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  1. #1
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    Kitzuma: It's all Gone!

    Kitzuma was one of my favorites (always top 5) that would keep you in check while providing a cyclic single track experience with no intersecting trail interruptions. I rode it this evening and cannot really place all my thoughts into this post but will describe a few. What an irreverent, disgusting, deliberate destruction of a trail I have ever laid eyes on. The trail worker machined every inch of the trail wether or not it needed attention. Trees were cut down that were not in the way! An example of this (and there are many) is where trees were cut just to lay in the way of the right-hand roller-coasters at the bottom. The poor slouch could have pulled some brush into the trail (if he really needed to block the right hand options) but instead cut down trees to have them fall in the way, WTF!

    Then we have the 2 million water berms.... is this meant to rock me to sleep! They are nearly every 8 feet and cover areas that did not have drainage issues! Survey says? We did not conduct one!
    Not to mention cutting roots out and then covering it with dirt. Good for the trees eh! Oh, and smashing all the rock formations.. are we trying to erode the Appalachia even faster?

    Now you say, who is this guy who comments on trail work and did not participate in this flippin mess?. Oh, just a taxpayer hopefully like you. Tell us where to show-up and we will!
    So before you get all up in my grill....
    This guy was paid for his work.... so it is really ok to comment
    Last edited by ec13823; 10-23-2010 at 09:34 AM.

  2. #2
    "Ride Lots" Eddy Merckx
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    Surprised it took so long for this post. The only comment I heard recently said "Kitzuma is now paved".

    I was planning on heading over this even to take a look. Sounds awful.

    Who did the work anyway?
    "Big Gulps huh?...Allllriggghhht....Welp, See ya later!"

  3. #3
    "Ride Lots" Eddy Merckx
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    Found my answer in the original thread;

    Greer Outdoor Services

    "Greer Outdoor Services is a private company categorized under General Contractor, Highway and Street Construction and located in Lenoir, NC. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 88,000 and employs a staff of approximately 1. "

    awesome
    "Big Gulps huh?...Allllriggghhht....Welp, See ya later!"

  4. #4
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    I rode it Monday. I typed a long rant about it, but "delete" before I hit "post". I guess I decided that rather than venting I wanted to be constructive. Does anyone know where we can voice our opinions on the destruction that took place? Where in the political ladder should complaints be directed? I personally am DISGUSTED by the work which took place, AND by the fact that I paid for it with my taxes.
    Tim

  5. #5
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    It's not just mountain bikers who are disgusted. I have runner/hiker friends who are appalled at what was done to this trail. I wanted to vent also, but it's so bad I don't even know where to begin... I'd be interested in that contact info as well

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlavC
    It's not just mountain bikers who are disgusted. I have runner/hiker friends who are appalled at what was done to this trail. I wanted to vent also, but it's so bad I don't even know where to begin... I'd be interested in that contact info as well

    contact the forest service and complain http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/forest_contacts.pdf

  7. #7
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    Get active or get used to it.

    (sounds mean, but it's true)

  8. #8
    zod
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    This is what happens when we borrow more money for China than we know what to do with it. Hope and (trail) Change!!!! Woohoo!!

  9. #9
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    it has nothing to do with "hope and change", has to do with poor choice of a company that had no idea about trail building.

  10. #10
    zod
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    I wasn't really blaming Obama, everyone knows everything is Bush's fault from here on out. Just saying that it has plenty to do with stim-money. Without those funds this work would not have been done. Sure choice of company didn't help but the cheapest bid wins the contract most likely. Unfortunately the welfare of our trails never seems to be high on the importance list of the forest service and that's likely to not change. I'd rather them stay in disrepair if that's going to be the case, at least then they're actually fun to ride.

  11. #11
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    Yeah sorry about the rant but I needed to vent a bit before trying to get some sleep! My plan this evening is to research the posted link and perhaps a few other avenues.

    Eric

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zod
    I wasn't really blaming Obama, everyone knows everything is Bush's fault from here on out. Just saying that it has plenty to do with stim-money. Without those funds this work would not have been done. Sure choice of company didn't help but the cheapest bid wins the contract most likely. Unfortunately the welfare of our trails never seems to be high on the importance list of the forest service and that's likely to not change. I'd rather them stay in disrepair if that's going to be the case, at least then they're actually fun to ride.


