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  1. #1
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    Relocation on Lookout Mountain, VA

    Just came across this on the interwebs:

    Photo by chrisscottistan • Instagram

    Dear lawd, looks like they're using machines to build trail.

    I dare any one of you to say Chris Scott is "not a rider," or doesn't know good trail.

    Oh, wait. That's Virginia. It won't work in Pisgah.

  2. #2
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    It should be closed.

    Is it a flow trail?

    Is it excellent?

    I don't like this one bit.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

    Supporting PAS
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  3. #3
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    That is the TD crew working. Project is on USFS lands but funded by the local bike club using RTP funds. Because the club got the grant$ they have more control over what gets built. This is the 3rd TD project working with the bike club there and all feedback from past projects has been all good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossboy View Post
    Just came across this on the interwebs:

    Photo by chrisscottistan • Instagram

    Dear lawd, looks like they're using machines to build trail.

    I dare any one of you to say Chris Scott is "not a rider," or doesn't know good trail.

    Oh, wait. That's Virginia. It won't work in Pisgah.
    Gawd! You F'ing pot stirrer!!

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure I get it. Inside joke? It's machine built, looks machine built, likely rides like a machine built trail. And woody makes money doing it. Did I miss something?

  6. #6
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    Are there bees on that trail?

  7. #7
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    Yeah it seems that since they keep inviting Trail Dynamics back to make more trail, then they must be getting good feedback.

    Everyone seems to be a purist about hand built trail and finishing, right up until its time to goto work and make it happen.

    There is plenty of room in the forest for machine work. Especially with the lack of a budget. But I like the minimal approach for Pisgah.

    A trail machine with a skilled operator can clear some nicks, clean outs, and do some light de-bermming in a fraction of the time that a mccloed can.

    The work on Avery could have been done in a day with a machine rather than a crew for 4? work days. With the same results.

    Just because there is a machine involved doesn't make it dirty. The operator holds the power.

    Most trail systems are thrilled to have TD do work. Its just here that I hear the complaints. If they only had PNF for a backyard then they could complain too.

    It seems that most folks who want PNF not to change better start praying and advocating to dispute the USFS standards at the local level. I am not sure they will listen, and just look you in the eye and say, "What part of MULTI-USER don't you understand."

    I want to keep the character and the technicality of PNF. But in the big picture some definitions are going to have be changed or trumped. Or PNF will get standardized with time.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    Everyone seems to be a purist about hand built trail and finishing, right up until its time to goto work and make it happen.
    I'll go do handwork without a problem but have zero interest in participating in machine built trail work. It is a selfish stance but I don't like hearing machines in the woods.

    A trail machine with a skilled operator can clear some nicks, clean outs, and do some light de-bermming in a fraction of the time that a mccloed can.

    The work on Avery could have been done in a day with a machine rather than a crew for 4? work days. With the same results.
    Yep, you are right. The work on Buckhorn Gap, that has taken four work days and still is not getting water off the trail, could have been done with a machine in a few hours.


    It seems that most folks who want PNF not to change better start praying and advocating to dispute the USFS standards at the local level. I am not sure they will listen, and just look you in the eye and say, "What part of MULTI-USER don't you understand."
    I'm all for disputing those standards. I really think we need to examine what makes our trail system so special and then figure out how to successfully maintain it. Plowing everything over with a machine is just going to make it all the exact same thing. We already have Dupont.

    Have you talked to the FS about this? I have. I was surprised how in line my views are with the FS trail guy's. We both believe in maintainability and not sustainability (whatever that is)

    I want to keep the character and the technicality of PNF. But in the big picture some definitions are going to have be changed or trumped. Or PNF will get standardized with time.
    Yes! Let's please work on this big picture!




    Machines are not inherently bad. But they don't have to be the only way trail work is done. That attitude has to change.

    And here is a very tough question about machine built trail work: Can anyone show me a machine built trail in our area that is 'sustainable'? From what I have seen, mainly in Dupont, is that machine built trails actually need more maintenance and resources. Ridgeline is rerouted every other year, Airstrip needs tweaking every year, a whole lot of trails in Dupont were completely regraded last year. If machine built trails are so great why do they need so much work?

    Eventually we are going to have to start trying to get hand tools up into the difficult terrain in Pisgah to do the hard work by hand. Black mtn. is in very bad shape in places and other trails aren't very far behind. We might never be able to get a machine up there. We might want to consider just sucking it up and doing it by hand instead of waiting. Unless, of course, our goal is to get PTBs contracts...
    More Trails, Not Less

    Adventures in Pisgah

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    It seems that most folks who want PNF not to change better start praying and advocating to dispute the USFS standards at the local level. I am not sure they will listen, and just look you in the eye and say, "What part of MULTI-USER don't you understand."

    I want to keep the character and the technicality of PNF. But in the big picture some definitions are going to have be changed or trumped. Or PNF will get standardized with time.
    It's a given that PNF trails are in dire need of maintenance and that there are severe resource constraints. Am I to believe the the USFS will refuse to allow/endorse any trail work that makes the trail incrementally better if it does not also return the trail to compliance with the standards?

    The ranger wouldn't let us go out and turn water off the trail and do minor rock work in such a fashion as MOUNTAIN BIKERS see fit, just because we were not also reverting the trail to pack and saddle standards at the same time? These trails are already wildly out of compliance with standards. Cyclists would not be allowed to make them marginally better or even just take action to stem their deterioration?

    I find that extraordinarily hard to believe, and I suspect the ranger would LOVE to have a group out there performing simple maintenance oriented activities. So I don't get the focus on machine built corridor and "Pack and Saddle" "Pack and Saddle" "Pack and Saddle".

    You guys complain about people not showing up to work. When MTBers show up and are made to work to "Pack and Saddle" standards, many of them are not going to be happy. That's great that you are into "flow". Can you understand that many of us are not? That many of us would sooner walk away from Pisgah than contribute towards making it all look like Bracken? That we have as much right to our opinion as you to yours? Listen to me very carefully, I'm going to tell you a secret..... PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU WORK ON THE TRAIL IF THAT WORK MAKES THE TRAIL *WORSE* IN THEIR EYES.

    The last time I did any organized trail work, I heard a nice little homily about how hand work was too hard and nobody showed up so it couldn't be done. A little later that day after my wife and I grubbed out a hundred feet or so of trail by hand, a certain guy we all know and love graded right over all of it with the machine. Tell me, why should I support that? Seriously. Don't threaten me with closures. If you guys succeed in making Ranger District look like DuPont, Bracken, and FATS, I'm simply going to pack up and go find better riding elsewhere anyway. You cannot brow-beat people into acting contrary to their own self interests. PAS needs to either find a way to accommodate the desires of people who want narrow gnarly tech, or they need to marginalize them completely and move on to actively ignoring them.

    You guys are no longer telling any of us anything that we don't not already know about standards and multi-use and water quality. Repeating yourself for the 9237th time isn't going to do anything. If you want our support, you will need to work towards accommodating our interests. Otherwise, don't get all huffy when we don't show up. It's that simple. There is no hate or animosity involved. This is not about laziness. Expressing a vision for the trails that is different than yours is not whining and complaining - it's simply having an opinion. And I will remind you that Pisgah has become famous because of narrow gnarly singletrack, not "flow". Is the very flavor that has made Pisgah so loved not worth trying to preserve? Even the ranger must realize this, surely...
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broussard View Post
    It's a given that PNF trails are in dire need of maintenance and that there are severe resource constraints. Am I to believe the the USFS will refuse to allow/endorse any trail work that makes the trail incrementally better if it does not also return the trail to compliance with the standards?

    The ranger wouldn't let us go out and turn water off the trail and do minor rock work in such a fashion as MOUNTAIN BIKERS see fit, just because we were not also reverting the trail to pack and saddle standards at the same time? These trails are already wildly out of compliance with standards. Cyclists would not be allowed to make them marginally better or even just take action to stem their deterioration?

    I find that extraordinarily hard to believe, and I suspect the ranger would LOVE to have a group out there performing simple maintenance oriented activities. So I don't get the focus on machine built corridor and "Pack and Saddle" "Pack and Saddle" "Pack and Saddle".

    You guys complain about people not showing up to work. When MTBers show up and are made to work to "Pack and Saddle" standards, many of them are not going to be happy. That's great that you are into "flow". Can you understand that many of us are not? That many of us would sooner walk away from Pisgah than contribute towards making it all look like Bracken? That we have as much right to our opinion as you to yours? Listen to me very carefully, I'm going to tell you a secret..... PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU WORK ON THE TRAIL IF THAT WORK MAKES THE TRAIL *WORSE* IN THEIR EYES.

