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  1. #1
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    To Anybody Familiar with PMBA (rant)

    I've lived and rode on Philadelphia trails (wissahickon, belmont, etc) for the past five years or so. In this time, I've met tons of nice people on and off the trails who appreciate all of the hard work groups such as PMBA put in for mtb advocacy. It seems there are plenty of people who don't think that mountain biking on shared trails is "worth the risk."

    However, I think that PMBA is falling short in a couple of very key areas. Recently, there have been a bunch of trail closings/reroutes at Wissahickon. No matter how diligently I try to follow signs, I always feel like I am forced to ride a closed trail, hop a fence, or bushwhack, just to find a trail so I can get home. This is where PMBA should step up to the plate!! When closings or re-routes occur, PMBA should be recommending a route that will not threaten the relationship between hikers, equestrians, and most importantly, the Friends of the Wissahickon, who lay down the law.

    I'm sure that some PMBA folks have a smart phone and could post a .GPX file of a recommended route around the park and post it to the site. This would be a vast improvement over the current site which does not even contain a trail map/descriptions, and is updated on what seems like semi-annual basis. I'm sorry about this rant, and would be posting it to the PMBA website, but THEY DON'T LET NON-DONATING MEMBERS POST ON THE FORUMS. Talk about reaching out to "potential members"....

  2. #2
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    Awesome post.

    Come on here, admit that you're part of the problem because you are somehow "forced" to ride closed trails, oh, and "bushwhack" making your own trails (or your way home) and then ***** that PMBA should do something about it...

    How about just following the rules?? If you aren't going to be active and have your voice heard other than complaining online, keep thoughts to yourself....

    (And no, I am not a member of PMBA)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibsygoldtop View Post
    Awesome post.

    Come on here, admit that you're part of the problem because you are somehow "forced" to ride closed trails, oh, and "bushwhack" making your own trails (or your way home) and then ***** that PMBA should do something about it...

    How about just following the rules?? If you aren't going to be active and have your voice heard other than complaining online, keep thoughts to yourself....

    (And no, I am not a member of PMBA)
    Sorry, but I am going to have to disagree with you. There are some parts of the Wiss that are not marked for biking, but you can in fact ride there. So a conscientious biker who does not know any better might feel like they are breaking the rules when they are in fact not. A posted sign would solve that problem.

    Anyway, back to what the OP said. I am leaving my opinions about the PMBA out. The Wiss is not a business, so things are not done in a timely manner. This is unfortunate, but it is what it is.
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    When I say bushwhack, I'm not talking about recreating the Lewis and Clark expedition. I'm talking about walking my bike on a path so I don't have to ride on Lincoln drive.

    So you're attacking me because I think that PMBA should have a hand in informing mountain bikers of a proper route around a park that they maintain? Are you serious, guy?

    I'm not asking anybody to hold my hand on a tour of the trails. If you have any idea what you're talking about, you'd know that the current situation at the wissahickon has been somewhat confrontational recently regarding rogue trail building and biking on non bike trails, with bulldozers and various other equipment laying down tress to block trails. I'm simply asking that PMBA inform people on how to do the least harm, so that I CAN follow the rules (you idiot).

    Lastly, I'm sorry for not keeping my thoughts to myself. Posting police with sociopathic tendencies, such as yourself, are certainly making this forum better place.

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    agree with OP. Go ride the plateau instead!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dullertap View Post
    When I say bushwhack, I'm not talking about recreating the Lewis and Clark expedition. I'm talking about walking my bike on a path so I don't have to ride on Lincoln drive.

    So you're attacking me because I think that PMBA should have a hand in informing mountain bikers of a proper route around a park that they maintain? Are you serious, guy?

    I'm not asking anybody to hold my hand on a tour of the trails. If you have any idea what you're talking about, you'd know that the current situation at the wissahickon has been somewhat confrontational recently regarding rogue trail building and biking on non bike trails, with bulldozers and various other equipment laying down tress to block trails. I'm simply asking that PMBA inform people on how to do the least harm, so that I CAN follow the rules (you idiot).

