- Jan 15, 2013
- In Orbit
Jesus, where do I begin...#1, you don't have to do remediation. Trails don't need to be dumbed down so everyone can ride them. They don't need to be smooth, flowy with no area that can't be ridden. Not every tree needs to be remove. Let trails wear in, let them evolve, if they get harder to ride then so be it. I have ridden the same trail system for 30 years, it get no trail work. The trails have worn in and stopped eroding, not every part is easy to ride, but it doesn't need to be.
#2 Everyone needs to stop expecting/ demanding smooth trails. To bad if some 40 year old soccer mom can't walk it while drinking her starbucks and yapping on her phone, its a trail in the woods, not a paved path. Plus It really doesn't benefit riders...here's an example. Mtn bikers did extensive trail maintenance to a local trail, they bench cut a 4 to 6 foot wide trail through the wood, removed any down tree and hardened any erosion area. Now the trail was smooth and flowy. But now also brutally fast for a flat curvy trail with no line of sight. They dumbed down the trail to the point the only way it was fun was at warp speed, they remove anything that would help control your speed. Mtn bikers got kicked out of there because the speed difference was too great. Plus the hikers complained the trail weren't like hiking in nature anymore. If they just left the trails alone, then they would have still been riding there.
This is the trail. they could have paved it and we would just all run slicks
View attachment 270872
#1. On yes we do. They need to be sustainable. If not, they'll turn to shit. My first (and nearest-and-dearest) riding area: the West Block of the Naugatuck State Forest. Also known as Gnaratuck. Old-old school, as in old farm roads and dirt paths, built on fall-line cuz nobody knew any better, and which, when the bad rains came in, turned into stream beds. No maintenance, so, for the most part unrideable now. Hell, several of the old fire roads are now a challenge even for the fire department's gators. In fact, after the May 15 storm, a lot of them are now in the process of being reclaimed by Mother Nature... as she will do. Part of proper trail design and construction is to build in a manner that, with a minimum of resources (especially labor), trails will stay together and usable, and thus open.
#2. There's a place for gnar, but in crowded parts of New England, we have to contend with land managers (e.g. CT DEEP) who have to serve their constituents, who by and large ain't us. Therefore, we have to design for shared use. Getting and maintaining access is a CONSTANT BATTLE. As for 4-6' trail beds: that's doubletrack, not singletrack. Not sure what the designer was thinking. User management and conflict mitigation are part of proper trail design, and that includes speed management, sight lines, ... No wonder we lost access! An ideal design is a stacked-loop system, with the granny-walker and baby-carriage trails close to the parking lot, and our stuff farther out. You WILL note that is was the mountain bikers and NOT the grannies that were kicked out of the place you mentioned. Onus is on us, and always has been.
Compare and contrast your photo versus, say:
Good trails don't just fall out of the sky like manna from heaven. Someone has to build them, and someone has to maintain them (and the better job the first guy does, the less work the second has to do). And before any of that can be, the guy who owns the place, or his agent - the land manager - has to agree to allow it to happen, and then has to agree to allow it to continue to happen.