    The last time I did any organized trail work, I heard a nice little homily about how hand work was too hard and nobody showed up so it couldn't be done. A little later that day after my wife and I grubbed out a hundred feet or so of trail by hand, a certain guy we all know and love graded right over all of it with the machine. Tell me, why should I support that? Seriously. Don't threaten me with closures. If you guys succeed in making Ranger District look like DuPont, Bracken, and FATS, I'm simply going to pack up and go find better riding elsewhere anyway. You cannot brow-beat people into acting contrary to their own self interests. PAS needs to either find a way to accommodate the desires of people who want narrow gnarly tech, or they need to marginalize them completely and move on to actively ignoring them.

    You guys are no longer telling any of us anything that we don't not already know about standards and multi-use and water quality. Repeating yourself for the 9237th time isn't going to do anything. If you want our support, you will need to work towards accommodating our interests. Otherwise, don't get all huffy when we don't show up. It's that simple. There is no hate or animosity involved. This is not about laziness. Expressing a vision for the trails that is different than yours is not whining and complaining - it's simply having an opinion. And I will remind you that Pisgah has become famous because of narrow gnarly singletrack, not "flow". Is the very flavor that has made Pisgah so loved not worth trying to preserve? Even the ranger must realize this, surely...
    Amen. This pretty much sums it up.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    I'm not sure I get it. Inside joke? It's machine built, looks machine built, likely rides like a machine built trail. And woody makes money doing it. Did I miss something?
    So let me explain.

    This is Chris Scott: Mountain Bike Virginia - Shenandoah Mountain Touring - Mountain Bike Tours - Bike Virginia - Cycling Tours - Singletrack Tours - Bicycle Touring - Mountain Bike Touring

    This is Chris Scott: Climb Every Mountain, Ford Every Stream | Virginia Bicycling Federation

    As Woody pointed out, this is the third time TD has been invited to work on their trails. You obviously haven't ridden their work -- if Chris or any of the folks active in the mountain bike community up there were unhappy with it -- if it didn't meet their idea of an excellent experience -- they would not have invited TD back.

    Folks here like to point out how the the trails equate to the economic benefits of what makes this area attractive. I'll tell you straight up: I've ridden the trails Chris champions, I've ridden the stuff TD has done in the more recent past up there, and I gladly contribute my tourist dollars to Harrisonburg, VA. Chris is living the economic development side of it, not just talking about it, and believe me, those trails are not DuPont and they're not Bracken. And yeah -- they're multi-use.

    Oh, and one more thing: I challenge any one of you to try to keep up with Chris on a descent, anywhere in the Appalachians. This ain't no suit-and-tie bureaucrat we're talking about.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossboy View Post
    So let me explain.

    This is Chris Scott: Mountain Bike Virginia - Shenandoah Mountain Touring - Mountain Bike Tours - Bike Virginia - Cycling Tours - Singletrack Tours - Bicycle Touring - Mountain Bike Touring

    This is Chris Scott: Climb Every Mountain, Ford Every Stream | Virginia Bicycling Federation

    As Woody pointed out, this is the third time TD has been invited to work on their trails. You obviously haven't ridden their work -- if Chris or any of the folks active in the mountain bike community up there were unhappy with it -- if it didn't meet their idea of an excellent experience -- they would not have invited TD back.

    Folks here like to point out how the the trails equate to the economic benefits of what makes this area attractive. I'll tell you straight up: I've ridden the trails Chris champions, I've ridden the stuff TD has done in the more recent past up there, and I gladly contribute my tourist dollars to Harrisonburg, VA. Chris is living the economic development side of it, not just talking about it, and believe me, those trails are not DuPont and they're not Bracken. And yeah -- they're multi-use.

    Oh, and one more thing: I challenge any one of you to try to keep up with Chris on a descent, anywhere in the Appalachians. This ain't no suit-and-tie bureaucrat we're talking about.
    I know who he is. I still feel like missing something. What does all this have to do with Pisgah?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    I know who he is. I still feel like missing something. What does all this have to do with Pisgah?
    Step 1 - Chris Scott is faster than you.
    Step 2 - ?????
    Step 3 - Machine built trails!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broussard View Post
    It's a given that PNF trails are in dire need of maintenance and that there are severe resource constraints. Am I to believe the the USFS will refuse to allow/endorse any trail work that makes the trail incrementally better if it does not also return the trail to compliance with the standards?

    The ranger wouldn't let us go out and turn water off the trail and do minor rock work in such a fashion as MOUNTAIN BIKERS see fit, just because we were not also reverting the trail to pack and saddle standards at the same time? These trails are already wildly out of compliance with standards. Cyclists would not be allowed to make them marginally better or even just take action to stem their deterioration?

    I find that extraordinarily hard to believe, and I suspect the ranger would LOVE to have a group out there performing simple maintenance oriented activities. So I don't get the focus on machine built corridor and "Pack and Saddle" "Pack and Saddle" "Pack and Saddle".

    You guys complain about people not showing up to work. When MTBers show up and are made to work to "Pack and Saddle" standards, many of them are not going to be happy. That's great that you are into "flow". Can you understand that many of us are not? That many of us would sooner walk away from Pisgah than contribute towards making it all look like Bracken? That we have as much right to our opinion as you to yours? Listen to me very carefully, I'm going to tell you a secret..... PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU WORK ON THE TRAIL IF THAT WORK MAKES THE TRAIL *WORSE* IN THEIR EYES.

    The last time I did any organized trail work, I heard a nice little homily about how hand work was too hard and nobody showed up so it couldn't be done. A little later that day after my wife and I grubbed out a hundred feet or so of trail by hand, a certain guy we all know and love graded right over all of it with the machine. Tell me, why should I support that? Seriously. Don't threaten me with closures. If you guys succeed in making Ranger District look like DuPont, Bracken, and FATS, I'm simply going to pack up and go find better riding elsewhere anyway. You cannot brow-beat people into acting contrary to their own self interests. PAS needs to either find a way to accommodate the desires of people who want narrow gnarly tech, or they need to marginalize them completely and move on to actively ignoring them.

    You guys are no longer telling any of us anything that we don't not already know about standards and multi-use and water quality. Repeating yourself for the 9237th time isn't going to do anything. If you want our support, you will need to work towards accommodating our interests. Otherwise, don't get all huffy when we don't show up. It's that simple. There is no hate or animosity involved. This is not about laziness. Expressing a vision for the trails that is different than yours is not whining and complaining - it's simply having an opinion. And I will remind you that Pisgah has become famous because of narrow gnarly singletrack, not "flow". Is the very flavor that has made Pisgah so loved not worth trying to preserve? Even the ranger must realize this, surely...
    Thanks Broussard. Good questions, good points.

    I was good with trying to explain some things, offer some education, and yes, even accommodate other views on other threads until the lying started. That's when I shut off. So to that end, I believe we should accommodate interests only insofar as reasoned discourse is concerned, and when it devolves into self-serving, willfully inaccurate vitriol, the conversation should end.

    In this case, you do ask some good questions. First, let me say I don't get huffy -- while I would prefer that we work together, quite frankly I don't care whether you show up to a work day or not. If you are not interested in supporting the work the organization agrees to take on in partnership with our land managers, then your time is better spent elsewhere. I've managed volunteers way too long to think I can change your mind in the midst of asking you to do labor you're not already in agreement with.

    This may sound radical coming from someone who has also stated he's interested in building a stronger organization, but I firmly believe that as we better define our vision and partnerships in the community, we will attract more than lose -- more people, more money, more opportunities. That's my interest in that regards. It does not mean I will ignore other voices, but I'm also not going to try to browbeat you into changing your mind.

    So what of your initial questions? I believe in a strong partnership with the USFS and other land managers. I believe that partnership will help us move forward on an agenda I think we can all agree upon -- more access, more opportunities, "better" trails. What is "better?" That depends. As we know by now, the definition is ephemeral, it's just out of reach. But it's there, and we know it when we see it. And some of us are constructively trying to put some words to it, so we can better talk about it in the future in a way that helps guide us.

    One thing that most all of us agree on, though, is that "better" means moving water off the trails. That is what the Forest Service has asked its volunteer groups to do, and PAS has affirmed and reaffirmed that it is core to our trail work mission. Is there some latitude? To some extent, yes. It's not like the USFS is standing over our shoulder every time we cut a drain, and even between user groups there is a variety of techniques that are used -- some more effective than others.