    Lastly, I'm sorry for not keeping my thoughts to myself. Posting police with sociopathic tendencies, such as yourself, are certainly making this forum better place.
    It's obvious you came here with a grudge against more than just PMBA. You laid the bait, then set the hook after the first strike. Take your trolling elsewhere. BTW, I think it would be great if the info you seek was readily available. But your methods suck. Where's your cell phone data of the problems you describe?

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    http://www.filejungle.com/f/ubrFxN/3...12 1_21 PM.gpx

    There's a GPX of my ride. Take a look in Google Earth, or whatever program you prefer, and you'll see where I needed to backtrack around the whole Walnut Lane construction. The signs are clear that the trail is closed, but unclear about what to do about it. I simply took the next trail that I could find that didn't explicitly say that it was closed to bikers. Don't know if it was allowed/legal/recommended?

    This is why I suggest that those in a role of responsibility disseminate this information. There are plenty of confused people, like myself, who are happy to do the right thing.

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    Hmnmm... let's get this straight... so you don't pay dues... you don't help out on trail maintenance days... but you expect others to donate their time and $$ to post signs and GPS maps so you don't have to get off your bike when you ride.... seems reasonable to me...

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    Nice straw man argument!! I don't want anybody to donate time or money for my pursuits. I enjoy biking at the Wissahickon, and I fully intend on helping out at trail days. Also, I do my part to pick up trash, etc, whenever I ride.

    All that I am asking is that PMBA take a stronger hand in informing riders where they SHOULD and SHOULD NOT ride. When we ride where we should not, we make people like the Friends of the Wissahickon upset at bikers. If my logic is selfish or convoluted, somebody please break it down for me.

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    Was considering checking this place out. After reading post after post about the place and people that ride there I have zero interest. I'll keep my freeriding and hooliganism away from the "cyclers".

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    Quote Originally Posted by scsabol View Post
    Was considering checking this place out. After reading post after post about the place and people that ride there I have zero interest. I'll keep my freeriding and hooliganism away from the "cyclers".
    Even though I have ridden here several times,for my drive time and money there are much cooler and less crowded places to ride like French Creek,Rattling Creek or Delano.to many rules at Wiss for my taste and fortunately there are many other options.

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    So be it. Wissahickon is a premier riding destination for urban centric mountain biking... Not a direct comparison to biking in Pocono Mtns... just different. Multiple types of trail users and alot of them... always have to ride w respect for both other users and the trail conditions... If I didnt live 2200 miles away I would be tying in a Wissahickon ride w a visit to Monk's Cafe for some session beers right away... Its a Philadelphia treasure and alot of people, myself included, spent numerous hours attending meetings and workshops, conducting trail maintenance and even working with IMBA on the patrols.... Not my preference either.. just a reality. SInce I moved, the trails became more sanitized and access restricted which was a huge disapointment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by techfersure View Post
    Even though I have ridden here several times,for my drive time and money there are much cooler and less crowded places to ride like French Creek,Rattling Creek or Delano.to many rules at Wiss for my taste and fortunately there are many other options.
    ... with all of the latest trail work changes + the [email protected] Wiss mountain biking is everything but not fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cholakov View Post
    ... with all of the latest trail work changes + the [email protected] Wiss mountain biking is everything but not fun.
    what are these rules? I just go there and ride.
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    While PMBA has had it's share of challenges and opportunities , the signage issue can not be blamed on them. Even the dominant NGO - Friends of the Wissahickon - cant get traction with Philadelphia Parks and Rec on the signage issue.

    It's very overlooked and a key opportunity to clear up communication on what trails are open to mountain bikers and which are hiker only.

    Unfortunately the Wiss is many different things to as many different folks so something as seemingly inconsequential as signage can become a rediculous tug of war over "natural appearance", aesthetics, resistance to vandalism, reference points for EMS/Police response etc.

