I'm assuming you're referring to the Eastside Canal Trail system in Niagara.
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
Im very interested in hearing where you got this information from as its not what I've been hearing from behind the scenes on this trail issue with all parties involved.
For the record the Eastside Trail system is located on Transport Canada property (Federal Crownland) and is managed by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC).
The Niagara Regional Government holds a lease agreement with the SLSMC on this property covering the trail system. The Niagara Regional Government subleases it to the three Cities that the trail system spans. Port Colborne, Welland and Thorold.
The trail system is overseen by a Regional Government Committee called the Greater Niagara Circle Route Committee (GNCRC).
Welland recently decided to back away from this sublease for several reason given, liability (a recent fatal accident by a highpowered dirtbiker that was actually not even using the trail system but using the stone service road nearby and hitting a concrete vehicle barrier block in the dark) and noise complaints from a new housing development across the canal from part of the Welland section of the trail.
The trail is a show piece example of users groups coming together.
Below is a quote from one of the local users groups website that helped develop the trail system and help maintain it.
They are a Motorcycle Club.
Originally Posted by Timberline Riders
I'm glad you weighed in on this. All of my information was what I heard in conversation and an article in (I think) the Welland Tribune. I guessed on the timeline. I wasn't aware the Niagara Regional Government was involved. What else am I missing?
Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL
Around here I know trail builders that ask moto guys to ride in new trail for them, depending on the terrain it works pretty well, a rider intentionally hitting a trail with a lot of throttle and a lot of brake does a lot of work that a person won't have to do.
Do motos damage trails? Not really, IMO. Motos can make a trail loose, but not as bad as a horse, a horse will turn every inch of a trail moon dust, when it rains all that moon dust washes down the trail, motos can/do make steep sections loose, where they are more likely to spin their rear tire, but any/all "not super steep" sections of trail are unaffected by motos.
Motos were banned from some trails here years ago, and now those trails are gone, without motos those trails didn't get enough traffic and they were overgrown.
Thanks Pubcrawl. I was going to bring up "The Hood" (in the same area) as another example of motos and MTB cooperating in the same space, but that situation is so confusing to me. I'm not sure who has permission to do what there.
If you could explain it here? This is the sort of thing ironbrewer is looking for.
Here in Flagstaff Arizona we do get along more so than other places. The local moto club Coconino Trail Riders CTR does actual trail maintenance and are working hard to separate them selves from the rest of the OHV / ATV users. Every year we even have a pedals vs pistons, vs hooves vs hiking boots trail build day challenge. The user group with the most participants takes home the trophy. Yes it is mountain bikes and motos that do the most trail work all year round here. CTR even helps out with trails not open to moto's some times.
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
The dirty old Hood...
Well that one is a totally different animal.
Officially it is OFF LIMITS to any motorize vehicle.
This is the official stance of the property manager. The Regional Police do monitor and enforce this trespassing issue on Crownland. The have been onsite ticketing motorized vehicles off and on during the year... usually on their ATV's. :rolleyes: The fines are for trespassing and vandalism and if they don't have a license plate and insurance even hefter fines are given.
The ShortHills Cycling Club (SHCC) gets signed usage agreements to hold their MTB race events on this property on a yearly basis. So far they have been tolerant to mountain biking and in general turn a blind eye to mountain biking as the sanctioned Greater Niagara Circle Route paved trail crosses the land as well.
The SHCC has apporached the City of Port Colborne several times now and have received the backing of the City to pursue official trail status for what's there.
Currently the process is still on going.
We do know that the City would like to promote the area as a mountain biking destination but we aren't there yet with the Land manager.
Many of the trails located on that property were made by members of the Timberline Riders motorcycle club long ago.
The biggest issue in there has been illegal ATV usage wrecking sections of trail and tearing down signs, wrecking bridges and damaging trees.
The few people still dirtbiking in there don't really do much damage and most of the mountain bike single track trails are not much fun for dirtbikers as they are tight and twisty in spots.
:D I had to cut my bars to ride in there.
Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL
You would think but from the comments on this topic about motos gives you a good answer.Seen many moto riding places get shut down in my years forcing more riders into the areas left open.Yet year after year we pay more to do the sport
Originally Posted by ironbrewer
With mtn biking getting more popular it will or may happen too.I like to do both and would hate to see trails get shut down or access limited.But going against enviros is very hard and they dont put money into preserving places they freeload of of the ones who actually use the land while trhowing their money at politicians instead.
