Posted by: nickel
That's bullshit. You can build good trails that are 100% rideable in the wet.
Your idea that ethics is the root of the majority of trail issues is also really bloody funny.
You guys aren't 100% wrong but I'm not sure there is enough acknowledgment that something is being built, often unsanctioned, on public lands. How the public use it when the builder is done isn't really up to the builder. Furthermore if the public feel strongly enough to go up and change it, the public is telling you that a certain choice you made was undesirable. Once it's built, it's as much theirs as the person who built it. That's the deal with public land.
Ok, so first thing yes, you can build fun trails that are rideable in the wet, but you can't build all trails to be rideable in the wet. If you're going to build all trails to a wet standard that can handle traffic then you're going to see a homogenization of the trail network. One of the things that helps make trail networks good is having a variety of trail styles, and that may mean having some trails that shouldn't be ridden in the wet.
Re ethics and integrity WRT trail etiquette, where do most trail issues come from? And I'm thinking beyond just trail degradation here as well. I'd argue that most trail issues come from poor rider behaviour whether that's through selfishness/entitlement, lack of skill or simply lack of knowledge. You mention unsanctioned trails and I was going to say in my previous post that represents the other side of the double edged sword. The riding network wouldn't even exist today if people hadn't taken those first steps building unsanctioned trails. The problem is that the playing field we're on today is very different than 15-30 years ago. Land managers are far more involved and willing to restrict or remove access. Unsanctioned work jeopardizes relationships because it pisses off land managers.
I get your point about public ownership, but let's not overstate that. Sure builders may makes mistakes with line choices, but the good ones will recognize that and change things. I think though if you look at most braiding situations it comes back to the poor rider behaviour points I mentioned previously. I will definitely side with the builder most times as they're the ones that do the work so they're the ones that get to make the choice about what happens. If riders feel that something is so bad that it needs to be changed then they should get in touch with the builders and offer to help with the work. I think it's disrespectful to a builder to go a make changes to their creation just because a rider in their infinite wisdom feels it should be different. Riders owe it to the builders to make a suggestion of improvement and an offer to help change things. You have to consider that if the builder didn't make the trail in the first place, mistakes and all, then the people riding wouldn't have anything to complain about.