Cleveland, OH - Bragging about the Royalview Trail!
X-post from Trail Building and Advocacy
Bragging in Cleveland, OH
One of my favorite trails. Thanks for all the hard work camba..
That's a great article, thanks for sharing!:thumbsup:
this is a great trail and it really is super that it was allowed to happen. Hopefully there will be much more to follow. My gripe with all the traialsbeing built in northern ohio is that they are sooooo easy that they are no fun...well, maybe some fun, but not much. I've been doing this for over 20 years and would very much liek to see something that is a bit challenging. As i ride royalton, there are moms on street bikes with kids on there little box store bikes...everyone is haveing fun....but I'm going soo damn fast it scares folks...that trail is great for learning the very basics..but thats where it all ends..very basics...not even alot of the basics..just a few. Great again if you just discovered riding offroad but wher will they go when they get good? i know theres some tech stuff at some of the other local trails, but again, not much. Even Vultures knob has smoothed out the course and removed anyhting that would make someone fast and technical. Mohican wildernes is the only one left with a little challenge. And even that one has had the largest climbs reduced thru the years.
Please dont say mohican wilderness either..its just a hill with a smooooth path. I like it, but its hugely boring..
When we start to build bikeparks with natural terrain and man made stuff for all to enjoy as lots of other park systems around the us are doing instead of making trails that are set up so a little girl on a 12" bike can ride it with no experience at all. We are just spinning our wheels and the sport gets stale.....Options are the way to go and educate folks on these harder sections so the wrong folks dont try them before they are ready....just my rant..I really just want the bulders to know how some seasoned riders percieve the latest trails. I dont build anymore (i put in hundereds of hours in the nineties and now just donate $$) but would like to see these trails become useful for those that are actually donating their money and time. Most of thefolks I see at roalton are very new which is great, but what did they give to this? Those that have given the most have had the most taken away.
The whole idea for the trails at Royalview was to get a beginner level trail. I think a part of it was to ease the transition for the Metroparks - let them get used to having a beginners level trail before they deal with anything more advanced. And now I understand that there are discussions about starting a second trail system in the Metroparks. I'd bet that it won't be another beginner level trail.
And about trails getting dumbed down - if you put in all those trail building hours you know the natural progression of trails. They get built to a certain skill level, and then riders inevitably start to make ride arounds for the tech features, and soon enough the ride around is the main line and the tech stuff becomes mostly abandoned.
The only way to keep on top of this is to ACTIVELY counter the trail sanitizers. You have to get crews out there and take back the tech stuff while eliminating the easy ride arounds. When you're doing trail work all the time it SUCKS to have to go back and spend your time doing this type of maintenance, but there's no way around it that I know. This last summer I spent a fair amount of time renovating tech lines at West Branch while eradicating easy ride arounds.
Another thing - who the hell are these riders who seem to WANT the trail to be super easy? If all they want is to ride that fast I really wish they would just ride on the road. Even after I brought back some tech lines at WB it looks as if NO ONE is actually riding them.
Here's an idea - since you say you give $$$ rather than trail work time, how bout you contact the owners of VK, state your concerns, and offer to make a donation to start to bring the trails back to a more tech, challenging level. They're a private owner and are the most likely to respond.
"Another thing - who the hell are these riders who seem to WANT the trail to be super easy? If all they want is to ride that fast I really wish they would just ride on the road. Even after I brought back some tech lines at WB it looks as if NO ONE is actually riding them."
Ha...I agree...and I did notice at the knob that every tight turn was replaced with a straighter route..not by builders but by cyclists....guarantee they are young XC racers..too much gumption and know real knowledge or care. Ive foloowed them around and watched...fools thought that they were beating me...Ha..yougins always think old guys are slow..only experience will perservere. (I am an XC guy all the way so I'm not raggin on XC folks..just the latest trend to make courses flow (easy) and be straighter (no turns)...we joke that in a couple years, XC racing will be a sprint down a packed gravel/limestone path...stright...dragstrip style.
"Here's an idea - since you say you give $$$ rather than trail work time, how bout you contact the owners of VK, state your concerns, and offer to make a donation to start to bring the trails back to a more tech, challenging level. They're a private owner and are the most likely to respond."
I know the owners well and I have often thought of it and have had conversations to that point. I would dump a literal truck load of wood on them if folks would build...maybe even rent a bulldozer again for a day...this is a real good idea, but I dont have time to build, if there are builders that I can work with, I would absolutely fund some stuff.
And thanks for the great reply.
