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  1. #1
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    Preserving Moore.

    There's this trail in our backyard. Pretty technical, in an old-school, slow-speed, rock crawling sort of way. It is one of our favorite trails because it requires a delicate blend of skill, finesse, and horsepower to ride well.





    The trail is called Moore Fun. I helped a tiny bit with walking the ridge, laying out the route, and building this trail way back in the late '90's. Not positive which year exactly, other than it was a long time ago.





    In the intervening years I have enjoyed riding this trail maybe a hundred times. Probably more. I've never, not once, cleaned every move, end to end, all on the same day. I know very few people who have.





    But I have been able to clean every move on it. Getting to where I could say that took years. Delayed gratification.


    It's the sort of trail where you have to be in a certain frame of mind: Patient, committed, and focused. Otherwise the wheels come off pretty quickly and you just frustrate yourself trying too hard.





    We've ridden it on hardtails, full suspension, full rigid, singlespeeds, fatbikes, and plus bikes. All sizes of wheels. They all work just fine on Moore Fun.


    Honestly, the bike matters little here. If you like the bike you're riding, it's good enough for this trail.





    This trail has never been heavily used relative to anything else around it. Not exactly sure why that is, but I'd conjecture that most people prefer to have a little more speed and flow on their rides. My proof for that guess is that many (most?) other people I see on this trail are usually walking. And bleeding. Seriously. I've heard it referred to not as "Moore Fun" but instead as "Moore Walking". One friend simply calls it "Uncle".


    It isn't for everyone.





    I've gotten to ride it three times this fall, and each of those times I've noticed that Moore Fun is changing. Being dumbed down, sanitized.





    Several of the marquee moves now have go-arounds, or ramps, or have been butchered such that a unique, well-designed, engaging move is now a straight line with zero challenge whatsoever.


    Why? I really don't know. By whom? Don't know that either.





    What I do know is that we have very, very few tech trails left. So many of the classics have been neutered, brought down to the level of the least common denominator. And then the tiny fraction remaining is being sanitized by the least common denominator. Or stravatards. Or maybe on accident.


    Probably ignorance is the theme tying all of the above together: They don't realize that in cheating themselves out of becoming better riders, they're cheating all of us.





    Clearly this is a first world problem. Not something that needs attention from lawmakers of any ilk, nor even from those that administer these trails. I'm not even certain they ride bikes.





    What this problem needs is for us, this community of riders, to stand up and say enough.


    If you see someone sanitizing a move on *any* trail, educate them. Maybe they don't know any better.





    It comes to this:


    Elevate yourself to the level of the trail. Don't bring the trail down to your level. Can't ride it? No biggie -- walk it this time. Next time, give a few of the moves a try. The time after that, try 'em twice. Eventually, you might put it together and experience the intense satisfaction of delayed gratification. It is addicting, in ways that the instant kind can't be.


    Moore Fun is literally one of the last places that that experience can be had, locally.





    Tech trails are vanishing fast. Please share this around while we still have a few worth saving.


    Thanks,


    Mike Curiak
    Grand Junction, Colorado
    Last edited by mikesee; 1 Week Ago at 01:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    That looks like a totally fun trail that would completely kick my ass. I will have to check it out the next time I'm visiting my brother out there.

    I get what you're saying. We don't have a lot of techy trails like that in my neck of the woods, but what we do have I have noticed a lot of mods made to them over the past few years.

    I'm just a mediocre rider and if I can't handle a feature or line I will just walk around it. No biggie.

  3. #3
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    Well Mike, this time, I absolutely am 100% with you, it happens the world over, people don't want to take the time to learn the skills, get the fitness, whatever to ride these sorts of trails (sounds like my ideal trail) and so they push down/out a rock here, pile a few rocks here, eventually I think trying to build a highway. I have and fight this so much down here, the modern flow trail mentality type riders just can't grasp the share exhilaration and pleasure one gets when finally managing to clear an obstacle or by some miracle, an entire trail of this ilk.

    I think this sums it up as good as it needs, try to explain this to people all the time, seems to not register by the blank look on peoples faces. I remember my first excursion on what is now a trail I ride and clear on my rigid, but back then, I couldn't even ride 10% and the only thing I thought to myself is, "One day, I'm going to be able to ride this entire trail with no dabs" and so I started riding and practicing until I could, years later, to now having to ride my rigid to make it somewhat challenging because it has been dumbed down so much.

    Elevate yourself to the level of the trail. Don't bring the trail down to your level. Can't ride it? *No biggie -- walk it this time. Next time, give a few of the moves a try. The time after that, try 'em twice. Eventually, you might put it together and experience the intense satisfaction of delayed gratification. It is addicting, in ways that the instant kind can't be.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  4. #4
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    I'm sure where I live (northeast Pa) some people just are afraid of trying certain obstacles. But if they only knew how big a smile they will have when they clear it, I'm sure they wouldn't dumb down a trail. We see it a lot. Tight turns are made into straight aways by hacking away more brush and therefore by making a new section of trail they create a new area to erode. There is no shame in walking. You live to ride another day. Awesome looking trail by the way.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  5. #5
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    That looks like my kind of fun! Now I have to go ride it to see if I can clean it all.

    I agree, sanitation is getting ridiculous. At a time when bikes are now capable of the most amazing things, trails are getting easy enough to ride cleanly on my 1980s Schwinn Moab.

    We have one trail locally that looks similar to this one (albeit it's probably much shorter), and to my dissatisfaction -- found out the last time I rode it that one of the biggest rocks had been removed. At speed, you could launch off this rock and drop about 5 feet to a perfect natural transition. The rock had a perfect dirt ramp behind it, and was probably close to weighing 600 pounds or more. There was a clean line around it; it was not a mandatory huck.

    Well, somebody(s) took it upon themselves to remove it from the trail and cast it aside. This had to have taken a great deal of effort. That one feature was something I looked forward to every time I rode that trail. Now, I don't even know if I feel like riding that trail anymore...

    Complete BS.

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately though, because I do, at times, clear random baby-head rocks off of trails. Obviously, some trails feature huge sections of pure baby-head/cantaloupe-sized rocks, and there's nothing to be done about that.

    But on trails that are primarily smooth and/or fixed boulders/rocks, I tend to remove the odd rocks that get lodged loose for whatever reason. These rocks don't really add challenge to the trail, but they do add a lot of hazard because if you're not expecting them and roll over one incorrectly, you can take a fall at high speed (has happened to me many times). We have one trail, specifically, that's relatively new (<10 years old), and was originally designed as a flow trail, and has always been managed as such. I do a lot of work on that trail; mostly cutting fallen trees off of it, but I also remove baby-heads as they crop-up. I would never remove an imbedded rock.

    What's your take on that? Is that sanitation gone too far? Should everything be left?
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  6. #6
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    I️ have fond memories of my day there with you guys. Burned every match I️ owned and loved it.

    We have had several local incredibly challenging trails completely obliterated and re routed into swoopy, fun, but ultimately non challenging alternatives.

    I️ am double minded about it. It takes the fear and pressure off a ride and gets more people out on to those trails, and they truly are fun to ride. Some of these trails, though, were scary monsters that kept me awake with anxiety the night before if I️ knew I️ was riding it the following day as I️ knew the suffering that was coming and did not want it. But I️ sorta did want it actually. The suffering and challenge was the why of those trails. They scared me and that was the point. They were wild. The new trails are tame and friendly.

    We are extremely lucky that the Dells trails are nearly impossible to sanitize so we always have those for the tech minded.

    I️ used to get all wrapped up about sanitization, now I️ am a little less uptight about it for a couple reasons:

    1. Every trail represents humans sanitizing terrain. Every single one. There is little to no raw terrain in its natural state that we ride.

    2. Trails change, sometimes significantly over time simply due to weathering and erosion. It has been fun to watch my local trails change over 15 years of riding. Some parts got easier and some parts I️ used to clean with regularity are simply impossible for anyone outside of a trials rider on a trials rig to clean.

    I️ needed to get over the mindset that the world needs to stay just the way I️ remembered it and accept and enjoy what it is now.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
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  7. #7
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    The problem is all your techy bits are climbing. Nobody wants to climb any more and nobody wants to do techy climbs. They all want to just "send it" on downhills. Climbing is too much work.


