The Legend of the Nightranger and the Tale of Rocky(t) Ridge- Mtbr.com
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    The Legend of the Nightranger and the Tale of Rocky(t) Ridge

    After the Great Pumpkin has come and gone, my children, but well before Saint Nicolas has made his yearly appearance, charging so boldly through the night with his gifts and reindeer, is the best season to look for the advent of The Nightranger.

    Indeed, The Nightranger may in fact appear at any time, but he always only visits trails that have been "bad" all year, most often on cold nights, when all is dark and abandoned and the cloak of night is best able to hide him. Between the cycles of the full moon (for too many moon-lumens make his goggles useless) he reworks the trails, not to make them stable, but to make them smooth and without impediment lest a toe be dabbed or a pedal struck.

    If you make prayerful appeals to the Nightranger, either in person or via other means, and in so doing attempt to ask him to stop, or attempt to persuade him with a well-reasoned rationale as to why he should, he will surely defy you. If you leave him your anonymous burnt offerings trailside in hopes that your gifts will compel him to move on, he will only despise you more.

    You must remember,children: The Nightranger hates you. He hates your elitist attitude. You may say you love a challenge, the chance to practice and improve, but only The Nightranger truly understands: smoother trails will ultimately improve you as an individual despite your intractable attitude which, in its futility, attempts to insist that the truth is otherwise.

    And so was Rocky Ridge, upon who's tangled turns and pebbled path was many a mountain biker trained, at long last redone, remade, reworked by The Nightranger, into a simple, buff'd, foresty path free of obstacle, relieved of challenge. And thus was it renamed: Rockyt Ridge: the Ridge of the Rocket! Henceforth no longer a trail worthy of challenging anyone, but instead a trail to be ridden without effort by all.

    All credit to The Nightranger!
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    Last edited by rockychrysler; 12-02-2012 at 08:10 PM.
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    Trail sanitizers need F.O.A.D.!!

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    FU nightranger.

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    rc:

    Great Post. I stole your work and posted it on the Cailf forum to give them a chuckle. It has been raining cats and dogs there, so they have all been hunkered down for a couple days.

    I got word today through the grapevine that the Nightranger has gotten some severe criticism from some of his closet friends and that he has gone tooooooooooo far on his last sanitation tirade. Hopefully the pressure from those friends will do a hard wire change to his excessive compulsive nature.

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    The initial "work" that had been done in the last couple of months was more than enough, as we all discussed in the other thread. I just got a report from a riding buddy that RR has been totally buffed to "new schultz" like status. I have not been on RR for a couple of weeks at most.

    Am I understanding this correctly that more work has been done since the last thread and my riding buddy was correct?

    Does anybody know if this was official trail work or otherwise?

    This sucks big time if true. I am going to ride it tomorrow to check it out for myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuctionGoat View Post
    The initial "work" that had been done in the last couple of months was more than enough, as we all discussed in the other thread. I just got a report from a riding buddy that RR has been totally buffed to "new schultz" like status. I have not been on RR for a couple of weeks at most.

    Am I understanding this correctly that more work has been done since the last thread and my riding buddy was correct?

    Does anybody know if this was official trail work or otherwise?

    This sucks big time if true. I am going to ride it tomorrow to check it out for myself.
    I understand the Nightrander is somewhat suicidal, so please go easy if you are not happy with the current status.

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    Nightranger? Dudes I love that band!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuctionGoat View Post
    The initial "work" that had been done in the last couple of months was more than enough, as we all discussed in the other thread. I just got a report from a riding buddy that RR has been totally buffed to "new schultz" like status. I have not been on RR for a couple of weeks at most.

    Am I understanding this correctly that more work has been done since the last thread and my riding buddy was correct?

    Does anybody know if this was official trail work or otherwise?

    This sucks big time if true. I am going to ride it tomorrow to check it out for myself.
    None of it is official or legit. The Nightranger works for no-one. Also spotted on Little Bear.

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    Well then. F that guy indeed. I would not mind this guy being exiled for 6 months and fined ala TrailDoc.

    I am usually not in favor of such sillyness, but he just ruined a great trail with a lot of local flavor and history.

    There is a rather timely article in the latest Dirt Rag magazine about how maybe the trend of building IMBA sustainable trails has gone too far... leading to characterless buffed out flow trail after flow trail. It is a good read, given the slated work that may or may not be done on the Elden system, as well as Sedona.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuctionGoat View Post
    Well then. F that guy indeed. I would not mind this guy being exiled for 6 months and fined ala TrailDoc.

    I am usually not in favor of such sillyness, but he just ruined a great trail with a lot of local flavor and history.

    There is a rather timely article in the latest Dirt Rag magazine about how maybe the trend of building IMBA sustainable trails has gone too far... leading to characterless buffed out flow trail after flow trail. It is a good read, given the slated work that may or may not be done on the Elden system, as well as Sedona.
    It was a great article. The author did a great job on reporting about current trail building trends without a one sided biased opinion. I think it did sum up with tho that we need easier trails to get more people interested in mountain biking but we will always need the challenging trails as well. If the trails system on Elden was well thought out and created I don't think RR is the best location for a very difficult trail, it's more of a main artery/feeder trail into more isolated areas of the mountain. Either way people don't have the right to just go out and change trails without getting permission from land managers and I'm guessing that the NR is pissing a lot of folks off. Honestly I could care less, I don't look to the XC trail system for the technical challenges I enjoy, it's more for the flow and exercise. I won't miss the rocks on RR either, like I said it's not a destination line for me, just a connection and one I really don't care to waste my energy on getting all blown out, I need that energy for the trails that SHRED!

