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  1. #1
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    I'm still forming my opinion but am interested in what others think, especially those who are not race promoters and don't participate in the races. There are a lot of races in the Ranger and Grandfather districts these days compare to 10 or even 5 years ago. So much that there's been posts complaining about race tape, posts about racer etiquette, a post by a promoter asking about tape cleanup, and concentration of traffic and user conflict. I'm sure the race promoters and race participants don't think there are too many races, but what about the other mountain bikers... your thoughts?

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    Most of the races have people spread out over a lot of trail, so unless someone is trying to hike say Cove Creek at the start of the Swank, I don't think that racers really interfere with other forest users very much.

    I do like the recent trend of promoters to offer some shorter events. Not all of us are cut out for 60-70 miles of Pisgah in one day. Races like the 55 and the new Couch Potato give more people a chance to finish an event.
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  3. #3
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    How many races are there?
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  4. #4
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    These are the ones I can think of:


    P36 (hours not miles)
    PMBAR
    P111
    P55

    Jerdon Mtn. Challenge
    ORAMM

    ATR Races in Spring and Fall

    Pisgah Stage Race (5 days)

    Couch Potato
    Swank
    Double Dare

    Monster Cross (no trails involved)


    Did I miss anything?
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  5. #5
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    I don't think there are too many and I don't race (although I may do one for the fun of it).
    I have encountered a few racers on the trails but it has never been an issue.
    As far as race tape goes, other than during active races, I have not seen it other than during active races and it really does not bother me.

    Most the complaints about races, race tape, etc are probably from people that have nothing better to do.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  6. #6
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I can see why some people would be upset by a few hundred racers coming down the trail as they hike, since it could detract from the experience of being "away from it all."
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  7. #7
    drunken pirate
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    Races are inherently good for the sport and the region. The few negative impacts of races are greatly out weighed by the positive.

    The biggest problem - poor trail etiquette - is representative of mountain bikers in the region as a whole and is far from limited to the race environment. If anything I think races are the perfect opportunity to try and teach proper trail etiquette. Last week I rode in Bent Creek and saw more bad behavior by mountain bikers there than I ever have seen at a race.

    I do think that the local race market has reached its saturation point though.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Most the complaints about races, race tape, etc are probably from people that have nothing better to do.
    Bingo.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Last week I rode in Bent Creek and saw more bad behavior by mountain bikers there than I ever have seen at a race.
    +1. I mainly ride on the East side of town where other riders are so rare you always wave and say "Hi." When I'm at Bent Creek, I make a game out of counting how many people completely ignore waves. The place often has a big 'roadie' vibe.

    On the other hand, when I race, I've encountered some of the best manners I've ever seen on bikes.

  10. #10
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    I started riding seriously in 1994 in Arizona, participating/ sucking in one of the premier XC series of all time (Cactus Cup). We also had one the original endurance events around the Peaks in Flagstaff.
    I moved here in 1997; there were no races on the good trails. None. Zero. So many great trails, but I remember riding around fantasizing about races that could be held. Knobscorcher at Tsali was it and there'd be a hundred plus in the Sport Class. Camp Carolina had already quit hosting, I think.
    Then, slowly, races started popping up. Entrepeneurs figured out what the rules were. Land managers started working with the entrepeneurs. The free market has supported events as they developed. If it becomes "too much" either the land managers or said free market will tell us so.
    Enjoy what we got, because eventually it's going to change.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd View Post
    I can see why some people would be upset by a few hundred racers coming down the trail as they hike, since it could detract from the experience of being "away from it all."
    How many times have you been in the forest during a race and been passed by a few hundred racers?
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Last week I rode in Bent Creek and saw more bad behavior by mountain bikers there than I ever have seen at a race.
    Not saying I don't see bad etiquette but I ride Bent Creek all the time and I do not see a lot of it out there. When I do, it seems to normally be by somebody who is new on a bike. The reality is you can't expect trail etiquette to be instinctive. It has to be learned.

    Of course there are several out there that know the rules of etiquette and yet still ignore them and you may have bumped in to a series of them that day. lol
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  13. #13
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I started riding seriously in 1994 in Arizona, participating/ sucking in one of the premier XC series of all time (Cactus Cup). We also had one the original endurance events around the Peaks in Flagstaff.
    I moved here in 1997; there were no races on the good trails. None. Zero. So many great trails, but I remember riding around fantasizing about races that could be held. Knobscorcher at Tsali was it and there'd be a hundred plus in the Sport Class. Camp Carolina had already quit hosting, I think.
    Then, slowly, races started popping up. Entrepeneurs figured out what the rules were. Land managers started working with the entrepeneurs. The free market has supported events as they developed. If it becomes "too much" either the land managers or said free market will tell us so.
    Enjoy what we got, because eventually it's going to change.
    Wolf Laurel and Cataloochie both hosted a race series in the 90's. but I agree with what you say here, especially the part about racing being an educational opportunity concerning trail etiquette. And that is something that we really need around here.

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    You should especially agree with me sucking in 1994. I believe I finished DFL in three consecutive events. That takes its own set of skills.

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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Not saying I don't see bad etiquette but I ride Bent Creek all the time and I do not see a lot of it out there. When I do, it seems to normally be by somebody who is new on a bike. The reality is you can't expect trail etiquette to be instinctive. It has to be learned.

    Of course there are several out there that know the rules of etiquette and yet still ignore them and you may have bumped in to a series of them that day. lol
    I see plenty of pusquits at BC. But I see them everywhere. The ratio of pusquits to good guy is probably the same, BC just has so many more users that the pusquit numbers can sometimes be staggering.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    How many times have you been in the forest during a race and been passed by a few hundred racers?
    Little for instance.

    Someone wants to hike from the bottom of Heartbreak to the parkway. They decide they are going to do this the same day as ORAMM, unknowingly. So you're telling me it's not possible that they are going to be passed by a shitload of racers (X out of 500 total)? Really? Think it's not possible?

    I'm not against racing. I have every intention of being one the few hundred this year.
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  17. #17
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    I suppose it "could" happen.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  18. #18
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    I do think that we (mountain bikers) beat up the trails, more so than other user groups, and more so when a large group of people ride a concentrated set of trails in poor conditions. This does serve purpose as my own moral dilemma.
    "You can make some of the people happy some of the time, but you can't make all of the people happy all of the time."

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    How many times have you been in the forest during a race and been passed by a few hundred racers?
    I get passed by hundreds of racers every time I enter a race.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by "CHIEF" View Post
    I do think that we (mountain bikers) beat up the trails, more so than other user groups, and more so when a large group of people ride a concentrated set of trails in poor conditions. This does serve purpose as my own moral dilemma.
    Yes, but I believe the promoters also pay money to the forest service.
    I have also seen crews stay behind to work/repair the trail after the race.
    Not to mention I believe many mountain bikers also do a lot of volunteering to repair trails at other times.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    I get passed by hundreds of racers every time I enter a race.
    lol, does it upset you or are you ok with it?
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  21. #21
    IoC
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    pusquits
    I gotta ask...what's a "pusquit?" Googled and and all I got were your posts and some French folks.