    If you feel strongly about this, by all means please go to City of Philadelphia and start applying pressure. This will not resolve itself on its own.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cicatrix View Post
    what are these rules? I just go there and ride.
    Exactly! Respect of others goes a LONG way to maintaining the peace... I can't tell you how close we came to having MTBs banned back in 1990. It went to the highest levels in Philly government... . What used to kill me, we would spend hours doing trail repairs and pacifying the FOW and on Sunday at noon (busiest time) a carload of riders would show up from S Jersey or some other place and treat Wissahickon as a personal MTB playground... just blast the trails, not yielding to hikers or horses, stopping at Valley Green and doing trials stunts on picnic benches etc... so there was blame to go around, including the MTB community... Hope it has gotten better....

  17. #17
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    Good job!

    Mt biking is...

    ...an exploration, the excitement of being out and about, testing new stuff, weather it be bikes, parts, locations, or skills. Finding new views, sights, and meeting others on the trail who shared a story or two or invited you to their discoveries, and maybe a beer after the ride!

    With that said offering help first usually gets a return in some way, and often the people that can't help or be there on trail days, support in the background if they feel welcome!

    Like Red Green said "Were all in this together", and I will add "We all like to put tires to dirt, so do whatever you can to help in anyway you can cause it could all be gone in a minute weather it be from loss of trails or loss of health!"

    Ride da trails...
    ...support da trails

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    I don't think the OP has much perspective on what say PMBA has in blazing new trails and putting up signage in the park...at this point they are virtually shut out of the process. The wiss is dripping in old guard Philadelphia politics and to just ranting against PMBA for its mismanagement is way off target.

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    I appreciate everybody's opinion on this matter. I realize PMBA doesn't have a ton of clout in making new trails and signage. My gripe is that they shy away from communicating with the mtn biking community about trails, closures, and re-routes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dullertap View Post
    So you're attacking me because I think that PMBA should have a hand in informing mountain bikers of a proper route around a park that they maintain? Are you serious, guy?
    Just to let you know, PMBA is not responsible for MAINTAINING the trails. That responsibility belongs to the City of Philadelphia. Currently the Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) has permission to schedule trail maintenance days.
    Board Member Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association (http://www.phillymtb.com)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieseldog View Post
    While PMBA has had it's share of challenges and opportunities , the signage issue can not be blamed on them. Even the dominant NGO - Friends of the Wissahickon - cant get traction with Philadelphia Parks and Rec on the signage issue.

    It's very overlooked and a key opportunity to clear up communication on what trails are open to mountain bikers and which are hiker only.

    Unfortunately the Wiss is many different things to as many different folks so something as seemingly inconsequential as signage can become a rediculous tug of war over "natural appearance", aesthetics, resistance to vandalism, reference points for EMS/Police response etc.

    If you feel strongly about this, by all means please go to City of Philadelphia and start applying pressure. This will not resolve itself on its own.
    Thanks....well said!
    Board Member Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association (http://www.phillymtb.com)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dullertap View Post
    I appreciate everybody's opinion on this matter. I realize PMBA doesn't have a ton of clout in making new trails and signage. My gripe is that they shy away from communicating with the mtn biking community about trails, closures, and re-routes.
    Again.. to repeat... the lesson learned here is instead of griping.. get involved.. join the PMBA... problem solved.

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    The original suggestion of posting better info on trail closings seems like a good idea to me. So does a trail map, definitely. But here's the honest truth: there are a lot more good ideas than people willing to make them happen. PMBA has no staff and a volunteer board. If you come to PMBA saying "I think this is a problem and I'd love to help solve it," you'll generally get a warm response.

    As a practical matter, trail closures and re-openings can be a fast-moving target. (Which is a credit to FOW and the city because it means they're out there working hard on the trails we all ride.) PMBA doesn't do the work in the Wiss and we often don't know any earlier about closures than everyone else. So I don't know if it's realistic for PMBA to take responsibility for posting updated suggested routes.

    It don't seem necessary to make this a rant against PMBA. PMBA gets it from all sides these days, and it's hurting the group and hurting mountain biking throughout the region, IMO. PMBA ain't perfect. Going forward, I hope more people are committed to improving PMBA instead of attacking it.

