CRAMBA: Pontiac Lake

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby Mack » July 29th, 2011, 3:22 pm

My rain guage read 7.3 inches. The news reported 7.64 inches. The crazy thing is this July was going to go down as one on the driest to date. Now it's going down as the 2nd wetest ever all in 2 days.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby oldkhs » July 31st, 2011, 2:26 pm

Looks like I really need to invest as my guess was way off...

Anyway, rode this morning, trail is dry and in good shape, unlike me.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby Critter7r » July 31st, 2011, 8:36 pm

Speaking as someone that rides a lot (1500+ miles per year), but hasn't ridden PLRA in two years, let me say holy crap, that trail has gotten to be rough as all get out. I'm thinking that PLRA (and trails like it) are the reason 29'ers exist. Dont get me wrong, love the trail, but it seems that all the sections that used to flow are completely choked up with 6-inch high exposed roots, braking bumps and sharp rocks. Heck of a workout, though.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby dawsonn57 » August 1st, 2011, 11:58 am

Ya I have noticed the same thing on may trails in the area. Don't know if it is more traffic, trails aging, makeup and/or design. Poto is becoming the same way. Your right it is a great workout but also takes some of the fun and
flow from our favorite trails. Oh well, still a great area to have so many great trails at our disposal.

Riding PLRA in about an hour!
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby MtnBikerMi » August 2nd, 2011, 7:43 am

Had a odd sighting yesterday on the trail. At about the 6 mile mark I almost ran into a guy riding the wrong way on the trail, the odd part is, he was a riding his mountain bike in nothing but bright lime green speedos. Just when I thought I had seen it all...................
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby KLydesdale » August 2nd, 2011, 8:50 am

Critter7r wrote:Speaking as someone that rides a lot (1500+ miles per year), but hasn't ridden PLRA in two years, let me say holy crap, that trail has gotten to be rough as all get out. I'm thinking that PLRA (and trails like it) are the reason 29'ers exist. Dont get me wrong, love the trail, but it seems that all the sections that used to flow are completely choked up with 6-inch high exposed roots, braking bumps and sharp rocks. Heck of a workout, though.



You must not ride PLRA all that often if you think it's just gotten rough. It's pretty much always like that in the middle of summer.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby HiptonRadcliffIII » August 2nd, 2011, 11:00 am

IDK, it's usually bad, but I think things are looking particularly worse this year than usual. it's been pretty dramatic weather and high traffic. the tight single track enthusiasts are dying a little bit inside. Also, I think as a trail cordinator, you'd feel the pressure of the "no dumbing down the trails" mantra. I think there are sections in all major trail systems left unfixed now, that could probably actually use being fixed, but arn't because of fear of public outcry. It's a fine line. I like technical features, but I also want them rideable at a speed that reflects the flow or speed of that particular section of trail. If I ride a section at 20 or 25 mph, its going to feel a lot different than someone going 15 mph. there is a bit of a disconnect there between riders. sure, you can say the more advanced rider should be able to adapt, and they can, but only to a limited extent. We could make all trails impossible for even the best rider, but what makes a trail fun is the combination of technical sections, flow, an appreciation for the natural terrain, and speed!
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby Critter7r » August 2nd, 2011, 2:19 pm

KLydesdale wrote:
Critter7r wrote:Speaking as someone that rides a lot (1500+ miles per year), but hasn't ridden PLRA in two years, let me say holy crap, that trail has gotten to be rough as all get out. I'm thinking that PLRA (and trails like it) are the reason 29'ers exist. Dont get me wrong, love the trail, but it seems that all the sections that used to flow are completely choked up with 6-inch high exposed roots, braking bumps and sharp rocks. Heck of a workout, though.



You must not ride PLRA all that often if you think it's just gotten rough. It's pretty much always like that in the middle of summer.



I don't... Holdridge (Gruber's) is within riding distance from home, so I just ride there every weekend instead of loading up the car and driving somewhere else. I haven't ridden PLRA since the one time I rode it 2 years ago, and then it was probably at least one year again before that when i rode it. So a total of 2 rides at PLRA in 3 or 4 years. So what has been gradual deterioration to someone that rides there all the time, has seemed sudden to me. there just seemed to be a lot of sections that could benefit from a re-route, but that takes a lot of work, so I can understand why it hasn't happened.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby compacted_graphite » August 2nd, 2011, 3:38 pm

Trail update for August 2, 2011: The trailside between roughly mile 5 and mile 6 had a haircut today in the open areas, using a newly acquired toy (weed cutter) for our MMBA chapter. Will try to do more trimming in other open areas over the next few days.

