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  1. #1
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    For Grand Ridge riders...

    For those who need reminding (granted, there are not many), I thought Id review the correct way to conduct yourself when riding Grand Ridge:

    - Do NOT yield to uphill riders, or any riders. Force others to yield to you at all times.
    - Do NOT say thank you or smile when others yield to you. Simply ride past them with no acknowledgment, even when they say hi. For extra credit, try a grumpy frown.
    - Do NOT watch for other riders around the blind corners. Assume they will see you first and pull over.
    - Always bring your unleashed dog. Like Duthie, Grand Ridge is a lightly used off-leash area.
    - Try to ride in groups that are as large as possible. Needless to say, there is nothing more pleasing than having to yield on an uphill in order to be informed that there are 6 more riders coming, spread out at lengthy intervals, who will also not yield.
    - If you see trail workers, do NOT dismount from your bike. Bomb through the work area as fast as possible without speaking.

    I have noticed that the Grand Ridge environment is unique in that nearly everyone instinctively abides by these rules. However, there are still occasional holdouts who insist on yielding or smiling at other riders. This behavior will NOT be tolerated. Remember, we are here for a climbing workout and to show off our glistening spandexed buttocks, not to have a good time. If we all work together, we can make Grand Ridge a truly annoying experience for everyone. Thank you.
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  2. #2
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    I was thinking about writing up something like this but you did a way better job than I would have.

    On the hike out from yesterdays work party we noticed that some riders can't make the corners, if you want straight trails go ride logging roads. Also saw some tracks going off some turnpike into the swamp. Maybe we should set up a video camera to watch and laugh at the crashes.

    You should also add toe the list:
    Always make sure to use your rear brake on bumpy downhills so you burn up the trail as you skid over the bumps pissing off the volunteers and making MTBers look like morons.

    Complain about the work that gets done but don't do any yourself.

    If you want to ride fast, ride your road bike, the cars don't care and if you're afraid of cars take a spin class.

    THERE COULD BE POLITICAL PROBLEMS IF THIS BEHAVIOR CONTINUES AND YOU KNOW THAT'S JUST WHAT WE NEED.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  3. #3
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    I have to disagree with these posts in part. While I've definitely seen some lack of courtesy on Grand Ridge (same as everywhere else I've ever ridden), the vast majority of riders out there do follow basic rules of the road. I ride this trail a minimum of once a week year round and only very occasionally see someone fail to yield. Maybe it is a disagreement of when yielding is necessary. Much if not most of the trail provides plenty of space for riders to pass each other without stopping. I, for one, do not believe the right of way rules dictate the downhill rider pull off to the side if the trail is more than wide enough for two (I'm talking plenty of room, not two people squeezing by hoping they don't knock handle bars). If someone is getting in a twist because they want to take up the entire trail even though it is easily wide enough for two if you'd just pull over a little, I think they need to think again about what it means to share the trail. I do pull off when going downhill no matter what, but when I'm going up hill and there is plenty of space for us both then I don't have an issue if the downhill rider doesn't pull off for me. The blind corners are the only thing I'd agree with you that quite a few people out there should slow down a little. I like the dogs out there and have never seen a dog behaving badly on Grand Ridge. I think it's awesome to see how excited the dogs are to be out there running the trails with their buddy. Btw, the work crew did a fantastic job this past weekend. I was out there today and was amazed at how nice the spot near the middle bridge is compared to what it was like before the first work party (which I was on).

  4. #4
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    A general note:
    Please don't forget while you may be comfortable with your speed others like hikers or new rides may not.
    Haven't had problem with dogs yet but other may have.
    I always go early, traffic doesn't pick up until about noon. Is that when the hangovers wear off?
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  5. #5
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    Staying with the spirit of the OP... New riders should be too intimidated to ride the scene that is Grand Ridge.
    - Be Someone

  6. #6
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    it would be pretty cool if we could make GR a loop trail...

  7. #7
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    Yep. One way too. Like Doofie XC trails.

  8. #8
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    Yes, and all DH both ways too, no hills to climb.

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    Duthie xc trails are one way? That explains a lot...