  11. #11
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    I once had plenty fun working grunt lines on RR....with that being said, it's a connector trail....and when I view it in its totality, which means part of the AZT....I'm not worried that the AZT will find "some" way to provide a beatdown somewhere between mexico and utah.....




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    I hear you... it was just fun to have something that close to my neighborhood that when linked with one or two other trails provided a ride with some challenge and character when I was needing a "short on time and daylight" after work ride.

    I don't have a problem with change, or it being part of an over all plan with the AZ trail corridor. I do have a problem with one person taking it upon themselves to change the nature of well liked trail to their standards without permission or input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuctionGoat View Post
    I hear you... it was just fun to have something that close to my neighborhood that when linked with one or two other trails provided a ride with some challenge and character when I was needing a "short on time and daylight" after work ride.

    I don't have a problem with change, or it being part of an over all plan with the AZ trail corridor. I do have a problem with one person taking it upon themselves to change the nature of well liked trail to their standards without permission or input.
    I agree, not a cool way to do things. It's funny, the way the guy has been doing these changes it's like he wants to piss people off and he wants to be caught, maybe this person is after some kind of recognition or attention?

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    I have been riding up there since 1999 and have never considered rocky ridge to be a "connector" There is bypass called the road. Rocky Ridge has always been a highlight of riding on Elden for me. Schultz is fast flowing descent. Rocky Ridge was boulder fest before the big climb.

    I will reserve judgement on the state of rocky ridge until I ride it again. That will probably be this summer. Riding is too go the deserts right now to make the drive.
    Joe
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    If Nightranger was still posting on mtbr this is what he would say, or did say, the last time Rocket Ridge came up:

    I have taken on a new role. I am now the Obi Wan Kenobi of trail builders...

    "You can't win Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine "

    It's not a sideline position, it's a stealth position. You go out on a 40 mile ride this weekend and you'll likely pass by hundreds of locations where I've made improvements to the trail you are on. If you followed the Mujahideen, as they took on the Russian military in Afghanistan, you witnessed the power of a small group of dedicated warriors. For some trail workers, it can be liberating not to attend meetings, read studies, wait and wait for land managers to get moving. Just find trouble spots and make the needed repairs. It's a part of what it takes to maintain all of our trails. If you'd like to be embeded into a crew of one or two such warriors, let me know.


    I wonder what the FS thinks about such a cavalier attitude but I guess they have bigger fish to fry than someone grooming a trail that quite possibly will be graded and bulldozed into submission in the future.

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    Sounds like FailDocs alter ego.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuctionGoat View Post
    There is a rather timely article in the latest Dirt Rag magazine about how maybe the trend of building IMBA sustainable trails has gone too far... leading to characterless buffed out flow trail after flow trail. It is a good read, given the slated work that may or may not be done on the Elden system, as well as Sedona.
    That was a good article but I can see the benefit of flow country trails and they are fun and they do help introduce more folks to the sport and I don't think there's any big risk of them totally taking over (I would love it if someone came and built a couple of 'em off some peaks in my neck of the woods)...... but I agree that it can be taken to the extreme at the expense of regular technical or less flowy older trails that build other skills and that many of us cut our teeth on an still enjoy. I certainly wouldn't want all trails to be Flow Country.

    It was funny that a week after I got my Dirt Rag with that article in it, my Bike mag showed up with an article proclaiming Half (Full) Nelson in Squamish (a flowy, machine built jump filled bobsled run) the greatest trail on earth.

    I'm sure it's tons of fun....... but I'm glad that Angry Midget (old school, rocks, tech, switchbacks and steeps) still exists which parallels Half Nelson and is the trail I rode when I was up there. Good stuff.

    As far as Rocky Ridge? That's just stupid. Will I miss the rocks after spending a day climbing up the Elden road and bombing Wasabi and other tech trails then riding RR back over to my car at Schultz Creek dead tired? No. But it still deserves to be what it is: Rocky Ridge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Sounds like FailDocs alter ego.
    No, two completely different animals. Traildoc is not a sanitizer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    That was a good article but I can see the benefit of flow country trails and they are fun and they do help introduce more folks to the sport and I don't think there's any big risk of them totally taking over (I would love it if someone came and built a couple of 'em off some peaks in my neck of the woods)...... but I agree that it can be taken to the extreme at the expense of regular technical or less flowy older trails that build other skills and that many of us cut our teeth on an still enjoy. I certainly wouldn't want all trails to be Flow Country.

    It was funny that a week after I got my Dirt Rag with that article in it, my Bike mag showed up with an article proclaiming Half (Full) Nelson in Squamish (a flowy, machine built jump filled bobsled run) the greatest trail on earth.

    I'm sure it's tons of fun....... but I'm glad that Angry Midget (old school, rocks, tech, switchbacks and steeps) still exists which parallels Half Nelson and is the trail I rode when I was up there. Good stuff.

    As far as Rocky Ridge? That's just stupid. Will I miss the rocks after spending a day climbing up the Elden road and bombing Wasabi and other tech trails then riding RR back over to my car at Schultz Creek dead tired? No. But it still deserves to be what it is: Rocky Ridge.
    Good points KRob. I too would hate to have every trail a flow trail but some of those would be nice. Personally I like more steep natural gnar, it's just my style or ideally a mix of both to me is the best trail possible. There was another article in that same issue of Bike playing the devils advocate about the need for old school natural trails too.

