Over-maintenance?

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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby ryguy79 » June 25th, 2018, 4:53 pm

AllMountin' wrote:I dunno. I don't know if I know anyone who doesn't like glacial, and know many that count it their favorite, or among their favorites. And Island Lake is still probably the busiest trailhead in the state. There's a market for it. I really enjoy it as is, and don't mind the lack of gnar, as it's just one item on the buffet for me. I'd like it better if there were some kickers and gnar, here and there, sure. But it's got great flow, easy climbing, some good turns, and some pumpable, sustained descents. There's a lot to like.

XC race culture is strong here. There are a lot more pedalers than senders. We outnumbered. And we don't build trails, generally speaking, that challenge riders to invest in skill acquisition. The cycle feeds itself, and our trails and riders end up watered down, as compared to areas with more progressive trails.


The XC culture here is not my cuppa tea even though I do race XC occasionally. A neighbor and I went up to Marquette Trails Fest and he was amazed at how different the riding culture was there. Outside of the Sunday morning XC race (which he raced) there was almost no spandex to be seen. I rode most of the XC short course on Friday and it still had some tech and decscended Down Dogger, so it wasn't just a complete drag race.

We stopped and rode in Munising on the way home at the new MBTN trails and there was some XC stuff that felt a lot like Glacial hills but with 3 lines of varying technicality with really fun features. I just don't see why they can't coexist here like they do in the UP (and just about everywhere else outside of the LP I've ridden).
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby c0nsumer » June 25th, 2018, 7:18 pm

ryguy79 wrote:A neighbor and I went up to Marquette Trails Fest and he was amazed at how different the riding culture was there. Outside of the Sunday morning XC race (which he raced) there was almost no spandex to be seen. I rode most of the XC short course on Friday and it still had some tech and decscended Down Dogger, so it wasn't just a complete drag race.


There's very few drag race-y sections in the Trails Fest routes, both long and short. It's a pretty solid race. There's a couple of two track sections, but Wildcat, much of Greywalls, Porky Pine Pass, and Down Dogger have decent rock in them. There's a bit of double track but by that time the race is usually pretty spread out. All the fast flowy single track tends to be too tight for easy passes. It's a very solid MTB race, and much tighter than most any XC race course I've ridden in the LP. Almost ever pass I made yesterday was done by negotiating the pass; not just going for it.

ryguy79 wrote:I just don't see why they can't coexist here like they do in the UP (and just about everywhere else outside of the LP I've ridden).


Almost everything you seem to like about UP riding is dependent on sustained elevation with rock below it for support. In the LP we simply don't have that. Almost everything in the LP is a layer of clay-based dirt over sandy/gravely soil (southern) or sandy loamy soil over sandy gravel (northern/western). We simply don't have the sustained elevation and can't build the kind of tech features you keep mentioning without bringing in (which means buying) significant amounts of rock. (Look at Big Kame, as an example. Almost all of that rock was purchased and brought in.)

So, we make do with what we have, and for the most part it ends up being pretty darn good. It's not rough and rugged, but it can be really fun to ride. Horses for courses and all.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby ryguy79 » June 25th, 2018, 9:35 pm

Steve please don't assume to know everything about what I like from a few posts. Using trail A as an example doesn't mean trail B has to be exactly that. In relating to Glacial Hills and my thoughts on it throughout this thread, I just wish some more of it was left au naturel. To allow more of it to develop a character not found by removing small rocks and roots. To maybe build more trail that you couldn't lay a mini railroad down. The point being you can have meticulously groomed trails *cough dirt sidewalks* and natural singletrack in one network. The ratio here is just way off in my opinion. Imagine a ski area that had 30 green runs and maybe 2 blue runs. Its that for bikes.

Might as well give up with guys like you on my side.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby c0nsumer » June 25th, 2018, 10:34 pm

ryguy79 wrote: To allow more of it to develop a character not found by removing small rocks and roots. To maybe build more trail that you couldn't lay a mini railroad down. The point being you can have meticulously groomed trails *cough dirt sidewalks* and natural singletrack in one network. The ratio here is just way off in my opinion. Imagine a ski area that had 30 green runs and maybe 2 blue runs. Its that for bikes.


I get that. At the same time, if the builders / maintainers are trying to keep it as smooth as it was once built, that's what it'll take. As the surface compacts and the trail beds in, stuff that wasn't there originally will come to the surface. While I get what you're saying, removing it is keeping the trail as it was built versus letting it turn into something more rugged. There's definitely arguments for both sides there. Personally, I tend towards maintenance to maintain original intention and less build-and-let-go.

ryguy79 wrote:Might as well give up with guys like you on my side.


