Stop Making Ruts in Chugach Park- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Stop Making Ruts in Chugach Park

    If you know the individuals that are riding the Powerline and Gasline trails from Glen Alps down please suggest to them that the deep, ugly, numerous ruts they are leaving are about the worst PR for the mtb crowd possible - and that there is no faster way to lose credibility for mountain biking than to prove that riders are irresponsible. Worst of all, the next time we try to get more trails opened up in Chugach Park (or get permission for new trails in the park) the anti-bike crowd will likely show up and declare that bikes ruin trails and bikers cannot be trusted to use good judgment.

    This has happened several times in the last few years and seems to be a bunch of guys on long travel bikes, wearing full face helmets & armor getting shuttled in pickups. If you know these folks please pass the word that they need to wait until the trails are dry. Thx.
    Last edited by Stroganof; 05-30-2008 at 07:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    Where are they stopping?

    Any idea where they are stopping to be picked up? Prospect or Hilltop or somewhere else? I will be in the area of Hilltop a bit this evening and will say something if I see anything, but the chances are slim.

    They probably need the full face helmets to keep the mud out....should be an indication to them, but not everyone can put 2 and 2 together I guess. We already have very limited access to that park. The park has proven they are not against closing trails to bikes, no need to give them any more ammo.

  3. #3
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    Outer lot?

    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    Any idea where they are stopping to be picked up? Prospect or Hilltop or somewhere else? I will be in the area of Hilltop a bit this evening and will say something if I see anything, but the chances are slim.

    They probably need the full face helmets to keep the mud out....should be an indication to them, but not everyone can put 2 and 2 together I guess. We already have very limited access to that park. The park has proven they are not against closing trails to bikes, no need to give them any more ammo.
    They seem to favor the outer lot on Abbot during the summer - but different folks probably use different spots. Drivers seem to favor pickups w/o toppers.

  4. #4
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    Good job! Can't We All Just Get Along???

    Yes, NAME CALLING always solve the problem...
    Well, most people were under the impression that Memorial Day weekend, the trails were open for riding... If you would just say PLEASE wait until the trails had a better chance to dry before you ride them, not necessarily in that order... Then maybe we ALL could work together...
    One person is saying June 1st, the trails open, another person is saying Memorial Day weekend, the trails opened. So, I think you can see the confusion here...
    June 1st is the OFFICIAL time the trails open. Weather permitting...
    It wasn't me, I've been too busy working...
    Can't We All Just Get Along???
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian_404
    Yes, NAME CALLING always solve the problem...
    Well, most people were under the impression that Memorial Day weekend, the trails were open for riding... If you would just say PLEASE wait until the trails had a better chance to dry before you ride them, not necessarily in that order... Then maybe we ALL could work together...
    One person is saying June 1st, the trails open, another person is saying Memorial Day weekend, the trails opened. So, I think you can see the confusion here...
    June 1st is the OFFICIAL time the trails open. Weather permitting...
    It wasn't me, I've been too busy working...
    Can't We All Just Get Along???
    Actually, the signs posted by the Muni said Memorial Day weekend -I think there are a couple left. The new signs -which make a hell of a lot more sense- only recommend that bikers, hikers and horses stay off wet trails. And in the last few years, Memorial Day weekend has been the official day for trail opening. Also, when asked the Muni people didn't come with a good answer regarding where the whole "trail closure" thing originated. I actually checked the Muni website and could not find an ordinance that talked about it at all. But if one is to go by the signs, Memorial Day weekend is the day trails were opened officially.

