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  1. #26
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    So glad those that the local NEMBA chapter paid to learn about trail building and leading volunteer crews couldn't find time to attend any of the dozens of volunteer work days in Charlemont, yet find plenty of time to insult the inprocess work of thousands of volunteer hours in a public forum.

    Just the way to get more people involved in trail work.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
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  2. #27
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    Before you get all sanctimonious on us, let me point out that we do tons of work elsewhere and I've never seen you help out at any of those places. Anyway, given how well you and I get along, why would you want to spend a day with me?

    For the record, NEMBA never paid to send whitefoot to trail school. He's just learned everything thing through hundreds of hours of labor. You went a bunch of times and never learned a thing - as evidence by the trails you build - trails below trees, corners too tight, running through seasonally wet areas, poor benching technique. I'm thinking I should get up there with a camera and provide examples.

  3. #28
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    Nice how you think I'm the only one working on trails in Charlemont, I've contributed at most 15% of the total build hours in the project, and not more than 30% of the design/flagging. Though I'm pretty sure a work party consisting of just the two of us would be a tad prickly, I'm pretty sure if you presented yourself, willing to work, to Jon or Bruce, they'd show you where they need the work. I'll condition that by saying with every attack on the CTS system they're probably less willing to put up with your crap even though you know something about building/designing/modifying trails.

    As to your other point, I've only spent a handful of spring clean-up days at Batchelor Street and Earls and a few work days at Robinson, but that's probably nearly equal the number of ride days I've ever spent at those places. As we start talking Wendell, Hawley, Deerfield, Charlemont or other places I regularly ride, the hours riding vs trail work stay about equal though the absolute number gets a bit larger...

    Sorry if I confused Whitefoot with whatever anonymous forum identity was currently in your group and sent to the Trail School in Pittsfield.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
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  4. #29
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    I've ridden lots of trails, both east and west, and live for fast, turny, long descents and I think Billy's World ranks right up there with the best of them.

  5. #30
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    Yikes.

  6. #31
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    This is one of the worst/disrespectful threads I've ever seen on MTBR. On the local forum none the less. Jeez guys, we're all here to talk about having fun riding bikes with folks who share the common interest, plain and simple.....let's not lose sight of that. Last time I checked riding bikes was fun....if it's not, you're doing it wrong.

  7. #32
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    Yeah !! !! ! !

  8. #33
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    I'll be attending the Whole Enchilada ride after which I'll be able to give my opinion on the trails. If they're anything like the trails Harold has built at Wendell then they don't suck.
    Last edited by Blue Sugar; 09-28-2012 at 08:41 AM.
    I am not repeating myself I am not repeating myself!

  9. #34
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    There's always one ass crack on every forum.
    I am not repeating myself I am not repeating myself!

  10. #35
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    Spent a few hours starting to prep the Trails for the Whole Enchilada. The leaf blower runs for 2:30 on a tank of gas... Sweet 16, Game Trail and all the Warfield Summit Trails are clear.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  11. #36
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    Hi all.

    So we are clear, this is Jon Schaefer from Berkshire East. If you want to hate somebody for this trail system, please pick on me directly and not the volunteers who are doing their best, despite have zero stake in my community. For those of you who don't know, I am an owner of the 50% of the land that CTS sits, builder of many of its trails, and someone who rides here 3-4 days a week, because of that let me give you my two cents.

    First of all, my phone number is 413.339.6618 x305. I am available, at work, most days and would be particularly interested in speaking, in a friendly way, to the folks who find it so easy to poke holes into what I, and a bunch others, are trying to accomplish, which is to provide free, advertised, public trail access, in a town that doesn't currently have it.

    I accept that we might have 'opened' trails to early, that we put out a map too soon, and that some sections are incomplete. I apologize, but that cat is out of the bag and I don't think that work we have done is worth the vengeful posting in this forum. At the same time, what would you have had us to do? Maybe more importantly, why is so controversial that some trails weren't quite complete when you first rode them?

