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Examples of bad trail building

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,829
20,691
Sleazattle
you can tell it's cold up there


gotta build a portfolio of plausible deniability son

trust me on this. I spent 15 years posting up bike shit, just so I can make rideit lose his mind over things that don't matter. Don't talk to me about work. I had to hang out with mountainbikers to get where I am today.
Doesn't sound very healthy. Have you considered an outside hobby?
 

JustMtnB44

Monkey
Sep 13, 2006
847
118
Pittsburgh, PA
Look who's back with a new trail.


They built this odd filter thing at the start. I doubt there are any rocks like that on the trail (I didn't ride it). One slip on that rounded rock and someone will have some happy ribs or thigh bruise from that fence thing. :brows:

Note the curated trash placement.
Ugh, leaving cut off tree trunks is terrible. If you are going to remove it, dig out the stump so no one notices. Around here we have some random trail users (not affiliated with the local trail orgs) who do shit like that too, ranging from leaving a 3in high stump on the edge of the trail to catch your pedal to a 2ft tall broken off sapling. That filter thing is also pretty special, I've definitely never seen anything like that before. What about the trail is so advanced that it requires a filter of that complexity?

The most prevalent examples of bad trail building that I have been seeing a lot of on the internet recently is using deadfall / sticks / logs of whatever wood is near by to support the lower edge of a bench cut, or the back of a berm. What happens in a few years when it all rots out and those edges collapse? Shit like this:
1704811337997.png

1704811365430.png

1704812153097.png
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
19,256
9,894
AK
Ugh, leaving cut off tree trunks is terrible. If you are going to remove it, dig out the stump so no one notices. Around here we have some random trail users (not affiliated with the local trail orgs) who do shit like that too, ranging from leaving a 3in high stump on the edge of the trail to catch your pedal to a 2ft tall broken off sapling. That filter thing is also pretty special, I've definitely never seen anything like that before. What about the trail is so advanced that it requires a filter of that complexity?

The most prevalent examples of bad trail building that I have been seeing a lot of on the internet recently is using deadfall / sticks / logs of whatever wood is near by to support the lower edge of a bench cut, or the back of a berm. What happens in a few years when it all rots out and those edges collapse? Shit like this:
View attachment 206145
View attachment 206146
View attachment 206150
lol, that's idiotic. The cleared tread should be about 2x the intended tread (as far as dirt moved). All veg and organic soil should be clear to avoid rotting out and causing erosion. That's just lazy work.
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
5,654
3,101
lol, that's idiotic. The cleared tread should be about 2x the intended tread (as far as dirt moved). All veg and organic soil should be clear to avoid rotting out and causing erosion. That's just lazy work.
To be fair, in the pics above, a bench cut is not necessary. Clean fallen branches, leave the loam and let the trail naturally devlop from riding.
 

JustMtnB44

Monkey
Sep 13, 2006
847
118
Pittsburgh, PA
lol, that's idiotic. The cleared tread should be about 2x the intended tread (as far as dirt moved). All veg and organic soil should be clear to avoid rotting out and causing erosion. That's just lazy work.
Yep, here's the discussion from the first two pictures to see the builder's response. I thought it was funny.
1704826057951.png
 

JustMtnB44

Monkey
Sep 13, 2006
847
118
Pittsburgh, PA
To be fair, in the pics above, a bench cut is not necessary. Clean fallen branches, leave the loam and let the trail naturally develop from riding.
I disagree, that almost never works, and definitely not on cross slope / contour line trails. It might be a good way to identify the best line, but going back and bench cutting is needed if the trail gets any substantial amount of use. I say this as someone who has spent a significant amount of time fixing trails that were "built" that way.
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
5,654
3,101
I disagree, that almost never works, and definitely not on cross slope / contour line trails. It might be a good way to identify the best line, but going back and bench cutting is needed if the trail gets any substantial amount of use. I say this as someone who has spent a significant amount of time fixing trails that were "built" that way.
Depends on how much traffic and what type of soil I guess. We had here a phenomenal trail (that got sanitized 3-4 years ago) which was build just by riding it in. The top soil was ridden away, roots and the harder, lower layers held it together really well and prevented erosion. Now after sanitization, which included bench cutting, root removal and berm building, the trail is an erosion nightmare. The new builders did not anticipate this "because it never needed maintenance". Yeah, but you fucked it up!
Now their solution is to put gravel on it. :banghead:
 

DaveW

Space Monkey
Jul 2, 2001
11,332
2,875
The bunker at parliament
Depends on how much traffic and what type of soil I guess. We had here a phenomenal trail (that got sanitized 3-4 years ago) which was build just by riding it in. The top soil was ridden away, roots and the harder, lower layers held it together really well and prevented erosion. Now after sanitization, which included bench cutting, root removal and berm building, the trail is an erosion nightmare. The new builders did not anticipate this "because it never needed maintenance". Yeah, but you fucked it up!
Now their solution is to put gravel on it. :banghead:
There's a trail building company in Rotorua that come down to Wellington occasionally.
Aaand fuck it up almost every time, as they can't work with our terrain and soil types.
In Roto they just need to kick a couple of Punga ferns over, give it a rake and their done.
Welly is a totally different story due to the dirt and terrain.
 

Jozz

Joe Dalton
Apr 18, 2002
5,910
7,461
SADL
Agreeing with most all of the above, except for the log wall for berms. I always prefer to dig the actual berm in the soil rather than adding material to build it out. But I've done log "framed" berms before. Some are more than 10 years old and the wood is still intact. I always use hardwood like beech. I cover the back structure of the berm with the removed top layer of soil and cover the berm side with at least a foot of organic dirt that is compacted. Usually those berms are good for 3-4 years before needing a tune/repack. Since the wood structure is mostly burried, it barely rots.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,996
20,126
Canaderp
work work work, all day long
work work work, while I sing this song
gonna find those rocks
gonna make em crumble
gonna plow the way
for us to bumble

1706817346662.png
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,996
20,126
Canaderp
You might think this is the after effects of a flood or something. Nope, this is on a steep hill and on the other side of this pile of shit is a turn.

What's going to happen when this gives way? :rofl: :rofl:

 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
19,256
9,894
AK
You might think this is the after effects of a flood or something. Nope, this is on a steep hill and on the other side of this pile of shit is a turn.

What's going to happen when this gives way? :rofl: :rofl:

Exactly what the beaver wanted?
 

JustMtnB44

Monkey
Sep 13, 2006
847
118
Pittsburgh, PA
You might think this is the after effects of a flood or something. Nope, this is on a steep hill and on the other side of this pile of shit is a turn.

What's going to happen when this gives way? :rofl: :rofl:

Wait that pile of sticks is the backside of a berm? Holy shit. Is that at local trails or a bike park?

The local bike park is filled with this shit. One of the reasons I no longer buy a seasons pass.


@mykel
Using forest wood to build dirt features is a hard no. And at a pay to ride bike park? Fuck no.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,996
20,126
Canaderp
Wait that pile of sticks is the backside of a berm? Holy shit. Is that at local trails or a bike park?


Using forest wood to build dirt features is a hard no. And at a pay to ride bike park? Fuck no.
Backside?

LOLOL no, it's the side you ride on.

There is another trail that has a set of 4 or 5 logs down in the dirt, perpendicular to the trail. Picture whoops, but instead of dirt you just wail over logs at speed.

But yeah, this stuff is why two of us from our group stop paying to ride there.
 

Leafy

Monkey
Sep 13, 2019
573
366
Those logs in the ground are perfectly fine mitegation for a perpetual wet spot on a trail that’s built for free.
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
19,256
9,894
AK
Yeah, water won't possibly cause dead organic material to rot out and turn into more mud.
 

Leafy

Monkey
Sep 13, 2019
573
366
Yeah, water won't possibly cause dead organic material to rot out and turn into more mud.
That’s a problem for 3 years from now trail crew. But like I implied, pretty unacceptable at a paid park, just fix the drainage right with the mini ex that the system owns.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,996
20,126
Canaderp
Its not a wet spot, its the end of a berm, so you are transitioning from banked to flat while riding those logs. You know, its the perfect recipe for ending up on your ass when your wheels slide out on the wet polished logs.

The ground is very sandy so wet spots isn't a concern.