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  1. #1
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    Has Greenbush been abandoned?

    The trail (especially loop 3) just seems to be getting worse and worse. The loose
    stones and rocks on up-slopes create a situation where less advanced riders
    tear up the trail even more as they grind to the top, and most of the down hill
    sections have so many rocks or have become so strewn with loose rock debris,
    that there just isn't many sections where you can gain speed and have fun.
    There must be some kind of ratio that defines a great trail:
    ?% steep climbs, ?% average climbs, %rocks, %rocky climbs ,%fast & flowy.
    Loop 3 needs some love and attention, because the ratio of rocks and rocky
    climbs have become way too high.

    I pay to use the trail, but I wonder if there is any work done out there?

  2. #2
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    The work that gets done out there is primarily volunteer. Look for the G.E.A.R.S facebook page for the next trail maintenance day. See you there.

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    Couldn't find that. Lots of Gear of War related Facebook pages though.

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    https://m.facebook.com/groups/10150116809105066

    This should get you there. I hope.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, I'll start watching. It doesn't look like there has been any work days
    in Greenbush since April.

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    I think part (or most) of the loose rock situation has to do with how dry it has been this summer. Those rocks used to get packed in, especially at Greenbush, which holds a lot of moisture when it does actually rain. That ain't happening this year, though, so it's more like a trail in AZ. I highly doubt it has been "abandoned" by volunteer work crews, it's just different conditions this year, and they aren't going to remove too much from what was traditionally the stable rock gardens. I'm guessing that a decent snowy winter and muddy spring will help restore the balance.

  7. #7
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    True, much of the work occurs during the spring. Summer and Fall are left for riding. More trail days will occur towards the end of the year when it cools off, especially after the leaves have fallen - they will get blown off the trail so long as there isn't snow. This will ensure that the trails dry as quickly as possible during the spring.
    There is maintenance that will occur during the summer, especially after bad weather. If there are fallen trees, they will be cleared by a certified chain saw operator. You cannot operate a chainsaw in a state park w/o this certification. Volunteers are alerted directly when this is needed since they are the only ones that can do it.
    Pedal Moraine is the club that hosts the Greenbush 12 hour race and does a lot of the maintenance. They are a good group to know and aside from GEARS, the saw operators and occasional volunteers like myself, they do a good job of getting things done.
    I do agree with you that the uphills are an issue for most folks. I don't have a problem with them too much myself, but have seen how it is progressively getting worse and worse. They definitely do require attention. Lately however, the focus was some other problem sections as well as putting in the 4-3 connector so we don't have 2-way traffic. That section needs some TLC as well.
    Stay tuned. I can't say that it will get fixed right away, but I am sure it's on the list and once the racing season is over (most of the volunteers are racers and do both wors and wems which eats up a lot of time and leaves precious few weekends during the summer) I am sure that there will be an opportunity to have a couple solid trail days with a good group of volunteers.
    Until then, run your tires at as low of a PSI as possible w/o risking pinch flats.

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    And check out New Fane. Short but great trail system. Very well conditioned and maintained by the same great folks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jparman View Post
    And check out New Fane. Short but great trail system. Very well conditioned and maintained by the same great folks.
    +1 on New Fane. Rode there last weekendvfor first time this summer. Forgot how fun it can be.
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  10. #10
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    +1 on the dry conditions

    Just a bit of rain can turn a loose trail firm. Don't give up on the trail, to make the climb try to pedal is circles, don't pump your legs, use a low gear high cadence.

  11. #11
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    Yes, I have ridden New Fane a number of times, and enjoy it a lot.
    I like to think of it as "Greenbush light". It has a similar terrain and feel, but
    less rocks, and they are more stable, which allows more speed on down hill sections.

    The only problem for me is that it's twice the drive to get there. To ride there
    on a regular basis is a little difficult

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    Yea greenbush is still fun, but I don't remember it being this rough previous years. Will work need to be put into it to fix it up, or will some rain and riding fix it, like it seems to be suggested?

    If trailwork is needed, I wouldn't mind pitching in. What kind of work would be done?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmdishwash View Post
    I think part (or most) of the loose rock situation has to do with how dry it has been this summer. Those rocks used to get packed in, especially at Greenbush, which holds a lot of moisture when it does actually rain. That ain't happening this year, though, so it's more like a trail in AZ. I highly doubt it has been "abandoned" by volunteer work crews, it's just different conditions this year, and they aren't going to remove too much from what was traditionally the stable rock gardens. I'm guessing that a decent snowy winter and muddy spring will help restore the balance.
    This is exactly the situation that is occuring at Greenbush this year. That's what makes Greenbush so unique. Conditions are constantly changing throughout the year. It's never bad it's just different. Polish up your skills as we won't be dummying down the trail. If you ride out west you'll find these changing conditions throughout one single ride.