    BTW that is not my view point, but the viewpoint of the masses these days. No/little appreciation for technical climbing.
    Joe
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  8. #8
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    I remember riding (mostly pushing) that trail shortly after it was opened in 100F heat and the numerous jokes about the name. Moore Fun than what? Work, dentist appointment, etc. It wasn't for me but I didn't consider changing it. I also remember running into a guy who said he was a local trying to clean up the drop down to Horse Thief several years ago. He got rather pissy with me when I questioned him. He thought the area (Fruita in general) needed to be more family friendly and I should mind my own business. Maybe that guy is still out there working for his perspective of the greater good.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueallah View Post
    I also remember running into a guy who said he was a local trying to clean up the drop down to Horse Thief several years ago. He got rather pissy with me when I questioned him. He thought the area (Fruita in general) needed to be more family friendly and I should mind my own business. Maybe that guy is still out there working for his perspective of the greater good.

    The ironic part about this is that there are 7 (8?) other trails out there, all accessible from the same trailheads, all of which are easy, flowy, fast. Moore stands alone out there as a challenging trail. Don't like it? No problem -- just ride the others.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    What's your take on that? Is that sanitation gone too far? Should everything be left?

    Well, first -- it's not up to me.

    Second, it's a slippery slope. I toss loose rocks off the trail sometimes, for the same reason: Removing a hazard. Where it gets slippery is that people will deliberately dislodge a rock that they don't like, because now that it's dislodged, well, I guess we can just toss it...

  11. #11
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    This happens in all riding areas lately. Part of the popularity of the sport. Obstacles get dummed down and the trails get wider. Strava lines are the most frustrating though. It used to drive me crazy. Now I just try to do what I can to minimize it and correct it if possible.

    They crazy part is many of the folks doing this think they are helping others. Would be great if they would respect the original trail builders that put in the real work and had the vision.

    Last, great pictures and passion!

  12. #12
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    It's odd that as these changes happen to trails no one seems to know who is responsible. Same goes for bad behavior on trails and at trailheads that loses us access. More self-policing needs to be part of the solution
    Preserving Moore.-screen-shot-2014-02-16-10.23.51-pm.jpg

  13. #13
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    It's a constant battle, there are few opportunites to build such trails and we (my local trail org) spend more time de-sanitizing them to get them back to their original, intended and approved challenging state, than we do maintaining them. The only thing that works is to use bigger rocks than a single sanitizer can move.

    I honestly don't get it. I like trails I can't clean, there's way too many that I can.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    The problem is all your techy bits are climbing. Nobody wants to climb any more and nobody wants to do techy climbs. They all want to just "send it" on downhills. Climbing is too much work.
    this. all day long.

    I love our sport, but this is the way the masses want to enjoy it. (see e-bikes)

    J.
    are you a bike shop owner? or a custom builder? I want to talk to you about your website

  15. #15
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    Adding: The video accompanying the first post is really excellent. I had not watched it prior to my earlier post, but would encourage all to take the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Moore stands alone out there as a challenging trail.
    Ummmm.....Mack Ridge?
    Yes, not as consistently brutal as Moore, but challenging nonetheless!


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    Really well said Mike & I concur 100%.
    I've ridden the trail maybe 12-15 times & can't say I've gotten all the moves despite sessioning several of them. But the thing is I really enjoy the challenge & think about attacking them next time. This is especially exemplified when you have some like minded friends encouraging each other and studying the lines/moves. Makes for a really memorable time.

    Part of the problem may be the culture, bikes, vids etc are all geared toward going fast. We need to highlight the fun factor in rides that require a different kind of skill and consequences for committing & the satisfaction from such. Perhaps a placard with a similar explanation at the parking lot kiosk & both ends of the trail would be helpful? It seems people there & the loops really take the time to read them.

  18. #18
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    Sidewinder is a multi use trail that I ride as much or more than most. I ride it on my moto, and it has always been one of my favorite go to trails because it was doable, yet had lots of interesting features. I have been able to see the transformation of this trail each time I ride it.. Rocks stacked here, rocks moved there. Some rock gardens removed completely. I just don't understand... I believe flow trails are lots of fun, but not everything needs to be a flow trail.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jncarpenter View Post
    Ummmm.....Mack Ridge?
    Yes, not as consistently brutal as Moore, but challenging nonetheless!

    OK, so 6. That said, Mack from E to W is easy. It's flipping it that brings the challenge out -- and not surprisingly that's our favorite way to ride it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    What's your take on that? Is that sanitation gone too far? Should everything be left?
    If it's one random loose babyhead I don't see a problem kicking if off the trail. Chances are it's going to end up booted off the trail by somebody's tire anyway. And I don't think anyone's going to be like "damnit, somebody moved my favorite rock that was rolling down the trail last week!"

    On an old school technical trail, anything that isn't loose......hell no, don't touch it. And as you noted, if the trail has tons of loose rock, then leave them.

    It also depends on the nature of the trail and who you are. If it's a purpose built flow trail with smooth berms, and you are the builder/maintainer of that trail, then obviously it's fair game. In that example, embedded rocks that work their way up to the face of a berm serve no good purpose, and are often removed.

    On the whole though, things would be far better if all mountain bikers (and other trail users) took the approach of "if it isn't mine....don't touch it."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevland View Post
    It's odd that as these changes happen to trails no one seems to know who is responsible. Same goes for bad behavior on trails and at trailheads that loses us access. More self-policing needs to be part of the solution
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I don't understand the picture.

  22. #22
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    Mikesee,

    You need 3 things to solve this problem:
    1. At least 5 strong guys or gnarly ladies
    2. A rock bar
    3. Persistence

    Every time a cheater line goes in, close it off, or add some feature that is harder than what it is bypassing. Win-Win, you end up with more challenging options than you started with.

    Don't take sensitization lying down. Fight fire with fire.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    Mikesee,

    You need 3 things to solve this problem:
    1. At least 5 strong guys or gnarly ladies
    2. A rock bar
    3. Persistence

    Every time a cheater line goes in, close it off, or add some feature that is harder than what it is bypassing. Win-Win, you end up with more challenging options than you started with.

    Don't take sensitization lying down. Fight fire with fire.

    If it were up to me...

    ...but it isn't. Not my place to change the trail either. Erosion happens, and sometimes trails get easier as a result. Not much can be done about that, other than proactive design and maintenance.

    Think the authorities would look the other way, at least for a little while, if we hid in the p/j and shot the sanitizers with paintball guns?

    No lasting damage has to happen to them -- just need to get their attention, and get them to associate p/j with snipers...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I don't understand the picture.
    Bar of soap in a towel. Ever seen the movie Full Metal Jacket? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUylUsG-PKA

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    If it were up to me...

    ...but it isn't. Not my place to change the trail either. Erosion happens, and sometimes trails get easier as a result. Not much can be done about that, other than proactive design and maintenance.

    Think the authorities would look the other way, at least for a little while, if we hid in the p/j and shot the sanitizers with paintball guns?

    No lasting damage has to happen to them -- just need to get their attention, and get them to associate p/j with snipers...
    What happened to the original builders that you helped build the trail, and who now maintains the trails and who is the land owner/manager? If the person making the changes doesn't have permission to do so, then they won't be very popular with those who do have that responsibility.

    That could be an opportunity to get involved and be the voice of reason and advocate for preserving that type of trail.

    Of course that gets more challenging if you've got well meaning volunteers doing the sanitizing or a land manager that never wanted the trail there in the first place.

    The erosion issue can also be a tricky one. If a poorly designed trail erodes, gets more challenging, then gets fixed to it's original state, someone will almost always call that sanitizing the trail. A decent trail builder/maintainer, should put a lot of thought into layout to avoid those problems, and a lot of thought should also go into what truly needs fixing as a trail ages and evolves vs what can be left.

    I do like the paint ball gun idea.

  26. #26
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    Well said, great pics as always. Boston, MA area rider here. Sanitizing is everywhere. One of my popular local spots, we ( 15 of us) spent a 6 hrs fixing stuff instead of building sweet singletrack, thats the part that sucks. Braids are worse, who cuts the corner on an almost, flat smooth corner? They go 10 ft instead of 20 ft? Stravatards? Racers? Sort of at a loss. My solution to not cleaning a climb? Ride it in the other direction, works every time. Fortunately we have so much rock, granite, slab and such, some of the lines won't change. Isn't bleeding and cussing part of most rides? Maybe some sort of educational pitch to some of the ( younger) riders? Either online, meeting or kiosk posters would be a start?

