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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.

  10. #10
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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.

  17. #17
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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

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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
    Justin Vander Pol
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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.

  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.

  23. #23
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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.
    Rolland

  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."

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    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.
    And that's exactly what happened when Duthie opened. Riding at Soaring Eagle, Tokul, and Tolt went almost to zero for a year. Then Tokul and Tiger got new trails (and logging finished in FT3K area) and their lots were full while Duthie mellowed. When the Grand Ridge Boardwalk opened it was flooded with riders to the point of many multi-use encounters reported (rare previously).

    Bottom line is, if there enough trails for bikes, multi-use conflicts will be rare. The odds of contact between user groups just goes way down. Similar to when you arrive at the Tiger lot and its totally full, but barely see anyone on the ride except congregating at the top.

    Another thing that comes to mind is Tiger is multi-use with heavy hiker traffic on weekends...but conflict is rare because there is an expectation by all groups to be aware each other. That may be a problem at Tokul with Hikers, as its so rare to see any on the trails...especially the serious DH tracks. I expect to see horses at TW but never on Mid-town or FT3K. I really can't imagine hiking either of those trails for fun.

    Personally, in 15 years of heavy riding here I've never crashed into a pedestrian or equestrian (almost hit a deer). A couple of brake grab moments, a few dirty looks, but everyone recovered and no law suits were filed...yet. If a hiker/horsey interrupts my supreme flow on a DH, it usually comes back.

    This conflict is infrequent and the outcome depends on the personality of the parties involved...IMO and experience. My goal in every encounter is to leave the other party with a positive feeling about mountain bikers so they don't fight us on trail access/new trails.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    It's insane how few miles are open to bikes within a 45 minute drive of Bellevue or Seattle.
    I still can't believe people think this. We are SOOOO spoiled with how many awesome trails are in that range.

    St. Eds, Tokul E and W, Tiger, Grand Ridge, SST, MF Sno, Thrilla, Paradise, Tapeworm, Japanese Gulch, Soaring Eagle, Tolt, Duthie, Cherry Valley, Moss Lake, etc. And those are just off the top of my head and not including some of the grey area trails.
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  28. #28
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    Erik, I think like you but we can't sit on laurels and "count" all the non-sanctioned areas. I'm stunned when I hear this and call BS on it every time. But, I also know where juice is coming from. However, even with an even more gracious wife, there's no way I could actually ride everything available within a 2 hour drive in one riding season around here. (Yes, I've tried....) Evergreen also has to take that point because of the ramifications of what being "satisfied" would be... (Nothing new.) Yes, all the usual MTB lemming spots are packed. Yet many others are always empty. Back to the creature of habit thing.... "I don't know Tokul so I'm not going to waste a day there trying to figure it out while I can go to Duthie again and not get lost." WTH? I don't get it. I get bored with the same trail over and over again. If I wanted that routine, I'd join a gym and sell my mountain bike. But, it is what it is.... Also, people like yourself, who come from more limited option areas get this. The plethora of first world problems on where to ride today. Those who are accustomed to it here, for some reason don't.... Slop will be doing another 30 places in 30 days in August. Just because we can. And, that, is pretty cool and obviously not a limiting factor as some think... (Sincerely sorry Juice.)

  29. #29
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    It's been interesting seeing how people (of all user groups) around here react to all the different trail access issues, especially since I didn't grow up in the PNW. Some of the emails I get from the various bike organizations make it sound like certain trail access situations are life and death issues, that our very sport could be in jeopardy if we don't get one more trail opened up to bikes.

    Part of it is just the mindset of people out here compared to other parts of the US I think. One thing I've learned is that people in the Seattle area love to take up causes, and are extremely vocal and dig in when they decide to do so. It's great that people are so fervent about gaining access to more trails, but at the same time I just think that needs to be tempered with a dose of reality about how much mileage we have access to compared to other parts of the country. Or even compared to other user groups in the area (horses and motos for instance).