  22. #22
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by IoC View Post
    I gotta ask...what's a "pusquit?" Googled and and all I got were your posts and some French folks.
    Ha! It's a word I made up years ago. A pusquit takes many meanings, but basically it's a doo doo head. A turd of sorts.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by "CHIEF" View Post
    I do think that we (mountain bikers) beat up the trails, more so than other user groups, and more so when a large group of people ride a concentrated set of trails in poor conditions. This does serve purpose as my own moral dilemma.
    I have to disagree with you on that one. Horses have done way more damage to trails than bikes.

    Lack of trail etiquette is an issue for sure, but like others have said, it isn't limited to the races. Races bring tourists and money to the area, and let people know that mountain biking is a big part of the community.

  24. #24
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    You don't wanna be a pusquit.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Horses have done way more damage to trails than bikes.
    I will agree and disagree.

    I single horse does do way more damage than a single bike.
    However, I would image the as a whole it may be the other way around.

    I just wish the horses were made to wear bun-bags.
    I get tired of dodging horse poop.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    lol, does it upset you or are you ok with it?
    I am pretty used to it by now. I don't so much "race" as pay money to get my butt handed to me by the whole field.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    I am pretty used to it by now. I don't so much "race" as pay money to get my butt handed to me by the whole field.
    Well maybe the next time you race, you should let me know.
    That way one of us won't be last.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    I am pretty used to it by now. I don't so much "race" as pay money to get my butt handed to me by the whole field.
    lol I keep telling myself "I'm doing it for the t-shirt."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    You should especially agree with me sucking in 1994. I believe I finished DFL in three consecutive events. That takes its own set of skills.
    I hear ya, I finished first one year at the aforementioned Wolf Laurel race in some junior division, then DFL the next year after almost dying from an asthma attack Fun times, but that was it for me and racing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Well maybe the next time you race, you should let me know.
    That way one of us won't be last.
    Due to some technical difficulty with my brain back in February, I am signed up for ORAMM. I figure with 500 people, there has to be at least one guy from Florida who shows up with the wrong gears and I pass him at the very end to come in 499th.
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    Re: Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Not from here, but... race tape and gu packs left on the trail beyond race weekend is litter. It is not, and never will be, okay. Responsible promoters don't let it happen. Responsible racers don't race with irresponsible promoters.

    Those who litter in the woods don't belong there, MTBer or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    Not from here, but... race tape and gu packs left on the trail beyond race weekend is litter. It is not, and never will be, okay. Responsible promoters don't let it happen. Responsible racers don't race with irresponsible promoters.

    Those who litter in the woods don't belong there, MTBer or not.
    Thanks for your input, but I haven't really seen where that has been a huge issue here.
    Pisgah Production probably does most the races here and I think Eric does his very best to leave as little impact on the forest. Also seen a few other races and have seen little to no evidence a race ever happened the next day.

    Seriously as far as I have seen, I say kudos to the promoters.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  33. #33
    drunken pirate
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    The two riders who poached a long stretch of the Art Loeb on Friday got way more negative attention from other users than any race in the area...

    On a somewhat related not,e the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards, SAWS, had two representative volunteer rangers at Ivestor Gap on Saturday working to help provide information and education to users entering the Shining Rock Wilderness. That Wilderness, which in recent years has not been very Wild at all, was in better shape than I have ever seen it before. It appears their education efforts are working.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by "CHIEF" View Post
    I do think that we (mountain bikers) beat up the trails, more so than other user groups, and more so when a large group of people ride a concentrated set of trails in poor conditions. This does serve purpose as my own moral dilemma.
    I disagree about "other user groups" as well. Horses cause massive damage, way more than bikes could ever do.

    But...your mention of large groups in poor conditions is exactly what I was thinking on the way down Black mtn a couple of weeks ago. Is that mile-long rut caused by recent storms? Or recent storms with an extra 100 riders who wouldn't normally have gone out in those conditions? I'm not saying races contribute to that, I'm just asking the question.

  35. #35
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    To me, the point on horses and bikes, including racers, is volume. W/o mountain bikes, how many people would be at, say, Five Points in Bent Creek on a given weekend? I'd guess less than 20...rather than the hundreds who do pass through. The reason why bikes are often picked on by other user groups is the volume increase we have created, not single user damage.

    Don't get me wrong...I fall firmly into the "using the land protects the land" camp and an NOT complaining about the increased volume.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Races are inherently good for the sport and the region.
    How are races good for the sport and region? Does it boil down to money?
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackFromNC View Post
    How are races good for the sport and region? Does it boil down to money?
    I know you asked driftwood this question, but let me ask you this. Is NASCAR good for the automobile industry and rednecks? Is the Kentucky Derby good for equestrians and Kentucky? Is the NFL good for football and a city like Green Bay?

    Racing adds legitimacy to a sport. People see a mountain bike race, and they see it as important, at least compared to some random riders running them off of the trail. Sure, it brings money to the region, but it also brings riders into the area, which shows the community that mountain biking is relevant. Will it upset some people? Of course. I've had to change my riding plans when I realized that a race was going on. Is it good for the trails? Not directly, but if the community sees mountain biking as a fixture of the region, then more money and focus may be spent on the trails. Racing can help put Pisgah on the map as a mountain bike destination.

    If you want mountain biking to grow, or even maintain its existence in western NC, racing done properly can help achieve that. I for one would love more trails, more riders, and more acceptance in the community. I don't think I'm alone, here.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by litespeedchick View Post
    I disagree about "other user groups" as well. Horses cause massive damage, way more than bikes could ever do.
    A single horse does cause way more damage than a single bike.
    Probably more that 10 bikes for that matter.
    However as a whole like mentioned it wouldn't me surprised if mountain bikes do cause more damage.

    That being said mountain bikers as a whole probably volunteer more time and money on to the trails than any other group. Of course we are also probably the number one users of the trails.

    Also keep in mind that I would imagine even though we do damage that if it was not for our use of the trails, many of them would also fade away since many of the more obscure ones do not get a lot of foot or equestrian traffic.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    I would still argue that the majority of trail damage is done by horses. The trails that I consider being the most damaged and unsustainable include Jim Branch in Dupont, Trace Ridge, and Upper Black Mountain/Clawhammer. My untrained eyes tell me that the ruts were originally caused by horses. While I realize that the nature of the trails would lead to erosion over time without any trail users, it's pretty obvious that it was horses that caused premature wear and tear. You can still see the hoof marks and shapes at the top of the ruts!

    I haven't been here all that long, and I'm assuming that other trails have undergone revisions and armoring (such as Ridgeline), but the most rutted out and damaged trails in my opinion just happen to see a relatively high number of equestrians.