    Keep in mind that Greenbush was created from the glaciers of the ice age. Essentially it's a giant mound of gravel. You could dig rocks until the end of time. I live in the Kettles and every spring I have to do a walk around my yard before I mow it because new rocks have appeared and up earthed. If I don't spot them my blades are toast. Welcome to the Kettles.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DekerfTeamST View Post
    Polish up your skills as we won't be dummying down the trail.
    So basically, there is no point in showing up for a trail building, because the trail is exactly the way you want it?
    New Fane has rocks, but it's still fun.
    John Muir has plenty of rocks, but it's still fun.
    Greenbush(loop 3) has become something different from when I first started going there.

  15. #15
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    Well stig, I've been there a few times this year and I'd have to say it's still rideable. If it's rideable, and the community doesn't think it's in danger of being destroyed, then I don't think there's much to be concerned about. I know what you mean about the condition of it, but if no one that has the know-how of trailbuilding is concerned for fixing it up, then I won't be concerned either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by not TheStig View Post
    Yes, I have ridden New Fane a number of times, and enjoy it a lot.
    I like to think of it as "Greenbush light". It has a similar terrain and feel, but
    less rocks, and they are more stable, which allows more speed on down hill sections.

    The only problem for me is that it's twice the drive to get there. To ride there
    on a regular basis is a little difficult
    Funny. Exact opposite for me. Muir or New Fane same distance for me. Greenbush far far away. And I think from a fitness/ stamina perspective New Fane may offer more challenge than Muir. Slightly steeper, looser, rockier climbs.
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  17. #17
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    I was out at Greenbush Saturday morning. The rains have certainly helped firm up the track. Now the problem was wet sand on glacier rocks = dicey corners. I'm sure it's perfect today given 2 days to dry.

    I love Greenbush and it's changing dynamic. Still my favorite place to be!

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    Quote Originally Posted by not TheStig View Post
    So basically, there is no point in showing up for a trail building, because the trail is exactly the way you want it?
    Greenbush(loop 3) has become something different from when I first started going there.
    I guess I'm not understanding what you're asking for. The trail doesn't require any maintanance or repairs and it's remained sustainable due to the proper design of it. Just because the soil has gotten loose due to the dry conditions or rocks have came dislodged or more rocks have become exposed doesn't mean there's a problem with the trail.

    The message that I'm getting from you is that due to the current conditions the trail has become more difficult and therefore less fun. Don't you think it makes more sense to adjust your riding style to the current conditions then to go try to change the trail? What is your proposed solution? Do you think we should go pick rocks, maybe water the trail to firm it up, haul in some dirt to fill in between rocks? For what its worth I rode the trail a week ago Friday in the dark with lights and had no issues and didn't find it any less fun just different.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DekerfTeamST View Post
    The message that I'm getting from you is that due to the current conditions the trail has become more difficult and therefore less fun. Don't you think it makes more sense to adjust your riding style to the current conditions then to go try to change the trail?
    I'd say that you pretty much summed up my concerns. I'm just out there to have fun,
    hill climbing is a means to an end, not the fun part. The loose rocks everywhere certainly
    make it more challenging, but I prefer not to give up the speed and adrenaline rush.

    Apparently I am the minority though, and that's ok.

  20. #20
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    I was out there today and the trails are near perfect IMO.

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    Is trail hardening or armoring something that is done?

  22. #22
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    Trail hardening or armoring is not needed in greenbush.

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    Trails were awesome today.

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    WOW. Some mtbing folks should take a trip out west and experience uphills and rocks. I highly recommend Monarch Crest out of Salida Colorado, South Boundary out of Taos New Mexico, or Porcupine Rim out of Moab Utah. Greenbush is always fantastic regardless of natural changes and challenges. If you like them flowing check out Copper Harbor in the UP or the "new" Seeley Pass trail north of County OO in Seeley Wis now beinf finished to connect to the Ojibwe trail at Mt. Telemark, but that has rocks too.

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    Yes, I've been to Copper Harbor, and admittedly I was probably spoiled on some
    of the fast, flowy trails. But there are some older trails that certainly have plenty of rocks.
    You can't get to "Stairway To Heaven" without going through some rocky sections.