    Let me tell you. If you want to get a good evisceration, take your free time, commit your land, find other land owners, and build some trails. You will learn that you are an ******* for doing things too quickly, not finishing a couple of corners, that your trail system should disappear, and that maybe it would good if you did as well.

    Its depressing to be drug down into this rabbits hole of a forum, and I wish I'd never clicked on the link, but since I have I'd like to say that we have largely accomplished what we set out to do, which was to...

    1) Build a great trail system. Not the best trail system in the world, but the best we can build.
    2) Expose locals to fun sport we all love. There is a group of local kids who never would have ridden but are now riding most nights.
    3) Bring business to town. This was accomplished the first time a rider bought a cup of coffee at the local gas station.
    4) Have fun.

    Unfortunately, item 4 for me, is no longer really happening because of the insanely virulent posting, personal attack emails I have received, rumors, negative facebook comments etc. You might of think that I was a bank robber. How blind was I to think that by building some trails we might engender some good will in community?

    In spite of this, I will continue to work on the trail system that I believe will ultimately be a recreational cornerstone for my small town in WMass.

    I welcome anyone to come to my land and lend a hand. I am not hiding a thing, you have my number, you know where I work, come find me and when you show up, I've got a McCloud for you, and we can take care of those controversial corners together.

    Please remember that we are trying to have fun, bring kids to the sport, provide folks with a free place to ride and not take things so seriously.

    PS I'd take a day of riding up here vs anywhere else within a couple hour drive... See you on the trails.

  12. #37
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    I typically do not respond to forum threads but this is an exception. My wife and I rode the CTS 10/21. We are from SE Mass so it was a bit of a hike to get there but we wanted to check it out. We rode the upper parts of the north side including the red zone trail. It is pretty obvious this is a new trail system but one with unlimited potential. Why can't people be appreciative of the efforts to date, recognize the trail system is new and just be o.k. with that? If you think you have something constructive to offer in terms of your time or trail building knowledge than help out. Pretty simple. I for one applaud the owners of the land for both granting access rights to the public to ride on private property for free and for the back breaking effort to cut a trail system. I bet most of these detractors complain when they have to mow their own lawn! If you want the mountain bike equivalent of groomed corduroy buy a rode bike. Otherwise be appreciative and feel fortunate that there are people whose generosity and effort provide you with more and more choices for riding destinations. We will be back and look forward to seeing the trails mature into a true mountain bike destination and throwing back a few beers to help the local economy.

  13. #38
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    I'm sorry I missed the big ride yesterday! With such a huge discrepancy of opinions on the trails, I really need to sample them myself and see what's causing people to have such strong reactions either for or against the CTS.

  14. #39
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    I rode there yesterday and the trails kicked my ass. Yeah, some of the trails are better than others, but I appreciate the fact that they are there at all. In fact, I've just lived here in Mass. 3 years and am really happy with the huge variety of places we have to ride here. Thanks to everyone who is making CTS and all the other trails happen.

  15. #40
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    There are haters, but then there are emails like this I received yesterday...

    Hi Harold,

    Awesome location, terrain and single track! The route marking was extremely well done also.

    Talk about a great training ride. The trails were super challenging but very rideable.

    It all added up to a wonderful event. Kathy and I had a blast.

    Thanks so much for a job well done!

    We’re looking forward to a return trip next year.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  16. #41
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    I haven't ridden there yet but I'm sure the trails aren't as terrible as some people say (it's hard for me to imagine bad singletrack). But I also doubt they are the utopia that some on other side claim (I've been let down by trails claiming to be "better or as good as KT" before). The only way to find out is to go ride them for yourself!

  17. #42
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    As the guy who started this thread, it may be time to respond again. I have to admit, I was pretty shocked at the acerbic vitriol heaped on these trails (and by proxy, their trail builders as well). To hear that Mr. Schaefer is getting 'angry' emails, is just beyond the pale!