    I totally support the effort to increase our trail access, don't get me wrong. I just wish people didn't make the situation out here seem so dire too. It doesn't help the cause to pretend we're suffering for options given how much has been achieved for mtn biking in just the last 3-4 years in this area.
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  30. #30
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarekith View Post
    I still can't believe people think this. We are SOOOO spoiled with how many awesome trails are in that range.

    St. Eds, Tokul E and W, Tiger, Grand Ridge, SST, MF Sno, Thrilla, Paradise, Tapeworm, Japanese Gulch, Soaring Eagle, Tolt, Duthie, Cherry Valley, Moss Lake, etc. And those are just off the top of my head and not including some of the grey area trails.
    That's not NEAR enough for 4 million people. Not even close.

  31. #31
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    4 million what? There's 4 million bikers in the seattle area?
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  32. #32
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarekith View Post
    how much has been achieved for mtn biking in just the last 3-4 years in this area.
    Yes, we've made progress, but our mileage is pitiful compared to the acreage of forest lands nearby, or the mileage horses have, or the mileage hikers have.

    I'm still pretty darn motivated to get more trail mileage. What do we have, like 80 miles total of decent singletrack within an hour of Seattle? That's not much.

  33. #33
    Justin Vander Pol
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    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaRRRGH!

    * Edit: OK, I'll calm down now. Breathe slowly... ok... feeling better. Must go ride my bike to restore emotional balance

  34. #34
    FM
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    I disagree. I suppose we have it good if you’re happy riding powerline doubletrack… and Yes, things are definitely improving. Yet we are losing great user-built “grey” mountain bike trails faster than sustainable multi-use or legit MTB trails are coming on line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    even with an even more gracious wife, there's no way I could actually ride everything available within a 2 hour drive in one riding season around here.
    Again there’s plenty if you’re happy sharing powerline doubletrack, county parks, horse, moto & hiking trails. I enjoy some of that too. This thread is about a user conflict, on a trail built for descending on a mountain bike by bikers. Fighting for scraps!

    Can you list some local legitimate bike-only trails that are intended for downhill use only? Vancouver BC has them. Bellingham has them. Flagstaff has them. Etc etc etc.

    Here, we have the preston!
    Yeah!

    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Yes, all the usual MTB lemming spots are packed. Yet many others are always empty. Back to the creature of habit thing
    Lemmings or creatures of habit to you- maybe these are simply riders who have different tastes or riding styles. Or maybe they prefer to ride mountain-bike specific trails- and Duthie and Tokul happen to be the only places really offering that. Nobodies going to improve their descending skills at St. Edwards or Tolt-McDonald.

    Sorry if I’m coming off cranky- every year we seem to lose too many great riding spots to logging, closures etc. With all the effort going into new places we just about break even, if we’re lucky.
    Hard to be satisfied with that, after seeing the variety of trails and convenience of riding a place like Bellingham offers.

    I have to be honest, I always feel like the riding here is just barely good enough to stick around. YMMV.

  35. #35
    Justin Vander Pol
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    OK, I'll break down why I'm still thinking trail mileage here is at dire levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarekith View Post
    I still can't believe people think this. We are SOOOO spoiled with how many awesome trails are in that range.
    • St. Eds: good local area. Super easy trails.
    • Tokul E and W: could be sold by Hancock and shut down to public access. Not guaranteed. See Griffin Cr. for an example.
    • Tiger: 9.5 miles right now, half of that is not trail but rail grade. Getting better with the new stuff coming on line, finally!
    • Grand Ridge: 7.5 miles, great trail, but under intense pressure from so much use. Has major design flaws that create potential conflict.
    • SST: Not official trail, could go away at any time.
    • MF: Open 4 months of the year on odd days - very limited access.
    • Sno: ??
    • Thrilla: Not singletrack (mostly)
    • Paradise: Great success story
    • Tapeworm: Tiny. Not official trail, could go away at any time.
    • Japanese Gulch: Not official trail, could go away at any time.
    • Soaring Eagle: Good local system
    • Tolt: Not official trail, could go away at any time, except for a mile or two.
    • Duthie: I obviously love this park since I got the project rolling, but it's a park, not backcountry trails
    • Cherry Valley: Lower quality trails, far from most population
    • Moss Lake: Lower quality trails


    How much of that list has any real vert or challenging singletrack? I still think we have a real lack of good quality trails within a decent drive from the population centers.

