Is the MTB Industry Destroying Itself in So Cal?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is the MTB Industry Destroying Itself in So Cal?

    Another one bites the dust...

    https://www.lagunabeachindy.com/moun...-trail-closure

    "Members of the Laguna Beach mountain biking community were dismayed to learn in early June that OC Parks started to decommission an unpermitted trail, known to outdoor enthusiasts as PGs Trail, east of the 2900 block of Laguna Canyon Road."


    So, this begs the question. Does the demand for marketing material, content and exposure from athletes, brands, influencers and social media in general put riding in So Cal at risk?

    https://www.redbull.com/us-en/my-pov...-richie-schley

  2. #2
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    Thanks for posting this up. Otherwise, I never would have known what's going on up in Laguna Beach.
    Wherever you live in SoCal, this kind of stuff is happening, much more so now that Fish and Game has morphed into Fish and Wildlife. The rules got changed on us, but they would say, the rules got changed FOR us. And so it goes.....again.
    Just call me Ray

  3. #3
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    Laguna is under the microscope right now.

    But it is fair to say that this pandemic is really putting a strain on natural areas and exposing how City Planners underestimated the value of recreation on public land in the area.


    https://www.lagunabeachindy.com/lagu...untain-bikers/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by suciedadbik View Post
    Another one bites the dust...

    Members of the Laguna Beach mountain biking community were dismayed to learn in early June that OC Parks started to decommission an unpermitted trail, known to outdoor enthusiasts as PGs Trail, east of the 2900 block of Laguna Canyon Road."[/FONT][/I]


    [/URL]
    I cannot say this enough. Get involved with your local advocacy groups, write letters to policy makers, press the flesh, and drag others kicking and screaming if needed. Numbers make a difference in the game. If you have lots of Sierra Club members hollering and only a handful of riders, who do you think wins? It is a popularity contest to a point. A trail that is not legally recognized will not last forever. It takes a lot of work, more time than you can imagine, and a lot of heartache but each win is a forever win.
    The world does not revolve around you but your actions impact us all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bankerboy View Post
    I cannot say this enough. Get involved with your local advocacy groups, write letters to policy makers, press the flesh, and drag others kicking and screaming if needed. Numbers make a difference in the game. If you have lots of Sierra Club members hollering and only a handful of riders, who do you think wins? It is a popularity contest to a point. A trail that is not legally recognized will not last forever. It takes a lot of work, more time than you can imagine, and a lot of heartache but each win is a forever win.
    But the gripe here is that brands exploit these trails and do very little to protect them. Not saying getting involved with advocacy groups doesn't help, but more pointing out that the industry itself is doing more harm vs good and destroying it's own foundation in the area.

    Picked on Red Bull in the post but it's not just Red Bull, it goes all the way down to the smaller local brands as well. Your signature sums it up quite nicely.

    It's a pattern, brands or riders feature trails, trails get exposure and everyone shows up to ride them on Saturday morning.

    Result:

    locals get mad and want a solution... and the locals in So Cal have money and are educated to know who to call and stop it.

    and then there are those who say this has always happened. Word of mouth before Social Media. But it just seems to be more rapid.

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    Ah, sorry, misconstrued your post.

    You are right, a large part of the industry does not support local trail and even pushes the rebel outlaw image. My hats off to those in the industry that gives back and make it a better place. Too often the search of every last cent of profit creates a 'Me first" in the industry to the point that ramifications take a back seat.
    The world does not revolve around you but your actions impact us all!

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    here's the petition created in response: https://www.change.org/p/orange-coun...-canyon-trails

    there was a protest at laguna city hall last week in response and advocacy work is beginning to get off the ground

    I personally wish that we could see a lot more help from our local brands (troy lee, crank bros), and our local celebs (lopes who has posted on his IG once or twice at least, schley, rey, gwin, KHS riders, etc etc)

  8. #8
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    I read PG's, then read your name as suicide after recalling which trail that was... I remember it for that one sharp left after the rock roll that seems to almost send everyone over the edge. xD

    Any stats on how many have been rescued from that trail and the cost of doing so? Between that one and V*lh****...

    In other parts of SoCal, Gwin and Intense local trails at Greer are at risk of being lost due to development. People are actually trying to pitch that publicity from pros, mtb industry, and youtubers are drawing more visitors to spend money in the area.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

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    Quote Originally Posted by olslash View Post
    here's the petition created in response: https://www.change.org/p/orange-coun...-canyon-trails

    there was a protest at laguna city hall last week in response and advocacy work is beginning to get off the ground

    I personally wish that we could see a lot more help from our local brands (troy lee, crank bros), and our local celebs (lopes who has posted on his IG once or twice at least, schley, rey, gwin, KHS riders, etc etc)
    Thanks for sharing the petition.

