WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby Glancing Aft » Thu May 10, 2012 9:44 am

I know I'm not well liked on this forum, so what I saw will have little to no impact, but I do agree 100% with what Finsout said. People are outraged over this trail work in virtually every user group. This is one of those golden opportunities for YAMBA to shine, and come back into the communities mindset.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby RockyMountainSkip » Thu May 10, 2012 12:54 pm

I am just curious Will, what would you have YAMBA do to address/rectify this situation?
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby finsout » Thu May 10, 2012 1:01 pm

I'll tell you Skip....

1. call Fobes and tell him that your membership and many other trail users are not happy with the work that YCP did on the trials.

2. Inform him that the work was done in an unsafe manner that can potentially lead to bike crashes on both 4 and 5

3. Explain why this fix is not cost effective to the county since it WILL wash away

4. Tell him that this work could have been done in a more environmentally friendly and cost effective way had YAMBA been asked for input on the construction.

5. Offer to work with him on mitigating the risk.

6. Communicate all of the above to the mt bike community.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby danwalko » Thu May 10, 2012 6:38 pm

Fins.... I can tell you that all of your numbers points above have already occurred with the exception of #4. YAMBA does not have the right to request that the Parks consult with us every time they work at the parks. And I disagree that what they did was any more dangerous than what was there. Heading down Trail 4 from Deininger Road was totally washed out. At one point....there was a bunch of trees across the trail in that area. While the trees had been removed...the large gulley from the washout was still present. The area just past the bridge that had the railroad ties was just as bad. It was totally washed out, the railroad ties had been undermined by years of water running over them, leaves and gravel collected at each of them, and it was a total mess in that area as water was funneled through that area every time it rained. How are the deep water bars any more or less dangerous? Trail 5 had the same issue....a giant gulley down the middle of it. We attempted to mitigate that area last year at this time... We installed water bars on about the first half of the trail in an attempt to dry out the bottom section. If I remember correctly, there were about 6 of us there that day. While what we did helped temporarily, the flood in September simply made that area worse than what it had already been. All the parks did was try to remove the deep trench down the middle and try to get the water off the trail. The trail is already unsustainable. Their fix is at best a temporary solution.

Could YAMBA have completed a nice singletrack in this area....yes we could have. We were planning on requesting permission to do that later this year but had not gotten to it yet. That is our fault and I take the blame for the parks not knowing that we wanted to work in that area. I know that you have done a tremendous amount of work on Rusty Chair and in other areas over the past year and half and I know everyone appreciates that, including me. I have told you that every time I see you on the trails. Nothing that you did was damaged or destroyed in any way.

As you would if you were in a position to manage the county parks....Mike Fobes reads the posts on this forum. He is well aware of your opinion along with the comments of others in this thread. The Parks was ready to replace the bridge on Trail 4 and are just about ready to replace the other two bridges. Should they have postponed that work until YAMBA could organize enough volunteers to help move the wood into place? Should they have waited to see if we would fix the existing trail or build something new to access this area? That is unreasonable. How would we have made the section with the railroad ties sustainable? Kevin and I really tried to find a way back when RC was built and we decided it just wasn't possible for us. The Parks barely have the manpower and budget to maintain the fields, pavilions, parking lots, playgrounds, and other areas of the parks frequented by more than just mountain bikers.

We will schedule our next Trailwork to be at Rocky Ridge to work on mitigating some of what was done -- most specifically to help with the drainage issue. Some of the drainage ditches they built simply hold water....as evidenced by your photo from last week. We can work to fix that issue at our next trailwork. I wonder how many of the "outraged" trail users will actually show up to help in that effort??

One correction to my last note....in 2011, the York County Parks logged 45,000 volunteer hours. Kevin has not provided me with the 2011 total yet but 2010 was by far our best year for volunteer hours -- the year we constructed Rusty Chair and had the IMBA Trail Care Crew visit. YAMBA had a total of 1406 volunteer hours that year. That accounts for just over 3% of the total hours the parks logged. I don't see how anyone would think that a contribution of that size would given us the right to demand the parks "consult" us before working on their land. We have always been assured that the Parks will not disrupt any areas that we have worked without first discussing with us and that will not change.

