Epic ride in Huntsville this Saturday- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    All-most Mountain
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    Epic ride in Huntsville this Saturday

    A group of us are planning to do the full 24 mile Flat Rock Loop (Family-Mountain Mist-Goat-Warpath-Flatrock-Tollgate-Cold Springs. Meet at biker's lot at 7am.

  2. #2
    All-most Mountain
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    Plan canceled. Was informed that flat rock will be too wet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camshaft213
    Plan canceled. Was informed that flat rock will be too wet.
    Arrowhead is a real mess also, the recent trail run has realy chewed up the trail. It will take a couple of weeks of dry weather to dry out.
    Never Forget
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonslayer
    Arrowhead is a real mess also, the recent trail run has realy chewed up the trail. It will take a couple of weeks of dry weather to dry out.
    I hate to say it, but Arrowhead has been a mess long before the "recent trail run". FWIW, I frequently run this trail, and even before the race the trail was a mess (i.e. when there was very little traffic on the trail)...

    In fact it's been a mess even before it was officially "Arrowhead" trail. In my explorations around Monte Sano I stumbled upon this route years ago when it was basically nothing more than a flat ATV route that the property owner blazed through along a fairly level bench cut. Let me tell you, it was very muddy and slick most of the time back then and it really isn't any different today. The problem is the trail was originally fashioned in a "non-sustainable" fashion by the original land owner out joy riding on an ATV. Then when the Monte Sano State Park acquired the land on which this rough route was already laid, they simply cut in an access trail from Natural Well (upper Arrowhead, though a lot of that trail existed as well even back then) to this ATV path, extended it so it connected up to the other park trails, blazed it and renamed it "Arrowhead trail." It was a short sighted decision IMHO if trail sustainability is so important.

    So to blame the current trail condition on any factors other than the original decision to just utilize an existing, messy ATV trail as a new mountain bike trail is just ridiculous. The real issue is that this trail is not built well (read: joy riding ATVer) and it will continue to be a mess until its rerouted/closed etc... Personally I don't mind the mud, but I know it can't be any fun on a bicycle; basically unrideable in large sections.

    I'd imagine the history of Arrowhead is much like that of it's sister trail on the other side of the mountain: Flat Rock trail. Flat rock is quite often a muddy mess as well, perhaps worse because there is still large vehicle access at one end and the fact that quite a bit of the route is still on private property and frequented by ATVs. Arrowhead is now in public land, but it's origins are the same though it is a younger route.

  5. #5
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    Good bit of history lesson there Muni. Current policy is erring to the side of conservative on trail use when wet/muddy. IMO it is a bit too conservative, but if followed it means that trail maintenance is lessened so the club is free to tackle other issues than restoring rutted out trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AL29er
    Good bit of history lesson there Muni. Current policy is erring to the side of conservative on trail use when wet/muddy. IMO it is a bit too conservative, but if followed it means that trail maintenance is lessened so the club is free to tackle other issues than restoring rutted out trails.
    Agreed, way too conservative, almost to the point of being ridiculous. As somebody who'd spent quite a bit of time on trails all over the country, on foot, I can honestly say that most trails (for right or wrong, better or worse) are traveled under any and all conditions period. If one prefers only to use trails under ideal conditions so be it, but trail use shouldn't belong in the same camp as little league, golf and other "fair weather" sports. If a trail is going to be built, it's going to be used; that's they way it always has been and the way it will always be.

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    Nobody with Huntsville SORBA has not tried to block the trail runners from using the trails when wet, but we can recommend that they not be used all we like, and I personally can think that those that use them when they are muddy to be self centered, selfish a-holes to my hearts content.

    Tim Storey

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    I'm sorry you feel that way. But I respectfully disagree, trail use has never been a "fair weather" activity. To think otherwise is, in my mind, delusional. Trail use, world wide, is an everyday, every condition activity; always has been and always will be. And no amount of name calling will change that.

