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  1. #1
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    Mansfield trails need your help

    Hey fellow riders! Tough weekend on the trails in Mansfield (aka Dufferin Forest). The horse usage of the single track was the highest that I've ever seen...likely 20 or so horses over two days. The extent of the trail network that is now being ridden on has also increased.

    Now for the help part...Dufferin County has presented a survey on their web site that is to aid in the new management plan for the forest that will be formulated in 2014. We are trying to encourage Dufferin to model what Bruce County has done and begin to have separate trail networks for Mountain Bike/Pedestrian use from that of equestrian use. We are by no means trying to exclude the equestrians from using the forest trails, just have a separate network. There is currently approx. 25-30km of single track which is maintained by mountain bikers and the same amount of marked horse trail by OCTRA (Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Assoc.) in the forest. Members of OCTRA have been wonderful to deal with. We have helped them GPS their trail network and helped build a short road bypass trail. We need to try and inform Dufferin County that there are a large number of mountain bikers that value this trail network. Please find the time to fill out the survey which can be found at:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DVGS75J

    Numbers could matter...even if you haven't ridden there yet, you may someday, fill out the survey. This may be the only opportunity that we will be given to have our say. If we don't try then we will definitely lose.

    Thank you for your time and help. Heckler....

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Also done. Thanks for posting!
    Strava made me do it....

  4. #4
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    Done, now where is the survey about opening up lower Manfeild?!

  5. #5
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  6. #6
    sock puppet
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    Done - thanks for your work in the forest as well as trail ownership. Let me know if I can help in any other way.
    Oggie
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  7. #7
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  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for taking the time. All we can do is try. 143 members have viewed this thread, 8 have acknowledged that they have helped. If the other 135 viewers complete this survey the County may have to listen. I forgot to ask that if everyone could pass the survey link on to their friends, local club, kids, ect... that would be great. The more the better. Thanks again and I'll keep updating when things happen.

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  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Survey done
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  13. #13
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    also done "twice"
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  14. #14
    I wonder why?
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  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    Filled it out.

    Sad that the horse users have not recognized the damage to the trails. So much land in there and room for two networks. Hopefully you guys can work out a solution. I look forward to getting a ride in on the old trails when I am back in September for a visit.

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  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Again a thank you goes out to everyone who has completed the survey. That's 19 more confirmed than I had before I had posted this tread and every bit is going to count. I will try to make the most of everyone's efforts and continue to help this along. Please keep this moving and pass the survey on and ask others to complete it. I'm going to try and meet with the Forest Manager at the end of August and see how she is feeling about the responses....keep them coming! I'll keep updating as we go along. See you on the trails! P.S. If you want to check out some of the trails we talking about at night, check out:

    Night Train

    We will all be there with "music" on and plan on having a BBQ and Hoppy refreshments after...please join us!

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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  24. #24
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    Done. Posted the link to the survey to our club as well...

  25. #25
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    Done, and thanks.

  26. #26
    More than a little slow
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  27. #27
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    So after a month and a half this thread has had 770 views and 25 confirmed replies to the survey. I've had chats with IMBA about getting the survey out and they are going to try as well. A large issue with trail advocacy seems to be the apathy of the mountain bike community with respect to the ability to create a change and have an influence over our future. We all seem to have the time to complain about the hikers, the horses, lack of trail access, ect... but when it comes to having an opening to create something we can't seem to take the few minutes to fill out a survey. There should be 770 surveys sitting in the "IN" box for Dufferin County to consider. I have spoken to Dufferin County and have been assured that the surveys received will have an influence when decisions are being made. I would find it hard to believe that they could ignore 770 surveys (also tell 2 friends). An opportunity has been presented to us and we can continue to be apathetic and complain, or take a few minutes and try to make something happen. It's up to us. To all who have helped, thanks you. To anyone who is reading this and hasn't participated, please take the time. Thanks again, enjoy the fall riding and see you out there.

  28. #28
    sock puppet
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    Good post Hekler - you nailed one of our problems for sure. What does it cost us to complete the survey? A few minutes of our time. Nothing. Let's do it folks. It is darn important.
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  29. #29
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    During the Eager Beaver 100 I came across two equestrain riders. The father said to me, "The cyclists are using a lot horse trails". And I rode off thinking, "The horses are using a lot of cycling trails".

    And they've been everywhere.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Good post Hekler - you nailed one of our problems for sure. What does it cost us to complete the survey? A few minutes of our time. Nothing. Let's do it folks. It is darn important.
    Oggie, Apathy is a problem.

    But to be blunt, over the last few years time and again when it came to this stuff members of this very same mtb community where hostile to non local support. Basically "basically if you don't live here and ride here...we don't want your help". I won't dig up any further dirt on that. But I can see how people will now be wary of joining in to help other areas.

