Western: Yankee Springs

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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby irishpitbull » April 11th, 2012, 8:03 pm

The above poster is correct and speaks awesomeness.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby cramer » April 11th, 2012, 8:59 pm

G.R.XC-MTNBKR wrote:True, but unless u replace an eroded, challenging, or technical section or whatever u wanna call it with something equally challenging it should not be done, or it is dumbing down the trail. But as soon as u make a new obstacle or technical reroute all the masses start crying its to difficult so bypasses need to be added in for them.


Not true, unless you believe the trail was originally built with 20 foot wide washed out root exposed eroded sections. Re-routes simply restore it to its original condition. The original condition was no erosion so therefore it is impossible to dumb down a trail by re-routing eroded sections.

Regarding bypasses, they are not built because of crying by the masses. The reason I know this is that they are built at the same time as the technical feature, before anyone has a chance to cry about it. The reason they are built is that if you don't build them, riders will "build" them by trying to ride around the obstacle. Either way, they WILL be there so it's considered better to build them correctly at the time of original construction.

Lastly, why do bypasses bother you anyway? They don't prevent you from enjoying the technical feature do they?
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby G.R.XC-MTNBKR » April 11th, 2012, 9:52 pm

cramer wrote:
G.R.XC-MTNBKR wrote:True, but unless u replace an eroded, challenging, or technical section or whatever u wanna call it with something equally challenging it should not be done, or it is dumbing down the trail. But as soon as u make a new obstacle or technical reroute all the masses start crying its to difficult so bypasses need to be added in for them.


Not true, unless you believe the trail was originally built with 20 foot wide washed out root exposed eroded sections. Re-routes simply restore it to its original condition. The original condition was no erosion so therefore it is impossible to dumb down a trail by re-routing eroded sections.

Regarding bypasses, they are not built because of crying by the masses. The reason I know this is that they are built at the same time as the technical feature, before anyone has a chance to cry about it. The reason they are built is that if you don't build them, riders will "build" them by trying to ride around the obstacle. Either way, they WILL be there so it's considered better to build them correctly at the time of original construction.

Lastly, why do bypasses bother you anyway? They don't prevent you from enjoying the technical feature do they?

Yes true. Regardless how the trail was originally built if a section becomes eroded and becomes an obstacle, or technical area that is what it then is. It adds character or a new challenge whether good or bad, the trail is constantly evolving if you take that away and create a flat section U HAVE TAKEN OUT A OBSTACLE OR DIFFICULT AREA=DUMBING DOWN THE TRAIL. I am all for trail sustainabilty but if you cant see it you are blind. Second, show me were it says I am bothered by bypasses. If you actually read my post I am saying that we need bypasses so all riders can use the trail and not complain about technical areas. Im done with you, you make it to easy. :twisted:
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Bigtymer » April 11th, 2012, 11:48 pm

What technical? There's technical sections at yankee?
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby cramer » April 12th, 2012, 7:27 am

G.R.XC-MTNBKR wrote:
cramer wrote:
G.R.XC-MTNBKR wrote:True, but unless u replace an eroded, challenging, or technical section or whatever u wanna call it with something equally challenging it should not be done, or it is dumbing down the trail. But as soon as u make a new obstacle or technical reroute all the masses start crying its to difficult so bypasses need to be added in for them.


Not true, unless you believe the trail was originally built with 20 foot wide washed out root exposed eroded sections. Re-routes simply restore it to its original condition. The original condition was no erosion so therefore it is impossible to dumb down a trail by re-routing eroded sections.

Regarding bypasses, they are not built because of crying by the masses. The reason I know this is that they are built at the same time as the technical feature, before anyone has a chance to cry about it. The reason they are built is that if you don't build them, riders will "build" them by trying to ride around the obstacle. Either way, they WILL be there so it's considered better to build them correctly at the time of original construction.

Lastly, why do bypasses bother you anyway? They don't prevent you from enjoying the technical feature do they?

