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Squamish just ain't what it used to be

Jan. 6, 2021, 5:42 p.m.
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: syncro
Having higher speed sections that dump into low speed sharp corners is what causes braiding. If a trail is designed properly, that higher speed section will taper down the speed before the sharp corner or have a sufficiently designed berm to allow riders to carry their speed through without the need to braid. You also have to consider that most tech trails were built at a time when the bikes weren't easily capable of the speeds a modern 29'er can easily hit. The bikes have changed and people are riding differently than what older tech trails are meant for.

I don't think it has to do with the trail being designed improperly as you suggest. The trail is the trail. Unless you built it or are going to go put in some trail maintenance days on it to improve it, don't go altering it. It is disrespectful. Have you ever seen a F1 car race where a straightaway leads into a tight corner? Me too. If you are going so fast that you cannot control your speed into a tight corner, you are out of control. If I rode on a trail and it was nothing but straightaways into hairpin corners, I'd just consider it a shit trail and not ride it. If I rode an exceptional trail and there was one tight corner, well that is a feature of that trail. I don't think I as a rider should be riding through the shrubs to cut off the corner because I would have to slow down otherwise. What type of asshole thinks that way? I cannot imagine just plowing through the rough, bulldozing anything that is in my way, all to avoid a corner in the trail.

You left out a key part of my post which is the fun/psychology factor that makes people do what they do. You have to consider those when it comes to trail design and I believe that fast sections that end in abrupt corners are poor trail design which inevitably lead to erosion and braids. You can't design and build a trail and not consider rider behaviour, the two go hand in hand imo. I've seen it plenty of times where I've made relatively minor changes to a trail's alignment, added a rock or trimmed back some brush and those changes have influenced rider behaviour. I like to think that for any given section of trail you need to consider what's happening 5-20m before that point. 

I love jank and tech, but those sort of sections and trails often act as barriers to less skilled riders and speed gates to skilled riders. And of course some sections of trail erode into janky goodness, whether they get left alone or fixed is a whole other huge debate. Anyway, where I see a lot of the braids happening are on less technical trails that have transitions from higher speed sections directly to tight, slow sections. What's an easier way to fix things; change the behaviour of thousands of riders or make a few changes to a section of trail that's getting blown out or braided? One can be done in a weekend, the other may never get done.

Jan. 7, 2021, 1 a.m.
Posts: 805
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: syncro
Having higher speed sections that dump into low speed sharp corners is what causes braiding. If a trail is designed properly, that higher speed section will taper down the speed before the sharp corner or have a sufficiently designed berm to allow riders to carry their speed through without the need to braid. You also have to consider that most tech trails were built at a time when the bikes weren't easily capable of the speeds a modern 29'er can easily hit. The bikes have changed and people are riding differently than what older tech trails are meant for.

I don't think it has to do with the trail being designed improperly as you suggest. The trail is the trail. Unless you built it or are going to go put in some trail maintenance days on it to improve it, don't go altering it. It is disrespectful. Have you ever seen a F1 car race where a straightaway leads into a tight corner? Me too. If you are going so fast that you cannot control your speed into a tight corner, you are out of control. If I rode on a trail and it was nothing but straightaways into hairpin corners, I'd just consider it a shit trail and not ride it. If I rode an exceptional trail and there was one tight corner, well that is a feature of that trail. I don't think I as a rider should be riding through the shrubs to cut off the corner because I would have to slow down otherwise. What type of asshole thinks that way? I cannot imagine just plowing through the rough, bulldozing anything that is in my way, all to avoid a corner in the trail.

You left out a key part of my post which is the fun/psychology factor that makes people do what they do. You have to consider those when it comes to trail design and I believe that fast sections that end in abrupt corners are poor trail design which inevitably lead to erosion and braids. You can't design and build a trail and not consider rider behaviour, the two go hand in hand imo. I've seen it plenty of times where I've made relatively minor changes to a trail's alignment, added a rock or trimmed back some brush and those changes have influenced rider behaviour. I like to think that for any given section of trail you need to consider what's happening 5-20m before that point. 

I love jank and tech, but those sort of sections and trails often act as barriers to less skilled riders and speed gates to skilled riders. And of course some sections of trail erode into janky goodness, whether they get left alone or fixed is a whole other huge debate. Anyway, where I see a lot of the braids happening are on less technical trails that have transitions from higher speed sections directly to tight, slow sections. What's an easier way to fix things; change the behaviour of thousands of riders or make a few changes to a section of trail that's getting blown out or braided? One can be done in a weekend, the other may never get done.

