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  1. #1
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    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  2. #2
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    Where does the cash go? Is this money going back into the park like for police protection? Or is Philly just holding the park hostage?

    I think better money spent to; Friends of Wissahickon.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    Where does the cash go? Is this money going back into the park like for police protection? Or is Philly just holding the park hostage?

    I think better money spent to; Friends of Wissahickon.
    Maybe but for whatever reason, if you're a mountain bike rider or horsey type rider, they want (actually "require" is the right word) you to have a permit. If you're a city resident, it doesn't cost any money. If you're from somewhere else, its $20 and been that way for many years. I put it up as a public service - don't endorse it or oppose it. It is, what it is.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  4. #4
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    I believe there is a $25 fine for those riding without a permit.
    I also hope and dream that the money and rider data is used to better the trails.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt4130 View Post
    I believe there is a $25 fine for those riding without a permit.
    I also hope and dream that the money and rider data is used to better the trails.
    In the past they said that they donations would go to the Park commission while fines went to the city.
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  6. #6
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    Hmm I only rode there like 4 times a year or so the last few years. Maybe if I buy the permit it will encourage me to go more.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  7. #7
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    does anyone actually buy the permits?

  8. #8
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    Re: Wiss Permit Applications are up.

    Don't think so. I bought one today in the hopes that it'll motivate me to ride there more, but don't know a soul who actually has one. That includes a few philly residents who would get it for free.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  9. #9
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    That's the biggest question... and why permit required only for riders? Another PA sort of fee

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    does anyone actually buy the permits?
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    Don't think so. I bought one today in the hopes that it'll motivate me to ride there more, but don't know a soul who actually has one. That includes a few philly residents who would get it for free.
    Yes. Most of the regulars have them. If you're in Philly, its free anyway. I know a few guys, myself included that make a donation of $20 or so, even though its free. May not go to the right places, but whatever, I get so much happieness/benefit out of the place and the City does maintain it to an extent (dispite how much they get bagged on).

    And yes, the rangers rarely check (I can count on one hand in 14 years of riding back there the number or rangers I've seen) and I've only been checked one time. The guy was sitting on a log at the top of the monster, looked at my tag asked if I wanted an app for anybody else I knew.

    Here's the issue, and it comes up every year the permits come out, Yes, it is a f^cked up and pretty useless system that targets only mtbers and equetrians, but its a rule. There are people back there who will look for your permit on your bike and make at an issue to someone i.e., FOW, FPC. The anti-mtbers will hold it up as another example on how we flaunt the rules and are just a bunch of red bull chugging locusts bombing the trails, a plague to the little old ladies, their fu-fu dogs, and the rest of law abiding society.

    But hey, they give your a crappy outdated map of the park with your permit too.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  11. #11
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    From the times I've ridden the wiss, it's not clear to me that ANYONE maintains the trails there.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cholakov View Post
    That's the biggest question... and why permit required only for riders? Another PA sort of fee
    it is supposedly for riders AND equestrians.

    mixed feelings about it but i sign up every year. last year i lost the permits and rode all year without it ever making it on my bike. this year i'll try harder to remember to strap one to my bike. hunter green this year not "singlespeed pink" like last year... i always get two in case i have a friend in from out of town in for a ride and i suspect we may actually need them.

    i have been told (by people smarter than me and who spend way more hours than i do helping build trails with FOW) that spending money on the permits is the best way to let the city know people value mountainbiking in the parks, but honestly i think the money would probably be better spent if you give it directly to FOW.

    i know they had checkpoints on national trails day the last few years. if they caught you without a permit they would give you a temporary one and a warning. that said FPC is a weird organization and they could theoretically start enforcing this at any time. i personally doubt it but especially at the wiss stranger things have happened... i'd think off leash dogs (supposedly a 100 dollar fine) would be an easier target but who knows.

  13. #13
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    I just got my two, pretty painless since I now live in the city. When I was on the mainline, it seemed pretty absurd and I rode elsewhere as a result.

