MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby c0nsumer » July 8th, 2013, 8:45 am

deezler wrote:Jesus, dudes. He blasted his finger on a hidden stump and endo'd. Could have been much worse, like a broken neck. While keeping some obstacles along the trail is key to making MTB'ing challenging and fun, they should never be hidden. This time of year, face-slappers are the norm on many trails, so you just accept that and plow through them. But if a group of leaves is hiding something that can stop you dead and throw you over the bars, that should be corrected, no? I don't understand why you both felt the need to play mr. big tough guy and bash on him repeatedly. Let's find some common ground here, eh?


I rode Hickory Glen for the first time on Saturday, and I have a good deal of experience with building and maintaining similar trail at River Bends. I agree that the trail is tight and that's a defining characteristic of the trail, so changing that should be right out. I was riding along, having quite a good time, and I noticed this stump when I was leaning over following the curved segment as it sweeps to the left. This seems like a fairly fast section for the trail, as I was able to pick up a good bit of speed with minimal effort rolling into it. I was able to waggle around the roots, but had I not seen it would have caught my forearm / elbow area on it.

(Note, this is not a stump in the classic sticking-out-of-the-ground sense, but the decayed root end of a tree which has fallen over. The most prominent part is at roughly handlebar level, not above or below.)

This reminds me of a particular tree that was removed at River Bends in a tighter section that -- for two years -- a few people told me should be removed because it felt out of place and threw off a corner. It was a dead, leaning thing that was on the apex of a corner and required one to jog through there. There was also evidence of people catching their bars on the dead tree, and a small dirt berm forming from riders going past it then quickly correcting their line to avoid a subsequent tree. I didn't agree that it should be removed, because I had no problem riding through there.

After following some others and giving it some more serious thought, it was removed, and I agree that it now does flow better. After this I followed two experienced riders who were new to River Bends through this section specifically to watch their line, and both of them put their shoulders squarely where the dead tree was. Riders experienced with the trail roll through there more smoothly as well, and I received positive feedback on it. Thus, I think that adjusting this corner at River Bends by removing the dead tree was a proper choice.

While I'm not interested in doing anything more than opining on the discussion at hand, I think that this pointy stump end along the trail at Hickory Glen is very similar to the aforementioned dead tree at River Bends. It's something that a LOT of riders are familiar with and have no problem avoiding, it's something that catches other people off guard, and it's something that I think throws off the section. This is nowhere near the tightest part of Hickory Glen, but it was one which really stuck out to me as awkward. I wasn't really looking for it, but after having to do a bit more dodging than normal I thought "Hey, that's the thing from the forum! I should go back and look at it." and did so.

If this were a newly fallen tree hanging across the trail and it was sawed off at this location (left sticking out just as these roots are) I think people would rightfully ask why it wasn't trimmed back further. Were I handling trail design out there, I'd trim it back so one could lean left following the curve of the trail. I personally think that'd be best for this bit.

...and that's hopefully all the overly detailed thinking I'll do on five feet of trail for today. ;)

(What I think would be a greater improvement for the park would be a trailhead map and some marking that makes the route clearer, but from what I've been hearing about vandalism on the trail that sounds like way more than a technical design issue and is thus VERY hard to fix...)
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby galaxydean » July 8th, 2013, 10:31 am

When you ride a trail for the first few times, do you take it easy until you get to know the proper line? Do you learn where the problem areas are? Or do you just pedal hard and hope for the best? If you make a slight mistake after you really know a trail and bump something, you should have been more accurate. There are challenges, tight areas, log crossings, bridges every where in the trail that might, if you are on the wrong line, hurt you. So, where do you stop? There are probably 20 places at the Hick that are very narrow, much narrower than this area, and you could hit your handle bars or your hand. There are several trees that you will not see until you are 2 feet away as they are on the other side of large trees. Next lap at the Hick take a look at the trees in areas that are tight. You will see that every one of them has wounds from someone who misjudged the space. So what?

That stump has been there as long as I can remember. One person bumps it and now it need to be trimmed? I have hit my hand a few times and I would never think of asking to have a tree or root altered so I can have more "flow'? The Hick is not a trail that screams flow. It is more of a grind it out, slow down speed up, Trust me, when you finally learn the right line through the area in question it is fun!

Don't want this to sound like an attack on Pickles. Not at all, bummed you smashed your finger. This is about not removing 1 slightly tight spot in a trail that is full of them.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby TomE. » July 8th, 2013, 10:55 am

The way everyone is going on about this stump you'd think pickles went ahead and removed it. He followed what is apparently the correct procedure, gave some sound reasons for removing a piece of wood and asked the TC's if this was possible. I fondly recall this stump on my first few rides at the Hick, and while I don't think it needs to be removed, I do not think the place would turn into Talledega or a sidewalk or whatever other ridiculous illogical progressions a few people are using if it was removed. It is great hearing about what awesome riders everyone is though, and the listing of the super-hard trails you ride every day is especially interesting.