    To be honest with you, I would be more concerned about horses tearing up the trail than a couple ruts -which are bound to be on the soft, boggy spots that will get boggy again as soon as it rains and ruts will likely go away- a couple ruts left by bikers. The gas line trail has some serious erosion issues mostly because it is too steep, not much you can do about it. Yes, there are a lot fo trails where people shouldn't be riding now and this may even be one of them, but the whole "bikers are tearing up trails" song is getting tiresome. Go on the Abbott road trail and yes, you will see a few tire ruts. But you also see a ton of divots left by hikers and trail runners. Hikers that will not step on a puddle are widening Rover's and Moose Meadow to the point of ridiculousness. Yet, for some reason they get a free pass. The same with "tearing up the trails" in general. Foot prints in wet trails leave as much of a mark as tires will, but nobody seems to give a damn about it. But if they see a tire rut, oh my god! it is the end of the world.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian_404
    Yes, NAME CALLING always solve the problem...
    Well, most people were under the impression that Memorial Day weekend, the trails were open for riding... If you would just say PLEASE wait until the trails had a better chance to dry before you ride them, not necessarily in that order... Then maybe we ALL could work together...
    One person is saying June 1st, the trails open, another person is saying Memorial Day weekend, the trails opened. So, I think you can see the confusion here...
    June 1st is the OFFICIAL time the trails open. Weather permitting...
    It wasn't me, I've been too busy working...
    Can't We All Just Get Along???
    Perhaps another term would have been more tactful, but how hard is it to figure out it is not time to ride at 2,500 feet of elevation when the trails at 500 feet (i.e. muni trails) are not dry enough to ride on the signs say so? The people that ride up there prior to the trails being dry make all riders look bad. Are tire tracks worse than horse prints? Probably not. But that is not the point. The point is that leaving massive tire ruts on wet trails is bad PR - and bad PR leads to trail closures for bikes and/or not opening trails - and that is a bad deal for everyone who rides. There are numerous places around the country that have restricted riding based on the perception that riders are irresponsible, dangerous to other users, don't use good judgment and/or wreck trails. Regardless of the realities, creating the perception that riders are any of those things leads to fewer riding opportunities for all of us in the long run. Leaving huge ruts on clearly wet trails is one of the surest ways to create that perception. So, yes, it is an issue and the folks that make those decisions are either missing a few brain cells, not using the ones they have or just plain don't care.

  7. #7
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    Common sense

    Quote Originally Posted by brian_404
    Yes, NAME CALLING always solve the problem...
    Well, most people were under the impression that Memorial Day weekend, the trails were open for riding... If you would just say PLEASE wait until the trails had a better chance to dry before you ride them, not necessarily in that order... Then maybe we ALL could work together...
    One person is saying June 1st, the trails open, another person is saying Memorial Day weekend, the trails opened. So, I think you can see the confusion here...
    June 1st is the OFFICIAL time the trails open. Weather permitting...
    It wasn't me, I've been too busy working...
    Can't We All Just Get Along???
    It really has nothing to do with whether or not the trails are technically "open" for use after some imaginary date. It is a matter of whether they SHOULD be used, open or not. It comes down to common sense, which has been in very short supply these days.

    According to the muni (if anyone actually read the articles that were printed recently), they were not putting any official date for opening the trails. They were leaving it to the judgement of the users (all users, hikers, runners, and equestrians included) to avoid soft/wet areas. They used to use June 1st, but figured since it is more of a weather dependent issue, it wasn't a great idea to put a hard and fast date but rather let weather dictate.

    Some areas will dry out earlier than others. Most of Kincaid probably and a good chunk of Hillside are good now, while other areas higher up or more sheltered from the sun will take longer and may not be rideable until the middle of June or later.

    Maybe calling these guys morons was not the best method, but you can definitely say they are ignorant, intentionally or not, of the generally accepted riding ethics. I know that when I was 10, I loved to ride through big mud pits. As I got more into riding, I learned what that could cause in the long run if done in places where others were using such as the middle of a popular trail. Now I avoid those areas as best I can.

  8. #8
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    PC Now

    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    It really has nothing to do with whether or not the trails are technically "open" for use after some imaginary date. It is a matter of whether they SHOULD be used, open or not. It comes down to common sense, which has been in very short supply these days.

    According to the muni (if anyone actually read the articles that were printed recently), they were not putting any official date for opening the trails. They were leaving it to the judgement of the users (all users, hikers, runners, and equestrians included) to avoid soft/wet areas. They used to use June 1st, but figured since it is more of a weather dependent issue, it wasn't a great idea to put a hard and fast date but rather let weather dictate.

