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  1. #1
    Afric Pepperbird
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    New trail signage?

    The last three times I've biked up South Fork to the Swampy shelter, I've met an out-of-towner who seemed very lost. The sign post here has not had a directional sign on it for a couple of years now. The poor souls end up looking at the xc skiing and snowshoe route signs which are at the shelter (and, by the way, I believe are turned around).

    Just wondering if we can get a new sign post at this junction. Seems like it would help all those who don't know our trails by heart.

  2. #2
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    On more than one occasion I have oriented people while at the Swampy shelter who though that heading done S. Fork was the way towards Swede Ridge/Sector 16 and the Phills complex... they just get turned around up there.

    A new sign and better posting would be great!

  3. #3
    I am Doctor Remulak
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    I have to agree, the Bend area trails need more signs at the intersections. I picked up a Central Oregon Mountain Biking Trail Map while in Bend which was very helpful, but some of the intersections were hard to navigate due to the lack of signs. I ran into a guy from Denver at the Skyliner trailhead who was having the same problem. You guys have a kick ass trail system!
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  4. #4
    it means 'no problem'
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    Thanks for the comments. COTA is now forming a signage committee to address exactly this issue. (It used to be one person, clearly too big of a task!)

    If anyone is interested in joining COTA's Sign Committee, please send an email to:
    treasurer AT cotamtb.com

    The committee has prioritized Wanoga (completing it), Phil's Area (updating posts with names and better info) and then "Other". The project includes sign issues from top to bottom. In other words, assessing needs & locations, planning content for junctions, way signs and kiosks, and then installing said signs. It's clearly lots of work, so all the help we can get will be appreciated!

    Thanks
    "“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Great news!

    I may very well be interested.

  6. #6
    it means 'no problem'
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Great news!

    I may very well be interested.
    It would be great to have your help.
    "“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
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    I might be able to help too. E-mail going out.

  8. #8
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    The committee might look at the trail network and see if numbering the intersections would help (both for navigation and maintenance). EG: "I rode Dirt Farmer's Folly today, and there's a big-ass fallen pine blocking the trail between intersections 43 and 44."

    Me: very occasional visitor from Seattle, Bend is awesome.

  9. #9
    Nat
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    Actually a lot of the intersections already have posted numbers and IMO it's the most confusing/least used/least helpful reference method out there. I much prefer using trail names rather than saying "the section of trail between post 19 and post 22."

    Experiment: Without looking at a map, can any of the regular Phil's riders tell me what post numbers are at either end of Whoops?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Experiment: Without looking at a map, can any of the regular Phil's riders tell me what post numbers are at either end of Whoops?
    No, but that is why, before I knew the network, I stashed a map in my hydration pack. IMHO, sign numbers AND trail names help one navigate the trail networks. I remember just jotting down a string of numbers on a piece of paper to help me find my way. Worked fairly well.

  11. #11
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpryIP View Post
    No, but that is why, before I knew the network, I stashed a map in my hydration pack. IMHO, sign numbers AND trail names help one navigate the trail networks. I remember just jotting down a string of numbers on a piece of paper to help me find my way. Worked fairly well.
    You don't know the numbers on either end of Whoops but you do know where Whoops is, right? That's my hypothesis, that people prefer descriptive names rather than a string of numbers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Experiment: Without looking at a map, can any of the regular Phil's riders tell me what post numbers are at either end of Whoops?

    Nope, but I can tell you that junction 18 is where Phil's meets Kent's, since that is our turnaround point for a short loop. For everything else I have a map.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    That's my hypothesis, that people prefer descriptive names rather than a string of numbers.
    Most seem to perfer names but you'll find folks who prefer identifying trails by number. Some go so far as to advocate names be gotten rid of and only numbers used. You'll also find people get into arguments about what a trail is named, sometimes to the point of refusing to maintain it unless the name they prefer is used. All things considered, the Phil's area convention of naming trails and numbering junctions so that (if you have a suitably informative map) it's clear which junction you're at along a given trail is a pretty reasonable compromise.

    User awareness is an interesting challenge in this regard. Something I've found time and time again is riders don't know the North Fork, Metolius-Windigo, Big Meadow, Flagline, South Fork loop includes a section of Big Meadow trail. This even though the junctions have marker posts with arrows and mileages, there's a well defined left turn from Metolius-Windigo onto Big Meadow, plus a rather obvious Big Meadow sign for the winter ski trail system (seriously, it's like 30 feet tall). I've always kind of wondered how often people blow past Big Meadow by accident and don't realize it until they hit Century Drive but, even with really inappropriately intrusive signing, I'm sure people would still miss the turn.
    Metolius-Windigo trail steward from Happy Valley to Todd Creek---PM me if you'd like to help maintain Metolius-Windigo!

  14. #14
    Nat
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    I guess if you can fit all of that info on a sign then you may as well. I think to get rid of names and to only have numbers would make a place lose some character. Names carry impact. Picture Porcupine Rim as "Trail 5." Snore!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I guess if you can fit all of that info on a sign then you may as well. I think to get rid of names and to only have numbers would make a place lose some character. Names carry impact. Picture Porcupine Rim as "Trail 5." Snore!
    I agree, we do not like being just a number, so why would our trails I also agree with the character part.

  16. #16
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Kudos to COTA for the new signage the last couple of years!

    I'm curious as to why the Swampy Shelter area is still unsigned, as per my previous post? I met some out-of-towners up there again yesterday, and they needed directional help. Specifically, I've had more than one person at the shelter ask me "which way is South Fork?"

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