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  1. #1
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    This coud be bad....

    Heres the deal. The city that I live in granted us permission to build some singltrack in the city park. With this being a small park and being in West Virginia where nothing is flat we knew there was going to be a lot of benching because we wanted to squeeze in as much distance as possible. So we planned a trail day and got 20+ people out there to start benching for a good 7 hours.

    Now a LBS owner decides to go out tonight for their weekly shop ride and pass through the new trail system to help burn in the trails. Sounds like a great idea. Or does it? Last week we had a deep freeze with some snow. It has since warmed up and the snow has melted. Then this morning we had a nice long down pour. Point is the ground is soaked and the trails are fresh and have never been ridden. I think this is going to be bad for them!

    Im afraid what kind of damage they are going to do to these trails that so many of us had worked so hard on. I think we would be ok if the ground was frozen or its rained on it a few good times then dried up. But I think this is just too soon to ride these trails with the amount of precip weve had.

    I can't wait to get out on them either but I would rather wait until the dirt settles in a bit more where the damage would be much more limited if any at all.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  2. #2
    "singlespeed outlaw"
    Reputation: oaker's Avatar
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    agreed, get everyone educated on when to stay off the trails.
    One #!$%^&* Speed !!

  3. #3
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    I don't get it. Why don't you say to the LBS owner what you just wrote here? If the guy is unreasonable, contact the Rangers. If the Rangers don't care, take your 20+ trail crew out there tonight and perform some trail maintenance.

    I wish I had your problem.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  4. #4
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    On his Facebook page he posted about the ride. I commented on it questioning him if he thought it's a good idea to ride them in these conditions. He hasn't responded. He was one of the ones out there building these trails along with some of the others that will probably be riding tonight. I would think they would know better.
    I would be more than glad to let you have my problem if I could. Why would anyone want to damage something they put time into building?
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  5. #5
    Unpredictable
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    I would not assume that being part of the MTB industry implies awareness or common sense. Most people think that a trail is ready to ride when they see it and do not even consider the settling in period or the builder's chance to assess drainages before the masses are unleashed on it.

    There are 2 ways to look at this though and the more positive one is that the LBS ride may demonstrate issues that will affect the trail in the future, allowing modifications to drainages ahead of opening. The other is that when they do create muddy ruts up to the rotors, they may have that light bulb moment and realise they need to dig more and think more about what is being built.

    Here, we just accept that before a new trail section opens it will be hammered by everyone who never lifted a finger to help. we have given up trying to keep closures in place. There is no point wasting hours blocking trails with logs to have them all removed the next day and then again and again. If the trail is not up to the onslaught in its most vulnerable condition, then maybe you will spot things that can be done to stabilise it more. It's not all bad.

  6. #6
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    Was the trail damaged in any way? If not then don't worry about it. If it was damaged use it as a learning opportunity.

  7. #7
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    I don't know if they rode the trails tonight as I was not with them. But he told me "Im very conscientious rider, will access the trails when we get to that segment of the ride."
    All I can do is assume that he did the right thing once he got to the trail head.
    I do agree positive things can come out either way but I don't want to spend more time fixing something that should not need to be fixed.
    I'm sure in the long run everything will be fine but I just hate to see a trail get damaged before it has time to even settle. It might deter the volunteers next time.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  8. #8
    Unpredictable
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    It does upset volunteers and it shouldn't happen, but it does. We had a chat with a guy and two teenagers this afternoon. They went past closure signs on an unopened section of trail. We let them ride to the top, down and back up again. It was pretty obvious it was not the first time, they were pretty quick going down. It would have been a very different scenario if we were working on saturated or otherwise vulnerable trail, but we were doing a final clearing of sightlines and it was helpful to have a practical demonstration of the improved vision on this 2 way trail.

    With regard to your potentially boggy sections, if they have been built with good grade reversals and outslope, the repairs on the high points will be simple tamping and that will improve the trail anyway. At the low points, if this is likely to be a seasonal event, you can repair and stabilise the trail with small stones (ideally 5cm and smaller) and gravel. You gently tamp the stones in first and then top with gravel and tamp that down. At first it can be hard, but at some point it will turn to soft jelly (jello); a softer version of what wells up around your feet on wet sand at the beach. At that point you stop and leave it to harden for a few days. Tamping more will create a bog that takes ages to solidify. Return and repeat with more gravel than stones this time. It may take 3 or 4 visit on really difficult spots.

    The smaller the particles on the surface of the tread at the end of the process, the less likely it will start to loosen and fall apart with use. The larger the stones, the more likely they will dislodge and expose neighbours. No-one like loose gravel on an otherwise grippy trail, but if you get this right, the gravel will be cemented into the trail and because it is at a low point with outslope, it will survive future weather and rider events. Sorry, I know this is not on topic as such

  9. #9
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    I cant comment on the wisdom of riding on the unfinished trail since I believe it really depends on more variables than I would like to get into here.

    You might want to try to reduce the likelihood of this kind of thing by not tempting people with your new tread until you are ready. Whenever we build new trail we always try to start building at a point that is out-of-sight from any existing trails. That reduces the temptation for people like your LBS owner and his buddies to go try out the new trail. Sometimes we will even use a different route each time that we hike in to work just so that we don't start wearing in a path to the unfinished trail. After all the rest of the new trail is done we will then build the last segment that intersects with the existing trail.

  10. #10
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    I was told "Not dry enough for new trails"
    Strava Translation: we started riding the trail but bailed half way through.
    There are lost of bail out points to the nearby blacktop walking trail. So it appears to me they decided that it was not a good idea to be riding it. I'm sure no permanent damage was done if any at all. But I'm still curious as to how it held up. Unfortunately I won't be able to check it out for some time.

    Thanks for the benching tips. This was a quick bench cut for a decent length of trail. Some of which is done correctly and most were just done quickly to get a rough cut. But most of the hard work is complete. Going back and fixing drainage & slope conditions will be a thing to do for a while.

    I always try to leave the beginning and end sections of the trail until we have the middle complete. Which is what we were doing until this weekend when we completed it. I only say complete because it is rideable in the right conditions. But isn't that the case with all trails?
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

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