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  1. #1
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    Wissahickon Erosion

    Hello everyone,

    I've just started enjoying the mountain biking at wissahickon this year because i just moved to the area. I can't believe the difference the rain has caused from the beginning of the summer till now. Yesterday's rain really did major damage. Will there be any volunteer effort to help fix the trails? i'm sure it's been hit hard before but i'm not sure what's been done about it. i'd love to help. hopefully this thread can get people talking. if you haven't been down there, it is severely eroded.

  2. #2
    Inbred Homebrewer
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    You can contact the Friends of the Wissahickon to find out what's being done and when. I spoke briefly with the group's president yesterday, and he said there will be many groups working to repair the damage. They need all the help they can get.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblonde
    Hello everyone,

    I've just started enjoying the mountain biking at wissahickon this year because i just moved to the area. I can't believe the difference the rain has caused from the beginning of the summer till now. Yesterday's rain really did major damage. Will there be any volunteer effort to help fix the trails? i'm sure it's been hit hard before but i'm not sure what's been done about it. i'd love to help. hopefully this thread can get people talking. if you haven't been down there, it is severely eroded.
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  3. #3
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    great! i just sent an email from their website. looks like the next scheduled trail repair is aug 28 but i'm guessing they might be working sooner given the conditions. please post if you hear anything. so you're a mushroom farmer eh? ;-)

  4. #4
    rider
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    No doubt erosion has taken it's toll on this park. Been riding there for years an I've never seen it worse. Check out the thread below for the latest damage.

    One of the local groups that does trail maintenance is the Jersey Action Riders > http://www.jerseyactionriders.org/

  5. #5
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    Just went ridding there this morning. Yes, the heavy rains have done a lot of damage to the forbiden drive and parking areas and caused some of the trails to be washed out. But for the most part, I like it! Yes, the Wissahickon was becoming to easy. This has brought some of the challenge back to many of the trails. I have been ridding here since 1994 and to a large extent, this is what many of the trails used to look like. And we don't need the Friends of the Wissahickon paving the darn trails.

    And this is no where near the worse it has been, have people forgotten Floyd? Now that was some major damage.

  6. #6
    Inbred Homebrewer
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    Wissahickon didn't "become too easy". 10 years of riding there made you a better rider and, thus, made the trails seem easier.

    Challenging terrain is great, but not when it comes at the expense of obliterating anything remotely resembling a trail. I'll concede that the "paving" of trails (as you put it) sucks (e.g. the recent bulldozer "improvements" on the climb by Bells Mill Rd), but I think you may be missing the bigger picture.

    Many of the riders I see at Wissahickon are not people who will enjoy the trails in their current state. Simply put, many people aren't capable of safely negotiating the climbs and descents over large, loose rocks.

    To you and me, this is what mountain biking is all about, and the challenges are welcomed, but we have more than a decade of experience on our side.

    To newbies, casual- and less-skilled riders, hikers, and equestrians, many sections of trail (in their current state) are simply too difficult to negotiate. This is going to drive some people away from the park. Worse than that, though, it's going to force people out onto the ever-widening edges of the trails OR it's going to lead people to cut new lines around the difficult areas (which leads to further erosion and general degradation of the trail system, which leads to increased hostility and finger-pointing from groups seeking to keep bikers out (or severly limit their access).

    Oh, and I have to disagree with one last point: Floyd brought floods and took down a lot of trees, but Floyd didn't bury a third of Valley Green Inn. Floyd didn't leave piles of bricks on Valley Green Rd, and it didn't wash away nearly as much soil.

    In the end, it doesn't really matter whether this is "the worst it's ever been" or not. It's bad for the park, any way you slice it.

    Quote Originally Posted by anand
    Just went ridding there this morning. Yes, the heavy rains have done a lot of damage to the forbiden drive and parking areas and caused some of the trails to be washed out. But for the most part, I like it! Yes, the Wissahickon was becoming to easy. This has brought some of the challenge back to many of the trails. I have been ridding here since 1994 and to a large extent, this is what many of the trails used to look like. And we don't need the Friends of the Wissahickon paving the darn trails.

