Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 65 of 65
  1. #1
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????

    I have a question to those trailbuilders who have constructed Forest Service Class 2 multi-use (hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians) trails in and area that vegetation needs to be cut back to build the 18” or less width trail. I am being told that the maximum width of the vegetation is to be no more than 3’ on straightaways and turns. To me that seemed very narrow and didn’t allow for much room in oncoming passing situations on straightaways or short radius turn situations.

    My question to those that are experienced trail builders is there a rule of thumb that you use to determine the brush width when building new trails on Forest Service land or even private land. The trail foreman on the project wants the brush corridor to only be 3 foot wide to keep the trail width from growing to greater than 18”. It seems to me this type of trail design will reduce the trail users (hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians) experience, plus create potential safety issues with oncoming users that are unable to see traffic on narrow brushed turn sections.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    TD
    Last edited by traildoc; 03-01-2012 at 05:10 PM.

  2. #2
    banned
    Reputation: The Prodigal Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    860
    First off, if someone is using the term Class 2 Trail, they are likely dopes, not riders. Brushing a trail is far more simple than what you were told. Once the tread is complete, ride the trail. If a branch hits you on the head, it needs to be cut. If brush grabs your jersey or cuts your arm or leg, it gets removed. Trails should not be designed in a way that punishes tall riders and rewards short riders. You should not end up bloodied from a ride, especialy if you were riding on the center of the trail when you got cut. Turns have to be brushed wide enough to allow a rider to lean into the turn without leaning into brush. Hikers never get this. Trail builders who do not ride never get this. Equestrians who sit high up and out of danger never get this.

    If you have the time, go ride out Chuck Wagon Trail and then ride back in on Gunslinger. Ride slow enough to take notice of the 500 or so branches removed from the two trails last week. Now you can concentrate on the skills required to ride up the ledges, without having to worry about getting torn apart by brush. Not one rider using those trails is upset. They are thankful. Go buy yourself a Corona folding razor tooth pruning saw. The one with the lifetime warranty. Stuff it in your pack. Every time you go riding and a branch is hanging across the trail, or grabs your jersey, stop and cut it off. In no time, the trail will be more user friendly. Just remember, there are some of us who are taller than average, so you can cut the tree branch above the one that hits your helmet, as well. It won't be missed.

  3. #3
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,187
    The concept of a nice narrow corridor is fraught with risk on multi-use and dual direction trails. In places it will be totally acceptable and enhance the experience (ie near streams), but in others will be just plain dangerous, reduce the experience for trail users and sooner or later someone will come and simply knock down any vegetation they see as being a problem. It happens in our local state park all the time.

    Better to trim selectively and be prepared to keep doing it. I am not sure why there is such concern about sensible thinning - regrowth and overgrowth of vegetation is always a bigger problem than destruction of it IMO.

    Critters having their terrain destroyed or not crossing trail just does not happen in my experience. Root systems can be retained even if saplings are cut from them. All our little and big critters (this is Oz, so lizards, goannas, bandicoots and kangaroos etc) love the trails. They are always digging for bugs on the newly renovated trails, using them to access trees or travel and this Summer a bunch of dragons laid their eggs all over one trail. We protected the nests with rocks etc. Some were eaten by goannas and others hatched just fine.

    If a vole doesn't cross a trail and no-one is there to see it............

  4. #4
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,857
    We normally brush 24" from center of tread, 7' high. Only biker and hiker use.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  5. #5
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    The concept of a nice narrow corridor is fraught with risk on multi-use and dual direction trails. In places it will be totally acceptable and enhance the experience (ie near streams), but in others will be just plain dangerous, reduce the experience for trail users and sooner or later someone will come and simply knock down any vegetation they see as being a problem. It happens in our local state park all the time.

    Better to trim selectively and be prepared to keep doing it. I am not sure why there is such concern about sensible thinning - regrowth and overgrowth of vegetation is always a bigger problem than destruction of it IMO.

    Critters having their terrain destroyed or not crossing trail just does not happen in my experience. Root systems can be retained even if saplings are cut from them. All our little and big critters (this is Oz, so lizards, goannas, bandicoots and kangaroos etc) love the trails. They are always digging for bugs on the newly renovated trails, using them to access trees or travel and this Summer a bunch of dragons laid their eggs all over one trail. We protected the nests with rocks etc. Some were eaten by goannas and others hatched just fine.

    If a vole doesn't cross a trail and no-one is there to see it............
    Riden:

    I am of similar belief, " I am not sure why there is such concern about sensible thinning - regrowth and overgrowth of vegetation is always a bigger problem than destruction of it IMO.' You and TPS seem to agree that appropriate trimming of vegetation adds to a better user experience and that because trimming creates more sun light the cut vegetation grows back fairly quickley.

    I am in a discussion with the landmanager on this issue and will be attending an IMBA workshop later on in the month where trail brushing will be a topic of discussion and the FS landmanger will be present at the meeting. I would like to be sure when I put my two cents about brushing that I am inline with what TPS uses as his critera when brushing a trail.

    The FS and trail boss seem to believe the only way you can keep a Class 2 multi-use trail narrow is by leaving the brush next to the trail about three feet wide. My feeling about keeping a trail narrow is also dependent nice routing of the trail and having a trail bed that is compacted nicely which can be done by a multitude of different methods.

    IMHO a fairly narrow multi-use trail can stay narrow if it's routed nicely and the trail bed is on soil that is nicely bench on compactable type soil.

    Please provide additional insights as to what your trail building experience has taught you about vegetation widths on tails you have worked on personally?

    TD
    Last edited by traildoc; 03-01-2012 at 09:25 PM.

  6. #6
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    We normally brush 24" from center of tread, 7' high. Only biker and hiker use.
    bsieb:

    Are you saying if you have equestrians that you would increase the width and height limits. Also do you belive trail width creep is caused mainly by the width of the brushing or due to poor routing on a poorly built trail tread.

    TD

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,729
    We have issues of flora encroaching onto trail annually, particularly on river trails, you can't beat the growth back enough in some areas.

    In fact i've been involved in a concerted effort to really strip out vegetation extensively for creating better sight lines, at a Forest Service work party. So it's not unheard of to be instructed to clear more than not around here. Most of the time brushing is highly needed just to be able to safely navigate the trail, as encroachment is in full green leafy effect. You literally cannot see the trail for the bushes, grass, plants.
    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

  8. #8
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,187
    "Most of the time brushing is highly needed just to be able to safely navigate the trail, as encroachment is in full green leafy effect. You literally cannot see the trail for the bushes, grass, plants."

    We get that too, but not everywhere. It is nice if the trail can be folded in and out of vegetation using them as "features", keeping the trail as narrow as possible, but sometimes it just can't be done safely. I guess what we do is make or renovate to a width that is more like a metre, then trim what is encroaching on that or preventing a safe line of sight, effectively making the trail wider again, but allowing the vegetation to grow back in as the trail tread narrows into a final singletrack fo created by repeated use of "the line" over time

    Also, we have taken to bending saplings away rather than cutting them. They sometimes will weave into other trees and sometime a zip tie can be used until the sapling accepts its new location. The zips have to come off eventually or they cut/grow into the tree trunk though.

  9. #9
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,857
    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    bsieb:

    Are you saying if you have equestrians that you would increase the width and height limits. Also do you belive trail width creep is caused mainly by the width of the brushing or due to poor routing on a poorly built trail tread.

    TD
    We trim low to make the trail unattractive to equestrians, who would like a trail trimmed a couple feet higher and twice as wide. I think brushing should be aggressive enough to last for at least two seasons. Around here trail width creep is mainly caused by hikers, as well as bikers riding too early in the spring but I am in high desert/mountain terrain so brush growth is not as fast as wetter places. I don't think that corridor width relates much to tread width around here.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,729

    Oh yah i forgot

    i made a video last year on a work party we did brush clearing. So much trail work you forget about these things...

    Cooper River - YouTube
    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    59
    We clear back up to 3 feet on each side. Not necessarily clear cut, although sometimes it's better to remove an entire scrub bush than trim it. If we don't cut this aggressively, we have to be out again during the same season to re-clear the corridor. Vegetation grows surprisingly fast in the tropical summers of Wisconsin.

  12. #12
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    So to be fair to the Sedona FS and the non FS trail boss what I am getting from the MTBR viewers so far is that putting your hands on your hips and walking on the middle of a new trail bed to determine how close the brush should be trimmed is NOT a standard practice. In summary the reason that standard is not used is:

    1. It reduces line of sight which could create a safety issue with oncoming traffic. I assume if the trail was a one way only trail the safety issue would be reduced dramaticly.

    2. Tight brush at elbow width can lead to a poor user experience (cuts, scratches, torn clothing, etc.) for the typical multi-user group, especially in tight turn areas.

    3.Trimming the trail to a minimum width on the initial and future intervals creates additional maintenance hours needed to keep the trail in good shape due to vegetation encroachment by hardy faster growing vegetation (cats claw, cactus, pinion trees, juniper trees, etc.)

    IMBA is going to have a trail crew meeting in late March to discuss the building of trails in Sedona and I am going to get the viewpoint by their representative to get their position on brushing newly built trails. It would be interesting if someone in the MTBR viewer group knows an IMBA representative who is willing to give their understanding of IMBSA's brushing guidlines in new and existing trail situations before the actual meeting late this month.

    At this point it seems the Sedona FS is unwilling to respond to my emails about this subject, and I believe they know their position is out of normal trail building standard most of us are use to.

    One of the MTBR responders says in a situation like this they just ignore what the trail boss tells the group and just trims to a more industry standard. I actually did as the poster suggested and when the FS asked me if I had done brushing to a more industry standard rather then their unusual elbows on hips method they told me I was out of line and I would be watched by their so called qualified inspectors to see I was doing the brushing as they seemed correct for all Class 2 trail projects in Sedona.

    I have personally worked on a number of trail projects I was criticized for not cutting back enough brush due to fast growing vegetation, user experience and safety concerns. Now I know how the trail boss feels when his brushing standard is being questioned by someone with my actual prior experience.

    Please give me some feedback how you would deal with such a trail boss.

    TD

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    59
    Ask them why they want to build such a narrow corridor, and if they're really willing to come out 3 times a year to manicure it perfectly.

  14. #14
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by robbiexor View Post
    Ask them why they want to build such a narrow corridor, and if they're really willing to come out 3 times a year to manicure it perfectly.
    rob:

    Good idea I will send them an email and a link to this thread.

    TD

  15. #15
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,857
    I wonder what their motive is... corridor width is not a legitimate issue. Sounds like a bunch of cowboys playing games with you.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  16. #16
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    I wonder what their motive is... corridor width is not a legitimate issue. Sounds like a bunch of cowboys playing games with you.
    This is the recent post I did to the Forest Service reguarding this subject and a recent trail improvemnt I did on the Tea Cup trail.

    Jennifer:


    I informed you that I had done a trail improvement on Tea Cup because I was proud of the fact that what I had done on the switchback around the dead tree was now rideable by 5% of the mountain biking user group. If you believe that 5% of a user group being able to ride a section of trail is what the FS is striving for I will be amazed. That turn has been worked on by your crews previously and failed to provide even 1% of the mountain biking user group to ride that section of trail.

