Reverse trail directions (?)

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Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby Waynosan » March 18th, 2018, 4:49 pm

Been riding MTB since the mid 90's and I've always wondered why, year-to-year, we ride in the same direction. Seems like reversing trail direction once a year would be a great way to experience more of our trails without having to build up anything new and without increasing risk of crashes. I expect there would be a little more trail wear but certainly only a small fraction of what would be involved with building a completely new trail. Has this ever been discussed/considered? I do not like 2-way trails but I've ridden a few in the past in both directions and riding in the opposite direction, many feel completely different. Would be a great way to inject some excitement, challenge, etc. into our rides with the only downside being having to add some text about which direction the trail will run for even vs odd years. Thoughts?
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby c0nsumer » March 18th, 2018, 7:36 pm

I think this is a great idea for new trails like DTE, but it's kinda hard to do somewhere established. While those of us who are clued into the local MTB community will easily pick up on the yearly change, I can see it being a problem for somewhere that's already established as one direction.
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby jthomp » March 18th, 2018, 7:50 pm

Wouldn’t it be great to ride some of favorite trails backwards in the day light? Would seem like a brand new trail!
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby amadkins » March 18th, 2018, 7:52 pm

I like the idea. There are lots of trails that alternate daily in other parts of the country. I don’t see why annual reversals would cause much trouble.

Although, some lights and early or late start times can accomplish the same thing. I often do reverse loops with new snow too.
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby b_b » March 18th, 2018, 11:20 pm

I think a daily reversal schedule could also be adopted for existing trails if the land manager wanted to.
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby AllMountin' » March 19th, 2018, 8:33 am

I generally like the daily reversals, and might prefer the reverse on Yankee and Custer. Both of those are examples of trails that made the switch after being long established one way. We did pass one rider going backwards on the fort on Saturday. But that was over the course of three laps, and not a big deal. We came across one group going wrong direction at Yankee, in the course of six laps. Again, not a big deal, so long as the vast majority respect the reversal, and they do.

I will say that it works better on pure xc trails than on modern flow trail designs, IMO. I like Fort and Yankee about the same either way, but Merrell red is vastly superior to yellow, IMO, and the Maple Hill trail is notably better counter clockwise IMO. Still good the other, but I only try to hit those places in my preferred direction.
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby Waynosan » March 20th, 2018, 2:42 pm

The issue I see with intra-day (or day vs evening) reversals is that in order to eliminate the possibility of oncoming traffic, a certain period of time would have to be reserved for "clearing" of the trails of the riders already out. Honestly I think the next easiest option to implement after yearly reversals would be to go with daily. Add a big sign at the trailhead(s) stating something to the effect:

"On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays the trail directions run as labeled on map
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays the trail directions runs OPPOSITE the directions labeled on map"

This could be reinforced with the appropriate sign on the first turn.

I'm sure there's already precedents set so no need to re-invent the wheel, ha ha.

So how would we go forward with an official proposal? I'd love to see this implemented at Stony Creek, Bloomer, River Bends, etc. Would be willing to contribute to funds necessary to add or modify sign verbiage.
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby b_b » March 20th, 2018, 3:54 pm

Waynosan wrote:"On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays the trail directions run as labeled on map
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays the trail directions runs OPPOSITE the directions labeled on map"

What about Saturday? :)
Merrell and DTE flip-flop.

"Unique to Merrell Trail is that the trails are one way traffic assigned by the day of the week. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays the bike riders must follow the yellow arrows. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday the bike riders must follow the red arrows."
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby Waynosan » April 22nd, 2018, 11:22 am

Wanted to go to the CRAMBA meeting this past week to bring this up but unfortunately work had other plans for me... :(
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby TimTucker » June 7th, 2018, 3:20 pm

Assuming the goal is for more people to be able to try the trails in each direction, I would think it would be simpler / better to do an odd day / even schedule if alternating by day.

With a day of the week based schedule, someone who can only get out to the trails on Saturdays would only ever be able to ride in a single direction. With odd / even rotation, they'd see a switch up (almost) every other week.
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby SloMo » June 8th, 2018, 6:52 am

The trail I ride in Florida alternates on the first of the month.
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby ScottStruzik » August 20th, 2018, 9:48 pm

I just found out about MMBA and CRAMBA tonight.

Speaking of Bloomer Park specifically, I had no idea that these trails had directionality to them, I've always rode them in whatever direction I happened upon them.

Does it upset those that are "in-the-know" that was going in the wrong direction?
Or is the directionality only important during large biking events or groups?
Should directionality of trails be obeyed at all times?

Thanks folks!
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby WICCMB » August 21st, 2018, 9:00 am

ScottStruzik wrote:Does it upset those that are "in-the-know" that was going in the wrong direction?
Or is the directionality only important during large biking events or groups?
Should directionality of trails be obeyed at all times?


Yes, and not just those "in the know", but anyone that you come across on the trail
No
Yes - considering the speeds that can be achieved on our trails, narrow trail corridors, thick vegetation/overgrowth, blind corners, and with the expectation among other riders that everyone is going the right way, it can be dangerous to ride in the wrong direction.**

**Although not officially sanctioned, some riders will ride in the opposite way in the dark while using lights. The lights make it obvious that someone is riding at you. If doing so, it is expected that the rider going the "wrong" direction will yield to any rider going in the correct direction.
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby ScottStruzik » August 21st, 2018, 1:07 pm

Thanks so much for the reply! It makes sense now why some of the bikes that I've been opposing aren't always smiley when they see me!

If CRAMBA were to reverse direction on a trail, I think it would be best to do it on an annual basis to reduce on confusion, especially in Bloomer where there's a spider web of MMBA trails and other paths where to the novice it's not quite clear what is what.

I'm looking forward to learning more about mountain biking. I learned about MMBA and CRAMBA because I spoke to a volunteer last night that was doing trail maintenance. I've noticed this guy, Kevin, out there nearly every time I ride and he's always doing things to maintain the trail.

Thanks all for putting up with the newbies both online and out on the trail!
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Re: Reverse trail directions (?)

Postby b_b » August 21st, 2018, 5:43 pm

I'm surprised nobody ever said anything to you. I've encountered folks going the wrong way a few times and always say something for their own safety and others. I assume it's on accident and yeah most likely newbs. :) Actually happened last week at ILRA dad and small kid near the end so they didn't get very far and turned around. Riverview/Lakeview are bi-directional but most riders know and watch for bikes and I've never had any issue.
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