  40. #40
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    Some of the most rutted trails I have seen never see a horse and some never see a bike or only seasonally see bikes. Go hike Cat Gap near the fish hatchery and you will know what I mean. It is a hike only trail except from Oct 15 through April 15 when it is open to bikes also. (that is just one of many examples).

    Also trails that see more equestrian traffic generally speaking also see more bike and hike traffic too. So that being said, you can't automatically point the finger.

    I would be curious to see what the per user impact is and a ratio of mountain bike traffic to equestrian traffic.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  41. #41
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    Cat Gap is far from eroded. But there are many hiking only trails that are severely eroded. Section 3 of the Art Loeb, for example, is full of erosion ditches that are often four feet deep and go on for hundreds of yards at a time. The erosion on that trail is similar to the erosion that is seen on Black Mtn. between Pressley Gap and the Turkey Pen Gap intersection with one big exception: the Art Loeb is not nearly as braided or wide in those erosion areas as Black Mtn. That stretch of Black is twenty feet wide in places with lines all over the place because mountain bikers have been leaving the trail due to the erosion and as a result a big section of the mountain is becoming one big erosion gully. Hikers on the Art Loeb stick to the erosion gullies (for the most part) and the erosion is limited to the trail itself (for the most part). Black Mtn. is quite simply an embarrassing mess. Cat Gap will eventually look the same way unless it sees maintenance and unless mountain bikers stop leaving the trail to avoid the water bars. The unwillingness of many mountain bikers to ride over obstacles or dismount for them is causing a lot of damage to our trails. Cutting water bars is one of the worst things you can do to a trail. The damage isn't done by singular users, it is done by mountain bikers as a group, and with heavy mountain bike traffic in the area damage is occurring at an alarming rate.

    We can try and insist and pretend that horses do more damage but there are a whole lot more bikes, and bike trails, than horses and at some point we are going to have to step up and try and lessen the impact our bikes have on the trails we travel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Due to some technical difficulty with my brain back in February, I am signed up for ORAMM. I figure with 500 people, there has to be at least one guy from Florida who shows up with the wrong gears and I pass him at the very end to come in 499th.
    Good luck in the race.
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    When did mountain bikers become lazy, pansies? Avoiding obstacles, water, water bars, mud, and anything that may be considered difficult. We seem to have become, at least to some degree, a group of whiny azz candya$$es.

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    Obstacles interupt my flow, brah. How am I supposed to ride the trail like a pump track if there's a water bar in my way? I mean, what do you expect me to do- develop some actual technical bike handling skills?

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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Obstacles interupt my flow, brah. How am I supposed to ride the trail like a pump track if there's a water bar in my way? I mean, what do you expect me to do- develop some actual technical bike handling skills?
    OMG! I know right. I just want to shred the mountain. You know attack the gnar with like minded shredders that are as cool as me.

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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    In all seriousness Mike Brown you bring up a valid point. That it would seem we have overwhelming numbers of uneducated, unskilled riders on our trails. The question is, what do we do about it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Cat Gap is far from eroded. But there are many hiking only trails that are severely eroded. Section 3 of the Art Loeb, for example, is full of erosion ditches that are often four feet deep and go on for hundreds of yards at a time. The erosion on that trail is similar to the erosion that is seen on Black Mtn. between Pressley Gap and the Turkey Pen Gap intersection with one big exception: the Art Loeb is not nearly as braided or wide in those erosion areas as Black Mtn. That stretch of Black is twenty feet wide in places with lines all over the place because mountain bikers have been leaving the trail due to the erosion and as a result a big section of the mountain is becoming one big erosion gully. Hikers on the Art Loeb stick to the erosion gullies (for the most part) and the erosion is limited to the trail itself (for the most part). Black Mtn. is quite simply an embarrassing mess. Cat Gap will eventually look the same way unless it sees maintenance and unless mountain bikers stop leaving the trail to avoid the water bars. The unwillingness of many mountain bikers to ride over obstacles or dismount for them is causing a lot of damage to our trails. Cutting water bars is one of the worst things you can do to a trail. The damage isn't done by singular users, it is done by mountain bikers as a group, and with heavy mountain bike traffic in the area damage is occurring at an alarming rate.

    We can try and insist and pretend that horses do more damage but there are a whole lot more bikes, and bike trails, than horses and at some point we are going to have to step up and try and lessen the impact our bikes have on the trails we travel.

    I agree with most of what you say DW but I would avoid the sweeping statement that Mountain bikes do more damage than horses on trails. Perhaps in your specific area but the research is showing the opposite is true on a whole.

    http://www.uvm.edu/~snrvtdc/trails/e...ctofhikers.pdf

    I do appreciate your comments on Black mountain. We did the 55k there a while back and was shocked at the level of erosion on that trail. At some point the FS will step in and close the trail. We had a similar situation where I live in where they closed an entire system (Telico) due to erosion concerns. While this was a bit different as it involved ORV trails it does show that when the FS gets a hair it can move very quickly to shut down systems.

    We need to police ourselves and respect the opportunity we have to ride these trails.
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    I definitely don't want to blame everything on horses. There is obviously a lot of damage caused by mountain bikers. Especially inexperienced riders. I wouldn't put lazy riders in there. I'm lazy, but I find it much more inconvenient to actually dismount and walk my bike rather than try to ride over something! We need inexperienced and beginner riders if we want mountain biking to continue to grow, much like we need racing. Unfortunately, many of the trails were designed without much thought about a multitude of trail users. It's the trails that need to be redesigned, like it or not. There will always (hopefully) by inexperienced mountain bikers, horses, and bad weather.

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    The change in new trail design I do not agree with , except on trails rated beginner/easy, is designed ride arounds. This debate has been re-hashed over and over again, but MOST people will not bother to learn the skills to ride a challenging section of trail if there's an easier option. The beauty of the rock gardens on Pilot is you HAVE to ride them or walk them- there's no easy option. Keep the ride-arounds to beginner/easy trails and choke the more/most difficult ones so that sustainable, challenging lines are the only options. That's how riders learn the skills- because they have to.
    To bring this thread back to topic, this applies to racers too. If a ride-around is faster, a racer will take it even if he/she has the skills to ride the more challenging line. Choke the more/most difficult trails down so that racers have to follow the challenging line. It's equal for everyone and, when done properly, can prevent trail creep, braiding, and all that other stuff that's "bad."

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    I don't want the technical obstacles removed, either. I completely agree about forcing people to stay on line, if possible. I was referring to designing the trails to handle erosion better. With trails like Trace Ridge and Black Mountain just running down the path of least resistance, it won't take long for the trail to rut out and erode away. I'm not saying the trails need to be easier. I'm saying they need to be designed to be sustainable for all users, including racers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Cat Gap is far from eroded. But there are many hiking only trails that are severely eroded.
    I know there are worse out there, I was just using it as one example.
    And there is a surprise mud hole that will get you towards the end that is a foot deep.
    I know, because when I sunk my front wheel to the axle, the bike stopped and I didn't.