    And this is no where near the worse it has been, have people forgotten Floyd? Now that was some major damage.
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  7. #7
    m2k
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    I'd like to help too. I sent an email to the one listed on the "Friends" site, but if anyone knows of anything sooner, please post.

    PS - anyone ride that windy/twisty trail across the street (Lincoln Dr) from the roadside parking area that's just up from the ten box? Entrance on Wissahickon Ave, I believe. Rode it last Sat. for the first time in a month or so and it's grown in like a jungle! Can't wait to get back on the trail - the moon surface claimed my rear deraileur recently (which led to a new chain, which led to new chainrings, etc...) and I've been riding my old clunker hardtail.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Wissahickon didn't "become too easy". 10 years of riding there made you a better rider and, thus, made the trails seem easier.

    Challenging terrain is great, but not when it comes at the expense of obliterating anything remotely resembling a trail. I'll concede that the "paving" of trails (as you put it) sucks (e.g. the recent bulldozer "improvements" on the climb by Bells Mill Rd), but I think you may be missing the bigger picture.

    Many of the riders I see at Wissahickon are not people who will enjoy the trails in their current state. Simply put, many people aren't capable of safely negotiating the climbs and descents over large, loose rocks.

    To you and me, this is what mountain biking is all about, and the challenges are welcomed, but we have more than a decade of experience on our side.

    To newbies, casual- and less-skilled riders, hikers, and equestrians, many sections of trail (in their current state) are simply too difficult to negotiate. This is going to drive some people away from the park. Worse than that, though, it's going to force people out onto the ever-widening edges of the trails OR it's going to lead people to cut new lines around the difficult areas (which leads to further erosion and general degradation of the trail system, which leads to increased hostility and finger-pointing from groups seeking to keep bikers out (or severly limit their access).

    Oh, and I have to disagree with one last point: Floyd brought floods and took down a lot of trees, but Floyd didn't bury a third of Valley Green Inn. Floyd didn't leave piles of bricks on Valley Green Rd, and it didn't wash away nearly as much soil.

    In the end, it doesn't really matter whether this is "the worst it's ever been" or not. It's bad for the park, any way you slice it.
    Sorry Charlie. There a lot of section that have been altered to smooth things out. For example, the climb to the chief, the climb up from the other side of valley green, etc.

    And yes, it pisses me off to see how many "side routes" have been created by people who could not make the hard sections of the trail.

    Floyd killed that place. The benches next to the valley green all were ruined. The path from the Manyunk bus stop to the forbidden drive was pushed down 5 feet towards the water. The trails were an absolute mess. I actually don't think the trails are all the bad. The lower area yes, but not the trails.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by anand
    Sorry Charlie. There a lot of section that have been altered to smooth things out. For example, the climb to the chief, the climb up from the other side of valley green, etc.
    Aren't you the same person who complained that they weren't using enough of your money to maintain trails?

    hmmm...

    Quote Originally Posted by anand
    Riders of the Wissahickon

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I was just signing up for the wissahickon trail permit and was going to give a larger than normal donation until I noticed what they have done with the money raised. Instead of using the donated money to maintain trails and/or improve the park, they have hired two rangers to enforce the rules and regulations of the park. This makes me not want to give them any money. If this is really how the money we give them is spent, I would rather all mountain bikers give no money but rather just volunteer their time into maintaining the trails. What do people think?
    I guess there's just no pleasing some people. There's a difference between trail maintenance and trail 'sanitization'. The areas you're talking about (e.g. the switchbacks leading to the statue) were getting chewed to sh!t and widened beyond belief by people who couldn't get over the logs and ledges that were there. By "smoothing things out" it allows more users to stay in the middle of the trail, reducing the overall impact on that corner. Whether you or I like the "new" trail or not is irrelevant. In the grand scheme of things, the trail is better for ALL users as a result of someone's hard work to maintain it.
    [SIZE="2"][/SIZE]"mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Aren't you the same person who complained that they weren't using enough of your money to maintain trails?

    hmmm...



