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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    Hmmm - the way Scud presented it sounded different. I'm not sure why it was pushed so hard either along with another initiative up North. I still see joining IMBA as an overall positive so long as autonomy remains - which kapusta indicated holds true for Roanoke.

    Like I said don't know much about the behind the scenes stuff. At least some of the board and other members posted info that was informative and helpful. Hopefully additional balance will come to the board (along with better communications) for next year.
    Well, Scud hasn't been on the board for quite a few years. I know he is a big proponent of MORE becoming a chapter. I personally haven't talked to him about. I haven't seen him much since he retired and moved to C-ville.

    There had been a big effort on the part of the board to have better and more open communications over the last several years due to accusations of not being transparent enough in the past (a somewhat unfair accusation at the time IMO). A lot of progress was made, but I think the last several weeks set that progress back significantly.
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  2. #27
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    Which initiative up north? The Shed "master plan?" I will be honest, that is a huge concern of mine and if it goes through, i would bet my bottom dollar some of the best stuff in there will get shut down. But, to be fair, I cannot believe it has lasted as long as it has.

    And the presentation? Presentations are usually made in a matter to sway people's opinions on something; not unlike a sales pitch, so yeah, Scud liked the idea so it's no surprise his presentation painted chapterization as a good idea. Good idea or not, it was the means in which it all went down that chaffed me as well as others. It seemed a done deal when presented to the board in October for round 2.

  3. #28
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    No master plan exists for the Shed or has been proposed. A proposal to blaze another trail besides the Catoctin Trail was put out there but it wasn't any kind of master plan.That would have been a loop made of long existing trails but was rejected. The closest thing to a master plan is the forest management plan DNR has for the property (see the recent logging at Sand Flats and now over by Lawnmower). I can tell you this, I was invited to a meeting with the city and DNR yesterday where a hot topic with them was the "rogue trail" issue and one of their suggestions was to come with a comprehensive recreation plan for the area which involves all users groups. Not sure if that will happen or not.
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  4. #29
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    I would be very sad to have things with the Shed go sour or neutered but that is for another thread.

    What it is it about IMBA that has folks so worried? I've really only ridden in the D.C./ Frederick/WV area and I have no experience with IMBA. Do they have a reputation of working their way into areas and clubs and then changing trails, dumbing things down, and homogenizing trails? I know that is what I hear from folks but is it really the case?

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGrr View Post
    What it is it about IMBA that has folks so worried? I've really only ridden in the D.C./ Frederick/WV area and I have no experience with IMBA. Do they have a reputation of working their way into areas and clubs and then changing trails, dumbing things down, and homogenizing trails? I know that is what I hear from folks but is it really the case?
    Thats a part of it. They have a certain type of trail they seem to prefer to be built (contour following, machine built, flowy, flat, fast) and are very good at pushing that under sustainability grounds, though its worth noting that they have a for-profit trailbuilding company (trail solutions) that specializes in those types of trails. Look at pretty much everything they've done in NoVA over the past several years for examples. I enjoy a lot of the trail they build, but I do find it to be very easy. I'd be very sad if all the trail in my neck of the woods were built that way.

    IMBA is also a somewhat of a corporate, political organization. I personally would much prefer MORE stay as much of a local, grassroots org as possible.

    That all said, I totally recognize that many of these concerns seem to be addressed in the chapter proposal. My concern was more with the fact that this was pushed through so quickly, without (IMO) proper member participation. Its totally clear that before it was even put in front of the membership, the board intended to pass it and did not intend to put it to any sort of vote. Further, I was a bit annoyed by the disdain some of the BOD seemed to have for the membership (basically saying "we can't put it towards a vote, because you plebs probably don't understand it properly).

    I'm also a bit concerned that an anonymous private doner was so easily able to influence the whole process (the money for the staff position was not provided by IMBA, but by a private doner, who said the only way it could go towards the staffer was if MORE became a chapter). Said doner could easily have donated the money straight to MORE and accomplished the same thing (hiring a staffer), so why force the whole chapter process on us?

    We will see how it all works out. I'm definitely disappointed in the process. IMO, MORE needs to revise its bylaws to force the BOD to work a bit differently when it comes to this, because this wasn't handled nearly as well as it could be.