    I have spent 1,000 of hours building mountain biking trails and I ride with a pretty advanced group of riders. I have had whiners like Gem and Joey complain about the improvements I do and I have had 100's of others thank me for improving a section of trail they will never be able to ride. It is hard for me to believe you are going to let a few complainers dictate the user experience of the masses.


    Something strange is going on with this whole brushing thing and I have asked the MTBR national trail forum to help with this subject (http://forums.mtbr.com/trail-buildin...il-772039.html), please feel free to chime into the discussion and provide your viewpoint on the how the hands on hips elbows out brush cutting technique is an industry standard for initial brushing of a Class 2 trail. One poster asked me to ask you how many times a year do you plan on trimming back the vegetation that grows into the trail from your initial brushing and I am looking forward to your response.


    I am also looking forward to the upcoming IMBA trail building seminar to become acquainted with what IMBA's standard is for brushing Class 2 trails. If SAFETY and User Experience are not at the top of their list of concerns I will be very surprised. I will be posting this reply on the MTRB forum so that we can all learn from this discussion.

    John
    From: "Burns, Jennifer M -FS" <[email protected]>
    To: "John\ Finch ([email protected])" <[email protected]>
    Cc: "daniel Paduchowski ([email protected])" <[email protected]>; patrick kell <[email protected]>; "Adrian, Francisca C -FS" <[email protected]>
    Sent: Friday, March 2, 2012 2:59 PM
    Subject: Trail Classes and brushing.

    The FS is trying hard to keep to the Trail Class guidelines that have been established for our area and based on national standards. We have had some unfortunate deviations in the past that have not always been appreciated by users.

    We do not have a problem with “passing” trail users that requires us to make a “two lane” trail.

    I appreciate your experience and opinion and when we get a trail forum together to further discuss this with other users present and involved, that would be a good time to discuss modification of our guidelines. Until must ask our trail crews and volunteers to respect the guidelines. Do you have a copy of the guidelines or shall I send you one?

    Also, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from “changing” trails such as what you said you did recently to Teacup Trail. This work was not a welcome change for those who favored the challenge of that trail. If you have other locations for similar work, I need to know in advance so I can ask other users what they think before-hand. As when you did the work along Templeton…I got feedback from as many users as practical (via a mailing list) prior to you being authorized to do the work.

    I am ccing Daniel and Patrick here to see if they have comments on the brushing issue.

    From: John\ Finch [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 8:34 AM
    To: Burns, Jennifer M -FS
    Cc: Abel, Angela A -FS; Adrian, Francisca C -FS; Phil Kincheloe ([email protected])
    Subject: Re: volunteer info



    Jennifer:

  17. #17
    gran jefe
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2,692
    If you aren't allowed to trim, spray a teensy bit of Roundup. It won't kill growth, it will just slow it down a little bit.

  18. #18
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    If you aren't allowed to trim, spray a teensy bit of Roundup. It won't kill growth, it will just slow it down a little bit.
    Bill:

    Great idea I will head out tomorrow with my Round-up back pack unit and spray 12 miles of trail. What is interesting about Jennifer's post is that she refers to the Class 2 trail spec with the belief that you have to have vegetation at a width of elbows out hands on waist width.

    She is under the impression that when a Class 2 trail travels from a heavy vegetated area into a naturally clear area that the trail become a higher class because it no longer has vegetation restricting its width. Many trails in Sedona such as Anaconda (which soon will be adopted) run through areas with NO vegetation and are still of Class 2 width many years after the initial construction of the trail.

    Bear Tooth map has showcased Anaconda on their 7th. Edition map even though at this point it has no actual signage on it at the present time to make the mapless riding public know that it even exists.

    After posting the part about the trail improvement I told Jennifer I did on Tea Cup, she seems to be disappointed with me that I didn't get official permission for improving a section 5' long that less than 5% of the advanced riding masses can even clean without walking. That means that intermediate riders with her skill level are never going to be able to ride that section uphill.

    Since the Tea Cup trail is a MAJOR connector between two sections of Sedona all skilled mountain bikers (beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert) will be using Tea Cup to move from the Thunder Mountain area over to the Soldier Pass area. I have been working with the FS to make that section of trail more user friendly for the vast majority of users who transit that area. Now Jennifer wants me to give the FS a call to improve 5' of trail when I know it needs to be fixed and they should have done the fix the last time they worked on it.

    Something is really wrong with the picture. I have done hundreds of hours of authorized trail improvements and actual trail construction for the Sedona FS and to get 5' of trail fixed I need to get permission for a fifteen minute fix seems like I am being punished for taking initiative that the FS service should embrace from someone with my trail improvement experience. Instead it is has actually taught me to be totally silent about those improvements and don't tell her about what I have done to improve the trail system and save the taxpayers some .

    Where it really gets interesting is that the trail boss on the Soldier Pass project has cart blanch authorization to do any type of work he believes necessary. I look at some of his work and I say to myself that was pretty minimalist and if it was me I would have created a better work product, but hey we are trying to get trail production, and who cares about the intermediate user, as an advanced rider I can ride it, so the heck with the lesser skilled rider.

    The problem with Soldier Pass is that it maybe an area the FS wants intermediate riders to enjoy. I could be wrong, but if Jennifer doesn't want intermediate riders to enjoy this Sedona jewel I would be surprised.

    There is a 60' section of trail on the Jordan trail in Soldier Pass that I asked permission to
    re-route over two years ago. Not even an expert rider can ride that section of trail uphill. A number of times I asked the FS how they were coming with the approval process. They had a Para Archeologist go out with me to look at the re-route site. The fix could be done in about 4 man-hours by someone like myself, but to date no re-route and a totally frustrating user experience. Many times the FS can't respond to help volunteers want to do to make the system nicer to ride even though years of patience have gone by.

    Even though Jennifer would have given me or the trail boss permission to do the 5' fix around the dead tree, by not giving me permission she can believe I am totally out of control when in fact I am one of her greatest assets to help provide a better mountain biking user experience for the masses. Also since I didn't get specific permission to do that great fix there was NO DUTY for the FS to pay for the injuries I incurred when doing that fix.

    TD
    Last edited by traildoc; 03-03-2012 at 12:21 AM.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    7,547
    Doc, I'm a little confused. The switchback in question is on an existing system trail that you already had permission to do improvements on. I guess that was more than a year ago but the FS approved the work. As is typical of any change, there were riders who complained but I suspect most appreciated the improvements. The brushing issue, however, applies to the new trails being built in the Secret Trails area correct?

    The thing about vegetation in Sedona is it doesn't grow back so everyone should be on the same page with regard to how much gets cut, trimmed or removed. An AZ Cypress takes hundreds of years to grow. All your arguments make sense to me. It sounds more like a difference of opinion on how to keep the trail narrow. And most of the system trails are not narrow and are wide, eroded fall line garbage that require constant maintenance. But they have great line-of-site. I hope you and the FS can reach a happy medium on new, sustainable trails that are currently being built or are in the que.

    What's changed with regard to trail width and brushing since Aerie was built?

  20. #20
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Doc, I'm a little confused. The switchback in question is on an existing system trail that you already had permission to do improvements on. I guess that was more than a year ago but the FS approved the work. As is typical of any change, there were riders who complained but I suspect most appreciated the improvements. The brushing issue, however, applies to the new trails being built in the Secret Trails area correct?

    The thing about vegetation in Sedona is it doesn't grow back so everyone should be on the same page with regard to how much gets cut, trimmed or removed. An AZ Cypress takes hundreds of years to grow. All your arguments make sense to me. It sounds more like a difference of opinion on how to keep the trail narrow. And most of the system trails are not narrow and are wide, eroded fall line garbage that require constant maintenance. But they have great line-of-site. I hope you and the FS can reach a happy medium on new, sustainable trails that are currently being built or are in the que.

    What's changed with regard to trail width and brushing since Aerie was built?
    rock:

    Great question about Aerie, the trail boss and I didn't really have any issue with the Aerie brushing. He left a number of sections with narrow brush areas that I thought were not appropriate for all users but since I knew the FS was bringing a trail crew to fine tune our minimalist build I knew the FS trail crew foreman, who hated us, would be cutting out that encroaching brush.

    We built the 2.7 mile trail for the most part to a standard I could be proud of. Since I was doing the MAJORITY of the work myself with the help of about 10 volunteers (that I personally solicited) over a twenty three day period, I pretty much got the buy in from my helpers to build the trail quickly to a standard, so that we could ride the newly built section at the end of the day.

    I actually built the trail so it could be ridden as an out and back, so curious mountain bikers and trail workers could ride to the project where we had the tools ditched. I was looking to have the advanced mountain bikers be part of the trail building process by having them ride the new alignment to pack in the moist soil and finding spots where there was encroaching vegetation that was reducing the mountain biking user experience by scratching our arms or ripping our clothing. When I found those encroaching vegetation spots I removed that vegetation knowing full well it wasn't going to the reduce overall character of the trail.

    At the time Aerie was built we had no official FS volunteer work days for new trail building projects, so it was up to me and the trail boss to get'er done. The trail boss had a regular job, so it pretty much left it up to me to decide how much brush to cut out of the blue flagged proposed trail alignment to eventually build the trail. Since we were going though large stands of manzanita and various species of spiney vegetation I was always in the lead position clearing the vegetation for my helpers when I had any which wasn't that often.

    As always, on my projects I clear the vegetation to provide a good user experience for mountain bikers. They are who I am looking after, and since I am volunteering my expertise free of charge I have always tried to build to a standard an advanced mountain biker would enjoy. If someone were to pay me to build to a lesser standard I would build to that lesser standard, if I needed the money, but hopefully I will never be in that situation because it wouldn't feel good reducing my standards.

    After the volunteer trail boss and I got done with the Aerie project the FS had to bring in their crew to do some work on the trail. They had scheduled the project to be worked on 45 days after the FS got the approval to build the project. The trail boss and I started one day prior to the approval date since there was a lot of moisture in the soil and we had been PATIENTLY waiting for all the special studies to be done to make sure we weren't going to be encroaching on any situations that could cause some kind of unrepairable disaster.

    The FS trail crew work was funded by the AERIE housing developer, so even though the project was completed to my standard and the trail bosses standard the FS had to do something to justify being out on the project. One of the things the FS trail boss did was get his crew to gather a dump truck load of huge boulders to make a berm on one of the 30' long turns in the trail. That must of taken 5 or 6 workers all day to drag in those boulders to re-build that turn. They also re-rocked some of the drainage crossings the volunteer trail boss built himself because they didn't believe they would last a thousand years or so that is their standard.

    I had one of my volunteers build one of the drainage crossings because working with rock was his line of work as a Sedona landscaper. Interestingly the FS did very little to my friends rocked in drainage crossing to improve it to their standard.

    After couple days or so of looking for something to improve upon like cutting back brush to allow a better user experience or just think something needed to be done the FS crew moved from Aerie to other surrounding trails to demonstrate their trail improvement skills which consisted of mostly cutting back brush on existing trails or just walking around looking for something to do.

    I was always curious what the Aerie trail would be like if the FS crew had never showed up to work on Aerie and the FS kept the thousands of dollars they received from the residential developer to build the trail, I and my volunteers had built for FREE, and put those funds into a trust account for future trail projects in that general area or to work on future necessary maintenance on Aerie after users and mother nature determined where maintenance was really needed.