Mtb is the only group with which Motos have any potential to ally themselves. They have much less in common with hikers and horsies. Motos gain by alliance with Mtb which is more closely associated with environmentalism, is human powered, is a large and growing constituancy, and enjoys the cache' of promoting good health. In addition Motos and Mtb share a desire to access more trails and run into the same resistance from the same groups. We also both love two-wheeled off-road sport.
However, by allying with Motos, mtb is saddled with the negative impression left by the speed and power brought by a throttle, along with the noise and the destruction it brings. The case for their relatively moderate effect on trails is extremely narrow and overall very weak.
With all due respect to a great sport, Mtb alliance with Motos is a net loss for Mtb and net gain for Motos.
Oh-no, be very, very quiet around here. The "admins" will take down anything mentioning them!
We have 2 different sports that require 2 different tracks. The same reason drag racing doesn't happen on an oval track.
This spring I organized a work day that had 40+ people involved in building a 310' raised tread. There were over 75 tons of rock moved by hand that day. 10 tons of stone dust and 10 of inch to dust. We put in an average of 8 hrs each I think. 4 of us had a 13hr day. The results are a huge success! But if a dirt bike were to go on that, the weight of it, the tires and the little twist of a throttle would rip it apart in seconds. I spent 15hrs of prep work up there and 3hrs of meetings.
We don't have hero dirt around here. We have rock, roots, and rock. The roots are medium and twisted together. The rocks are big, flat, slick and off camber- or tombstones that stick up 3-6". We can't dig in and put the rocks in ground all the time. We make the trail 2 1/2 feet wide for the reason that people will travel down the middle and not too close to the edge. Though these raised treads can handle heavy loads in the middle, the edges are looser due to not being able to anchor them into the ground. Since most motos have a larger wheelbase they would have to apply more weight on the edge of the trail leading to the destruction of the raised tread.
Lackawanna State Park is known to be a mudfest when it rains. Bikes, hikers and horses can ruin a trail there quickly. I can't imagine what a dirt bike would do.
My area club, Gallup Trails (GT), works with the Red Rock Motorsports Club to ensure that we are both on the same page and to plan future expansions. We don't help each other build trail because they use heavy equipment and we use manual labor. Their trails would be boring and stupid for a bicycle and same same them on the bike trails. The presence of riders who do both moto and mtb really helps maintain the relationship, in fact their leader is also an mtb'er and attends our BOD meetings regularly. GT also maintains friendly relations and consults with the equestrian and rock crawler clubs too.
As a moto rider in days gone by and a MTB trail builder and rider for years, what was said about needing different trails is true, but it does not stop motos getting onto MTB trail in our local National Park. We know they are just exploring, but we also know they do destroy trail. If we meet, we are pleasant and just ask they don't start throwing roost and explain the trails are not made to suit or withstand motos.
IMO it comes down to the following issues:
Motos may cut trail, but moto riders never actually work on trails here, so I don't take the "motos made the trails" scenario as fact. Since June this year we have logged 1000 hours of MTB volunteer work and not one has been done by a moto rider - not unreasonable given they are not allowed in the park, but because they actually are there, that excuse is invalid
Moto trails and MTB trails are leagues apart and cooperating only makes sense if the 2 groups are working on access to a parcel of land that will provide different trails and ideally, different parts of the property to build and be happy on
Moto riders cannot be allowed on MTB trail for reasons of safety as well as trail sustainability
The impact of motos, even if not being ridden in anger, extends over 3-10 x the distance any MTB can cover in the same time
Sorry, but my opinion is that moto riders need to work toward their own future. Suggesting that MTB and moto have common ground and goals is like saying the dudes who have 10 automatic weapons with 30 round mags have the same motives as the farmer with one shotgun for vermin.
If you want to destroy all the good work that mountain bikers have done over the years and have them booted out of every trail, get together with motoX.
I ride both, mountain bikes and motos dont mix, there not even on the same page, like apples and oranges.
the reasons are so glaringly obvious its not funny and almost not worth talking about.
OP i understand your rational behind thinking that the bigger voice the more power and thats correct, i agree, but motos are the last things on earth you want to join forces with.
Our local State Forest is one of the last, if not the last, legal motorcycle riding spot in eastern Mass. 40 years of excessive moto use has done substantial damage to the trails, to the point that mountain biking there has all but ceased.
I've been working on restoring a bunch of old moto trails in a part of the forest that is no longer open to motos. I pray that they don't start illegally riding it and wreak further havoc. To be fair, I understand that the motos made most of the trails (not all, they've wrecked plenty of bike and hiking trails too). I also understand that good, responsible riders do not do much damage. But too many motos, too many newbs and jerks, and a lot of poorly designed trails have lead to massive, depression-level trail damage. Don't get me started on quads, which are not allowed, but sneak in anyways.