  6. #31
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    To be honest, it seemed a done deal before being presented to the BOD round two. Kevin and Dave were always die hard advocates of the big takeover. I dunno, the doner money is shady. I cant help but wonder who else came out of this with some scratch in their pockets. Politics at its best ladies and gents. In the discussions, it wasn't a matter of "is this a good idea," but what is it going to take for you to change your vote to a 'yes.' I'm just glad to see Frank jump in there for VP. Most solid guy on the board.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup View Post
    To be honest, it seemed a done deal before being presented to the BOD round two. Kevin and Dave were always die hard advocates of the big takeover. I dunno, the doner money is shady. I cant help but wonder who else came out of this with some scratch in their pockets. Politics at its best ladies and gents.
    I've seen the term "takeover" several times here. Can you explain what part of becoming an IMBA chapter is a "takeover".

    Have you read the details of the chapter agreement with IMBA? Or talked to other clubs that have become an IMBA chapter?

    Maybe MORE signed up for a very different agreement than we did, but there is nothing "takeover" about what we signed up for.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  8. #33
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    Well, it's no longer just MORE. It's a part of a larger organization. A merger of sorts. Part of a larger governing body. You may see it as just a label, but I have also seen mergers or chapterizations change entire governing bodies. I think autonomy is super important especially in something like mountain biking where the region and terrain dictates how you build trail. There has been a recent fad of formulating trails and generating pumptracks on a computer, which may not be a bad guide line, but there must be room for adjustment. I will say every single pumptrack I have ridden that follows a computer model is little more than a turd lacking any sort of flow, having shallow,tight turns which don't allow one to carry speed through the turn. A properly built track should not need rollers in the berm if built properly. A berm contains flow and pump in and of itself. Anyone who knows how to rail a berm halfway decently will tell you the same. The problem is, you have people who are mediocre at best at riding these who are all of a sudden "experts" on the topic. And yes, IMBA flow trail is fun, but i dread the day it starts popping up in the Frederick Watershed or in Fort Valley. Like Jabberwocky said, it's easy. MORE's two major points of interest in becoming a chapter were a paid staffer and membership generation, however, they should have taken the membership into consideration a bit more in making this decision. People do not like the way it was handled an my guess is the organization will lose some members out of it. I could be wrong tho.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup View Post
    Well, it's no longer just MORE. It's a part of a larger organization. A merger of sorts. Part of a larger governing body. You may see it as just a label, but I have also seen mergers or chapterizations change entire governing bodies. I think autonomy is super important especially in something like mountain biking where the region and terrain dictates how you build trail.
    I think you need to look at the particulars of the chapter agreement. Unless it differs from ours, there is nothing "merger-like" about it. We are in complete control of what we do, and we can leave if we want. I assume the same applies to MORE.

    I am in no position to weigh in on MORE's situation, or whether being an IMBA chapter was a good idea, or how the decision got made. I am just trying to clear up something about what it does and does not mean.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  10. #35
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    [QUOTE=CGrr;9972196

    What it is it about IMBA that has folks so worried? I've really only ridden in the D.C./ Frederick/WV area and I have no experience with IMBA. Do they have a reputation of working their way into areas and clubs and then changing trails, dumbing things down, and homogenizing trails? I know that is what I hear from folks but is it really the case?[/QUOTE]

    This is part of why I have been reluctant to get involved with MORE. I have heard from more than a few people that their basic agenda is to create easy, "family-friendly" trails that basically dumb down the better features. The "improvements" at Fountainhead, while fun for the speed, have basically turned a large part of it into a (uphill) BMX track. I also don't see anyone from MORE coming on this forum to dispute this assertion. I would like to give some $ and participate in some work days, but not if it's to dumb down the only (somewhat) advanced trail in Northern VA. It would seem that some of these fears expressed might be justified, based on the apparent "railroading" of MORE by their board into IMBA membership without consulting the larger membership body. Perhaps someone from MORE would be willing to speak to this publicly and help alleviate some of these concerns?

