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  1. #1
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    Another sanitizing wave through the Wissahickon

    ...and this one was pretty bad! During a ride yesterday I noticed the park commission must have removed some of the most fun logs on the trails: 1) The "newish" log on the west side just north of the Walnut Lane Bridge, that one was fun, and 2) Both the log obsticles on the east side just north of Kitchen's Lane (the pair of logs that were about 10 feet apart). They also tried to re-grade the cement/dirt transition right near the obsticles. I really enjoyed sending myself off that lip, and hopping up onto it in the other direction. I suspect this has much to do with the horse farm just up the trail, although they didn't bother to try to close off the alternate path that had been created around the obsticles to begin with, so I don't understand. Oh well. Maybe we should put some logs on what was once the "alternate route"?

    Hey, maybe next year they'll PAVE all the trails, yeah!

    -pete

  2. #2
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    I noticed that too today.

    Just keep in mind that there are many other riders of different skill levels. What you call the new-ish log pile was a bit awkward to approach as a result it might've been fun for some and real pain for the others. The pair of logs were fun to try, but for the sanity sake, especially on the night rides, I took the alternate route. BTW, today at least one of the two alternate routes was blocked.

    Whoever was doing that work, if they were really concerned with quality of the trails, should've removed only half the obstacle, leaving the "feature" for the challenge seekers, but opening at least half the trail for not so inclined.

    Just my $0.02

    dz
    I Crash Therefor I Am!!![SIZE="4"][/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzm3
    Just keep in mind that there are many other riders of different skill levels. What you call the new-ish log pile was a bit awkward to approach as a result it might've been fun for some and real pain for the others. The pair of logs were fun to try, but for the sanity sake, especially on the night rides, I took the alternate route. BTW, today at least one of the two alternate routes was blocked.
    I hear what you'er saying and I understand your point to a degree, but I just think that if you have some sort of obsticle that at least a decent portion of good technical riders can clean, then it should be left as-is. Those who can't do it have to walk it, so suck it up and walk it, or try until you can do it. I don't think the trails should be made easy so everyone can just ride through, that's lame.

    Quote Originally Posted by dzm3
    Whoever was doing that work, if they were really concerned with quality of the trails, should've removed only half the obstacle, leaving the "feature" for the challenge seekers, but opening at least half the trail for not so inclined.
    Exactly, I agree this should have been the solution. It really smells like equestrian's at work IMO.

    -pete

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pahearn
    Exactly, I agree this should have been the solution. It really smells like equestrian's at work IMO.

    -pete
    And that smells like the kind of unfounded finger-pointing that continually drives a wedge between the park's user groups and makes getting things done with *everyone's* buy-in a huge pain in the ass.

    FWIW, despite the proximity to the Monastery Stables, the number of horses I've seen on that section of trail in the last 15 yrs can be counted on one hand. Don't get me wrong, I liked the challenge of cleaning those logs and I'm sad to see them go, but it's really a miracle that it took so long for them to disappear. The little detour around them should never have been created in the first place... it's a recipe for erosion, the way it runs up on the side of that slope - so, the logs may be gone, but at least more people will stay on the original trail now.

    Besides, new trees fall across the trail on an almost weekly basis. There's sure to be more 'challenges' soon enough.

    In the meantime, do us all a favor and drop the 'us vs. them' mentality.

    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  5. #5
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    Wow. I don't think I deserved such a condescending, snide backlash from you. I was simply making an observation, and suggesting it might have been due to the fact that the stables are just up the trail, and you start telling me I'm carrying an "us vs. them mentallity". You've read far too deeply into things. Relax.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pahearn
    Wow. I don't think I deserved such a condescending, snide backlash from you. I was simply making an observation, and suggesting it might have been due to the fact that the stables are just up the trail, and you start telling me I'm carrying an "us vs. them mentallity". You've read far too deeply into things. Relax.

    FWIW, I'm not trying to be snide, or condescending - although the tiny violin might have been a little over-the-top. I'm just sayin'...

    First you wrote it 'really smells like equestrians' at work', now you say it 'might' have been them because the stables are nearby...

    My point being:

    1) it doesn't really matter who did it, and

    2) you are - with no proof - laying blame on an entire group of people for altering a trail in a way you disagree with.

    It's no different from the way the anti-mtb set tries to blame cyclists for "ruining" the trails by riding around things, creating new trails, etc. - even if the new trails for which they're condemning us were, in fact, created by hikers who didn't feel like climbing over a log or getting their LL Bean boots muddy.

    You can make all the observations you want, but there's no reason to point fingers w/o the facts. I'd say it's far more likely that the FOW and/or FPC were at work there, anyway.

    Sorry if you disagree.
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  7. #7
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    "Pick yourself up Dutch boy"

    If I am reading this correctly, these are the two logs that our good Dutch friend went a-over-t on last year, an amazing feat archived on MTBR for posterity Too bad they are gone, I never really figured out how to clean them, but recent attempts saw me getting close. Guess I will never know, although as Stick has pointed out, there will be new logs blocking the trail soon enough

    [Aside] Don't forget that the FPC & FOW have begun to initiate a long-term project focusing on sustainable trails. Some of this work is going to appear as sanitising, but so far there seems to be an effort to maintain or construct challenging features for more seasoned riders, while also providing us less-skilled folk with obvious and sustainable "b-lines".