Yes true. Regardless how the trail was originally built if a section becomes eroded and becomes an obstacle, or technical area that is what it then is. It adds character or a new challenge whether good or bad, the trail is constantly evolving if you take that away and create a flat section U HAVE TAKEN OUT A OBSTACLE OR DIFFICULT AREA=DUMBING DOWN THE TRAIL. I am all for trail sustainabilty but if you cant see it you are blind. Second, show me were it says I am bothered by bypasses. If you actually read my post I am saying that we need bypasses so all riders can use the trail and not complain about technical areas. Im done with you, you make it to easy. :twisted:


So according to your logic the trail is evolving constantly yet you want to keep it the same by not doing re-routes. This seems a contradiction to me. The same as what? When it was built? 15 years ago? 10 years ago? 5 years ago? It was a great trail during that entire time, yet it's much different now than it was then. Many re-routes have been done which you say "dumb it down" yet there are more exposed roots and washouts now than there were 10 years ago so it's not getting any easier overall. Maybe the sections that got re-routed were made easier temporarily but for every re-route that gets done, two other areas get eroded and replace it.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby rvd » April 12th, 2012, 8:02 am

McGurk wrote:I do not think the trail is great. Sure, there are sections that are fast and flow really well. But to me, other sections, deeper in the woods, are showing signs of significant abuse.

I have ridden Yankee only on two occasions last year, and liked the trail considerably. I am usually fine with mild drops, roots, and rocks, but one area just before the halfway / turnaround point in a pine forest, stuck with me as being in poor shape. It has tons of exposed roots that seem to be there due to erosion, not design. It is probably not important for the discussion that I didn't particularly like riding that section (the first time I lost it, but during the TT I made it through fine); what is important is that you can create similar features in a sustainable manner. No dumbing down is required to fix the problem.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby dirtjunkie » April 13th, 2012, 6:08 am

Love it when the experts on trails complain openly .....but are nowhere to be seen when people are there with tools in hand to make the changes.

The soil at Yankee is loose. Erosion comes about quickly. Due to the trail being ridable so early un the year, when most others are too wet to ride, that's when it sees the most traffic. When tou show up on a Saturday mid to late summer and the parking lot is empty, it's due to the conditions....resulting in less traffic & erosion.

There is a reroute being implemented this weekend....it's already roughed in. I'm sure they'd love your help finishing it.

In the mean time.....I had a blast out there with a group of 20+ Wed night.....and the trail was great! Several of us saw the large meteor reported on the news....it was huge!
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Bigtymer » April 13th, 2012, 7:52 am

I know that Cramer does a lot of work for our trails in West Michigan, plus the wmmba party's he throws at his house. Also,I'm pretty sure he's the one responsible for the new trail between Luton and the Ski area.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Mike_D » April 13th, 2012, 8:22 am

Bigtymer wrote:I know that Cramer does a lot of work for our trails in West Michigan, plus the wmmba party's he throws at his house. Also,I'm pretty sure he's the one responsible for the new trail between Luton and the Ski area.


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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby dirtjunkie » April 13th, 2012, 8:54 am

dirtjunkie wrote:There was a decent sized tree down about 2/3 up "Who's your daddy Hill", which is roughly 5 miles in, just after The Pines. This was late Wed (4/4/12) evening.

Otherwise the trail is great.


McGurk wrote:I do not think the trail is great. Sure, there are sections that are fast and flow really well. But to me, other sections, deeper in the woods, are showing signs of significant abuse. Many sections display serious erosion and should have been re-routed years ago. These areas have deeply exposed roots and are increasingly dangerous. Some of the drops, while fun, have also become badly bowled out. I ride and race aggressively and have the scars and ER bills to prove it. Challenging trails are great, but land abuse is a different matter. Somebody needs to step in here and take better care of the trail system. :(


Just to be clear....I appreciate Cramer's efforts, and those of anyone who participates on trail days or any other trail work. I love doing the trifecta, and we are darn lucky to have the volunteers and trails to choose from here in West Michigan.....which points towards my point....

However....the gist of my direction was this:

I posted about a tree down on "Who's your daddy hill"...and that the trail was great other than that tree. The very next post starts with: "I don't think the trail is great..."

Yankee Springs is an excellent example of multiple user groups working together. There is a 10+ mile equestrian trail that comes within several hundred yards of the mtn bike trail.....south side of Gun Lake Rd....and they stay there. There are at least 3 separate hiking trails....they are awesome....which is why you don't see a ton of hikers on the mtn bike trail. The trail passes thru game areas....other than the occasional occurances, the hunters and bikers get along.

