CRAMBA: Holdridge

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Postby Diesel » March 24th, 2006, 11:25 am

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


I've been to a couple of different trails this past week, including Holdridge. It's been the same story everywhere...the ground is frozen and rideable until about 9:AM, then it softens up and becomes too muddy. I would think that if you wanted to ride you would have to do so before the trail work starts, not after...and even then it might already be too soft.
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Postby Double_D » March 24th, 2006, 11:46 am

Interactive wrote: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????


I have looked into chaps already and found that Lowes has them. They are made by Huskwarna (sp) and being sold for 56 dollars.

So far they are the only store I have come across that carries them.
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Postby Interactive » March 24th, 2006, 11:53 am

I've been to a couple of different trails this past week, including Holdridge. It's been the same story everywhere...the ground is frozen and rideable until about 9:AM, then it softens up and becomes too muddy. I would think that if you wanted to ride you would have to do so before the trail work starts, not after...and even then it might already be too soft.


check out highland
I rode Highland last night and it rocked not muddy at all, I think about 3 softer spots but no pizza cuters. only one spot that we had to dismount and jump over a small seaonal run off river (I'm sure there is an actual name for that sort of thing) anyway the trail is rideable
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Postby Diesel » March 24th, 2006, 11:59 am

Highland is always one of the first that's ready...it's always nice and dry. Plus, I think Highland is one of those that's better early in the year, anyway. The woods are SOOOOOOOOO deep there that the bugs will carry you away by mid-summer.
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Postby Interactive » March 24th, 2006, 12:02 pm

mid summer last year we rode all out and still were being attacked the entire time. I only ride that trail early and late in the year.
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Postby thejode » March 24th, 2006, 12:02 pm

I doubt it'll be any good by tomorrow with this stupid snow. :(
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Postby Daveniz » March 26th, 2006, 6:49 pm

So, How'd Trail Day Go?!
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Postby Andy_B » March 27th, 2006, 8:38 am

TR 03.26 2pm

the East and West loops.... The east loop and several large trees down in the 1st seven miles (not the log piles but blown down trees). Lots of smaller lumber was also strewn about the trail. At the cut off I bailed out to the road, and headed over to the west loop. I'm not sure the trail crew made to teh east loop.

There was still some soft spots in the low spots, some with standing water. As I rode I noticed a Motor Cycle or ATV tracks in the sandy spots, I didn't really think anything about it until I headed up the wall. The tracks entered and exited at the horse farmers gate.

North loop. From the lot to the start of the east loop. Slick as snot, peanut-butter mud.
Last edited by Andy_B on March 27th, 2006, 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dan_Harrison » March 27th, 2006, 8:49 am

Daveniz wrote:So, How'd Trail Day Go?!

I'll let Jeff give you the details, but we had a big turnout (enough to cover ALL the trails, I believe), but there was enough chili for all (kudos, Mary Ann-- I vote we eat at park HQ from now on, since snow appears to be a tradition as well). Thanks for the warm welcome despite the cold weather.

Since we were talking about the Grinder the other day, here are some thoughts based on what I saw, and comments from others.

1. The original concept: "It's the Grinder, it's 15 miles, like it or lump it," isn't working. Not enough people do the full distance, so most are bailing out (usually around the 7-mile mark?) and riding back to the trailhead using Hess Road. This does not sound like a satisfying experience.

2. Meanwhile, the remaining 8 miles are not getting ridden, and are overgrowing from lack of use.

3. Some of the toughest sections are at the beginning of the ride. Towards, the end, around the 14-mile mark, there's some nice flowing segments.

4. None of the bailouts are marked, since they're unofficial. Some of them lead across private property, so riders are turning up in peoples' backyards. Not good.

The devil is in the details, of course, but here are some general principles that could improve the Grinder:

1. Make it officially a stacked-loop trail. Use crossovers to create options to return *using the trail, not Hess Road*.

2. Use signage to designate options, distances, difficulty. Close all bandit bailouts, mark with "no traspassing" signs (when you do that, add an arrow on the trail that says "Return to Trailhead - X miles")

3. Create loops of, say, 9, 12 and 15 miles. For example, cutting across from the 7-mile mark to 13, makes a 9-mile loop.

4. Emphasize *flow* on the initial loop: remove awkward lines, unnecessary obstacles. Place benches at scenic points, encourage users to take a break, hang in there, enjoy the experience. That way, even 9 miles of the revised trail will be about the same effort as 7 miles of the old.

5. Emphasize *skill* on the middle loop: introduce more log crossings, rock features, challenging lines.

6. Emphasize *stamina* in the outer loop: keep the skill level about the same-- the question is, can you handle another 3 miles of this?

It should *all* have flow and sustainability, but these qualities will be most important on the inner loop, which will always get the most usage.
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Postby Andy_B » March 27th, 2006, 1:20 pm

Dan_Harrison wrote:

Since we were talking about the Grinder the other day, here are some thoughts based on what I saw, and comments from others.

<snip>
The devil is in the details, of course, but here are some general principles that could improve the Grinder:

1. Make it officially a stacked-loop trail. Use crossovers to create options to return *using the trail, not Hess Road*.

2. Use signage to designate options, distances, difficulty. Close all bandit bailouts, mark with "no traspassing" signs (when you do that, add an arrow on the trail that says "Return to Trailhead - X miles")

3. Create loops of, say, 9, 12 and 15 miles. For example, cutting across from the 7-mile mark to 13, makes a 9-mile loop.


This would make sense, but is the old road "private property"? If you follow the bail out option signage, thats where it leads to, and then from there to hess. I did not re-call any no trespassing signage going this route. Correct?