The Trail Coordinators are aware of the seemingly rough trail conditions and many sections of washed-out or eroded trail sections. We are striving to work with the State Park staff to create new re-routes and that takes time. A lot of time. When we do re-routes, we will be working to follow sustainable trail building practices (meaning that the trail gradients will be less steep) but we still will want to preserve the overall verticle gain of a lot of our climbs and drops so that everybody gets a good workout.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby c0nsumer » August 2nd, 2011, 3:43 pm

compacted_graphite wrote:Trail update for August 2, 2011: The trailside between roughly mile 5 and mile 6 had a haircut today in the open areas, using a newly acquired toy (weed cutter) for our MMBA chapter. Will try to do more trimming in other open areas over the next few days.


Is that the new push-trimmer? If so, how'd it work?
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby oldkhs » August 2nd, 2011, 8:38 pm

compacted_graphite wrote:Trail update for August 2, 2011: The trailside between roughly mile 5 and mile 6 had a haircut today in the open areas, using a newly acquired toy (weed cutter) for our MMBA chapter. Will try to do more trimming in other open areas over the next few days.

The Trail Coordinators are aware of the seemingly rough trail conditions and many sections of washed-out or eroded trail sections. We are striving to work with the State Park staff to create new re-routes and that takes time. A lot of time. When we do re-routes, we will be working to follow sustainable trail building practices (meaning that the trail gradients will be less steep) but we still will want to preserve the overall verticle gain of a lot of our climbs and drops so that everybody gets a good workout.


Thanks for your efforts. Hard, easy, bumpy, smooth, I still have a blast on this trail and get a good workout. The sand pits do make me a bit nervous if I'm carrying speed, but it is an off road sport...
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby compacted_graphite » August 3rd, 2011, 1:08 pm

Steve, it worked out pretty well. Anything with string, to me, anyway, is considered an instrument of the devil and its purpose on this earth is to torture me. I found that the device works well but anytime that I tried to get very far from the trail bed, there were small diameter trees and those immediately will clear the trimmer of string. The trimmer is good for about one diameter (maybe 20 inches) from the edge of the trail bed for trimming. I went thru a lot of string. The string is hand loaded onto the trimmer, so there was a lot of stopping the motor to put new string on. It feeds easily. I got the section of the trail around the model airplane field done, but there are a couple of other areas that I'd like to trim before I take it to the trailer. I hope to get that done on Thursday.

I dressed up pretty heavy (jeans, leg gators, long sleeve shirt, safety glasses and hard hat) and it was all worth it - the trimmer throws up a lot of flying debris. It starts on first pull. I bought a huge reel of 0.155 inch string, and when you head out into the wilderness to trim, you need to take a lot of extra sections with you.
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby c0nsumer » August 3rd, 2011, 1:18 pm

compacted_graphite wrote:Steve, it worked out pretty well. Anything with string, to me, anyway, is considered an instrument of the devil and its purpose on this earth is to torture me. I found that the device works well but anytime that I tried to get very far from the trail bed, there were small diameter trees and those immediately will clear the trimmer of string. The trimmer is good for about one diameter (maybe 20 inches) from the edge of the trail bed for trimming. I went thru a lot of string. The string is hand loaded onto the trimmer, so there was a lot of stopping the motor to put new string on. It feeds easily. I got the section of the trail around the model airplane field done, but there are a couple of other areas that I'd like to trim before I take it to the trailer. I hope to get that done on Thursday.

I dressed up pretty heavy (jeans, leg gators, long sleeve shirt, safety glasses and hard hat) and it was all worth it - the trimmer throws up a lot of flying debris. It starts on first pull. I bought a huge reel of 0.155 inch string, and when you head out into the wilderness to trim, you need to take a lot of extra sections with you.


That's great to hear. I'm hoping to use it at River Bends the next time it needs a trim, and it sounds like that'll fit the bill nicely.

I imagine it'd be good to have someone there doing a bit of raking to keep the trail tread clear, but did you see a need for another person running a hand-held line trimmer following along?
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby Bellock » August 3rd, 2011, 4:16 pm

How is the trail today?
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Re: Metro North: Pontiac Lake

Postby brokenbones » August 3rd, 2011, 9:41 pm

It was nice. The rain firmed up some of the loose sand, but the surface was a little tacky and slow and the rocks were very slick. Without any more rain it should be fast and perfect tomorrow. The trimmed area around the R/C field was a welcome treat. Thanks.
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