Will....I appreciate that you are passionate about mountain biking and are a member of the club. Your past contributions as ride leader and helping at trailwork never went unnoticed. However....I have to agree with Skip's question....I just don't understand what you would want us to do to "come back into the communities mindset."
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby finsout » Thu May 10, 2012 7:28 pm

unless im on a business trip somewhere I will be out. can we also round off the swales so that they arent so steep faced an allow for more flow especially on the old railroad tie section.

ps..im not saying that yamba should demand being consulted but im saying that a relationship will hopefully be built so that becomes a natural courtesy.

PSS--and this is directed at Mike Fobes---the issue isnt so much that the work was done. it was the manner in which is was done. your crews did WAY more damage than they needed to do. there was no need to rip up the trees like they did.
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Fence sitter, yeah that's me!

Postby diggingtrail » Thu May 10, 2012 9:31 pm

I've had so many thoughts over the last few days on this issue, it is going to be hard to put them all together in a coherent post. I'm going to go back and forth between both "sides" here. And GA, you're not disliked here, there's just been times when there were disagreements on different subjects.

First let me say that I was truly upset/irritated/pissed/shocked when I saw what happened to trail 4. I walked it again yesterday and I still was, but it shifted more to disbelief and head shaking. What upsets me personally is that I put in so much time to make the Parks and trails better. I try to narrow the trails and route them to avoid erosion, I try to make them more enjoyable and safe for all user groups. When I see the destruction that happened I get very discouraged. I feel like all of my efforts have been washed down the trail.

That said, Dan is right, it is the Parks land to manage. They make the decisions. They are not politicians, they are public servants. The managers, at least, do the jobs that they do b/c they love it, and love nature and brining it to people. They could most likely make more money w/ their degrees or expertise choosing which forests to clear cut, but they chose to preserve. They have hikers, bikers, equestrians, birders, hunters, geocachers, runners, softball players, mom, dad, little Timmy running off into the woods, and countless other user groups to take into consideration.

I've seen the reasoning for the grading, digging, etc of trail 4. Frankly I don't agree w/ it. Boy Scouts are supposedly doing the bridges. When YAMBA builds bridges or does large heavy trailwork we do admittedly drive materials in as far as we can, however we never widen or flatten a road/trail to make it easier for ourselves. When YAMBA helped Nathan Wagner with Broken Arrow he had over 20 scouts w/ him. When I and a few other YAMBA members helped Paul Yeagers Cub Scout troop, yes Cub, build a bring on 2C at The Lakes we carried all the wood in. YAMBA carried in telephone poles in the past for other bridges. It can be done, and should be done that way in my opinion. Also to excuse the work as being a fix, even a temporary fix, for a poor eroded trail is wrong. It was an unnecessary waste of the maintenance crews time, and tax payers money (I had a county employee in another dept express the disbelief that money went to something like this instead of other places it is needed in the county). If work is going to be done it should be done correctly, and if it isn't going to be done correctly don't do it. I don't see the work as being a fix, especially not widening the trail. There were so many things done wrong, it's almost laughable.

Now the other side of the above paragraph. Mike Fobes does not manage the maintenance crews that did the work. He has no supervisory role of those workers. They are given a task by their manager, they do it, usually on their own and move on to the next task. They aren't trained to do this kind of work. And they don't care what it looks like. They got the job done like they were told to. Punch in at 8, punch out at 4. Jack of all trades, maybe a master of one. But they are still employees of the Parks. And they are doing their jobs. I know how I feel when I am told I didn't do something right, especially when I wasn't actually shown how to do it right. How would they feel when confronted about this? How does Fobes feel when he has not control over what they do and he gets all of the backlash?