I'm all about a technical trail like the jump section of the knob but miles of it!!! Let's do it
I agree, Give me some tech trails and I will be there all the time. I would even pay a few bucks to ride them (like vultures knob which I toss money in the bin every time)
I dont even care if the tech features are off to the side as an option that riders can decide if they want to ride or not. Even Rays has gotten dumbed down over the years. Its very frustrating to have to travel to PA to get a good ride in.
Interesting to hear this viewpoint right in my neck of the woods.
I guess I'm used to seeing all these fast guys on the trails and with the constant dumbing down of the trails I assumed that our area didn't have many tech riding fans. I know there are some in CAMBA, people that like to build and ride nice rocky trails.
I'm sure you guys have ridden WB. What do you think of the gorgeside trails? How about Quarry trail - it's got some real tough moves. How about that downhill trail at Moraine - anyone ride that? What about the wooden features at Findley - the ramps & and skinnies - what's your opinion of that kind of trail feature?
There's going to be some news about a new trail system in our area. We're hoping to be able to make it the same level as West Branch - intermediate to advanced. Tech trails would be a very good thing in my opinion. Lots of people saying that would help our cause.
It's killin' me not being able to say what's going on yet.:eekster:
ya....theres some folks around that like to be challenged...I ride the knob and mohican wilderness pretty much exclusively nowdays...although i will hit the others occasinally, they just dont do it for me. I havent seen the new stuff at westbranch this year cause I was in PA (or w.va) all year riding. Me and my buddy have kept mohican wilderness clean for years cause nobody rides it (vultures knob was the same till the new owners took over and thank you to them)...and its the best around with no competition...even it has been dumbed down thru the years... I do goto moraine and I like what they do there, but even there...the hiking trail is the best...and the yellow trail at 7 springs too(another hiking trail)...the downhill at moraine is a real ***** goin up...Ha!...found that the hard way...glad to see more folks wanting to either improve their skills or just use them...you will not be getting much of a skillset at the most of the local places...just flow..which isnt bad in moderation. Rays is a diff story altogether...I was there with ray at the beggining and helped build the place...It has been wayyyy dumbed down for tech. XC riding...and the last two years has been wayy bad...even the flow of things haas been wacked. I love that place and will ride it as much as possible but unless you want to learn crazy transfers, there's not much to push yourself on once you have it all perfected (Yes, I do have it perfected..i ride every skinney (clean) in both xpert and sport just for warmup). Rays is for the kids nowdays...not at all what it was originally bult for...those are good 'ol days now...just memories of what was. I do respect trek for helping out Ray though as we may have lost it. Things do change and they say we have to roll with the changes, and to me that means driving 3+ hours every weekend to ride in PA or another state. Hoefully I can move soon and be in a state that has access to alot of trails (all the good things happening in colorado..oh ya)...but till then, maybe we can get some techhy features on some of our trails..even if were off to the side. I'm ok with adding skinneys over areas that cant be ridden easy but using natural features better would be my choice. maybe the (new sectret place) thing will pan out.....and I'll make sure to check out west branch next year...I've heard a few good things about the new stuff there and alwasy liked the rock section...but the rock section is just too short for the drive there....i do tend to like real rocky stuff...and yes, I can go fast on that stuff too...just gotta work harder...and be in good shape of course to do that.
ride on folks, we still have dry dirt out there.
Originally Posted by syklystt
Again, I feel the same way. I ride findley fairly often just because it closest to my house. I love the skinnies. My friend and I even took some time to make a good entry to a downed try after the last skinny(the one thats off the ground about 18'') to ride it every time. I go to west branch every once in a while but not too often anymore because of the drive. We try to go to Vultures knob about 5-6 times a year. I made a thread a while back about how a lot of the tech features at VK are gone and its loosing its luster with me. I took a noob there and at the end, he said "this is what all the hype is about. Not impressed" Anymore, my wife and I travel to seven springs, and wisp to do some DH riding to get our fix.
As for Rays, I also have been going since the beginning. In 2003 when the place was fairly empty until now, it has changed so much. I would say it peaked in about 2006. When they decided to get rid of the red bull jump, it signaled the down fall. Now they have two rooms full of colored lines on the ground to ride on. Are you kidding me!? if you cant ride on those colored lines, you have no business at a bike park.
Ray is am acquaintance of mine, and on multiple occasions, my wife and I have let him know about our displeasure with the changes(he lives 2 minutes from us, so we run into him a decent amount). I also feel like when trek took over, it lost its family type feeling. Now its feels like they just want to take your money and dont care about anything else. I still go, but now its once or twice a year when it used to be season pass every year.
