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Thread: Be honest...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Be honest...

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    How many of you mountain bikers ride illegal single track?

    It seems like every time I go out by myself I run into (not literally) guys who talk about doing the single track at my local park and I know none of it is legal. Yeah, I know it is a lot more fun. I had a blast at Rockville on the single track (until I fell in the rock garden and I'm still black & blue!) but that was legal.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Bendemonium
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    Truthfully,I don't think I've ever ridden illegal singletrack. Don't think I could because 1) I couldn't complain about the poachers damaging the area and 2) I'm rather closely related to a DAG who deals with our state's natural resources. Gotta keep it straight and true. It means I've lost some lovely areas that I used to be able to ride but I do provide citizen input to a member of the DOJ on a regular basis (whether he wants it or not ).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Sunny California
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    1,107
    I respect closed trails. Poachers and abusers give the rest of us a bad reputation! Where I ride there are hundreds of miles of trails. I don’t know why someone would need to ride the illegal trails. I have heard that the fine for getting caught on an illegal trail can be pretty high. I have also heard of BLM rangers who confiscate the rider’s front wheel.

    A few weeks ago I was riding alone and I had a minor mechanical problem (a bad bottom bracket). The bike was rideable, but I wanted to take the most direct route back to my car. The trail was marked “open” for hikers, but “closed” for bikes and horses. It was only about a half mile long, so I walked my bike. As I walked along, 2 sets of 2 guys passed me (riding).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Glendale, Arizona
    Posts
    231
    I don't and I won't. I have this thing about honesty and being a role model, and I don't want people to get a bad impression of mountain bikers. Here in Phoenix, there are so many places to ride legally that there's no need to poach. However, I know there are probably alot of mountain bikers who ride on state trust land and don't pay for permits. I did this myself until I learned what the rules were and how to pay.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vernon, British Columbia
    Posts
    2,226
    well, in this particular community, there are no legal trails...yet. me and DH were part of a club, until the shop owner/president had his employees cut down 50 trees on a world class single track climb, then told us to shut the F*** up about it because it's more fun. their only purpose was to make it a faster downhill...which took a lot of the challenge out of it for the rest of us. that began a real silent war where only me and DH were speaking up and saying the club needs to set an example and get the word out about what trail ethics are, etc.... instead we got blackballed, nobody would ride with us, there were threats that if we were seen on a trail, either of us, we'd be beat up, if our car was seen at a trail head it would get wrecked, if our DOGS were seen on trail, they'd be KILLED. it was ugly. those of you who've read my weight loss posts might have guessed that's what started the depression that got the weight on there in the first place.

    eventually, we got the word out that we wouldn't take it and too bad we're back riding. In the meantime, the goons built gazillions of badly constructed stunts, many from cut down live trees and spiked into live trees. we saw our favourite trails get completely ridden out in areas...anywhere they could shuttle to a high point and go down the trails are destroyed.

    Last summer the ministry of forests did an assessment of the trail stunts, and removed the most dangerous ones - the ones that were likely to fall to pieces under an average rider....the bike shop owner/club president got all in a huff about it and there was a huge war of words in the paper. They kept claiming the gov't went all Nazi, etc....but the Ministry had tried to talk to the club for like ayear and a half!! jerks. Anyhooo....several stupid meetings later, a lot of difficulty getting the point across that an organization is actually necessary and the rules are there for good reason...they finally decided to make a society, and (guess what?) the guy that was number 2 in the previous club, one of the guys who was part of the threats and the blackballing and in whose dining room the yelling and accusations at us occured, is now the new president of the new club.

    we have chosen to not be involved.

    so, just as badly as all that, the same bike shop owner, actually brings people to town to ride at a place called Farwell Canyon (ever seen the hoodoos scene in Kranked II?). That is a very ecologically sensitive area, a big horn sheep range, protected grassland, etc....I have always refused to ride there. This dude has a 4:20 party there every year. Decline magazine wrote all about it.

    anyway, if this sounds a bit like a rant, well, I guess it is. sorry about that. it's still a touchy subject. they've done sooooooooooo much damage to the trails, it's heartbreaking. I do hope the new "club" can actually accomplish something, though I have little hope.

