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Whistler trails 2018 (not WBP)

July 31, 2018, 6:55 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

na I'm not saying people shouldn't ride a trail, but I do think we need to hold each other to a much higher standard about how we 'consume' not for profit natural surface trails, and I believe we should show at least a moderate amount of self restraint and not abuse them when they're new or at times when they're saturated. I know people in the s2s love them their new trails, and they love them to absolute death and then point fingers at everyone else for that impact. It doesn't have to be the reality.

Hey, I'm not an idiot, I'm just optimistic at times that maybe the mtb community can be better than it currently is....however naively misplaced that optimism may be. Personally since watching the microcrystalling of many fresh trails, I've committed to not over riding those types of trails, and not riding them at all in wet weather. I don't treat valley 'loamer' trails like the bike park, because, they aren't and someone usually not getting paid and using up a lot of their free time has to maintain them, it would be good if more people remembered and respected that.


 Last edited by: FlipFantasia on July 31, 2018, 7:01 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
July 31, 2018, 8:28 p.m.
Posts: 1920
Joined: May 2, 2004

That trails also right in the sweet spot of easy-ish single black that appeals to so many. Plus the 'forbidden loamer' factor


 Last edited by: Kevin26 on July 31, 2018, 8:30 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 1, 2018, 3:27 p.m.
Posts: 4772
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

I'm with you Flip, but the issue with Whistler is that it truly is a global destination full of part time visitors. I've had so many conversations with folks up there who are in town for a week, and want to spend time exploring trails outside of the park. I could imagine spending thousands on a trip overseas to visit Whistler, and do you homework on trailforks only to find it's pissing rain, or the trail you've read about is degraded due to dryness, etc. For us it's not a big deal. I can let it sit for a week until things dry out, or even grab a shovel and do my part. But for lots of people, this is the one chance they get to ride our special geography.

I see it all the time in the Alta Lake pump track. Folks doing laps after a rain storm, or something like that. As much as I want to blame them for the damage they're doing, I just don't bother. Like Nickel said, build trails people like, and they will come.

Aug. 1, 2018, 5:26 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug. 1, 2018

Would be great if riders, when shown a 'secret' or a trail that's not on the map yet, then didn't go and create Strava segments on them, take guided rides on them and upload their rides to Trailforks to be on the heat map for all to see. Trails don't stay secret for ever, that's fine, but a 'show don't tell' mentality along with  'don't put them on the internet' means these things last a lot longer. Respect the trail and respect the builder.

Aug. 1, 2018, 5:55 p.m.
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: BeesIntheTrap

Would be great if riders, when shown a 'secret' or a trail that's not on the map yet, then didn't go and create Strava segments on them, take guided rides on them and upload their rides to Trailforks to be on the heat map for all to see. Trails don't stay secret for ever, that's fine, but a 'show don't tell' mentality along with  'don't put them on the internet' means these things last a lot longer. Respect the trail and respect the builder.

the days of any sort of unwritten rider's code and keeping a "secret trail" on the down low are looooong gone.

Aug. 1, 2018, 7:58 p.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Posted by: hypa

I'm with you Flip, but the issue with Whistler is that it truly is a global destination full of part time visitors. I've had so many conversations with folks up there who are in town for a week, and want to spend time exploring trails outside of the park. I could imagine spending thousands on a trip overseas to visit Whistler, and do you homework on trailforks only to find it's pissing rain, or the trail you've read about is degraded due to dryness, etc. For us it's not a big deal. I can let it sit for a week until things dry out, or even grab a shovel and do my part. But for lots of people, this is the one chance they get to ride our special geography.

I see it all the time in the Alta Lake pump track. Folks doing laps after a rain storm, or something like that. As much as I want to blame them for the damage they're doing, I just don't bother. Like Nickel said, build trails people like, and they will come.

I get what you're saying, but I don't think that's necessarily acceptable. That exact scenario played out in Revy a couple seasons back and it resulted in Frisby Ridge getting shut down for an entire season and requiring a wholesale rebuild. We're doing better at highlighting trails on trailforks that should be given a miss in wet weather, and which ones are suitable. We just need to try and do better as a whole in this regard and really try harder to not love stuff to death, and by that I mean the POWFEVER mentality of having to ride it as much as possible before everyone else that hastens those impacts to the extreme.

It's a lot different sport than it was 10 years ago, and a lot of new people in the sport don't understand some of those nuances, and I think we need to try harder to pass that education on, and hold each other to higher standards.

Aug. 2, 2018, 8:15 a.m.
Posts: 91
Joined: May 25, 2012

What about the idea that if you built a trail in a mtb mecca that can't handle the wet then maybe it could've been built better?

