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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcochi View Post
    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!
    I was not implying the "less than encouraging" negative assessments were from beginners or unskilled. In fact, I think the more experience a cyclist gets the more adamant they get in their likes or dislikes. I'm sorry if my initial review offended anyone. But these trails have it in them to knock even a great cyclist well out of their zone of reference with the big climbs, gnarly downhills, and freshness of it all. Ultimately, my hope is that the CTS trial crews get the respect, thanks, and beer they deserve from the local cycling community for their hard work...keep at it!

  2. #52
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    EnKota, I was not specifically referring to your post in my comments about rider ability, just an observation based on the thread as a whole. They're just MTB trails; I am surprised that people have such polarizing views on them! Ride the CTS or ride somewhere else. Just ride somewhere...

  3. #53
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    Meh

    Quote Originally Posted by EnKota View Post
    I was not implying the "less than encouraging" negative assessments were from beginners or unskilled. In fact, I think the more experience a cyclist gets the more adamant they get in their likes or dislikes. I'm sorry if my initial review offended anyone. But these trails have it in them to knock even a great cyclist well out of their zone of reference with the big climbs, gnarly downhills, and freshness of it all. Ultimately, my hope is that the CTS trial crews get the respect, thanks, and beer they deserve from the local cycling community for their hard work...keep at it!
    I'm not so sure about that. The more experience and skill you have shouldn't mean the more polarized you become, in fact it should be quite the opposite. Every pro rider I know, hell every really good rider I know never really complains to openly about things like trail design they just go out and crush it, whatever the hell it looks like. Ive put in hundreds of hours of trail work, built lots of new trails in multiple riding areas and I can tell you that not everyone is always going to be psyched on what you build, that's just part of the deal. And if you don't like it speaking amongst your friends about how your not keen on something is totally fine, not ever riding there again is also totally fine; but coming into a public forum and complaining is pretty much just silly when you have guys like Jon Schaefer out there who have been putting all their effort into building public trails on his own land. Like access is not hard enough in this country already...

    I have not ridden here so I'm holding off judgement, and I did not mean to stir this pot anymore but this situation seems pretty ridiculous. I just hope that folks keep building and stay positive up there, and if you don't like it go help them with some trail work so the trails will improve for everyone's taste.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcochi View Post
    EnKota, I was not specifically referring to your post in my comments about rider ability, just an observation based on the thread as a whole. They're just MTB trails; I am surprised that people have such polarizing views on them! Ride the CTS or ride somewhere else. Just ride somewhere...
    Ya, right!

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsinore View Post
    I'm not so sure about that. The more experience and skill you have shouldn't mean the more polarized you become, in fact it should be quite the opposite. Every pro rider I know, hell every really good rider I know never really complains to openly about things like trail design they just go out and crush it, whatever the hell it looks like. Ive put in hundreds of hours of trail work, built lots of new trails in multiple riding areas and I can tell you that not everyone is always going to be psyched on what you build, that's just part of the deal. And if you don't like it speaking amongst your friends about how your not keen on something is totally fine, not ever riding there again is also totally fine; but coming into a public forum and complaining is pretty much just silly when you have guys like Jon Schaefer out there who have been putting all their effort into building public trails on his own land. Like access is not hard enough in this country already...

    I have not ridden here so I'm holding off judgement, and I did not mean to stir this pot anymore but this situation seems pretty ridiculous. I just hope that folks keep building and stay positive up there, and if you don't like it go help them with some trail work so the trails will improve for everyone's taste.
    They are great trails, truly a bold deviation from the norm in a good way. I think that is why they are polarizing?

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnKota View Post
    Ya, right!
    I don't know who you are, or what your problem is, but based on your join date (this month), it looks like you are just trying to be a douce. Congrats, mission accomplished douce.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcochi View Post
    I don't know who you are, or what your problem is, but based on your join date (this month), it looks like you are just trying to be a douce. Congrats, mission accomplished douce.
    Who I am is none of your f-ing business. I joined explicitly to provide an honest analysis of cts, and I think they are some of the best, most differentiating trails I have ridden in new england. I also joined just to piss you off...mission accomplished, now go ride your bike!