    So in some regards, I suppose there can be incremental improvements made as you suggest. And it's natural that some of that is happening -- while we move to clear drains, we may or may not be cutting back brush to meet corridor standards. Is that the "reversion" to which you refer? Because here's the funny thing -- PAS hasn't done trimming work in ages; we've been focused on treadwork -- specifically, clearing drains -- and other groups are doing trimming out there, to the corridor standards set by the Forest Service. And the treadwork we're doing isn't "reverting" anything; it's within the defined corridors.

    And that's the crux, isn't it? Are you upset the Forest Service has standards for their trails? Should we ignore the guidelines set for us by a land manager? Or should we half-ass our work in order to not meet those standards? Or only focus on the few trails that are mountain bike designed use and ignore the rest? That seems to me to be a narrow-minded, self-serving way of doing things, particularly the latter, as that would limit us to having input on very few trails indeed.

    Like it or not, Pisgah trails are multi-use. In USFS parlance, that means in many cases they have a "designed use" for pack and saddle. Within that, there is interpretation -- pack and saddle can mean everything from Fletcher Creek to the drop on Horse Cove. Personally, and as an organization, I would like to see us have a hand in interpreting those standards on the ground, on as many trails as we can, and even implementing them, rather than to walk away and stand on some outdated principle that THOU SHALT NOT CHANGE. Because you know what? Pisgah is changing every day.

    And what of that? In our discussions with the Forest Service, we ask the question: What would you like to see us do? Is a reroute here more important than drain clearing there? Is this trail opportunity important to you?

    Is that wrong? Working with the land manager to define priorities? I thought that was the essence of "partnership?"

    Our Crew Leaders do have some latitude to determine their priorities with regards to maintenance opportunities, and while we develop guidelines as an organization -- guidelines that are now under attack by some of the very people who ostensibly sought to contribute to them -- I'm comfortable with that. In the meantime, there's also a larger picture in play, a picture in which the Forest Service has "projects" on a long list they cannot fund, projects that we can help with. Or not. But I know that if we say "No" too many times, we lose our seat at the table, and I'm not about to let that happen. So when the Forest Service says to PAS, "would you like to help us solve this resource issue?" I'm going to say yes, if I believe we can help. And if you don't agree with that choice, then please, by all means, don't contribute. If that makes you feel marginalized, well, again -- this is not the organization for you. But don't for once think we make these choices without considering their implications for all users, including you -- ADD/EDIT: and the implications for the organization, including the opportunity costs involved.

    So if you're interested, please do give the Pisgah District Ranger a call and explain what you'd like to do. He's a reasonable fellow, and I'm sure he'd listen. But don't be surprised if he also asks if you're willing to pitch in on multi-use trails that are, by definition, for multiple users, and explains that resource management (read: watershed management) trumps trail character every time. As much as he and his staff value an excellent experience in the woods, they are bound by their mandate as Rangers in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. There's only so much variance you're going to find there.

    See you on the trail.
    Last edited by crossboy; 09-28-2012 at 08:47 AM. Reason: adding a thought

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossboy View Post
    Thanks Broussard. Good questions, good points.

    I was good with trying to explain some things, offer some education, and yes, even accommodate other views on other threads until the lying started. That's when I shut off. So to that end, I believe we should accommodate interests only insofar as reasoned discourse is concerned, and when it devolves into self-serving, willfully inaccurate vitriol, the conversation should end.

    In this case, you do ask some good questions. First, let me say I don't get huffy -- while I would prefer that we work together, quite frankly I don't care whether you show up to a work day or not. If you are not interested in supporting the work the organization agrees to take on in partnership with our land managers, then your time is better spent elsewhere. I've managed volunteers way too long to think I can change your mind in the midst of asking you to do labor you're not already in agreement with.

    This may sound radical coming from someone who has also stated he's interested in building a stronger organization, but I firmly believe that as we better define our vision and partnerships in the community, we will attract more than lose -- more people, more money, more opportunities. That's my interest in that regards. It does not mean I will ignore other voices, but I'm also not going to try to browbeat you into changing your mind.

    So what of your initial questions? I believe in a strong partnership with the USFS and other land managers. I believe that partnership will help us move forward on an agenda I think we can all agree upon -- more access, more opportunities, "better" trails. What is "better?" That depends. As we know by now, the definition is ephemeral, it's just out of reach. But it's there, and we know it when we see it. And some of us are constructively trying to put some words to it, so we can better talk about it in the future in a way that helps guide us.

    One thing that most all of us agree on, though, is that "better" means moving water off the trails. That is what the Forest Service has asked its volunteer groups to do, and PAS has affirmed and reaffirmed that it is core to our trail work mission. Is there some latitude? To some extent, yes. It's not like the USFS is standing over our shoulder every time we cut a drain, and even between user groups there is a variety of techniques that are used -- some more effective than others.

    So in some regards, I suppose there can be incremental improvements made as you suggest. And it's natural that some of that is happening -- while we move to clear drains, we may or may not be cutting back brush to meet corridor standards. Is that the "reversion" to which you refer? Because here's the funny thing -- PAS hasn't done trimming work in ages; we've been focused on treadwork -- specifically, clearing drains -- and other groups are doing trimming out there, to the corridor standards set by the Forest Service. And the treadwork we're doing isn't "reverting" anything; it's within the defined corridors.

    And that's the crux, isn't it? Are you upset the Forest Service has standards for their trails? Should we ignore the guidelines set for us by a land manager? Or should we half-ass our work in order to not meet those standards? Or only focus on the few trails that are mountain bike designed use and ignore the rest? That seems to me to be a narrow-minded, self-serving way of doing things, particularly the latter, as that would limit us to having input on very few trails indeed.

    Like it or not, Pisgah trails are multi-use. In USFS parlance, that means in many cases they have a "designed use" for pack and saddle. Within that, there is interpretation -- pack and saddle can mean everything from Fletcher Creek to the drop on Horse Cove. Personally, and as an organization, I would like to see us have a hand in interpreting those standards on the ground, on as many trails as we can, and even implementing them, rather than to walk away and stand on some outdated principle that THOU SHALT NOT CHANGE. Because you know what? Pisgah is changing every day.

    And what of that? In our discussions with the Forest Service, we ask the question: What would you like to see us do? Is a reroute here more important than drain clearing there? Is this trail opportunity important to you?

    Is that wrong? Working with the land manager to define priorities? I thought that was the essence of "partnership?"

    Our Crew Leaders do have some latitude to determine their priorities with regards to maintenance opportunities, and while we develop guidelines as an organization -- guidelines that are now under attack by some of the very people who ostensibly sought to contribute to them -- I'm comfortable with that. In the meantime, there's also a larger picture in play, a picture in which the Forest Service has "projects" on a long list they cannot fund, projects that we can help with. Or not. But I know that if we say "No" too many times, we lose our seat at the table, and I'm not about to let that happen. So when the Forest Service says to PAS, "would you like to help us solve this resource issue?" I'm going to say yes, if I believe we can help. And if you don't agree with that choice, then please, by all means, don't contribute. If that makes you feel marginalized, well, again -- this is not the organization for you. But don't for once think we make these choices without considering their implications for all users, including you -- ADD/EDIT: and the implications for the organization, including the opportunity costs involved.

    So if you're interested, please do give the Pisgah District Ranger a call and explain what you'd like to do. He's a reasonable fellow, and I'm sure he'd listen. But don't be surprised if he also asks if you're willing to pitch in on multi-use trails that are, by definition, for multiple users, and explains that resource management (read: watershed management) trumps trail character every time. As much as he and his staff value an excellent experience in the woods, they are bound by their mandate as Rangers in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. There's only so much variance you're going to find there.

    See you on the trail.



    Amen, this absolutely sums it up!

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    I've ridden that trail several times and don't like what I'm seeing in the pic linked above. A long time ago somebody posted pictures of where they wanted to reroute and the reroute went through outcrops and boulders and would have been an interesting trail. It sucks to lose a rugged trail. I think there could have been a sustainable reroute which wasn't essentially a dirt sidewalk.
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

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    1.First (and formost), you don't have to like the what you see in the photo. The local club does like what is happening and they are the ones funding the project. The FS asked the local club to relocate portions of the trail that were not sustainable and the club chased down the RTP funds to do the project so they could control the final product. The local club designed the relocation and they had direct control on the contractor they wanted to work with.

    2. The alignment does in fact go through a lot of rock outcrops and boulders. Perhaps the flag line that you saw photos of is in fact what is being built. I saw a photo this week of running a rock breaker on our mini-ex and the trail was being routed right though a section of major rock.