    I hadn't seen that Seeley Pass trail, but I was just on the Namakagon trail and
    Hatchery Creek Trail last month on a very hot day. Both were enjoyable, but
    it would probably have been a better day for that Seeley trail. I just didn't see it
    when I was searching around the CAMBA site(so many trails.)

    Funny you should say it, but I had just started thinking about maybe planning something
    out west, in the Doa Ana Mountains, since I plan to be near Las Cruces next year.
    Perhaps I'll hate it.

  26. #26
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    So stig you have been to Copper Harbor and were ok with that but the existing conditions at Greenbush were too rocky for you? I don't under stand. Head to NE wisco and ride the Nicolet Roche way more technical than Greenbush but much less than Copper Harbor. Way I see it is Greenbush is a fast flowing with min/moderate technicality.

    I also think in order to complain and recommend changes to a trail dispite the fact that you pay to ride there you should spend some time on a trail crew first.

  27. #27
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    I think I am misunderstood. I am not opposed to rocks, and I never said Greenbush was too technical.
    I can easily clear everything, so that's not the issue. What I was trying to
    say was that on loop 3 the percentage of loose rocks is so high
    and reduces the fun factor for me. Very little hardpack on downhill sections.
    Cooper Harbor certainly has lots of technical sections, but I have never gone so fast
    on a mountain bike trail as "The Flow" or "The Edge"

    And... I would love to help trail building, but I got the message.
    Greenbush is exactly what the current trailbuilders like.

    "Polish up your skills as we won't be dummying down the trail."

  28. #28
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    Are you suggesting that loop 3 should have some re-routes installed that bypass these rocky sections? If you did that the re-routes would be just as rocky in 1-2 seasons. As Dekerf said Greenbush is like, made out of rocks. I cleaned it all on a SS 29er Sunday and felt the trails were as fast and flowy as ever. There was a less experienced rider out there who said he found the rocky sections of the trails to be fun and challenging, and he had a great time riding out there. Its mountain biking, there is supposed to be stuff that is challenging. If someone rides at Greenbush and doesn't like it there are other options, like New Fane, or the road is pretty smooth I hear.

    I think the trail is awesome personally.

  29. #29
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    No, I wasn't suggesting any reroutes. About the only thing I did suggest was maybe some trail hardening or armoring, which was immediately shot down. I was also told the trail wouldn't wouldn't be dummied down for me, and now I think you just told me "my way or the highway?" But I already admitted I am in the minority with my taste, and I'm OK with that. I just thought the trail was more stable in the past. I was wrong.

    Since my OP:
    I've been back to Greenbush and enjoyed Loop 1 & 2, I just did it twice instead of doing Loop 3.
    I've been to New Fane twice, and really enjoyed that. Up a section, then a fast and flowy reward. Up the next rocky section, then another reward down. I really like that.
    I've also went to John Muir, and it's hard to beat that for a great combination of fun and challenge. I especially enjoy the start and Bermuda. I'll admit I didn't make it up that last big hill near the end of the blue loop. A combination of being tired and not choosing good track. Something to get the next time.
    And I try to do my local trail in Sheboygan a couple times a week. What it lacks in rocks, it makes up for in roots.
    But I plan to go back to Greenbush, just stay with what works for me.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by not TheStig View Post
    No, I wasn't suggesting any reroutes. About the only thing I did suggest was maybe some trail hardening or armoring, which was immediately shot down.
    Your Idea for trail hardening or armoring would not do anything in Greenbush. Armoring is done in a area of trail that goes through a river or stream crossing or a very wet area, you armor the banks and the bottom with flat rocks to protect the soft soil to get washed away to save trail from damage and to prevent problems the dirt getting washed down the river could cause over time. Greenbush has no wet areas or water crossings so armoring is not needed.

    Trail hardening would be used in a section of trail that the soil is loose and you cant keep it in place like if there was a sand pit somewhere that you wanted to make riding easier you would add something that will act as a binder to help hold the soft soil together. Sand or soft loose soil is another thing Greenbush dose not have.

    Not trying to be an ass or anything just wanted to say that your ideas would not work in Greenbush. If I miss understood what you were trying to suggest I am sorry just explain to me a bit more of what you are thinking. If there is work that needs to be done to the trail we will look into fixing a problem. But if the problem is just loose rocks that is just the nature of Greenbush and if you start to remove the big rocks in the trail that are loose that will create holes in the trail tread that will fill with water and make mud holes and destroy the trail.

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    Under the heading of "a little knowledge is dangerous", I had been reading this and thought it relevant to some of Greenbush's characteristics...
    IMBA Resources: Trail Building and Maintenance: Armoring - Using Rock to Harden Trails
    Last edited by not TheStig; 08-14-2012 at 04:01 PM.

