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  1. #1
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    New Loop at Little River

    I went yesterday to check it out. Paid the $4 fee at the park entrance, received several maps and a car hang tag, and promptly rode the **** out of the new trails. For $4 I felt obligated to do at least a few laps of the 3ish mile loop - actually about 2+ miles of trail, plus some dirt road riding. The downhill segment built by Knight Ide is the funnest machine built (non-resort) trail I have ever ridden. Lots of air time to be had and ridiculously deep berms that make you feel like you're riding in one of those cages the motorcycles used to ride around at the circus. And, the trail was difficult enough to leave me wanting to make some seriously large doubles that I didn't have the oomph to make on my first trip.

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    Is there a trail map updated somewhere? I've cut through a few times coming in from Cotton Brook (and sleeping at the park, off season). Would be curious to see where it rolls. I read that is is in the 'history hike' area.

    Do they charge you if you ride up and in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Is there a trail map updated somewhere? I've cut through a few times coming in from Cotton Brook (and sleeping at the park, off season). Would be curious to see where it rolls. I read that is is in the 'history hike' area.

    Do they charge you if you ride up and in?
    Whether you ride in through the gate or drive in, you have to pay. If you bike in through the back (Cottonbrook) nobody is going to bother you. If you bike ot the end of Cottonbrook road and then take the logging road down towards LRSP, you should basically run right into the trails at the history hike/Davey Loop area. I happily paid $4 as a way to say to the State, "this is working. Open up more state land to mountain bikes and see more money."

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    Whether you ride in through the gate or drive in, you have to pay. If you bike in through the back (Cottonbrook) nobody is going to bother you. If you bike ot the end of Cottonbrook road and then take the logging road down towards LRSP, you should basically run right into the trails at the history hike/Davey Loop area. I happily paid $4 as a way to say to the State, "this is working. Open up more state land to mountain bikes and see more money."
    I have no problem paying, I have a hard time paying when passing through - I haven't had to do it, but have read accounts a few folks bikepacking that had to come up with some $$ on their way north through Cotton Brook. I have only camped there in the off season - November, December and March(ish) when riding out from BTV.

    I know where it is by that description.... Thanks.

    There is a ton of terrain over there that could have some trails through it. Would be sweet to tap into the Bolton Backcountry as well... Cotton Brook is one of my favorite places to explore.

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    I guess they spent almost a hundred thousand dollars on a couple miles of trails. Pretty mind blowing.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    I guess they spent almost a hundred thousand dollars on a couple miles of trails. Pretty mind blowing.
    It sure looks like an expensive trail. Like over the top. It's in mint condition right now - but I wonder how much work it'll take to keep it that way. I'd get after it before the brake bumps appear and it gets hacked up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    It sure looks like an expensive trail. Like over the top. It's in mint condition right now - but I wonder how much work it'll take to keep it that way. I'd get after it before the brake bumps appear and it gets hacked up.
    Meh, I'll pass.

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    You sure about that number Dave? That's, umm, a lot.

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    I think I heard the stat of $10/ft for the machine-built at Stowe one time. So Dave is in the right ballpark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    You sure about that number Dave? That's, umm, a lot.
    Got it from a link to a times argus piece. The individual that shared it to my page said the 4 dollar is acceptable considering they spent almost a hundred K. I asked Wata on their page but there silence there.

    Considering how long this has been in the pipe, god only knows what the real cost was. I'm sure it sat on everyone's desk down at the state for a week over the last 9 years.

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    Wow. I had heard that the bid that was accepted was the lowest by a significant amount. Like half. I figured it was far less than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    Wow. I had heard that the bid that was accepted was the lowest by a significant amount. Like half. I figured it was far less than that.
    I think we almost doubled that amount of new trail for 0 dollars this year Northfield. Kind of gross. Hard to imagine folks feel like 2 miles of trail for a hundred grand is a win.

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    True story.

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    well, if they get 25,000 riders @ $4 /ride they'll break even...

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    and if the park is open 200 days a year, and if they get 125 riders on each of those days, they'll break even in a year!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteRash View Post
    and if the park is open 200 days a year, and if they get 125 riders on each of those days, they'll break even in a year!
    Reinvestment of 1-2 dollars per foot every 2 years. Call it 5-10 grand a year "operating costs". 150 riders a day oughta cover it. Of course, parking is limited as well.

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    I was thinking about the parking problem. Maybe fill in some of the reservoir to add some more?

    And maybe open the park in the winter for fat biking. Better invest in a groomer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteRash View Post
    I was thinking about the parking problem. Maybe fill in some of the reservoir to add some more?

    And maybe open the park in the winter for fat biking. Better invest in a groomer...


    Park is open year round. There just may or may not be someone there to take your $$ or have the gate open and the road plowed.

    IMG_4216 by Mike, on Flickr


    The dogs can pack it in OK, but when it gets steep and deep the skis are better.

    IMG_9338 by Mike, on Flickr

  19. #19
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    If the real # is even approaching six figures.....it feels like a wee bit of a waste of valuable resources on 2miles of trails, no matter how good a flow ride it is........
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  20. #20
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    I messaged Tom Steussy to ask for details about the funding. It's a 4 mile loop with a little more than 2 miles be new trail. ****ing nuts in a broke state like Vt. Powers-that-be feel great about turning our public places into amusement park versions of themselves and spending our taxes to do it. Food Security? Reasonable after school care for our kids? Heating assistance? Nah, flow trails for folks on 5000 dollar bicycles. Great call.

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    Brooke contacted me to let me know the build cost 75k. Waiting to hear what his design cost was. Then figure in signage, site visits. I'd guess there's no way the cost is under 85k, and likely closer to the 90-100k mark figuring in the other time spent on this over the last 9 years.

    Edit: Brooke indicates his design work was 10k. That brings us to 85k. Plus, Plus. He cautioned me to check my facts. Turns out the 100k number is likely more accurate then the 75k he pushed at me. The subtle nature of mistruth. It gets really easy to spot when you trust your intuition.

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    OK just to play devil's advocate here (I am not taking sides, just enjoy the rhetoric). So the new trail(s) cost a lot of money. It's $4 to enter the park and ride the trail. You're all joking about how long it will take for those $4 fees to add up to recoup the trail costs, but isn't it kind of silly not to consider that the trail will drive campsite reservations at the park and boost the economy of nearby Waterbury (bars, restaurants, gas stations, markets, bike shops, hotels/inns, pizza places, etc)?

    I saw a lot of kids on the trail in my quick visit. More than I ever see at Perry Hill, or out in Northfield. Kids are probably psyched to ride this trail. Kids aren't psyched to ride some rake and ride trail that's 5 miles and 2,000 feet up a mountain. More kids riding equals more money into the economy. More money in the local economy means more jobs... and jobs provide more taxes ... to subsidize heating costs, build more bike trails, or whatever.

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    Not sure when the last time you tried to reserve a state campsite was, but you will find there is plenty of pressure already.

    You can have raked-in trail that is very kid and beginner friendly.

    Tourist dollars provide ****ty jobs that aren't going to provide careers, keep young folks here. Draw professionals here. It is perpetuating a service industry state. A state with one of the widest income gaps in the nation. A state that is already the most dependent, per capita, on federal tax dollars to run our social services in the nation. A state with 120 million dollar budget short-fall.

    I have done extensive reading and personal research on toursim and there is no debate on the economy it creates. It's an extraction of wealth, usually based on real estate development. It benefits the wealthy land developer. Tourism locks workers into dead-end jobs that outsource human services on the state. It's polluting and destructive.

    If you have to spend 100k for 2+ miles of trail.....find a better place for trail.

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    "Believe me, we are going to make Waterbury Great Again"

    Just couldn't help it. I'm not judging, just still kind of amazed the trail cost so much. I guess I need to go and pay my $4 to see what it is all about.

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    Are you talking about Slate, or something else? If something else, any details much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    I think we almost doubled that amount of new trail for 0 dollars this year Northfield. Kind of gross. Hard to imagine folks feel like 2 miles of trail for a hundred grand is a win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by angelo View Post
    Are you talking about Slate, or something else? If something else, any details much appreciated.
    Nah. That's counted in the other 4 miles of trail added in Northfield for 0 dollars.
    Next trail day is the 16th. 10 a.m. at the Shaw Center. Participation = inclusion. As it was, so it shall be.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    Not sure when the last time you tried to reserve a state campsite was, but you will find there is plenty of pressure already.
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    I have done extensive reading and personal research on tourism and there is no debate on the economy it creates. It's an extraction of wealth, usually based on real estate development. It benefits the wealthy land developer. Tourism locks workers into dead-end jobs that outsource human services on the state. It's polluting and destructive.

    If you have to spend 100k for 2+ miles of trail.....find a better place for trail.
    There is definitely truth in this, but this is a rather blanket statement. If you're talking about Atlantic City, Las Vegas, or Orlando, sure - this is right on the money. Mega hotels and the low-wage jobs they provide.