    I'm sure that as the work continues, people are going to loose some favourite sections of trail and particular "lines", but when everything is completed, I do suspect that Philadelphia will host some of the sweetest network of trails in any major metropolitan city. [/Aside]

    Ooops...sorry to get so verbose. All I really wanted to say is:

    What condition were the trails in this weekend? Wet? Icy? Crunchy? Aside from the temps, it seemed like a great weekend to ride. Bummed that I wasn't able to get out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymie
    [Aside] Don't forget that the FPC & FOW have begun to initiate a long-term project focusing on sustainable trails. Some of this work is going to appear as sanitising, but so far there seems to be an effort to maintain or construct challenging features for more seasoned riders, while also providing us less-skilled folk with obvious and sustainable "b-lines".

    I'm sure that as the work continues, people are going to loose some favourite sections of trail and particular "lines", but when everything is completed, I do suspect that Philadelphia will host some of the sweetest network of trails in any major metropolitan city. [/Aside]

    Ed Zachary, my level-headed friend.

    As for the trails? Couldn't tell you. After you & Josef bailed on friday night, the ol' motivation to get out of bed first thing saturday dropped about as low as the overnight temperature.

    I got on the trainer and watched Dumb & Dumber instead.
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  9. #9
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    huh bummer...

    but yeah knowing the wiss those obstacles just disapeared as randomly as they appeared. and there will soon be new random ones to take there place. (they got rid of my favorite sketchy new log over up on the otherside too)

    stymie is right on the bigger picture. there will be lots of changes going on there in the next few years. the only way to have any say in them is to get involved.

    meeting is tuesday night (i know stymie, stick, dmv, and pahearn already know but i am just sayin).

    http://www.phillymtb.org/

    i know out club has lots of freeriders so we will be kicking and screaming if we notice any real plans for long term sanitization!!! the trails will have to be rebuilt sustainably (if and when they get re-done) but that doesn't mean making them easy necessarily.

    as to the trail condition this weekend: i was shocked with how cold it was sunday that by late morning the dark patches of soil were thawing and getting real slippery over at belmont. f#ck, with 20 degree temps at least you'd expect the ground to be frozen... i did get top ride till about 10:30-11 before it thawed though.

    IT WAS COOOOOLLLLLLDDDDD!!!

    FINAL WHINE: seems to be lots of frozen moisture under parts of them trails so as soon as they melt your really tearin it up... please try to stay off the thawed muddy trails.
    Last edited by max-a-mill; 02-05-2007 at 10:09 AM.

  10. #10
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    Max, the meeting is on Tuesday if I'm not mistaken, 2/6/07...

    Dang, I didn't know you were riding on Sunday, we went to Wissa at 8:30 and were done by 11-11:30. Starting temp was 19, ending 21. That's cold. After a little debate I decided to not ride today, it'll be in single digits by the evening!
    I Crash Therefor I Am!!![SIZE="4"][/SIZE]

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Stick]First you wrote it 'really smells like equestrians' at work', now you say it 'might' have been them because the stables are nearby...[\QUOTE]

    To me those two things mean exactly the same thing, if it doesn't come off that way to other people then I'm sorry it's misleading. I meant it might have been them due to stable's vicinity. That said, I wasn't attacking equestitrians or "blaming" them, I was just suggesting a possible reason for the logs being removed, just making an observation. In all honesty, if the alternate trails were causing ecological problems then I think the logs should have been dealt with in one way or another so that the horses could use the trail too. Maybe I don't agree that they should have been removed completely, but I definitely support the trails to be useable by everyone.

    This wasn't intended to be such a big deal, or any deal for that matter, I didn't post that message with my arms waving in the air. It was just a minor bummer and I was just making conversation in a local thread. I'm not making conflict between groups or anything, it's not like I stood up on a soapbox in front of a group of MTBers and equestrians and started ranting, I was just making an idle comment to the board about a couple of logs, forgetting how overly political everything has to be.

    FWIW I generally stand on the side of the hikers and equestrians as far as cyclist's damaging ythe trails, I spend enough time tyring to fix or reverse the damage done by irresponsible cyclists (and there are LOTS of those), far more than any damage done by the horses/hikers IMO. If I blame anyone for anything (important) it's MTBers.

