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  1. #1
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    Please Don't Sanitize the Trails at Wendell SF!

    I hate lecturing...But,

    Lately there's been a rash of trail sanitizing at Wendell State Forest. The most recent and most egregious is on the upper trail to the lookouts where someone Pulled a big slab from the top of the rock ramps (leaving a nasty depresion where the roll used to be) and then, apparently, smashed it into hundreds of sharp shards and used these fragments to effectively pave the stair like rocks next to it. This is not only unsightly (and eye catching) but poorly executed, unauthorized and unnecessary.

    Comments:

    1. I have no idea if the folks doing this frequent these forums, but if you do (or someone who does knows those involved) pass on the message KNOCK IT OFF!

    Most importantly, The trail to the Lookout is NOT a biker specific trail-but one of the older existing trails-much frequented by hikers-that we've graciously been given permission to ride. The last thing we need is some unsightly, unauthorized trail modification on a hiking trail--yeah, we're going to hear about this and yes, this sort of thing does indeed jeopardize biking access to Wendell as a whole.

    We've worked damn hard getting permission,foring good relationships with local DCR officials, and, of course building quite a bit of new single track, as well maintaining and re-routing old existings trails and getting the word out about Wendell as a very biker friendly destination. But self-starter trail projects-especially on highly traveled hiking trails (!!!) puts all that in jeopardy.

    We've hosted innumerable trail work days over the last 2.5 years, and we'll host more in the future-If you got something you'd like to see done-bring it to my attention and come out on a trail work day and make it a reality.

    One more word on Trail sanitization in general: Hey if you come across a blow down, or bramble or sometthing obviously askew-feel free to fix it/ remove it (and many thanks) but don't Alter sections of the trail to fit your skill level. This was a challenging spot on the trail-but rideable by quite a few good riders in BOTH directions-it took several years of riding if before most can clean it both directions (and, I took a really hard tumble coming down it recently)-but small challenges like that add up to big satisfying mountain biking experiences and I'd like to not have that sanitized out of my riding life Thank you. That's the spirit of the trails at Wendell-

    If anyone wants to contact me with any thoughts, about this or Wendell, or Pioneer Valley Mountain biking in general-drop me line at the email below.

    Sorry about the long post-but this one matters to me.

    Liam O'Brien
    President-Pioneer Valley Chapter of NEMBA
    ginaliam@mac.com

  2. #2
    A_A
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    Liam,

    Unfortunately trail sanitizing is rampant everywhere, not just Wendel. I spent the better part of my ride last sunday trying to close off trail braids on my local trails. You guys have done a great job on the trails out there, hopefully you will get the rock ramps by the lookout tower back to its original condition.

  3. #3
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    Hey Liam, just wanted to clear myself as a trail sanitizing suspect. We saw you in the parking lot today. We rode what I believe to be the HANNAH SWARTON trail. We in no way made any attempt at changing any of the man made obstacles. We only moved a bit of new dead fall. Sorry to hear about all your hard work getting wrecked. You guys have my number, so definitely give me a call for the next trail build day.

    -Dave
    My epiglottis is full of bees!

    Slapheadmofo
    EPhatch

  4. #4
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    You should post photos.

  5. #5
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    Kevin,

    The section in question (I think - based on Liam's description) is the one you cleared and no-one in the rest of the group did when we rode it at the NEMBA ride earlier this month.

    I know it is in your photo show as it used to be. I might get up there tomorrow for an after photo - if not sometime this coming week.

    Harold

  6. #6
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    That would suck... That was a cool section even if i didnt come anywhere close to clearing it.


    Quote Originally Posted by hado_pv
    Kevin,

    The section in question (I think - based on Liam's description) is the one you cleared and no-one in the rest of the group did when we rode it at the NEMBA ride earlier this month.

    I know it is in your photo show as it used to be. I might get up there tomorrow for an after photo - if not sometime this coming week.

    Harold

  7. #7
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    Well-The Wendell Workhorse (Big Mark Courtemanche) got out this morning at 5:30 in the rain and set things right on the Trail to the lookouts-cleaning up the mess and closing off a few troublesome braids that have been developing on the trail as well.

    And for those who are so inclined-Mark will be leading a 2 hours of trail work/ 2 hour ride session tomorrow at 7 am at wendell (meet at the park headquarters on Montague Rd)--yeah-that's early, but you'll be up before the deerflies!

    Woodsguy-if you cleared that going up on your first try-that's solid riding!

    Harold-it's the feature that as of May has been called 'Liam's Launchpad" for less than happy reasons (I chose this emoticon because it expresses more how it actually felt upon landing rather than a metaphorical illusion to frustration!)

    oh G-Vegas, if you and you're crew want a more focused tour of Wendell let me know---I was going to come over and give you guys the NEMBA sales pitch--but honestly, I'm just never comfortable recruiting like that!

  8. #8
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    Actually my girlfriend and I are already members. I would have definetly helped out tomorrow for that build day, but I just agreed to lead a couple beginners around Leo. We might head to western MA next weekend for either a Wendell Ride, or to explore Holyoke for the first time.

    -Dave
    My epiglottis is full of bees!

    Slapheadmofo
    EPhatch

  9. #9
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    Hey G-

    I got to ride the north side of Skinner/Holyoke for the first time the other day. I started out on Chmura Road and did a quick climb to Parker Res. Just above the res is a singletrack on the left... hit it! I only rode about 7 miles but the flow was awesome and I didn't hit a bad trail. There is sweet singletrack all over that area. If you're interested, PM for .gpx file.

    Red

  10. #10
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    Awesome, makes me more exited to hit that place up.
    My epiglottis is full of bees!

    Slapheadmofo
    EPhatch

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