CRAMBA: Holdridge

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Postby Dan_Harrison » March 22nd, 2006, 2:49 pm

Josh McCreedy wrote:Diesel, I think you're right on, Dan and Jeff, too. Seventeen miles of the West loop would be dreamy. I wonder, though, if Gruber's were better maintained, would its entire length see more traffic? Or is it the style of riding, regardless of trail condition, that makes people avoid it?
I truly can't anwer the question because I'm relatively new to this area and never rode the trail in its "intended" state. I've only ridden it when I've had to fight through the brush and dismount because my bars won't fit between the trees.

I haven't ridden Gruber's in a few years, so take this for what it's worth:
- people ride trails they like, and avoid ones they don't;
- people like trails that *flow*;
- peole like trails that give the sense of pleasure or accomplishment;
- the pleasure or accomplishment may be the view, the skill or effort required, the company of their friends-- lots of possibilities here;
- if the trail is an impediment to, rather than a means of, getting that pleasure, it's DOA.
If riders are avoiding Gruber's, something is breaking that logic. Regardless of the original cause, lack of riders + lack of maintenance = vicious cycle. Even the "hard core" riders who formed Gruber's original constituency will find other things to do.
Can Gruber's be saved? That will call for a lot of work, but it needs analysis first. The trail needs to be re-imagined with a stable constituency (who will both ride it and "own" it in maintenance terms) as its target.
I'll plan on working on Gruber's this Saturday, instead of West Loop, and see if that gives me any ideas.
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Postby mr_opjones » March 22nd, 2006, 2:59 pm

I loved Grubers Grind when i rode it last year. But I soon found out that I was one of the few. It feels great to have accomplished a very technical trail like that. But I do agree that it could flow a lot better than what it does now.
GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!!

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Postby mr_opjones » March 22nd, 2006, 3:06 pm

Krug & Dan are you thinking abour re-routing a bunch of the Grind? Would there be a chance that the FRC could help out with some new features if this is what the plan is?
GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!!

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Postby Dan_Harrison » March 22nd, 2006, 5:40 pm

mr_opjones wrote:Krug & Dan are you thinking abour re-routing a bunch of the Grind? Would there be a chance that the FRC could help out with some new features if this is what the plan is?

Steady, big fella. First let's walk the walk, then we'll talk the talk. :wink:
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Postby Daveniz » March 22nd, 2006, 7:42 pm

Jeff, thanks for the info, I guess. I dont see freezing temps here that much. Hopefully, it'll warm before I get there. If I rememeber, if you didnt like the weather in MI, you just had to wait a minute, it'll change.

By the way, what is considered "technical" there? I read that the tech sections of this trial are downed trees, some climbing and brush.

I'm glad to see everyone taking such interest in trial maintenance there. Out here once the trial's been cut there's not much left to do. Rocks dont grow.

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Postby mr_opjones » March 22nd, 2006, 7:51 pm

I was just curious what your plans were.
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Postby Diesel » March 22nd, 2006, 8:09 pm

KRUG wrote:I don?t find Gruber?s that technically challenging. What makes it a grueling ride is all of the undergrowth that makes for a bloody ride. If that trail was clean the entire distance it would be just fantastic. There are so many possibilities out there if we could just get ahead of the game and build more stuff. I know of a few very fun rock gardens potentials out there that I have plans for. The trail for the most part is very sound from the design aspect for erosion with just a few wet spots that need to be updated.

I can only dream about the possibilities if we don?t get more volunteering helping.


Personally, I think Gruber's would benefit from the "less is more" philosophy. I find myself frustrated when I ride it. It seems all you ever do is take 2 turns of the cranks and go over a log...take three more turns of the cranks and go over another log...over and over. Yeah, completing it makes you feel like you've accomplished something, but I don't find myself needing that sense of accomplishment more than even once a year.

My point from a trail maintenance standpoint was that nothing will help keep the trail clear like more bike traffic will. More bikers on this trail would do more to inhibit the undergrowth and keep the trail clear than any amount of trial labor. No, I'm not the trail coordinator, nor do I desire to be, but my opinion is that the problems with keeping Gruber's alive only become compounded by adding more that will make the trail even more selective. This trail needs to move in a direction that will attract MORE riders, not less.

I'm not advocating the transformation of Gruber's into Island Lake II, but when I go to Holdridge, I go to ride the West Loop and about once a year I go to tackle Gruber's. It would be nice if the reason I went to Holdridge was to ride Gruber's first.

Just my opinions...you decide if they're valid of not.
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Postby Interactive » March 23rd, 2006, 10:30 am

Personally, I think Gruber's would benefit from the "less is more" philosophy. I find myself frustrated when I ride it. It seems all you ever do is take 2 turns of the cranks and go over a log...take three more turns of the cranks and go over another log...over and over. Yeah, completing it makes you feel like you've accomplished something, but I don't find myself needing that sense of accomplishment more than even once a year.

My point from a trail maintenance standpoint was that nothing will help keep the trail clear like more bike traffic will. More bikers on this trail would do more to inhibit the undergrowth and keep the trail clear than any amount of trial labor. No, I'm not the trail coordinator, nor do I desire to be, but my opinion is that the problems with keeping Gruber's alive only become compounded by adding more that will make the trail even more selective. This trail needs to move in a direction that will attract MORE riders, not less.

