Dumbing down of trails in NJ?

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Anrothar, Shaggz and I were talking the other day and one of the questions that came up a few times was how technical a trail should be and whether or not there should be an alternate for a less technical option.

I do not think trails should be handi-accessible, but maybe should include options. Would we just be dumbing down a trail? What are your thoughts?
 
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Shaggz

A strong 7
"brad kept me from picking a line that was impossible for 90% of the population to ride, and i kept him from installing an escalator"

ROTFL!
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I think it should be what the maker wants. In the case of that quote there, I think it should have gone where 90% of the people can't ride. First, it helps make people better riders. Second, those who don't want to ride it usually beat a path around it anyway, so the problem is essentially solved. Any technical place you ride will have this "feature". Sort of like an evolution of the trail.
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
I think it should be what the maker wants. In the case of that quote there, I think it should have gone where 90% of the people can't ride. First, it helps make people better riders. Second, those who don't want to ride it usually beat a path around it anyway, so the problem is essentially solved. Any technical place you ride will have this "feature". Sort of like an evolution of the trail.
in a vacuum, i would agree that it should be what the trail maker wants. however, the problem is sometimes the path that people build around the section that is "unrideable" for 90% of the population may not necessarily the most ecologically sound.
 

mergs

Spokompton's Finest
JORBA.ORG
If the trail is built in a sustainable fashion, I am all for making a trail unridable (technically) for about 50% of the riding public. Does not mean its always going to be unridable but my favorite trails are the ones where I walked about half of it the first time and after 5-10 tries I am still walking about 10-20% of it. In fact my favorite trails tend to be the trails that only Workman or Phatbiker can ride, and that's about it. :)

I would sanitize trails only to keep the flow. That means an open and flowing trail I would tend to remove a tree that just kills the mo. If you have a tight and twisty section its best to leave that tree, as its a feature many are looking forward to.

Again, I love tech, I just prefer smartly built. No fall line trails, no shoddy logpiles and nail ridden stunts. If you build a logpile take the time to build it solid, if your going to build a bridge or a skinny*, take some time so that the darn thing don't collapse under the clydedale's weight :) (*get permission here, renegade ttf's get us banned)

That all said, some park systems require us, or just come out and remove trees. We don't always agree but they have thier reasons and we can only suggest what we think works. Sometimes they have legitimate concerns that are really not open to debate.
 
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SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
in a vacuum, i would agree that it should be what the trail maker wants. however, the problem is sometimes the path that people build around the section that is "unrideable" for 90% of the population may not necessarily the most ecologically sound.
Very true. A sustainable, less intrusive trail should probably be a number 1 priority.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
If you build a logpile take the time to build it solid, if your going to build a bridge or a skinny*, take some time so that the darn thing don't collapse under the clydedale's weight :)
that's a shot at me, isn't it mergs? :D

nah, i agree. i would prefer a super tech trail that really challenges me. i don't care if everyone can ride it. look at the roam video, for example. NONE of us can do that type of stuff (excluding me, of course) but we all still watch and drool. same principle with techy stuff, except on a NJ microcosmic level. if some of your buddies are pushing though you'll eventually get the skill set to do the same. makes you a better rider...heck, makes all of us better riders. if folks don't want to ride tech stuff, there are plenty of parks (in morris county alone) that cater to that crowd.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I would sanitize trails only to keep the flow. That means an open and flowing trail I would tend to remove a tree that just kills the mo.
I think almost any tree can be ridden in the flow. If it's small you can just about wheelie hop it at speed, if you have the skill. If it's built up you can hit it at speed. The only exception is a big guy that hasn't been built up, a rarity here in NJ.
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
when is it ok to design a manmade stunt, such as a ladder or similar to what RIP posted on mtbr, into a trail? again, this is a theoretical question, taking the park approval, liability issues, etc. out of the equation.

btw - good thread, brad.
 
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bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
the only REAL answer that we will all agree on is this:

"a stunt (constituting a ramp, jump, bridge or structure otherwise not naturally occuring in the environment) may be built only when it is approved by the park and/or parks commission and/or private land owner where said structure is intended on being built."

other than that, pretty much personal prefernce as long as it doesn't impeded the "flow" of the trail. i love that section of deer park where all those log rollers are.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
when is it ok to design a manmade stunt, such as a ladder or similar to what RIP posted on mtbr, into a trail? again, this is a theoretical question, taking the park approval, liability issues, etc. out of the equation.
FWIW, I don't like Rip's proposal. That's a great section - basically one of the few parts of the park that actually doesn't need ANY work at all. Plus it's right near the start, maybe 2 miles in, so all the hikers will see it.

I generally think ladders and such are lame. Seriously, go to MD and you can ride 3 miles without riding over a single rock bigger than 3 inches. But it's not due to lack of rocks. The place is like a quarry it has so many rocks. Use the landscape.

You can add ladders and stuff to places like 6 mile, if the owners/etc are cool with it. IMO.
 
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Shaggz

A strong 7
i don't know the park, but just by the pictures, the ladders did not look like they added any value to the the trail. the thought of stunts did not enter my mind for our efforts at md.
 

Maurice

New Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Wow Norm, go ride your bike you'll feel better :D

Any trail, mud, rocks, dump, whatever, is better than nothing IMO. I like riding hellish places but the occasional fire road or boardwalk doesn't bother me. Gets me from point A to point B. It's not easy building a trail out of a rock garden, far from it.

I actually like what I see at Chimney Rock for instance. They're rock armoring the muddiest trails. That park sees an incredible amount of traffic yet recovers pretty fast. There are some hidden or not-well-known treasures over there. My ribs still remind me of them.

I agree, it's down to the land owner and people willing to lend a hand to decide what to do. Let's not bash them, there's enough variety for everybody.

Maurice
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Ok ok, I toned down the post. Lost myself for a second. I've been off the bike for like 11 days - been sick the whole time. Worst cold ever.

I don't mind fireroads as connecting trails, and boardwalks are usually for the benefit of the hiker so I don't think that "hurts the cause" so to speak. I think ladders should be used judiciously, to say the least.

I agree about CR, I ride that park more than any other, by a wide margin. I do see a lot of improvements and for the number of riders it gets, it really does recover well. I have to reiterate that the trail reroutes are brutally bad. The old sections were better right before the reroute than the new ones already. There's a lot to offer at CR technically - your ribs, my knee which is still scabbed up from that 2 foot drop I missed. Plus if you pay attention there are lots of options to make it harder. The white trail has gotten a lot of love the past 3 months which is nice.
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I guess the question really is: How technical do you make a trail? Something 50% of riders on this board would clear? 75%?, 90%?

Do you make a sustainable alternative to a technical obstacle instead of allowing the wimps :)o ) to make their own which may be more intrusive/scarring of the area?
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
the viewable samples from the imba book suggest a trail rating system based on measurable metrics. the advanced trails have unavoidable technical features.

if a trail is intended as the sole means of access between two other trails, i agree that in the occasional spot an alternative route should be provided around something that is really technical, but do not agree that all unavoidable technicality should be removed. part of riding is challenging yourself.
 
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Shaggz

A strong 7
if a connector trail has some pucker factor to it, the re-route should be of similar spirit.
 
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