    But we're not talking about those places. We're talking about Waterbury, Vermont. A place where people who own a pizzeria or a pub and just want to be successful and provide reliable jobs. New mountain bike trails aren't going to give rise to development projects like you're depicting - we're not at ski-resort level yet here, and I don't think we're even close. And to equate mountain bike growth to ski-area-like development or whatever else it is you're envisioning seems like a major jump to conclusions. Trails like Little River will give rise to new small businesses - like the kind you and I may dream of owning, and employing our friends and families at so they don't have to work at the mega resort 30 minutes away.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    True.



    There is definitely truth in this, but this is a rather blanket statement. If you're talking about Atlantic City, Las Vegas, or Orlando, sure - this is right on the money. Mega hotels and the low-wage jobs they provide.

    But we're not talking about those places. We're talking about Waterbury, Vermont. A place where people who own a pizzeria or a pub and just want to be successful and provide reliable jobs. New mountain bike trails aren't going to give rise to development projects like you're depicting - we're not at ski-resort level yet here, and I don't think we're even close. And to equate mountain bike growth to ski-area-like development or whatever else it is you're envisioning seems like a major jump to conclusions. Trails like Little River will give rise to new small businesses - like the kind you and I may dream of owning, and employing our friends and families at so they don't have to work at the mega resort 30 minutes away.
    I have (had) spent my entire life working for, and owning for a minute, the kind of jobs you are talking about. We don't need a rise in these types of places. Look at craigslist at Jobs. How many restaurants have closed, flipped, or are stuggling? Virtually all of them. I know that industries financial reality inside, and out. People say tourism is an important part of our economy. True, it is important the we re-examine it's viability. It is a major part of our economy true. At the same time we acknowledge that our economy and the opportunities it is providing are inadequate. Why? Because it is more and more based on tourism.
    We are where the ski industry was in 1940. Let's not make the same mistake. Right now we're full steam ahead down that road.

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    I am in favor of more trails, and particularly more trails on state land (because they own some of the best land in VT, and because it's easier to get the state to allow trails on their land than it is to get , say 100 landowners to all agree to use the same amount of land).

    That being said, the LR trail worries me because of the precedent it sets with the state. I am afraid they will think any trail projects on state land need to be of the $10/foot variety. I have already encountered this on a local level. When I say mountain bike trail, I mean a narrow brown ribbon of the hand-made variety. But when they hear mountain bike trail, they think "machine-made bike park ridden by hundreds of people in a single weekend."

    I think there's a place for both types of trails and that's not an issue for me. Bike parks are fun, and people like them, and they don't hurt anyone. What worries me is that use of state land for mtn bike trails will become synonymous with over-built, machine made trails that seem as permanent as a sidewalk. Imagine how these trails look from an armchair conservationist's point of view. I want them to see how low-impact, man-made trails are appreciated by so many riders, and that we're happy with these kinds of trails - mud pits, roots, pedal-grabbing rocks and all. We don't need the taj mahal of trails every time the state is involved. We just want their permission to do what we have (the Royal "we") been doing for decades without their support. Why? Because it works or us. And because it has been working for decades, before they opened up their wallets and said, hey, here's more money to build 2 miles of trail than you'll even know what to do with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    I am in favor of more trails, and particularly more trails on state land (because they own some of the best land in VT, and because it's easier to get the state to allow trails on their land than it is to get , say 100 landowners to all agree to use the same amount of land).

    That being said, the LR trail worries me because of the precedent it sets with the state. I am afraid they will think any trail projects on state land need to be of the $10/foot variety. I have already encountered this on a local level. When I say mountain bike trail, I mean a narrow brown ribbon of the hand-made variety. But when they hear mountain bike trail, they think "machine-made bike park ridden by hundreds of people in a single weekend."

    I think there's a place for both types of trails and that's not an issue for me. Bike parks are fun, and people like them, and they don't hurt anyone. What worries me is that use of state land for mtn bike trails will become synonymous with over-built, machine made trails that seem as permanent as a sidewalk. Imagine how these trails look from an armchair conservationist's point of view. I want them to see how low-impact, man-made trails are appreciated by so many riders, and that we're happy with these kinds of trails - mud pits, roots, pedal-grabbing rocks and all. We don't need the taj mahal of trails every time the state is involved. We just want their permission to do what we have (the Royal "we") been doing for decades without their support. Why? Because it works or us. And because it has been working for decades, before they opened up their wallets and said, hey, here's more money to build 2 miles of trail than you'll even know what to do with.
    I do enjoy riding loops at Saxon and elsewhere, where things get smoothed and flowed out. It can be fun for quick hits during the week, and for regular loops. (I also enjoy the pond side, where things are a bit more 'line in the woods' once you get back further...) but what I really want to see is more trail that connects things, and gets you out there. Long Trail / Catamount trail type stuff. Loop things back to the start if you want, but let me get somewhere, out there with options to ride loops or longer stretches and connect to other roads / trails.

    Happy that the state has expanded MTB in LR. Would have loved to see 100k spent on a well laid out ribbon of dirt from Cotton Brook / Little River over to Bolton, or Bolton over to Trapps (like the ski route). Richmond to HTF to Carse to further south... (you can do some of that now) GMNF connections from Chittenden over to GMTrails, some tweaking of the trails in Moosamaloo.... etc. etc.

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    Just talked to Steussy. It's basically all grant money. Some small portion will be kicked in by VMBA/WATA at some point. The "Lions Share" is tax funded. VMBA is happy with the model they are currently working with. WTF has happened to mountain biking? ****ing Scam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    Just talked to Steussy. It's basically all grant money. Some small portion will be kicked in by VMBA/WATA at some point. The "Lions Share" is tax funded. VMBA is happy with the model they are currently working with. WTF has happened to mountain biking? ****ing Scam.
    So what part exactly is a scam?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    So what part exactly is a scam?
    Convincing the state that they need to spend 50k per mile for trails people can ride bikes on. Pandering from broke governments to use tax dollars to build trail that people who are generally well-off will use. VMBA should spend no more than they take in. ( what a shocking ****ing revelation). If there is such a need for "Flow trail", then all those people should go build it themselves. It's the $1000 toilet seat of trails. Such excess. It's gross. Pile it on.... U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time

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    I think we have all watched "mountain biking" become a collection of distinct niches within the grouping of "mountain biking"..........feels like there is some belief in the "Field of Dreams" philosophy with these gravity trails. If they build it tourist $ will come. And I'm sure to a certain extent they are correct.

    Seems like Knight has been involved with a couple fo these "expansions" or build-outs this year where some vertical and some acreage is turned into a mini bike park.....ala, climb up Snake and down Florence type of a situation.

    I'm not passing judgement on that style of riding or building as I would be a hypocrite to say I haven't enjoyed some machine flow in my life but.......it seems, and mybe I'm wrong, most projects we hear about involve a mini-excavator and large berms and BMX jumps......

    It's funny though, the more of these trails that get built out the harder I look for decent long loops of real single track like we used to have. Trust me I enjoy the "flow" and the fun berms here and there, but ****, where is the balance? Why can't we have say 12 miles of single track that aren't dirt side walks and 2 "flow" runs of like 2 miles total......
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    Quote Originally Posted by River19 View Post
    I think we have all watched "mountain biking" become a collection of distinct niches within the grouping of "mountain biking"..........feels like there is some belief in the "Field of Dreams" philosophy with these gravity trails. If they build it tourist $ will come. And I'm sure to a certain extent they are correct.

    Seems like Knight has been involved with a couple fo these "expansions" or build-outs this year where some vertical and some acreage is turned into a mini bike park.....ala, climb up Snake and down Florence type of a situation.

    I'm not passing judgement on that style of riding or building as I would be a hypocrite to say I haven't enjoyed some machine flow in my life but.......it seems, and mybe I'm wrong, most projects we hear about involve a mini-excavator and large berms and BMX jumps......

    It's funny though, the more of these trails that get built out the harder I look for decent long loops of real single track like we used to have. Trust me I enjoy the "flow" and the fun berms here and there, but ****, where is the balance? Why can't we have say 12 miles of single track that aren't dirt side walks and 2 "flow" runs of like 2 miles total......
    Welcome to Northfield. Of course, our flow trail was funded by the University...not by sucking the teat of an empty utter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    Welcome to Northfield. Of course, our flow trail was funded by the University...not by sucking the teat of an empty utter.

    Wonder how much state / fed money the Uni gets. Come on Dave. Unless you built it your damned self it doesn't count. Right?


    Edited for punctuation.
    Last edited by bmike; 09-27-2016 at 05:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Wonder how much state / fed money the Uni gets. Come on Dave. Unless you built it your damned self it doesn't count. Right.
    Ok so the money from that project came from 1 private donor...and...oops...I built it with Brook and Jason....so? I worked for these builders ans was paid with grant money. For this reason, I have a sound understanding of the process, and labor involved. After a few years I realized just how whack it is, and started to express that. At which point VMBA told Brooke if I didn't be quiet he might lose the bids...he asked me to stop so I quit because I believe I have the right to express my educated opinion...call me crazy. Seems like maybe I was on to something.

    The Norwich project was built because I was building up there by hand, by myself and they thought it was a good idea. Before and since then I have added many miles of hand crafted trail and we now have an engaged group of locals who have all become involved. A community, you might say.