  36. #36
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    It's great that we all have our opinions and can share as such. I on the other hand think it's pretty awesome here. The diversity in climate and terrain is tough to beat. Yeah, Squamish, Bend, etc have more "bike only" trails and the 'shore has world class DH right behind the neighborhoods. But, it could be Kansas City, Chicago, or Denver for goodness sake and we beat most big cities hands down for access. So, I choose to see the glass half full. Could it better? Yes, Could it be a lot worse? Heck yeah... Moss Lake "low quality"? Really? Have you even ridden there juice? I don't think so.... We're spoiled and we choose not to admit it very often. Every time a poll comes out, people complain of not enough trail within 30 minutes of West Seattle.... Waaah, move to Issaquah. Or Duvall... (On second thought, don't.) FM: What have we been "losing" every year? Overall mileage in the greater Seattle area has been increasing every year that I know of. Mileage in the mid '90s was a fraction of what it is now. Gray or otherwise. Shared or not. (To stay on thread.)

  37. #37
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    marhj, I too have descended on a hiker and their dogs on one of the faster descents at Tokul and although I didn't mean to come off unfriendly, I probably sounded a little annoyed and not because I didn't think they belonged there. I was just thinking to myself how glad I am that there was no mishap. These descents can be fast and most people ride them that way.

    Tarekith and Borneo, I am going to adamantly have to disagree with both of you that there are enough mountain bike accessible trails. Can you name a legal Freeride trail near the Seattle area?

  38. #38
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    Not to mention more trail access to true high country routes. I get annoyed every time I ride Dungeness realizing that we are just allowed on a little lower valley trail (Back in the day I once rode UP those hiker trails at the end of Lower Dungeness and the start of Gold Creek, it was glorious). I would love to see more agitation for higher elevation stuff
    and access to Wilderness or more resistance to Wilderness. Local stuff is great, it keeps you fed during the week, but sometimes I lament the myopicness of a lot of riders on the scrub lands.

    Totally irrelevant comment that isn't just related to access issues (I mean I live in a giant metropolitan area, not Colorado backcountry) - How I love this sport, and yet how i loathe the way it makes me drive 4 hours every weekend all summer long.

  39. #39
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    oh yeah, keep up the fight Juice ! I am the Bolshevik of bicycle trail access, what we have is not enough. You remember the old Far Side cartoon where the mushroom cloud is blooming behind the fishermen and one says "You know what this means ? Screw the limit !". Until every trail is open to bicycles, we have more work to do.

  40. #40
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    Cedar Run at PV, Duthie trails, Steven Pass, FT3K, Summit Ridge, Galby, what else, I'm sure there's something I forgot? Not sure what is relevant about a "freeride trail" one could say the same thing about DH specific trails. Why does it have to balance on a "freeride Trail"? Yeah, there's not enough specific trails for that type of riding. But, then that gets back to the demographic of how many are actually doing that genre of mountain biking. Demographically, it's still WAY in the minority. How often are there huge stack ups to start at any of the I-90 venues supporting that style of riding? Like it or not, just like the ski industry, the masses are in the "blue square" realm and that's the median this discussion should address.

    Simply put, if one can go out and not be able to ride everything in the vicinity in a year to that specification without repeating, there's enough.....

    Ride it all then come complaining... or, move to Chicago or Portland and have something to really complain about. It's rather moot to complain about not enough places when 80-90% of the riders are going to 10% of the spots too. Get out, explore, check out all these other places.