    Come on dude. The FS misused the money. Drop the political BS. Blame the people
    who WASTED the money, not the people who PROVIDED it.
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

  13. #13
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    Go out and make some trail refinements!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zod
    I wasn't really blaming Obama, everyone knows everything is Bush's fault from here on out. Just saying that it has plenty to do with stim-money. Without those funds this work would not have been done. Sure choice of company didn't help but the cheapest bid wins the contract most likely. Unfortunately the welfare of our trails never seems to be high on the importance list of the forest service and that's likely to not change. I'd rather them stay in disrepair if that's going to be the case, at least then they're actually fun to ride.
    Possibly the most misguided nonsense thus far. Nice job of trying to take this in the wrong direction.

  15. #15
    zod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broussard
    Come on dude. The FS misused the money. Drop the political BS. Blame the people
    who WASTED the money, not the people who PROVIDED it.
    Wasn't really a political swipe (maybe a bad joke). Just stating that the influx of money is likely to be a bad thing for the trails (if you like technical trail). Also if in hiring contractors the FS chose people who did not have a long standing background in trail work (due to lower bids) and then also did not oversee the project then yes I consider that misuse. If they did oversee the project and the trail is as described then I don't know what to think. Not to say Kitsuma did not need A LITTLE work but if it was plowed, come on not good. So I do blame the FS more than the contractor unless there were guidelines set that the contractor was supposed to follow and overstepped. Still I would hope the FS would have been on-site as some point during the process.

  16. #16
    "Ride Lots" Eddy Merckx
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    Quote Originally Posted by zod
    So I do blame the FS more than the contractor unless there were guidelines set that the contractor was supposed to follow and overstepped. Still I would hope the FS would have been on-site as some point during the process.
    Keep digging....

    1. This has nothing to do with politics. Just stop it.

    2. This is the contractor's fault. There is a description of the work to be followed, but clearly this contractor's interpretation was ridiculous. You can't tell me, if he had won, Woody and Trail Dynamics would have destroyed the nature of the trail.

    3. The money to maintain trails is NOT a bad thing. Most trails will be better off in the long run....yes, even Squirrel which does need significant work.
    "Big Gulps huh?...Allllriggghhht....Welp, See ya later!"

  17. #17
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    The people who PROVIDED it?

    That would be me. And you.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick
    The people who PROVIDED it?

    That would be me. And you.

    Yeah, I know. But would the hilljack from Greer have used his bulldozer more tenderly
    if the money had come from private donations instead of "Teh Stimululz" ?

    I'm thinking "no" ?

    Which is why my position is that we need to be discussing how we can influence the
    FS to use money more wisely.

    Where the money came from is a topic for the political boards.
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

  19. #19
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    It seems like the problem lies in the lack of definition and/or design that takes place on these trail projects. The project is defined too loosley. In other words, the RFP is too subjective and open to interpretation because there are no design drawings provided to him so the low bidder has too much latitude to design/build (if you will). A suggestion would be that the FS conduct input sessions with user groups prior to writing the rfp, then as part of the rfp, provide an actual design to the contractor. Thats the way we do it in the building construction industry.

  20. #20
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    Stimulis money did what it was supposed to do. It funded a project to get people/ in this case person, work and put money back into the economy. Mandating lowest bidder work also keeps people in business since they have to oversee the work and also pay lawyers when the lowest bidder can't finish/perform the work as specified. It keeps beauracrats covered up in paper and this is work. The quality of work was never really a consideration other than what was spec'd. Now the FS will sue this contractor and not pay him until he fixes it to spec. He will be hiring a lawyer (more jobs in the economy) if he can afford one. Now his suppliers won't get paid and they will have to lein the project (more work for lawyers) and so on and so on. Stimulis money doing what it is supposed to do. Everybody has to get the thought process out of their heads that this is for the greater good of society or the natural resources and understand it is all driven by money getting into the economy spread over the entire US over any project that is deemed "shovel ready." You got to understand that the federal government doesn't give a crap about it's citizens. This should be very obvious with their track record going back many years crossing all party lines. We are here for them not the other way around.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broussard
    used his bulldozer more tenderly

    i dunno, that topic might need to go to the Women's Lounge...

  22. #22
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    some valid points above, but really, if Blue Ridge Adventures or PAS had hosted a trail day or series of days, only a handful would have shown up to help. It is rare to have enough people show up to a trail work day to make a huge positive dent in trail maintenance.

    If the FS sees masses of MTB'ers showing up at trail days, they might ask us to do the work....just sayin'.

  23. #23
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    Any pix? Maybe before and after.
    Nothing but style!