We've discussed skinnies, and I certainly hope that they will be part of the new build. I suggested some close to the ground, narrow boardwalk/skinny configurations. We're also thinking about short log ramps, like at Findley. There's also an area full of rocks to develop tech lines. Board meeting is next weekend, so I'll be able to break the news after that.
Also I suppose I should mention that our club is building new trails at Beaver Creek. The place has amazing potential - great terrain and lots of rocks & trees. The existing trail situation has like 4 miles of mtb only trail, plus another 4 miles that is SUPPOSED to be mtb only but is horse poached. We're adding new trail to the non-poachable area. We're 2/3 done with our first trail - the first new trails down there in like 30 years. It's only .75 mile long, but has some great rocky tech riding in an amazing setting. It's a nice place to ride now - could have more mileage and the horse abuse pisses me off. But it's going to be even better as our club focuses it's trail building on it. Give us two years and it'll be much improve, I'm sure.
Steve, great job on everything you all are doing. It all adds up to riding in our area.
I personnaly like natural terrain over skinneys any day, but when there's a depression or wet area, skinneys are a great answer. either way, as, stated already, I personally prefer techhy stuff and would welcome and rocky areas. My biggest issue other than that is elevation change. I know it gets tough to do sometimes but acending and decending are really a huge part of it....then throw in some rocks and it starts getting good...again, just thinking of how the new folks would progress in our sport and hopefully branch out to other places to explore/ride. Without climbs...sustained climbs, we cant get good enough to go anywhere but indiana or southern michigan...my opinion has been that mohican wilderness and vultures knob have been left alone alot is because they have climbs and some techhy stuff. Mohican state park has climbs but no real tech stuff...it does however have the other part of the equation...length..which does make up for it in some ways.
If we can have some climbs that work us more, that would be great. Im fine with driving to PA as Ive been doing if for a couple decades and am quite used to it now, my main concerns lie with the new folks and how they will never get far anywhere else than the few easy rides we have around here.
Mountain biking is just soo much more than a flowy smooth trail...our bikes are so capable nowdays and most folks will never use their bike to its potential around here and their skill set will not allow them to safely go elsewhere. The trails I rode around here in the early days of MTB were alot more technical......when was the last time we had to jump a log?....that in itself is a skill to know...not chainringing it either...and you dont need speed, just technique.
Please take this as constructive criticism because I think the current builders deserve alot of kudos for taking their time to make it possible for others to enjoy this sport, i just keep seeing the trails become wayy too easy in all places...diversity is the key, something to build up to and achieve goals.
good luck with these new areas, Ohio needs as much as we can get, but lets try to get that diversity in there for all to enjoy.
Again...thanks for all the hard work!
I'm having a lot of fun working on the new trails, especially down at Beaver Creek. And it gives me time to spend with the other club members where we can actually have a conversation.
I put an album of photos from this falls trail work at Beaver Creek, just to give an idea of what we're doing down there:
Beaver Creek State Park, OH - trail work 2012 photos from the Mtbr Mountain Bike Photo Gallery
It's amazing working down there. As we put in a line there are so many other great opportunities for tech features that we're always talking about what alternate lines we can add.
Wow looks good Steve love the terrain in that area. Brady's run, Bavington etc... sooo jealous. Yes a big thank you to guys like Steve, Camba, 331racing and everyone envolve in building trails around here.
It's tough to please everyone but I agree with the guys above. As bike technology progress I like to see our trails do the same. It's better to have some trails than nothing at all in the mean time I'll just watch videos on pinkbike and dream away.
Thanks for all the work!
Personally, I never time myself when I ride. I ride with flats and always look for ways to make the trail more interesting. My favorite type of riding is going to lift access DH resorts and doing jumps/drops/skinnies..... anything that challenges me as a rider. A few years back I gained the skills to do every line at rays(literally all of them) and ever since then, I have been looking for the next challenge to conquer. That said, I know i dont fit the typical northern Ohio mold, and as said by syklystt, I dont mind having to travel to get my biking fix. But getting some new local trails or upgrades to the current ones would be amazing. Just a few new skinnies, log piles, teeter totters.... anything that can make the trails more interesting for riders like me who are out there to have fun and push there limits in ways other then racing a clock.
I actually only went to the new trail at royal view once this year. Mainly because you get some looks when you show up to such an easy trail on a 160mm full coil bike:
I am building myself a hard tail as we speak though to solve that problem.
Thanks again for all the hard work swampboy62!
