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  1. #1
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    ATV Damage - Need Help

    Let me set the stage here. For the last few years I have been building and improving a network of trails for the local middle school bike club. The kids who ride in this club range in age from 7 years old to 80 years old (Yeah, they're still kids when they ride). I built these trails on logging company land and they are designed for beginners. A lot of the kids who ride with us have never ridden mountain bikes before and we try to make the club a fun group and teach the kids the basics of riding.

    Here is the problem. For the last 6 years the trails have been used only by us, a few locals that walk their dogs and a few more who ride their horses there. In the last year or so, I've had some help from a couple of other adults who ride with the club and their idea of a good bike trail is wide and smooth. As a result, some of the trails are now rather inviting to quad riders. These trails are quickly getting trashed and I can't keep up with repairing the damage. The quadders are wrecking them faster than I can fix them.

    I could use some help in the form of suggestions of how to discourage the ATV riders from using the bike trails.

    Now, to save time. I know how to build quad-proof trails, these ones are already built and I can't really shut them down and build more.

    Punji sticks, spikes, barbed wire and explosives are out. There are 7 year old kids riding on these trails.

    I have an idea that large holes strategically placed might work but I'll listen to any suggestions. That area is hard to dig in.

    I have permission from the loggin company to "maintain" the trails but they are against new construction. They are also adamant that no motorized vehicles are allowed on that land.

    Thanks in advance for anything you can come up with.

  2. #2
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja


    Now, to save time. I know how to build quad-proof trails, these ones are already built and I can't really shut them down and build more.
    Can you incorporate frequent rock choke points that still please the people who want wide trails but will discourage ATVs b/c of the slow speed maneuvering they'll have to do?

    Also, have you tried signage and patrolling? Is there a sign stating that ATVs are not allowed? If you can actually talk to the people, maybe explain to them the danger in themix of kids on bikes and foot and ATVs and furthermore recommend ATV trails in the area.

    Good luck.

    D

  3. #3
    Just roll it......
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    A couple of ideas.

    As someone else said, create skinny choke points at the entrance and exits using large boulders or cut blowdown. Also, when you have blowdown on the trail, leave them narrow when you cut them. Obviously they need to be wide enough for bikes to get through, but not so wide that a Quad can ride them without having to get off their rig. We had some issues with motos/quads on our trails, so we went as far as leaving a new trail as a hike in/hike out by intentionally leaving blowdown at the entrance and exit. While a slight inconvenience for riders, it's not had one moto on it. Maybe not ideal for your setting, but it does work.

    I've found, generally speaking, that ATV riders are pretty lazy. If they've got to lift their quad a few times over some logs, they won't be riding that trail much - if at all in the future. I grew up riding motos and my disdain for the ATV crowd is pretty high.

    Cheers,
    EB

  4. #4
    The Voice of Reason
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    confrontation works if you do it in a respectful way and you can catch them in the act. plus calling the law if you can hear them nearby.
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  5. #5
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    you might contact Moscow Area Mountain Bike Ass. Moscow, Id
    I think it's www.bikemoscow.org

    Their main area is private land owned by a logging company that they have mandate to keep motorized and horses out of, and they have done really well with that.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all. Rock choke points are probably better as these fools carry chainsaws and bolt cutters. It gives you an idea of the mind set of our local quad riders. The property is well posted and for a time they even had security guards.

    The problem with rocks is that I'm one person and anything I can put in their way, they can probably move.

    I'm going to see about rerouting some of the trails to make it less fun for quads.

  7. #7
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    You should get ahold of the land manager. Maybe you can convince them to put in for some metal gates, that only mt. bikes can snake through.

    Maybe they will be sympathetic to your plight?

    i'd also see if there is an ATV group around your area. Contact them to get the word out, and see if there is any interest by them to help you out with volunteers.
    .~...|\
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  8. #8
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    Well there is really no way to stop them other than making the trail super tight where they cant fit. With the trail being already made i would suggest talkin to them and tellin them where you are coming from . If the four wheelers are like the ones where i live they will go around any thing you put in the trail they will mess up more stuff. I would just try to put some tight spots like others have said, mabey when a tree falls make a trail around it and make it tight or somthing if its a big one cut it a little bigger than the bikes. Keep up the good work and Good Luck

  9. #9
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    One thing that I've noted too is the invention of the 4wd slow speed hunting quad means that often if they are persistent enough, they'll just ride around the blockages.

