Tail Cleaning in Dreamy Draw- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tail Cleaning in Dreamy Draw

    This morning I rode the same route that I did a week ago, in between those two rides somebody totally cleaned all the big loose rocks on a section of 1A. Just so happens that I hated that section of trail, it's loose and dangerous to descent, and harder than snot to climb for the same reasons.

    You may think I'm happy that somebody cleaned it by moving all the rocks to the side... NO WAY. I can't believe it. Leave the trail as it is, it was challenging and difficult, now it's so easy peasy it's a waste. In the picture below you can see the entire right side of the trail is now cleared of rocks. I wonder if this was an official cleanup job or if some individuals took it upon themselves. Either way I sure am not happy with the results.

    The location is on trail 1A approximately right here.

    click on the image for a larger size

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  2. #2
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    I like cleaning me some tail, not at Dreamy Draw though.
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  3. #3
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    If that is the southbound uphill on the eastern end- I was there a week and a half ago and it didn't look like that.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I like cleaning me some tail, not at Dreamy Draw though.
    Darned Freudian slips.
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  5. #5
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    You're wearing a slip? *shrug* To each their own.

    Back on track, agreed, the trail cleaning suckles. I wonder if it was for the safety of people perambulating or the equines doing something similar. I am curious if it was sanctioned or not. If not, then very bad.

    While that climb was hard, it also presented a formidable challenge. I have only cleaned it on the way up a few times and when I did it felt great. Descending requires paying attention and was also certainly treacherous but it was a good test of bike control.

    Like you point out, the cleaned out version seems like it'll take the challenge out of it either way. Bummer.

  6. #6
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    Glad to see you on the MTB, Randy. I agree, that section is difficult alone with just the ascent. Add in all that loose crap and it's very tough. I'm sure someone thought they were doing everyone a favor. Too bad...

  7. #7
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    Know exactly where that is. Looser than snot. Not my favorite.....but I feel pretty good when I only have to stop once (although it's really hard to start up again if you stop). And hikers look at me like I'm nuts (why do hikers always say "I don't know how do you do that"?) Easily amazed.

    I would think if it were official, they would clear the whole trail, not a small channel that look like it would funnel the water down the trail.

    That said, let me ask you a couple of questions (devil's advocate mode on):

    -Do you think when the trail was first built, it looked like that?
    -Do you think the builders of the trail intended it to look like that?
    -How did those rocks get there?
    -Would you like those same rocks on other parts of the trail?
    -How is that "cleaning" the trail different from other trails on the PMP with rocks with a small path cleared from folks using the trail? Do you ride over the loose rocks vs. the cleared path on these trails?

    I'm all for more challenging trails, that's how you get better. If those were all embedded rocks, it would be a pretty cool trail. But who likes to ride on gravel? I don't see people stoked to ride on gravel roads. Since that trails is basically a fall like trail anyway, at some point it's probably going to look like that again. That's how those rocks got there in the first place, from water traveling right down the trail.

    Just some things to think about...

  8. #8
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    I'm not a trail builder so I could be mistaken. But that looks like it will funnel water down the trail and cause erosion.

    My best was one stop and then finishing it off. Not happy for the change.
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  9. #9
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    I agree with the erosion concern. That was one of my first thoughts too.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    This morning I rode the same route that I did a week ago, in between those two rides somebody totally cleaned all the big loose rocks on a section of 1A. Just so happens that I hated that section of trail, it's loose and dangerous to descent, and harder than snot to climb for the same reasons.

    You may think I'm happy that somebody cleaned it by moving all the rocks to the side... NO WAY. I can't believe it. Leave the trail as it is, it was challenging and difficult, now it's so easy peasy it's a waste. In the picture below you can see the entire right side of the trail is now cleared of rocks. I wonder if this was an official cleanup job or if some individuals took it upon themselves. Either way I sure am not happy with the results.

    The location is on trail 1A approximately right here.

    click on the image for a larger size



    Tail Cleaning in Dreamy Draw
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  11. #11
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    That's some ****ed up looking trail alright both the original and the new soon to be gutter.

    I have done some trail work and that does not look like anything that was built to be a trail. Looks more like an old jeep trail. I have never been there so I have no idea how the trail came into being in the first place.

    A couple of observations first yes the new cleared section will likely erode and will soon look just like the rest.

    Then who would do such a thing?

    Doesn't look very official if you wanted to clear a line and have it stay that way I would think water bars would be in order.

    So is it hikers, makes sense as that rocky trail likely sucks to walk on.

