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  1. #1
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    COTA's Official Directional Trails Plan

    The Directional Trails Plan, go on your ride, when you want and have minimal interruptions of your ride.

    What if you decided to go for a ride in the Philís complex and rode from Philís Trailhead up to the 300 road and back and only saw a few other riders. In recent years this has become less likely on any given day. More often, more of us are choosing to drive to other trailheads rather than Philís to avoid conflicts and interruptions on daily rides.

    COTA has developed a pro-active, user-based initiative to preserve and enhance the user experience in the ever more popular Philís Trail Complex.

    The Plan will be implement on the ground by April 5th.

    What are the routes?
    • Phil's Trail Complex: Benís Trail to Philís Trail. Benís will be uphill only from Philís trailhead to Road 300. Philís will be downhill only from the three way intersection at Kentís (#18) to Philís trailhead. No other trails within the lower triangle will be directional. Whoops will remain downhill only.
    • Wanoga: Tylerís Traverse will be downhill from the intersection of the Kiwa Butte Trail to Conklin Road, with the exception of a short two-way section, from the Duodenum/Road 260 intersection down to Road 50 (about Ĺ mile).


    This year, the COTA Board organized a diverse sub-committee to look into the feasibility of directional trails for the Philís and Wanoga networks. The sub-committee is a mix of 4 current COTA Board members, and 7 members from the community including bike shop employees, trail adopters, and your fellow riders. We looked at comments received from our fellow riders coming in via emails, facebook and the forums. We polled other areas across the country and on the other side of the world. What is working are simple one-way trail systems. What is not working are complex systems of odd/even calendar days or limited piece-meal solutions. Our research found that we needed to have the longest uninterrupted loop possible to ensure the success of the Directional Trails Plan.

    The committee reviewed the current status of the trails and the trend in usage of the trails. We looked at the known future: town is growing again, the Forest Service has plans to improve the Philís Trailhead expanding parking next season and adding a Welcome Center, which will include approximately and additional 30 space parking lot on the south side of the Philís Trail Complex. The reality is, our busy trails system is going to get busier.

    The ďTrail LoveĒ etiquette campaign has been a great start to addressing the increased usage, as is the addition of better signage for the Complex. The etiquette campaign and signage will continue.

    The benefits of directional trails include:


    • More riding. Less stopping. How many rides have you been on in the last year or two that were interrupted by more and more users going the opposite direction you were going?
    • Less conflict. Ride your own ride. Have you had a bad experience with some jerk running you off the trail? Have you scheduled your life around ride times that may help you avoid the crowds?
    • Enjoy the forest. See fewer people. By riding with the flow of other users youíll see fewer people.
    • Safety. In recent years COTA receives more and more first hand accounts of serious injuries caused by head-on collisions with other users.
    • Keep single track single. With fewer riders passing one another the trails will return to a more pure single track for more enjoyable riding. COTA will not be altering the character of these trails for their new designation.
    • Try it. Youíll like it. Trail networks around the country have adopted one-way systems with great success. Fruita is a great example of going on a ride from an overflowing parking lot only to find that you are by yourself and on your own ride the whole time.


    Why were certain trails made a certain direction?

    • The Philís Trail Complex is best known for its traditional cross-country style riding. We aimed to have the longest and most uninterrupted loop while maintaining the most ride options. The trails affected combine to about 6 miles of the 48 miles of trail within the lower (below 300rd) Complex.
    • Benís Trail is a natural up-route because it has the most intersections, making turn around loops most viable. Thus allowing uninterrupted climbing route for the XC orientated Philís Complex.
    • Philís Canyon with the steepest section of trail in the Lower Philís Complex, is a natural downhill route allowing riders uninterrupted descents.
    • Kentís trail is the easiest trail in the Complex, therefore was chosen to remain two-way to allow beginner riders an easy uphill/downhill route.
    • In the Wanoga Complex the nod goes to the more gravity orientated riders with the focus being on the core design principles of the area which is to host cycling events.
    • Tylerís Traverse was chosen to be mostly downhill as it is the newest and has the greatest elevation loss per mile of any of the Wanoga trails. The overgrown roads that parallel the one-way downhill sections provide social uphill routes.


    Once you give it a try you may find that the Philís Complex is again a welcoming trail system.

    See our webpage for FAQ's

    Sincerely,
    Your fellow riders: COTA Board and Directional Trails Sub-Committee

  2. #2
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    Good job!

    That is a very informative post. Seems like it answers alot of questions people may have about a one way loop being implemented.
    Was good to see that several different people from the community were approached and quized about this.
    I have ridden in several places with directional/one way trails and found them to be a blast. You actually get to just ride without constantly looking out for people coming the other way.
    Nice work, I look forward to riding home after a long day on the trails this summer and being able to finish with a nice cruizer run down Phil's.

    Thanks, COTA

  3. #3
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    First off, I need to preface this post to say that I am on the COTA board, although I was not involved with the directional trails committee.
    When we first started discussing directional trails 2 plus years ago, I was adamantly against it. Like a lot of people, I didn't want someone telling which way I could or could not ride. I usually avoided Phil's trail head and all of the trails in the lower triangle during the busy times. Not ideal but I dealt with it by riding, or more often driving to spots further afield.
    Fast forward two years and I found myself riding those trails and through the trail head almost daily out of necessity. I was shocked by the sheer volume of people in the lower complex. It didn't seem to matter what time of day or what day I rode through, it was packed.
    To say that this seriously degraded the riding experience would be understatement. Stopping 10-12 times in a 4 mile section to yield to other riders then watching them ride 10ft. off of the trail anyway as they went by got really old.
    The fact is, something needed to be done.
    The board was presented with a well thought out and comprehensive proposal from the directional trails committee(see above) and after lengthy discussion, we approved it.
    Personally, I am looking forward to the changes, and I truly believe that it will enhance the trail experience for everyone.
    BUILD,RIDE,REPEAT.
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  4. #4
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    Just curious, will a new trail be constructed from where the bottom of Whoops meets Rd. 300, to take riders over to Phil's? Sure, one could ride road 300 (short as it may be), but who wants to ride a road?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Just curious, will a new trail be constructed from where the bottom of Whoops meets Rd. 300, to take riders over to Phil's? Sure, one could ride road 300 (short as it may be), but who wants to ride a road?
    Good question/Suggestion.

    We've had a series of conversations over the winter with the Forest Service pressing them to allow us to construct exactly the trail you suggested and a couple other that would be nice additions to the Directional Trails Plan. However the FS required to compete a full environmental review for any new trail. We will be presenting the FS with a full trail proposal for those types of connections within the Phil's Complex. These things take considerable TIME (and money) on the part of the FS.

    We will however be making minor intersection realignments (which are allowed) along the 300 road with aim to improve the flow.

  6. #6
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    Choices: Philís/Kentís/Benís

    Some good input here and on Facebook. Questions being asked most often seems to be some version of "why this trail vs that trail?" or "why designate an uphill?"

    The Philís Trail Complex is best known for its traditional cross-country riding and we intend to preserve that riding experience. When we did our research locally, across the country and internationally, we found that the most successful one-way programs had longer loops that included the uphill and the downhill, rather than a single directional trail. Therefore the committee aimed to designate the longest uphill/downhill loop while maintaining the most ride options.

    We wanted to maintain equal value on both the uphill and downhill riding experience. Therefore, if we designated only downhill routes, that would leave uphill riders with no choice but to continuously encounter oncoming traffic. Similar to roads, we donít have one way without the other.

    Three trails leave the Philís Trailhead in a westerly direction: Philís, Benís and Kentís. In the end we selected Philís and Benís to make the longest directional loop while affecting the fewest trails.