    Think of this about trust. Those of us wanting to involved trust others to do the same. When trust is broken by things like the above. At a certain point we stop being involved. And it takes time for us to regain trust after it has been broken...trust is not given it is earned. We all want to see the best in other riders and when it goes the other way. People become uncaring.

    Myself...thanks to certain riders behaviour I stopped being involved in trail work and caring about this stuff.

  31. #31
    humber river advocate
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    hey heckler, i do a bit of advocacy work myself. though every conservation area is a bit different there are some similarities when it comes to policies and procedures. i wouldn't get to hung up on the apathy of the mountain bike community here. the first thing i would do is try to find out if the tract management plan is under review. this is a normal procedure every couple of years. if so ask to be on the review committee as a representative of mountain bikers for the tract. if the management plan has already been reviewed ask to be part of the stewardship group. it probably wouldn't hurt to find out what councillors sit on the committee and contact them with your concerns. it takes a bit of leg work but is worth it in the end. it also helps to be local because sometimes there is a policy that you must be from the tract catchment area to sit on committee.







    Quote Originally Posted by Hekler View Post
    So after a month and a half this thread has had 770 views and 25 confirmed replies to the survey. I've had chats with IMBA about getting the survey out and they are going to try as well. A large issue with trail advocacy seems to be the apathy of the mountain bike community with respect to the ability to create a change and have an influence over our future. We all seem to have the time to complain about the hikers, the horses, lack of trail access, ect... but when it comes to having an opening to create something we can't seem to take the few minutes to fill out a survey. There should be 770 surveys sitting in the "IN" box for Dufferin County to consider. I have spoken to Dufferin County and have been assured that the surveys received will have an influence when decisions are being made. I would find it hard to believe that they could ignore 770 surveys (also tell 2 friends). An opportunity has been presented to us and we can continue to be apathetic and complain, or take a few minutes and try to make something happen. It's up to us. To all who have helped, thanks you. To anyone who is reading this and hasn't participated, please take the time. Thanks again, enjoy the fall riding and see you out there.
    broadcasting from
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  32. #32
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    Hey Singlespocket...The area is having a new mgt plan in the next year. The survey is being issued in order for the county to get an idea of user requests. The representative issue is being addressed and I do know some of the councillors (thanks for that suggestion, I didn't think of that...I can find out from the forest manager if any councillors will be involved). Lots of leg work has been done with more to come. There will be a public meeting in 2014 at which time I will post and invite anyone concerned to attend. I will keep posting as new events occur. Thanks for your help and input!

    Enduramil, I'm sorry you feel this way, to my knowledge none of the local guys & gals that I know that ride Duffferin Forest would feel this way about non-local help. I'm sorry if someone from this area acted in this fashion that would create distrust. By my asking for the mountain bike community's help on this issue I would like to try to demonstrate my trust in others and therefore obtain their trust as we do need the help from others outside this area. Hope you can help on this one.

  33. #33
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  34. #34
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  35. #35
    humber river advocate
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    that's good news, it may be to late to get on the planning committee, but i would still try (you can get on the stewardship group). those surveys are part of the due diligence but not the end all guide for the property. things like trail density, flora/fauna, etc studies also play a roll in the plan. i would create a formal letter with a cv of yourself and request that you sit on the committee developing the plan/stewardship group (if you need help with the letter let me know). be proactive/pushy regarding this. if you find out what councillors are involved send them a copy of your request.

    while the forest manger is a good start for info, find out who from the conservation authority is in charge of leading the plan and contact them directly. it is also important to find out who the administrator is handling all communications/meeting scheduling for the plan. a lot of the communication/info for these plans development are restricted unless you are on the committee.

    i commend you for your efforts heckler, once you get involved it is amazing what can be accomplished.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hekler View Post
    Hey Singlespocket...The area is having a new mgt plan in the next year. The survey is being issued in order for the county to get an idea of user requests. The representative issue is being addressed and I do know some of the councillors (thanks for that suggestion, I didn't think of that...I can find out from the forest manager if any councillors will be involved). Lots of leg work has been done with more to come. There will be a public meeting in 2014 at which time I will post and invite anyone concerned to attend. I will keep posting as new events occur. Thanks for your help and input!

    Enduramil, I'm sorry you feel this way, to my knowledge none of the local guys & gals that I know that ride Duffferin Forest would feel this way about non-local help. I'm sorry if someone from this area acted in this fashion that would create distrust. By my asking for the mountain bike community's help on this issue I would like to try to demonstrate my trust in others and therefore obtain their trust as we do need the help from others outside this area. Hope you can help on this one.
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  36. #36
    Evil Jr.
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    From our experience in Hamilton, I can say that it helps a lot to get to know as many people on staff as possible. In getting Christie Lake off the ground we've worked with the infrastructure, recreation and ecology groups at the HCA as well as the Superintendent and as much of the CA staff as possible.