  24. #24
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    Ride report with pictures from today 10/14/10 Here

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000psi
    Stimulis money did what it was supposed to do. It funded a project to get people/ in this case person, work and put money back into the economy. Mandating lowest bidder work also keeps people in business since they have to oversee the work and also pay lawyers when the lowest bidder can't finish/perform the work as specified. It keeps beauracrats covered up in paper and this is work. The quality of work was never really a consideration other than what was spec'd. Now the FS will sue this contractor and not pay him until he fixes it to spec. He will be hiring a lawyer (more jobs in the economy) if he can afford one. Now his suppliers won't get paid and they will have to lein the project (more work for lawyers) and so on and so on. Stimulis money doing what it is supposed to do. Everybody has to get the thought process out of their heads that this is for the greater good of society or the natural resources and understand it is all driven by money getting into the economy spread over the entire US over any project that is deemed "shovel ready." You got to understand that the federal government doesn't give a crap about it's citizens. This should be very obvious with their track record going back many years crossing all party lines. We are here for them not the other way around.
    One of two things happened, maybe both.

    Either the FS wrote a sh^tty specification for the work or the contractor did a sh^tty job.

    Period. Try to argue that this statement is not true. There is sh^tty work on the ground,
    so either it was spec'd sh^tty or done sh^tty. Maybe both.

    Are you really going to sit here and imply that one or both of those facts is the fault of
    stimulus spending and not the fault of bad decisions made by either the FS or the
    contractor?

    In your story of government-mandated woe, the government gets all the blame, while
    the contractor who VIOLATED HIS CONTRACT by low-balling the bid and not doing
    the work as agreed passes without comment? And lawyers suck also. Too.

    So much for personal responsibility.

    I completely agree that the work was probably hastily and sloppily spec'd, the contract
    awarded without adequate reflection, and the work done sub-par. That's why the work
    sucked. Where the money came from doesn't mean sh^t. Ayn Rand could have donated
    the money Herself, and Kitsuma would have STILL sucked if the work was poorly spec'd
    and executed.

    No matter how much some of ya'll want to hate on some Obama and Soshulizm, this
    is NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE.

    Everything that everybody is saying about doing the work themselves, inquiring into the
    work specification process, agitating for increased volunteer efforts, etc makes sense.

    ZOMG TEH FEDERAL GUBMINT KILLED KITSUMA does not make sense. RedState is
    thattaway --------->
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick
    i dunno, that topic might need to go to the Women's Lounge...

    Rowr...
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

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    If people feel that strongly about it, get out there and do some trail work so other trails will not suffer the same fate.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by aircooled
    If people feel that strongly about it, get out there and do some trail work so other trails will not suffer the same fate.
    Ding, Ding, (F'in') Ding!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sin3kal
    Ride report with pictures from today 10/14/10 Here
    To me, this picture really shows the depth of the shoddy trail work.


  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjanes
    some valid points above, but really, if Blue Ridge Adventures or PAS had hosted a trail day or series of days, only a handful would have shown up to help. It is rare to have enough people show up to a trail work day to make a huge positive dent in trail maintenance.

    If the FS sees masses of MTB'ers showing up at trail days, they might ask us to do the work....just sayin'.
    Given the recent fiasco on Sidehill Connector, I rather doubt that. Sad, but likely true. It seems that PAS has made their bed.

  31. #31
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    As someone who has ridden trails for years and years I know that in due time old Mother Nature will
    put her stamp back on this, and other, re-worked trails. Soon enough the flora will close back in,
    the roots and rocks will show, and nice technical sections will develop.
    Enjoy what we have, give back when you can and leave politics out of it.
    Last edited by pisgahrider; 10-15-2010 at 07:12 AM.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broussard
    One of two things happened, maybe both.

    Either the FS wrote a sh^tty specification for the work or the contractor did a sh^tty job.

    Period. Try to argue that this statement is not true. There is sh^tty work on the ground,
    so either it was spec'd sh^tty or done sh^tty. Maybe both.

    Are you really going to sit here and imply that one or both of those facts is the fault of
    stimulus spending and not the fault of bad decisions made by either the FS or the
    contractor?

    In your story of government-mandated woe, the government gets all the blame, while
    the contractor who VIOLATED HIS CONTRACT by low-balling the bid and not doing
    the work as agreed passes without comment? And lawyers suck also. Too.

    So much for personal responsibility.