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    this trail has been armored.

    thanks for being a good sport Stig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by not TheStig View Post
    I've also went to John Muir, and it's hard to beat that for a great combination of fun and challenge. I especially enjoy the start and Bermuda. I'll admit I didn't make it up that last big hill near the end of the blue loop. A combination of being tired and not choosing good track. Something to get the next time.
    Realize this is totally off topic, and not that I've made the whole way...but, the line is left about halfway up then cuts over to the right. I'd watched a couple of folks and figured it out. When I brought my brother there earlier this summer (his first time) . He followed what I said and made it right up. The roots are a distraction causing you not to see the real line.
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  34. #34
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    CJohnson,
    Didn't I see that trail posted on the "One picture, one line..." thread?
    Perhaps the best thread on the board, although I can do without the bike p0rn.

    Interestingly, I was reading a trail description on John Muir a while back, and the author discussed this issue. Since he summed it up fairly well, I'll just steal his words.
    "Everybody claims they want lots of rocks and roots and ruts to test their skill, but if you pay attention you'll notice that all the rocky, rooty, rutty sections of trail get really wide because everyone rides on the smooth edge of the trail until it gets rocky, rooty, and rutty. Then they ride on the new edge of the trail and so on."

    I see this on a lot of trails...

    Kimikaw,
    Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. I think I did the exact opposite. I started right, tried to move left and ran into a large root in the middle of the trail. I didn't have the strength to muscle over it by that stage of the ride.

  35. #35
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    Just understand that for every rider that wants to ride the smooth stuff, there's another two riders that ride, jump, or sometimes stack on the rough stuff. Different strokes for different folks. Starting a thread, asking if a trail system has been abandoned, is kind of a slap in the face to the people that volunteer their time to build and maintain the very trail that that you apparently ride on a regular basis. Maybe....try thanking them?.....or better yet, show up at one of their work days and get dirty!

    We should probably do more to encourage volunteerism for trailbuilding and maintenance as part of the fabric of Mountain Bike Culture. Maybe it starts with teaching our children early that volunteering at your local trail's work days is just what mountain bikers do in the spring time.
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    Gomez,
    Certainly you must have realized that I chose that thread title with a lot of forethought?
    It was intended(but without malice) to raise a discussion/debate on what can or should be done to maintain a trail like that. I wanted to hear what the trail builders and locals had to say, and you always get a more vocal debate when you press a hot button.

    I expected most riders to defend it, but wondered if anyone would mention any different plans. What I didn't expect was "the trail is perfect, just what we want, but come help us trail build or don't say nothing." Nobody said... "come to a trail building day, we are open to ideas" Although jparman was very open and helpful. Had there been upcoming trail building event, I would have been there. But then I got and I just love this quote:
    "Polish up your skills as we won't be dummying down the trail"
    Now that's the attitude to teach our children!

    And Greenbush isn't my local trail, that was my first ride in over a year.

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    well congrats on the successful troll!

    the best cure for trolls is to ignore them, so that's going to be the extent of my replies

    happy trails, amigo
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    No, a troll tries to disrupt a conversation or thread. I was trying to start a discussion, and the content of my OP was sincere and detailed of a recent ride experience. Only the title was intended to get attention, and not a single comment of mine has been an attack or inflammatory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~gomez~ View Post
    Just understand that for every rider that wants to ride the smooth stuff, there's another two riders that ride, jump, or sometimes stack on the rough stuff. Different strokes for different folks. Starting a thread, asking if a trail system has been abandoned, is kind of a slap in the face to the people that volunteer their time to build and maintain the very trail that that you apparently ride on a regular basis. Maybe....try thanking them?.....or better yet, show up at one of their work days and get dirty!

    We should probably do more to encourage volunteerism for trailbuilding and maintenance as part of the fabric of Mountain Bike Culture. Maybe it starts with teaching our children early that volunteering at your local trail's work days is just what mountain bikers do in the spring time.
    Thank you gomez you hit the nail right on the head with this. We defiantly need to get more people involved in trail building and maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by not TheStig View Post
    I just love this quote:
    "Polish up your skills as we won't be dummying down the trail"
    Now that's the attitude to teach our children!

    And Greenbush isn't my local trail, that was my first ride in over a year.
    So we should be teaching children that they should whine and stomp their feet, or in your case start a thread fully well knowing that is it going to fire up folks, just because you don't have the skills to ride the trail???