  14. #14
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    ouch, man you are going to get some internet flaming for that one. The City doesn't really do trail work, except when there is a major blow out like a landslide or they need to do a water control project. The City generally maintains the other stuctures/areas along Forbiddent drive. They also cut out the larger blow downs. Volunteers do the trail work and they actually do quite alot of it. The nature of Wiss make it a mess after big rain storms and the trails are in a constant state of errosion/repair/no repair.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  15. #15
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    compared to trails I've ridden elsewhere, the JORBA trails at GCC, Ceres & Kresson, for instance, the trails at wissahickon are horrendously eroded and marginally sustainable and borderline dangerous. Not that I don't enjoy riding there, but it's a faint shade of the trail system that it could be if it were better kept.

  16. #16
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    To quote someone else from the forum "Wiss is the world's funnest drainage ditch." You can't really compare it to those places because of the topography, soils, and urban run off. The trails you are talking about are flat, located in the suburbs where there is less impervious surface. But a resource like the Wiss right out your back door in the City more than makes up for the negatives. If you can ride there, there isn't many places you can't go and ride competently.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  17. #17
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    I'm frankly kinda glad that wiss isn't better kept. The trails being basically what the planet has decided to give you makes riding there feel like more of an adventure. Besides imagine how crowded it would be if the trails were maintained more actively
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  18. #18
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    don't forget the wiss gets at least 50x more use than any other trail system in the area probably. trying to keep trails nice and well groomed here is next to impossible unless you build them out of pure rock or pave them.

    i think most of you not local to the park would be shocked at the hours of trail maintenance that does go on there. the STI initiative has actually put in quite a bit of non drainage ditch style trail and provides a nice contrast to the numerous fall line trails that still exist.

    btw and finally, no one mentioned it here yet so FYI: your supposed to have one of these permits to ride at belmont and pennypack too! although the day i see this enforced at belmont may be the day i have to quit riding...

  19. #19
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    Yes. I would hope that most do.
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  20. #20
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    Well that is just silly. The whole demo I and demo II areas, the new field area at the top of the monster, the re-route down kitchens lane, to just name a few, were all done with some support from the Fairmount Park Commission. Granted there are many volunteer hours there from many sources, but to say the FPC played no role is silly. And to say that the park is not maintained is ridiculous.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Well that is just silly. The whole demo I and demo II areas, the new field area at the top of the monster, the re-route down kitchens lane, to just name a few, were all done with some support from the Fairmount Park Commission. Granted there are many volunteer hours there from many sources, but to say the FPC played no role is silly. And to say that the park is not maintained is ridiculous.
    not sure who you are commenting to BUT while FPC surely does support trailwork in the wiss; it is FOW that organizes the workdays and supplies the labor force that gets all the STI projects done. no other outside organizations are allowed to do trailwork at wiss i am pretty sure.

  22. #22
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    I'm not saying that the park is not maintained, just the the trails are so badly eroded that it doesn't appear to be maintained.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    not sure who you are commenting to BUT while FPC surely does support trailwork in the wiss; it is FOW that organizes the workdays and supplies the labor force that gets all the STI projects done. no other outside organizations are allowed to do trailwork at wiss i am pretty sure.
    Sorry, I hate this new system! I was trying to respond to Gigantic and his assertion that there is no trail maintenance/design.

    Yes, the FOW and the PMBC (in the past) has done almost all the trail work. However, several of those trails (Demo I/II) were actually done by outside groups (an IMBA approved group) that was pain for, in part, by the Fairmount park commission. The FOW still does the main job of maintaining the trails.
    Last edited by Vespasianus; 03-23-2013 at 08:15 AM.
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  24. #24
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    I've been riding at Wiss for 20 years and I can tell you the trails are maintained now way better than they were in the late 90's. Back then it seemed like you couldn't ride a hundred yards without having to clear a downed tree. I'm not actually sure what you would do to groom them better- sweep up the rocks? Erosion is a problem for sure, but the irresponsible mountain bikers and equestrians riding in mud are as much to blame as improper design or maintenance. I already feel like the trails have become too tame, or more likely it's just from riding them for 20 years.