    Benís Trail was chosen as the up-route because although it is the longest of the three trails, it has the most intersections, making turn around loops most viable to allow for shorter loops. This will allow more beginner riders, kids or anyone who wants a shorter loop to have four options Ė turn at MTB, turn at Express, turn at Voodoo or turn at Road 300.

    Philís Trail was chosen as the return route because it has the most significant downhill section, The Canyon. Philís also has shorter sightlines with more risk of conflict between riders going both directions.

    The section of Philís Trail above Junction #18 (where Kentís comes in) is two way due to open sightlines and the need for Kentís traffic to continue toward Heli-Pad.

    Kentís trail is the shortest of the three trails in the Complex, and will remain two-way to allow beginner riders an easy uphill and downhill routes as well as an out and back option.

    Ride when you want, less stopping and see fewer people. One-Way the fun way.

  7. #7
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    After some thought on this, I have one particular concern. Effectively there will only be one sane way to get to road 300 going UH (i.e., Bens). By making Bens UH only, everyone coming down from road 300 will be forced on Phils, which between marker 25 and 19 is open to UH and DH traffic. So going UH on Phils from marker 19 to 25 will be a major pain in the ass because I have to believe that most folks coming down from marker 25 (road 300) will be railing it pretty good. Furthermore, there will now only be ONE possible route down from road 300 with this change. That is A LOT of traffic dumping onto Phils at marker 25.

    Will COTA be posting clear signage at marker 25 that indicates that Phils is a two way trail from marker 25 and that DH yields to UH?

    It be awesome to extend Kents from marker 19 with new singletrack, beween Phils and GS, which links up with road 300.

  8. #8
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    How is that COTA is determining trail use policy on public land? Seems like there should be another step or two in this process, where COTA recommends these changes to USFS, and the USFS then considers them and allows public input, and then the USFS decides on the policy.

    I can see merits to the plan, although COTA's process and communication are underwhelming. It's concerning though if a small subgroup of a nonprofit can dictate trail rules to the USFS. Put some hikers in control and Bend would be Forest Park.

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    IMO the one way changes are good news and needed for safety with the large number of riders. A future improvement could be a trail that connects Ben's to the top of Whoops. But for now 300 up to HP works.

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    COTA has worked with the local agencies for years and gained alot of trust with the great work it does. Not just the USFS.
    Does COTA have to ask for public/member permission every time they do a trail upgrade, re route, sign change, new drainage, alter an intersection, add a pump track.....?
    To a certain degree isn't the board elected by the people to help make decisions for them?
    I am sure the rules were not dictated to the USFS. They (USFS) were probably presented with a well thought out plan from COTA explaining what , why, how they came up with it and who was in the decision making process.
    The fact that the USFS is in full cooperation with this plan makes me think they were not told what to do but looked into the facts and thought it a good idea.
    From a quick look at the map it seems the directional loop really only affects about 7 miles of trail total, of which there is close to 50 miles in the greater Phils triangle area. That is less than 5% of the trails affected. Thats a pretty small percentage.
    To help make this work well I would guess COTA will have signage up to help streamline this change.
    One way trails within a trail system can really help with flow on the directional trails and those that are two way. Alot of people come to Bend to vacation and may rent a bike for a day or two. If they can show up at Phil's trailhead, as most do. And see a well laid out route, I guess a good majority of them may take that route. That would probably free up some of the other trails of 'tourists' who really don't know where they are going? And also have no idea of the trail etiquette program we have going here.
    I hope that people can give this a chance, as in a riding season. To really evaluate how this effects the trails and their overall riding experience.
    I know for me last summer it was getting quite frustrating trying to navigate through Phils area on my way home and having to stop regularly to let people by. If you do go out this summer and ride 'the loop' or parts of it and actually have a fairly uninterrupted ride...think of how it was last summer.
    Give it a go,
    Try it, you might just like it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    After some thought on this, I have one particular concern. Effectively there will only be one sane way to get to road 300 going UH (i.e., Bens). By making Bens UH only, everyone coming down from road 300 will be forced on Phils, which between marker 25 and 19 is open to UH and DH traffic. So going UH on Phils from marker 19 to 25 will be a major pain in the ass because I have to believe that most folks coming down from marker 25 (road 300) will be railing it pretty good. Furthermore, there will now only be ONE possible route down from road 300 with this change. That is A LOT of traffic dumping onto Phils at marker 25.

    Will COTA be posting clear signage at marker 25 that indicates that Phils is a two way trail from marker 25 and that DH yields to UH?

    It be awesome to extend Kents from marker 19 with new singletrack, beween Phils and GS, which links up with road 300.
    Spry.

    Yes, there will be very clear signage posted at key intersection. Exactly those intersections you mention. The signage will also reinforce the Trail Love etiquette messages.

    Yeah, it would be awesome to extend Kent's.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    How is that COTA is determining trail use policy on public land? Seems like there should be another step or two in this process, where COTA recommends these changes to USFS, and the USFS then considers them and allows public input, and then the USFS decides on the policy.

    I can see merits to the plan, although COTA's process and communication are underwhelming. It's concerning though if a small subgroup of a nonprofit can dictate trail rules to the USFS. Put some hikers in control and Bend would be Forest Park.
    ACree,

    Thanks for the comments. They are a good reminder how mtn bike focused this town is. We all live here to enjoy these trails and at the same time we benefit in some ways from the economy they help drive. Yes, we will continue to advocate for mountain biking and human powered trails. We spend a ton of effort earning the support of the USFS and in turn they are supporting this mtn biker developed initiative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeenYour Crash View Post
    Yeah, it would be awesome to extend Kent's.
    Could the above happen?

    Thanks for the response. I am generally in favor of the directional plan, but I do have some fairly significant concerns about going UH on Phils. I transition to Phils often from VD going UH, so I am happy it won't be closed to UH traffic. But wow is there going to be a significant amount of traffic on Phils coming DH, mainly because there simply isn't another option. Throw in some UH traffic and it might get pretty dicey on between makers 25 and 19.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    Throw in some UH traffic and it might get pretty dicey on between makers 25 and 19.
    All of Phil's above 7 has been dicey for the last few seasons so nothing new there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    All of Phil's above 7 has been dicey for the last few seasons so nothing new there.
    I ride Phils and beyond almost daily during the riding season and it was sometimes dicey, but now, at least on the bidirectional section of Phils, I predict it will be considerably more dicey than it is currently. Again, there is only one way to come down now. That is a lot of DH MTB traffic funneling onto one section of singletrack.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    Could the above happen?

    Thanks for the response. I am generally in favor of the directional plan, but I do have some fairly significant concerns about going UH on Phils. I transition to Phils often from VD going UH, so I am happy it won't be closed to UH traffic. But wow is there going to be a significant amount of traffic on Phils coming DH, mainly because there simply isn't another option. Throw in some UH traffic and it might get pretty dicey on between makers 25 and 19.
    Not trying to get your hopes up, we've been in discussion with the FS for a long time about various connectors and we will continue.

    Check the FAQ page on our website.

    Sightlines and the nearly completely flat terrain on Jimmy's aka 25 to 19 will help with the issues (which the committee did consider).

    Thanks Spry for putting thought in, we have too. There is no delusion that everyone will be happy, tough decisions were made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeenYour Crash View Post
    Not trying to get your hopes up, we've been in discussion with the FS for a long time about various connectors and we will continue.
    I have my fingers crossed. I know you guys are taking some heat for this change, but ultimately I can't say that something didn't have to happen to mitigate some of the trail density issues. I am an XC type that likes to climb, so I certainly will enjoy riding up Bens uninterrupted by DH traffic.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    Again, there is only one way to come down now. That is a lot of DH MTB traffic funneling onto one section of singletrack.
    I count two: Phil's and Kent's

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    I count two: Phil's and Kent's
    Please read the thread. The discussion related to the section of singletrack between markers 25 and 19. That is the only way down from road 300.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    Please read the thread. The discussion related to the section of singletrack between markers 25 and 19. That is the only way down from road 300.
    That section is only 1 mile with good visibility. IMO two way traffic there is a small price to pay for less trail conflict across the Phil's complex.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    Again, there is only one way to come down now. That is a lot of DH MTB traffic funneling onto one section of singletrack.
    There are many options that don't include 19-25. Just depends on your loop.

