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  1. #1
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    Directional Trails in Park City - Good Idea or Not?

    Just thought I'd share the discussion taking place over on the Mountain Trails Foundation Facebook page. Mountain Trails is looking for feedback on whether or not trail users are in favor of directional trails. I, for one, thing this is a great idea and long overdue, especially given that our trails are growing more congested everyday (thanks IMBA epic ride destination award!). Either way, discussion, awareness, and knowledge is key to the progression of our sport and the area trails so please leave your feedback on the Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/mountaintrailsfoundation

  2. #2
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    In my opinion directional trails are not a good idea. I go to the forest to recreate and escape rules. I don't want to arrive at a trail head to find directional rules. One person's unclimbable trail is another person's fun climbing trail. Just be responsible and expect traffic from the opposite direction. This usually takes care of any user conflict.

  3. #3
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    Kind of a double edged sword. I do like directional trails and think it would end a lot of conflicts/collisions, but what if they get set up the wrong way. Personally, I like doing Flying Dog counter-clockwise but everyone else seems to do it in the other direction, for some reason...personal preference that I don't want to see outlawed like the above poster. The problem on some trails, such as Flying Dog, is that on the descent there are several blind corners that you basically have to crawl around to be truly safe, and then it's always in the back of my mind that I'm going to get rear-ended by someone else because we are in a fast section.
    I think rider education is a huge factor here. I always think about the story I read on this forum last summer about a guy complaining of two riders flying down a trail yelling at him to get out of the way while he was climbing up. While I do sympathize with the uphill traffic here, this guy was climbing up the Crest on one of the open days. Technically he had the right of way, but conventional wisdom tells you that 99.9% of the riders are going to be riding in the other direction, so what do you expect.
    I think what Draper has done is a great idea: Clarks is "recommended" uphill only and it is posted pretty clearly that way. I think there is a new trail on PCMR that is like that as well (Armstrong?).
    Of course, that does nothing if the users aren't courteous to begin with.

  4. #4
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    From our last ride:

    "Did you see that new please-descend-slowly sign at the top of Spiro?"
    "No, was it near the booter?"
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  5. #5
    Swimming thru the Smog
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    Unless there is a long fast downhill trail that is very popular and fun, ie Bobsled, then there is no reason to have a directional trail. You can make recommended arrows but there is no reason to make any directional trail unless its downhill only. IMO

  6. #6
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    Directions please

    I agree 100% with the sentiments that mountain biking is an escape from all of the rules of riding in the city and as such any regulations are a step backward. However in high traffic areas where there are multiple trail options I think it makes sense to have a trail designated as downhill only. The key here is a trail. I would never want to see a trail network with directional rules on every trail, but in areas like PCMR where there are like 20 options on how to ride to the top designating one route as downhill only or downhill preffered makes alot of sense. Other trails like round valley Glenwild etc where there is basically just a loop mandating a direction too severly limits ride options.
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  7. #7
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    Perhaps I should have clarified in my original post that this isn't a network wide proposal. We're only talking about a handful, at most, of select trails that see a lot of congestion and could benefit greatly from one-way traffic in terms of both safety and user-enjoyment. Specifically I think trails like Spiro and Flying Dog are ideal candidates, because they are both high-traffic trails, that make for great climbs, as well as for rip-roaring descents.

    No one is advocating for a police-state on the trails, but with proper signage (No, the little signs above the eye-line at the start of Spiro aren't currently cutting it) and a little cooperation from trail-users, it wouldn't be too hard to implement a system.

  8. #8
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    Bad idea. Trails should go both ways unless you rode the chairlift up and you're on a pay for play resort.
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  9. #9
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    I'm absolutely for it. Far too many times in both the uphill and downhill directions do I get surprised by other riders. It won't be a network wide regulation, only a few select trails. Almost all of the trails out there I have to throttle back on my speed (downhill) to make sure I can pull off for uphill riders in time and it would be nice to know I could go out to, say, Flying Dog on an odd day and finally open it up. I mean, who wants to climb Flying Dog just to descend switchback anyway? Insanity!
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  10. #10
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    I say no, I enjoy riding too many trails and riding them in both directions. I expect people to be cruising and pay attention, maybe they should just make people put the bells on thier bars for the downhill and call it good.

  11. #11
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    There are so many trails in PC that I doubt it would hurt to make some of them directional. Armstrong is directional and I don't feel like it impinges on my freedom any. Even though it would obviously be a romp downhill, it is nice to climb in peace. I do think that it makes sense to have some reciprocity so that for every "UP" directional trail we should also be granted a "DOWN" directional trail? Hell, how hard would it be to just reverse them every other year?

    my 0.02c.....Empire link downhill only = yes please.

  12. #12
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    I'm sorry. A little off topic, however, do you all recommend that I drive up yo Park City from Vegas? Is it that good? IMBA gave PC it's highest rating. Been riding the St. George/Hurricane/Vegas are and I'm just looking for a change in scenery.

  13. #13
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    Did everyone read the post in question? I don't read into it that they will be forcing directions on a permenant basis and not on trails that don't make sense:

    "Voice Your Opinions > > > Directional Trails. What do you like or dislike about this concept. Lets say for instance if you made Flying dog Clockwise Flow on Odd Days & Counterclockwise on Even Days. DISCLAIMER: this is just a topic for discussion, it is not happening yet, just gathering public opinion."