    I am trying to make sure that in our proposal for the DLHE plan will meet all of these needs here in Flagstaff. I worked really hard this past summer exploring and gps-ing possible lines just for that. Hopefully we can get some where at some point. Luckily my winter in Telluride skiing the San Juan back country taught me something about having patience because I sure need it to get through this lengthy process.

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    A special thanks to Prince Humperdink (Rocky Chrysler) for furthering the legend of Dread Pirate Roberts (Nightranger). The minions working on dozens of trails appreciate the cover fire. Nightranger has agreed to take credit for any and all work done so others can benefit and his legendary status is enhanced.


    "I'll explain and I'll use small words that you'll be sure to understand you warthog faced buffoon." The Dread Pirate Roberts is a little less than polite to the cowardly Prince Humperdinck.


    Westley: Roberts had grown so rich, he wanted to retire. He took me to his cabin and he told me his secret. 'I am not the Dread Pirate Roberts' he said. 'My name is Ryan; I inherited the ship from the previous Dread Pirate Roberts, just as you will inherit it from me. The man I inherited it from is not the real Dread Pirate Roberts either. His name was Cummerbund. The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.'
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    Good points KRob. I too would hate to have every trail a flow trail but some of those would be nice. Personally I like more steep natural gnar, it's just my style or ideally a mix of both to me is the best trail possible. There was another article in that same issue of Bike playing the devils advocate about the need for old school natural trails too.
    I have that Bike magazine article. I don't mind some flowing trails, but the best trails evolved from nature. They are organic in that they seek to find a path from one place to the next and cut only the path needed to get there. Turns for the sake of turns are not what is wanted. Turns due to the need to ride around trees/ bushes or climb up mountains are how turns are to be developed. Turns should be flat unless the earth is moved over time to make them banked. Water drainage should be considered to keep a trail active, but it should be done in way to minimize the change from the natural contouring of the trail. Clearing brush is always good to keep the path clear, but no so much as to create wide path.

    IMHO the best trails appear to be a path through the natural surroundings who's surface and grades and turns are defined in large part by the local terrain. If the natural area is very rocky then the trail will be rocky. Good trails appear part of natural landscape and not some super highway path created in spite of the natural terrain. Tough to describe in words really. If a new trail is cut not from an animal foot path, but from scratch it may appear from the start too sanitized. However that trail in time if left to age and weather should start be reclaimed by the natural surroundings such that is surface takes on the characteristics of ground it covers. Trail maintenance should be limited to brush removal, clearing drains, and the occasional spot driven rock removal/build up in key washout areas. Other wise let the bike tires maintain the surface.

    Anyway.. those are my ideas...
    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have that Bike magazine article. I don't mind some flowing trails, but the best trails evolved from nature. They are organic in that they seek to find a path from one place to the next and cut only the path needed to get there. Turns for the sake of turns are not what is wanted. Turns due to the need to ride around trees/ bushes or climb up mountains are how turns are to be developed. Turns should be flat unless the earth is moved over time to make them banked. Water drainage should be considered to keep a trail active, but it should be done in way to minimize the change from the natural contouring of the trail. Clearing brush is always good to keep the path clear, but no so much as to create wide path.

    IMHO the best trails appear to be a path through the natural surroundings who's surface and grades and turns are defined in large part by the local terrain. If the natural area is very rocky then the trail will be rocky. Good trails appear part of natural landscape and not some super highway path created in spite of the natural terrain. Tough to describe in words really. If a new trail is cut not from an animal foot path, but from scratch it may appear from the start too sanitized. However that trail in time if left to age and weather should start be reclaimed by the natural surroundings such that is surface takes on the characteristics of ground it covers. Trail maintenance should be limited to brush removal, clearing drains, and the occasional spot driven rock removal/build up in key washout areas. Other wise let the bike tires maintain the surface.

    Anyway.. those are my ideas...
    Those are cool too..........but times have changed. A lot of us prefer progressive built for bike kinds of trails. Those are the lines you can shred!

    Be honest here, do you really prefer riding game trails over trails like Wasabi, Slim Shady, or Hang Over? I sure don't
    Last edited by raisingarizona; 12-06-2012 at 08:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have that Bike magazine article. I don't mind some flowing trails, but the best trails evolved from nature. They are organic in that they seek to find a path from one place to the next and cut only the path needed to get there. Turns for the sake of turns are not what is wanted. Turns due to the need to ride around trees/ bushes or climb up mountains are how turns are to be developed. Turns should be flat unless the earth is moved over time to make them banked. Water drainage should be considered to keep a trail active, but it should be done in way to minimize the change from the natural contouring of the trail. Clearing brush is always good to keep the path clear, but no so much as to create wide path.

    IMHO the best trails appear to be a path through the natural surroundings who's surface and grades and turns are defined in large part by the local terrain. If the natural area is very rocky then the trail will be rocky. Good trails appear part of natural landscape and not some super highway path created in spite of the natural terrain. Tough to describe in words really. If a new trail is cut not from an animal foot path, but from scratch it may appear from the start too sanitized. However that trail in time if left to age and weather should start be reclaimed by the natural surroundings such that is surface takes on the characteristics of ground it covers. Trail maintenance should be limited to brush removal, clearing drains, and the occasional spot driven rock removal/build up in key washout areas. Other wise let the bike tires maintain the surface.