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    Sorry I do multiple posts, new thoughts always occur to me. OUr current discussion has drifted quite far from multiple use and appropriate use. More bicycles are travelling faster than ever, GR has brought this to the forefront more than ever. I have slowed down considerably from younger days on anything remotely approaching a blind corner, I can think only of the family hiking with young children. As a community we really need to be thinking of this. I myself am really considering a bell of all things. Sucks, but we are talking about 25mph closing speeds on narrow singletrack.

  42. #42
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    Cedar Run? GHY at Tapeworm? I don't know how you want to define legal, but for me it's something I can ride without being prosecuted for trespassing on my bike, and all three of those fit that bill.

    Just to clarify one last time before I stop posting in this thread, I'm not at all saying we have "enough" trails in the area. Just that we are hardly hurting for options both in terms of overall mileage or riding terrain variety. I think the sooner we stop trying to make it seem like there's a dire lack of trails for mtn bikes in the area, the sooner other user groups will be more willing to work with us on shared use access. With all of the different surveys going on right now, it seems like the general concensus among other user groups is that we mtn bikers sure have been getting access to a lot of trails lately, more so than they have.

    Granted mtn biking is probably one of the largest and fastest growing user groups now, but I think coming to the table and complaining about lack of trails to these people is not helping the cause.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Cedar Run at PV, Duthie trails, Steven Pass, FT3K, Summit Ridge, Galby, what else, I'm sure there's something I forgot?
    Seiously? Cedar Run, Duthie, tapeworm and Stevens Pass pass as freeride trails to you? Maybe Stevens Pass but you can't include that in our overall trail system. I think our definition of what we call freeride trails greatly differ. I don't believe you can name one legal freeride trail near the Seattle area and Galby doesn't count unless you think a 2 plus hr drive in near. Think exit's, northshore type trails. And where did you come up with the 10%? I know almost everyone I ride with ride Freeride trails almost exclusively and this segment of riders are probably what we call high users.

  44. #44
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    Wow this thread has officially trainwrecked. Oh well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Cedar Run at PV, Duthie trails, Steven Pass, FT3K, Summit Ridge, Galby, what else, I'm sure there's something I forgot? Not sure what is relevant about a "freeride trail" one could say the same thing about DH specific trails.
    Not even close. We’re talking about fun descending on a mountain bike, without endangering other users. That is the “wound” the OP opened here- there’s almost no place to do this near Seattle!
    Doesn’t have to be highly challenging; and IT IS in demand, by a long shot! Look at the Tiger Mountain lot- full nearly every afternoon recently. Not because people enjoy the fire road climbing!

    Of the riding spots you mentioned, how many offer more than 700’ of vert and are within an hour of Seattle? Do we have that here? It can be argued we do have the terrain, but not the trails...yet. Or they aren't open to bikes.

    Now a true riding destination would offer legitimate downhill biking trails for a variety of user skill levels. Greens and blues that families could enjoy, some more intermediate technical stuff… and some challenging stuff too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Ride it all then come complaining... or, move to Chicago or Portland and have something to really complain about.
    No, you move to Syria, then complain.

    Bottom line, I’ve been getting 3-10k of intermediate DH on my bike every week, the last couple of weeks. Want to guess how much of that has been within an hour’s drive of Seattle?

  45. #45
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    You run with a small clique of riders.... We see all the photos. (Very nicely done by the way.) Look beyond that. Are the high users all riding the true FR trails then? Uh, no, they are out on Boot Camp at Duthie and at St Ed's or doing out and backs on Northwest Timber trail.... Sometimes we get so ingrained in our own little groups that we don't see the bigger picture. Yes, the community needs more legal options on the high end of the scale. But, that's not where the masses are and it's pointless to argue that otherwise.

  46. #46
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Look beyond that. Are the high users all riding the true FR trails then? Uh, no, they are out on Boot Camp at Duthie and at St Ed's or doing out and backs on Northwest Timber trail....
    Thanks, but you're missing the point. Not talking about true FR trails at all!
    I'm talking about fun, extended downhills near Seattle that a beginner or intermediate level rider can safely enjoy. This is what the majority of intermediate riders want. Advanced would enjoy 'em too. We don't have 'em....

