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  1. #1
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    What does shared use mean to you? Tokul east edition...

    I will start out by saying that I've been riding (bikes and horses) and running the trails at Tokul for probably 20 years. It hasn't been until the past couple that conflict between mountain bikers, all other users, has really become an issue. I ride & run at lots of other shared use locations and just don’t see the same level of conflict elsewhere.
    I will say, I was caught off guard today when a mountain biker suggested I be more careful as these are “fast trails”.
    I was dressed in bright clothing, waited until later in the afternoon when I knew there would be fewer mtbs on the trail, was not listening to music, was running with my dog just ahead of me to alert me of oncoming traffic. As soon as she did, I heeled her, we moved off the trail and I called a “heads-up” to alert the bikes of my presence.
    I’m a little at a loss as to what I could have done to be more visible, more courteous, or more share-y of the trails that are open to horses, bikes, and runners.
    So, I’m here out of true curiosity. What does “shared use” mean to the mountain bike community, when it comes to these trails? Because, when I hear a mtb say “these are fast trails, you better watch out”… all I can think is “maybe you ought to slow your roll, before you hurt someone”.

  2. #2
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    I notice because of the thick undergrowth in western WA it makes people seem like they pop out of no where. Other places where there is not thick undergrowth you can see people better as they come at you, or as you come at them, even if the trail turns. So I see this as part of the issue, but by no means is this an excuse for people to not be a responsible users on ether end.

    I also think this is why people in western WA want so many segregated trails, so they don't have to be scared when someone pops around a corner with undergrowth.

    I'm not for heavy segregation of trails, I'm more for better trail design for PMO shared use trails. It would be sad to see heavy segregation in King country. A county named after the man who fought for the end of segregation in America. It would be ironic.

    Yes we need PMO trails to match X user base, but we also need shared use trail because we don't need to braid our forest with side by side trails for every kind of use. (an extreme example, I know)

    Is there an answer to this issue? More then likely, but it's not going to be figured out on some random website. It won't be solved by taking away trails from a already limited inventory ether. Other wise will never get this illegal building issue under warps.

    Such a hard issue to effectively cover in this format, It's so complex.

    In short be responsible, there's a time and place for ripping trail and use those powerful disk brakes to slow up fast for other people. Try not to be so sour faced if someone mess up your flow or hurts your Strava. Just be kind, acknowledge people with a smile or a simple greeting, don't just look down or off in to the forest. Kindness will go a long way.

    If you need to rip a trail every time your on a bike then ride with slow people so you can send them in front of you to clean the way.
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  3. #3
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    Sadly, it's a bit of ignorance and intolerance. I hike and run as well, but bike the most. I can say that in many areas which have recently become much more "adopted" by the biking community (Tokul, for example), there is an incredible amount of "ownership" in the trail system, as many trails (most, in fact) were built by the biking community, are obviously one way trails and have blind spots.

    Whether their intention is inflammatory or not, it behooves the non-biker to use extreme caution in these areas. All I can really say for that person, whomever it was you met, that they probably very well meant well and didn't want to see you hurt, because Tokul HAS become a high traffic area. The quicker many other user groups realize this, the better. It's not anything other than that, I believe.

    I'm all for shared use and would love to see it on every trail. I don't feel like I own the trail any more than another user. I do occasionally build out there, so there is "that" form of ownership.

    Again, I imagine the biker doesn't want to see you hurt and was giving you advance warning. Nobody really knows how much another uses the area. I consider his suggestion kind.
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  4. #4
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    I agree. It's a complex issue. I love the idea of shared use trails. It's less of an issue at other places even close by, like soaring eagle, tiger, etc.

    The guy I encountered today was trying to be nice... he was trying to educate me that bikes come ripping down these trails. I get it. I don't agree that it's a good idea to do so, in a shared use area. As I said, I hike, bike, run, and ride horses on these trails on a very frequent basis.

    He did stop and didn't snark at me.

    I was just surprised at the attitude that the burden is on me (on foot) to be (more) careful.

    I was just thinking, really, what more could I have done to be more careful aside from vacating the trail? I pay the same pass fee and would hope that entitles me to the same useage as well.

    I love the tokul trails because they are just a couple of miles from my house. Today I put in 3 miles on foot and then another hour or so under pedal power.

    *shrug* It seems like there is plenty of forest for all of us.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nasai View Post
    Sadly, it's a bit of ignorance and intolerance.
    Don't forget peoples since of entitlement.
    I put the effort in to get up/out hear so watch out
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  6. #6
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    90% chance the "conflict" was owing to your off-leash dog; versus you in your height and clothing an off-leash dog is much harder to see and for presumed by all to be uncontrollable. Bad things happen to both pooch and rider when the two collide on a trail - doubly so on a fast trail system like Tokul East. So, doesn't sound like conflict to me - sounds like good advice. Every time I see an off leash dog I issue the same advice. It protects you as well - if your pooch causes a wreck it can turn into a big legal headache for you.