    Interestingly, the Ministry said they had no concern about the trails themselves, only the stunts. So those of us who don't care about riding stunts (everyone I ride with, and the group of riders who worked hardest and had the most resistance to setting up a society), really didn't need to be involved at all. the stuff we ride isn't in any immediate danger.

    does that sound incredibly f***ed up? it is. but the riding here is amazing. forget anything you've ever read about riding in Williams Lake. The best trails are the ones with FLOW...and we have those!!! Fast, long, winding, beautiful trails! oh....I can't wait for the frost to be done so I can ride those beautiful trails without risking the damage that riding them while they're muddy causes....

    hmmmm, can anyone here sense I may be a purist? or an idealist? yeah, can't help that either.

    Namaste,
    ~T~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica
    How many of you mountain bikers ride illegal single track?

    It seems like every time I go out by myself I run into (not literally) guys who talk about doing the single track at my local park and I know none of it is legal. Yeah, I know it is a lot more fun. I had a blast at Rockville on the single track (until I fell in the rock garden and I'm still black & blue!) but that was legal.

    V.
    Not I. I won't even ride if I think I will damage the trails because they're too muddy. Wish the horsie riders in our area had the same respect for the trails!

    I know that many hikers and equestrians hold dim views of mountain bikers, so on every ride, my goal is to get at least a few people to realize that not all mountain bikers are jerks. There are a lot of jerks out here who make life difficult for the rest of us. My worst fear is that the idiots will get mountain biking banned on my favorite trails.

    I make a point of stopping for horses (well, that's partly self preservation) and speaking to their riders. I make a point of saying hi and smiling to as many people as I can. I haven't figured out yet how to "gently correct" the dewbies crashing down the trails with no regard for others or the trail, although DH keeps threatening to use a stick through the spokes as a corrective aide.

    I remember the end of one ride. I'd done three laps of Betasso, a 3.5 mile rollercoaster-type loop, and at the end of the third lap, this one idiot sat on my tail for the longest time. He wouldn't say a word and wouldn't pass me, and I wasn't about to pull over for him on my best ride of the year. After he practically breathed down my neck on one longish uphill, I said, "Would you pass already??" He apologized and steamed by. Anyway, on the last short downhill, two ladies were walking their dogs. I don't remember if I saw him ride down it, but I remember that though I called out to the ladies and did slow down, I didn't stop and I know that I startled them a bit. When they got to the trailhead, I walked over to them and apologized. One didn't want to hear it, but the other started talking with me and I found out that they'd just been buzzed by the idiot, who hadn't said a word and hadn't slowed, almost running over one of the dogs. No wonder they were inclined to be annoyed. I also found out from this lady that, while my friends and I are scrupulous about riding only on legit days (Betasso is closed to bikes on Weds and Sat), many bikers aren't, and they don't necessarily follow the indicated direction, either. When she's confronted them, some have said that they'll happily pay the fine if caught. Great. So eventually, these losers will get bikes banned from the trails. They'll keep riding and those of us who follow the rules will be penalized.

    No, I don't ride where I'm not supposed to be.
    monique

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    La Crescenta, CA
    Posts
    39

    Nope, never.

    My husband and I really care about the environment, and about showing that mtbing isn't about trashing everything in sight with brainless abandon. I know I shouldn't steriotype, but there is type of personality that goes along with "I'll do what I want and I don't give a d@mn what or who I hurt" and that personality (in my limited local experience) has been exclusively male. I'm sure there are some brain dead females out there that fit the description too. But I'd say the majority do care (people in general). But it is really sad and makes a bad name for the mtb community.

    donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
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    4,367
    How many of your are members of IMBA? International Mountain Biking Assn. It's a good way to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to trail preservatio for mountain bikers. Also, any of you go to trail work days?

    anyway... drum roll please:
    I am the co-president of the newly formed IMBA chapter here in my commnunity. We didn't have a mountain biking club so I quit my *****ing and got together with another person and got the ball rolling.

    As for illegal trails 99% of the time, nope. Most of the ones that are illegal around here are private property; it's not a matter of closure.

    This club thing is pretty exciting, but what a lot of work. LBTC, I hear your story all too well. Free riders are notoriously unorganized, and independent. Getting them together on anything that smacks of organization is like herding cats. This is where working with IMBA can really help. They have tons of resources for how to work with governemnt on issues like TTFs (technical trail features, the non scary name for stunts that doesn't freak out land managers...) and clubs. I know you said you don't care about that, you just want the trails back, but ultimately mountain bikers need to work together and not get divided by the type of riding that we do.