Anyway, this pic is straight from a site saying how great Freetown is to ride (on a moto). This spot used to be singletrack, or close to it at least. Want to hear mtber's opinions? Read the latest MTBR reviews.
Freetown State Forest Massachusetts Trail Reviews
To be fair, the motos do some maintenance, but its not enough, all too often a tree goes down and they just carve a new line around it, its an eroded trail braided hell out there.
Sounds like you are blaming the damage on the vehicle instead of the volume of traffic.
Originally Posted by icecreamjay
40 years of excessive MTB use on trails will ruin your trails, if the trails aren't ruined after 40 years of excessive MTB use the use was not excessive.
Most of our trails are multi use with the exception of ~15 miles of MTB only trails and a bunch of trails that are in wilderness area which is obviously only horses and hikers. The multi use trails get wrecked the worst by the horses, the motos don't really do much, yea, the shots that are so steep only a cat 1 racer can climb them do get loose and dusty from the motos, but so what? They're old trails that were "built" unsustainably, they are just too steep, %10+ grade. Why is it a big deal if the motos make a a "too steep to ride" section of trail loose and dusty?
Around here there just isn't enough bike traffic to "keep trails open", without motos the trails would get overgrown, the one exception being the 15 miles of "no moto" trails we have which are "road biking on dirt" which get boring quick, IMO.
We do have some "trails that don't exist" which are damn fun, but theres not much mileage there, so it all comes back to the multi use trails that are just fine for MTBing on even though the bulk of the traffic they see is burning dinosaur juice.
You're right that the problem is the volume of motorcycles. There are no other state parks where motos are allowed, so riders from all over southern New England come here to ride. The problems we face with motos are exasperated by the huge population and lack of other options for riders.
Originally Posted by jackbombay
To make matters worse, some trails were lost to a new highway ramp and we also got hit with a tent caterpillar infestation that killed thousands of hardwoods. Now that the trees have been dead about 8 years they fall like mad after every windstorm. Many trails have been blocked. The moto's went around as many blowdowns as they could, but once there are too many trees down they give up and the trail gets overgrown. This has led to concentrating the traffic on just a few trails.
The trails were also poorly designed in the first place. But that still does not change the fact that 40 years of excessive bike use could not create the mess that the moto's did. Only motorized vehicles could do the damage that's been done. Whole hillsides ripped up as they go around each new rut, creating erosion nightmares. Climbs that used to be at ground level, but are now 6-8 foot deep trenches. The moto's also do very little maintenance, they fill in the worst ruts with logs and crap and repair some of their bridges, but I haven't seen evidence of them cutting a single blowdown, they just rip a new trail around it.
The state is currently reassessing the state parks and their usage, I pray that the motorcycles will be kicked out. But seeing as this is their last spot as well as the fact that Fall River is considered by Boston to be the armpit of MA leads me to believe they are here to stay.
On the other hand I do think that in areas that have less people and more open space motos and bikes can coexist peacefully, hell, we did it here for many, many years. But as there are less riding areas for motos, it has become a major problem for us and has pretty much resulted in mtbers abandoning Freetown/Fall river state forest. The trails have been ruined.
And don't tell me moto's don't do trail damage because I can go take some more pics that make that last picture look like a nice trail. Maybe good riders don't wreck the trails, but for every good rider there seem to be an idiot that likes to shoot dirt all over the place and doesn't give a **** about staying on the official moto trail. Lets face it, the reason people use moto's to rip in new trails is because they can shred up the ground in seconds. There are a lot of ignorant people around here who think that just because they are in the woods they can do whatever they like. I've seen idiots roosting like mad while holding the front brake and sitting there flinging dirt, just digging holes, they're like "What? Its the fuc%kin woods, nobody gives a ****...."
Maybe its just that there are too many people around here. .
I guess after all that long windedness my point is that motos and bikes can work together in some places, but be careful making deals with the devil.
Been thinking about that last post and I wanted to discuss this rationally and I ended up ranting. Sorry bout that. Am I frustrated and angry about the state of our trails? Yes, very much so.
Anyways, the moto riders do do some work, I imagine it's like any other volunteer effort, probably 2 or 3 guys doing all the work and fighting the uphill battle. PSTR guys, thanks, you made and maintained a bunch of these trails and you aren't the guys causing problems.
Also, MTBers have our share of blame to take. No organized maintenance has been done here for at least 10 years, until this past fall. Maybe if we'd been working all along the trails wouldn't be in the shape they're in. Hopefully that ball is now rolling and in a few years this will just be a bump in the road.
