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  1. #1
    Its got what plants crave
    Reputation: Jim311's Avatar
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    Submitting proposals for land use - how to?

    Some friends of mine in Gainesville have expressed interest in perhaps getting some trails and stunts set up. The land is private, and owned by a church. There are already some tame XC trails there, but I am looking to build some skill building stuff like ladder rides and drops, and a dirt jump section. I'm not sure what sort of proposal we'll need for this, or even what I should include. Nor am I sure how specific it all needs to be. But as a rough guideline, what sort of stuff should I include? I think convincing them that the park can be safe but challenging at the same time might be a big hurdle to overcome. Also, if we do manage to convince them to let us use their land, I want these trails to be as well thought out as possible. Is there a good site online to check out that will at least teach me some of the basics of what I will need to think about?

  2. #2
    Builder of Trails
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    The church's biggest concern will probably be risk management for liability purposes. IMBA's web site (www.imba.com) has GREAT resources for this topic and many others. You should really check it out. Here's some info from the site:

    Managing Risk With Trail Design
    Presented at the 2006 IMBA Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference

    Speakers: Chris Bernhardt, IMBA; Rich Edwards, IMBA

    Most trails currently in use were designed before the creation of the mountain bike and were therefore not designed to maximize biking experience or provide adequate opportunities for skill progression. Seeking physical challenge in the outdoors is a long-standing human practice. Below are some principles of trail design, construction techniques and management strategies for managing risk.
    Basic concepts of using trail design to manage risk:

    1. Reduce Injury Frequency
    2. Reduce Injury Severity
    3. Reduce Injury Consequences
    4. Maintain Risk Management Protocols

    Tips for Reducing Injury Frequency:

    1. Warnings

    * Signs play a vital role in managing risk
    * Consider a perimeter (fence, vegetation - every user is warned of potential risk no matter how they enter the trail system)
    * The main trailhead kiosk could describe trail difficulty using a trail rating system
    * Provide signage that alerts users to elements of increased risk
    * Use language that appeals to users
    * Include warnings about natural outdoor hazards (such as deadfall, weather, animals, etc.)

    2. Filters

    * A trail filter, sometimes referred to as a gateway or qualifier, is a high-skill-level, low-consequence obstacle that demonstrates the difficulty of the upcoming trail or trail feature.
    * Consider using filters at the beginning of each advanced trail and just before technical features
    * By making the entrances to technical trails and features difficult, you prevent unprepared riders from overstepping their abilities.
    * Build with low consequence, easy exit
    * Should require same skill as the features on the trail
    * Filter must be path of least resistance

    3. Provide optional lines

    * Consider offering an easier, alternate route around a technical feature
    * Allows different ability level riders to ride together
    * On advanced trails, the technical trail feature can be located on the main line, with an easier option to the side. On intermediate or beginner routes, technical trail features could be outside the main trail flow
    * Make easier line longer, more difficult line shorter
    * Optional lines can potentially be in the same corridor as the main trail; for example, a drop-off could vary in height from one side of the trail to the other

    4. Introduce challenges to users sequentially so they can enhance their skills in a managed environment.

    5. Include skills areas/challenge parks

    * Construct a practice area with a wide variety of challenging obstacles, from easy to difficult.
    * Provides a low risk area to learn skills required to successfully ride trail
    * Locate at trailhead
    * The most challenging features should mirror the most difficult obstacles users can expect to encounter on the trail system.
    * Possible elements include low skinnys, rock gardens, rollers, small drops, chicanes, fake root web, boulders
    * Another idea is to offer regularly scheduled skills clinics. In addition to teaching riding techniques, include tips on responsible trail use

