MCMBA: Proud Lake

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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby Hermannator » July 9th, 2012, 8:29 pm

Lisa- I am glad to hear that the rider is OK. As a frequent bike rider of these trails, I agree that bikers need to be watchful and yield to horses. I have encountered horses along those trails and make it a point to step off the trail and let them pass. I also agree that we really need separate trails out there since, as you put it, horses and bikers want different things in trails. The Proud Lake trails are increasing in popularity due to their challenge, and that they are not your typical smooth trails. The comment you responded to about the poor condition of the trails was from 2005, and we can agree the trails are in much better condition now. Both bikers and horse groups deserve credit in this improvement. I would be happy to be part of any movement that equitably separates those trails, or allows for additional separated trails to exist on that great property.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby msbusdr » July 9th, 2012, 8:52 pm

This is a response to Bill right? Anyway, thanks for the favorable response. The PLTRA has been maintaining those trails since before I joined them in 2003. And when I was in high school, our 4-H club went in and cleaned them out from time-to-time. I know you put in time on the trails, but to be honest, I have never seen another biker work on them. But I will take your word for it that they do. It is kinda the same for us tho. Seems it is always the same people from our group too. Everyone wants to enjoy them, but only a few are willing to maintain them, sad isn't it?
I know from what I hear said from equestrians in the area, they won't be willing to give up the trails we maintained and have been using as equestrian trails for so many, many years. But did say they were be willing to help cut news ones for bikes. We like the different trails, to include the yellow trail off the old staging area. A lot of riders like that one too for the up and down hill challenge it gives us and our horses. We really need to petition the state to put in more trails. Smaller parks than Proud Lake have seperated trails and more miles that Proud Lake. It can accomodate more trails.
Unfortunately the Bike Riders who NEED to read this, probably will never see it. Those who are responsible and careful already know.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby Spinwheel » July 9th, 2012, 9:28 pm

Its way past time for Proud Lake to separate horse and bike/hike trails - even Fort Custer recently figured out how to get it done. Pontiac Lake - another good example.

I've had positive encounters with horses at proud lake many times over the years - the only negatives would be the owners who continue to poach the Kensington Connector Mountain Bike Trail, which makes no sense when a dedicated horse trail is 30 - 50 yds away. This issue with the rider "sneaking-up" behind the horse is probably an education and awareness problem. If you don't know horses, at least to some extent, then you don't know.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby Loren » July 9th, 2012, 9:49 pm

Thank you for your thoughtful letter Lisa. While only a small fraction of Michigan mountain bikers are readers of this forum, most of the local enthusiastic riders participate and it is hoped that the rider in question reads this and reflects on what was, and what might have been.

I think that I speak for all of us when I say that I'm sorry that this event occurred, and I'm thankful that she was not more seriously injured.

I think horses and bikes can mix, but only in areas with low traffic volumes and where the soil conditions and geology will sustain the traffic and allow clear sight lines. Perhaps that described Proud Lake in the past, but no longer. Across the US a little more than 3 million new mountain bikes were sold last year, and many of those bikes and new riders have found their way to a local trail. In the few short years that I've been riding I've seen a significant increase in the number of people of all sorts using our Metro Detroit trails, as you have also observed. This trend is only going to increase. Its likely that the economy is also adding to this pressure, as more people are choosing to recreate locally rather than travel on weekends. It's unfortunate but inevitable that increased usage will result in an increase in conflicts and we all will spend more time policing behavior than we'd like.

In our other Metro Detroit area trails, separate trail systems have been created to minimize the potential conflicts between trail user groups. Highland, Pontiac Lake, and Maybury are just a few examples of state land where this separation has been largely successful.

As a chapter, we would support your call for the creation of independent trail systems at Proud Lake. Other chapters are currently doing this in other areas of the state, such as at Fort Custer where separate trails have been established within the past few months. We stand ready to design, fund, build, and maintain these trails. It's possible, the state will allow us to do this, but we need to work with local DNR management to achieve this. Getting their buy-in and support is the first step.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby ihateplaindave » July 10th, 2012, 8:39 am

" I know you put in time on the trails, but to be honest, I have never seen another biker work on them. But I will take your word for it that they do."