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    Wonder if adding something like "Technical trail. Do not alter trail features." to the trail head signs would make a difference. Or would something like that just make people think they have the green light to alter every other trail?

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    The last video of you guys desanitizing the trail put a big smile on my face. Iíd pitch in on the work if I lived anywhere near there.

  29. #29
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    I think that your typical Fruita mountain bike tourist isn't going anywhere near Moore Fun, or Mack Ridge for that matter. More than likely, its the locals that are sanitizing these trails, the young locals - bike shop fanboys. What does COPMOBA have to say? Maybe its time to work with the LBS's and COPMOBA and try to get the message out there. What else can you do? Its only going to get worse unless there's some sort of direct, educational action taken - most people doing this probably don't even know its an issue or understand what they're taking away from other riders. COPMOBA hangs signs out there, why not signs about sanitization? Hopefully its not trail organizations doing the sanitizing - sometimes it is.

    This is why my family has become more involved with trail builds around here - those who dig, decide, and we're trying to keep trails from getting too dumbed down by being out there during build days so our voices are heard when it matters...before something gets sanitized. I know in this case, the trail is already established, so not terribly applicable, but I get it. I hate the new machine built, 6% grade, 2ft wide standard trails going in everywhere, but I'm starting to think of these as "terrain parks"...places where the park rats will congregate and stay, leaving the more tech trails untouched. Sadly, in this instance, that's not the case.

    Maybe game camera's to catch the "perps", followed by public shaming?

    My wife maiden name is Moore, and she's left Moore blood on Moore fun.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  30. #30
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    Many of the trail sanitation stories I read go like this:

    • Trail was initially built as an unsanctioned rake-and-ride, poorly designed & routed.
    • Trail was initially buff and flowy to ride.
    • Time, weather, and use eroded the trail into a rooty, rocky, chunderfest chute.
    • Advocacy group forms, remediates & reroutes the trail, using sustainable design & techniques, with approval from landowner.
    • Trail is now flowy again and sustainable.
    • People that never join an advocacy group, never get involved, and never trail build, blast them for taking away the challenge.


    The OP's post is NOT one of those stories.

    From what I understand, here's a trail that was designed, from the get-go, to be difficult to master. It has held up to time, man, and weather. The trail mods are unsanctioned. There are plenty of easier trails accessible from the same trailhead. There is no good reason to be dumbing down and building ride-arounds on this trail. If you can't ride it, get better, and if you can't get better, ride something else. It's the American southwest after all. It's not like you don't have any other place to ride.

    If you see someone sanitizing a move on *any* trail, educate them. Maybe they don't know any better.
    ^ This, more than anything else, this. Forgive them, for they (probably) know not what they do. Many times it's simply an education problem. They simply don't understand what harm they are causing. They probably think they are doing everyone a favour because they are making the trail ridable. They can't fathom how anyone could possibly ride this, or even derive enjoyment from it.

    I remember riding a very technical trail network in my area for the first time, after many years of riding mostly wide cinder paths and forest roads, thinking that that was mountain biking. I remember thinking: "This is stupid. No one can ride this. I want to ride my bike, not push it." Then I joined a group ride at the same network, and my mind was blown. They were not just riding down features, but up them as well.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    I think that your typical Fruita mountain bike tourist isn't going anywhere near Moore Fun, or Mack Ridge for that matter. More than likely, its the locals that are sanitizing these trails, the young locals - bike shop fanboys.

    My wife, myself, my riding partners -- we're out there regularly. We rarely see anyone else on the trail, even when parking lots are half full or more. When we do they're tourists that stumbled in and had no idea what they were signing up for. The first question they ask, usually spoken while attending to a bleeding elbow or knee, is: "What's the quickest way out of here?"

    The caveat is that we, and most longtime locals, refuse to go on weekends when the tourist zoo takes over. Which makes me lean toward the fact that it's not the locals.

    Another fact pointing toward that is knowing how few of the shop rats here actually ride anymore. You'd be amazed. And of those that do, the ones that limit themselves to road, or e-bikes, or shuttle monkeying vastly outnumber the ones that might find themselves on Moore Fun.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    From what I understand, here's a trail that was designed, from the get-go, to be difficult to master. It has held up to time, man, and weather. The trail mods are unsanctioned. There are plenty of easier trails accessible from the same trailhead. There is no good reason to be dumbing down and building ride-arounds on this trail. If you can't ride it, get better, and if you can't get better, ride something else.

    Yes, you have that all correct.



    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Forgive them, for they (probably) know not what they do. Many times it's simply an education problem. They simply don't understand what harm they are causing. They probably think they are doing everyone a favour because they are making the trail ridable. They can't fathom how anyone could possibly ride this, or even derive enjoyment from it.

    Part of my thought process in making that video, writing those words, and sharing this post is to educate. There are people out there that either don't know they aren't supposed to alter the trail, or both don't know *and* think that no one could ride it, so they must be helping.

    Sharing this thread with as many people as possible, especially beginners, is my attempt at curbing the insanity.

    I fear that changing the minds of long-time riders (or, um, hikers?) who sanitize under the cover of darkness isn't going to be as easy, nor effective.

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    I thought it was a popular trail. I saw about 12 people on it last time I rode it 3-4 weeks ago. Definitely a fun one that is actually a good mix of tech, flow, and the best scenery in that trail system IMO.

    I think with the advent of 29 inch bikes, plus size tires, all paired with full suspension, it's super easy for people to create B lines around obstacles. It's like a 4x4 truck. Nothing will ever change, especially in super popular areas like this one.

    IMO the only thing you can realistically do is advocate for B lines so A lines stick around. Not sure why anyone would dislike having go arounds? Seems like purely an ego issue. Let people ride around and you will get less people messing with the A line, less being the key word as you will never stop people messing with trails, ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steezus View Post
    I thought it was a popular trail. I saw about 12 people on it last time I rode it 3-4 weeks ago.

    Like I said -- I won't ride it on a weekend, so I don't have that perspective. Good to know it's getting ridden though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steezus View Post
    I think with the advent of 29 inch bikes, plus size tires, all paired with full suspension, it's super easy for people to create B lines around obstacles. It's like a 4x4 truck.

    That may be the case in other areas, but I don't think it applies to Moore Fun. People are having to heave 30# rocks out of the way to open up the cheater lines.


    Quote Originally Posted by Steezus View Post
    IMO the only thing you can realistically do is advocate for B lines so A lines stick around. Not sure why anyone would dislike having go arounds? Seems like purely an ego issue. Let people ride around and you will get less people messing with the A line

    I'm fairly confident that was the thinking that led to the creation of our latest trail, Hawkeye. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, something was lost in translation: It's neither technical nor fun -- using Moore Fun as the standard -- uphill or downhill.

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    Thanks Mike. Love Moore Fun and this makes me want to get out there and give it another go (before it becomes a rail trail).

    I've shared your post and video on my facebook feed. Hope more people will do the same. We need to get the word out. I think signs at the each end of the trail and on some of the key features that have been dumbed down would help. I think most people who sanitize just don't know.
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    I've only ridden it once from the North? end where Mary's & Mack come together. t looks like many of your photos are riding the other direction? It was challenging for sure but that it what I like. I walked plenty but my issue on that trip was more fitness than technical hazards. I would absolutely go back because the ride down to the Kokopelli Trailhead was pretty bad-ass even though 3 out of my 4 friends walked plenty of it going down and vowed never again. They are more the 18 Road types anyway

    I'll be back out there next May so we'll have to give it a go.
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  37. #37
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    I hate this crap. Around here the problem is Strava and the generation of riders who missed the days of full rigid and early suspension.

    Before and after. The root is the best line.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Preserving Moore.-downsized_1106021458%5B1%5D.jpg  

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    Just watched the video.

    1. I need to ride that trail.
    2. Mountain biking needs more of this and less "flow."
    3. This video needs to be on the front pages of MTBR, Pinkbike, NSMB, etc.
    Dear U.S. Forest Service: Please ban all wilderness in my riding areas.

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    Some things I noticed....

