I have not been to the trail yet and this is all based on info in this thread, the youtube video and the Trail Guide. With that said, most of what I read would/could push me to decide not to visit the park (and I don't think I'm the only one). All of my comments were meant to be constructive criticism and were not meant to be rude or bash the park or any individuals in any way. I think that the park looks like a great start and it is well maintained, but it looks like some of those efforts could be spent in other areas (rota-tilling and signage).
I will be in the area next weekend for a wedding and if all goes well I'll be riding HC and RHP. In doing some homework before I head out I have a few comments from things I have seen so far based on other's input and watching the video:
First off, it looks like you guys care for the park and maintain it VERY well, in mowing and trimming often. After watching the video I noticed that most of the trail looks like you're riding through a mowed field. In the early part of this thread there were several comments asking people to ride the park to break it in. Here we are 5 years later and there still isn't a well defined single track. I would think that this is due to the fact that people all ride in a different track on the mowed section so it will take forever to actually wear in a nice hard packed trail. I (think this is the third or 4th time in this thread) would suggest rota-tilling a trail through the grassy sections. This would give a well-defined track to follow and I think would eventually lead to a smoother, faster and more comfortable course. You only need a couple of inches of track on a bike and the rest will form itself. It would at least be a good start to get riders at least following the same path.
The woods look great and seem to offer a good balance of turns, straightaways, and hard packed single track. Obstacles could be added or they can be natural (in the form of fallen trees). I think that the area with the wood bridges seems cool, but what would it take to connect the segments? It does not necessarily have to be with more bridges (dock sections), but some logs, rocks, 2x6's or something, kinda making it a ladder section? http://nsmba.ca/structures/structuresmistakes.htm
In the form of signage, it sounds like something needs to be done, most riders on here (that aren't regulars) seem to get lost or go the wrong way. I acknowledge that you have made efforts in the past and they have been ripped down, but have you tried something a little more permanent? Some trails that I have been to have 4x4's in the ground that are engraved with letter/numbers and painted to designate the trail. This could be cheap and easy to do as well as deter vandalism. I also liked the suggestion of hanging the temporary markers (viewtopic.php?p=687811#p687811
) and possibly wrong way signs to let users know that they could hit someone head on.
Last but not least, I would update the Trail Guide http://mmba.org/index.php?option=com_tr ... =trail&cid
=75 . The description made me initially not want to ride the trail and after seeing the outdated map I almost skipped this trail up as potential ride places. The trail seems evolved and improved from the original description. Also, the map that is listed is ugly and outdated, the map below is WAY nicer and put together very well. If it is up to date I think that it would make a great addition to the Trail Guide. I would also say something about being close/connected to Rolling Hills Park, I think that's another good selling point for this trail.
All-in-all I am glad to see this park listing. I think there is a great potential and it is in a good location. I would not have written this if the park seemed to be a flop. I think this will be a great place to ride in coming years and that you're on to something great. I hope that you take some of my opinions as positive reinforcement to help progress into a great trail. I am in the area usually once every couple months. If you ever need any help with trail work, maintenance, or upgrades when I am in the area I would be more than willing to stop by and lend a helping hand. Keep up the great work and I hope to see some of you out on the trail when I get out there!
P_Thomas22 wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pC65FtInDM this is part 1.
Did the trail for the first time today and I have to say I didn't have much fun... that was until after I had finished. Its very slow and flat as others have mentioned. Thanks for mowing it down as otherwise it would of been even more grueling. Not many technical sections although I did enjoy the few log piles/rocks. I think we should add some trail markers to help with direction as it can get kinda confusing for someone who hasnt studied the out dated maps. Correct me if I am wrong but there is no "terrain park" on the north side (what is the little circle on the map supposed to be) I GPS'd the whole route and go-pro'd it as well. It was in good condition except for a few spots that were squishy in the woods. Did get two nasty thorns stuck in my arm on the NW side and because it has never been rototill-ed on the grassy sections it does make for a very slow ride.
I did find it pretty satisfying after I had finished because it was difficult, not in a technical sense, more in a completion sense. Trying to keep your speed up in the grassy sections is tough and you have to pedal hard and long with no real coasting or breaks to speak of. It is very bumpy as well and my hard tail sure bounced around on some sections. I think i will go back to try and improve my time and it is a very cardio intense trail. Ill post links to the videos when they are uploaded. Ill just put them up as they are without editing. Will be long and boring but at least people can see what the trail is like. Thanks to everyone who maintains the trail.
GPS data http://connect.garmin.com/activity/90635886
bhollen666 wrote:We've tried stakes with laminated pictures just like Rolling Hills, but they didn't last two weeks before they were ripped out and thrown in the woods. We then tried those yellow flags and most of them were also ripped out. Someone was nice enough to put some of them back, but they are usually torn out. We suspected it was a bunch of locals who used to hunt the park before the township bought it. It's been a few years now and we've not seen as many of them as there have been before. Maybe they've finally given up or we've finally struck some kind of balance in the park.
We suggested to the township that we paint marks on some trees, marking different points on the trail with the letters that we tried for the location markers, with green when you are facing the correct direction and red or yellow in the opposite way. We recommended this to the township but never got a response.