Mandatory Gaps and New Trail....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mandatory Gaps and New Trail....

    I built a trail. Actually I extended an existing trail, a nice dh single track run, by a couple thousand feet. It has a gap jump. Tiny, but awesome because it was just there. 2 big slabby slate boulders. One stuck in the ground like a ramp, and one sitting about 5-8 feet away like a landing. It had to be built. I found it 3-4 years ago. I've made maybe 2 miles of trail to get to it. I hit it yesterday. It was smooth, floaty and awesome. This section concludes 1400 vertical of DH single track that extends for 2.5 miles from the summit of our little Mtn to the lowest corner of the property open to the public on the "remote" side of the hill with only a few pedal strokes needed. It flows.


    The new section is about 2000 linear feet, and took me about 75 hours of volunteer time. If I payed myself 30 bucks an hour, the price tag would be less than 1/5 that of an excavator crew to construct the same trail. By that logic I could spend an additional 75 hours for the next 5 years constantly upgrading this trail as the bike traffic slowly burns in the trail exposing some problem areas of shallow roots, ect. and creating the perfect shallow bench and sinuous ribbon of dirt. I can't help but feel like this model best fits the funding we see for trail construction and provides the best experience for local mtbers. We'll get to roost loam for a year or two, enjoy the trail and as the line burns in and evolves. The tires do the finish work.


    I used to build massive jumps. I never felt guilty about the fact that very few people would ever hit them. I found myself feeling self indulgent as I moved rocks, crushed them and mined dirt for the landing ramp coming off the second small boulder. I found myself cowed by the thought that *someone* might not be able to clear the 6 foot void off the perfect natural lip and landing. WTF?


    Long live gap jumps as a physical representation of the commitment to personal growth and leaps of faith we all must take, on a bike or in life. New trail get's me stoked to ride! Oh, and mind the gap mate.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mandatory Gaps and New Trail....-slabgap1.jpg  

    Mandatory Gaps and New Trail....-slabgap2.jpg  

    Mandatory Gaps and New Trail....-slabgap4.jpg  

    Last edited by DaveVt; 07-23-2018 at 11:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    The dog seems to approve. Good work.
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  3. #3
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    That is a nice looking feature. Bonus points for using what mother nature provides.

    How good are the sight lines leading into the gap? Is it obvious that it is a mandatory gap as you approach it? Is the gap out of character for the rest of the trail?

    Those would be the questions I ask myself as a builder.

    A small mandatory, yet unexpected gap, can be more dangerous than some massive intimidating jump that screams "danger !!!!"

    I'm not a big fan of cluttering the forest with signs, but a sign at the start of the trail saying "This trail has mandatory gap jumps - Advanced Riders Only" would be fair warning to riders to be on their toes, and they "should" have nothing to complain about.

    But, it also depends on the land owner and how risk averse they are. Are they going to flip out if they see a sign about mandatory gap jumps? Are they going to close down the whole trail system if somebody crashes on it and sues?
    No dig no whine

  4. #4
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    The last picture shows the sight line and run-in. Diana the Dog is laying on a small qualifier feature. From a slow roll over that feature your speed will be perfect for the jump. I will eventually add a stone ramp up onto the second boulder (B line), and have already cleared the line for it, and move the rock halfway there...it's pretty big. I just want to get some laps in on it as is....pure. A trail with one....ONE mandatory tiny jump. The rest of the trail is what would be considered today to be "Expert". It won't last forever, it won't even last long, I'll probably build the ramp in a couple weeks, but building it and riding it as is brings back a hint of what it once was like to ride trails with more consequence.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mandatory Gaps and New Trail....-20180720_100946.jpg  

    Last edited by DaveVt; 07-24-2018 at 04:33 PM.

  5. #5
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    Is there an optional go around? Will the "powers that be" require one?
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  6. #6
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    Love how you are utilizing the natural character, my kind of building. Kudos.

  7. #7
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    Trailbuilding

  8. #8
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    The ride-able option went in. I moved 2 large slabs and a handful of chunky stoned and got them seated on a natural lip. It will be fun to let someone in front on this section and pass them in the air. The "Huck-by", one of my favorite options. Make the jump option a more direct and faster line. Built one in Stowe but the club there didn't want tourist egos bruised by not being able to ride every trail so they made it a ride-thru.

    The huck-by is BACK.

    The DH is about 2000 feet. The climb out is about 2000 feet. This little loop adds about 20 minutes of riding to the local trail network. I have about 125 hours in.
    Back to work....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mandatory Gaps and New Trail....-20180831_122030.jpg  

    Mandatory Gaps and New Trail....-20180831_122009.jpg  


  9. #9
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    That is dope!

    I'm a big fan of enhanced natural features, much more than the dirt jump "mountain bike" trails that have become real popular these days. that stuff is cool too and has it's place but I think it's gotten a little carried away from the roots of the sport.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    That is dope!

    I'm a big fan of enhanced natural features, much more than the dirt jump "mountain bike" trails that have become real popular these days. that stuff is cool too and has it's place but I think it's gotten a little carried away from the roots of the sport.
    We have a pretty darn nice flow trail as part of this network 900 vert that is on the more natural side of bike park type trails on purpose. It's nice to have as part of a ride but riding natural features with as little building as needed is my goal when making a trail.

  11. #11
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    At first glance, I didn't like the "mandatory" label. The photos show good sight lines and the ability to walk around (some could ride around). Good JOB!

    I'm in mind of a poorly-constructed, "underground" fall-line trail on a glacial esker: straight down about 9 feet, hard turn to get around a massive white pine, then an even steeper drop aimed right at a scarred stump...lots of riders had "eaten it"...including moi. I'm glad the local county fenced THAT one off about 20 years ago.

    Local riders loved it as a sign of their having survived and learned to navigate it. Out-of-towners felt like they were being set-up.

  12. #12
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    Awesome. I'm totally digging on finding natural features and making them rideable.

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