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  1. #1
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    Excessive Trail Maintenance!

    Whoa, easy does it!

    Yesterday I rode through the east leg of Dale Ball Central and towards the Upper Canyon Rd/Cerro Gordo side and there was a maintenance trail crew working. The first few seemed to be cutting bar ditches for (hopefully) rain drainage. That's cool.

    But just down from them the rest of the crew was burying all of the medium sized rock, tree trunks, and even SWEEPING the trail clean of all the penny-sized rocks! They made it a super freeway! Super wide and very, very fast, which if fine on one level-speed (until it gets completely punched out from that kind of speed) and bad on others-speed (there will be hikers who already have problems with MTB riders who will now just flat-out hate us!). The crew said they were working on doing all of the east leg just like this!

    Come on! Really? This is Mountain Biking!

    (These folks or like-minded individuals did the same thing over the past few years on Atalaya & Picacho Peak.)

    This kind of thing is ok if it for erosion control, but if it is done for make the riding easier-as they have done-then it is not a good thing!

  2. #2
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    I completely agree with you beastmaster. The work I see being done has nothing to do with sustainability and everything to do with sanitization. for instance the work they did near junction # 7 on the Dale Ball North. They got rid of a switchback that in the 7 yrs I have been living here has not changed other then being looser and more difficult to clean depending on the moisture content. I fear seeing the work you are speaking of. At least all the equestrian damage is keeping the trail technical.

  3. #3
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    SSweetleaf, exactly! There is a great sense of accomplishment when riding technical areas or obstacles. The more they remove material from the trail, the only way to get that sense of accomplishment will be to add considerably more speed, which in turn just exacerbates potential problems with hikers. And, if there is a get-off at that kind of speed, it is going to be very ugly.

  4. #4
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    The Dale Ball trails (and Mr. Dale Ball for that matter) are for hiking. They really could care less about mountain biking.. but were sold as multi-use trails to get more buy in. Haven't seen Dale for years, and not sure that he's still alive, but if he is, I'm sure what you are seeing is part of his vision. Crabby old people still wanna go for a walk in the great outdoors...

  5. #5
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    While the Dale Ball system may have been developed primarily towards the tail walking community, mountain biking citizenry use it every bit as much. I have been up on these trails for their entire existence (well before too) and this is not how they were developed. Like many of the close-into Santa Fe trails, they are becoming easier and less technical over time for hiking or biking. Why are they being made so much easier? That is what I would like to know. As to the work crew who did the maintenance, they were wearing IMBA shirts and not some association of trail hikers/walkers.

  6. #6
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    IMBA advocates on the behalf of the mountain biking community. It doesn't have a mandate to any other activity or organizations. Support it if it is your thing, don't if it is not. Doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

    All I am saying is that making trails easier to use for hiking or mountain biking is a philosophically challenging issue. I am not for making it easier for the user.

  7. #7
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    bandrada, do you even ride?

  8. #8
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    --------
    The Dude abides.

  9. #9
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    Hard to argue... La Tierra is essentially a cyclecross trail network now... can't imagine how many leg shavers on carbon fiber will be riding out there this weekend (just kiddin')... just a natural progression of multi-use I suppose... oh well, I don't let the trail repairs around town bother me too much.. I am still too busy being bummed about losing the Cochiti and Aspen Ranch rides to worry about DB/LT being sanitized...

  10. #10
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    loosing Media Dia in Cochiti SUCKS!
    I feel your loss Bro!!

    Need some rain quick before we loose a lot more to stupid ass fire season..
    Maybe we all need to go and do the flow rain dance!

  11. #11
    saddlemeat
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    Funny golf should come up, I am currently planning a 4 hole golf course in a meadow on a single track. Designed for a 7 iron, should play well when all these mtbing golfers hit the mountain. Actually, my wife used to be a beverage cart girl in Florida, she might be able to capitalize on some of that expertise.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  12. #12
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    Hey y'all, I'm the big IMBA fanboi around here, but sanitizing is not cool and not part of their mandate. It is up to the membership of the local club. I wasn't there for this work day. I have to bring up a perhaps not so obvious point, how many of you have pitched in on a club (SFFTS or whatever) work day? I know it is basically no one on MTBR. If myself and, if I'm lucky, one other person is on a work crew that loves tech then guess what happens? Things become more sanitized then many of us like but because we are out-numbered. The more of you that join and change the make-up of the club(s), the more the direction changes with the work. Many members of clubs are older/slower because that simply is the main group that volunteers.

    I pitch my case every chance I get that most riders, whether it is now or in a couple years when their skills build up, want some tech so things are not so boring and everything becomes a sidewalk.

    I fear what may have happened at Cerro Gordo, but also know that the first ascent was nothing tech, exciting or sustainable. I did help with the other two recent re-routes and wondered why we were even doing them. But the basics were already decided via TAOSF. I at least was able to add some flow, keep rocks and even add a real tiny drop. Luckily I had another tech supporter and it made a huge difference. If more (any) of you come out and assist (because the trails DO need maintenance to serve all user groups) then we can shift the focus of the work a bit.

    Trying to be constructive here and not throw guilt trips, we all don't have time/patience for this stuff.

    If we had rock trails like Moab then things wouldn't be so easy to change....man that was fun last weekend!
    nix that, livin la vida bandos is a good idea when you're on a Mojo HD

    "babies don't drink coors" - del norte

  13. #13
    Stucco Bucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    bandrada, do you even ride?
    this. lol. bike skills and internet skills dont go hand in hand

  14. #14
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    I rode that section of Dale Ball Central today and see what you mean. That really sharp rock in the switchback is gone and that entire numbered stretch is super clean

    The trails are still fun, but I wish they weren't smoothed out that much. At least they will remain a narrow ribbon and never get any wider, since they are bench trails on steeper hillsides.

    I have seen trail crews working in Dale Ball South trails, also. Those are the best technical trails that are accessible from the front door. They have done scattered work from the trail intersection above the Audubon entrance all the way up to the top of the north trail off of Atalaya Peak. I've seen them a couple weekends in a row. I'm praying to the mountain bike gods that they don't touch the rest of north Atalaya or the killer switchback descent off of Picacho Peak.
    The trail worker (he was working solo) that I saw on top of Atalaya was actually a Forest Service ranger or Forest Service employee in uniform. He didn't seem too happy about seeing my beer and actually thanked me in a condescending manner for putting the empty can in my pack, because he thought I intended to leave my trash on the ground. Whatever, dude.

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