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  1. #1
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    Boise Tech Trails II

    The answer to your prayers….and a bit more frustration:

    I’ve been working with David Gordon, Ridge to Rivers Trial Coordinator these past several years to find a place within our trail system to build or incorporate into an existing trail all the features you have been so yearning for. Together we have identified trails or areas that might support these features. Ridge to Rivers has recently completed what might be a called a new Operations Manual. Within this document is a short section addressing the growing demand for more challenge on our trails along with the how, the where and the guidelines these features might be built to. This document was distributed among the RtoR associated land management agencies for comment. No negative comments were expressed regarding the “Technical Trail Opportunities” portion of the document.

    Good News – Yes! But don’t grab your shovels and expect to start digging tomorrow. Based on the recommendations BLM still has to do the NEPA study(s) for their specific locations (first on my personal list) and any other land management agency involved with the specific site must give approval before dirt can be turned.

    The following is my short edit of the document and some clarifying interpretive questions I posed of RtoR:

    Technical Trail Opportunities

    The desire for technical trail opportunities has increased in recent years. Features such as log skinnies, rock drops, table tops and jumps, which were once considered on the fringe of trail riding are now becoming mainstream..

    Policy for Adding Technical Opportunities along Existing Trails
    The addition of technical opportunities along existing trails will be evaluated on a case by case basis as proposed by interested public volunteers.

    All spurs containing technical features must have a technical entrance (a “qualifier”), so that it is clear to trail users that the spur is more difficult, as well as a technical exit back on to the main trail so that users re-enter the trail at a safe speed. Spurs will not exceed 150’ in length.

    Trails identified as having the possibility to add technical features alongside of existing trail tread:

    Lower Foothills
    Rock Garden #16A
    Bobs #30
    Table Rock #15
    Table Rock Loop #16
    Table Rock Quarry #17
    Castle Rock Loop #19
    Quarry #18
    Hard Guy #33

    Shafer Area
    Eastside #120
    Sinker #122
    DB Connector #123
    Mr. Big #124
    Freddy’s #125
    Big-Stack Cutoff #126
    Morningstar #97
    Elk Meadows #94


    Policy for Providing Technical Opportunities on New Trails
    When this is done, a cross country ride or walk-around will always be provided.

    Standards
    Any and all technical features will be built following the most current accepted standards and guidelines. No feature that requires mandatory air (free-fall) will be permitted.
    Don’t get upset just yet…..

    After reviewing the portion of the document addressing technical trail elements, policies and standards, I posed several interpretive questions as follows:

    RtoR Document says; Any and all technical features will be built following the most current accepted standards and guidelines. No feature that requires mandatory air (free-fall) will be permitted”

    My interpretation is –
    • A jump can be constructed as a table top or set of rollers as long as the rider can reduce speed on approach and roll over the feature without being forced to catch air. The rider is in control of leaving the ground or not, when riding the object.
    • A ledge type drop can be constructed which gives the rider the opportunity to leave the ground or roll the bike over and down the face of the drop.

    RtoR Document says; “All spurs containing technical features must have a technical entrance (a “qualifier”), so that it is clear to trail users that the spur is more difficult, as well as a technical exit back on to the main trail so that users re-enter the trail at a safe speed. Spurs will not exceed 150’ in length.”

    My interpretation is –

    • A jump or drop (as I defined above) can be placed at the entry to a spur trail as (the qualifier) and the technical exit back on the main trail can be a series of rocks, log skinny or other challenging and speed reducing element.
    • Also a jump, or series of jumps (as I defined above) can be placed between the entry and exit elements.

    RtoR agreed 100% with my interpretations. One other thing, the elements will be designed around the capabilities of a maximum 5.5” travel trail bike so as not to exclude the abundance of XC bikes and riders. If you want to use a 40 lb big huck machine, enjoy, but don’t be whining or complaining it’s not up to your standards.

    This could open the door to some great new and bigger opportunities. Be patient and let the process evolve. I won’t be responding to any comments but I will post updates as we move forward.

  2. #2
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    You're my hero! Any help you need, I'm available.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the work and the update, Wheelbender!

    It seems that the phrase "technical trail opportunities" appears more in-line with "man made features" such as lumber and jumps. Is there any talk about actually making these technical features more natural rather than looking like Ray's indoor mountain bike park? I love the idea, but I would much rather see more Bob's/Hull's type riding with natural rock elements than taking a spur onto a half pipe while riding down Bob's.
    BoiseBoy

  4. #4
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    Nice work!

  5. #5
    FASTER, DAMIT, FASTER
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    Great update. I have a bunch of free labor to donate for any "technical trail opportunities."

    "Man made features" included.....
    DON'T EXTINGUISH THE STOKE.

  6. #6
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Wheelbender is also well known for having invented the rear shock, the tubeless tire, and the baggy short.

    He was the first known person to successfully execute the wheelie.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank View Post
    Wheelbender is also well known for having invented the rear shock, the tubeless tire, and the baggy short.

    He was the first known person to successfully execute the wheelie.
    He also rides with Al Gore and helped invent the internet.

  8. #8
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    who invented government bureaucracy?

    the ambiguity in that document is awesome.

    have fun working with those people.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Good job, WB!

  11. #11
    aaarrrggghh!
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    Wouldn't that be a monkey wheel if it was constructed by monkey's??????

  12. #12
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    Boise Tech Trails II – Update I

    I had a good long conversation this morning with Larry Ridenhour, Outdoor Recreation Planner with BLM, Boise. He will head up the preparation of NEPA study and associated documentation for trail work on BLM ground. I did not ask him about trails on Forest Service Ground. Not knowing anything about interagency collaboration or acceptance of a NEPA study, I can’t say how a BLM prepared document might benefit or facilitate a project on Forest Service ground. This could be the topic of our next discussion.

    We did not address the timing of the NEPA, but currently it is not at the top of his list of priorities. This is understandable since the subject is new on his radar screen. To help push the Technical Trials issue to the forefront and actually begin to see progress I expressed the growing need and a desire being voiced by the MTB community for the construction of challenging features. Also my belief we should be able to assemble a group of riders willing to step up to take ownership of and responsibility for construction and maintenance of the features. Maintenance is going to be an important part of the equation. For now Larry has suggested we direct our suggestions to him personally. He has agreed to accept emails expressing your support for the Technical Trail Features Project. So here is what he wants:

    • Prepare a short and concise document explaining your desire to include technical tail features within the local Boise trail system.

    • If you have been to other locations where this need has been meet you might include a reference to the location, very short description of the general features and why the location or features appeal to you.

    • Include illustrations or photos of good challenging features you would like to see. This will help in the BLM’s understanding of what you want and what they might eventually progress toward. This will also give them a better level of comfort regarding how a feature might be constructed to address their safety and sustainability concerns. Include jumps, drops, big banked berms, small interconnected bermed turns, step-ups, step-downs, skinnies, ladders, rock technical features, wheelie drops, wall rides etc.

    • Along with the good stuff they want to know what our opinion is and understanding of a poorly designed and constructed feature. They want to know our general attitude toward unacceptable trail/feature construction, trail erosion, poorly built wood features, and unnecessarily dangerous or hazardous manmade features, wood or dirt. Also maybe include a short explanation of why the feature is unnecessarily dangerous and how the unnecessary dangers might be remediated.

    Please contact Larry Ridenhour at larry_ridenhour@blm.gov


    It is critical to the future success of this project to show big support. Numbers are important right now, the more the better. Once the study is complete and the first features are in place other projects can be brought on line if the MTB community proves they can accept ownership and provide maintenance of what they are asking for. We cannot expect Ridge to Rivers to take over 100% of the maintenance. The Adopt a Trail system by individuals or groups will likely be needed to keep this program alive.

    My goal here is to develop a means and a method for the process to begin, get the first few features constructed then step aside so others can lead projects of their own. After that, change focus toward the development of a downhill one-way bike specific trail incorporating berms, jump lines, drops and the necessary ride-arounds so the trail appeals to many skill levels.

  13. #13
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    Yum. Man-made features.

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UWYfoF4a9fQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Just goes to show, an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite amount of wood and an infinite amount of time, one of them will build an MTB hamster wheel.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  14. #14
    just a man
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank View Post
    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UWYfoF4a9fQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Just goes to show, an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite amount of wood and an infinite amount of time, one of them will build an MTB hamster wheel.
    RIP Sam Brown http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb...-spokane-jail/
    [URL=https://www.juststopandthink.com/david-nassar-religion-the-movie-religion-video/[/URL]

  15. #15
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    Boise Tech Trails II Update II

    Since I’m not getting any younger and don’t want to wait for the NEPA studies I have suggested a couple alternate locations for trail features. I have an on trail meeting scheduled with Ridge to Rivers to discuss the possibilities and locations for trail enhancements along the new Red Cliffs Trail #39. They include enlarging some of the existing berms, adding new ones and creating rolling dirt mounds in and out of corners. After that, a ride up Lower Trail #14 and #16 on Table Rock to look over existing trailside rocks and features that could become great new techy elements, or with slight modifications can be bigger and badder.