No need to take his word for it. Proud Lake tends to get less maintenence than most MTB trails in the area (also, less MTB traffic), but I can get you a list of people like myself that have put in time on maintaining this trail.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby davedejonge » July 10th, 2012, 8:42 am

Re the seperate trails... Sounds like a beautiful thing. I've run into horse riders (not literary) that have been very nervous about bikes even though I gave them large clearance - I was stopped in the bushes and they were still "jumpy" based on previous run ins I'm sure. Re the maintenance.. I think both groups probably think they do more than the other.. kinda like a married couple with housework, neither ever feels appreciated. I know 2 years ago I took out 5 trees the day before the PLTRA trail day. Last summer someone on a horse trimmed my personal access to the trails...

There is lots of room for REALLY good trails in Proud lake, lots of hills and such, not too much sand, and some really good potential. - Highland part 2!

as for the current trails... I think this link might work for those who wanted a pdf they could print of the map I made.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_-YeT-KS4SOUm1PSmRvdG9FcWc

There should be file/download option to allow you to save it.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby Flyer 130 » July 10th, 2012, 8:44 pm

Lisa from PLTRA and Loren from MCMBA,
I ride Fort Custer bi-weekly to weekly...the changes that have occured on those DNR trails is night and day the horse riders can set their trail up which suits them best and the Mountain Bikers/hikers do there own trails. This has to take time and some good feedback to the DNR so they will bye into your ideas. I grew up in the lakes area and spent many a day in the Proud Lake Recreation Area there is a great amount of land that if set up right could lead to a great adventure area for all that want to take part.
Lisa I hope the rider is back in the saddle and feeling better.
Loren if you would like on my next couple of trips out to Custer I can talk with some of the DNR people out there and find out what was said to them which led tem to separte the trails. I also look forward to riding Lake Shore when I get up that way.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby deezler » July 11th, 2012, 3:40 pm

davedejonge wrote:ood trails in Proud lake, lots of hills and such, not too much sand, and some really good potential. - Highland part 2!

as for the current trails... I think this link might work for those who wanted a pdf they could print of the map I made.

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_-YeT-KS4SOUm1PSmRvdG9FcWc

There should be file/download option to allow you to save it.


Awesome, thanks. At first I thought you wasted your time, as the view within google/browser is very low res. But if you download it, it's great.

Thanks all for the map! Now I have the confidence to come rip a few loops out here. Other then head-butting a horse, of course.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby msbusdr » July 11th, 2012, 7:34 pm

I don't need a list of any names of those who work the trails. I am sure it is a lot like what goes on with the horse people, a hand full work on it all the time and the rest complain that it isn't done right. LOL I am just saying that I never see bike people out there working on them. And when PLTRA spends it's own money to purchase the materials to repair muddy areas and we put in hours and hours to do them. I have only known of Bill to help. And when the bridge was recently repaired, it was PLTRA who funded it and with the help of several local business owners, not horse or mountain bikers, it was repaired by those men and some of the PLTRA members. No bike people. It is ok. But when the BIG jobs get done, it is appreciated by all, but always done by PLTRA. I know that PLTRA has done a lot of maintenance over the years, I trim as I ride, so do a lot of us. This year, we have not had as much opportunity to ride unfortunately.

As far as mountain bikers "sneaking up" on horses. Well, I don't think bikes are sneaking at high speeds. LOL. But you are correct. I am sure it is a lack of education. But it should not take much common sense to know, scare a horse from behind, you might get kicked. And a well landed kick to the head can kill you. No one wants that. And it isn't just for the horses and riders I am approaching this. I bike/hiker collision would be bad as well.

Also another problem out there and I am sure Mountain Bikers may have encountered this too. Are people walking their dogs off leash. There is a leash law. We have had dogs come after our horses. And hikers and Mountain Bikers should not have to deal with that either.

I hope we can find a way to get this done before someone is killed. With the higher use of the trails, it is only a matter of time.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby mwilson7 » July 11th, 2012, 9:15 pm

Reading your post I realized something pretty funny. If you are trimming the trail while you are riding a horse you are trimming it at approx 6-8 feet high. If I'm biking along and trimming the trail I'm trimming at 3-6 feet. Chances are neither of us will know what the others done but the trail would be pretty clear in the end......

Just a thought....nothing else......
Mark
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby J/C » July 11th, 2012, 9:37 pm

Rode Loop 1 yesterday, it's in good shape. Front tire went flat from a thorn. Fixed it, rode Loops 2 and 3 tonight. Tree down on 2 near the residence along Garden Rd. I will try to clear it in the next few days.

Thank you Lisa for posting. There is definitely room for horse and bike riding to take place in Proud Lake safely. Separate trails are a good way to go. Trail maintenance by both us and equestrians has been done well lately. (I do not think the park does any work on the bike/bridle trails.) I have only been riding the trails for the past three years, and right now they are in the best shape I have seen them.