    As for the permit, I live in Philadelphia and donate $20 every year to get mine. I've been stopped exactly one time by a park ranger since they instituted the system and I don't know where the money goes. The main reason I get one is so all the snotty hikers with dogs off the leash know -I'm- playing by the rules and have a right to be there.

  25. #25
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    The distinction between "grooming" and maintenance is an important one - and one that I wish I had made. Thanks max-a-mill.

    I do like the fact that the trails there aren't terribly well *groomed*. I appreciate the maintenance that is done there too - I was impressed how quickly it was rideable again after the hurricane, that is part of the reason I decided to get a permit this year.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  26. #26
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    I'm going for a ride today. who's in?

  27. #27
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    Vespas - i am pretty sure all the STI stuff so far has been funded exclusively by FOW but i could be wrong here (maybe FPC does pitch in a little but the majority comes from FOW). the outside workers they had in for the bigger projects so far were consultants who work for IMBA.

    It may sound like it, but i am not trying to bash FPC. they have lots of parks and very little money HOWEVER if you want your money to go directly to those working on the trails in the wiss, FOW is the organization to give too.

    but buy a permit too because it gives the bikers in the park a good name and because, even if it may be slightly mismanaged at times, the gigantic urban park system we have here in philly is truly is an invaluable national treasure we shouldn't take for granted... best urban mountainbiking anywhere in the USA fo sho!

  28. #28
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    Just throwing this anecdote out there: the second year after they instated the permit system, I wasn't aware that it was a yearly renewal and during a ride encountered a Philadelphia police officer in the section between Devil's Pool and Valley Green Rd. It was summer so I figured he was there to see what was going on at Devil's Pool, but he stopped me, checked my tag, and told me it was expired. He wrote me a warning for "operating mountain bike on trail without permit." He knew enough about the system and requirements to know mine was expired and could write me a ticket for it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    Vespas - i am pretty sure all the STI stuff so far has been funded exclusively by FOW but i could be wrong here (maybe FPC does pitch in a little but the majority comes from FOW). the outside workers they had in for the bigger projects so far were consultants who work for IMBA.

    It may sound like it, but i am not trying to bash FPC. they have lots of parks and very little money HOWEVER if you want your money to go directly to those working on the trails in the wiss, FOW is the organization to give too.

    but buy a permit too because it gives the bikers in the park a good name and because, even if it may be slightly mismanaged at times, the gigantic urban park system we have here in philly is truly is an invaluable national treasure we shouldn't take for granted... best urban mountainbiking anywhere in the USA fo sho!

    Max, it does not sound like you are bashing the FCP at all. I personally don't think they do enough for the Wiss, Belmont or Pennypack park. At the same time, I don't know if I want them involved. The trail work done by the FOW and even the PMBC at the Wiss and Belmont is amazing and truly priceless. However, I was under the impression that the Demo I trail system was a test to build a multi-purpose trail system by an IMBA supported trail building group. These guys were professionals and actually paid for their work. Some of this payment came from the FPC. The reason I think this is that I went to a meeting where I asked a FPC guy why I should give money if it just goes to hire park officers to hassle MTBers. He mentioned the demo trail system and said that the donations go to support things like that (as well as the other stuff). That was a while ago (couple years) but I wonder if he was just lying. I ended up giving more than $20 and don't want to find out I got shafted!
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  30. #30
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    what demo trail system is that?

  31. #31
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    I'll buy a permit when I finally see somebody writing tickets or giving warnings to people with off-leash dogs. 19 years so far...

    I've been giving that money to FOW every year since 2007.

  32. #32
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    Wiss Permit Applications are up.

    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    I'll buy a permit when I finally see somebody writing tickets or giving warnings to people with off-leash dogs. 19 years so far...

