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Saving the trails at Sprague
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TOPIC: Saving the trails at Sprague

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44119

Look, Greg knows the trails at Sprague as well as anyone. After I did the initial layout and proposal and then former and current presidents Kevin Preston and Ben Clauss shepherded it through the county approvals and set up the initial construction, Greg has really taken on the responsibility of keeping these trails in great shape and has spent a lot of time on his own out there doing maintenance. He cares more about these trails than anybody.

He was absolutely right to point out that sections like Creekside and Skunk dry out fast and were OK to ride after the rains stop. I always thought the Foote trails would be slow driers since they are flat and there's lots of swamps around there, but we have been pleasantly surprised at how dry it stays over there.

He is also right about being fatalistic that some people are still going to ride when it's wet. When I first started riding Hunters Creek in 1990, nobody else rode out there and I'd go no matter what the conditions were, because I didn't know any better. It took a year or two to realize it was not a good idea. There are some people like that out there still. It's a learning process.

I think the original conditions post that started this could definitely give the impression that it was OK to ride trails that were still very wet so long as you went straight through the wet spots (and going straight through the wet spots rather than widening the trail is excellent advice). It gave the impression to the casual reader of this forum that any and all trails are OK no matter the condition. However, I think this subsequent discussion does a good job in educating that casual reader that riding no matter the conditions is *not* a good thing, something most experienced riders already know.

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44120

Lucas wrote:
are the trails really ready to ride for a race tonight?


Not even close.

60+ riders are going to do damage tonight....

.....but the guys holding the race are the same ones putting in a major effort to maintain and improve the trails, so I guess it's their call.
The 1970's: No knee pads, helmets, brakes, or over cautious soccer mom's. It's just how we rolled...

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44121

I am concerned about the race, but I'm withholding judgment until an on-the-ground report comes in. Otherwise, it risks "boy cries wolf" syndrome.

For the most part, the race loop follows sections that are pretty sustainable, or in the case of that one snow-fenced snowmobile section, are always wet and not going to change.

The exceptions are as you get near the accidental trail, and the extension through the field. Greg put additional gravel on that one accidental trail turn, but there are still wet areas through there.

The field is basically a race-only section, and should probably be closed off after the series. It would recover in no time without traffic.

I have one last school function to go to tonight, so I won't be there.

Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44123

thanks...
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Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44126

I also want to say thanks for all the maintenance that has been done, as well as new trails, and reroutes that have been done!! I know Greg does a lot of this, And I thank You.
And I Love Riding the brook more and more as each year it gets better!

Thanks again


Adam
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Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44128

There were major changes done yesterday for the race so damage would be at a minimum.

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44129

The race course was modified last night. The main loop and accidental trail were removed completely along with the field sections. The snowmobile trail and the newer trails near it, which hold up pretty well, were the only sections used in the race. Definitely the right call, keeping traffic off of the main loop and avoiding the fields for the sake of the racers.

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44133

This will probably be my last post. I am the current VP and if my trail condition posts are going to be moved and debated, then what’s the point. Not to mention most of the time the conversations are fueled by people who aren't members, don’t have “time” to help with trail work or just come in to start controversy.

The original point that got completely lost is that 70% of the mountain bikers in WNY have no idea what the club does or what its policies are. Sprague, among many of our areas is not owned by the club. They are parks owned by the tax payers. We have been given permission to build and ride in these locations. As much as it pains us, the general population will go out and destroy our work. That unfortunately is part of the game. Unless the club wants to go buy 100 acres somewhere and build a WNYMBA park, trails are open to all and during park hours regardless of weather or conditions. As much as I hate to admit it indigo22 is right in mentioning the helmet topic. It is a county park rule that helmets are to be worn on county property trails. We aren't out there kicking people out because they have no helmet. Riding or hiking trails in the rain is not against the rules but yet we are trying to stop people.

We can educate and ask people to defer from riding but in the end it is up to them. I guess I should have mentioned that I do tell people that the club frowns on riding in the recent conditions. Most say "oh" and head up there anyway. The comment "It’s raining and muddy, No riding the brook." would be like me telling people "It's icy and thin, no skiing at KB." Again it is the choice of the individual and they are going to go when they have time. Not all mountain bikers are looking to go out and ride 20 miles. A lot of folks are satisfied or are at a point where 3-5 miles is enough.

We do have a lot more riders paying attention to the club communications due to our recent efforts. This why I posted the "It's wet and muddy but if you have to go out....." If we start closing trails, we will get more grief then just dealing with routine repair work.

Scotto made a game time decision to change the route of the race course and avoid the areas that would be most impacted. There have been many times that I have questioned some decisions and we have talked and came to agreements like adults. Compromise and communication is the key to success in any arena.

In closing, if you want true life trail conditions call me at the shop, email me at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check the shop Facebook page as I will no longer be using this forum to communicate.
Sliders Guy
Colden, NY

Chains and shifters are history.
Last Edit: 1 year, 4 months ago by Sliders Guy. Reason: Clarification

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44134

I am pretty much a non racer, but at the last work day there were "racers" out there helping to build the reroute. I believe all the people involved with the Wed night series are doing a great job to provide a quality racing experience both with trail building/repair and running the event.
I applaud there decision to change course to minimize damage due to wet conditions which only continues to show their commitment. Hopefully we can fortify those sections that hold water in the future so this doesn't continue to be a issue and the racing series will be a lasting event.

Penguin
Mommy- theres a root on the trail! Make it go away! I want my Binkie

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44135

In a month we'll be complaining that the trails are too dry and could use some rain. I love WNY weather.

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44136

bodie6 wrote:
In a month we'll be complaining that the trails are too dry and could use some rain. I love WNY weather.


Man I hope you're right. All this rain isn't even good for the farmers. There's just too much damn water.
The 1970's: No knee pads, helmets, brakes, or over cautious soccer mom's. It's just how we rolled...

Re: Saving the trails at Sprague 1 year, 4 months ago #44137

kb voodoo wrote:
Man I hope you're right. All this rain isn't even good for the farmers. There's just too much damn water.

Yeah, I was thinking this Saturday would be a good day for starting to scout out the new "black trail" reroute to the white trail. Should be easy to see where the wet areas would be.
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