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Thread: Building jumps

  1. #1
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    Building jumps

    Is it wrong/illegal or frowned upon to build ie tabletop jumps(small) on trails? On say a long straight away or something.
    Or build as your heart desires but keep in mind the other riders?

  2. #2
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    While I would always say circumstances can vary, my general opinion would be frowned upon unless you are the person who was charged with designing and building the trail.

    But that's just me.

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    So you want jumps on a public trail? You have to take into account that if you want the jumps, what about everyone else?
    There are definitely a time and place for jumps, but if there are no jumps now, its probably a good idea to keep it that way.

    I'm on a local trail advisory board that works with the USFS to advocate for trails, to design and build trails and to maintain the trails in our local system.
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    The account is taking in the question! Hence keep in mind other riders.
    I see no problem with a small tabletop esp if you make a go around for ppl who don't want it. Or even make the jump(more like a large speed bump) on the side.

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    I would think public is public. We build jumps and obstacles in every other public woods i know lol.

  6. #6
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    you should get approval from the land manager. mtbers adding jumps without proper approvals can lead to mtb bans in extreme cases

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    Quote Originally Posted by imabeast7 View Post
    I would think public is public. We build jumps and obstacles in every other public woods i know lol.
    Public is not public in the sense that you mean. Can you walk into a public library and start rearranging the shelves?

    Either go through the proper channels and get permission from the land manager or don't do it.

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    Technically yea, i can. But again frowned upon. Not illegal.
    But i hear ya. Good talk.

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    Without permission from the land manager, it is considered vandalism to modify the trail - at least here.

    Also, even as I was building a trail and left an inconspicuous trailside dirt pile as an alt line jump, it was ultimately flattened because the land manager didn't want any jumps. (which was kinda sucky) It was in a great spot, too, where you could jump from the alt line at a little angle and land back in the middle of the main line without slowing - even if the person following you didn't hit the jump.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by imabeast7 View Post
    Is it wrong/illegal or frowned upon to build ie tabletop jumps(small) on trails? On say a long straight away or something.
    Or build as your heart desires but keep in mind the other riders?
    There are channels you need to go through in order to modify trails.

    It is never "build as your heart desires" because there is always someone in charge of overseeing the resource who is the one who decides if a jump is appropriate. You are not that expert.

    Start showing up with the volunteer crew to maintain the local trails. Establish yourself (without asking for anything at first). Give it some time before you start asking about jumps on the trail. Be prepared to be told that the land manager does not want jumps. Some don't. Sometimes they can be convinced over time. Sometimes not. Sometimes they might allow jumps, but place limitations or specifications on them.

  11. #11
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    It depends but in most cases any trail work or modification should be run by the land manager and any trail builders or coordinators that might be involved. Unapproved trail work can be a huge headache for both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imabeast7 View Post
    Technically yea, i can. But again frowned upon. Not illegal.
    But i hear ya. Good talk.
    Go try and get back to us. I'm not sure what law they'll cite (vandalism? trespassing?), but I guarantee if you go to your library and start rearranging things in an obvious way you'll be asked to stop. If you don't stop you'll be talking with police.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Start showing up with the volunteer crew to maintain the local trails.
    Wait, you expect him to help out with the larger cause and not just do what benefits him directly? That's ludicrous. I guess he could show up to the work days but then just sneak off and build jumps regardless of what he's told to do. /sarcasm

    I know his kind all too well. Username is a hoot too, he can't be older than 18.

  14. #14
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    people here have left very good advice!!

    I'm going to leave you another way to looking at this:

    say there's a public trail near you that you like very much, especially because the trail has this one jump. then one day, some guy (forum handle: imnotabeast) decides to go and flatten it, because "public is public". how would you feel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Go try and get back to us. I'm not sure what law they'll cite (vandalism? trespassing?), but I guarantee if you go to your library and start rearranging things in an obvious way you'll be asked to stop. If you don't stop you'll be talking with police.
    I know 2 guys who got arrested for building illegal trails in a state nature preserve where NO public visitation was allowed at all (fences and no trespassing signs) because of some endangered species. Caught on camera spraying herbicide, too. Both were banned from all state parks for a year, and they were charged with felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor criminal trespass. I haven't heard about any updates on the case for awhile.