Dan_Harrison wrote:4. Emphasize *flow* on the initial loop: remove awkward lines, unnecessary obstacles. Place benches at scenic points, encourage users to take a break, hang in there, enjoy the experience. That way, even 9 miles of the revised trail will be about the same effort as 7 miles of the old.


How many miles we talking here Dan? The opening 5 miles flow great, if you are semi skilled rider. Granted some of the climbs are a bit tedious . I do not recall any "unnecessary obstacles" other than the rather large log pile, that is marked.



Dan_Harrison wrote:5. Emphasize *skill* on the middle loop: introduce more log crossings, rock features, challenging lines.


No more log crossings, they are to repetitive. Small ladder bridges maybe. More rock gardens, add them to the down hills and the climbs (there are tons of large boulders and baby heads out there). Berm the corners out, add some off camber turns and non bench cut climbs.

Dan_Harrison wrote:It should *all* have flow and sustainability, but these qualities will be most important on the inner loop, which will always get the most usage.
Dan


It already flows good. You just need to be able to pick a line and let it roll.

Also at around mile 5 or 6... there is that huge bowl... That would be a sweet feature... spiral down and back up.


my $.02
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Postby Dennis Bauer » March 27th, 2006, 1:43 pm

I rode Gruber's for the first time early last fall. I was by myself and really enjoyed it. Did it as a casual ride, stopped several times to get a snack out of my pack. There was some overgrowth, but nothing that could not be ridden through. I got a few scrapes, but that is mountain biking. There was still a lot of growth on trees, etc. and a few obstacles caught me off guard. All in all it was a lot of fun and a great way to spend a beautifull Sunday afternoon. I was still only on the trail for 2 and a half hours, actual ride time was about 2 and a quarter. Wish more people would just ride it. I think they would find it is not such a grind.
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Postby Diesel » March 27th, 2006, 2:36 pm

Dan_Harrison wrote:Since we were talking about the Grinder the other day, here are some thoughts based on what I saw, and comments from others.

1. The original concept: "It's the Grinder, it's 15 miles, like it or lump it," isn't working. Not enough people do the full distance, so most are bailing out (usually around the 7-mile mark?) and riding back to the trailhead using Hess Road. This does not sound like a satisfying experience.

2. Meanwhile, the remaining 8 miles are not getting ridden, and are overgrowing from lack of use.

3. Some of the toughest sections are at the beginning of the ride. Towards, the end, around the 14-mile mark, there's some nice flowing segments.

4. None of the bailouts are marked, since they're unofficial. Some of them lead across private property, so riders are turning up in peoples' backyards. Not good.

The devil is in the details, of course, but here are some general principles that could improve the Grinder:

1. Make it officially a stacked-loop trail. Use crossovers to create options to return *using the trail, not Hess Road*.

2. Use signage to designate options, distances, difficulty. Close all bandit bailouts, mark with "no traspassing" signs (when you do that, add an arrow on the trail that says "Return to Trailhead - X miles")

3. Create loops of, say, 9, 12 and 15 miles. For example, cutting across from the 7-mile mark to 13, makes a 9-mile loop.

4. Emphasize *flow* on the initial loop: remove awkward lines, unnecessary obstacles. Place benches at scenic points, encourage users to take a break, hang in there, enjoy the experience. That way, even 9 miles of the revised trail will be about the same effort as 7 miles of the old.

5. Emphasize *skill* on the middle loop: introduce more log crossings, rock features, challenging lines.

6. Emphasize *stamina* in the outer loop: keep the skill level about the same-- the question is, can you handle another 3 miles of this?

It should *all* have flow and sustainability, but these qualities will be most important on the inner loop, which will always get the most usage.
Dan


I think Dan is right-on with just about all of this. This trail can be made more user-friendly and attract more riders without having to "dumb it down". I like the idea of stacking loops, ala Highland Rec, to make rides of varying length/time.

I also think that most of the signage at the trailhead could be reworded to make the trail sound less intimidating. People should know what they're in for, but it can be done without scaring people off before they even give it a shot.

If Gruber's was divided up as Dan suggests Holdridge would have loops of 1, 2.25, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, and 15 miles...not many other trail systems could boast that. 8)
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Postby Andy_B » March 27th, 2006, 2:48 pm

Diesel wrote:<snip>
This trail can be made more user-friendly and attract more riders without having to "dumb it down".


I'm confused, I must have 1 to-many closed head injuries.... More user-friendly by not dumbing it down?

Those two do not go hand in hand with the IMBA/MMBA.

care to explain?
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Postby Josh McCreedy » March 27th, 2006, 3:20 pm

I can't speak for Diesel, but very early after the trail crosses Hess Rd. after leaving the North loop, there is a sweet downhill after which you have to brake hard, turn almost 180 degrees to the right, and then climb a short, stiff climb. It seems really contrived and doesn't utilize the terrain. Plus it's sandy and washed out from braking. If that section were re-routed, it would be more user-friendly, but the re-route could feature something off-camber or something else to keep it challenging.

I like Andy B's thinking about elements other than log-piles.
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Postby CoachYork » March 27th, 2006, 4:08 pm

Josh - I know exactly what you're talking about. First time I road it, I think my exact words were oh s---, and didn't make the right hanger turn.

Dan - those are great suggestions. I ride this trail a couple times a year for the MS Society. Once to train, and once for the event. It's much different from the trails I typically go to. But that can be considered a good thing.

To be honest, I've always taken the shortcut, and never did the entire loop. That being said, I'm looking forward to the changes you might make, and will definitely ride it all this year. Definite forward progress, and I applaud your efforts. Just wish I lived closer to help out!
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