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  1. #1
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    Trail Designer Wanted

    Hello mtbr community,

    I represent a family that wants to turn their gorgeous 800 acre ranch into a mountainbike park and racing venue. I have a lot of experience with endurance racing and this ranch SCREAMS mountain bike mecca. I am close to this family and they haven given me the ability to make this happen. This ranch is in Walterville Oregon and is easily accessible , has great parking , is close to support and community,has terrain to provide a skill deveopment area, down hill, cross country, and cyclocross.
    If you are or know of any qualified individual or group that would like to be on board withthis development please send them my way.

    Thank You
    Mike

  2. #2
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    There are very likely some companies or organizations out there in the Pacific Northwest. Like maybe Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.

    By "skill development area" are you envisioning jumps/freeride ? Or more of an easy skinnies-and-teeters kind of thing?

  3. #3
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    I watched "Pedal Driven" last night. I saw Evergreen in that doc. They are in Washington. I do have a passionate novice trail designer from Bend who does 3D design for a living coming to tour the ranch. Today I have a race promoter coming to tour at 12:30.

    It amazes me how difficult it is to get someone to grab hold of this opportunity. In So Cal people would have been lined up to take this opportunity.

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    Nothing is off the table. I think this property has room and terrain for a free ride type skills area. It seems to be pupular enough.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shep88925 View Post
    I watched "Pedal Driven" last night. I saw Evergreen in that doc. They are in Washington. I do have a passionate novice trail designer from Bend who does 3D design for a living coming to tour the ranch. Today I have a race promoter coming to tour at 12:30.

    It amazes me how difficult it is to get someone to grab hold of this opportunity. In So Cal people would have been lined up to take this opportunity.
    Are you (or the landowner) paying for the design ?

    I can't really speak to the xc, cyclocross, etc. but as for bmx/mtb-DJ/freeride/skateboarding I've observed several things about "design" and "designers" over the years:

    1) Very few people are truly able to design for different skill levels.

    * experts/pro's who allocate too much of a park to expert/pro level (IMO it should not be more than 20% if you're intending a spot as destination for intermediate riders)

    * expert/pro level riders who don't really understand what intimidates "normal"-minded people; in extreme sports, pro's are often people with a pathological lack of fear (heh heh). they love fear, it gets them up in the morning. this type of person is very impatient with noobs and doesn't understand certain psychological things, like a gap double with only an 8 foot gap is very "easy" because you go slow... but it's not "easy" mentally, because a large percentage of people, even skilled riders will get psyched out by the gap. 12 foot table? fine. 8 foot gap? they won't do it. or in cement parks... they don't understand that having a channel roll-in helps a large percentage of riders/skaters who aren't going to drop in over the coping the first time.

    * beginners who design things that are boring for advanced (you see this a lot with grassroots clubs or 'family'-oriented design, who do not consider what the 15-25 year old shredders really want).

    * young designers going for trendy features, without understanding design that has worked in the past. or older designers who are not familiar at all with new riding styles and new features.

    * claims about "progression"-oriented design can sometimes be buzzwords that are not actually implemented in an effective way. by effective i mean, does each skill level rider actually enjoy the experience in a well-rounded way? the reason i point this out is sometimes, "skills areas" (flat 100 X 20 areas) are intended for people to learn skills to then go use on the "real" (more difficult) trails. IMO, "skills areas" are not an adequate substitute for a true "green" trail.

    * design for trail mis-use. putting up a sign saying "please no braking/skidding" is not going to stop people from doing it. the design itself is what stops it....


    2) Pretty plans (paper or electronic) do not equal "good design."

    * True, they're necessary for convincing authorities or landowners, but good drawings themselves do not indicate anything other than computer skills.

    * IMO, overly-engineered plans should be a warning flag. Unless someone has built those exact features on extremely-similar terrain, too many numbers and too much detail can indicate false confidence. Adjusting/adapting on the fly, is an extremely important trait--it indicates self-critical thinking and a test-and-correct process which leads to great results. On the flip side, "sticking to the plans" indicates a rigid personality who will stubbornly defend pretty drawings, despite grumblings from riders. (Not making this up, have seen this happen many times in different environments). at the end of the day, there are no points awarded for trails/park getting built exactly to specification--the ONLY test/metric is in the riding !

    * MTB trails are intimately connected to the terrain. All plans/ideas/pre-conceptions have to be adjusted in a unique way to every new terrain. (I can point you to a pump track that cost in the tens of thousands that is a total fail, because the numbers were for a flat piece of land, yet the track was placed on a slight gradient. The mistake was not lack of leveling... the mistake was not designing to the terrain.)



    So, basically, I think great designers are pretty rare, and it's not surprising at all that they're not lined up to do this project. It will take a while to find someone to really do it right. And you might have to pay them.


    Good luck

  6. #6
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    "might" have to pay? I would have assumed this would be a paying job. He's looking for a volunteer?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    "might" have to pay? I would have assumed this would be a paying job. He's looking for a volunteer?
    the phrase "passionate novice" sounded a bit like a tip off that there might be no pay. kind of like all the jobs on craigslist that would be "great for a student" !

    i get it, though. sometimes there's just not a budget.

    some of us who have put years of experience and thought into it may expect to get paid... but as long as we have a day job, we can still do it volunteer (which is my case)....

    but once someone quits that day job and goes 'professional trail builder' then they absolutely have to get paid (to feed their families and pay for health insurance etc.), and it's insulting to ask for free design. same in the graphic design world.