  7. #7
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    Meh. My off-leash dog was within arms reach of me and immediately heeled and sat off trail with me, at my command. I realize most off-leash dogs are not that way. She was not running amok on the trails and is a seasoned, well trained, trail dog.

    She can hear the bikes before I can and I can tell by her body language that something is out ahead of us. In this case, that allowed me to alert the bikes I was there in plenty of time for them to stop.

  8. #8
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    Ive come across many hikers at Tokul and Grand ridge. Even though us bikers are suppose to yield to hikers, every hiker I've encountered always steps off the trail. I slow down, thank them and let them know how many riders are behind me. Simple as that. Never had a conflict or or issue beyond that.

    The issue posted by the OP seems to be more of a heads up than anything. Some sections are fast, and if your hiking a blind corner just beware that someone could be on you in and instant.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhj View Post
    Meh. My off-leash dog was within arms reach of me and immediately heeled and sat off trail with me, at my command. I realize most off-leash dogs are not that way. She was not running amok on the trails and is a seasoned, well trained, trail dog.

    She can hear the bikes before I can and I can tell by her body language that something is out ahead of us. In this case, that allowed me to alert the bikes I was there in plenty of time for them to stop.
    As you admit, for every "well trained" dog there are 214 that aren't , and that reality is enough to warrant a warning based upon just seeing an off leash dog on a fast high traffic area like Tokul East.

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    Mr. Lynch- that is the type of interaction I would have expected as well. I always stop and step off the trail for a bike. Much easier for me to do so than a biker to do so. Simple as that.

  11. #11
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    It's funny... every time I ride, and encounter a hiker or horsey, I never have an issue, yet this sort of thread pops up from time to time and makes me sad. I guess the reality is "it's people." Some will honor others and some won't. It's not a user group. It's just the dynamics of "people."
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  12. #12
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    If the dog was on leash and an out of control biker(or runner) went between them, how would that be better? But more importantly King co. mountain bikers make such a big deal about good trail design why are there so many blind corners in first place?

  13. #13
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    because we live in an area where trees and bushes grow!
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  14. #14
    FM
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    Share use, to me, means all users have a responsibility to be respectful, courteous and most importantly safe.

    I suppose Tokul East is shared use, but personally I don't feel that trail running, biking or riding a horse up flowtron 3000, Crazy Ivan, KGB or Midtown is respectful, courteous or safe. At best, that's on par with biking with headphones on busy sidewalks, or off-leash dogs on the burke gillman. Sure it's probably allowed for, but it's also a recipe for conflict. Common sense...

    Marhj, you sound like a reasonably guy, I assume you weren't running up these trails.

  15. #15
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    I'm intimately familiar with both sides of Tokul and usually am pretty alert for other users but I too occasionally get startled by someone around a corner. Most all interactions have been positive amongst user groups. The last one that was rather bad was the old horsey guy actually riding UP Flowtron and complaining to the bikers going down the trail. But, he's a nutcase so I'll write that one off. There are a lot of new equestrians to West who don't really know where they are going which is awkward at times so some possible minor issues. As for East, I think it gets a lot more "new" riders as far as understanding trail etiquette outside Duthie which is weird but understandable. Most equestrian complaints to Hancock come from Tokul East use I believe as well. Some good comments here though....
    BTW: I'm a HUGE proponent of shared use. I'd rather have way more miles of options out there than just a few biker only ones...

  16. #16
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    Following up on FM's comment, I think T east is pushing the limit of a multi-use trail system. Any time one user group, Mtn bikers in this case, make up over 90% of the trail users, the system starts to lose its multi-use status. If I'm riding Taylor I'm expecting a horse at every turn. Same with GR and walkers. I'm guessing the regular T east hikers and horse riders are going elsewhere (T west), or really have their 'Mtn biker goggles'.

    Hikers and horse riders are doing themselves a favor when they know what to expect. A good clue is a parking lot full of bike racks, me thinks.

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    Shared use, to me means...

    shared responsibility, which includes shared trail maintenance work. i don't see much of that, if any, happening anywhere @ multi use trail systems. i suppose it does exist in a few places, but it's definately a rare situation.
    breezy shade

  18. #18
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    Hehehehe. Yeah, we don't often see that in many places. Evergreen rarely works with other user groups and they rarely work with us which is a real shame. WTA does have more affect on trails we ride around here and I thank them for that but still distrust the hierarchy there. I wish we would have the joint trail care crew training classes we had back in the day when Brian Jones was leading BBTC. We both learned a lot from those trail college sessions.
    As for the horsey folks, as far as I can see, they are the worst by far. The BCH types will tell you they do backcountry trail work. But, riding along with a Bud in one hand and a pair of clippers in the other dropping branches and debris across the trail bed doesn't count as trail maintenance. As for Tokul, the horse folks as a whole don't do jack out there. In either east or West. I've ridden out there since 1991 and never have seen a horsey work party. Ever.... Yet, it's pretty obvious they do the most damage out there.

  19. #19
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhj View Post
    *shrug* It seems like there is plenty of forest for all of us.
    Would that it were true.

