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Why the IMBA hating

Dec. 9, 2008, 7:30 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

As for the well respected builder(s) telling you to use more dirt and less rock… their intentions are right however their wording is wrong. What this specific builder might be referring to is the basic design principals for sustainable trails. By following them then you will be able to use more dirt and less rock. However when people are adopting trails on the shore, like you Ian. Then you don't have the real ability to cut a sustainable trail and are forced to do more trail hardening by using rock and wood.

Talking about creating sustainable trails on the north shore that follow basic design principals recommended by IMBA. Well in my 9 years of riding on the 3 local mountains probably only a small handful of trails, and I'm talking less than 10%, have the chance to be sustainable and long lasting without heavy maintenance. What do I mean? The most of the trails on the north shore (and I'm talking about original trail cut) are technically speaking, shit. Thank god for local builders who so lovingly put their time into these trails to maintain them.

That's one of my pet peeves, this whole sustainable trail mantra. All this talk about rebuilding the trail so it's sustainable. Yet I never hear the mention of what makes the trail truly sustainable.

What makes trails truly sustainable is continous trail work. This is fixing the problems like clearing windfall, fixing holes. and so on. Without doing that a trail no matter how it is built will degrade over time and become shite.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Dec. 9, 2008, 7:41 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 12, 2007

As for the well respected builder(s) telling you to use more dirt and less rock… their intentions are right however their wording is wrong. What this specific builder might be referring to is the basic design principals for sustainable trails. By following them then you will be able to use more dirt and less rock.
Cavan

I'm not going to comment on the local situation, but that comment above sums up a typical IMBA trail in the UK. Boring as hell! The photo above also looks 'IMBA'. While I'm not saying the organisation is not wanted, they do seem to build the same two meter wide smooth dirt / gravel trails with some mellow jumps and berms the world over. I'd rather have armoured rock for the official trails, and leave the dirt on the cheeky ones.

treezz
wow you are a ass

Dec. 9, 2008, 7:46 a.m.
Posts: 14564
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

So why did IMBA hold a clinic on a trail where the builders of that trail clearly did not want this type of work to happen?

I've seen the complete set of pictures from this clinic and heard the comments from the builders. It appears they have done some completely unnecessary work, built berms and structures improperly and completely ignored proper drainage and the vision of the trail……….and they taught this in a clinic.

Maybe IMBA should pay the Woodlot builders to put on a clinic for them.

Dec. 9, 2008, 7:53 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

I'm not going to comment on the local situation, but that comment above sums up a typical IMBA trail in the UK. Boring as hell! The photo above also looks 'IMBA'. While I'm not saying the organisation is not wanted, they do seem to build the same two meter wide smooth dirt / gravel trails with some mellow jumps and berms the world over. I'd rather have armoured rock for the official trails, and leave the dirt on the cheeky ones.

One other observation about this.

Here in Ontario most of what I have seen has been the smoothing of trail. More along the lines of turning it into a speed way. Sections that used to have small logs on it that kept speed under control have been pulled. And of course the speed goes up.

It seems like logs are verboten to be on the trail. And we aren't talking about a 2 foot wide log but a mere 6-12 inch one.

Oh, and for the record IMBA. A black diammond trail in Ontario is not the same as a black diamond trail in BC. If you want have conformity then how about getting that fixed before this trail marking system kills someone.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Dec. 9, 2008, 7:56 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

So why did IMBA hold a clinic on a trail where the builders of that trail clearly did not want this type of work to happen?

Dave,

Becuase if they did that they would be actually working with the locals instead of telling how to do it.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Dec. 9, 2008, 8:18 a.m.
Posts: 1885
Joined: Oct. 16, 2005

So why did IMBA hold a clinic on a trail where the builders of that trail clearly did not want this type of work to happen?

