Western: Yankee Springs

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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby cramer » April 13th, 2012, 11:42 am

mntn-biker wrote: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.


Ironically there are sustainable tech features built in to Luton that are more challenging than anything at Yankee but they're mostly overgrown due to complete lack of interest from 99% of the riders.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby G.R.XC-MTNBKR » April 13th, 2012, 8:48 pm

cramer wrote:
mntn-biker wrote: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.


Ironically there are sustainable tech features built in to Luton that are more challenging than anything at Yankee but they're mostly overgrown due to complete lack of interest from 99% of the riders.

Please let me know were they are, must have missed them, not sarcasm either, I guess difficuly level is subjective though. You cant compare yankee to luton imo. But I still enjoy luton for an easy ride, its great to have around. When is the last time MMBA built an intermediate/advanced level trail?
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby irishpitbull » April 13th, 2012, 9:02 pm

G.R.XC-MTNBKR wrote:
cramer wrote:
mntn-biker wrote: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.


Ironically there are sustainable tech features built in to Luton that are more challenging than anything at Yankee but they're mostly overgrown due to complete lack of interest from 99% of the riders.

Please let me know were they are, must have missed them, not sarcasm either, I guess difficuly level is subjective though. You cant compare yankee to luton imo. But I still enjoy luton for an easy ride, its great to have around. When is the last time MMBA built an intermediate/advanced level trail?


I would say highland? But other than the climbs there ain't much. If a 12 year old on a walmart bike can't do it, it won't get built.

No disrespect intended. The lack of a true destination trail in the lower - lower Michigan is the proof of that. Given our abundance of elevation changes I think opportunities were missed.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby cramer » April 13th, 2012, 10:03 pm

G.R.XC-MTNBKR wrote:
cramer wrote:
mntn-biker wrote: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.


Ironically there are sustainable tech features built in to Luton that are more challenging than anything at Yankee but they're mostly overgrown due to complete lack of interest from 99% of the riders.

Please let me know were they are, must have missed them, not sarcasm either, I guess difficuly level is subjective though. You cant compare yankee to luton imo. But I still enjoy luton for an easy ride, its great to have around. When is the last time MMBA built an intermediate/advanced level trail?


Three tech features built at Luton off the top of my head are the rock garden to the right side of the main trail toward the end of the orange loop, the big rock pile at the end of the black loop (most people ride the easier line on the inside) and that rock stair step that was built on the yellow loop which looks to me like it's not getting used much. All of these were built or included intentionally to provide technical challenges for people that want them. I'm not saying these things are super challenging or anything, just that I can't think of anything at Yankee that is more difficult than any of these things in terms of skill requirement. I can't think of any technical features that were intentional at Yankee except maybe a log pile or two and they're pretty small. Some of the washed out steep climbs at Yankee can be challenging on a singlespeed though, especially in a race where you're already tired when you get to them. I guess I wasn't considering those as technical challenges but instead they are things that require strength or power more than skill... but they are challenges.

Regarding intermediate / advanced trails being built - the skills park and the downhill run at Cannonsburg Ski Area have to qualify for that, those were built by the MMBA. As I mentioned before, when you see the relatively easy tech features virtually ignored at Luton, it doesn't make sense to build a whole trail full of them somewhere. I mean if this is what people want, why does almost everyone that rides out there ride around the ones we have? That being said, if you think this would be a big hit, I think you should consider doing something about it, get something built. I got permission to build some trails on the township property where I live last summer. The MMBA helped me out and it would never have happened without their help, but at the same time, it would never have happened without me getting the ball rolling either. If you can dream it, you can do it!
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby AllMountin' » April 13th, 2012, 11:24 pm

I envy and respect the initiative of you Western folks. You guys are gettin' things done out there.

I fully believe in sustainable, IMBA spec trail building(but still enjoy riding classic fall line stuff too). I honestly think that anyone who doesn't- probably hasn't ridden enough well designed trails of that type.

Someone mentioned replacing eroded, accidental tech at Yankee with optional, intentional tech with bypasses. I would only caution that doing so would *drastically* change the character of the time trial. Right now you have some gnarly roots, and washed out tech that is located on the singular line option. By adding bypasses to now optional features, the bypass becomes the race line, which means that you will be dumbing down the race into a glorified road ride.

I exaggerate a bit there, but do consider: *If* you use bypasses, the Yankee Springs Time Trial will cease to be the kind of challenge that it is/has been for years. You may as well plant weeds on the tech, because it won't get ridden. Riders are lazy. Give them an easy/fast option, and they *will* take it 9/10 times.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby G.R.XC-MTNBKR » April 14th, 2012, 12:05 am

cramer wrote:
G.R.XC-MTNBKR wrote:
cramer wrote:
mntn-biker wrote: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.


Ironically there are sustainable tech features built in to Luton that are more challenging than anything at Yankee but they're mostly overgrown due to complete lack of interest from 99% of the riders.

Please let me know were they are, must have missed them, not sarcasm either, I guess difficuly level is subjective though. You cant compare yankee to luton imo. But I still enjoy luton for an easy ride, its great to have around. When is the last time MMBA built an intermediate/advanced level trail?


Three tech features built at Luton off the top of my head are the rock garden to the right side of the main trail toward the end of the orange loop, the big rock pile at the end of the black loop (most people ride the easier line on the inside) and that rock stair step that was built on the yellow loop which looks to me like it's not getting used much. All of these were built or included intentionally to provide technical challenges for people that want them. I'm not saying these things are super challenging or anything, just that I can't think of anything at Yankee that is more difficult than any of these things in terms of skill requirement. I can't think of any technical features that were intentional at Yankee except maybe a log pile or two and they're pretty small. Some of the washed out steep climbs at Yankee can be challenging on a singlespeed though, especially in a race where you're already tired when you get to them. I guess I wasn't considering those as technical challenges but instead they are things that require strength or power more than skill... but they are challenges.