    Quote Originally Posted by JackFromNC View Post
    I've ridden that trail several times and don't like what I'm seeing in the pic linked above. A long time ago somebody posted pictures of where they wanted to reroute and the reroute went through outcrops and boulders and would have been an interesting trail. It sucks to lose a rugged trail. I think there could have been a sustainable reroute which wasn't essentially a dirt sidewalk.

  18. #18
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    No ****, I realize I'm not required to like something, hence my response. Just because the local club likes it and acquired the funds doesn't mean the reroute is a good thing. Trail building companies are profiting from this stuff. It's no surprise they lobby hard to preserve RTP grants and defend this type of work. Does this all boil down to money? The rugged trails are being diluted based on claims of sustainability. In my opinion, the problem areas for this particular trail could have been dealt with without making a 3 foot wide dirt sidewalk. Maybe that wouldn't be cost effective though.
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  19. #19
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    "Just because the local club likes it and acquired the funds doesn't mean the reroute is a good thing."

    What then constitutes "a good thing"? The land manager wants the work done, the locals who ride the trail all the time want the work done, and they have a great influence in the design and the contractor selected for the work, what more is needed to make a reroute a good thing?

    "Trail building companies are profiting from this stuff. " I take delivery of my new Porsche next week, can't wait to red-line it on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Seriously, trail contracting is not an easy way to eek out a living. None of us are getting rich. What we are doing however is providing a service that many ask for and in the process providing jobs in an area where good jobs are hard to come by. The work is hard (but rewarding), and we travel away from home (which is tough) a lot to get enough work to keep the crew employed. Along the way we build a lot of trail that is indeed enjoyed by many.

    Yes, we think RTP is an important program as many (most) land managers don't have sufficient budgets for trails. RTP has brought many new mtn biking opportunities across the SE and US. This fall 7 new miles of trail will open to bikes on WCU owned land, and you don't have to be a student or staff to enjoy these new trails. Next year new trails will be built in Lake Lure giving another new venue close to Aville. SC will get its first bike park at Gateway park in TR. All these projects are funded partly with RTP $.


    " In my opinion, the problem areas for this particular trail could have been dealt with without making a 3 foot wide dirt sidewalk."

    You have seen 1 photo. I was in a courtroom this week serving as an expert in a trail related lawsuit. The plaintiffs expert testified that a structure on the trail (where the accident happened) "sent shivers up his spine". When the defense cross examined him, it came out he had never been to the site of the accident and never been to the camp property, he had only seen photos from plaintiffs council. And yet he was given an opinion that the structure "sends shivers up his spine" and was for sure the cause of the accident. Needless to say, the jury was not impressed.
    Last edited by Woodman; 10-01-2012 at 07:51 AM.

  20. #20
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    I'll take your challenge Crossboy. I know the Burg crew and their riding styles, they'd quickly remind you that you ride a bike like a girl. A silly, braided girl.

    I'm with Broussard. Machines have no business in the woods.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by park baker View Post
    I'll take your challenge Crossboy. I know the Burg crew and their riding styles, they'd quickly remind you that you ride a bike like a girl. A silly, braided girl.

    I'm with Broussard. Machines have no business in the woods.
    If you want to get into ad-hominem and d^ck-waving, you are not with me. Despite what many think, I'm trying to facilitate dialog and express what I think is a popular point of view... not sling sh^t.

    But yeah, you ride a bike much better than me, OK?
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

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    I think it has as much to do with the type and size of machine used and the operator's aesthetic as the forest service spec.Dozers build better flow trails excavators build better tech trails.New trails will tighten up over time as the line is worn in.And that will happen a lot faster on a 40" bench cut trail than on a 14' wide extraction road.The picture below is a 40" wide excavator built rock garden it's about 500' long the rocks average about 250# each.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Relocation on Lookout Mountain, VA-p6091261.jpg  


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smells Like Fish View Post
    I think it has as much to do with the type and size of machine used and the operator's aesthetic as the forest service spec.Dozers build better flow trails excavators build better tech trails.New trails will tighten up over time as the line is worn in.And that will happen a lot faster on a 40" bench cut trail than on a 14' wide extraction road.The picture below is a 40" wide excavator built rock garden it's about 500' long the rocks average about 250# each.
    So you're the guy who stole all those from Pilot Rock?
    I reserve the right to make fun of your beliefs if I think they are stupid.

  24. #24
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    Nope those rocks are from fletcher creek and squirrel gap.The rocks from pilot I'm selling to the Nantahala ranger district.The proceeds from which I will use to build a log skinny from smokers cove to Dupont.

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    If you haven't spent a lot of time riding the trails Chris Scott rides regularly, you might not have the whole picture.

    A Flow trail would be a nice change from the trail they have along I-81.

    I promise you that if the majority of their trail was machine-built, non-techy trail, they would revolt.

    We need a revolution in machine-built trail; it's all too similar.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smells Like Fish View Post
    Nope those rocks are from fletcher creek and squirrel gap.The rocks from pilot I'm selling to the Nantahala ranger district.The proceeds from which I will use to build a log skinny from smokers cove to Dupont.
    It's quite possible that you will be the first resident of Transylvania county to sell stolen property for something other than financing a drug habit.

    Congratulations.

    I reserve the right to make fun of your beliefs if I think they are stupid.

  27. #27
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    A rock garden made of flat rocks might clack a bit but isn't the same as those not manufactured. Those with money and power deciding how things should be for the rest of us, how novel an idea. It's sketchy politics for an official to vote for something they personally benefit from. Like awarding contracts to a contractor that you have stock in. Woodman, when was the first time you rode Lookout? When was the last time? How often do you ride it? You have ridden Lookout, right? I have not personally seen the rework so I can only comment based on photos I've seen. Maybe in a few weeks I can get up there. Call me Motopropane.
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  28. #28
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    Motopropane? Wait a minute here.

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    " It's sketchy politics for an official to vote for something they personally benefit from. Like awarding contracts to a contractor that you have stock in. "

    No idea what you are referring to here. PAS has never awarded TD a contract, they have never funded any paid trail work. Truth be told, TD loses on PAS as we have in the past provided machines and hand tools for many projects at no cost. FODF also does not award any contracts, the money they put up for trail contracts goes through the state and there is an open bid process on the work in DuPont. Hopefully that is clear to you now.

    "Woodman, when was the first time you rode Lookout? When was the last time? How often do you ride it? You have ridden Lookout, right?"

    I have never been there, but I am not the one looking at one photo and slinging poo about the work being done. I have noted before I don't often work with the TD construction crew, my partner Ed runs that side of the business (and he avoids MTBR like the plague). I stay busy with many other trail planning and design projects, risk management and trail education work (The Art and Science of Trail Design - Eventbrite ). I have however seen more photos of the work and spoken with Ed and the crew several times. We have 6 crew (all are mountain bikers) on the project with another to join next week.

    " I have not personally seen the rework so I can only comment based on photos I've seen. Maybe in a few weeks I can get up there. " Hook up with some of the locals there if you do go up and have them walk you through the process of making the decision to relo, the design criteria (again, you have only seen one photo of dirt portions but there will be plenty of rock) and the selection process to work with a contractor. This is our 3rd project for SVBA and they love our work.

  30. #30
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    Zach, no one cares who's a better bike rider. The only person who does is Strout.

    I'm sure you're still mad at me for that time I told you to stop drinking when you lost your bike off the roof of your car. I'm a dick, and I know why people look at me sideways. But I can't keep my mouth shut.

    Especially when kids who have an education that they didn't pay for in "Wilderness Leadership" can't distinguish between honey bees and yellow jackets.

    Especially when Valerie Naylor runs her yap about water quality when she's running the sweep in the rain at the Pisgah Stage Race.

    Especially when five years ago I got into these silly e-arguments with Woody about sustainability, and here we are again. Same argument. Same blown out, machine built corners.

    Especially when I get a citation from the FS for trimming briars back from trails after someone on the Pisgah Trail Care Crew turned me in for doing so. I was on the crew at the time, and we hadn't done any work. Those people were busy running their mouths on the internet.

    If Strout knew anyone in VA, he'd know that Chris Scott is a good dude, but is far from the fastest or most skilled rider around.

    If Strout knew anything about trail work he wouldn't be sending page long emails to the FS critiquing trail work being done without him.

    How are these things ad hominem? It is directed towards them, yes, but in the preservation of intellect. They're the facilitators right?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by park baker View Post
    Zach, no one cares who's a better bike rider. The only person who does is Strout.

    I'm sure you're still mad at me for that time I told you to stop drinking when you lost your bike off the roof of your car. I'm a dick, and I know why people look at me sideways. But I can't keep my mouth shut.