The soil is loose and the lay of the land is made up of abrupt elevation changes (thanks to the glaciers a gazzilion years ago). That's going to make for a difficult trail to keep up. When you combine that with a DNR land manager that has been resistant to change.....you've got a challenge. You're going to have roots and loose rocks. It's what makes Yankee "Yankee". Doesn't seem to impede the course from drawing one of the largest turnouts for a time trial year in and year out.

It is what it is....the folks down here do their collective best.....and I applaud them for their efforts, along with all the volunteers and TC's that get hammered with complaints.

Looks like some rain is coming for early next week....if it continues thru the end of the week, the TT should have GREAT conditions on race day :wink:
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby cramer » April 13th, 2012, 9:37 am

Good post Dirtjunkie, agree 100%. Just to be clear, the last thing I want to do to any trail is "dumb it down" or make it easier overall. The other TCs and volunteers all feel the same way, there is no conspiracy to try to make things easier. In the big picture, erosion is used as a weapon by anti-mountain bikers to try to limit our access because "I don't want to share the trails with those guys" wasn't effective for them. If we take away that weapon, we all win. The results are tangible with all the new trails that are in the planning stages or being built right now. Even that little trail we built on the Cannon Township property, there were people on the recreation committee that mentioned they were concerned about erosion. They had been to the state game area and thought that's what happened when mountain bikers were allowed on a trail and they were very worried. I was able to point to Luton as an example of a trail that was purposely built to be sustainable for mountain biking and that alleviated their concerns. Without Luton, we wouldn't have been able to build that new trail. I wasn't involved with any of the discussions for the other new trails being built or planned right now but I suspect the success of Luton played a large role in getting those projects approved also. If we had to use Yankee as an example of what a mountain bike trail is (as much as we all love riding there) it would be REALLY difficult to get any new trails built.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Mike_D » April 13th, 2012, 9:51 am

From my discussion with 1 of the original trail builders, Yankee was 1 of the 1st legit mtb trails on state land in West Michigan put in back in the 90's prior to any IMBA trail building techniques so it is understandable why there are a number of eroded sections on the trail. If we let every trail, that we ride in this area to date, continue to erode like some sections of Yankee have done, it is highly unlikely that we would have received the green light from parks departments to put in more trail. Luton was the 1st park in the area to set the precedent and, from what I have heard, is used as a benchmark when talking with parks department heads when requesting new trail or added trail. It is used as an example of how a trail can be self sustaining with minimal maintenance built in accordance (assuming) with IMBA trail design/construction techniques. Without having a trail like Luton as an example, it is very unlikely that the new trail going in at 10 mile and US-131 would have been allowed. If trails such as the game area or Yankee were used as an example by the voices of "anti-mountain bikers" at planning meetings, the 10 mile trail probably wouldn't received the green light due to the concern of how the mountain bikes "tear up the trail" when, in reality, it is the mother nature doing the eroding on un-sustainable trail.

The WMMBA is responsible for maintaining and creating new trail and if there needs to be a re-route to prevent future erosion in order to get more trail in the West Michigan area, then I am all for it. If I want technical trail, I will head up to Marquette or Copper Harbor.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby irishpitbull » April 13th, 2012, 9:55 am

mntn-biker wrote:From my discussion with 1 of the original trail builders, Yankee was 1 of the 1st legit mtb trails on state land in West Michigan put in back in the 90's prior to any IMBA trail building techniques so it is understandable why there are a number of eroded sections on the trail. If we let every trail, that we ride in this area to date, continue to erode like some sections of Yankee have done, it is highly unlikely that we would have received the green light from parks departments to put in more trail. Luton was the 1st park in the area to set the precedent and, from what I have heard, is used as a benchmark when talking with parks department heads when requesting new trail or added trail. It is used as an example of how a trail can be self sustaining with minimal maintenance built in accordance (assuming) with IMBA trail design/construction techniques. Without having a trail like Luton as an example, it is very unlikely that the new trail going in at 10 mile and US-131 would have been allowed. If trails such as the game area or Yankee were used as an example by the voices of "anti-mountain bikers" at planning meetings, the 10 mile trail probably wouldn't received the green light due to the concern of how the mountain bikes "tear up the trail" when, in reality, it is the mother nature doing the eroding on un-sustainable trail.

