midbestdj (Oct 30, 2013 at 21:16)

 This just proves how badass mountain biking is and how tough riders are. I'm so sick of people thinking its some pussy sport because they have some image in their head of mountain bikers cruzing down grass double track or some shit. Lets see people in football, basketball, soccer, any sport take an injury like that and come back stronger.


[This shows exactly why mountain bikers should not be allowed to build trails: they are totally inappropriate for other trail users.



Friday Five: Trail Maintenance

Five essential trail building and maintenance fundamentals

By: Seb Kemp

Keep singletrack single. Photo by Danielle Baker

Trails sustain our mountain biking experience. Without them all we would have is some really expensive fat-tire bicycles with nowhere to go. To preserve our experience we need to conserve our trails. Below is a very cursory look at some techniques that make for good trails and which you can apply to existing trails to prolong their excellence.

Keep the Water Off the Trail

Despite what some people say trail users, be it mountain bikes or horses or hikers, donít create erosion. What causes the bulk of erosion is water. However, the impact of trail users can exacerbate waterís effect on trails.

Standing water on trails creates an unpleasant experience. Water allowed to run down trails creates a disagreeable riding surface but more than that, can greatly shorten the lifespan of a trail. Water, when allowed to flow continually downhill increases in velocity and mass, creating a more powerful erosive effect. The trick is to get the water off the trail before it can create a nuisance. When building a trail or increasing the longevity of an existing trail there are several fundamental techniques to keep the water off the trail.

Geoff Gulevich interprets the grade reversals that Big Red Ted (Tempany) used to keep the water off the trail while adding flow and fun.

Grade Reversals

One of the most effective way to move water off the trail and prevent excessive erosion is to create grade reversals. These are changes in the gradient of the trail, from negative to positive and vice versa. If located at suitable intervals and with terrain appropriate dimensions then it prevents water from flowing down the trail. They can also create a more interesting and enjoyable riding experience.


Outslope is when a slight outward tilt is created on the trail so that water sheds off the trail rather than running down the trail. It does not need to be a severe angle, in fact, when done well the angle is nearly imperceptible to trail users.


Nicks, gutters, boxes, gullies, culverts, channels, ditches, trenches, any of these work. They have to be selected depending on the specifics of the local terrain and applying the appropriate technique.

Keep the Rider on the Trail

Sinewy, snaking brown ribbons of trail are what we look for. The singletrack experience is what we look for, which is why almost all new trail is built narrow and why we should defend existing singletrack from rider generated broadening.

Little and often. Trail building isn't just about backbreaking work, it's about working smart. Photo courtesy of Bell Sports

Cutting corners might make you faster on Strava but your cheeky inside line becomes braids that forever change the character of a trail, might negatively impact the drainage system of a trail and widen the trail tread, which is an environmental and social problem.

To avoid this a trail could be built or retrofitted with as many natural and artificial choking devices as necessary. Trees, boulders, rock piles, bushes, debris, etc., can be used to create chokes, blocks and gates which keep riders on the trail.

Proper Grade

The fall line goes down the gradient of a slope. Although often fun to ride, trails that run down the fall line are prone to erosion, therefore shortening their lifespan. Instead, trails should have an average grade of under 10 percent and have a maximum grade of 15 percent (with exceptions for natural or built rock structures)

Most people assume trails are created and maintained with the use of shovels, picks, diggers and back breaking work. However, one of the often overlooked tools is the clinometer. Although expensive, this little device will prevent poor alignment of trails and help identify the degree to which sections of trail may be trouble spots. If you think you can spot good alignment with your own eyes, and many people are too stubborn to accept the use of this implement, then why donít you just use one to confirm your thoughts.

Measure twice, cut once.

Get involved. If you have time to ride then you have time to put back into the trails. No excuses. Photo courtesy of Bell Sports

Get Involved

Essentially, the only real way that trails can be preserved is to educate and involve yourself. Sure, reading this or the textbooks out there (highly recommended is IMBAís Trail Solutions: A Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack, which was written by Bike Magazine web editor, Vernon Felton) can help get a better understanding of the subtleties but the real learning comes on the trail. Join in with local trail maintenance days, not just for karmic credit but to learn from experienced builders. Itís not rocket science and itís not all about heavy labor. Sometimes the most effective work is that which is less intensive Ė replanting vegetation, cutting back foliage, or even scratching, digging and moving dirt and rock doesnít always have to be too back breaking. All that matters is identifying appropriate projects, coming up with an efficient plan to accomplish them, and donating a little bit of time.

Remember, there are no such things as trail fairies/gnomes/elves and if you say you havenít got time to donate to the trails you ride but you still ride them, then I curse you with a thousand flat tires.


[The public, who owns the (Washington Department of Natural Resources, like the US Forest Service) land, has no say! This is just because they provide "free" trail maintenance!