    Matt
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    There actually are a few threads about how to get around the aforementioned trouble spots, but you do have to be a member to post. Basically, over the last year or two, PMBA has had some strife with FOW and been cut-off from doing trail days. It's a very political environment in Philly with a lot of blue bloods running the park through FOW and the city not being very proactive. PMBA has nothing to do with the trail closures or signage. The posts got closed because too many people were posting damning comments and the FOW was using against PMBA as a group. Wayward posting is limited by making sure that it's invested people doing the posting. Seriously, it's like $25 a year to get access and that money can be used to try to make improvements so just pony up and you get some cool socks and can post to the site.

    As for the area in question; the city is doing some work on the water pipes in that area of the park and dealing with some washouts. Mainly, on the Mt. Airy side going from Lincoln Dr. to Kitchen's lane. At the moment, that section is pretty much impossible to hit in it's entirety so just go up Fobidden to Kitchen's lane and jump back on there. There's still 15 miles of rideable terrain so it shouldn't be too big of a deal. You can go back south from Kitchen's on the lower trail and up the access road after the water pipe and then back down the new Kitchen's lane reroute if you want to ride some of that section. You can also ride the trails on the other side of Lincoln Dr by going from the Pine forest on Henry across the bridge and drop in on the other side. Then you can go up the Mt Airy side from Rittenhouse.

    Of course, you have to know the trails pretty well to do that. On the PMBA main page there are several evening rides that go out every week that you can tag up with to learn the trails better. I lead the Monday ride at 7:30. Come out and I'll show you all the ins and outs.

  25. #25
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    Boy...you bring back so many memories from years ago at the Wiss. I have been riding there for the last 20 years and have seen all that you talk about.

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    PMBA isn't perfect but at least they are trying to do positive things for biking in the Wissahickon. I am not a part of PMBA, but it is really annoying that people are always attacking them. They are one of the only groups who have really gotten involved. I know all about the rogue trail thing last year, but you can't blame the whole organization on the actions of a few. Give credit where credit is due.

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    Ask, and ye shall receive.

    I've posted a description and (crappy) map showing the current closures and potential detours. I can't link to it because I don't have enough posts here, but it is on the PMBA site in the Wissahickon Park forum (visible to all website visitors), maybe someone else could post the link. Corrections/updates encouraged.

    Happy riding,
    Matt

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    map

    Quote Originally Posted by EmbudoMatt View Post
    Ask, and ye shall receive.

    I've posted a description and (crappy) map showing the current closures and potential detours. I can't link to it because I don't have enough posts here, but it is on the PMBA site in the Wissahickon Park forum (visible to all website visitors), maybe someone else could post the link. Corrections/updates encouraged.

    Happy riding,
    Matt
    Thanks for letting us know.. i think this might be the link you are referring too
    Statement on Re-Opening Closed Trails | [PMBA] Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association

    Here is the map http://www.phillymtb.org/sites/defau...Closures_0.pdf

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dullertap View Post
    I appreciate everybody's opinion on this matter. I realize PMBA doesn't have a ton of clout in making new trails and signage. My gripe is that they shy away from communicating with the mtn biking community about trails, closures, and re-routes.
    On this point, I was looking to see what is currently happening at Pennypack Park. I heard the trails were recently closed to mountain biking, for reasons unknown. There’s no mention of it on PMBA's website. I ‘d hope information on something like this is a priority.
    Last edited by XCoalMiner; 05-17-2012 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Wording

  30. #30
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    I was just riding at pennypack on Sunday. No trail closure that I know of. Where did you hear they were closed to mountain bikers?

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    Maybe that's why no mention of it on the PMBA website.

    I heard it from someone who rides there with his wife, they are not hardcore real technical types. I don't ride there myself, but what he said sounded legit.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCoalMiner View Post
    On this point, I was looking to see what is currently happening at Pennypack Park. I heard the trails were recently closed to mountain biking, for reasons unknown. There’s no mention of it on PMBA's website. I ‘d hope information on something like this is a priority.
    Wait, I want to be sure I have this right. Someone told you trails were closed. You look on the PMBA website, and you fail to see that there are not one but two threads talking about closures at Pennypack. Then, instead of just posting a question on the PMBA website, or here, asking about the trail closures, you instead post in this thread to complain about PMBA.