The WMMBA is responsible for maintaining and creating new trail and if there needs to be a re-route to prevent future erosion in order to get more trail in the West Michigan area, then I am all for it. If I want technical trail, I will head up to Marquette or Copper Harbor.



We shouldn't have to drive 10 hours to find technical trails. The is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Trails should be built with difficulty, fun factor, and sustainability in mind to keep people interested, not designed for every 12 year old on a walmart to be able clear with out a challenge.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Mike_D » April 13th, 2012, 10:10 am

irishpitbull wrote:
mntn-biker wrote:From my discussion with 1 of the original trail builders, Yankee was 1 of the 1st legit mtb trails on state land in West Michigan put in back in the 90's prior to any IMBA trail building techniques so it is understandable why there are a number of eroded sections on the trail. If we let every trail, that we ride in this area to date, continue to erode like some sections of Yankee have done, it is highly unlikely that we would have received the green light from parks departments to put in more trail. Luton was the 1st park in the area to set the precedent and, from what I have heard, is used as a benchmark when talking with parks department heads when requesting new trail or added trail. It is used as an example of how a trail can be self sustaining with minimal maintenance built in accordance (assuming) with IMBA trail design/construction techniques. Without having a trail like Luton as an example, it is very unlikely that the new trail going in at 10 mile and US-131 would have been allowed. If trails such as the game area or Yankee were used as an example by the voices of "anti-mountain bikers" at planning meetings, the 10 mile trail probably wouldn't received the green light due to the concern of how the mountain bikes "tear up the trail" when, in reality, it is the mother nature doing the eroding on un-sustainable trail.

The WMMBA is responsible for maintaining and creating new trail and if there needs to be a re-route to prevent future erosion in order to get more trail in the West Michigan area, then I am all for it. If I want technical trail, I will head up to Marquette or Copper Harbor.



We shouldn't have to drive 10 hours to find technical trails. The is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Trails should be built with difficulty, fun factor, and sustainability in mind to keep people interested, not designed for every 12 year old on a walmart to be able clear with out a challenge.


Ok, forget I said head to da UP - I forgot that we do have some technical stuff in the skills park @ the ski area. The bigger picture that Cramer and myself are trying to paint is that if we want more (unpaved) trail here in West Michigan, the trails will need to be put in like those at Luton which is unfortunate for all those that want more technical features. I like technical sections of trail, don't get me wrong, but I would give that up to have more riding options here in West Michigan.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby dirtjunkie » April 13th, 2012, 10:41 am

mntn-biker wrote:From my discussion with 1 of the original trail builders, Yankee was 1 of the 1st legit mtb trails on state land in West Michigan put in back in the 90's prior to any IMBA trail building techniques so it is understandable why there are a number of eroded sections on the trail. If we let every trail, that we ride in this area to date, continue to erode like some sections of Yankee have done, it is highly unlikely that we would have received the green light from parks departments to put in more trail.


Just adding...not arguing....

I came across an old Yankee trail map in my father-in-laws things after he passed. It was pretty cool to see! The trail wound thru the same general areas, but it was quite a bit shorter & did not include many of the features it does today.

I started riding there in the mid-early 90's. There are a few sections that are still the same, but quite a few of the old trailways have been re-routed to what we currently ride there. I can point them out....but they have filled in quite nicely since the re-routes.

Some of the sections that people deem as "wide" used to be fire roads....both "Guard Rail Hill" and "Who's your daddy" are two examples. The high banks and wide paths were created by vehicles dating back a long, long time ago. The banks weren't created by the mountain bike trail.

Again....due to the soil consistency and the terrain, even deer runways cut themselves into the earth and groove substantial trails with erosion. I understand the concern and need to represent mountain biking in a positive, low impact manner. With that said, the Yankee Springs Rec area has represented a destination for many different user groups to come and enjoy. My hope is that will continue. But having our own user group blast it for being a bad representation of our sport is not doing "us" any favors. Send the TC a note....volunteer to lend a hand.....but don't give those that oppose us any fuel for their fire.
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