    The results may take some time to report, but I think it creates opportunities to move forward on a shorter construction timeline. These efforts have always included a presentation to other city officials by R to R. High traffic trails get shot down but the lower traffic trails, as these are, stand a better chance of approval.

  16. #16
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    Thanks Wheelbender

    And I mean it......this is great.......much appreciated. I am with Bombin 4X on the Sam Brown RIP thing.........am in Nelson, BC right now which is still home to that crazy ass disconstructed wheel, hoping to venture up and see it this Summer.

  17. #17
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    WB - Does anybody have IMBA involved? Not a bad idea to do so since they have lots of experience with trail building and working with land managers elsewhere.

  18. #18
    FASTER, DAMIT, FASTER
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    Inspiration...

    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4tvAt2tDNx0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    DON'T EXTINGUISH THE STOKE.

  19. #19
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    Listen closely at about :43 - the key is that BC has a division of tourism that specifically focuses on mountain biking and developed policy aimed to develop these trails in a manner consistent with drawing more bikers to the area. BC "gets" that mountain biking is a tourism draw. Idaho hasn't embraced that concept - yet. I stressed during my testimony to the legislative committees last year (for the license plate) that study after study definitely proves that the development of purpose-built mountain bike trails (not multi-user trails) foments economic development. Fruita and BC are perfect examples. Bottom line - FIRST, you have lay the governmental relations groundwork before you're ever going to get the kinds of trails you guys (and I) want.

    Again, this begs the question of whether anybody is involving IMBA. If you look at my two recent posts relating to new trail construction - one of which (Punchline) was built in Hailey on terrain very similar to the Boise foothills - IMBA was directly involved. Why not use them as a resource? Wheelbender, you should contact Anna Laxague with IMBA and see what help they may be able to provide, even if it's just initial assurance to R2R that purpose-built bike trails are a good thing.

  20. #20
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    Boise Tech Trails II Update III

    Surveyed the trails yesterday with Ridge to Rivers and we agreed to the following rough outline:

    Trail #39 Red Cliffs
    We identified a number of corners, some with small existing berms some without, that are worthy of improvement. The trail footprint in these areas can be made wider and taller. Anyone who has railed a good berm understands the fun factor, but the downside is water retention. They will have to be built to hold some water on the low side and still provide a reasonable walking surface. We might be able to build some dirt rollers up-trail from the berm entry to assist with water diversion if it becomes a problem.

    We can build jumps where the trail opens up to good visibility and a wider pathway. They will not be much more than big dirt water bars with long extended transitional landing zonings which do not hinder foot traffic. Depending on how the hikers respond to the jump, do they walk directly over it or widen the pathway around it, could result in a high side/low side right to left or left to right tapering of the jump. Hikers tend to take the path of least resistance around and object. R to R understands jumpers need wider landing zones to recover from any misjudgments of speed and distance. So the skinny single track rule will not apply here. The rider’s skill and bike will determine speed, height and distance, not the feature. Again, these features will be designed for the trail and XC bike, not the DH bike.

    None of the work on Red Cliffs can begin until we get some moisture back into the soil this fall.

    Trail #14 Lower Tram Trail
    The big highlight here is the opportunity to construct one or more technical spur trails. These can include drops, jumps, skinnies, etc. One good location was agreed to with several other possibilities. We also may look at incorporating several trailside rocks into skinnies similar to the one off the top of Table Rock Trail #16. At the two big rock wall rides on #14 we can improve the exit transition from the wall back to the trail so a rider can attack the rock wall with greater speed to get higher and further out the wall. This won’t change the challenge at the second wall (rock with big diagonal crack) for the rider wanting to push off the wall and flat land back onto the trail.

    Work on these features will require some digging, strong backs hauling big rocks and patience placing the rocks into a good tight fitting base. When done they must be close to maintenance free. Work can begin this summer after we have photographically documented the areas of work, defined the construction guidelines and work area limits. Looking at this realistically, I don’t see any work here until after the summer travel and vacation season is over or we get some dedicated early risers on weekends willing to put in a few hours to beat the heat.

    Side Notes
    • The reason both these projects can proceed so quickly is the fact they are both on land owned by the City of Boise……NO NEPA.

    • Appreciate the positive input and suggestions regarding these trail opportunities. IMBA will be used at some point in this work. First I want to nail down the features, locations and limits acceptable to the local jurisdictions. I am looking to R to R for the suggestion as to when or if we need to get an IMBA person involved. I don’t want to step on, over or around the partnership I have built with them. We are not cutting in a big new $50,000 trail at this time. Hopefully that day may come soon. Right now we are just scratching in the dirt to evaluate the success or failures of these ideas and features. R to R has assured me nothing but quality work will be allowed to remain standing. They will provide documented construction guidelines and field observation. They want this to succeed!

    • Any and all criticism of this process and final construction will be well received. If you don’t ever judge and discuss the merits and faults of anything, you or it will never improve. The problem with criticism is it usually perceived as negative.

    • Larry Ridenhour tells me there has not seen a single submittal to him identifying the good and bad trail features he has requested from the rider community for his NEPA study. Little to no input from you means little to no motivation for him to get started. You guys have complained long and hard about not having access to technical trail features, the opportunity is now here, don’t let it slip away.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    With the downturn in Boise's economy R2R could pick up a local warehouse and make some awesome, technical trails inside of it.

    Think about the possibilities! Four season riding, no wet trails, no foot traffic, air conditoned, lemonaide stands, and maybe even an elevator to get to the top of the trail.

    One thing that baffles me is why so many people apparently want dirt jumps on all of the trails, but complain about water bars?
    BoiseBoy

  22. #22
    aaarrrggghh!
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    BoiseBoy, you make some good points. If the jumps (waterbars) are designed the right way they add to the flow of the trail and allow someone to double them up which is kind of fun or roll them without incident. When you make them steep and lippy like R2R does they are scary and possibly dangerous. I recently rode a trail in Southern Oregon where they build the "waterbars" in sets which allowed the user to jump one and land on the backside of the other. These things were great fun and not scary if you didn't choose to attempt the "gap" in between them. It is win win for all types of riders.

  23. #23
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    I know he's received at least one email...from me.

  24. #24
    gringo-fied facsimiles
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    I vote NO

    The lower foothill trails are not safe to build bigger burms and jumps/water bars. Too much foot traffic, very suprized to hear mr gordon is even entertaining the idea.
    http://www.bradwaltonphoto.com
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by surly_an_instigator View Post
    The lower foothill trails are not safe to build bigger burms and jumps/water bars. Too much foot traffic, very suprized to hear mr gordon is even entertaining the idea.
    It's tough to build something bigger when they don't exist in the first place

    The only thing that even exists now is steep water bars that don't really make great jumps.

    My guess is that one of the reasons many people don't support jumps in the foothills is their only experience is steep water bars to flat landings that people call jumps around here. I've never met a person that doesn't like a smooth roller with a nice transition on the backside. You can direct water, catch air, and there's not nearly the consequence if you come up short or don't want to jump in the first place.

  26. #26
    gringo-fied facsimiles
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    I never said I didnt like jumps or burms, I said the foothills were not the place for them. I hike those trails as well as ride, too many f*cktards out there as it is that buzz hikers and dogs, and even other riders with out a care. Take that sh*t to the park.
    http://www.bradwaltonphoto.com
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  27. #27
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    I didn't say you didn't like jumps, I didn't disagree with you, nor did I say build a park in the lower foothills.

    I was joking about how can make something bigger if it doesn't exist. Kind of the "how can I have s'more when I haven't had any" joke from when we were kids eating marshmallows and gram crackers by the camp fire. Go get your coffee and come back.

    I do think that there is a place for water management that isn't steep water bars. I also think there is a general misconception by the people (mostly riders) in the lower foothills that all jumps are like water bars. Lame. In terms of safety, I don't think water bars do anything for anyone. The people that slow down for water bars are going to slow down for hikers. The people that hit them unexpectantly get a nasty surprise. The people that air off them are probably getting off balance in the air from the steepness and have a flat landing which does nothing for their control.

    A-holes buzzing people in the lower foothills are going to do it whether or not there are jumps and berms. I guess you could try to debate that but you just said it's happening now and we don't have berms and jumps. It's "do guns kill people or do people kill people" type of arguement that won't go anywhere.

    If you are worried about an influx of people that will crowd the trails, you probably should have had this conversation 10 years ago before there was an influx of people that crowd the lower foothills.