I'm not advocating the transformation of Gruber's into Island Lake II, but when I go to Holdridge, I go to ride the West Loop and about once a year I go to tackle Gruber's. It would be nice if the reason I went to Holdridge was to ride Gruber's first.

Just my opinions...you decide if they're valid of not.


I agree with Diesel that Gruber's would benefit from more traffic and that the West Loop tends to have a ton more flow. I live 5mins from Holdridge and would be very interested with getting the Grinder a bit more rider friendly. I've only rode the entire East Loop once through and only rode half of it once last year, and had to bail out because of a mechanical. I would have gone out their more and tried the Grinder again but the over growth of horrible. I guess this year I'll make more of an attempt to ride it more often
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Postby Josh McCreedy » March 23rd, 2006, 11:41 am

By the way, what is considered "technical" there? I read that the tech sections of this trial are downed trees, some climbing and brush.


I love this question and find it so relevant in this Gruber's discussion. I want it to remain an advanced trail, but I would add that "technical" in SE MI is too often translated to slow and tight/narrow. I want to keep the focus on Gruber's, but I find PLRA as technical or more technical than Highland or Gruber's because it has off-camber sections, roots, rocks, and sweet air at speed! Once a rider has the ability to ride log bridges, bunnyhop, climb steep hill sections and etc., then doing these things over and over simply becomes tedious.

That said, we don't need another PLRA at Holdridge; the West Loop is similar enough in style, and gets ridden because of this similarity. I would love to see more logs, rock gardens, air, and truly "technical" features at Holdridge if they are reconstructed with some thought to the flow.

So why all this yapping from me? I'm a local. I can ride my bike from home or work (Holly High School, I'm writing during lunch) and plan to be here for a long time. It's my home trail, I work on the trails, and want to see this system develop to its full potential. Hats off to everyone who made these trails what they are already. See you all Saturday.
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Re: Holdridge Trail Day

Postby Double_D » March 23rd, 2006, 4:18 pm

[quote="jeffcolombo"]I think Mary Ann is bringing her extra chaps. I have a pair also to use. Not sure if I'm going to be running a saw. I just might be coordinating groups at first and then getting on the trail later then everone else. =quote]

If there are chaps availible, I may have a chainsaw to use for the day. Let me know!
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Postby Mr. Bojangles » March 23rd, 2006, 4:58 pm

good job Krug for the find out there, I would love to help with developing the trail to make the flow more flowy. hahahhahaha, I say we compromise, take out a few log piles and add some new rock gardens.
SO when is the big trail day again?
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Postby jeffcolombo » March 23rd, 2006, 11:53 pm

Well first of all I have 3 pairs of chairsaw chaps with Mary Ann's 2 pair and I know that Tony has a pair also that will make 6 all together for a potential of 7 chainsaw crews out there on the trail! 2 park rangers are going to be there with a chainsaw. Considering all the down trees just on Gruber's alone were going to need them all!

If we have that many crews on the trail we can get the whole 25 miles done in a 3-4 hour period! This will be the first time that all the trail has been cleared in along time.

I am hoping and planning for a large turn-out! So please show-up we need people to show up to help with the cleaning and moving the trees the chainsaws cut up. I am planning on having at least 2 people per chainsaw in each crew.
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Postby jeffcolombo » March 24th, 2006, 12:35 am

FYI

First thing I want to want to mention is that 3-Disciplines Racing is having a race on Gruber's Grinder on OCT 21, 2006. I sent in my registration.

www.3disciplines.com

I have been sitting here and reading all the chat about Grubers, which is good I have been on this broad for over a year now not not seen so much talk about it. I would address all of the post but I won't.

First of all I think Gruber is an advanced trail that is technical and in some places relentless. Most of the log piles out there are in bad places and are there most likely because the tree fell and people made one there because they had no chainsaw or couldn't move the tree. Some of the planned log piles are so old they are unsafe to ride. There are some I won't go over because of that reason.

There are many ideas we all have for Grubers that need to be addressed. I talked to Mary Ann about doing some of the same things that are on this forum and some things not mentioned, which will be discussed at the March trail day. But none of this will happened unless people became active and show up for the trail days. Talk is cheap or should I say typing is cheap. Put your words to action!

The April trial day is going to be the day all the log piles on Grubers will be taken-out. For the reasons I stated earlier. I will leave it at that. There is other work that needs to be done on all the trails. I will have an agenda for each trail day coming up, maybe I'll post it.

We will be having a 101-102 trail class on May 20 and actually working on part of the trail. Hopefully it won't snow! LOL It snowed at the April one last year!

See you at the trail head![/u][/b]
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Postby jeffcolombo » March 24th, 2006, 1:25 am

Mr. Bojangles the trail day is this Saturday March 26, 2006. See calendar for future events or the Holly/Flint home page. The Home page is located under the MMBA chapters on the main tool bar.
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Postby Interactive » March 24th, 2006, 10:54 am

I'm bringing a chain saw but am going to need chaps. See everyone there Tomarrow.

Should I bring my bike just in case it's rideable????
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