Roots, and other "traditional" advanced features- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmurray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    405

    Roots, and other "traditional" advanced features

    Well I've been thinking about "traditional" advanced trails. In particular how to go about building them using sustainable (i.e. IMBA) techniques. Please keep in mind that I only intend these feature for advanced and expert trails, I would not put an intermediate of beginer on them, that would case many problems.

    Fall line you simply can't do with dirt, so armouring of some sort will be required.

    Off camber turns is easy, just increase the outslope. But I do wonder about skidding and riders drifting to the outside on the wear of the tread. I guess if you keep the slope on the lower side (5% vs 10%) it should be better.

    Tight "switch backs" or "climbing turns". We build a lot of insloped turns in my area (most bang for the buck) so we are not seeing as many old school style switch back, the ones where you might have to endo a bit and swing you back end around. Just build them with small rolling crowns?

    And lastly exposed roots. There is an increasing trend to protect the roots, but either not putting a trail where they will get exposed or rock armouring them once they are exposed. While I understand the rationale I can't help but think we are losing a valuable riding obstacle here. I'm talking about those gnarly root sections that you have to grunt to get through. I'm also talking about the tall (>3") roots that you have to practically hop over. Is this simply something we'll have to accept losing, or are there ways to keep this kind of riding experience?

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Walt Dizzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,434

    Rocks and logs

    Quote Originally Posted by jmurray
    Well I've been thinking about "traditional" advanced trails. In particular how to go about building them using sustainable (i.e. IMBA) techniques. Please keep in mind that I only intend these feature for advanced and expert trails, I would not put an intermediate of beginer on them, that would case many problems.

    Fall line you simply can't do with dirt, so armouring of some sort will be required.

    Off camber turns is easy, just increase the outslope. But I do wonder about skidding and riders drifting to the outside on the wear of the tread. I guess if you keep the slope on the lower side (5% vs 10%) it should be better.

    Tight "switch backs" or "climbing turns". We build a lot of insloped turns in my area (most bang for the buck) so we are not seeing as many old school style switch back, the ones where you might have to endo a bit and swing you back end around. Just build them with small rolling crowns?

    And lastly exposed roots. There is an increasing trend to protect the roots, but either not putting a trail where they will get exposed or rock armouring them once they are exposed. While I understand the rationale I can't help but think we are losing a valuable riding obstacle here. I'm talking about those gnarly root sections that you have to grunt to get through. I'm also talking about the tall (>3") roots that you have to practically hop over. Is this simply something we'll have to accept losing, or are there ways to keep this kind of riding experience?

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
    ROCKS

    Pro: They are cheap and durable. Quite often they can be found close to the trail. For riders who are in to the challenge, a stunt made from large rock(s) is memorable. On the trails in my area, difficult rock gardens get names.

    Cons: They start out at heavy and increase from there. If you don't provide an incentive (surround them with more rocks or big logs), people tend to ride around them.


    LOGS

    Pro: They are cheap, and in close proximity to most wooded trails. They are fairly durable, but not as much as rocks.

    Cons: They are also quite heavy, awkward to move in the larger sizes, and make a barrier that is either too easy or too difficult unless they are within a fairly narrow size range. (Piles of smaller logs can work OK, but are prone to tampering.) Some land managers require special training to operate a chain saw.

    ROOTS

    The problem I see with roots is when they show up, it's often a sign that erosion is setting in. At that point, you have bigger problems than preserving a trail feature.

    FALL LINE

    As you note, not practial due to erosion. Two years ago my club built a climb across a 50% slope (exceeds recommendations, I know!). At this time it is not eroding. It doesn't offer the same thrill as bombing down a steep slope, but it's a challenge to stay on the bike and make the climb to the top. Different challenge.

    Walt

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,729
    i always like to see people just leave roots alone altogether. Every situation is different but for the most part, tampering with root sections seems like sanitizing a trail to me, because it doesn't hurt the trees at all.
    In fact when we do work for the Forest Service out here they encourage us to cut roots if they get real obnoxious. i wouldn't be a part of that, since there is much more productive work to do on a trail.
    As far as making more rooty sections, plant more tree's by the trail i suppose.

    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmurray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    405
    Quote Originally Posted by Skookum
    it doesn't hurt the trees at all.
    I've heard both that you don't want to ride on roots since it damages tress, and that you can since it does no damage. I wonder what the real deal is? No doubt it depends on the type of tree. Which means I'm going to have to learn how to tell them apart.
    Jason Murray
    Rep for Ontario, IMBA Canada
    Visit the IMBA Canada site to keep current on all things IMBA in Canada.

  5. #5
    I'm on fire.
    Reputation: Trigger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    304
    Quote Originally Posted by jmurray
    Well I've been thinking about "traditional" advanced trails. In particular how to go about building them using sustainable (i.e. IMBA) techniques. Please keep in mind that I only intend these feature for advanced and expert trails, I would not put an intermediate of beginer on them, that would case many problems.

    And lastly exposed roots. There is an increasing trend to protect the roots, but either not putting a trail where they will get exposed or rock armouring them once they are exposed. While I understand the rationale I can't help but think we are losing a valuable riding obstacle here. I'm talking about those gnarly root sections that you have to grunt to get through. I'm also talking about the tall (>3") roots that you have to practically hop over. Is this simply something we'll have to accept losing, or are there ways to keep this kind of riding experience?

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
    I love a nice pile of gnarly roots to ride - kinda like a rock garden idea. Our land managers have never raised an issue with us damaging tree roots or routing trails over them. Hey, isn't this the same rider on the opposite coast?



    The big thing for us is to use natural materials for tech features. Logs and rocks get the approval...bringing in 2x4s and such causes the land managers to get out the chainsaws and remove it. We've had fun the past year getting creative with logs.





    Last edited by Trigger; 05-03-2007 at 12:51 PM.
    Sanity is the trademark of a weak mind.
    Cycle CNY

  6. #6
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,300
    Most of my local "natural" trails feature fir roots (they tend to follow the ground surface, unlike the roots of the pines that we have). The trees do not seem to suffer from people scuffing the roots with shoes or tyres.

  7. #7
    sinner
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    226
    We have been riding over roots in Maine for years and The trees haven't seemed to mind so far. They dislike chainsaws and worms and have nothing really bad to say about Mtb riders.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,729
    Quote Originally Posted by jmurray
    I've heard both that you don't want to ride on roots since it damages tress, and that you can since it does no damage. I wonder what the real deal is? No doubt it depends on the type of tree. Which means I'm going to have to learn how to tell them apart.
    Tree's and nature in general are pretty damn tough. The only thing that you could say is negative from exposing roots is aesthetics really. But i've seen tree's do WAY more damage to mt. bikers when they jump out in the middle of the trail and ram into the rider than any tread wear on a trail.
    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

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.