    I guess there's just no pleasing some people. There's a difference between trail maintenance and trail 'sanitization'. The areas you're talking about (e.g. the switchbacks leading to the statue) were getting chewed to sh!t and widened beyond belief by people who couldn't get over the logs and ledges that were there. By "smoothing things out" it allows more users to stay in the middle of the trail, reducing the overall impact on that corner. Whether you or I like the "new" trail or not is irrelevant. In the grand scheme of things, the trail is better for ALL users as a result of someone's hard work to maintain it.
    I was the guy that was annoyed that it sounded like the permit funds were going to be used to hire rangers to bother and catch people ridding MTBs. I would rather see that money be used to improve parking, clean up the trash, etc. and do trail work.

    And don't get me wrong, there are lots of places in the Wissahickon that need help. We are all in agreement on that. My point is that I personally really like the trails more now than before the storm. I also prefer the beach more during a hurricane than in calm weather.

  11. #11
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    stick is right. while the storm may have made the trails more interesting for the mountain bikers who frequent them, this is not good for the trail system. this degradation of the trail system could lead to changes in policy regarding access for hikers/bikers/equestrians. now which group do you think will suffer the most from this limited access? hopefully we can repair the trails but maybe use some of the new features uncovered my mother nature to keep the "new interesting features" ... i.e. exposed roots, rocks slabs, etc.

    maybe if we get enough mtb'ers out on the trails doing the repair work, we can get our say into how we'd like to see the trails repaired.

    ps. check the wissahickon friends site and contact dave who's email/phone number is posted under "volunteer" he's organizing volunteers in the upcoming weekends.

    cheers!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblonde
    stick is right. while the storm may have made the trails more interesting for the mountain bikers who frequent them, this is not good for the trail system. this degradation of the trail system could lead to changes in policy regarding access for hikers/bikers/equestrians. now which group do you think will suffer the most from this limited access? hopefully we can repair the trails but maybe use some of the new features uncovered my mother nature to keep the "new interesting features" ... i.e. exposed roots, rocks slabs, etc.

    maybe if we get enough mtb'ers out on the trails doing the repair work, we can get our say into how we'd like to see the trails repaired.

    ps. check the wissahickon friends site and contact dave who's email/phone number is posted under "volunteer" he's organizing volunteers in the upcoming weekends.

    cheers!

    Agreed!

  13. #13
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    does anyone really consider the really loose rock at wiss a good thing. i dont see that degree of of looseness as a positive trail quality. I see it as sketchy, not technical. The rocky sections of trails that are considered desireable in other areas are very different, baby head rock gardens, smooth sandstone, granite drop offs. All these require technical skill and add to the aesthetic flow of the areas in which they are found. There is a technique to climbing and decending those loose trails in the wiss, but i dont find it very fun. the parts of the park that are fun are where there is a flowing line of turns and small drops that can be carved on the way down and picked off on the way up. in the current state of things, alot of these lines are completely screwed up and need to be maintained or it seems like each of the trails will eventually degrade into the type of trail that was found on the roxborough side of bells mill, which was ugly and eroded and is now plowed and no less ugly.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcurtius
    does anyone really consider the really loose rock at wiss a good thing. i dont see that degree of of looseness as a positive trail quality. I see it as sketchy, not technical. The rocky sections of trails that are considered desireable in other areas are very different, baby head rock gardens, smooth sandstone, granite drop offs. All these require technical skill and add to the aesthetic flow of the areas in which they are found. There is a technique to climbing and decending those loose trails in the wiss, but i dont find it very fun. the parts of the park that are fun are where there is a flowing line of turns and small drops that can be carved on the way down and picked off on the way up. in the current state of things, alot of these lines are completely screwed up and need to be maintained or it seems like each of the trails will eventually degrade into the type of trail that was found on the roxborough side of bells mill, which was ugly and eroded and is now plowed and no less ugly.
    no, loose rocks are not a good thing. i got worked pretty hard on a downhill yesterday becuase of all the loose rock.

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