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Keeping trails open

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,382
19,389
Canaderp
I skimmed through some of it, did they state why the trails are being closed, other than they simply aren't on the official map?

It sucks.

There is a forest around here that has stupid problems too. The conservation authority came up with this grand plan to close a lot of the unauthorized trails. In reality it was a lot of showboating, as 3 or 4 years later, nothing has been done. They have done the same removed trails from their maps, where before they were on there as unauthorized, and now say they are closed. But on the ground they don't actually do fack all, its kind of funny.

They say its in the name of conservation and protection of the forest.

Last year they bulldozed a 12 foot wide gravel path through part of the forest. The end of it leads to be a busy as heck two lane road, which has no sidewalks and little shoulder. What the heck is going on???

:banghead:
 
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canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,382
19,389
Canaderp
Thats all good and we'll when you have lots of space, but on some of these we'll traveled areas, that's a quick way to get fined/ticketed or the whole area shutdown to whatever activity you're trying to help.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,382
19,389
Canaderp
How to not keep trails open:

Step 1: publicly post your rides on the internet, showing that you've made the conscious decision and effort to go through gates and poles, that are setup specifically to restrict bike access. They only exist because of previous "incidents" with BIKES.
Step 2: do this during the day, on the weekend. In one of the only provincial parks in the area that has employees working at it.

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:banghead:
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
How to not keep trails open:

Step 1: publicly post your rides on the internet, showing that you've made the conscious decision and effort to go through gates and poles, that are setup specifically to restrict bike access. They only exist because of previous "incidents" with BIKES.
Step 2: do this during the day, on the weekend. In one of the only provincial parks in the area that has employees working at it.

View attachment 194433

:banghead:
welcome to california and the dawn of strava circa 2012

I learned about the existence of strava from a CA state parks employee in 2010. Considering how involved with mountainbiking I was at the time and he was telling me what strava was should be educational. If you're not a fucking moron like the idiot who recorded that track that is....

Mountainbikers are idiots. Straight up. They want clout before they want mountainbiking.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,382
19,389
Canaderp
This is the forest that I call "home" (even though I don't live nearby). I know this place like the back of my hand.

The forest advocacy group has now released an official trail plan - or as official as one can be, I think its a grey area with the Ministry of Natural Resources here.

There is some good stuff in there and some concerning stuff. Some trails will close, some will be "improved" and other will be left as-is.

I tried to get in on this trail committee and spoke to the organizer once via phone for about an hour. I made sure to express my concern that this is one of the last places around that has true single track - true natural feeling trails. And that we need to make sure that that isn't screwed with. Also raised issue with the increased horse traffic. Ultimately though, the group met so infrequently and every time I reached out, the head dude was away for weeks at a time, that I just gave up trying to join. Funny that when we talked, he said lots of people had come and gone through the trail committee, huh, I wonder why?

Anyways, I could go on and on about my opinion on some of this stuff, but alas...


If anyone wants to read...
Direct link to the trail plan - https://www.copelandfriends.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Trail-Plan-Final-Jan-30-2024.pdf
 

chuffer

Turbo Monkey
Sep 2, 2004
1,546
888
McMinnville, OR
Mtb access is such a weird problem. A good trail system requires a lot of land in terms of acreage. Whether we agree with land ownership rules or not, all of the land we ride on is owned by someone else. “Someone else” being a public, private or commercial entity.

On the commercial and private side unless the owner receives some benefit from having trails on their dirt, there isn’t a lot of motivation to take on the risk of allowing strangers to recreate on said land.

On the publicly owned land side, access and usage to land can’t be a free for all. (Un)fortunately, mtn bikes are a pretty small demographic and as such have a tough time bringing around municipalities to our point of view.

My point? Honestly, I dunno… Appreciate the scraps we’re given? Cut in illegal trails whenever possible? Free beat-downs to strava users?
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,382
19,389
Canaderp
Mtb access is such a weird problem. A good trail system requires a lot of land in terms of acreage. Whether we agree with land ownership rules or not, all of the land we ride on is owned by someone else. “Someone else” being a public, private or commercial entity.

On the commercial and private side unless the owner receives some benefit from having trails on their dirt, there isn’t a lot of motivation to take on the risk of allowing strangers to recreate on said land.