    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    We can try and insist and pretend that horses do more damage but there are a whole lot more bikes, and bike trails, than horses and at some point we are going to have to step up and try and lessen the impact our bikes have on the trails we travel.
    My point exactly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orthoguy View Post
    I agree with most of what you say DW but I would avoid the sweeping statement that Mountain bikes do more damage than horses on trails. Perhaps in your specific area but the research is showing the opposite is true on a whole.

    http://www.uvm.edu/~snrvtdc/trails/e...ctofhikers.pdf

    I do appreciate your comments on Black mountain. We did the 55k there a while back and was shocked at the level of erosion on that trail. At some point the FS will step in and close the trail. We had a similar situation where I live in where they closed an entire system (Telico) due to erosion concerns. While this was a bit different as it involved ORV trails it does show that when the FS gets a hair it can move very quickly to shut down systems.

    We need to police ourselves and respect the opportunity we have to ride these trails.
    Like mentioned, Telico is a whole different ball game as it was an ORV trail system but what you are missing is that it had to do more with the trout than just erosion.
    You start running ORV's through streams all day long it does a lot to pollute the water quality.

    I doubt Black Mountain will get closed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I don't want the technical obstacles removed, either. I completely agree about forcing people to stay on line, if possible. I was referring to designing the trails to handle erosion better. With trails like Trace Ridge and Black Mountain just running down the path of least resistance, it won't take long for the trail to rut out and erode away. I'm not saying the trails need to be easier. I'm saying they need to be designed to be sustainable for all users, including racers.
    Unfortunately what you are asking for is a ton of work on a trail that is not only difficult to work but had to tools and other equipment too. Chances are that if Black Mountain ever takes that big of an undertaking, it will probably get "sanitized". Trace Ridge would be a bit easier to rework but I also feel that if they ever decide to do it, it will also be sanitized.
    Besides, I kind of like the ruts running down Trace Ridge. I am not a highly skilled rider and I have zero issues with them.
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    Re: Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Like mentioned, Telico is a whole different ball game as it was an ORV trail system but what you are missing is that it had to do more with the trout than just erosion.
    You start running ORV's through streams all day long it does a lot to pollute the water quality.

    I doubt Black Mountain will get closed.
    Given my involvement with the hearings concerning the closure of the Telico system I'll overlook your ignorant presumption that I am missing the point. For the record the issue was not driving ORVs through the streams. The issue was runoff from the erosion of the trails was causing increased silt in the streams that was adversely affecting the trout population.

    Also worth noting there has been numerous trail closings through the country due to erosion concerns most of which were not multi use trails. But if you say trails in our area are not going to get closed due to this issue.. Well hell, I guess I'll just stop being concerned.

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    There are too many races in the rain in Pisgah.

    Do all the promoters actively improve the trails they profit from?

  56. #56
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I definitely don't want to blame everything on horses. There is obviously a lot of damage caused by mountain bikers. Especially inexperienced riders. I wouldn't put lazy riders in there. I'm lazy, but I find it much more inconvenient to actually dismount and walk my bike rather than try to ride over something! We need inexperienced and beginner riders if we want mountain biking to continue to grow, much like we need racing. Unfortunately, many of the trails were designed without much thought about a multitude of trail users. It's the trails that need to be redesigned, like it or not. There will always (hopefully) by inexperienced mountain bikers, horses, and bad weather.
    You misunderstood me. Walking an obstacle is not lazy, riding around it/avoiding it is. Have you ever noticed how a trail balloons around a freaking mud puddle? Mountain shredders can't get muddy? The same thing occurs about pretty much anything that most riders seem to find too inconvenient, dirty, or difficult. Crazy. And I'm not so sure the sport needs to "grow", if this is the type of growth we're stuck with. Why does it need to grow at all. I'm thinking a little shrinkage would be nice.

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    Just to stir the pot...

    Isn't it the long distance racer/riders who want to take the most efficient path up the mountain a big part of the problem? It seems like if someone were to ride a rigid bike, ss, (or even a hard tail) less, rather than more, likely to ride over roots and rocks versus go around them? I wonder if the guys and gals who put in the most (40+ miles on a ride) tend to take the easiest line with the least resistance? Not hatin', just sayin'.

    Of course it is all about the individual rider and the ride. But in a race its about time, and the fastest most efficient line is often the easiest. Folks tend to train how they race. You know that line just outside the root zone....


    But yeah the Nubes go outside the lines too.


    Ride every rock, roll every root, because you can.
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    I'm thinking a little shrinkage would be nice.
    Said by no guy, ever...

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    ^^^
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by IoC View Post
    Said by no guy, ever...
    Ya know, it felt odd as a typed it. I gotta admit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L. View Post
    There are too many races in the rain in Pisgah.

    Do all the promoters actively improve the trails they profit from?
    I feel that 'dig', Steve.

    I was going to stay out of this conversation but as that is directed at me I'll defend myself.

    1. The USFS is probably going to require event cancellation (rain) insurance from promoters in the future, even though this is only my second rain year out of 11. Not sure how many, if any, of Todd's races have been rain-outs.

    2. Is two work days in six months (along with two nearly full time jobs and a three year old at home) enough trail work? Probably not. How many days would be enough in your opinion?
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  62. #62
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    Yes, more horses cause more damage than bikes. But when there are exponentially more bikes, and bike trails, in the woods than horses the damage caused by bikes quickly surpasses the damage caused by horses. This is very easy to see and observe in the Pisgah Ranger District. I can think of a couple of trails with horse damage and dozens of trails with substantial bike damage. But why does it really matter which user group causes the most damage anyway? Does saying "Yeah, we cause some damage, but horses cause more" do any good? All that does is try and differ blame and responsibility. At some point we are going to have to step up and take responsibility for our actions.

    Obstacles interupt my flow, brah. How am I supposed to ride the trail like a pump track if there's a water bar in my way? I mean, what do you expect me to do- develop some actual technical bike handling skills?
    Exactly.

    The change in new trail design I do not agree with , except on trails rated beginner/easy, is designed ride arounds. This debate has been re-hashed over and over again, but MOST people will not bother to learn the skills to ride a challenging section of trail if there's an easier option. The beauty of the rock gardens on Pilot is you HAVE to ride them or walk them- there's no easy option. Keep the ride-arounds to beginner/easy trails and choke the more/most difficult ones so that sustainable, challenging lines are the only options. That's how riders learn the skills- because they have to.
    To bring this thread back to topic, this applies to racers too. If a ride-around is faster, a racer will take it even if he/she has the skills to ride the more challenging line. Choke the more/most difficult trails down so that racers have to follow the challenging line. It's equal for everyone and, when done properly, can prevent trail creep, braiding, and all that other stuff that's "bad."
    Well said again. Unfortunately there are many people who disagree with this and advocate only for their own idea of what is an excellent trail which very often is a text book flow trail. Damage done by mountain bikers is glossed over as being okay because the trails are not 'sustainable'.