    * The trailhead sign... does it talk about the tech level of the trail? Is there a very early 'filter' feature? (Maybe with a sign 'must be this tall to ride'/'please don't move the rocks')?

    * Some of those lines... I have no idea how I'd be expected to know the 'right' vs 'wrong' one. Though the wall sure helps.

    * As people have mentioned--why not have an A/B line in places where there's space? A lot of the video sounded like "I made this for me and other people don't like it so i hate them". Make both of you happy if possible!

    * But so nice not to have a roadway. That's the fight in most places--"don't you want this nice pretty 20' wide paved trail with a yellow line down the middle"?

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    I love that trail. If you can't ride something try to improve your skills or walk around it. My favorite trails are ones I can't completely clean. All other trails in the area are relatively easy (Horsethief, except for the drop in, Mary's, Steve's, Wrangler). There is no need to alter Moore Fun to the level of these other trails. Very inconsiderate to do so.

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    Right on, Mike. Keep fighting the good fight. I believe Kevin Foote was the primary mastermind behind the layout of Moore Fun and am absolutely certain he agrees with your sentiment. I ride it every time I go to the Kokopelli/Mack area.

    The cave switchback in 2001 - glad to see it is just as challenging.
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    Wish I could give you rep for this, but it won't let me. Guess I've liked your other posts too much in past. All the way with you on this. We have a saying around here that trails shouldn't be cleanable by everyone, every time. In fact the best trails aren't cleanable by anyone every time. Otherwise, if you are riding tech, what's the point? Can Moore Fun be unsanitized? Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmtb View Post

    * As people have mentioned--why not have an A/B line in places where there's space? A lot of the video sounded like "I made this for me and other people don't like it so i hate them". Make both of you happy if possible!
    In my area where there are 2 options the easier line gets used and the harder line gets reclaimed by nature.
    No moss...

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    Great post Mike and thank you for your work on Moorefun. I've ridden it a few times. There is something satisfying about completing Moorefun, not cleaning everything, getting your arse handed to you in spots, telling yourself "if only I rode this every day, I could ride it non stop" and knowing the trail will be there next time out to test your mettle on. Goodonya!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Just watched the video.

    1. I need to ride that trail.
    2. Mountain biking needs more of this and less "flow."
    3. This video needs to be on the front pages of MTBR, Pinkbike, NSMB, etc.

    I've been in contact with peeps from Pinkbike, Adventure Journal, and Outside Mag since publishing this post/vid. Since my intent was to shine a light on the problem, their interest (and far bigger collective audience) seems like progress.

    Awareness and education ("just because you or I can't ride it, doesn't mean no one can, so let's leave it alone...") will go a long way.

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    It's elves on 29ers sanitizing everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    What happened to the original builders that you helped build the trail, and who now maintains the trails and who is the land owner/manager? If the person making the changes doesn't have permission to do so, then they won't be very popular with those who do have that responsibility.

    That could be an opportunity to get involved and be the voice of reason and advocate for preserving that type of trail.

    Of course that gets more challenging if you've got well meaning volunteers doing the sanitizing or a land manager that never wanted the trail there in the first place.

    The trail is on BLM land. There is no active maintenance or management of it. It is a brilliant trail in that way -- truly low maintenance. There was a reroute a few years back on the E end, that added a sort of 'squirrel catcher' of features that should clue you in, quickly, as to what's coming. But other than that I can't think of any 'official' maintenance that's been done on it. Erosion isn't really an issue either -- what little is happening is slow and not changing much.

    The trail was designed, built, and approved as a tech trail. Everyone involved then knew what it was about. Some of those people are still around, but my perception is that few of them still ride this trail. I could be wrong on that.

    None of the changes I'm grousing about here have been proposed or permitted. It is all bandit stuff, done on the fly.

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    could probably catch them with cameras on trail then follow-up with them.

    a trail in my area was sanitized by an insane rider a few years ago. he was caught and banned from the county park. i say insane because he got furious after he did an endo on a water bar and then went nuts and tore out 6 or 7 water bars by hand. it was a herculean and insane response. to me the guy was a psychopath who should have been locked up.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    could probably catch them with cameras on trail then follow-up with them.

    a trail in my area was sanitized by an insane rider a few years ago. he was caught and banned from the county park. i say insane because he got furious after he did an endo on a water bar and then went nuts and tore out 6 or 7 water bars by hand. it was a herculean and insane response. to me the guy was a psychopath who should have been locked up.


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    Make your water bars more or less the wheelbase of a typical mtb and they will work better and ride fine. Off topic but WTH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by endo_alley View Post
    Make your water bars more or less the wheelbase of a typical mtb and they will work better and ride fine. Off topic but WTH.
    The water bars and the trail were not the problem.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    My wife, myself, my riding partners -- we're out there regularly. We rarely see anyone else on the trail, even when parking lots are half full or more. When we do they're tourists that stumbled in and had no idea what they were signing up for. The first question they ask, usually spoken while attending to a bleeding elbow or knee, is: "What's the quickest way out of here?"

    The caveat is that we, and most longtime locals, refuse to go on weekends when the tourist zoo takes over. Which makes me lean toward the fact that it's not the locals.

    Another fact pointing toward that is knowing how few of the shop rats here actually ride anymore. You'd be amazed. And of those that do, the ones that limit themselves to road, or e-bikes, or shuttle monkeying vastly outnumber the ones that might find themselves on Moore Fun.
    Gotta doubt a tourist is taking time to cut a braid when they're never gonna ride that trail again.

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    Thanks for starting this thread and making that video, I hope it gets circulated, but I'm guessing most of the people that need to see it won't. I've resigned myself to the camp that says might as well have an A and B line, because at least the A line will still be there. I've actually had "battles" on some of the trails here (Tahoe). After many years of riding these trails and trying to clean some little bits, I come across a section that has been neutered (sanitized, dumbed down, girlfriended, whatever you call it in your parts). I'll restore it to the way it existed for the past however many years (I've been here around 15). I'll come back a week or two later and it's altered again. Once again I restore it, making it a bit more difficult for someone to alter it. A week or two later, same thing. Eventually I just want to ride my bike and not work on a project every time I'm on the trail, so I might concede defeat.
    Fortunately this isn't a huge problem here - the bigger issue tends to be people widening trails because they are scared to ride though a bit of mud or snow (because they have to ride the trail in the spring when there will clearly be snow), or too lazy to pick up the bike and walk over a fallen tree (or cut the tree, or stack some logs to make it rideable). Unfortunately, as I'm sure is the case in many areas, we now have an organization that has built itself up in recent years (TAMBA), since most of the trails were built, and reroutes and sanitizes entire sections of trails in the name of "sustainability". Most of these trails were built by hikers decades ago, and all were at least somewhat challenging to ride on a bike, at least uphill. Now we have tons of trails that all feel like the same trail, easy to ride uphill, boring downhill, but at least they provide easier access to the fun stuff, some of which is hidden in the woods where the locals have built the trails that the local trail organizations won't.

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    It is a tough line between sustainable trails and challenging riding trails. Where we are, the USFS soft surface trails are little by little being reworked to allow pack/ stock access. Which means wide corridor and wide easy turns. The BLM land seems to allow a little more variance in mtb trail design. I think the point that some trails will just be a good access to other more remote trails is a valid point. In high desert areas like fruita and Loma, etc, there are some interesting rock and ledge formations which can make really technical and challenging riding experiences while appearing to be impervious to erosion, at least in the near term. In places like that, maybe there is a way of using information signs and bike shop posters to remind riders just how rare these highly technical sections are any more. And that they should leave them be for the sake of others.
    Last edited by endo_alley; 5 Days Ago at 10:03 AM.

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    And just to drive the point home even further, since my post this morning I went for a ride on a fairly popular trail with a bunch of little jumps and a few large boulders that you can ride over. Not one single feature on this trail is mandatory, very easy to ride around all of them, and I would say most are more intimidating than actually difficult. Yet in the past couple weeks, the backside of the boulders have been filled with dirt so that you can now roll them on a road bike. Do people actually feel better about themselves being able to ride a feature that they had to make easier in order to be able to ride it? WTF?

  55. #55
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    As a trail builder, I've learned the hard way by not building go around options. On trails with technical features or bigger hucks it's important to have a go around option. Otherwise sanitizing will take place at some point. Mine as well build it right from the start.