    Or is it your fellow bikers, also makes sense that it could be some less experienced riders or even an experienced rider who is just sick of walking.

    As has been stated who ever did it they likely think they are doing everybody a favor. They likely gave no consideration to the fact that it will just cause further erosion. In today's instant gratification society there are plenty of people who would only care about themselves and their ride/hike this week or month or season.

    I am going to guess it's an ex roadie turned wannabe XC racer type, when this kind of thing was happening in Tucson that's who I caught doing it. The guy had been riding 6 months and thought that if he couldn't clean that section that nobody could.
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  12. #12
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    I love plowing over the loose rocks, It's what we do.
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  13. #13
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    It was not a jeep trail, definitely single track in origin.

  14. #14
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    That's more than just moving a large rock or two to improve a line. Someone worked so hard to move all that material, it almost makes me wonder if it's the beginning of some official trail "improvements." If that is official, sure hope they install some erosion control. On the other hand, I've been trail running and riding that piece of 1A for many years, both ways, and I've always had the feeling that the loose rocks piled up on the trail right there were not exactly a natural feature either. In any case, I prefer the pre-improvement version.

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    Give it time....there are more rocks under the dirt you see now. We get spodes with acute vaginitis a lot around here; nature always provides the cure.

  16. #16
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    The same thing was done to a stretch of 8A just 3 months ago (thread here) and the rains have already returned it back to "normal". This piece of 1A will likely do the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZTtripper View Post
    That's some ****ed up looking trail alright both the original and the new soon to be gutter.

    I have done some trail work and that does not look like anything that was built to be a trail. Looks more like an old jeep trail. I have never been there so I have no idea how the trail came into being in the first place.
    The charm of the whole PMP (and any of the older preserves....I'm looking at you SoMo) is the hodge-podge of trails. Some are old jeep trails, some old horse trails (does Perl Charles ring a bell?), random social trails of indeterminate origin, and some new construction (VOAZ, Irregular Link).

    I'm going to guess that this trail was not built with sustainability in mind (shocker, I know). It's pretty much a fall line trail. And as such, over the years, you get piles and piles of rocks tumbling down following the water.

    The person who did the "work" probably thought they were helping. In fact, it'll make the trail worse over time.....if that's possible. Maybe someone should alert the park?

  18. #18
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    Could be the work of aliens!
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  19. #19
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    Well if they are going to alter it. Lets add some asphalt and a white line down the center. Don't forget to add the signs. Stating keep dogs on leash at all times and don't feed the ducks.
    Last edited by Cycle64; 09-19-2011 at 08:26 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycle64 View Post
    Well if they are going to alter it. Lets add some asphalt and a white line down the center. Don't forget to at the signs. Stating keep dogs on leash at all times and don't feed the ducks.
    This train of thought begs to affirm that suspension is doing that same thing as trail sanitizing.

  21. #21
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    Don't forget big tires too, not just suspension.

    I could change my mind of course, but for the past year, save a couple nasty rocky des nets, I havent missed suspension at all - prefer it in fact. But don't take my low pressure tires.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetisurly View Post
    This train of thought begs to affirm that suspension is doing that same thing as trail sanitizing.
    That and big tires on big wheels.

    For the record. I liked the rocks where they were. Would be nice to know who is moving them. If it's a yahoo. Then I see no reason not to help get them back in place. I'll just start riding the other line up in the rocks. That should be a real challenge now.
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  23. #23
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    thank you for removing some of the rocks nothing throws off your line like an uphill rock garden

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    Land managers generally don't have a problem with trail users removing loose rocks if they pose a tripping or falling hazard. I have almost fallen a couple of times descending that stretch of trail and I know it is slippery to hike, so an argument could be made that the work they did improved a hazardous situation. Removing embedded rock is always a no-no if not directly approved by the land manager.

    I doubt the work was performed by an experienced trail builder/maintainer as they wouldn't have cleared just a narrow path on the uphill side of the tread. Instead they would have cleared the entire width of the trail and then pulled the rock/gravel they removed from the trail well downhill from the edge of the trail so water could get off the trail.

    Loose rock is a sure sign that trails are not being maintained, so if the land manager starts seriously maintaining the PMP trails again, either with paid crews or with volunteers, one of the first priorities will be removing accumulated loose rock from the existing trails.

  25. #25
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    To a point. This may be acceptable on a trail like T100 which is designated Easy and sees widespread use. Trails marked as Moderate or Difficult are different again.