    First off, I'm not sure anyone has claimed them to be a Utopia nor has it been compared to KT (fwiw, KT ain't a riding Utopia either), but I will stand by my claim that this is a great place to ride. Yes, it demands either a high baseline of fitness or a good amount of no-complainin' mountain biker 'grit' to make the most of it. But to me, those sort of trail systems are the best trail systems. These trails are exciting, challenging and beautiful. They have a bit of an 'old-school' aesthetic, serving up some slow-handling segments and tighter than average lines here and there--which, I like.

    But when I read some of the spiteful posts, and hear that letters and emails have been sent to the trailbuilders, I begin to wonder what happened to this sport? People act like they're in a restaurant ordering from a menu...Have people really come to see every place they ride (for free, with no effort required on their part) as a customer-service driven corporate restaurant where they can sneer at the food if it isn't exactly what they ordered, demand to see the manager and be guaranteed their money back and their asses kissed (sorry, I once spent 3 long months working as a waiter in a Ruby Tuesdsay!)?


    These trails will challenge many, tax most, and please more--I am grateful, that B'East, Zoar, and The Warfield House, their respective owners and trail crews have endeavored to carve an impressive riding area into the steep, rocky and lovely hills of the Upper Deerfield Valley.
    Last edited by SuperbMan; 10-23-2012 at 08:52 AM.

  18. #43
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    Veterens day

    I really need to get up there. A nice group ride on Veterens day would be cool, no?
    “People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death." JM

  19. #44
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    The people that cry about the corners here remind of the people that only ski/ride corduroy.

    Many people I respect really dig these trails; and the 4-5 times I have ridden them have been a privilege.

    I usually only heckle haters in here, because I get a kick out of it. But lately I am thinking it is important to let others know how much ANY land access means to MTN bikers. What if someone is thinking about offering their land, or administrative pull to further other mountain bike projects is lurking in here and sees all this in-fighting and thinks "EFF-IT." Then, the whole community loses. LAME.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauldotcom View Post
    I really need to get up there. A nice group ride on Veterens day would be cool, no?
    I'm up for a veterans Monday ride, say noon @ Warfield House. 3 hours or so.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  21. #46
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    H.,

    Are you going to Post up that Veterans ride on the PV Website?

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    H.,

    Are you going to Post up that Veterans ride on the PV Website?
    I'll post this after I know if Sandy's going to mess things up. 3 days of high winds could make a brush clearing day more pressing than a ride :-(
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  23. #48
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    Well, Sandy came and went leaving lots of small branches, but not much substantial damage to the trails in this area.

    Veterans Day Ride - Noon Monday 11/12/12. We'll ride from Berkshire East's main parking lot, be out 3-4 hours? Steady intermediate pace - we'll start out climbing, descend a bit, climb some more - lather, rinse, repeat!
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  24. #49
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    Wow...the negative assessments are just flat wrong! These trails rock only one year in! They totally break the Kingdom Trails mold (which frankly have become excessively boring!) The Berkshire East side of the valley has amazing single track. A single track climb that lasts for ~45 minutes. Moose, on top of the mountain has great flow, challenging natural terrain, and a rewarding view. After Moose, you get to drop down an epic downhill, Billy's World -- I have not descended such a great downhill since riding Utah. The trails ride big, big climbs, long downhills.

    I don't want to psycho analyse the negative feedback too much. I can see how people would walk away frustrated after only one ride up there, and want to blame the trails....These trails are just so bold and different from the statuesque....very well suited for the new 29er full suspension bikes out on the market. Keep going CTS, you guys are building legend!

    My recommend if you are visiting for the first time
    - Link up with a local guide.
    - A 29er, full suspension, with a good set of knobby trail tires
    - Bring your legs, be prepared to climb.
    - Bring your nuts be prepared for some gnarly downhills!

  25. #50
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    That's an interesting assessment of the CTS. I can't comment, since I haven't ridden there in many, many months.

    The only thing I will say is that most of the "less than encouraging" comments are not coming from beginner riders who lack ability or fitness and are frustrated by the challenge, but rather by very strong, technically skilled cyclists who have ridden all over and know what makes a trail fun to ride.

    Hopefully I will get a chance to formulate my own opinion on the trails soon!

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