Quantcast

Friday Five: Trail Maintenance

Discussion in 'Trail Building & Advocacy' started by BM1-Seb Kemp, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. BM1-Seb Kemp

    BM1-Seb Kemp Chimp

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 0
    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1

    Trails sustain our mountain biking experience. Without them all we would have is some really expensive fat tire bicycles with nowhere to go. To preserve our experience we need to conserve our trails. Below is a very cursory look at some techniques that make for good trails and which you can apply to existing trails to prolong their excellence.

    Friday Five: Trail Maintenance
     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

    Rep/Likes:
    135 / 1,235
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    20,924
    Location:
    In my pants

    And this is surely the most effective way to create braking bumps, loose pits of whatever material you happen to be riding on and generally a chewed up, destroyed section of trail.

    Come on Seb, you know a trail layout settled on by a bunch of people moving at standing speed sometimes needs revision. This holy little grain of "wisdom™" from IMBA treats an initial section of trail as if it were ordained by the jeebus. Rather than move crap into peoples' way that's just going to force them to slam the brakes, why not acknowledge that where momentum points sometimes warrants a reroute (usually by only a few feet).

    This IMBA created nonsense that crap needs to be put into peoples' way because of a poor initial route choice needs to die. It's more harmful to trails, people, lines of sight between users, and longevity than any corner cutting ever was.

    edit: and yes this only irritates me because of the many trail days I've volunteered on
     
    #2 -   Jul 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  3. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

    Rep/Likes:
    297 / 2,361
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    47,278
    Location:
    media blackout
    woo, i've also seen situations where a reroute made things worse.

    a spot on a local trail from when i used to live in NJ was the perfect example of this. there was a line in a section of trail with a slight turn just off the apex of a small (very small) hill. it was in a low spot and tended to get muddy. fixing the draining would have been a super super super super easy fix. did they do that? no. they rerouted the trail to the outside. so it created a decreasing radius, off camber turn. out of a speed section. the erosion from the reroute was astounding. it got completely blown out in a few weeks. all in the name of IMBA no less. i couldnt' have done a worse job if i was high on crack.
     
    #3 -   Jul 3, 2013
  4. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

    Rep/Likes:
    135 / 1,235
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    20,924
    Location:
    In my pants
    Again though, that's crappy routing.

    This issue has just become a bit of a sore spot with me over the last few years because I'm starting to see the exact same building techniques used all over Tahoe but also, everywhere else. Your trail getting a crappy reroute doesn't negate the idea of using a slight reroute to achieve a goal successfully. You just need someone who knows what they're doing. But pretty much all construction on trails that's happened in the last few years around here has created section upon section with horrendous lines of sight, all in the name of 'controlling speed', and or creating the 'sensation of speed'. What it has accomplished is bikers and hikers that don't see each other until the last second, and proof for all hikers and equestrians that bikes chew up trails because people are forced to be on the brakes hard, suddenly, and often. So much of what's been built lately is off camber grade reversals (which are fine) that are far far too tight. So the outside edges just get obliterated. And trails are getting built with so many turns to control speed, that far more dirt is getting churned up than a straighter section ever would have generated.

    The net effect is genuinely LESS sustainable trails than what was replaced. There's nothing wrong with open sections of trail and they're actually much much safer because people can see each other coming. This whole idea of creating chokes, actually just creates trail blindness where you're never able to react to something more than a few feet ahead.
     
    #4 -   Jul 3, 2013
  5. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

    Rep/Likes:
    297 / 2,361
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    47,278
    Location:
    media blackout
    its hard to describe, but the section i referred to was a slight re-route.

    my point was that there are no real hard and fast rules of building. but i definitely agree, more and more out there is getting worse and worse. i'm at the point i'm considering trying to start scouting out large plots of land out in the middle of nowhere PA (away from the meth towns) and just going nuts.
     
    #5 -   Jul 3, 2013
  6. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

    Rep/Likes:
    297 / 2,361
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    47,278
    Location:
    media blackout
    also, on the turns being built thing - that can be a good thing, if properly executed. there's a set of trails over in NJ that's a perfect example of it. terrain is flat (maybe 100' of vertical total through the entire park - which is old farmland), but they blasted out a 17 mile loop with some awesome and properly executed turns. i would take my sx there and i would be faster than most of the hardcore roadies/29ers.
     
    #6 -   Jul 3, 2013
  7. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

    Rep/Likes:
    297 / 2,361
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    47,278
    Location:
    media blackout
    this also occurred in the section i referred to in my original response
     
    #7 -   Jul 3, 2013
  8. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

    Rep/Likes:
    135 / 1,235
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    20,924
    Location:
    In my pants
    What's most abhorrent about this is that it's MOUNTAINBIKERS doing it. From Seb's article

    While that's true, what looks like sinewy, snaking ribbons moving on a bike is not what it looks like standing still building it. If a trail is broadening, decomission the inside and LET IT broaden. It's broadening because that's what the section above it has setup a biker and his/her momentum to do. This constant fight to contain what would otherwise be the natural flow of momentum just fvcks up trails.
     
    #8 -   Jul 3, 2013
  9. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

    Rep/Likes:
    297 / 2,361
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    47,278
    Location:
    media blackout
    i used to do a ton of stunt building BITD. rule of thumb i always followed was to build it bigger than you think it needs to be. always served me well. same with trails. design it for more speed than you think you'll be able to carry.
     
    #9 -   Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  10. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

    Rep/Likes:
    135 / 1,235
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    20,924
    Location:
    In my pants
    Oh for sure. 'overbuilding' needs to be much more of a mantra than 'keep riders in this particular 2ft wide strip at ALL COSTS!!' :rofl:
     
  11. TortugaTonta

    TortugaTonta Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    1 / 0
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    540

    I feel your pain. The other annoying thing is that these tards actually believe they know what they are doing and will not listen to constructive criticism.
     
  12. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

    Rep/Likes:
    135 / 1,235
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    20,924
    Location:
    In my pants
    Well to be fair, I think a lot of good has come out of the way trails are being built these days with bikes very much being considered in their use. As annoying as IMBA can be, they've done some good things in at least getting some standards out there. It's just this particular one that seems to be spreading with everything else that is just horribly thought out.

    Considering the percentage of riders out there that actually get involved on ANY level in trail construction it's tough to get too confrontational. But this approach of intentionally shutting people down with 'tight spots' instead of using gradients very obviously does the opposite of what most people want in terms of trail longevity.