I think we should be grateful Mr. Pickles didn't take it upon himself to fix a perceived problem like what happened at Holdridge earlier this year, although I'll bet in the future people who may have some good ideas about trail additions will likely keep them to themselves after seeing his treatment here.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby UselessPickles » July 8th, 2013, 11:48 am

Galaxydean: Thanks for responding with explanation, and without any personal attacks/insults. I think I am being quite misunderstood, so here's my last attempt to clear things up.

My only real complaint was the poor visibility of the stump combined with the very pointy part sticking out right at handlebar height. Pointy parts sticking out toward the trail are more difficult to see than the larger solid objects that they point out from.

I never asked for the stump to be removed. I never asked to widen the trail. I never complained about the narrowness/tightness of that part of the trail. I enjoy the rest of the trail (which has tighter/twistier spots than this stump section, as others have also mentioned). I even enjoyed this particular stump section on my first couple rides on this trail. I never saw that pointy bit on my previous rides, and just got lucky that I didn't hit it. I was blissfully unaware of the risk I was taking by leaning through that section as if it were a continuous sweeping curve, rather than the slalom that it really is. I probably just tried to take it faster this last ride and leaned in a bit more than previous rides.

All of the following factors seem to combine to make it a bit unnecessarily hazardous:
* Leading into the section, you easily gain decent speed.
* The stump is not easily visible ahead of time (due to foliage), and the whole section has the appearance of a fast sweeping left-hand curve.
* There is a pointy bit sticking off that not-easily-visible stump. Pointy bits themselves are not easy to spot at higher speeds. Pointy bits that are connected to something that is not easily visible ahead of time are even harder to spot at speed.
* The pointy bit is right at handlebar height (circled in picture below).
* This is a well-maintained trail where one would not expect to find intentionally designed sections of the trail that have unnecessary hazards (I ride quite differently when riding on hiking trails in the mountains of Pennsylvania that are simply "open to bikers").

Exhibit A - The "Pointy Bit":
Image

All of these factors combine to make it quite reasonable to expect that a rider that is new to this trail (not necessarily new to mountain biking) would likely attempt to ride through this section as if it were a fast sweeping left turn (evidence: c0nsumer), and would put themselves at risk of catching their handlebar/hand/arm on the pointy bit, which easily leads to an unpleasant ride-ending crash.

Clearing away foliage so that the stump is more visible from further up the trail would greatly improve things (Note: c0nsumer told me he cleared some away already, so don't go look at it now and tell me that I'm exaggerating the foliage issue). It would not affect how you guys ride the trail at all, but it would provide a proper cue ahead of time for newcomers to more likely ride through the section "properly" the first time, rather than requiring a close-call or crash to learn that it is indeed NOT a fast sweeping curve. If more people see the obstacle ahead of time and slalom through it, then the trail itself will get a more distinct slalom pattern worn into it, providing additional cues that it is not a fast sweeping curve.

Also consider that the pointy bit itself is not the primary obstacle or trail feature here. It's the giant stump that you all like swerving around. Removing the pointy bit would not alter the way you ride through the section, but it would remove some seemingly unnecessary risk.

MAJOR CLARIFICATION: It's not the "widening of the trail" by a few inches resulting from trimming off the point that would reduce the risk, but making it so that the potential contact hazard is larger, less-pointy, and easier to spot at high speed. If that pointy bit was not pointy, but a larger more vertical solid surface with the same exact "narrowness" of the trail, then it would be less of a hazard.

I also readily admitted that my color blindess could have been a major contributing factor, which could explain why others have no problem seeing the stump and its pointy protrusion. If my color blindness is a major factor, then I still don't think it should be completely ignored. Color blindness is not uncommon.

To iamkickstand, ColorVoyeur and ibisman: read and process this post in its entirety rather that picking out individual points. You can argue against individual points as if they are the sole reason for me bringing this whole thing up all you want, but it's completely irrelevant and I won't bother responding to such comments. It's the full unique combination of all factors that make this particular spot worth discussing, and different than all the other tight spots, trees, rocks and roots you try to generically compare this issue to.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby iamkickstand » July 8th, 2013, 12:40 pm

UselessPickles wrote:My only real complaint was the poor visibility of the stump combined with the very pointy part sticking out right at handlebar height. Pointy parts sticking out toward the trail are more difficult to see than the larger solid objects that they point out from. Point one, you're only real complaint is you hit the stump. A LARGE stump, that in your picture is very visible.