    Especially when kids who have an education that they didn't pay for in "Wilderness Leadership" can't distinguish between honey bees and yellow jackets.

    Especially when Valerie Naylor runs her yap about water quality when she's running the sweep in the rain at the Pisgah Stage Race.

    Especially when five years ago I got into these silly e-arguments with Woody about sustainability, and here we are again. Same argument. Same blown out, machine built corners.

    Especially when I get a citation from the FS for trimming briars back from trails after someone on the Pisgah Trail Care Crew turned me in for doing so. I was on the crew at the time, and we hadn't done any work. Those people were busy running their mouths on the internet.

    If Strout knew anyone in VA, he'd know that Chris Scott is a good dude, but is far from the fastest or most skilled rider around.

    If Strout knew anything about trail work he wouldn't be sending page long emails to the FS critiquing trail work being done without him.

    How are these things ad hominem? It is directed towards them, yes, but in the preservation of intellect. They're the facilitators right?
    I'm not mad at you.

    If you won't go ahead and accept the title of better rider, then I'm going to go ahead and brag on myself... because I'll tell you one thing - I can be a bigger @sshole than you ever thought of being. So speaking as one consummate @sshole to another, how does comparing Chris' riding to that of a "silly braided girl" in the context of trail advocacy NOT constitute both a non-sequitor AND ad-hominem? Though the high-minded among us will not recognize the reference, I've mocked Chris' specious logic already with the Underpants Gnomes... thus I feel I have done my duty towards the preservation of intellect. Such as it is, amongst us here...

    Showing one's ass on MTBR doesn't help a thing. Barring armed rebellion, one has to keep it between the lines if they hope to actually be listened to and have influence. That's why moto is gone - not because his opinion wasn't important, but because he couldn't (or more likely, chose not to) control himself.

    If you can document the accusations you allude to above, then I suggest you take them up personally (and civilly) with PAS and request an explanation. Specifically, you should request clarification about how their actions align with their mission statement. You should go into such a discussion with an open mind. If they are evasive or unresponsive, then go ahead and present your observations to a larger audience. But you're going to have to make your point and support it with reasoned discourse and evidence. You shouldn't let strings of unrelated items build in your mind into some conspiratorial edifice. And if, by chance, a fair-minded judgement of what PAS presents happens to make sense, you should be prepared to accept it.

    Right now, I am joining the ranks of people who wish that they had never said anything in the first place. I felt like I had a point and something to add at one time, but now it's all lost in meta-level bullsh^t.

    So with that, I exit this conversation. (You win, Jonathon!) Once I am finally settled in Brevard I hope to be back with more useful words and actions.

    Thanks to all who are doing the best they can. If you love Pisgah, post this to your facebook page immediately, otherwise you will make me cry and be infected by an ass-eating virus.

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

  32. #32
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    So that is what happened to Brado?
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackFromNC View Post
    A rock garden made of flat rocks might clack a bit but isn't the same as those not manufactured. Those with money and power deciding how things should be for the rest of us, how novel an idea. It's sketchy politics for an official to vote for something they personally benefit from. Like awarding contracts to a contractor that you have stock in. Woodman, when was the first time you rode Lookout? When was the last time? How often do you ride it? You have ridden Lookout, right? I have not personally seen the rework so I can only comment based on photos I've seen. Maybe in a few weeks I can get up there. Call me Motopropane.
    So I should have pushed those to the side because they look manufactured,just graded it to dirt?Those rocks don't clack and they aren't flat.But they won't shift like the rocks on farlow.If I blasted an area like that down to dirt riders would say I dumbed it down.Well if I just poured a load of rip-rap in the middle of the trail would that make it a genius?All trails are manufactured to some extent.Spend some time on pilot rock not riding just looking,that trail isn't natural there was a phenomenal amount of work done placing those rocks.Does hand work make it "natural"?All the rock gardens on Laurel?When that trail was built they covered those up but now they've eroded back out.That's a technique I use a lot so some rocks won't show up for a while but they do come back.There are no natural trails.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossboy
    I was good with trying to explain some things, offer some education, and yes, even accommodate other views on other threads until the lying started.
    I've been away for awhile and haven't been able to keep up with this but have to ask you, crossboy, what lies are you referring to? Surely you are not accusing me of dishonesty.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broussard View Post
    So with that, I exit this conversation. (You win, Jonathon!)

    Not sure how you exiting the conversation = me winning but ok...

    This is where my quote to BrouSSard ends and I enter the conversation as a whole again:

    I wish I would have stayed radically busy at work and never had the chance to look at MTBR.

    The only point I have been trying to drive home is that no matter how constructive a thread on MTBR is...
    unless someone plagarizes that thread and creates some sort of document that is constructively applied toward advocating for the trails
    that we all so passionately write about, its just a bunch of b*llsh#t.

    So Johnny Hits-a-huge-huck loves DH trail. Gnarly DH trail that makes most men cry about seeing momma and the ER.

    Johnny HAHH decides one day that he's tired of the BS on MTBR and he's going to take action for the sport he loves (gnarly
    mountain dew loving SOB that he is) and starts invites his buddy Freddy TenInches into his club because Freddy TenInches
    has 10 inches and uses it all the time on drops.

    These two approach the FS under their own congnition with a plan for a trail. How they will build it. How they
    will get the funds and how they will work with the land managers to minimize risk management. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    It takes a TON of work... <--- did anyone read that? It will take years and years of red tape gov't BS unless you have your
    own private land stock somewhere.

    In fact, Johnny HAHH and Freddy 10 might fail miserably but I can assure you that they will learn so much during the
    process that hopefully they won't fail the next time.

    Yes yes... all of this is hypothetical and I don't expect that anyone would ever do it... but do you get the point?

    If you want something done... ranting on the internet is not the way to do it.

    I have pissed off good friends and almost come to blows with people over trail advocacy. Multiple friends...

    Sure, I am not always right and I will still have conversations with anyone willing about what it takes to write a grant,
    get a bike park built, partner with a land manager, write a MOU...

    I am a freaking computer geek people... I knew nothing when I started this process back 5 or 6 years ago or however long
    it has been. Maybe I still don't know anything.

    However, I do know one thing. I have made a lot of friends in the MTB world and I have seen a lot of people put way more
    than their fair share into advocacy. Shake an advocates hand the next time you see them and tell them thank you because it
    isn't easy doing volunteer work just to have 90% of the population b*tch and moan about whatever it is your doing.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

    Supporting PAS
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smells Like Fish View Post
    I think it has as much to do with the type and size of machine used and the operator's aesthetic as the forest service spec.Dozers build better flow trails excavators build better tech trails.New trails will tighten up over time as the line is worn in.And that will happen a lot faster on a 40" bench cut trail than on a 14' wide extraction road.The picture below is a 40" wide excavator built rock garden it's about 500' long the rocks average about 250# each.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broussard View Post
    I'm not mad at you.

    blah, blah, blah...

    ass-eating virus.

    ZB

    I like @sshole Broussard much better.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by park baker View Post
    Zach, no one cares who's a better bike rider. The only person who does is Strout.

    I'm sure you're still mad at me for that time I told you to stop drinking when you lost your bike off the roof of your car. I'm a dick, and I know why people look at me sideways. But I can't keep my mouth shut.

    Especially when kids who have an education that they didn't pay for in "Wilderness Leadership" can't distinguish between honey bees and yellow jackets.

    Especially when Valerie Naylor runs her yap about water quality when she's running the sweep in the rain at the Pisgah Stage Race.

    Especially when five years ago I got into these silly e-arguments with Woody about sustainability, and here we are again. Same argument. Same blown out, machine built corners.

    Especially when I get a citation from the FS for trimming briars back from trails after someone on the Pisgah Trail Care Crew turned me in for doing so. I was on the crew at the time, and we hadn't done any work. Those people were busy running their mouths on the internet.

    If Strout knew anyone in VA, he'd know that Chris Scott is a good dude, but is far from the fastest or most skilled rider around.

    If Strout knew anything about trail work he wouldn't be sending page long emails to the FS critiquing trail work being done without him.

    How are these things ad hominem? It is directed towards them, yes, but in the preservation of intellect. They're the facilitators right?
    Ad hominem? Maybe not. Libelous? Perhaps.

    I could care less how skilled you are. Any of you, or any of the folks enjoying Pisgah on any given day. That doesn't matter. Apparently, however, it does matter to you, since you are the one saying Chris is "far from the fastest or most skilled rider around."