  28. #28
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    Boise Tech Trails II Clarification

    Clarification – “Water Bar” as defined by the Boise MTB crowd is obviously a bad word. I know there have been many riders injured by them. Since some are unsure of what a “Berm” would look like on a multi-use trail, let’s replace them both with “Junkyard Type Elements”. These are the trail features that will set the baseline for construction on the Red Cliffs. I suggest people go ride it or look over the photos at the link below. Two feet will be the approximate height limit for jumps and berm walls. I’m not saying every berm wall will be two feet high, two feet may be more than is needed some locations and will not be used. There will also be a safe, flat to low sloping base at the berms for hikers. Nobody will be forced to travel a surface too steep for walking. A choice will be provided. Hikers seem to do just fine on Junkyard. If you think about it, every element proposed for Red Cliffs already exists somewhere within the foothill trail system. We are attempting to bring them together as enhancements to a trail already built with some descent flow. When work is done on #14 Lower Tram Trail using the technical side spur for jumps and drops, we will be given the opportunity to build larger elements since they will not be part of the existing trail.

    http://wheelbender.pinkbike.com/album/Junkyard/

  29. #29
    aaarrrggghh!
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    I would contend that Junkyard is one of the most fun trails around because of the berms. However, my only concern is how much faster you can ride this trail now that the berms are in place and in a perfect world that trail would be one way only due to the speed you can carry into some of the blind sections.

  30. #30
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    Smile

    I agree on the junkyard trail being very fun, and especially so in one direction. the first time I road it was with my nine year old, everyone we passed was going the other direction. my son thought the trail was ok. next time we rode it counter clockwise and he is in love with the trail now and asks to go back all the time. I can keep track of him when he gets ahead or behind from the "WHEE" and "WHOO HOO" sounds he constantly emits.

  31. #31
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    Thanks for your hard work Wheelbender (who are you again? probably have worked with you on trails at some time) on the JunkYard trail and I'm sure plenty of others.

    From the time Buck got built I've certainly seen a progression in trailbuilding and the ideas incoroporated into building sustainable trails. Now if we can just get on with more building at Avimor, the trails there are fun, but some of the steep double track is in a state of, rutty disrepair. There's an amazing potential out there, like incorporating some of the old Coyote Classic course as new flowy singletrack. I'm happy to dig and build whenever too.
    Just ride down there and jump off something for crying out loud...

  32. #32
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    I agree ryman, Avimor has a ton of potential. But "flowy" is the key word. I think a connection to Red Tail would be a great addition.

  33. #33
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    Is there anywhere close in the valley with more easy single track like the super easy loop at military reserve? my 5 year old loves that one minus a short section of the sidehill he walks for fear of ending up in the trees

    thanks

  34. #34
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    tried to start a new thread, but did not have enough posts yet, sorry to piggyback.

  35. #35
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    Boise Tech Trails II Update IV

    RED CLIFFS Trail #39: The locations for the jumps have been determined. There will be two separate areas with three jumps each. We can also build five or six berms. Everything will be built into the existing trail. R2R prefers we not have huge numbers of workers on the trail at any one time so I would like to keep it at about six maximum. Dirt will have to be pulled from behind larger sagebrush at a distance away from the trail so as not to create visible trailside scars. Some tools will be made available to us by R2R. Again we will have to wait for wet weather in the fall before we can start work. Send me a message with contact information if you are interested in working on this project. The trail is close enough to the R2R office and parking lot we should be able to put in an hour or two after work on weekdays in addition to several weekend work sessions.

    The exposure and comments this project is likely to generate will be considered as part of future trail development in the foothills. The construction will be closely scrutinized for its impact on all trail user groups and how each user traverses the feature. A small amount of trail widening is expected at the jumps, but an excessive amount will have to be addressed. The bikers using the features to their full potential, as always, will be expected to yield to any and all traffic in the approach and landing zones. Good behavior and supportive comments for the project could lead to a future technical spur off Trial #39 containing larger features.

    LOWER TRAM Trail #14: Looks like we might get two technical trail spurs and work on one of the two existing rock walls rides. I will post information on this later after we have determined exactly where the spurs will be and the kind of features considered. They should be bigger than what we get on Red Cliffs for sure.

  36. #36
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    My e-mail to BLM

    I wanted to share this e-mail I sent to Mr. Ridenour:

    Introduction and Personal Background

    I am not a resident of Boise. In fact, I live thousands of miles away, but I am writing you to express my support for the continued development of Boise’s fantastic trail system with the mountain biker in mind. I have lived and mountain biked all over the country, and Idaho is one of my favorite places to ride. The addition of more technical and challenging trail features would enhance Boise’s status as a top mountain biking destination.

    Why do I care about Boise’s trails? My in-laws are from Boise, and contrary to the stereotype of husbands avoiding their in-laws at all costs, I visit Boise every chance I get. The Ridge-to-Rivers trails system and the Eagle Bike Park are a large reason why. I keep a bike in my in-law’s garage just so I can ride when I’m in town.

    I am a young professional, well-educated and well-compensated, with a family. I say this simply to counter the image of the teenage “shredder” being the only kind of person interested in technical trail features, and to suggest that there are more people like me, who would be attracted to Boise as a place to visit or to live, on the basis of its trail system.

    In fact, though I’m living in a large city to earn a higher salary and get good experience for a few years, I plan to move after a while to a smaller city with good mountain biking access. Boise and Chattanooga, TN are at the top of my list of candidates for relocation. As I will describe below, Chattanooga has emerged as a popular southern outdoor destination because of its support for mountain biking, and its trails are widely praised for offering unique technical rock obstacles that attract riders from all over the South. Boise can similarly enhance its trail system with technical features in a responsible way without detriment to other trail users.

    Appeal for Trail Additions

    I applaud Boise’s trail planners for its development and maintenance of nice singletrack. It’s a fun and well organized trail system. But there are lots of places with nice singletrack. The truly great trails and mountain biking destinations -- Moab, Sedona, Asheville, British Columbia -- are unforgettable because they have unique rocky sections, drops, exposure to large cliffs, jumps, berms, and the like. These traits make a trail exceptional and prevent the trail system from seeming homogenous.

    Two of these are particularly simple and unobtrusive: berms and “whoop-de-doos.” These features increase a trail’s “flow” and fun factor are simple to construct. More elaborate wooden obstacles can also be made as part of a spur or with a walk-around so that other trail users can easily avoid them.

    Examples of Trails that Successfully Integrate Technical Features

    White Clay Creek State Park, Newark, Delaware

    Mountain bikers in Newark, Delaware, have designed a fantastic trail system which responsibly incorporates mandmade and technical obstacles. Whoop-de-dos, berms, and table top jumps are scattered all over the trail system, all of which can easily be rolled over by trail users not interested in making full use of them. See this video at minutes 1:20 to 1:53: [Not allowed to post links0398]. White Clay Creek also features a separate spur called the “Skills Trail,” marked by a sign, and featuring an intermediate introductory obstacle to warn riders of what is ahead. See this video at minute 4:30: [Not allowed to post links]. It includes log rides, teeter totters, steep roll-ins, rock gardens, bridges and jumps.

    Raccoon Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee

    Chattanooga is an up-and-coming outdoor destination because of its embracive attitude toward mountain bikers. The city has set a goal to open 100 miles of new singletrack around the city in the next few years, and a new trail opened just recently with the very kinds of man-made obstacles that are the subject of this e-mail (log rides, table-top jumps, berms). See sorbachattanooga.org. The flagship trail is the Raccoon Mountain Trail, which capitalizes on natural rock outcroppings to create very fun trail features. See this video: [vimeo video of Raccoon Mountain].

    Thank you for all you have done for mountain biking in Boise, and I hope that bikers and land managers can continue to collaborate to make the trails in Boise even better.

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    Wheelbender -Thank you for putting in the time and effort w RTR and making noteable progress-and going through the proper channels and setting the scene for the next step-you sir, are cool in my book! I just sent an e-mail with contact info, I would love to offer my help with trail work.

    Stalking Horse-Thank you for taking the time to construct a well thought out letter and add to the collective voice -I know I speak for many when I say we really do appreciate that.
    Hey, is that a Huffy? That's a nice-lookin' bike, boy!

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    Thank you Stalking Horse, Dirt Monkey, et al! As a reminder to everyone interested in progressive trail design and enhancing Boise’s riding experience please refer back to my post #11 and email Larry Ridenhour. More positive input is needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    Thank you Stalking Horse, Dirt Monkey, et al! As a reminder to everyone interested in progressive trail design and enhancing Boise’s riding experience please refer back to my post #11 and email Larry Ridenhour. More positive input is needed.
    And, make sure you come see "Pedal Driven" tonight at the Knit. It's all about the process of working with land managers to build the exact kind of technical riding you're all wanting (plus some pretty cool riding scenes...)