  8. #8
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    missed that part... ;-)

  9. #9
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    I am not the land owner but a family friend. I have been soliciting them for years to try this. It's a sensitive balance. It's going to take the right people who see the potential and are willing to invest in it. Basicly we can pay although I don't know how much that would be or what it costs. They are willing to provide the venue (which their family establised in 1865) and some funds if things look promising. I think the logistics of this property and the location are huge factors.
    I am 52 and moved he from L.A. .I have been riding and racing the greater part of my life but have never developed anything. It may take several people or groups to make this happen and it may not happen but it's a great opportunity and time to try to make it happen and thats all I can do.
    Thanks for the well thought out insight.

  10. #10
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    Trail Designer Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by shep88925 View Post
    I am not the land owner but a family friend. I have been soliciting them for years to try this. It's a sensitive balance. It's going to take the right people who see the potential and are willing to invest in it. Basicly we can pay although I don't know how much that would be or what it costs. They are willing to provide the venue (which their family establised in 1865) and some funds if things look promising. I think the logistics of this property and the location are huge factors.
    I am 52 and moved he from L.A. .I have been riding and racing the greater part of my life but have never developed anything. It may take several people or groups to make this happen and it may not happen but it's a great opportunity and time to try to make it happen and thats all I can do.
    Thanks for the well thought out insight.
    The DOD (the local club) has some very good trail designers (and some people that think they are but are not). Most members can help build a great trail if the layout is done right.
    mtbtires.com
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  11. #11
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    Thanks Shiggy,
    I had the DOD out there a few years ago and they didn't seem too interested because they were working on a site that was sold to Eugene for a park near LCC. I was told they didn't care for the fee to ride concept or the size (at almost 800 acres) Today I took Sal Collura out on a tour using quads and I think he sees what I see and says we could start off with Cyclocross racing this year and then develop the first gravity trail. Nothing is off the table until someone makes a commitment.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shep88925 View Post
    I am not the land owner but a family friend. I have been soliciting them for years to try this. It's a sensitive balance. It's going to take the right people who see the potential and are willing to invest in it. Basicly we can pay although I don't know how much that would be or what it costs. They are willing to provide the venue (which their family establised in 1865) and some funds if things look promising. I think the logistics of this property and the location are huge factors.
    I am 52 and moved he from L.A. .I have been riding and racing the greater part of my life but have never developed anything. It may take several people or groups to make this happen and it may not happen but it's a great opportunity and time to try to make it happen and thats all I can do.
    Thanks for the well thought out insight.
    What's their goal ? Do they want to make money off events? Do they ride themselves?
    Sometimes clubs sign agreements with private landowners to make sure the land really will be accessible and get other understandings set down in writing.

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    Their goal is to re-invent themselves and how they use their Century Ranch to make a living. I have told them they can make more money and maintain better integrity of their property by opening it up to cycling than with cattle ,horses and logging. They are ranchers and mountain biking for recreation is foreign to them. They would be willing to sign any legitamate agreement or contract that accomplished this goal. After yesterdays tour it looks like a possibility to start cyclocross racing in August. Still looking for a designer to look at the property and a consultation and we can go from there.

  14. #14
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    Mike could you provide the coordinates of the property? Where is it? Closest airport?

  15. #15
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    Why cyclocross rather than xc ? Is it pastures rather than woods ?

  16. #16
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    Re: Trail Designer Wanted

    Contact Woody at Trail Wisdom and formerly with Trail Dynamics. He is an actual authority concerning trail design and could develop a master plan in his sleep. They are based in Bend and currently building a skills park at Inn on the Seventh Mountain. Def worth a call.

    Make some thing better happen.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

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  17. #17
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    The property goes from 400+ feet to 1600 feet it is a mixture of woods, grassy plateaus and steep climbs. It would be great for all disciplines but the lower section is well suited for cyclocross and would be fairly easy to plot out a course and start. An XC course is going to take substantially more work and cost. Getting started with CX would get cycling started in the immediate future and show the owner that it is doable the next logical step to me would be an XC course or a gravity trail.

  18. #18
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    Triangle 5 Ranch Guided Trial Rides in the Scenic McKenzie River Valley. Home The Location The Ride Photo Gallery Prices & Policies Map Contact Us ...
    Google+ page Be the first to review
    39841 McKenzie Hwy , Springfield, OR 97478 97413
    (541) 747-7039
    Contact Us - The Ride - The Location
    The closest airport is Eugene Airport. I think there is also a small private airport in Creswell Oregon which may be a little closer.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    Contact Woody at Trail Wisdom and formerly with Trail Dynamics. He is an actual authority concerning trail design and could develop a master plan in his sleep. They are based in Bend and currently building a skills park at Inn on the Seventh Mountain. Def worth a call.

    Make some thing better happen.
    Thank You.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc4130 View Post
    the phrase "passionate novice" sounded a bit like a tip off that there might be no pay. kind of like all the jobs on craigslist that would be "great for a student" !

    i get it, though. sometimes there's just not a budget.

    some of us who have put years of experience and thought into it may expect to get paid... but as long as we have a day job, we can still do it volunteer (which is my case)....

    but once someone quits that day job and goes 'professional trail builder' then they absolutely have to get paid (to feed their families and pay for health insurance etc.), and it's insulting to ask for free design. same in the graphic design world.
    Nobody said this was a "VOLUNTEER" hunt. We want a nice design and are willing to pay for it. You know what they say about ASSUME. ASS......U......ME.

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