    No, not the same as what OP is asking about. But does frame the discussion somewhat.

    I think in OP's case, vandalism charges would be the most likely worst-case scenario. First offense stuff will range from a visit from law enforcement, fines, bans, court date followed by mandatory volunteer work (not building jumps), etc.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by imabeast7 View Post
    Is it wrong/illegal or frowned upon to build ie tabletop jumps(small) on trails? On say a long straight away or something.
    Or build as your heart desires but keep in mind the other riders?
    Find out who maintains said trails and start asking questions there.

    My local trail system, Santos in Central Florida, is "public" but we have a MTB association (OMBA) that works hand-in-hand with the Office of Greenways and Trails since the State of Florida owns the land. The land manager is cool, as cool as a non-MTBer can be I guess, but we don't just randomly build things without getting approval on any of the XC trails, at all. That's a great way to get trails shut down.

    However, we're lucky because we have a bunch of XC trails and a separate free-ride area called the Vortex. In that area, we can build as we see fit without getting approval. They gave us a set amount of land to basically do whatever we want with. We actually have Sensus R.A.D. Trails (started by Cam Zink) coming this month to start a professionally built flow-trail. So stoked. I'm going to be taking over my for my buddy as the Free-ride Coordinator when he steps down after the flow trail is built and excited to be involved with as much as I have been.

    My suggestion to the OP would be, get involved with your local MTB association if you want to get things approved and built. Don't just randomly build stuff, it makes us all look bad in the long run.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Go try and get back to us. I'm not sure what law they'll cite (vandalism? trespassing?), but I guarantee if you go to your library and start rearranging things in an obvious way you'll be asked to stop. If you don't stop you'll be talking with police.
    In Montana that would be misdemeanor criminal mischief, or at best, disorderly conduct.

  18. #18
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    Wrong, illegal, frowned upon....Yep

  19. #19
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    There is a segment of a local trail full of such terrain. Look up the Walnut Creek Park BMX section in Austin. All of that is there because it is allowed to be there. That privilege can be taken away, but the city parks department trust volunteer trail stewards to keep it clean and safe.

    One day, someone decided to modify the trail layout on his own and add a roller. Someone got hurt on it and the guy who modified the trail had to basically disappear for a while to avoid getting his ass kicked.

    Access to trails is very tenuous. If the local government allows trails, they can take away access or disallow building of "features." Check with whoever is in charge of the land first or your local mtbers will find you and make you eat every last shovelful of dirt you moved if it jeopardizes trail access.

    If it's an "unofficial" trail in the neighborhood, it's kind of a wild west situation. I would make an attempt to ask the local mountain bikers first. There is a good chance that the trail in question is "grey area" that is tolerated but not officially sanctioned. If the powers discover that you are building 'liability factors" on that trail, there will suddenly be " no bicycles allowed" signs erected, while will also result in an ass-beating for you from the local riders.

  20. #20
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    The other aspect to this that I haven't seen mentioned, and people will probably grab their pitchforks, but hardcore trail builders are major primadonnas. You get the right trail manager/builder that catches you doing that or finds out it was you building stuff in the middle of their trails, there will almost definitely be a confrontation.

  21. #21
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    my general rule of thumb for building on already established trails is to build my new feature right beside the actual trail instead of the middle of it. eventually your new "way around" will become the norm and you don't have to feel bad for interrupting someone elses work...


  22. #22
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    i wouldnt care if its on public property lol.

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    just fyi, i have no intentions of building jumps. some of yall getting to butthurt over the question. many wooded areas around here have bmx jumps/courses built by kids, no permission etc. was just curious if it was like that for trails as i watch vids etc of diff jumps and such on trails. however if i was to build one id build a small one on the side of the trail. but im much to lazy to actually stop riding to do manual labor.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    The other aspect to this that I haven't seen mentioned, and people will probably grab their pitchforks, but hardcore trail builders are major primadonnas. You get the right trail manager/builder that catches you doing that or finds out it was you building stuff in the middle of their trails, there will almost definitely be a confrontation.
    Yes there will.

    I just spent some hours this weekend at our local pumptrack fixing a bunch of shitty little 'lips' and other poorly made, poorly planned modifications after some jackasses decided that they could just show up and do whatever they wanted.