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnKota View Post
    Who I am is none of your f-ing business. I joined explicitly to provide an honest analysis of cts, and I think they are some of the best, most differentiating trails I have ridden in new england. I also joined just to piss you off...mission accomplished, now go ride your bike!
    I think you may have lost your mind. I never said the Charlemont trails are not some of the best, most differentiating trails in New England. I have not said anything negative or positive about them, because I have only ridden there once, many months ago. I am reserving judgement until I can give them a fair assessment.

    The tone of your responses shows disproportionate indignation about something I did not say. I made one comment, neither positive nor negative, not directed at you or anybody else, about this absurd discussion. I did not quote you in my post; I only made a general observation. You seem to be unnecessarily belligerent when it comes to the Charlemont Trail System.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcochi View Post
    I think you may have lost your mind. I never said the Charlemont trails are not some of the best, most differentiating trails in New England. I have not said anything negative or positive about them, because I have only ridden there once, many months ago. I am reserving judgement until I can give them a fair assessment.

    The tone of your responses shows disproportionate indignation about something I did not say. I made one comment, neither positive nor negative, not directed at you or anybody else, about this absurd discussion. I did not quote you in my post; I only made a general observation. You seem to be unnecessarily belligerent when it comes to the Charlemont Trail System.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by hado_pv View Post
    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!

    Yup - today. Get your gear ready and join us...
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  11. #61
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    Started with 5, ended with 3. Two dropped before we headed to the north side of the valley. Lots of smiles, a little pain and only the required couple drops of blood.

    Great ride guys - let's do it again!
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
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  12. #62
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    Today was a perfect day to be riding a mountain bike in New England. The weather was beautiful; more like April than mid-November. I spent most of my time chasing one Green and being pushed by another! A big thanks to Harold for giving me a tour of some of the great trails that Charlemont has to offer. A few of the trails (Red Zone comes to mind) ride as good as any I have ridden.

    This place has come a long way in a short time. After riding here again, I can't imagine what would cause such a negative (and in my opinion inappropriate) reaction in some people! Of course there are areas that need more work, but everyone is aware of what still needs to be done. Overall it is a fantastic place to ride.

    Sorry Chaz, I have to agree with Liam on this one (except for the part about needing gears!).

    And here's some visual proof of the fun!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails All hail The Charlemont Trail System!-image002.jpg  

    All hail The Charlemont Trail System!-image008.jpg  

    All hail The Charlemont Trail System!-image009.jpg  

    All hail The Charlemont Trail System!-image010.jpg  

    Last edited by tcochi; 11-12-2012 at 06:37 PM.

  13. #63
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    You might have done better if you brought a mtn bike!

  14. #64
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    Glad you had a good day, T. Yep they are unique and excellent (if demanding) trails.

    But a few points of clarification:

    1. I am not comfortable with a reference to me vs. Chaz (or any other commentator/ rider). Chaz is a great guy, hard working trail steward and entitled to express his opinion here or anywhere else.

    2. Someone made some allusions that the negative comments come from 'less skilled riders.' Well, though I disagree with the negative opinions expressed, there is little doubt that Chaz (and Bruce) are topflight riders. Knowing that doesn't change my stance, the CTS is an excellent mountain bike riding experience (for the fit and able). But, it is wrong to make pejorative allusions to their credibly as riders and trail advocates. They're the real deal.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy View Post
    You might have done better if you brought a mtn bike!
    Todd's choice of bike, while a bit unusual, isn't nearly as bad as his choice of front tire. A raven! Yikes
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  16. #66
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    It actually grips a lot better than it looks like it would! Mud, on the other hand, not so much!

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    Glad you had a good day, T. Yep they are unique and excellent (if demanding) trails.

    But a few points of clarification:

    1. I am not comfortable with a reference to me vs. Chaz (or any other commentator/ rider). Chaz is a great guy, hard working trail steward and entitled to express his opinion here or anywhere else.

    2. Someone made some allusions that the negative comments come from 'less skilled riders.' Well, though I disagree with the negative opinions expressed, there is little doubt that Chaz (and Bruce) are topflight riders. Knowing that doesn't change my stance, the CTS is an excellent mountain bike riding experience (for the fit and able). But, it is wrong to make pejorative allusions to their credibly as riders and trail advocates. They're the real deal.
    I apologize for implying a "SuperbMan vs. smelly" feud, that was not my intention at all. I only meant that I liked the trails more than smelly did.

