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Poll
Big Whoops on the Starr Pass Loop
Please don't kill 'em!!
85%
 85%  [ 12 ]
It's too hard! My wookie hurts!
14%
 14%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 14


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Evil_Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

As stated previously, I would continually approach them with proposals that included short splits in the trails. "Easier" and "Harder". For maybe 50 feet, the Harder route would leave the Easier route, go through/up/down/over a technically challenging section, and return to the main trail. The builders would consult with actual tech riders that recognized the potential of the terrain. There would be MANY of these splits on every given route. Case in point: I look at all the rock outcroppings in the Sweetwater system and see Pandora's box...unopened. Right now, all main trails seem to be built only to avoid and route around the good stuff.

I'm grateful for all your hard work. Sections like The Horseshoe on Cat Mtn give me a little of what I really like. Or Flight Path -- which I've heard (first hand) caused a shit load of fallout between the trail builders and supervision. It's beyond me to understand how anyone can look at sections like those and not understand that a huge number of riders want it.

So, my suggestion is to consider an approach that includes the splits. Everyone is happy.

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Evil_Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:18 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Example of a "split" as I envision: that 20 ft long rock face we rolled on the South side of the trail right at the Starr Pass Squeeze. You leave the main trail, take the left option, roll the rock, and return to the main trail. People that don't feel comfortable rolling that line just stay on the main trail.

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sonoranbiker
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:28 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Evil_Patrick wrote:
Example of a "split" as I envision: that 20 ft long rock face we rolled on the South side of the trail right at the Starr Pass Squeeze. You leave the main trail, take the left option, roll the rock, and return to the main trail. People that don't feel comfortable rolling that line just stay on the main trail.


Agreed- I have used this as an example of what we are calling "b-lines" (yes, I know there is always debate about whether the alternate line is the "a" or "b" line. After a long process of education and "working with" (as opposed to working against), Mark and Steve are on board with the idea of routing the trail next to b-lines. Like I said in the previous post, the primary consideration on the county end is sustainability, so if the trail can be logically routed adjacent to technical features that are largely rock (i.e. not prone to degradation or erosion it's a win-win. There are a number of spots along the new trail where good b-lines can be developed, including a large section of exposed slick-rock that has some interesting lines on it.

Interestingly, the same spot you mentioned (with it's 20-ish foot fun-up) has been cited by the hiking and conservation communities as a prime example of how mountain bikers destroy natural resources and cannot stay on the designated trail. This is just one example of the tension and differing visions between the different user groups that we have to factor in when looking at trail alignment. One of the things we have to careful of is the perception of putting a trail right next to another trail, which is frowned upon.

Believe me, when we were flagging the new trail I was constantly on the lookout for tasty routes and lines, and frequently pushed to route the trail into more aggressive and steep terrain. They were receptive to a point, but only within the sustainability and multi-use mandate.

Patrick- At some point in the next few weeks I will likely be hiking the entire route and re-flagging it for the crews who will be doing some of the building. You are welcome to join if you want to see it. As an aside, when I met with the AZCC and ACE crew leaders we had very explicit conversations about b-lines, wide-radius corners, and other accommodations for mountain bikers. The intention was never, and will never be, to turn Starr Pass into another Fantasy Island. Again, lemme know if you want to talk more about it.

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suvlako
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

[quote="sonoranbiker"]
Evil_Patrick wrote:
The intention was never, and will never be, to turn Starr Pass into another Fantasy Island. Again, lemme know if you want to talk more about it.


Can you expand on this a little? In the interest of discussion and being able to address wants and desires, I want to better understand this statement. Do you mean that it won't be "wild west" unsustainable lines?

@Patrick, I understand your frustration and believe you me, I think the county and MF are a bunch of old fellas that have a hard time realizing that the sport has evolved(and continues to do so) and that they build trails to suit their own riding style. There's plenty to be disappointed about in the county and I was just trying to give some perspective around the sustainability of a trail. As an example, the shaft at FI is a nightmare of a design and even with pavers being put in, continues to be a nightmare.

I am not privy to the discussions with MF et al as we don't want to step on anyone's toes and SDMB obviously has the relationship with them. I have met with Mark Flint only for the reason of introducing ourselves and letting him know that we are willing to help and give feedback. I think he met with us out of courtesy only. You would be better served to start a poll asking what people thought of MF's trail design. I still scratch my head at how he gets bids for this work and how others like SDMB and TORCA have never been approached to bid the jobs. MF's trail design(Unnecessary Flint turns) and Steve Anderson's swinging from his balls only demonstrates their lack of understanding of good trail design and how speed and the risks associated with it, can be mitigated without the use of surprise 90 degree turns.

@Martha "Can't say much progress has been had with the Forest Service over the years of my involvement with them ... "

Was this a veiled jab? I'm your huckleberry...