From: "bcrowley20" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2013 04:25:36 -0000
Subject: Re: trail character discussion

--- In, Lisa Polec <lisapdc@...> wrote:
> Sorry Dan, but you completely misinterpreted my email that began this
> discussion. As these new opportunities to build trails and choose the kind
> of trails to build, come up, I think it would be a good idea to have some
> avenue for public input. Maybe it could be one meeting at the beginning of
> a new trail project. Peoples ideas could be heard and considered before the
> process starts.

I understand your viewpoint on this, but I don't 100% agree with it.

For example, I did not make a single workparty at Tiger leading up to or during construction of the new trail. Therefore, I don't believe that I should have a say in the character of any new trail at Tiger, since I did not earn my say. And I don't think that those who are volunteering their time and labor should be burdened with a public input process.

Next fall we are going to start work on a new trail at Paradise. The small group who have put in hundreds and hundreds of hours over the past few years are going to decide what that trail looks like. We put in the labor that enabled the trail to be approved, we are going to build it and we are going to maintain it. So we will build something that we want to ride. Not that we won't listen to outside input, but we won't make extra work for ourselves by seeking outside input either.

To: Mark Klinke <>,
        bbtc members <>
From: robert <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2013 10:57:37 -0700
Subject: Re: Trail Character Discussion - Gray Trails

Good question. What drives my behavior and if I'm just a rebel or not?

I like to think of myself as more 'activist' than rebel. In other areas
of my
life too I have worked hard (and against the status quo) to change things
for the better - some successful, some not. But all of them from my heart
and with good intentions.

Most of my efforts sprout from a personal need for change, or a result of
some policy or practice that is hindering me in a personal fashion to
either do my job the way I see fit, or in this case enjoy my life. The
I ultimately effect is usually best achieved if pursued with a goal that
not only benefits me, but all else who share my angst as well. That is what
I hope to do here.

Ive been riding Tiger almost two decades. Ive seen issues come and go,
come and go, people come and go. I've mostly been a silent member of
and ridden with my own little group. But, I (and my group) am growing more
and more frustrated and angry with DNR. I am not one to quietly accept
idiotic policies - especially when they effect the luxuries in life I
like to do.
The guys and gals at Evergreen are doing all they can. My frustration
is not
related to Evergreen, but rather the lack of another pillar of influence to
bear down on DNR.

In order for DNR to take our user group more seriously, they need to
have not only
our designated advocates (evergreen), but also the everyday and ordinary
in their face and in their minds on a constant basis. This sometimes
comes in
the form of emails from ordinary users - but this isnt enough.

At this point I am suggesting two more things.
One is civil disobedience. Ride where it makes sense to you. This
doesnt mean
be a jerk, destroy things, tear down signs, or blow past hikers etc. It
means, make
your own decision if it makes sense to ride the no-bikes trail you
desire to ride.
If you ride it, be polite, and if caught by the authorities dont run. Stop
and talk to them, and be prepared to possibly pay for the civil infraction
you could receive if caught. This is how I will act. I will not hide.
I will park my
car with bike rack in full view at Granite Lakes etc., If caught, I will
stop and
talk to them, take my ticket, pay it and move on.

Two, a separate forum for Mt. Bike discussion. Here, bikers can air
their frustrations
without associating with Evergreen. Heck, even Evergreen employees can
express their feelings on this forum with out worry of going against
Evergreen policy!

The new forum is up. The address is:

email to join. This will in the future turn into a self funded
informational portal
for all things mt biking with out political influence. It will consist
of pure, unaltered,
user contributed information and group rides.

Understand though, that the point of creating the user group is
primarily two fold.
One is to simply provide and disseminate unfiltered biking information
no matter
where and what that info may be. Two, to target an audience being DNR,
Hikers and now Trail runners (who are starting to do Inverson/NW
Timber). This
audience needs to hear our voice, read our sentiment, see our activities
and fully
come to grips with the fact that they can either continue to escalate
their fight with us
and try to deny us due access, or finally accept that they are indeed
not entitled to
exclusive trail access by nature of the fact that feet came before wheels!!

All in a forum devoid of political and social influence.

Sign up. make a new anonymous email to use if you need to. But
realize, there is a whole
lot of pent of frustration and anger out there amongst bikers that many
of you fail to
see or acknowledge.



[Of course, true civil disobedience is done openly. This, on the other hand, is secretive, purely criminal behavior!


From: Robert <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 22:02:52 -0700
Subject: Re: trail character discussion

No doubt - the people at and working with Evergreen are doing amazing and
have made much progress in all regards
considering the limited resources and the nature of the interest groups
they are up against. Discounting this is not my intention.