    In case of Black Mtn. I actually seriously had someone tell me the best thing to do to that trail would be to relocate the big problem stretch to a more sustainable alignment down near Clawhammer Rd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    You misunderstood me. Walking an obstacle is not lazy, riding around it/avoiding it is. Have you ever noticed how a trail balloons around a freaking mud puddle? Mountain shredders can't get muddy? The same thing occurs about pretty much anything that most riders seem to find too inconvenient, dirty, or difficult. Crazy. And I'm not so sure the sport needs to "grow", if this is the type of growth we're stuck with. Why does it need to grow at all. I'm thinking a little shrinkage would be nice.
    Gotcha. There are a ton of those extra wide mud puddles. I also get what you're saying about growth maybe being a not so good thing. We're in a dangerous spot, right now. Too big to go unnoticed, but too small to really force much support in the political arena. There are plenty of riders, but we're too unorganized to get things done. I love the technical trails. It just seems like many of the technical trails are eroding beyond feasible repair. I hope I'm wrong.

  64. #64
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L. View Post
    There are too many races in the rain in Pisgah.

    Do all the promoters actively improve the trails they profit from?
    Do you?

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    Upper Black Mountain and Trace Ridge trails do not directly drain into a creek. As such, I personally feel that there is a much much much better chance of the USFS sponsoring major work or recommending closure on those trails that are directly sediment loading creeks (Avery, Spencer, Cat Gap, Long Branch for example) long before they sponsor major work/ recommend closure on trails that aren't.

    Protecting natural resources like clean fresh water is always going to (and, IMO, should always) have a higher priority over user experience on trails.

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    Is it too late to train for this? Dogging on race promoters for not doing trail work? how about the people posting on this forum? or people in general? I guarantee there are a horde of folks who ride muddy trails that never do trail work......

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    To quote the owner of a shop in VA....

    "What happened to trail work down there? Aren't there like forty shops? The technicality of Pisgah is erosion."

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    Quote Originally Posted by park baker View Post
    To quote the owner of a shop in VA....

    "What happened to trail work down there? Aren't there like forty shops? The technicality of Pisgah is erosion."
    Well, to tell the truth, we are letting the trails erode to stop people from Va and other areas coming down because they just come here and ride and never do any trail work.
    Once the tourists stop coming, we will fix the trails but keep it a big secret while b!tching and complaining how horrible they are.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L. View Post
    There are too many races in the rain in Pisgah.

    Do all the promoters actively improve the trails they profit from?
    Doesn't seem to bother you when there is a photo of a short stay hardtail to post on facebook.

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    Marcus,

    I forget your actual name, so please remind us all of it.

    I don't see how a picture of a short-stay hardtail has anything to to do with hundreds of racers riding already-soggy trails. Please explain.

    I wasn't sure of what each race promoter did for the local trails.

    Apparently, some do more than others. I'd rather each adjusted their behavior so that they felt comfortable about how much they gave/took from the forest, but I guess that's up to them.

    Nobody seems to care.

  71. #71
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L. View Post
    Marcus,

    I forget your actual name, so please remind us all of it.

    I don't see how a picture of a short-stay hardtail has anything to to do with hundreds of racers riding already-soggy trails. Please explain.

    I wasn't sure of what each race promoter did for the local trails.

    Apparently, some do more than others. I'd rather each adjusted their behavior so that they felt comfortable about how much they gave/took from the forest, but I guess that's up to them.

    Nobody seems to care.
    It seems obvious to me. Promoters make money by using the forest and so do you. Promoters do trail work and you whine. Always whining. I'm not sure what you go for local trails, other than capitalize on them. Is this not why you moved here?

  72. #72
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    So if you were entered in a race and it happened to rain the day before and the trails were soggy would pull yourself out and forfeit the fees you paid, race but stay an extra day to fix the damage you did or race and expect somebody else to repair the damage?

    Although I think a lot of the responsibility does fall on the shoulders of the promoter to make responsible decisions, it does not fall solely on his shoulders.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  73. #73
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    kjlued, No, people will not deny themselves something they want, despite the damage it may do. It's a nasty human tendency. We believe ourselves to be good, and therefore we decide that everything we do is also good. And, obviously, everything we do is not always good(;

    Some races need to be cancelled/postponed when the trails are wet. People will be disappointed, occasionally. Money will be lost, occasionally. There are disappointments in life, occasionally, and that's OK.

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    Why don't they have xc races that's not in national forests anymore ( sugar, beech, etsu, and so on)? Used to have a good turn out for the old cane creek series plus when u have xc, dh, and ds races all the same weekend at the same venue it turns into a weekend long fat tire fest.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L. View Post
    kjlued, No, people will not deny themselves something they want, despite the damage it may do. It's a nasty human tendency. We believe ourselves to be good, and therefore we decide that everything we do is also good. And, obviously, everything we do is not always good(;

    Some races need to be cancelled/postponed when the trails are wet. People will be disappointed, occasionally. Money will be lost, occasionally. There are disappointments in life, occasionally, and that's OK.
    Which races? Specifically.

    Can you show me damage caused by pmbar or the 111 directly related to the rain? There is plenty of damage that is caused by riders leaving the trail, but I don't know of any caused by riding in the rain at those events.

    It is very clear that you favor a certain promoter over another. Do you remember that it rained really hard for all of the first day of the stage race last year? Should that race have been cancelled?

    As I've said many times, mountain bikers with bad form and minimal skills who insist on leaving the trail are causing the most damage to our trails. I can take you out to trails and show you specific evidence of this.

    A race like pmbar does not need to be cancelled because it sometimes rains in a temperate rain forest.

    As others have pointed out you profit directly from our area trails as well. Stop your whining and go ahead and move to New Jersey instead of just talking about it. See what happens to your brand and sales when your bikes go from being made in Pisgah to being made in New Jersey.
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    My name is Randy. My point was that I see a lot of stickels roaming the start line at these races, and I have noticed them posted in podium photos of the exact events you critique. Many of us in some way profit from the trails around us, and I find your opinion about this to be surprising. I would never have seen or heard of your company if not for these events. I have recommended your work to many riders in and out of town, based entirely on the effectiveness of those frames in pisgah.

    Personally I have ridden enough in the rain and skipped enough trail work days that I would feel hypocritical or judgmental to question anyone else's time investment in trail work. Its just bikes man. It takes organization and time to pull together an event where hundreds of us can ride together. Have some fun with it.




    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L. View Post
    Marcus,

    I forget your actual name, so please remind us all of it.

    I don't see how a picture of a short-stay hardtail has anything to to do with hundreds of racers riding already-soggy trails. Please explain.

    I wasn't sure of what each race promoter did for the local trails.

    Apparently, some do more than others. I'd rather each adjusted their behavior so that they felt comfortable about how much they gave/took from the forest, but I guess that's up to them.