    Alas, when it comes to MTB miles this isn't true at all.
    Rolland

  20. #20
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    You nailed it Rolland. Mountain bikes have been pushed on to such a limited number of trails that use on those trails is way too high. The solution is more trails open to bikes to disperse the use.

    It's insane how few miles are open to bikes within a 45 minute drive of Bellevue or Seattle.
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  21. #21
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    I'm all for shared use on trails that make sense, of course.

    Sounds like the exchange was pretty ok. I've given the same bit of "hey dude, you know that mt. bikers are descending this trail really fast" advice recently on SST - which is one of the faster trails you'll ride anywhere with a bunch of blind corners. We need to acknowledge that some mt. bike trails are designed with a specific use and direction in mind. On Galby, we sign the entrance and exit of those types of trails. Speaking as someone who was formerly involved at Tokul East, the trails that FM brought up in his post really were designed with use and direction in mind.

    Rightly or wrongly, mt. bikers in our area have had to scrap and claw for most of the trail we are allowed to ride (often building entire trail networks) and sometimes do feel somewhat entitled in those areas. And, by that, I mean "claw" with a pulaski and a shovel. Hopefully, our community comes off pleasant with the other users we encounter though....

    Cheers,
    EB

  22. #22
    JRA
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    Trails on Hancock land are all shared use. T-East trail build largely done by mtbers and in generaly they aren't thinking about shared use in the construction.

    Not criticizing the trailbuilders at all ... that's just a reality of "grey" trail construction.

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    Mountain bikes have been pushed on to such a limited number of trails that use on those trails is way too high. The solution is more trails open to bikes to disperse the use.
    Exactly. I've never ever heard of anybody being tempted to build a hiking trail in their backyard just so they had someplace close by to go hiking.

    Youtube.com search for "backyard hiking trail" garners two results, one of which is a physics lecture.

    Youtube.com search for "backyard biking trail" garners 39,500 results, all of them from people who need more MTB trails.
    Last edited by The Sagebrush Slug; 05-13-2013 at 03:29 PM. Reason: facts. I added facts.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhodge View Post
    shared responsibility, which includes shared trail maintenance work. i don't see much of that, if any, happening anywhere @ multi use trail systems. i suppose it does exist in a few places, but it's definately a rare situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Hehehehe. Yeah, we don't often see that in many places. Evergreen rarely works with other user groups and they rarely work with us which is a real shame. WTA does have more affect on trails we ride around here and I thank them for that but still distrust the hierarchy there. I wish we would have the joint trail care crew training classes we had back in the day when Brian Jones was leading BBTC. We both learned a lot from those trail college sessions.
    ...
    Admittedly, I only log a few hours of trail work each bike season so my opinion may not weigh a whole lot on this matter. However, I agree that multi-use = multi responsibility. Typically, when I join a work party, I try to hit the areas that I ride often. The way I see it, if I'm riding it, i'm likely doing damage to what the builders did. I should put the time in to help do maintenance. Have any of the Tokul crews reached out to any horse organizations? I'd be curious how well that would work out. MTBers helping out on multi-use trails built for horses and Horseriders helping out on multi-use trails built for MTBers. Can't we all just get along? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme View Post
    ...On Galby, we sign the entrance and exit of those types of trails. Speaking as someone who was formerly involved at Tokul East, the trails that FM brought up in his post really were designed with use and direction in mind...
    I think this would be a good idea. I think Preston on Tiger Mt. has some signage indicating who yields to who. I think MTBs yield to everyone, but the sign is there so that's what I follow. Not sure how realistic doing the signage work would be. Also, its not like there's an authority to enforce the signage. It just encourages courtesy.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRA View Post
    Trails on Hancock land are all shared use. T-East trail build largely done by mtbers and in generaly they aren't thinking about shared use in the construction.

    Not criticizing the trailbuilders at all ... that's just a reality of "grey" trail construction.
    I thought Tokul was not "grey" trails since Hancock is ok with it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojotherider View Post
    Admittedly, I only log a few hours of trail work each bike season so my opinion may not weigh a whole lot on this matter. However, I agree that multi-use = multi responsibility. Typically, when I join a work party, I try to hit the areas that I ride often. The way I see it, if I'm riding it, i'm likely doing damage to what the builders did. I should put the time in to help do maintenance. Have any of the Tokul crews reached out to any horse organizations? I'd be curious how well that would work out. MTBers helping out on multi-use trails built for horses and Horseriders helping out on multi-use trails built for MTBers. Can't we all just get along? :P



    I think this would be a good idea. I think Preston on Tiger Mt. has some signage indicating who yields to who. I think MTBs yield to everyone, but the sign is there so that's what I follow. Not sure how realistic doing the signage work would be. Also, its not like there's an authority to enforce the signage. It just encourages courtesy.



    I thought Tokul was not "grey" trails since Hancock is ok with it.
    It isn't anymore, but it's not "officially sanctioned" either... at least from what I can tell. I'm sure Westra or Juice can give us a far better understanding of the legalese on that. It's just private property that we pay to be allowed on. I don't know what else to say past that.
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

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