My intention is to rally, spark, foster, highlight and promote individual
vigor for the sake of mountain biking as a collective force to be reckoned
with and which will not sit idly by, quietly accepting the exclusionary
imposition of other groups and poly wanks.

Historically and globally, on a grand scale and on a micro scale the
defence of the rights of an oppressed interest group does not generally
ever succeed by the efforts of the sanctioned, legally abiding and
designated body (evergreen) alone. It takes more.

This 'more' must come from the individuals themselves in a collective,
stubborn and persistent manner.

This 'more' cannot act in association with the designated body
(evergreen). It must act on its own disassociated from the designated body
so as not to undermine their work vis a vie the opposition.

This independent movement is what I'm calling for amongst all mt bikers.

This 'more' must act spontaneously, unofficially, yet with a loud voice
and ACTION in the form of taking what is due them rather than waiting for
their due rights to be awarded to them.

It is right and needed that those who represent mt bikers in an official
capacity behave, speak and interact with a level head and within the legal
framework - just as they are indeed doing.

It is my mistake to attempt to rally a more rebellious and civil
disobedient approach amongst mt bikers (by introducing non sanctioned
trails) in this forum owned by evergreen. A separate and unassociated
forum needs to be used for mt bikers to express and share what's truely in
their heart's and minds regarding our sport with out the risk of making our
representatives look bad. What our reps say in this forum has to be metered
and checked to maintain their stature amongst those they are appealing to.
And this is the correct thing to do.

I will establish a new forum. A forum made as a private individual for mt
bikers to speak and share whatever they wish, disassociated from any legal
entity. I'll send notice when created and hope all of you join. It is
needed. It will help our overall cause and help those at Evergreen.

The people Evergreen are up against need to have it etched in their minds
that mt bikers are never going away. We are growing in numbers. We are
demanding. We will do whatever it takes to be treated equally as
equestrians and hikers. We will not simply avoid a trail because of
precedent or some bureaucratic screw up or screw ball. They need to learn
that they have to deal with us on even ground and even access or expect a
fight. And the fighting time is upon us.
(for the record, 'fighting' doesn't mean harassing individual equestrians
or hikers on the trail). It simply means riding the trails and being polite
to others. But riding none the less.

So with that, I encourage all of you to act in a private, civil disobedient
manner and ride wherever it makes sense for you. Your disobedience is
crucial to etching into the minds of those who hold power over our trails
that we will not tolerate second rate treatment, that they must fully
acknowledge our access rights and fully incorporate our user group into
overall planning. This private behavior in conjunction with the lawful and
current-rule following behavior of our representatives (evergreen) is the
surest way to equal access.

I have spoken with many a mt bikers. They feel just as I do. They do as I
do. It's time to expand this, and bring it into a forum online for all to
see, read and share. Especially for those against us who surely monitor
our online sentiment. The Evergreen forum is pacifist, as it should be. We
need a forum to speak OUT and SCREAM and ENCOURAGE our bikers.

I hope you'll join.


Mountain Bikers Treat Their Peers Just as Badly as They Treat Everyone else!:


From: Robert <>
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2013 20:54:43 -0700
Subject: preston uphill riders

OK - We need Evergreen to put a little
time into managing the three established
trails we have on Tiger.

The worst problem is one of downhillers not
yielding to uphillers on Preston. 50% of the people
yield, 25% slow a little but dont move over,
and another 25% of downhillers literally keep
their pace, and line and bomb past an uphiller
with zero regard !!!!

I want signs posted by Evergreen at the trail head
and periodically along the trail. Evenly space ten to fifteen
signs down the trail so downhillers can not miss
reading it.

word it something to the effect...."This is a bi-directional
trail. Up hill riders have right of way. Downhillers yield
and give way their line to uphillers"

Sorry Evergreen, and whomever does not agree with me.
This is common sense, and globally universal. (trust me
I ride Japan, Hong Kong and even Thailand routinely
and downhiller behavior is downright courteous and polite
in these domains). Some of our downhillers are just plain
punks on bikes that cant climb.

Ive been bitting my tongue all season so more.

I go UP preston twice a week and run into these jerks
every time.

I volunteer to make the signs and put them up
myself. If Evergreen cannot take time away from smoothing
out our trails and playing politics with DNR to do something
about this soon - I will

Im off to Japan in a couple days and back on Aug 8th.
(yes im biking in Japan - Takasaki area - amazing singletrack
with civilized downhillers).

Ill be going up Preston again on Aug 9th or 10th. If I see
no signs posted by Evergreen - I will then proceed to
post my own.

no response needed.


Danielle Baker writes: (of course she lives on the North Shore and has over-entitlement to our forests on her mtb)


The Bakery: Can You Keep a Secret?

Bike Magazine (blog)-Jul 5, 2013

"At some point in every emerging mountain bike community, illegal trails are necessary to grow the sport. It's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permissionÖ"