  56. #56
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    As a trail builder, I've learned the hard way by not building go around options. On trails with technical features or bigger hucks it's important to have a go around option. Otherwise sanitizing will take place at some point. Mine as well build it right from the start.

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    Alimon - You can say that again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread and making that video, I hope it gets circulated, but I'm guessing most of the people that need to see it won't. I've resigned myself to the camp that says might as well have an A and B line, because at least the A line will still be there. I've actually had "battles" on some of the trails here (Tahoe). After many years of riding these trails and trying to clean some little bits, I come across a section that has been neutered (sanitized, dumbed down, girlfriended, whatever you call it in your parts). I'll restore it to the way it existed for the past however many years (I've been here around 15). I'll come back a week or two later and it's altered again. Once again I restore it, making it a bit more difficult for someone to alter it. A week or two later, same thing. Eventually I just want to ride my bike and not work on a project every time I'm on the trail, so I might concede defeat.
    Fortunately this isn't a huge problem here - the bigger issue tends to be people widening trails because they are scared to ride though a bit of mud or snow (because they have to ride the trail in the spring when there will clearly be snow), or too lazy to pick up the bike and walk over a fallen tree (or cut the tree, or stack some logs to make it rideable). Unfortunately, as I'm sure is the case in many areas, we now have an organization that has built itself up in recent years (TAMBA), since most of the trails were built, and reroutes and sanitizes entire sections of trails in the name of "sustainability". Most of these trails were built by hikers decades ago, and all were at least somewhat challenging to ride on a bike, at least uphill. Now we have tons of trails that all feel like the same trail, easy to ride uphill, boring downhill, but at least they provide easier access to the fun stuff, some of which is hidden in the woods where the locals have built the trails that the local trail organizations won't.
    " Girlfriended? " Kind of a neanderthal comment. All the ladies I ride with usually kick ass.

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    I just want to add everyone blaming strava and "endurobros" is grossly stereotyping a user group that I don't think is the problem. I strava. I race a lot of Enduro. I love this trail. I've ridden it at least a half a dozen times in the last couple years. Both directions but I prefer east to west, I usually have better odds of clearing *most* features. Most people that I know that race enduro, like to be well-rounded. Trails like this are disappearing and I don't believe it's "us". It's time to end the bickering and in-fighting in mountain biking. We're our own worst enemy. If you like to ride fast, ride fast. If you like to ride slow, ride slow. Stop telling others what's appropriate and stop modifying trails to meet your own agenda.
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    " Girlfriended? " Kind of a neanderthal comment. All the ladies I ride with usually kick ass.
    I've never heard that term before. Kinda odd to post that on a thread with started with 10 pictures of a lady kicking ass on a trail that was too difficult for some guy(s) to ride.

  61. #61
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    While Strava might be a nice scapegoat, here's one thing to contemplate:

    If someone was trying to go up a tech section fast (for time), getting off and CX-style shouldering the bike and running briefly is/can be far faster than slowly making your way up pedaling.

    I know this, because there's one local trail that many people can ride down easily. Going up is another story entirely, and it's far faster to dismount right before the switch back than attempting, and most likely failing, to clear the several 6-12" root drops in the middle of the tight turn. A couple friends and I were on a long ride one day, decided to stop and try to session the switchback. Someone posited that it would be faster to just get off, take three steps up and get back on. Turns out they were right, by quite a bit, even if you clean it.

    That said, I see this sort of thing done quite often. There was a section on Captain Ahab this weekend that had some rocks placed in it. A steep rock chute where someone had placed some rocks there to make the drop down into it not as steep. Problem is unless you were carrying quite a bit of speed, your front wheel is going to get caught between the natural, embedded rock and the placed rock, resulting in an OTB. I don't remember them being there the last time I rode it. I didn't remove them as that's not my place, but I can't help but feel that it wasn't part of the original trail design.
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I've never heard that term before. Kinda odd to post that on a thread with started with 10 pictures of a lady kicking ass on a trail that was too difficult for some guy(s) to ride.
    Ya it's funny how what seems like a simple turn-of-phrase could be interpreted as small-minded or cruel. Interesting how we should pay attention to our behaviors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread and making that video, I hope it gets circulated, but I'm guessing most of the people that need to see it won't. I've resigned myself to the camp that says might as well have an A and B line, because at least the A line will still be there. I've actually had "battles" on some of the trails here (Tahoe). After many years of riding these trails and trying to clean some little bits, I come across a section that has been neutered (sanitized, dumbed down, girlfriended, whatever you call it in your parts).
    Ugh, "girlfriended", seriously? Way to perpetuate the stereotype that women only ride behind their boyfriends. Guess I'd better get back to the kitchen while my husband tunes my bike for me then...
    - Jen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I've never heard that term before. Kinda odd to post that on a thread with started with 10 pictures of a lady kicking ass on a trail that was too difficult for some guy(s) to ride.
    Maybe he was just relating a term that he's heard people use in his area?

    Regardless of the source, it's very poor taste to use a term like that.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    Guess I'd better get back to the kitchen while my husband tunes my bike for me then...
    You should definitely be spending all your time in the kitchen cooking for your husband and bringing him beer as needed. Forget mountain biking; that's only for men you silly girl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    While Strava might be a nice scapegoat,

    FWIW, I don't necessarily think it's stravatards. And I've only seen 3 mentions of them here in this thread: 1 quasi-accusation, and 2 denials.

    The point is NOT to point fingers and place blame. Not going to solve anything. The point is for all of us, regardless of strava affiliation, to be more attentive and speak up if we see something happening.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    What happened to the original builders that you helped build the trail, and who now maintains the trails and who is the land owner/manager? If the person making the changes doesn't have permission to do so, then they won't be very popular with those who do have that responsibility.

    That could be an opportunity to get involved and be the voice of reason and advocate for preserving that type of trail.

    Of course that gets more challenging if you've got well meaning volunteers doing the sanitizing or a land manager that never wanted the trail there in the first place.

    The erosion issue can also be a tricky one. If a poorly designed trail erodes, gets more challenging, then gets fixed to it's original state, someone will almost always call that sanitizing the trail. A decent trail builder/maintainer, should put a lot of thought into layout to avoid those problems, and a lot of thought should also go into what truly needs fixing as a trail ages and evolves vs what can be left.

    I do like the paint ball gun idea.
    twd I have built tons of trails over the last 25 years and I don't remember any of them getting less challenging over the years.

    I once built two trails in the Whistler Bike Park. One is called Renegade and the other is Dealers Choice, Both of those trails go move challenging as thousands of riders bombed down them each year.

    Each year I rode in the park I would do trail maintenance to bring the trails back to their original skill rating. It was a loosing battle but was part of the PROCESS.

    I for one am for well built go arounds around sections of trail I can't ride. Riding rather than walking has always been more enjoyable for me and 90% of the other riders who don't have the skill level of the other 10%.

    I always find it funny when the 10% group gets pissy that a nice well thought out go around was built around a walking section of trail. Why should someone get pissy about me being able to ride a section of trail they can't 100% of the time. I am having just as much fun riding a trail that someone else enjoys walking the barely rideable sections. Just ask me.

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    That last photo is epic. Cool looking stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    FWIW, I don't necessarily think it's stravatards. And I've only seen 3 mentions of them here in this thread: 1 quasi-accusation, and 2 denials.

    The point is NOT to point fingers and place blame. Not going to solve anything. The point is for all of us, regardless of strava affiliation, to be more attentive and speak up if we see something happening.

    Thanks.
    I agree.

    Thanks for posting this thread. I like to see that people still care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    twd I have built tons of trails over the last 25 years and I don't remember any of them getting less challenging over the years.
    I never stated otherwise, but there is a difference between a trail getting more challenging over time because roots and rocks become more exposed due to soil compaction and erosion, and a steep fall line trail with erodible soils and no provisions to shed water, that now has a 4 foot deep erosion channel washing out the entire trail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    I once built two trails in the Whistler Bike Park. One is called Renegade and the other is Dealers Choice, Both of those trails go move challenging as thousands of riders bombed down them each year.
    I rode Renegade for the first time on closing weekend about a month ago. Bike park trails are a bit of a different animal though for a number of reasons. First of all for the potential to be ridden by huge volumes of riders in all weather conditions. Some secret rake and ride loam trail ridden by a guy and his three bros may hold up over time, but not so much with thousands of riders going down it. The other differences being that bike park trails are managed and maintained (to varying degrees) by the park, and are purpose built for mountain bikers, most of which are there looking for a challenge. You wont have a group of angry hikers complaining about erosion and trying to get bikes banned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    I for one am for well built go arounds around sections of trail I can't ride. Riding rather than walking has always been more enjoyable for me and 90% of the other riders who don't have the skill level of the other 10%.