YAMBA is an advocacy group. It is the mtb advocacy group in York. What is an advocacy group that doesn't advocate for its members or even just the interest of its peers? Should there be something done more than just bitching back and forth here on the forum? I believe YES! That is what an advocacy group should do. But how to do it, taking all of my comments and Dans comments and Fins, and Wrenches, and GAs, into consideration? How do we balance our views, wants and emotions, with those of the Parks? What is a correct approach? I am a passionate person, I get worked up and excited and will speak my unfiltered mind when things get ugly (ask my supervisors at work). I like that about me, but it doesn't always work when things need to be handled diplomatically. We can't ask the Parks to consult us, but it would be nice if they did. We can't say nobody else can do trailwork, but it is scary when other people do.

YAMBA is partially to blame in this. We didn't communicate to the Parks that we had id'd trail 4 as a potential reroute do to its poor sustainability and lack of desirability to all users. We didn't id the upper section of trail 5 as a potential reroute due to the same reasons. I know that the issue of a Master Trail Plan that could be submitted to the parks has been brought up both here and at meetings. But very few want to help, so it has never been really started, much less completed. But what it was? What if we had submitted proposals for all of the reroutes and work that needs done? Besides for Rusty Chair our average number of volunteers is 10 or less at any given trailwork. We can't even get to half the projects in a year that we want or need to. How long should the Parks wait for us to get to a project? There needs to be more involvement in all aspects of YAMBA trailworks, planning, ride leaders, coordinators.

Lastly, I really wish more people would chime in. Here, on Facebook, Twitter. Whatever you like. Encourage those that you have spoken to to do so as well. Let your voices be heard, civilly of course. Not everybody will agree, some feel stronger than others, but all opinions and feelings are valid and should be known. If you made it through this long rambling post congratulations and thanks!
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby diggingtrail » Thu May 10, 2012 9:45 pm

Almost forgot. One more picture. Of the new "concrete" support on trail 4. :shock:

IMG_3573.jpg
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby kraft » Fri May 11, 2012 6:17 am

Overall this thing really doesn't bother me much. To me it doesn't matter what you have or what you say only what you do. Quite frankly YAMBA doesn't do much. Now before all of you start flying off the handle I am talking about the Entire YAMBA organization and I consider YAMBA to be anyone that rides the trails in York County, not just paying members. The handleful of people that show up to build and maintain the mountain bike trails in York County actually do a tremendous amount of work and I am not downplaying their effort. But how can a group (all mountain bike riders in York Co.) in which probably less than 1% actively engage in the physical effort of improving our trail system demand that the Park system be held accountable when we as a whole cannot even be held accountable. If large numbers of people actually showed up at every trail work day and worked then trail 4 would have been fixed correctly by us, the bridges would have been built correctly by us. For the most part the only people on this thread and probably reading this thread are the people that already put their sweat and blood into the trails.

The York County Parks should charge people to ride their bikes on the trails. You pay with money or trail work hours. If you want to bitch at someone spend your saturday in the parking lot strangling everyone that hops on a bike that has never picked up a shovel to help build the trails.
Do the thing that is hard to do and the power will come.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby bloomy63 » Fri May 11, 2012 6:51 am

While we are all outraged at what was done, it seems obvious to me that the parks performed this work to maintain vehicular access for maintainence & emergency response reasons. The posts stating that maybe if the parks knew about out plans to re-route these trails this work wouldn't have been performed just doesn't make sense to me. Even If we had re-routed the trails, they still would have performed this work for access reasons. I'm sure our new trails wouldn't be wide enough for vehicals. If the new trails would currently be in place, I seriously doubt that anyone would have cared or even noticed that this work was performed.

My sugestion to resolve this issue is for the Parks department & YAMBA to work together to "fix" the work that was performed as best as possible to minimize erosion and make the trail more user friendly, then perform the re-route that YAMBA has been planning for these portions of trails.