    Just looking at the brands in the area and riders.... the list is long.

    Sadly, bringing in the Moto brands who cross into MTB probably wouldn't help and maybe that's the major downfall.

    GOPRO is local and arguably is the root of exposure... source of the action camera.

    Next Red Bull worth BILLIONS... out of Santa Monica. (Monster probably can't ever overcome their environmental impacts...)

    Bike brands are here, pros are here.... it just seems they would rather promote themselves and these illegal trails, vs solve the issue.

    Money talks... We know this. It's just sad to see the MTB industry in Southern California be so ignorant to the issue. But again, it's probably the Moto roots that blind them from understanding that places that have trails are in sensitive areas and that they need to give back and respect nature to win the opposition.

    I highly doubt Troy Lee would ever do a work day on a trail in a Nature Preserve....

  10. #10
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    I'd be willing to bet a good portion of those protestors have gobro videos of illegal stuff blasted all over the internet. It seems that many feel the need to sh!t where they eat these days for likes and kudos.

    The current state of MTB is SoCal is pathetic.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by suciedadbik View Post
    But the gripe here is that brands exploit these trails and do very little to protect them. Not saying getting involved with advocacy groups doesn't help, but more pointing out that the industry itself is doing more harm vs good and destroying it's own foundation in the area.

    Picked on Red Bull in the post but it's not just Red Bull, it goes all the way down to the smaller local brands as well. Your signature sums it up quite nicely.

    It's a pattern, brands or riders feature trails, trails get exposure and everyone shows up to ride them on Saturday morning.

    Result:

    locals get mad and want a solution... and the locals in So Cal have money and are educated to know who to call and stop it.

    and then there are those who say this has always happened. Word of mouth before Social Media. But it just seems to be more rapid.
    Have seen similar from brands locally. We have some private and amazing trails here in SD that are built by a small group on private land. We have been riding there for years and one land owner is an investment group out of China that doesn't give AF about what is going on and another has told us not to leave trash out there. Suddenly these trails are appearing in marketing for Canyon, Giant, etc. 99% of the people that ride the trails know not to post Strava, pictures or even show other riders where they are. Now they are appearing in IG feeds with 10K followers? Plenty of public trails where they can shoot, but for some reason they just HAVE to shoot this location? I don't get it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    I read PG's, then read your name as suicide after recalling which trail that was... I remember it for that one sharp left after the rock roll that seems to almost send everyone over the edge. xD

    Any stats on how many have been rescued from that trail and the cost of doing so? Between that one and V*lh****...

    In other parts of SoCal, Gwin and Intense local trails at Greer are at risk of being lost due to development. People are actually trying to pitch that publicity from pros, mtb industry, and youtubers are drawing more visitors to spend money in the area.
    Greer to me is a very different situation. PG is a trail that has existed for 30+ years on public land. Greer is partially on private land and we have been able to use it at no cost to riders for a few years. That place is on loan until they decide to develop it, but someone or business is incurring costs every month in mortgage, insurance, etc. They have every right to develop it when they are ready.

  13. #13
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    There's a local shop that always posts pictures/videos of unsanctioned trails on social media. Guess it was never an issue until the pandemic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Greer to me is a very different situation. PG is a trail that has existed for 30+ years on public land. Greer is partially on private land and we have been able to use it at no cost to riders for a few years. That place is on loan until they decide to develop it, but someone or business is incurring costs every month in mortgage, insurance, etc. They have every right to develop it when they are ready.
    This is nails it.

    PG Trail was built years ago. It is on a preserve and that land is an offset for development. I've talked to members who work with the preserve and they have directly told me a big part of it is commercial use on the public land. They don't allow that without approval.

    So you have a person who holds fundraisers and donates time and money watching a company like Red Bull or whoever come in and exploit that effort and never give back or even try to understand the situation. End result is more people on a trail that isn't designed to handle large numbers of riders.

    It's a blatant insult and no wonder the trails are getting taken out by the Parks and Rec.

    And advocacy groups for the MTB community aren't able to deal with this, they rely on some of these brands for support.

    It would be nice to see some of the Southern California Brands step up like Santa Cruz and IBIS have. They win nearly unanimous approval from notoriously tough Orgs like the Coastal Commission due their hard efforts to actual respect the environment or at least create that perception.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeventures View Post
    There's a local shop that always posts pictures/videos of unsanctioned trails on social media. Guess it was never an issue until the pandemic.
    The pandemic has put a lot of stress on outdoor areas with increased users. Also MTB sales have gone through the roof, lots of new riders or people who left the sport getting back into it now that travel is a no go and vacations are all but canceled. It's pretty crowded right now. Thankfully the bike parks opened up.