We as mountain bikers would certainly like to build our own trails. From what I understand, several years ago, a proposal for new mountain bike trails to be constructed in the areas currently designated for the bike/bridle trails was presented to the DNR and it was rejected by Luba Sitar, district manager. Perhaps now is the time to ask again.

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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby Builder-Bill » July 11th, 2012, 11:10 pm

J/C wrote:Rode Loop 1 yesterday, it's in good shape. Front tire went flat from a thorn. Fixed it, rode Loops 2 and 3 tonight. Tree down on 2 near the residence along Garden Rd. I will try to clear it in the next few days.

Thank you Lisa for posting. There is definitely room for horse and bike riding to take place in Proud Lake safely. Separate trails are a good way to go. Trail maintenance by both us and equestrians has been done well lately. (I do not think the park does any work on the bike/bridle trails.) I have only been riding the trails for the past three years, and right now they are in the best shape I have seen them.

We as mountain bikers would certainly like to build our own trails. From what I understand, several years ago, a proposal for new mountain bike trails to be constructed in the areas currently designated for the bike/bridle trails was presented to the DNR and it was rejected by Luba Sitar, district manager. Perhaps now is the time to ask again.

John Cox
Asst. Trail Coordinator


Dee From PLTRA and I worked out a trail separation plan three years ago, with only a few shared trails sections.
It was rejected by Luba Sitar , District manager. She thinks we should just share the trails and get along.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby Builder-Bill » July 11th, 2012, 11:38 pm

Loren wrote:Thank you for your thoughtful letter Lisa. While only a small fraction of Michigan mountain bikers are readers of this forum, most of the local enthusiastic riders participate and it is hoped that the rider in question reads this and reflects on what was, and what might have been.

I think that I speak for all of us when I say that I'm sorry that this event occurred, and I'm thankful that she was not more seriously injured.

I think horses and bikes can mix, but only in areas with low traffic volumes and where the soil conditions and geology will sustain the traffic and allow clear sight lines. Perhaps that described Proud Lake in the past, but no longer. Across the US a little more than 3 million new mountain bikes were sold last year, and many of those bikes and new riders have found their way to a local trail. In the few short years that I've been riding I've seen a significant increase in the number of people of all sorts using our Metro Detroit trails, as you have also observed. This trend is only going to increase. Its likely that the economy is also adding to this pressure, as more people are choosing to recreate locally rather than travel on weekends. It's unfortunate but inevitable that increased usage will result in an increase in conflicts and we all will spend more time policing behavior than we'd like.

In our other Metro Detroit area trails, separate trail systems have been created to minimize the potential conflicts between trail user groups. Highland, Pontiac Lake, and Maybury are just a few examples of state land where this separation has been largely successful.

As a chapter, we would support your call for the creation of independent trail systems at Proud Lake. Other chapters are currently doing this in other areas of the state, such as at Fort Custer where separate trails have been established within the past few months. We stand ready to design, fund, build, and maintain these trails. It's possible, the state will allow us to do this, but we need to work with local DNR management to achieve this. Getting their buy-in and support is the first step.


I agree with you Loren. I think the trail should be separated in areas that they can be.


Dee From PLTRA and I worked out a trail separation plan three years ago, with only a few shared trails sections.
It was rejected by Luba Sitar , District manager. She thinks we should just share the trails or split them up between us.
Dee and I rejected the idea of splitting them up.
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby G.Cook » July 12th, 2012, 11:04 am

Perhaps the reason Proud Lk. hasn't gotten more love from mtn.bike trail crews is that those trails are shared with equestrians. While I agree with Bill and Loren on just about everything as to trail care , I will never work on a trail system that is shared with equestrians. Which is why I'm not all that enthusiastic about working the Waterloo Rec. trail system out at the "Waterloo Equestrian Recreation Area".
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Re: MCMBA: Proud Lake

Postby irishpitbull » July 12th, 2012, 11:12 am

G.Cook wrote:Perhaps the reason Proud Lk. hasn't gotten more love from mtn.bike trail crews is that those trails are shared with equestrians. While I agree with Bill and Loren on just about everything as to trail care , I will never work on a trail system that is shared with equestrians. Which is why I'm not all that enthusiastic about working the Waterloo Rec. trail system out at the "Waterloo Equestrian Recreation Area".



2nd this.

Proud Lake has potential but not while they are shared with equestrians. Bill and the trail crew has done a great job out there tho.
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