    Dude you got to get me some mental HELP!

    TD
    Last edited by traildoc; 03-03-2012 at 01:30 PM.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hado_pv's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    696
    I wish I could relate to slow growing brush.

    When we construct narrow ST, we uproot everything for 18" +/- wide, then have to clip the encroaching face slapping branches annually.
    http://facebook.com/CharlemontTrails
    NEMBA Past President...

  22. #22
    banned
    Reputation: The Prodigal Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    860
    The FS is trying hard to keep to the Trail Class guidelines that have been established for our area and based on national standards. We have had some unfortunate deviations in the past that have not always been appreciated by users.

    Post a copy of these Trail Class guidelines, so we can decide if they affectively serve the needs of riders, or if they were developed more for hikers and leave our trails a gauntlet of sharp branches we must navigate slowly and carefully to avoid cuts to our arms and legs.

  23. #23
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,857
    I ride with the best dogs.




  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,729
    Uhm what's going on in this thread, and what the hell is going on in Arizona?

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Bill:

    Great idea I will head out tomorrow with my Round-up back pack unit and spray 12 miles of trail. What is interesting about Jennifer's post is that she refers to the Class 2 trail spec with the belief that you have to have vegetation at a width of elbows out hands on waist width.

    TD
    So this is a joke right? i don't see the smiley faces like . But really i have to believe you are joking around on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    She is under the impression that when a Class 2 trail travels from a heavy vegetated area into a naturally clear area that the trail become a higher class because it no longer has vegetation restricting its width. Many trails in Sedona such as Anaconda (which soon will be adopted) run through areas with NO vegetation and are still of Class 2 width many years after the initial construction of the trail.
    Ok so there is a disagreement with the land manager, you've kind of roped in a bunch of mt. bikers to provide their experiences so you can help back your point of view?

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Bear Tooth map has showcased Anaconda on their 7th. Edition map even though at this point it has no actual signage on it at the present time to make the mapless riding public know that it even exists.
    What?

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post

    After posting the part about the trail improvement I told Jennifer I did on Tea Cup, she seems to be disappointed with me that I didn't get official permission for improving a section 5' long that less than 5% of the advanced riding masses can even clean without walking. That means that intermediate riders with her skill level are never going to be able to ride that section uphill.
    Can you blame her then? You are not the land manager, she is right? Regardless of your justification you breached trust, and now you're having problems selling the idea on the brushing issue. So you're building a "case" on an internet forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Since the Tea Cup trail is a MAJOR connector between two sections of Sedona all skilled mountain bikers (beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert) will be using Tea Cup to move from the Thunder Mountain area over to the Soldier Pass area. I have been working with the FS to make that section of trail more user friendly for the vast majority of users who transit that area. Now Jennifer wants me to give the FS a call to improve 5' of trail when I know it needs to be fixed and they should have done the fix the last time they worked on it.
    So the last time you had a disagreement you took matters into your own hands. And now you've lost some trust you're having more of an uphill battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Something is really wrong with the picture. I have done hundreds of hours of authorized trail improvements and actual trail construction for the Sedona FS and to get 5' of trail fixed I need to get permission for a fifteen minute fix seems like I am being punished for taking initiative that the FS service should embrace from someone with my trail improvement experience. Instead it is has actually taught me to be totally silent about those improvements and don't tell her about what I have done to improve the trail system and save the taxpayers some .
    And as an obvious ambassador to mt. biking you are now propagating this point of view across the board. There are some freeride mt. bikers that can come help fix your trails much better than you methinks... i say that being facetious, but really if you are above board i don't know where you think that everything should be easy and make sense all of the time. The slippery slope is that everybody is right in their own mind, and if they assign to performing rogue fixes, well there are already threads in this forum that cover that...

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post

    Where it really gets interesting is that the trail boss on the Soldier Pass project has cart blanch authorization to do any type of work he believes necessary. I look at some of his work and I say to myself that was pretty minimalist and if it was me I would have created a better work product, but hey we are trying to get trail production, and who cares about the intermediate user, as an advanced rider I can ride it, so the heck with the lesser skilled rider.
    Maybe so, but you also have to think that this person will hopefully learn from errors as the trail progresses. And this trail boss isn't on this site calling other trail builders and land managers out publicy about assorted issues. It's already enough to get haters that aren't involved in the process throwing their nickels at ya, but you are in the mix of the active volunteers stirring the pot here. Why don't you put a poll up on how many people would get sick of that real fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post

    The problem with Soldier Pass is that it maybe an area the FS wants intermediate riders to enjoy. I could be wrong, but if Jennifer doesn't want intermediate riders to enjoy this Sedona jewel I would be surprised.
    Why don't you ask her instead of guessing. Maybe she won't tell you because you're airing stuff out on the webbe, and if she gave you an answer you didn't like you'd air it out on the webbe.

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    There is a 60' section of trail on the Jordan trail in Soldier Pass that I asked permission to
    re-route over two years ago. Not even an expert rider can ride that section of trail uphill. A number of times I asked the FS how they were coming with the approval process. They had a Para Archeologist go out with me to look at the re-route site. The fix could be done in about 4 man-hours by someone like myself, but to date no re-route and a totally frustrating user experience. Many times the FS can't respond to help volunteers want to do to make the system nicer to ride even though years of patience have gone by.
    Forest Service trails are FULL of non rideable sections. Sometimes i get a wild hair, and really hit a section and make it. It feels awesome. And whatever happened to the old term "If you ain't hiking, you ain't mt. biking". Original term ATB bikes, ALL-TERRAIN BICYCLES. The point is not to be able to clear everything, since when is rider experience completely hinging on the ability to do that on all trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Even though Jennifer would have given me or the trail boss permission to do the 5' fix around the dead tree, by not giving me permission she can believe I am totally out of control when in fact I am one of her greatest assets to help provide a better mountain biking user experience for the masses. Also since I didn't get specific permission to do that great fix there was NO DUTY for the FS to pay for the injuries I incurred when doing that fix.

    TD
    Sounds like you have a lot of ideas floatin around in your skull. But the way you're going about it seems like it's not working for ya.

    Good luck on trimming yer bushes...
    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

  25. #25
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    bsieb:

    Thanks for providing this PDF.

    So here we go, the FS is providing the multi-user group a system of trails really not designed for all of their good user experience. Biker are expected to ride possibly only one time on a trail that has brush encroaching into the trail. That's it plan and simple, no wonder the FS is looked upon by me and possibly others as not knowing what they are doing in creating a good user experience for mountain bikers.

    If any MTBR trail builder on this forum builds a new land manager recommended trail to the vegetation encroaching into the trail tread standard for all mountain bike users, please name a recent trail and location you built to this spec?

    To be honest I had not previously focused on the vegetation encroaching into the treadway spec, because I have NEVER built to the spec in any of my previous trail projects and I have NEVER been asked to build to that spec prior to working with the Sedona FS.

    I personally believe building a mountain biking trail with vegetation encroaching into the trail tread lends to a poor mountain biking user experience for an advanced mountain biker like myself. I am not sure what mountain bike skill level is going to enjoy riding a trail with vegetation encroaching into the trail as a starting point, but maybe a poster on this thread will enlighten me.

    I am wondering if there is any consideration into SAFETY ISSUES with reduced line of site? So far the new southwest regional manager of IMBA has not given his POV of building a multi-use trail with vegetation encroaching into the trail standard, and I look forward to his input. I am curious what projects around the country use the vegetation encroaching into the trail spec for their new projects and maintenance of existing projects.

    I believe the internet has given trial building volunteers like myself the power to either make themselves look like fools or possibly give them the power to change the mindset of government officials that don't really know mountain bikers have a poor user experience riding trails with vegetation encroaching from the first day of trail completion when the trail is open for their riding pleasure.

    I am willing to wager a bet if you were to ask 100 beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert mountain bikers if they enjoy riding a new trail with vegetation encroaching into the trail scratching their arms, tearing their clothing and reducing their view as compared to the same trail with brushed trimmed back to not scratch their arms, not tear their clothes and increase their view to avoid running into oncoming users the majority would pick the LATER, RIGHT?

    TD


    Attributes of Class 2 Trail:

    Moderately Developed


    􀂊 Single lane with minor
    allowances constructed for
    passing
    􀂊 Typically native materials
    􀂊 Tread continuous and
    obvious


    􀂊 Obstacles may be common,
    substantial, and intended to
    provide increased challenge
    􀂊 Blockages cleared to define
    route and protect resources
    􀂊 Vegetation may encroach into
    trailway
    Last edited by traildoc; 03-03-2012 at 12:07 PM.

  26. #26
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Duplicate Post- Sorry

  27. #27
    banned
    Reputation: The Prodigal Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    860

    Just about what I expected. Class I is not really a trail constructed for mountain bikes, but something more like a series of pin-flags marking a route users create themselves. The Class II Trail sound like a trail halfway completed. That's not uncommon when using inexperienced crews or volunteers. They always get about halfway finished with a section and move on, leaving lots of loose rocks, no drains, low branches and brush whacking you throughout the ride. The Class III specs seem more like a completed trail building project that is much more sustainable and fun and still plenty challenging.

    While I will always support Trail Doc because I believe nobody in the western U.S. has done more to create so many great riding options, I don't think it is worth the time to try to win over FS staff, even when they are as pro-mountain biking as they are in Sedona. So forget about lobbying them or forming a committee, or appealing there guidelines, or writing your congressman. It's wasted time better spent riding the trails.

    I'd be thankful you have one of the more progressive trail crews in the country and let them do whatever they need to do to make their trails fit their silly classifications. Then go out and ride those trails. Just be sure you keep a folding Corona pruning saw in your pack, and don't be afraid to use it liberally, each time a branch whacks you across your face or grabs your jersey, or slices your arms and legs. I add over 100 hours of trail fixing time to my rides each season, and have yet to hear any complaints about removing razor sharp plants from the trail corridor.

  28. #28
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son View Post
    Just about what I expected. Class I is not really a trail constructed for mountain bikes, but something more like a series of pin-flags marking a route users create themselves. The Class II Trail sound like a trail halfway completed. That's not uncommon when using inexperienced crews or volunteers. They always get about halfway finished with a section and move on, leaving lots of loose rocks, no drains, low branches and brush whacking you throughout the ride. The Class III specs seem more like a completed trail building project that is much more sustainable and fun and still plenty challenging.

    While I will always support Trail Doc because I believe nobody in the western U.S. has done more to create so many great riding options, I don't think it is worth the time to try to win over FS staff, even when they are as pro-mountain biking as they are in Sedona. So forget about lobbying them or forming a committee, or appealing there guidelines, or writing your congressman. It's wasted time better spent riding the trails.

    I'd be thankful you have one of the more progressive trail crews in the country and let them do whatever they need to do to make their trails fit their silly classifications. Then go out and ride those trails. Just be sure you keep a folding Corona pruning saw in your pack, and don't be afraid to use it liberally, each time a branch whacks you across your face or grabs your jersey, or slices your arms and legs. I add over 100 hours of trail fixing time to my rides each season, and have yet to hear any complaints about removing razor sharp plants from the trail corridor.
    TPS:

    You are probably right just give in and let them get their way with the volunteers that don't stand up for what they know is proper trail building mountain biking technique, and let them see if riders really like their sub-standard riding experience.

