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3/7/2011 8:21 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/7/2011 9:13 AM

Hey everyone, I just wanted to lay this out there as a general rule in comments on photos and videos.

PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR LOCATIONS OF TRAILS IN THE COMMENTS
PLEASE DO NOT GIVE AWAY LOCATIONS OF TRAILS IN THE COMMENTS

if the person posting the photos or videos wants you to know the location, they will tell you in the descriptions. if they don't want you to know, they won't say.

there are many reasons to keep trail locations quiet and asking for locations online doesn't help anyone out, especially the people who put their sweat and time into making the trails.

thanks!
spomer

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3/7/2011 9:55 AM

Thanks for the forum post Spomer. As a trailbuilder it is appreciated!

If you haven't got a riding spot close to you, dig one. Pump tracks are the most efficient riding areas you can build. They fit in almost anywhere and if built properly can be fun and challenging for everyone, beginners to pro riders.

Feel free to message me for some pump track tips/designs or go buy Leelikesbikes' book

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3/7/2011 10:33 AM

'Thanks for the forum post Spomer. As a trailbuilder it is appreciated!" Agreed!
spomer is speaking the truth. if more people gave the courtesy to the builder and didnt talk about fight club the better we would all be!

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3/7/2011 10:54 AM

and if you go to my trails and you take pictures dont let me catch you posting locations on the internet ... ill find you haha

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3/7/2011 10:59 AM

nice post, spomer. trail respect is #1.

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3/7/2011 11:30 AM

I too build, but your pose a very slippery slope argument.

Is the trail on public land? Sorry, you did work for the better of society(the riders, and we thank you), get over yourself.

Private land? Post signs and prosecute

Illegal? My guess is most are illegal and that is the reason they dont want to be found out.

I would have to question the ethics of such an endeavor, what are people thinking...if it was your land would you approve illegal trails?
If it is legal then it is open to the public, then what is the issue?

I happen to enjoy it when hoards of people ride the trails i spent so many hours building. The local club keeps up maintenance so I don't have too.

If everyone was on the level, this would be a moot point.

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3/7/2011 11:32 AM

yea its pretty annoying... thats how trails get demolished... I have too many punk kids around here that like to change stuff when they ride it and they didnt help build it!

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3/7/2011 12:47 PM

Mark_Newton wrote:

I too build, but your pose a very slippery slope argument.

Is the trail on public land? Sorry, you did work for the better of society(the riders, and we thank you), get over yourself.

Private land? Post signs and prosecute

Illegal? My guess is most are illegal and that is the reason they dont want to be found out.

I would have to question the ethics of such an endeavor, what are people thinking...if it was your land would you approve illegal trails?
If it is legal then it is open to the public, then what is the issue?

I happen to enjoy it when hoards of people ride the trails i spent so many hours building. The local club keeps up maintenance so I don't have too.

If everyone was on the level, this would be a moot point.

not sure i get your argument

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3/7/2011 2:38 PM

Mark_Newton wrote:

I too build, but your pose a very slippery slope argument.

Is the trail on public land? Sorry, you did work for the better of society(the riders, and we thank you), get over yourself.

Private land? Post signs and prosecute

Illegal? My guess is most are illegal and that is the reason they dont want to be found out.

I would have to question the ethics of such an endeavor, what are people thinking...if it was your land would you approve illegal trails?
If it is legal then it is open to the public, then what is the issue?

I happen to enjoy it when hoards of people ride the trails i spent so many hours building. The local club keeps up maintenance so I don't have too.

If everyone was on the level, this would be a moot point.

He wasn't posting an argument, he was posting a rule for the website. This is a widely accepted etiquette in mountain biking and like Spomer said there are plenty of reasons for it. If you don't know why then get out and travel and ride more spots and you'll start to understand.

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3/7/2011 7:49 PM

I once had a kid post turn by turn directions to a spot on the internet. The land owner allowed us to build and ride the trail but once the traffic increased to an unmanageable amount of teenagers it was shut down. These kids were the textbook example of lacking trail etiquette. Trash, drugs, building/changing lines, massive amounts of cars in the parking area, you name it they probably did it. Much respect on the new rule!