    Modifying a Moderate or Difficult trail so it is Easy would not be sanctioned and does not even make sense in the context of trail ratings. The reason for trail designations is for people to make sensible decisions about where they recreate. If one has an issue with falling and hurting themselves in an area they should reconsider using that area.

    The trail in question is officially 1A which is designated as Moderate/Difficult. A reasonable person would expect it to be challenging. One of lesser skill would likely be wise to reconsider using the trail or at least use it with caution or an expectation of danger.

    The maps, trail descriptions and designations are readily found on Phoenix's parks web site.

    Modifying trails unofficially, no matter how well intended, is generally not a good thing without forethought and sanctioning by those who have interest, not just a hiker or a biker who has a hard time on loose rock on a trail designated as difficult.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCrawler View Post
    To a point. This may be acceptable on a trail like T100 which is designated Easy and sees widespread use. Trails marked as Moderate or Difficult are different again.

    Modifying a Moderate or Difficult trail so it is Easy would not be sanctioned and does not even make sense in the context of trail ratings. The reason for trail designations is for people to make sensible decisions about where they recreate. If one has an issue with falling and hurting themselves in an area they should reconsider using that area.

    The trail in question is officially 1A which is designated as Moderate/Difficult. A reasonable person would expect it to be challenging. One of lesser skill would likely be wise to reconsider using the trail or at least use it with caution or an expectation of danger.

    The maps, trail descriptions and designations are readily found on Phoenix's parks web site.

    Modifying trails unofficially, no matter how well intended, is generally not a good thing without forethought and sanctioning by those who have interest, not just a hiker or a biker who has a hard time on loose rock on a trail designated as difficult.
    We could just move all the rocks from the moderate/difficult trails to the easy trails and throw everybody off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCrawler View Post
    To a point. This may be acceptable on a trail like T100 which is designated Easy and sees widespread use. Trails marked as Moderate or Difficult are different again.

    The trail in question is officially 1A which is designated as Moderate/Difficult. A reasonable person would expect it to be challenging. One of lesser skill would likely be wise to reconsider using the trail or at least use it with caution or an expectation of danger.
    Trails' difficulty are designated by the grade, the technicality of it, and the length.

    Loose rocks and gravel like that are absolutely nothing to a trail builder but a hazard and nuisance. And a sure sign that whoever built it did a poor job of it.

    I'm actually not sure what trail builders' idea of challenging is because they want the trail free and clear of debris because it causes uneven water damage. And water damage is the most significant trail damage done.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCrawler View Post
    To a point. This may be acceptable on a trail like T100 which is designated Easy and sees widespread use. Trails marked as Moderate or Difficult are different again.

    Modifying a Moderate or Difficult trail so it is Easy would not be sanctioned and does not even make sense in the context of trail ratings. The reason for trail designations is for people to make sensible decisions about where they recreate. If one has an issue with falling and hurting themselves in an area they should reconsider using that area.

    The trail in question is officially 1A which is designated as Moderate/Difficult. A reasonable person would expect it to be challenging. One of lesser skill would likely be wise to reconsider using the trail or at least use it with caution or an expectation of danger.

    The maps, trail descriptions and designations are readily found on Phoenix's parks web site.

    Modifying trails unofficially, no matter how well intended, is generally not a good thing without forethought and sanctioning by those who have interest, not just a hiker or a biker who has a hard time on loose rock on a trail designated as difficult.
    Since when did Dreamy Draw get difficulty signs like a ski resort? I sure didn't see any green signs on 1A lately.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Since when did Dreamy Draw get difficulty signs like a ski resort? I sure didn't see any green signs on 1A lately.
    220 used to have a black diamond on the trail marker for some reason.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Since when did Dreamy Draw get difficulty signs like a ski resort? I sure didn't see any green signs on 1A lately.
    You are the first person who mentioned difficulty signs like a ski resort. Besides, were there signs like a ski resort, it wouldn't be a green sign, it would be blue or black per the parks map I referenced. I mentioned difficulty ratings and where to find them. Here's the link:

    Official Site of the City of Phoenix - Hiking Map

    http://phoenix.gov/webcms/groups/int...northlarge.pdf


    While I do not know the history of 1A, I doubt that 1A was built in the same way Deem Hills and other recreational trails came to be. It looks to me like an historical trail, therefore rocks would be expected. I take it at face value. It is a recreational route at best, not a transportation route -- different deals -- and not the only choice to get between two points. Given that parks calls it an intermediate to difficult trail, rocks and other hazards would most certainly be expected and that is taken right off the parks website, even though it is really just common sense.