  10. #10
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    In all seriousness; my dogs love riding and they have great trail etiquette (better than a lot of people).
    I'm honestly a bit puzzled by the disapproval of mtb dogs, outside of Duthie (dogs at Duthie does seem inappropriate to me).

  11. #11
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    If you had a bad run in or been bitten by a random dog before than you would understand why people get freaked out by it when they run into a dog that's unleashed and usually way outside of their owners reach....

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    Seems valid-ish. Hopefully my guys can act as "puppy ambassadors" to those bitten, or to those who just like to hate.

  13. #13
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    A loop up to the water tower is in the long term plan but this is a multi use trail so it will always be 2 way. WTA and the county are aware of the speeders so any new trail is built to slow people down.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  14. #14
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    The old trails used to have large rocks, mud and logs to keep squids in check, hmmm, maybe someday the new sustainable trails may have traffic calming features to keep speeds down for the unskilled...

  15. #15
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    Would the county allow chicanes and choke points to be built on the downhills to tamp speeds down?

  16. #16
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    The thing about unleashed dogs is that, while you know your dog would never hurt anyone, I don't know that. And the two times I've been bitten (not while riding), the dog owners were surprised that it happened. I love dogs! I want to pet them all! They are so cute!! But twice bitten, once shy... until I know they're safe, which means slowing down and talking to them and feeling afraid for a few seconds. Plus, I once had a small dog literally run RIGHT into my front wheel -- zero time to avoid it -- and not only was the resulting yard sale unpleasant but I was really worried about the dog too. Leash laws on public trails protect dog owners, other trail users, and the dogs themselves. 99% of the time there are no problems, but you never know if today will be the day the 1% happens.

    On the other hand, life is risky and I know it's hard to ride a bike with a dog on a leash. So I would propose that those wanting to ride with their pups just maybe try to avoid heavy use areas like Duthie and Grand Ridge, especially during busy times like weekends.

    I didn't mean to start a big debate with my original post, I just thought it was funny how I keep seeing this certain attitude at Grand Ridge and nowhere else that I ride. Maybe I'll just try to think of it as part of GR's unique charm.
    "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." -- Calvin & Hobbes

  17. #17
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    It's cuz their all so jacked up on their Starbucks.
    Last edited by mtbty; 03-19-2013 at 11:32 PM.
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  18. #18
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    GR seems like strava central nowadays and the d-bag factor has gone up there too. Off hours are the best there and at other busy places.

  19. #19
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    Re: For Grand Ridge riders...

    Today it was my turn. Up I went on a Tuesday into the approaching storm ready to brisk by anyone likely faster than moi.

    I was gonna stake my claim as a trail bustin' bruiser to be reckoned with.

    So I go to the worksite after hefting in a pack full of rocks and three loads to go worried someone may try to pass me as I unload the rocks at their intended destination. I even worry about my pack as I stash it under a fern and bomb down ingloriously to the clay corner and down to what I am calling the middle bridge.

    I turned around ready to lean into anyone with a decided nonchalance while climbing back up.

    It did not happen. Woe I hammered forth and without any incumberance except the wind in the trees. Oh and the climb up the clay corner was precise even with the dewy mist upon the newly hewn stones.

    So I tried to follow the protocol but I didn't have anyone to annoy so ill have to try again soon.

    Great timing for this benchmark post.

    I strava don't you?

  20. #20
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    I think the only thing different about Grand Ridge compared to most other places is that there isn't an easier way and a harder way (or a way that is obviously more fun) to naturally result in most everyone going a certain direction.

    For example, at Tiger, for every person that goes up NW Timber, then Preston, then the Summit Trail, then down the road to parking, there are 50 that go the other direction (and thank god for that. The last thing I want to do on Preston is stop for someone).

    Same with Tokul. How many times do you see someone ride up any of the trails that drop onto the SVT? Instead, everyone rides up the road to get to the fun downhill riding. When was the last time anyone went up flowtron?

    At Grand Ridge, if there was an easier way to go south, then that's what most people would choose to do, eliminating the opportunity for conflict between riders (hikers would still have a problem though). Since there isn't, the opportunity for conflict is vastly greater at GR than most other places.