    Plus, we've made presentations to the Advisory Board and the Board of Directors. It's a lot of work but it pays to keep reminding
    yourself what can come of the effort.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  37. #37
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  39. #39
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    got it done

  40. #40
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    544 new views...5 more confirmed surveys. Thanks again to those taking the time. If we get somewhere with the trails, even permission to build new ones I owe one to everyone who has done the survey. I'll keep updating as new events occur.

    A small amount of encouragement...During a meeting with the county, the idea of contacting IMBA came up. The county has now been in contact with IMBA and OCA.

    Broken record...surveys!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hekler View Post
    A small amount of encouragement...During a meeting with the county, the idea of contacting IMBA came up. The county has now been in contact with IMBA and OCA.
    Before we got our go ahead, the HCA talked with the Toronto and Halton Conservation Authorities to find out more about how they manage MTB usage.

    PM me if you want to give the county someone to consult at the HCA and I can provide some contact info.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  42. #42
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    survey done and posted it to the facebook group of our local MTB riders

  43. #43
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    Thanks G.M. I'll check with the county to see if they would like other models to look at. This is bit different as it's not a conservation area, but a county forest which is used for selective logging (which they have been doing for years and doing a very good job at, the forest quality has definitely improved) and more recently seen a large increase in recreational use from many types of users.

    Thanks to Dover for Facebooking, I'm not on myself so it's a great way of reaching more users directly.

    I've got to keep this ball rolling as the surveys are up at the end of 2013.

    If anyone is going to the Epic 8 on sat, feel free to stop by the team van go tent to say hi (I won't be there much (going solo) but will be around for a post ride fermented beverage!)

  44. #44
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    Done.

  45. #45
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    Yep survey done!
    Anyone who hasn't rode Mansfield , should
    Really give it a try. ( with someone who knows the
    Trails : )
    It's a great forest with lots of potential.

  46. #46
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    Mansfield is one of the best places I've ridden in southern ontario - all thanks to the hard work of the team van-go crew - love those guys!

    good luck on the mission!

  47. #47
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    you should talk to the sh-t house guys next time you are in duff and they are around. they are long time active stake holders and local to the area. plus they are fairly active members of the dh/fr community.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hekler View Post
    Thanks G.M. I'll check with the county to see if they would like other models to look at. This is bit different as it's not a conservation area, but a county forest which is used for selective logging (which they have been doing for years and doing a very good job at, the forest quality has definitely improved) and more recently seen a large increase in recreational use from many types of users.

    Thanks to Dover for Facebooking, I'm not on myself so it's a great way of reaching more users directly.

    I've got to keep this ball rolling as the surveys are up at the end of 2013.

    If anyone is going to the Epic 8 on sat, feel free to stop by the team van go tent to say hi (I won't be there much (going solo) but will be around for a post ride fermented beverage!)
    broadcasting from
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  48. #48
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    Thanks for the positive feedback....while the team van go group does do trail building and maintenance in D.F. there are many others that have done and continue to do building and maintenance there as well. The trail network has been an evolving thing that has taken many years and many, many individual's contributions, all unsolicited and completely on a volunteer basis. We don't really know who we really all are but we are all out there. We never really have trail days and it seems that everyone who rides there does their part...pick up a stick, clear a trail while riding. New trails seem to appear with no real credit requested from their creators. It's just a great system that we are trying to make better.
    We have many ideas we are wanting to propose to the county and again everyone's contributions and efforts are extremely appreciated. Keep it coming!
    If anyone is looking for a great fall ride, while a lot of other trails need to be avoided during a wet season, Dufferin forest is great when it is wet out. Come out and give it try, see you out there!
    S.C. Heckler
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  49. #49
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  50. #50
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    Hope it's not too late - DONE!

  51. #51
    humber river advocate
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    there's some nice sustained elevation in there that you can really milk the contours. starts at the old reform camp where the gap jump used to be and runs east. also there is other good elevation points to exploit on the north end about 2 klicks in from airport rd. perfect for a decent flow trail loop. you get a little taste of it if you stay on the double track. though the nicest terrain is actually more west behind the mansfield ski club.