I like the royalview trail. Technical? no. But at least it is a start. I am figuring that other metroparks are getting the message that biking is a hotbed. I am sure we will see some intermediate trails soon. Just because a trail is considered easy, or if someone likes a trail easy, does not mean they should ride the road. I hate pavement. I am not a fan of super technical stuff where I have to hike and bike or can kill myself. I would like a trail with the flow of Royalview and maybe the tec part of Vultures Knob. You can not deny that ripping through those trails are fun flying around like that.
Currently I ride West Branch, Quail Hollow, Alum Creek 1 and 2, and Mohigan, Nothing
how about some climbing options.....hills are a huge part of the riding experience...trend nowdays is to make all climbs easy...switchbacks have their place, but a long grinding climb will do mucho benefits for your fitness...
when a road rider trys to mtb, he/she will notice one thing right away...the dirt requires you to use your upper body...all of your body if you go fast.
when a mtb'er goes from a place like royalview to a place like mohican state park...he/she will notice the burn in their legs from climbing.
now goto mohican wilderness and add both together and your really workin it...
As much as climbing can hurt, once youve practiced it enough adn get used to it, you will be a much better rider for it...its the only way to get real tough in this sport...Id like to see some tougher climbs when/where possible.....in the valley...theres lots of climbs to behold...yes they suck, but they will make a much better rider out of you if thats what you want....nothin like hill intervals...mmmmm
What I would like to see is well marked options. Some harder lines geared toward climbing, some harder tech lines, some fast/flowing single track...... A little bit of everything. They key is to have it well marked. Then a single trail can be used by every rider, no matter the skill level or riding preferences. The best part would be that you could ride the same trail multiple times, but switch your line choices up and make it feel like a different trail. West branch is close and vultures knob a few years back was close as well.
Originally Posted by syklystt
Thanks to Swampboy62, I have a feeling some great trails for intermediate level riders are going to be a reality. But a still think a single trail with many different subtrails for various types of skill levels weaving in and out of a main loop would be ideal. a little something for everyone. :thumbsup:
Funny this comes up now. We were out at Lake Milton this weekend flagging the phase 1 trail. We talked about all the different options that we saw in the area, and how we could string them together.
After a little bit of discussion it seems like the best way to get the most out of the terrain is going to be by offering alternative routes. Not just little short splits with a feature on one side and the alternative route being the ride-around, but places to make choices that will take you either into the gully or up over the hill, etc. So what we'll call "Front Trail" will actually not just be a totally linear loop, it can be a different route each lap.
Not going to be a lot of climbing though. Don't have enough elevation difference to develop any real lung busters, but we will use what contours we have as much as possible. Hope we can finish the majority of the rough flagging next weekend.
To me, its the best way to keep a trail fun and make everyone happy. I dont have a ton of free time right now(and the trail is about an hour and half away), but if I can get some free time at some point, I would love to put in some work on it. Maybe in the spring?
Originally Posted by swampboy62
Thanks for the updates on the trail as well. :thumbsup:
Great Job Swamp Boy. I am impressed with your drive and Passion. Mullen, my gf lives down the street from you. She lives in the condos of Murwood Village off of Mills. I agree that a trail like you described would be ideal.. Any word on the Bedford Reservation?
I haven't checked back in awhile and look at all the discussion!
Royalview was built the way it was for many reasons that have nothing to do with mountain biking. There was huge opposition to MTBing in general and they went and did it anyway. :thumbsup: To make it work, and to pass the intense criticism, they had to make every aspect perfect to the detractors. That meant a few concessions/compromises from the MTBers.
Now it's one of the most-visited parks, which completely validates the entire project.
btw - if you haven't been to recent trail building at Royalview, there is a gateway/filter stunt a short way into the new out-and-back section to keep the newbs out, some new ladder-type bridges, and some boulders and rock gardens (this trail is NOT OPEN YET!). Give CMP time to sort out their project management and develop their man-made construction techniques (bomb-proof) and style (risk without real danger). This is the first time they ever built a MTB trail, and the first time they ever used IMBA trail building guidelines (which severely limits steepness around here). It's a new process in every way.
The next CMP project is in Bedford. The terrain there is much steeper and rockier with a solid 250 ft. elevation change. For NE Ohio, that 's about as much climbing as you'll get.
Thanks all for chiming in!
Flea, will Bedford be ready for the summer time? Will it be a little more challenging than Royalview? What is the proposed length? I love Royalview. It is not hard, but flows great. Any trail is better than no trail. What would they eye on after Bedford? What Metroparks could be used? What about Brecksville... What about CVNP? Not sure why they do not have anything there.I never see horses on the bridal trails.