    I completely agree that the work was probably hastily and sloppily spec'd, the contract
    awarded without adequate reflection, and the work done sub-par. That's why the work
    sucked. Where the money came from doesn't mean sh^t. Ayn Rand could have donated
    the money Herself, and Kitsuma would have STILL sucked if the work was poorly spec'd
    and executed.

    No matter how much some of ya'll want to hate on some Obama and Soshulizm, this
    is NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE.

    Everything that everybody is saying about doing the work themselves, inquiring into the
    work specification process, agitating for increased volunteer efforts, etc makes sense.

    ZOMG TEH FEDERAL GUBMINT KILLED KITSUMA does not make sense. RedState is
    thattaway --------->

    Settle Down Francis!!!

    Not bashing any political party, just stating an often overlooked paradigm that contributes to problems that affect a finished product. The money that is available for improvements of transportation infrastructure was primarily put together to get money back into the economy and quality of the work and cost is secondary. That's all I was stating. This is not a theory of mine. This is the basis for passing this federal policy. I could give a F&%#K about politics and any political party, red/blue, left/right, conservative/liberal/independent/nazi/ tea/natty lite/etc.

    I wonder if the governmental oversight (FOREST SERVICE) of the project has anything to do with the trail sucking. So much for governmental responsibility (FOREST SERVICE) when it comes to oversight. I can't seeem to remember any other time they have fallen short overseeing projects that are financed with federal funds. Can you? i look forward to your response.

  33. #33
    "Ride Lots" Eddy Merckx
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000psi
    Settle Down Francis!!!
    Clearly the big problem here is the tragic and often overlooked mis-quoting of classic American comedies. What are we supposed to tell our children when they discover the line is actually "Lighten up, Francis"? Imagine the look on a young child's face when they discover this tragic gaff!

    "Big Gulps huh?...Allllriggghhht....Welp, See ya later!"

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkjellquist
    Clearly the big problem here is the tragic and often overlooked mis-quoting of classic American comedies. What are we supposed to tell our children when they discover the line is actually "Lighten up, Francis"? Imagine the look on a young child's face when they discover this tragic gaff!


    Yeah, but there was no spec or oversight on my post. It wasn't in quotations so our children should know the difference with the education they are getting now. See how I deflected my personal responsibility on this one. I'm a contractor, i'm good at this!

  35. #35
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    There is a very good reason for why the government must use competitive bid contracts. It's corruption and favoritism. The competitive bid system has many flaws but the alternative is much much worse. But we could argue this and it really won't get us anywhere.

  36. #36
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    I'd like to ask one question. When the work was completed and the contractor said "We're done." Who goes and inspects the work done and cuts the multi-thousand dollar check?

    I'm assuming someone viewed the work and then paid for it. Or do trail contractors (maybe Trail Dynamics, Ben or Tood can answer) get paid and head out without any evidence the work was done?
    I am not a "Role Model"

  37. #37
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    Oh, and how much would it cost the Forest Service to remove that god awful abomination of Kudzu???
    I am not a "Role Model"

  38. #38
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    Trail Report: Kitsuma-OPEN. enjoy the fall weather and a day not at the compooper. give it some time and it will be a great trail again. nothing that won't grow back, wear, erode and a shovel/garden rake and saw can't fix. some fun features w/ some creativity, depending on how you ride, the margin for error is still huge. enjoy

  39. #39
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    maybe I'll be able to clean the entire trail now

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjanes
    maybe I'll be able to clean the entire trail now
    we await your successful bloggage.
    I am not a "Role Model"

  41. #41
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    take your complaints to the contracting office. Complaints to them carry much more weight than complaints to local officials, who can scope the work but who do not determine which contractor does the work. If Greer wants to go after any more Federal work, they will send a Past Performance Questionnaire to the Contracting Officer... Any feedback, positive or negative, will be reported. POCs for Kitsuma listed below.

    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportun...c8cffacadfe73c

    Primary Point of Contact.:
    Mark L Kamholtz,
    Contract Specialist
    mkamholtz@fs.fed.us
    Phone: 4043472517
    Fax: 4043473597
    Secondary Point of Contact:
    Gary S. Baber,
    Contracting Officer
    gbaber02@fs.fed.us
    Phone: 8282574358

  42. #42
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    This is great news. I've been meaning to take my 70 year old mother on some of my favorite trails. Maybe one day I'll realize my dream of riding Pilot rock with her....