    I've been giving that money to FOW every year since 2007.
    It's people like you that f@$& it up for everyone else. If the rule is to get a permit, get a damn permit. Look what is happening elsewhere with trails getting closed. MTBers can't afford to be cowboys or we'll all be exclusively road riding before you know it. Saying you won't comply until you see other rules being enforced is kind of silly. I'm not going to pay my taxes until my neighbor stops parking in front of the fire lane. Not that you should not make sure your money is being used appropriately, you should.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmiah View Post
    It's people like you that f@$& it up for everyone else. If the rule is to get a permit, get a damn permit. Look what is happening elsewhere with trails getting closed. MTBers can't afford to be cowboys or we'll all be exclusively road riding before you know it.
    Relax. No one cares very much if you have a permit. It's not enforced. It's not an issue. There are things worth getting worked up about, where some riders' choices put other riders' Wiss access at risk, but getting a permit ain't one of them. And I say that as someone who has a permit and thinks its a good idea for others to do so.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmiah View Post
    It's people like you that f@$& it up for everyone else. If the rule is to get a permit, get a damn permit. Look what is happening elsewhere with trails getting closed. MTBers can't afford to be cowboys or we'll all be exclusively road riding before you know it. Saying you won't comply until you see other rules being enforced is kind of silly. I'm not going to pay my taxes until my neighbor stops parking in front of the fire lane. Not that you should not make sure your money is being used appropriately, you should.
    Is a permit really a permit if nobody has ever asked you if you have a permit in NINETEEN years ?

    You're entitled to your opinion, and I'm not offended by your enthusiasm. But there's no way I can F it up for anybody else if nobody ever takes notice of the fact that I DON'T have one.

    Like I said, I give to the organization that I'm comfortable giving to. My wife pays philly wage taxes. The city gets far more than they deserve from my chester county household. In reality, we buy over 150 permits a year.
    Last edited by 92gli; 03-27-2013 at 07:45 AM.

  35. #35
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    Re: Wiss Permit Applications are up.

    I didn't articulate it well but I think that there is a larger issue at hand that perhaps this issue isn't a good example of. I'm just not a fan of mountain bikers going rogue because it hurts all of us. If we get greedy, it's not hard to see how we can start losing access to things. Again, this issue was probably not a good example of my point but it's related no matter how you rationalize it.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    HOWEVER if you want your money to go directly to those working on the trails in the wiss, FOW is the organization to give too.

    but buy a permit too because it gives the bikers in the park a good name and because, even if it may be slightly mismanaged at times, the gigantic urban park system we have here in philly is truly is an invaluable national treasure we shouldn't take for granted... best urban mountainbiking anywhere in the USA fo sho!
    my original quip was merely provocation of a conversation and Max delivered a great argument for support of the permit purchase and the support (finical or pick and shovel) of Friends of Wissahickon. I ride the park and like the rework which has been done over the past say 3 years. It is worthy of the permit even if not needed.

    Hey I dutifully pay at Whiteclay and yes I am usually a scoff law but they earned it.

  37. #37
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    ordered my trail permits 6 weeks ago, I still haven't received them. is this typical?
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  38. #38
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    Mine only took a week or two this year. Last year I had forgotten that I bought one by the time it arrived. Still, it's the right thing to do....

  39. #39
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    I got mine a week ago.
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  40. #40
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    When I lived in East Falls (right near the trail head woot woot), I ordered the two free. Kept them both on my bike, but always forgot to give them to whatever friend I was riding with... never had any one check it... BTW.. waddup Lance!

  41. #41
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    'sup Katie! when are you and Aaron coming back for a ride in these parts?
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    prob not for awhile - Ohio is sooooo far.. We'll be up in the Wind Gap and pottsville areas on Saturday.. I think we're going to still attempt Jim Thorpe. The MOhican 100 is next weekend already & I'm scared.. gotta get that last bit of seat time in while we can... maybe we'll be around philly for a Wissy ride Monday (memorial day), but I'm pretty sure we'll be too hung over from the wedding we're attending.

  43. #43
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    if you do ride the wiss, hit me up on the facetubes & I'd be happy to join ya's. We haven't ridden together since we had motorcycles at BeaveRun, or Summit Point, I think!
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  44. #44
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    will do. Keep an eye on the book of faces.

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