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thudd
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm liking the dialog.
My two cents. The guys that make the decisions (the guys giving Mark and Steve the bids) need to understand that they are playing with terrain that could possibly bring more focus (read revenue) to the area than what even Flag and Sedona have. We have 340 days of good riding in high elevation with huge diversity. Yes, many pro teams train here in most bike disciplines. No, the mtb teams don't turn their gopros on when riding ANY of the PC or state trails down here. Lemmon gets the only decent footage. My thought is because it's TECH is the draw. Patrick's suggestion of the 'splits' works in every system I've ridden. It allows people of differing skill levels to ride together and equally enjoy the terrain. It allows those hikers without walkers to see the courser side of AZ. Tech is also a great way to slow down the bikes. (although I'd love to see a bike dedicated bomber run, I understand the liabilities). These guys need to realize that a major part of what draws riders to Tucson is challenge.
I certainly appreciate what you guys at SDMB and Torca have done, and are continuing to do for our mtb community. I hope the dialog you've started here will help some of us give you fuel to steer these guys in the direction of making this place the world class riding it can be.
 
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rockerc
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:17 am Reply with quote Back to top

NIce discussion, and I fall firmly on the side of retaining the tech and where possible and sustainable, giving an 'easier' alternative. BUT, some trails simply do not allow this, and I hate it when some much-loved features are sacrificed to the needs and abilities of the Lowest Common Denominator of rider. Dialog with all riders is so important for trail builders who may otherwise fall into the trap of catering for these LCD riders. This area has enough space and diversity for all skill levels, and that is its unique draw. The very challenging chunk is something to nurture, learn and enjoy, not steamroller.
One thing I would add is that if these B lines get developed, please lets not put routing paint splodges on the rocks to mark the lines a la Moab... yuk...

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mlemen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:16 am Reply with quote Back to top

suvlako wrote:



@Martha "Can't say much progress has been had with the Forest Service over the years of my involvement with them ... "

Was this a veiled jab? I'm your huckleberry...


That comment comes from my time working/meeting with the FS over many years - it's a poke at the FS for what I judge, in retrospect, as a waste of time. This is my own thought, independent of any club affiliation and not directed to any individual on this forum.

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mlemen
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

On another note ... The comments here are good, and comments like these have been expressed to the land managers over the years. What might appear to some as advocacy groups not doing enough or not working hard enough, is really a result of the limitations and parameters we work with trying to get new trails built/maintain trails/alter trails to be more "bike friendly".

Don't believe me? Very Happy Anyone who has the time, patience and availability to learn the process of government is invited to attend any/all meetings and get to know the people who make the decisions. I stayed with it for many years because it's interesting, and it's cool to see progress being made. It's also frustrating when "things" don't happen the way you want. Across the board, a lot of progress has been made with land managers getting to know/trust/understand mountain bikers.

Who's passionate about Tucson Mountain Park and the Tortolitas and wants to learn more? Contact SDMB for more info on how to get involved with Pima County: trailsteward@sdmb.org

Who's passionate about Lemmon? Contact TORCA to get hooked up with the Forest Service (sorry, I don't have contact info, but I'm sure y'all can find it)

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suvlako
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

mlemen wrote:

Who's passionate about Lemmon? Contact TORCA to get hooked up with the Forest Service (sorry, I don't have contact info, but I'm sure y'all can find it)

Just want to point out that TORCA does as much work off the mountain as we do on. For some reason they have been cast as the "DH group" and this is simply not true. They ride everything and work on everything. torca.org or email them at torcainc@gail.com

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sonoranbiker
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:15 pm Reply with quote Back to top

So many things to reply to, hope I get them all. Glad it's a slow day at work...

@Art- Not wanting to turn Starr Pass into Fantasy Island was in reference to trying to keep the rocky, chunky character of the system. Fantasy Island is a great system, and plays an important role for riding in Tucson, but it is generally flat and smooth(ish). Part of the appeal of the FI system is also the quality of steep fall-line trail that is, yes, unsustainable. The shaft (mentioned by Art) is a good example of this. Despite the huge amount of work put in a number of years ago with the pavers, it will always want to erode out.

As for the "bid" process with Pima County. There is no bidding. Mark Flint is a county employee, and is, for better or worse, the guy that the county chooses to use to lay out trail. For full disclosure, I consider Mark a good friend and I have a lot of respect for what he and Steve have done, and continue to do, for trails in Tucson. We have disagreements from time to time about layout/style, and I think they get annoyed about how often I ask about technical features and MTB-specific trai.

lI, and others, have been working with them for several years, with some success, to create what we have come to call "mountain bike optimized multi-use trail." I.e. we cant' build MTB-specific trail, but we can incorporate elements that make it better to ride (bigger radius corners, grade reversals, b-lines, etc). The Yetman Reroute was the first trail on county land built in conjunction with MTB-ers, and I think our influence shows in the way it rides. We have been educating them on what MTB-ers want, and they have been educating us on the long, painfully slow process of laying out and building trails. Like I said in a previous post, we need to remember that ours is not the only agenda at play here, and no matter what Mark and Steve do someone gets pissed off. I have seen multiple emails accusing Steve of being "bought off" by the MTB community after the Yetman reroute went in. Also, the Dept of Sustainability and Cultural Resources is basically the department of NO, and they have just as much pull as NRPR when looking at these projects.