  9. #9
    All-most Mountain
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    Munisano,

    As I'm sure you are aware, park rules state that trails are closed for 1-2 days after a rain.

    If you don't like that, take it up with the park.

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    Really? Pretty odd that the park has NEVER forbidden us from putting on a trail race in the park over the past 15+ years because of wet/muddy trails? BTW, I think the "rule" your referencing is with respect to mountain bike use not ALL trail use.

  11. #11
    All-most Mountain
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    Do many runners attend trail maintenance sessions? I have not been many times myself, so I am not preaching, I am just genuinely curious.

  12. #12
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    I've attended some trail maintenance sessions with our local SORBA in the past, though not regularly. I got kind of turned off by the same attitude just exhibited; it's no mystery to me why they've got problems finding manpower. Believe me I'm not alone; many others have had similar run ins. In general though I'd say runners do take part in regular trail maintenance sessions, just not with this group. Nationwide I imagine trail runners play an active role in many local trail action groups. For example, some of the races I've seen actually require so many hours of trail maintenance to be performed either at the event sight or locally. In these cases the event trails are very inaccessible and remote and the type of work they do is typically clearing deadfall/blowdowns from the previous winter. When I get more free time I'd like to get more involved, at least every once in a while; but until I get a better vibe from SORBA I think I'll go help the Landtrust folks out instead.

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    Not meaning to thread jack here, but I noticed this friendly argument brought up some topics that I strongly agree on. I, as munisano said, dont get a good vibe from SORBA. The people in charge seem to be a bunch of middle aged a**holes. I contacted them asking a simple question and they felt the need to tell me to come to the meeting, I only asked a simple question. BUT, when I've contacted the Landtrust many times about building trails, general questions etc. and they have happily emailed me back. I've heard that SORBA has some trouble getting people to help do trailwork on sano, if thats true, then maybe if they treat people a little better they might have more people willing to help them. Im not trying to offend any of you huntsvill'ians with this, im just sharing my opinion.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeridesspecialized
    The people in charge seem to be a bunch of middle aged a**holes. I contacted them asking a simple question and they felt the need to tell me to come to the meeting, I only asked a simple question.
    If this was your question on the SORBA-Huntsville forum;
    "Hey guys, I was wondering if this spring there were any hopes/plans etc. of a freeride type trail being built on or near monte sano or the landtrust. I'm not saying the trails we have aren't awesome. but I think a trail with nice jumps gaps, ladder bridges etc.. would be really sick for Huntsville!"

    We tend to get this question or a more direct "when will SORBA-Huntsville build freeride trails" a couple of times a year. Most of us are middle-age and don't have much interest in gap-jumps, stunts, etc. We are willing to help out with it, but others will have to do most of the work.

    If you would have prefered a simple "no" as the answer over an attempt to start you on the path of getting what you want, then our apologies.

  15. #15
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    Thank you bike-poor. I had no intention on sounding like a jerk, and i hope I didnt. I totally understand when you say most people dont want to jump drop etc. I know it takes alot of work from everybody involved to build a new trail and didnt expect anyone to be interested in it but I am glad at least someone seems willing to somewhat help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeridesspecialized
    Thank you bike-poor. I had no intention on sounding like a jerk, and i hope I didnt. I totally understand when you say most people dont want to jump drop etc. I know it takes alot of work from everybody involved to build a new trail and didnt expect anyone to be interested in it but I am glad at least someone seems willing to somewhat help.
    I think there is probably enough interest in a free ride trail to get one built in the Huntsville area if the Land Trust can be convinced or other another suitable location could be found. Those that are interested will have to work together to get it done, wether it is under the SORBA-Huntsville banner or another group. Working with SORBA would offer some advantages, such as insurance, a working relationship with local land managers and an existing group of people with experince building things.

  17. #17
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    Hi,

    Bad Vibes: What were the bad vibes you got? What could be done to fix that?

