TRYING to Get New Trails Put in- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    TRYING to Get New Trails Put in

    hey everyone, I am a board member of my local IMBA chapter in northern Delaware. we are trying to get some flow/jump lines put in at one of our local parks. the land manager is relatively new to her position and is open to the idea, however, there is opposition from some of the local community. The opposition is mainly from the retirees that think trails like these will ruin the park and attract trouble making kids.

    as many of you know, initiativeslike these go to public meetings / town halls and often the squeaky wheel gets the grease. unfortunately the cranky retirees have nothing else to do with their lives other than show up to these meetings and complain or write to local politicians.

    in spite of the complainers, the land manager is still willing to work with us, but we need to provider her with the ammo make a good case for these trails. things she is looking for range from:
    -local economic impact
    -sustainability / maintenance
    -positive community impacts (less kids video gaming..etc)
    -potential to keep more mtb-ers off trails that hikers prefer
    -misc

    if successful, the trails would be professionally built by a nationally known mtb trail building company

    do you guys have any good resources or success stories that could give me some good information? data backed info is best, but any help would be great.

    I am new to trail advocacy and don't have much experience, so I am open to any advice or suggestions on the matter

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Flow jump lines? Or a skills/ pump track? Lots of good stories on IMBA about those. Got a HS mt bike team? get them involved. Who is paying? What is the general feel of mt bike/ hiker relations in the area? Lots of trails? Conflicts?

  3. #3
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    I sent you a PM on this subject.

  4. #4
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    Lots of stuff out recently from vloggers visiting Arkansas. Seth is a good place to start with. Bring a tablet with both videos queued up, sit down with each politician, and show them these: How Flow Trails are Built and Why Cities Build Bike Parks. Or maybe you can present it at a meeting.

    The IMBA books might have some good background and references if you dig into them. Trail Solutions and Bike Parks are their partial titles. I wouldn’t rely on Trail Solutions for design, as it’s basic build technique... sustainable bench cut singletrack with outsloping.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbmaddux View Post
    Lots of stuff out recently from vloggers visiting Arkansas. Seth is a good place to start with.
    NOPE.

    As much as love Seth's Bike's Hacks and think he got a lot right in those videos, they shows a lot of what older people and land managers are scared of: fast bikes with jumping. If you want to torpedo your idea out of the gate, show people what they are afraid of.

  6. #6
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    Not sure if this is kosher or not, but another mtb site had this article recently
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/local-...lue-ridge.html
    It's long but there are sections about the impact to the community at large.

    Also. I live in PA and my riding buddies and I very rarely ride DE (once, maybe twice per year as a change of pace). With the distance from home, the trips usually involve a stop or two at local establishments for food, beverage or other items. New trails would probably get us there more often. We are all over 35, hard working family men, not trouble making youths.

    Might be worth contacting the land manager for Nockamixon State Park in PA for some info on purpose built mtb trails. I haven't spoken to him about this, but when I asked a ranger at my local state park about mtb trails he pointed me towards him/Nockamixon as the template to follow. Now that I'm done my masters program, I'm hoping to begin this process near home.

  7. #7
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    Are there a variety of trails for different skill levels in your area? We have gotten a lot of good feedback by making a fun beginner trail which we severely lacked. We were also able to build a really steep, difficult trail in the same proposal. Having something for everybody and separating different speeds made it a good asset for families and helped get broad support among mtb.

  8. #8
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    Here's another one from Arkansas, by Jeff Kendall-Weed, that also features jumps (!) and but also some less-scary (?) looking people who ride fat bikes talking about the trails.

  9. #9
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    You're in such a common but difficult spot. Having the land manager on your side is key and means you're in a better position than most.
    Can you rally people to provide support, both in meetings but in letters/etc? You may need them to be able to cover themselves not just with ideas but with a 'community'.

    How much separation would a new line/trail be from other existing/conflicting facilities?

    Reach out to your neighbors at the Belmont Plateau in Philly. It's a different universe, but they seem to have established a good relationship to build modern bike-oriented trails. Radiating out from a kid focused pump track.

    (Though kids as 'targets' are always amusing. Like cranky old person "OMG there will be kids enjoying the park! get off my lawn!". What would you prefer they be doing?)

    More reading for later: Check out citymtb.org . In theory IMBA should help but at the moment I don't think they can offer much beyond their books, which are worth reading/getting.

  10. #10
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    I'd reach out to the groups and individuals mentioned in Seth's video. Maybe even OzTrailsNWA and Bike Bentonville as well to get some numbers. Bentonville is a good case study for economic impact. Also, check into your free usage laws. In Arkansas it is extremely difficult to litigate for injuries, personal or property, suffered on a trail with no admission fee.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    NOPE.

    As much as love Seth's Bike's Hacks and think he got a lot right in those videos, they shows a lot of what older people and land managers are scared of: fast bikes with jumping. If you want to torpedo your idea out of the gate, show people what they are afraid of.
    I would think you'd want to balance this advice with making sure you're honest about what you plan to put in. If you show them a little pump track with a bunch of toddlers scootering around, but end up building a high-speed jump line instead, your trust level is blown.
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  12. #12
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    In regards to kids, take a look at

    https://www.nationalparks.org/our-wo...-outdoors-kids

    NPS program encouraging kids to visit parks. Here's a little from the site:

    Research demonstrates that kids who spend time outdoors are healthier and do better in school. Kids who have opportunities for hands-on learning outdoors also demonstrate more interest in and are more proficient in science. Similarly, a young person's understanding of history improves after visiting sites of cultural significance.

    Yet with cutbacks in school funding for field trips and other barriers to access, kids today have fewer opportunities for experiential learning. At the same time, we are witnessing an epidemic of inactivity among children as they spend more time engaged in "screen time" as opposed to "green time," resulting in rising rates of obesity and other issues. Most at risk are children from underserved, urban communities.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    In regards to kids, take a look at

    https://www.nationalparks.org/our-wo...-outdoors-kids

    NPS program encouraging kids to visit parks. Here's a little from the site:

    Research demonstrates that kids who spend time outdoors are healthier and do better in school. Kids who have opportunities for hands-on learning outdoors also demonstrate more interest in and are more proficient in science. Similarly, a young person's understanding of history improves after visiting sites of cultural significance.

    Yet with cutbacks in school funding for field trips and other barriers to access, kids today have fewer opportunities for experiential learning. At the same time, we are witnessing an epidemic of inactivity among children as they spend more time engaged in "screen time" as opposed to "green time," resulting in rising rates of obesity and other issues. Most at risk are children from underserved, urban communities.
    Our local HOH group actually tried to use this angle AGAINST allowing bikes on the trails at our town recreation area. Said kids would be getting run over left and right by MTBers. I countered with statistics of how many kids die from drowning each year vs getting run over by mountain bikes, and suggested we should also stop allowing people in the water at the very popular beach in the same recreation area in order to save our childrens' lives. That was the end of that tactic.
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  14. #14
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    I am thrilled that you are getting new trail put in!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I would think you'd want to balance this advice with making sure you're honest about what you plan to put in. If you show them a little pump track with a bunch of toddlers scootering around, but end up building a high-speed jump line instead, your trust level is blown.
    This is where my local project sits; we've got approvals and are moving forward but we need to describe to a builder (contract job) what we want (flow with jumps) without raising any red flags. 'Rolling grade reversals' just doesn't quite explain it to the builder, but including the word 'jump' may draw new scrutiny from land managers. I don't want to be dishonest, but at the same time I don't plan on building what probably comes to a land manager's mind when they hear 'jump.'

    Tough spot for sure.

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