    Anyway.. those are my ideas...
    And this is exactly what Rocky Ridge is not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    And this is exactly what Rocky Ridge is not.
    Now or in the past 10 years?
    Joe
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    Sans Serif, too long.....who could that be?
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have that Bike magazine article. I don't mind some flowing trails, but the best trails evolved from nature. They are organic in that they seek to find a path from one place to the next and cut only the path needed to get there. Turns for the sake of turns are not what is wanted. Turns due to the need to ride around trees/ bushes or climb up mountains are how turns are to be developed. Turns should be flat unless the earth is moved over time to make them banked. Water drainage should be considered to keep a trail active, but it should be done in way to minimize the change from the natural contouring of the trail. ..
    Joe:

    Have you ever ridden Johnnie's trail in Deer Valley, UT.? That trail has a lot of turns, and due to that fact makes what would be a short trail into a long sustainable much longer trail. Due to the dense trees you don't even know you might be only 20' from a somewhat parallel section of the same trail.

    If you are building a trail in a very flat area and there are no trees and you don't use a trained eye to make turns to seek out low spots in the flat terrain, where you can get drainage, you end up making a drainage ditch for the surrounding terrain. If you are in a heavy clay type soil area your trail takes much longer to dry out (because the water sits in the trail) and the incision gets deeper quicker than if the water drained to the low spots and dissipated.


    Also are you opposed to making turns to break the monotony of a straight line where there are very few trees?

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Now or in the past 10 years?
    Since it's inception really. It was far easier to ride in the late 80s but time has taken it's toll. It's really two different trails though with the eastern portion perhaps resembling more what you describe. It flows and contours with terrain better. The western end is more jammed into the landscape (instead of using it) and is up and down fall line and that's where it has eroded the most. The work TPS did in the early 2000s largely remains intact on the eastern end. On the western end the criticism mainly stemmed from rock removal that in many local's opinions did not stem from an objective of increasing water flow off the tread. More to ease the passage of tires. Enhanced grooming for the ranger's skinny, xc 29'r tires. That was the main issue. Not that some parts of the trail didn't need drainage reversals or outsloping but many (including the OP) felt that much of the work was overboard and certain features that provided the trail some of it's character were removed. It's important to remember that the trail begain it's existence without any sustainability mind. Like most hiking trails that are now more than a couple of decades old.

    So, the answer was probably somewhere in the middle. This is, afterall, the Tale of RockyT Ridge. Overzealous maintenance and the local bike community was unhappy. But some of the work was good and remains so today. I'll begrudgingly admit that to His Honorable Prodigal Son but the stealth maintenance is going to bite him in the A$$.
    Last edited by rockman; 12-06-2012 at 10:08 AM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Joe:
    ..
    Also are you opposed to making turns to break the monotony of a straight line where there are very few trees?

    TD
    What I am opposed to is making a BMX pump track on a mtb bike trail. Pump tracks are fine, but it not mtn bike trail. It is playground. For me trail riding is about taking what comes your way. Riding over it, through it or around it. Turns just to make a turn is pointless. Turns around objects is a more natural path. Those objects could be trees or even small bushes.

    Back when I was a kid growing up in New River my parents had 5 acres of raw desert. It was covered with creosote bushes, palo verde, and cactucs. Very lush and had large natural wash. I had a ATV (3 wheeler at the time) and used to spend hours riding around in this backyard. I cut trails by winding around the bushes. I make nice loop by just riding around what came to me. Never did I ever move remove bush or even cut one to make path. I also never moved rocks by hand. I will say the ATV did a nice job "cut" sections of trail, but let the terrain dictate the flow. Yes it flowed, but it was terrain based and organic. Some sections slow and rocky and one was a fast kick the back end out drift turn. Another section was in soft powder like dirt, but slow as I needed to cut around the bushes.

    Now sometimes you are stuck with land that boring a featureless. In those case you may need to do something to make it interesting, but if you have natural terrain features use them as basis and work with them create the lest amount of smoothing and cutting needed to create the path.
    Joe
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Since it's inception really. It was far easier to ride in the late 80s but time has taken it's toll. It's really two different trails though with the eastern portion perhaps resembling more what you describe. It flows and contours with terrain better. The western end is more jammed into the landscape (instead of using it) and is up and down fall line and that's where it has eroded the most. The work TPS did in the early 2000s largely remains intact on the eastern end. On the western end the criticism mainly stemmed from rock removal that in many local's opinions did not stem from an objective of increasing water flow of the tread. More to ease the passage of tires. That was the main issue...
    I really like western end because it is hard. Yes that initial climb from trail head is not very sustainable, but the erosion is what gives the trail is character. It is natures way of trying to "reclaim" the trail and absorb it back. Some drains here and there may help balance things out, but it is the rocks that make it interesting. Afterall the terrain there is rocky and to clear it you will need to ride the rocks.

    What I am saying is that if the natural state of the ground on trail is rocky because the geology of the are is very rocky then the trail should be rocky too. If there is big big rock in trail you either ride over it or around it. Don't move it. Now if a tree falls in the middle of a trail that is one thing, I tend to think if you need a bulldozer to move stuff go around. The only exception is you need to cut a bench on a mtn side. In this case in order to get over a mtn you may need to cut along the side. If it too steep you can't just have a 6" wide trail and expect it to last.

    For example.. The trails at the new sonoran preserve south of carefree hwy. These are wide smooth trails cut by machine. Fine I guess, but they are rather dull right now. They have been groomed too smoothly to let the actual terrain come through. In time I hope erosion will work to let natural surface come out more. As for the twists and turns that seems ok overall. So they did ok there.

    When I look at the southern sections of BCT I see an interesting situation. South from Emery Henderson the trail is dull and boring. The reason is the terrain is dull. There is just not much to work with. Even so the trail represents the terrain very well. It is lightly cut for the most part.