    The idea that the riders are somehow different at Grand Ridge compared to everywhere else doesn't seem realistic to me.

    Again, I'm on GR at least weekly, and the negative things that have been described are not reflective of my experience. Except in the middle of summer, it is far more common to have the trail almost to myself than it is to have crowds of people out there.

  21. #21
    JRA
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    Would the county allow chicanes and choke points to be built on the downhills to tamp speeds down?
    WHAT!?! ... and ruin the flow!?! Sacrilege!

  22. #22
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    The other problem w/ loose dogs is that they can piss of the wildlife. I don't know about cougars but I've seen bob cat and bear tracks.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRA View Post
    WHAT!?! ... and ruin the flow!?! Sacrilege!
    LOL, maybe so!

    We had a similar problem on the Southern Traverse Trail at Paradise...a straight downhill section, where it's easy to really get moving, followed by an abrupt somewhat blind corner. We were seeing tire tracks off the trail into the bushes, stutter bumps forming and hikers were complaining to the County about those crazy bikers. At Borneo's suggestion (and with his help) we put a chicane into the trail just before the corner and that has pretty much resolved the problems. Actually makes the trail a little more fun to ride IMHO.

  24. #24
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    thanks for the info on how to act at grand ridge. Should i have my I-pod on at full volume so I cant hear anything including the nature I originally went out to see. All kidding aside, I have never been out there before. how are the weekday mornings? i want to ride out there but now you guys got me worried if i pushing up a hill cause I'm fat and way out of shape ill catch hell form the locals. one last thing where do i park? I ask cause I read in another thread ( Grand Ridge/Duthie RR) that people are getting pissed about where people are parking.
    Last edited by mrosey; 03-31-2013 at 08:42 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteNW View Post
    In all seriousness; my dogs love riding and they have great trail etiquette (better than a lot of people).
    I'm honestly a bit puzzled by the disapproval of mtb dogs, outside of Duthie (dogs at Duthie does seem inappropriate to me).
    Well, for a King Country property such as Grand Ridge and/or Duthie, leashes are law, which I'll be all too ready and willing to remind people of. If you're caught; and people have been caught; it's a big ticket (IIRC $325 or some such).

    Disapproval comes from the significant danger dogs pose when off leash on a densely used trails such as Grand Ridge or Duthie. And sorry, no, your dog is probably just as bad as any other off-leash dog .

  26. #26
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    Prelude to a post - sorry for the cynicism .

    As to Grand Ridge, the only persistent problem I see are off-leash dogs, and most of these with fellow mountain bikers. I haven't had any accidents yet but have had some sorta close calls, and seen many more. I am sure to let them know there is a leash law on Grand Ridge but sad to say that in this day and age, given the entitlement of the average Seattle-area dog owner, it does zero good.

    I'm to the point I don't ride Grand Ridge at peak times - sunny days after work, days like today, etc., because of the significant problem with dogs. It's sad really - good short cardio workout and but ~10 minutes from my house...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrosey View Post
    thanks for the info on how to act at grand ridge. Should i have my I-pod on at full volume so I cant hear anything including the nature I originally went out to see. All kidding aside, I have never been out there before. how are the weekday mornings? i want to ride out there but now you guys got me worried if i pushing up a hill cause I'm fat and way out of shape ill catch hell form the locals. one last thing where do i park? I ask cause I read in another thread ( Grand Ridge/Duthie RR) that people are getting pissed about where people are parking.
    Weekday mornings you will most likely only see a couple other people the entire ride at the most. It is not uncommon for me to have the trail to myself, and I ride this trail at least weekly. My suggestion for parking is to park in Central Park (Issaquah Highlands) near the tennis courts. Ride the trail that goes south to the left of the courts, then around the water retention pond to a trail head. There is a map posted at the trailhead (which you can also print out from the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance website). There are only a couple places where turns are available, and if you just stay on the more heavily used trail, you'll be fine. Eventually, you'll come out onto Issaquah/Fall City road. The back entrance to Duthie is across the street maybe 20 yards to the left. It's a fun, non-technical ride through some nice forest. Plan on some climbing.