    Genius.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marion Delgado View Post
    Wait, I want to be sure I have this right. Someone told you trails were closed. You look on the PMBA website, and you fail to see that there are not one but two threads talking about closures at Pennypack. Then, instead of just posting a question on the PMBA website, or here, asking about the trail closures, you instead post in this thread to complain about PMBA.

    Genius.
    Listen genius, if I were registered on the PMBA website I'd (hesitate to) ask there. I'm not registered, and if I were, why I'd hesitate to ask is because info and answers that come back there are almost always unofficial, like "Yes, I was riding at X and a trail was closed, but I don't know why." I asked the guy who mentioned it to me, he said there's now mention of it in a hidden area of the PMBA website, I took that to mean member's only area. Because I still don't see it. One of the many small details, keeping info about rides and trails sort of secret, that PMBA does, intentionally or not, that seems not quite right, or user unfriendly, however your point of view.

  34. #34
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    Hopefully this answers your concerns....

    User account | [PMBA] Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricocpa View Post
    "You are not authorized to access this page."

    This is after logging in.
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

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    pmba says you must pay if you'd like to post on forums, all willy nilly

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    The question was not "do you want to open a PMBA account" or even "How to open register with PMBA", thanks anyway to hose who suggested it.

    My particular question was, still is, does PMBA announce trail closures to the mountain biking community in the Philly area, in particular what if anything is going on with Pennypack Park. For all those who kindly pointed out how to join PMBA, do you know what if anything is going on at Pennypack? I'm guessing no.

  38. #38
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    Basically what we have here is a failure to communicate.

    PMBA says they are not the ones who's responsibility it is to post up info on Wiss- kind of ironic that they are the "Philly" mountain bike club and Wiss is the area most people identify as the place to ride in Philly. Even if you pay, they don't post up conditions or park info regularly. But whatever, they want to run the club as they see fit and focus on other issues, that is their perogative; they do some fund raising and charity work which is cool.

    If you want info on conditions/trail closures/keggers/human sacrifice and whatever else goes on in the Wiss, you are better off posting up a thread here and asking for info (but ask nicely or you will be judged by the forum etiquitte nazis) - also check the FOW website as far as general information and trail closures. I know there are alot of riders on here who ride the Wiss multiple times a week and could just post up when there is info the rest of the community might find helpful.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  39. #39
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    Seems like most of the posters here need to spend less time complaining, trolling and finger pointing and more time riding!!!!!!

    I've been a pretty frequent Wiss rider for the last 7 or 8 years. In all of that time, there have been some limited trail closures. You go around or find another route, no big deal. But when the trails reopen, they are almost always way improved. If you can't see the huge amount of progress that has been made here, go ride somewhere else.

    I give kudos to all involved, PMBA, FOW, Fairmont. The riding consistently gets better!!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    "You are not authorized to access this page."

    This is after logging in.
    Here is what was posted by the current Board President in reply to someone asking about PP trail closures....

    PMBA's first meeting with the city was in January 2012 (I think.. I lose track of time..). Three things were discussed 1) Having the IMBA Trail Care Crew (TCC) Visit at Pennypack Park (the no 1 priority and the reason for the meeting). 2) Would the city consider "approving" the singletrack at Pennypack (just wanted to get their take on the idea). and 3) PMBA's relationship with the city in general.

    We walked out of the meeting with "perhaps" on the TCC visit and to come back to them in a few weeks. This gave PMBA a chance to make a few additional changes.

    In regards to the trails at PP. They had some serious reservations there, but weren't completely opposed to the idea of some trails being considered. In particular they mentioned the area near the environmental center. They REALLY didn't want people riding there. By the way, most of the singletrack at Pennypack is not "offical" and are social trails.