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    For the record I never said the trail is perfect. I also never said that we wouldn't be doing any maintenance or trail modifications. We just wrapped up the trail this past spring with the addition of the loop 3 & 4 connector trail and signs. Greenbush has suffered some growing pains since the original trail was built. Some of the issues are due to the increased traffic while some are due to the way the natural line developed. None of it is due to erosion which is a sign of a properly designed and built trail. We will evaluate those areas and make adjustments. What we will not be doing is making the trail easier. The conditions are loose this season but the soil and rocks are staying in place and is not eroding away. Greenbush is supposed to be the harder of the two, New Fane being the other, trail systems in the Northern Kettles. Also Greenbush was designed to get progressively more difficult through the loops. Loop one being the easiest and 3 and 4 being the hardest. In regards to your title of "has Greenbush been abandoned" have you came across any trees blocking the trail? Who do you think keeps these trails clear?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DekerfTeamST View Post
    have you came across any trees blocking the trail? Who do you think keeps these trails clear?
    Thank you for that!

    I went out early one sat, ate all the spider webs and came across a few down trees, the ones I could move off the trail I did, but the rest were cleaned up pretty quickly

    I might be in the minority considering how beat tired I am after the full 4 loops out there but I try hard to ride over the older/rockier parts of the trail rather than the smooth, obviously widened sections that people have been making by avoiding the rocks

    if there ever is a need for extra people for any trail cleanup or other projects drop me an email, I'd love to help out

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    Most certainly the trail was clear on my visits, so I acknowledge the hard work of keeping the trails clean. Thank you.
    And I never said the trail was too technical for me, nor did I say I couldn't ride the trail. In fact, I think I said on my OP that the issue was about speed and fun. Personally, I think a fast trail, narrow track, tight curves and steep drop-offs can be as technically challenging as an uphill grind on loose stones. Some prefer the grind, I prefer the speed. I was only suggesting(as per my OP again) that the ratio had changed, and Greenbush was becoming more grind. And it's become abundantly clear that's what everyone else likes.

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    WOW...WEEE this thread is almost insane. Ever ridden sections 11, 12, 13, or 14 @ 9Mile? Without it them, this trail could actully be just plain boring. Or what about the hardest (only my and some mtbing peers opinion or perhaps minds) ride in the state at Underdown? One should be challenged over and over to be a better rider and in honing those technical skills that seperate mountain biking from the other forms of bike riding. I certainly like the flow trails, but they can get boring when it gets like riding on a sidewalk. Of course I can't go ugly fast down cuz I am always on that silly singlespeed.

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    By the Charlie we need to git some of those big rocks out of the way at Nicolet Roche on our next trail day. Somebody could get hurt if they make the wrong choices or decisions. What's funny, though, is I broke my Fisher Rig frame on the mellowist flat sandy part of the River Trail. Huh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O'Punc View Post
    By the Charlie we need to git some of those big rocks out of the way at Nicolet Roche on our next trail day. Somebody could get hurt if they make the wrong choices or decisions. What's funny, though, is I broke my Fisher Rig frame on the mellowist flat sandy part of the River Trail. Huh?
    Yeah for sure those big ole things in MOAB are a really *fun* hazard I think they should go so the trail is more flowing... I fell off one the other day and my ego was real bruised! They should go!

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    rocky trails

    Muir has had similar conditions to Greenbush with the dry summer. Lots of loose rocks in spots, but it's still super fun and rideable.... just a little different.

    Brian

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    Trails were great today except for a large downed tree on loop 4 in one of the best downhill sections at Greenbush. It's about chest high and in a bad spot.

    Does anyone read this forum that can go out there and remove it? It's been there for about 1 week.

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    I got the chance to ride Greenbush this summer for the first time since I moved to the east coast and I was very impressed at the condiitons of the trails there, big improvement from when I moved.

    Derkerf: don't change anything. Other than building more miles of trail.

    not TheStig:If you don't like rocks on your trails, ride pavement. Its not the job of trailbuilders to remove rocks and roots to make it easier for less skilled riders. Rocks are part of what makes trails fun, instead of complaining about them, learn to ride them. And god forbid you ever ride on the east coast, our trails look like this:

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    Hot and dry in Las Cruces. There are trails there and some are pretty decent. Use to do a New Mexico Mtb. Series race there. New Mexico offers some of the best mountain biking around, it's just from Las Cruces you will have some driving. You're pretty much in Mexico down there. If you get a chance checkout Santa Fe (Winsor), Taos (South Boundary), Chama, Wingate (can't remember the name, but awesome IMBA epic with big mile potential), Gallup....Have FUN!

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