Please stay on the trail.

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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ajkagy
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby ajkagy » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:39 pm

Bean 2 wrote:This is on the summit of Elbert, getting pumped to drop in for the downhill. As it's been said before


saw this movie and it was pretty mind blowing...just a matter of time before someone attempts to poach/freeride the 14ers :lol:
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Bean
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby Bean » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:59 pm

Bean 2 wrote:
Bean wrote:
reinhold wrote:Since it's on Elbert, I'm guessing mountain bikes have played a role in the trail braiding

I'm quite sure that they have not. That's hiker damage.

This is on the summit of Elbert, getting pumped to drop in for the downhill. As it's been said before, walking downhill = lame.

Not sure why I'm bothering responding seriously to a troll, but yes, clearly mountain bikes automatically cause trail braiding, especially when they travel on established trails and are <1% of traffic on a given trail. Hikers never stray from the trail, and all mountain bike trails have sections with seven distinct trail segments immediately next to each other.
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madbuck
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby madbuck » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:32 pm

I amended my previous statement about also wondering if mountain bikes "caused" it merely because it's not a Wilderness area and has some mtb. traffic, when I thought more about how much hiker traffic absolutely dominates that area.

Anyway, some users started causing it by avoiding mud. Others followed, as does rain and snowmelt. Not sure who "started" it, bit it's made worse by everyone.
Don't go around the mud, people!

Better yet: "Stay on top of the snow" is a pretty solid maxim.
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby Bean » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:37 pm

madbuck wrote:Better yet: "Stay on top of the snow" is a pretty solid maxim.


This is the best option IMNSHO. Winter's coming pretty quick. :-D
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby d_baker » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:02 pm

madbuck wrote: Not sure who "started" it, bit it's made worse by everyone.

Most likely.

Maybe there shouldn't be trails? Isn't that what the Culebra owners encourage and demand, that everyone spread out? LNT suggests the same I believe, when in the alpine.
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planet54
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby planet54 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:08 pm

d_baker wrote:LNT suggests the same


So how about bushwhacking vs Leave No Trace?
http://www.mountaingazette.com/blogs/war-paint/a-bushwhackers-lament/
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby Vincopotamus » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:50 pm

planet54 wrote:
d_baker wrote:LNT suggests the same


So how about bushwhacking vs Leave No Trace?
http://www.mountaingazette.com/blogs/war-paint/a-bushwhackers-lament/


I understood "durable surfaces" to include rocks and snow in addition to just trails and roads. And in addition to traveling, also camping on durable surfaces like rock, snow, or most often, a previously impacted/established campsite.
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby Scott P » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:35 pm

Maybe there shouldn't be trails? Isn't that what the Culebra owners encourage and demand, that everyone spread out? LNT suggests the same I believe, when in the alpine.


No, they say that in little used areas, everyone spreads out (including walking, camping, etc.). In heavy tracked areas, it's the opposite and use (camping and walking) is concentrated. At least it was that way in the LNT classes that came from the NFS I was required to teach when I was a backpacking guide for the BSA.

Anyway, the suggestion of climbing on snow is a good one. It certainly does lessen impact.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby TallGrass » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:13 am

ajkagy wrote:If anything [mountain bikes] cause less of a footprint since tire width is much less than the walking gait of a human.


1. The contact patch of the tires is less than that of a pair of shoes. As the weight is the same (actually more with the bike), the P.S.I. load is greater and thus can dig deeper in soft terrain like mud. Snowshoes work conversely.

2. Bikes can reach greater speeds than descending hikers. In order to stop, they must brake, which requires traction/friction with the surface. The greater the dV, the greater the impact. It's not uncommon for a road course's (race track) pavement to be rippled going into to a turn due to braking vehicles deforming it over the years like a house pet doing a bat-turn on the carpet/rug on wood floors.

3. For a single person, a bike will leave a continuous channel (rut) for water to flow down, unlike a series of footsteps. (Married people are different.)

4. Looking at some of the videos of biking mountains led me to wonder: did Cave Dog much less any other hiker ever throw up rooster tails or dust clouds?

BTW, looks like you used to be able to drive your 4x4 up to near the base of Uncompahgre years ago. The parallel tracks are still visible in many areas though they are slowly being returned to nature. Takes quite a while. . . :(
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby Bean » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:23 am

TallGrass wrote:1. The contact patch of the tires is less than that of a pair of shoes. As the weight is the same (actually more with the bike), the P.S.I. load is greater and thus can dig deeper in soft terrain like mud. Snowshoes work conversely.

2. Bikes can reach greater speeds than descending hikers. In order to stop, they must brake, which requires traction/friction with the surface. The greater the dV, the greater the impact. It's not uncommon for a road course's (race track) pavement to be rippled going into to a turn due to braking vehicles deforming it over the years like a house pet doing a bat-turn on the carpet/rug on wood floors.

3. For a single person, a bike will leave a continuous channel (rut) for water to flow down, unlike a series of footsteps. (Married people are different.)

4. Looking at some of the videos of biking mountains led me to wonder: did Cave Dog much less any other hiker ever throw up rooster tails or dust clouds?


