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The Tip

Opinion please on reworking a trail's routing

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This is all hypothetical. 

Suppose there is a trail that has been around for four years. It's been ridden by 400 Strava different riders. But it's not a great trail. It gets you from here to there so it's a good connector. That's why it's used a lot. But it's not a lot of fun. Mostly just mileage out in the country.

What is your opinion on reworking that trail to be more fun and in the process maybe making it a little longer? Are you going to be offended that your KOM is no longer relevant? Are you going to try and reopen the closed down boring, straight, and poorly planned down a fall line (erosion problem) trail?

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Changes to make it more fun are always the way to go.  Personally  I could care less about the KOM. Don't get me wrong I like looking at the Strava segments but unless I'm racing or doing a Trainerroad stationary workout I almost never push 100% for any real length of time.  Trail time is about having fun and developing skills on tech stuff.

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with Strava starting to charge you for comparing your times to the other Freds, does that part matter?

boring trails are boring. If I wanted to get from A to B, I'd ride on the road.

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A similar topic came up in a conversation recently and I'm interested in surveying the responses to see if they're different than what's been posted here, on Mojo, and elsewhere in the past.

I'll take a flyer though: It depends, right?

I assume you're thinking of somewhere in the SATN - there certainly are many trails there that match your description. The SATN doesn't - and correct me if I'm wrong - have the sort of stewardship governance that trails like Slaughter Creek, etc. have. So everything is kinda tenuous and ad-hoc. Some good (Thanks for the mini ramps, whomever), some bad (sanitizing, widening, and other blandification - please stop.).  Certainly there are different opinions on what is fun, safe, etc. You're kinda left with consulting with some like-minded folks publicly or privately for a sanity check. Kinda just like you're doing here. 

Personally, I think the strongest argument for such change that you've listed is erosion repair/mitigation of fall line trails. Those guys are just going to get worse and we should, as a community, be advocates for sustainable trail construction. Again personally, I don't care about the Strava stuff. Anyways, whomever's KOM wouldn't be made irrelevant - it'd be made permanent. 🙂 I'm much more interested in trails being fun, challenging, and most importantly, still there tomorrow. 

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Something like Strava should never be a factor when it comes to improving the trail.  Even if everyone used Strava on every ride, how could they argue that their satisfaction of having the fastest time is more important than improving the trail for EVERYONE that rides it?  If it's that important to them, they can go out and ride the new trail faster than everyone else and get on an irrelevant list on the cloud.

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2 hours ago, The Tip said:

This is all hypothetical. 

Suppose there is a trail that has been around for four years. It's been ridden by 400 Strava different riders. But it's not a great trail. It gets you from here to there so it's a good connector. That's why it's used a lot. But it's not a lot of fun. Mostly just mileage out in the country.

What is your opinion on reworking that trail to be more fun and in the process maybe making it a little longer? Are you going to be offended that your KOM is no longer relevant? Are you going to try and reopen the closed down boring, straight, and poorly planned down a fall line (erosion problem) trail?

When I first make a trail it typically just goes straight through. I try to make a complete loop as quickly as possible. Then start to take individual sections and make them better. Straight through is boring.

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Posted (edited)

A trail is organic (caveat... except for trails like Slaughter Creek)... Trails go through seasons of change. And that's an aspect of being a trail user... Being out in an environment than can, and often does change.

Just don't mess with the sections my wife likes... That's trouble.

Edited by RidingAgain

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6 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

1. is trail sustainable and "safe"?

2. is trail fun?

...

...

...

...

99. Strava concerns.

You are WRONG mack_turtle.  No way Strava is that high 😉

 

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8 hours ago, The Tip said:

This is all hypothetical. 

Suppose there is a trail that has been around for four years. It's been ridden by 400 Strava different riders. But it's not a great trail. It gets you from here to there so it's a good connector. That's why it's used a lot. But it's not a lot of fun. Mostly just mileage out in the country.

What is your opinion on reworking that trail to be more fun and in the process maybe making it a little longer? Are you going to be offended that your KOM is no longer relevant? Are you going to try and reopen the closed down boring, straight, and poorly planned down a fall line (erosion problem) trail?

DO IT!!!!

Fall line trail - reroute.

Boring trail - reroute.

Longer trail - reroute.

Make the new trail. Block the old one.

Watch Strava for anyone who might have unblocked the old trail. (The only use I have for Strava.)

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4 things to add.

1: I don't live in Austin so no dog in this hunt.

2: Straight trails are boring.

3: Strava straightens trails, so if you're going to add curves, add distance too, waves will end up just as straight as they were before.

4: Strava is just electronic dick measuring, and going forward you'll have to pay up to see how you measure up.   

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10 hours ago, kpomtb said:

 

4: Strava is just electronic dick measuring, and going forward you'll have to pay up to see how you measure up.   

I'm gonna start using strava for that. My old electronic dick measurer was starting to short out and that can be painful.

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Make it more fun. Then maybe the people that take Strava seriously enough to be pissed about a change you're describing will stop riding there area which will make for less douchiness on the trails! I know a couple folks insanely serious about Strava and they aren't fun people to be around. 

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Thanks for the feedback. I think my Strava references were misconstrued though. I mentioned how many Strava riders had been on this trail as an indication of the trail's relative popularity. 

My main concern is the "I fear change" thinkers. Even original trail builders should be concerned about public opinion before they start changing things because, you know, how we mtbers are. 

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