I'm sorry if I came across not-good. I've had to deal with a LOT of "why don't you all just let the giant rocks be?!?" or "why didn't you go DOWN that hill instead of being dumb and across it" questions down on trails in SE MI from folks who just. don't. get. that we simply don't have big rocks and going straight down hills makes for awful trail. I took your post as more of that.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby Roy » June 26th, 2018, 7:12 am

When Torn shirt first was cut it was a "let rocks be rocks" trail".
It got very little maintenance and in 5 years it turned to S H I T.
I have no idea what Torn Shirt is like today, but once the clay is washed out and the sand follows down hill,
You can't put it back.

Island Lake is almost all new compared to how it was first built. All the straight down/up hill sections have been rerouted.
Water just loves to rum down hill fast and straight down hill is the fastest.

Stoney has more rock then Island Lake and more of the original trail has held up.
( many of the reroutes also increased the trail length. )

Pick any almost LP trail, and the history will be the same,
except maybe, for the trail Pauly built.


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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby b_b » June 26th, 2018, 7:56 am

TS has also had a lot of rerouting and some pretty cool new machine built trail, but could probably use some more rerouting for reasons mentioned.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby ryguy79 » June 26th, 2018, 9:14 am

When I rode Torn Shirt this spring I thought it was great fun. Did several laps.

Also, where am I asking for fall line trails? Oh that's right, I'm not, so I don't understand why people keep bringing that up.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby jlrotax583 » June 26th, 2018, 9:48 am

ryguy79 wrote: I just don't see why they can't coexist here like they do in the UP (and just about everywhere else outside of the LP I've ridden).


It would be great to have a section of Glacial (or anywhere in NLP) be like Highland.
Politics aside, (and that's a big one) I don't think there is enough like minded riders up there, that enjoy that style of riding,
who would put in the time and solicit the monies required to build/maintain those type of trails.
As Steve mentioned, generally that soil is not conducive to holding together with a steeper/challenging type of trail without bringing in material.

It was probably suggested before, but working within the current stakeholders/trail committee is your best route.

I would think that using DTE/Big Kame financials would be appropriate to get you in the ball park when pitching your ideas.

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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby ryguy79 » June 26th, 2018, 9:57 am

jlrotax583 wrote:
ryguy79 wrote: I just don't see why they can't coexist here like they do in the UP (and just about everywhere else outside of the LP I've ridden).


It would be great to have a section of Glacial (or anywhere in NLP) be like Highland.
Politics aside, (and that's a big one) I don't think there is enough like minded riders up there, that enjoy that style of riding,
who would put in the time and solicit the monies required to build/maintain those type of trails.
As Steve mentioned, generally that soil is not conducive to holding together with a steeper/challenging type of trail without bringing in material.

It was probably suggested before, but working within the current stakeholders/trail committee is your best route.

I would think that using DTE/Big Kame financials would be appropriate to get you in the ball park when pitching your ideas.

-Jon


Nowhere in this thread am I suggesting anything you or Steve are referring to when talking about steep trails, bringing in material, DTE, etc. Other trails I've mentioned are just examples of places that have gone far beyond what I'd like to see at Glacial. The handbuilt section here is already great. After that they went quantity over quality and now they don't want Joe Blow on his Walgoose to hit a rock on it.

If there are not enough riders looking for a different experience, then who built and who rides Boyne School Forest? Berms, jumps, rocks, etc. Again, not even what I'm looking for at Glacial, but another example that's actually in the NW lower.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby jlrotax583 » June 26th, 2018, 10:24 am

ryguy79 wrote:I'm not expecting to ride big rocky stuff here. I lived in the LP until I was 25 so I knew I'd be resetting expectations when it comes to riding. Its not even the trails themselves that bother me, its the nanny state type trail maintenance. There's just never a tough section that you clear and feel a little accomplishment. Nothing remotely close. Just hammer hammer hammer. Which is fun sometimes. I just think its insane to cut out tiny, I'm talking less than 1" roots the night I worked, and rocks that were barely protruding from the dirt. I wouldn't even have noticed the rock had they not stopped to dig it up. At least there's a little bit of the original hand built trail that is really fun and still has some roots and a rock here and there. Hopefully they'll leave that bit alone.

My riding and volunteering time is somewhat limited. I ride 4-5 days a week, but usually in little 1 hour chunks. Family life, yard work, kids, etc. The time it would take to drive to another trail and back is about the same as riding or working at Glacial. I've ridden a few places up here that are less neutered but not as often as I'd like. I ride regularly with a couple guys on the GH board and have started attending the board meetings. I've put the bug in their ear.