    Some areas will dry out earlier than others. Most of Kincaid probably and a good chunk of Hillside are good now, while other areas higher up or more sheltered from the sun will take longer and may not be rideable until the middle of June or later.

    Maybe calling these guys morons was not the best method, but you can definitely say they are ignorant, intentionally or not, of the generally accepted riding ethics. I know that when I was 10, I loved to ride through big mud pits. As I got more into riding, I learned what that could cause in the long run if done in places where others were using such as the middle of a popular trail. Now I avoid those areas as best I can.
    Point taken - the title & original posting have been edited to be nicer. The issue remains the same.

  9. #9
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    We the people ... We all still need to work as a whole community.

    Well put FrozenK...
    Yes Stroganof, I understand were you are coming from. Like you said, "Now I avoid those areas as best I can." Thats a very good point. But sometimes you get stuck in an area, and you have no choice...
    But the people that know the area is not dry, but keep riding over, and over on it. Yes, thats gives everyone a bad name. But you are Singling Out A Double Standard.
    I still feel the xc mtb vs the freeride/downhill mtb thing... So sad at this day and age. I pretty sure most of us here are over the age of 21... You would think people being adults would be more understanding... So sad...
    Again, like FrozenK put it. There are far more elements that damage trails than just freeriders/downhillers.
    We all still need to work as a whole community. Theres no I in team work.
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  10. #10
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian_404
    ..... Theres no I in team work.

    but, there's an 'm' and an 'e'....

  11. #11
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    Brian I'm having a hard time grasping your thought process here in defending the bikers making ruts. By this logic if you were driving down a highway at the posted speed of 55mph and hit a dense fog bank with 10ft. visibility you'd keep going 55, as that's what the sign says. Of course you wouldn't. If the purpose of an opening date is to keep users off trails until they dry enough to minimize damage why in the world would anyone think it's ok to use when still very muddy. I'm also confused by your defense of these people, didn't you recently post to the AK spokes.com forum a well though out list of do's and don't and one was keeping off muddy trails. The only defense I can imagine is if the trail looked fine at the top and only got muddy once they were way down near the bottom. Even if that were the case they still could of dismounted and tried to carry their bikes around the worst spots.

    Stroganof please don't cave in to to P.C. mindset. Posting with (reasonable) passion makes for a more lively, interesting forum. Calling them morons was nice as that simply implies lack of knowledge. Riding that trail knowing they were messing it up was just as likely, so you could call them much worse. We've all run into yahoos of various types when riding summer or winter, speak your mind. t

    The other posters should be concerned about P.R. During a couple of long camping-biking trips to the southwest U.S. back in the 90's I was amazed at how many trails were posted No Bikes, even jeep trails in the middle of nowhere Nevada. t

  12. #12
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    well the obvious solution is to pave theses trails then so nobody can runt it up or leave any markings in the trail

    I am accustom to the fiddle playing about trail damage on some ORV forums, but perhaps I'm somewhat of a newb to biking forums that I'm somewhat surprised that people take this up as an issue here as well ...from mtb riding.

    whether the trails officially opened or not....OH snap! it rained for three days straight in july everybody off the trails for a week so they can dry out again....wha???

    if the consensus is everybody should be careful not to leave one idoda of a muddy rut, skid mark, foot print, or broken branch on a trail we best stay inside and pick up a video game controller and leave the outdoors to the the four legged critters.

    seriously there must be some greater evils in the world to take issue with than a few 2 1/2 inch ruts on a remote trail somewhere on a mountain in Alaska

    /rant off

  13. #13
    is buachail foighneach me
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    the issue is that hikers take issue with it, and apparently, everywhere in the developped world, hikers are a huge and powerful lobby. it's silly, yes. hikers often cause just as much damage as mtb'ers, yes. but they were there/here first, so it's been a matter of us getting permission to ride "their" trails. should it be like that? i would prefer it to not be, but i can't say it shouldn't. if i were in there shoes(and didn't ride bikes), i would probably be resistant to us having access as well.

    how come noone complains about the runners in the mt marathon race leaping down the hill and leaving big ruts with their feet as they land/slide/skid with their feet and bodies? or do they?

