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Trail work - how wide?

June 13, 2012, 9:21 p.m.
Posts: 1404
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I agree with splincro, sometimes the old line should stay. It may not be so appropriate on the shore due to volumes, though. I am reminded of a reroute to a super gnarly section on Big Eddy in Vernon. The reroute is awesome and fun and 95% of the people ride it and the original h-core line is re-loaming and becoming much more rideable and closer to its original state.

can't get enough of that sodium benzoate…

June 14, 2012, 9:54 a.m.
Posts: 424
Joined: Feb. 18, 2010

generally speaking, I think it's always better for the builder to choose alternate lines/width of lines than the riders to choose these things. If the rider has something to criticise, then they too can become a builder and make those decisions.

Also, trails change on their own accord, and a seasoned builder will be able to anticipate these changes when they are designing their line, so a trail which might start out wide, much to a rider's chagrin, might narrow down after a couple of seasons which is often the case here where there is unsubstantial canopy and very substantial undergrowth. In my neck of the woods, a corridor cleared to 2 meters will become a .5 meter wide corridor over the course of 2 seasons.

June 14, 2012, 5:59 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 9, 2003

buildn on the shore sounds like a headache…

indeed.

River City Cycle Club - www.rivercitycycle.ca

Comox Valley Mountain Biking - www.cvmtb.com

June 14, 2012, 9:32 p.m.
Posts: 6056
Joined: April 10, 2005

if you saw the number of riders that hit fromme on any given weekend, you'd be stunned. i was.

You are so right. I rode Fromme about 3 weeks ago on a Sunday morning. Started up at 8:00am [HTML_REMOVED] 2 XC riders passed me…that was all. No one else in sight. Got down to the beginning of Natural High just before 10:00am [HTML_REMOVED] it was a facking zoo! No room for vehicles to even get up to the water tower drop-off point.

June 14, 2012, 9:45 p.m.
Posts: 1111
Joined: Jan. 9, 2007

this thread is hilarious.

diggin

June 15, 2012, 12:19 p.m.
Posts: 13026
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

this thread is hilarious.

I go for the trap - Why? Where is the issue with threads trying to answer basic but vital and important issues regarding trail building and (more importantly) maintenance? The number of riders seems to have been increasing steadily the past years, the need for a basic knowledge s still there, et cetera.

Why is such a thread hilarious in your opinion then?

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

June 15, 2012, 12:25 p.m.
Posts: 424
Joined: Feb. 18, 2010

I'm curious too

June 15, 2012, 10:36 p.m.
Posts: 1111
Joined: Jan. 9, 2007

seems theres always someone whinging about something on the Shore, why is it like this, why is it like that, dont do this. I find it rather amusing. Pulling back debri to make the trail skinnier made me chuckle quite a bit. Building on the shore sounds like a headache.

diggin

June 15, 2012, 10:41 p.m.
Posts: 3989
Joined: Feb. 23, 2005

Building on the shore sounds like a headache.

You have no idea.

Please let me demonstrate the ride around; really it's no trouble.

June 17, 2012, 2:46 p.m.
Posts: 1065
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003

It depends. More heavily used trails need to be built to take high traffic. Lower traffic can be more rustic.

Sustainable trail design needs to take into account the soil type, amount of rainfall, and traffic.

I love rustic "rake and ride" trails, and firmly believe they are sustainable, given good routing and a low amount of use.

Trails get more use when:
They are close to a large population.
They are easy to access, i.e. easy climb
They connect desirable point A to desirable point B in an efficient manner.
They are accessable year round.

Rake and ride trails are not going to work at the bottom of the closest mountain to the world's largest riding population. FACT. Want the narrow ribbon through the duff and salal? Climb a lot higher! Or head out into the sticks!

June 17, 2012, 3:44 p.m.
Posts: 11680
Joined: Aug. 11, 2003

and firmly believe they are sustainable, given good routing and a low amount of use.