    (BS!)
    I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. -- Confucius

  43. #43
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    I moved away from Black Mountain a few years ago. Kitzuma was a classic ride, one of the best hands down. I hate to hear it's been sanitized. Seems to be a pattern: for those that travel to Moab, they just sanitized the Notch and rerouted the steep section after the notch. Like Kitzuma, There were no erosion issues, they just wanted to make that section of trail easier for the masses. Walk it if you can't ride it, one day you will be able to ride it, but if we make everything beginner friendly, how will we ever progress?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkjellquist
    Keep digging....

    1. This has nothing to do with politics. Just stop it.
    You are blind.

    Yes, steel is most certainly stronger than aluminum EVERY time.
    ~Frosty Struthers

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by aircooled
    If people feel that strongly about it, get out there and do some trail work so other trails will not suffer the same fate.
    Non Sequitur.

    Of course "getting out there" has NOTHING to do with the people that hired the fool to do... to do... hmmm... what was he SUPPOSED to do?



    Probably wasn't even clearly defined due to the fact that the trail "work" was secondary to the "spending" of the money.

    100% the greed and power of politics. "Getting out there" just adds to the politics and the problems pertaining to the ego and greed of those involved.
    Yes, steel is most certainly stronger than aluminum EVERY time.
    ~Frosty Struthers

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99
    ... Walk it if you can't ride it, one day you will be able to ride it, but if we make everything beginner friendly, how will we ever progress?
    I took a beginner (technically speaking) on Kitsuma before the work. They had to walk a lot of it. However, they were looking forward to the challenge of building up their skills and cleaning it some day. They were more upset about the sanitization than I was!

  47. #47
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    Rode the new Kitzuma today. It's not ruined, yet.

    The best way to describe the trail work is amateurish, followed by half-assed.

    The trail has been widened and most of the excess dirt pushed over the downhill side and left loose. In some places the excess dirt was left as an outside curb for some reason. The grade reversals are basically troughs perpendicular to the trail, with no sediment trap. Many of the new cuts have loose dirt and rocks on the uphill side that are already starting to show some erosion. The trail surface was rough graded but never smoothed or packed, very bumpy and lots of places for water to accumulate.

    There seems to be a very large potential for erosion in most of the areas where the work was done. Also, many of the grade reversals direct water to non-natural paths when a natural draw is nearby. No rhyme or reason to any of it, really.

    On a positive note, Kitzuma should recover. Anyone who rode it after the hurricanes back in 2004 saw how rough it was. It's worse than that now, but after the trail gets packed in and all the loose dirt and debris gets washed away, it'll be fine. Just different.

    What irks me is the fact that someone put in time and effort, did a total slacker job and were satisfied enough with it to call it done. Pretty lame.
    "The Ice Age is comin', the Sun's zoomin' in..."

    -The Clash

  48. #48
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    Contract Details Available Online...

    Several of the posts on this thread question the way the work was defined. Contract details are here:

    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportun...fa46e798e2712e

    with a series of links appearing along the right-hand side of the page.

    "Exhibit 5" is the work log for the entire trail, and gives foot by foot descriptions of all work to be performed under the contract. Exhibit 5 also names the original inspectors of the trail, their overall description of conditions and justification for the proposed work...

    "Attachment 1, rev..." gives an overview of contract expectations and lists other reference materials for trail standards...

    "Section C thru M..." details the inspection and acceptance process--see page 15 of this doc for specifics...

    So, the work was clearly defined, and the completed work was accepted (and paid for) by the USFS. This thread simply points out how some contractors are able to make their work "dance" through the landscape, while other contractors might be better road builders than trail builders...

    TZ
    Last edited by TrailZen; 10-17-2010 at 08:05 PM.
    Geriatric mountain biker and trail maintainer... ...with digital braking!

  49. #49
    Newt Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailZen
    This thread simply points out how some contractors are able to make their work "dance" through the landscape, while other contractors might be better road builders than trail builders...

    TZ
    What this thread points out is the political nature of the job. Sure, the Scope of Work was defined because that is how the person(s) that wrote it got paid. The trail was of NO concern, the money was of top concern. Write the Scope of Work to satisty the feds or whomever the money comes from, pay yourself the majority of that money, hire goons to do the "work" in the Scope of Work and forget about it... you have been paid and that is all that matters.

    It was 100% political.
    Yes, steel is most certainly stronger than aluminum EVERY time.
    ~Frosty Struthers

  50. #50
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    This trail work needs public exposure, not just exposure on MTBR. Write your newspapers and the Forest Service.

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