    Meanwhile a group formed called the Pennypack Trail Alliance (PPTA). They are a group of mountain bikers that mainly ride at Pennypack who were interested in doing offical trail work at Pennypack. They had been in contact with Jackie Olsen the volunteer coordinator at Pennypack and had arranged a clean-up day. PMBA was aware of the cleanup day and advertised it, but we did not know who the Pennypack Trail Alliance was.

    We went back to the city in March.*** During that meeting we were given permission to hold the TCC visit at Pennypack. It is a ONE DAY trail building school run by IMBA. We do not have permission to do any other trail work at Pennypack and there is no additional trail work that has been planned.

    *** let me be clear, other locations were considered while we were waiting permission from the city. The TCC visit would NOT have been held at Pennypack without the Permission of the city.

    I met with Chris Palmer and Jackie Olsen to look at two possible sites for the TCC visit. The first was choosen by me, and was the enterance to the trail at Pine Road Parking lot. As you may be aware the trail enters right onto the parking lot where you pull in from the road, which isn't ideal safety-wise. And the trail was becoming very rutted out. Also at the end there was some signficant tree fall and multiple lines. Shortly there after is a water crossing. I also chose this site because it wasn't a controversal section of trail to which any of the builders at PP would be upset if we changed.

    Jackie then took us over to a section of double-track near the environmental station that she wanted us to work on. The trail however is a ditch! and the only way to really deal with it is to fill it in and reroute the whole thing. I then said to Chris, "it is re-routed". I took him over to the singletrack. He said the trail seemed well-designed and sustainable. While the city wasn't happy people were riding where they aren't supposed to, he seemed to think Mountian Bikers and the city could come to some agreement about the trails. It was positive conversation, but NO decisions or future plans were made about PP in general. The meeting was about the TCC visit location not PP trails...

    We now have a better sense of where the city stands on the singletrack at Pennypack.

    In regard to the closures... I have been out on vacation and have not had time to contact the city to find out what happened. Based on my experience with the city they are cracking down on rogue trail building. They feel it has escalated in the last few years and it's out of control. They are starting to crack down on it by closing trails. They closed trails at Wiss too. PP is not immune to this crack down. They are VERY aware of what MTBers have been up to in PP. If you think you are working "under the radar" you are NOT.

    The MTB community has a chance here to engage the city and *perhaps* get some trails offically approved. That does come at the risk of losing some trails. Which is why the entire community needs to think about what we want. If the community wants to go offical, then PMBA can help. I think it is our job to try to convince the community it is in there best interest to do so. But PMBA represents the MTB community, we are not the dictators. The TCC visit will be a good chance to dicuss the issue and see what people want.

    What advantage is there to approving the trails? 1) Sustainable trails can be planned, developed and cared for. 2) A voice at the table. the city did a meadows reconstruction project at Pennypack.. Because the singletrack wasn't approved, it was ripped out with no plan to reroute/replace it. Right near there a drainage work was done taking out more singletrack. The recent closure is another example. 3) Wouldn't you rather ride knowing you are allowed there?

    why should PMBA get involved? 1) Funds! PMBA is a non-profit which means we can raise money for building supplies. Since we are a chapter of IMBA we have access to trail work grants. 2) Trail building expertise.. IMBA is the best trail building group out there. We can offer the training to build and plan trails the right way.
    PMBA's first meeting with the city was in January 2012 (I think.. I loose track of time..). Three things were discussed 1) Having the Trail Care Crew (TCC) Visit at Pennypack Park (the no 1 priority and the reason for the meeting). 2) Would the city consider "approving" the singletrack at Pennypack (just wanted to get their take on the idea). and 3) PMBA's relationship with the city in general.

    We walked out of the meeting with "perhaps" on the TCC visit and to come back to them in a few weeks. This gave PMBA a chance to make a few additional changes.

    In regards to the trails at PP. They had some serious reservations there, but weren't complete opposed to the idea of some trails being considered. In particular they mentioned the area near the environmental center. They REALLY didn't want people riding there. By the way, most of the singletrack at Pennypack is not "offical" and are social trails.