About the northern part of the trails. So apparently that was where there were supposed to be more 'advanced' trails built that never were. It actually says that in the trail maintenance guide. There's so much room in that area and some decent looking terrain. It seems they went for quantity over quality and just machine built it all but without the features of really good machine built trails I've ridden. Seems like some wasted potential in that area.

On the plus side my flat corner skills have improved.


I guess when I read the above in bold, it seems to me your implying something a little more than leaving a few roots and rocks in the trail here and there.
That's why I mentioned Highland. Since it seems to be what I think would fit in good out there. I don't know what other response/validation/opinion you were looking for.
I don't want to speak for all, but I think its safe to say we are on your side. More trails of all kinds the better.
Looks like your in touch with the local decision makers, hopefully you can move the needle in your favor.

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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby c0nsumer » June 26th, 2018, 10:32 am

Personally, I'd LOVE it if we had more technical stuff on LP trails. (There's a reason why I've been spending a bit of time in the Marquette area each year.) Because of the terrain and soil it's just so, so hard to do down in the LP. So, unfortunately, we instead end up with either log piles, built wood tech, lots of money spent on bringing in materials, or blown out sections that get called tech. It's frustrating, but an unfortunate reality in our area.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby ryguy79 » June 26th, 2018, 10:44 am

jlrotax583 wrote:
ryguy79 wrote:I'm not expecting to ride big rocky stuff here. I lived in the LP until I was 25 so I knew I'd be resetting expectations when it comes to riding. Its not even the trails themselves that bother me, its the nanny state type trail maintenance. There's just never a tough section that you clear and feel a little accomplishment. Nothing remotely close. Just hammer hammer hammer. Which is fun sometimes. I just think its insane to cut out tiny, I'm talking less than 1" roots the night I worked, and rocks that were barely protruding from the dirt. I wouldn't even have noticed the rock had they not stopped to dig it up. At least there's a little bit of the original hand built trail that is really fun and still has some roots and a rock here and there. Hopefully they'll leave that bit alone.

My riding and volunteering time is somewhat limited. I ride 4-5 days a week, but usually in little 1 hour chunks. Family life, yard work, kids, etc. The time it would take to drive to another trail and back is about the same as riding or working at Glacial. I've ridden a few places up here that are less neutered but not as often as I'd like. I ride regularly with a couple guys on the GH board and have started attending the board meetings. I've put the bug in their ear.

About the northern part of the trails. So apparently that was where there were supposed to be more 'advanced' trails built that never were. It actually says that in the trail maintenance guide. There's so much room in that area and some decent looking terrain. It seems they went for quantity over quality and just machine built it all but without the features of really good machine built trails I've ridden. Seems like some wasted potential in that area.

On the plus side my flat corner skills have improved.


I guess when I read the above in bold, it seems to me your implying something a little more than leaving a few roots and rocks in the trail here and there.
That's why I mentioned Highland. Since it seems to be what I think would fit in good out there. I don't know what other response/validation/opinion you were looking for.
I don't want to speak for all, but I think its safe to say we are on your side. More trails of all kinds the better.
Looks like your in touch with the local decision makers, hopefully you can move the needle in your favor.

-Jon


I'm referring to advanced compared to what is already here. Natural singletrack instead of wide flat corridors you can drive an ATV down.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby ryguy79 » June 26th, 2018, 10:46 am

c0nsumer wrote:Personally, I'd LOVE it if we had more technical stuff on LP trails. (There's a reason why I've been spending a bit of time in the Marquette area each year.) Because of the terrain and soil it's just so, so hard to do down in the LP. So, unfortunately, we instead end up with either log piles, built wood tech, lots of money spent on bringing in materials, or blown out sections that get called tech. It's frustrating, but an unfortunate reality in our area.


Some of my favorite technical trail sections are probably what you would call blown out.
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby c0nsumer » June 26th, 2018, 10:48 am

ryguy79 wrote:Some of my favorite technical trail sections are probably what you would call blown out.


Genuinely curious: like what?
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Re: Over-maintenance?

Postby ryguy79 » June 26th, 2018, 11:06 am

c0nsumer wrote:
ryguy79 wrote:Some of my favorite technical trail sections are probably what you would call blown out.


Genuinely curious: like what?


Most trails in the mountains above Colorado Springs were originally hiking or moto trails. The soil there is all decomposed granite. Very loose, erodes easily, exposed roots and rocks, etc.

Obviously impossible to replicate here.

https://www.bikemag.com/photos/riding-r ... o-springs/

I used to pedal the stuff they shuttled in that article. I would not have left if my wife hadn't been so strongly pulled back home after we started our family.
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