    I always find it funny when the 10% group gets pissy that a nice well thought out go around was built around a walking section of trail. Why should someone get pissy about me being able to ride a section of trail they can't 100% of the time. I am having just as much fun riding a trail that someone else enjoys walking the barely rideable sections. Just ask me.
    I don't have a problem with go arounds on 3 conditions: 1) They are actually well built 2) They don't disrupt or destroy the original line, and 3) They are installed by the trail builder and/or with land manager's approval.

    I think the point of this thread, and what really pisses a lot of people off is when somebody takes it upon themselves to go alter a trail without permission, and does a poor job of it. And from my experience on our local trails, 9 times out of ten the person doing those alterations doesn't have a friggen clue what they are doing. And I've seen plenty of instances of people making changes that are down right dangerous, and that goes for people adding features to trails just as much as it does those sanitizing.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    Ugh, "girlfriended", seriously? Way to perpetuate the stereotype that women only ride behind their boyfriends. Guess I'd better get back to the kitchen while my husband tunes my bike for me then...
    Here's the ironic thing.....

    One of Mikesee's riding partners is a hammer cyclist. She rides Moore Fun on a fairly regular basis. And I had the pleasure of witnessing one of the greatest things ever while riding with her and her husband.

    3 of us flatlanders were out visiting and Sarah (screampint here) and her husband David were gracious enough to host us.

    Sarah is the kindest, least assuming person you'll ever know. She's also a fierce competitor and competes (and wins) at a fairly high racing level. I've been riding a long time and consider myself an experienced cyclist. She's a better rider than me (fitness and skill) by orders of magnitude.

    One of the days we were out there, an industry rep asked to join us. When he learned that Sarah was leading the ride, he started to buck up and talk about taking it easy, how he'll try not to pressure her wheel and generally not push things because you know, a girl is leading the group.

    The casual group ride gloves came off. The meandering casual climb was no longer part of our immediate future. Sarah took us up the race loop climb at a race pace. She dropped everyone in the group and was smiling as she waited for us to catch up at the top of the climb.

    As we were trying to stuff our lungs back in our chest, the industry douche-nozzle says, "I can't believe I just got chicked. You won't be able to do that on the way down."

    The original plan was the Sarah would lead the climb and David would lead the descent. After the chicked comment, Sarah turned to David and told him that she was going to lead the descent.

    She then proceeded to drop industry guy like a hot potato on the descent down Holy Cross.

    This is one of my favorite cycling memories. Now that I think about it, a whole bunch of my favorite cycling memories are from Fruita/Junction and the fantastic people that call that area home.

    Please don't f up Moore Fun. It's a great trail that I love to (mostly) hike with my bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    " Girlfriended? " Kind of a neanderthal comment. All the ladies I ride with usually kick ass.
    Not a term I use, but I've heard it. Indeed, many ladies rip pretty hard. I also do not have anything against housekeepers, testicular cancer patients, or mentally challenged individuals - those are just terms I have heard used, both on this site and elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    FWIW, I don't necessarily think it's stravatards. And I've only seen 3 mentions of them here in this thread: 1 quasi-accusation, and 2 denials.

    The point is NOT to point fingers and place blame. Not going to solve anything. The point is for all of us, regardless of strava affiliation, to be more attentive and speak up if we see something happening.

    Thanks.
    The strava peeps (not all, but some) are more likely cutting corners and switchbacks than modifying trails - that would require stopping and not getting a record that day. Modifying trails is probably the same people trying to shortcut traffic by hauling ass down your residential street, rolling up to the express line at the grocery store with and overflowing shopping cart, driving laps around the parking lot until they get the spot closest to the gym - you get the picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    Not a term I use, but I've heard it.
    I kind of suspected that was the case.

    It's not a very female-friendly thing to say and should be dropped from use along with too many other misogynistic terms.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    I think the point of this thread, and what really pisses a lot of people off is when somebody takes it upon themselves to go alter a trail without permission, and does a poor job of it. And from my experience on our local trails, 9 times out of ten the person doing those alterations doesn't have a friggen clue what they are doing. And I've seen plenty of instances of people making changes that are down right dangerous, and that goes for people adding features to trails just as much as it does those sanitizing.
    This really is the main point here. As the OP has indicated the sanitation is not by the local advocacy group COPMOBA - We build and maintain singletrack mountain bike trails on the Colorado Plateau in Western Colorado
    or the land manager. On the other hand, the trail is 15+ years old and despite mostly being rock you can't tell me it's not getting harder. Hence, the uproar last year in the Lunch Loops. Maintenance is often equated to sanitation: https://cyclingwesterncolorado.com/g...s-controversy/

    That doesn't seem to be the case here but the bummer is that folks don't like to get off their bikes. I get the OP's message. Don't ride it if that upsets you. But there is this sense of entitlement in our user group (all user groups perhaps?) that you can do what you want. I hate to say it but my guess is it's some locals. On the other hand, it's a Destination Area and marketed to all get out by OTE and local commerce. Riders of various skills are coming from all over the world to hit the famous trails. The question I have, is it ok to accept a little sanitation? Just seems to be impossible to stop. Those trails are getting hammered every day. I see the same impacts in Sedona. Even expert riders will ride around an exposed tree root or boulder when they could just as easily go over the obstacle. It's human nature to take the easy way out. And as the sport changes, folks seem to be favoring tech flow or faster features that slow, awkward techy climbs. That's just not many people's cup of tea. Looks at what's being built. Generally, an all purpose energy saving climb to get to what may or may not be a technical downhill but a user experience that emphasizes speed.

    Moore Fun is not that. It was no doubt a difficult build and ride-arounds and B lines don't really seem like a viable option. But a mobile trail crew that could be out once a week or month doing clean up would be a good idea. In my neck of the woods the USFS won't let us have a trail crew but sure would be something to advocate for. The BLM is more open-minded. Not necessarily as a police force but keeping the tread maintained as it was intended to be ridden without having to have an official volunteer trail event once/year. And more signs like this one from the lunch loops.

    Preserving Moore.-lunchloops-08.jpg

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Even expert riders will ride around an exposed tree root or boulder when they could just as easily go over the obstacle. It's human nature to take the easy way out.
    There is a lot of truth in that statement. The trail system where I build at, we often get the complaint from self-proclaimed "hardcore" riders that there is nothing technical on these trails. It's a fair observation from the standpoint that our soil has pretty much no rock in it at all, and due to land manager requirements our multi-year build out plan calls for building the easier green and blue trails first before we get to the black and double black diamond stuff.

    However, I find it absolutely comical that the worn in line on the trails bypasses every single root and rock no matter how small and trivial, and it's easy to tell that virtual nobody is riding the more challenging lines once somebody has burned in an easier line.

    I've spent numerous build days hauling multiple canycom loads of boulders in to close off cheater lines. Either that, or burying large logs to serve as choke points to keep riders on the trail, otherwise any opportunity for them to ride off trail through the woods to divert around a rooty section or rock garden will be exploited in short order.

    It's just the nature of the beast, if you have a technical feature in otherwise less technical terrain, you have to build it such that the intended line is the path of least resistance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post


    It's just the nature of the beast, if you have a technical feature in otherwise less technical terrain, you have to build it such that the intended line is the path of least resistance.
    Or make the alternate line significantly longer/slower.

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    twd so are you saying that you will close a professionally built go around that doesn't affect your challenging section because you are a control type person?