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    Wheelbender, thanks for the PM. I tried to reply by PM but I'm not allowed because my post count is too low.

    Sorry to spam all.

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    Thanks for doing all this work. Its really great to see. I would love to help out with the building. Let me know and I will be there with shovel in hand.

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    Trail Work Day Fast Approaching

    The plans for trail features are now set and work will begin soon on Red Cliffs Trail. Ridge to Rivers has suggested we incorporate the assistance of a local young man who is working on his Eagle Scout service project. Everything appears to have fallen into place and I’m guessing work might begin the first of November.

    The scope of the project will include (6) two foot tall jumps, each with a built in walk/ride around. The jumps will have side tapered takeoffs, sloping left to right or right to left as terrain dictates so as to create a high side for catching air and a low side for walkers/riders. They will have long continuous tapered landings. They will be constructed in two groups of (3) to minimize the “surprise factor” but with enough distance between to grab a couple of peddle strokes if needed or slow down to accommodate uphill foot traffic. They will be located in areas of high visibility and gentle but continuous fall along the trail.

    There will also be (5-6) berms with several of the existing berms being reconstructed. In addition to the trail work we hope to assist with the ongoing sagebrush re-vegetation project.

    Depending on the final volunteer count from the perspective Eagle Scout’s troop, we may still need some assistance from the local riding community. The work will likely occur on a Saturday morning. So, if you have the first couple of Saturdays in November open I would certainly like to hear from you. Drop me a private message and I will update you on the volunteer count and work day specifics as this information becomes available. Thanks to those who have already volunteered.

    Ridge to Rivers has decided one trail work project of this type is enough for this year. Hopefully over the winter we can talk more about a second project with more technical features using spur trails along Lower Tram Trail near Table Rock for next spring.

    The Boise Foothill Trail System has an abundance of “Dirt”; let’s see if we can maximize this to our advantage and up the YAAAAHOOOOO!!!! factor.


    Go ride Junkyard, the funnest little trail in Idaho!

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    Good work, Wheelbender. Will you post back here once you know whether more volunteers are needed?

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    Post up when you need help.. I have worked with a few trail building associations, have attended IMBA trail building school and ride enough to understand the basics of trail work.. I am also young and full of youth so I am always ready to throw some dirt at a work day..

  45. #45
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    Trail Work Day

    I just sent out private messages to those who appeared interested in helping out with the work this fall. If I missed any of you please send me a private message or a post on this thread requesting information. I will reply via P.M. if more help is needed. I have to keep the numbers somewhat limited so we don't end up with an "OCCUPY BOISE" scene in the foothills.

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    Teaser - Don't Wear It Out

    Here are a couple shots of the new feature. Notice the nice safe section to the left side for hikers and timid riders! After some discussion with RtoR the final product will be a little more substantial that this one, a bit longer and a bit wider across the top. The height is acceptable but I think we will just eliminate or minimize the radius on the takeoff ramp....might provide too much kick on a riders back tire. Also bigger rolled edge over the top. Sorry no side views just yet They are intended to be low speed booters. Go ride it and post your opinions whatever they might be. Red Cliffs Trail #39. Oh ya, I got carried away on the drainage pit off to side. It's built to take the 500 year flood. The others will be built for the 100 year event. I'm learning.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Boise Tech Trails II-red-cliffs-jump-11-7-11-1-.jpg  

    Boise Tech Trails II-red-cliffs-jump-11-7-11-2-.jpg  

    Last edited by Wheelbender; 11-08-2011 at 12:08 PM.

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    Those look awesome. I will go check them out this afternoon and will report back with pics or video so you can see others are hitting them.

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  48. #48
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    great! f*cking up our foothills as you are learning, this is a joke right? As I ride or hike UP this trail EVERY DAY, I or my dog get hit cuz youve increased speed and danger on this trail I am sending you the bill a**hat. Bad idea to put these here. I have sent a huge complaint to Mr Gordon.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by surly_an_instigator View Post
    great! f*cking up our foothills as you are learning, this is a joke right? As I ride or hike UP this trail EVERY DAY, I or my dog get hit cuz youve increased speed and danger on this trail I am sending you the bill a**hat. Bad idea to put these here. I have sent a huge complaint to Mr Gordon.
    I concur w/ Surly.

    And this is coming from a couple of people that want "featured trails" as badly as anyone.

    That lump of dirt sucks for where it is and what it is. Take it to the park.

    Wheelbendover gets an A for ambition and an F for implementation.
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    I hit this Saturday and next time will go around. The ramp wouldn't let me carry any speed without kicking the rear tire.

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    "I Have Power Over All Things"

    Quote Originally Posted by surly_an_instigator View Post
    great! f*cking up our foothills as you are learning, this is a joke right? As I ride or hike UP this trail EVERY DAY, I or my dog get hit cuz youve increased speed and danger on this trail I am sending you the bill a**hat. Bad idea to put these here. I have sent a huge complaint to Mr Gordon.
    This too much fun!

    Yes, I alone control the speed of all riders on all trails. I alone control whether a rider goes airborne or not. I alone control the rider’s choice to go left or right on this feature. I alone control every movement of your dog. I alone control whether or not you take your dog with you on Red Cliffs. I alone control whether or not you leash your dog. And finally, I alone control all things in the universe! Therefore I will force all riders to go fast, out of control and aim for your dog.

    Do you get it yet, or should I continue?

    I wonder if the builders of the Whoops Trail in Bend, Oregon experienced the same kind of comments?

    Quoting Ridge to Rivers:
    Controlled Off-Leash Dog Areas
    Outside of Boise City limits on public land, dogs can run off leash if they are not disturbing wildlife or causing a safety concern with other trail users. In these "Controlled Off-Leash" areas, dog owners still must carry a leash and waste bag with them, and their dogs should not be further than 30 feet away at any time. Common sense and respect for others will go a long way in keeping this option available to you and your pet.

    • Keep pets leashed on the busy trails to protect them and other trail users.
    • Carry a grocery bag or mutt mitt to pick up pet waste and deposit in trash cans.
    • Become involved with groups who support being a responsible pet owner.


    Like I said, I invite all input, but please if you have an opinion or argument one way or the other, try to use logic not emotion.

    I contend these features, if used properly, will slow riders on approach rather than increase their speed thus making the trails safer for all users. They will be placed in areas of maximum down trail and up trail visibility for users to assess their approach, apply common sense and be courteous if other trail users are in the vicinity. As is, the feature is not built for a high speed approach or big air. It is all about presenting the user with choices and eliminating unnecessary hazards when building these features. We've eliminated forcing the rider to jump, they can ride over it or around it. Hikers can do the same.

    If you think it is crap, then you are not using it correctly, or not thinking when using it.

    Let’s try this one: If you and your dog are in the vicinity of the jumps, your dog is out of your control, he runs off trail into the area of the jumps as a rider approaches. It wouldn’t matter whether the rider goes airborne or not. It wouldn’t matter if the rider is going fast or not. If you choose to let your dog run free, he runs out in front of a rider, there is a collision and you’re out of control dog is severely injured, who is at fault? You? The dog? The rider? Oh yes, and the rider is killed as a result of your actions. You let the dog fun free right?. What do you do, what do you do? Ban dogs from the foothills? Ban riders from the foothills? Create dog only trails?

    I almost forgot…”I HAVE POWER OVER ALL THINGS” I’ll just make everyone safe and eliminate all collisions from this time forward. Now everyone can go fast, let their dogs run free and feel safe at all times.

    This feature was built within strict guidelines and evaluation for safe use by all trail users...unlike the features at the bike park. Go back and read my early posts in this thread.

    I encourage thoughful, reasonable, logical opinions.

    Go ride Junkyard Trail where riders, hikers, runners, dogs, horses, small jumps, rollers, berms and little children all live together in harmony
    Last edited by Wheelbender; 11-09-2011 at 01:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barefoot40 View Post
    I hit this Saturday and next time will go around. The ramp wouldn't let me carry any speed without kicking the rear tire.
    It does look a little lippy from the pic. Was it made intentionally steep to encourage lower speeds? I haven't been out to see it yet.

    While I can't help this weekend, I'm excited about the effort and hope this first phase goes over as well as possible so that there are more opportunities in the future.

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    I a willing to help you build this weekend. I don't have enough posts to PM, just keep me updated and I will be out there on Saturday with my shovel.

  54. #54
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    Yes the lip will be modified to be more of a flat ramp takeoff with a rolled edge. I didn't take my bike to ride when done this past Saturday. It was too muddy with all the snow and I didn't want to make trail ruts. Thanks for the input. I find the smaller jump features more difficult to fine tune than larger ones.

