Read this Letter

This post is at the request of a friend who has put a lot of hours maintaining and building some of the trails I have gotten to know and love. I’ve posted a slightly edited version of my friend’s letter below but I will summarize it for the impatient. When you are out enjoying a trail please keep in mind that trails are the lifeblood of our sport, without trails there is no mountain biking. There are a lot of people out there who spend countless hours working on trails, please don’t frustrate them by riding carelessly and trashing their work.

Please ride responsibly.

  • Ride it don’t Slide it: Avoid skidding as much as possible and learn to use your front brake.
  • Don’t deviate from the trail: If there is an obstacle you cannot clean on you bike walk over it not around it or if it doesn’t belong on the trail take a minute to clear it from the trail if possible.
  • Give some back: Spend some time doing trailwork, one day per year is a start

The Letter:

Hello, I just stumbled upon your website, which I found interesting since it describes several trails that I helped to “develope” including Pinecrest peak, Hamil Canyon, and the Strawberry loop. I’ve always been torn between telling people about some of these trails and keeping them “secret”. On one hand it’s good to see people enjoying them, and seeing “my trail” described as an epic is kind of cool. It is frustrating, however, after spending literaly hundreds of hours working on these trails, to see trails rutted by careless bikers skidding their tires and bike tracks going off the trail, shortcutting, tearing up vegetation and causing erosion. Not only does it make the trail less fun to ride, but also gives mountain bikers a bad reputation. I have been working on correcting these problems by blocking off any potential shortcuts, rerouting erodable sections of trail, and stablising other areas with rock and logs,but have a lot of work left to do. I even once put signs on the Pinecrest Peak trail, asking bikers not to slide (they mysteriously disappeared-must have offended some sliders). Another problem has been motorcycles and even quadrunners have sometimes discovered the trails and really tore them up. Since then, I have tried to keep the entrys into the trails more inconspicuous.

Why am I telling you all this? I thought that since you have a website telling the world to ride on these trails, you could help to educate bikers on mountain biking ethics, such as “ride it don’t slide it”, stay on the trail, If there’s a log across the trail, climb over it intstead of riding around it (or better yet get a saw and cut it!). And of course spend at least one day a year doing trail maintenance.