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3/8/2011 8:24 AM

It's kind of sad that this even needs to be discussed. It seems so obvious, yet so many people are clueless. Here in Santa Cruz, the rangers have been cracking down on the local and yes technically illegal trails. When an friend who was getting busted asked the ranger why they were finally cracking down after twenty years, the ranger said it was because they were seeing so many videos being posted on this and other sites, that they just couldn't look the other way anymore.

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3/8/2011 9:05 AM

I completely agree with Big Bird. There are way too many videos being made on illegal trails, and not just by kooky teens. A certain big bicycle company from over the hill has been putting out vids with illegal trails in them and I for one am not a fan of my local spots getting blown up. Trails are already getting closed because too many people are using them and being disrespectful. If this keeps up, we as bikers won't have left a very good impression and it'll be more difficult to build legal trails. A little etiquette can go a long way.

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3/8/2011 11:29 AM

Thank you, Spomer and well said Cruzian. These videos are used as the content for their advertising/marketing efforts no less. Why not use footage from Demo which is both closer and legal (or not at all). The MTB traffic in SC has definitely spiked in the last year or so. I'm not surprised rangers' enforcement has tightened. I wouldn't want to advocate that the filmers, photographers, builders, and riders put the kabash on their craft, but I think there needs to be some self-governance on the distribution or the disclosing of location. Omitting the name of the trail(s) does little good when we can see you driving down a recognizable road to stop the truck, or see the rider roll onto the road from the end of the trail. I do some building myself and make a policy of keeping my work confidential. I know people will find it eventually, but limiting traffic by concealing the intersections, not sharing trail names, and not sharing info (this is the asshole-localist SC'ian in me) with the out of town crew helps a ton. Let's make "no dig, no ride" a more widely acceptable practice.

oh....and thanks to the other builders out there 'til dark building and maintaining. I don't know all your faces, but I see your vehicles and labor out in woods. Props

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3/8/2011 1:02 PM

I think this brings up a bigger problem that the sport has. We have so few legal places to ride our bikes. The sport is going to have a hard time growing if you can only go ride w/ people who are in the know about super secret riding spots. I think we need to start getting our shit together across the country and get some sanctioned trails. I've never been, but I hear that the PNW has some legal trails that are designated downhill only and that they're awesome.

Did anyone else see the article in MBA (yes, I know, it's MBA) about the author's opinion on "DH race bikes"? He (she?) thinks that all DH (race) bikes should come w/ a warning sticker that designates them as "closed course" bikes that shouldn't be ridden outside of sanctioned trails. He goes on to explain that gravity riders are giving all mountain bikers a bad name because they build so many illegal trails and authorities are not distinguishing between gravity riders and your average mountain biker.

While I think that article was a bit chachy, it brings up a good point. The way we're doing it now isn't sustainable (although, it is fun).

The solution? More places like Bootleg Canyon and the downhill-only trails in the PNW.

Cheers,

Will

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3/8/2011 1:33 PM

cruzian wrote:

I completely agree with Big Bird. There are way too many videos being made on illegal trails, and not just by kooky teens. A certain big bicycle company from over the hill has been putting out vids with illegal trails in them and I for one am not a fan of my local spots getting blown up. Trails are already getting closed because too many people are using them and being disrespectful. If this keeps up, we as bikers won't have left a very good impression and it'll be more difficult to build legal trails. A little etiquette can go a long way.

Good points about the big companies shooting promotional footage in illegal trail areas lately. I think almost every bike company is guilty. Seriously great videos that are fun to watch, ( that specialized one was Awesome!) but it kills me knowing that there will be tons of kids from over hill googling their hearts out trying to find names of the trails.

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3/8/2011 2:11 PM

and Denver D, you touch on another concern that didn't exist in MTB a few years ago. While it's interesting to track a ride with your GPS device (shit, I can do it for free on my cell phone), people uploading their trips to the web make pinpoint trail locations available to the world. There are sites intended strictly for the purpose of indexing and sharing gps-made maps. I expect most people do this for training purposes but the practice represents a serious threat for funneling riders into hard to find trails (legal or illegal).

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3/8/2011 2:32 PM

the GPS technology worries me too.

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3/8/2011 5:31 PM

Guerrilla Gravity wrote:

I think this brings up a bigger problem that the sport has. We have so few legal places to ride our bikes. The sport is going to have a hard time growing if you can only go ride w/ people who are in the know about super secret riding spots. I think we need to start getting our shit together across the country and get some sanctioned trails. I've never been, but I hear that the PNW has some legal trails that are designated downhill only and that they're awesome.

Did anyone else see the article in MBA (yes, I know, it's MBA) about the author's opinion on "DH race bikes"? He (she?) thinks that all DH (race) bikes should come w/ a warning sticker that designates them as "closed course" bikes that shouldn't be ridden outside of sanctioned trails. He goes on to explain that gravity riders are giving all mountain bikers a bad name because they build so many illegal trails and authorities are not distinguishing between gravity riders and your average mountain biker.

While I think that article was a bit chachy, it brings up a good point. The way we're doing it now isn't sustainable (although, it is fun).

The solution? More places like Bootleg Canyon and the downhill-only trails in the PNW.

Cheers,

Will

GREAT Points. why cant we sanction more private land owners to allow us to build??? Were all lazy?? Even are local " mountain bike" organization cant get this to happen. A local freeride park known as duthie hill and also the colonade park took several years to happen. Mine, and some friends, local jump line trails were officially made "legal" as of last winter after the landowners had torn them out. all of which took only a month or so and a couple of meetings to take place.

We as a collective(whatever you want to call us, DH, FR, Black diamond, Gravity, or whatever new stupid name they have now for having fun on your bike) need to start talking to private landowners and legitimizing our trails. Otherwise we will not have any.

BTW, I do build "illegal" trails and would rather not have mass traffic showing up at them, but the local word of mouth is just as bad as the internet sometimes.

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3/8/2011 6:00 PM

I also build local trails, and I invite all respectful people to come ride and dig with me. The more the merrier. This raises awareness that gravity riders require a place to ride. Without seeing us or our trails, nobody would know that there was a need for such a place.
Build...get people involved in the spot or other spots...exhibit a need...present to the city....

They aren't going to set aside land if they don't know people are participating in these activities.

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Ass Ass Ass

3/10/2011 11:43 AM

Can't tell you how much I appreciate Vital bringing up this topic, and your policy on the issue.

I have built trails for over twenty years, legit and not, on private and on public land. I can remember when you could just ask most land owners and they literally couldn't have cared less as long as you didn't cause any trouble. Inevitably though, trouble comes looking to do its thing. I'll skip the legit/pirate debate because I think we can all agree on the basic truths and potential consequences. To me it seems the real underlying problem is and always has been the sense of entitlement that trail "users" exhibit. I do not employ the word "user" nicely. Users are the folks who ride our trails, complain about our trails, re-rout and alter our trails, show up in droves and draw all kinds of unproductive attention. Users do not get involved with the trail building process or builders in any (productive) way. Every aspect of trailbuilding is hard work. It's a labor of love and builders are passionate about their craft. Most builders do want their trails to be ridden and enjoyed but have learned that popularity is a kiss of death. Where I live now, I could list at least a dozen users by name who are notorious for hunting down trails, destroying the builder's work and creating disastrous erosion and mud problems, and even breaking gates to gain shuttle access to trails that were not designed for that level of impact. Obviously this kind of behavior will threaten a secret trail, but the damage actually comes harder and more swiftly to legit trails that have a knowing owner who was just fine with things before the troubles came.

Again, to my point, the problem is self-entitled users. We would love to have you all on board. We could have more legit and better maintained trails, and you would all find that your riding skill and vision improve dramatically. Unfortunately the trend I see growing now is these same users taking their sense of entitlement out to the woods with shovel in hand to build their own trails, often literally right on top of existing lines. Riding spots that were quite sustainable for years are being turned into sprawling abominations. The go-it-alone attitude of these newbies is resulting in the absolute worst trailbuilding practices I have ever seen. If these users would show any respect for their elders they would get involved and learn from our experience. Nothing hurts me more than seeing guys who just gripe about trails being too hard or having features they don't like waste their time and energy cutting a new trail just feet away that isn't even built to last through the next rain. I"m all for building trails, but for F*%K's sake, If you aren't even creative enough to find a place to do it maybe you're not ready. If you are going to do it, do it right and make it last. Just because you paid for a bike doesn't entitle you to ANYTHING. Not even riding it. There are lift passes for that. If you want to build trail, great, but just like anything else, if you are going to do it right you are going to have to put in a lot of time and work. And you're going to be a whole lot better off if you get to know some experienced trailbuilders and work with them and learn from them.

End rant...for now

THE ONLY BENEFIT THAT "USERS" BRING TO THE SPORT IS LINING THE POCKETS OF BIG BIKE COMPANY EXECS.

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3/10/2011 1:06 PM

Oh yeah, and concerning the MBA column: screw those jerks. They are hypocrites and liars. Not only are they the worst rag ever, but they print pictures of their riders on illegal trails. I won't say where, or who built them, but I know first hand from the builder.

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3/14/2011 9:25 AM

I found the SKIDWORKS trail yesterday! Here's the GPS info... Just kidding.

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3/14/2011 10:18 AM

I have issue with the "no dig no ride" what it leads to is trail sprawl shit lines everywhere and water damage. Building downhill trails that hold up to erosion is time consuming and the builder still needs to maintain the trail from riding. I want people to enjoy riding trails illegal or legal. To me building a trail means that its the builders job to maintain the trail. Not just skid down the fault line and say “OK done”.

Something I would like to add to this is, if the rider can't ride a section don't make the trail easier or an alternate line to the side. Man up stuff your pride, and walk it. Find a person that can ride it and ask for advice. Most people will help.

-Vince

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3/14/2011 11:16 AM

This has been a huge problem for for me and im glad that it is getting some attention. I have built a few trails in my area and do a ton of trail work on others. I personally cringe when new people find my trails because like most builders I know that as more people find out about any trail the traffic will continue to grow. This means more erosion and more unhappy neighbors and officials. However, whats the point of having a sweet trail if no one can ride it. The best part of riding is riding with friends and even "out of towners". We all go on road trips to ride and if no one shared trail info, we would all be doing a lot less riding. Im always torn whether to share info with new people, but I try to remember about the hospitality I get when I head out west to ride in the winter. Its definitely tough.

I think the real problem is that as a group DH and FR riders have such little legal access. We need to create more legal DH specific spots like Bootleg and Blackrock. We cant just keep building illegal trails. I have ridden up in SC and there are some amazing trails up there, but there are also a ton of irrelevant side trails, unhappy neighbors, and increased traffic. These are things that are not going to go away! The actuality is that the world is getting more populated every day and the open space we need to ride our bikes is at a premium. Illegal trails are not helping us out in the long run. They are fun, dont get me wrong, but it has to change and the sooner the better. We all think legal trails are going to be boring, and most right now are, so we as a user group need to find new ways to make sick, legal, DH trails. My two cents..

Ryan

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3/14/2011 12:04 PM

How about everyone send an email right now to support the Timberline Ski Area MTB trail project that is being proposed on Mt Hood? You can email to lhutton@fs.fed.us

Be clear, be professional, and tell them you'll spend money to ride there.

And yeah, maybe people can leave the logo wrapped trucks and vans somewhere the rangers on Rte 9 don't have to drive by them you lazy bastids.

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I don't always work, but when I do, it's at Santa Cruz Bicycles

3/14/2011 12:44 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/14/2011 12:47 PM

LOL. This topic reminds me of why I ride STREET.
It is the only form of MTB that is not - "Site Specific" and thus cannot be taken away. I don't have to worry about "poaching" someones already " poach built" trail ......or wonder if a "No Trespassing" sign is going to appear one day on a BLM Trail because some one was being a freak...... And Sure, I have to worry about someone calling the cops on me, but Street is literally everywhere. ......No Dig- Just Ride.

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3/14/2011 2:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/14/2011 2:54 PM

Picabo_Street wrote:

LOL. This topic reminds me of why I ride STREET.
It is the only form of MTB that is not - "Site Specific" and thus cannot be taken away. I don't have to worry about "poaching" someones already " poach built" trail ......or wonder if a "No Trespassing" sign is going to appear one day on a BLM Trail because some one was being a freak...... And Sure, I have to worry about someone calling the cops on me, but Street is literally everywhere. ......No Dig- Just Ride.

Oh yeah, good Point. Actually, I´ll give up Mountainbiking and just go ride my roadbike or have the odd street session. Oh wait, there´s cars on the road. And pedestrians in the street. And cops. And air pollution. Dogs. Kids. Signs. Buildings. Frickin´ Traffic lights.

Street is (to me, personally) neither an option nor is it a solution to the problem. The problem wouldn´t be a problem in the first place if people would manage to stick to trail etiquette and keep their mouth shut. Especially on the internet.


/By the way: The beauty of mountainbiking is that it isn´t "site specific" like you said. I can take my bike, get out the front door and hoon about in the woods till kingdom comes. No limits whatsoever. Where there´s a mountain (and preferably some forest), there´s mountainbiking. And don´t call a mountain a "specific site" or I´ll have to ask if you´d have a swimming comp in the dry. Rant over.

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fotojournalismus.org

3/14/2011 5:07 PM

Joe_Graney wrote:

How about everyone send an email right now to support the Timberline Ski Area MTB trail project that is being proposed on Mt Hood? You can email to lhutton@fs.fed.us

Be clear, be professional, and tell them you'll spend money to ride there.

And yeah, maybe people can leave the logo wrapped trucks and vans somewhere the rangers on Rte 9 don't have to drive by them you lazy bastids.

That last part is funny I don't care who ya are. First step for me was to just nix the logo wrapped van out of the budget. I just know at some point 1 of 12 riders will do something stupid like that. We have our secret little place we ask people to park, and it still amazes me that I catch flack when I try and direct folks to the proper place. I know I can never stop them from riding certain areas, but hate getting s**t from riders who don't follow even the basic "rules". Like NO DOGS! Park over there not here. That kinda s*@t.

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3/14/2011 9:07 PM

Wild Bill Kelso wrote:

That last part is funny I don't care who ya are. First step for me was to just nix the logo wrapped van out of the budget. I just know at some point 1 of 12 riders will do something stupid like that. We have our secret little place we ask people to park, and it still amazes me that I catch flack when I try and direct folks to the proper place. I know I can never stop them from riding certain areas, but hate getting s**t from riders who don't follow even the basic "rules". Like NO DOGS! Park over there not here. That kinda s*@t.

I think Joe G might have been throwing a subtle dig in the direction of some specific companies. Spesh vans and RS monster trucks don't blend into the scenery too well. In all honesty the rangers are pretty laxed though. It would be easy for them to crack down and crank out tickets, but I only see them doing that on the weekends when traffic volume is high.

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3/14/2011 10:09 PM

Joe_Graney wrote:

How about everyone send an email right now to support the Timberline Ski Area MTB trail project that is being proposed on Mt Hood? You can email to lhutton@fs.fed.us

Be clear, be professional, and tell them you'll spend money to ride there.

And yeah, maybe people can leave the logo wrapped trucks and vans somewhere the rangers on Rte 9 don't have to drive by them you lazy bastids.

Wild Bill Kelso wrote:

That last part is funny I don't care who ya are. First step for me was to just nix the logo wrapped van out of the budget. I just know at some point 1 of 12 riders will do something stupid like that. We have our secret little place we ask people to park, and it still amazes me that I catch flack when I try and direct folks to the proper place. I know I can never stop them from riding certain areas, but hate getting s**t from riders who don't follow even the basic "rules". Like NO DOGS! Park over there not here. That kinda s*@t.

reseRved wrote:

I think Joe G might have been throwing a subtle dig in the direction of some specific companies. Spesh vans and RS monster trucks don't blend into the scenery too well. In all honesty the rangers are pretty laxed though. It would be easy for them to crack down and crank out tickets, but I only see them doing that on the weekends when traffic volume is high.

Oh I got his point. We have the same issue in Tahoe. Big trucks that just say "mountain bike shuttle drop off here".

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