  55. #55
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    None of this trail work is happening without a whole lot of scrutiny. I’ve been working directly with RtR for the past 3 years to put this together. It is being done on a trial basis and will all go away if there are negative results. Ultimately it all boils down to the trail user. Do they have any common sense and will they follow the rules of the trail. If everyone behaves and plays nice together we might see more of this. Just be good people….please.

    Go read the notice on RtR website under the 2011 News Releases 11/04:
    2011 News Releases

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    Wheelbender, I will be there at 10am with my shovel (but no bucket) ready to help do some work. I think its awesome we get a chance to make out trails better.

  57. #57
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    Wow

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    If everyone behaves and plays nice together we might see more of this. Just be good people….please.
    The irony of this post and others on this thread is staggering. I rode your jumps last night and don't really have anything positive to say about the jump or the location of where it has been placed.

    Good luck on your endeavor but don't get all butt hurt when some users disagree with how you build or where you decided to put said features.

    Please post your published guidelines for this jump you built. I would love to educate myself on your build standards.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post

    Do you get it yet, or should I continue?

    I wonder if the builders of the Whoops Trail in Bend, Oregon experienced the same kind of comments?

    I encourage thoughful, reasonable, logical opinions.
    Poor reference. Whoops is effectively a one way trail. Red Cliffs is not. Bend has a more evolved trail system in place than we have here and this was a poor choice for this type of construction.

    Also, you should reread your own posts before asking other people to be thoughtful, reasonable, or logical. You are none of those things sir.

  59. #59
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    Rode it, and yea im not for it, or more like it. I read the RtR page and i really hope this trial basis doesnt last long. I would not consider this a jump even if it was modified. Im all for more "tech" trails (and leaving the few that we have alone) but i see this as more of a hazard and not moving forward. Give the credit of effort but sorry this is a hazard and with multi-user, stakes are higher.

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    I have a few questions for those that are bashing on Wheelbender..

    First, where do you propose that the jumps should be built? Short of the Velo park and a few technical features over on Table rock, I am have not found any features anywhere in the foothills. I know there is stuff up in the hills but I have not ventured up there as no locals have showed me around and I am not going to venture up there alone. And the foothill trails are all so tame that I think if it is possible to spice up a trail then it would be a welcome addition. My trail bike gets to the point where it is boring to ride in the foot hills, My cross bike is more fun to ride then my mountain bike in the foothills.

    Second, How many people were out there helping him build the jumps? If you have so much to say then speak by helping throw dirt.. Riding dirt jumps a bit, your opinion is null and void until you have thrown dirt yourself and have contributed.. I am a full proponent of no dig-no ride policy but unfortunately that wont work here, so I think a "no dig-no b!tch" rule would be more appropriate.

  61. #61
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    True

    Quote Originally Posted by swan3609 View Post
    I have a few questions for those that are bashing on Wheelbender..

    Second, How many people were out there helping him build the jumps? If you have so much to say then speak by helping throw dirt.. Riding dirt jumps a bit, your opinion is null and void until you have thrown dirt yourself and have contributed.. I am a full proponent of no dig-no ride policy but unfortunately that wont work here, so I think a "no dig-no b!tch" rule would be more appropriate.
    You should know that the more outspoken critics of Wheelbender's work have also been the some of the same folks with lots and lots of shovel time. The jump in question is poorly built and arguably not on the right trail.

    I am all for some berms and jumps on the right trails. I think Wheelbender's work on Junkyard, jumps aside, is some pretty solid stuff. I absolutely love the berms on that trail. However, the fact remains that these trails are multi-directional, multi-user, and not the right place for this type of feature. If these same trails were DH only I would be singing a different tune about the berms. The jump still totally sucks though. Noobs are going to get worked by this overly steep, lippy piece of crap the first time they hit it wrong on their steep headtubed XC bike with their seats three feet up their a$$es. Trust me, it happens on water bars constructed in the foothills with a similar design.

  62. #62
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    Coming from Bend, I'm a fan of jumps and little kickers like this, but I think the foothills culture isn't ready for a jump so much a part of the main trail. When I envisioned this project, I pictured spur trails that would be purpose built for bikers. There's plenty of space out there, and it'd be easy to post a bike only sign at the entrance and exit of these spurs.

    We could also focus more effort on building more trials style tech features. Artificial ladders or skinnies or whatever. These provide variety, are fun to ride, and can be designed to be ridden slowly. More balance oriented than speed.

    And before my hand gets slapped, consider me volunteered to help out, just plan it for a Sunday and I'll be there (I work 24 hour shifts on Saturday).

  63. #63
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    So that's what that was on Red Cliffs! we thought it was a bad water bar dig. We were coming down the trail on a night ride and saw it for the very first time, several of the group almost bit it. Come on man, come on RtR, what about spurs off the main trail for those jumps?! now, that's an idea! NOT on the main trail... if you need the features like that, do it (legally) off the main trail or just go to the park, okay? I agree with Ivan

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    Nom nom nom

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    I dont think you got the jist of my post. I was using myself and my dog as an example. With the introduction of the berms you are increasing speed, in poor visibility areas, in a multi use multi direction area. If I would have said kid instead of dog would you have blown up as such? Both are below the grass height, and both have every right to enjoy the freedom of using ALL the trails in the foothills without the fear of getting plowed by a bike rider. That trail was bad enough as it sat with the blind corners and capable speed. And now YOU have pushed to increase speed by adding berms. And now YOU have pushed for the building of jumps on this same trail that will increase dangerous situations for all users. I know all the rules of the foothills, I worked hand in hand with Dave Gordon, I was a Ranger for about two years, and because i was out there EVERY DAY, I saw all the user conflicts, poo, dogs, kids, bikes, hikers, sheep, horses ect, I was there when YOU decided to take it upon YOURSELFf to modify hulls to YOUR liking. I know the rules. I follow the rules, unlike 80% of the trail users out there everyday. I assure you this is not the place for YOUR little test.
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    I agree that in the lower footies TTFs should be added as alternate lines. I think a lot better feature on red cliffs would be a mini rock garden or some rock feature that slows people down not speeds them up. Load up a wheel barrow with rock! I have some rock I can even donate! At least swap the location of the ride around and the jump and then make this thing less lippy.

    Where and when on Saturday are you meeting? Not sure if I can make it I am still battling a cold.
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    I spoke with Trail Commission Gordon re: this. If enough people complain that there are safety issues with these "features", that they will get flattened. Hopefully by the same yoyos that pumped them up, along with their egos.

    Nobody responsible on a knobby-tired bike likes to see features flattened, but the simple fact is that the these "features" are headed in the same legacy bin as Big Wood and the Bogus wood structures.

    Can you say "train wreck"?
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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by surly_an_instigator View Post
    I dont think you got the jist of my post. I was using myself and my dog as an example. With the introduction of the berms you are increasing speed, in poor visibility areas, in a multi use multi direction area. If I would have said kid instead of dog would you have blown up as such? Both are below the grass height, and both have every right to enjoy the freedom of using ALL the trails in the foothills without the fear of getting plowed by a bike rider. That trail was bad enough as it sat with the blind corners and capable speed. And now YOU have pushed to increase speed by adding berms. And now YOU have pushed for the building of jumps on this same trail that will increase dangerous situations for all users. I know all the rules of the foothills, I worked hand in hand with Dave Gordon, I was a Ranger for about two years, and because i was out there EVERY DAY, I saw all the user conflicts, poo, dogs, kids, bikes, hikers, sheep, horses ect, I was there when YOU decided to take it upon YOURSELFf to modify hulls to YOUR liking. I know the rules. I follow the rules, unlike 80% of the trail users out there everyday. I assure you this is not the place for YOUR little test.
    I think the "you's" and "your's" are unfair here. We have all (read many) been crying for more technical features, it just may have been I'll defined.

  69. #69
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    Wheelbender....first off i'd like to say congratulations at doing the trench work that was in order to even begin this process.

    However, i think what the crowd is saying here is that the kicker may not lay in the appropriate position and on a trail that gets as many trail riders heading in an upward direction. On multi direction trails these jumps really should be built on a side trail. And even better and more appropriately, on trails that are directional. A problem can and probably will occur if it already hasn't.

    crowd, don't kick a guy in knees that's trying to positively make mountain biking better for everyone.

    clearly that kicker is in a bad position, maybe some direction and open dialogue is in order to make these changes. Wheelbender clearly has some fantastic dialogue going with the correct people.

    good luck boise, the trails in your area are certainly worth a visit someday. Now, if it just wasn't for that speed bump along the way (stanley and the sawtooths).

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    Being a guy that likes flow and corners putting a large jump in the middle of trails seems like a digression to me. The recent additions, although not as tall as this one to the junkyard have not improved the trail IMO but if they were as tall as this one I would be seriously bummed.