    Putting some peer pressure on them from the respectful side of their user group may help. But, usually, these people are just rogue riders that really don't care what anyone else thinks.

    Bridges with skinnies over them helps too. Most I know don't pack chain saws. But, if yours do, that's a bigger problem...bummer.

    Call the law. Paying a couple impound fees may alleviate the problem.

    Or, share some other local place that they are legal to herd them that way.

  10. #10
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    The best way to catch them would be to figure out where they park, because otherwise they could run off. That is my suggestion, after you try to ask them pollitely. Keep us posted man

  11. #11
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    contact the local bike shop moto/atv kind and see if they can put the word out in their network to not ride on the Nonmotorized trails.

  12. #12
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    In addition to pinch points and deadfall you need to lift a bike over, narrow bench trail on steep cross slopes will stop an ATV (but not a trail bike). If you have some steep hillsides you can contour the trail along the hillside for a short distance near the beginning of the trail to serve as a gateway.

    If you have big rocks available but no one to help you move them, consider sliding them into place with a come-along and rock bars. Use the come-along to put tension on the rock and then slide it along with a rock bar. You can also use a couple of extra rock bars as tracks to slide the rock on.

    Sometimes a pinch point works even better if you put three rocks in a triangle and have the trail curve around one of the three rocks. Its no real obstacle for bikes but the ATVers won't be able simply lift one end and then the other end of their quad over a two rock pinch point but will have to lift the entire thing over all three rocks.

  13. #13
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    I ride bikes and atv's, and I have respect for both riders, but I have to admit, the ignorant atv riders ruining some of my local trails get me angry as well. There's just no stopping them, they make huge mud holes, and new mud holes when those get too deep to cross. It's these irresponsible riders that give all atv riders a bad reputation. I have never ridden my quad on hiking/biking trails because I know the effects a neglected trail has on bikers and hikers. I can tell you that no minor obstruction is going to stop them. Even on a 2wd sport quad a skilled rider can go over just about anything shorter than the tires in height. I would do what others suggested by making the opening and exit to the trails blocked with boulders. That seems to work well on the other side of town here.

  14. #14
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    You really need to design trails to be ATV proof at the beginning of your trails planning by using all the above mentioned methods. Going back in to add chokes and boulders as well as short narrow bench cut sections will be more work.

    We also use non-violent heckling as a deterrence method, who wants to ride somewhere if they're going to heckle you and take pictures of your license plates then have the police visit you at home?
    Michael Vitti
    CLIMB President
    www.CLIMBonline.org
    www.IMBA.com
    NY State Trails Council Member

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sick4surf
    You really need to design trails to be ATV proof at the beginning of your trails planning by using all the above mentioned methods. Going back in to add chokes and boulders as well as short narrow bench cut sections will be more work.

    We also use non-violent heckling as a deterrence method, who wants to ride somewhere if they're going to heckle you and take pictures of your license plates then have the police visit you at home?
    So this Sunday I spent the day cruising the area to see what I could do with minimal tools. I dropped 2 trees across the main entrance to the area that the ATV's use. Bikers don't use that entrance due to the ATV damage. Then I went to work on the entrances of a couple of the trails they have damaged the most. Those are nowhere near as inviting to Quads.

    The people who sometimes come out to help with the trails smiled and waved as a group of ATV riders drove past them. Those riders went out the entrance I had just blocked with the trees. They winched the trees out onto the road with their trucks and then loaded up the quads and drove away leaving the trees on the road.

  16. #16
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Sounds like a bunch of really nice ATVer you have there.

    Some additional suggestions as the ATVer and bikers here are always butting heads. Re install the timbers across the access point and bolt / screw / tie them in to other surrounding large trees. Also place signs around the area indicating that the land is for non motorized use only.

    Place chokes around the sides of the trail in a double rock configuration. The first rock an ATV would be able to get over with a bit of difficulty, second would trap their wheel dead in its tracks. Now you have just created a trail that is not very fun to ride for the ATV rider.