    From EH north the trail starts out a little rough. Rough because it seems to have built off of jeep/atv track not build with bikes in mind. However as it crosses the powerlines it gets better. Some places are rocky mess that is worse than area around it due to erosion. Especially after the big summer rains here. As it moves north however it picks a very minimalist feel even in first 3 miles. There is one newer section not based on ATV tracks that winds around small bushes left-right and back. It gives the feel that it was created by 1 guy riding his bike around the bushes and then 5-6 guys following for the next 2 weeks. There you have a trail with zero tools except bike tires.

    So guess I feel that trails should be constructed as much as possible by tires alone. Use tools only where it required, but minimize disruption to the embedded rocks. Cut side benches only when needed have them follow the nature of the terrain relative to their surface.

    In the end I am not a trail builder or a trail maintainer. Just a rider. I will ride whatever you put in front of me. I like challenge of taking what comes my way be it smooth or rough. If you gave me a section of trail to "mantain" I would probably just ride it as my way to keeping it maintained. If there is garbage.. clean it up and maybe clear branch. If got rocky...Oh well ride it more and hope the rocks move away from the movement of tires.
    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I really like western end because it is hard. Yes that initial climb from trail head is not very sustainable, but the erosion is what gives the trail is character. It is natures way of trying to "reclaim" the trail and absorb it back. Some drains here and there may help balance things out, but it is the rocks that make it interesting. Afterall the terrain there is rocky and to clear it you will need to ride the rocks.

    What I am saying is that if the natural state of the ground on trail is rocky because the geology of the are is very rocky then the trail should be rocky too. If there is big big rock in trail you either ride over it or around it. Don't move it. Now if a tree falls in the middle of a trail that is one thing, I tend to think if you need a bulldozer to move stuff go around. The only exception is you need to cut a bench on a mtn side. In this case in order to get over a mtn you may need to cut along the side. If it too steep you can't just have a 6" wide trail and expect it to last.

    For example.. The trails at the new sonoran preserve south of carefree hwy. These are wide smooth trails cut by machine. Fine I guess, but they are rather dull right now. They have been groomed too smoothly to let the actual terrain come through. In time I hope erosion will work to let natural surface come out more. As for the twists and turns that seems ok overall. So they did ok there.

    When I look at the southern sections of BCT I see an interesting situation. South from Emery Henderson the trail is dull and boring. The reason is the terrain is dull. There is just not much to work with. Even so the trail represents the terrain very well. It is lightly cut for the most part.

    From EH north the trail starts out a little rough. Rough because it seems to have built off of jeep/atv track not build with bikes in mind. However as it crosses the powerlines it gets better. Some places are rocky mess that is worse than area around it due to erosion. Especially after the big summer rains here. As it moves north however it picks a very minimalist feel even in first 3 miles. There is one newer section not based on ATV tracks that winds around small bushes left-right and back. It gives the feel that it was created by 1 guy riding his bike around the bushes and then 5-6 guys following for the next 2 weeks. There you have a trail with zero tools except bike tires.

    So guess I feel that trails should be constructed as much as possible by tires alone. Use tools only where it required, but minimize disruption to the embedded rocks. Cut side benches only when needed have them follow the nature of the terrain relative to their surface.

    In the end I am not a trail builder or a trail maintainer. Just a rider. I will ride whatever you put in front of me. I like challenge of taking what comes my way be it smooth or rough. If you gave me a section of trail to "mantain" I would probably just ride it as my way to keeping it maintained. If there is garbage.. clean it up and maybe clear branch. If got rocky...Oh well ride it more and hope the rocks move away from the movement of tires.
    I see what you're saying but that era of trail building has passed. There's no arguing the fact that properly done benchcut trail will always be more sustainable. And it's not just about tires but boots and hooves as well.

    Have you ridden the section of AZ trail between Aspen Corner and Snowbowl Rd? That is an example of rocky ridge type terrain from a geology perspective. And a distinctly different type of trail that is some of the finest in AZ. Some of what you describe is what Chalkpaw has described as the low hanging fruit that has already been picked. At least in Flagstaff, but there's really not any places left around here to build your type of trail. Another example that comes to mind is Moto trail. No bench cutting and it was very much built how you describe. Tires for the most part. And it has some of the biggest erosion problems around.

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    [QUOTE=JoePAz;9943000]What I am opposed to is making a BMX pump track on a mtb bike trail. Pump tracks are fine, but it not mtn bike trail. It is playground. For me trail riding is about taking what comes your way. Riding over it, through it or around it. Turns just to make a turn is pointless. Turns around objects is a more natural path. Those objects could be trees or even small bushes.

    Huh?

    I would love to actually see you go out and make a trail. I am lost in your descriptions. I don't know what to even say. A turn just to make a turn is pointless? Wha?!?! Turning on a bike and carving is like high speed buttery powder skiing! If mountain biking was all about just getting from point a to point b and we didn't have cool creative trails for riding then I would be looking for a new sport.

    How can I say this nicely..................Ok I can't, I don't think you know what the hell you are talking about! Or.......you're not very good on a bike.

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    You must be lost...

    I know what I am talking about. What I am saying is that I prefer trails who's features are defined by the landscape. Jumps are there not because someone build a jump, but because that is what the terrain features give. Trails are not straight because you need wind around bushes and trees.

    It is like difference between a Supercross track built in a stadium where everything is built vs motorcross done on natural terrain with some "elements" built in vs enduro riding where you traverse from point A to point B over and modified trail. BMX tracks and DJ bike parts are not my thing. They may be fine for you or for others, but that are not what I like out of riding.