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    I'll try to address some of the latest comments:

    Here’s a bit of history on the making of The Whoops Trail. You really need to read this. The writer says the smaller jumps on Whoops are lame also:
    Whoops Trail

    It’s all about education, how trends get started and where they can go. This is an educational opportunity for us all. Where did the eagle skate park come from? It all started in someone’s empty swimming pool, on benches, planters, handrails, steps and crazy kid with a skateboard.

    Why now, why me? RtR has been approached in the past by many individuals and groups to build technical or more challenging terrain. Why was it not it not accomplished? I’ll try to quote RtR correctly from my old fading memory…..”They were all talk and no action, they failed to follow through, they failed to make a commitment, they failed to put in the time and effort.” There, that sounds about right. I pushed, I worked, I researched, I presented examples, I made phone calls, I took time off work, I rode the trails with RtR, I presented options, I reviewed maps, most of the time made a pest of myself and of course offered to donate labor tossing dirt. Also the fact that many surrounding land management groups and communities have seen the benefit of more challenging features hasn’t hurt my cause.

    Babe Ruth struck out many more times than he hit it out of the park. At least we now have the opportunity to strike out. Wasn’t too many years ago this would have been taken down immediately. Now we get to ride it, discuss it, and evaluate it in a way we have never been able to before. So maybe I strike out, so what. It took me 3 years to do the hard work just to get the chance.

    Bashing me is fair game, have at it. Republicans Good, Democrats Bad! Democrats Good, Republicans Bad! It happens in all circles.

    Trail Feature Building Guidelines:- David Gordon, Ridge to Rivers, City of Boise and all the rules they must play by. Reread Posting #1. It gives everyone a bit of wiggle room.

    Spur Trails are one of the options and might just happen this next spring on Lower Tram Trail above Warm Springs Golf Course. Also a series of Technical Spurs are possible off Red Cliffs and the others named in my first post in this thread.

    Why not a technical spur trail first? -Building these features directly on an existing trail saves time and effort as opposed to building a spur trail. Also has identified those who just can't handle change well.

    I traded bikes with a guy riding a 29’er while riding Junkyard the other day. Said he was buying a Giant with about 5” of travel so he could trail ride and catch some air. Warned me the 29’er was not suited to jumping….no kidding, for jumping they are a worthless. Sorry 29’ers….ride fast but keep your wheels on the ground, these features are not for you. But the safe ride arounds might help with steering skills.

    Here is a way to long video showing a guy riding whoops and not catching any air. He survived.
    Contour | Stories | Whoops Trail

    Once again Junkyard is a multiuse trail with much more constricted sight lines when approaching or hitting the features I built…..no complaints yet that I know of. Lots of raves and thank yuuuuuuuz.

    I am headed up to Red Cliffs this afternoon with Trail Commissioner Gordon to make a few adjustments to the feature before building 5 more. Want to come watch?

    Who out there thinks this is a large jump? I think it is really a small booter. All a matter of skill and perspective. My wife enjoys them.
    My Wife Likes Small Jumps Video - Pinkbike.com

    Hope you had good laugh on that one!

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles View Post
    I think the "you's" and "your's" are unfair here. We have all (read many) been crying for more technical features, it just may have been I'll defined.
    In this case they are fair as they refer to him actually doing those things without cooperation or permission from any entity on a trail that sees a TON of traffic and is ill advised at best. Wheelbender has a ton of passion and enthusiasm, he just needs an appropriate location to express those. I think the discussion of a spur or whole new trail are the productive avenues that should be further explored. He has burned some bridges and relationships with a lot of folk but none of that should stand in the way of progress if the right plan comes forth.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles View Post
    ... I pictured spur trails that would be purpose built for bikers. There's plenty of space out there, and it'd be easy to post a bike only sign at the entrance and exit of these spurs.
    Honestly, this strikes me as the best solution, especially on a trail like Red Cliffs. Any trail that is as busy and two directional as this one is ill suited for some of these features. Frankly I think that the place for experimentation is higher up where there are fewer walkers / runners / dogs. I do realize that isn't ideal either tho' ...

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    I would like to see the technical features continue

    Many of you who haven't been around for a while are probably wondering why all the venom is being spewed at Wheelbender. I would be lying if I said I have not been getting quite the chuckle out of this whole thing because the irony in all this is really quite astounding. To give you a quick history over the past 3 years, Wheelbender has done everything in his power to talk/spew to anyone who would or would not listen about how poorly designed everything at the Eagle Bike Park is and how people will be dying out there daily due to the death traps that lurk behind every berm. He would then go on about how he could dismantle all these death traps and make everything safe for everyone......and also paint offensive metal structures on the trail that were detracting from the "beauty" of the hill.......he even went so far as to one day write something that I can only describe as a "manifesto" that I swear to God the Unabomber had a hand in creating........I digress. To this day I am shocked I don't see corpses lying of to the side of jumps as I head down the Stormin' Mormon........

    So, I read this and thought "Hey, I gotta get up there and ride Red Cliffs and see what all the fuss is about". I hopped on my 42 pound bike this morning and pedaled up Sidewinder with a nooby buddy of mine so we could ride that down and also hit Red Cliffs. Long story short, that jump thing is most definitely poorly designed and worse than any jump I've hit in the past 10 years outside of plywood on top of old tires........my nooby buddy nearly ate it on it and I am certain he'd break a collar bone as he got pitched over the bars if he hit that thing 2 or 3 more times.

    All that said, we got to the bottom of the trail and both said we had a lot of fun. I haven't been on Red Cliffs in 3 or more years, but I find the whole thing to be improved and I like the direction it is headed. I think there is potential here and while I may not be a Wheelbender fan, I certainly am a fan of more technical features on the foothills trails. I think that jump thing could be fixed very quickly with some more dirt and better shaping and, once that is done, I am not any more concerned about death on Red Cliffs than I am death at the bike park. I do think the comments of spurs going off the trail with the features is a great idea.

    Anyway, just my two cents. I am hopeful that we can continue to progress some trails with more features.

  75. #75
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    Has anyone else noticed that the hippychicks in that whole "Occupy Wallstreet" brewhaha are some of the skankiest looking dents God has ever created?

    I can smell the patchouli though my monitor.

    Ewww.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  76. #76
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    Revisions

    How is this?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Boise Tech Trails II-revise-red-cliffs-004.jpg  

    Boise Tech Trails II-revise-red-cliffs-005.jpg  


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    That is, by far, the sickest jump I have ever seen!!

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    Yes, that is much better looking. That looks much more like the appropriate "feature" for a lower-footies-trail that is a main-line for multi-directional multi-users.

    I certainly like what Wheelbender is trying to do by adding some much needed features to Boise's trail systems, but after seeing his handy work the other day, I have serious doubts about his ability to build such features. A berm is one thing, but a jump is another and Wheelbender has no business building jumps. Especially in a multi-use areas with riders/pedestrains that may have no understanding of trail etiquette much less the varying levels of skill necessary to negotiate man-made jumps built improperly. At the Eagle Bike Park you quickly understand by looking at the features and the signage, that you are either in or out of your comfort zones. Not so in the foothills.

    I think maybe Wheelbender or Ridge2rivs. should be trying to enlist the help/advice of more seasoned/qualified riders like aenema, ivan, surly, 2 planker... that have the technical expertise derived from building at the Eagle Bike Park and other places. I wouldnt be surprised that evan after all the rhetoric, that they would still help out, if for no other reason than to make Boise's riding better for all.

    P.S. That "jump" was a turd.

  79. #79
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    Better

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    How is this?
    Better. It now looks like every other water bar in the foothills. Nice work.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan the Terrible View Post
    Better. It now looks like every other water bar in the foothills. Nice work.
    You're a straight thuggin guy, Ivan, but this time you got it totally wrong. This water bar has a shovel and a bucket. Swole!
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank View Post
    This water bar has a shovel and a bucket. Swole!
    That's terrible, somebody could get hurt!

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    I rode it again today and I think it is improved

    It could still be better, but I had a good time riding that trail and I think it has potential........there is some good stuff on that trail.

  83. #83
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    All Done

    RtR reworked the berms. Still need some attention.

    We finished the six jumps and added one drop. I rode it once before the rain washed it away. Red Cliffs, what a nice beginner trail.

    Ride it and tell RtR how much you love it and how safe it is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Boise Tech Trails II-p5100501_cr1.jpg  

    Last edited by Wheelbender; 11-14-2011 at 07:02 AM.

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    I had the chance to ride the new features twice this weekend and the jumps all seemed to have good visibility on the approach. I don't see that they increase the chance of a collision anymore than going down the trail flat. If a dog or person is suddenly in the way there could be a collison regardless. Both bikers, walkers, and dog owners need to use some common sense. From experience, a way more dangerous point on red cliffs is the blind right hand turn going downhill after the second section of turns. Perhaps some shrubbery removal is in order as well as some chill pills all around.