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    Strava is definitely part of the problem. In my area I know of plenty strava guys that will do anything for internet glory. I've seen it happen way too many times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALimon View Post
    Strava is definitely part of the problem. In my area I know of plenty strava guys that will do anything for internet glory. I've seen it happen way too many times.
    It's dumb to cut corners or alter trails just to improve your strava time when there's an app that makes it so much easier- Welcome digitalepo.com - BlueHost.com


    Maybe trail builders should include a strava line that's dead straight and paved for the entire segment.
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    twd so are you saying that you will close a professionally built go around that doesn't affect your challenging section because you are a control type person?
    So you are saying it's your right to go out and build whatever you want, wherever you want because you're a control type person?

  82. #82
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    One of my favorite sections of trail!

    I too have never cleaned it all in one go.
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  83. #83
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    And then you've got the likes of PB publicizing cutting/cheater lines to go faster, never mind where the actual trail is.

    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  84. #84
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    This thread and it's many ramifications were on my mind a few nights this week while riding.

    One of the things I've been thinking about is how modern bike geometry, and specifically low bottom bracket heights, increase (maybe accelerate is a better word) trail sanitization. Hear me out.

    What I've been noticing are lots more chainring and pedal scrapes on embedded rocks that have been a part of the trail tread for decades, but are only now getting scraped or impacted.

    Some of this is erosion -- the trail is eroding around the rock, bringing it more 'up' into play. This happens pretty slowly.

    And then there's the erosion of BB height by manufacturer mandate. And this has happened so much faster that it's pretty easy to see, feel, even measure the effect.

    None of the above is really up for debate -- it's happening, and readily observable.

    What I keep noticing though, and that's really jumping out now that I've been able to link cause with effect, is that lots of in-trail rocks are being dug out, little by little, by low-BB riders clipping them repeatedly. Eventually, unless they're bedrock, they come loose, and then someone stops, works on it for a moment or two, and when it comes free they toss it out of the trail. Voila, the trail just got easier.

    That's one thing.

    The other thing is that embedded boulders or slabs *next to* the trail keep ending up *in* the trail, by the same cause. I came across two of these tonight -- one was a ~12" x ~18" x ~3" thick slab that was dead-center in the trail, and you could clearly see the spot adjacent to the trail where it'd lived for decades or centuries -- until just hours or minutes before. Just past one of them you could see where the rider had fought to keep control, and then the front wheel knifed, and then the inevitable body print and slide, then lots of footprints-going-in-circles as they'd dusted themselves off, checked the bike, and tried to understand what just happened. The second one I couldn't see where/if a crash was caused.

    In neither of these instances is anyone setting out to sanitize the trail. But because they keep making contact with the embedded rocks, loosening them, and ultimately getting them removed, the trails are getting easier.

    We already have land managers dumbing trails down to suit the least common denominator. And then there's the least common denominator occasionally/often taking it upon themselves to bring the trail down to their level. Now we have manufacturers complicit, admittedly unintentionally, in removing challenge from trails.

    Death by a thousand cuts.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Dunlop01 View Post
    Gotta doubt a tourist is taking time to cut a braid when they're never gonna ride that trail again.
    Maybe you know this and maybe you don't. If you do, please indulge my explanation for those that don't. Desert soils are fragile, lacking organic components that would help them stick together and sustain life. The braids that we most often see on our local trails, some of which are featured in the video in my original post here, don't have to be "cut" or "built": They happen simply from one rider going off trail, or around a move. Doing so leaves a track in said fragile soils -- one that takes months (sometimes more, depending) to "heal" or at least become invisible. But usually, waaaaay before it becomes invisible, someone else takes that braid, and then another. You get 10 or 20 people riding that braid, once, and it can be difficult to distinguish the original line from the braid. Just the nature of desert soils.

    So, getting back to your original statement, I'm not suggesting that anyone -- tourist or local -- is stopping to create a new line. I'm saying that some of them are simply riding off trail, and in that simple, seemingly harmless, utterly thoughtless act, a braid is born.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    I for one am for well built go arounds around sections of trail I can't ride. Riding rather than walking has always been more enjoyable for me and 90% of the other riders who don't have the skill level of the other 10%.

    By that rationale, every section of every trail should be doable by every rider? If you follow that line of thinking to it's logical conclusion, then every section of every trail should be wheelchair accessible.

    If you reject that premise, which I do, then you realize that you need trails to suit all levels of rider. We have that, albeit the percentages are skewed heavily toward beginners and intermediates. That is, ~90% of our trails are beginner or intermediate level. 10% are advanced or expert.

    You arguing that every trail should be doable by everyone is just as selfish and non-sensical as anyone arguing that all trails should be expert level.

    I'm not arguing for either perspective. The % of expert trail is not the discussion we're having. Keeping expert trails expert is.

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    Mike-

    You're on to something with the BB heights. Saw scrape marks on the trails in Moab that I couldn't figure out.

    Pedal marks all over the place. I put a small rock down on top of one of the scratches and tried to hit them with my pedals. I couldn't. Despite my terribly "long" 175mm crankarms and not super low 13" BB height.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Mike-

    You're on to something with the BB heights. Saw scrape marks on the trails in Moab that I couldn't figure out.

    Pedal marks all over the place. I put a small rock down on top of one of the scratches and tried to hit them with my pedals. I couldn't. Despite my terribly "long" 175mm crankarms and not super low 13" BB height.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

    Maybe a lot of those marks could have been caused by people who neglect to maintain their suspension systems? I'm curious, what is the norm for bb height these days? Seems like ~12.5-13" used to be common.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALimon View Post
    Strava is definitely part of the problem. In my area I know of plenty strava guys that will do anything for internet glory. I've seen it happen way too many times.
    The local high school team was cutting corners on a locals only trail here for top strava times. A heads up to the coach had them doing trail maintenance.
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  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    The local high school team was cutting corners on a locals only trail here for top strava times. A heads up to the coach had them doing trail maintenance.
    That's such bs, if I cut a corner and got a KOM I'd flag it myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Maybe a lot of those marks could have been caused by people who neglect to maintain their suspension systems?

    It could be lots of things -- suspension being one of them.

    That said, suspension has been around for a long time, and this epidemic (<-too strong?) is much more recent. I can remember back a year or three and envision lots of these rocks with no (or at least very, very few) scrapes or gouges -- the timing of which neatly coincides with the start of the low BB trend.

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    An interesting premise but I think if the rocks are that susceptible to pedal strikes they were eventually coming out anyway. Maybe it accelerates the process but I get the point.

    I get considerably more pedal strikes on my Ibis 29r than and I do on my turner RFX. I have to ratchet a lot when climbing chunky trails. Turner has not completely bought into the long, low, and slack degree so many bikes are designed around these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It could be lots of things -- suspension being one of them.

    That said, suspension has been around for a long time, and this epidemic (<-too strong?) is much more recent. I can remember back a year or three and envision lots of these rocks with no (or at least very, very few) scrapes or gouges -- the timing of which neatly coincides with the start of the low BB trend.
    I have noticed on the Dells trails that erosion is making the rocks significantly higher in areas of mixed soil and rock. It has happened relatively fast, say, 3-5 years. It increases the difficulty for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    An interesting premise but I think if the rocks are that susceptible to pedal strikes they were eventually coming out anyway.

    If it ain't bedrock then it's susceptible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    This thread and it's many ramifications were on my mind a few nights this week while riding.

    One of the things I've been thinking about is how modern bike geometry, and specifically low bottom bracket heights, increase (maybe accelerate is a better word) trail sanitization. Hear me out.

    What I've been noticing are lots more chainring and pedal scrapes on embedded rocks that have been a part of the trail tread for decades, but are only now getting scraped or impacted.

    Some of this is erosion -- the trail is eroding around the rock, bringing it more 'up' into play. This happens pretty slowly.

    And then there's the erosion of BB height by manufacturer mandate. And this has happened so much faster that it's pretty easy to see, feel, even measure the effect.

    None of the above is really up for debate -- it's happening, and readily observable.

    What I keep noticing though, and that's really jumping out now that I've been able to link cause with effect, is that lots of in-trail rocks are being dug out, little by little, by low-BB riders clipping them repeatedly. Eventually, unless they're bedrock, they come loose, and then someone stops, works on it for a moment or two, and when it comes free they toss it out of the trail. Voila, the trail just got easier.

    That's one thing.