    To be honest I have been trying to help the local bike shops get some new trails that the intermediate crowd could enjoy riding. We use to do a lot of Mt. Bike Heaven bushwack rides in Soldier Wash area and many vacationing riders coming to Sedona were not happy on those group rides and never came back to ride those almost impossible alignments.

    There are a lot of other trails to ride like Slim Shady and Made in the Shade. There is a volunteer work day coming up March 10th on those two trails and it will be interesting what work the FS will be doing on those trails to improve the user experience by changing the routing to avoid pottery fragments or adding obstacles to narrow the current ridden in trail tread.

    It will also be interesting if the new IMBA rep takes me to the side at their up coming meeting later on in March, and tells me the same thing as you did. I also wonder if our enforcement rangers who love to ride bikes like running into all that brush, and Soldier Wash will be there new playground?

    TD

  29. #29
    gran jefe
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2,692
    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Bill:

    Great idea I will head out tomorrow with my Round-up back pack unit and spray 12 miles of trail.
    That's the spirit! You'll be done by lunch, and in less time than you spent on this thread.

  30. #30
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    That's the spirit! You'll be done by lunch, and in less time than you spent on this thread.
    Bill:

    I am actually a dedicated Round-up user and love the product. In college crops was my minor and I tested alot of different herbicides to determine the effectiveness of the vast aray of herbicides on the market. I also use it to keep some properties I own clear of weeds and brush. My neighbor in Arizona spends his weekends hand weeding because he refuses to use chemicals to control his weeds.

    I will head out tomorrow early to keep from getting busted trying to slow down the growth of that nasty brush.

    Hopefully Pete at IMBA will come on this thread and give IMBA'S position on the clearing of brush on a narrow trail to be used by hikers, bikers and possibly equestrians.

    I should have know better when I saw that the area near the beginning of the Adobe Jack trail has a section of trail with only stair steps on it which prevent mountain bikers from riding through that section of trail without getting off their bikes. You would have thought the trailbuilders and landmanager would have wanted to have a ramp next to the stairs that mountain bikers could ride without dismounting and having to walk that section. .

    Fortunately, advanced riders have an optional trail into the Adobe Jack trail on the user built Second Coming trail that allows for a totally doable very techy section of trail to be ridden with a downhill component to the trail.

    TD

  31. #31
    gran jefe
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2,692
    I can see how an alternate route there would be nice. Maybe they want for the hikers to have some challenge in some sections too? Although as a former hiker, that seems a little odd.

  32. #32
    featherweight clydesdale
    Reputation: Fattirewilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,381
    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    rob:

    Good idea I will send them an email and a link to this thread.

    TD
    Brush and chokes need to be distinguished separately in this conversation.

    Keeping a trail tread narrow (on flatter ground) is about chokes, not brushing. Just because someone may "brush" a 4 foot wide corridor, doesn't mean they're removing every tree or desirable sapling from that swath. Keeping selective or larger saplings as a "choke" every 20 feet or so, adding a rock or tip of a log here and there to focus the impact where the builder wants it, will keep the "tread" narrow like the land manager wants, while opening up lines of sight and giving room for users to move off tread to yield right-of-way.

    3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet; pick the minimum width that allows you to go a season or two without having to go back and re-brush. However be careful about cutting saplings and smaller trees that add to the canopy above. If you brush too wide and open up too much, rake too much, you might possibly give room for invasives to grow.
    Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club
    www.cambc.org

  33. #33
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirewilly View Post
    Brush and chokes need to be distinguished separately in this conversation.

    Keeping a trail tread narrow (on flatter ground) is about chokes, not brushing. Just because someone may "brush" a 4 foot wide corridor, doesn't mean they're removing every tree or desirable sapling from that swath. Keeping selective or larger saplings as a "choke" every 20 feet or so, adding a rock or tip of a log here and there to focus the impact where the builder wants it, will keep the "tread" narrow like the land manager wants, while opening up lines of sight and giving room for users to move off tread to yield right-of-way.

    3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet; pick the minimum width that allows you to go a season or two without having to go back and re-brush. However be careful about cutting saplings and smaller trees that add to the canopy above. If you brush too wide and open up too much, rake too much, you might possibly give room for invasives to grow.
    Willy:

    Well thought out post. Thanks for that input it makes total sense. Having something low to the ground to improve line of sight and using the tip of a log to keep riders from widening the trail and having a spot for downhill riders to stop and move over when encountering a rider or hiker coming the other direction is a good building technique.

    There is a problem in that we aren't cutting many trees so we don't have many logs or boulders along some of the segments that would work well for that purpose.

    We did use a lot of dead branches on Aerie to define the outer edge of the trail. We also filled many of the fairly small natural drainages that crossed the Aerie trail with brush to create a silting in affect which is working real well.

    TD

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    366
    I think the recommendations in one of the FS/Park Service trail maintenance guidebooks (written by a trail coordinator for Sequoia National Park) suggests a 6' wide and 10' tall brush out to accommodate equestrians. These are guidelines and I suppose specs will vary in different areas. The local managers will have the final say so. If the concern is tread widening, perhaps you may suggest other means of preventing that from happening such a placing rocks or logs next to the trail in strategic spots. Narrow tread is a worthy goal, but I think it can be achieved without getting all scratched up.

  35. #35
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by bpressnall View Post
    I think the recommendations in one of the FS/Park Service trail maintenance guidebooks (written by a trail coordinator for Sequoia National Park) suggests a 6' wide and 10' tall brush out to accommodate equestrians. These are guidelines and I suppose specs will vary in different areas. The local managers will have the final say so. If the concern is tread widening, perhaps you may suggest other means of preventing that from happening such a placing rocks or logs next to the trail in strategic spots. Narrow tread is a worthy goal, but I think it can be achieved without getting all scratched up.
    .

    b:

    I totally agree with your statement, " Narrow tread is a worthy goal, but I think it can be achieved without getting all scratched up." and in my experience with the trails I have built such as the Sedona Aerie trail they have a nice trail width even though they have yery little encroaching vegetation hitting a riders arms and legs. It is obvious the FS person in charge and the trail boss who routed the trail and built about 25% of Aerie think totally differently.

    Neither has tried to explain why they use the hands on hips elbows out rule when brushing, so I am totally in the dark on that philosophy at this point. Personally my only reason for initially building a trail like that would be to establish the trail tread on a poorly constructed base with the goal of when the trail is compacted due to a good amount of use that you could go back and trim the brush back for a more enjoyable mountain biking user experience.

    Both ride the trail regularly and maybe when they ride it they see something I don't. To me the mountain biking user experience on Aerie is great and every time I take someone new on Aerie they comment what a fun ride it is.

    I have that trail listed in Everytrail.com and I get numerous responses from people who ride it and say they enjoy the ride (Lost Watch to Touron to Chuck Wagon to Mescal to Deadman's to Aerie to Cockscomb to Dawa to OK to AZ Cypress to Anaconda Bypass to Anaconda to Girdner - Mountain biking trip | EveryTrail).

    There is a trail in Sedona called Easy Breezy (Under the Radar to Under Under the Radar to Double D to Ramshead to Ridge to Red Rock Crossing to Templeton to Easy Breezy to Easy Sleezy to Slim Shad - Mountain biking trip | EveryTrail) that hasn't been adopted yet, but is listed on the Bear Tooth map as being a system trail. That trail was initially built as a user built trail and was routed through some very tight vegetation. In fact there was one spot that my wife tore a 5" long 1/2" deep cut in her forearm that I had to take her immediately to the Urgent Care for 15 stitches.

    Since the trail still doesn't have signs on it as an official FS trail I am not really sure of the status, but I hope it will be adopted in the next month or so. It still has vegetation encroaching on the trail in several spots and I am sure the FS and the volunteer trail boss will want it left that way. The sections of that trail that don't have brush encroaching on the trail are almost the exact same width as the tight vegetation sections, so as I keep stating I don't know why they want users to have what I consider to be an irritating and possibly injurious experience in the tight vegetation sections.

    Easy Breezy will someday be a very popular trail for more advanced riders due to the uniqueness of it's routing across a 40' wash at about 8 or more locations. Some of the banks on either side of the wash need to be armored for lesser skilled riders to clean, but for me I can clean those bank sections, so nothing needs to be done there as far as I am concerned. If and when the banks are armored in it will be interesting how the super advanced riders will react to the armoring, I predict they will be screaming bloody murder, and the FS will have to be respectful to those users when they listen to those complaints about those improvements.

    Whenever I complain to the FS that they did something that provides an IMPOSSIBLE riding experience for mountain bikers they are ALWAYS very respectful back to me when they basicly tell me "too bad dude we don't care if you can't ride those stupid stairs. We could have built a ramp next to the stairs to accommodate mountain bikers, but we don't always do what the mountain bikers like because it makes them crazy." Even though the FS knows myself and other mountain bikers are willing to build a nice rideable ramp for FREE in those situations they want to show us they don't care what we think, they think they know something we don't, they possibly don't want mountain bikers riding Soldier Wash trails, or they don't mind that mountain bikers have an irritating experience on a section of trail that could be an enjoyable experience.

    That's it I have to go riding now on some enjoyable trails with no brush ripping my clothes.

    TD

  36. #36
    Happy, in the woods.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    251
    What are the specs in the TMO for the trail? Trail Class is only part of the equation; each trail will have a Trail Management Objective that covers designed use, managed uses, corridor clearing width, tread width, etc.

    Here's a good USFS resource for understanding their trail management and planning policies, including TRACS TMOs, Trail Classification, etc.
    Abba Zaba, you my only friend....

  37. #37
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by thumpduster View Post
    What are the specs in the TMO for the trail? Trail Class is only part of the equation; each trail will have a Trail Management Objective that covers designed use, managed uses, corridor clearing width, tread width, etc.

    Here's a good USFS resource for understanding their trail management and planning policies, including TRACS TMOs, Trail Classification, etc.
    It will be interesting if the Regional Manager of IMBA or the president of the VVCC knows the answer to that question or if the volunteer trail boss knows. If Justin of the USFS knows maybe he can let us know. He use to be involved with these projects until the FS ran low on money and had to rely more on volunteers like myself who have had a somewhat different experience with trimming vegetation. Like Justin use to tell me "don't worry too much about the vegetation here the sh*t grows back.". Maybe that view point is why he is not working there at the present time. He wanted mountain bikers to have a good user experience and the volunteer trail boss wanted brush encroaching per the literal definition of the Class 2 definition.

    TD

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    7,547
    I went and rode Javelina today to see what the fuss is about. And indeed it was difficult to discern what the land manager and trail boss are all worked up about. I'll let the pics do the talking.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-javelina1.jpg  

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-javelina2.jpg  

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-javelina3.jpg  

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-javelina4.jpg  

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-javelina6.jpg  


  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    7,547
    The Prodigal Son has informed me before that he has forgotten more than I'll ever know about trailbuilding and perhaps he's right. I'll refrain from the discourse on appropriate width for brushing a trail.

    I am a geologist, however, and I do understand erosion. Frankly, I find it a bit disconcerting to see these and also infer from the amount of rock work just how much time and effort went into these features. These two pics are on the lower end of Javelina where it uses old, non-system trail (Centenial) and crosses a minor drainage. The old trail went directly down the drainage at this point to the terminus. You could argue that's about as sustainable as it's going to get. Anyhow, , these rock features are worthy of discussion on the trail which Traildoc is catching flac for overexuberant brushing.

    IMO these are essentially boulder checkdams and will only exacerbate erosion. They create a nickpoint and surface flow will erode a pothole or plunge pool on the downstream side. Eventually, the rock bridge will either get blown out or streamflow in the gully will erode and bypass the rock bridge and the end result is widening of the gully.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-javelina7.jpg  

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-javelina8.jpg  


  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    7,547
    Allright, the new trail runs into Crucifixion Wash and then crosses. There have been two rock ramps built on either side that I can't really see most mtn bikers riding. Especially if they can ride around them. I did run into a stoked hiker who thought it was great. This is a major wash and while floods are mainy channelized and rarely go overbank when they do the destructive force is impressive.

    VIDEO: Sedona Flash Floods At Tlaquepaque
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/past/Sed...edonaFlood.pdf
    Sedona Caught in Flood – Approximately 12 Cars Washed Away « Sedona News from SEDONA.TV
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-crucifixion1.jpg  

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-crucifixion2.jpg  

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-crucifixion3.jpg  

    Cutting Back Vegetation on a Class 2 Trail????-sedonaflood.jpg  


  41. #41
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Allright, the new trail runs into Crucifixion Wash and then crosses. There have been two rock ramps built on either side that I can't really see most mtn bikers riding. Especially if they can ride around them. I did run into a stoked hiker who thought it was great. This is a major wash and while floods are mainy channelized and rarely go overbank when they do the destructive force is impressive.

    VIDEO: Sedona Flash Floods At Tlaquepaque
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/past/Sed...edonaFlood.pdf
    Sedona Caught in Flood – Approximately 12 Cars Washed Away « Sedona News from SEDONA.TV
    rockman:

    Thanks for showing the pictures. I had ridden up to the CREC crew when they were installing the ramp where the hiker was standing. I was riding with team Pivot from Finland so we stopped and chatted with the CREC trail foreman. I knew if I asked them if they were proud of their work they would have all started crying, so I just kept my big mouth shut.

    It's tough being an inexperienced trail worker and not really knowing how to develop a good work product that will enhance the mountain biking user experience and also not create additional work in the future.

    If it was me doing the project I would have at least dug down and buried the rocks flat and level with the surface of the bank to not impede water flow when it started rippen through there during significant rain events.

    When I told the FS I would get a small volunteer group together to do some of those rock ramp wash crossings, I thought to myself that is a lot of rock for an old man like me to gather, so I wanted to get some help.

    The FS was real suspicious of my offer to help, so they told me the only way they would let me help was to pin point the EXACT location of each crossing and write up a volunteer agreement indicating each EXACT location for each of the five crossings they wanted help on, like maybe I might go crazy and want to gather rocks to rock in 300 yards of the wash or something more crazy like build a new trail and cut down all the brush in Soldier's Wash while building it.

    The FS then wanted to send someone from their office out to do a safety meeting with me and my small volunteer crew on how to work safely on that type of project before we started working. Then they needed a couple days lead time to meet with me and each new crew member I dug up on MTBR or some ride I was guiding with some non-paying tourons. In my tiny world work gets done on the spur of the moment when I can con someone into helping me. In the past I use to do all the work myself, now I will get qualified help where ever I can find it.

    TD

  42. #42
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,187
    This thread is truly painful to read.

    I am not (thank goodness) in the position of having to deal with the USFS, but beyond all else here traildoc's pain (read almost any trail builder) at wanting what works and is best, versus would-be autocrats working in the guise of public diplomats sings loudest.

    On one side is potential and credentials. Trouble is traildoc, you can't back that with any credential that means something to to the other side.

    On the other side is policy administered bluntly, stagnation and waste. Trouble is saying it makes no difference. Most of these people have no accountability (but they do have qualifications, quite possibly paid for by you as they gain them "on-the-job").

    Nothing gets done without application and then research and then cultural assessment and then liability assessment and then funding application and then oh whoops, you forgot to mention if it was a class 2 or 3 trail in your first application, so start again and whoops, there goes the financial year and that fund pool has been re-allocated........

    If it is like here (bet it is) that equals the ripoff of public $$$$ as well as the failure to work towards what really means something to the people - being in touch with their land. It sucks.

    It makes pirate trailwork not only logical, but applaudable. I have not impressed some here in the past by saying this, but it is what it is.

    So let's look at this case:

    Trailworker wants to work and does so with permission of the USFS, so long as he doesn't do 5m of modification without lodging a request on a trail he has already been allowed to work on.

    Trailworker cannot get volunteers to help, because they don't work to the USFS timetable.

    Official workers get paid to do SFA in ultra-slow time (we get that here too - a trailer load of rock delivered and dumped anywhere but where it may help after a whole day's, hard work by 2-3 uniformed dudes who point out illegal trail and leave when told it is a natural creek line, always there and never ridden! See you later, but never when we fix your trail...)

    USFS dudes come up with some BS idea that walking along with your arms out sets the trail width. Put em on the back of a tandom and charge through there, then put em on the back of a horse and gallop them back - both with their hands on hips and elbows out!

    Trail is class 2 - that is not suited, by definition, to MTB or equine use. When they say it is suitable, then compromise safety by making the trail inadequate and further by limiting signage, not only is that negligent, it is stupid. That makes them liable. However, the dumb jerks who start this sort of thing seem to miraculously disappear or get promoted sideways when the excrement hits the fan.

    What is a class 2 trail? Simple definition: an inadequate one.

    What is a class 1 trail? One definition: a high alpine grassland with lots of rocks to jump off, little waterfalls to piss and crap in, leave litter all over, then get lost in bad weather and cause a heli rescue by calling on a mate high in the USFS (or equivalent).

    OK, I'm getting boring here, but only people who get paid to make rules for no reason come up with this sort of reaction from people who want to help.

    When will "they" wake up. For f....S sake

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    366
    Ripnparadise, you make some good points, but looking at the FS trail classifications, I think a class two or even class one trail can be built in a sustainable manner. It's all about location, location, location. I imagine most of Trail Docs trails would fall into that category and in my experience they can be the most fun to ride, less intrusive on the environment, more visually appealing, and infinitely less expensive to build. If a trail is routed properly, one can often avoid major rock work, intensive benching and wide tread. Of course such trails are not appropriate in many situations, but they are often desired over more heavily developed trails.

  44. #44
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,187
    bp, there's no doubting that, but in this case the trail is already there. It would harm nothing in a permananet sense to make it better, other than perhaps some officious egos.

    If I were traildoc though, I would not have linked this thread to his correspondence - they will not be impressed with the concept of just going ahead and changing things and that comes through a bit too strongly (and not surprisingly) in parts of the thread.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    4,126
    Traildoc,

    I have just a few thoughts that might be helpful.

    The idea of measuring trail width by putting your hands on your hips, sounds like a useful field tool, not so much a prescription as "rule of thumb".

    I also don't see a conflict between keeping the trail narrow, having a good rider experience, and having good sight lines.

    Fast growing or hazardous vegetation probably needs to be brushed back further than slow growing vegetation. On straight sections, the trail can be narrower, with occasional pockets for passing. On corners, perhaps the visibility issues can be solved by selective lowering of vegetation, rather than making the corridor wider.

    I'd also cut the ranger some slack. It sounds like you both want trail improvements. But she's accountable to a supervisor, and has to follow a rule book even if frustrating to you .

    YMMV,
    HC

  46. #46
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    473
    I have very rarely seen corridor vegetation cause trail widening. Typically it's more from an improperly constructed bench cut than anything. Good luck and I love the trails in Sedona, BTW! Have a friend with a home there so I plan on being out there once a year from now on.

  47. #47
    Dirt Pilot
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    35

    Sedona needs MTB Leadership!

    Trail Doc,

    I just read through this entire thread after a hiatus from indulging in the MTBR habit lately. I am not familiar with your previous posts or history so I am only responding to what I just read in this one. I can tell you are passionate about bicycles and trails and what you are doing there in Sedona. But seriously dude - WTF?

    As one who first started riding in Sedona in the early 90's, I can tell you that you are NOT MY appointed ambassador to the area's spectacular public resources. Self appointed - give me a break!? The dialog, methods and manner you promote here is the antithesis of how advocates of responsible bicycle access are improving and protecting our public land opportunities across the country.

    I can tell you that if you were going cowboy so publicly in my backyard, the local IMBA club would put a stop to it tomorrow. Collectively we've worked too hard to not call you out on bad process - I've sat in meeting where land managers and the conservation community point to thread's and actions like yours as reason to ban bicycles from public trails.

    Sedona's doesn't need a spider web of new connections, or the dumbing down of challenging features, or a new map highlighting your latest endeavors unless that is what the local, cohesive mountain bike community has worked out with the appropriate land managers. The decisions you are very publicly and unilaterally making are the actions that should come from APPOINTED leadership from the local IMBA club working within the system. It's my understanding that there is an official IMBA club being formed right now. GREAT! It's obvious from the outside looking in that Sedona is long overdue for some cohesive bicycle representation and some damage control in this matter.

    I look forward to seeing the new IMBA club taking on their new leadership role in your community to maintain and develop system trails, and more importantly, create a positive and pro-active relationship with the land managers.

    TrailDoc - I hope that you can channel your talents into a bigger, more collaborative bicycle voice in Sedona - which deserves to benefit from the greater collective bicycle wisdom and experience.

    Good Luck in your decisions...

    PS - why bother with a new map when the Beartooth Publishing maps ROCK!

  48. #48
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    [QUOTE=Montana Bob;9072466]Trail Doc,
    Bob:

    I was hoping someone like you would do a post to show you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

    Please explain WTF IMBA has been all these years? You refer to IMBA as the Holy Grail; time will tell if they can improve the mountain biking user experience in Sedona. If they can do that I will be the first to thank them. So far there efforts in Sedona have been less than satisfactory from my viewpoint.

    Please explain how the Bear Tooth Map is better than my comprehensive map. If you had read my Arizona Thread on Bear Tooth you would understand their short comings. They are trying to improve their map for the advanced mountain biker, but to date they aren't even close. I know the truth hurts.

    Could you please be more specific about the spider web of new connections? Give me a few examples so the viewer’s reading your post have a clue what you are talking about. If you can't be more specific with your statements I can only assume you don't know what you are talking about.

    Can you please explain how a local IMBA club is going to put a stop to me wanting to brush vegetation wider than the land manager and the volunteer trail boss? The Lang manager said the new southwest regional IMBA manager was going to explain to me why vegetation needs to be trimmed to the hands on hips elbows out method. To date I have not been contacted by Pete. I did meet him a while back doing a ride on one of the best user-built trails in Sedona. Seemed like a real nice guy, so I look forward to getting the IMBA policy on brushing Class 2 trails.

    Please don't disappoint me with a generalized response that makes you look like you don't know what you are talking about. I doubt we will even hear back from you with anything specific, please prove me wrong.

    If you can't answer ALL my questions, just tell us why Bear Tooth's Map is better than my map sold at Over the Edge Bike Shop and the free ones online. Since you don't seem to know much about my efforts in making Sedona a world class mountain biking destination for advanced riders the map question should be an easy one for you to be specific about.


    TD

  49. #49
    Dirt Pilot
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    35

    Tweedledee, Tweedledum

    TD - If you can't see how inappropriate it is to publish private emails and then lay derision on the land manager in an online forum to justify or try to gain support for your cowboy ways - you don't deserve a thoughtful response to any of your queries.

    This is not about how you brush a trail ( though it is important to adhere to whatever the determined standard ) - it's about respecting the system that is in place - like it or not. To my knowledge nobody died and named you the next King of Sedona to pursue your personal goal of a world class mountain bike destination for advanced riders by YOUR design on OUR public land.

    The reason that the Agency likes and prefers working with IMBA clubs is that there is an establish track record of how the Agency has worked successfully elsewhere in the country using constantly improving methods of trail building, advocacy, signage and pro-active interaction with the land managers. This evolution is fueled by the countless of hours from thousands of dedicated volunteers pursuing a vision that is bigger and more involved than a single individual's myopic pursuits. The CLUB concept also means that it is representing a GROUP that is ACCOUNTABLE to the larger community and not just the whims of Sedona's Self-Appointed Ambassador flying solo - and in the process pissing off the folks who have the thankless job of managing recreation on public lands.

    If you care about the future of mountain biking on public lands in general, and in Sedona specifically, I urge you embrace the larger bicycling community and operate within established parameters and behaviors.

    Whatever. OVER and OUT!
    Last edited by Montana Bob; 03-06-2012 at 11:07 PM. Reason: spelling correction

  50. #50
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,857
    ^^^I just threw up...
    I ride with the best dogs.




  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,378
    ........"the Agency", just looking out for everyone's best interests...........where's my popcorn?

  52. #52
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Bob View Post
    TD - If you can't see how inappropriate it is to publish private emails and then lay derision on the land manager in an online forum to justify or try to gain support for your cowboy ways - you don't deserve a thoughtful response to any of your queries.

    This is not about how you brush a trail ( though it is important to adhere to whatever the determined standard ) - it's about respecting the system that is in place - like it or not. To my knowledge nobody died and named you the next King of Sedona to pursue your personal goal of a world class mountain bike destination for advanced riders by YOUR design on OUR public land.

    The reason that the Agency likes and prefers working with IMBA clubs is that there is an establish track record of how the Agency has worked successfully elsewhere in the country using constantly improving methods of trail building, advocacy, signage and pro-active interaction with the land managers. This evolution is fueled by the countless of hours from thousands of dedicated volunteers pursuing a vision that is bigger and more involved than a single individual's myopic pursuits. The CLUB concept also means that it is representing a GROUP that is ACCOUNTABLE to the larger community and not just the whims of Sedona's Self-Appointed Ambassador flying solo - and in the process pissing off the folks who have the thankless job of managing recreation on public lands.

    If you care about the future of mountain biking on public lands in general, and in Sedona specifically, I urge you embrace the larger bicycling community and operate within established parameters and behaviors.

    Whatever. OVER and OUT!
    Bob:

    You just gave the perfect response that I knew you would. If the land manger is pissed off at me for not accepting her incorrect method of properly brushing a new trail to give mountain bikers a good user experience that is just part of a quick learning experience the the internet can give land managers who think that they more about trail building then someone who has been building trails for more than 15 years.

    I have had disagreements about the brushing with her and the volunteer trail boss several times to the point she had to put her viewpoint to me in writing. She cc: several people she felt needed to be informed of her position so they would know where she stood on the method brushing method: hands on hips elbows out.

    You even seem to agree that method is flawed, right or wrong. Please don't give me some BS answer that you are good at doing.

    You didn't answer my question about my map and I deserve an apology that you didn't sight my map as a better map for advanced mountain bikers to use when they come to Sedona to check out our vast advanced user built trail system. I am curious if you classify yourself as an advanced rider who can appreciate the world class system that we have to offer the advanced mountain biking community.

    You remind me of several other trail builders that hang out on the MTBR Trail Advocacy forum and have given me the same BS.

    The internet provides a person like myself the opportunity to find out how other experienced trail builders feel about trail brushing. If the land manager had sent me a letter in the mail 20 years ago telling me to not brush the trails the way I know is accepted by the trail building community I would not be able to get the view point from a trail forum like this in a timely manner.

    Providing the actual document lends insight into the discussion that helps viewers understand what I am up against in this situation. If the FS doesn't change their method on how to determine how to brush a Sedona Class 2 trail I will be surprised.

    I am sure when you took an advanced bike clinic on how to properly ride a mountain bike the instructor described riding your bike with your elbows bent and out. That means when you would be properly riding your mountain bike on a newly built Sedona Class 2 trail your elbows would be constantly hitting brush. That is not a good user experience in my opinion.

    Just because I am a self-appointed ambassador doesn't mean I have to do trail building that doesn't make any sense. I have always strived to build a better trail than the FS can build, so I don't have to put up with the ridiculous generalizations someone like you comes up with.

    Can you at least tell me the best trail you personally built yourself, so I can get a better idea what your actual trail building experience is? I want to look it up on the net and see what it looks like and the reviews riders give it. Is the trail on the local Bear Tooth map as a user built trail or a system trail?

    TD

  53. #53
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,187
    Using the definition provided c/o bsieb, a class 2 trail is not suitable for beginner riders. Therefore intermediate to experienced riders will use class 2 trails. So talking about advanced trails in Sedona makes sense. Making an issue out of Sedona's self-appointed king and myopic ambassador of advanced trails is splitting hairs (about the trail rating) and missing the point.

    There is no rule that can be universally applied to trail width. Only a fool would argue it. Making up politically correct reasons to justify stupid rules and the people who make them does not advance trailbuilding or the human species!

    If IMBA (and when was IMBA elected God Almighty BTW?) stands by the arbitrary rule of walking with hands on hips to estimate trail corridor, then they too are stupid. But they won't. They will have a series of their own arbitrary rules to impress traildoc's local LM/USFS/local ranger. And so the great wheel of institutionalised control of your collective freedom turns endlessly to the power and money of self interest.

    I don't know Sedona or traildoc, but seems lots of people like his trails. Maybe they are really good and will last forever, maybe not, but that is also not what this is about.

    This thread is about how to prepare/maintain a class 2 trail's vegetation. So, some exchange of ideas rather than bile seems appropriate?

    Seems to me the following issues are important:

    Trail width and line will change over time due to the effects of weather and usage. That means that creating clear lines in the interest of safety and fun is not a one-off process. Around here it takes a couple of years to establish a trail and trimming vegetation that invades is ongoing. That's not to say anyone wants to do it.

    Creating a trail corridor of any width changes the way adjacent vegetation grows. Plants grow toward the light and encroach on the trail. In some places that is fine - like on the outside of a fast corner when riders will be leaning away from the growth. In others it is a problem, as line of sight (read safety) and the chance of impact increase as plants grow over time. Undercover plants and weeds will invade along the edge of the tread. Riders, walkers and Mr Ed (where's my acme evaporator for the gee gee gang - the group happiest to ruin but never build or repair) will then modify the trail-edge undercover species as will local erosion.

    As with the flow of life in general, plants and critters fall into line with the trail over time. That means plants flowing around the user and no spider webs on the trail (cause even they know better).

    In some places a narrow trail corridor is magic, like where the plants are special, where speeds are low, where the line of the trail is obvious, unidirectional trails etc. In others it sucks, creates unnecessary user risk and leads to wanton destruction of vegetation by frustrated riders/users.

    It doesn't take much foresight to see where branches need to be trimmed, saplings need to be plaited into other vegetation, where undercover can be sensibly thinned to allow line of sight and where little dead plants can be pulled out allowing more access for new ones while reducing fire risk.

    Trimming vegetation is not killing vegetation. Lots of plants maintain a viable root system to stabilise trail edges after trimming and then shoot new suckers that can be encouraged to grow away from the trail. Most plants only need selective trimming to maintain trail quality - often just the branches that are or will encroach on a trail over time. Spiny stuff deserves special attention.

    All plants can be used to prevent trail cutting, widening, excessive speed and increase the user experience just by being there. Collectively we like plants and we like the land, so everyone wants vegetation maintained in a healthy state.

    The only people that see conflict between the rules/guidelines and sensible, sustainable, safe and fun trail are those with vested interests. To take that further and disrespect an experienced trailbuilder who is simply expressing the frustration of dealing with those being paid or glorified to make rules and stall progress and piss off the volunteers (bureaucrats doesn't get pissed off, they are trained to handle and dismiss human emotion) really suggests you are a dick.

    Today my digging mate and I did about 5km of trail edge trimming. He's got a squished finger from a creek armouring mishap, so this was to be his first day back in the bush after surgery and was planned before this thread popped up. I'd almost bet no-one will see what we did, but all will wonder why they rode better and had more flow. Lines previously hidden are now visible without any plant being removed. A solid jump line over a log pile reinforced with rock etc down into a creek followed by a 90 degree left turn coming up the steep bank out of the creek is now visible from both sides. It's a great feature, but collisions were possible on the 2 way trail because it appeared out of the greenery with little warning and no line of sight. Now it looks generally the same, but you can see what's coming from both directions.

    Subtle changes make for huge user benefits. We pulled out invasive weeds, removed or severed thorny vines for better future access to their roots and opened up vision into and out of corners. It rode so much better and the native plants have a better chance of taking over from the crap.

    It's not Sedona, but we value it very highly and want it all to last, not be vandalised, corrupted or abandoned for lack of sensible care. As an outsider I'd say traildoc should be supported in his attempt to make progress and be included. Just because he expresses himself passionately and is not affiliated with a modern day authority, does not make him the enemy.

  54. #54
    Tre1nt
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    418
    I'll jump into this hornet's nest, very briefly, to speak on IMBA's behalf. I'm the organization's communications director.

    Regarding the trail building aspect of the discussion, IMBA publishes and otherwise disseminates lots of information on this topic. Mountain bike groups and land managers around the globe have found this info useful. We almost always, however, advise that our materials are meant as guidelines -- not rigid standards -- and that local conditions may dictate different approaches. When IMBA's Trail Care Crew visits Sedona in upcoming weeks I'm confident that they will engage local rider/builders in a dialogue, rather than handing out predetermined advice.

    Regarding the way that mountain bikers engage with land managers, IMBA's approach is based on building positive relationships and encouraging a better understanding of what makes trails appealing for our group. There's no doubt that the partnership-building approach is often slower than becoming a self-appointed trail boss. The downside to "build first, ask questions later" is that it's often very limiting in the long run.

    IMBA doesn't deny that there are very talented, very effective trail builders out there that do not operate the way we advise. Sometimes the one-man army approach pays off -- but many times it results in a talented builder becoming bitter and burned out as his/her good work gets undone because the trails don't have adequate support from the local community, and/or the land managing agency.

    There are many ways to get great trails built -- IMBA knows that the methods we recommend work, but we recognize that there are huge variations in building styles that derive from local conditions. And we also know that the careful development of positive relationships with local land managers can be extremely effective -- and it can also get derailed by an ignorant manger, any number of political cluster****s, or by MTBers themselves shooting their own damn feet off.