Regarding intermediate / advanced trails being built - the skills park and the downhill run at Cannonsburg Ski Area have to qualify for that, those were built by the MMBA. As I mentioned before, when you see the relatively easy tech features virtually ignored at Luton, it doesn't make sense to build a whole trail full of them somewhere. I mean if this is what people want, why does almost everyone that rides out there ride around the ones we have? That being said, if you think this would be a big hit, I think you should consider doing something about it, get something built. I got permission to build some trails on the township property where I live last summer. The MMBA helped me out and it would never have happened without their help, but at the same time, it would never have happened without me getting the ball rolling either. If you can dream it, you can do it!

The skills park at CSA and downhills runs are more for the freeride/DH class bikes, probly not a good idea to take an lighwight XC bike on it often, you end up with cracked frame soon and bent wheels.
Yes I do remember those rock piles now that you mention it at luton, for the longest time I thought they were just that rock piles until I tried riding them. Like u said theyre fairly easy but better then nothing with bypasses for the average rider to go around. They just need a few more obstacles maybe something way more challenging.
So you think those low speed rock piles are more difficult then the rocky and sandy climbs at yankee, not to mention the heavily rutted drops going thru the pines, or the rutted, sloped descents going down into ravines, and etc? I guess we just have different opinions of what is technical.
I certainly do agree and wish I had a place to build a trail on, hopefully one day soon. The things is if its public land they want an easy trail for the masses, and thats what the mmba is building. Thank goodness for robinettes and the ski area.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby cramer » April 14th, 2012, 8:36 am

Good points and a civil discussion about something that tends to get people fired up. I mostly agree with what you guys added including the fact that when given the option to ride around obstacles, most do it and in a race ALL would do that. In my mind, I dream of some tech that goes beyond what we have but isn't as crazy at the ski area skills park but then I wonder what exactly that looks like? Everything to me seems either easy or impossible (at least with my hard tail) and I sometimes wonder if that's just the way it is, that we all get really comfortable with the every day stuff to the point where it doesn't seem challenging yet stepping up just a tiny bit to the next level becomes "too difficult" even if in reality it's just a little bit more difficult.

I say let's take some action with this! We've got permission to build this sort of thing out on the new Cannon Township Trail. By adding something that doesn't exist in other places, we increase the appeal / utility of that trail which is good because it's so short, it sort of needs a unique identity. The trick is figuring out exactly what to build that meets this criteria and getting people together to build it. I want to let the trail mature a bit so I can see where the flow is before deciding where to add these things. Maybe later this summer we can have a brainstorming session out there and come up with some ideas. I'm not going to do this by myself though. Anyone interested in helping out, send me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll contact you later this summer when the time is right.

I think we hi-jacked the trail conditions at Yankee forum long enough though. If anyone has anything to add we should probably start a new thread in the general or in the Western Chapter area or if we want to talk about what to build at the Cannon Township trail, add it to the trail conditions area for that trail.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby monkeyevil » April 15th, 2012, 6:42 am

I've been riding yankee since the mid 90's and its always been rutty... The nature of the landscape there. It sure does dry fast though!
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby jonw9 » April 15th, 2012, 7:19 am

monkeyevil wrote:I've been riding yankee since the mid 90's and its always been rutty... The nature of the landscape there. It sure does dry fast though!


How fast? Rideable today, like Noon when the ran is supposed to stop?
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Western: Yankee Springs

Postby raymears » April 15th, 2012, 8:00 am

Sorry to continue the off-topic discussion, but I just wanted to say that I appreciate the topic being discussed in the open. It's good for new riders like me to see how much consideration is put into trail design and maintenance. For technical areas, I'm surprised not to see Edwards Creek mentioned.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby thud » April 15th, 2012, 10:46 am

jonw9 wrote:
monkeyevil wrote:I've been riding yankee since the mid 90's and its always been rutty... The nature of the landscape there. It sure does dry fast though!


How fast? Rideable today, like Noon when the ran is supposed to stop?


Anyone? Anyone?
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby AllMountin' » April 15th, 2012, 2:24 pm

Go for it. A few wet spots, but solid conditions. Quite a few riders out there just after noon.
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby dirtjunkie » April 15th, 2012, 2:39 pm

jonw9 wrote:
monkeyevil wrote:I've been riding yankee since the mid 90's and its always been rutty... The nature of the landscape there. It sure does dry fast though!


How fast? Rideable today, like Noon when the ran is supposed to stop?


The rain stopped mid/early a.m. The trail should be sweet. Have fun!
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby jonw9 » April 15th, 2012, 3:42 pm

dirtjunkie wrote:
jonw9 wrote:
monkeyevil wrote:I've been riding yankee since the mid 90's and its always been rutty... The nature of the landscape there. It sure does dry fast though!


How fast? Rideable today, like Noon when the ran is supposed to stop?


The rain stopped mid/early a.m. The trail should be sweet. Have fun!


It was! [That is both sweet condition, and fun]!
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Re: Western: Yankee Springs

Postby Kampfire » April 16th, 2012, 7:08 am

Any idea if the reroute added length to the trail or cut a section out? Riding it saturday I couldn't discern if there was an overall length distance change.
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