Western: Cannonsburg SGA

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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby killercarbon98 » April 14th, 2009, 3:56 pm

Food will be included on the trail day. What is TBD based on turn out.
If anyone can help, please RSVP private to me so I can plan ahead.

Thanks all.

CC
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby yukonjack » April 15th, 2009, 12:33 pm

I'm a little concerned about the rock garden being built in the 3rd section. This trail is used often by novice bikers on department store bikes. These rookies should also be considered. CSA has always been kind of a launch pad into the sport of mountain biking. Although I have no problem riding it, many will fall either onto the rocks below or onto the rocks stacked on either side of this now narrow section.I wonder how long the DNR will continue us access if we build a trail beyond the skill of some of our riders. This addition appears to be out of line with the rest of the trail. Is there now movement to a trail more like the skills area at the ski hill?
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby printenv » April 15th, 2009, 12:39 pm

Is that a rock garden or a meant to have people riding higher up?
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby cramer » April 15th, 2009, 1:26 pm

printenv wrote:Is that a rock garden or a meant to have people riding higher up?


It's actually neither but depending on when you saw it, that could explain things a little. Initially, the rocks were piled up in one area as a temporary storage for them until the work could be done with them later, at that point, they were not intended to be ridden. Then, last weekend some dedicated folks put a lot of sweat and effort into using them to create a new path with natural stone armoring and the old path was closed off so at that point, yes it was intended to be ridden. It's supposed to be an armored section though, not a rock garden. Right now, I would agree that it feels more like a rock garden than an armored path.

Regarding the question of making the trail more difficult, I think that is a valid concern. The section that it replaced I don't think was any easier to ride and was probably actually more difficult as there was a lot of erosion and substantial roots and small drop offs. However, it always hurts more to land on rocks so I agree, this could be more dangerous right now to a beginner. It's really tough for trail workers to walk this fine line I might add. If that route was made too easy, we would get a stream of complaints about "dumbing down" the trail but if it's too hard, it could become dangerous. Our access is not an issue as all of this was approved by the DNR prior to the work.

That being said, I've spoken with the TC for the game area and he and I came to the same conclusion that you did that this is not acceptable the way it is now. The project is still a "go" but it needs to be made smoother, the rocks need to be more secure so they are not bouncing around as you ride it and the "flow" could improve a bit too. As a result, he is planning on closing off the new rock route temporarily until these changes can be made. I can understand the wish to open up a new line after putting many hours into working on it but in this case, I think it was a bit premature and more work needs to be done to realize the original vision, which is an armored section. Hats off to the workers though for putting in so much work in order to try to keep from dumbing down the trail. It would have been much easier for everyone to just re-route around this section but people realized the value of preserving the few technical features that this trail has. The armoring is meant as a way to preserve the original character of the trail, with a steep grade there, but without the erosion problems.

Sorry for such a long post- in summary, be patient, I think when it is completed it will be a really cool feature that is safe for beginners as well.

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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby dh1 » April 15th, 2009, 2:16 pm

At a minimum they need to post up something at the top of the hill cautioning riders about the rock pile at the bottom. That hill is essentially blind when you make the corner entering the hill, so you don't see the rock pile until too late (unless you are crawling down the hill). It's steep enough that safely stopping if you are riding with a group is not really feasible.

I was just out there this morning and my best description is a steep technical descent, directly into a pile of loose pumpkin sized rocks, upon which you are supposed to make a hairpin turn and exit the hill..... Designed by a couple of orthopedic surgeons looking to drum up business.

I am curious to see how what the end plan is. I wish I could help out this Saturday, unfortunately I have to be out of town.


edited to add: the trail has some muddy sections in the second half. If you plan on riding out there this afternoon or Thursday, plan on walking a couple of uphill sections.
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby cramer » April 15th, 2009, 2:35 pm

Thanks for the input, the TC is on his way over there right now to put up some signs to at least warn people for now.

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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby Bigtymer » April 15th, 2009, 7:56 pm

The rock garden is really cool, but why does the right side have of the trail have to be closed off? Someone threw branches over the tree root stair case. That section is so much fun! Can the branches be removed on Saturday so we can have the rock garden and the tree root stair case for that part of the trail? Please!
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby jasondew » April 15th, 2009, 9:41 pm

the right side is closed off because it was not sustainable with the current user volume. all the sand at the bottom of the hill is only there because it eroded from higher up. the left side of the trail was armored and debermed because of water caused erosion.

the only reason the project is needed is to prevent further erosion. it isn't being done to make the trail more challenging or technical, just to keep that section rideable and not "dumb down" the trail by doing a reroute.

give it a week or so and we'll work out the bugs. better yet, come on out on saturday and help us work out the bugs.
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby Bigtymer » April 15th, 2009, 10:12 pm

that sucks! the right side was way cooler.
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby jasondew » April 16th, 2009, 7:50 am

the section was definitely fun to ride before we made the change. that's often the case with unsustainable erosion prone sections of trail.

what i'm sure would have been less cool would be to completely reroute the section, basically eliminating it all together.
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby killercarbon98 » April 19th, 2009, 9:08 am

Trail Work Update:
Saturday we closed the down hill rock garden section (under construction in sec 3) and re-opened the old high line over the roots. This will remain until the armored down hill is complete and safe to ride. (ETC End of May)
Also, the overgrown main parking lot has been re-claimed and is now much wider. Please maximize parking by creating another row of parking down the center of the lot. This will lesson or eliminate the parking on 4 mile per DNR request.

Thanks everyone that helped!!

Stayed tuned for details on our May 16th Trail Date.... THIS WILL BE BIG! We'll need all the troops for this one.

Ride on.

CC
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby 2WheeledWarrior » April 24th, 2009, 9:29 am

I'd like to say a few things about this new section. First, hats off to the workers and the trail coordinator. I rode the rocks when they first went in and it was fun. Now, they are roped off. That's OK, because listening to Cramer, I can envision an armored section similar to Fort Custer's big dip near the end of Amusement Park section. It'll be great.
Having said that, I hear people talking about taking beginners out on CSGA. Bad idea. It's an intermediate trail and I speak from experience: beginners have a hard time on that trail. It used to be the best place to take them near Grand Rapids, as the Ski Area and Robinette's are both harder. But, now we have the blue trail at Luton Park. Take the beginners over there, please. They'll thank you for it.
The corners are tight, the hills fairly big, the sand is deep and the roots can jump out at you. Having a rock garden will not make this trail any harder than it already is and it'll just make it different.
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby Slimm » April 24th, 2009, 11:26 am

I agree with your comment about the Luton Blue loop. Excellent idea for a noob.

As far as the new section at the SGA, I had the pleasure of walking that with the TC last weekend. Once that section is complete it is going to be WAY more fun than it is currently. The re-route envolves more than just the roots and sand pit. Really, it will be a whole new longer section of trail with an awesome rock feature and nice climbing switchback.
Last edited by Slimm on April 25th, 2009, 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby printenv » April 24th, 2009, 11:33 am

I will second that it is hard for beginners. My wife never mountain biked before and struggled to get through the first two sections. She is yet to be sold on the whole thing based off that experience. Oh, and each time (3 times) she crashed out there. It is tough, I think next time I will take her to Luton instead and see if that helps (thanks for pointing that out).
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Re: Western: Cannonsburg SGA

Postby 2WheeledWarrior » April 24th, 2009, 1:33 pm

Printenv,
What's even better for beginners than Luton Park's blue loop is Bass River. My wife LOVES that trail. It's nice and flat. Plus, with all the turns and stuff, it gets harder as you go faster, so it's not boring for the advanced riders, either.
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