    Quote Originally Posted by Hekler View Post
    Thanks for the positive feedback....while the team van go group does do trail building and maintenance in D.F. there are many others that have done and continue to do building and maintenance there as well. The trail network has been an evolving thing that has taken many years and many, many individual's contributions, all unsolicited and completely on a volunteer basis. We don't really know who we really all are but we are all out there. We never really have trail days and it seems that everyone who rides there does their part...pick up a stick, clear a trail while riding. New trails seem to appear with no real credit requested from their creators. It's just a great system that we are trying to make better.
    We have many ideas we are wanting to propose to the county and again everyone's contributions and efforts are extremely appreciated. Keep it coming!
    If anyone is looking for a great fall ride, while a lot of other trails need to be avoided during a wet season, Dufferin forest is great when it is wet out. Come out and give it try, see you out there!
    broadcasting from
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  52. #52
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    You are definitely right about there being a lot of potential in a lot of areas in the forest. We often cross country ski/snowshoe/ride fat bikes in there during the winter and we have found areas on the east side as well that has large ravines and beautiful forests that would be a great place to continue the network. The trail to the north of the 20th side road is also fun and has a different feel than the rest of the trails. The trail to get to the 20th off of Ken's trail was purposely built tighter with less flow, tighter tree spacing, tight corners, ect...just to introduce a different type of trail to the network for something different. Lots of fun stuff could be done in there and that is the drive behind this thread. We can only do so much building while hiding in the shadows. I have very loose permission from DF management to "maintain" trails (ie. use my chainsaw and drive my truck in the forest).
    There is definitely a hesitation to create or "re-open" trails there as long as the horses have the right to use them as well. I hope your project is going well for you as well as it would be nice if more recreational "trail centers" for mountain bikes could be created.
    talk to you/see you soon....
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  53. #53
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    Because of the soil & drainage , Mansfield is a good fall/winter ride.
    People reading this might want to try it out & see the potential of the forest
    First hand.
    Ride a Santa Cruz heckler
    And many part bikes : )
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  54. #54
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    Out riding in dufferin forest his weekend Sat and Sunday. Lots of stuff going on out there. Today there were Mushroom pickers, hikers, lots of mountain bikers, equestrians, and hunters! (this time of year please dress in bright colours). DF is a great place to ride in the fall as Crash & Bern mentioned the drainage is incredible. C&B and I rode on Sat in the rain and there was not a mud puddle to be found. Rode today and it was totally dry. I find a big issue with a lot of riders I meet and talk to is that they don't really know the trails or only know one loop, one way. C&B and I were talking while we were riding on Sat and batted around a bunch of ideas for marking loops if we get approval from the county. We would want to mark out a few loops of different lengths so riders would know what they were getting into and not have to worry about looking at a map.

    Good news is that due to poor weather the OCTA organized trail ride numbers seemed to be down so the damage to the trails by the horses seemed minimal this weekend.

    I have been thinking about organizing a mansfield ride in the next few weeks that would be an open invitation to anyone who has or has not ridden the trails there. It seems a lot of people know about the trails but don't know where they are or where they go. I'm thinking of a 25-30 km ride (almost all single track) showcasing most of the trails in Dufferin Forest at a leisurely pace (no racing here!) The number of ridable weekends are coming to and end so I'm not sure if it can happen or not. If you would be interested post a reply on this thread and we can see if we can all make this happen.
    And sorry but I've got to do this...please fill out the D.C. survey at:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DVGS75J

    Thanks and see you in the rain at Dufferin Forest!
    S.C. Heckler
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  55. #55
    max_29
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    survey - done.

    great idea for a guided ride. I'm in.

  56. #56
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    ok great , if we get a half dozen or so "volunteers" for a tour we'll try to set something up this coming weekend. (hope you're ok with a fermented beverage at the end, it's kinda a tradition of ours to "cheers to the ride"! Thanks for doing the survey!
    S.C. Heckler
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  57. #57
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    you know i'll be there.
    looking forward to it
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  58. #58
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    Reputation: Crash&bern's Avatar
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    Mansfield trails need your help

    Heckler & myself , went to a Copland forest meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss usage of the forest by different groups.
    Though I don't ride there that often , I have many friends that do.
    I think as mountain bikers we should support each other's trail systems. ( and if you have a chance, ride a new trail & meet new people )
    Even if it's just filling out a small survey , let's protect the future of our sport.


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    Ride a Santa Cruz heckler
    And many part bikes : )
    " Team Van Go"

  59. #59
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    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash&bern View Post
    Heckler & myself , went to a Copland forest meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss usage of the forest by different groups.
    Though I don't ride there that often , I have many friends that do.
    I think as mountain bikers we should support each other's trail systems. ( and if you have a chance, ride a new trail & meet new people )
    Even if it's just filling out a small survey , let's protect the future of our sport.


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    Well said Crash.
    +1
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  60. #60
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    this was posted on the "Team Van Go" site
    i'll be going


    Dufferin County Forest Management Meeting

    Date: Tuesday January 21st, 2014
    Location: Sutton Room, County Administrative Building, 55 Zina St. Orangeville
    Time: 7pm

    This is the first meeting for discussions for the upcoming Management Plan for Dufferin County Forests. It is an open meeting and the public is welcome to attend. I don't believe we will able to be involved in the discussions at this meeting but we are welcome to spectate. If you are available it would be great to see you out there to help support the mountain bikers interests.
    Team Van Go

    the older I get the better I was

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