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  1. #1
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    Trail maintenance primer

    Pretty good short article on trail maintenance found here:

    Friday Five: trail

  2. #2
    The Tassajara died.
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    Trail maintenance primer

    Worth reading, regardless of your time spent in the sport.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the link Woody. Amazing how many folks use our trails and how few help maintain them. Gotta a chuckle out of the last sentence.

    "Remember, there are no such things as trail fairies/gnomes/elves and if you say you haven’t got time to donate to the trails you ride but you still ride them, then I curse you with a thousand flat tires."

  4. #4
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Thanks! Short but sweet.

  5. #5
    drunken pirate
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    Not a bad article. But far from comprehensive.

    I have to take issue with the idea that everyone who uses trails needs to help maintain them. Cursing someone who doesn't do trail maintenance with a thousand flat tires, or anything else, is a very narrow minded and self indulgent sentiment. Not everyone who uses trails has the time to do trail work. I know many people who are lucky if they make it out into the woods to recreate - finding the time to get out and do trail work is hard when they can hardly find the time to get on a trail to hike, bike, run, whatever...

    What is the correct ratio of trail work to trail use that trail users should maintain? For every ten hours spent recreating trails should one hour be spent doing maintenance?

    Talking about 'trail karma' and other such nonsense is just another way to inflate one's own ego.
    More Trails, Not Less

    Adventures in Pisgah

  6. #6
    Big Mac
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    Trail maintenance primer

    Yep, pretty polarizing. And why? What does this stuff achieve?

  7. #7
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    quoted from the article:
    "Sinewy, snaking brown ribbons of trail are what we look for. The singletrack experience is what we look for"

    This guy does not speak for me when he says WE. IMHO singletrack is highly overated. It can be pretty and works well as a means to get from point A to point B. But really, how long did you play with that slot car race track you had as a kid and how much fun was it? For me, not that much. Singletrack is the way the trail fairies, (that do not exist) control the way, the where and the how we ride. Singletrack is to Mountain Biking what organized religion is to sex. Its the means to control it, take the fun out it and make you feel guilty about doing it.

  8. #8
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    Yes very narrow minded and self indulgent, my bad for thinking of protecting our trails and giving back. You got it all figured out Clay. Way to justify not stepping up for the good of very thing you love. You are a role model for forest users everywhere.

    Sigh, good friend once said "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you...." If you don't get what trail maintenance is all about then there is nothing to convince you other wise. If you are ok with just using the forest and never giving back, go with it and I wish you all the best.

  9. #9
    Big Mac
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    Trail maintenance primer

    For the record, I do some fashion of "maintenance" just about every time I ride. You can climb down from your pedestal now. Thanks.

  10. #10
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snototter View Post
    Yes very narrow minded and self indulgent, my bad for thinking of protecting our trails and giving back. You got it all figured out Clay. Way to justify not stepping up for the good of very thing you love. You are a role model for forest users everywhere.

    Sigh, good friend once said "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you...." If you don't get what trail maintenance is all about then there is nothing to convince you other wise. If you are ok with just using the forest and never giving back, go with it and I wish you all the best.
    Just because YOU chose to use some of your free time to do trail work does not mean that other trail users are obligated to do trail work. I could explain that to you but you still won't understand it.

    I've stepped up for the "good of the very thing I love" before. And if you want to know why I stopped doing trail work with PAS here are two very specific reasons:

    - Myself, and others, were told by multiple PAS BOD board members in official emails that we were free to do any trail work we wanted, except chain saw work, on our own as "Good Stewards." That was a lie. Van Rogers, when he left his role as PAS president, decided to report at least one trail user for doing illegal trail work. Someone admitted to clearing briars on Avery Creek trail and Van ran to the FS and reported this "Good Steward" action and the trail user was contacted by the FS and warned that what he was doing was illegal. Since then we have learned what we were told by Chuck Ramsey was not true at all.

    - Last year Chris Strout held three meetings to discuss trail work (I was at all three, how many did you attend, Greg?). It was only at the last meeting that we were actually allowed to discuss anything (first two meetings were just listening to Chris talk). At the end of the meeting we were told that Chris would draft a "trail work philosophy" as well as come up with some sort of very general trail work plan for the trails PAS has adopted. I'm still waiting to see what he comes up with. In the meantime I have better things to do with my time than worry about rerouting Trace Ridge... A lot of people went to those three meetings - how many of the attendees are regulars at your trail work days?

    Of course I could do trail work on my own with FS approval but the truth is I just have too much going on in my life to make that sort of commitment right now. My life isn't nearly as complicated as some people's so I know I'm not the only one who can cite "too busy" as an excuse for not doing trail work.