    Locally I have caught the ATV guys going down narrow single track at a snails pace with the throttle wide open tearing it all up. A little non threatening confrontation did wonders.

    Best of luck

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    So this Sunday I spent the day cruising the area to see what I could do with minimal tools. I dropped 2 trees across the main entrance to the area that the ATV's use. Bikers don't use that entrance due to the ATV damage. Then I went to work on the entrances of a couple of the trails they have damaged the most. Those are nowhere near as inviting to Quads.

    The people who sometimes come out to help with the trails smiled and waved as a group of ATV riders drove past them. Those riders went out the entrance I had just blocked with the trees. They winched the trees out onto the road with their trucks and then loaded up the quads and drove away leaving the trees on the road.
    Sounds like you've got determined ATV'rs.

    Are atv's legaly allowed on the property you're talking about? If not, time to stop being mr nice guy. Post no motorized vehicle signs and start turing them in to the police. Take pics of their plates, if their vehicles are parked at an entrance call the police and have them waiting there when the atv come out of the woods. Or better yet have their cars towed.

    Also get your members (that happily smile at these guys as they destroy your trails ) to start caring too.

  18. #18
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    My area got over ran by an ATV club. It completely trashed the land. Now I see lots of skull and cross bone signs warning ATVs not to go on a trail. Well not really a skull and cross bones sign but a letter from the Mine company that owns the land. Some still go but most don't. But again this is an ATV club so they are a little bit more manageable than the average weekend warrior.

  19. #19
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    Plan B:

    Your going to need to educate all trail users that ATVs are not allowed by law and are not welcome here due to the family oriented nature of the trails you've developed. Give them proper protocol to follow when they see ATVs. (descriptions, time, day and license plate numbers)

    Also, talk to the ATVers in a friendly manner and ask them to please not ride the area any longer. Tell them you want to give them a heads up cause the local civic association is starting a neighborhood watch group and they are going to start issuing fines and confiscations.

    You'll need to post flyers "INFO WANTED ON ATVs" "NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH WILL REPORT ATVS TO POLICE" Do not associate the flyers with your mountain bike club or they might damage your trails and signs on purpose.

    Then you'll have to convince the local police on proper protocol when the calls come in on the ATV sightings, the police need to be willing to visit the ATVers at home when traced thru their license plates. Sometimes you may need to get the city or town council's help in urging the police to respond.

    Keep it non-confrontational and non-violent.
    Michael Vitti
    CLIMB President
    www.CLIMBonline.org
    www.IMBA.com
    NY State Trails Council Member

  20. #20
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    Sorry for all your problems you are having with the trails, not all atv riders are like that. Looks like you will need a more permanent block.

  21. #21
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    You'll like this

    Last night we had a night ride/cookout. We had 70 kids ranging in age from 8 to 15 with their bikes and themselves all decked out in Xmas lights along with about a dozen adults.

    A couple of ATV riders tried to go by and were stopped and turned around by half a dozen tiny little girls screaming profanities at them.

    It must have looked like they were backed up by hundreds of people, with everyone wearing a couple of lights and all the parked bikes with usually more than one light on them.

    It was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

    I think I'll get those girls to just patrol the area all the time. They're terrifying.


    In reply to a couple of other posts:

    The land is privately owned by a logging company and the middle school bike club are the only ones who officially have permission to be on the land. I am the only one who has permission to work on the trails (and crews supervised by me) Unofficially they will allow any cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians to use the trails. I'm OK with that too. If a trail isn't safe for horses, I post it and they stay off. The ATV riders see those signs as a challenge. They have to be physically stopped. We'll see how the log wall works. I'll keep you posted.

  22. #22
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    The local sheriff offers a reward for ATV riders caught on the local rail trails. It has cut down the quads there as several got fined and bikes impounded.

  23. #23
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    ATV riders are a big problem. Posting signs and being "non confrontational" tragically doesn't really work. Step it up, start freaking them out and start making examples of them. If they're not supposed to be there, then they're not supposed to be there. Start calling the cops and having their ATV's impounded or having the people prosecuted for trespassing. Locally we have an area where ATV and dirt bike riders go nuts and believe me, signs won't do crap and being "non confrontational" won't either. Nothing freaks a person out more than running into cops face to face.

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