Please help me understand "trail maintenance"- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Please help me understand "trail maintenance"

    So, I've noticed that there has been a lot of "trail maintenance" over the last couple of years. Basically this entails taking out rocks, logs, or any obstacle on the trail. I really don't understand it, and I'm getting really frustrated with it. It seems to me (admittedly no expert) that removing those things leaves the trail more vulnerable to erosion and run off. I have lived in California and Arizona and ridden extensively in both states and have never seen the trails changing like they are here (I've been riding here for 20 yrs). East coast riders don't remove all the tree roots on the trails because they like the challenge. Az riders (beginners and experts) deal with extremely rocky fun trails.
    Rode the crest this weekend and puke hill is now a paved highway. I don't think we can even call it puke hill anymore. That cool little rocky climb half way down the crest. Gone. There are dozens of trails in No. Utah that have been "maintained." It's no surprise that riders are constantly making "illegal trails" to have some sort of a challenge. Sorry for the rant, but what is the issue here? Why all the "trail maintenance"?

  2. #2
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    That's not trail maintenance, that's called trail sanitizing and I hate it as much as you. I doubt that any sort of cycling organization is promoting it - it's usually carried out by one or two individuals who don't have the skill to ride the stuff, so they make it into something they can manage.

    Trail maintenance is a good thing when done properly. Trail sanitizing is a whole different beast.
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  3. #3
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    I hear ya. I'm constantly looking for trails with more challenge to them. Heck, I'm from IL and we had trails back home that were more technical than most around here! Have you seen how flat IL is
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  4. #4
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    the roadies should stick to the road.
    if we find a log or rock moved off the trail we try to put it back and more if we can find it

  5. #5
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfhb
    So, I've noticed that there has been a lot of "trail maintenance" over the last couple of years. Basically this entails taking out rocks, logs, or any obstacle on the trail. I really don't understand it, and I'm getting really frustrated with it. It seems to me (admittedly no expert) that removing those things leaves the trail more vulnerable to erosion and run off. I have lived in California and Arizona and ridden extensively in both states and have never seen the trails changing like they are here (I've been riding here for 20 yrs). East coast riders don't remove all the tree roots on the trails because they like the challenge. Az riders (beginners and experts) deal with extremely rocky fun trails.
    Rode the crest this weekend and puke hill is now a paved highway. I don't think we can even call it puke hill anymore. That cool little rocky climb half way down the crest. Gone. There are dozens of trails in No. Utah that have been "maintained." It's no surprise that riders are constantly making "illegal trails" to have some sort of a challenge. Sorry for the rant, but what is the issue here? Why all the "trail maintenance"?

    Go ride the new Mid-Mountain reroute and the soon to be released second Mid-Mountain reroute over closer to the Canyons, that I'm guessing will be open for business by next weekend. You'll get your rocky, chunky climb on.

    Like someone mentioned, I don't necessarily think it's a mountain biker thing that's occuring here.

  6. #6
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    heh. That thing is going to be really interesting in a season or two. I bet JMH is right though, and that it cuts way back on MM traffic between Spiro and the canyons.
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  7. #7
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky
    heh. That thing is going to be really interesting in a season or two. I bet JMH is right though, and that it cuts way back on MM traffic between Spiro and the canyons.
    Well, in the context of this thread it would seem that the new section of the Trail Formerly Known As The Mid-Mountain and pending second reroute that looked to be completed on the Trail Formerly Known As The Mid-Mountain add a bit of challenge to the ride simply due to the fact that the first reroute has plenty of nice, chunky rocks to climb (or descend depending on way traveled) up and over, adding a bit of challenge.

    However, not having ridden the second reroute as it was roped off Sunday that is sort of negated as it's going to cut out that entire, rocky shale 'descent' once it's open for business and that section is roped off forever.

    Like JMH said, the character of the Mid-Mountain is gone. Once it gets packed in it will be a challenging ride and like you mentioned ward off those who just pedal out to the bench overlook and then turn around. They'll have to work a bit harder to get to that new bench (and I must say it was a sub-par bench compared to the old one).

    Apparently Prince is not onboard with any of this, particularly with the shoddy bench construction.


  8. #8
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    These posts pop up all the time - from the Shoreline, to Pipeline, to Mill D to the Crest ... I always want to rant and rave too. I usually refrain, because I worry the only people to blame are people like myself who are not involved with the trail organizations (Forest Service? Bonneville shoreline committee? ) that are doing the maintenance. ( I highly doubt its "rouge trail sanitizing" ... that stuff we've seen requires man power and time )

    We need to get the word out to those people or organizations that are doing the "maintenance" that its not wanted. (or beneficial - and in my view - even detrimental to trail usage issues )

    Unfortunately, posting about it here doesn't count...which is where I admit to being fully guilty...

    I'm all ears if people know the right places to go/people to contact. If we were lucky, maybe some emails directed in the right direction could help spread the word.

    I have thought about putting a sign board up at the trail heads (or right at the changed sections?) that says something like: "comment here if you think the trail changes are positive or negative changes to the trail" at least then the responsible parties would probably get wind of the discontent from actual mountain bikers.

  9. #9
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    As for Puke Hill I believe that road is still used by trucks to get to the building up top. They probably work on that section just to keep it driveable for vehicles.

  10. #10
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    Since I finally have ridden it all. . .

    Honestly, if Puke hill has less loose rocks on the climb, I won't cry. I personally don't go out to ride the Crest to prove to the World (well. . . anything) how awesome I can climb Puke hill. It definitely looks like a bike specific thing, though Colonel. Like a 3ft swath of road that has all the rocks swept off to the side. Makes the climb easier. Fine by me. I'm a fatso.

    The mid-mountain re-route will be interesting. It seemed pretty mellow going from Canyons to PC, but I would think it more difficult to climb up from PC to Canyons. This may cut the traffic as Chuky suggests. All this assumes the thing survives the Summer given the rapidly developing moondust and general pounding it gets. If it does, and it rains, and it packs down, etc. it may turn out just fine. Sure seems longer than before to me. Lots of switchbacks. Maybe just felt slower cause the energy-sapping moondust on the climbs. . .

  11. #11
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    Its a mixed bag. We had people from UMB forum organising to go clean up Green canyon a couple weeks ago. Made sense, the trail was impassable on 2 wheels due to multiple downed trees waist high. If someone wants to go out and clean up winter dead fall, no problem. It prevents people from making reroutes for no reason.

    I don't know why people raked out puke hill, its not shaming to walk up that, at least not IMO. All that loose stuff is moving all the time. And more will be back in the trail before long. So for those who like it, its not exactly the end of the world. Raking it out was a huge waste of time though.

  12. #12
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    I had a friend of mine tell me a story about coming across two people on the crest with sledge hammers "working" on the only challenge of the entire trail (well, except those climbs, I'm way too out of shape to not call those a challenge right now). When he asked what they were doing, they replied they were making it easier. Well much yelling ensued and nothing was accomplished to sway them from their task at hand.

    Is the trail maintenace signage an issue we can take up with Mountain Trails? Posting signs at popular trailheads like Spiro or the Crest gate. It's probably pointless, but at least it's an attempt at informing people. Something needs to be done to preserve the few technical challenges we have left out here, I like flowing trails as much as the next guy, but it's good to have variety.

    Maybe some signs that say "if it's too hard, go ride somewhere else"
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  13. #13
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    Not that I condone any of this at all, but I completely understand the reasoning: All this is going to do is lead to more and more illegal trails going up-both well thought out and sustainable stuff and straight down the fall line stuff that will quickly turn into a giant gutter.
    Obviously as one progresses one searches out new challenges and as the trails they've ridden become increasingly more sanitized and in the opposite direction of their progression, they are going to search out new means to find an outlet. But, as the 2009 Bobsled Saga revealed opposition to any sort of progression is often met with less than desireable results and conflict. Needless to say, don't go out and be the jacktard bombing down Pipeline on your DH bike on a Thursday afternoon to get your progression on as that has about the same effect as sanitizing the Spine so Larry on the Trek Fuel he borrowed from a neighbor only has to walk 90% of it instead of the entire thing.

  14. #14
    JMH
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    Population growth and increased usage dictate that trails like the Crest will get wider and smoother to accommodate the masses. It sucks a sack of balls but it's inevitable.

    Support measures that will keep people out of the canyons. Usage fees and permits will likely keep the casual user from heading up to the Crest. It will cut down on garbage, social trails and overrun parking pullouts.

    For a few years.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Support measures that will keep people out of the canyons. Usage fees and permits will likely keep the casual user from heading up to the Crest.
    How about we support measures that keep Californians from moving to Utah and douching everything up? Fuuuuck You.
    Last edited by UtahRider69; 07-14-2010 at 06:18 AM.

  16. #16
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    ...pack of smokes and, oh...a bottle of rose petal Summer's Eve

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahRider69
    How about we support measures that keep Californians from moving to Utah and douching everything up? Fuuuuck You.
    But if they're 'douching everything up' wouldn't that mean they're cleaning things out and making it smell nice?

    I'd like to propose a secret mountainbike society that heads out under cover of night fall and/or just standing around mid day with an REI t-shirt on with a fancy "I'm into the outdoors" Prana mesh hat in disquise and rake all the rocks and crap back onto the trails.

    Fight fire with fire.

    Nice first post BTW. Can we expect more alternate versions to our username's to surface until they're all banned again and your posts are deleted?
    Last edited by slcrockymountainrider; 07-14-2010 at 07:17 AM.

  17. #17
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    I just find it ridiculous that someone would haul sledgehammers all the way up there. Where exactly were they anyways? Were they trying to tame the spine?

  18. #18
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    Classy....

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahRider69
    How about we support measures that keep Californians from moving to Utah and douching everything up? Fuuuuck You.
    First post.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ski_adk
    I just find it ridiculous that someone would haul sledgehammers all the way up there. Where exactly were they anyways? Were they trying to tame the spine?
    Maybe it's just my alzheimer's taking a stranglehold on my CNS, but I swear that over the past few years the entry onto the Spine as well as the Larry line to the left has been changing and morphing. I realize plate tectonics cause shifts but unless there is a massive earth quake the movement is barely noticeable over decades.

    I can only assume that someone's been going to town on it with a sledge hammer, etc...OR I just forget what I've ridden from week to week and it all seems different. However, given that I've never noticed a change since 1998 or whatever until around 2007/2008 or so I'm going to default with the Fun Lovin' Spine Dumbing Down Crew.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahRider69
    How about we support measures that keep Californians from moving to Utah and douching everything up? Fuuuuck You.
    Yeah, stupid douchy Californians, moving out here, doing trail work, building new trails, working to improve relations between mountain bikers and other trail users and just generally providing stoke to the "Brocals".

    What selfish pricks....

    Who are you and what have you done to "improve" things along the Wasatch front or in Utah in general for mountain bikers?

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  21. #21
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    I was under the impression that JMH was from Utard got bored and left after several years of making mattresses for Deseret Industries and then after a brief and mediocre career as a commercial extra in Lost Angeles he moved back to Utard to doouch trails?

    Please correct me if my history is off a bit.

    And I must speculate that he himself must doouch regularly as there is always a lovely scent wafting (no affiliation to WAFTA) off his person during rides. Sometimes it's a lovely potpouri or a peach scent. Other times it's not so pleasant resembling meadow rose trying to cover up an angry trip to the john.

    One time I could have sworn I smelled warm razzleberry with a hint of oak.

  22. #22
    JMH
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    Due to the unusual interest in my background, I will come clean - cleaner than a Razzleberry Air Freshener.

    It's true, I wasn't born a Utard and I DID live in LA between lengthy stints in Ogden (a long time ago) and Logan (not so long ago). I have seen first-hand in California what will happen to our trails if overuse continues without relief and believe me, it gets so much worse.

    Oh yeah, it's also true that I spend a lot of my free time making sure that provincial dipsticks continue to have good trails to ride here in my adopted hometown. I certainly don't do it alone and there are some giants in the community who work ten times harder but I try to contribute more than just my hilarious and insightful MTBR posts.

    Hugs N Kisses...

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    Last edited by JMH; 07-14-2010 at 05:10 PM.

  23. #23
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    I agree. It seems like it is really organized maintenance. I'm really sick of it. I'm not sure how to let them know, but i would love to run into them while they are working on the trail.

    Quote Originally Posted by slcpunk
    These posts pop up all the time - from the Shoreline, to Pipeline, to Mill D to the Crest ... I always want to rant and rave too. I usually refrain, because I worry the only people to blame are people like myself who are not involved with the trail organizations (Forest Service? Bonneville shoreline committee? ) that are doing the maintenance. ( I highly doubt its "rouge trail sanitizing" ... that stuff we've seen requires man power and time
    We need to get the word out to those people or organizations that are doing the "maintenance" that its not wanted. (or beneficial - and in my view - even detrimental to trail usage issues )

    Unfortunately, posting about it here doesn't count...which is where I admit to being fully guilty...

    I'm all ears if people know the right places to go/people to contact. If we were lucky, maybe some emails directed in the right direction could help spread the word.

    I have thought about putting a sign board up at the trail heads (or right at the changed sections?) that says something like: "comment here if you think the trail changes are positive or negative changes to the trail" at least then the responsible parties would probably get wind of the discontent from actual mountain bikers.

  24. #24
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    Ok, I may get flamed for this, but I wonder if all the trail sanitization is coming from the resurgence of hard tails/29ers etc? Just look at the corner canyon trails (other than the downhillish trail), pretty buffed singletrack and everyone riding hardtails.

  25. #25
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    We had a run in with a roadie turned moutanbiker on teh JEM. He is this tall dude who runs like 195mm cranks (YES!!! 195) he re-routed anything on the JEM that might ding his cranks. We caught him.... and called him on it. Then we un-fixed his sanitizing buuullshit.

    Some duche's did similar stuff to Hidden Canyon on Goose... we un-fixed it.

    Hey fockers there are paved bike trails for you pussies.. use em! Don't dumb down trails... get better skills.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfhb
    Ok, I may get flamed for this, but I wonder if all the trail sanitization is coming from the resurgence of hard tails/29ers etc? Just look at the corner canyon trails (other than the downhillish trail), pretty buffed singletrack and everyone riding hardtails.
    Honestly, I don't think so. I think it has to do more with the amount of new riders out on the trails and their mindset that they should be able to ride any trail out there no matter how hard it is rated. And if said trail is too hard, they'll complain until it's sanitized to the point where they can ride it. This isn't a trail system were technical skill are rewarded, not yet anyway. There isn't anything that can educate the casual rider into knowing that something is beyond their skill level. Instead, all the bikers in the area read "hey, the crest is an amazing trail. Come ride it!". Not knowing that there's a scant few technical areas left. This leads to complaints which leads to Mountain Trails being forced to take action because god forbid they tarnish their tourist street cred.

    I'm not suggesting there aren't positive things happening in our biking community (WAFTA seems to be making slow but very positive progress) I'm just saying that tourism drives Utah. Anything that can drive tourism away is a big no-no, and as far as the trail system is concerned, families are the tourism draw, not hardcore locals. And that means we're forced to deal with idiots who can't ride a bike over a log paving our trail system.

    I honestly believe that we can take steps toward progress through trail signage, but it's a hard battle. Someday we'll triumph over double-wide boring trails!
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  27. #27
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    I fear that it's going to come down to our marshal law, but there simply isn't enough people of our opinion to truly police the entire state. We have to start taking actual action.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  28. #28
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    Dude, that sucks! I have to commend you for fixing the trails. I usually try to do what i can myself when I see stupidity. Maybe we need signage rating each trail like the ski resorts do. That way if a beginner is riding an "Advanced"(or whatever you want to call it) trail, they will just expect that the trail will be difficult to ride and they are going to get their ass kicked. Maybe that would deter them from complaining to the trail crews, resulting in sanitization.


    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY
    We had a run in with a roadie turned moutanbiker on teh JEM. He is this tall dude who runs like 195mm cranks (YES!!! 195) he re-routed anything on the JEM that might ding his cranks. We caught him.... and called him on it. Then we un-fixed his sanitizing buuullshit.

    Some duche's did similar stuff to Hidden Canyon on Goose... we un-fixed it.

    Hey fockers there are paved bike trails for you pussies.. use em! Don't dumb down trails... get better skills.

  29. #29
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    If you don't like the methods that folks are using to maintain trails, join the group, educate them about users and participate in their trail days. For the most part, trail-sanitizing groups are populated by older folks/non-cyclists who don't realize that people ride the things they are cleaning. Once someone demonstrates how a trail can work for multiple user types they are typically quite happy to make accommodations.

    It sounds like your trail work experience is quite limited. If you would like to widen your perspective and don't mind having permanent dust boogers, there are plenty of folks here that could use a reliable shovel. It is a bit harder than b*tching on the internet, but I think you will like the results. Maybe start a thread asking what is happening locally and where you can volunteer.

    Sincerely,
    D*uchey California Roadie, 29er Rider and BST/WAFTA Member (how many UCI points do you have?)
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  30. #30
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    I am bowing out of this e-fight as I am now severely outgunned.
    When chuky's throwing down the UCI point card all that I can focus on is the heart murmers I experience when chasing her and her better half around all those sanitized trails on their 29'ers.
    I am happy to accept the DFL trophy on behalf of the Larry's and Gapers of the sanitized trail crew.


    Plus, they carry a mean pocket saw.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky
    If you don't like the methods that folks are using to maintain trails, join the group, educate them about users and participate in their trail days. For the most part, trail-sanitizing groups are populated by older folks/non-cyclists who don't realize that people ride the things they are cleaning. Once someone demonstrates how a trail can work for multiple user types they are typically quite happy to make accommodations.
    It a BIKE TRAIL for fuks sake.... we run over older folks so keep em off the trails!!!

    Just kidding. We're lucky "down" here as we have a lot of purpose built bike stuff so this is not a problem.

    And heck ya we can always use extra hands.
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  32. #32
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    my issue is too many people are taking dumps too close to the trail.

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