1. Only the case when a person is standing perfectly still, and their weight is being equally distributed across the surface of their soles evenly. Bike tires are inflated to roughly 30psi, in general. Just a SWAG based on looking at a pair of shoes next to me is that there's ~50 square inches of surface area (smooth bottomed running shoes). A hiking boot (as tends to be worn by anti-bike troglodytes) with a raised heel will be less, but close enough (I'll make up the difference in average hiker weight incl. gear). At 200lb all geared up, that's 2psi standing perfectly still, 4psi on one foot, and 50-100+ psi when stepping forward. Meanwhile, 30psi in a bike tire is 30psi. A fatbike can go as low as single-digit air pressure. Lesson learned from all this? We need the metric system because pascals are so much more intuitive to work with.

2. Your use of "dV" suggests that you're trying to sound smart by throwing out variable names without knowing what they actually mean. Someone who has any practical knowledge of mountain bikes would know that mtb race courses get brake bumps in transitions from fast downhills to sharp turns, and would have used that example rather than an abstract example using four-wheeled motor vehicles and asphalt. Asphalt around roundabouts can develop cracks and gaps from shear forces caused by turning four-wheeled vehicles. But that's not relevant. Off the top of my head I can't recall seeing these anywhere other than trails with a race going on. I'm sure they occur in some places that aren't having a race, but recreational mountain biking doesn't tend to cause such damage. As with other user groups (yes, even equestrians), the significant majority is responsible and doesn't act in a way to deliberately cause damage (possible exception for stravassholes).

3. Only on a poorly-designed trail. A fall-line trail that would suffer erosion from mountain bike use (particularly keeping in mind that multiple users would overlap tracks and break up any "continuous channel (rut)" that may exist) will suffer from erosion by any users.

4. Did Cory Hart ever scree surf down mountains? That surely can't be good for erosion. But why are we (you) talking about outliers rather than the vast majority of trail users? I'm not bringing up equestrians going out in to muddy areas and doing more trail damage than a bulldozer could, or hikers substantially widening sections of trail in an effort to avoid a little bit of mud (whoops).
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tlongpine
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby tlongpine » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:43 am

TallGrass wrote:
ajkagy wrote:If anything [mountain bikes] cause less of a footprint since tire width is much less than the walking gait of a human.


1. The contact patch of the tires is less than that of a pair of shoes. As the weight is the same (actually more with the bike), the P.S.I. load is greater and thus can dig deeper in soft terrain like mud. Snowshoes work conversely.

2. Bikes can reach greater speeds than descending hikers. In order to stop, they must brake, which requires traction/friction with the surface. The greater the dV, the greater the impact. It's not uncommon for a road course's (race track) pavement to be rippled going into to a turn due to braking vehicles deforming it over the years like a house pet doing a bat-turn on the carpet/rug on wood floors.

3. For a single person, a bike will leave a continuous channel (rut) for water to flow down, unlike a series of footsteps. (Married people are different.)

4. Looking at some of the videos of biking mountains led me to wonder: did Cave Dog much less any other hiker ever throw up rooster tails or dust clouds?

BTW, looks like you used to be able to drive your 4x4 up to near the base of Uncompahgre years ago. The parallel tracks are still visible in many areas though they are slowly being returned to nature. Takes quite a while. . . :(


As a mountain biker I recognize the unique ways a bike can cause trail erosion. But most importantly, it's not necessarily the bike, but how it is piloted. At high speeds many riders will rely on braking and skidding to arrest the downward pull of gravity. Once the initial damage of trailbreaking occurs, that alone is the most destructive tendency of a mountain bike(r). Like hiking, it will dig a deeper and deeper rut. And cyclists know it's dangerous to ride in the deep rut that's narrower that the front wheel - because you're unable to turn. Therefore, you end up relying on your brakes ever more.

Looking at the trail on Elbert the real problem appears to poor trail engineering that encourages (and in many case probably forces) riders to first, skid along much of the trail, and second, to ride above the trail rut. If mountain bikes are to be allowed in this area then the trail should be engineered with more switchbacks and gentler slopes that will prevent downhill riders from gaining speeds that cause destructive skidding.

But let's recognize the problem for what it is: poor land management. Unfortunately for mountain bikers, it's often easier to blame and ban them than develop a land use policy that accommodates myriad user types. But, fortunately, there are groups working with the Forest Service, BLM and other public agencies to develop effective multi-use policies that protect rider access to public lands. If this is important to you, and you're not involved in COMBRA or the IMBA, then look into it. IMBA.com / comba.org
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.
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Re: Please stay on the trail.

Postby Bean » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:13 am

Dex wrote:In your math aren't you missing a couple of points?

Surface area on the ground when in motion - bike tires constantly on the ground - feet no

Surface area affected - when going straight - bike tires in the same line - feet not

PSI - While the tires might be inflated to 30PSI - the PSI for bikes should be a factor of the weight of the bike, rider, equipment etc and the surface area of the tire track?

Interesting math problem, that.


I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. 30psi is 30psi is 30psi. The tire conforms to the surface. 30psi is a general number, some run mid-20s, some run mid-30s.
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