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup View Post
    Which initiative up North
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup View Post
    Well, it's no longer just MORE. It's a part of a larger organization. A merger of sorts. Part of a larger governing body. You may see it as just a label, but I have also seen mergers or chapterizations change entire governing bodies. I think autonomy is super important especially in something like mountain biking where the region and terrain dictates how you build trail. There has been a recent fad of formulating trails and generating pumptracks on a computer, which may not be a bad guide line, but there must be room for adjustment. I will say every single pumptrack I have ridden that follows a computer model is little more than a turd lacking any sort of flow, having shallow,tight turns which don't allow one to carry speed through the turn. A properly built track should not need rollers in the berm if built properly. A berm contains flow and pump in and of itself. Anyone who knows how to rail a berm halfway decently will tell you the same. The problem is, you have people who are mediocre at best at riding these who are all of a sudden "experts" on the topic. And yes, IMBA flow trail is fun, but i dread the day it starts popping up in the Frederick Watershed or in Fort Valley. Like Jabberwocky said, it's easy. MORE's two major points of interest in becoming a chapter were a paid staffer and membership generation, however, they should have taken the membership into consideration a bit more in making this decision. People do not like the way it was handled an my guess is the organization will lose some members out of it. I could be wrong tho.
    Honestly I do not think they will lose many (if any) members. The "takeover" scuttlebutt is baseless and does nothing more than spread fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD). Other clubs that have joined IMBA have not become part of a syndicate. I am also not a fan of "flow trails for all" and do not have nightmares that joining IMBA will turn the Shed and other wild 'n wondeful trails into machine cut mediocrity.

    What I'd like to see is a unified club- no XXL and others (who boycott club events like the MoCo epic for example).
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    Honestly I do not think they will lose many (if any) members. The "takeover" scuttlebutt is baseless and does nothing more than spread fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD). Other clubs that have joined IMBA have not become part of a syndicate. I am also not a fan of "flow trails for all" and do not have nightmares that joining IMBA will turn the Shed and other wild 'n wondeful trails into machine cut mediocrity.

    What I'd like to see is a unified club- no XXL and others (who boycott club events like the MoCo epic for example).
    It will be interesting to see what this does to membership numbers. A huge number of MOREs current membership were signed up during the MoCo epic (346, which is damn near 1/3 of MOREs membership). Its not clear whether they can offer the discounted membership through the IMBA deal. MORE is gaining some members (folks who were members of IMBA but not MORE), but the price for membership is increasing, which will undoubtedly have some negative effect. Of course, now there will be a paid staffer, with a lot of incentive to expand the membership base.

    I guess we'll see how it all shakes out a year from now.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    What I'd like to see is a unified club- no XXL and others (who boycott club events like the MoCo epic for example).
    I find it hard to believe that anybody would boycott great events like the MoCo epic, etc., that would just be childish and pointless.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by progfan1 View Post
    This is part of why I have been reluctant to get involved with MORE. I have heard from more than a few people that their basic agenda is to create easy, "family-friendly" trails that basically dumb down the better features. The "improvements" at Fountainhead, while fun for the speed, have basically turned a large part of it into a (uphill) BMX track. I also don't see anyone from MORE coming on this forum to dispute this assertion. I would like to give some $ and participate in some work days, but not if it's to dumb down the only (somewhat) advanced trail in Northern VA.
    The Fountainhead Project did solicit opinions from the community as to what should be done to the black trail in their construction over the coming winter. I wrote in and encouraged them not to dumb down the trail and to keep it difficult for those of us who enjoy technical challenges. If they were asking for public comment, I assume the builders may actually care about our opinions.
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by progfan1 View Post
    This is part of why I have been reluctant to get involved with MORE. I have heard from more than a few people that their basic agenda is to create easy, "family-friendly" trails that basically dumb down the better features.
    I see this as part of the problem ( this is not directed at you progfan1, please don't take offense). Maybe I am just naive but when people say they won't get involved with MORE, won't renew their membership, quit, boycott, etc. because of this or that, all you do is take your voice and opinion out of the equation. What you're left with is the folks you disagree with and you'll just have to live with whatever they decide.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    What I'd like to see is a unified club- no XXL and others (who boycott club events like the MoCo epic for example).
    A unified club doesn't mean everyone having the same opinion or falling in line with leadership.

    XXL is a team where most (maybe all) members are MORE members and support MORE, they are not competing with MORE. I am unaware of them or any other group boycotting the MoCo Epic. What's your source?
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  18. #43
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    No offense taken, CGrr, but from the way the IMBA motion was apparently ramrodded through, it doesn't seem like the larger MORE membership has had that much say. A clear impression is being sent that the agenda of a small power group is always going to carry the day. This is not just my impression either. I have talked to several people on the trails that have this perception of the way MORE does business. They assert that a certain group wants to make the trails more "accessible" by dumbing down technical features, etc., and I still have yet to see anyone from MORE coming out to vehemently deny this. It is true that by not getting involved in the organization one's voice may not be heard, but it also seems that if members' opinions are not in line with the agenda of the board's power base then their voices are not heard either. I would like for such assertions to be proven wrong before I commit my time and money to an organization. I have already heard rumblings that proposed re-routes on the Black Trail will make certain features easier. I am not opposed to beginner and intermediate trails, but there are already two great options for these riders within shouting distance of Fountainhead in the form of Wakefield and Laurel Hills, and more advanced riders are being squeezed out. Turning most of the trail into a BMX track and then sticking a couple of teetertotters and ramps in does not an advanced trail make. Again, I would be happy to have these assertions proven wrong.