I guess I'm an idealist. I dont think riders should go down someone's trail thinking that the trail should cater to them. I see it like someone saying to Picasso or van Gough, your painting is too blue, so I added some red. Its great that you consider riders when building your trail but I respect the work that goes into such an endeavor and the fact that it is a reflection of a vision the trail builder had, not just a service they cater to my penchant for unadulterated speed and flow.

Jan. 7, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
Posts: 23
Joined: Aug. 16, 2018

this builder thinks it's not quite as black and white as syncro says.

there's a time and a place for braid blockers and keeping people on trail.  disagree that the answer is always to accommodate the lowest denominator of rider.  i would go so far as to say that 9 times out of 10 that a new braid is opened, it is shit and should be shutdown

why tell people on here syncro, to go fuck with the trails, and the builders will just roll over?  jeez.

Jan. 7, 2021, 9:09 a.m.
Posts: 1739
Joined: April 25, 2003

The threat that the flow-loving masses poses to my tech and jank (which I and others enjoy) is what has led to me keeping my work hidden.

Jan. 7, 2021, 9:19 a.m.
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: RAHrider

I guess I'm an idealist. I dont think riders should go down someone's trail thinking that the trail should cater to them. I see it like someone saying to Picasso or van Gough, your painting is too blue, so I added some red. Its great that you consider riders when building your trail but I respect the work that goes into such an endeavor and the fact that it is a reflection of a vision the trail builder had, not just a service they cater to my penchant for unadulterated speed and flow.

There's nothing wrong with having an ideal, but that has to balanced with some real world pragmatism as well. It is builder's choice and riders need to respect that, but also consider that sometimes things don't work as intended. I've had to deal with that and it sucks, so you figure out what went wrong, learn from it and then take those lessons with you on to the next piece of work you do.

Posted by: oldmanbuilder

this builder thinks it's not quite as black and white as syncro says.

there's a time and a place for braid blockers and keeping people on trail.  disagree that the answer is always to accommodate the lowest denominator of rider.  i would go so far as to say that 9 times out of 10 that a new braid is opened, it is shit and should be shutdown

why tell people on here syncro, to go fuck with the trails, and the builders will just roll over?  jeez.

Ok, so I'm not saying that the answer is "always to accommodate the lowest  denominator of rider", but that rider behaviour should be considered along with how a trail flows/rides both before and after the place where the braid happens. I'm all for braid blockers when and where necessary to keep people on the trail and also agree that some braids that are unnecessary, but I don't think I would agree that 9/10 are shit.  Maybe that difference of opinion comes down to differences in what/where we ride though? I'm certainly not telling people to go fuck with the trails, I'm saying I think more consideration needs to be given to things like rider psychology. So think of things like sight lines, how much speed is carried into a particular section of trail, how difficult a certain section is in relation to  the rest of the trail, etc. I believe if you take those things into consideration the likelihood of a braid is a lot lower.

If you go back and look at what I said a few posts ago, it's not really the same thing as what you two are saying here. I said I think it's more about trail design (not all about trail design as you're inferring) and referenced a specific situation that I think illustrates the issue well.

Jan. 7, 2021, 9:33 a.m.
Posts: 642
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Sometimes a braid reveals a better line. But it really ought to be up to the original trailbuilder to decide.

Jan. 24, 2021, 6:59 p.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Sept. 25, 2017

Oh man, is funny that you find the Shore to be the last bastion of old school riding. I grew up on the Shore, started mountain biking in 1986, and moved to Coquitlam in 2018. Now, Burke and Eagle are my go to mountains, and they remind me of what the Shore was like 20 years ago. Out here, old school reigns supreme. Nothing machine built, nothing dumbed down, just natural features and steep lines.

Jan. 24, 2021, 8:52 p.m.
Posts: 805
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: rcybak

Oh man, is funny that you find the Shore to be the last bastion of old school riding. I grew up on the Shore, started mountain biking in 1986, and moved to Coquitlam in 2018. Now, Burke and Eagle are my go to mountains, and they remind me of what the Shore was like 20 years ago. Out here, old school reigns supreme. Nothing machine built, nothing dumbed down, just natural features and steep lines.

Agree with this^

Woodlot too! 

I loathe machine built trails. Can't think of one i like

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