  14. #14
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    from a hikers POV I dont even take notice of rutting on the trail whether its from bikes, feet horses moose or whatever unless its a tripping hazzard. a few 50 ft long ruts here and there through a few wet spots on a X mile long trail seem pretty insignificant really

    Having been buzzed by a few bikers who *might* not be slowing down enough to pass on trails every now and again is more annoying and is probably more the reason for excluding bikes on open trails more than any one single thing.....a "safe,"prudent speed a person on a bike passing someone on foot is relative to where your standing,


    fricking daydreamy hikers always walking in the middle of the trail seemly acting surprised when you approach them to pass and they are thinking like "whoaaaa....theres another person using this same trail as me"" " how rude, I was here first"

  15. #15
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    Good job! We ALL are into MTBing for the same reason.

    Well awinterbiker. I'm not a great writer, never clam to be. I have thoughts running thought my head 90 miles an hour. It's hard for me to put my thoughts down into words. Yes, I did post do's and don't @ akspokes, and also here on mtbr... I CAN't make them read. And as far as, "dismounted and tried to carry their bikes around the worst spots"...
    I can only post to try and help people understand whats going on around here. So we all maybe can work together. I'm a freerider/downhiller, or whatever you want to call it. To me, I just ride a MTB bike. They use to not even be called mtb's... I'm trying to help. All I hear over, and over and over, is xc riders complaning about freeriders/downhillers...
    It's very disturbing, that when anything bad goes down, or something happerns that someone doesn't like, freeriders/downhillers get blamed for it. OH, it's those freeriders/downhillers... The non-freerider/downhiller crowed start making rude remarks, comments, etc... The funny thing is, I've NEVER seen a post were any freerider/downhiller is complaining about XC riders. We ALL are into MTBing for the same reason. Just some of use do it alittle differenty. We ALL need to work togerther and get threw this...

    My secret spot... LOL!!! (this is legal)
    Last edited by brian_404; 05-31-2008 at 10:23 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Be Nice....

    When you see hikers, be ridiculously nice to them. "Hi, how are you today? Where ya headed? Great day huh? Nice shoes." Kiss some ass. If more of us did that, the few a-holes that ride past hikers going 30mph on singletrack and expect everyone else to get out of the way, more hikers would realize it's not ALL mtbr's. I spooked a girl running up black bear the other day pretty good. I got off my bike, apologized profusely, and watched her go from wanting all of us to die, to just wanting me to die.

  17. #17
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    Exactly!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50
    When you see hikers, be ridiculously nice to them. "Hi, how are you today? Where ya headed? Great day huh? Nice shoes." Kiss some ass. If more of us did that, the few a-holes that ride past hikers going 30mph on singletrack and expect everyone else to get out of the way, more hikers would realize it's not ALL mtbr's. I spooked a girl running up black bear the other day pretty good. I got off my bike, apologized profusely, and watched her go from wanting all of us to die, to just wanting me to die.
    Exactly - it really makes a big positive difference in how bikers are perceived if you pass folks by at 5mph and engage them on some level. A lot of folks who are out hiking don't relate at all to biking - they don't do it, they don't want to do it and they can't really imagine anything better than hiking. When you slow down enough to share the enjoyment of the day with another trail user it is a really positive thing.

    This winter my extended family (my folks (age 74), my kids my spouse) & friends were skiing the tour trail and 2 bikers (in full kit) came blasting up behind us and yelled "coming through" and did so. No "hello" no "thanks" no "great day isn't it" - it certainly left a negative impression on all of us and even my kids noted the behavior. Just the smallest acknowledgment from them would have turned the interaction from a negative to a positive one . . . little things can make a big difference.

    So IMO, elfbkr50 is right on - kiss a little hiker ass whenever you can . . .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroganof

    So IMO, elfbkr50 is right on - kiss a little hiker ass whenever you can . . .

    especially the cute ones

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