    Let me make it crystal clear: I do know Chris, as I know several other folks in the Harrisonburg area. Paraphrasing Ben, "there needs to be more riders and fewer politicians." My point is, by naming Chris in the OP and subsequently linking to a bit more information about him, he rides. His friends ride. The folks at SBC ride. They enjoy some pretty awesome, varied terrain, right outside their doors. I wouldn't ever label Chris as a "politician" in the derogatory sense of the term Ben seemed to be using. So If they who know their trails best didn't like the work being done there, I don't believe that they would see fit to apply for more grants and invite the same contractor back to do work multiple times. Am I wrong in this assumption? And where does skill level play into it?

    You know, I'm beginning to think my emails are not secure, since you're now the second person who has referred to my correspondence with someone else -- though neither you nor the other person is privy to my conversations with anyone. But what's even stranger is that this alleged correspondence to which you refer doesn't exist. Strange indeed.

    I've said it before, to you and others: If you think I've said something, ask me about it. Get your facts straight before you make accusations.

  39. #39
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    Woodman. In my first response I posted I didn't like what I saw. You responded not just saying you disagreed with my opinion but you argued saying the local club liked it and implied that made it right. If you've never been there I wonder why you think you're opinion was more valid than mine. Both of us are just viewing pictures (true, you've seen more) of the present but I rode that trail earlier this year and have for 10 years so am aware of how it's changed. Note I'm not disputing that Lookout needs work, just the specifics.

    From past posts made by you I've noticed you take a keen interest in trail work for areas that I don't believe you actually ride (the WV bridge replacement thing comes to mind). So what is your interest? Could it be because your company stands to make money? When you post, are you voicing your opinion from the perspective of a rider or a trail building company (or something else)? The two may not be mutually exclusive but conflict of interest is possible (such as your risk management and trail evaluation work you mentioned).

    I'm not trying to make enemies, but man, when a nice rugged trails gets bulldozed into a dirt sidewalk, I don't like it. If the ridge part on lookout gets treated the same way, a very narrow and rocky section (I think the last climb before the peak) will be gone. There's no way a machine can do that section justice.

    I do not know any locals up there but I will certainly ride the tail once the work is done and I might end up eating my own words. If I end up loving it, I will come back here and post so!



    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    " It's sketchy politics for an official to vote for something they personally benefit from. Like awarding contracts to a contractor that you have stock in. "

    No idea what you are referring to here. PAS has never awarded TD a contract, they have never funded any paid trail work. Truth be told, TD loses on PAS as we have in the past provided machines and hand tools for many projects at no cost. FODF also does not award any contracts, the money they put up for trail contracts goes through the state and there is an open bid process on the work in DuPont. Hopefully that is clear to you now.

    "Woodman, when was the first time you rode Lookout? When was the last time? How often do you ride it? You have ridden Lookout, right?"

    I have never been there, but I am not the one looking at one photo and slinging poo about the work being done. I have noted before I don't often work with the TD construction crew, my partner Ed runs that side of the business (and he avoids MTBR like the plague). I stay busy with many other trail planning and design projects, risk management and trail education work (The Art and Science of Trail Design - Eventbrite ). I have however seen more photos of the work and spoken with Ed and the crew several times. We have 6 crew (all are mountain bikers) on the project with another to join next week.

    " I have not personally seen the rework so I can only comment based on photos I've seen. Maybe in a few weeks I can get up there. " Hook up with some of the locals there if you do go up and have them walk you through the process of making the decision to relo, the design criteria (again, you have only seen one photo of dirt portions but there will be plenty of rock) and the selection process to work with a contractor. This is our 3rd project for SVBA and they love our work.
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

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    Dear Drift and Broussard.....

    Not trying to call you guys out, but I want to bring up several points.


    DRIFTWOOD Quotes

    "I'll go do handwork without a problem but have zero interest in participating in machine built trail work. It is a selfish stance but I don't like hearing machines in the woods."

    So show up the next day and you don't have to hear them at all, and hand finish away.

    "Machines are not inherently bad. But they don't have to be the only way trail work is done. That attitude has to change."

    That attitude is just about non existent. Whose attitude, the land managers? Do you know anyone, and I mean anyone who feels that machine work is the only way to build trail? Show me a trail crew without a truck load of Mcloeds. By attitude to you mean the contractual process?

    "And here is a very tough question about machine built trail work: Can anyone show me a machine built trail in our area that is 'sustainable'? First of all you don't know what sustainable is... you make it very clear that no one does. And you argue against it any chance you get, but here you are using it. From what I have seen, mainly in Dupont, is that machine built trails actually need more maintenance and resources. We disagree on this. Ridgeline is rerouted every other year, Airstrip needs tweaking every year, a whole lot of trails in Dupont were completely regraded last year. If machine built trails are so great why do they need so much work?



    So you are trying to compare freshly graded trails to something that has been compacted for 50+ years and has already eroded away anything that that was not compacted? Most new trails will need adjustments over time, this can also be called maintenance. Especially the first couple of years. What about trails that get packed in such a way that they create a down slope berm that will start to hold leaves and water. Doesn't matter what the trail was built with, it may need to be debermed after it settles.


    There is also the issue of operators and mistakes. This could apply to a hand built crew or a machine crew. Those mistakes will need to be fixed.


    The land manager in Dupont is also the one calling for and laying out most of the reroutes there. So you can bring him into the mix. To me most of the trails reworked there are more fun than they were, not all of them, but most.

    "Eventually we are going to have to start trying to get hand tools up into the difficult terrain in Pisgah to do the hard work by hand. Black mtn. is in very bad shape in places and other trails aren't very far behind. We might never be able to get a machine up there. We might want to consider just sucking it up and doing it by hand instead of waiting."

    Great, when can you start? A lot of folks feel this way. But if you won't lead the charge then who will? PAS is a volunteer organization, someone has to step up and maintain it. YOU can do it, (I don't necessarily mean Drift), or you can just complain about someone else not doing it, then complain about it when they don't do it the way you obviously would have.




    Broussard Quotes



    " Am I to believe the the USFS will refuse to allow/endorse any trail work that makes the trail incrementally better if it does not also return the trail to compliance with the standards?"

    No one that I know of has made this statement except you. Maybe you haven't caught on yet, but PAS already has adopted several trails in Pisgah proper and the maintenance does not have to be taken to USFS standards. Unless there is a problem area and they specifically request it. It usually comes down to the Trail crew leaders discretion. The TCL has the power to influence the trails they take on. Did you hate how PAS over worked Laurel Mountain?


    "The ranger wouldn't let us go out and turn water off the trail and do minor rock work in such a fashion as MOUNTAIN BIKERS see fit, just because we were not also reverting the trail to pack and saddle standards at the same time? Who said this, as it is quite an assumption or statement. Or rather a made up sarcastic comment basically assuming this is someone else's position? These trails are already wildly out of compliance with standards. Yup. Cyclists would not be allowed to make them marginally better or even just take action to stem their deterioration?" Said who?


    "I find that extraordinarily hard to believe, and I suspect the ranger would LOVE to have a group out there performing simple maintenance oriented activities. PAS seems to be doing just that. We need more volunteers to maintain Pisgah Trails so they are not offending the USFS. The head district ranger has signed the MOU's so that we can literally do just that, help maintain Pisgah. So I don't get the focus on machine built corridor and "Pack and Saddle" "Pack and Saddle" "Pack and Saddle". Talk to the USFS and see what they say, basically if its new trail or a major reroute, and a predetermined multiuser horse trail, then pack and saddle it will be. If you know a way around this let me know because I will help you. The only way around it I know of is to stabilize and or maintain existing trails so that they stay off their radar. You up for armoring the gully on Lower Trace? Bring some rock when you come.

    But the "focus" on machine work is not really the right term. Its more like forced into fast machine work by budgetary constraints. One could also add the practicality of using the right tool for the job when it is your profession and you do it every single day and have to do the job in a short time frame.


    If you had a trail building company that could win the contract, show up with 50 skilled laborers a day, who want to work like slaves, have an eye for detail, and work for almost nothing, then your company could hand build the trail within the time and budgetary constraints given in the contract. Good luck with that.


    The reality is that machines have there place and amazing trails can be made with them, along with good hand finishing. But when you live and die by the lowest bid, and do not have the character of the trail first and foremost in the contract, we all lose.


    "You guys complain about people not showing up to work. When MTBers show up and are made to work to "Pack and Saddle" standards, many of them are not going to be happy." So when has this happened to you in Pisgah? Are you just assuming this happens all the time? Was someone else that actually picked up a shovel complaining about it while they were working? I normally feel stoked after a day of working on the trails, even in Dupont.