    We can't promise our method always work fastest or even best ... but they work. And we remain committed to working with land managers in a collaborative fashion.
    Last edited by Mark E; 03-07-2012 at 11:04 AM.

  55. #55
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    Using the definition provided c/o bsieb, a class 2 trail is not suitable for beginner riders. Therefore intermediate to experienced riders will use class 2 trails. So talking about advanced trails in Sedona makes sense. Making an issue out of Sedona's self-appointed king and myopic ambassador of advanced trails is splitting hairs (about the trail rating) and missing the point.

    There is no rule that can be universally applied to trail width. Only a fool would argue it. Making up politically correct reasons to justify stupid rules and the people who make them does not advance trailbuilding or the human species!

    If IMBA (and when was IMBA elected God Almighty BTW?) stands by the arbitrary rule of walking with hands on hips to estimate trail corridor, then they too are stupid. But they won't. They will have a series of their own arbitrary rules to impress traildoc's local LM/USFS/local ranger. And so the great wheel of institutionalised control of your collective freedom turns endlessly to the power and money of self interest.

    I don't know Sedona or traildoc, but seems lots of people like his trails. Maybe they are really good and will last forever, maybe not, but that is also not what this is about.

    This thread is about how to prepare/maintain a class 2 trail's vegetation. So, some exchange of ideas rather than bile seems appropriate?

    Seems to me the following issues are important:

    Trail width and line will change over time due to the effects of weather and usage. That means that creating clear lines in the interest of safety and fun is not a one-off process. Around here it takes a couple of years to establish a trail and trimming vegetation that invades is ongoing. That's not to say anyone wants to do it.

    Creating a trail corridor of any width changes the way adjacent vegetation grows. Plants grow toward the light and encroach on the trail. In some places that is fine - like on the outside of a fast corner when riders will be leaning away from the growth. In others it is a problem, as line of sight (read safety) and the chance of impact increase as plants grow over time. Undercover plants and weeds will invade along the edge of the tread. Riders, walkers and Mr Ed (where's my acme evaporator for the gee gee gang - the group happiest to ruin but never build or repair) will then modify the trail-edge undercover species as will local erosion.

    As with the flow of life in general, plants and critters fall into line with the trail over time. That means plants flowing around the user and no spider webs on the trail (cause even they know better).

    In some places a narrow trail corridor is magic, like where the plants are special, where speeds are low, where the line of the trail is obvious, unidirectional trails etc. In others it sucks, creates unnecessary user risk and leads to wanton destruction of vegetation by frustrated riders/users.

    It doesn't take much foresight to see where branches need to be trimmed, saplings need to be plaited into other vegetation, where undercover can be sensibly thinned to allow line of sight and where little dead plants can be pulled out allowing more access for new ones while reducing fire risk.

    Trimming vegetation is not killing vegetation. Lots of plants maintain a viable root system to stabilise trail edges after trimming and then shoot new suckers that can be encouraged to grow away from the trail. Most plants only need selective trimming to maintain trail quality - often just the branches that are or will encroach on a trail over time. Spiny stuff deserves special attention.

    All plants can be used to prevent trail cutting, widening, excessive speed and increase the user experience just by being there. Collectively we like plants and we like the land, so everyone wants vegetation maintained in a healthy state.

    The only people that see conflict between the rules/guidelines and sensible, sustainable, safe and fun trail are those with vested interests. To take that further and disrespect an experienced trailbuilder who is simply expressing the frustration of dealing with those being paid or glorified to make rules and stall progress and piss off the volunteers (bureaucrats doesn't get pissed off, they are trained to handle and dismiss human emotion) really suggests you are a dick.

    Today my digging mate and I did about 5km of trail edge trimming. He's got a squished finger from a creek armouring mishap, so this was to be his first day back in the bush after surgery and was planned before this thread popped up. I'd almost bet no-one will see what we did, but all will wonder why they rode better and had more flow. Lines previously hidden are now visible without any plant being removed. A solid jump line over a log pile reinforced with rock etc down into a creek followed by a 90 degree left turn coming up the steep bank out of the creek is now visible from both sides. It's a great feature, but collisions were possible on the 2 way trail because it appeared out of the greenery with little warning and no line of sight. Now it looks generally the same, but you can see what's coming from both directions.

    Subtle changes make for huge user benefits. We pulled out invasive weeds, removed or severed thorny vines for better future access to their roots and opened up vision into and out of corners. It rode so much better and the native plants have a better chance of taking over from the crap.

    It's not Sedona, but we value it very highly and want it all to last, not be vandalised, corrupted or abandoned for lack of sensible care. As an outsider I'd say traildoc should be supported in his attempt to make progress and be included. Just because he expresses himself passionately and is not affiliated with a modern day authority, does not make him the enemy.
    Rid:

    Thank-you for your post your understanding of the trimming process is refreshing.

    TD

  56. #56
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark E View Post
    I'll jump into this hornet's nest, very briefly, to speak on IMBA's behalf. I'm the organization's communications director.

    Regarding the trail building aspect of the discussion, IMBA publishes and otherwise disseminates lots of information on this topic. Mountain bike groups and land managers around the globe have found this info useful. We almost always, however, advise that our materials are meant as guidelines -- not rigid standards -- and that local conditions may dictate different approaches. When IMBA's Trail Care Crew visits Sedona in upcoming weeks I'm confident that they will engage local rider/builders in a dialogue, rather than handing out predetermined advice.

    Regarding the way that mountain bikers engage with land managers, IMBA's approach is based on building positive relationships and encouraging a better understanding of what makes trails appealing for our group. There's no doubt that the partnership-building approach is often slower than becoming a self-appointed trail boss. The downside to "build first, ask questions later" is that it's often very limiting in the long run.

    IMBA doesn't deny that there are very talented, very effective trail builders out there that do not operate the way we advise. Sometimes the one-man army approach pays off -- but many times it results in a talented builder becoming bitter and burned out as his/her good work gets undone because the trails don't have adequate support from the local community, and/or the land managing agency.

    There are many ways to get great trails built -- IMBA knows that the methods we recommend work, but we recognize that there are huge variations in building styles that derive from local conditions. And we also know that the careful development of positive relationships with local land managers can be extremely effective -- and it can also get derailed by an ignorant manger, any number of political cluster****s, or by MTBers themselves shooting their own damn feet off.

    We can't promise our method always work fastest or even best ... but they work. And we remain committed to working with land managers in a collaborative fashion.
    Mark:

    Thank-you for your well thought out post is a nice addition to this thread.

    Recently I hosted a party for the ten main trail builders who have, put Sedona on the map as a future world class advanced mountain biking destination. I wanted to get everyone together to thank them for all their passionate efforts to make Sedona a great place to ride.

    What is interesting is that I doubt there will be more than two of the ten builders at the upcoming IMBA trail building seminar. I will certainly be one of the two, and the other may be my volunteer trail boss. Hopefully we will get some type of agreement about proper brushing technique and what brushing is trying to accomplish.

    It will certainly be an interesting gathering for a number of reasons. Besides teaching attendees good trail building techniques, it will be interesting how IMBA proposes to deal with our huge inventory of current user-built trails. I estimate we have over 20 user-built trails that are hugely popular to the advanced skilled mountain biking crowd and the masses of advanced riders traveling to Sedona from all over the world. I recently did a FREE tour for a bunch of riders from Finland, who plan to bring a bunch of their friends back next year to ride. Wiith a round trip airfare of around 650 euros from Helsinki to Las Vegas it makes it pretty affordable.

    It is my opinion, that those trails need to take a high priority in the adoption process, so that when they are incorporated into the system the FS can hopefully work with the local user groups to build something new. If the FS is willing to ignore the 20 or so user-built trails and leave them to the advanced riding group to enjoy that would also be fine with local advanced mountain biking group.

    Some of those trails are already being incorporated into the 7th. Edition of the Bear Tooth Sedona map which showcases a number of different suggested hiking options. I think their next edition will maybe suggest some nice mountain biking options. It will be interesting if they include some of the non-adopted user built trails into their suggested ride suggestions in their next edition. I already have 18 different ride suggestions in the map I produce for Over the Edge Bike Shop.

    I find it hard to believe the FS will be taking on any NEW badly needed beginner or intermediate trail projects in the near future due to the number of more advanced user-built trails that haven't been adopted yet, but I could be mistaken.

    On the recent Mescal re-route project, I did mention to the FS leader, an area that a more beginner/intermediate trail might be constructed, but I didn't get much feedback as to, if that area could be used for such a project. Hopefully a seed was planted and some fruit will occur in the future on such a project.

    TD

  57. #57
    Sheepherder/Cat Herder Moderator
    Reputation: Visicypher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,715
    So.....clearing limits.

    They are supposed to be documented. Supposed to be.

    USFS Region 1 states this in the spec manual (Standard Specifications for Construction and Maintenance of Trails)

    Clearing Limits. Clear to the dimensions SHOWN ON THE DRAWINGS or 12"
    beyond the fill and backslope catch points, whichever is greater.

    Also, FSH 2309.18 at http://www.fs.fed.us/im/directives/f.../2309.18,3.rtf might provide you with some useful info. See P. 22 for clearing info.

    Hope that helps.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  58. #58
    banned
    Reputation: The Prodigal Son's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    860
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark E View Post
    I'll jump into this hornet's nest, very briefly, to speak on IMBA's behalf. I'm the organization's communications director.

    Regarding the trail building aspect of the discussion, IMBA publishes lots of information on this topic. We almost always, however, advise that our materials are meant as guidelines -- not rigid standards -- and that local conditions may dictate different approaches. Local conditions will almost always dictate different approaches.


    Regarding the way that mountain bikers engage with land managers, IMBA's approach is based on building positive relationships and encouraging a better understanding of what makes trails appealing for our group. There's no doubt that the partnership-building approach is often slower than becoming a self-appointed trail boss. The downside to "build first, ask questions later" is that it's often very limiting in the long run.
    We hear this a lot. Building wildcat trails is often very limiting in the long run. But is it true? Apparently not in Arizona. The Forums are full of critics of all the user-created trails in Sedona, but they miss what is most important. The trails are getting built quickly and sustainably, and have kept up with the huge growth in demand. That's something the land managers have no motivation to do. Why would they? They don't have the passion for the trails that we do. To them, building trails is often an inconvenience, a laborious chore they'd rather avoid.


    IMBA doesn't deny that there are very talented, very effective trail builders out there that do not operate the way we advise. Sometimes the one-man army approach pays off --
    Yes, they are very effectice and very talented, and they almost always pay off. A huge percentage of system trails in Arizona were built by users with no permission. The land managers look at their options and almost always adopt those trails into the accepted system of trails. It almost invites users to continue their work, knowing they will be rewarded down the line.


    There are many ways to get great trails built -- IMBA knows that the methods we recommend work, but we recognize that there are huge variations in building styles....And we also know that relationships with local land managers can be effective -- and it can also get derailed by an ignorant manger, any number of political cluster****s, or by MTBers themselves....

    We can't promise our method always work fastest or even best ...

    Trail users better get use to more and more projects getting derailed in the future. Mostly due to budget cuts. Our Federal Government will either make drastic cuts in the near future, or go completely broke. Trail users better start getting use to the idea of taking responsibility of building and maintaining their local trail systems, with little of no funding. If you think that means we're in for trouble, and we might lose access to trails, think again. Just look at Sedona to provide a model of what everyone else should be doing. Meanwhile, get out there and ride those incredible Sedona Trails. And feel free to buy the first round for those builders.