    My daily loops will be one of these -

    Ben's to HP to SK to GS
    Ben's to HP to SK to COD
    Ben's to HP to Whoops to Phil's

    So I'll only be on 19-25 trail segment 1/3rd of the time.

    Plus, many riders don't make it out as far as 300 and will take shorter routes like -

    Ben's to Voodoo to Kent's
    Ben's to Voodoo to GS
    Ben's to Voodoo to Phil's

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by braaarp View Post
    COTA has worked with the local agencies for years and gained alot of trust with the great work it does. Not just the USFS.
    Does COTA have to ask for public/member permission every time they do a trail upgrade, re route, sign change, new drainage, alter an intersection, add a pump track.....?
    To a certain degree isn't the board elected by the people to help make decisions for them?
    I am sure the rules were not dictated to the USFS. They (USFS) were probably presented with a well thought out plan from COTA explaining what , why, how they came up with it and who was in the decision making process.
    The fact that the USFS is in full cooperation with this plan makes me think they were not told what to do but looked into the facts and thought it a good idea.
    From a quick look at the map it seems the directional loop really only affects about 7 miles of trail total, of which there is close to 50 miles in the greater Phils triangle area. That is less than 5% of the trails affected. Thats a pretty small percentage.
    To help make this work well I would guess COTA will have signage up to help streamline this change.
    One way trails within a trail system can really help with flow on the directional trails and those that are two way. Alot of people come to Bend to vacation and may rent a bike for a day or two. If they can show up at Phil's trailhead, as most do. And see a well laid out route, I guess a good majority of them may take that route. That would probably free up some of the other trails of 'tourists' who really don't know where they are going? And also have no idea of the trail etiquette program we have going here.
    I hope that people can give this a chance, as in a riding season. To really evaluate how this effects the trails and their overall riding experience.
    I know for me last summer it was getting quite frustrating trying to navigate through Phils area on my way home and having to stop regularly to let people by. If you do go out this summer and ride 'the loop' or parts of it and actually have a fairly uninterrupted ride...think of how it was last summer.
    Give it a go,
    Try it, you might just like it.
    While the above, in bold, is true, as pointed out in the other thread, the changes most dramatically impact the very young, newby riders, and those who otherwise can't ride very far. The changes basically reduce Phil's complex to a single trail (outside Marvins, which is fine, but not exactly satisfying). Many of us have used Ben's as a nice introductory ride for young kids, going up as far as they can, easily, and turning back around, and it can take quite some time before kids actually gain the skills and endurance to make any of the connectors over to Kent's. And the changes also basically take the Chicken out of reach for such riders, as you won't be able to go up Phil's, and the connectors from other trails are also out of reach.

    I know this from experience with my kids, and I just want to point this out, because getting to the Chicken was a serious highlight for my 8-yo daughter last year on her first ride with her new bike (I'm looking at a picture of her glowing next the Chicken right now).

    So, you are right, while the changes do impact a very small percentage of the Phil's complex trail, the entire impact is on the bottom of the complex, and most directly impacts those who take short rides, effectively limiting them to a single trail option if they want to go up from the trail head.

    I would suggest a set of very short new connectors going across from Ben's to Kent's, then on to the Chicken, lower on the hill than any of the current connectors would remedy this situation, and also provide additional low elevation trails for early season riding. I would think the running community would love this, too.

    Honestly, I'm not suggesting this as a "for me" case, as my kids are now old enough to make the connectors, and I readily admit that the new changes will all be positive for me. But I just want for other parents to have the ability to have that great experience of multiple trail options for taking young kids up from the trailhead that I had, "Hey John/Jane, which trail do you want to take today?", rather than, here we go up Kent's again.

  22. #22
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    Rough numbers:

    TH to the Chicken via Phil's = 4 miles round trip
    TH to the Chicken via Kent's = 5 miles round trip
    TH to the Chicken via MG to KGB = 5 miles round trip
    TH to Ben's to MTB to Kent's to TH = 4 miles round trip

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeenYour Crash View Post
    Spry.

    Yes, there will be very clear signage posted at key intersection. Exactly those intersections you mention. The signage will also reinforce the Trail Love etiquette messages.
    Please tell me the one way signs won't get drowned out by the other 6-7 stickers? They def should not be on the same stack of stickers. Too busy already in my opinion.

    BIG sign yes?

    Clutter bad.

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    ^
    ^
    Big difference getting to the chicken, as far as skill level and steepness, via Phil's compared to the other routes. Take a novice 8-yo with you and you will QUICKLY see the difference.

    If you are going to try and tell a dad who has actually done this that he is wrong, you would be the one who is wrong.

    As I and others have kept saying, the points being made are not to say that the plan is wrong, or that they were stupid in making it, or anything like that. It is only to point out that there ARE some negatives, and mitigating them might be a nice thing to consider, if they are not already being considered. I would bet anything that the COTA board knows this and is working to mitigate the issues. But since no one from the Board has stepped up and specifically indicated these issues are being handled, I think it is more than reasonable for us to point them out, now.

    I would say one thing Bend has is plenty of trails for those who can ride 10-30+ miles in a day without challenge. This will make things even better for those riders. But for those who can really only ride a few miles, at this point, the options are much fewer, and this makes things worse for them (at least on the stand point of how much trail is available to them . . . . it does make things safer for them).

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    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    If you are going to try and tell a dad who has actually done this that he is wrong, you would be the one who is wrong.
    I had no problem with my kids starting at age 7-ish using routes mentioned above. Thinking back on it, MG was probably the favorite route out. But more connectors in the lower area is a good idea if the FS will allow it.

    For brand new riders it would be pretty easy to go out Ben's for a short distance until you can connect to the small jump training - pump track area and then loop back using the trail to the right of the terrain features that dumps you right back into the TH.

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    The most important thing here is to make things better than they were. NO WAY are you going to make everyone happy. I think the actions they have taken are, on the whole, very positive. But from there, it is important that COTA not just talk about "one way, the right way" as if it is ALL good, and not recognize, acknowledge, and see what can be done to mitigate the issues. Particularly since it appears they did not actively invite more participation in the process.

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    IMO they did EXACTLY the right thing. Otherwise too many cooks...

    And they are awesome. I have no doubt that our trail system will continue to improve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    While the above, in bold, is true,
    Well, I don't know how 7/50 is ever less than 5% (it's 14%). Even if you say 100 miles because of two directions that's still 7%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterflow View Post
    Well, I don't know how 7/50 is ever less than 5% (it's 14%). Even if you say 100 miles because of two directions that's still 7%.
    Missed the point. You rightly pointed out that there is very little trail impacted by the new rules. I only said that it is entirely focused on the lower elevation trails, so the percentage of trail impacted that are accessible to those riders who can't go very far is MUCH higher than is the case for the rest of us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    IMO they did EXACTLY the right thing. Otherwise too many cooks...

    And they are awesome. I have no doubt that our trail system will continue to improve.
    I happen to agree, with everything you say. It is true, if you try to get too much participation during the creation of new rules, it can all too often paralyze the process. But that does not mean that it would not be in everyone's best interest to be receptive to POSITIVE criticism and suggestions, now. As you said, if possible, more lower elevation connectors would be nice, and it would go a long way to crossing off the issues that have been raised about the negative consequences of the new rules.

    I am truly grateful for COTA. I have WAY too much on my shoulders to do the kind of things they do to make my mtb experience what it is. I am assuming they welcome the suggestions being made, and I have no illusions that any of it is easy. And obviously, there are opportunity costs associated with any new trail work, where it takes away money and human resources that could be used to develop trails elsewhere. For instance, I keep thinking about the huge area of relatively low elevation land that is ripe for trails between Knott Road, Woodside Ranch, Tekampe, and Horse Butte. I get that doing more work on lower connections at Phils takes away from other places, but I think it is certainly worth discussing.

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    Another close in loop to the chicken that might be worth a try:

    MG-30-480-KGB-Phil's-TH = about 4 miles

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    oops, sorry about the poor math. not my greatest skill set,

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    Thanks COTA for doing something to help out the Phils Trail area. I for one will miss riding up Phils canyon (esp. on my SS), but I have noticed lots more traffic coming down Phils over the years.

    I have lived in areas with directional trails and it does help out with the flow. Parking lots can be full, but the trails seem empty as people get spread out more.

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    Gaucho et al,
    Thanks for the constructive criticism, comments, and suggestions. COTA does listen and we know that the directional plan is not perfect. There are always tradeoffs.
    The fact is that it is very hard to get new trails approved and built in an already dense system.
    In a perfect world we would have a clean slate to work off of, and build a directional stacked loop system radiating from the trailhead. That ship sailed a long time ago.

    We are continually working with the FS on reroutes and connectors in the existing system along with new trails. It is a long sometimes arduous process but we continue to plow forward.
    A lot of hours and thought went into developing this plan to utilize what we have available to work with and make it a better system and experience for all users. I believe that once the kinks are worked out we will have that.
    Chris Dodson
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    From COTA Chairman

    Hi everyone, I'm Woody, the Chairman of COTA.

    Thanks for the constructive comments. I want to add a couple of my own thoughts and update you all about the things COTA is doing right now.

    First, planning new trails is and always has been one of COTA's top priorities. The Phil's network and other areas have all seen significant growth over the last decade both in terms of use and miles of trails. We are always thinking ahead of the curve and we do have long term plans to implement many of the suggestions I've read lately that fit into the category of new connectors / segments. This process takes YEARS. Add to that the impending implementation of the West Bend Vegetation Management Project, the Visitor Center Trails Project and the Skyliner Road / Phil's Trail head improvements and you can begin to see the complexity of issues we are trying to balance, all the while being vigilant about potential impacts to trails and trail user's experiences.

    It's about that last bit that we set out, 3 years ago, to look into directional trails. In November last year, our board decided to empower a committee to come up with a plan. Neither myself, nor Paul the COTA Vice-Chair are on that committee. I stand behind the committee's work 100%. We will continue to collect comments and probably run a short survey at the end of this summer season to get more feedback. Feedback is especially valuable once you have used the new designated directional trails. I, for one am excited to ride in Phil's area again and I am confident the overall community will benefit from this plan.

    Here's a brief list of other projects we are doing RIGHT NOW (more details on cotamtb.com):
    • Broke ground and ongoing construction of 3-mile trail loop system in Oregon Wayside State Park in Prineville
    • Planning stages of adding about 40 miles of new multi-use trails in the Ochoco mountains
    • Planning stages of designing and building a new Bike Park in Prineville
    • Rehabilitating the historic Cache Mountain Trails
    • Planning new trails on Black Butte
    • Working with STA to improve Trail 99 and Peterson Ridge
    • Completion of the Radlands trails
    • Finish adding signage and new trails in the Maston area
    • Design and break ground on the new Visitor Center trails which adds about 12 miles of new trail to the Phil's network near Century drive
    • Complete signage and trail construction in Wanoga on Tyler's Traverse and Lone Wolf
    • Planning stages for new trails connecting Wanoga trails to Sunriver at Cardinal Landing
    • last but not least, continue to maintain the 680 miles of existing trails in the area.


    It also deserves saying, once again, COTA is an entirely volunteer organization. We have a board of 14, including Chapter Representatives from Crook County / Prineville, Sisters and Redmond. We are very fortunate to have 558 dues-paying members, 2,142 Facebook likes, 310 Twitter Followers (growing quickly) and 1,586 newsletter subscribers.

    COTA is also very lucky to have over 3 dozen local business supporters.

    We take the work we do very seriously.

    Thanks again for your support!
    "ďMay your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

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    Quote Originally Posted by sans soucie View Post
    Here's a brief list of other projects we are doing RIGHT NOW (more details on cotamtb.com):
    • Broke ground and ongoing construction of 3-mile trail loop system in Oregon Wayside State Park in Prineville
    • Planning stages of adding about 40 miles of new multi-use trails in the Ochoco mountains
    • Planning stages of designing and building a new Bike Park in Prineville
    • Rehabilitating the historic Cache Mountain Trails
    • Planning new trails on Black Butte
    • Working with STA to improve Trail 99 and Peterson Ridge
    • Completion of the Radlands trails
    • Finish adding signage and new trails in the Maston area
    • Design and break ground on the new Visitor Center trails which adds about 12 miles of new trail to the Phil's network near Century drive
    • Complete signage and trail construction in Wanoga on Tyler's Traverse and Lone Wolf
    • Planning stages for new trails connecting Wanoga trails to Sunriver at Cardinal Landing
    • last but not least, continue to maintain the 680 miles of existing trails in the area.
    That's it? Slackerz! I thought you guys were going to start a free beer brewery for anyone that road at least 20 miles per day. WTF happened to that???

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    Appreciate Chris and Woody chiming in on this. There's lots of good input being shared by people who care but didn't have an opportunity to be involved. Both current threads are full of information. Hopefully notes are kept and the ideas considered equally with those of the few who attend these meetings. If not, I'd ask that COTA educate us as to their preferred method of receiving ideas (letter, e-mail, phone, public forum) and any deadlines. We do care and I'm sure members would appreciate being heard.

    To GauchoGregs point; I agree. To further the point, I've had lots of time to just hang out on the system, watch as riders navigate different segments of trail and talk to those who stop. It's not just the kids who appreciate Ben's as a two-way trail and Phil's from the TH to the Chicken. Being less engaged in my own riding the last few years and talking with others on the trails has given me a much broader perspective. I too think the existing plan can be improved by choosing a different uphill only route, allowing uphill riding from TH to Chicken and augmenting connectors.

    Will continue reading daily.

    -Darrel L.
    Last edited by Bubby; 03-28-2014 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Add my name

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    Thanks for all that you and COTA do, Woody!! COTA's hard work and copious hours of labor are NOT unnoticed by ANYONE who rides the local trails in ~or~ around Bend, OR. With that said, you briefly commented on [possibly] running a survey towards the back-end of the 2014 MTB season. Can you please elaborate more on how you plan to execute this survey (i.e. I'd like to participate should one take place) and how the data collected may/will be utilized in supporting the project as it materializes? Thanks Woody!
    Quote Originally Posted by sans soucie View Post
    Hi everyone, I'm Woody, the Chairman of COTA.

    Thanks for the constructive comments. I want to add a couple of my own thoughts and update you all about the things COTA is doing right now.

    First, planning new trails is and always has been one of COTA's top priorities. The Phil's network and other areas have all seen significant growth over the last decade both in terms of use and miles of trails. We are always thinking ahead of the curve and we do have long term plans to implement many of the suggestions I've read lately that fit into the category of new connectors / segments. This process takes YEARS. Add to that the impending implementation of the West Bend Vegetation Management Project, the Visitor Center Trails Project and the Skyliner Road / Phil's Trail head improvements and you can begin to see the complexity of issues we are trying to balance, all the while being vigilant about potential impacts to trails and trail user's experiences.

    It's about that last bit that we set out, 3 years ago, to look into directional trails. In November last year, our board decided to empower a committee to come up with a plan. Neither myself, nor Paul the COTA Vice-Chair are on that committee. I stand behind the committee's work 100%. We will continue to collect comments and probably run a short survey at the end of this summer season to get more feedback. Feedback is especially valuable once you have used the new designated directional trails. I, for one am excited to ride in Phil's area again and I am confident the overall community will benefit from this plan.

    Here's a brief list of other projects we are doing RIGHT NOW (more details on cotamtb.com):
    • Broke ground and ongoing construction of 3-mile trail loop system in Oregon Wayside State Park in Prineville
    • Planning stages of adding about 40 miles of new multi-use trails in the Ochoco mountains
    • Planning stages of designing and building a new Bike Park in Prineville
    • Rehabilitating the historic Cache Mountain Trails
    • Planning new trails on Black Butte
    • Working with STA to improve Trail 99 and Peterson Ridge
    • Completion of the Radlands trails
    • Finish adding signage and new trails in the Maston area
    • Design and break ground on the new Visitor Center trails which adds about 12 miles of new trail to the Phil's network near Century drive
    • Complete signage and trail construction in Wanoga on Tyler's Traverse and Lone Wolf
    • Planning stages for new trails connecting Wanoga trails to Sunriver at Cardinal Landing
    • last but not least, continue to maintain the 680 miles of existing trails in the area.


    It also deserves saying, once again, COTA is an entirely volunteer organization. We have a board of 14, including Chapter Representatives from Crook County / Prineville, Sisters and Redmond. We are very fortunate to have 558 dues-paying members, 2,142 Facebook likes, 310 Twitter Followers (growing quickly) and 1,586 newsletter subscribers.

    COTA is also very lucky to have over 3 dozen local business supporters.

    We take the work we do very seriously.

    Thanks again for your support!
    jjMarS

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    COTA's Official Directional Trails Plan

    I'm glad my wife and I had the opportunity to ride up Phil's and down Ben's last summer (our first time in Bend riding) along with a bunch of other routes. Each day we climbed a different trail. We both really enjoyed having options to climb so it didn't get boring and turn into a grind to the top (sandy ridge). I certainly hope that never goes away as we are planning to spend much more time there the next few summers. It's very appealing.
    ## Every time I cheat death it reinforces the adolescent belief that I'm invincible. ##

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjMarS View Post
    Thanks for all that you and COTA do, Woody!! COTA's hard work and copious hours of labor are NOT unnoticed by ANYONE who rides the local trails in ~or~ around Bend, OR. With that said, you briefly commented on [possibly] running a survey towards the back-end of the 2014 MTB season. Can you please elaborate more on how you plan to execute this survey (i.e. I'd like to participate should one take place) and how the data collected may/will be utilized in supporting the project as it materializes? Thanks Woody!
    The survey is an idea I heard when I talked to the COTA Movie night crowd last Thursday at McMenamin's. If we do this (and I think it's a good idea) it will be available widely. I will bring it up to the Directional trails committee and strongly suggest they look into it.
    "ďMay your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

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    Bump!!
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    Hi everyone - Thanks for all of your feedback about the Directional Trails. We are compiling all comments for review, but we simply cannot track or reply to every post on social media. Please send comments - either in support or not - to the following email address below. Thanks!

    directional@cotamtb.com
    "ďMay your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

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    I have no problem with directional trails in principal. I understand and appreciate the reasons for the "recommendation" from COTA. However, I do have some problems with the dictatorial selection made by COTA without a public comment period.

    I have some valid points about, particularly, the first two miles of Phils from the trail-head to the "Flaming Chicken". This is ridden by a lot of first-timers and newbies.

    I would have liked my opinion to be considered. However, it is clear COTA has decided it like a Putin going into Crimea". From the website... "Beginning Saturday, April 5, 2014 the proposed one-way routes include...We simply felt we needed to get this process done before the beginning of the 2014 riding season [, and taking the time to "listen" to the community wasn't worth our time because we'll do what we want anyway]".

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    Totally agree with you GauchoGreg. Hey, COTA, let's make the first 1/4 mile of Phils, Kents, and Bens uphill only. This shouldn't be a problem, since it would amount to a very, very small percentage of the trail system.

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    They [COTA] did the right thing to formulate the directional "proposal". "Otherwise too many cooks" - I totally agree with this, BUT the plan, the COTA "cooks" prepared should be opened for a public comment period. This is the proper way to change the operation of the "core" from the trail-head.

    This process is totally different to adding a new trail or certainly maintaining trails. This action is a core, fundamental change, and it is not child or "newbie" friendly at all.

    I do agree conceptually here with the "proposal", but we need an open public comment period. This change, as it stands, will certainly create more conflict, not reduce it, as people ride "the wrong way" and uniformed cyclists riding the "right way" get into a battle with "wrong way" riders.

    Remember, the directional policy is not binding or enforceable at all... not in the slightest degree.

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    Damn, I really do not enjoy being confrontational, but you stated "COTA does listen".

    What I read says to me "COTA does listen, and we like getting your comments and feedback, then we toss it out and do what we want, but keep those cards and letters coming folks!"

    This change is too much without a public comment period prior to the changes. COTA has done a terrific job by coming up with a viable directional proposal. Now, go that "last mile" and let the public participate meaningful debate. Of course, here, "meaningful" means non-dictatorial on COTA's part.

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    COTA's Official Directional Trails Plan

    This thread is a place to share "Public Comments". Additionally, we shared an email address to send your feedback and comments, directional@cotamtb.com.


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    Psst, the idea is to have a "Public Comment" period BEFORE implementing COTA's poorly thought through plan that will lead to far more trail conflict that it will solve.

    I find COTA's "send comments to directional@cotamtb.com" to be condescending in nature, and not productive to the public considering the fact of COTA's public policy to implement the directional plan on April 5th. So, what's the point of sending COTA a comment since "the decision" has already been made?

    Thank you for your pointless comment. I know that this is a rather confrontational comment, but I welcome your comments. No need to reply here, please send your response to this comment to nullbitbucket@cotamtb.com, and I'll get back to you.

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    Hope you got extra chairs for Thursday nights meeting. Might be a bigger turn-out than usual. Will the Board be entertaining questions about this topic on Thursday night?

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    COTA's Official Directional Trails Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post

    Thank you for your pointless comment.
    You betcha!!!!!! My pleasure. Anytime.




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    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    I understand and appreciate the reasons for the "recommendation" from COTA.
    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    Remember, the directional policy is not binding or enforceable at all... not in the slightest degree.
    At least you are consistent with dismissing COTA. Previously you claimed a post from COTA on "The etiquette of mud in Central Oregon" was BS.

    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    Sorry, the "Mud Theory" is plain BS. I can appreciate it on an intellectual level. The reality is people ride in the mud. They do make small ruts. However, the reality is they don't last long. How do I know this? Because I ride the trails frequently. So, let's all continue to biotch and moan about mud. I don't like riding in the mud, personally. But this harping on the "damage" caused, does not reconcile with reality.

    These complaints, I would suspect, are the same people who want to remove all rock obstacles. Phil's trail (the actual trail) has a few brief "rock technical sections". Over the past three years I have been in Bend, the minor obstacles have been "cleaned" more and more each year.

    Perhaps we should just pave the trails. We should also limit speeds to 3 Mph, and have spotters run along to catch us. Airbags! Yeah let's have those too. Please, just stay away from C.O.D.
    And people wonder why we are seeing more conflicts on the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    Psst, the idea is to have a "Public Comment" period BEFORE implementing COTA's poorly thought through plan that will lead to far more trail conflict that it will solve.

    I find COTA's "send comments to directional@cotamtb.com" to be condescending in nature, and not productive to the public considering the fact of COTA's public policy to implement the directional plan on April 5th. So, what's the point of sending COTA a comment since "the decision" has already been made?

    Thank you for your pointless comment. I know that this is a rather confrontational comment, but I welcome your comments. No need to reply here, please send your response to this comment to nullbitbucket@cotamtb.com, and I'll get back to you.
    For full disclosure I do serve on the COTA Board, and also served on this committee. Furthermore, I'm not looking to get into battles of opinion, but what follows are my thoughts on the situation.

    In this situation its pretty tough to comment on something that has yet to be experienced. So far just looking at the comments it seems to be a pretty even split on those for or against the plan. Some people think the plan is ill conceived, others are all for it. There is value in getting comments now as it gives us a before and after sampling. Some people, maybe even those of you that are adamantly against the plan may decide that the plan wasn't as ill-conceived as you originally thought after you get a chance to experience it. Those against are now thinking, slight chance in Hell that is going to happen! We all have our opinions...........

    The fact is sometimes in life we have to make tough decisions, for COTA this is one of them, do nothing and watch our trails get wider by each day, and the user conflicts go up, or do something knowing full well that we can't make everyone happy.

    For those wondering, yes I did send this to nullbitbucket@cotamtb.com as well

    Sincerely,

    Joe T.
    COTA Free Ride Coordinator

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    Please, if you read my comments, you would see that I am not dismissing COTA. COTA is an awesome, super productive and needed organization AND I said that I agree with the idea of "directional trails" plan. Just not all of what has been "decided" (should be 'proposed').

    I take issue with, mostly, the two miles of Phils from the trailhead to the flaming chicken because of so many newbies and low-intensity riders who love only going 2 miles and returning. This plan would deny this trail experience to so many new mountain bikers.

    As far as digging into the past, yes I stand by my comment about mud. I don't ride when its muddy myself, but the reality is people who ride "through" the mud (not around it) are not causing significant damage. To say so does not reconcile with reality.

    I have been too controversial in my comments here, but I feel COTA's decision to "decide" such a major drastic change without public comment before it becomes "law" is highly misguided and does not serve the Bend community.

    Because I disagree with COTA abandoning public input prior to their decision in this matter does not take away from the great trail stewardship in general.

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    Here you complain about minor trail "cleaning" on Phil's.

    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    These complaints, I would suspect, are the same people who want to remove all rock obstacles. Phil's trail (the actual trail) has a few brief "rock technical sections". Over the past three years I have been in Bend, the minor obstacles have been "cleaned" more and more each year.

    Perhaps we should just pave the trails. We should also limit speeds to 3 Mph, and have spotters run along to catch us. Airbags! Yeah let's have those too. Please, just stay away from C.O.D.
    Now you are all up in arms over Phil's presumably because you consider the alternate routes to be too difficult for less experienced riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    I take issue with, mostly, the two miles of Phils from the trailhead to the flaming chicken because of so many newbies and low-intensity riders who love only going 2 miles and returning. This plan would deny this trail experience to so many new mountain bikers.
    It feels like you take the opposite side of anything COTA does.

    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    As far as digging into the past, yes I stand by my comment about mud. I don't ride when its muddy myself, but the reality is people who ride "through" the mud (not around it) are not causing significant damage. To say so does not reconcile with reality.
    Riding through the mud in the Phil's complex causes lasting damage. That is a scientific fact.

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    Hey, at least they made an actual decision knowing full well that people were going to be impacted negatively. If we could get people in DC to do the same thing, this country would be a lot better off.

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    Article in Bulletin today.

    Highlighting what we know, Plan is being implemented April 5th, its a compromise in which not everyone will agree with, but for which the time has come. In the coming weeks as the seasonal use explodes, we'll get to see on the ground how its working.

    Phil (yeah that Phil) Meglasson weighed in...

    ďItís an idea whose time has come,Ē Meglasson said. ďThe number of riders out there is increasing so quickly that we just have to start going to one-way trails. This winter at Maston (near Redmond) and Horse Ridge (east of Bend), itís also been very obvious the increase in the number of riders. I donít know why, but the last three years itís really increased a lot. Iíd say it at least doubled, maybe even more.Ē

    Meglasson acknowledged he will miss being able to climb the trail through the small canyon named for him, but he understands the pressing need for change on the trails west of Bend.

    ďThat has been here for years, and we were used to going up there and riding up and maybe not meeting a single person coming down,Ē Meglasson said of Philís Canyon. ďThat was great, but those days are long gone.

    ďYou have to think about what youíre losing for what youíre gaining, but overall I think itís a good plan. Itíll definitely be an improvement in the long run.Ē

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    Great to see input from legends of this area. People who have seen the growth over the long term, not just the last 1-3 years,
    Not that the thoughts of newbies to town don't count

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    Any one else read the bulletin story? I havent had a chance to get a copy yet.

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    I am in favor of the new directional trails. However, to echo yayou's concerns... how can a non-profit group that advocates for a single user group make a decision about a trail that involves other user groups?

    I come across trail runners frequently and hikers less frequently, but what does this mean for them? I often come across runners going down Ben's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drunberg View Post
    I am in favor of the new directional trails. However, to echo yayou's concerns... how can a non-profit group that advocates for a single user group make a decision about a trail that involves other user groups?

    I come across trail runners frequently and hikers less frequently, but what does this mean for them? I often come across runners going down Ben's.
    This is all covered on COTA's website here Directional Trails

    From the website "Yes, all user groups are encouraged to follow the signage. We included other user groups in the process and earned the support of the Central Oregon Running Klub (CORK) and the DogPAC as well as the Deschutes National Forest." So yes even though COTA came up with the plan other user groups were consulted.

    Joe T.

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    I haven't ridden much in Bend but will say based on my experience at Sandy you guys will really dig the directional thing. The parking and overflow lot can be full and the only people you will generally see on the trail are your friends with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drunberg View Post
    I am in favor of the new directional trails. However, to echo yayou's concerns... how can a non-profit group that advocates for a single user group make a decision about a trail that involves other user groups?
    By including others in the process!

    Does the directional signage apply to all user groups?

    Yes, all user groups are encouraged to follow the signage. We included other user groups in the process and earned the support of the Central Oregon Running Klub (CORK) and the DogPAC as well as the Deschutes National Forest.

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    I wonder what is going to happen with The Dirty Half, half marathon race?
    Been coming down Ben's for years as part of the route.

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    It is great that DogPac and CORK gave their support.

    As I stated earlier, as a mountain biker, I am supportive of the one-way changes. However, these are PUBLIC lands and there are many different users. It seems rushed to make this decision without allowing for a PUBLIC comment period. It sounds like those groups included in the process were included behind closed doors. As awesome as DogPac, COTA, and CORK are, they are small non-profit groups. Its a bit of a slippery slope to state that these these three groups being involved in the decision is the same as public involvement.

    Ultimately it was the responsibility of the USFS to seek public input before moving forward. This is a process we are very familiar with here in Central Oregon, such as the new paved trail from lava lands to Benham and the new trail from Sisters to Black Butte. They were not legally required to have a public meeting or ask for feedback, but it would have been the right thing to do.

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    People hate change but change is necessary with the growing pains Bend is experiencing. I think COTA did it right by engaging with DNF, DogPac, and CORK. Going broader is just too many cooks in the kitchen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    People hate change but change is necessary with the growing pains Bend is experiencing. I think COTA did it right by engaging with DNF, DogPac, and CORK. Going broader is just too many cooks in the kitchen.
    The "too many cooks" analogy is not appropriate for a final decision plan. It is an excellent analogy for a drafting of a well thought out proposal.

    The COTA plan should be a proposal, and not a soon-to-be implemented "law" (yes, I know it's not really a law).

    I am a trail runner and member of COTA, and I have put shovel to dirt several times in the past 10 years. And I say that I have not been represented here.

    The listing of the groups who were consulted with is fine for the development of a valid proposal covering valid issues with remedies (directional trails). Someone else mentioned here about a "public comment period".

    I think that would have been the correct manner to go about this. I feel ultimately excluded. I am disappointed that COTA does not think their plan would have withstood a public comment period prior to it being enacted. I see no harm whatsoever with a 90-day period that allows all users to voice their support or opposition.

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    Everyone has a favorite loop or two so there is no way to make everyone happy regardless of a public comment period.

    My favorite is to climb out Phil's, up to HP, then down Whoops to Ben's. So for me the change really sucks. But I understand that if they make me happy then many others get less. There's no arguing that Ben's offers the most junctions on an outbound basis, even though I wish it didn't!

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    Easy Route to the Chicken

    Here is another 1.87 mile route to the Chicken. I rode it today. Nice and easy ride. The ponds that are about .5 miles from the TH must be frog paradise because they are raising a racket out there.

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    Trail Runners

    Quote Originally Posted by CmbtDvr185 View Post
    I wonder what is going to happen with The Dirty Half, half marathon race?
    Been coming down Ben's for years as part of the route.
    Applying this restriction to trail runners is pretentious if not absurd and ultimately will be counter productive since runners training for the dirty half will just ignore the restriction. Then the domino effect begins when mtn bikers start ignoring the restriction too.

    A runner wearing earbuds going uphill on Ben's is more of a hazard/nuisance than a runner coming downhill. The same goes for dogs off leash. Why not just put up a sign at the TH politely requesting downhill runners to yield to all uphill traffic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank the Cowdog View Post
    Applying this restriction to trail runners is pretentious if not absurd...
    CORK was involved with the directional change discussion and they have been around since at least 1980 so it's fair to say serious runners were involved. Applying the directional changes to all user groups is reasonable and necessary.

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    Why is this "necessary" on Ben's but not NorthFork?

    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    CORK was involved with the directional change discussion and they have been around since at least 1980 so it's fair to say serious runners were involved. Applying the directional changes to all user groups is reasonable and necessary.
    Restricting bikes to uphill travel in places like this makes sense. But hikers and runners? Can you think of a single example of a trail that restricts foot traffic to uphill travel only? Not North Fork. Not Paulina Creek, nor any other that I'm aware of and the reason is that such a restriction is silly.

    Mountain biking has plenty of inherent risks, but encountering foot traffic while riding uphill isn't one of them. A nuisance at times, yes, but any rider who thinks foot traffic makes a trail too risky while riding uphill should just stay indoors and ride a stationary bike.

    For all of the good it does, COTA is just going to come off looking bad because this is an overreach. Why not change this aspect of the policy now instead of waiting a few months when trail runners discover they aren't welcome to train on the Dirty Half Course?

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    I am running the Dirty Half this year too. But the reality is that COTA's directional signs are simply directional recommendations. The forest service is supporting COTA's efforts, but the trails are ultimately bi-directional.

    COTA has even stated that they have no authority to actually enforce the signs that will indicate direction. But the signs should say "recommended direction of travel is Uphill [ or downhill]". Instead, I have little doubt, the signs will be explicit like "Uphill Only Travel" - which is not true.

    The real problem here is that since the NF will continue to have an open policy and allow for bi-directional travel on the trails, this policy will cause more inflated conflicts with people running the trails and the bikers who will no doubt chastise those for moving in the opposite and "wrong" direction.

    So, go out and train on the course as you normally would because you are allowed to run (or bike) the trails in any direction you want despite COTA's new "policy".

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    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    I am running the Dirty Half this year too. But the reality is that COTA's directional signs are simply directional recommendations. The forest service is supporting COTA's efforts, but the trails are ultimately bi-directional.

    COTA has even stated that they have no authority to actually enforce the signs that will indicate direction. But the signs should say "recommended direction of travel is Uphill [ or downhill]". Instead, I have little doubt, the signs will be explicit like "Uphill Only Travel" - which is not true.

    The real problem here is that since the NF will continue have an open policy and allow for bi-directional travel on the trails, this policy will cause more inflated conflicts with people running the trails and the bikers who will no doubt chastise those for moving in the opposite and "wrong" direction.

    So, go out and train on the course as you normally would because you are allowed to run (or bike) the trails in any direction you want despite COTA's new "policy".
    YaYouBetcha,

    We missed you last night at the COTA Monthly Meeting. Interesting how the complainers online with the most posts and comments about the plan did not show up for the meeting in person. Funny how folks want to hide in shadows and not come out in person to debate an issue. We had a solid turnout at the meeting and overall a very positive response to the plan and our approach.

    See you on the trails!

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    Quote Originally Posted by yayoubetcha View Post
    So, go out and train on the course as you normally would because you are allowed to run (or bike) the trails in any direction you want despite COTA's new "policy".
    Instead of making a suggestion that will cause problems why not try the new policy and see how it compares?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank the Cowdog View Post
    A nuisance at times, yes, but any rider who thinks foot traffic makes a trail too risky while riding uphill should just stay indoors and ride a stationary bike.
    Ben's is a fast outbound route because there isn't much climbing involved. If the goal is to reduce trail conflict and increase safety then everyone heading in the same direction is the best way to achieve that.

  76. #76
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    Joe and Chris did a nice job last night explaining why COTA is moving forward with directional trails. for all you haters, give it a try...you might like it.
    live to ride, ride to party.

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    Could one way be a more fun way?

    One thing is for certain, we won't know unless people give it an honest try!

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    I was at the meeting last night. If you complain here or have concerns last night was a great chance to express them. Chris and Joe gave everyone a chance to speak. In listening to some of the board members, some of them were not fully supportive at first but changed their minds because of the committee's work, safety, and crowds now in the lower Phil's area. It was a good meeting, could COTA have executed it better, yes and they realize that. This is new idea for the community and I think lessons were learned all around. At the end of the day it is about safety and a making a better experience for all trail users. What if COTA didn't act and there was a serious accident? What if the FS closed the area to mountain bike riders?
    As far as runners, Super Dave was there and addressed those concerns and was pretty logical on how runners use the trails and the time it takes to do certain loops. He spoke to runners and was pretty confident that most frequent users would follow the guidance.
    In all actuality we are talking about a very small portion of the trails. If you had been there you would also have heard about the plans surrounding the new FS visitor centers and the new trails that are being planned.
    Also, it seems to me that if you intentionally disregard the posted guidance just because it's not a "law" and you are butt hurt about the decision then you would be putting other people at risk just to be stubborn and obstinate to try and make a point. Just my 2 cents. I'm glad I went to the meeting it was worth it.

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    I also think folks (all trail users) will really enjoy using directional trails once they try them. And if you don't, just strap some lights on and hit the trails at night going whatever direction you want. That is what I plan to do to get my fill riding Bens DH, but I won't be doing it during the day at the expense of ruining trail use by others.

    Thank you COTA for working hard to improve trail use in Oregon!

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    In response to Willem.

    I'd like to suggest that there are a large variety of valid reasons for one's inability to attend a monthly COTA meeting. I, for one have a work schedule that does not often allow for attendance.

    Also, a person's inability to attend should not be mistaken for an interest in mere complaining or lack of valid input. We are each "attending" as we read and write within this forum. Again, some of us with differing views need to understand the process and what was considered at a deeper level (alternatives considered and the reasons they weren't chosen) and this is our venue, either by necessity or by choice. Most of what I've read in these two threads is generally supportive of the concept.

    So in the spirit of valid input I'm providing the e-mail link for public comment again.

    directional@cotamtb.com

    -Darrel L.

  81. #81
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    Hmm there is some fun drops and jumps on benns going downhill... don't think they would be much fun going up.

    One ways are probably fine so im not complaining, but i'll miss jumping those rock drops down benns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CmbtDvr185 View Post
    I was at the meeting last night. If you complain here or have concerns last night was a great chance to express them.
    I didn't go to the meeting because I was supportive of the one way designation for uphill riders on Ben's. It never occurred to me that COTA would be taking the unprecedented step of applying this restriction to foot traffic. I can promise you there are hundreds of others who will be just as surprised as I was when they learn of the new restriction.

    Foot traffic on these trails can be a nuisance. I get that, but I am not convinced it's a safety hazard in any direction. At least 90% of my time on Ben's is riding uphill. The only time I run on it is just before Dirty Half. Telling runners they can't run the course in the same direction as the race is like telling PPP participants not to ride downhill from Bachelor or not to Kayak above Old Mill while training. COTA has always been supportive of community events like Dirty Half or PPP. I hope that isn't changing.

    Over the years we have seen organizations or individuals with strong opinions about implementing some kind of change. They hold a few meetings (or not) and declare consensus for their point of view while dismissing those who dissent as "haters." That sentiment can be found verbatim in some of the posts in this thread. I hope it doesn't represent COTA's point of view.

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    I think this is getting sideways. COTA isn't applying anything to foot traffic. What they did was included CORK and others in the committee and to get their input and support. I didn't mean to infer runners were a safety hazard. I was talking about other mountain bikers purposely riding against the posted directional flow. I run too on the trails and compete in the DH. Dave told me last night the DH is good to go. And as far as I heard last night COTA is still in support of the DH and PPP. And I guess every decision any organization makes is not going to sit well with 100% of the people.

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    Foot traffic is included and that should help reduce conflict.

    Does the directional signage apply to all user groups?

    Yes, all user groups are encouraged to follow the signage. We included other user groups in the process and earned the support of the Central Oregon Running Klub (CORK) and the DogPAC as well as the Deschutes National Forest.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    YaYouBetcha,

    We missed you last night at the COTA Monthly Meeting. Interesting how the complainers online with the most posts and comments about the plan did not show up for the meeting in person. Funny how folks want to hide in shadows and not come out in person to debate an issue. We had a solid turnout at the meeting and overall a very positive response to the plan and our approach.

    See you on the trails!

    Cheers
    Willem! nice not-so-passive aggression.

    Quote Originally Posted by imadumas View Post
    Joe and Chris did a nice job last night explaining why COTA is moving forward with directional trails. for all you haters, give it a try...you might like it.
    Haters? name calling too? And you real name is?

    Causing more resentment among those with a different viewpoint with statements like this.

    respect the other view point people.

    Personally i am neither for or against directional trails. I do like the idea of ripping down phils canyon.

    Joe M

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    Please clarify

    Quote Originally Posted by CmbtDvr185 View Post
    I run too on the trails and compete in the DH. Dave told me last night the DH is good to go. And as far as I heard last night COTA is still in support of the DH and PPP. And I guess every decision any organization makes is not going to sit well with 100% of the people.
    Do you see what we're up against here? Streamrider assures both of us that it's ok to run uphill on Ben's, but as soon as we turn around and run downhill (in the direction of the Dirty Half) we become a menace to public safety by creating user conflicts.

    Streamrider quotes COTA to justify his position that all user groups (including trail runners) should only travel uphill on Ben's, yet you assure me that COTA is saying that the DH is good to go.

    Does this mean that running downhill is ok only on race day or can we run the course a few times while we are training in the weeks before the DH?

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    I can't go to COTA meetings because I live too far away. What is the plan to enforce a rule that's not really a rule? Just curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank the Cowdog View Post
    Streamrider quotes COTA to justify his position that all user groups (including trail runners) should only travel uphill on Ben's
    I quoted COTA to remind people that the directional change is meant to apply to all user groups. My position is that Phil's should be up and Ben's should be down! But I'm not going to mess up COTA's plan by riding or hiking against traffic just because my favorite route has been changed.

    Each of us faces a choice between trails where users accept modest sacrifices for the common good (less congestion, conflict, and increased safety) vs trails that are congested, contentious, and prone to collisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    What is the plan to enforce a rule that's not really a rule? Just curious.
    I hope that common courtesy is all that is needed.

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    Can we all just chill the F out about this? the topic is so tired. is it really that big of a deal to people?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreamRider View Post
    Here is another 1.87 mile route to the Chicken. I rode it today. Nice and easy ride. The ponds that are about .5 miles from the TH must be frog paradise because they are raising a racket out there.

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    I suppose if the objective is strictly getting to the chicken that route would suffice. However, the lack of singletrack suggests that route is a poor substitute for riding Phil's to the chicken.

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    I understand the "getting to the chicken", thing, as my 7yr old daughter did it last year. Was a big deal to her. That said, it was an absolute joke trying to get her there safely with so much dang traffic. I would GLADLY have had her get there more safely by an alternate route, knowing traffic has to get by me first, as I followed her. She'd still get to the Chicken, but might need to be one year stronger. No biggie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thuren View Post
    I understand the "getting to the chicken", thing, as my 7yr old daughter did it last year. Was a big deal to her. That said, it was an absolute joke trying to get her there safely with so much dang traffic. I would GLADLY have had her get there more safely by an alternate route, knowing traffic has to get by me first, as I followed her. She'd still get to the Chicken, but might need to be one year stronger. No biggie.
    Well said. There is an alternative route to the Chicken. Go up Marvin's to the first forest service road and turn right, then follow that till you get to a fork and stay left. You will then ride between two big rocks with an obvious singletrack in between them. This will take you to the Chicken. It will allow you to make a loop out of it. This route technically runs parallel to Phil's and is actually the original Phil's Trail. In reality this will be a "family" friendly directional loop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harshmellow View Post
    I suppose if the objective is strictly getting to the chicken that route would suffice. However, the lack of singletrack suggests that route is a poor substitute for riding Phil's to the chicken.
    I rode it before I put up the post and it was nice and easy.

    And as willem points out there is another single track route that is beginner friendly.

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    I think my point was mildly misinterpreted. No doubt that route is easy, I just think it's boring (no offense). The only thing that makes Phil's to the chicken interesting is the fact that it's singletrack. I totally understand thuren being concerned for his daughter on this segment but that's exactly the age group that should be on that section. I have an 8 year old and a 5 year old that I'd love to introduce to that level of singletrack but yeah, too much strava douchery or something going on to not get stressed getting the young kids on the trails. But really, for the most part riders are super courteous around here (almost to a fault sometimes). So basically I see Phil's to the chicken as a section that should be the equivalent of Carousel at mt Bachelor, that is a beginner zone that introduces folks to the delights of singletrack. Then again, I don't make moneys in the industry so I tell everyone that mtb sucks and shopping at the old mill is where it's at. j/k Lower Phil's is a total beginner zone and I think it's awesome than awesome if people fall in love w/ mtb there. It just helps our sport that much more. COTA, are you listening? Promote lower Phil's to beginners. If that means making sensible one way loops, I'm ok w/ that just do so during peak hours. Off hours I'll be going haywire so look out!

    I'm interested in learning more about the trail willem3 mentions. Maybe this could be promoted as a one way to the chicken. To the chicken, I say!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harshmellow View Post
    If that means making sensible one way loops, I'm ok w/ that just do so during peak hours. Off hours I'll be going haywire so look out!
    Seriously? And what are "off hours"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshmellow View Post
    I'm interested in learning more about the trail willem3 mentions. Maybe this could be promoted as a one way to the chicken. To the chicken, I say!
    The arguments that there is no longer an easy route to the chicken have been greatly exaggerated. There are still multiple routes from very easy FS roads to slightly more challenging single track.

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    Todays opening at the trail head was well accepted. It was great to talk to those who showed up and had questions.
    The loop now known as 'Chicken Run' is easy to find if you Follow Willems directions. You will discover a beginner loop that is easy for anyone.
    If his instructions are not clear enough we have put some small Flaming Chicken signs on the route to help people figure it out.
    Now take your kids out and go ride your bike.

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