    Nobody seems to care.

  77. #77
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    It sounds like it rained at ORAMM last weekend.

    Should the race have been cancelled?

    At what point do you tell 500 racers, most from out of town, many staying in hotels and eating in local restaurants with $70,000+ in paid entry fees, that the race is cancelled because it is raining? I think the top of Curtis Creek Rd. would be the perfect time to break the news
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    Why don't promoters charge an extra $5 per entry that goes directly to trail maintenance? That way, the racers don't have to worry about any races getting cancelled, promoters can focus on putting on a great event, and it isn't going to lose the rest of us our trails.

    I mean, if you enter any type of competition or "gathering", who gets the money and who takes care of the venue? The venue always makes money from the events, and is generally responsible for any clean up and maintenance after (although many places put cleanup in the rental contract). Why not give some of the money to the forest/maintenance crew so they can maintain the trails? It isn't like another $5 on a $50 dollar entry fee is going to make anybody second guess their entry if they know where it's going. At least I would hope not. Think about it. Ten percent of $70,000 is $7,000 towards trail maintenance. You think that money would help our trails?

    If racers and promoters don't want to do trail work or cancel for inclement weather, the least they can do is give some of the proceeds to those that will take care of the trails. I'm honestly mildly surprised the forest service allows races at all, but that's another can of worms...

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    It sounds like it rained at ORAMM last weekend.

    Should the race have been cancelled?

    At what point do you tell 500 racers, most from out of town, many staying in hotels and eating in local restaurants with $70,000+ in paid entry fees, that the race is cancelled because it is raining? I think the top of Curtis Creek Rd. would be the perfect time to break the news
    I was going to say something very similar but you did it so much better than I was so I will just +1.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Why don't promoters charge an extra $5 per entry that goes directly to trail maintenance? That way, the racers don't have to worry about any races getting cancelled, promoters can focus on putting on a great event, and it isn't going to lose the rest of us our trails.
    Do you think promoters just collect all the entry fees and go home with them without already paying the forest service a fee for being allowed to hold the event?
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Do you think promoters just collect all the entry fees and go home with them without already paying the forest service a fee for being allowed to hold the event?
    I have no idea how much the fee is, but maybe it could be a little more? I've never promoted an event before. I assume there's a fee, but maybe it's not enough. Just a suggestion. Sorry I posted.

  82. #82
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    Oh come on. How much do you think a Forest Service permit costs? Maybe $1000.00. What is going to happen is, if the trails really get trashed and are not sustainable, the Forest Service will close them. Then we are all SOL. I do races but I cancel when the weather sucks. It isn't fun, it trashes the trails, and my bike. They should be made to have an alternate course when the weather has been crappy and it will be a mudfest. No one wins with that scenario. Let the flaming begin.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I have no idea how much the fee is, but maybe it could be a little more? I've never promoted an event before. I assume there's a fee, but maybe it's not enough. Just a suggestion. Sorry I posted.
    I don't know either.
    Maybe it isn't enough, but maybe they donate money on top of the mandatory fees.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertdavid View Post
    Oh come on. How much do you think a Forest Service permit costs? Maybe $1000.00. What is going to happen is, if the trails really get trashed and are not sustainable, the Forest Service will close them. Then we are all SOL. I do races but I cancel when the weather sucks. It isn't fun, it trashes the trails, and my bike. They should be made to have an alternate course when the weather has been crappy and it will be a mudfest. No one wins with that scenario. Let the flaming begin.
    I don't know what the fees are but minimal impact fees with estimated work hours that are > 36 and ≤ 50 is around $1000.

    I have no idea where races fall but I am sure it has more to do with the course and number of participants.

    That being said, if you are volunteering or donating to trail work than you should have no shame in riding in the rain during a race. I also highly doubt we will be seeing trail closings in Pisgah due to race impact.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  85. #85
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    Lots of flawed logic here.

    First off the fee and someone correct me if I am wrong is $90 + about 3% of the gross reciepts.

    Second and correct me if I am wrong again, but zero of that money that the FS receives goes towards trail maintenance. Specifically to fix damage after a race. Sorry but the FS just doesn't have the resources not is that how they operate to my knowledge.

    It's a bit a a double edged sword. On one hand it brings attention to the trails and the need to do trail maintenance. The opposite is if people arent aware and using ot there is no one to fight to protect it.

    Unfortunately it seems that funding and volunteering for the maintenance is severely lacking. Unlike trout unlimited, local IMBA and SORBA seem to have some issues executing a viable and active trail maintenance solution. I'm also on no way knocking PAS or SORBA's efforts. Actually the reverse. While the FS has historically made it difficult to volunteer I also know that it's hard to get a skeleton crew to volunteer on any given Thursday.

    I wish I had more time and energy to do so. Sadly the reality is life and other responsibilities often take precedence. Which is probably the same for many other potential volunteers. Maybe the solution is a larger pool of potential volunteers or fundraising and have contractors perform the work based on SORBA/IMBA guidelines. Hopefully ones that aren't about flow but that's for another thread.

    To answer the original question. Yes I think there are too many races in the national forest. Personally I have no desire to race and I just can't see the long term benefit of having hundreds of bikers wear out an already stressed resource for the sake of ego. Quite honestly, and this probably won't be popular but I feel racing in the national forear contradicts their mission statement. At least my interpretation of it and apparently they have changed it recently.

    Either way, I stand behind my opinion that racing does little to preserve our trails and resources. I would welcome the promoters and benefactors of these races to prove me wrong by creating a trust or fund for trail maintenance and improvements that are real and guarantee the long term use of the trails for all users.

    They seem to sell out almost instantly why not charge $20 more and put that in trust dedicated to trail improvement?
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    Lots of flawed logic here.

    First off the fee and someone correct me if I am wrong is $90 + about 3% of the gross reciepts.

    Second and correct me if I am wrong again, but zero of that money that the FS receives goes towards trail maintenance. Specifically to fix damage after a race. Sorry but the FS just doesn't have the resources not is that how they operate to my knowledge.

    It's a bit a a double edged sword. On one hand it brings attention to the trails and the need to do trail maintenance. The opposite is if people arent aware and using ot there is no one to fight to protect it.

    Unfortunately it seems that funding and volunteering for the maintenance is severely lacking. Unlike trout unlimited, local IMBA and SORBA seem to have some issues executing a viable and active trail maintenance solution. I'm also on no way knocking PAS or SORBA's efforts. Actually the reverse. While the FS has historically made it difficult to volunteer I also know that it's hard to get a skeleton crew to volunteer on any given Thursday.

    I wish I had more time and energy to do so. Sadly the reality is life and other responsibilities often take precedence. Which is probably the same for many other potential volunteers. Maybe the solution is a larger pool of potential volunteers or fundraising and have contractors perform the work based on SORBA/IMBA guidelines. Hopefully ones that aren't about flow but that's for another thread.