    Meanwhile a group formed called the Pennypack Trail Alliance (PPTA). They are a group of mountain bikers that mainly ride at Pennypack who were interested in doing offical trail work at Pennypack. They had been in contact with Jackie Olsen the volunteer coordinator at Pennypack and had arranged a clean-up day. PMBA was aware of the cleanup day and advertised it, but we did not know who the Pennypack Trail Alliance was.

    We went back to the city in March.*** During that meeting we were given permission to hold the TCC visit at Pennypack. It is a ONE DAY trail building school run by IMBA. We do not have permission to do any other trail work at Pennypack and there is no additional trail work that has been planned.

    *** let me be clear, other locations were considered while we were waiting permission from the city. The TCC visit would NOT have been held at Pennypack without the Permission of the city.

    I met with Chris Palmer and Jackie Olsen to look at two possible sites for the TCC visit. The first was choosen by me, and was the enterance to the trail at Pine Road Parking lot. As you may be aware the trail enters right onto the parkinglot where you pull in from the road, which isn't ideal safety-wise. And the trail was becoming very rutted out. Also at the end there was some signficant tree fall and multiple lines. Shortly there after is a water crossing. I also chose this site because it wasn't a controversal section of trail to which any of the builders at PP would be upset if we changed.

    Jackie then took us over to a section of double-track near the environmental station that she wanted us to work on. The trail however is a ditch! and the only way to really deal with it is to fill it in and reroute the whole thing. I then said to Chris, "it is re-routed". I took him over to the singletrack. He said the trail seemed well-designed and sustainable. While the city wasn't happy people were riding where they aren't supposed to, he seemed to think Mountian Bikers and the city could come to some agreement about the trails. It was positive conversation, but NO decisions or future plans were made about PP in general. The meeting was about the TCC visit location not PP trails...

    So to answer you question, PMBA has no grand plan. We now have a better sense of where the city stands on the singletrack at Pennypack. I've reached out to the PPTA. I'd like to see all of us to work together. There is some resistance in the mountain biking community to drawing attention to the trails so we do need to address that.

    As regards to the closures... I have been out on vacation and have not had time to contact the city to find out what happened. Based on my experience with the city they are cracking down on rogue trail building. They feel it has escalated in the last few years and it's out of control. They are starting to crack down on it by closing trails. They closed trails at Wiss too. PP is not immune to this crack down. They are VERY aware of what MTBers have been up to in PP. If you think you are working "under the radar" you are NOT.

    The MTB community has a chance here to engage the city and *perhaps* get some trails offically approved. That does come at the risk of losing some trails. Which is why the entire community needs to think about what we want. If the community wants to go offical, then PMBA can help. I think it is our job to try to convince the community it is in there best interest to do so. But PMBA represents the MTB community, we are not the dictators. The TCC visit will be a good chance to dicuss the issue and see what people want.

    What advantage is there to approving the trails? 1) Sustainable trails can be planned, developed and cared for. 2) A voice at the table. the city did a meadows reconstruction project at Pennypack.. Because the singletrack wasn't approved, it was ripped out with no plan to reroute/replace it. Right near there a drainage work was done taking out more singletrack. The recent closure is another example. 3) Wouldn't you rather ride knowing you are allowed there?

    why should PMBA get involved? 1) Funds! PMBA is a non-profit which means we can raise money for building supplies. Since we are a chapter of IMBA we have access to trail work grants. 2) Trail building expertise.. IMBA is the best trail building group out there. We can offer the training to build and plan trails the right way.
    Board Member Philadelphia Mountain Biking Association (http://www.phillymtb.com)

  41. #41
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    The bottom line on all of this is that PMBA is a volunteer group that is trying its best to improve the local trails and bring mountain bikers together. If you want to improve PMBA, join for a small donation of $20/year and you can post all you want. If you want change, run for the board. The elections are coming up this fall. They are a non-profit and desperately need help from volunteers. The reason things don't get posted as much as you like is that everyone has day jobs and this is all in their free time. Most of the actual work gets done by the board members and sub-committees and is mostly behind the scenes.

    It used to be more of an open forum but too many jackasses were posting ludicrous things on the boards and then it was getting used against the club by the city and FOW so they decided to close the boards to only paying members and not make it open to the general public.