    Closed trails when wet: Recently, in the past 2-3 years both the Land Trust and state park have adopted a policy that trails should not be used when wet. They request that folks wait until they dry out, or frozen. This can be noted by signage at all kiosks and most trail heads. Both agencies have identical signs (though personalized for each agencies) . The only difference is that the parks signs say its a park regulation.

    Now to enforcement of this, I have never seen that done. It seems to be an honor system only.

    Freeride area: Totally awesome idea, but difficult to legally make considering all the liability issues. I think that is one reason why the Land Trust closed down one freeride trails. Things have to be done with in a context that will keep the agency immune from liability and that take a lot of work. I think SORBA and the agencies would like to see it happen. However to get the man power and money necessary to that is a major hurdle. SORBA for example is concentrating on raising funds to work on McKay Hollow trail and finish the IMBA trail started back in 2004. If one can take the time to sit down and talk with the land agencies, and show them a plan of action I think a legal free ride trail can happen.

    SORBA is activily working on making Monte Sano a ride center. A result if that happens would be bringing in money to make these trail projects happen. I would hope a free ride trail(s) would be included.

    -Robert Murphy

  18. #18
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    I shouldn't have really said "bad vibes" because thats not what I totally meant. I guess I was meaning that when I asked SORBA and Landtrust questions, it seemed like it took an arm and a leg to answer. I was only asking simple questions, not DEMANDING that new trails be made lol. I understand the Liability issue totally, and don't really support "ghetto" "bootleg" trails being built.

    On the future possibility of a freeride trail, what would be ale to be built that someone could handle that could probably handle any trail on MS.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeridesspecialized
    On the future possibility of a freeride trail, what would be ale to be built that someone could handle that could probably handle any trail on MS.
    I think that whatever get done, a professional trail builder will need to be consulted. I could be wrong, but that's what I've taken from conversations I've had with folks. Hopefully, in the near future more will come to light on the issue. I know SORBA is working hard to make something happen, but with the McKay Hollow project, and other things on the plate, its hard to tackle so much. Does anyone else know anything more?

    I would suggest contacting the SORBA-Huntsville president, Rick Williams, and seeing if there is anything you could do. It might be a great chance to form committee (group of folks) whose task it is to try and make a free ride trail happen. (I would love to help, but already busy with the fund raising committee for the McKay Hollow project....)

    -rob

  20. #20
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    What about simply expanding the "skills area" next to the biker's lot? I.E. put the see saw back in, maybe a tabletop, etc.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side
    What about simply expanding the "skills area" next to the biker's lot? I.E. put the see saw back in, maybe a tabletop, etc.
    Would love to put the see saw back in, but insurance will not cover it. any other addition to the skills area have to be approved by the park manager. Basically, anything legally done at the park, the park has done through SORBA. There is a MOU b/t the park and SORBA. the park did this to streamline the request process, ie so the park would only have to deal with one group and not have requests coming from all sides. Also, as part of the MOU, the park wants construction to follow IMBA guide lines. SORBA is committed implementing those guidelines.

    Anyway, I feel that this would be a great opportunity for some folks to help form a free ride group in the club that could help address these needs. With more people involved, more can get done. I would suggest contacting the SORBA-Huntsville president.

    -Rob

  22. #22
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    Glad to see someone else that is interested in some freeride obstacles and such. I thought the teeter totter was a really cool addition to the little skills area. Does anyone know the little area across the street from the bikers lot? Its a little grass field not very big. Right before you turn off the main park road to go into bikers lot its on your left. I looked at it and thought it would be a really cool place for a pumptrack or maybe some small dirtjumps. There is a small pile of dirt there that is fun to jump lol, easily amused. Does anyone else think that might be a good idea? Aside from insurance and all the other things that go along with building new stuff.

  23. #23
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    I'd be willing to help build some DH/Freeride/Trials type stuff (a course or route), albeit from a trials/offroad unicyclist's point of view; however I do have some limited experience building unicycle trials obstacles in the past. In general though I'm not in big favor of changing the current, overall character of the trail system in Monte Sano State Park.

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