News Article on Freeride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    News Article on Freeride

    A couple of us got some interview time and contributed to an article written on a fairly new local news website... guess there's a video portion soon to be broadcast on KJZZ and I think they'll stream it on this site.

    http://www.utahstories.com/illegal_m...ike_trails.htm

    Take a look when you have a few.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheProf
    A couple of us got some interview time and contributed to an article written on a fairly new local news website... guess there's a video portion soon to be broadcast on KJZZ and I think they'll stream it on this site.

    http://www.utahstories.com/illegal_m...ike_trails.htm

    Take a look when you have a few.

    Cheers
    Thanks for the link. Pretty interesting read, seemed to paint a pretty balanced picture of what's going on out there in terms of the illegal building for people unaware of the issue. Surprised they didn't get into the liability issue at all since that is one of the biggest reasons landowners don't care for freeride trails. Also would have been cool if they would have mentioned that providing a place for bikes to play could help cut down on conflict between user groups. The IMBA comments seem kind of odd. Definitely didn't appear to have much desire to support getting new FR trails built, mostly just complaints about the illegal stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22
    The IMBA comments seem kind of odd. Definitely didn't appear to have much desire to support getting new FR trails built, mostly just complaints about the illegal stuff.
    I'm kind of scratching my head at that as well - didn't really want to slant anybody but am glad it struck you that way also. I was glad they spoke to the forest service and especially Brad from Draper City. Those guys have been really cool to work with on making the Maple Hollow DH trail a reality, and hope it will be an example for other groups.

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    Wow... looks like Utah needs to look for a new IMBA rep. That guy certainly isn't helping any.

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    I thought the same thing as well about the IMBA rep's assertions and overall tone in the article. Of course it could have been edited that way, but the rest of the article sounds like it accurately reflects the opinions and status from the different groups.

    After reading the article, I contacted IMBA and spoke with them about the IMBA representation in Utah under the current IMBA rep. I expressed my concern as a mountain biker with the way that things are handled here. I also read to IMBA the quotes from the article from Ryan Miller, the Utah IMBA rep. IMBA was very gracious and concerned with the imade portrayed in the article. IMBA is doing away with its current system of representation in each state (i.e. IMBA rep) and will soon be forming regional councils to work with states and clubs in those states.

    The moral: we as mountain bikers need to be members of IMBA. WAFTA gets a significant amount of support from the IMBA name, regardless of what the Utah rep says or does. IMBA is replacing him and will have more control over what is happening in each state. So, thanks to IMBA and their support of mountain biking, generally, and freeriding specifically. They are on board and support freeriding, even if some of the old reps may be less than helpful. Restructuring is on its way.

    Sorry for the long read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheProf
    I'm kind of scratching my head at that as well - didn't really want to slant anybody but am glad it struck you that way also. I was glad they spoke to the forest service and especially Brad from Draper City. Those guys have been really cool to work with on making the Maple Hollow DH trail a reality, and hope it will be an example for other groups.
    It definitely stuck me as odd when I read through it, I'm hoping that maybe it was just taken a little out of context. As in, maybe the writers just wanted to show that not all mtb groups support the building of illegal stunts. It's possible he had some good things to say too but they just left it out. Hopefully that's the case anyways as IMBA as a whole does some great things and has really opened their eyes to things outside the XC crowd in recent years. Doesn't change the fact that I am a huge supporter of IMBA, just wish we saw a little more of their influence on the Wasatch Front.
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    See my post above for details on both comments.

    Mike

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    Can someone tell me where theses 'hundreds' of 'illegal' trails are? LCC, Bobsled... hmmm... Are they joking? They've been there for ages. I had no idea the anemic SL scene had suddenly turned so vibrant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephSmith
    Can someone tell me where theses 'hundreds' of 'illegal' trails are? LCC, Bobsled... hmmm... Are they joking? They've been there for ages. I had no idea the anemic SL scene had suddenly turned so vibrant.
    I must be out of the loop as well because I know of about 3. Not sure if we are getting credit for every non-FS approved game trail, climbing access, viewpoint spur trail, etc in the Wasatch or what.
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    Not sure where that reference to "hundreds" came from, unless it is a variant on the fact that every time someone cuts a switchback, be it hiker, biker, equestrian, other(?), that is an illegal trail, because it is unapproved access, use, or the creation of a 'new' trail. Under that definition, I bet that there are hundreds of illegal trails in Zion National Park alone. There are most definitely NOT hundreds, or even tens, of illegal mountain bike trails in the Wasatch.

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    It would be sweet to ride a bike down the Angels landing trail though. lol...

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    Could be that the count is more related to "illegal trail modifications" than "illegal trails". When asked for an example, I mentioned that when hikers cut the switchbacks and create areas that erode, that is also an example of an illegal trail modification. Hence all those 'restoration area' signs we all see.

    So, while this may be a bit inaccurate please don't make posting the names and locations of the ones you know about a contest on a forum!


    Edit: Well, I guess drboudreaux and I provided the same example, he's just a quicker typist

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheProf
    Could be that the count is more related to "illegal trail modifications" than "illegal trails". When asked for an example, I mentioned that when hikers cut the switchbacks and create areas that erode, that is also an example of an illegal trail modification. Hence all those 'restoration area' signs we all see.

    So, while this may be a bit inaccurate please don't make posting the names and locations of the ones you know about a contest on a forum!


    Edit: Well, I guess drboudreaux and I provided the same example, he's just a quicker typist

    Hell, I'm pretty sure all the illegal trails I'm aware of were either game trails, hiking trails, or maybe even old mining trails at one point, mtbers just chose to adopt them and keep them from being overgrown. If they are counting trail mods rather than illegal trails that would make more sense, though I think most of the spurs and shortcuts tend to be hiker made.

    Prof, the Docs keyboarding skills must be on par with his riding.
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    I have a good secretary. You should see her on a bike.

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    I wonder if people could stop using the word 'illegal' for every sort of trail maintenance or mod.. It makes it sound much more sinister than it really is. If there was absolutely no trail maintenance whatsoever, the trails would go to ****. Theoretically removing garbage from a trail could be considered an 'illegal' modification. Gimme a break. I think 'self-directed' would be a better word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephSmith
    I wonder if people could stop using the word 'illegal' for every sort of trail maintenance or mod.. It makes it sound much more sinister than it really is. If there was absolutely no trail maintenance whatsoever, the trails would go to ****. Theoretically removing garbage from a trail could be considered an 'illegal' modification. Gimme a break. I think 'self-directed' would be a better word.
    Yeah, pretty much just depends on the circumstance. Unfortunately most of the modifications around here have turned what used to be decent trails with some technical bits into what might as well be a golf cart path both in smoothness and width. You never hear many complaints about those mods though, just the ones that add features rather than subtract ones that are already in use. I prefer that most trail mods be done just to protect the trail from erosion, otherwise leave it as is. Can't say I'm fond of having an added stunt line to a rock or drop every 100ft off an established trail either, that truely does make bikers look bad in my opinion and is kind of disrespectful to whoever put in the hours getting the real trail built.
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    Hold on buddy, don't get ahead of yourself here. First we need a trail that actually has stunts and a rock drop on it (And I don't mean 3 feet off the ground) before we can complain about it. I'm being facetious of course, but WAFTA will nonetheless hopefully correct this problem (hopefully)
    Last edited by JosephSmith; 10-20-2008 at 08:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephSmith
    Hold on buddy, don't get ahead of yourself here. First we need a trail that actually has stunts and a rock drop on it (And I don't mean 3 feet off the ground) before we can complain about it. I'm being facetious of course, but WAFTA will nonetheless hopefully correct this problem (hopefully)
    If you haven't seen the Draper DH yet I can tell you that they (I guess I should be saying we) are definitely on their way to correcting the problem or at least working towards a positive solution. I just hate that so many of the good natural features on the trails around here have been removed or dumbed down over the years. I can't really claim to be a freerider (whatever that means) but I love a good technical trail and it's just sad that there are so few techy trails around here when we have such incredible terrain to work with. That's why I'm trying to get involved with WAFTA, even though some of the stuff being built is over my level (for now), at least their trail work days don't consist of widening trails and removing those pesky rocks and logs like some other organizations work days around here seem to do.
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  19. #19
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    "The popular Mill D trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon is full of "illegal trail building by rogue groups," according to Ryan Miller, the International Mountain Bicycling Association's (IMBA) Utah Representative."

    I'm definitely missing something if Mill D is full of illegal trail building. Somebody show me where all this radness created by rogues is. Either Ryan Miller is being misquoted, or he is talking out of his a$$.

    I'm kinda bummed about them coming down on bobsled as if it is a problem. Seems like they're trying to start a conflict where one doesn't exist. Imagine if there was no bobsled and everyone had to ride down dry creek or city creek - the existence of bobsled actually diffuses conflict by routing fast downhill traffic in a safe manner.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak
    I'm definitely missing something if Mill D is full of illegal trail building. Somebody show me where all this radness created by rogues is. Either Ryan Miller is being misquoted, or he is talking out of his a$$.
    While you were riding Bobsled last night, this gnar was going down on Mill D:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    While you were riding Bobsled last night, this gnar was going down on Mill D:
    Hilarious. That was the quote of his that surprised me the most but I haven't ridden Mill D at all this year so I thought maybe something had gone on this year that I had missed. Does he think all the water bars and rocks were illegally put in by riders?
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch22
    If you haven't seen the Draper DH yet I can tell you that they (I guess I should be saying we) are definitely on their way to correcting the problem or at least working towards a positive solution. I just hate that so many of the good natural features on the trails around here have been removed or dumbed down over the years. I can't really claim to be a freerider (whatever that means) but I love a good technical trail and it's just sad that there are so few techy trails around here when we have such incredible terrain to work with. That's why I'm trying to get involved with WAFTA, even though some of the stuff being built is over my level (for now), at least their trail work days don't consist of widening trails and removing those pesky rocks and logs like some other organizations work days around here seem to do.
    catch22, i like the way you think. seems like most trail work being done out there by the official folks ( FS? ) consists of turning the trail into a 12 foot wide path with no obstacles. (think pipeline here...) Only logical next step is to pave the singletrack, then everyone could ride it! Wouldn't that be great?! I'll try to keep my ranting to a minimum....

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    My guess is because the group here on MTBR was very vocal with Mill-D and the SOC proposal for wilderness area, they must think that we're all freeriders (we're not) and we're all out there building huge (unapproved) gap jumps and crazy (unapproved) ladder bridges and whatnot.

    JMH, can you give me the exact gps coordinates for that stunt on mill-d? Wait... nevermind, I probably wouldn't hit it anyway....

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheProf
    My guess is because the group here on MTBR was very vocal with Mill-D and the SOC proposal for wilderness area, they must think that we're all freeriders (we're not) and we're all out there building huge (unapproved) gap jumps and crazy (unapproved) ladder bridges and whatnot.

    .....
    Nevertheless, that is no excuse for Ryan Miller of IMBA to purposefully distorts facts in regards to Mill D, especially in light of the fact that the area is particularly sensitive in regards to the SOC wilderness proposal. We all know that there is no 'illegal' trail building in Mill D, and for Ryan Miller IMBA to suggest that there is totally irresponsible and damaging to any effort to keep the access to that trail and others open.

    If that is the best representation that IMBA can give Utah I want nothing to do with that organization. I am going to call IMBA and voice my complaint and I would urge you to do also. I cannot and will not support IMBA until we are given better representation. Ryan Miller has to go.

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    Feel free to call IMBA. The more that they hear from us as riders about the current representation, the better. However, as I discussed in the above post, I spoke with the Executive Director of IMBA yesterday for about a 1/2 hour. I told him of my concerns regarding the IMBA representation here in Utah. The current rep is out. He is gone. I read to the Executive Director the quotes from the article, and I expressed to him what the mountain biker consensus is here in Utah about the current (former) IMBA rep. IMBA is concerned with what has been happening out here and is rectifying the situation.

    Also, on other trail access fronts, please call the USFS and the gvt leaders here about mountain bike access and more trails. I met with Jim Matheson this morning about the recent Wilderness Proposal and the need to save the LCC trail from being designated as Wilderness. We are engaging SOC to discuss this concern. We are also engaging the USFS to discuss this.

    Contact info for the USFS is:

    Steve Scheid at 801-733-2689 or by e-mail at [email protected] Please be polite. When you call, please remember that you are representing all mountain bikers in Utah. So, express support for the USFS work and tell them that you are hopeful for more mountain bike trails in the forest.

    Call or send him an email expressing your desire for the LCC to be grandfathered in as a mountain bike trail. We are working on this and hope to save it from Wilderness and get it sanctioned as a legal trail.

    doc
    Last edited by drboudreaux; 10-21-2008 at 12:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drboudreaux
    the LCC trail
    Which LCC trail?

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    Prof called Carl Fisher about it this afternoon. We are meeting with him on Friday to discuss. You in?

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    I'm really glad that you guys are going through the process of bringing awareness to the government agencies and working with them regarding the need for more advanced biking trails. My hat's off to you. I wish I has more time personally to dedicate to doing this myself however it's all I can do to support a family of 6 and still get out and ride a couple times a week. I guess after reading the article though I couldn't help but to think that some of these agencies (or maybe just this IMBA guy) feel that one new freeride trail is going to satisfy all the bikers needs for progressive trails. Unfortunately it's not. As I mentioned in the comments section of the article - give hikers one legal trail to hike in the state and see what happens . . I guarantee you other trails are going to go in . . maybe even by the "hundreds". Same thing goes for cross country riders. They wouldn't be happy with one trail. There's no way with this states amount of sports enthusiasts that you can satisfy the needs of any of them with one trail, one gym, one skatepark. I love that there's actually a legal freeride trail or two going in but why does it seem that Utah is so behind in the times with getting this stuff approved? And out of curiosity . . why does it seem that the stuff that is approved has a 2 foot stunt height limit as well as constant tight switchbacks creating an apparent speed limit? Am I the only one that feels this way? As long as the stuff that is legitimized is so limited in scope and flow there is a huge need that still isn't satisfied and there will be bandit trails built (not by me mind you . . I contributed to one without knowing it was illegal once and lost way to much money in wood). Why is it so difficult to have the government behind us on this? What's so different about us vs. Jackson Wyoming? Hood River Oregon? Black Rocks Oregon? Bellingham Washington? We have more people that ride here than at any of those locations and likely just as many if not more that are as skilled. The irony regarding the "LCC trail" is that downhill options actually help BIG TIME with user issues. Hikers and uphill riders have long complained about riders descending too quickly on the main Quarry trail. Any advanced riders that can be re-routed to another trail - preferably one solely dedicated to downhill bike traffic (and preferrably not dumbed down) would help with all user groups and create a much more user-friendly scenario.

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    its way easier to just build pirate trails....way of the beaten path..

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    Maybe so . . but it's harder for me to find them!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by drboudreaux
    Prof called Carl Fisher about it this afternoon. We are meeting with him on Friday to discuss. You in?
    Not looking good - kid's been sick since Saturday, which means I'm low on sleep and way behind on work. Put in a word for the riparian area for me. & see if you can get that campground closed or at least trimmed down.

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    Got 15 minutes to read my reply? yowza....

    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    I love that there's actually a legal freeride trail or two going in but why does it seem that Utah is so behind in the times with getting this stuff approved?
    I love that it's happening too, for personal/selfish reasons. Pardon my 'soapbox mode' here, but while there are lots of people who want this stuff, only recently a group of us have put forth the effort to further the legitimate development of it. Everybody says they want to ride it, but as you said - you have your hands full with family and trying to find time to ride, let alone trying to further freeride trails. I'm personally hoping that once the examples are there and WAFTA has relationships with land mangers (which takes way more time than I would have originally thought) they will look to us to help them with their volunteer needs and will solicit and listen to our thoughts and recommendations. Then it may take less time than it does now.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    why does it seem that the stuff that is approved has a 2 foot stunt height limit as well as constant tight switchbacks creating an apparent speed limit? Am I the only one that feels this way?
    It's supposed to be an intermediate trail, built with a maximum of 10% slope which is based on IMBA sustainability guidelines. It has some optional black stunts, which are bigger than 2 feet. Anybody who's ridden on the north shore knows their trails with similar ratings are much harder and gnarlier - but the rating used and followed is based on Whistler guidelines. And, I think the tight 'berms' are fun, when you rail them they are fast, and they allow room for another trail down that corridor in the future that may be less curved with bigger features.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    As long as the stuff that is legitimized is so limited in scope and flow there is a huge need that still isn't satisfied and there will be bandit trails built
    One intermediate trail isn't going to satisfy demand, everybody knows it. That's why we have approval, from Draper to build another black/double black trail, and from Eagle Mountain for a Bike Park with progressive skill building features. Trails don't get built overnight, even illegal ones, and I can personally attest (as well as yourself and many others I believe) that getting what we've built done in the amount of time we've had is a tremendous amount of effort and work. That's why we're starting the process to try to bring LCC forward and legitimize it (hopefully). It's much faster to modify existing trails than build new.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    Why is it so difficult to have the government behind us on this? What's so different about us vs. Jackson Wyoming? Hood River Oregon? Black Rocks Oregon? Bellingham Washington?
    Government is bureacracy, nothing new there, so I think we all know the answer to the first question. As for the other areas, they have an organized group furthering the goals they've defined for developing trails. Hence WAFTA. Even in Jackson, they closed one of two illegal trails in order to keep the other open, and had to put in a huge amount of work to get the remaining open one aligned properly and set up correctly for increased use. (closed Ritalin to keep Lithium open, if that didn't make sense) (Sorry, soapbox mode=on) Their people all willingly give up riding time to go maintain trails. Jackson has what - 8 or 9 thousand people in the valley? They regularly get over 50 people out on their volunteer days. Contrast that with the million-plus in the Salt Lake Metro area and we had 30-ish folks out on our biggest day. That's way more than other local groups get from what I've been told, but come on - that's a pretty sad ratio. We've heard excuses - they're more mature, been around longer, more close-knit.... whatever. Spread the word and sacrifice some riding time to help. (soapbox mode=off)

    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    The irony regarding the "LCC trail" is that downhill options actually help BIG TIME with user issues. Hikers and uphill riders have long complained about riders descending too quickly on the main Quarry trail. Any advanced riders that can be re-routed to another trail - preferably one solely dedicated to downhill bike traffic (and preferrably not dumbed down) would help with all user groups and create a much more user-friendly scenario.
    Completely agree, anytime you ELIMINATE conflict potential it's best, IMO. But shouldn't 'advanced riders' be able to stop and avoid other trail users, including other bikers? Having a separate downhill, bike-only trail in LCC would be an amazing thing and I'm for it. I'm sure there will be environmental issues, ownership and right-of-way issues, and management and maintenance issues that will all have to be addressed. Like freebird79 said, it's way easier to build pirate trails because none of these steps have to be dealt with. Is that the long-term, proper way to do things? I don't think so. You've experienced first hand what happens sometimes (loss of time, money, etc). with unsanctioned trail building. So have others. Things haven't moved as fast as I've wanted either and sometimes you need to pick which things you're prepared to fight for and ignore the ones you cannot.

    In closing, I'm sorry if I'm sounding preachy and in no way whatsoever mean this to be disrespectful of anybody. Many people have invested lots of time, money, and effort to get as far as we've come and I suppose I'm personally a bit sensitive because of that. Thanks for your time and for your comments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    I'm really glad that you guys are going through the process of bringing awareness to the government agencies and working with them regarding the need for more advanced biking trails. My hat's off to you. I wish I has more time personally to dedicate to doing this myself however it's all I can do to support a family of 6 and still get out and ride a couple times a week. I guess after reading the article though I couldn't help but to think that some of these agencies (or maybe just this IMBA guy) feel that one new freeride trail is going to satisfy all the bikers needs for progressive trails. Unfortunately it's not. As I mentioned in the comments section of the article - give hikers one legal trail to hike in the state and see what happens . . I guarantee you other trails are going to go in . . maybe even by the "hundreds". Same thing goes for cross country riders. They wouldn't be happy with one trail. There's no way with this states amount of sports enthusiasts that you can satisfy the needs of any of them with one trail, one gym, one skatepark. I love that there's actually a legal freeride trail or two going in but why does it seem that Utah is so behind in the times with getting this stuff approved? And out of curiosity . . why does it seem that the stuff that is approved has a 2 foot stunt height limit as well as constant tight switchbacks creating an apparent speed limit? Am I the only one that feels this way? As long as the stuff that is legitimized is so limited in scope and flow there is a huge need that still isn't satisfied and there will be bandit trails built (not by me mind you . . I contributed to one without knowing it was illegal once and lost way to much money in wood). Why is it so difficult to have the government behind us on this? What's so different about us vs. Jackson Wyoming? Hood River Oregon? Black Rocks Oregon? Bellingham Washington? We have more people that ride here than at any of those locations and likely just as many if not more that are as skilled. The irony regarding the "LCC trail" is that downhill options actually help BIG TIME with user issues. Hikers and uphill riders have long complained about riders descending too quickly on the main Quarry trail. Any advanced riders that can be re-routed to another trail - preferably one solely dedicated to downhill bike traffic (and preferrably not dumbed down) would help with all user groups and create a much more user-friendly scenario.


    I don't always get to ride "a couple times a week". I am a practicing attorney with a full time, very demanding job, I am married, I have other responsibilities, etc. I have made time for this, not for fun, but so that we, as mountain bikers in Utah can have MANY trails to ride. I am trying to do my part. For example, yesterday I met with Congressman Matheson in the morning, went back to work, then left work a bit early, went down and dug on the Draper trail for about three hours, then went back to work until 11pm last night to finish things up for the day. Sorry for the personal rant, but I dont do this trail stuff full time. So help out, instead of whining about it on the interweb. No one is listening here who can do anything about it. Rant over - my apologies if I sound like a prick.

    There is no magic wand to wave and VOILA - tons of freeride trails with huge stunts appear in Utah. It simply will not happen. The ONLY way to make that happen is by going through the legislative/land manager process. That takes time. And effort. And patience. The guys in Oregon, Jackson, and Bellingham didnt just go out and start building trails that were accepted and supported by the land managers/gvt. It took years of work and building relationships to accomplish that. That is what WAFTA collectively and its members, individually, are trying to accomplish. Your support would be great.

    As for the LCC trail, that is exactly why we are meeting with SOC and the legislative bodies to try to keep it. I made that exact pitch, among others, to Matheson, and it will be made to SOC, the USFS, etc. We are doing those things, but they take time and effort. Yours is welcome.

    Mike

    EDIT: And, upon further thought, in the time that it takes to log onto MTBR.com and post thoughts on trails here in Utah (or the lack thereof), one could pick up the telephone, send an email, or write a letter expressing the same concerns expressed here, but to those who matter and can do something about it (read: Congressmen, Governor Huntsman, Senators, USFS officials).

    I hear some talk about doing things to get more trails in other parts of the state, but then those same people dont do anything to go about making it happen. The "magic" rolodex with the contact information for every person to contact is available to all: www.google.com
    Last edited by drboudreaux; 10-22-2008 at 04:15 PM.

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    Again - Props to everyone who's worked on this. I'm not bagging on anyone - I'm just surprised at our states lack of progression with issues like this. You say
    There is no magic wand to wave and VOILA - tons of freeride trails with huge stunts appear in Utah. It simply will not happen. The ONLY way to make that happen is by going through the legislative/land manager process.
    however many of the areas I've mentioned started out as illegal trails that were eventually adopted by the municipalities once they recognized the need and the fact that, if given the option to build what they like, mountain bikers are willing to not only maintian their stunts, but also maintain easier hiking and horseback trails in the same vicinity much more religiously than hikers or horseback riders. I have, with friends, done maintenance on cross country trails that I only ride once a year after doing so. I definately agree that I need to get out and dig more. We have helped on dig days elsewhere but haven't been able to get out this year as much as we'd like. Bottom line is that Bootleg Canyon, Northshore, Post Canyon in Hood River, and many many more locations have started via non-sanctioned building. What's the difference? Maybe it's just that we haven't had those one, two, three, or entire community of bikers talking to the people that make these things happen (congressman, senators, etc). Most of the people that ride these kinds of trails are young kids who have no desire to go through all that red tape before building a jump (myself inluded) and that's not likely going to change for most of them. They may sign a petition but most of them are going to be worried that they will cause more damage than help when communicating with the powers that be, whether it be because of ignorance of other land issues, lack of knowledge of government procedures, or simply not knowing how to phrase it so that they look like something other than punk kids who just want to destroy public lands. I guess what I'm saying is . . Thank You to bordeaux, the prof, witherspoon, anyone who'se gone through the arduous effort for the rest of us. I'm sure we'll get there eventually . . . . . . and thanks to those who are building non-sanctioned trails too. If it weren't for their persistence then a need wouldn't even be recognized and we'd all be doing nothing but paying for the still over-priced gas to go to other states or countries where people have already jumped through all the hoops. . . yeah . . I'm evil . . so what . . at least I say it like I see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    Again - Props to everyone who's worked on this. I'm not bagging on anyone - I'm just surprised at our states lack of progression with issues like this. You say however many of the areas I've mentioned started out as illegal trails that were eventually adopted by the municipalities once they recognized the need and the fact that, if given the option to build what they like, mountain bikers are willing to not only maintian their stunts, but also maintain easier hiking and horseback trails in the same vicinity much more religiously than hikers or horseback riders. I have, with friends, done maintenance on cross country trails that I only ride once a year after doing so. I definately agree that I need to get out and dig more. We have helped on dig days elsewhere but haven't been able to get out this year as much as we'd like. Bottom line is that Bootleg Canyon, Northshore, Post Canyon in Hood River, and many many more locations have started via non-sanctioned building. What's the difference? Maybe it's just that we haven't had those one, two, three, or entire community of bikers talking to the people that make these things happen (congressman, senators, etc). Most of the people that ride these kinds of trails are young kids who have no desire to go through all that red tape before building a jump (myself inluded) and that's not likely going to change for most of them. They may sign a petition but most of them are going to be worried that they will cause more damage than help when communicating with the powers that be, whether it be because of ignorance of other land issues, lack of knowledge of government procedures, or simply not knowing how to phrase it so that they look like something other than punk kids who just want to destroy public lands. I guess what I'm saying is . . Thank You to bordeaux, the prof, witherspoon, anyone who'se gone through the arduous effort for the rest of us. I'm sure we'll get there eventually . . . . . . and thanks to those who are building non-sanctioned trails too. If it weren't for their persistence then a need wouldn't even be recognized and we'd all be doing nothing but paying for the still over-priced gas to go to other states or countries where people have already jumped through all the hoops. . . yeah . . I'm evil . . so what . . at least I say it like I see it.
    Defensive mode = off. Thanks for not taking offense to my post.

    You state that all these other places were started by non-sanctioned trail building, to which I agree for the most part. But, Utah is no different, and the group that is organized in this state, WAFTA, is no different than the organizations in those respective states.

    Utah may be behind the other states, but without the effort of those who started WAFTA and are now trying to move it forward, where would Utah be? Even further behind.

    We have talked with the guys at Blackrock, Jackson, and Bootleg about how they started. Everyone of them will tell you that it takes time and support. If you want proof, log onto the Blackrock site and read the "history" section.

    And most of the people who ride these trails are not young kids. If you ride with a bunch of young kids (other than your own), I wouldnt post that on the internet. Most of the riders are older guys who make time to ride, but not dig. Or some make time to ride and dig on non-sanctioned trails. And finally, some make time to ride and to dig on sanctioned trails, as well as some questionable trails. But in the areas you mentioned, i.e. Jackson, Bootleg, Post Canyon, etc., most of those guys dig on the sanctioned trails. That is why those groups are so successful now.

    So again, join WAFTA. It is no different than the Teton Freedom Riders, the Blackrock guys, Post Canyon guys, etc. We may be younger, but our goals are the same. And even though our trails may not be gnarly enough for you (or me in some cases) right now, they will be as we gain credibility. But the only way to gain that credibility is to build and maintain trails as a group that we have authorization to build. As we gain reputability, the land managers will gain respect and an understanding of the progression of the sport and the need for more aggressive trails. That is how it has worked everywhere else.

    And for the record, Canada is comparing apples to oranges. Liability laws are different there.

    Now, I have to get back to work tonight.
    Last edited by drboudreaux; 10-22-2008 at 07:27 PM.

  36. #36
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    Like Dangerous Dan says "For every stunt they tear down I build 5 more"
    Its easier to build pirate lines until they are forced to legalize...

    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    d we'd all be doing nothing but paying for the still over-priced gas to go to other states or countries where people have already jumped through all the hoops.
    Anyway, I just put $100 in my tank and am headed to Blackrock/Post Canyon...
    See ya

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwavedaveshome
    Thank You to bordeaux, the prof, witherspoon, anyone who'se gone through the arduous effort for the rest of us.
    Uh ... thanks ... but ... I think you cast your net wider than you intended? Unless you meant to include all the outdoorsy hellraisers. Anyway, I wouldn't want to dilute the credit the Prof & Dr. deserve for their MTB/freeride advocacy.

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    I think that a big problem with our situation is where we live and the population of both regular people and a whole ton of other types of athletes competing for the mountains. I'm 99% sure I met BigWave at the "Barn Door" drop at the end of Egg Hunt in Post Canyon about five years ago and rode Post-Canyon for years before and after that. It really was built by just a few people (Doug, Jake and a few others) and it started out illegally as Dave suggests. But Hood River is a WAY different place than SLC. It's tiny, there are only a few ski resorts scattered around and none are really "destination resorts". Dakine is there and happens to contribute to the local economy AND sell bike stuff (including the "builder pack"). All the land is more or less used for logging and the loggers could care less what happens on their land so long as the trees are there to harvest when the time comes and there are no stunts or nails in the trees in when they cut. Trees are a dime a dozen in the NW and it's pretty easy to stay covert when you can barely find an entrance to a trailhead buried in the trees.

    In Utah, we're stoked to have our mountains so close (I had to drive an hour to get to Post Canyon from Portland and further for Black Rock) but unfortunately it means we have a more city-like beauracacy (read larger, more complicated) to deal with to get our trails in, deal with resorts who own or lease much of the land and, most importantly, deal with the mass of humanity in the valley that doesn't want to send a gap jump, but wants to use the mountains. Hate to say it, but I think WAFTA or something like it is the way to go for our situation.

    BTW, I rode the bike park in Boise last month and have to say it was sick and super close to the city. Hopefully the Eagle Mountain thing will turn out like that.

    -D

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by freebird79
    Like Dangerous Dan says "For every stunt they tear down I build 5 more"
    Its easier to build pirate lines until they are forced to legalize...



    Anyway, I just put $100 in my tank and am headed to Blackrock/Post Canyon...
    See ya

    I'll just throw out that if Dangerous Dan lived here I think he'd probably be a lot more likely to try and get a trail legalized so it will last a bit longer. They've got unlimited wood on location and ideal soil conditions to just pick a line and ride it in. Here on the other hand he would be spending months hacking thousands of scrub oak out of the ground in order to clear a mile of trail. I won't even get into the ridiculous amount of open space they've got to work with there. If we had the resources they've got going for them I think you would see a ton more unauthorized building. Unfortunately for us I think those BC boys have got it a lot easier than us when it comes to creating new trails. When you put in the kind of time and effort involved building around here you want to make sure it's going to be around for a while.
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

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    Hey guys and gals, Ryan Miller here (current whipping boy and current/former/unkown status IMBA rep). Just got sent an email about the article published and all i can say is 'Wow! I talked to that reporter for about a half hour and that's what she got out of it?!?!'
    I don't normally post to forum rants and flames because they tend to be heated and only server to give people who otherwise have nothing constructive to say a place to try and just piss off others, but because i'm actually a big supporter of building freeride trails (i know, hard to believe from the article) along the wasatch front i thought i'd throw in some points of clarification here, so please don't light the pyre until you've heard me out.

    1) The ONLY time i mentioned Mill D was when i was discussing the negotiations we (IMBA) had with Save our Canyons in regards to their wilderness proposal that originally had included it as well as Dog and Desolation Lakes and the Crest Trail. It's really too bad this part never made it into the article. I'm very proud of the work i did to keep these trails out of the proposal and i'm not at all aware of any illegal trail work being done on Mill D.

    2)Yes, any augmentation of a trail without the express consent of the landowner is illegal. This is a fact. There is no disputing it and IMBA (and myself as rep or not) will discourage this work to the best of our ability and encourage the landowners to destroy them. WAFTA is a great group and the people that continue to build illegal trails are only making their jobs, and IMBAs, more difficult.

    3)When i was first contacted about doing this interview the reporter mentioned that her original intent for the article was to be an expose on trail user conflicts (i.e. hikers against bikers against horseback riders etc...). Since this didn't seem like it was going to be quite the issue she had hoped it's obvious she tried to find it in this new 'extreme' mountain biking. Apparently my comments on there being some rogue groups out there still building illegal trails was just the ticket and mentioned little to nothing about the support that IMBA has for the freeriding community. Alas...

    Finally, drboudreaux, you mentioned in an early post that you expressed your "concern as a mountain biker with the way that things are handled here." in your call to IMBA in regards to your IMBA rep (me). This is great and everyone should do it, but why haven't i heard from you before? What are they? My email and phone number are easily available (here's my email again, just in case: [email protected]).

    Keep the rubber side down!
    Ryan

    P.S. Yes, the state rep program is being phased out in favor of new Regional Leadership Councils. I encourage you all, especially the leaders of WAFTA, to take a look at the program and be a part of it if you can. More info here:
    http://www.imba.com/resources/rlc/index.html

  41. #41
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    Hey Ryan - thanks for clarifying, and way to stay cool under attack. I kinda figured it was a case of the reporter wanting to create a story where there wasn't one. Maybe you should write to her editors to try to force a retraction/correction, it sounds like you were blatantly misquoted. Thanks for the work that you do.

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    N. Van is a densely populated suburban area. Especially in the vicinities of Seymoure and Fromme. Yes, wood is plentiful, but the type and quality of construction that goes into many of the trails in that area still requires hauling huge amounts of raw materials. And a lot of man-hours to build and maintain. In comparison, the Salt Lake area has a vastly greater amount of accessible terrain than does the Vancouver area.

    That fact of the matter is that, generally, the Canadian land management bureaucracy is more progressive than ours, especially when dealing with large and well-organized mountain biking advocacy groups. Trails on the Shore were originally built to protect sensitive terrain (you certainly CAN'T "just pick a line and ride it in"!). What the locals couldn't ride ON - do to moisture, soil composition, errosion, or whatever - they designed to ride OVER. That what they developed morphed into its own culture of riding was incidental. Illegal trails are still cut, usage conflicts still arise, and trails still get torn down (eg Reaper), but what Dangerous Dan, Digger, and the like pioneered has largely been legitimized through hard work, education, and advocacy. Nobody wants to put several hundred hours into a trail and then have it torn out, regardless of where you're from or what the local conditions (both geographical and political) are.

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22
    I'll just throw out that if Dangerous Dan lived here I think he'd probably be a lot more likely to try and get a trail legalized so it will last a bit longer. They've got unlimited wood on location and ideal soil conditions to just pick a line and ride it in. Here on the other hand he would be spending months hacking thousands of scrub oak out of the ground in order to clear a mile of trail. I won't even get into the ridiculous amount of open space they've got to work with there. If we had the resources they've got going for them I think you would see a ton more unauthorized building. Unfortunately for us I think those BC boys have got it a lot easier than us when it comes to creating new trails. When you put in the kind of time and effort involved building around here you want to make sure it's going to be around for a while.

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    Yeah thanks Ryan . . . Now at least I know not to waste my time looking for stunts hidden on the Mill D trail. That would require slowing down with no reward for doing so. You saved me a lot of time and happiness!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SprungShoulders
    N. Van is a densely populated suburban area. Especially in the vicinities of Seymoure and Fromme. Yes, wood is plentiful, but the type and quality of construction that goes into many of the trails in that area still requires hauling huge amounts of raw materials. And a lot of man-hours to build and maintain. In comparison, the Salt Lake area has a vastly greater amount of accessible terrain than does the Vancouver area.

    That fact of the matter is that, generally, the Canadian land management bureaucracy is more progressive than ours, especially when dealing with large and well-organized mountain biking advocacy groups. Trails on the Shore were originally built to protect sensitive terrain (you certainly CAN'T "just pick a line and ride it in"!). What the locals couldn't ride ON - do to moisture, soil composition, errosion, or whatever - they designed to ride OVER. That what they developed morphed into its own culture of riding was incidental. Illegal trails are still cut, usage conflicts still arise, and trails still get torn down (eg Reaper), but what Dangerous Dan, Digger, and the like pioneered has largely been legitimized through hard work, education, and advocacy. Nobody wants to put several hundred hours into a trail and then have it torn out, regardless of where you're from or what the local conditions (both geographical and political) are.

    There's no doubt they are years ahead of us on the advocacy front when it comes to the FR side of mtb, probably in large part because it is much more mainstream than in the states and it's been more of a natural evolution of the riding there. Here there is more of a gap between typical mountain biking and FR and the two are almost treated as completely different activities rather than an extension of one. I'm definitely not trying to make it sound like they are slouches in the advocacy department, that's kind of what bothered me about the original quote encouraging the 5 up for every 1 down because that's not really the reason things are progressing successfully there.

    I think maybe the reason it seems they've got so much more land to work with there is that like you said, the government is much more progressive when it comes to land use. I've spent some time in the Vancouver area up thru Whistler so I know it's fairly densely populated. We may have more area in general to work with but large chunks are already non mtb and and most the remaining suitable areas are already crowded with other users. Just seems like you would be much more likely to find a place there where you could build a trail and never have someone randomly stumble upon it, seems like there are few places like that in the Wasatch.

    Also not saying they don't do some serious work to get things done up there, I'm amazed by the stuff being built there, truly incredible innovation, craftsmanship, imagination, etc. I just don't think it compares to getting a FR trail built in the terrain we are currently working with here(the Draper trail specifically). Not to say there isn't better suited terrain in UT to build, we just don't have any approval for those spots (yet). I think the man hours put into Draper would have yielded a solid trail back at the beginning of the summer if you were dealing with BC terrain as opposed to one that is just getting close to approval to open now. Either way though, I've got a huge amount of respect for the people working to get trails approved and constructed regardless of my perception of how 'easy' it may be, compared to sitting on the couch or just riding what's already there, it's still a ton of work.
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahatmaguy
    Finally, drboudreaux, you mentioned in an early post that you expressed your "concern as a mountain biker with the way that things are handled here." in your call to IMBA in regards to your IMBA rep (me). This is great and everyone should do it, but why haven't i heard from you before? What are they? My email and phone number are easily available (here's my email again, just in case: [email protected]).
    http://www.imba.com/resources/rlc/index.html
    You have heard from me before. I have been at the SOC meetings where you were present, I have spoken with you on the telephone regarding WAFTA and solicited your support with some of the projects WAFTA has tried to undertake.

    I was simply expressing concerns that I have heard regarding IMBA's presence in the state. The sentiment has been that riders didnt want to join IMBA because IMBA didnt care about freeriding here in Utah. Those are the concerns that I expressed - that the perception of IMBA in Utah was that it was XC oriented and could care less about freeriding. I knew that the opposite was true, but it seemed as though some saw WAFTA and IMBA at odds, which is untrue.

    Thanks for the work you have done. I wasnt trying to throw stones, just trying to conduct preliminary damage control from the article and garner support for IMBA. I know that IMBA is all about freeriding - it is apparent from the work that is happening around the country and here in Utah. I am excited about the Regional Leadership Council and the progress that can be made in the future. Thanks again for all of your work.

    mike
    Last edited by drboudreaux; 10-24-2008 at 09:18 AM.

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