    And I totally agree with your second point, they are very accomplished riders with much, much more trail building knowledge than I have. I am fortunate to be able to take advantage of the wonderfully diverse trails Harold, Chaz, Steve, Earl, and everyone else have created. Riding in Western Mass is like being a kid in a candy store!

  18. #68
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    I am thinking about going to Charlemont tomorrow morning. Any suggestions for a first timer there who will be riding alone? Will I be able to learn a bit about the trails when I get there? TIA

  19. #69
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    [QUOTE=StiHacka;9880307]I am thinking about going to Charlemont tomorrow morning. Any suggestions for a first timer there who will be riding alone? Will I be able to learn a bit about the trails when I get there? TIA[/QUOTE

    You can learn about the trails by looking at the Map online

    High Resolution Maps are uploaded to DropBox.
    Download at
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/95775438/CT...nal_7_5_12.jpg
    and
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/95775438/CT...nal_7_5_12.jpg

    and probably glancing through the Strava records.

    There are logging operations in progress on Warfield Mtn, I'm not sure what kind of mess may be blocking how much of the trails above the Warfield House.

    The stuff on the east side - Brook Rd to Far Meadow - No Name, Druid Ridge, Game Trail, Sweet 16, Red Zone are all in great shape and make for a nice 2 hour high intermediate ride. Most of the arrows are still in place from the Enchilada Ride.

    Everything on the B East side of the valley should be equally good (it was on Monday).
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  20. #70
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    Thank you!

    Edit: it was a great day for a ride. Some sections were a little wet but the single tracks were amazing!

    Last edited by StiHacka; 11-17-2012 at 04:44 PM.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    Thank you!
    Glad you had a good ride - and a good climb since you made it all the way to the chimney...
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnKota View Post
    They are great trails, truly a bold deviation from the norm in a good way. I think that is why they are polarizing?
    Nope, that's not it. The polarization exists because some people know a thing or two about how to build trail and others don't, even though we all love riding them. Kinda like some people know a thing or two about cars and others don't, even though we all drive them every day. Understanding trail design and construction colors how one thinks about and experiences trails.

    How fun a trail is is subjective. So you can think they are fun trails, and I can think they're not fun, and we can agree to disagree, and that's cool. There are plenty of trails and trail networks that I think are fun but not good.

    How "good" a trail is (i.e. how well constructed it is), this is less open to interpretation. There are guidelines for placement and construction of trails, and CTS violates just about every single guideline in many locations. I very much respect the efforts and intentions of those who've worked to construct these trails. Seriously - I think this is a great venture. At the same time, I think they deserve to be called-out over their shoddy construction and failure to follow best practices. Lemme put this another way - I respect what they're doing but not how they're doing it.

    I made this offer many months ago, and it was rejected by some of the CTS builders, but I'll put it up again - if you want me to put my money where my mouth is and explicitly show what is poorly/incorrectly built and ways to resolve it, I'll gladly do that. I know a couple other builders/riders who are probably willing to come with me and join this discussion. Offer's on the table. I haven't been checking in much here lately, but folks know how to contact me if you want me to pay up. Or you can tell me to shove it and my feelings won't be hurt.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by hado_pv View Post
    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.
    Clearly a rejection of your offer to assist.

    I think you'll find that nearly every "violation" of the guidelines you think should be taken literally, are a compromise understood by the builders. Do we shorten the radius of this turn slightly in order to not route the trail over this 4' ledge or through that 20" hemlock? Do we not fully bench this section of trail but let it wear in and address any issues that appear over time and spend the available effort on the sections not rideable without benching? Do we utilized this 18% grade skid road corridor for 100' rather than digging through that pile of boulders and ledge?

    Funny the change in your tone from September when the trails sucked and should be avoided to now, when you've been called out for being a tool, that they just don't always comply to an arbitrary set of guidelines that You think must be adhered to 100% to make a good trail. If you're talking those from IMBA's Trail Solutions, then I'd be surprised if you find any trail system anywhere that doesn't take liberty with those guidelines and are "Better" for those liberties.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
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  24. #74
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    Are these trails free to tide or do I need a "pass" a la KT?

    And are they open year round? (or at least for the next couple weeks?)

  25. #75
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    Free to ride, open whenever conditions allow. We'll probably post areas closed in the spring during the freeze thaws as the frost comes out of the ground, otherwise - ride at will.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
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