New posts

Why has Pink Starfish been decommissioned?

July 23, 2016, 9:03 a.m.
Posts: 14534
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

I guess you missed this link.

I think you just proved his point

July 23, 2016, 9:15 a.m.
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan. 12, 2006

It was ladies

http://nsmba.ca/content/2016-05_heritage-fund-trail-selection-announcement-ladies-only-lower-ladies

Thanks. I'll take back my comment.

July 23, 2016, 11:55 a.m.
Posts: 8596
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

Fantastic post. (quoted below)

I agree with a lot of what is being said on both sides but I have some issues with both sides as well. The secrecy born of fear the NSMBA feels they must adhere to is ridiculous but I can see their point. The sway Monica has over Mayor, Council and staff is lunacy. They know she is crazy (I've heard many of them say it) but they still fear the media and public backlash she can create. And the emergence of new attention-seeking loonies like Hazen Colbert, whose agenda seems completely unhinged, will only accentuate this tendency.

Fortunately demographics are changing and the entitled and whiney generation that includes those who sabotage trails and pretend to be environmentalists is dwindling. Numbers of those of us who want to be active and who realize there is room for trail users of all stripes are increasing.

Clearly the NSMBA was attempting to do something to appease those of you who are calling out for more challenge and creative building. These are goals of the organization and they always have been. It seems likely they were given approval behind the scenes, in the hope that opponents of mountain biking wouldn't be alerted. While well-meaning, this strategy is clearly flawed. Not just in retrospect. A public organization needs to behave with transparency and the NSMBA often seems to attempt to operate in the shadows. While I believe this approach is well-meaning and has produced some very impressive results, it's not a winning strategy in the long term. There are some ego issues as well and some behaviour that is reminiscent of the Trump campaign - the politics of fear and division. My biggest disappointment with the NSMBA is that they have failed to deal with this.

I have heard NSMBA board members and staff decry this bulletin board because they feel the public discussions that take place here harm their efforts. Those in charge ask those who have questions or concerns to speak to them directly or in meetings, but I have done both and had my concerns ignored.

I am not among those who is unhappy with the direction trail work has been going. If you can't find challenging trails on the Shore you either aren't looking or you are a professional complainer. And if you can't have fun on the trails that are being built you aren't much of a mountain biker. I have been riding Fromme since the 80s and there has never been a time when there have been as many trails in good condition as now. Some of my favourite trails are among those that see little use. Crippler, Bookwos and Skull being prime examples. I would hate to see those changed to be less challenging but I concede that if they were to receive more traffic maintenance would become a necessity - and with maintenance comes an inevitable change in flavour.

This isn't as clear-cut as many of you suggest. I can tell you that the people I know who volunteer their time with the NSMBA appreciate challenging trails and would like to build more. But they don't live in fantasy world where it's possible to build exactly what you want wherever and whenever you desire. There are those who suggest the best strategy would be to simply leave the trails to degrade so they aren't 'dumbed down' but that is irresponsible and unlikely to persuade landowners that we are good stewards who are worthy of the access we are given.

The 'dumbing down the Shore' camp seems to have little memory or no knowledge of what the Shore was originally. I remember when both Seventh and Ladies were loamy and they were both great fun. And don't forget that speed is a technical trail feature as well.

Of course there are trail experiences that are disappearing. It's a shame that trails like Groovula, Whatchamallit and the Flying Circus, as examples, no longer exist as they once did. But without Dan to build and maintain them no group or individual has stepped up. And if you spend any time on the existing trails with a similar thrust to those you'll know that they see very little traffic. Beyond that, without cooperation from the landowners we could lose access to the trails, and if they feel that a trail exposes them to liability they are not comfortable with there is little to be done.

I have no idea what those like Blackfly are advocating. And you sound like Donald Trump with your baseless generalizations. "When the riding public all expect easy, flowy, low liability trails, that is what you get." Who is this riding public who are all demanding easy trails? Are you just making shit up to suit your agenda? John Deere has a lot of flow but also some challenging bits - and even a drop. No mountain biker in the world with any perspective would call Ladies Only easy and flowy - and certainly not Lower Ladies. What about Grannies? Boundary? Upper Oilcan? How can you say there is no challenge left when there is plenty? You seem to want every trail to be made in your personal vision of mountain bike perfection. Do you think that the trail experiences that Expresso and Bobsled provide should be eliminated - simply because you don't like them? Or because that experience wasn't here before? Do you feel the same about music, art and food? That they should never evolve and change?

