• 05-22-2014
    thrasher_s
    When you come across a janky trail feature....
    I rode a trail today that is not illegal, but not officially sanctioned either (not naming location). It is semi-well known, and I am afraid it could get closed/torn out if it gets the wrong reputation.

    Anyway, somebody has recently built a pretty shoddy ladder up over a downed tree. Very steep, very skinny, very wobbly and flexy. I walked over it and was afraid it would snap or tumble (not me tumble, the ramp itself!). Also, it is a solid 4ft drop to very flat, which while doable with a well designed structure, this isn't. Probably no way to clear it without enough speed to launch. Certainly couldn't be rolled or wheelie dropped. If the ramp collapsed, which it likely would if anybody hit it with an adequate amount of speed, best case scenario would be getting clotheslined by the tree (its about 7inches in diameter and crosses the trail with almost 3ft of air under it. What it really needs is a chainsaw).

    My question then, since this is EXACTLY the type of feature that gets trails a "time to rip it out" reputation, what should be done about it? I don't feel right ripping it down since I didn't build the trail or the feature, but it is downright dangerous.
  • 05-22-2014
    Nat
    I've run across iffy features more than once and left them alone. I also knew enough to not ride them.
  • 05-22-2014
    Zachariah
    Leave it be. Somebody will know exactly what to do with it....later.
  • 05-25-2014
    kjmccarx
    I agree, I always find these features as something to work up to. If it's something like an overgrown plant I will cut it, but anything more and I like to leave it be.

    One of my favorite trails (in AZ) involved riding on granite, and someone thought it would be a good idea to fill in deep cracks with gravel. After getting accustomed to hopping the obstacles, when I first came across the gravel I hit it and my bike slipped from under me. I would not like to be responsible for someone else's pain because I thought I was improving the trail for myself.
  • 05-26-2014
    Mookie
    If it's janky then it's junky.
  • 05-27-2014
    twd953
    I know the feature you are talking about. I just assumed it was half finished and there would be a ramp down the back side at some point.

    The construction didn't look very confidence inspiring, worse than what is on this particular trail already, but pretty much par for the course of what has been built in years past and torn out by the land owner. Riding amateur built wood stunts is just asking for a rusty nail in your taint when the thing collapses. No thanks, I steer clear of the sketchy ones.

    There is a new log gap jump on the next trail up that is also poorly thought out. Anybody coming down the trail thinking they are hitting the single jump that has been there for 6 months is in for a nasty surprise since they can't see the landing that was just built. And you can't case this one even a little without consequences.

    These are EXACTLY the types of feature that WILL get ripped out when the land owner finds it, and then they are going to close the entire trail. A good chance that they will take a harder line stance against these types of trails anything else they haven't authorized.

    So that is the question, do we self police and rip it out, or wait for it to get discovered or somebody to get hurt and risk losing access to the rest of the trails?

    I don't know the answer. I don't want to be anybody's nanny, but I don't want to see anybody hurt or trails get closed either.
  • 05-27-2014
    rob_co2
    That pretty much hits the nail on the head!

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    So that is the question, do we self police and rip it out, or wait for it to get discovered or somebody to get hurt and risk losing access to the rest of the trails?

    I don't know the answer. I don't want to be anybody's nanny, but I don't want to see anybody hurt or trails get closed either.


    Another similar situation that bothers me is when wood features become old. You never know when boards are starting to rot or screw/nails are lose.

    The trails I work on require that you regular inspections of TTFs. Having to do that makes me move away from wood and try to use rock as much as I can find it. Stabilize a rock feature in the ground and it will last ages.
  • 05-28-2014
    Woodman
    Contact the local club who is responsible for trails in the area (though not really responsible for this grey area trail) and ask advice. My 2 cents is to yank it ASAP. Poorly constructed features do no favors to our sport and the push for aggressive riding styles. I serve as a expert in trail related lawsuits and too many of them have to do with injuries related to structures. If the structure is well planned/designed/built then the structure is defendable. If the structure is junk, it exposes the land manager too much.
  • 05-28-2014
    jeffw-13
    Re: When you come across a janky trail feature....
    Maybe bring it to the attention of the land owner & offer to post a sign at the trailhead stating that unauthorized modificatiins will get the trail closed
  • 05-28-2014
    thrasher_s
    When I rode this trail again last Sunday the ladder was moved off to the side, but otherwise still intact. It would take a much more significant structure to safely clear the log the way it crosses the trail at waist height. I still think a chainsaw is the best solution, except I don't have one, or the skills to use anyway.

    If the feature was unfinished, some sort of notice would be nice, not that I usual ride such things without scouting. When a feature at Black Rock, for example, is in need of repair, people block it with a sort of teepee out of sticks as a warning. The actual builders use a little more official signage.
  • 05-28-2014
    Gman086
    Danny MacAskill - Epecuén - 2014 - YouTube

    Talk about janky sketchy riding! My point is one man's unsafe "janky" is another's treasure worth the risk if they have the skills. Post Canyon was once a magical place full of janky features. Then IMBA got involved and now all are yanked and the trails dumbed down. It's simply not as fun anymore for those with that skill set. If people minded their own business (for more than just trail builds) the world would be a better place.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
  • 05-28-2014
    Mookie
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    If people minded their own business (for more than just trail builds) the world would be a better place.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN

    Since liability is always an issue, unapproved structures should and will always be removed - either by nosy users or land managers. Not to mention the repeated construction of unapproved, poorly constructed TTFs represent a threat to access in many areas.
  • 05-28-2014
    Gman086
    That's why I mainly ride private property now, so I don't have to put up with that BS and lawyer types needing to preach that^^^.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
  • 05-28-2014
    Mookie
    That certainly solves a lot of problems. I'm relegated to public and private property with lots of rules and access issues.