    What we do have:
    *Preston- 1 trail...seasonal access only
    *Grand Ridge- multi-use, over-crowding creates user conflicts
    *Tokul East- multi-use, over-crowding creates user conflicts. Injuries and trail sanitizing as a result of expanded use.

    The new Tiger trails will help- but we have a LONG ways to go

  47. #47
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    The idea that there are enough legal trail options in and around Seattle seems ludicrous to me. Thanks to all working to remedy this situation. And thanks to all users who are polite to others on the trails (even when some idiot is walking horses up Flowtron or Crazy Ivan).

    In the long run we need the equestrians on our side and the motorcyclists too. It's the hikers that seem to think god designated the trails to them exclusively. They are whom we need to be united against. I'd rather have part of something than all of nothing as they would have it.
    I'll be along... eventually.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Thanks, but you're missing the point. Not talking about true FR trails at all!
    I'm talking about fun, extended downhills near Seattle that a beginner or intermediate level rider can safely enjoy. This is what the majority of intermediate riders want. Advanced would enjoy 'em too. We don't have 'em....

    What we do have:
    *Preston- 1 trail...seasonal access only
    *Grand Ridge- multi-use, over-crowding creates user conflicts
    *Tokul East- multi-use, over-crowding creates user conflicts. Injuries and trail sanitizing as a result of expanded use.

    The new Tiger trails will help- but we have a LONG ways to go
    That's mainly what my friends and I want to ride. We fill in with the other stuff for variety or when short of time or just to get a work-out. We have no interest in gap jumps: too old and too many mouths to feed. Steep tech and/or fast flow/tech.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    OK, I'll break down why I'm still thinking trail mileage here is at dire levels.



    • St. Eds: good local area. Super easy trails.
    • Tokul E and W: could be sold by Hancock and shut down to public access. Not guaranteed. See Griffin Cr. for an example.
    • Tiger: 9.5 miles right now, half of that is not trail but rail grade. Getting better with the new stuff coming on line, finally!
    • Grand Ridge: 7.5 miles, great trail, but under intense pressure from so much use. Has major design flaws that create potential conflict.
    • SST: Not official trail, could go away at any time.
    • MF: Open 4 months of the year on odd days - very limited access.
    • Sno: ??
    • Thrilla: Not singletrack (mostly)
    • Paradise: Great success story
    • Tapeworm: Tiny. Not official trail, could go away at any time.
    • Japanese Gulch: Not official trail, could go away at any time.
    • Soaring Eagle: Good local system
    • Tolt: Not official trail, could go away at any time, except for a mile or two.
    • Duthie: I obviously love this park since I got the project rolling, but it's a park, not backcountry trails
    • Cherry Valley: Lower quality trails, far from most population
    • Moss Lake: Lower quality trails


    How much of that list has any real vert or challenging singletrack? I still think we have a real lack of good quality trails within a decent drive from the population centers.
    I am thankful to live here. I grew up in Portland and they have nothing. However, to all the builders and organizers, don't stop! We need an abundance of trails for variety, growth, and replacement.

    To add to Juices list: Tiger is closed 6 months. Soaring is a mud pit 6 months. Tokul has continuous logging issues.

    Instead of 45 min from Seattle, it could be said that Issaquah is the center of the Seattle MTB scene. With that Sawyer, Henry's, Taylor, and Hansen/Olalie come into play. Allthough Hansen is 4 months and Taylor is Horse central.

  50. #50
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    There are a few other places around with some good extended downhill sections that are legal, lots of fun but people rarely ride them. Taylor Mountain has two incredibly fun descents that drop 500ft+ in elevation and are several miles long. I think it gets a bad rap as having a ton of horses and horse crap everywhere, but we rode there last Wednesday night, saw zero horses (or people) and there was only 1 horse pile on the trail that was easy to hop.

    Lake Desire/Spring Lake is another area that gets zero riders and has some big hills and fun trails to ride if you know where to go.
    13 SJ Evo, 14 Aurum, 14 Fatboy, 15 P.3

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