    PMBA tries as it may to be involved in the Wiss, but the main trail mantainance organization for over a hundred years has been the FOW. They are also volunteer run, but they have far more money and have 3 full timers who are paid to manage park issues. Then, you have the various city government groups that have the final say on most issues. It makes the whole situation very political and it's not as easy to get things done as just going out and doing what you want. That type of action got the club in serious hot water with the city and FOW a couple of years ago. That trouble seems to be passed the club now and they are moving forward but in a much more closed lip manner because things can get very polarized. Hence, you have to be invested in the club to post comments etc...

    As far as Pennypack goes, I don't know of any trail closures and have ridden there recently. I do know that the city is privy to the user generated trails and they are much more involved than in years past. They approached PMBA about a year or two ago about the Belmont trails and PMBA, very successfully, negotiated b/w the city and the local Belmont trail group and got all of the trails approved without a single closure. In fact, there have been a few city-sanctioned re-routes there now that were approved and guided by the city and built by the local crew. PMBA has no action in PP now, they just were looking for a place to hold a seminar on trail building with IMBA and went to the city to see if they could hold it there. I don't think there is any desire to overtake the trails there or anything like that. If there are any trail closures, it's the park and recs prerogative and right to do so-they and only they have the final say and right.

    Finally, PMBA is the first subchapter of IMBA and abides by all of IMBA's policies and for all intents and purposes, when PMBA does something, it is only in accordance with IMBA policies. IMBA has a lot of money and political power so having PMBA/IMBA involved should only amount to good things. Again, if you don't like something, get involved. Or, if your like me, the political stuff is just too much to deal with and I prefer to donate my money to IMBA/PMBA and my time is donated to riding and showing people around rather than haggling with polititians.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by durb View Post
    The bottom line on all of this is that PMBA is a volunteer group that is trying its best to improve the local trails and bring mountain bikers together. If you want to improve PMBA, join for a small donation of $20/year and you can post all you want. If you want change, run for the board. The elections are coming up this fall. They are a non-profit and desperately need help from volunteers. The reason things don't get posted as much as you like is that everyone has day jobs and this is all in their free time. Most of the actual work gets done by the board members and sub-committees and is mostly behind the scenes.
    Truth.

    If you have a suggestion or complaint about PMBA, why not start off by contacting someone who's active with PMBA about it? Contact me if you want, I'm on the board, and I'm pretty good about responding. Seriously. If you have a question, contact one of us, or just post your question somewhere.

    Why start off by posting a rant? You may still get a response (as I showed with the trail closure maps and Rico showed with the info on Pennypack closures). But all the negativity is poisoning the local MTB community.

    Matt

  43. #43
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    Penny pack park

    I was trying to keep my mind open and mouth shut but I can not.
    I find it strange that a couple of years ago you could not get someone from PMBA to ride Penny pack park.
    Now that they are having trouble with FOW and the wiss it seems they are now focusing on PPP.
    Prior to January 2012 the local riders were doing just fine with keeping the trails clean and open to riding. Since January I believe there has been about 3 trail closures in PPP. prior to that in the last five years zero trail closures.
    with that in mind PMBA PLEASE STAY OUT OF PPP.

  44. #44
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    Management changed in the park system=changes. There was a merger of the former two city organizations(can't remember their names). Wiss used to have a the bowl, log rides, ect...and they all got knocked out after the merger. Then the park managers wanted to know about the trails in Belmont. Now, they're more involved in PP. They are just more involved than they used to be and that is evedenced by more closures of illegal trails. It has nothing to do with PMBA and more to do with a fundamental government change plus some money they got from the stimulus package so they are now more on top of things than they used to be.

  45. #45
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    There are still some fun things in the wiss; log rides and little jumps here and there. Although it would be fun for us to have more bike specific features, the fact of the matter is it's a multi-use park who's trails see a lot more foot traffic than most.

    They try to limit the speed/air of bikers or else people will be mowed down, and that's no good.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by cicatrix View Post
    what are these rules? I just go there and ride.
    This...

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