    To answer the original question. Yes I think there are too many races in the national forest. Personally I have no desire to race and I just can't see the long term benefit of having hundreds of bikers wear out an already stressed resource for the sake of ego. Quite honestly, and this probably won't be popular but I feel racing in the national forear contradicts their mission statement. At least my interpretation of it and apparently they have changed it recently.

    Either way, I stand behind my opinion that racing does little to preserve our trails and resources. I would welcome the promoters and benefactors of these races to prove me wrong by creating a trust or fund for trail maintenance and improvements that are real and guarantee the long term use of the trails for all users.

    They seem to sell out almost instantly why not charge $20 more and put that in trust dedicated to trail improvement?
    Well said!!!

  87. #87
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    I purposely destroyed all the trails that day aboard my short-stay Stickel.

    I am to blame for this entire thing. I am truly sorry.

    Hate me, not each other.



    BTW: Maybe when I get to work, I'll have time for a more thoughtful post.
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  88. #88
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    I can't think of a way to produce a more thoughtful post without writing a book. I'll leave it at this:

    What's the purpose of our national forest? Personal playground for locals? Tourist attraction to boost the local economy? Stash of trees to sell to loggers?

    What does more damage? 150 riders coming down Black Mountain in the rain or thousands of gallons of water being channeled right down a poorly designed trail (that was never built with bikes in mind)? 150 riders coming down Black is what % of total riders that come down Black in a year without paying any "fees" to maintain the trail?

    What's the best way to solve the problem? Close a trail to bikes? Stop allowing races and let riders enjoy it while mother nature continues to "modify" it? Come in and do a reroute, make it sustainable, and end up with another redone Squirrel type trail?

    If there's 1,500-2,000 racers (in the Pisgah Proper) paying $10 each in trail fees that will go directly to fixing issues, how far does $15-20,000 get you when you pay pro trail builders to come do the work? They ain't cheap. No knock on them, equipment, man hours, getting all that shit up in the woods....

    How much money comes into the local economy due to the races in the area? How many people come to Pisgah the first time because of an event? Do they return? Do they tell friends... what's that economic impact?
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    How much money comes into the local economy due to the races in the area? How many people come to Pisgah the first time because of an event? Do they return? Do they tell friends... what's that economic impact?
    Sounds like an excellent thesis for a college or advanced High School student with lots of time on his or her hands. I've heard there are some good colleges around that benefit from these trails... maybe some sort of study is already underway or has been done in the past.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

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  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by extrmtao View Post
    Sounds like an excellent thesis for a college or advanced High School student with lots of time on his or her hands. I've heard there are some good colleges around that benefit from these trails... maybe some sort of study is already underway or has been done in the past.
    SRSLY.

    So many things to consider in this argument, and so many who only want to consider what's important to them.
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  91. #91
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    t's nice that we can have a discussion. Trying to declare me as a foe of Eric is goofy and a cheap way of trying to dismiss the argument. I'm not on one 'team' or the other.

  92. #92
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    I will say this. The mountain bike community in this area is the most disorganized I have ever encountered. There are so many riders, but everybody has their own clique or group that they ride with. SORBA tries, but they just don't have any real power. Maybe most riders just take all the trails for granted, but other areas have an organized effort to create, maintain, and promote trails. They have races, but they also have people working on trail maintenance.

    Maybe we just have too many trails here. Resources are spread too thin to do much good. I've volunteered for trail work a few times the last year or so, and there haven't been more than 9 or 10 volunteers. How many people ride mountain bikes in the area? Nine or 10 are volunteering? That's ridiculous. Perhaps to go along with raised race entrance fees that go directly to trail maintenance, the forest service needs to find a way to charge usage of the forest. I know there are legal issues and ethical issues there, but the lack of funding, volunteers, and respect for the trails is really starting to tick me off. Not that anybody cares how I feel, but we need to get our crap together and start making a difference.

    You want to race (or ride) when it's wet? Somebody needs to repair the trails, whether the damage caused is minor compared to the average annual rainfall is really irrelevant. Riding when the trails are muddy leaves the trails more damaged than they were before the race. Racers pay the fee. Promoters do what ever it is they do with the money. The trails get nothing. I get nothing other than a trail that has more ruts than it did. I can't even maintain the trails that I think need help. I'm severely limited to working with organized trail work groups. I couldn't help more if I wanted to.

    Are there too many races in Pisgah? If nothing is being done to repair damaged trails, then the answer is "absolutely". Just like all the trail users, if you aren't going to donate time or money to the forest, then get the hell out. I don't know how many times I've seen that bumper sticker, read that shirt, or heard somebody say that around here as a "Yankee", but I think it applies here.

    If you don't take care of it, then prepare to lose it. It's common sense, and it will happen here. Like it or not, it's just a matter of time. Now by all means, please go back to justifying your decisions. That's what these forums have turned into, have they not? I'm sure I'll be seeing you all this weekend at a volunteer trail maintenance work day.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I will say this. The mountain bike community in this area is the most disorganized I have ever encountered. There are so many riders, but everybody has their own clique or group that they ride with. SORBA tries, but they just don't have any real power. Maybe most riders just take all the trails for granted, but other areas have an organized effort to create, maintain, and promote trails. They have races, but they also have people working on trail maintenance.
    You are absolutely correct. When you consider all the trails we have here, all the recreational riders and all the mountain bike industry in the area you would think that the mountain bike community would have some sort of organization and unified voice. But we don't.

    Maybe we just have too many trails here. Resources are spread too thin to do much good. I've volunteered for trail work a few times the last year or so, and there haven't been more than 9 or 10 volunteers. How many people ride mountain bikes in the area? Nine or 10 are volunteering? That's ridiculous. Perhaps to go along with raised race entrance fees that go directly to trail maintenance, the forest service needs to find a way to charge usage of the forest. I know there are legal issues and ethical issues there, but the lack of funding, volunteers, and respect for the trails is really starting to tick me off. Not that anybody cares how I feel, but we need to get our crap together and start making a difference.
    I do not like, or agree with the too many trails argument. That is the same argument the USFS has tried to use to close trails and is very similar to the SORBA position of "less trails, but more excellent ones." Instead of too many trails I think we have too many apathetic trail users.

    The lack of respect for our trails really ticks me off. Often it down right disgusts me. Riding in the PRD is not as much fun for me any more because of the condition of the trails (especially the damage caused by mountain bikers).

    Are there too many races in Pisgah? If nothing is being done to repair damaged trails, then the answer is "absolutely".
    Once again I'll ask for specific examples of damage to trails directly caused by racing. I'm sure if you went out to Kitsuma right now you would see damage from ORAMM but aren't sure where you will find damage from PMBAR or the 111. Maybe the top of Laurel? And the damage done at ORAMM this year will be repaired by BRA or washed away with the next heavy rain.

    I can go out and show you damage caused by mountain bikers not racing all over the forest.