    Why is it that the people who tend to just roll in out of nowhere after others have put in 1000s of hours over years getting permission and then building trails or tracks never do anything useful, like sweeping or pushing out puddles, etc but instead, with no knowledge of past history or future plans, and no building knowledge or skill, just grab shovels and start hacking away at well established and well built lines that actually work.

    I'd say either find out who built and maintains the trails and offer to actually help, or **** off and find go your own spot to build.
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    Quote Originally Posted by imabeast7 View Post
    just fyi, i have no intentions of building jumps. some of yall getting to butthurt over the question. many wooded areas around here have bmx jumps/courses built by kids, no permission etc. was just curious if it was like that for trails as i watch vids etc of diff jumps and such on trails. however if i was to build one id build a small one on the side of the trail. but im much to lazy to actually stop riding to do manual labor.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by imabeast7 View Post
    just fyi, i have no intentions of building jumps. some of yall getting to butthurt over the question. many wooded areas around here have bmx jumps/courses built by kids, no permission etc. was just curious if it was like that for trails as i watch vids etc of diff jumps and such on trails. however if i was to build one id build a small one on the side of the trail. but im much to lazy to actually stop riding to do manual labor.
    I think you're the one getting butthurt.

    all that crap built by kids in "random" woodlots? Illegal. All it takes is for the land manager to notice, object, and decide to do something about it for law enforcement to get involved and ruin someone's day. this is not a grey area.

    You're better off looking for natural things along the side of the trail to jump off of. Logs, roots, rocks, whatever. As soon as you apply tools to the situation (without operating under land manager oversight), you've generally gone too far. Most land managers have express policies about what can be done, when, and with which tools, and many have volunteer agreements that you must sign to stay legal and protected. Build a jump outside of such an agreement that someone gets hurt on? Exposes you to some liability, and now there's an online discussion documenting your desire to build some jumps outside of land manager sanction.

    Welcome to adulthood.

  27. #27
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    Beast- you sound like a butthurt kid. Mountain biking is mostly enjoyed by relatively mature people who don't assume they can do whatever they want, wherever they want. I rode BMX from the early 90s until about 2010. 99% of that was riding places I was "not allowed" and that was half the fun. Mountain biking is different in that trails can be shut down completely, unlike the local ditch, drainage pipe, handrail, curb pad, loading dock, etc that you would session while riding BMX. The legit trails that you find while mountain biking exist because a ton of hard work is constantly done to keep them open and accessible.

    If you're going to build any unsanctioned jumps, berms, features, that's fine. just don't do it anywhere that a sanctioned or grey area mountain bike trail already exists. Work with the local BMX/ dirt jump scene to build those kind of bandit sections, which are super fun to have!
    Or get with the land manager of the trail system and ask to organize building a "skills park" that can include mtb specific stuff for all levels. Just don't jeopardize access to other trails.

    Did you buy a bike yet? If not, you're kind of putting the cart before the horse.

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    Where I grew up there was a vacant lot catty-corner from my house that had one epic pile of dirt that we jumped on for years and years. And then some asshole went and built a HOUSE on it. The NERVE

  29. #29
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    It's fun for me that this kid is using the name "I'm a beast" and picking on Slapheadmofo.

    In my best Foghorn Leghorn, "Boy's 'bout as sharp as a bowlin' ball"
    Well my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    In my best Foghorn Leghorn, "Boy's 'bout as sharp as a bowlin' ball"
    You have no idea how much this just made me laugh....

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    It's fun for me that this kid is using the name "I'm a beast" and picking on Slapheadmofo.
    Dammit, I must've missed it.
    Was the little fella upset about something?

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Welcome to adulthood.
    In a few years maybe. My money says 14 or 15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imabeast7 View Post
    just fyi, i have no intentions of building jumps. some of yall getting to butthurt over the question. many wooded areas around here have bmx jumps/courses built by kids, no permission etc. was just curious if it was like that for trails as i watch vids etc of diff jumps and such on trails. however if i was to build one id build a small one on the side of the trail. but im much to lazy to actually stop riding to do manual labor.
    " I'm much to( ugh) lazy" Nice, later much.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    " I'm much to( ugh) lazy" Nice, later much.
    right? people like OP are exactly why we never tell anyone where our jumps are...


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