    When we started getting this club together, that was on thing I knew we needed to do as our area has a pretty good downhill and free ride contingent. at one of the main mixed riding areas. My partner in making this club is a die hard xc rider, and I was really clear that embracing the whole community is the only way to make it work. There are many commnunites where legal free ride parks have been built, which is a far cry from the mayhem LBTC describes.

    So, here's some of what we've done since January:
    *website www.fttrc.org ( I did it, it's functional and not pretty)
    *approved by the city for Adoptapark for the main riding are, for cleanup and seasonal trail maintenance. I do a walk through with them next week to see exactly what they have in mind. We'll have a cleanup day soon after that.
    *One of the state parks wants us to ride all the trails and rate them for mountain bikers based on the IMBA trail rating system
    *The Subaru Trail Care Crew is coming for a 4 day workshop in August and we are sponsoring it.

    wow, what a long answer to a short question!!! The whole trail thing is critical to mountain biking.

    penny
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Bendemonium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan
    How many of your are members of IMBA? Also, any of you go to trail work days?
    I am the co-president of the newly formed IMBA chapter here in my commnunity.
    Yes, yes and way to go!

    We also belong to clubs where we vacation such as Central Oregon Trail Alliance. We can't be there for trail work days but we can certainly help finance the work since we ride their trails many days a year. It's a very small price to pay to have terrific trails that wouldn't be there otherwise.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    545
    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan
    How many of your are members of IMBA? International Mountain Biking Assn. It's a good way to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to trail preservatio for mountain bikers. Also, any of you go to trail work days?
    I'm a member (just renewed, in fact), but I haven't yet done any trail work. I plan to do so, though. Last year, most of the trail days were at times when I couldn't participate. (Yes, excuses, excuses.)
    monique

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    499

    Shades of Grey

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventure Girl
    Where I ride there are hundreds of miles of trails. I don’t know why someone would need to ride the illegal trails.
    Lucky you...but what about people who don't live where there are hundreds of miles of trails?

    I moved from a state, a very big state, but a state sadly lacking in public land. History and culture has kept much of the land in private hands. Big hint: our current president hails from this state. He rides a mtb...on his private ranch. It's a totally different vibe.

    Soooo...in this big state many trails are built that cross private land; some "sanctioned" and some are not. It kind of works like this: trails are built on the limited public land, then trail-builders connect the trails. If a land-owner "allows" mtbing on his/her property he/she is afraid he/she will be liable for any accidents. So there is sort of a "don't ask/don't tell" policy. If a land owner really opposes mtbing he/she will erect barbed-wire and a bunch of "no tresspassing" signs. Then the trail is usually rerouted.

    I've ridden and even worked on these "grey area" trails.

    As for trails on public property that are closed(and clearly marked as closed)? No thank-you. Not worth the bad PR. If a trail is "hiking only" I just come back with my trail-running shoes

    I've been an IMBA member for years, have built miles of trail, hosted IMBA crews in my home, and served on the IMBA mountain bike patrol.

    Nothing sweeter than riding a trail and thinking "I made this".

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vernon, British Columbia
    Posts
    2,226

    Imba

    well, IMBA only opened their Canada office last fall. And it's in Ontario. I'll look at the fees and probably sign up this year.

    I really like the idea of supporting the clubs/societies in other areas that one rides. We haven't done a lot of that, but, if this year turns out the way I'd like it to, we'll probably pay some dues at one or two out of town clubs.

    As for the local club, I'll be laying low. As long as the someone who was at the helm while the jerks were out destroying our land and our reputation is still at the helm, the club will get no support from me and DH. Once the leadership moves on to more sane people, which I truly hope it will, we'll like pay our dues and show up to a trail maintenance day or two.

    It's taken every bit of will power and strength to get over the hurt they caused, and the effects that had on our minds and our bodies. I don't have enough to spare to subject myself to them any more than necessary. I'm too busy using it to train to get faster and stronger!!

    I admire you, Penny, for your work in getting your local club going! YAY you!! I'm grateful for people like you and hope that there will be a way, in your area, that there can be peace on the trails! Sounds like you've got way lots of great things happening this year!! Where did you say you were from? who knows, if the downsizing that might happen in our industry comes to pass, we may be looking to relocate! (not likely anytime soon, but one never knows, right?)

    Namaste,
    ~T~

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
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    4,367
    you have to start somewhere.

    I'm in Eastern WA State.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

 

 

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