    Maybe instead of blaming races and race promoters and every one else who profits off our trails we need to take a look in the mirror and start blaming ourselves.

    If you don't take care of it, then prepare to lose it. It's common sense, and it will happen here. Like it or not, it's just a matter of time. Now by all means, please go back to justifying your decisions. That's what these forums have turned into, have they not? I'm sure I'll be seeing you all this weekend at a volunteer trail maintenance work day.
    Trying to throw jabs about who does trail work and who does not is not going to fix anything. You are really onto something with this post but guilt trips are not going to organize our community or develop a plan for successfully maintaining our trails.








    Instead of asking if there are too many races in Pisgah I'll ask the following question:

    Are there too many mountain bikers in Pisgah?
    More Trails, Not Less

    Adventures in Pisgah

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Instead of asking if there are too many races in Pisgah I'll ask the following question:

    Are there too many mountain bikers in Pisgah?
    I'll answer with this:

    There are too many mountain bikers in Pisgah that do not give back to the trails.

  95. #95
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    Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I'll answer with this:

    There are too many mountain bikers in Pisgah that do not give back to the trails.
    And I will ask you this:

    Why do you think that is?

  96. #96
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    This is my opinion only, but it's based on a little bit of experience.

    I think a primary reason for the dis-jointed-ness of our community is that the people who most seem to think should be leading (business owners/managers and race promoters) are in competition with each other. They have a hard time playing nice with each other, so their customers have a hard time playing nice with each other. Yes, Todd does a ton of work to prepare trails for races, Mike and Claudia have done more for trails over the decades than anybody else, and Chris works at Cane Creek. Who's actually made trail work for the common good part of their business model? Nobody. Why? It doesn't directly create profit or generate new customers, so why should they dedicate their WORK time to something that doesn't directly benefit their business?

    Moreover, our local trail contractors are either not allowed to lead trail work due to conflict of interest concerns and/or can be too rigid in their usually-right opinions to accommodate the wishes, opinions, or desires of many riders. This creates more alienation in the riding community.

    The only way for actual progress to be made is for individuals to put aside their personal interests and agendas and work together towards a collective good. What evidence do I see that this is likely to happen any time soon? Very little here (or anywhere else in society on any issue). We're all very selfish.

    Please understand I'm not pointing fingers at any business owners or promoters. We're all SUPER busy people who have to prioritize our lives around family, work, home, and, yes, fun. When trail work does not fit into any of those categories, it doesn't get done. Sh!t, there's a TON of drain clearing that needs to be done at Richmond Hill right now...what am I doing this weekend? Going camping with my wife. What did I do last weekend? Went to a friend's lake house and had an awesome time. These things are going to continue to happen and trail WORK is going to get done when it gets done (at least by me).

    One way this could all change is if the USFS itself could focus on trail work and lead trail work days themselves, including opening trail work to the public so long as USFS staff was there to make sure work was done within the rules. They're the neutral party in this arena who could, realistically, make trail WORK part of their JOBS. That, unfortunately, is not going to happen under the current management plan, with current staffing assignments, and/or in a climate of limited funding.

    Enough rambling, gotta get to WORK.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    And I will ask you this:

    Why do you think that is?
    my $0.02: people are more interested in maintaining things that they feel belong to them. Few land managers in this region have ever given their constituency any sense of ownership of the trails, and in fact have made it seem like we have *no* control over their future at all, ought to be kissing their feet that they're still open, and will be duly notified when decisions are made (now shut up). For that reason, I think people have an overall defeatist attitude about regional trails in general - which leads to people neglecting them. At least that's what I've gathered in talking to people, and I have those feelings myself. Pisgah is at the heart of this problem, with it legacy of eroded logging skid paths everywhere that NO one alive today had anything to do with creating being the bulk of what's open to bikes.

    Look at places where the riding public was actively involved in creating new trails with an effort made toward sustainability, and I think you'll see a bigger maintenance community as well (see: jackrabbit trails for instance). Say what you will about the terrain but there's an example of a group who cared enough to create them, worked hard to do so, and they're meticulously maintained (as of a year ago, at least).

  98. #98
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    Well said Mike Brown!

    I agree that we do not give back near as much as we need to, but we have to be allowed the opportunity to be effective.

    I signed up for the PAS Pisgah trail work crew the first year it was in service, then the USFS handed out our allowed work dates/times. It just did not work with my work/family schedule. Some of us work way more hours than we should, but that is just the nature of my trade. Which in turn leaves less time than desired to spend with the family, which is a priority to me. After a summer without making a SINGLE work day, I gave up my spot hoping someone else with more free time could better serve.

    The number of people they allowed PAS to do trail work in Pisgah is ridiculous given the amount of trails. If they would open up more volunteer days to the general public while being oversee by a USFS employee, things would be a lot better and more of us would be able to make these said work days. Hopefully we will one day have this opportunity!
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  99. #99
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    Re: Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    So are the promoters doing trail work? Fair question.

    And is it usually before or after a race? Not knocking them but they in most cases profit directly from the use of trails.

    If they make the call to run it, shouldn't they be responsible for the damage done? Just like Eric was for the Enduro.

    I personally don't know of any races in Pisgah proper that caused severe damage. Especially compared to the Exterra fiasco in SC that trashed an entire course.


    It seems like check point type races may have less impact than a prescribed or multi lap route.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  100. #100
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    Re: Are there too many races in Pisgah?

    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    Well said Mike Brown!

    I agree that we do not give back near as much as we need to, but we have to be allowed the opportunity to be effective.

    I signed up for the PAS Pisgah trail work crew the first year it was in service, then the USFS handed out our allowed work dates/times. It just did not work with my work/family schedule. Some of us work way more hours than we should, but that is just the nature of my trade. Which in turn leaves less time than desired to spend with the family, which is a priority to me. After a summer without making a SINGLE work day, I gave up my spot hoping someone else with more free time could better serve.

    The number of people they allowed PAS to do trail work in Pisgah is ridiculous given the amount of trails. If they would open up more volunteer days to the general public while being oversee by a USFS employee, things would be a lot better and more of us would be able to make these said work days. Hopefully we will one day have this opportunity!
    PAS has a great thing going with the USFS. I know this because I asked the USFS personally and had a in depth discussion with local and regional officials. The only people harboring a grudge with PAS is few members of this forum.

    If you want to volunteer in PNF it is now pretty easy. PAS can have as many volunteers as they want. You have to sign up, then they send the district ranger a list for him to sign off on when they get a reasonable number (10-20 vols?)

    There are usually multiple works days a week. And there usually on their own, meaning that the USFS doesn't usually have a representative on site. Work does have to be done under the supervision of an approved trail crew leader.

    And DW

    Mountain bikers don't have a unified voice because mountain bikers don't have a unified views.

    And if you think that PNF has too many mountain bikers now, just wait 10 years.



    For now, like it or not, SORBA/IMBA is the best representation you have as a trail user.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

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