    Here are a couple pics from the trail.

    For Grand Ridge riders...-wp_000060.jpg

    For Grand Ridge riders...-wp_000023.jpg

  28. #28
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    would be nice if there was i voice and sight law hear too.

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  29. #29
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    Agreed, that would be great. Or let dogs that are certified with the Canine Good Citizenship program off leash, that's even more stringent.

    I love biking with my dog, I daresay for both of us it's our favorite thing in the world. But there's a time and a place for it, and crowded or popular trails during peak times (or off peak) is not it. Duthie, St. Eds, GR, etc are all places that dogs do not need to be off leash. Take them to Tokul, Galby, Tolt, Cherry Valley, or Black Diamond where there's a lot less people and the possibilities for conflict are greatly reduced.

    Though I have to say that I've never had an issue with dogs while biking, most are entirely focused on keeping up with their owners in my experience. Hikers are a different story, the pace is slower and the dogs are less focused as a result it seems like We've had two different incidents with off-leash dogs coming up and trying to start a fight with our (on leash) dog while hiking so far this spring.

    Shame that some people do not realize how much work and preparation goes into REALLY training a dog before you can even consider letting them off leash around other people.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrosey View Post
    i want to ride out there but now you guys got me worried if i pushing up a hill cause I'm fat and way out of shape ill catch hell form the locals:
    Meh, don't worry about the naysayers. I find GR is a pleasant place to ride if you want a good climbing workout. I've had nothing but positive experience there. I DO go out of my way to be friendly and I don't mind yielding whichever way I'm going, so maybe it just helps to be relaxed and friendly out there.

    Yep, for first time rider I would park at Issaquah Central Park. It's a strenuous climb heading back to where you parked, but it is a nice trail that just keeps on getting better every year.

    Another fun way to do it, especially if you're still building up your fitness, is to park at Duthie, ride Grand Ridge up to Grand Ridge Drive (the paved road you'll cross at the top), and then return back to Duthie. This gives you nice climbs and an easy and super fun return if you blow your legs up on the climb.

    Once you've gotten fit enough to enjoy that route, then do the full-meal-deal and park at High Point Way on I-90 to get the extra climb. Then when that gets too easy, do the ride, hit all the Duthie xc trails, spend 2 hours flinging your carcass on the jump lines, and then back to I-90. So many options is what makes the GR/Duthie system great!
    Last edited by juice; 04-01-2013 at 12:38 PM. Reason: horrible grammar and typos

  31. #31
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    Almost got blown off the GR trail yesterday morning. If I hadn't dived towards the foliage, we would have hit. Only comment from the other rider as he went past ... "Just me". Gee ... thanks for that.

    I will say that it was just the one rider ... everyone else, including hikers, was friendly.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    Once you've gotten fit enough to enjoy that route, then do the full-meal-deal and park at High Point Way on I-90 to get the extra climb.
    The full-meal-deal with dessert is to park at the Issaquah Community Center, climb the High School Trail, ride the rollers over to the Tiger Lake Tradition trailhead then down the road to cross I-90 at High Point Way. Swing a left onto the Issaquah-Preston Trail and turn right onto Grand Ridge Trail.

  33. #33
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    GR and Duthie are in awesome shape. I was surprised how few people I saw out there late Sat afternoon too. No dog, hiker, or speed incidents to speak of. Great to get back on the mountain bike. It felt like July out there. Bad for skiing, good for mountain biking.

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    So many other great places to go ride fast with your four legged friend on a busy day. Hell you can go STRAVA yourself to death at Tokul or Tolt and no one will ever give a poop.

  35. #35
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    Re: For Grand Ridge riders...

    O[QUOTE=JRA;10283823] ...as he went past ... "Just me". Gee ... thanks for that.