I never asked for the stump to be removed. I never asked to widen the trail. I never complained about the narrowness/tightness of that part of the trail.Actually you kinda did complain, and then went on to post about a bruised knuckle flipping people the bird in a manner more childish then the ribbing you started getting in the beginning of your post that only got worse the more you posted and cried about your poor little finger. Flipping us all off was a nice touch, coming from the guy who continues to whine about personal attacks. I enjoy the rest of the trail (which has tighter/twistier spots than this stump section, as others have also mentioned). I even enjoyed this particular stump section on my first couple rides on this trail. I never saw that pointy bit on my previous rides, and just got lucky that I didn't hit it. I was blissfully unaware of the risk I was taking by leaning through that section as if it were a continuous sweeping curve, rather than the slalom that it really is. I probably just tried to take it faster this last ride and leaned in a bit more than previous rides.

All of the following factors seem to combine to make it a bit unnecessarily hazardous: Go ride road, mountain biking is clearly to hazardous for you.
* Leading into the section, you easily gain decent speed.oh, no, not speed!!
* The stump is not easily visible ahead of time (due to foliage), Looks plenty visible in your picture with your fancy little circle pointing out the super dangerous pointy part. I mean come on, ibisman is old as dirt, he can see it, he's probably twice as blind as you are even counting your color blindness and he can figure it out. and the whole section has the appearance of a fast sweeping left-hand curve. Oh, no, more speed!!
* There is a pointy bit sticking off that not-easily-visible stump. Pointy bits themselves are not easy to spot at higher speeds. Pointy bits that are connected to something that is not easily visible ahead of time are even harder to spot at speed.That stump is huge, pointy bits or not. Even with the "foliage" that stump is very visible. You already admitted you enjoyed the rest of the trail which was MORE tight. Isn't that a good indicicator you should be aware of additional obstacles that may be tight?
* The pointy bit is right at handlebar height (circled in picture below). How un-necessary.
* This is a well-maintained trail where one would not expect to find intentionally designed sections of the trail that have unnecessary hazards (I ride quite differently when riding on hiking trails in the mountains of Pennsylvania that are simply "open to bikers").How is this an un-necessary hazard? It is a FALLEN tree on a MOUNTAIN BIKE trail, we are't talking about some graffiti on your paved bike path here, we aren't talking about a booby trap, we're talking about a naturally ocurring event on a MOUNTAIN BIKE trail. A tree fell over, learn to ride around it.

Exhibit A - The "Pointy Bit":
Image

All of these factors combine to make it quite reasonable to expect that a rider that is new to this trail (not necessarily new to mountain biking) would likely attempt to ride through this section as if it were a fast sweeping left turn (evidence: c0nsumer), and would put themselves at risk of catching their handlebar/hand/arm on the pointy bit, which easily leads to an unpleasant ride-ending crash. One would also expect that all of these factors combined are what make MOUNTAIN biking fun, they are what give you the adrenaline rush you can't get from a spin bike at your lifetime fitness gym. They are the factors that bring people to this sport and keep us here. If you end up in an unpleasant crash I'll tell you the same things I tell my kids. Be more aware of your surroundings, be more aware of what your bike is doing, be more aware of how much speed you are carrying into an unknown section of trail. It is YOUR responsibility to control YOUR bike. It is not the trails responsibility to be nice and mellow so you don't hurt your little finger and get a bruise.

Clearing away foliage so that the stump is more visible from further up the trail would greatly improve things (Note: c0nsumer told me he cleared some away already, so don't go look at it now and tell me that I'm exaggerating the foliage issue). It would not affect how you guys ride the trail at all, but it would provide a proper cue ahead of time for newcomers to more likely ride through the section "properly" the first time, rather than requiring a close-call or crash to learn that it is indeed NOT a fast sweeping curve. If more people see the obstacle ahead of time and slalom through it, then the trail itself will get a more distinct slalom pattern worn into it, providing additional cues that it is not a fast sweeping curve.
Then suggest that, and quit crying about your road rage finger.
Also consider that the pointy bit itself is not the primary obstacle or trail feature here. It's the giant stump that you all like swerving around. Removing the pointy bit would not alter the way you ride through the section, but it would remove some seemingly unnecessary risk. It is entirely a feature of the trail. One you were unable to navigate.

MAJOR CLARIFICATION: It's not the "widening of the trail" by a few inches resulting from trimming off the point that would reduce the risk, but making it so that the potential contact hazard is larger, less-pointy, and easier to spot at high speed. If that pointy bit was not pointy, but a larger more vertical solid surface with the same exact "narrowness" of the trail, then it would be less of a hazard.
Give a roadie an inch and he'll take a mile.
I also readily admitted that my color blindess could have been a major contributing factor, which could explain why others have no problem seeing the stump and its pointy protrusion. If my color blindness is a major factor, then I still don't think it should be completely ignored. Color blindness is not uncommon.Right, and next we'll make sure to change the trails for obese people who can't make the climbs, because being fat and out of shape is not uncomon either. Then we'll remove the rocks because those are hard to ride over for unskilled riders, and that isn't uncommon either, and of course the logs and tree roots, those have to go to because those are not uncommon to have difficulty with. Then comes the pavement, because nobody likes riding on loose dirt or mud.