    Odd days clockwise, even counterclockwise; I don't see much harm in this. It just takes a glance at the calendar before you hop on the bike and you'll be free to ride trails in whatever direction you prefer. Using Flying Dog as an example, there are lots of areas in which you can carry a lot of speed but have restricted vision of the trail ahead; making this section of trail directional will reduce the likelihood of accidental collisions and near misses. I rode it this afternoon ringing my bell and yelping as I came to blind corners, pulling off for uphill riders, and wishing everyone a nice ride as they passed but that's not the case for every rider out there and I get really sick of riders ignoring the common courtesy rules.

    With a handful of directional trails riders will encounter fewer dangerous trail decisions (do I yield?), fewer head on near misses, and be able to fully enjoy the trail to the extent of their abilities. It is much safer to drive your car with traffic than it is to drive against it, why shouldn't this be considered for a handful of bicycle trails?

    bluejudad, I'll send a PM.
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  14. #14
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    I agree fully with the man above (ZebraHum). Not only is he a gentleman and a scholar, but can also make woman faint and men curse the day they were born merely by the way he admirably fills in a pair of bike shorts. I suggest you all take a hearty listen to his words.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by While At Rome View Post
    Unless there is a long fast downhill trail that is very popular and fun, ie Bobsled, then there is no reason to have a directional trail. You can make recommended arrows but there is no reason to make any directional trail unless its downhill only. IMO
    I think the recommended idea is the worst of both worlds. It gives downhill riders confidence to let it hang out yet doesn't remove the danger of collision. Either go with IMBA rules or directional only. There should be nothing in between.

    Directional trails rule. There should be a place were people can let er rip without worrying about being a dick to other trail users. I also support dedicated up-routes for similar reasons. I don't think all trails should be directional but I do think having some can promote harmony if you have a large trail system.
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  16. #16
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    Seems pointless, are hikers going to still be allowed to hike uphill on Spiro or Flying Dog if they are downhill only? They are the ones that will complain if bikes are flying downill at them. What if I want to ride flying dog as a quick out and back from my house? Sometimes I don't have time to commit to the entire loop. Are the trails here really that congested? I've never heard of any collisions on the trails here, seems a little trail courtesy is all we need.

  17. #17
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    I like directional trails in some circumstances, but don't get too carried away. For example, in Corner Canyon, it is nice to be able to climb Clarks w/o dealing with people coming down the trail at you. Likewise nice to come down Rush without wondering who is standing around the next corner.

    But hikers will still be on lots of the trails, as mentioned, and you still have to worry about them. So I'm not sure how much practical difference it would make in a trail system like Glenwild/flying dog to have directional days.
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  18. #18
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    Yep I did not think about hikers

    If the trails in question are used by hikers then there is no point in looking at directional trails.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    If the trails in question are used by hikers then there is no point in looking at directional trails.
    That is ttrue if the bikes are going down. Armstrong trail is great and we need more like it. I find it interesting that this thread is not considering people who aren't on a bike.
    I agree with SpartanDano about courtesy being needed. But I think we need more than a little right now.
    People who don't ride bikes need some nice places to go and not be hassled by bikes.
    As a community it seems we expect non riders to get out of our way when trail courtesy dictates we stop for them. I think we are collectively shooting ourselves in the foot with this behavior. We are just becoming a bigger pain in the butt for others and remember some folks are moving because they are afraid, not to be nice.

    How many of us riding bikes now expect people on foot to get out of our way (going different ways - one up on down)? (and yes I've heard the argument why they should get out of your way and I still think it sounds selfish and narrow minded)

    So let's build more Armstrong like trails, foot traffic whichever way but bikes only up. Then let's add bike only downhill only trails. PC has been great with trail users getting along, but this is getting harder as conflicts and collisions are becoming more common.

    As the trails become more fun (and they really need to become more fun), we need to make sure we can use them well.
    Directional trails - yes
    Downhill only bike trails - yes
    no bike trails? - probably good idea also

  20. #20
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    I don't know how anyone else feels about this but I rode Armstrong up, Mid Mountain over, and Spiro down a few days ago and was kinda bummed out about the whole thing. People were still hiking, walking dogs, and riding up Sprio (which I thought was the whole point of Armstrong, I'm probably wrong though) and made for a very slow descent. Personally, I say make Sprio uphill only. It's what people are used to and it's too overgrown to get good sight lines to have a safe and fast descent, and make Armstrong downhill only. It seems to me that Armstrong would handle that much better; better vision, wider trail, it's newer and I've only seen MTBers on it so far. It looks like it could make for a great descent.

    Anyone else agree? Thoughts?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by parmerma View Post
    I don't know how anyone else feels about this but I rode Armstrong up, Mid Mountain over, and Spiro down a few days ago and was kinda bummed out about the whole thing. People were still hiking, walking dogs, and riding up Sprio (which I thought was the whole point of Armstrong, I'm probably wrong though) and made for a very slow descent. Personally, I say make Sprio uphill only. It's what people are used to and it's too overgrown to get good sight lines to have a safe and fast descent, and make Armstrong downhill only. It seems to me that Armstrong would handle that much better; better vision, wider trail, it's newer and I've only seen MTBers on it so far. It looks like it could make for a great descent.

    Anyone else agree? Thoughts?
    Spiro was never intended to be a directional trail with the addition of Armstrong and it absolutely was not meant to make Spiro a bike only trail. Armstrong was meant to alleviate some traffic on Spiro but bikers are still permitted to ride in both directions and hikers are still allowed to use it at will.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    If the trails in question are used by hikers then there is no point in looking at directional trails.
    Correct.

  23. #23
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    Yes. You should plan to spend a long weekend there. Completely worth it.
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