None of this will be possible without the help of the members of YAMBA. We all need to get out there and do our part to maintain the trails we have and assist with building the new ones. Come out & help when we have trail work days!!!!!
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby finsout » Fri May 11, 2012 7:52 am

Ok, finally some meaningful dialog. Kevin and Jim are obviously the voices of reason. Kevin, before I forget, a few of us are headed to Spring Mt tomorrow and you are welcome to tag along.

The last two posts bring up a huge number of valid points that I will try to address since my philosophy has always been if you are going to bitch, you had better offer some solutions.

I view this issue as an opportunity to affect some change that benefits everybody as well as some lessons learned.

Communication--This is a classic example of what happens when there is no communication. People assumed the YAMBA, being the mt bike advocacy group, would talk to the county and express concern over the work. Based on previous posts, that did happen but was never posted here. so, people were left to assume what they wanted and the common assumption was that YAMBA didn't do anything. That's not the reality, but absent real info, that's what people believed. In addition, there needs to be a mechanism besides this website to get info out to the bikers. I always to talk to people in the lot and part of that is keeping people informed of trail work etc and trying to point them to this site, but the vast majority have no clue about YAMBA and how to stay informed.

County--Lets not sugar coat it, the county screwed the pooch on this one. Kevin's explanation make sense but that still doesn't make what they did right. It points out a systemic problem within the county that could provide an opening for a dialog to make some changes to benefit the bikers. why on earth does the county have a highly intelligent natural resources coordinator who has no say in what the maintenance crews do to affect the natural resources of the parks! perhaps the advocacy here should be to prod the county parks to enact some systemic changes so that any maintenance to the trails be reviewed and approved by Mike Fobes prior to being done. From this and previous threads, it sounds like he can be trusted to get the job done correctly so why not work to empower him? Kevin also brought up a great point in that parks maintenance crews have no idea how to properly build trials so why not use this as an opportunity to conduct some trail building seminars for them or better yet, see if the parks can send some of their crew members to participate in trailwork. Not only does this educate them, it also helps forge relationships with the people who do alot of the work at the parks.

Trailwork--It has been universally stated that the numbers for trailwork days pretty much suck but the question is, why? Its easy to say that mt bikers are selfish or lazy but I'm not buying that 100%. Many times when I was doing solo work, a number of people rode by and said thanks but some actually stopped to help out for a few minutes. That tells me that people are willing so why are the numbers so low? Communication is an obvious answer. most people just don't know that YAMBA does this work let alone know when. We really need to look at ways to increase participation. what about partnering with the trail runners? Leverage boy scouts more often? Flyers in bike shops? Flyers on cars in the lots? Another possible solution could be to promote more ad hoc work on smaller projects. This is more to my liking since I can set my own times to work. I would love to see a list of small projects that we could work on with guidelines spelled out for the parameters of the job then people can pick and choose what they want to do?

YAMBA--This is going to probably piss alot of people off, but for whatever reason there is somewhat of an anti-YAMBA attitude within the mt bike community around here. I dont know the history but like it or not, its out there and needs to change. I'm not trying to be petty because i appreciate the club and what has been done, but those who know me, know i love to talk and i am hearing this stuff from quite a few people, and some of those people have been very active in the past. Maybe Will can chime in with his thoughts.

I would love to see Jim's idea of pay to play implemented but we all know that won't happen. what we can do is use this issue as an opportunity for change and reflection and emerge stronger. I'm more than willing to meet over some drinks or some ad hoc trail work to discuss and brainstorm. feel free to tell me I'm full of crap too if you wish.

EDIT--I agree with Bloomys post. it is critical that YAMBA push for the re-route as soon as possible. this will show the community that the group is working ot mitigate what was done (in doing so we out to strive to reestablish something similar tot he railroad tie jump line :) )
Last edited by finsout on Fri May 11, 2012 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby wrench347 » Fri May 11, 2012 8:12 am

Thanks Fin, you've hit a bunch of valid points, hence saving me a ton of typing.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby mushroom » Mon May 14, 2012 3:40 pm

Kevin/Dan: Is there any way that maybe YAMBA could post some sort of check sheet (or something similar) for work that needs to be done? I know for a lot of us it's difficult to make it to the trail work sessions. Maybe if there was something like that where work could be done at other times more could be accomplished. I know that some people do trail work on their own but for a lot of us we're not sure what needs to be done or how you guys want it done.