To iamkickstand, ColorVoyeur and ibisman: read and process this post in its entirety rather that picking out individual points. You can argue against individual points as if they are the sole reason for me bringing this whole thing up all you want, but it's completely irrelevant and I won't bother responding to such comments. It's the full unique combination of all factors that make this particular spot worth discussing, and different than all the other tight spots, trees, rocks and roots you try to generically compare this issue to.

In conclusion, Uselesspickles, I read and processed your entire post, and I individually responded with how I FELT in regards to the entirety of your post. It's the full unique combination of all the factors that make this particular sport worth riding, and different than other trails, which make it a spot worth keeping IN THE TRAIL.

I am 100% against the dumbing down of all trails, if you can not negotiate a section of trail than get better. Don't dumb it down for others, either get better, or go back to the sidewalk. There are plenty of climbs on Poto, or PLRA, or any other mountain bike trail for that matter that at one point I, or someone I know could not climb, we didn't bulldoze it for them/me, we practiced and got better. There are plenty of descents that are "hazardous", or dirt jumps I was afraid of at one point in time, but I WANTED to ride them, so instead of making everyone else move rocks, or cut out trees/stumps, or make smaller jumps, I LEARNED to BETTER my SKILLS so I could ride the trails.

You should do the same.

God I feel like I am arguing about people leaching the government for assistance who are unwilling to go out and make a living on their own. It's a hobby, its a sport, its bike riding, don't try to make everyone else come down to your level.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby iamkickstand » July 8th, 2013, 12:42 pm

Oh, and to clarify, ibisman probably isn't quite as old as dirt, but I know he's been around for a while and I respect the *beep* out of the fact that he still gets out there and puts a hurtin' on us whippersnappers like he does. So my poking at him for being older was not in anyway shape or form an insult, I have a lot of respect for him.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby ColorVoyeur » July 8th, 2013, 1:05 pm

If you want it to change, go to a trail day or discuss it with the TC in private.

If you want to come whine about it on the public forums expect to hear other opinions.
Last edited by ColorVoyeur on July 9th, 2013, 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby davedejonge » July 8th, 2013, 2:10 pm

Useless, I just wanted to post this in a thread that I was sure you'd see.
thanks for the awesome work on the new ( I guess its old enough to be called current now) trail guide.

Dave

now, back to the regularly scheduled programming.

I have no opinion on the stump issue.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby mr_opjones » July 8th, 2013, 2:16 pm

Esh I'm itching just looking at all of the Poison Oak, if anyone does do anything with that stump, proceed with caution.
GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!!

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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby c0nsumer » July 8th, 2013, 2:21 pm

mr_opjones wrote:Esh I'm itching just looking at all of the Poison Oak, if anyone does do anything with that stump, proceed with caution.


I pulled some of the vine-y stuff off of it when I stopped there on Saturday. Doesn't bother me, thankfully.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby davedejonge » July 8th, 2013, 2:34 pm

I thought that was virginia creeper.
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby mr_opjones » July 8th, 2013, 2:44 pm

davedejonge wrote:I thought that was virginia creeper.

I prefer Smokey Mountain Kush
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby UselessPickles » July 8th, 2013, 2:58 pm

davedejonge wrote:Useless, I just wanted to post this in a thread that I was sure you'd see.
thanks for the awesome work on the new ( I guess its old enough to be called current now) trail guide.


Glad you like it!

I'm subscribed to the discussion thread about the trail guide here: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=117841

Once the newness of the trail guide fully wears off and you start noticing things that are annoying, be sure to add some comments there, and I'll see them. I plan to get back to working on it again in the winter, adding some significant improvements. It will take great restraint to withhold from adding some easter eggs to the trail guide featuring references to certain key contributors to this discussion :twisted:
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby c0nsumer » July 8th, 2013, 3:02 pm

UselessPickles wrote:It will take great restraint to withhold from adding some easter eggs to the trail guide featuring references to certain key contributors to this discussion :twisted:


Thankfully we're implementing a detailed code review and feature justification that'll be integrated in the steps before the push to production. </derail>
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Re: MCMBA: Commerce - Hickory Glen

Postby Roy » July 8th, 2013, 5:40 pm

Why jump U. P. for pointing out a possible safety issue. The trail is on public land, it is not your trail, it is not MMBA's trail.
Allowing a hazard to exist could result in a loss of public trust and a loss of the trail. Arguing against addressing the
issue does not demonstrate good stewardship. I would look at way Steve addressed the leaning tree as a fair way to investigate
possible changes to the trail. There is probably 10 ways to improve the line and reduce the hazard without removing any stump.

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