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    It looks as though some things may be changing on the Board based on some of the members who have stepped up to run for positions. That is what it takes, for people to step up and change the course of action. It's hard to do though because free time can be hard to come by and most of us just want to ride.

  20. #45
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    I hope you're right, because I have some free time to give to an organization like this, and if they are truly interested in serving ALL levels of riders effectively, count me in! The Black Trail work will be the test for me.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGrr View Post
    I find it hard to believe that anybody would boycott great events like the MoCo epic, etc., that would just be childish and pointless.
    Not a single one of them did the epic and there were a gaggle of 'em at the fall camping gig. Go Figure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    Not a single one of them did the epic and there were a gaggle of 'em at the fall camping gig. Go Figure.
    Not seeing how that equates to a boycott.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    It will be interesting to see what this does to membership numbers. A huge number of MOREs current membership were signed up during the MoCo epic (346, which is damn near 1/3 of MOREs membership). Its not clear whether they can offer the discounted membership through the IMBA deal. MORE is gaining some members (folks who were members of IMBA but not MORE), but the price for membership is increasing, which will undoubtedly have some negative effect. Of course, now there will be a paid staffer, with a lot of incentive to expand the membership base.

    I guess we'll see how it all shakes out a year from now.
    Yup.

    Something else to consider:

    I had to stop in at work on Saturday and did a roundabout ride through Cabin John N on the way (the new trails that start by the campsites across the street from Cabin John Park and follow along the "bluff" above Rt. 270 are awesome if you are looking for summin new and different). I came upon 4riders up by Goya Dr. and stopped to chat. None of them were MORE members and one said he's been a lurker for a while. Main reason he stated for not joining MORE was that there seemed to be a lot of political BS and he didn't want to deal with it!

    I encouraged them to consider joining now that IMBA is in the picture and they seemed positive about the new development.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by progfan1 View Post
    They assert that a certain group wants to make the trails more "accessible" by dumbing down technical features, etc., and I still have yet to see anyone from MORE coming out to vehemently deny this.
    I've been involved in MORE for 10 years so I'll step up and deny that (although I currently have no official position, so don't think I'm the spokesperson or anything like that). Trail redesign depends on a number of things including what park management wants, existing terrain, who the user groups are, what the trail experience should be like, sustainability, and also who is leading the project. The project lead usually is not a MORE board member or even getting direction from them, they have wide descretion and it usually comes down to what park management will let them build.

    There are plenty of people in MORE who ride technical stuff, support difficult trails and want to ride difficult trails. There are far fewer who step and and do the work necessary to make them happen or help guide park management see that angle in their vision. That is the nature of volunteerism

    When I hear complaints about Fountainhead I think people have unrealistic expectations for that place. It's got roots and a couple hundred feet of elevation change max. It is never going to be a downhill destination or have epic technical riding. If you want that you've got to go to Eliz. Furnace or the Shed. I know the new stuff has changed the flavor, but let's not expect a true mountain experience from terrain that doesn't even remotely resemble a mountain. You also need to consider it surrounds a resevoir so erosion issues are a concern of the park management.

    Accessibility or easy trails is usually on the low end of the list for the trail designs, but my understanding of the Fountainhead redesign is they are taking that into consideration for this particular redesign and doing a stacked loop approach (easy/moderate/hard). As to why, I'd talk to the project team to find out why that was done.
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  25. #50
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    riderx,

    Thanks for this clarification of at least your point of view. I understand that Fountainhead can't be the Shed or Eliz Furnace, but many challenging rooty sections were smoothed over (I understand that some, but not all of this was for erosion protection) and certain challenging climbs (Cardiac Hill, for example) were rerouted to make them easier. If they are planning on accommodating more advanced riders on the Black Trail redesign the way they have done for beginning and intermediate riders on the Green and Blue Trails up to this point, I have high hopes. I have heard many express concerns, however, that this will not be the case. Time will tell. Thank you again for clarifying your position as a long-time MORE member. I hope the leadership will prove to be as forthcoming as you have been.

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