You are full of criticisms but you don't seem to have any suggestions beyond 'leave it alone.' What would you have the NSMBA do? Simply build whatever they want and ignore the District's wishes? Bobsled had a lot of flow originally - hence the name. Expresso was falling to pieces with no one stepping up to do anything about it. And Seventh is better than it's ever been. I used to love it back in the 90s and then for years I hated it (and not because it was 'hard' - I love Bookwos) and now it's a blast to ride. I lament some of the changes as well. I'm no fan of the tight switchbacks on Krinkum for example and I preferred what they replaced, but I don't have the attitude that every trail should be made in my personal image. Bitches Brew was virtually unrideable and Executioner still has lots of challenge.

I get it. You like skinnies. But times change. Very few riders appreciate that trail experience now. I happen to be among them and I'm not suggesting we eliminate that experience completely. It used to be that public tennis courts all had players waiting to play but now when I drive by there are always empty courts. Would it make sense to build more tennis courts now? That is exactly what you are advocating.

You speak of other places you ride that are what the Shore 'should have been' but you don't specify. And don't suggest you are keeping secrets because that is clearly just a tactic. Where are you referring to? I actually do have an example. I would love to see a trail like Treasure Trail (Squamish) built on the Shore but who is going to build it? And where?

Any suggestion that our trail association should go rogue and fail to work in concert with landowners is beyond ridiculous. And here we have a case of the NSMBA trying to do exactly the sort of thing you are advocating and when they are thwarted it's their fault?

I think that scrutiny of public organizations is healthy and that suggestions should be made. But criticisms without alternatives are worthless. And much of what I have read here seems more like whining than healthy scrutiny. Could our volunteer trail association do a better job of communicating with the membership and the public in general? Of course they could - but they are trying. Could they be doing a better job of preserving a more challenging trail experience? I'm not sure - but I know they are trying. And these people have lives and families and they too like to ride their bikes, but they devote countless hours to preserving and maintaining our trails. They are tireless and tenacious when advocating for our trail access and to raise funds to build and maintain trails. While the fact that they are volunteers shouldn't make them immune to criticism, it absolutely should temper the harsh vitriol they are exposed to. It's ridiculous that these people are working for you and mountain bikers in general and many of you treat them with shameful disrespect. It's a bit like shitting on your doctor because he or she isn't saving your life in a way that pleases you.

These people are not perfect and I don't always agree with their decisions, but I also believe they are doing their very best.

As mentioned above I have had issues with the current board and with Mark Wood, but I also believe they are heroes and that they deserve our utmost respect.

Long Live The NSMBA! Long Live Digger! Long Live Mark Wood!

Was out for a ride yesterday. Was going to walk down PS and see the destruction, but continued on and ended up riding 7th into Ladies. Fantastic conditions. Lots of new dirt on upper part of 7th patching up holes and making the trail flow nicely.

After seeing the post PS and what's been happening on Fromme, I was quickly distracted by the work on Ladies. Once again Digger has managed to one up him past work. Some really nice replacements and great new bits are there for the enjoyment, while, at least to me preserving the old school feel of the trail. Over the past few years Ladies has evolved and has been an excellent trail, hard to believe it's even better now, but it is.

Finished up the ride and noticed the NSMBA tent up by the washrooms, so I went to check it out. Digger was there talking up a storm. I don't know him, but over the years have talked to him a few times, usually, on route down Ladies or lately Expresso. However, I don't think I have every seen him as animated or excited as he was last night. Talked a little about PS, the Heritage fund, and the recent work on Ladies. He was so pumped about the new features and wanted to know if I rode them and what I thought. What an amazing person to have continually building the legacy of the shore for us all to enjoy. Big Thank you to Digger, all the other builders and the NSMBA who continue to make the shore fun.

The best part is what I took away from my brief conversation with Digger. He was really excited about what is happening and in the works on the Fromme. Yes, still work to be done with trail permits and continuing to build the relationships with land owners / managers, but to me it seemed that Digger was very positive about good thing continuing to happen on Fromme. Seems like a good barometer to go by to me.

July 23, 2016, 12:38 p.m.
Posts: 33256
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I have heard NSMBA board members and staff decry this bulletin board because they feel the public discussions that take place here harm their efforts. Those in charge ask those who have questions or concerns to speak to them directly or in meetings, but I have done both and had my concerns ignored.

Same, and a very valid point that has never been addressed. It's like the hidden trail secret handshake society. There's going to be distrust when this type of behaviour exists.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

July 23, 2016, 1:05 p.m.
Posts: 2099
Joined: April 22, 2006

:clap: wow cam that was the best said thing I've ever read on here regarding the topic. Hats off to you.