Also, what about about creating a fb page for trail advocacy for the parks? That way input could be gathered from all trail users and hopefully spread the word about the importance of trail work.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby finsout » Tue May 15, 2012 7:56 am

mushroom wrote:Kevin/Dan: Is there any way that maybe YAMBA could post some sort of check sheet (or something similar) for work that needs to be done? I know for a lot of us it's difficult to make it to the trail work sessions. Maybe if there was something like that where work could be done at other times more could be accomplished. I know that some people do trail work on their own but for a lot of us we're not sure what needs to be done or how you guys want it done.

Also, what about about creating a fb page for trail advocacy for the parks? That way input could be gathered from all trail users and hopefully spread the word about the importance of trail work.



I have been working on building up the berms on RC and could always use some help. In addition, that trail is going to need pruned back very soon.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby danwalko » Tue May 15, 2012 7:26 pm

Hey everyone...

I had another discussion with Mike Fobes this week. The Parks are not done working on Trail 4 and 5. They will extend the drainage ditches further into the woods to prevent water from sitting in them. Hopefully, this will allow them to dry out much quicker. YAMBA will not do anything on these two trails until the parks are done with their work. In addition, the two bridges just off trail 4 will be replaced soon.

Mushroom....good points about trying to gain more assistance from hikers, equestrians, and trail runners. YAMBA has already reached out to horse groups as well as the trail runners about assisting with trail work. Both groups told us they are not interested in helping. I would prefer to just have one FB page - the YAMBA FB page. All trail works and other events are always posted there.

As for doing any ad hoc trailwork, there are some small projects that can be done on your own. However....Kevin really wants to be involved in most work. The issue of trimming is going to be a big one this year with the warm winter. Some trails are already becoming overgrown. Trimming is something best done with small groups so if anyone is interested in assisting with trimming, please post on the forum or contact Kevin or I directly. We can get permission from the Parks to work independently. If you are interested in working on your own, please get in touch with Kevin or I to coordinate.

I appreciate everyone's passion about the trails at the parks. As noted earlier, we will continue to work in conjunction with the Parks to improve the trails in York County.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby finsout » Tue May 15, 2012 7:32 pm

dan, scott bates and i trimmed back rusty chair tonight with machetes. please put us down for 2 hours. as for the bridge off 4. i assume this is the one on upper 6. are they going to 'pave' that section of 6 too?

Mushroom, after trimming 6 today I could use some help with the berms. let me know if interested.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby mushroom » Wed May 16, 2012 2:15 pm

danwalko wrote:Hey everyone...


Mushroom....good points about trying to gain more assistance from hikers, equestrians, and trail runners. YAMBA has already reached out to horse groups as well as the trail runners about assisting with trail work. Both groups told us they are not interested in helping.


I will post the next trail work session on the local trail running pages next time one is scheduled. Hopefully a few (or more) will show up.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby prophetdriver07 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:00 pm

I was appalled along with my buddies at what they did to trail 4, cant fly down it without crashing really. maybe get YAMBA to talk to who ever and get wood across those drainage areas like a mini bridge?
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby ScottyB » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:42 pm

Hey guys - Riding tonight I heard someone hit one of the water bars and had to go to the hospital. Ended up dislocating their shoulder.
Please be careful on this trail now that the "improvements" have been made.
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby prophetdriver07 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:45 pm

ScottyB wrote:Hey guys - Riding tonight I heard someone hit one of the water bars and had to go to the hospital. Ended up dislocating their shoulder.
Please be careful on this trail now that the "improvements" have been made.


Take this to the York whoever commission and tell them there is a major fault in this design, :evil:
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Re: WTF HAPPENED TO TRAIL 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Postby finsout » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:17 am

On it....i can smell lawsuit in the air over this one.
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