If you build on public land, you have to accept that people will use that public resource as they see fit and plan accordingly, no? Otherwise you're kind of tilting at windmills...

Aug. 2, 2018, 6 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug. 1, 2018

In Scotland there's the Right to Roam, so there's great riding everywhere. The main caveat is that, as usual, with great power comes great responsibility. This mainly means don't be a dick and don't cause damage to where you're riding. It's something we all understand and abide by, because if we don't then the awesome access that's there may become threatened. 

All mountain bikers should consider if trails are appropriate to ride in the rain. If they don't hold up well then sure, go ride it anyway, but then be prepared for that trail to  potentially never recover and never be what it once was. Some trails will never be suitable for riding in the rain due to a variety of features, I'm sure you know that. Should they never get built if they're only suitable for the dry? 

Honestly, I think unless you're putting shovels in dirt then we should all be aware and try not to damage trails. Whether that be cutting corners, wet weather riding or (like on Rockwork) removing obstacles/features we don't like.

Aug. 2, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: nickel

What about the idea that if you built a trail in a mtb mecca that can't handle the wet then maybe it could've been built better?

If you build on public land, you have to accept that people will use that public resource as they see fit and plan accordingly, no? Otherwise you're kind of tilting at windmills...

if that was the case then everything would have to be paved - literally - as that's the consequence of building to the LCD. 

i think it's an issue of ethics and integrity imo, and if the majority adhered to good trail ethics then most trail issues would be minimized or disappear altogether.

Aug. 2, 2018, 10:49 p.m.
Posts: 91
Joined: May 25, 2012

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: nickel

What about the idea that if you built a trail in a mtb mecca that can't handle the wet then maybe it could've been built better?

If you build on public land, you have to accept that people will use that public resource as they see fit and plan accordingly, no? Otherwise you're kind of tilting at windmills...

if that was the case then everything would have to be paved - literally - as that's the consequence of building to the LCD. 

i think it's an issue of ethics and integrity imo, and if the majority adhered to good trail ethics then most trail issues would be minimized or disappear altogether.

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.

Aug. 3, 2018, 1:26 a.m.
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

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.

Aug. 3, 2018, 2:37 a.m.
Posts: 2017
Joined: April 2, 2005

Posted by: BeesIntheTrap

Would be great if riders, when shown a 'secret' or a trail that's not on the map yet, then didn't go and create Strava segments on them, take guided rides on them and upload their rides to Trailforks to be on the heat map for all to see. Trails don't stay secret for ever, that's fine, but a 'show don't tell' mentality along with  'don't put them on the internet' means these things last a lot longer. Respect the trail and respect the builder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKYQ5ibxslI

Aug. 3, 2018, 5:41 a.m.
Posts: 91
Joined: May 25, 2012

Lets back up a second and go back to the start. 

Statement: dark crystal is chunkier than when it was new. 

Flip put it out there that this was due to people riding it in the wet as well as lapping it too much. 

My counterpoint is that the builder has since gone back and made it so that it holds up alright to riding in the wet. Thus, it's not really because people ride it in the wet but because some extra steps needed to be taken by the builder. 

I'd like to add that lamenting the disappearance of loam in Whistler is akin to cursing the sun for rising in the morning. Lots of people ride here. Get over it. Loam is quickly destroyed. Furthermore, people really like riding on it so it's a bit like peak chair on a pow day. 

Regarding etiquette around secret trails, it's not very secret if you put the entrance in plain sight at the bottom of a place where people work, is it? Some other stuff seems to have managed to stay secret for a couple years, even here. It's not impossible. 

Anyways, good discussion.

Aug. 3, 2018, 4:25 p.m.
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: nickel

I'd like to add that lamenting the disappearance of loam in Whistler is akin to cursing the sun for rising in the morning. Lots of people ride here. Get over it. Loam is quickly destroyed. Furthermore, people really like riding on it so it's a bit like peak chair on a pow day. 

Regarding etiquette around secret trails, it's not very secret if you put the entrance in plain sight at the bottom of a place where people work, is it? Some other stuff seems to have managed to stay secret for a couple years, even here. It's not impossible. 

Anyways, good discussion.

This is a good point and think you can make the argument that any organic (loam) trail is going to have a limited life expectancy unless you can keep it to a handful of people.

Aug. 3, 2018, 6:37 p.m.
Posts: 91
Joined: May 25, 2012

If a loamer is well designed, has good terrain options and gets properly maintained during the riding in phase, the trail can last forever!

I also think many people can't seem to wrap their heads around the life expectancy of loam. That plus they can't get their loam boner to go down long enough envision what the trail might look like post-glory days. There's a reason every new trail is the best thing since sliced bread; everybody loves a good pow day!

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