Raking Leaves- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Raking Leaves

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: drumbum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    602

    Raking Leaves

    Hi all,
    Just wanted to get your opinion on the issue of raking leaves from singletrack. Naturally bikes do "wear down" and remove some leaves from the trail, but in other sections, they're inches thick.

    Do you guys normally do this? I've got a bunch of freetime on my hands and would be interested in 'clearing' the trails for other riders.

  2. #2
    Probably drunk right now
    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,750

    I don't care....

    Quote Originally Posted by drumbum
    Hi all,
    Just wanted to get your opinion on the issue of raking leaves from singletrack. Naturally bikes do "wear down" and remove some leaves from the trail, but in other sections, they're inches thick.

    Do you guys normally do this? I've got a bunch of freetime on my hands and would be interested in 'clearing' the trails for other riders.
    Leaves or no leaves, it doesn't really matter, IMO. Eventually they'll blow off.

  3. #3
    Hill crawler
    Reputation: TruckeeLocal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    314
    Usage seems to keep the trail well defined. But if you'd like to come up and move the pine cones that would be nice. They're kind of annoying as they bounce off the wheels. But I know what you mean. Sometimes I take the dogs for a walk along sections of single track and 'tidy' it up/dumb it down.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gopherhockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by drumbum
    Hi all,
    Just wanted to get your opinion on the issue of raking leaves from singletrack. Naturally bikes do "wear down" and remove some leaves from the trail, but in other sections, they're inches thick.

    Do you guys normally do this? I've got a bunch of freetime on my hands and would be interested in 'clearing' the trails for other riders.
    This discussion comes up every year within our club and on our Minnesota trails. We have always gotten into huge debates over this, but recently it seems the various crews responsible for their trails have agreed to make their own decision and respect others for how they handle the leaves issue.

    On one of our most popular trails we actually blow the leaves off using backpack leaf blowers. Some of the reasons we do this are:

    1. Leaves are organic and can eventually work against good mineral soil, which is what good singletrack shoudl consist of.
    2. Leaves can rot out obstacles.
    3. Especially on our beginner and intermediate trails, leaves can raise the difficulty level of the trails and make them more dangerous due to hidden rocks etc. (although some might argule its more fun to have the added challenge)
    4. Our land manager has requested that we do it if possible.
    5. The trail seems to dry out quicker in the spring when leaves are removed in the fall.
    6. We have avoided trail creep by keeping the line well defined.
    7. The trail is only 10 miles long
    8. We have people that love to do it - volunteers in our area will do anything to come out and help on the trails. Some have just as much fun building and maintaining as we do riding.

    A few things we have learned along the way:

    1. Walk against traffic and keep eyes open for riders.
    2. Post notices of what is happening at the trailheads.
    3. Try step off the trail and reduce dust when riders come by.
    4. Avoid pointing a gas engine exhaust right into the riders path.
    5. Don't preach to others that they should remove leaves just because it works or makes sense on your trail.
    6. No matter how many hours of hard work doing something like this, there will always be riders who do nothing but complain - even while they are out enjoying a ride and you are spending countless hours breathing in dust. Ahh.. the life of a trail worker.

    BTW: I have also personally asked IMBA this question time and time again and they have mixed opinions as well.

    Note that we have some trails that have a different soil composition - more sandy areas can sometimes benefit by mixing in some organic material.
    Last edited by gopherhockey; 10-11-2006 at 01:45 PM.

  5. #5
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,300
    You are kidding, right? You have to ride in a %&"# park?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gopherhockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    You are kidding, right? You have to ride in a %&"# park?
    Not sure who you are directing that too.

    Our trails are 100% singletrack of all varied levels of difficulty.

    http://www.morcmtb.org/trailreviews/metro/lebanon.shtml

  7. #7
    Don't worry, be happy!
    Reputation: formica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    8,138
    Raking is a good activity for kids, or when you have too many people and not enough stuff to do. But it does make a trail look finished at the end of a work day.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gopherhockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    Raking is a good activity for kids, or when you have too many people and not enough stuff to do.
    Especially big kids who like to play with power tools or just generally have to be out working on the trail even when there isn't anything to fix.

  9. #9

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    829
    To all:

    You need to find away to put the leaves back up on the tree. Remember to attach them to the proper tree!

    Good Luck!

  10. #10
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,300
    Sorry about my first post, not really in my character, but it seeems that I am not the only one who thinks that raking or blowing leaves off a trail is silly. I still think that it is an activity that should be reserved to golf greens and other expensive looking lawns.

    I may be from a very different culture when it comes to trails, or single track. To me, a trail should not appear to be manufactured. I feel lucky to live in an environment where trails, with few exceptions, are not created or maintained. They appear in two ways: 1) people walk a route enough to make a mark on the ground 2) a track used by forestry or agricultural machines remains in the use of pedestrians and/or cyclists.

    A ditch across a trail might or might not get some sort of a bridge. A fallen tree might or might not be removed by the land owner. Rakes, leaf blowers or lawn mowers? Please, no.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gopherhockey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    I may be from a very different culture when it comes to trails, or single track. To me, a trail should not appear to be manufactured.
    Its definitely a good argument. As a rider, I appreciate all different styles of trails - those that just appear (rake & ride we call them) and those that had some real "IMBA-style" effort to create.

    As a trail builder, I am concerned about sustainable trails and land manager relations. Sometimes this can get in the way of what one might build as a pure rider. We take actions that may seem silly because they make sense to keep a trail from degrading, eroding, etc. The trail we work on is in the heard of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro and it has a lot of eyes on it - both from the community and from the land managers/county. When they agreed to give us trails we agreed to build them to last. We were a solution to a long-time problem of having to go out with expensive equipment to fill in erosion issues year after year.

    Anyway, I could go off forever on that whole topic. End result is that we do have a trail that can seem somewhat manufactured. We build man-made obstacles (bridges, log rides, rock gardens etc.) because mother nature wasn't kind enough to give us much challenge naturally. We do "silly" things like leaf removal to maintain relations and keep the trail in shape so that we can build even more trails in the future (or at least not lose this one).

    There are more than enough rake & ride style trails in our area that people would never think to do something like leaf removal...(except when initially building their trail) and I'm totally cool with that. They are fun to ride and more naturally challenging. Then again the trail builder in me feels they look like crap and eventually destroy more of nature than they need too.

    There are all different types of trails and soils. I totally agree leaf removal isn't for everyone and probably only makes sense to a very small % of trails. All I have ever asked of our riders is to understand why we do it and not complain.... luckily everyone appreciates the efforts and understands. These are also our volunteers and many are now fully IMBA trained.

    I'd invite you to come ride our trail if you are in the area... I guarantee you would come out with a huge smile on your face.







    https://www.morcmtb.org/trailreviews.../lebanon.shtml
    Last edited by gopherhockey; 10-12-2006 at 06:59 AM.

  12. #12
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,300
    Quote Originally Posted by gopherhockey
    ... When they agreed to give us trails we agreed to build them to last. ...
    End result is that we do have a trail that can seem somewhat manufactured. We build man-made obstacles (bridges, log rides, rock gardens etc.) because mother nature wasn't kind enough to give us much challenge naturally. We do "silly" things like leaf removal to maintain relations and keep the trail in shape
    I can see your point there.

    My environment is just so far from your's, in concepts and distance, that stumbling into the subject of this thread ... er ... took my breath away.

    I am sure I would enjoy your trails but I doubt I could easily arrange a visit anytime soon.

    Links to some stuff in my neighbourhood. Much of it is from race situations, with the trail more worn than usually, and the short DH track has definitely seen some gardening tools
    http://www.kaupinkanuunat.net/tdt/tdtXI/gallery.html
    http://asko7.softavenue.fi/kuvagalle...io.asp?HID=962
    http://www.liukkonen.net/mtb/enduroc...tm/index3.html
    http://hollola.1g.fi/kuvat/2006+18+Hervanta+dh/

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.