signage stressing the importance of staying on the trail. That way we solve the "experience" issue by having an easier option and add another 1/2 mile of trail to our meager allotment.

    You can see exactly how the trails get widened too. For example, right past the bench there's the muddy section and enough people always go off the trail to the left to keep their bikes clean. Come on! It's mountain biking. Ride right through that mud. It's like 50 yards at most.

    Stefan - Has BOA started its members meetings yet or was your meeting for trail patrol folks? I definitely want to get more involved this year. Like daveM said. S

  23. #23
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    Wow!!

    [QUOTE=ignazjr. For what it's worth anyway, general Boulder County trail maintenance guidelines call for no rocks over 4" high protruding from the trail bed. I doubt it will come to that, though![/QUOTE]

    I'd never heard that before about the 4 inch rule. I broke my hip last June on a minor fall on one of the rocks that protrude from the trail at Heil. It was easily higher than 4 inches. I fell over on a short climb after clipping a tree and landed square on the rock: broken hip.

    There are numerous rocks over 4 inches tall embedded in the trail at Heil.
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  24. #24
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Update.

    There IS a National Trails Day scheduled for June 5th, but sanitization is not a part of the plan. There is 'general maintenance' planned for the second mile (Rock Garden), and it will be 'repaired' in the areas that are damaged. So yes, it will become easier in spots. That said, it's BCOS' and BOA's goal that as wide a spectrum of riders as possible should be able to ride the [few] trails they make available. In their own words (or those of a BCOS advisor), they are becoming increasingly bike friendly.

    Take from this what you will, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens to Hall. I honestly believe it is NOT BCOS' plan to 'fill in the step' or the like. The feeling I got was good, but it was indicated that the trail would see maintence/restoration, and the result would be a trail different from the one that exists, be it easier or what have you. THERE ARE NO PLANS TO RE-ROUTE HALL RANCH. That would be a very silly thing to try and do, and would, for the 20 years it would take the old trail to grow over, create two wide swaths through the natural environment they're [rightly, but sometimes irrationally] concerned about protecting already.

    The above was gathered from a BCOS advocate, and BOA/NMBP fellow rider (at the BOABP meeting last night). Again, I'm not prepared to take all of this as gospel, and plan on just waiting things out--perhaps it's the sceptic in me, but the words 'Betasso Hall' do have a ring of imminent truth to them. DaveM's plan, in the mean time, seemed most logical and reasonable--go get involved! It's BCOS' job to listen to all trail users, albeit more to some breeds than others, and they're getting better at it.
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    There IS a National Trails Day scheduled for June 5th, but sanitization is not a part of the plan. There is 'general maintenance' planned for the second mile (Rock Garden), and it will be 'repaired' in the areas that are damaged...

    Take from this what you will, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens to Hall. I honestly believe it is NOT BCOS' plan to 'fill in the step' or the like.
    Thanks for the update. Call me pessimistic, but some reading betweent the lines may be called for here. I worked several days at Heil Ranch during trail construction and was able to witness firsthand the Open Space rock removal crew. I vote that the best thing folks can do besides joining their BOA is to volunteer on Nat'l Trails Day (if they open it up to volunteers). That way, you'll have as direct of a voice as possible!

    Also, not sure on the step, but both Open Space folks I talked to called that out as a "problem area."

    One last question regarding last night's meeting, was there any mention of the new Boulder County Mountain Bike Park Host thing?
    Redstone Cyclery
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