On the publicly owned land side, access and usage to land can’t be a free for all. (Un)fortunately, mtn bikes are a pretty small demographic and as such have a tough time bringing around municipalities to our point of view.

My point? Honestly, I dunno… Appreciate the scraps we’re given? Cut in illegal trails whenever possible? Free beat-downs to strava users?
It obviously varies from area to area, but I don't think mountain bikers are a small demographic anymore. There are multiple bike groups/clubs/whatever around here that have thousands of members. There are lots of hiking groups, but they don't seem to bring the same numbers - again it varies. The Bruce Trail group here is one of those exceptions - the power of this hiking group is immense (https://brucetrail.org/about-us/).

I think it boils down to politics and legacy land use agreements and acceptance. The thing going for hiking and horse groups, is that they are multiple times older and more embedded than majority of bike groups. Heck, horse people around here don't even have a "group", yet they somehow are seen as equals to all other user groups.

What to do and how to best approach it is a tricky debate.

Commercial and private land use can sometimes be great, but came with some real downsides like having to pay fees or having to deal with the real possibility that these places could disappear over night (see here https://ridemonkey.bikemag.com/threads/the-good-stuff.296042/).

Public land is again tricky. Like you say, it can't be a free for all, or it ends up coming under the hammer like my post about Copeland Forest earlier today. But quite often, public land that is "managed", is often very restrictive, sanitized and perhaps sometimes managed by people who just want to manage or have free time, not by people who know what they're doing.

But yeah, how do you balance it all? Who knows... I enjoy using public land and ride in spots that are suited to me. Luckily or unluckily, we don't have a huge network of hidden/underground trails here - so thats never really been a problem. But yeah, turn off the dork logger or keep it private if you're going to those spots.

I actually have no idea what I just typed. /rant
 
None of this stuff is rational. For twenty years or so I have been on the board of directors of a non-profit that "conserves" about a thousand acres of wooded land. We have to create "management plans" stating what we'll do which always babble about cutting down trees to "improve" wildlife habitat. This is driven mostly by Vermont Fish & Wildlife, which has historically been focused on supporting hunting, fishing, and trapping of animals other than human.

The first thing I rode on the lands, long before they were "conserved", was my 750 cc Matchless G15-CS. There are currently perhaps 20 miles of trail on the property, some old logging roads, some singletrack. The eastern portion of the property was stripped of marketable timber ca. 1975, when prior owners were about to sell.

Our organization bought that piece a little after 2000. Original board members tended to the Sierra Clubber end of things, got edgy but not uncivil about my always being on a mountain bike when I first joined the board. I joined because I wanted to help with land that I rode, and managed to tweak things a number of times to that end.

I found that if one proposed a trail to the board, they were horrified, but if member X was whining about not being able to get from A to B, and one told them about the Foo trail, They were happy to use and accept it.

Over time, we (mostly myself and @Bunnista) managed to cut ATV, dirt bike, and snowmobile traffic to about zero, this mainly by maintaining trails such that one could get through on foot, snowshoes, skis, or a bike, but not with motorized stuff. The most destructive users that we have seem to be off leash dogs.

The board's currently going through some neurotic stuff about "we have to protect the (peregrine/black rat snakes/bobcats), so we oughta get rid of mountain bikes, but I think my allies and I can tone it way down - ebikes may create problems in this regard.

Anyway, the point, perhaps, is that there are organizations and plans and regulations and what we all do on the ground, and they virtually never agree in intent and practice. Feet and tires on the ground, at the end of the day, works pretty well.
 

Adventurous

Starshine Bro
Mar 19, 2014
10,305
8,861
Crawlorado
Was just talking to my neighbor about trail access this past weekend. He joined the town trail committee for the express purpose of advocating for more mtb trails/access but was quickly shut down, despite offering free labor and machines to assist (plus qualifications and insurance through his business).

Mountain biking was seen as the 5th most important user group, behind horses, hikers, bird watchers, and handicapped access. 33% of the town is conservation land and there are over 130 miles of maintained trails. Apparently that's good enough? This in a town that had to cap membership in the school's MTB club cause so many kids wanted to join.

No solutions, but its a shame that they can't find the space to cater to a growing user group.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
20,382
19,389
Canaderp
I was looking to see if that city has a mountain bike association, which they don't appear to have, but stumbled across this old MTBR post.

:dead:
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