  85. #85
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    I'm not a trail builder, so I have no comment on Wheelbender's trail building skills, but having ridden Red Cliffs twice in 3 days, I'm not seeing the safety issues that some have raised. If, after riding it, folks have issues with the changes, talk to the builder(s) and to R2R and try to make them better, or (if need be) take them out.

    Regardless, it's nice to see someone actually go through the process and get buy-in and support from R2R for changes to trails in the lower foothills, which is still where a majority of riders find a good percentage of their dirt. For that alone, the dude gets some respect from me. Maybe, instead of heaping s___ on they guy's head, we should be asking him what he's learned in the process, so that it can be applied for future good by all the expert trail builders. Not nearly as much fun as yammering on about what a crappy job he's done, I know, but worth consideration.

  86. #86
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    well said.

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    How To.....Gitter Dun!

    If anyone wants to learn from my experience and do some trail work, I suggest you start at the beginning of this thread, read all my posts and you will see what has been recommended by RtR for potential areas of work and discover a bit of this particular projectn development history. Ride the trails, document what you might like to do in an e-mail to David Gordon at RtR. Give him ample time to respond, several weeks would be reasonable. If he does not respond and if you are serious about the project, have plenty of patience and willing to be relentlessly persistent, begin calling him daily. RtR has plenty of priorities ahead of yours. Accept that fact right now. If you can prove your commitment, be patient; don’t argue with them, you might just find something that will work. Like I said it took me 3 years before we installed anything. It is a long, fluid process.

    I’ll be happy to support your cause if the ideas fall within the areas identified in my first posting on this thread.

    Detractors: As always there will be naysayers, antagonists and full on haters. There will be some that will display a disdain for your ideas, suggestions, public safety concerns, and remedies for specific trail problems. If you believe in what you are doing, believe it to be right, you should move forward. You will have some that exaggerate and distort your ideals and accuse you of burning bridges. Consider this, if there was any bridge to begin with, it must have been a one-way-bridge and the fire was likely started on the other end, not yours.

    Oddly enough though I happened to meet one of my less outspoken detractors along the trail the other day while I was working over one of the jumps. He stopped, we talked, I asked him to ride the feature, he said it was very smooth, told me how much he enjoyed Junkyard Trail I have worked on, wished it were 10 miles long, told him I agreed, we talked bikes, I thanked him and off he went….kinda makes your eyes water don’t it. People really aren’t as nasty as they might act on this forum…..well, except 2 or 3 of them.

    Oh ya, I had an hour long meeting with The City of Eagle yesterday regarding the Velopark. Boy have I got some news for you! Stay tuned for a brand new thread.

    Sometimes this is too much fun.
    Last edited by Wheelbender; 11-17-2011 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Just left out a few words. Moving to fast.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    If anyone wants to learn from my experience and do some trail work, I suggest you start at the beginning of this thread, read all my posts and you will see what has been recommended by RtR for potential areas work and discover of bit of this particular project development history. Ride the trails, document what you might like to do in a e-mail to David Gordon at RtR. Give him ample time to respond, several weeks would be reasonable. If he does not respond and if you are serious about the project, have plenty of patience and willing to be relentlessly persistent, begin calling him daily. RtR has plenty of priorities ahead of yours. Accept that fact right now. If you can prove your commitment, be patient; don’t argue with them, you might just find something that will work. Like I said it took me 3 years before we installed anything. It is a long, fluid process.

    I’ll be happy to support your cause if the ideas fall within the areas identified in my first posting on this thread.

    Detractors: As always there will be naysayers, antagonists and full on haters. There will be some that will display a disdain for your ideas, suggestions, public safety concerns, and remedies for current trails problems. If you believe in what you are doing, believe it to be right, you should move forward. You will have some that exaggerate and distort your ideals and accuse you of burning bridges. Consider this, if there was any bridge to begin with, it must have been a one-way-bridge and the fire was likely started on the other end, not yours.

    Oddly enough though I happened to meet one of my less outspoken detractors along the trail the other day while I was working over one of the jumps. He stopped, we talked, I asked him to ride the feature, he said it was very smooth, told me how much he enjoyed Junkyard Trail I have worked on, wished it were 10 miles long, told him I agreed, we talked bikes, I thanked him and off he went….kinda makes your eyes water don’t it. People really aren’t as nasty as they might act on this forum…..well, except 2 or 3 of them.

    Oh ya, I had an hour long meeting with The City of Eagle yesterday regarding the Velopark. Boy have I got some news for you! Stay tuned for brand new thread.

    Sometimes this is too much fun.
    Regarding the junkyard, it is my favorite local trail, nice work!

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    Thank You

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    Here are a couple shots of the new feature. Notice the nice safe section to the left side for hikers and timid riders! After some discussion with RtoR the final product will be a little more substantial that this one, a bit longer and a bit wider across the top. The height is acceptable but I think we will just eliminate or minimize the radius on the takeoff ramp....might provide too much kick on a riders back tire. Also bigger rolled edge over the top. Sorry no side views just yet They are intended to be low speed booters. Go ride it and post your opinions whatever they might be. Red Cliffs Trail #39. Oh ya, I got carried away on the drainage pit off to side. It's built to take the 500 year flood. The others will be built for the 100 year event. I'm learning.
    Nice work - the little jumps are fun. Kinda hard to pop with a 29er, but still... You worked with Dave Gordon and RtoR and did the work legitimately.

    And the berm work-repair and improvement is nice work too.

    So if the jumps turn out to be incompatible with the overall theme of shared use then I guess they remove them. No big deal...
    Sound of Tires on Dirt: Sole Music
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    Thanks wheelbender

    Thanks for your hard work wheelbender.

  91. #91
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    I rode Red Cliffs Saturday and thought the jumps were fun. You might even be able to clear a dog if needed.

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    Some feedback on the trail from my perspective. I finally got out to check the trail out for myself and have two comments. First, the berm work is welcome and fantastic. I think there is still one more left hand corner that needs one pretty bad and will volunteer to help if you want to go out there Mark. If the focus of this thread were berms, you would be getting nothing but accolades in my opinion.

    Second, I don't think the jumps are tuned right. I think they are too poppy for the speed you naturally have coming down that trail. I understand that they are beginner level stuff but my belief is that a jump should fit the natural flow of the trail and not require you to slow down to ride them properly. My advice would be to mellow out the lips more so you get low and longer trajectories. I think this is not only safer but would be more fun in this circumstance. I was on my freeride bike (SX Trail) and hit the first two at my natural speed with pop and the landing was harsh having completely overshot the backside from a good 4 to 6 feet in the air. It was just not fun coming down like that so I speed jumped/scrubbed the rest of them to avoid catching air. Not really the point of them. I also think they should have wider lips and if you toned down the lips, that material could go towards the sides to accomodate that idea.

    I also saw a ton of hikers and dogs on the trail but the jumps are in areas of pretty high visibility so think that although worth discussing, the safety issues are debatable but not a given.

    I would also like the thank the horse who rode on that trail leaving nice hoof indentations as well as poo all over. I think they rode every trail I did and I am concerned about the digestive health of that animal. It diarrhea'd the hell out of the trails out of camels back. Why aren't they required to wear poo bags?
    Last edited by aenema; 11-25-2011 at 11:21 AM.

  93. #93
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    Silly rabbits.

    There are plenty of tech trails in the footsies and they have little - if anything - to do with jumps or berms or any of that prancer-style riding. The sheeple seem to want to push the easy button though.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank View Post
    Silly rabbits.

    There are plenty of tech trails in the footsies and they have little - if anything - to do with jumps or berms or any of that prancer-style riding. The sheeple seem to want to push the easy button though.
    I would agree in that I don't think jumps and berms make a trail 'tech'. Features they are though but not much technical about it, one line and no difficulty riding at speed is not exactly tech. I do like to think there is progress as far as variety goes though.

  95. #95
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    Take the speed bumps off red cliffs, they are HORRIBLE! Good effort poor implementation.

  96. #96
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    Good Honest Review

    Quote Originally Posted by aenema View Post
    Some feedback on the trail from my perspective. I finally got out to check the trail out for myself and have two comments. First, the berm work is welcome and fantastic. I think there is still one more left hand corner that needs one pretty bad and will volunteer to help if you want to go out there Mark. If the focus of this thread were berms, you would be getting nothing but accolades in my opinion.

    Second, I don't think the jumps are tuned right. I think they are too poppy for the speed you naturally have coming down that trail. I understand that they are beginner level stuff but my belief is that a jump should fit the natural flow of the trail and not require you to slow down to ride them properly. My advice would be to mellow out the lips more so you get low and longer trajectories. I think this is not only safer but would be more fun in this circumstance. I was on my freeride bike (SX Trail) and hit the first two at my natural speed with pop and the landing was harsh having completely overshot the backside from a good 4 to 6 feet in the air. It was just not fun coming down like that so I speed jumped/scrubbed the rest of them to avoid catching air. Not really the point of them. I also think they should have wider lips and if you toned down the lips, that material could go towards the sides to accomodate that idea.

