Any suggestions for the trail crews working in Glendale- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Any suggestions for the trail crews working in Glendale

    Don't know if it's better to wait until the current trail maintenance and rehab of the Thunderbird Park trail system has some time to cure and firm up before asking people to swing over and check it out, but it seems like any comments or criticisms could be more easily addressed during the early stages.

    We have had crews working on three of the four mountains for approximately a year and hope to complete work on the H3 loop entirely by spring. Not sure when we'll get over to the south side of 59th Ave. to begin work on that big section. We have been told that 59th Ave will be widened to four lanes as it passes by the entrance of the park and this could mean an entire reroute of a half-mile section of H3. So far, the H4, H4a, and a portion of the H1 trails are all completed, along with work on the smaller H5 trail. Some sections are a bit loose, until we see some moisture, so don't expect perfect conditions for a while.

    The main objective was to take a trail system that was 40 years old and used mostly by horses and hikers, and make it bike friendly, and create a lot of structures to prevent the monsoon rains from rutting the trail and leaving it covered in loose rocks. We were also told to close many of the social trails. The grants paying for the work do not allow new construction, other than the occasional reroute, so some sections will have some challenging grades of over 15%, but only for short distances. The climbing turns and switchbacks have been improved to allow bikers a wider turning radius and the trails have been brushed back significantly to prevent those nasty razor cuts and create safer sight lines, so nobody ends up in court.

    I will gladly take suggestions from anyone who rides the various mountains in the Thunderbird Park system.

    It should be noted that the vast majority of trail users are currently hikers who are overwhelmingly supportive of the many different crews we send to do the work, but also are not anxious for any increase in bike traffic. The City of Glendale insists these trails be multi-use and I strongly encourage bikers to take advantage of the opportunity the trails offer, and to make their pressense felt in such a way as to command respect of other trail users. You have a right to these trails, so don't be discouraged if the long-time hikers don't respond kindly to you discovering what we hope will be a great new playground for mountain bikers of all abilities.

    Oh, stop and say hi to the crews. They really suffered a few months back when the temps were well above 100. Sadly, none of the crew members are riders and only one crew supervisor, out of seven, is a serious rider, so don't be shy about offering ideas that can improve the trails for bikers.

    Now saddle up and go have some fun.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for all of the work. I have been riding the mountain between 67th and 59th for a few months now. It is nice being able to now reach the summit without any walking. If I had any suggestion, it would be to try to leave a little bit of technical on the trails. They are much more enjoyable to ride now than they were before the work. I have stopped by the crews camp in the evening to say hi and thank them.

  3. #3
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    I've ridden over at Thunderbird twice since the trail work, and I love it. Those trails were in pretty bad shape and you guys/girls have really made them fun again. Riding to the top of H-4 is awesome and coming down it with H-4b makes for about a dozen fun switchbacks.

    I don't really have any suggestions other than, keep doing what you're doing.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Umbrous. I'll pass on your kind words. Those switchbacks were revisited twice. We had heard from several mountain bikers that there were a couple issues with the turning radius as well as a poorly located drain that one crew constructed just below a turn, that was causing downhill riders to drop into and sometimes endo. You'll likely see powder conditions until sometime next season when the new work gets some moisture and enough use to pack it down. When the H3 loop is completed I think you'll begin seeing a large increase in riders because of the many options available. Remember, if you see anything we missed, just stop by and let the crew supervisors know about it.

    Go Buckeyes!

  5. #5
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    amateurcyclist, I'm glad you are enjoying the trails. I understand you interest in keeping technical sections. Some of the guidelines and constraints the crews are working under include providing a tread that is as close to 4' in width as possible, often wider in the turns and high traffic areas. There is occasional horse traffic and there must be room for two-way traffic. A narrow single-track might be optimal for the best riding/hiking experience but then the trails would likely become one-way only. The trail system has gotten almost no regular maintenance in decades. This, combined with the inability to know if federal grants being used to fund the work will even exist in the coming years, has led to a bit of overengineering. This will provide maximum sustainability during monsoon season and the expected increase in usage from all user groups, particularly mountain bikers. The unusually steep sections will remain the greatest challenge for riders, along with some step sections that really had to be left in place.

    Despite the dramatic changes in the surface of the trails, we expect that heavy use and the seasonal rains with take their toll and begin exposing rocks and creating challenges for all users. When completed, this system of trails will provide a full days worth of riding options and may lead the city of Glendale to fund new trail construction that can be tailored to more specific needs of the mountain bike community. Those conversations are already taking place and it's not too soon for riders to begin thinking of ideas for new routes on the moutains to the south of the 59th ave./Pinacle Peaks roads.

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