That would make them unsustainable then…

June 17, 2012, 4:30 p.m.
Posts: 1065
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003

Disagree. A sustainable trail is one that does not cause erosion, and does not require excessive maintenance.

Trails that are way out in the sticks, covered in snow 9 months of the year, and require an hour plus climb will never see large traffic. Rake and rides are sustainable in this case.

Car analogy:
gravel road is sustainable for a driveway.
cobblestone road is sustainable for a quiet village road.
modern road building techniques are needed for a freeway.

Gravel road will not work for a freeway, just as a massive concrete road is not needed for a driveway.

If the amount a traffic a trail gets does not surpass the forests ability to regenerate duff and humus, a fresh and natty trail will stay fresh and natty.

Once you start breaking down the small salal roots and moss, that hold together the top humus layer, and the trail starts getting down to mineral, water no longer sheets slowly. It stays on the trail tread, taking path of least resistance, taking the soil with it, eventually turning the trail into a creek.

June 17, 2012, 4:31 p.m.
Posts: 1065
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003

The MOST important thing to understand about trail design is sheet flow and drainage.

Rain falls over the entire hillside. Some is adsorbed by plants, and it slowly sinks through the organic duff and humus, and hits the hard pan, and begins sheeting under the organic layer slowly downhill, until it hits a drainage, and becomes a creek.
Water flows downhill, duh, so lower mountain receives all of the rainfall that has drained from upper mountain.

Soil Horizon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil_horizon

O- organic horizon: Duff, or plant litter. Undecomposed plant matter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_litter

We also have "red rot" decomposing hemlock, cedar, and doug fir. This is mulch. It holds water and does not compact. Super fun to slide corners in for the first 6 months, but quickly turns into blown out, swampy mess.
C-Horizon
Humus - dark, organic soil
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humus

B-horizon
Subsoil, mineral or "gold" dirt. This is where the water stops absorbing, and starts sheeting.

June 18, 2012, 4:18 p.m.
Posts: 35
Joined: Feb. 2, 2011

The MOST important thing to understand about trail design is sheet flow and drainage.

Rain falls over the entire hillside. Some is adsorbed by plants, and it slowly sinks through the organic duff and humus, and hits the hard pan, and begins sheeting under the organic layer slowly downhill, until it hits a drainage, and becomes a creek.
Water flows downhill, duh, so lower mountain receives all of the rainfall that has drained from upper mountain.

Soil Horizon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil_horizon

O- organic horizon: Duff, or plant litter. Undecomposed plant matter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_litter

We also have "red rot" decomposing hemlock, cedar, and doug fir. This is mulch. It holds water and does not compact. Super fun to slide corners in for the first 6 months, but quickly turns into blown out, swampy mess.
C-Horizon
Humus - dark, organic soil
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humus

B-horizon
Subsoil, mineral or "gold" dirt. This is where the water stops absorbing, and starts sheeting.

Another thing to think about is local rainfall amounts and canopy. You are going to have a lot more energy or flow in an open meadow area then an area with a thick canopy above creating a little bit more of a filter. This does a lot here in Flagstaff, maybe not so much where you guys are at.

June 18, 2012, 5:50 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 9, 2003

Another thing to think about is local rainfall amounts and canopy. You are going to have a lot more energy or flow in an open meadow area then an area with a thick canopy above creating a little bit more of a filter. This does a lot here in Flagstaff, maybe not so much where you guys are at.

Canopy has little impact here on the coast in terms of keeping a trail dry, as the average rainfall will completely saturate the canopy. Even when it doesn't rain, the canopy can pull moisture out of the air and keep the trails damp, aka fog drip.

Canopy does help prevent the trails from totally drying out in the summer though. Trails that were under canopy but are now in a clearcut will get significantly more loose and blown out in the summer than they did when there was canopy cover.

River City Cycle Club - www.rivercitycycle.ca

Comox Valley Mountain Biking - www.cvmtb.com

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