    Have you read the standards and classes comparing the different classes for the user types? Is this just referring to Lower Trace or some other specific project or just Pisgah in general? After I read them I honestly believe that we can make a entertaining trail within those standards, especially if we add alternate lines.

    "The last time I did any organized trail work, I heard a nice little homily about how hand work was too hard and nobody showed up so it couldn't be done. A little later that day after my wife and I grubbed out a hundred feet or so of trail by hand, a certain guy we all know and love graded right over all of it with the machine.Tell me, why should I support that? Seriously."

    Sounds like there was a significant lack of communication. It is very unfortunate, sorry you wasted your time. I would be bitter too. Nope, I would not support that. I can't say that I blame the machine for this scenario. If only TCLs were as perfect as the rest of us.


    Don't threaten me with closures. Talk to the land manager buddy. If you guys succeed in making Ranger District look like DuPont, Bracken, and FATS, I'm simply going to pack up and go find better riding elsewhere anyway. PAS is not threatening to close anything and I personally have yet to meet anyone in PAS who wants that in Pisgah. Another assumption about PAS? Do you think for some reason PAS had an agenda to make Dupont what it is today? Talk to the Friends of Dupont and the land manager. I will say that I have a blast in Dupont every time I ride there but have no desire to make Pisgah a copy of Dupont, again, nor does anyone else I know.


    "You guys are no longer telling any of us anything that we don't not already know about standards and multi-use and water quality. Repeating yourself for the 9237th time isn't going to do anything."

    Except for educating riders that are not as experienced with the situation as you, maybe. A lot of folks here really have no idea of the actual process of what it takes to deal with the USFS, nor trail maintenance, nor trail design, nor risk assessment, nor,nor,nor... But they sound like they know what they are talking about. And frankly the threads of late have actually had a tremendous amount of good information and clarification. So I can't say I agree with you on this one.

    This is not about laziness. Expressing a vision for the trails that is different than yours is not whining and complaining - it's simply having an opinion. Sometimes it sure sounds that way, not so much from you though. And I will remind you that Pisgah has become famous because of narrow gnarly single track, not "flow". And big, steep, long, fall line trails that want to violate forest service standards every time it rains. Not my standards, not your standards, their standards. I love Farlow in a downpour.

    One of your big hurdles is that the USFS views your opinion about as much as an equestrian. Actually less than an equestrian, because your ass better be yielding... Equestrians seem to have the same rights as the handicapped. I mean really, can a horse and rider do anything wrong in the eyes of the USFS? Too sarcastic? Maybe.

    I think that there is room in Pisgah for a lot more trails of all flavors, styles, and abilities, but for now we need to maintain what we have, IMO. I want to the keep the character of the existing trails and build new ones, eventually. I also think that Pisgah needs to stay top heavy, meaning that it should have a very high proportion of very advanced trails.


    Is the very flavor that has made Pisgah so loved not worth trying to preserve? Sure but you also need to realize that we have to play by the land managers rules and the more work we do the more influence we will have on the final outcome on each and every trail we work on. The harder core the riders/volunteers, the more hard core the trail will more than likely stay. Even the ranger must realize this, surely...


    Showing one's ass on MTBR doesn't help a thing. Barring armed rebellion, one has to keep it between the lines if they hope to actually be listened to and have influence. That's why moto is gone - not because his opinion wasn't important, but because he couldn't (or more likely, chose not to) control himself.

    Nicely done and well said.

    That is a good read - thank you. I remember taking the poll but somehow missed reading the collected results. Given that a significant majority (over 60%) want tough technical features, and a good proportion (over 40%) want machine work either eliminated or reduced as much as possible, I'd say it supports my theories quite well. It also further confirms what I have begun to suspect is the proper course of action. Thanks for re-posting.

    But there is a huge difference between eliminating machine work versus reducing it. While it is easy to lump them together, its really two very different conversations and out comes.


    I will gladly try to help in Pisgah when ever I can, whether machines are involved or not. But to fix the back country of Pisgah is going to take some serious investment of time, just to get the tools there, much less do the work. I am already doing what my allotted time allows. Who wants to step up?

    Last edited by 2bfluid; 10-03-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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  41. #41
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    Are you sure you aren't calling us out? I sure looks like. But since you want to play this game....

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    Not trying to call you guys out, but I want to bring up several points.


    DRIFTWOOD Quotes

    "I'll go do handwork without a problem but have zero interest in participating in machine built trail work. It is a selfish stance but I don't like hearing machines in the woods."

    So show up the next day and you don't have to hear them at all, and hand finish away.
    Maybe I will. I'm sort of hoping to hear what the plan is for Trace Ridge. Chances are I will make it out there one day.

    "Machines are not inherently bad. But they don't have to be the only way trail work is done. That attitude has to change."

    That attitude is just about non existent. Whose attitude, the land managers? Do you know anyone, and I mean anyone who feels that machine work is the only way to build trail? Show me a trail crew without a truck load of Mcloeds. By attitude to you mean the contractual process?
    The attitude of mountain bikers and professional trail builders who when faced with difficult hand work automatically differ to the need of machines. I've been told many times by PAS that certain work cannot be done by hand. Black Mtn. is a perfect example of that. Have you been a part of those discussions? If you have you would have heard the machine mantra.

    ["And here is a very tough question about machine built trail work: Can anyone show me a machine built trail in our area that is 'sustainable'? First of all you don't know what sustainable is... you make it very clear that no one does. And you argue against it any chance you get, but here you are using it.
    Yes, I am using the word sustainable, which I disagree with (maintainable would be a better choice), because I would like to hear an example of a 'sustainable' trail that I can go out and look at. Feel free to give me a suggestion. From what I have seen, mainly in Dupont, is that machine built trails actually need more maintenance and resources.
    We disagree on this.
    Right, we disagree. Do you care to offer any evidence supporting your stance? I offered some to support mine.
    Ridgeline is rerouted every other year, Airstrip needs tweaking every year, a whole lot of trails in Dupont were completely regraded last year. If machine built trails are so great why do they need so much work?



    So you are trying to compare freshly graded trails to something that has been compacted for 50+ years and has already eroded away anything that that was not compacted? Most new trails will need adjustments over time, this can also be called maintenance. Especially the first couple of years. What about trails that get packed in such a way that they create a down slope berm that will start to hold leaves and water. Doesn't matter what the trail was built with, it may need to be debermed after it settles.


    There is also the issue of operators and mistakes. This could apply to a hand built crew or a machine crew. Those mistakes will need to be fixed.
    So, it takes 50 years for a sustainable trail to become sustainable? In the meantime we need to go in with a machine every two years to regrade them?

    That is my question about the sustainable brand of trail work. I am told repeatedly that machines are the best way to build trails, and that the grade dips that they create last for years before they need maintenance and that the drainage work that can be done by hand is inefficient and not worth the effort because they'll need to be cleaned out in a year. But yet, those trails that are supposedly so sustainable need to be regraded every other year as demonstrated repeatedly in Dupont.

    The land manager in Dupont is also the one calling for and laying out most of the reroutes there. So you can bring him into the mix. To me most of the trails reworked there are more fun than they were, not all of them, but most.
    I really don't care about Dupont. It is not my style of riding and is too far from my house. I just use it as an example.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad Dupont is there. It offers some much needed diversity to our local riding. But every trail doesn't need to look like a Dupont trail. Diversity is good.

    "Eventually we are going to have to start trying to get hand tools up into the difficult terrain in Pisgah to do the hard work by hand. Black mtn. is in very bad shape in places and other trails aren't very far behind. We might never be able to get a machine up there. We might want to consider just sucking it up and doing it by hand instead of waiting."

    Great, when can you start? A lot of folks feel this way. But if you won't lead the charge then who will? PAS is a volunteer organization, someone has to step up and maintain it. YOU can do it, (I don't necessarily mean Drift), or you can just complain about someone else not doing it, then complain about it when they don't do it the way you obviously would have.
    I can start today. I'm hoping that once they get through Trace Ridge PAS follows through with drafting a maintenance plan for our trails so that we can get out there and do the tough work. If there was a plan to fix Black Mtn. I would be the first person there.... I'm not sure that is going to happen so I'm starting to look elsewhere.

    Okay, now tell us more about how we need to leaf blow every trail every November
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  42. #42
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    I'm going to stay out of most of your all's discussion, but I want to address this:

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    I can start today. I'm hoping that once they get through Trace Ridge PAS follows through with drafting a maintenance plan for our trails so that we can get out there and do the tough work. If there was a plan to fix Black Mtn. I would be the first person there.... I'm not sure that is going to happen so I'm starting to look elsewhere.
    A plan to truly fix Black Mountain very much involves the Forest Service. It's not forgotten, nor are several other projects that we discuss every time we get a chance.

    In the meantime, specific to Black Mtn., we have an opportunity to do some work up there to stem the tide, if not fully affect the change that's needed. You know what we need to make that happen? Crew Leaders. Crew Leaders who are willing to lead a group of volunteers, without stipulation, and who can take the time to get up there and focus the work in the direction it needs to go.

    I understand that the past couple of years have been challenging, to say the least, and there's probably quite a bit of hesitation on the part of folks to take a leadership role. I get that, but I'd also like to point out that things are changing pretty dramatically in how we do things. The more Crew Leaders we have, the more opportunities we have, the more work gets done. It's as simple as that. And we have openings for Crew Leaders now.

    Sadly, another reason folks don't want to step up and lead crews is because of what happens right here on MTBR. If I had a chance to work with PAS, use their tools, tap into their pool of volunteers, and work on a trail I love, would I do it if I'm just going to get railroaded on the message boards? Unfortunately, that answer is "no" far more than I'd like it to be.

    I've said it before: Help us or not, the choice is yours. I will continue to push for what we think is right, but I will also continue the dialog with the Forest Service to help define our priorities. And I have checked in several times to ensure that they would like to see Trace Ridge rerouted, even if that means we don't get up on Black or any other trail for a while -- on a personal note, I wouldn't doubt PRD staff is tired of hearing me ask the question. And their answer has come back the same every time, no matter which way I've approached it.
    Last edited by crossboy; 10-04-2012 at 05:44 AM. Reason: emphasis added

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post

    The attitude of mountain bikers and professional trail builders who when faced with difficult hand work automatically differ to the need of machines. I've been told many times by PAS that certain work cannot be done by hand. Black Mtn. is a perfect example of that. Have you been a part of those discussions? If you have you would have heard the machine mantra.
    Just to be clear PAS leadership has made no mention of doing machine work on Black at those discussions, so I am not sure where those repeated statements come from. I did however mention the use of a Motorized 4 wheel drive wheel barrel called a muck truck to help with moving rocks and dirt that has low impact on the trail.

    My personal opinion I don't see how you could get a machine up there in the first place to do any work that is worthy of that trail. Hand work on that trail makes the most logical sense to me. If we had a crew leader that was willing to do work on that trail work could have already been started.

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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logover View Post
    Just to be clear PAS leadership has made no mention of doing machine work on Black at those discussions, so I am not sure where those repeated statements come from.
    Directly from the previous PAS Trail Liaison's mouth and from a crew leader. Yes, Van has left but the conversation was still had. There was an email chain about it last year, surely you were copied on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossboy
    Sadly, another reason folks don't want to step up and lead crews is because of what happens right here on MTBR. If I had a chance to work with PAS, use their tools, tap into their pool of volunteers, and work on a trail I love, would I do it if I'm just going to get railroaded on the message boards? Unfortunately, that answer is "no" far more than I'd like it to be.
    I understand that might be a reason for some people to not volunteer and I am sorry if the dialogue on this board stops people from such. A good way to avoid criticism is to not do work that doesn't need to be done and not to try and improve rideabilty (sic) or flow (lol). I sometimes wonder if another part of the reason more people don't volunteer is because they do not agree with the work being done. I've heard it before from potential volunteers.

    Let me ask a big question: Where else are these issues discussed? People seem to get really upset when tough issues are brought up here on mtbr but where else is there to discuss them? I went to every meeting I could for over a year and there was very little frank discussion. From my vantage point more is actually discussed here than elsewhere. Whether or not that discussion leads to action is debatable, but at least the discussion is being had.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Directly from the previous PAS Trail Liaison's mouth and from a crew leader. Yes, Van has left but the conversation was still had. There was an email chain about it last year, surely you were copied on it.
    No I don't recall a e-mail chain about machine work on black from the PAS trail Liaison. But even if there was on, lets let the past alone and concentrate on the future planning that we have started in the past couple months. I really hate dwelling on the past and prefer moving forward not making the same mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    A good way to avoid criticism is to not do work that doesn't need to be done and not to try and improve rideabilty (sic) or flow (lol).
    Just to touch on this: I am not saying you are wrong or right about the process you point out here, which I am assuming is how you think trail work should be done, but you are one persons opinion of the many other opinions that also have to be considered. And yes I have your opinion memorized because I lost count of how many times I have heard it or read it from your posts. I am sure crossboy also is aware.

    There are a ton of reasons why people do not volunteer, but dealing with drama is a huge one. Will there always be drama, I would have to say yes, but if the work days are planned well and there is a task at hand the drama is defiantly minimal. Hopefully going forward at future meetings with the trail crew leaders we will iron out this process better. I like planned work days with a task that has a plan of attack on what we are working on.

    I will say that any of the trail work days I have attended there was no drama and it was a pleasurable hard working experience. Everyone got along and had a good time.

    In my opinion the recent discussions with the trail crew leaders have been productive, and hopefully the future ones will be equally productive.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logover View Post
    Just to touch on this: I am not saying you are wrong or right about the process you point out here, which I am assuming is how you think trail work should be done, but you are one persons opinion of the many other opinions that also have to be considered.
    Yes, I am one person (very astute!) but these views have also been expressed by others. In fact I blatantly have plagiarized that view from a prominent PAS member. My real personal opinions are so far out there I would never share them here or ever expect anyone else to agree. I'm actually a lot more reasonable than I seem. All I'm suggesting is a way to avoid criticism if it bothers you so - don't do work that doesn't need to be done.

    There are a ton of reasons why people do not volunteer, but dealing with drama is a huge one. Will there always be drama, I would have to say yes, but if the work days are planned well and there is a task at hand the drama is defiantly minimal. Hopefully going forward at future meetings with the trail crew leaders we will iron out this process better. I like planned work days with a task that has a plan of attack on what we are working on.

    I will say that any of the trail work days I have attended there was no drama and it was a pleasurable hard working experience. Everyone got along and had a good time.

    In my opinion the recent discussions with the trail crew leaders have been productive, and hopefully the future ones will be equally productive.
    What is all this drama you speak of? Discussions on this board? You are all over the place with your posts...

    I'll ask again, where else is there to discuss these issues?
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    What is all this drama you speak of? Discussions on this board? You are all over the place with your posts...

    I'll ask again, where else is there to discuss these issues?
    Sorry you don't see it. But I am not the only one that does see it.

    Issues should be addressed during meetings, phone calls and e-mails. Not in a public forum for all of NC/SC.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logover View Post
    Sorry you don't see it. But I am not the only one that does see it.

    Issues should be addressed during meetings, phone calls and e-mails. Not in a public forum for all of NC/SC.
    Oh, I know you are not the only one who does not like open discussion on this board. There are more than a few people who don't like discussions on this board (yet they read the threads and sometimes even participate themselves).... Personally, I'm not convinced that public discussion is inherently a bad thing. I'd ask again where else these issues are discussed (not where they should be discussed) but there is no point. Incidentally, this very thread and this very discussion was started by crossboy on this public forum for all of NC/SC. And you even start your own threads, like the push survey thread, that only add to the 'drama'
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Oh, I know you are not the only one who does not like open discussion on this board. There are more than a few people who don't like discussions on this board (yet they read the threads and sometimes even participate themselves).... Personally, I'm not convinced that public discussion is inherently a bad thing. I'd ask again where else these issues are discussed (not where they should be discussed) but there is no point. Incidentally, this very thread and this very discussion was started by crossboy on this public forum for all of NC/SC. And you even start your own threads, like the push survey thread, that only add to the 'drama'
    You are correct that it did add drama, and also points out how one misguided post can get over 1000 views and serve no purpose. But did it really serve no purpose? I think what it did show is how MTBR does not help discussions. Was there a couple of informative dialog discussions on all the posts the past two weeks on MTBR, maybe, but you have to sift through all the bs to get to it.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logover View Post
    You are correct that it did add drama, and also points out how one misguided post can get over 1000 views and serve no purpose. But did it really serve no purpose? I think what it did show is how MTBR does not help discussions. Was there a couple of informative things on all the post the past two weeks on MTBR, maybe, but you have to sift through all the bs to get to it.
    Okay, so now we are supposed to believe that thread and poll was just some really clever point you were trying to make? Come on now.

    If I was trying to create drama I would have responded to your push poll by starting a thread of my own with my own push poll. I thought about doing that but that seemed childish, petty, and the sort of thing that creates unnecessary drama and detracts from the discussion...
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