    The other thing is that embedded boulders or slabs *next to* the trail keep ending up *in* the trail, by the same cause. I came across two of these tonight -- one was a ~12" x ~18" x ~3" thick slab that was dead-center in the trail, and you could clearly see the spot adjacent to the trail where it'd lived for decades or centuries -- until just hours or minutes before. Just past one of them you could see where the rider had fought to keep control, and then the front wheel knifed, and then the inevitable body print and slide, then lots of footprints-going-in-circles as they'd dusted themselves off, checked the bike, and tried to understand what just happened. The second one I couldn't see where/if a crash was caused.

    In neither of these instances is anyone setting out to sanitize the trail. But because they keep making contact with the embedded rocks, loosening them, and ultimately getting them removed, the trails are getting easier.

    We already have land managers dumbing trails down to suit the least common denominator. And then there's the least common denominator occasionally/often taking it upon themselves to bring the trail down to their level. Now we have manufacturers complicit, admittedly unintentionally, in removing challenge from trails.

    Death by a thousand cuts.
    Yes, where bikes could be potentially more capable than ever (in more conditions), the flow trail mentality instead probably dictates what the bicycle mfr's sell, resulting in bikes that are ultimately less capable on tech terrain.

    Seeing your trails, compared to our local trails, is mid-boggling in that if we had large spaces without trees, you'd see 50 people riding mountain bikes on trails that zig-zag and double over on themselves in an effort to generate some distance in a relatively confined space. You'd also see a separate horse trail, and then a separate hiking trail, all in view of a paved multi-purpose trail, which would be near a paved road. Mind-boggling. I'm thankful for trees.

    But the braids happen here as well, and just as quickly (if not quicker due to heavy traffic). Say a tree goes down. If there is any chance to ride around it, the first person through will ride around it. I've done it myself. In the middle of Summer, this is very difficult (not impossible) as undergrowth clogs most alternate lines. In the Winter, though, even without snow cover, the ridearound is instantly evident. As trail stewards, it is imperative that we get the deadfall cleared immediately AND block the bypass with the debris, or it will always be in play.

    As far as planned go-arounds or B-lines, there is a limit to what is acceptable, and personally I think the limit should be extremely small. If every A-line has a B-line, then you've really built 2 trails.
    (In your best Louis Black voice) Why not just build the B-line SOMEWHERE ELSE!?! [expletives] [/expletives]

    That is all.

    -F
    Last edited by Fleas; 18 Hours Ago at 06:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It could be lots of things -- suspension being one of them.

    That said, suspension has been around for a long time, and this epidemic (<-too strong?) is much more recent. I can remember back a year or three and envision lots of these rocks with no (or at least very, very few) scrapes or gouges -- the timing of which neatly coincides with the start of the low BB trend.
    I get what you are saying with the low bb. Offset by the lack of a triple crank these days though? Most are running a smaller front chainring. And are 29er bb's higher than the 26er bb's?

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    I see Mikesee has been organizing a Lynch mob to go out get some frontier justice. There's no place like an internet chat room to stir people into knee-jerk action. And we all know that on MTBR, everyone goes along with the narrative that trail work is essentially sanitizing and dumbing down of trails that we all want kept as difficult as possible, right? Who's with me? Let's grab our paint-ball guns and go get us someone who is riding around a tech section.

    Mikesee, you didn't have to go fishing around various forums, including Arizona, just so you can post videos of yourself cleaning difficult sections of trails, and then telling us all that we need to spend our time learning to balance on our bikes and do trials type moves like you do, or ride elsewhere.

    You need to understand trails aren't built for you and your skill set. Land managers don't sit around and with very limited budgets, come up with the idea of building a trail that appeals to 1 out of 1000 riders. But then if you are one of those 1 out of 1000 riders, you often believe you are being ignored (and you are), and you deserve your very own trail to test your skills and to spend 30 minutes riding and re-riding a ten foot section of trail, while making sure you are filming, to be able to show others how skilled people ride.

    I've ridden with riders of great skill in Sedona. We rode 5 miles in 2.5 hours. I'm serious. That is how it works with riders who focus on super tech skills.

    I don't like your circle-jerk mentality here. I don't really care if riders like me are your sworn enemy because I maintain trails. I maintain them and I often have to restore them. I also have built new lines and b-lines. You act like you know the original builders intent and tell others it is disrespectful to change his trail. That's utter rubbish. All builders make alignments that flawed. They don't notice the speed of riders approaching a turn and fail to create a chicane or something to slow them. Next thing you know, there are washboard bumps from skidding bikes. Erosion exposes tree roots that hook pedals. Cut the roots or move the trail a foot or two.

    It doesn't matter how you sell it, by guilting people or by threatening people, you want to decide what is best for others, the majority of riders. Even the majority of really good riders don't want to walk their bikes. Most riders are out to ride, not walk. If I wanted to hike a trail, I'd have worn more comfortable shoes and left my bike at home.

    You have a local rider who is altering your favorite trail. From the looks of it, he hasn't made much progress and is wasting his time. It seems like there are more suitable trails he could ride nearby.

    When I have worked on trails, 90% of the work was brushing. I can't recall ever being called out on MTBR for cutting low branches or cactus that cuts your arms. The other 10% is a combination of making and improving drains, and clearing loose rocks. But 1% of the work goes beyond that. It is the removal of rocks with pedal scrapes on them. Hazard rocks.

    But I don't hide from criticism. Ask Rockman about the Lynch mob that came after me when my crew altered Rocky Ridge Trail in Flagstaff in 2003. There were between 6 and 20 hike-a-bike sections prior to our restoration work. Afterwards, an intermediate rider could clean the 3 mile trail, for at least three years, on a good day. Before the work, the trail was being ridden by maybe 200 riders a season. Afterwards, it was being ridden by 2000-4000 riders a season. Riders who had been riding a road nearby to bypass the trail. Expert riders preferred to skip the trail.

    But if you went to the local mountain bike bar, similar to this thread, you'd hear everyone telling stories of how they cleaned the trail and how it is now wheelchair accessible. Same old, if you can't ride it, learn, get better skills. That isn't how it works most of the time. People weigh the cost of urgent care and the time off their bike from a broken collarbone, and they walk their bikes. They don't just decide to keep crashing and injuring themselves until they can clean something 3 out of 5 times, and maybe break a derailleur the other 2 times.

    I don't mind being a spear catcher on this thread. I've all but quit doing trail work. Two spine surgeries, three knee surgeries, two foot surgeries, a broken collarbone, broken bones in my hands, broken toes. It's crazy hard work. So I don't mind sharing my experiences and telling folks like Mikesee that he is not a demographic that is considered, or should be considered, when trails are being built or restored, or maintained. A guy with Mikesee's skills barely needs a trail. And there just isn't enough land and money and time for land managers to build trails for 1% of riders who want to be the only person ever to clean a route.
    Respect the land, defend the defenseless, and don't ya never spit in front of women and children - The Code Of The West

  98. #98
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    Did you read any of it? It doesnít seem so. It seems that your opinion was already formed before you arrived here, and you decided to share it *and* make this about yourself instead of the issue. Thatís too bad.

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    Boris? Bad day I guess? Did you read the first post? Expert trail. So many others in the area for the "1,000" as you say. Do you ski a double black diamond trail with a shovel to flatten all the moguls? Or pick something in your skill level? So you're done sanitizing, great. The issue of sanitizing is rampant everywhere. And really sucks. If you don't want to walk? Stick to the blue or green trails, easy. I don't mind walking a section, at all. Sometimes I clean it, sometimes not. In my group I ride with , someone will usually clean it. It's called a challenge and skill building. Dude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I get what you are saying with the low bb. Offset by the lack of a triple crank these days though? Most are running a smaller front chainring. And are 29er bb's higher than the 26er bb's?
    Chainring size doesn't have a direct impact on pedal strikes. Sure, a smaller chainring will have more clearance so you don't scrape the chainring on things, but you'll always strike a pedal (if you don't time your pedal strokes) before you will scrape a chainring.

    A lower bottom bracket will make a bike more susceptible to both pedal strikes and scraping chainrings compared to an equivalent bike (i.e. same suspension travel/sag/spring rate) with a higher bottom bracket.

    Also, larger wheels (29" vs 26") doesn't automatically mean higher bottom bracket because frame designers take into account the wheel size and adjust the bottom bracket drop of the frame accordingly. I'd imagine there are plenty of examples of newer 29ers that have lower bottom brackets than 26ers from 15 years ago.

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