    I was invited to speak at an IMBA board meeting during a National Trail Spmposium in Tucson, circa 1998. I asked them why they had alligned themselves with The Sierra Club and agreed to give up over 2 million acres of land to wilderness designation in Colorado. They said sometimes you must be willing to lose a battle to win the war. They added that they experienced a huge drop in membership and later changed their position. Of the people in that room, some were avide mountain bikers. Some were hikers. Some board members were members of The Sierra Club, who at the time, had written into their charter that they viewed mountain bikers no differently than they viewed motorcycles, and wanted us removed from public lands.

    A lot has changed over the years. IMBA knows that if they do not advocate strongly for mountain bikers, they won't keep members for long. Like The Sierra Club, IMBA is staffed with people who have to be politically savy. What they say face to face with land managers has to be carefully thought out. What they say to us while out on a ride is often more comforting. They are well aware of the increasingly large network of well built and sustainable trails being constructed by riders. They don't want to discourage the hard work, but they have to meet with land managers and at least pretend they don't always approve. So maybe it's best not to force them to go on MTBR and show too much support for all the great trails in Sedona built by non-government types, or in some cases, government types going rogue on their days off. We can also let the Montana Bob types on MTBR keep believing that only the government can take care of us, and we should never question the manner in which they choose to serve us. Fee Demonstration programs were the act of a kind and benevolent big brother, looking out for our best interests. Sure, that was it.

    Secret Trails may no longer be known only by a few locals, as they are gps'd and included on maps at local bike shops. But secret trail building, that has benefitted every single mountain bikers who visits Sedona, must remain at least something of a mystery. If we don't protect those legendary characters out there creating countless masterpieces, we'll find ourselves waiting dozens of years to hear back from our local land managers about trail proposals lying on the bottom of their inbox. Kapish?
    Last edited by The Prodigal Son; 03-07-2012 at 06:16 PM.

  59. #59
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,187
    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son View Post
    Secret Trails may no longer be known only by a few locals, as they are gps'd and included on maps at local bike shops. But secret trail building, that has benefitted every single mountain bikers who visits Sedona, must remain at least something of a mystery. If we don't protect those legendary characters out there creating countless masterpieces, we'll find ourselves waiting dozens of years to hear back from our local land managers about trail proposals lying on the bottom of their inbox. Kapish?
    Well said - all of it, not just this bit, but this bit seems to round up the thread to this point. A slight digression;

    I ski as well as ride and have been lucky enough to ski with some masters of freeskiing back in the day when it was developing a name. Until you see someone put a line down a face, you usually don't see it as a line at all. After that, not only do you see it, but you think about how to ski it and then you can do it like so many others who learned. MTB trails are sort of like that, however they are durable rather than seasonal.

    It is really hard to teach someone about a line they cannot see. Sometimes the only way to do it is by poaching. On snow, if there isn't an avi that takes the resort out, then it's all good except for the cops who will wait to take you down someday, even after you are legend. On MTB trail the tracks last a lot longer, so oddly even if they are awesome, the cops have ongoing evidence of how naughty they are and the builder was.

    I understand people not being able to see how to make a trail work best for the user and the environment. It takes years to learn. What I dislike is a system that demands that the enthusiasm and volunteer network is defused by politics, budgets and the time and waste associated with it all.

    Loss of momentum is loss of human progress. For example - what matters to people isn't how much carbon their car creates driving to the park, but what they feel when they get there. No trails = no experience and then all that's left is how much carbon their car will emit on the way back to suburbia.

    What a mess. These days building "unauthorised, illegal, pirate, destructive" trail that everyone likes, fits the local environment and increases local land advocacy and love is like saying something against religion. It may make total sense but you are going to be hated.

  60. #60
    IMBA south west
    Guest
    Join the Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew for their visit with the Sedona Mountain Bike Club and the USFS in Sedona, AZ from March 29 -April 1. Here's the schedule for the weekends activities:

    Thursday, March 29 -
    • IMBA Club Care Workshop. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. USFS Red Rock Ranger District Office - 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ (just south of the Village of Oak Creek). This session is open to all those interested in joining the Sedona Mountain Bike Club, riders, trail builders and anyone interested in developing great mountain bike clubs

    Friday, March 30
    • IMBA Land Manager Training session. 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon. USFS Red Rock Ranger District Office - 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ (just south of the Village of Oak Creek). This session is geared towards an audience of public land managers

    Saturday, March 31 -
    • IMBA Trail Building School. 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon. USFS Red Rock Ranger District Office - 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ (just south of the Village of Oak Creek). The morning session will be held indoors, and will focus on sustainable trail construction techniques. This session is open to all, lunch will be provided for volunteers.

    • IMBA Trail Building School. 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. The afternoon session will be held outdoors and will leave from the USFS Red Rock Ranger District Office. This session will focus on sustainable trail construction techniques. Please bring water, snacks, work clothes (including boots, hard hat or bike helmet, long sleeved pants and shirt, gloves, sun-screen, etc.) and be prepared for an afternoon in the Sedona outdoors!

    • Folks will gather on Saturday evening (location to be announced) for socializing and refreshments

    Sunday, April 1
    • Group ride. Time and location will be announced on Saturday
    afternoon

    We hope to see you there!

  61. #61
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by IMBA south west View Post
    Join the Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew for their visit with the Sedona Mountain Bike Club and the USFS in Sedona, AZ from March 29 -April 1. Here's the schedule for the weekends activities:

    Thursday, March 29 -
    • IMBA Club Care Workshop. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. USFS Red Rock Ranger District Office - 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ (just south of the Village of Oak Creek). This session is open to all those interested in joining the Sedona Mountain Bike Club, riders, trail builders and anyone interested in developing great mountain bike clubs

    Friday, March 30
    • IMBA Land Manager Training session. 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon. USFS Red Rock Ranger District Office - 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ (just south of the Village of Oak Creek). This session is geared towards an audience of public land managers

    Saturday, March 31 -
    • IMBA Trail Building School. 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon. USFS Red Rock Ranger District Office - 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ (just south of the Village of Oak Creek). The morning session will be held indoors, and will focus on sustainable trail construction techniques. This session is open to all, lunch will be provided for volunteers.

    • IMBA Trail Building School. 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. The afternoon session will be held outdoors and will leave from the USFS Red Rock Ranger District Office. This session will focus on sustainable trail construction techniques. Please bring water, snacks, work clothes (including boots, hard hat or bike helmet, long sleeved pants and shirt, gloves, sun-screen, etc.) and be prepared for an afternoon in the Sedona outdoors!

    • Folks will gather on Saturday evening (location to be announced) for socializing and refreshments

    Sunday, April 1
    • Group ride. Time and location will be announced on Saturday
    afternoon

    We hope to see you there!
    Pete:

    Who do you expect to attend the Friday meeting? session is geared towards an audience of public land managers

    Since this thread is mainly regarding the brushing trails will in the Saturday indoor class be discussing IMBA's recommended brushing techniques for Class 2 and Class 3 trails? Also will the outdoor class be showing trail builders IMBA's method of brushing Class 2 and Class 3 trails?

    TD

  62. #62
    IMBA south west
    Guest
    Hey John, It's Patrick not Pete, cheers! My intent with this post is to let folks know about the event, i'll post on other related threads too. Yes, the Friday session is for a land manager audience, hopefully from a broad spectrum of state, federal and municipal land managers. I imagine that the workshops over the weekend could cover trail brushing requirements, especially if the question is posed, however we likely won't go too in-depth into that or any one specific topic, instead we'll cover a range of trail building techniques. Also, as already stated, local conditions may determine that a different approach is used for brushing, it really depends on which users are on the trails and the specifications to which it was designed. I'm headed out of AZ for 2 weeks, back on March 24. Let's try to catch up sometime, aside from the Trail Care Crew visit. It would be good to ride and shoot the breeze.

  63. #63
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by IMBA south west View Post
    Hey John, It's Patrick not Pete, cheers! My intent with this post is to let folks know about the event, i'll post on other related threads too. Yes, the Friday session is for a land manager audience, hopefully from a broad spectrum of state, federal and municipal land managers. I imagine that the workshops over the weekend could cover trail brushing requirements, especially if the question is posed, however we likely won't go too in-depth into that or any one specific topic, instead we'll cover a range of trail building techniques. Also, as already stated, local conditions may determine that a different approach is used for brushing, it really depends on which users are on the trails and the specifications to which it was designed. I'm headed out of AZ for 2 weeks, back on March 24. Let's try to catch up sometime, aside from the Trail Care Crew visit. It would be good to ride and shoot the breeze.
    Patrick:

    Give me the dates you will be able to meet, and I would love to do a ride with you of some trails you may have not done yet. Tomahawk, Damifido and Killer Bee might be something you might enjoy. It would be interesting to get your feel for those trails.

    TD

  64. #64
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,411
    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    Well said - all of it, not just this bit, but this bit seems to round up the thread to this point. A slight digression;

    I ski as well as ride and have been lucky enough to ski with some masters of freeskiing back in the day when it was developing a name. Until you see someone put a line down a face, you usually don't see it as a line at all. After that, not only do you see it, but you think about how to ski it and then you can do it like so many others who learned. MTB trails are sort of like that, however they are durable rather than seasonal.

    It is really hard to teach someone about a line they cannot see. Sometimes the only way to do it is by poaching. On snow, if there isn't an avi that takes the resort out, then it's all good except for the cops who will wait to take you down someday, even after you are legend. On MTB trail the tracks last a lot longer, so oddly even if they are awesome, the cops have ongoing evidence of how naughty they are and the builder was.

    I understand people not being able to see how to make a trail work best for the user and the environment. It takes years to learn. What I dislike is a system that demands that the enthusiasm and volunteer network is defused by politics, budgets and the time and waste associated with it all.

    Loss of momentum is loss of human progress. For example - what matters to people isn't how much carbon their car creates driving to the park, but what they feel when they get there. No trails = no experience and then all that's left is how much carbon their car will emit on the way back to suburbia.

    What a mess. These days building "unauthorised, illegal, pirate, destructive" trail that everyone likes, fits the local environment and increases local land advocacy and love is like saying something against religion. It may make total sense but you are going to be hated.
    Cool post. Where do/have you skied? I'm a trail builder and free ride skier so I get what yer saying. I miss poaching steep lines and skiing somewhere with consistent snowfall but we do have some goods here in Flag if it hits.

  65. #65
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,187
    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    Cool post. Where do/have you skied? I'm a trail builder and free ride skier so I get what yer saying. I miss poaching steep lines and skiing somewhere with consistent snowfall but we do have some goods here in Flag if it hits.
    I wasn't sure if anyone would get the comparison between line choice and progressing to make that line a regular event rather than an impossibility. I've skied lots of places in the US, Canada, France, Austria and Switzerland as well as living in the mountains in Australia for a decade. The last 2 years have been lean on the skiing and not so lean on the MTB and trailcare.

    Yesterday's clearing of thorns and other evil invaders has left me with redecorated arms - lots of nicks and scratches and a very nice red tinge all over. I don't remember that from skiing.

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.