    I suppose it comes down to how one looks at these things and on the end I can only speak for myself. Personally, if a trail is too treacherous for me, I behave accordingly until my skills or equipment progress to the level required. I assume all risk. If that doesn't happen, I go elsewhere. I do not impose my lesser ability on those who may prefer it the way it is and instead exercise sensible personal choices. I suppose people are free to make their own choices whatever they may be. In these days of dwindling personal accountability and dumbing down of nearly everything, I am used to being the the odd man out, but I don't have to like it.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCrawler View Post
    I assume all risk. If that doesn't happen, I go elsewhere. I do not impose my lesser ability on those who may prefer it the way it is and instead exercise sensible personal choices. I suppose people are free to make their own choices whatever they may be. In these days of dwindling personal accountability and dumbing down of nearly everything, I am used to being the the odd man out, but I don't have to like it.
    Well said.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCrawler View Post
    While I do not know the history of 1A, I doubt that 1A was built in the same way Deem Hills and other recreational trails came to be. It looks to me like an historical trail, therefore rocks would be expected. I take it at face value. It is a recreational route at best, not a transportation route -- different deals -- and not the only choice to get between two points. Given that parks calls it an intermediate to difficult trail, rocks and other hazards would most certainly be expected and that is taken right off the parks website, even though it is really just common sense.
    Okay, going back on my promise to myself to never post on MTBR. Just a quick note: the PMP area was at one time open to 4X4s and motos. Have no idea of this particular trail was indeed part of the system back then. But that said, I absolutely HATED that particular section.

    (Okay, crawling back under my rock...but before I do can somebody give me rep points for providing some historical perspective?)
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    (Okay, crawling back under my rock...but before I do can somebody give me rep points for providing some historical perspective?)
    Won't allow me.

    You'll be back again.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    Okay, going back on my promise to myself to never post on MTBR. Just a quick note: the PMP area was at one time open to 4X4s and motos. Have no idea of this particular trail was indeed part of the system back then. But that said, I absolutely HATED that particular section.

    (Okay, crawling back under my rock...but before I do can somebody give me rep points for providing some historical perspective?)
    Done, even though I find the rep thing marginally silly. If it will help you to keep from posting on MTBR, I'm good with it. Seems like a worthy cause.

    I recall our discussion from several weeks ago when we rode out there. You mentioned how it used to be open to other motorized traffic back in the day. There's some stuff back there that would be fun to crawl.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCrawler View Post
    Done, even though I find the rep thing marginally silly. If it will help you to keep from posting on MTBR, I'm good with it. Seems like a worthy cause.

    I recall our discussion from several weeks ago when we rode out there. You mentioned how it used to be open to other motorized traffic back in the day. There's some stuff back there that would be fun to crawl.
    I think I could clean it!


  36. #36
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    The Phoenix City Parks trail difficulty ratings are not so much official designations that determine how a trail is built or maintained as they are cautionary information to the trail users so they can pick an appropriate trail. My guess is the type of maintenance performed on a given trail is far more likely to be determined by the abilities of the average user of that trail.

    Trail IA gets a lot of beginner/intermediate hikers and intermediate mountain bikers, so any trail maintenance would make the trail more appropriate for that group. Trails like Cheesegrater are more likely to have a high percentage of intermiediate/expert hikers and expert mountain bikers, so it would receive very different maintenance.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grave9 View Post
    I think I could clean it!

    I found some added traction myself.
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    There is a chain gang working on T100 near Cave Creek tunnel today. They may have something to do with the 1A sweeping. Lots of man power with little brain power.

    A few months ago the same thing was done to the western side of Rocky Ridge. Swept clean. The rains came and the place is now a mess, especially the lower end.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSAZ69 View Post
    There is a chain gang working on T100 near Cave Creek tunnel today. They may have something to do with the 1A sweeping. Lots of man power with little brain power.

    A few months ago the same thing was done to the western side of Rocky Ridge. Swept clean. The rains came and the place is now a mess, especially the lower end.
    I'll have to check this out today

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetisurly View Post
    This train of thought begs to affirm that suspension is doing that same thing as trail sanitizing.
    LMAO!!! Long travel XC bikes that NEVER require standing come to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSAZ69 View Post
    There is a chain gang working on T100 near Cave Creek tunnel today. They may have something to do with the 1A sweeping. Lots of man power with little brain power.

    A few months ago the same thing was done to the western side of Rocky Ridge. Swept clean. The rains came and the place is now a mess, especially the lower end.