July 23, 2016, 1:52 p.m.
Posts: 82
Joined: Sept. 8, 2010

What Cam said! I lurk here periodically. And I read about the drama. And most of the time it generally leaves a bad taste in my mouth about this board. And just when I think it couldn't get any worse you go and do something like this…… And totally redeem yourself! I don't have any drama where I live but I also only have 1/10,000th of the ridership of the lower mainland, so I can't relate. If you want gnar, go look for it. It's everywhere. You want to bitch, get involved.

July 23, 2016, 6:41 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: May 24, 2013

Agreed with above. I don't doubt there are some discussions that are better conducted out of the public eye, but often the balance isn't quite right IMO.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the NSMBA have a call for donations some time ago to fund work on a 'classic old school shore trail.' At the time, people asked which trail the money would go towards but the NSMBA were unable to announce the trail at the time due to some politics/bureaucracy somewhere. I think (and may be wrong here) that the trail eventually was revealed to be Starfish. If my memory has served me correctly, presumably that money has now gone to waste? Shame if so…

Edit: Nope. I was wrong. As you were.

Pink Starfish-specific stuff aside, this is sort of what I was referencing - there is a lot of nonspecific 'we have great things happening!' talk on the website and social media, and there's plenty of info on projects after they're complete, but there's absolutely nothing in terms of status updates or even specific plans while things are upcoming or underway. It's sometimes like publicising the actual process is being deliberately avoided.

July 23, 2016, 9:45 p.m.
Posts: 1713
Joined: Dec. 31, 2006

Good post Cam. Many in this community echo those points but have not expressed it as clearly or tactfully.

July 24, 2016, 12:47 a.m.
Posts: 221
Joined: March 27, 2014

Fantastic post. (quoted below)
This isn't as clear-cut as many of you suggest.

Great post Cam, and I want to highlight your remark here ^^^.

As I have learned, no one can assume to have perfect information. Those with the most information on what is going on is the Land Manager and the trail association.

Trail associations and their Directors have responsibilities under the law as to information dissemination and privacy. Their relationship with the Land Manager is very important. So careful, considered steps are taken to maintain and grow that relationship- PS, MC or otherwise.

Just because I am a Telus Shareholder does not mean I get my every question answered on any matter of business that may be occurring… and the same is with my membership to the NSMBA. We elect our Directors since we believe they can do the best job all things considered.

So we should let them do that job… and when they can tell us what is going on, then they will. We need to trust a bit more, and not be "that rider" that expects what they want to know, how they want to know it, when they want to know it. It just does not work that way.

Cam's post is brilliant. Thanks for that.

Talk less, Say More.

July 24, 2016, 7:51 a.m.
Posts: 960
Joined: Feb. 28, 2014

she is tireless

But we can take comfort knowing that between her and the late Ernie Crist (RIP), their efforts to ban mountain biking was perhaps the strongest force that united mountain bikers and empowered the nsmba to develop the relationships with the land owners that we have today. Without Mrs. Craver's tireless campaign to portrait the sport as an equal to open pit mining, mountain bikers would have likely become complacent and we might have lost out. Now with strong representation and financial grants, trail building on Fromme is stronger than ever…and legal. So we all actually owe Monica some thanks. Without her it's possible we wouldn't have the parking lot, bike wash station, washrooms and paid trail builders. She's actually done more for mountain biking than most.

Totally. When I left in 2005, mountain biking on the NS was very strong, but now it is unbelievably popular there. Much more so in fact, by what seems to be a huge margin. I find it shocking how many riders there are there now.

I applaud anyone who stands up for something they believe in but at some point you have to think that her efforts sure aren't helping her cause.

What did she do when that massive parking lot was put in? That was a thousand times more damaging than any amount of trails that have existed on that mountain.

July 24, 2016, 7:56 a.m.
Posts: 960
Joined: Feb. 28, 2014

i like it. someone should print shirts.

That's awesome. Someone should start a club called "the wheeled locusts".

July 24, 2016, 12:46 p.m.
Posts: 5731
Joined: June 24, 2003

Mrs. Craver has been sending daily or more emails to district counsellors, media and probably others for how many years? Clearly she is white noise and is not taken seriously. I'm surprised that she has not been banned from sending any correspondence to council.

With the popularity of riding on the shore though will come conflicts with other users as we have seen. It be hooves all users to respect one another and the trails.

Debate? Bikes are made for riding not pushing.