    Folks realize we paid for this trail in Waterbury right? Now we have to pay again to use it. Scam?

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    We also paid 260 million for the health connect. At least this is two miles of something usable and $4 parking is less than my $499 monthly premium.

    Dave I'm sorry you are upset by every single thing that happens with the bike community in this state. I don't get it though, it sounds like you were paid to build trails in Northfield, but you look down on everyone that is paid to build trails in other parts of the state. Kind of a weird stance on things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by momikey View Post
    We also paid 260 million for the health connect. At least this is two miles of something usable and $4 parking is less than my $499 monthly premium.

    Dave I'm sorry you are upset by every single thing that happens with the bike community in this state. I don't get it though, it sounds like you were paid to build trails in Northfield, but you look down on everyone that is paid to build trails in other parts of the state. Kind of a weird stance on things.
    I'm really just putting it out there that growing mountain bike tourism is not good for the state or for the riding.

    Social Media is full of marketing and promotion and it has had a very real affect on my experience and quality of life. What you never hear is the grumbling, usually by the folks who do, and have done the real work for years who, in my opinion, have at least as much or more right to control the development of the resource. Those folks, and me as well obviously, think it's kind of ridiculous for VMBA to be constantly begging the government for funds to build trails that most of the trail stewards, who have been at work for decades, don't really want. Then we are displaced from the places we have put our sweat into for the sake of tourism.

    I took a job building trail because I wanted to see the process, be a part of some of the cool work we were expecting to come through...which never has. Tom Steussy admits the failure of his model is that VMBA has yet to propose and build anything remotely "advanced" where as this area of Vermont was put on the map for it's tough, technical riding...what I personally loved about the riding here.

    Voicing that opinion caused VMBA to threaten Brooke to lose work. At that point I was tired of building excavator roads and dumbing down trails like Burning Spear, Rasta Man, Charlies, ect so tourist could ride them.

    It's erroneous to say I hate everything going on in MTBing in the state. I have chosen, however to call out the marketing scheme and adulations that blossom around it for the ridiculous sham it is.

    I don't really care if those involved and their cliques want to make it seem like it's just me, personally, that has a problem with it. At this point the ridiculous money spent, the ridiculous over-use and underfunding is becoming self-evident.

    Like this 100,000 dollar 2.2 mile trail.

    "The government blows money all the time on their projects so that makes it OK because whatever."

    The problem with groups like this, same as government and corporations, is accountability. Making this about me is a diversion from the crazy excess and sale of our recreational resources. All the things this state could use real aid for....we blow 100k on another stupid flow trail. If VMBA or WATA wants trail like that...fund it yourself. Find a rich dude. Have a bake sale. Federal Grants? C'mon can you really defend that?

    I was a trail worker long before I was paid, and still am. My volunteer time far outweighs my paid time. Most of the trail people enjoy riding in Northfield I built, on my time, for 0 dollars. We have 1 1.5 mile neglected flow-style trail as part of 12+ miles of good riding.

    Virtually all trail nets in Vt went in for free. Suddenly MTBers are too lazy. Suddenly we need excavators and paid crews. Why? Because the marketing and dumbing down of trails has ushered in a new demographic of users, not stewards. Our riding is now a product for sale. A resume bullet. So lame.

    I'm really stoked on what we have going on here. We have collectively rejected the VMBA model. A good group has formed up without promotion, marketing, ect. We have a weekly ride and monthly trail work and had a 10-pack show up last week and added a mile of trail in 4 hours, and managed to drink beer almost the entire time! I hope we can keep our scene as it is. There are other places that operate like this and I am stoked for them as well. There's a lot to be positive about, but I'll not out them or even really talk about them on social media. I'll choose to call out the garbage and deal with the negativity from the sheep.
    Last edited by DaveVt; 09-28-2016 at 05:31 AM.

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    I value Dave's opinions as he is closer to many aspects of VT mountain biking than many of us are, and while I may not 100% agree with every opinion, I believe he is spot on with regards to this specific case study of spending.

    To me, I would like to think perhaps this $50K per mile trail will be the point in time we can reference where the over saturation of sanitized flow building in VT jumps the shark.

    Again, I enjoy riding some flow here and there and they can be a fun reward within a long ride but I think we are starting to lose any semblance of balance between what is now considered "technical XC" trail and "all mountain" flat brim bro flow.

    A short number of years ago the trail systems were XC and technical oriented, roots, rocks, picking lines, off camber semi slick stuff etc. and the bike parks were where folks went for their bro flow. Now, much of those older XC oriented trails have been converted to sanitized dirt sidewalks where it is damn hard to find a bump let alone tech. It also seems that the vast majority of publicized trail building has been focused on flowish sanitized "beginner friendly" trails.

    VT already has a plethora of flow......I would say out my back door in KT is 90% sanitized flow at this point up from 75% just a couple years ago. I enjoyed riding down DMA and Moose last week in the mud just for some approximation of tech and slip.....and it was fantastic. Cady hill......dirt sidewalks of flow (Schween loop excluded in my rant), which are fun.....but again recently sanitized for "beginner and intermediate friendly riding".

    The hard part is that the "if you build flow the bros will come" philosophy proves itself out with plenty of beer and pizza sales. In the absence of something else bringing jobs into VT, the organized groups keep doing what they know works in their mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by River19 View Post
    I value Dave's opinions as he is closer to many aspects of VT mountain biking than many of us are, and while I may not 100% agree with every opinion, I believe he is spot on with regards to this specific case study of spending.

    To me, I would like to think perhaps this $50K per mile trail will be the point in time we can reference where the over saturation of sanitized flow building in VT jumps the shark.

    Again, I enjoy riding some flow here and there and they can be a fun reward within a long ride but I think we are starting to lose any semblance of balance between what is now considered "technical XC" trail and "all mountain" flat brim bro flow.

    A short number of years ago the trail systems were XC and technical oriented, roots, rocks, picking lines, off camber semi slick stuff etc. and the bike parks were where folks went for their bro flow. Now, much of those older XC oriented trails have been converted to sanitized dirt sidewalks where it is damn hard to find a bump let alone tech. It also seems that the vast majority of publicized trail building has been focused on flowish sanitized "beginner friendly" trails.

    VT already has a plethora of flow......I would say out my back door in KT is 90% sanitized flow at this point up from 75% just a couple years ago. I enjoyed riding down DMA and Moose last week in the mud just for some approximation of tech and slip.....and it was fantastic. Cady hill......dirt sidewalks of flow (Schween loop excluded in my rant), which are fun.....but again recently sanitized for "beginner and intermediate friendly riding".

    The hard part is that the "if you build flow the bros will come" philosophy proves itself out with plenty of beer and pizza sales. In the absence of something else bringing jobs into VT, the organized groups keep doing what they know works in their mind.
    Right. Now spend a couple few years reading text books about tourism, eco-tourism, reacreational development, and a couple decades working in the hospitality industry. After that, folks might start to question how good for the state more Pizza and Beer related jobs are.

    Negative impacts of tourism are externalized in the economic impact studies. The conclusion that tourism is good for the state is made first, then the study is created to reflect that. This is chapter 1 in any tourism development text book. The Economic Impact Study is a case study in how to use statistics to prove a lie. That economic model is a wealth extraction at the cost of the environment, local life-experience, and our chances of economic upward mobility.

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    The "service industry" is a polite accepted way to say "you serve out of state tourists". And to your point, the jobs are low wage jobs of servitude. Sure for the couple hundred jobs in breweries the VT Beer tourism sector is nice, but for the severael thousand pulling taps at the pizza joints, it is an hourly wage gig with very little upward mobility.

    That being said, MTB tourism investments are just a syptom of the larger problem of the VT tourist based economy.

    It just sucks that due to rider volume, and sport expansion the bulk of new trail building is overly expensive and completely devoid of any real mountain biking.

    I hold nothing against Ide personally, I have met him but don't claim to "know" him, but he is a dirt jumper and dirt jumping is his passion, did anyone really think VT was going to get anything but a skinnier downhill BMX track when they hired him?

    He's done a lot of work on the VHS trails as well and I wouldn't exactly call those classic VT singletrack etc. 'Enduro" is the new thing and trail building is catering to that hot niche now.

    Now more than ever I understand the attitudes of some of the "old school" guys wanting to keep any known classic rake and ride type stuff relatively hidden and on the DL for fear of it going the way everything else has as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by River19 View Post
    The "service industry" is a polite accepted way to say "you serve out of state tourists". And to your point, the jobs are low wage jobs of servitude. Sure for the couple hundred jobs in breweries the VT Beer tourism sector is nice, but for the severael thousand pulling taps at the pizza joints, it is an hourly wage gig with very little upward mobility.

    That being said, MTB tourism investments are just a syptom of the larger problem of the VT tourist based economy.

    It just sucks that due to rider volume, and sport expansion the bulk of new trail building is overly expensive and completely devoid of any real mountain biking.

    I hold nothing against Ide personally, I have met him but don't claim to "know" him, but he is a dirt jumper and dirt jumping is his passion, did anyone really think VT was going to get anything but a skinnier downhill BMX track when they hired him?

    He's done a lot of work on the VHS trails as well and I wouldn't exactly call those classic VT singletrack etc. 'Enduro" is the new thing and trail building is catering to that hot niche now.

    Now more than ever I understand the attitudes of some of the "old school" guys wanting to keep any known classic rake and ride type stuff relatively hidden and on the DL for fear of it going the way everything else has as well.
    The nature of the trail was decided upon by the club and state. Brooke Scatchard did the design for 10 grand with help from an out-of-state trail co. Knight won the bid at 6 bucks a foot. Total for build...$75k. 10K for design. Now the state will add signage, kiosk? Likely for another 5k? Total cost will end up somewhere north of 90k. That doesn't include the time spent over the last 9 years planning, meeting, site-visiting by a number of state employees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by River19 View Post
    I hold nothing against Ide personally, I have met him but don't claim to "know" him, but he is a dirt jumper and dirt jumping is his passion, did anyone really think VT was going to get anything but a skinnier downhill BMX track when they hired him?

    He's done a lot of work on the VHS trails as well and I wouldn't exactly call those classic VT singletrack etc. 'Enduro" is the new thing and trail building is catering to that hot niche now.
    What are the VHS trails?

    As daveVT says, it's not fair to pin a nationally popular trail construction style on Knight, the Victory Trails he's been working on on the back side of Burke aren't smooth dirt highways.

    It's not like he's scared of rocks, he's an amazing masonry contractor if he's anything: Portfolio | Olde World Masonry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdlman View Post
    What are the VHS trails?

    As daveVT says, it's not fair to pin a nationally popular trail construction style on Knight, the Victory Trails he's been working on on the back side of Burke aren't smooth dirt highways.

    It's not like he's scared of rocks, he's an amazing masonry contractor if he's anything: Portfolio | Olde World Masonry
    I like Knight. I like Brooke. It has nothing to do with the individuals. It's the model. You can't blame these folks for trying to make a living. Trail construction for $ on public land is what seems to just not add up. At resorts. Yes. Private land owners wanting trails...sure. Otherwise, I don't get why riders can't make their own trails around here. Worked for years. Works other places. The difference now, or here vs., say NH or Maine is that the VT dept. of tourism wants to package MTB and sell it to folks who would never have been riders when trails were created to be a challenge instead of an amusement attraction. The core group of trail stewards just weren't interested in building that, and so the trail contractor was born. That's the evolution I watched happen. When the state and state mtb org. want to build for visitors....as a product....this is what you get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdlman View Post
    What are the VHS trails?

    As daveVT says, it's not fair to pin a nationally popular trail construction style on Knight, the Victory Trails he's been working on on the back side of Burke aren't smooth dirt highways.

    It's not like he's scared of rocks, he's an amazing masonry contractor if he's anything: Portfolio | Olde World Masonry
    VHS are the Victory trails you referred to.

    I didn't mean to make it sound like a Knight specific thing, he was just a recent example......if someone paid me $75K to make a 2 mile trail, I'd do it too. To your point, it is a nationally popular trail format; if that is the style someone wants built, who better than someone passionate about dirt jumping like Knight. That being said, other destination MTB areas/states don't have near the % of infiltration by "flow" style sanitized trails as VT does.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but the bulk of new publicized trail building projects in the area either are sanitizing existing trail, adding berms etc. or building "systems" centered on small acreage with a format of "climb up, bomb down the new park style trails". Again, not a horrible format, but when is enough enough?
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    I understand where you guys might be coming from, but look where this thread ended up. OP talks about a new short trail with fun jumps, turns into people upset with the state of mountain-biking trail finance in the state.

    Sure, I have no clue how much trail costs per mile should average, but I am super happy my tax dollars are not only going towards something that isn't pure public junk, but something I might actually get some use out of one day. Or that someone else might use the and make other trails less dense.

    That's where I feel like you guys might have your other issues, we see all these threads turning into how a trail is dumb'd down so everyone can ride. I personally have only ridden at about 5 bike parks in this state and every one of them has had something cool to offer that's unique. Its like a large playground, but people don;t want others or out of stater's on it.

    Personally we had part of our local trails taken away because of some cliff jumpers in the quarries @ Millstone. That I feel is something to complain about, because its one less trail. However it seems like the more trails open the more complaints with "the system" we see on this regional section. Instead I'll just ride one of the other 50 other trails next to my house that is still open. That's the nice thing about VT, any of us could complain about a trail then load up a bike and only drive 15-20 min to the next completely different trail system.

    In Albany, NY where I'm from, there are 2 places to ride bikes that aren't paths. A rail trail and one small nice, but non-tech flowy machine trail and those serve the population of close to that of the entire state of VT. They also have no real public land use for ATV's, disc golf areas and other public use facilities that this state does. And when it comes to misuse of tax dollars "NY State" speaks for itself.

    So all I'm saying is we should enjoy riding this weekend, its supposed to be dry weather, and I'm headed up to Brunswick Maine for a day to waste some tourist dollars there.

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    Just to help us remove our heads from our sappy Vermont asses for a minute, let's consider what's going on in other parts of the country.

    Knoxville, TN won the $100,000 Bell Built bike grant last year (which Kingdom Trails was clawing for). With that money, they built a 0.6 mile (yes, zero point six mile) downhill flow trail called the "Devil's Raceway."

    Knight actually helped build some of it, too. It gives him credit for the rock garden segment. Not sure if he put in any shovel or excavator time.

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/701...track-downhill

    So in terms of cost per length, the new trail at Little River is roughly 400% more cost effective than what they accomplished in Knoxville. The main difference being that LR used taxpayer money while Knoxville used a corporate donation. But still. I am sure that state money was already earmarked for recreation purposes.

    Will the state fork over money for old-school, hand-built, shin-bashing trails? Only time will tell, but I have faith that VMBA sees the value of diverse projects and satisfying their funding base, which is overwhelmingly Vermont riders and residents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    . But still. I am sure that state money was already earmarked for recreation purposes.
    Earmarked or not, it shouldn't have cost that much or it should have built a lot more trail.

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    moved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Earmarked or not, it shouldn't have cost that much or it should have built a lot more trail.
    Fed. $ BTW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    Just to help us remove our heads from our sappy Vermont asses for a minute, let's consider what's going on in other parts of the country.

    Knoxville, TN won the $100,000 Bell Built bike grant last year (which Kingdom Trails was clawing for). With that money, they built a 0.6 mile (yes, zero point six mile) downhill flow trail called the "Devil's Raceway."

    Knight actually helped build some of it, too. It gives him credit for the rock garden segment. Not sure if he put in any shovel or excavator time.

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/701...track-downhill

    So in terms of cost per length, the new trail at Little River is roughly 400% more cost effective than what they accomplished in Knoxville. The main difference being that LR used taxpayer money while Knoxville used a corporate donation. But still. I am sure that state money was already earmarked for recreation purposes.

    Will the state fork over money for old-school, hand-built, shin-bashing trails? Only time will tell, but I have faith that VMBA sees the value of diverse projects and satisfying their funding base, which is overwhelmingly Vermont riders and residents.
    4x as ridiculous but yes, who cares. It's the wasteful public spending that should seriously raise a debate about WTF we are doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    moved.
    Huh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Huh?
    http://forums.mtbr.com/trail-buildin...a-1024100.html

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    edited
    Last edited by GreenMtnRider; 09-28-2016 at 07:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Huh?
    I posted my response that it was federal not state money in the wrong part of the thread and you can't delete, so I moved it to the bottom in response to it being "State money ear marked for rec."

    The thread in the Trail Builder's forum was just to see what others in other area had to say. My post there was neutral. Folks seem to think it's a bit ridiculous over there as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    I encourage you to get involved with VMBA in some capacity, as a Board member or just as a voice at meetings, to make your opinions heard if you are as passionate as you seem to be about how, when, and why the State is involved with mountain biking. They need to hear from all perspectives.

    Otherwise it's just internet diarrhea. Which is of course fine if you just like complaining on here but aren't actually serious enough to stick your neck out in real life.

    Myself, I talk **** on here and I joined my local trail org because I realize it's the only way for me to have a real impact.

    Not a personal attack, Dave. I am just trying to figure out what you're after. Real talk or just internet diarrhea.

    Are the trails you're building in Northfield legal? Do you have any guarantees that they can't be shut down tomorrow?

    How can we convince the State that old-school style trails are a worthwhile investment? If we can't, then I see suggest you let the state do their thing, and you do yours. You are doing different things, and you don't really overlap or affect each other in any way, so I don't know why it upsets you.
    We were VMBA Chapter here. I was active in my local club, but the VMBA way is affirmation or exclusion. They don't want opinions, they want membership drivers.


    As a member and advocate of the Fellowship, it makes sense for you to try and walk the line here. I am free to say what I want to, which is generally just reality as normal folks outside the VMBA bubble see it. Orgs like VBMA flood the internet and social media with self praise and create consent like bloggers generate revenue through site hits. The inner circle "Likes" and "Shares" and Oooo-rahs every little root that gets cut out. Every tree removed. Every fest and event to the point of nausea. I choose to flood the internet with what the other massive block of riders thinks and says.

    If VMBA thinks I'm fringe in my beliefs then they need to stop surrounding themselves with themselves and realize that they are ruining the scene for the folks who created it. #uck meetings. I'll be in the woods making trail, like always. With no promise of anything.

    Keep trying to make this about me. Total diversion from the ridiculous project just celebrated by all involved. Yea! Go Us! Here we are at the ribbon cutting! Yeah!
    puke.

    FWIW, VMBA put us on their map with no outreach before hand. That affected us. I think I'll pass on joining the club. Fortunately no one else who puts in here wants it either.

    Also, when you pick up a tool, and go build a trail that anyone from anywhere can go ride for free and it betters their day, I think you made a real impact. When you go to meetings you just make work for other people but reserve some portion of the credit for yourselves. Who knows, maybe you'll end up with a bench somewhere with your name on it.

    At this point I'm a few thousand hours deep in volunteer time in my town. Funny that those hours of my life spent largely alone building trail very slowly that now hundreds of folks a month use is not considered as a contribution because I don't go to meetings. I don't get MTB anymore.
    Last edited by DaveVt; 09-28-2016 at 07:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    ...FWIW, VMBA put us on their map with no outreach before hand. That affected us...
    Yeah, I'd really like this explained by VMBA-- putting trails on the VMBA map that VMBA has nothing to do with was a really trashy power-grab, threatening sort of move, IMO. Like-- "nothing can be outside of VMBA, now you are on our map, now you must become part of us." Eff that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haint View Post
    Sheep. DaveVT wants to sheer some sheep.
    No thanks Dave, no sheerin'. Getcher own.
    Always fun reading your posts. Mostly because I rarely have any idea what you mean exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    I posted my response that it was federal not state money in the wrong part of the thread and you can't delete, so I moved it to the bottom in response to it being "State money ear marked for rec."

    The thread in the Trail Builder's forum was just to see what others in other area had to say. My post there was neutral. Folks seem to think it's a bit ridiculous over there as well.
    Oh, gotcha. I'm a little slow on the uptake.

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    Here are my random musings bouncing around my head after thinking about this for a couple days......I don't expect everyone to agree and frankly I'm 100% fine with that; I don't need a "like" count to make me feel good.......lol Take it for what it is, my personal opinion and observations from the saddle....

    The inner workings of the VT MTB political machine seems centered in the Stowe-ish area, maybe I'm wrong but it seems like the primary MTB advocacy organizations in VT seems to have a lot of self congratulatory back slapping among each other. FOTW, MTBVT, VMBA, Stowe MTB, etc.

    I don't have any connection to any of the clubs; I am familiar with several players within them through various encounters through the years but I have no real dog in the fight per se; my primary gripe is with where the MTB scene in New England and VT in particular seems to be heading.

    Many of the folks who put MTB on the map as even a niche of the bike world are now entering their late 40's-60's; Many of those guys that I know still have the passion for "getting out there" getting away from the crowds, getting dirty, pinning some skill against Mother Nature's canvas, riding some slow tech that kicks their ass still after all these years. I don't see them yearning for 80% high speed flow with a mass of riders lapping THE climbing trail to one or two downhill runs with 100 of their flat brimmed bretheran.

    I think overall I am just asking "where is the balance?" Why does every trail need to be smooth and 4' wide with 5 berms? Especially when that trail seems to cost so damn much to build.

    The organizations keep throwing "fests" and events and raising money which from what I can tell is spent on the Mini-x guys and more hats and stickers. Friggin sad when I start thinking perhaps the lycra clad Armies of French Canadians on hardtails and XC FS bikes may have their crap together more than VT.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by River19 View Post
    Here are my random musings bouncing around my head after thinking about this for a couple days......I don't expect everyone to agree and frankly I'm 100% fine with that; I don't need a "like" count to make me feel good.......lol Take it for what it is, my personal opinion and observations from the saddle....

    The inner workings of the VT MTB political machine seems centered in the Stowe-ish area, maybe I'm wrong but it seems like the primary MTB advocacy organizations in VT seems to have a lot of self congratulatory back slapping among each other. FOTW, MTBVT, VMBA, Stowe MTB, etc.

    I don't have any connection to any of the clubs; I am familiar with several players within them through various encounters through the years but I have no real dog in the fight per se; my primary gripe is with where the MTB scene in New England and VT in particular seems to be heading.

    Many of the folks who put MTB on the map as even a niche of the bike world are now entering their late 40's-60's; Many of those guys that I know still have the passion for "getting out there" getting away from the crowds, getting dirty, pinning some skill against Mother Nature's canvas, riding some slow tech that kicks their ass still after all these years. I don't see them yearning for 80% high speed flow with a mass of riders lapping THE climbing trail to one or two downhill runs with 100 of their flat brimmed bretheran.

    I think overall I am just asking "where is the balance?" Why does every trail need to be smooth and 4' wide with 5 berms? Especially when that trail seems to cost so damn much to build.

    The organizations keep throwing "fests" and events and raising money which from what I can tell is spent on the Mini-x guys and more hats and stickers. Friggin sad when I start thinking perhaps the lycra clad Armies of French Canadians on hardtails and XC FS bikes may have their crap together more than VT.......
    Thanks for sharing that with everyone. I hope that everyone else that PMs me would share their thoughts as well. Honestly, if the fests and event's came close to even paying for a significant portion of the trails built I would be OK with it. The model is so so far from sustainable. Begging for grants. Parasites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteRash View Post
    Yeah, I'd really like this explained by VMBA-- putting trails on the VMBA map that VMBA has nothing to do with was a really trashy power-grab, threatening sort of move, IMO. Like-- "nothing can be outside of VMBA, now you are on our map, now you must become part of us." Eff that!
    Dave, are you sure VMBA didn't contact anyone at Norwich or Shaw Outdoor Center about putting those trails on the map? Because they asked me before putting any FOTW trails on the map.

    You say the pizza and beer jobs aren't worth it, but I thought you seemed kinda stoked that there was actually a halfway decent pub in Northfield now, and I see another brewery is opening in town. That doesn't seem half bad. So if visiting MTBers help keep that local pub open, is that not a good thing?

    Also, it bothers me to see FOTW lumped into the "problem" group in these discussions. I think we've done an incredible job of maintaining a lot of our trails' authenticity despite the number of riders we have to deal with. We have over 1000 members this year, which means there are probably 3,000 or so regular mountain bikers in Chittenden County. That's a lot of tires on the dirt which makes a lot of work for our trail crew. Yes, Saxon is flowy, but it has always been that way. It's sandy. Flow trails didn't even exist when that was built - it was just that way.

    There is a plan to deroot Mud Pond. It has gotten so rooty over the years from use and abuse that nobody even wants to ride there anymore. We could let it go, and lose those miles of nearby, convenient trails, or we could do some work to bring them back. But I am afraid that will be met with criticism, even from people who have never and will never ride that little network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    Dave, are you sure VMBA didn't contact anyone at Norwich or Shaw Outdoor Center about putting those trails on the map? Because they asked me before putting any FOTW trails on the map.

    You say the pizza and beer jobs aren't worth it, but I thought you seemed kinda stoked that there was actually a halfway decent pub in Northfield now, and I see another brewery is opening in town. That doesn't seem half bad. So if visiting MTBers help keep that local pub open, is that not a good thing?

    Also, it bothers me to see FOTW lumped into the "problem" group in these discussions. I think we've done an incredible job of maintaining a lot of our trails' authenticity despite the number of riders we have to deal with. We have over 1000 members this year, which means there are probably 3,000 or so regular mountain bikers in Chittenden County. That's a lot of tires on the dirt which makes a lot of work for our trail crew. Yes, Saxon is flowy, but it has always been that way. It's sandy. Flow trails didn't even exist when that was built - it was just that way.

    There is a plan to deroot Mud Pond. It has gotten so rooty over the years from use and abuse that nobody even wants to ride there anymore. We could let it go, and lose those miles of nearby, convenient trails, or we could do some work to bring them back. But I am afraid that will be met with criticism, even from people who have never and will never ride that little network.
    Yes. Despite the fact the I had an open line of communication with Stuessy, they intentionally avoided reaching out and called the school to ask. The school has absolutely no clue about trails, riding, the situation in town, and they don't care. The project was a way for them to take in a million dollar donation if they built a rec. center on the old ski hill for students. So they did, but used a large potion of the money to prep a building site that they then sold to CVT medical center for more $. Then they defunded the project, gave the Shaw Center building to ROTC, and eliminated the Shaw Center manager's position.

    When I talked to Tom, he was attempting to make it seem as though the school wanted to be on the map, but I already knew they cold-called the school. After he attempted to sell me this "Mis-truth" I told him I knew VMBA called to school, not the other way around at which point he said, " Well, it's a way we can make money off people who aren't going to become members and we only mapped the school trails."

    Of course, this is ridiculous because A: VMBA had nothing to do with the trails.
    B: The Shaw center is interconnected to the rest of the primitive trails and of course folks were going to spill onto the rest of the network.
    C: Many of their own chapters didn't want to be mapped and the local trail stewards were given a choice.

    Tom intentionally cut out of the conversation the person that he knew was doing all the work, who he knew had been engaged with the town to try and ease the issues we were having with access to the main climb through the town forest, and set back that relationship with a massive jump in traffic and impact to our trails.

    Then, he went to Noah to try and get him to start a VMBA chapter, again attempting to cut out the individual he knew was the one person in town doing any work because I had already told him we weren't interested after I reviewed the packet he sent me. THEN, Noah made up some story about how the school was starting a chapter because he knew how underhanded the whole line of communication with VMBA was.

    The whole deal was SO douchey. I have very little respect for Tom, Angus, or anyone else involved in that effort. It's the opposite of a grass roots, community trail effort. It's a classic neo-liberal power grab for personal gain. Douche bags.

  65. #65
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    Dave, the next time I'm in Vermont, probably this winter, I want to buy you a beer.

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    So its nestled in here somewhere?
    New Loop at Little River-2screen-shot-2016-09-29-3.56.54-pm.jpg


    New Loop at Little River-screen-shot-2016-09-29-3.58.21-pm.jpg

    New Loop at Little River-screen-shot-2016-09-29-3.56.54-pm.jpg

    Looks steep on the topo, and from memory hiking / riding / skiing through there, it can be pretty steep off the Daley Loop Trail and Stevenson Brook Trail.

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    You gonna stalk him now?

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    New Loop at Little River-img_0840.jpg

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    Mike, I stumbled onto a new section, probably this trail, while riding through there from Stowe (the usual "xvt" route). Didn't take it because it was taped off, but must have been it.

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    That looks sweet. Looking forward to checking it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    Mike, I stumbled onto a new section, probably this trail, while riding through there from Stowe (the usual "xvt" route). Didn't take it because it was taped off, but must have been it.
    Figured out its location! And then found that map. I'll ride it from the c-Brook side sometime this fall. Maybe in an overnight...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haint View Post
    Well, I know where you are coming from Dave to a 'T'.

    I cherish the reply made a couple weeks back.

    Something about your trials and a funding cabal to the Iraq invasion of 2003.

    Time to take (another) break Dave.

    Signed - not a Sheep, a perfectly normal little boy! Who just happens to be a transvestite! Which ... begins with the letter T.
    See, S'wat I'm sayn. Not sure if you are agreeing with me about the excessive nature of this trail funding, or the fact that I rarely understand what your talking about.

    Either way, no matter. I think a lot of people who might not have realized, have a better (bitter) understanding of the resources being used for this type of development.

    Some involved with the clubbing of VT MTB try to steer the conversation away and make it about me. This is a classic tendency. Chomsky calls it Character Assassination. The Romans killed the bringers of bad news. Ultimately, you can't hide from the truth, the truth is all that's real.
    That's about as cryptic as I can get on a half a cup of Joe. Here's some music from my favorite sexy euro-chick. I know I can't out-weird you, but I can play in your yard for a minute.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCRB8LvlcHA

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haint View Post
    Creepy Dave w/o a Miter Box:

    I get it, we all get it. No one can stop you and this bonfire of the vanities.

    Like I'd made clear - it's the wild tangents which define your time here. It's embarrassing Dave - you repeat yourself to no end.

    Best.

    The high temperature today, Friday September 30th is --- 64 degrees.
    If you're embarrassed for me, then you must care. That's sweet. Honestly, I don't care. There's no tangent. When I'm confronted with the same questions, and I answer honestly, you get the same answer.
    Keep making about me Haint. It haint about me.
    The promotion of every VMBA project is repetitive. The trails being made are redundant. The personal attacks and avoiding of the real issue are the embarrassment. You could always just not participate.....

    The mother of all tangents here, but one of my favorite subjects to read about as a gnostic being. Applied Philosophy. Enjoy, or don't. I don't give a crap, but it is the truth. Posted just for Haint, since he seems to show empathy for my condition...and for some humor. Most humans develop a philosophy to establish a "meaning of life".... then abandon it in their daily existence. The truth IS all that's real. Anything else is a distraction and should be discarded. I.E. any judgement or even interest of me, personally in this dialogue.
    Applied Philosophy
    "Applied philosophy is marked out from philosophy in general by its focus on matters of practical concern. It is often identified with applied ethics, but although this forms a large part of the area of applied philosophy, the broader term includes discussion of philosophical problems, some metaphysical, some epistemological, in fields such as law, education or art, that are not strictly or uniquely ethical. Applied ethics also includes the area of professional ethics; it examines the ethical dilemmas and challenges met with by workers in health-care, business and other areas where specific ethical issues such as confidentiality and truth-telling may arise.

    The Proper Preoccupations of Philosophy
    Philosophy is often regarded as the most abstract of studies, so the term 'applied philosophy' needs some explanation. It represents the claim that it is possible to build bridges between theory and practice and, in particular, that philosophy is not only an internal movement in philosophy but that it can and should play a role in public debate. This should not be seen, though, as a bid to claim expertise on the part of philosophers but rather as a reassertion of the traditional conception of the philosopher, not as an expert, but as an honest and open seeker after truth. This search involves accepting the possibility of rational argument about normative directions. It does not mean, though, maintaining a posture of uninvolved neutrality As philosophy, indeed, it involves a prior commitment to the values of rationality, impartiality and equality of respect for individuals, and these provide the foundation for the moral values and range of rights that are fundamental to applied ethics. Applied philosophy, then, is part of a whole view of the human condition and takes a broad view of ethical decision-making. It can therefore accept as part of its task the identification and discussion of values capable of securing widespread acceptance in the contemporary world. For philosophy has traditionally been concerned, not only with abstract reflection but also with questions about how we should live and how we should conduct our social life and political affairs.
    Today's applied philosophy, then, marks a return to what have always been proper preoccupations of philosophers. Some of these preoccupations are old and could be said to have a perennial interest - intimate relationships and family life, for example, or global issues of peace and war. Others are the product of new technologies, revolutions in communication, new weapons of indiscriminate destruction, and an unprecedented increase in the impact of humans on their environment and support systems. Applied philosophy and especially applied ethics yields scope and space for discussion of these issues of public policy. To all these debates, it can bring clarity, openness, critical analysis, and respect for careful evaluation of arguments. At the same time, it represents a shift from the view that philosophy can only analyse and clarify problems but is not able to take on the task of seeking answers to them.
    Applied philosophy differs in style and approach from some mainstream philosophy in other ways, too. It gives greater attention to context and to the detailed texture of complex situations and it is also more holistic in approach - that is to say, it is much more ready to include the insights of psychology, sociology and other relevant areas of knowledge in its deliberations, and to allow the facts it finds there to influence its conclusions. Its method of reasoning could be compared to that of a designer who starts with a blueprint, but has to adapt it to the materials to hand and to the situations in which it is required."
    It is currently mostly cloudy. I don't know why that matters....

  74. #74
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    More random musings by a semi-sane rider.....

    It's funny, I remember seeing these long ribbons of flowy smooth rolling single track in magazines from "out west"and thinking......man that would be fun. And it is. but if someone told us that we can have that here in New England/Northeast but you have to give up much of your existing rocky, rooty, sometimes muddy tight single track to get it.....perhaps many of us would have chosen to just enjoy the flowy stuff when we travel vs. selling the soul out of Northeastern mountain biking.

    The tough part is.....online in these forums that "where is the damn balance?" mindset is marginalized and we could be perceived as the grumpy old men that don't like "change". I can understand that perception to an extent, and perhaps maybe I am the grumpy old 41 year old that likes variety in my life when it comes to trails.

    Additionally, there are a lot of folks that feel the same way I(we) do about needing to pump the brakes on flow trail building and trail sanitization where possible and think about getting some balance back in the trail offerings in northern New England. Some of those folks are so sick of being marginalized by the "MTB Advocates" that they don't bother with the online battles.

    Some of them also work in places where they can't be known to not be 100% on board with the direction things are going.....perhaps they work in a supporting outdoor store, shop, brewery, pub, etc. that relies on the business of VT MTB. But when they punch out it pisses them off that the choices are: flow, flow, 3 miles of singletrack, or flow flow flow.

    which brings me to another semi-rhetorical question......if one of the goals of VMBA et al is to "grow the sport" and to make mountain biking "more accessible" to more people........then why couldn't they leverage some common sense in the trail systems? There are Green, Blue and Black diamond designations borrowed from skiing for a reason. Why does it seem that every "black diamond" trail needs to be rollable by Spanky the 9yo son of a NJ couple who just got his first bike?

    In skiing, Spanky fresh off his first lesson on the bunny hill would die if he hit a black diamond trail......and that is the point.....there are trail ratings and variety on mountains for a reason.....to keep people of all levels entertained and challenged and to keep people safe.

    And I don't want people to hide behind the "sustainability" or "low maintenance" nature of flow trails and sanitized trails as the answer. There are ways to keep the trail from washing away and low maint. without creating a dirt sidewalk. Boulders, natural features and off camber sections can live in harmony with a correctly rated trail and the expectation of personal responsibility. If Spanky doesn't have the skill to ride the black diamond.....it will be OK, Spanky can improve his skills like we all did with some bruises along the way.

    Man I don't know why I am so passionate about this **** these days......
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    Is regular old trail disappearing at an alarming rate?
    I know there are efforts to get some trail that sees heavy use built or upgraded to handle the traffic, but is it really that there isn't regular good ole NE chunky rocky rooty slimy singletrack to ride anymore?

    Serious question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Is regular old trail disappearing at an alarming rate?
    I know there are efforts to get some trail that sees heavy use built or upgraded to handle the traffic, but is it really that there isn't regular good ole NE chunky rocky rooty slimy singletrack to ride anymore?

    Serious question.
    There has been no publicly funded trail work since it's inception that has been anything but trail that everyone can ride, or rehabilitation of old, impacted trail where the only option has been to make the most challenging features much less challenging. We've lost entire riding areas full of expert only trail on State land. Then at the same time see six figure investments of flow trails on state land. Yes. The good old stuff is going away. The only thing being built officially are easy trail.

    I'm not blaming the builders here, it's a shift to MTB as a product. It's gotta be something everyone can eat or we won't get $ out of it.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Is regular old trail disappearing at an alarming rate?
    I know there are efforts to get some trail that sees heavy use built or upgraded to handle the traffic, but is it really that there isn't regular good ole NE chunky rocky rooty slimy singletrack to ride anymore?

    Serious question.
    No, this is not what's happening. I think people who argue to differ only have 2 real claims in their arsenal - trail work done at Perry Hill that some see as a dumbing down, and some work in Cady Hill. In both instances I think the work was warranted given the degradation of the trails occurring from super high traffic. When Dave says "we've lost entire areas," and you put it through the filter of truth, it turns into, "we've seen one area change a little bit and that is called Perry Hill."

    All local MTB chapters have complete autonomy regarding what trails they build and what they do to existing trails. VMBA does not determine this. VMBA supports local chapters through grants that are given for basically anything the chapter wants to pursue.

    If you are actually involved with VMBA you can see the whole picture and are aware of how many diverse trail projects are happening all over the state. You have to step out of your little microcosm bubble sometimes or things can get distorted.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    It is currently mostly cloudy. I don't know why that matters....
    Yeah, raining here for days. Oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by River19 View Post
    More random musings by a semi-sane rider.....

    It's funny, I remember seeing these long ribbons of flowy smooth rolling single track in magazines from "out west"and thinking......man that would be fun. And it is. but if someone told us that we can have that here in New England/Northeast but you have to give up much of your existing rocky, rooty, sometimes muddy tight single track to get it.....perhaps many of us would have chosen to just enjoy the flowy stuff when we travel vs. selling the soul out of Northeastern mountain biking.

    The tough part is.....online in these forums that "where is the damn balance?" mindset is marginalized and we could be perceived as the grumpy old men that don't like "change". I can understand that perception to an extent, and perhaps maybe I am the grumpy old 41 year old that likes variety in my life when it comes to trails.

    Additionally, there are a lot of folks that feel the same way I(we) do about needing to pump the brakes on flow trail building and trail sanitization where possible and think about getting some balance back in the trail offerings in northern New England. Some of those folks are so sick of being marginalized by the "MTB Advocates" that they don't bother with the online battles.

    Some of them also work in places where they can't be known to not be 100% on board with the direction things are going.....perhaps they work in a supporting outdoor store, shop, brewery, pub, etc. that relies on the business of VT MTB. But when they punch out it pisses them off that the choices are: flow, flow, 3 miles of singletrack, or flow flow flow.

    which brings me to another semi-rhetorical question......if one of the goals of VMBA et al is to "grow the sport" and to make mountain biking "more accessible" to more people........then why couldn't they leverage some common sense in the trail systems? There are Green, Blue and Black diamond designations borrowed from skiing for a reason. Why does it seem that every "black diamond" trail needs to be rollable by Spanky the 9yo son of a NJ couple who just got his first bike?

    In skiing, Spanky fresh off his first lesson on the bunny hill would die if he hit a black diamond trail......and that is the point.....there are trail ratings and variety on mountains for a reason.....to keep people of all levels entertained and challenged and to keep people safe.

    And I don't want people to hide behind the "sustainability" or "low maintenance" nature of flow trails and sanitized trails as the answer. There are ways to keep the trail from washing away and low maint. without creating a dirt sidewalk. Boulders, natural features and off camber sections can live in harmony with a correctly rated trail and the expectation of personal responsibility. If Spanky doesn't have the skill to ride the black diamond.....it will be OK, Spanky can improve his skills like we all did with some bruises along the way.

    Man I don't know why I am so passionate about this **** these days......
    I think this post is pretty awesome. Funny enough, my son who just turned 8 loves the chunky stuff. Prefers the rocky sections that are still left at our home trails. I might have been born in Jersey, (the beach/pine barrens), but at least he wasn't, lol!!! Don't Jersey Vermont!!! Hahahaha!

    I agree with feeling like you can't say much, for fear of being ostracized. If everyone is busy hoeing the company row, for whatever their reasons are, be it they actually agree, or they are just simply keeping their heads down in a political sense, (which I suspect is the most common reason) saying something to the contrary is going to be initially ignored, and then later a cause for backlash and targeting.

    It's what I see happening to Dave, and I admire the dude for sticking his ground. Most just simply will not stick to their guns like I see him doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Is regular old trail disappearing at an alarming rate?
    I know there are efforts to get some trail that sees heavy use built or upgraded to handle the traffic, but is it really that there isn't regular good ole NE chunky rocky rooty slimy singletrack to ride anymore?

    Serious question.
    Bmike, where I am, the answer to that is increasingly yeah unfortunately. Everytime a section gets closed for a reroute, it opens back up with width, rollers, banks/berms etc. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE rollers, and berms. I'm really good (or at least was) at building them when I was building dirt jumps with my bmx buds. Was like dirt sculpture. And dialed in. and they were for maintaining speed for our sets that were 15-20 foot. That was the point there. And we were on bikes with little wheels, that NEEDED that sort of thing, and we had no suspension. Rock hard smoothness was the key. But now, it's being built for 29" wheels, for 27.5 wheels, that are sprung often by 120-130mm of super active travel. Front AND rear. And the tires are getting fatter and grippier. And while it might be fun, it is getting over the top and it's getting really ironic, that we are buying these bikes to ride trail that you could practically skate down. A lot like buying a Ferrari, so you can light up the wheels to cruise over to the 7-11 around the corner, or to the next traffic light.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    There has been no publicly funded trail work since it's inception that has been anything but trail that everyone can ride, or rehabilitation of old, impacted trail where the only option has been to make the most challenging features much less challenging. We've lost entire riding areas full of expert only trail on State land. Then at the same time see six figure investments of flow trails on state land. Yes. The good old stuff is going away. The only thing being built officially are easy trail.

    I'm not blaming the builders here, it's a shift to MTB as a product. It's gotta be something everyone can eat or we won't get $ out of it.
    This. There is money tied to it now. And it's creating a monster. And politically disingenuous reasons for staunch support. But you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that stands to benefit from it, or benefit from some level of connection to it, admitting that truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    I might have been born in Jersey, (the beach/pine barrens)
    Hey, me too. LBI area. We're all just a bunch of Joeys.

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    The 'problem' of over building flow trails is unique to VT, IMO. There is plenty of tech to be had elsewhere in New England where flow trails are the exception. The limited machine-built trail that exists in our area has not been at the reduction of old school R&R trails, but have been newly created to offer diversity. If you don't like it you don't have to ride it but the overwhelming popularity speaks for itself. You want difficult, tech trails? Go to Franconia and sample their newest offerings. Demanding technical trails are alive and well if you seek them out.

    Whether it is appropriate for RTP grants to be building flow trails is a separate point, and opinions will differ dramatically, similar to any political discussion. This thread has gone way down that rabbit hole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    Hey, me too. LBI area. We're all just a bunch of Joeys.
    GTFO!? Me too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    The 'problem' of over building flow trails is unique to VT, IMO. There is plenty of tech to be had elsewhere in New England where flow trails are the exception. The limited machine-built trail that exists in our area has not been at the reduction of old school R&R trails, but have been newly created to offer diversity. If you don't like it you don't have to ride it but the overwhelming popularity speaks for itself. You want difficult, tech trails? Go to Franconia and sample their newest offerings. Demanding technical trails are alive and well if you seek them out.

    Whether it is appropriate for RTP grants to be building flow trails is a separate point, and opinions will differ dramatically, similar to any political discussion. This thread has gone way down that rabbit hole.
    I don't even know that it's a problem in VT either. It's new and some Flow trails have been built, but how many, really? Stowe has one, now Waterbury has one. Northfield has a pile of them. I ride almost every day in VT and haven't touched a flow trail in a month at least, not that I have anything against them, they're just vastly outnumbered by other trails. In most cases, nothing has been lost because of Flow trails. It is true that some of teh old school gnar is gone now, but that is mostly due to neglect or the loss of the lands they were on, that and people getting older and not wanting to cripple themselves anymore.

  83. #83
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    I'll add another random thought since this thread is so far off topic anyway. Park City, UT has an IMBA Platinum grade or something like that as the ultimate ride destination. I have friends there and have ridden there a few times. While there is a lot of killer riding, some of their machine-benched trails would have been amazing if they had incorporated rollers, turns and grade reversals instead of a straight line at a constant grade to a switchback and another straight flat trail to the next turn. One of my buddies who lives there is totally frustrated at the layout of some of their newer stuff. And i can see why.

    Sometimes we just don't know how good we have it. We should be thankful for the creative genius of guys like Brooke, Knight and Hardy because we could have the alternative. I know some of the PC guys would love to have our diversity.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    I don't even know that it's a problem in VT either. It's new and some Flow trails have been built, but how many, really? Stowe has one, now Waterbury has one. Northfield has a pile of them. I ride almost every day in VT and haven't touched a flow trail in a month at least, not that I have anything against them, they're just vastly outnumbered by other trails. In most cases, nothing has been lost because of Flow trails. It is true that some of teh old school gnar is gone now, but that is mostly due to neglect or the loss of the lands they were on, that and people getting older and not wanting to cripple themselves anymore.
    Yeah, you're probably right. I was trying to think about all the flow trails I was aware of and came up with only those three, but figured there must be more I don't know about. And quite honestly that's why I quoted 'problem', because i don't see it as a problem at all. It is super fun to rail berms and pump rollers and the smiles I see on little kids' faces tells me it's all OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    No, this is not what's happening. I think people who argue to differ only have 2 real claims in their arsenal - trail work done at Perry Hill that some see as a dumbing down, and some work in Cady Hill. In both instances I think the work was warranted given the degradation of the trails occurring from super high traffic. When Dave says "we've lost entire areas," and you put it through the filter of truth, it turns into, "we've seen one area change a little bit and that is called Perry Hill."

    All local MTB chapters have complete autonomy regarding what trails they build and what they do to existing trails. VMBA does not determine this. VMBA supports local chapters through grants that are given for basically anything the chapter wants to pursue.

    If you are actually involved with VMBA you can see the whole picture and are aware of how many diverse trail projects are happening all over the state. You have to step out of your little microcosm bubble sometimes or things can get distorted.
    Wasn't talking about Waterbury...but now that you mention it...
    How about Snake Mtn.?
    How about what's happening in Waitsfield?
    Where is the new expert trail? There is none. The filter of truth. Now you're insulting me.
    Kent Pond State park. All sidewalk. Little river state park. All Sidewalk. Everything new...sidewalk. Everything old that get's fixed...made easier. The marketing done by VMBA works. Traffic blows up. Trails that may have been sustainable as local trail nets are now part of a state package and the user numbers jump, and we are forced to dumb them down as they get blown apart by folks who show up to ride, then leave and never lend a hand.

    The clubs have complete autonomy.... but who are the club folks. Look at Waitsfield. Atkinson is hated by the locals. None of the folks who put those trails in want anything to do with the chapter, but goodness, read all the social media content and you think there was some great victory in trail building.

    Maybe VMBA need to go outside it's little microcosm and stop marginalizing dissenters and actually listen to what EVERYBODY is saying, not just to pricks that stand up and agree to be the shills for a tourism agenda.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    No, this is not what's happening. I think people who argue to differ only have 2 real claims in their arsenal - trail work done at Perry Hill that some see as a dumbing down, and some work in Cady Hill. In both instances I think the work was warranted given the degradation of the trails occurring from super high traffic. When Dave says "we've lost entire areas," and you put it through the filter of truth, it turns into, "we've seen one area change a little bit and that is called Perry Hill."
    I told myself I wouldn't chime in here as, for odd reasons, everything seems to get a little to personal, but couldn't resist (I suppose cuz Perry is personal to me). GreenMtnRider: I think you're wrong on this point. Perry got soooo much worse following sustainability initiatives. I believe this is because, whether intentional or not, sustainability goes hand in hand with accessibility. Were it my choice (call me an elitist, though I am not an elite-level mtn biker) trails would not be designed for the lowest common denominator. Stressing: were it my choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdubbs View Post
    I told myself I wouldn't chime in here as, for odd reasons, everything seems to get a little to personal,
    For me it may be because Brooke, Hardy, and Knight are people I'd list as friends (they may not in my direction) and those on "Dave's side" seem to be attacking them. They're doing a great job building what their employers request from them. In fact, such a good job that the community has witnessed an influx of riders so large that all trails are wearing the signs of stress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdubbs View Post
    For me it may be because Brooke, Hardy, and Knight are people I'd list as friends (they may not in my direction) and those on "Dave's side" seem to be attacking them. They're doing a great job building what their employers request from them. In fact, such a good job that the community has witnessed an influx of riders so large that all trails are wearing the signs of stress.
    I've already stated that it has nothing to do with the builders.

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    The conversation is about the huge cost, tax funded. Is it justifiable? Those involved in VMBA want to turn every conversation into a personal one, a deflection from my original point of 45,000 a mile for a bicycle trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    I've already stated that it has nothing to do with the builders.
    I know, Dave. That's why I put quotes around your name. BTW, I meant to add, things would be better if lazy, hedonist, f#$%KS like myself would put in a little time on the trail as opposed to sitting in front of the computer with a coffee and a seltzer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdubbs View Post
    I know, Dave. That's why I put quotes around your name. BTW, I meant to add, things would be better if lazy, hedonist, f#$%KS like myself would put in a little time on the trail as opposed to sitting in front of the computer with a coffee and a seltzer...
    Ha. You're always so self deprecating. However there is a good point there. Why are you not involved in WATA. There is no one more "in" in Waterbury then you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    The conversation is about the huge cost, tax funded. Is it justifiable? Those involved in VMBA want to turn every conversation into a personal one, a deflection from my original point of 45,000 a mile for a bicycle trail.
    I wonder if there are bigger fish to fry, Dave. I agree with your basic sentiments, but mightn't this be categorized under the saying, "penny-wise, pound foolish"? I.e. are there larger spending issues at hand that merit more attention? Entitlements? Education?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdubbs View Post
    I wonder if there are bigger fish to fry, Dave. I agree with your basic sentiments, but mightn't this be categorized under the saying, "penny-wise, pound foolish"? I.e. are there larger spending issues at hand that merit more attention? Entitlements? Education?
    It's a mountain biking forum on the intradnet. This is the place to talk about the stupid, meaningless concept of riding a bicycles through the woods. If you want to talk about defense spending, or corporate welfare...see me on FB. The sad part is that folks in real life will pass judgement on each other based on MTBR conversations. As I told GMR in his PM. I always view these interactions as just bull$hitting as if we were in the parking lot with a beer.
    For other folks, MTB in Vt is serious bidness. At the end of the day, it's hard to think of something more meaningless. That doesn't mean that the dynamics at work aren't worth talking about inside our bubble.....just not worth passing judgement on folks, in my opinion. Sadly, other take this $hit to have great meaning. If I ride with someone, and hang out, and get along with them, that's a real thing. This is just philosophical discussion, which is a hobby for me as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    Ha. You're always so self deprecating. However there is a good point there. Why are you not involved in WATA. There is no one more "in" in Waterbury then you.
    WATA is not making decisions with which I agree. Frankly, all I've seen I disagree with (other than the basic idea of making trail to get people off perry). I paid my dues, but want nothing to do with what I've seen them doing. I catch myself wondering whether or not I want that network to close (talk about selfish!!!).
    Seriously, though you know I'm all talk, when's the next trail day in NF?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdubbs View Post
    WATA is not making decisions with which I agree. Frankly, all I've seen I disagree with (other than the basic idea of making trail to get people off perry). I paid my dues, but want nothing to do with what I've seen them doing. I catch myself wondering whether or not I want that network to close (talk about selfish!!!).
    Seriously, though you know I'm all talk, when's the next trail day in NF?
    Trail work 16th. Big ride revisited on the 23rd with a couple few new miles of trail...

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    New Loop at Little River-img_0887.jpgSome folks might not like the new trail, but at least the comments here aren't as whack as on the Stowetoday / Waterbury Record site:

    Mountain bike trails expand, play larger role in state parks | Local News | stowetoday.com

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    Haha, Mike Vandeman wingnut virtuoso. He's been at it for years. It's almost an honor to be trolled by his loopy commentary. It means you've become important enough to be worthy of his rantings...https://www.outsideonline.com/180817...-mike-vandeman

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    Oh yeah, now I recognize the name!

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    moved
    Last edited by zaab70; 10-01-2016 at 12:28 PM. Reason: wrong spot

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0887.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	84.9 KB 
ID:	1097246Some folks might not like the new trail, but at least the comments here aren't as whack as on the Stowetoday / Waterbury Record site:

    Mountain bike trails expand, play larger role in state parks | Local News | stowetoday.com
    Oh my God, wow, we have made the big time.

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