    With King County parks staff last Friday on the trail they served up reported positive examples of cyclists riding by and using opportunity to report to each other how many walkers or even ponies are back to riders approaching. I totally get this and I never say "1-200 riders back". I only report people on foot and on a horse. I know there are 200 riders back... if you don't know that you don't know you are 18 miles east of Seattle and 1-2 million souls have i90 access within 20-30 minutes and this is where you can ride 20 miles with 2200' gain with no parking pass and no seasonal restrictions. Yep: FREE!

    I can and am surly to another rider but I get on my knees and beg forgiveness if I roll gleefully upon humans afoot and their entourage.

    I agree with the King County park's staff's suggestion we consider ourselves equals as the arrogant wheeled class (my words not theirs) but we should have the privileged intelligence to defer to all afoot or ahoof that may argue to parks against us.

    I have long interpreted the IMBA rule "always yield the trail" means we need to go out of our way to make other modes of travel think "what courteous cyclists there are walking past me to ensure I don't feel threatened".

    On your strava report tell the world you saved the trail.
    Last edited by Len.Francies; 04-02-2013 at 01:06 AM.

  36. #36
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    You say "traffic calming features," I say "more interesting."

    I rode Grand Ridge yesterday afternoon. Thanks to whomever did all the trail work on the muddy north-facing downslope to the bog!

    Actually, I felt generally very positive about everyone I saw, and I don't think I pissed anyone off.

    A while ago, I stuck a bear bell on my bike. I think my "hiker bell" has made most of my interactions on public trails a lot more positive. Bell or no bell, I try to be courteous. But people can hear me coming from a lot further off and aren't startled. I think that's one half of how we sometimes piss off hikers. Passing at a walking pace and saying "hi" and "thank you" seem to be enough to take it the rest of the way. IMHO, saying things like "passing" or "on your left" is counterproductive. Do you like it when strangers give you orders?
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  37. #37
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    The competitive training and STRAVAfication of Grand Ridge is direct result of all the work that went into paving the trail and removing all natural choke points and obstacles.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipp View Post
    The competitive training and STRAVAfication of Grand Ridge is direct result of all the work that went into paving the trail and removing all natural choke points and obstacles.
    I'm just curious when you started riding GR, because back in the day most of it was old logging roads with only trivial obstacles with the exception of the one creek crossing.

    Traction was the problem then: the climbs were pretty d*mn steep and what wasn't loose was ruts.

    But hey, you could bring an off-leash dog!
    Rolland

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    6 years ago. There were still some log overs here and there and because the highway (ugh, bridge) over the swamp wasn't built yet the trails were much less used. The grooming of trails to create more sustainable user friendly trails inevitably leads to increased traffic, which is not a bad thing.

    I guess my point is that if you make the trails without choke points or technical sections to slow faster moving bike traffic down before blind corners etc, inevitable user conflicts arise due to the increase in over-all speed. Sure you can stress etiquette and education, but a groomed flowy downhill sweeper will always win.

    I see the same issues coming up with other suburban systems like BFH. If there is a 12" log across the trail a crew runs out and cuts it the next day. Maybe sometimes it's more productive to leave a few obstructions on the trail? Anyway, while I sit here 7th in a cue for a tech help chat window from hell, that's what I feel about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sagebrush Slug View Post
    I'm just curious when you started riding GR, because back in the day most of it was old logging roads with only trivial obstacles with the exception of the one creek crossing.

    Traction was the problem then: the climbs were pretty d*mn steep and what wasn't loose was ruts.

    But hey, you could bring an off-leash dog!
    Last edited by wipp; 04-02-2013 at 12:50 PM.

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    I started riding there 22 yrs ago and the trails were more organic, local horse and motorcycles built the trails and logging roads and mining roads. Rocks, logs, creek climb that would freak people put now days. It took about 2 days of solid riding to ride all the trails back then.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteNW View Post
    In all seriousness; my dogs love riding and they have great trail etiquette (better than a lot of people).
    I'm honestly a bit puzzled by the disapproval of mtb dogs, outside of Duthie (dogs at Duthie does seem inappropriate to me).
    I got my ankle bit (drew blood) by an off leash dog at Paradise Valley a month ago. It happens. Might never be your dog, but riders don't know your dog.

