Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brknspk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    92

    Help keep Hammond Hill State Forest Open to Fat Bikes!

    The NYS DEC has proposed a draft Unit Management Plan for the "Twin Sheds" area which will close Hammond Hill to fat bikes during the winter. Hammond Hill has 16 miles of trails and is popular with hikers, bikers and skiers from the Ithaca, NY area (Hammond Hill State Forest - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation).

    Action 2.2.1: "Prevent conflicts with winter recreation enthusiasts. Mountain bikes and horses will be restricted from the trail system during snow covered conditions."

    This action would bar fat bikes from Hammond Hill whenever there's snow on the ground. Cycle-CNY, our local IMBA chapter, was successful in getting a similar action removed for Shindagin Hollow and, with your help, we can do it for Hammond Hill (Cycle-CNY forum discussion: View topic - Hammond Hill and Yellow Barn Unit Management Plan).

    I know that most of you have never ridden Hammond Hill and may never do so, but I'm asking that you help out a fellow fat biker by sending your comments to Matt Swayze at mmswayze@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Comments do not have to be in depth. The following template can be used if you want to keep it short and sweet:

    ----------
    Dear Mr. Swayze,

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Twin Sheds Unit Management Plan. I urge you to strongly consider the following comments for the draft plan:

    I believe Action 2.2.1 should be removed from the UMP or amended to read:

    "In order to prevent conflicts with winter recreation enthusiasts, horses will be restricted from the trail system during snow covered conditions. Bicycles may not ride on or in cross country ski tracks and must yield to all other users when riding."

    Bicycling broadens the recreational offerings and gets Americans out of their cars and into the natural world. It connects people of all ages with the natural environment and is a fun, low-impact activity. I encourage the DEC to make all accommodations possible to provide mountain bike opportunities in our NYS forests.

    Sincerely,

    YOUR NAME HERE

  2. #2
    Nemophilist
    Reputation: TrailMaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,648
    Done!

    Here's a question, though. DO the XC tracks remain pristine double, or do they get messed up and flattened out from foot traffic and/or less than skilled skiing?

    IF - and that is a big if - a double XC track is pristine and stays that way, then I can see where the skiers would appreciate it remaining that way, and not look fondly on anyone fouling that. Let's put aside for a moment the fact that a fatbike will likely do less "damage" to this track than foot traffic. If the track gets messed up and flattened out like any given walking path, as I suspect it does, then Fatbiking on the same path will generally only serve to flatten and smooth - "groom" if you will - that path. The DEC needs to be aware of that fact.

    Maintaining that Fatbikes do damage to ski trails is a PERCEPTION ONLY, with no reality to back it up, especially considering that most people have never even SEEN one yet! Any "conflicts" can be dealt with by reasonable peoples out enjoying the our-of-doors. Most people I've met on the trails are quite reasonable!
    Last edited by TrailMaker; 03-28-2013 at 09:53 AM.
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brknspk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    92
    I've never met anyone on the trails that hasn't been super-friendly!

    The ski tracks at Hammond Hill are very messy. Not only are the grooves skidded out by skis, but snowshoes and hikers tromp all over them. A single hiker on a soft-snow day does tremendous damage! But we are fighting perception here, so I was looking for language that emphatically said "hey, there's no conflict 'cause we don't ride in their track!"

    When I use the work "track", I'm referring specifically to the actual ski grooves, not the flattened part of the trail to either side. I'd be happy to take any wording suggestions you have, and people are encouraged to express their own opinions in their contact with the DEC.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: damnitman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,271
    ...I disagree to some extent...I've seen plenty of bike tracks, fatbike tracks, that had damaged trails. The battle is not all about perception, it is about education. An experienced fatbiker knows to lower tire pressure, "newbies" typically do not and will trench the trail as they struggle before they someone tells them to try it with lower pressure...that may take quite a while, especially if they are lazy or stubborn like my GF. An additional contributing factor is the uber-knobbed tires that are spec'd on most new fatbikes. They make up for what they lack in flotation with traction, which works, but trenches trails. This is exacerbated by low TPI carcases that can be rather stiff in colder temperatures (ie colder than the LBS showroom floor); stiff rubber does not flatten and float as well as floppy rubber. $0.02
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brknspk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    92
    Thanks for your input. I clearly state in my template: Bicycles may not ride on or in cross country ski tracks and must yield to all other users when riding.

    I'd hate to get sidetracked by a discussion about trail impact...unless you're advocating that we lose access?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: damnitman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,271
    ...Actually, I was mostly commenting on TMaker's statement about "...perception only...", but since you ask...I just think going into negotiations thinking your sh!t is purple and smells like lilacs is a terrible starting position...you will get blindsided by some uppity xc two-planker with pics of a rutted hill-climb; you will have to go on the defensive and then you will lose. They are going to also say something about ruts (*EDIT-bike ruts, not the groomed "ruts" classic skiers use) in the middle of the trails and that skate skiers are catching their tips in them...You need to go into this with a plan that allows "them" to perceive that you accept that your growing sport does have room for improvements and that you are willing to work with them...Remember, they are perceiving you as bring the fight to them...they are simply defending their homeland... you need to "Build your enemies a golden bridge" (Sun Tzu)...then they will be much more likely to back down a bit and allow at least some limited access on a trial basis. Look to the rules re: fatbiking that some of the more progressive xc-ski areas that allow fatbiking have put in place...I seem to remember some that state things to the effect of : 4" or larger tires only, no bikes on the trails less than x-hours after the groomer has passed through, no bikes when temps are above y-degrees...etc...here in AK when the XC-ski geeks started getting all uppity about fatbikes on "their" trails. Some local fatbikers got a bike-friendly print shop to donate time and materials and had some informational cards printed up for distribution at the LBS's where fatbikes were sold and serviced. The cards had trail etiquette and technical tips (such as running lower pressures, etc) ...the answers to a successful partnership are out there, but you have to forge the friendship, not expect it...xc-skiers are an odd, rabid lot...it's like the've got syphilis or something...
    Last edited by damnitman; 03-28-2013 at 02:15 PM.
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brknspk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    92
    Yes, you're right. We (IMBA and Cycle-CNY) have been fighting this for a long time now and we've been through many of the issues you've described. We're down to the last 2 weeks of public comments and I'm trying to rally the troops to let the DEC know that there are more bikers asking for access than skiers trying to shut us out.

    To a large extent it's a political battle. and in politics you don't bring new issues to the table this late in the game, especially when they don't help your cause. Hence, the focus on how our 2 user groups can coexist instead of pointing fingers at either group. We need to stay focused and we need bikers to write to the DEC. The simple act of copying the template from my original post, pasting it into an email and addressing it to Matt Swayze (mmswayze@gw.dec.state.ny.us) WILL make a difference.
    Last edited by brknspk; 03-28-2013 at 05:57 PM.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: damnitman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,271
    ...props bro...most folk have neither the time nor the stones to stand up for themselves, let alone others...power to the people...
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

Similar Threads

  1. Hammond Pond Wild Forest in North Hudson, NY
    By mtmoriah in forum New York
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-19-2013, 07:27 AM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-18-2012, 09:08 AM
  3. Black Rock State Forest / Mattatuck State Forest‏ (Plan B)
    By Tony777 in forum Connecticut, Rhode Island
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-18-2011, 06:25 PM
  4. Trouble makers at Hammond HIll
    By Fastcars12 in forum New York
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: 06-30-2011, 10:08 AM
  5. Perry Hill (Putnam State Forest)
    By client_9 in forum Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-18-2011, 03:07 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •