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Examples of bad trail building

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp
We have all seen it. Berm bukkake, flow trails that don't flow etc.

This picture below is of a trail that was put in over a year ago; its a sanctioned and "legal" trail.

Problem is around here, these clubs will come out and have a furious dig night with a bunch of volunteers, they do it as quickly as possible. And then it's just left like that. Not very often are the trails corrected or changed after.

Or in this case, no comes through and points out all the man made punji sticks. This picture shows three of them. What's hard to tell here is how slippery this dirt is when it's wet.

Down the trail there are a bunch more punji sticks poking out on the of the trail.

Granted, for experienced riders that chances of falling on one is low, but this is a trail that is a few hundred feet from the backyards of a big subdivision. There are people rolling through here without helmets and on wobbly wheeled Walmart bikes. It'll only take one awkward fall (which we've all had...) for someone to end up with one of these things jabbing their insides.



Now don't get me wrong, it's great they are putting in new trail and don't want to just sound like a complainer. But if it's in an official manner, someone should be looking over their work...

Stay tuned for MOAR

Has anyone ever seen or ridden a berm made out of sand? :brows:
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp
Yep, up in Auckland is the Woodhill Bike park, it's nickname is "The Sandpit"
Sand is almost all they've got to work with. :cray:
My condolences :(

There's few here made of silt and sand....doesn't make sense when there is good dirt nearby.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
18,950
9,628
AK
Any “jump trails” you have to pedal/sprint like a XCO pro just to not come up short. Stop trying to make shit flat.
 
We have all seen it. Berm bukkake, flow trails that don't flow etc.

This picture below is of a trail that was put in over a year ago; its a sanctioned and "legal" trail.

Problem is around here, these clubs will come out and have a furious dig night with a bunch of volunteers, they do it as quickly as possible. And then it's just left like that. Not very often are the trails corrected or changed after.

Or in this case, no comes through and points out all the man made punji sticks. This picture shows three of them. What's hard to tell here is how slippery this dirt is when it's wet.

Down the trail there are a bunch more punji sticks poking out on the of the trail.

Granted, for experienced riders that chances of falling on one is low, but this is a trail that is a few hundred feet from the backyards of a big subdivision. There are people rolling through here without helmets and on wobbly wheeled Walmart bikes. It'll only take one awkward fall (which we've all had...) for someone to end up with one of these things jabbing their insides.



Now don't get me wrong, it's great they are putting in new trail and don't want to just sound like a complainer. But if it's in an official manner, someone should be looking over their work...

Stay tuned for MOAR

Has anyone ever seen or ridden a berm made out of sand? :brows:
We have a local VMBA chapter that was infamous for creating pungi sticks.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp
We have a local VMBA chapter that was infamous for creating pungi sticks.
Was? Did they learn better or did someone call them out on it?

I'm going to formulate an email to the club that left these - a polite heads up. It's not the first time I've seen them do it.
 

jstuhlman

bagpipe wanker
Dec 3, 2009
16,670
13,010
Cackalacka du Nord
when they first re-worked lower black in pisgah here they left punjis along both sides and then also tossed the brush they'd cut to the sides as well. not smart on a very high speed section of trail. some of the brush covered a large tree that had been cut out of the way too. i found that out the hard way when i clipped a pedal on it.

will also have to take some pictures of the "old yancey" ending versus the new, re-flowed "new" yancey ending. it's trbl. what a waste of fantastic terrain.
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
23,292
11,463
In the cleavage of the Tetons
On some trails around here the equestrian crowd thought they were doing everyone a favor by brush cutting and pruning with loppers…while actually riding ON horses. . The end result was a 10’-12’ foot canopy, with hundreds of sharply cut punjis at roughly chest to head height. Fucking unbelievable.
And they wanted kudos for their hard work.
Granted, that was a long time ago, I haven’t seen it since…but really MTB-ers do 80% of the volunteer trail building and maintenance Nowadays.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,384
20,175
Sleazattle
Not that big a deal with the local soil and the fact that it doesn't rain hard but drains are built with the slightest of of inclines to get water off the trail. So all that happens is any water slows down and dumps silt/organic materials that turn into dams and puddles. Need to maintain some velocity so all that shit washes off of the trail.

And everything that is a flow trail.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
this one is pretty bad



cut those chest spears, don't just take pics and bitch while leaving them there

I carry these in my backpack every spring to fix both natural and human caused disasters like that

that extra leverage from that funky geared pivot lets these things cut way bigger shit than you would think. They're pretty awesome

 
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rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
23,292
11,463
In the cleavage of the Tetons
I have three of those in different lengths, they fucking rock.
And don’t require a battery!
They also have an outstanding warranty if you bite off more than you can chew, and wreck a piece.
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
5,829
7,311
SADL
Our local 'experts' like to dig their dirt pit right next to the trails. So everywhere in the forest you can see mafia style cadavre pits right next to trails or inside berms which then fills with water after hard rain. We also have an XC Freeride trail...
 

HardtailHack

used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
6,706
5,590
The most popular local trails were all built so the berms started off with a decent shape and radius then all flattened on the exit so you can break your collarbone or scaphoid, it sucked.

Luckily the people that built the unsanctioned trails had some common sense and made decent berms.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp
cut those chest spears, don't just take pics and bitch while leaving them there
I would have removed them if I carried a tool like that, but don't. Hardly ever wear a backpack anymore..

Anyways... I've sent them a message about it. If they don't remove them, I'll go in and do it. Just removing them though and not telling them about it won't fix it in the long term though; they'll just keep doing it.

The one key difference to this, in my opinion, is that this work is being done as a representation of an "official" bike trail association or whatever you want to call it. They have to be held to higher standards, even if they are volunteers.

1684949222750.png
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,871
6,170
Yakistan
@boostindoubles , did you ever get that S. Afrikaaner to get back in his lane, and learn how to ride a little?
He's been putting in some uphill efforts that are netting him strava trophies. I assume he has relaxed some. Dude realized he needs to work on his handling skills after his kid took a bunch of KOMs.


He most recently sent me this clip and said stand back I am going to build this at your trails with left over orchard poles. I had to explain how the desert ruins wood features, is he prepared for the continual maintenance. I made him aware of WA states excellent liability protections, except for things like man made stunts.

I feel like the buzz kill trail police.

 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,871
6,170
Yakistan
JFC, does he think F.W. built those for fun, and not because the boggy soil sucks?
Maybe take his kid under your wing, and explain to him whatsup?
They have a tight relationship and it's best for me to tip toe out of the room. Their biggest hang up appears to be a fierce competitive streak. I've been trying to send the local pinners towards the kid so they can all chase each other around.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp
Sandy entrance - check
Useless "berm" - check
Sandy exit - check



"we built sustainable, responsible trails"

Then put trail through swamp area. :rofl:
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,384
20,175
Sleazattle
Sandy entrance - check
Useless "berm" - check
Sandy exit - check



"we built sustainable, responsible trails"

Then put trail through swamp area. :rofl:
When I lived in Virginia most of the volunteers who did trail building probably had never touched a tool in their lives and never even considered trail design. So a lot of laughable berms like that got built. My favorite was a little kicker jump with a steep uphill landing, I liked to call it the frame cracker.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,871
6,170
Yakistan
We had a work party at the trails to install more signage. I didn't take a single picture this time, oh well.

That ass hat is on the work party email list but didn't show up. He sent me this text though... lol

"Glad to see they going to start re moving the rock at Konnowac pass , well over due."

Dude is dedicated, that is for sure. Friggin roadie wants to be a mountain biker but doesn't understand they're not the same thing.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
18,950
9,628
AK
Our trail maint-day yesterday was so-so. Wasn't the worst, but it was disorganized, the trail manager should have split up groups first for the 3 trails we'd be doing. The tools were generally incorrect. We only had flat shovels and rakes. Although the two missions were fixing ruts and clearing drains, the drains are generally clogged bad and need mattocks or heavy mcleods to break up the crap, then round shovels to shovel that crap out...and then you have to fix the drainage where the low spot no longer goes to the drain. So the manager didn't explain the basics and I ended up having to fix most of the attempts at doing this. Basically they raked the crap INTO the drains in many cases and didn't re-shape for drainage/dig borrow pits and the like. It wasn't too hard, because in most places it had been done before, just all jammed up, but with poor direction, the results were not surprising. Sometimes I lead these, but I don't have the time to be one of the trail managers.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp
We had a work party at the trails to install more signage. I didn't take a single picture this time, oh well.

That ass hat is on the work party email list but didn't show up. He sent me this text though... lol

"Glad to see they going to start re moving the rock at Konnowac pass , well over due."

Dude is dedicated, that is for sure. Friggin roadie wants to be a mountain biker but doesn't understand they're not the same thing.
A reply to all email is appropriate for this one.

Save the rocks!
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Hardly ever wear a backpack anymore..
I have an idea....


The one key difference to this, in my opinion, is that this work is being done as a representation of an "official" bike trail association or whatever you want to call it. They have to be held to higher standards, even if they are volunteers.

View attachment 194200
That's one of the things that sent me back into the woods to build my own shit, by myself or with one or two other people. The old hiking trails here are better riding than what the mtb group builds, primarily because they go from point A to B without 10 million shit berms switchbacks to iNcReAsEfLoW™. They reached a point of critical mass where multiple groups were going out and fucking up too many miles of trails to keep up with. Compounded now with any non-mtb group claiming "we can ban bikes from these other trails now because the mountainbike group is building mountainbike trails." So better riding is getting replaced with horseshit.

You're not wrong, a representative org should absolutely know better. But taking a pic of the bullshit, then doing it better and then taking another pic of it goes a long way. This I know. If someone has never done layout, corridor clearing and decent construction they need to be shown. If you're not willing to do something that affects the outcome, you're just bitching. Personally, if it's something I like to ride, I'd just go fix it.
 
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Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,384
20,175
Sleazattle
It annoys me when people try to fix something without understanding the problem. There is a little problem spot on a local trail. almost all of our trail tread is glacial till, mixed sized rocks and gravel that is tough and drains well. This one spot is nothing but clay so when it gets 50" of rain in an 8 month period it turns into a mud pit. Last year someone built a causeway through the area, with the same clay that is the problem and it was just a man built mud pit. A "high school enduro team" doubled down and made the causeway taller and longer with the same fucking clay. This will just become a longer deeper mud pit when the rains return. The uphill trench they built will also hold water ensuring the causeway will stay wet.

 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,871
6,170
Yakistan
There was a turn that was hard to stay in at the local trails. Most people blew it and it was obvious it needed attention. One guy described how a large group of people was going to come in and re-shape the entire corner, change the grading, build a bigger berm, basically spend hours with tools making it happen. I ended up being out there with my trailboss backpack hoe. I opened up the corner uphill from the problem corner, allowing people to enter the problen corner from a different angle.

Nobody has blown the corner since. Total dig time - solo - 20 minutes.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp
Another dumb loose "berm". Its so small you can barely even see it in the image.

I really should have taken a picture from the other side. There is a tree right where the entrance to the turn should. So if they leave this here, you'll have to do a quick zig zig and then force yourself over behind the tree to actually ride the "berm".

I'm also willing to wager a bet that their orange flags on metal sticks will still be there in a year. :rofl:
 

sunringlerider

Turbo Monkey
Oct 30, 2006
3,628
6,395
Corn Fields of Indiana
I don’t want to pick a fight as I’d consider most of you friends of the electronic realm. However, it would appear some of y’all should step up and volunteer more. My local trail had a lot of the above bull shit going on. Up hill berms, sharp stumps all the lot. After a few long conversations with the current trail director and local advocacy group, I now am the trail director. We host trail building sessions to learn how to build berms with proper entrances and exits and jumps that you can actually jump. It’s very easy to complain about the features that many folks build, but you have to realize most of them don’t know what they are doing and really probably just need some proper guidance. Most trail volunteers have no idea the volume of material a jump or berm actually takes.
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
5,829
7,311
SADL
Another dumb loose "berm". Its so small you can barely even see it in the image.

I really should have taken a picture from the other side. There is a tree right where the entrance to the turn should. So if they leave this here, you'll have to do a quick zig zig and then force yourself over behind the tree to actually ride the "berm".

I'm also willing to wager a bet that their orange flags on metal sticks will still be there in a year. :rofl:
We have the same trailbuilders. I collect the flags for my own personal projects. :rolleyes:
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
5,829
7,311
SADL
I don’t want to pick a fight as I’d consider most of you friends of the electronic realm. However, it would appear some of y’all should step up and volunteer more. My local trail had a lot of the above bull shit going on. Up hill berms, sharp stumps all the lot. After a few long conversations with the current trail director and local advocacy group, I now am the trail director. We host trail building sessions to learn how to build berms with proper entrances and exits and jumps that you can actually jump. It’s very easy to complain about the features that many folks build, but you have to realize most of them don’t know what they are doing and really probably just need some proper guidance. Most trail volunteers have no idea the volume of material a jump or berm actually takes.
I've spent 10 years doing what you're doing and things went smoothly. Soon as I left all hell broke loose. All rules and basic good practices I had put into action were dismissed within a year.

Just a quick list of some of the stuff that is being done/not done
Digging dirt pit right next to trail and leaving them wide open
Building berm while in drought
Not maintaining drainages
Not maintaining expert trails in priority
Leaf blowing 6ft large
Removing roots
Removing rocks and creating double lines
Armoring trails with tiny pointy rocks
And on and on and on...
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp
I don’t want to pick a fight as I’d consider most of you friends of the electronic realm. However, it would appear some of y’all should step up and volunteer more. My local trail had a lot of the above bull shit going on. Up hill berms, sharp stumps all the lot. After a few long conversations with the current trail director and local advocacy group, I now am the trail director. We host trail building sessions to learn how to build berms with proper entrances and exits and jumps that you can actually jump. It’s very easy to complain about the features that many folks build, but you have to realize most of them don’t know what they are doing and really probably just need some proper guidance. Most trail volunteers have no idea the volume of material a jump or berm actually takes.
Won't lie, you're right.

I used to do a lot of this in the local forests. I was one of those trail gnomes thatd go in and remove trees, rake problem spots and fix sections of trail.

But honestly and jist being straight up, with work and everything now, i dont have as much free time. Majority of the organized build nights are on weeknights, which I cant make. I wish I could. The trails that I ride regularly are a 1 hour drive from the house. :(

But yeah, youre right. If I could volunteer my time more, some of this stuff might not happen. I mostly started this thread to just yell into the void - I dont have a solution and just want to bitch about it. :)

I try to help where I can, even if its just reporting something to the local club. Or speaking with folk out there about trail etiquette and awareness.

If it's anything like here, it's people going into the forest with gas powered leaf blowers, clearing and huge swath of trail.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,871
6,170
Yakistan

And then theres people who find random trails and when they can't find any information about them on the internet... they make video's and upload them to youtube.

Damn it! Props for the rigid mtb with dropbars though. :fancy::fie::fie:
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,392
19,407
Canaderp

And then theres people who find random trails and when they can't find any information about them on the internet... they make video's and upload them to youtube.

Damn it! Props for the rigid mtb with dropbars though. :fancy::fie::fie:
That looks fun on that bike.......... :fie:

Saw a similar dude on a ride a few weeks ago. Girlfriend and myself were riding down this little ridge and saw someone on a bike kinda just hovering around one of the trail intersections near the bottom. Dude followed us down the last bit of said ridge, which is super fast, sandy and littered with pointy rocks on part of it.

I thought I heard someone behind me, but just thought whatever, its some rando. At the bottom he yells out "WELL THAT WAS A BIT MUCH ON THIS BIKE". I do a good look back and hes on a cross bike. :rofl::rofl:

But I mean props to the guy, he didn't go slow down the trail.