    6. Provide good sight lines

    * Add good sight lines at intersections and bi-directional trails

    Tips for Reducing Injury Severity

    7. Fall zone management

    * A fall zone is the area adjacent to a technical trail feature, which provides a clear landing for a rider who has failed to negotiate the obstacle
    * Consider removing branches, stumps, logs, rocks, and other protruding objects that could cause injury if the fall zone is utilized
    * Backcountry - less clearing, remove sharp unyielding objects
    * Frontcountry - option is to add mulch or dirt to further soften a fall zone

    8. Reduce MOI (mechanism of injury)

    * Reduce speeds with slow speed turns and technical features
    * Reduce fall height
    * Consider directional trails to eliminate combined speed of possible collision

    Tips for Reducing Injury Consequences

    9. Communicate to emergency responders about how to locate users on trail systems - create an incident response plan

    * Include waypoint signage link to GIS map
    * Provide access to locked areas
    * Familiarize EMS with relevant maps

    10. Self-extraction is ideal - use signage

    * Provide users with address for emergency services
    * Provide directions to nearest health care facilities and hours of operation
    * Place signs along the trail to facilitate location communication to EMS

    Maintain Risk Management Protocols

    11. Research insurance options

    * Determine if insurance is required
    * Make sure insurance company understands what they are insuring

    12. Develop protocol for trail inspection

    * Consider using a written inspection protocol
    * One idea is to keep inspection records of features and structures

    13. Perform signage maintenance

    * Consider a signage log and replace missing signs
    * Maintain appropriate perimeter

  3. #3
    HIKE!
    Reputation: sparrow's Avatar
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    Fount of knowledge. dburatti, your posts and contributions are *very* nice to have. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Its got what plants crave
    Reputation: Jim311's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!

  5. #5
    Builder of Trails
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    Thanks for the thanks, but I'm just passing the info along. IMBA is the fountain from which I primarily drink. Are you or your club an IMBA member?

    Watch this one:

    10. Self-extraction is ideal - use signage

    * Provide users with address for emergency services
    * Provide directions to nearest health care facilities and hours of operation
    * Place signs along the trail to facilitate location communication to EMS

    While working at Tamarack, the emergency number and directions faces the entrance of the dirt jump park, while anyone who is injured is more likely to be inside the park...and behind the sign. You might want to make the sign two-sided.

    D

  6. #6
    HIKE!
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    Oh, yeah, our club is IMBA affiliated, so's my crappy bike shop. Went to the Whistler IMBA World Summit a couple summers ago, and am have myself entrenched.

  7. #7
    ~~~~~~~~
    Reputation: airwreck's Avatar
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    It's really nice to have the IMBA resource to share the work others have done with the "red tape" part of the process. I've also been using the NOHVAC for resources and templates. Another good idea is to find a rider/attorney who specializes in land law and persuade them to volunteer their services. The big thing is finding out what the land owner/manager needs and customizing your proposal and agreements to satisfy all parties.

    good luck, the more success stories to share the better for all of us pursuing the cause!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    The best proposal is one that answers every possible question the land manager could have. The more organized and professional your presentation is the greater your chances for success.

    I would think that one of the biggest hurdles in dealing with a private land manager would be convincing them of the benefits of letting you build on their land, at the very least you need to convince them that they won't get sued. I would look into your local Recreational Use Statutes for your state and provide information on it in your proposal.

    Then how would these trails benefit the land owners? You mentioned that it's a church, perhaps play up the fact that they could reach more young people this way. There are a lot of churches around me that have skate parks to bring young skaters to God. Maybe play up this angle. Contact churches who have done this and get success stories from them to present to the land owners. Without knowing details, I would consider this your best shot. Churches are concerned about reaching today's youth, show them how your stunts would help them accomplish this goal.

    You can always use the obesity, health, bicycle friendly communities, safe, legal place to ride arguments also, Remember you usually only get one shot at these type of things. Be as completely prepared and professional as possible.

  9. #9
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    You have NO CONTROL

    over law suits. How can you promise anyone they will not get sued? You need to focus on liability. There is a huge difference. Good luck.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    good point, I worded that poorly.

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