    -p

  12. #12
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    Yeah I was out Saturday and Sunday -- Saturday was a little sketchy with the ice, and by Sunday it was pretty damned sketchy in quite a few areas, I had quite a few "oh sh1t" moments. It seems like those flurries we've gotten melted a bit and then refroze, creating very sheet-like ice areas. With these temps I suspect it will be this way all week -- that'll make any night rides interesting. :/

    ...although the weekend would have been a lot more fun if those HORSES didn't remove all those logs! --runs away--

    -p

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pahearn
    Yeah I was out Saturday and Sunday -- Saturday was a little sketchy with the ice, and by Sunday it was pretty damned sketchy in quite a few areas, I had quite a few "oh sh1t" moments. It seems like those flurries we've gotten melted a bit and then refroze, creating very sheet-like ice areas. With these temps I suspect it will be this way all week -- that'll make any night rides interesting. :/

    ...although the weekend would have been a lot more fun if those HORSES didn't remove all those logs! --runs away--

    -p
    Yeah. Gotta watch the ice in this kind of weather. It's one thing if you go out in the snow & ice *looking* for some slippery fun... just throw the studded tires on, leave the clipless pedals at home and go! But the random, patchy stuff on an otherwise-clear trail can be real mess. Part of the reason I elected to stay in and ride the mind-numbing trainer is because yesterday marked the 6th anniversary of my most painful and debilitating MTB crash ever. Broken tibia and fibula (4x) resulting from a crash on an icy trail in NJ. Trails in PA were still totally snow covered that weekend, but were *mostly* clear at Hartshorne. Left studded tires & flat pedals in the car that day.

    D'OH.

    Take it easy out there... especially at night!
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzm3
    Max, the meeting is on Tuesday if I'm not mistaken, 2/6/07...

    DOH!!! MEETING TUESDAY 2-6-07 at 6:30 Manayunk Diner.

    i also corrected my orginal post to appear as though i was never wrong in the first place

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill
    DOH!!! MEETING TUESDAY 2-6-07 at 6:30 Manayunk Diner.
    It's starting to look like I'll never make it to one of the meetings... I was hoping it was a typo, and the meeting was still on Wed... Oh well... Next month.

    BTW, yes, the trail conditions were very icy on Sunday. Few sideways saves and much slower speeds on the downhills, wouldn't want to have the bike slide out from under me and bounce on the rocks.
    Other than that a good day for a ride.
    I Crash Therefor I Am!!![SIZE="4"][/SIZE]

  16. #16
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    We talkin' 'bout ice or cleaning up the trails? Wissy was slippery on Saturday, but fun. Good to improve the "slippery conditions skills". I noticed the logs were gone too. I liked them, but they were right on the middle of the trail for hikers and others. I doubt it has to do with the horse farm because they cleaned logs on the other side as well. I think that some technical challenges should be left there if it is not necessary to remove them. I mean, its not like we cut down trees and put them there on purpose. There are a bunch of areas that have some logs, and also some room on the side for those who want to pass on the technicality. But dont worry my fellow riders, with these winds and other weather phenomenons, there will always be trees down to ride over. I am actually kidding. Everyone that knows the wiss, knows where to ride if you want to test your technical abilities. As for FOW, well, they just do their job, and they do it for free! So, when ever you are riding and you see them out there, stop for 30 mins and give them a hand.
    On other news, the MASS schedule is up. Anyone has any info on the first race yet? Im a little confused. Is it just for teams, or anyone can enter? If it is just for teams, is it for registered teams, or anyone can put a team of chums together (me and my friends) and race?
    I guess they will post the info later.

    Deja que tu bicicleta hable por ti.

  17. #17
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    cool the mass schedule is up!

    i have no idea what the hell that first thing is....

    i am on a team however, so when i find out i'll let you know! i do know all normal races on the schedule are open to everyone. what the hell is up with the shorttrack only events???

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Ed Zachary, my level-headed friend.

    As for the trails? Couldn't tell you. After you & Josef bailed on friday night, the ol' motivation to get out of bed first thing saturday dropped about as low as the overnight temperature.

    I got on the trainer and watched Dumb & Dumber instead.
    Oh yeah, that ride up Kelly Drive would have been miserable at 7am Dumb & Dumber makes for a good contingency plan. My "Plan B" was a trip to Ikea for some delicious Swedish meatballs!

  19. #19
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    Took me a couple of days to build those log ramps. I regraded the land around the area to relieve the big puddle that used to be there. I built the ramps with the dirt I moved, and rocks from the creek bed.

    That area was in need of some love (dirt) but I guess I do not have to worry about them now. I have not seen the work site yet, but I can tell you that without the logs, a low spot like that is going to become a muddy puddle in a few months unless who ever did the work took that into consideration before removing them. I will miss those logs. They were a natural trail feature that was fun to ride.

    Don't worry fellas, as long we make sure to be a part of all the new trail work, we can incorparate some cool trail features into the design of the new trails. It will take some time, but it will be great in the long run. See you all at the meeting.

    TC

  20. #20
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    Idea! come to the philly mtb assoc mtg tomorrow

    ...to discuss and share your concerns. we get a good cross section of attendees and usually have FOW members there.

    manayunk diner 7-9pm Tues 2/6/07

    -josh

  21. #21
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    dam it!

    Oh geez,

    I loved those logs for two reasons.

    1. they were lots of fun
    2. I filmed the greatest fock up of a guy trying to clear them

    Im sure something as good or better will be built elsewhere.
    Climb like a goat, descend like a banshee

  22. #22
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    I remember that vid

    So this is the log ramp they've been talking about....
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

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