    And if you really want to accuse me of "only using the forest and never giving back" I'm going to remind you that you really do not know me at all or what I do when I am out using the forest. Those who actually know me know that I often go well out of my way to remove any litter I find. Every time I am out one of my goals is to leave with more than I came with in the form of trash. Does that count as giving back? Is doing trail work the only thing that makes one a role model for other trail users? I assume from your vantage point all that makes one a role model is trail work and other things, like proper trail etiquette, just don't count. I'm not trying to play a game with you to prove that I "give back". I really don't give a sh!t what others think.

    Your attitude is indeed very polarizing. You are not winning any new trail workers by trying to bully and guilt them into doing trail work. When you realize that you will be on your way to recruiting more help.

    But since you are adamant about your stance answer me this one question:

    What is the correct ratio of trail work to trail use that trail users should maintain?
    More Trails, Not Less

    Adventures in Pisgah

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Just because YOU chose to use some of your free time to do trail work does not mean that other trail users are obligated to do trail work. I could explain that to you but you still won't understand it.

    I've stepped up for the "good of the very thing I love" before. And if you want to know why I stopped doing trail work with PAS here are two very specific reasons:

    - Myself, and others, were told by multiple PAS BOD board members in official emails that we were free to do any trail work we wanted, except chain saw work, on our own as "Good Stewards." That was a lie. Van Rogers, when he left his role as PAS president, decided to report at least one trail user for doing illegal trail work. Someone admitted to clearing briars on Avery Creek trail and Van ran to the FS and reported this "Good Steward" action and the trail user was contacted by the FS and warned that what he was doing was illegal. Since then we have learned what we were told by Chuck Ramsey was not true at all.

    - Last year Chris Strout held three meetings to discuss trail work (I was at all three, how many did you attend, Greg?). It was only at the last meeting that we were actually allowed to discuss anything (first two meetings were just listening to Chris talk). At the end of the meeting we were told that Chris would draft a "trail work philosophy" as well as come up with some sort of very general trail work plan for the trails PAS has adopted. I'm still waiting to see what he comes up with. In the meantime I have better things to do with my time than worry about rerouting Trace Ridge... A lot of people went to those three meetings - how many of the attendees are regulars at your trail work days?

    Of course I could do trail work on my own with FS approval but the truth is I just have too much going on in my life to make that sort of commitment right now. My life isn't nearly as complicated as some people's so I know I'm not the only one who can cite "too busy" as an excuse for not doing trail work.

    And if you really want to accuse me of "only using the forest and never giving back" I'm going to remind you that you really do not know me at all or what I do when I am out using the forest. Those who actually know me know that I often go well out of my way to remove any litter I find. Every time I am out one of my goals is to leave with more than I came with in the form of trash. Does that count as giving back? Is doing trail work the only thing that makes one a role model for other trail users? I assume from your vantage point all that makes one a role model is trail work and other things, like proper trail etiquette, just don't count. I'm not trying to play a game with you to prove that I "give back". I really don't give a sh!t what others think.

    Your attitude is indeed very polarizing. You are not winning any new trail workers by trying to bully and guilt them into doing trail work. When you realize that you will be on your way to recruiting more help.

    But since you are adamant about your stance answer me this one question:

    What is the correct ratio of trail work to trail use that trail users should maintain?



    Thanks Clay, that is all that needed to be said!


    PS to answer your question there is no "ratio". If you have time please consider helping your local trails.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    What is the correct ratio of trail work to trail use that trail users should maintain?
    If I were president of a trail club, I would be ecstatic if every member were able to put in 8 hours a year at their favorite venue regardless of their use. If you are a member or ever thought of being a member of a trail club, you must have some vested interest in trails regardless of the time you spend on these trails. However... if there is one thing to remember, somebody is always gonna hate. Leave the trail as it is <--- I hate that stupid washed out POS trail. Alter the trail <-- It was better before, why did they touch it? Lose trail <-- Why the hell are they taking our trails? Make a new trail <-- That design sucks and I don't like it, I'm gonna tell Mom. We are very lucky in this area though, we have many trails. A trail for almost every personality disorder I would argue... We'll all be old hats someday slapping each other on the backs saying "remember when...."
    BS'ing less, riding more.

    Supporting PAS
    Upstate SORBA
    SORBA

  13. #13
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    When we had trail work days that we could advertise to the general public weeks/months in advance, we would often get 15-30 people out. The day to dial in Green's Lick had 120 (and something like that day probably needs to happen again.)
    But, the current "registered volunteers only" process creates a few extra relatively simple hoops to jump through...but just those simple hoops are enough to stop most volunteers.
    I'm not saying those public days were perfect (far from it) but they did encourage the casual volunteer's participation.

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