I've seen the complete set of pictures from this clinic and heard the comments from the builders. It appears they have done some completely unnecessary work, built berms and structures improperly and completely ignored proper drainage and the vision of the trail……….and they taught this in a clinic.

Maybe IMBA should pay the Woodlot builders to put on a clinic for them.

In IMBA's defence, and with a tear in my eye for a now-dead fantastic (and entirely doable, dry, and sustainable-at-the-very-least-because-it-recieves-the-love) root-roll, it has been my experience that most trail organizations act in a similar manner toward their core, generally behind the scences, volunteers (builders).

Perhaps it is infinitely more important to hold large events then to respect individual builders who donate a lot of their time and money?

With how many under-maintained trails there are out there thought you would think they could find something that was not adopted? Well no, in your short time frame you have to focus on a feature so you need to find a trails that is already being maintained.

-D

Mean People SUCK! Nice People SHOVEL!

Trails For All; Trails For Weather

Dec. 9, 2008, 8:24 a.m.
Posts: 1885
Joined: Oct. 16, 2005

It's a shame the clinic could not have been held at a more appropriate location. Probably the only reason it was held at the Woodlot is that there is a building there for the presentation part of the clinic.

Or because it was easy?

Another location in Maple Ridge that comes to mind, although it would have required more organization, would be to do some maintenance on the Switchback/Eric Dunning trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park.

The old park headquarters are right there and could be used for any "classroom" activities and ever since GETPARK folded (what 10 years ago?) those trails have been slowly degrading.

BC Parks is not maintaining those trails (no budget) and there is too much red-tape for any individual to want to officially step in; a perfect place for IMBA or another club to be active not to mention that at a certain point any volunteer work is better then what was there before (not the case on Shot Gun).

-D

Mean People SUCK! Nice People SHOVEL!

Trails For All; Trails For Weather

Dec. 9, 2008, 8:26 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

With how many under-maintained trails there are out there thought you would think they could find something that was not adopted? Well no, in your short time frame you have to focus on a feature so you need to find a trails that is already being maintained.

-D

With the advent of the internet that could be easily solved. It's called contacting the locals and asking if there is an area.

Which should be doable as I believe IMBA Canada now seems to have regional reps. I know there is at least one out here.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Dec. 9, 2008, 8:34 a.m.
Posts: 147
Joined: Nov. 4, 2008

Talking about creating sustainable trails on the north shore that follow basic design principals recommended by IMBA. Well in my 9 years of riding on the 3 local mountains probably only a small handful of trails, and I'm talking less than 10%, have the chance to be sustainable and long lasting without heavy maintenance. What do I mean? The most of the trails on the north shore (and I'm talking about original trail cut) are technically speaking, shit. Thank god for local builders who so lovingly put their time into these trails to maintain them.

An example of this is during the first World Mountain bike conference held on the north shore, professional trail builders from all over the world went for tours on our trails to see why they were so world renowned and to see the quality. What did they see? Quality rock work and bridgework. But they laughed because most of it was unnecessary. If local builders had just originally cut the trail properly then a lot of the work could have been avoided and we could ride on some dirt on certain trails instead of rock highways.

Cavan

While people may say the jury's out on how fun imba trails are as they've been made, you made a couple awesome points here. I've ridden a fair amount of places, and from riding on the shore I've definitely noticed that a high proportion of trails take the fall line route. And despite best efforts (dug trenches), there is often a river running down the trail because you have to make a trench every 30 feet if you're dealing with a fall line trail.

It would be interesting to see what a sustainable trail looks like on the shore, and how much maintenance it actually needs. I don't think anyone is saying it will maintain itself, but maybe it'll need less work and hey with a shortage of builders thats a good thing.

Dec. 9, 2008, 8:49 a.m.
Posts: 6663
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Its possible to make a bench cut trail with self-drainage features that would not take a whackload of maintenance - even on the Shore. and might i add, that trail even could be fun.,

But, like freerider guy said, the trails were put in for fall-line gnar.

