mudding races bad for trails?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    mudding races bad for trails?

    been wondering this for a while.... anyone have any thoughts if these tough mudder, spartan races, etc are teaching bad trail etiquette for trail users. basically, are they teaching/telling people (not necessarily in a direct way) its ok to go out and mud it up on the local trails?

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    I don't know the races you speak of, but I get the idea. Anything that encourages people to ride at-risk trails is a worry and mass mud riding is a huge threat. People who don't help maintain trails don't care though, especially when other issues ($ for example) are at stake. Do you think Red Bull (as a pointed example) cares more about a bit of trail damage or publicity?

    Unfortunately most people don't give a stuff about how the trail got there, or how it will survive after they ride it. The one hope is that mass races like enduro's, enduro DH, multi-day epic tours etc encourage funding (based on potential local business gains) for sustainable, all-season trail systems. And that racing draws more people to the sport. Sometimes slime sells eg the Nikelodeon Awards!

    Every time we do trailwork we think of what is going to happen when the public hit it - will it survive? Over the last 3 years there has been so much rain here that the trails have been smashed by riders unable to wait for another rainy week, month or more to get out there. One of the main reasons to do trailwork after all is to stabilize trail that is being shredded due to the effects of bad weather.

    What we have accepted here is that riders are never going to respect trail past a certain point. Trail is their competitor. Something to attack.

    When you work on a section of trail, especially if it is wet and going to be wet, then damage is inevitable. If what you made survives without return trips, regular maintenance and possibly quite significant alterations to your initial perceived riding line, then it was made of concrete!! What we say now is - yes they are going to trash it, but by doing so we learn exactly what is needed at that site and how to do it better.

    Having trail plundered when it is vulnerable may feel like it, but it is not like being raped. Mostly you can move on and feel better after you sort it out. Poison-tipped punjis and psychiatrists are not generally required (but I am in the market for both).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cladsman View Post
    been wondering this for a while.... anyone have any thoughts if these tough mudder, spartan races, etc are teaching bad trail etiquette for trail users. basically, are they teaching/telling people (not necessarily in a direct way) its ok to go out and mud it up on the local trails?
    I'm not sure how races/events held on a closed course on private property with man made obstacles are really any of your business. If you wanna help, do something more than worrying about imaginary problems

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    I'm not sure how races/events held on a closed course on private property with man made obstacles are really any of your business. If you wanna help, do something more than worrying about imaginary problems
    Are you a Republican?

    It is maybe not all of our business but the possible problems/attitudes that arise from it become every trail users problem. So in retrospect it kinda is our business from a social aspect. Comments like yours only further divide our user group.

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    Actually I'm kind of a pinko in a lot of ways. I do hate busybodies though. But being a ****** to republican mountain bikers also serves to further divide our user group. Cause I know plenty of right wing cyclists.

  6. #6
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    I know plenty of people who do or have done this type of competition, and I can tell you (at least regarding the people I've met) this is really not an issue.

    These courses have designed mudpits, streams, super cold water pools, etc. in addition to their countless other obstacles. The people who train for such events don't go out on a cold, rainy day when they know the trails will be wet, just to train in muddy, sloppy trails. They run on the road, run dry trails, hit the gym, do a few laps in the pool, etc. They do not seek out the muddiest trails and try to make them muddier still just to get all slopped up.

    Part of the lure of these races is the fact that nobody really wants to go out and run in the cold, crappy rain and mud all the time. It's just not cool. These races allow the participants to compete not only against others, but with themselves and elements against which they do not normally compete. Heck, many people who enter such races aren't even regular trail users, but atheletes in other sports.

    So let them have their fun. You might even go watch one, or volunteer on the events staff. Or heck, go for broke, man up, do one, and see what it's about.
    Go ride your bike.

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    So these are running races, not MTB?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    So these are running races, not MTB?
    Yep.

  9. #9
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    Go ride your bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    So these are running races, not MTB?
    correct. they're held on private property. shoot, the Warrior Dash I went to recently was even held on a private ATV park property just outside Houston. all of the mud was intentionally placed with a tanker truck (it's Texas after all, it's normally not that muddy) and the pits were dug and I believe they were even lined with plastic.

    my wife and her friends normally do a sub-half hour 5k. The Warrior Dash is a 5k with obstacles, and it took them just over an hour to complete it. The race is far less about running than it is about the obstacles.

  11. #11
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    OK, I guess everything I said above can be thrown in the bin now. Why am I talking about MTB trails when this has nothing to do with MTB at all?

    Oh, and I think it's really un-Texan to truck in mud when there's all that oil sludge available!

  12. #12
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    The races like these that have been in IL have been on private property or in the case of the Redbull Trail Daze was run on trails shared with mt bikers but only allowed to happen on sigletrack if trail conditions were good enough(there were no mud pits, just singletrack trail running for the Redbull event).
    CAMBr West
    Gives us a couple bucks and we'll give you some trails with sweet jumps and stuff.

  13. #13
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    yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Cladsman View Post
    been wondering this for a while.... anyone have any thoughts if these tough mudder, spartan races, etc are teaching bad trail etiquette for trail users. basically, are they teaching/telling people (not necessarily in a direct way) its ok to go out and mud it up on the local trails?
    I've had similar thoughts. Glad they are held in small defined areas.
    Last edited by cjohnson; 04-25-2012 at 07:24 PM. Reason: didn't read all the other posts

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the replys... never meant to ruffle feathers.

    fyi... I used to work (for a living) on both mtb and hiking trails on public lands for many years.

    Keep up the good fight! Ill keep volunteering and riding!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  15. #15
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    It doesn't answer about those specific races. We had an 8 hour race on the only day it rained in June here. We had the environmental specialist on site and discussed it with him. The conclusion was we would run the race and the race organizer (my race team) was expected to show up the following day to repair damage. This decision was announced to the whole of the race participants. As it turned out, racing on the trails was the best buffing they ever received.

    I like to think we were responsible and pointed it out to where racers didn't think it was okay to trash the trails and leave.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

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