There is always a dynamic tension between the 2 primary approaches of advocacy. One school of thought espouses confrontation and applying pressure to get the desired outcome; the other espouses working from within to promote more gradual changes in partnership with the land managers. I think this is well-illustrated with the IMBA/Sustainable Trails Coalition discussion happening right now on a national scale. I think that there is a time and place for each. Both SDMB and TORCA have made huge strides over the last few years in our work to form strong working relationships with land managers at the county and the forest service. We need to have a seat at the table to guide decisions that affect us, and we won't have that seat without a sense of partnership. There will definitely be times when the MTB community needs to get confrontational and pick a fight to get what we want. I can see this happening if and when the Honeybee Canyon trails go on the chopping block, as they are on state trust land.

More than anything, it is apparent that progress is slow. I fully agree with the desire for tech/b-lines and the like. I hope that folks will see some of our efforts reflected in the new Starr Pass trail when we start building it. Another ray of hope is that Todd Sadow (of Epic Rides and SDMB) recently met with Chuck Huckleberry to discuss MTB in Tucson, and he is interested in learning more. In many cases, the first step is just educating land managers and politicians about what the constituents want, then trying to understand what barriers exist. We are continually trying to get more access to the land managers and politicians to get their support for trails we want to ride.

It keeps coming up, but the moral of the whole story is that if you want thigs to change, get involved. Join the advocacy group of your choice. Show up at meetings to find out what is going on. Show up at work days to earn the right to ride the trails. Instead of saying "why aren't you doing more?" ask "what can I do to help?" There is always work to be done, and we would love your help.

And a final thought... with the exception of certain areas most sanitizing is not done by clubs or crews, it is done by individuals who don't know any better and think they are helping. These are the hardest folks to reach, because unless you encounter them in the act of doing it there is really no way to redirect them and teach them how to do it right.

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Evil_Patrick
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:35 am Reply with quote Back to top

For B-lines that are going up and over rocky features, call bullshit on the sustainability wining.

For B-lines that are not completely on rocky terrain, remind the naysayers that MF-supervised builds have plenty of sections that are steep and vulnerable to erosion. Before meeting with the naysayers, break out an inclinometer and put it in your Camelback, along with a camera. Start building a digital library. Go to turns like the steep left near the top of Explorer (the reroute MF & Crew did of the top), traversing from SE to NW, and measure that. Take pictures. Do this for every steep, erodible MF & Crew section you can find. Here’s another; the very short, steep “up” (traversing from NW to SE) on the other side of the saddle from the turn I just described. And another; the last left turn at the top of 360 Vista in Robles, on the NW side of the peak.

There are so many of these types of sections that it’s ridiculous for anyone to completely shut down the suggestion of B-lines that do not exceed the same standards. With this ammo on the phone, when anyone says a particular B-line is unsustainable, show them the library. Tactfully prove it’s bullshit (without pointing in their face and laughing at their idiocy).

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Evil_Patrick
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

suvlako wrote:
sonoranbiker wrote:
Evil_Patrick wrote:
The intention was never, and will never be, to turn Starr Pass into another Fantasy Island. Again, lemme know if you want to talk more about it.


Art, you misquoted me. I never said anything about FI.

willy nilly

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suvlako
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Evil_Patrick wrote:
suvlako wrote:
sonoranbiker wrote:
Evil_Patrick wrote:
The intention was never, and will never be, to turn Starr Pass into another Fantasy Island. Again, lemme know if you want to talk more about it.


Art, you misquoted me. I never said anything about FI.

willy nilly



Sorry man. If you go back and look at my post, I inadvertently missed the quote and did not include what I meant to. I was quoting Evan. Not you. Sorry for the confusion.

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nathan
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:08 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Anyone who says the yetman reroute is not a better trail experience is trolling. A new trail that reroutes those whoops could be more fun, flow better, and make the park better. This stupid poll is one sided and biased and shouldn't be taken seriously by rational people.

People bashing on the new plan are being really short sited and counter productive. Really sad to see this kind of negativity put out by certain people.

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Evil_Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:42 am Reply with quote Back to top

nathan wrote:
Anyone who says the yetman reroute is not a better trail experience is trolling. A new trail that reroutes those whoops could be more fun, flow better, and make the park better. This stupid poll is one sided and biased and shouldn't be taken seriously by rational people.

People bashing on the new plan are being really short sited and counter productive. Really sad to see this kind of negativity put out by certain people.


HA!

You are the king of short sighted.

You might want to go back and actually read the proposed solution. But since I doubt that you will, here's a "cut to the chase":

Build the new trail above the whoops.
Leave the whoops in place.
Tie the two together, creating options.

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