They weren't designed for hordes of freetards. having said that, I'm not sure anythjng could be freetard proof short of paving.

Dec. 9, 2008, 8:54 a.m.
Posts: 14564
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

With how many under-maintained trails there are out there thought you would think they could find something that was not adopted? Well no, in your short time frame you have to focus on a feature so you need to find a trails that is already being maintained.

-D

With the advent of the internet that could be easily solved. It's called contacting the locals and asking if there is an area.

Which should be doable as I believe IMBA Canada now seems to have regional reps. I know there is at least one out here.

It's my understanding that the builders were contacted, but I'll let them choose whether they wish to provide the details of that communication.

I would imagine that the woodwork you saw in the pictures has been removed by now and the trail restored to it's former glory. It's a shame because removing this work cost the local builder time and energy that could be been spent in areas that really needed the attention.

Dec. 9, 2008, 8:55 a.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

BC Parks is not maintaining those trails (no budget) and there is too much red-tape for any individual to want to officially step in; a perfect place for IMBA or another club to be active not to mention that at a certain point any volunteer work is better then what was there before (not the case on Shot Gun).

Tell me about it but, to be honest, I'd be hesitant to support an IMBA-initiative on that trail after seeing what they did to other local trails. I ride up there a lot, and parts of the trail are in rough shape but I'd rather ride chunder than stuff I curse every time I ride past.

And you're right about working in the park - it's a headache. That, of course, is why the trail's bagged. I don't think it's received any real work since the switchbacks were cut in. What it really needs is serious drainage work b/c all of the damage over the past 10 years is from runoff.

There are rumors of a local group trying to work with BC Parks to gain access to said trails. I'd prefer to support them because I know for a fact that they'll work with riders / builders.

"It's, like, so much fun."

Dec. 9, 2008, 8:55 a.m.
Posts: 6328
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

The trails on the north shore mountains were all 'built' more then 15 years ago.

They weren't 'built' with sustainability in mind. They weren't 'built' to accommodate the traffic we now see.

There is a really nice sustainable trail on Fromme and it requires very little work.

During the Mountain Bike Conference we had here 3? years ago David from Wales rode down Espresso he couldn't believe a trail like this was built and allowed to exist. He said it was totally unsustainable. Meaning a lot of work would have to be done on it to prevent erosion from riders and weather.

Well, it wasn't actually allowed to exist. That would assume the area is managed. Someone put the line in, people rode it and now you have a trail! Subsequent work was done to prevent further erosion and make the trail interesting.

As a part of the Fromme plan one recommendation was to amalgamate 2-3 trails from 2-3 fall line trails to one sustainable trail. Instead of these trails just going down the hill, they will traverse between the existing trails. The building of this trail will require A LOT of work in planning and building.

Such is the nature of this terrain.

Anyone remember the IMBA trail day to reroute ewok village on Eagle a few years ago with Joey? I think that trail has gone back to the forest.

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Dec. 9, 2008, 9:02 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

They weren't designed for hordes of freetards. having said that, I'm not sure anythjng could be freetard proof short of paving.

I hear Freetards make exellent berm fill.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Dec. 9, 2008, 9:03 a.m.
Posts: 1922
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

It's my understanding that the builders were contacted, but I'll let them choose whether they wish to provide the details of that communication.

I don't have first-hand knowledge on the specifics of the pre-event planning so I can't comment.

I did get a call the day prior to the clinic AND I was given a heads up a couple months before the event, although at that time I was under the misunderstanding that it was strictly a seminar / classroom session. There were a couple of apparent venue changes too before they settled on the 'lot.

A better solution would have been to call a week in advance and ask to walk the trail with local builders. There are spots on the trail they worked on that could have benefitted from a big crew of people and we could have pointed those areas out. From the sounds of it, everybody just drove to the top of the trail, parked their vehicles there, and went nuts.

"It's, like, so much fun."

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