    Take as another example the London Olympic Mtn bike course. That thing was a total fabrication. Rocks were trucked in create tech features. Very artifical and stale feeling and probalby the worst example of a total fabrication of a trail. Given the purpose (spectator racing) however it worked just fine. I prefer that trails are NOT like this. Trails should be a reflection of terrain not have terrain reduced or enhanced to make the trail. I dislike banked board turns. Why? Because they seem so hokey and made up. If you can't make a turn slow down. Don't build up berm with wood or dirt.

    Any trail I build would be minimalist. Minimum rock removal, minimum smoothing, minimal building of features. The number of turns and their shape would be generated by surroundings an not by some formula.

    That said I already mentioned that I am not a trail builder. I don't have the time or desire to build trails or even maintain them. I just have the time to ride them. I do believe in trail marking as that is key to using trails. However even trail maintenance should be kept to the minimum. Erosion happens in places and if a few rocks get exposed leave them. If there a section that gets washed out... Ok fix it, but don't go overboard either.

    Remember we all ride for different reasons and that leads us to different trail preferences. I entered this thread because I hate to see the character of rocky ridge changed. I personally never saw a problem with it. Sure it rocky in spots. That is its challenge and appeal. I also like challenge of rocky ridge as climb. Hitting those rocks with no gravity to help is extra work and a tough 3 miles. Not every trail needs to be super smooth lots of man made berm turns you can "carve".
    Joe
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    JoePZ, not every trail is a flow trail with berms and jumps. Simple drainage reversals can lend a pump-track feel if you use them that way. It's curious to me that you point out Black Canyon Trail as an example of the minimalist trail you prefer, and yet that trail was handbuilt by tons of volunteer work and is almost 100% benchcut?

    We're not picking on you here, just trying to understand your viewpoint. I like rocky trails too.

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    I have mostly ridden the lower parts of BCT from Emery Henderson trailhead to table mesa road. Not that much in the way of bench cuts on this section of the trail although there are some sections. I will say that section to little pan loop from rock springs is a lot of bench cuts. Given the terrain I am not sure there was any other way put a trail through there given the constant side slope. Even so the turns are all there as they follow they mountain contour. I do think there could a few more rocks on that part of BCT, but I suspect they will come to surface in time. At least from an effort perspective the climbs and exposure make you work hard and that I like.

    I am not going to get in to every last trail or every last detail on trail try weigh in how "good" it is. That would take forever and every trail has it good and bad points. I just wanted to share that not everyone wants nothing but well groomed flow track with man made features as it seems some are pushing these days. Maybe it is just frustration with "jump" and fly set that seems to dominate the "Bike" magazine crew. I don't ride to catch air and do tricks 5 feet off the ground or get "stoked" as they call it these days and don't want mtn biking to turn into that alone.

    I ride for the challenge of taking the bike over terrain. The challenge of riding over and around rocks, riding down rocks, climbing over mtns and hills, riding some flowing terrain and feeling like I have gone somewhere. I like feeling exhausted after nice ride and having put in a lot of hard riding. I do like the ride down sunset and schutz creek trail and in part because of all the riding that went into getting there from the top. I also like variety. I like to change up what I ride so as to not ride the same trails over and over again every weekend.
    Last edited by JoePAz; 12-07-2012 at 01:42 PM.
    Joe
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    Let the Cows Do the WORK

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have mostly ridden the lower parts of BCT from Emery Henderson trailhead to table mesa road. Not that much in the way of bench cuts on this section of the trail although there are some sections. I will say that section to little plan loop from rock springs is a lot of bench cuts. Given the terrain I am not sure there was any other way put a trail through there given the constant side slope. Even so the turns are all there as they follow they mountain contour. I do think there could a few more rocks on that part of BCT, but I suspect they will come to surface in time. At least from an effort perspective the climbs and exposure make you work hard and that I like.

    I am not going to get in to every last trail or every last detail on trail try weigh in how "good" it is. That would take forever and every trail has it good and bad points. I just wanted to share that not everyone wants nothing but well groomed flow track with man made features as it seems some are pushing these days. Maybe it is just frustration with "jump" and fly set that seems to dominate the "Bike" magazine crew. I don't ride to catch air and do tricks 5 feet off the ground or get "stoked" as they call it these days and don't want mtn biking to turn into that alone.

    I ride for the challenge of taking the bike over terrain. The challenge of riding over and around rocks, riding down rocks, climbing over mtns and hills, riding some flowing terrain and feeling like I have gone somewhere. I like feeling exhausted after nice ride and having put in a lot of hard riding. I do like the ride down sunset and schutz creek trail and in part because of all the riding that went into getting there from the top. I also like variety. I like to change up what I ride so as to not ride the same trails over and over again every weekend.
    Joe:

    I don't know if you have checked out Gold Canyon yet, but the locals that went out there and followed the cow paths have really put together a network of about twenty miles of trails into a great riding experience. It is amazing how the cows are able to pick the type of lines you are talking about.

    My prediction is that Gold Canyon will be a model for what is great about mountain biking, which is obviously that mountain biking is good, and the better job people do scouting out cow trails the more cool singletrack there will be to ride.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Joe:

    I don't know if you have checked out Gold Canyon yet, but the locals that went out there and followed the cow paths have really put together a network of about twenty miles of trails into a great riding experience. It is amazing how the cows are able to pick the type of lines you are talking about.
    Building trails from cow paths is certainly organic and "natural". I have never ridden out at Gold Canyon.
    Joe
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    You know guys... I have come to an realization. Arizona trails are first rate!

    I did some poking around the trail building forum and have realized something important. Many areas do not have the Number of trails, Distance, and quality of the trails in our backyards. We have lot of miles of varied terrain with lots of natural features like mountains/hills and rock formations to make excellent trails. Then consider the close access year round.


    Sure not everything is perfect, but really complaining about a few rocks being removed off rocky ridge is not seeing the big picture. We have a first rate trail system here and while it may not be perfect it better than alot other riders in other places are riding on.

    I still have preferences and hope rocky ridge stays true to it name, but I am not going to bother worrying about it. I will still ride it and be happy it is there.
    Joe
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    You know guys... I have come to an realization. Arizona trails are first rate!

    I did some poking around the trail building forum and have realized something important. Many areas do not have the Number of trails, Distance, and quality of the trails in our backyards. We have lot of miles of varied terrain with lots of natural features like mountains/hills and rock formations to make excellent trails. Then consider the close access year round.


    Sure not everything is perfect, but really complaining about a few rocks being removed off rocky ridge is not seeing the big picture. We have a first rate trail system here and while it may not be perfect it better than alot other riders in other places are riding on.

    I still have preferences and hope rocky ridge stays true to it name, but I am not going to bother worrying about it. I will still ride it and be happy it is there.
    This is really spot-on. In California, where you'd think terrain would be utilized in the foothills and mountains, it's generally not. Trails are effectively rare there. There are some good places, like Tahoe, and the quality of trails is good and they have features that some of the places in AZ lack, but you really have a LOT more tails that are accessible in AZ.

    I lived in a place with great vertical, yet there was one lame loop around a nearby lake. I had to drive about 45 min to an hour to get to Auburn, and even then it wasn't all that much . Fun, but really not on the scale of other riding destinations. If you could get to Tahoe, then the opportunities start to widen up, but not much in between! The highway 50 corridor was especially poor. It's just strange how many places lack trails there, whereas in AZ they are built and utilized.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Traildoc, I am curious why you would post the OP's opening post in this thread in the Nocal forum including his pic like it was your own thread? Odd and really a form of plagiarism although folks borrow photos without permission all the time. Maybe you just wanted to introduce the Ranger to your Bay area friends and let them know as taxpayers of the state of CA they are supporting the Ranger's nefarious activitites but this is the wrong way to do it.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...ge-826987.html

  40. #40
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    Nice find rockman.

  41. #41
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    Lame stuff TD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Traildoc, I am curious why you would post the OP's opening post in this thread in the Nocal forum including his pic like it was your own thread? Odd and really a form of plagiarism although folks borrow photos without permission all the time. Maybe you just wanted to introduce the Ranger to your Bay area friends and let them know as taxpayers of the state of CA they are supporting the Ranger's nefarious activitites but this is the wrong way to do it.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...ge-826987.html
    rock:

    Good question. I really enjoyed rc post and wanted to share it with the masses. I have a lot of buddies on the Nor Cal forum that have worked with the Night Ranger on various different projects. I knew they would get a kick out of it.

    I will go in now and make sure the Nor Cal viewers didn't think I composed that piece so rc gets all the credit he deserves. Just like Jennifer and her friend should get a lot of credit for all the great work they have done for the Sedona mountain bikers and hikers. Do you think they will eventually get the credit they deserve by me pointing out their hard work and creativity?

    Thanks for pointing out my error.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    rock:

    Good question. I really enjoyed rc post and wanted to share it with the masses. I have a lot of buddies on the Nor Cal forum that have worked with the Night Ranger on various different projects. I knew they would get a kick out of it.

    I will go in now and make sure the Nor Cal viewers didn't think I composed that piece so rc gets all the credit he deserves. Just like Jennifer and her friend should get a lot of credit for all the great work they have done for the Sedona mountain bikers and hikers. Do you think they will eventually get the credit they deserve by me pointing out their hard work and creativity?

    Thanks for pointing out my error.

    TD
    Cranky monday I guess. So easy to cut and paste in the digital era. Amazing what you see in job applications. People lift stuff right of wikipedia.

    I'm not sure about the employee of the FS you speak of but do you think the Ranger will get the credit he deserves?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Cranky monday I guess. So easy to cut and paste in the digital era. Amazing what you see in job applications. People lift stuff right of wikipedia.

    I'm not sure about the employee of the FS you speak of but do you think the Ranger will get the credit he deserves?
    Rock

    Were did I elude to an employee? I was talking about her friend whose trails were adopted deserves a lot of credit from the mountain bike and hiking community. Do you have that straight now????

    I like this game you are playing, what is the next part you are confused about, the new re-route of the old Cow Pies trail? If you and FS Justin BOTH make that new re-route section without dabbing and cutting out the limb sticking out over the turn I will invite both of you come to the OTE barbecue I will be sponsoring for the food for the workers who make it rideable. If for some reason OTE is booked and doesn't have a slot for the barbecue I will have it at my house.

    I will also provide food for the four members of the A Team who did those four re-route projects on Munds while the other 21 volunteers sat at the Fat Tire Bike barbecue eating good food and drinking select micro brew.


  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Rock

    Were did I elude to an employee? I was talking about her friend whose trails were adopted deserves a lot of credit from the mountain bike and hiking community. Do you have that straight now????

    I like this game you are playing, what is the next part you are confused about, the new re-route of the old Cow Pies trail? If you and FS Justin BOTH make that new re-route section without dabbing and cutting out the limb sticking out over the turn I will invite both of you come to the OTE barbecue I will be sponsoring for the food for the workers who make it rideable. If for some reason OTE is booked and doesn't have a slot for the barbecue I will have it at my house.

    I will also provide food for the four members of the A Team who did those four re-route projects on Munds while the other 21 volunteers sat at the Fat Tire Bike barbecue eating good food and drinking select micro brew.

    Well, if you read what you wrote you mentioned someone named Jennifer. I only referred to her as an FS employee. You mentioned her and her friend in the same sentence. I only referred to the one that has the clout. Not sure about the game but what's up with multiple question marks???

    I never once made that switchback and I have only heard of two people that have done it: Joe Murray and Canadianbacon. If the Adopt-A-HO-Team can make it more rideable then I'm all for it. Maybe Joe and CB will not. Anyway, this is a thread about The Night Ranger and not Sedona. Will he get the credit he deserves. What kind of recognition do you think is appropriate??? Do you have it straight now???

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Well, if you read what you wrote you mentioned someone named Jennifer. I only referred to her as an FS employee. You mentioned her and her friend in the same sentence. I only referred to the one that has the clout. Not sure about the game but what's up with multiple question marks???

    I never once made that switchback and I have only heard of two people that have done it: Joe Murray and Canadianbacon. If the Adopt-A-HO-Team can make it more rideable then I'm all for it. Maybe Joe and CB will not. Anyway, this is a thread about The Night Ranger and not Sedona. Will he get the credit he deserves. What kind of recognition do you think is appropriate??? Do you have it straight now???
    Sounds to me like the Night Ranger is a multi functional individual. His obsession for Rocky Ridge to be the most buffed out trail in Flag is amazing. Since I don't ride that trail but two or times a year it isn't as important as making the righr turn on Cow Pies rideable. Hopefully the goal wasn't to make it easier for the hikers so they will be more inclined to take the left side of the saddle to get to the top. Do you hope to be able to clean it when it's completed?

    I am concerned if it isn't made rideable someone will complain of environmental destruction, hopefully the Adopt-a-Trail crew has all of their paperwork together so they won't get banned from the forest for destroying it.

    The last time I studied the IMBA trail building manual an insloped turn had grade reversals before the turn and after the turn so the turn and downstream section of trail wouldn't erode quickly during the heavy rainy periods that we have in Sedona.

    Check it out and let us know your thoughts? Hopefully the B Team will be the ones to make it rideable. I wouldn't want to see my tax dollars going to making that re-route work. IMHO we as mountain bikers have to get use to doing our own trail work and not expecting taxpayers to pay for our trail projects.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Sounds to me like the Night Ranger is a multi functional individual. His obsession for Rocky Ridge to be the most buffed out trail in Flag is amazing. Since I don't ride that trail but two or times a year it isn't as important as making the righr turn on Cow Pies rideable. Hopefully the goal wasn't to make it easier for the hikers so they will be more inclined to take the left side of the saddle to get to the top. Do you hope to be able to clean it when it's completed?

    I am concerned if it isn't made rideable someone will complain of environmental destruction, hopefully the Adopt-a-Trail crew has all of their paperwork together so they won't get banned from the forest for destroying it.

    The last time I studied the IMBA trail building manual an insloped turn had grade reversals before the turn and after the turn so the turn and downstream section of trail wouldn't erode quickly during the heavy rainy periods that we have in Sedona.

    Check it out and let us know your thoughts? Hopefully the B Team will be the ones to make it rideable. I wouldn't want to see my tax dollars going to making that re-route work. IMHO we as mountain bikers have to get use to doing our own trail work and not expecting taxpayers to pay for our trail projects.

    TD
    I agree with you on the switchback. It's a pretty steep slope right there. I have a hard time envisioning any switchback being made rideable in the uphill direction without a huge amount of crib work. But, you're a little early with the constructive(?) criticism on the finished work product since it apparently isn't finished. And, these are for the most part volunteers, so your tax dollars are not going to waste. On the effort scale you might be right. What's wrong with a little HAB on a trail that most intermediates are going to walk certain sections anyway. Not everything needs to be rideable.

    With regards to hikers, why would they go over there anyway, when there's a perfectly functional fall line trail that is closer to cow pies making a shorter A to B access to the saddle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    I agree with you on the switchback. It's a pretty steep slope right there. I have a hard time envisioning any switchback being made rideable in the uphill direction without a huge amount of crib work. But, you're a little early with the constructive(?) criticism on the finished work product since it apparently isn't finished. And, these are for the most part volunteers, so your tax dollars are not going to waste. On the effort scale you might be right. What's wrong with a little HAB on a trail that most intermediates are going to walk certain sections anyway. Not everything needs to be rideable.

    With regards to hikers, why would they go over there anyway, when there's a perfectly functional fall line trail that is closer to cow pies making a shorter A to B access to the saddle?
    Ok here is the deal. They slashed the old perfectly fine hike-a-bike that somw famous riders could climb. They took out all the embedded rock that allowed it to be ridden by few and hiked by others so it will never be the same.

    I am trying to motivate the VVCC club to get back out there and finish the project. Do you think we could get an estimate when it's going to be rideable. I am afraid there aren't alot of self-motivated types in that group and it wil be months before they get that spot completed, so they can start on the new entrance to Hangover on the righthand side after the Damifino entrance.

    As far as the new reflective tape, I fell sorry for the advnced masses who are attempting to ride the steep off-camber section. Whoever put the tape in took the 2%'er line and the advanced masses are going to be walking that section where they could be riding it if they knew the ***** line I take.

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    scandalous.

    both the literary theft and the ensuing thread derail.

    well done on both counts, traildoc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockychrysler View Post
    scandalous.

    both the literary theft and the ensuing thread derail.

    well done on both counts, traildoc.
    I agree this is real bad. When can we expect your next literary genius?

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