And... my ranting is obviously due to our unique situation and the stresses of overuse. I also can't overstate the damage done by those fuc%in caterpillars. Rant over.
We are lucky to have a lot of terrain and not too many users, you situation is pretty much the opposite :-/
The mtbers around here do a fair bit of trail work, but there are moto organizations that work on trails as well, well, jI see signs stating they do but I am not familiar enough with those trails to know how much work is actually done.
Around here the forest service rarely clears downed trees because motos pack in chain saws and do it before the forest service even knows the trees are down, at least that's how it goes on the more popular mtb trails.
Funny you post this. I've been working on building a network of trails off logging roads in this one area for over 8 months now. While I was working on my third trail, "third shake" yesterday, three motos came ripping by on the logging road adjacent to my trail. I'll occasionally hear them riding while I build. It's weird though, they've stayed off my trails so far. Two of the trails have been opened up to the logging roads for over 4 months now. The trail entrances are obvious. There's no way they can't see them. I don't know if it's because the local dirt bike guys respect mtb trail builders or if it's because they can't go as fast on the singletrack and it's boring to them? Or perhaps many of them are also mtbikers? I've run into another trail builder thats building trail near mine. He doesn't seem to worried about them. He rides a dirt bike on the logging roads to get to his trail to build.
I often wonder what they'd say/think if I were to stop them and talk to them about it. See what they think of me building mtbike trails in the area.
I've seen guys go off at moto riders and it makes me cringe badly. Firstly because it creates unnecessary ill will which is inevitably and immediately met with copious amounts of right hand and roost; exactly what you don't want on MTB trails and second, because it's always someone who doesn't work more than a token amount that does it.
Originally Posted by playdead
You should have a talk with them if they come by playdead. I am sure you will get more respect if you say hi, report any obvious issue if they continue (ie unfinished trail around a blind bend etc) and ask them to respect the trail construction by having a look/see ride but understand how much damage a blast of throttle can do. Most people are reasonable and the guys we have talked to offer to let us know if they see any problems around the trails. It's the best you can hope for when there is competition for terrain.
I said earlier in the thread I don't believe we are on the same page as motos in terms of needs or impact, but fact is we are both out there in the bush.
Why can't we all get along?
Why don't Hikers, motos, equestrians, skiers, snowmobilers,birdwatchers, hunters, trail runners, etc... all get along?
First, its hard enough to get folks within each group to all get along. Each group is very diverse and all groups have good role models, the general population, and the bad apples.
With in mountain biking we have cross county riders, free riders, down hillers, single speeders, racers, hard core riders, causal riders, bike packers, fat bike riders, and so on. So each trail we build may suit some groups more than others. When we build a beginner trail, we have advanced riders who cry that we are making mountain biking too easy; when we build an advanced trail, other riders complain that we are building trails only a small percentage of mountain bikers can ride; when we build an epic trail system in a rural area, we have urban riders wanting to know why we aren't building more pump tracks and gateway trails.
We also have users conflict and issues with in our group. Riders not yielding going down hill, racers passing aggressively, rogue trail building, riders on muddy trails for example.
And we as mountain biker have a diverse set of ethics and outdoor perspectives. Mountain bikers may feel strongly on both sides of motos, Wilderness, Sierra Club, logging, hunting, bird watching, global warming, politics, horse riding, etc....
As the leader of an IMBA chapter, I have a plate that is always too full, so I don't have any spare time to fight other groups battles. I also don't have any shortage of conflict to deal with, so I am not interested in creating more with in my group in taking controversial stands.
That said, I do work with what ever local groups who are able to be good partners. While several neighboring states are at odds with Equestrians, HMBA has a good relationship with them and we are partnered on several RTP grants. The Moto scene in Indiana is smaller than it is in other parts of the country. We have had issues with illegal atv riding at some of our properties, but there are organized Moto Groups in the State who we see occasionally and have a good relationship.
But that is the scene in our State, which is very different that other parts of the Country,
IMO, the groups that are the most successful have a diverse view, and are willing to work with as many other groups that are willing to play nice. But we also have to understand on the local level which groups aren't willing to play nice.
"Why don't Hikers, motos, equestrians, skiers, snowmobilers,birdwatchers, hunters, trail runners, etc... all get along?"
I just pictured all those groups at one party. Motos, hunters and bird watchers all in the same room... classic
Yeah, we could just simplify this thread to "why can't we all just get along?"
Originally Posted by playdead
Human nature I guess.
Be Nice - Jerry Garcia - YouTube
Originally Posted by icecreamjay