    Yeah, I saw the chain gang this morning as well. Looked like they were painting over the graffiti in the tunnel, trimmed back the bushes a little bit for visibility and took out some of the trash that had built up. I didn't see them make any mods to the actual trail though. Sure hope they don't...

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    ...also along with the armed guards there was a park ranger as well. I would think the ranger wouldn't allow any trail changes there. It's a mellow piece of trail anyway.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSAZ69 View Post

    A few months ago the same thing was done to the western side of Rocky Ridge. Swept clean. The rains came and the place is now a mess, especially the lower end.
    Do you mean this braided part of Rocky Ridge?

    It's been a mess a lot longer than a couple of months. You can actually see the gullying from the picture. It suffers from the same problems as that loose rock portion of 1A: water flows right down the trail. So, folks make their own new trail. Once again, the water doesn't drain off the trial properly....another gully.....

    I predict in the year 2132, Phoenix Parks will get around to doing something about it.....and someone on MTBR will complain about sanitizing ...

  44. #44
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    All of that loose rock has helped with erosion. That little section has looked like that for twenty years, if not more. The rocks hold the loose dirt in place, even through heavy rains, and give some support to those riding or hiking it, even during downpours. No mud holes, no ruts. Pretty good traction if you know how to set up your bike and a little bit of balance.
    If you can't make this climb you need to walk it. The same goes for the other areas of PMP with hills like this. These are ALL climb-able, my fat arse has done it so can you. Rocks are part of mountain biking, if you need the trails swept and rocks removed you should consider another pastime....like golf. Suck it up

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by berzerker View Post
    All of that loose rock has helped with erosion. That little section has looked like that for twenty years, if not more. The rocks hold the loose dirt in place, even through heavy rains, and give some support to those riding or hiking it, even during downpours. No mud holes, no ruts. Pretty good traction if you know how to set up your bike and a little bit of balance.
    If you can't make this climb you need to walk it. The same goes for the other areas of PMP with hills like this. These are ALL climb-able, my fat arse has done it so can you. Rocks are part of mountain biking, if you need the trails swept and rocks removed you should consider another pastime....like golf. Suck it up
    That and stop using cheater wheels.
    Currently at Mayo Clinic being tested for a kidney transplant. Donors welcome.

  46. #46
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    Berzerker - that was the point of this post ... Swept trails aren't fun to ride. Aside from the lower 50', Rocky Ridge is now a piece of cake to ride up. It used to be one of my favorite challenges. Without the rock to slow the water runoff the rains just deposited a bunch of sand at the bottom. That is what I meant when I said its a mess ... in other words ... it doesn't shed water properly. It never has but now its worse than ever. Eventually the rains will return it to a rock garden and the challenge will be resurrected.

    The chain gang has the CC tunnel looking good now ... its sporting a fresh paint job.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSAZ69 View Post
    Berzerker - that was the point of this post ... Swept trails aren't fun to ride. Aside from the lower 50', Rocky Ridge is now a piece of cake to ride up. It used to be one of my favorite challenges. Without the rock to slow the water runoff the rains just deposited a bunch of sand at the bottom. That is what I meant when I said its a mess ... in other words ... it doesn't shed water properly. It never has but now its worse than ever. Eventually the rains will return it to a rock garden and the challenge will be resurrected.

    The chain gang has the CC tunnel looking good now ... its sporting a fresh paint job.
    Does loose rock constitute a rock garden?

    Embedded rocks = fun to ride
    Loose rocks = not so much

    It's not the rockiness I object to, it's the ho hum attitude that Phoenix Parks has for its trails. Well, except for Deem Hills and Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. They are new enough to still care about apparently.

    I do agree that in both of these cases rock removing cases, removing the rock without installing features that will allow the tread to shed water just makes it worse. And like we saw on the 1a job, they only cleared half of the trail. Nice little tunnel for water to flow down.....not smart.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem View Post
    It's not the rockiness I object to, it's the ho hum attitude that Phoenix Parks has for its trails. Well, except for Deem Hills and Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. They are new enough to still care about apparently.
    I think it's more that they are built sustainably whereas most of PMP and SoMo are so old they are not sustainable and therefore would require MUCH more work to keep up that Deem.

  49. #49
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    I was out on the trail this morning and I thought it looked a bit more "natural" than in the picture, just my opinion.

  50. #50
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    Pro tail grooming crew responsible for all this: groomingtails.net

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    Pro tail grooming crew responsible for all this: groomingtails.net
    I give you 2 out of 10. I deducted one point for such a late entry.....

    EDIT......I give you a solid 5. I just realized the misspelling of the title plays directly into your effort....

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