    Dog owners tend to deny their dog would do any harm...until it happens. Then they are just astonished, and say how that has never happened before. Leash laws exist for a reason.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sven Trials View Post
    I started riding there 22 yrs ago and the trails were more organic, local horse and motorcycles built the trails and logging roads and mining roads. Rocks, logs, creek climb that would freak people put now days. It took about 2 days of solid riding to ride all the trails back then.
    You've got a year on me, I don't think I rode it before '92. And yes, there were a lot more trails then. Some of them, like the baby head descent, were not so much to modern tastes.

    I still claim that the technical difficulty from the primary entrance off the I-90 railroad bed to the top of the second creek crossing was relatively low even if the cardiac arrest factor was fairly high. It stayed on old logging roads the whole way and was relatively featureless except for being steep with minimal traction.

    I can only remember two, maybe three logs for that stretch, neither of which was problematic on the downhill and only one of which was significantly challenging on the up hill, at the base of the long loose rocky climb.

    There was that one blocky rocky section early on that I always found challenging to do without a rest but going up hills was never my strong point anyway.

    The one real technical challenge was the lower creek crossing, which I never saw anybody ride, even though I saw some epic attempts and knew people who claimed they'd seen it done.

    That's the primary trail that was transmorgrified by the WTA to what we have today, so I'm not convinced that using the harder trails as a basis for comparison is fair.
    Rolland

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    The best time to ride the trail is late in the day on Sunday.
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  44. #44
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    You can say that about just about any trail, though. Even Duthie starts to clear out starting around 3:30 Sunday afternoon.

  45. #45
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    I very sporadically check out this forum so I guess I don't stay up to date on GR trail etiquette.

    I almost always bring my two dogs with me (off leash!). Other than the 5-6 guys I regularly ride with nobody has ever said a negative or cautionary word to me about my dogs other than my mail man and one other person as follows. A trail runner lady with an off leash grey hound kind of yelled at me as her dog snarled and lunged after my dogs as they ran by on the way back down GR...we did that at a high rate of speed per rules established by OP. Of the guys I ride with I usually just go first or last as the dogs stick with me and as such I can kind of keep them out of other peoples way, a tactic which works pretty much intermittently depending on a dogs breakfast of variables.

    Recommend new GR bylaw: All riders breaking the rules to be reminded by onlooker (can't break rules without someone else there to witness) that they are breaking rules...EG, remind me that I need to have my dogs on leash (Thanks!).

    I didn't know so many people had problems with the dogs on the trails. I'll consider this next time I head to Duthie via GR.

  46. #46
    swanny
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    Quote Originally Posted by specialev View Post
    I very sporadically check out this forum so I guess I don't stay up to date on GR trail etiquette.

    I almost always bring my two dogs with me (off leash!). Other than the 5-6 guys I regularly ride with nobody has ever said a negative or cautionary word to me about my dogs other than my mail man and one other person as follows. A trail runner lady with an off leash grey hound kind of yelled at me as her dog snarled and lunged after my dogs as they ran by on the way back down GR...we did that at a high rate of speed per rules established by OP. Of the guys I ride with I usually just go first or last as the dogs stick with me and as such I can kind of keep them out of other peoples way, a tactic which works pretty much intermittently depending on a dogs breakfast of variables.

    Recommend new GR bylaw: All riders breaking the rules to be reminded by onlooker (can't break rules without someone else there to witness) that they are breaking rules...EG, remind me that I need to have my dogs on leash (Thanks!).

    I didn't know so many people had problems with the dogs on the trails. I'll consider this next time I head to Duthie via GR.
    Do you have two yellow labs that were running wild and had no regard for voice control riding Duthie yesterday around 4:30? If so, I really appreciated one of them running straight in to my back tire. It would have been even cooler had we been crossing the wet slimy bridge over the wetlands though when it happened.

    As a dog owner, I love letting my dog off leash. But on trails where other people are out enjoying an activity, off leash dogs can ruin an experience. There are times and places for off leash dogs county parks and suburban trail systems are not those places. In fact any recreational trail on the I-90 corridor is not a place for an off leash dog IMO.

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