    Most shops aren't trend setters but simply following the trends and practices set by the brands. Usually some younger employee running the social posting photos of their friends or shop riders. The change needs to happen above the shops, they set the tone.

    MTB isn't some "hardcore" sport. The Outlaw punk mentality is kind of silly when you are riding 6,000.00 worth of bicycle parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suciedadbik View Post
    So you have a person who holds fundraisers and donates time and money watching a company like Red Bull or whoever come in and exploit that effort and never give back or even try to understand the situation. End result is more people on a trail that isn't designed to handle large numbers of riders.
    It's not that Red Bull Media doesn't understand... given people at the top actually grew up riding there. Blatant exploitation.

    Worth a mention, the good trails will likely never be legal due to erosion concerns (as if the toll road/development isn't the cause of canyon flooding). I bet there will be more trails being completely taken out of commission beyond the typical cactus/sticks entrance closures thing.

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    Related is there are a few youtubers with 5k+ followers who post stuff like, riding the secret trail today or crashing on illegal wall trail & stuff. Maybe we can get them to stop posting some of these?

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    I'm definitely in the camp of "GoPro'ers" hurting the local scene, but what alot of us don't realize is, we are rolling through the backyards of alot of "old money". Meaning, there are alot of extremely wealthy people in the area that don't appreciate MTB'ers and some of these people have influence with the local government. We don't play nice in their turf, they will push to reduce our ability to ride....legal or unsanctioned trails in OC. I am surprised most of unsanctioned Aliso stuff is still available to ride.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuckaMan View Post
    I am surprised most of unsanctioned Aliso stuff is still available to ride.
    Might as well call it what it is regardless of selective enforcement. Illegal.

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    But why was PG singled out first when Telonics is the poster child of illegal, Laguna trails?

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    I had to googled Teltonics up & first results are videos of youtubers with the Teltonics dude riding trails, including one trail guide of the Teltronics DH trail.

  22. #22
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    I live five minutes away from the absolute best DH run in the west. It doesn't help that it was illegally built by two pro downhillers and is used by suspension companies for testing. There's youtube vids of the men's and women's world champions riding it. Bloody fast too. It was even featured in an Intense commercial.

    I'm part of the problem as I shuttle it too, build my own illegal trails, and will admit that I poach the PCT sections here which are fantastic. At this stage of my life. I no longer care. I actually haven't cared since the 80's when the trails I rode were closed for the kangaroo rat, then had industrial units and housing tracts built on them. I wont get into the ebike issue.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  23. #23
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    Yes.
    You can add riders, fundraisers and anyone out to make a dollar to this as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    I live five minutes away from the absolute best DH run in the west. It doesn't help that it was illegally built by two pro downhillers and is used by suspension companies for testing. There's youtube vids of the men's and women's world champions riding it. Bloody fast too. It was even featured in an Intense commercial.

    I'm part of the problem as I shuttle it too, build my own illegal trails, and will admit that I poach the PCT sections here which are fantastic. At this stage of my life. I no longer care. I actually haven't cared since the 80's when the trails I rode were closed for the kangaroo rat, then had industrial units and housing tracts built on them. I wont get into the ebike issue.
    Riverside County has a bit different of a vibe or political view vs Laguna or other coastal cities with preserves. They don't have the Coastal Commission and the highly threatened coastal sage scrub home to the elusive gnatcatcher bird.

    Little bit more fun/lawless on the other side of the Ortega Hwy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeventures View Post
    But why was PG singled out first when Telonics is the poster child of illegal, Laguna trails?
    From the other article that was posted, Telonics is on a mesh of private, city and state owned land. It's still threatened to be torn down. Hans Rey is fighting to save it with some others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    I live five minutes away from the absolute best DH run in the west. It doesn't help that it was illegally built by two pro downhillers and is used by suspension companies for testing. There's youtube vids of the men's and women's world champions riding it. Bloody fast too. It was even featured in an Intense commercial.

    I'm part of the problem as I shuttle it too, build my own illegal trails, and will admit that I poach the PCT sections here which are fantastic. At this stage of my life. I no longer care. I actually haven't cared since the 80's when the trails I rode were closed for the kangaroo rat, then had industrial units and housing tracts built on them. I wont get into the ebike issue.
    The trail you live by at least has most of the promoters not naming it, or locating it as a city in Colorado to throw people off the scent. In this area you have local and non locals promoting illegal trails all over the internet, basically giving you names and directions to them... where it is too population/rider dense to begin with.

    If you're not blowing up those trails on the internet and using a little discretion, you're not part of the problem.

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