    I also saw a ton of hikers and dogs on the trail but the jumps are in areas of pretty high visibility so think that although worth discussing, the safety issues are debatable but not a given.

    I would also like the thank the horse who rode on that trail leaving nice hoof indentations as well as poo all over. I think they rode every trail I did and I am concerned about the digestive health of that animal. It diarrhea'd the hell out of the trails out of camels back. Why aren't they required to wear poo bags?
    David Gordon, RtR and the City of Boise had the final say in the construction, profile and fine tuning of the features. As David says, people are for, against, love and hate everything about the trails. After this little project I now completely understand what he means and I really don’t think I should respond to all the critiques, pro &con or suggestions for improvement. Send it all to RtR and let them make the call. I’m happy to make any adjustments they ask for. There are still plenty of opportunities for new trail projects if everyone reads my first post in this thread picks a trail and begins working with RtR on it.

    Rode Red Cliffs 4 times Wednesday to gain some exposure to as many other riders, hikers etc., using the trail. They had no negative comments. Found 3 riders, camped right on the trail below jump #1 at the reveg area fixing a flat tire. I stopped above them, got their attention, they kindly moved over and I jumped on by. We all behaved ourselves and played nice together.

    I’ve had the same results when jumping them as you, so I adjust speed and do what is needed to make it enjoyable. As the soil settles in there may be some additional work. It’s all about providing a safe feature construction, personal skill level and having the opportunity to make choices as you ride it. This all adds to everyone’s appreciation for and acceptance of them. I’ve seen high speed XC 29’r types roll right over them without going airborne. Choice!

    I would like to add a berm at the spot you mention and do some more work on one other. Probably need more moisture in the soil. I will contact David and ask if he will allow it and let you know. Time, manpower and total exhaustion limited our efforts on the original work day so I’ve been back several times since.

    If all goes well we might just get a few technical lines along the side of the main trail with larger features. Turn it into a fun area that might take some heat off Hulls Gulch. There are several great locations off to the right (headed down trail), above and between the new jumps, also up trail of the berms.

    Send all comments to RtR please. And keep it

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    Another Work Day ?

    Quote Originally Posted by aenema View Post
    Some feedback on the trail from my perspective. I finally got out to check the trail out for myself and have two comments........
    The 3 berms on Red cliffs have been there for a few years now and were originally installed by RtR. We can all thank them for recognizing a good opportunity.

    Our original work crew ran of gas and time so we didn’t get into the berm area to do anything. RtR gave me permission to go back up and ease the inside edge back at the upper most berm, which I have done. I think it reduces the chance a rider might catch a pedal on the inside edge when descending the berm. The lower two have had nothing additional done to them. Personally I think the lower berm works well. The middle berm appears to have sent a few a riders out into the sage brush. Can something be done to make it better? Tell us. I think we fill the dip at the uphill entry and ease the inside edge by pulling dirt to the outer edge of berm. When grasses grow back to full height they will obscure the sight lines into the turns which will slow riders. As is, all of them sharpen a rider’s concentration for sure.

    As I had previously stated, the jumps, bumps, enhanced water bars or whatever you choose to call them are settling in and their character is changing. I’m all for making them as user friendly as possible, but they will continue to settle and erode.

    There will be high speed and low speed jumpers. I saw a kid do a 180 degree spin on a bmx bike off one of the Junkyard jumps. Do we design for them as well? How do we accommodate a jumper landing 4’-6’ beyond the transition? I can do the same or I can slow down and not travel as far. Much of this is rider choice. All we can do is consider all safety precautions, do not build in any “unnecessary hazards” and continue to fine tune them. RtR agrees. Again, tell us what you think!!!! We might ask a local equestrian club for input too since they made use of the new features. This is the way it is done on multiuse trails.

    Just got off the phone with David at RtR he has given the green light to do another berm. We agreed the soil is not wet enough in this area to make it stick so we wait for some more moisture. I would like to add dirt to the take off of each jump to eliminate the lips, so we need moisture to this. Does anyone think we should carve away at the lip of the jump rather than add dirt to the take off ramp? Based on how our soil erodes, I think the jumps developing a lip might become an ongoing issue. Comments please!

    I’d prefer a small work crew and get it all done in one day. Any volunteers?

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    Building a Rock Garden on Red Cliffs is a good idea

    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    I agree that in the lower footies TTFs should be added as alternate lines. I think a lot better feature on red cliffs would be a mini rock garden or some rock feature that slows people down not speeds them up. Load up a wheel barrow with rock! I have some rock I can even donate! At least swap the location of the ride around and the jump and then make this thing less lippy.

    Where and when on Saturday are you meeting? Not sure if I can make it I am still battling a cold.
    I think it's a VERY good idea. And if one is built, I would like to see it be a good sized rock garden, preferably on one of the faster downslopes on Red Cliffs. It would take quite a bit of work and a LOT of rock but well worth it.
    I wonder if the powers that be would allow a good sized rock garden, or several smaller rock gardens. Something substantial, that would emulate natural features of a technical trail.

    That being said, I also must say that I like Wheelbender's work on the little jumps there. If anything could be adjusted, maybe push backsides out further. And Aenema had a good idea to build another berm on one of the left handers--I think I know which turn it is, it's pretty tight.

    Good stuff

    I am willing to help organize this as a work day for this. Not sure who to talk to. Chris, can you give some suggestions?

    Seems we would need:
    Wheelbarrows
    Tools mccloud, shovels, etc
    Kabota? I think the best spot/s would be upper red cliffs.
    pickup truck/trucks
    LOTS of rock (where to get it? In addition to what donated)
    Good sized crew
    Go ahead from? RtoR? Swimba?

    Now that I'm thinking about this, it makes one appreciate the planning and work that others have done in the past, for a long time
    Last edited by mtnbkrdr98; 11-28-2011 at 07:36 PM.
    Sound of Tires on Dirt: Sole Music
    Shredding with Good Comrades: Soul Music

  99. #99
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    I was riding one of those crazy rock gardens once when all hell broke loose. Took egg beater and ended up peeing and shizzing blood, but didn't go see the doctor. Then it scabbed up and travelled up my urnal tube and plugged it up so I couldn't piss. Now I was really scared. WFT now I thought. Then I tried real hard to piss and it blew out the scab and broke the dam. I was cured.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  100. #100
    mtbr member
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    I'll volunteer, you can PM me, but...........

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    The 3 berms on Red cliffs have been there for a few years now and were originally installed by RtR. We can all thank them for recognizing a good opportunity.

    Our original work crew ran of gas and time so we didn’t get into the berm area to do anything. RtR gave me permission to go back up and ease the inside edge back at the upper most berm, which I have done. I think it reduces the chance a rider might catch a pedal on the inside edge when descending the berm. The lower two have had nothing additional done to them. Personally I think the lower berm works well. The middle berm appears to have sent a few a riders out into the sage brush. Can something be done to make it better? Tell us. I think we fill the dip at the uphill entry and ease the inside edge by pulling dirt to the outer edge of berm. When grasses grow back to full height they will obscure the sight lines into the turns which will slow riders. As is, all of them sharpen a rider’s concentration for sure.

    As I had previously stated, the jumps, bumps, enhanced water bars or whatever you choose to call them are settling in and their character is changing. I’m all for making them as user friendly as possible, but they will continue to settle and erode.

    There will be high speed and low speed jumpers. I saw a kid do a 180 degree spin on a bmx bike off one of the Junkyard jumps. Do we design for them as well? How do we accommodate a jumper landing 4’-6’ beyond the transition? I can do the same or I can slow down and not travel as far. Much of this is rider choice. All we can do is consider all safety precautions, do not build in any “unnecessary hazards” and continue to fine tune them. RtR agrees. Again, tell us what you think!!!! We might ask a local equestrian club for input too since they made use of the new features. This is the way it is done on multiuse trails.

    Just got off the phone with David at RtR he has given the green light to do another berm. We agreed the soil is not wet enough in this area to make it stick so we wait for some more moisture. I would like to add dirt to the take off of each jump to eliminate the lips, so we need moisture to this. Does anyone think we should carve away at the lip of the jump rather than add dirt to the take off ramp? Based on how our soil erodes, I think the jumps developing a lip might become an ongoing issue. Comments please!

    I’d prefer a small work crew and get it all done in one day. Any volunteers?
    Can we talk about a project building a rock garden as well, as Chris (Smilycook) suggested?
    Sound of Tires on Dirt: Sole Music
    Shredding with Good Comrades: Soul Music

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