July 24, 2016, 8:55 p.m.
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

heckler, to answer your questions you sent in a rep comment:

- i have a twitter account but don't use it, my handle is @bodymasterspt
- i am signed up on instagram but again don't use it, my handle is happy_carpenter
- my facebook is my real name, Mark Rowe and i have liked the nsmba page and see the updates
- i am signed up to the nsmba as an email member under two different emails and get the updates
- i check the nsmba website for info
- i also book off work and give up a day's wages when the agm comes around so i can attend the meeting, i believe i spoke with you at the last one

so you can see that i am not choosing to be silent. many people in the mtb community know who i am and it is not difficult to get ahold of me. i am pretty easy to find.

while i may not follow all the feeds every waking moment of the day, i am connected enough to see what's going on. the issue is not that there is no communication, the issue is often the level of communication and how it seems to be distributed on a limited level or not at all when it comes to certain topics.

a good example is when the nsmba decided to cut a new line into the trail i built that i constructed with permission and worked on in accordance to guidelines they set out. as per the nsmba's own definition this line would be considered a parasite line. when the nsmba decided to go ahead and cut this line there was absolutely zero communication with me about this new line. granted i was not as active as i have been in the past, but i had not abandoned the trail as was asserted at the time. the nsmba even saw fit to take my tools from the trail which of course i discovered when i went to do some ground work. how hard would it have been to give me a courtesy call (they had my phone number) or an email or even a pm here to let me know what was happening and that they were moving ahead with this new line. even if they didn't contact me, if they had made their plans public it would have afforded me the option to get in touch with them. the only reason i found out is because i reported my tools as being stolen here on the boards and then the nsmbA got in contact with me.

the addition of this parasite line has cost me a probably a hundred hours or more in terms of extra work in having to deal with re-routes of the exsting line to accomodate their work. this line that the nsmba cut probably involved hundreds of hours of volunteer labour and no doubt paid labour as well. i was told that this line was put in as the original entrance in it's current state was not acceptable for beginner or intermediate level riders and i do not disgree with this except on the point that salvation is not a beginner line. in that light it took me about 40 total hours of work to put in a new entrance that will require maybe another day or two of labour to make 100%. and if i don't count the 20m of new trail, the work i did to clean up the original entrance totalled maybe 20 hours including realigning the skinny at the start and resurfacing the downramp that intermediate riders would use to bypass the first log ride.

if the nsmba had done a better job of communication they could have saved themselves hundreds of hours and dollars that could have been put to use on other projects that were in a state of higher need.

i have made significant efforts to build a good working relationship with Mark Wood and the NSMBA and it has worked to some extent. but i do not agree with how they choose to interact with the public. those who may not be as aware of things may not see an issue with how they operate, but myself and many others do. i still beleive in the vision of the nsmba and fully support some of the work and iniatives that they do, but they still have things they can impove on.

i am more than interested in finding out why pink starfish has been closed.

Wait. So the NSMBA cut a new line into your trail without bothering to tell you.? Then they took your tools? Did you talk to the directors and Mark Wood and they at least apologize? That's pretty head-scratching behaviour. When did they do this?

July 24, 2016, 9:46 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Sept. 27, 2005

Wait. So the NSMBA cut a new line into your trail without bothering to tell you.? Then they took your tools? Did you talk to the directors and Mark Wood and they at least apologize? That's pretty head-scratching behaviour. When did they do this?

you sound like Lee.

I'm ignoring Smedley.

July 25, 2016, 7 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: May 24, 2013

Great post Cam, and I want to highlight your remark here ^^^.

As I have learned, no one can assume to have perfect information. Those with the most information on what is going on is the Land Manager and the trail association.

Trail associations and their Directors have responsibilities under the law as to information dissemination and privacy. Their relationship with the Land Manager is very important. So careful, considered steps are taken to maintain and grow that relationship- PS, MC or otherwise.

Just because I am a Telus Shareholder does not mean I get my every question answered on any matter of business that may be occurring… and the same is with my membership to the NSMBA. We elect our Directors since we believe they can do the best job all things considered.

So we should let them do that job… and when they can tell us what is going on, then they will. We need to trust a bit more, and not be "that rider" that expects what they want to know, how they want to know it, when they want to know it. It just does not work that way.

Cam's post is brilliant. Thanks for that.

The other side of it is that many of us are DNV taxpayers and voters. And as voters we theoretically should be able to request information on the actions and strategies of our municipal government.

The NSMBA are not the only potential source of info on these types of issues…

Forum jump: