IMBA was here

Thanks, Dave Trumpore, for capturing the ethos of IMBA.

This is also sad:

http://www.nsmb.com/your-fundamental-problem-is-wrong/

That article is sad because the author concedes the number one problem with modern trail “advocacy” organizations, on paper, for everyone to see. The number one problem with S-advocacy groups is that no good, advanced trails that satisfy advanced riders will ever be built at a public riding area ever again. It will only be greens and blues, forever. But don’t listen to me, listen to Morgan Taylor, a huge proponent of the North Shore Mountain Bike Association and head of (yes, this is the real name) Project Dumbing Down The Shore:

“You either cut a “rogue” line for yourself and a few friends in an area that doesn’t have existing trails, or you work with the local advocacy association on trails that satisfy the land managers and the advocacy association’s vision.”

Bummer.

That’s a bummer to hear from someone who’s in a position to affect policy. These trail building associations are in a position to legitimately fight for good trail for everyone, not just blues and greens for beginners. Of course we all want trails for beginners and intermediates. I don’t think anyone is saying there should be no green or blue trails. But:


UNTIL LEGITIMATE TRAIL ADVOCACY ASSOCIATIONS BEGIN PUSHING FOR ADVANCED TRAILS THAT PEOPLE COULD ACTUALLY MAYBE SORT OF KIND OF GET HURT ON ONCE IN A WHILE, WE DO NOT HAVE A MATURE SPORT.

Let me break this down for you:

Relatively speaking, it’s really easy to get a land manager to approve benchcut, low-grade, traversing trails that have no rocks, roots, jumps, or anything interesting or dangerous about them and are guaranteed to drain all the time in any weather with absolutely zero maintenance ever. In fact, there is nothing easier to get approved in the world of mountain biking advocacy. That is what we would call “the minimum” that a mountain bike advocacy group would consider a success, because anything less than FBS would not be a trail, it would be a road.

This is really cool looking. And it’s in the mountains. And yet,
this is not what we would call “mountain biking.”

Unless you push hard and negotiate for what I’m going to call Tough Scary Shit (TSS for short, advocacy groups love buzzwords and acronyms), then we’ll never know what land managers would be willing to do. If all you ever ask for is Flat Boring Shit (FBS), and you roll over and accept any offer to build FBS without any pushback, requests, or exploration into the possibility of building TSS, then:

Tough Scary Shit will never get built at public riding areas.

Ever. And trail advocacy groups are kind of okay with this status quo.

I’m going to borrow some points from Wikihow’s article “How to Negotiate.” But just to be clear, this whole “negotiating” thing is not a new idea. To prove that this is not a new idea, I’m going to include a picture of some old dead guys from a really long time ago shaking hands over the Treaty of Ghent:

Because it’s a treaty negotiation, I’m going to assume “negotiating” was involved.
You can tell there are two parties involved because their clothes look different.

1. Decide on your break-even point.

“In financial terms, this is the lowest amount or cheapest price you will accept in the deal. In non-financial terms, this is the “worst-case scenario” you are willing to accept before walking away from the negotiating table. Not knowing your break-even point can leave you accepting a deal that is not in your best interest.”




2. Know what you’re worth.

“Is what you’re offering hard to come by, or is it a dime a dozen? If what you have is rare or noteworthy, you have the better bargaining position. A hostage negotiator, for example, isn’t offering anything special, and needs the hostages more than the abductor needs the hostages. In order to compensate for these deficiencies, the negotiator must be good at making small concessions seem big, and turn emotional promises into valuable weapons. A rare gem vendor, on the other hand, has something that is rarely found in the world. This puts her in excellent position to extract extra value from the people she’s negotiating with.”

3. Don’t feel rushed. 

“Don’t underestimate your ability to negotiate for what you want by simply outlasting someone else. What often happens in negotiations is that people get tired and accept a position that they wouldn’t ordinarily accept because they’re tired of negotiating. If you can outlast someone by staying at the table longer, chances are you’ll get more of what you want.”

4. Be ready to walk away.

“You know what your break-even point is, and you know if that’s not what you’re getting. Be willing to walk out the door if that’s the case. You might find that the other party will call you back, but you should feel happy with your efforts if they don’t.”




5. Depending on the situation, open extreme.

“Starting high is important because you’ll most likely be negotiated to a lower level. Don’t be scared to make an outrageous request. You never know — you might get it! And what’s the worst that could happen? Remember that this is business, and if they don’t like your offer, they can always counter-offer. If you don’t take advantage of them, remember that they’ll take advantage of you. 

6. Never give away without getting something in return.

“If you give something away “for free,” you’re implicitly telling the other person that you think your bargaining position is weak. Smart bargainers will smell blood and swarm you like sharks in water.”

7. Ask for something’s that’s valuable to you but doesn’t cost them much.

“Having both parties feel like they’re on the winning side of the negotiation is a good thing. And contrary to popular perception, negotiation doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. If you’re smart, you can get creative with what you ask for.”

If your local Sadvocacy group has helped build or develop ten mountain bike riding areas, and zero of those ten riding areas has advanced trails, that is nothing less than a total defeat at the bargaining table and it doesn’t leave much room for positive interpretations. There is a short list of explanations:

1. The Sadvocacy group is run by complete amateurs and could not bargain milk out of a cow.

2. The Sadvocacy group doesn’t care about your desire for advanced trails and will never bargain for your interests.

3. The Sadvocacy group believes that they have no bargaining position whatsoever, and thus must accept whatever scraps they receive at the table.

Snowboarders have terrain parks that send people to the hospital every single day.

Motocross racers have the most unsustainable tracks ever. And it’s awesome. Tracks keep getting built.
If you don’t ask high, you’ll always receive low.

28 thoughts on “IMBA was here

  1. A lot of simplistic either/or thinking here.

    First off, I have built a lot of trails, most of them being monster truck everything rawdog type trail. I have made every effort to make my trails “sustainable”, which in my mind, is a trail that does not turn into a creek bed over time. Sustainable =/= easy. The sooner DH dooders start to figure out you can build rowdy shit, without making “throwaway” straight down fall line, with no corners, whoops, rollers, aka grade reversals.
    Steep =/= unsustainable.
    gnar =/= unsustainable.

    2. IMBA trail solutions is based 99% off the existing USFS trail standards. Simplified and made more accessible for MTB audience. IMBA did not invent this. US Forest Service did. USFS standard is what Nat'l parks, State parks all build to. And most DNR, county, other public parks.

    3. Motos are terrible example, because they have even worse access to public lands than bikes do. MotoX race tracks are all on private property. You pay to ride there. Is that what you want to see? If you want to ride DH, pay to go to Whistler?

    4. liability. Bikes get kinda screwed, because they are also used on roads, for commuting and what not. Snowboards, skateboards are considered “toys” and inherently dangerous. Bikes has “normal” uses, too.
    On the liability thing, land managers are not actually scared about raw dog rock lines, natural features.

    5. Mountain biking IS an immature sport! The reason hikers and equestrians do better with advocacy, is because they have a ton of retired people, with tons of time on their hands to write letters and attend meetings. Bike riders are busy with school, chasing tail, raising families, etc. VERY FEW bike riders make time to try and make a difference.

    IMBA is not perfect. Far from. MTB advocacy community is very fractured. For example, in WA, we have a few really successful advocacy groups, ODS in P.A., Evergreen in Seattle area, WMBC in B'ham. None of these groups pay dues to IMBA. In some ways, seperate groups focused on their own areas are good. Buuuuuut, then were have no large collective bargaining power at state or federal level. Which kinda sucks when you are trying to get shit done with DNR or State Parks….

    GROWING PAINS

  2. on the bargaining shiz
    “4. Be ready to walk away.”

    We are interested in building trails and expanding access in our local areas. It's not like you have a whole lot of options for public land managers in a given area. You have to deal with the land manager you have to deal with. There are not other options. Oh, USFS, you won't play ball?? F' off then, we'll build trail in mexico.

    Basically, this whole rant makes obvious you have never put any time into trying to work with land managers….

  3. ohhhhh, thad.

    you raise an interesting fact about IMBA's trail solutions, but what can we do to move past that original standard?

    If you think pay-to-ride is silly, tell that to the Coastal Crew.

  4. Thad, I gave three explanations for why trail organizations keep building Flat Boring Trail. Based on your thoughts, I think you are advocating explanation #3:

    “The Sadvocacy group believes that they have no bargaining position whatsoever, and thus they must accept whatever scraps they receive at the table.”

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

  5. Just as easy to ruin the sport with gay trails as it is with “glam” trails. Careful what ya wish for.

  6. One of the biggest hurdles right now is getting all involved (managers and advocacy groups) to understand that 'advanced' or 'what bikers want' doesn't always mean 'a berm and a double.'

  7. Some reasonable points and some that are way off.

    Snowboarders: terrain parks are being built at resorts operated by private businesses, not public land managers. They have a vastly different motivation for serving their customers and liability seems to be treated very differently for snowspors.
    MX: Yeah, it is awesome. It's also near universally done on private land, and tracks are shutting down much faster than they're being built. Also, note that despite the mx portion of the sport, the guys riding trails on dirt bikes ride trails, usually multiuse trails. They don't insist on having a supercross track built in the woods, thats done on private land.

    IMBA does suck in a lot of ways.

  8. National_Design_Parameters_10_16_2008.pdf

    USFS standards do not prohibit gnarly trail. Class 1 and 2 are rough and steep.
    National_Trail_Class_Photo_Examples_10_16_2008.pdf

    IMBA solutions promotes class 3 & 4. 10% average grade. Most of the Trail Solutions book is aimed at dual direction trail. There are about 3 pages on downhill trail, that basically says work with local downhill rider that knows how to build good trail given the local soil conditions.

    Land managers want to see trails that are going to serve a wide range of users. Hikers, trail runners, bikes, horses. They want to see trails that do not require much maintenance. This is the biggest hurdle towards getting DH trails built. They serve a tiny audience.

  9. One of the biggest hurdles right now is getting all involved (managers and advocacy groups) to understand that 'advanced' or 'what bikers want' doesn't always mean 'a berm and a double.'

    Agreed. It helps if downhillers show up at the table, both with land managers AND with mtb advocacy groups, whether IMBA or their local group.

    I am involved with trail advocacy PURELY to get permanent expert DH trails on public land. I was building expert DH tracks on DNR land out at the North Fork, and DNR enforcement officer said they were going to shut down the trails about 5 years ago. Several of the builders out there and I met with local DNR manager as Whatcom Trails Co-op. DNR turned a blind eye to the trails for several years afterwards. The trails were closed year and a half ago because:
    1. We kept building new trail and wooden structures. DNR had said no new building, maintain what ya got. As long as traffic doesn't get crazy and we don't get complaints, you're ok.
    2. Trails became extremely popular.

    It is frustrating to me, that we have not been able to make more progress with DNR. Especially given that DNR has other legit DH trails in the state. Dry Hill in Port Angeles. Scott Tucker and Casey Northern had good fortune that the local land manager there, Wayne Fitzgerald, is a mountain biker, and wanted to see their trails be legit, and worked with them. They were also lucky in timing. Wayne pushed the project through before 2009, when DNR overhauled their recreation planning process. Before, local land managers had a lot more autonomy and control. Now, any new trail projects need to go through Olympia review, SEPA process. GUBERMINT
    http://www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/RecreationPlanning/Pages/amp_rec_sustainable_recreation.aspx

    The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)

  10. I don't think WMBC is building flat, boring trail. Or accepting scraps, for that matter. Neither is NSMBA, who you hate on for their “dumbing down the shore” project.

    A sizable percentage of the official trails on the shore were built 15-20 years ago by doods on hartails with canti brakes, nardguards, toptube pads and hockey pads. You have seen NSX1, yeah? Most of the managed trails are grandfathered in trails from those days. New work happens more on darkside and cyps.

    NMSBA has been adopting and refurbishing old NSX1 era trails that are haggard and janky. It is MUCH easier to get approval to rework and reroute an existing trail that does not get much use and has drainage and erosion problems that the land manager would like to fix anyways, than it is approval for new trail. Both Dale's and Espresso recently got reworked, and they are WAY better. The only people that hate on that work, are old skool shore grouches that prefer to ride NSX1 style trail.

    I rode with Chaz on a new trail extension the WMBC built on Chuckanut a couple of weeks ago, and he seemed pretty pumped on it. The new section of upper ridge that starts from top of double black. On the edge of cliff, exposed rock, fresh duff. You can build fun trail to USFS standards.

    There are three factors that figure in to how new trail work will turn out:
    -Agency rules
    -Local land manager
    -Who shows up to execute the plan.

    This build season, we will be working on Double Black rerouting a few sections. It will be way better. You know that uphill in the middle? That's coming out, getting rerouted.

    Longterm, there is going to be a new trail, lower double black, extending the trail an extra 800 vert ft down to chuckanut drive. This plan is going through Oly SEPA process now.

  11. you raise an interesting fact about IMBA's trail solutions, but what can we do to move past that original standard?

    The best place to build sustainable expert DH trail is on ridgeline. You will never have a creek on a ridgeline. Creeks run down slopes.

    USFS is the standard that matters. They require rolling contour down slopes.
    Rolling contour

    One of IMBA's biggest successes advocacy wise, was modifying the USFS trail manual to include the
    Half rule
    The half rule says that the trail grade should be no more than half the sideslope grade.

    If you are building trail on a 20% slope (mellow hill), the trail should be no steeper than 10%.
    Dirt Merchant

    But if you are building on steep slope, 40-50%, the half rule says you can build trail at 20-25% grade.

    Sheet Flow and grade reversals

    I think the best way to route sustainable expert DH trail on slopes is:
    Find gnar rockfaces or micro topography ridgeline to route steeps on. You can route sustainable fall line on exposed rock and ridges.

    Connect these rock faces and ridges with sidehill using half rule. On steep slopes of 40-60% this is 20-30%, which is pretty steep.

    Lots of whoops, rollers, g-outs on the sidehilling parts (aka grade reversals).

    WC tracks that are sustainable in my opinion are Mont Ste Anne, Fort Bill, and Champery(mostly).

  12. You said:

    “The Sadvocacy group believes that they have no bargaining position whatsoever, and thus they must accept whatever scraps they receive at the table.”

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

    You are wrong. Your ideas do have merit, and obviously your writing style leads to making blunt statements that offend people who can't see through satire – but your comments are off base in the context of this conversation.

    Land manager relations are right now in a better place than they have EVER been, not only on the North Shore, but throughout the Sea to Sky corridor. New ground is being broken in the political arena and on the hills. Advanced level trails are getting approval. Unsanctioned trails becoming sanctioned. People are getting PAID to do trail work.

    There's way more going on than “project Dumbing Down the Shore” (one of the only satirical remarks in my original piece, which you re-presented as an actual thing). Right now the advanced level trail discussions are happening at the administrative level.

    But this is all a side discussion to my real points, which were:

    1. There is, even after a few years of building, still a glaring lack of accessible trails, and…

    2. Public trail days are not an effective place to fight for new advanced level trail work.

    Thanks for joining the discussion.

  13. I remember back in circa 2007 – when the only comments left on this blog revolved around whizzinators behind trees, – and putting helium in your tires to reduce weight

  14. Excellent comments, Thad. Especially your first point that steep, knarly trails can be built sustainably without sacrificing anything. Great advice on routing DH trails to avoid drainage issues, more builders need to pay attention to what they are doing and it's not that hard.

    And Thank You Morgan Taylor.

    Charlie, I'm impressed if you drew those pictures in the negotiation process.

  15. Thank you for joining the discussion Morgan. Some of your ideas presented on nsmb also have merit and we're glad you're not above taking criticism even if it isn't candy coated. Even though you are in a position of social power over there at nsmb I don't think you're exactly right either.

    I hope you're not somebody who assumes because they're leading the sustainable charge no excuses are needed for stepping on “grumpy” and “glam” guys trails. I have seen a few unapologetic reactions like that this week. That sort of intolerance strikes me as a bit fascist.

    Hopefully “sustainable” trail advocacy movement will have time to mature more before it is allowed to spread to the ends of the earth. Frankly I don't think its quite ready for the big time when I see it is taking community backlash like this.

  16. I hope the “movement” continues to “mature” in the present Morgan Taylor method — mouthing platitudes while continuing to dumb things down because we need to “grow the sport.”

    Nobody ever questions the “grow the sport” mantra. As if it's some kind of irrefutable goal, the “growth” is assumed to bring greatness for everyone.

    Every person I know who trumpets “grow the sport” has a financial stake in seeing more people buying MTBs & their parts, in servicing MTBs, or in writing paid “journalism” about MTBs so they can travel to Microstan as a job junket for riding.

    They like to pretend they're supporting the “sport” while they're actually arguing for increasing personal $$ revenue.

    The “sport” will be just fine without “growth,” but of course you can't tell that to an Anonymous or a Morgan Taylor. After all, they're our “progressives” who are trying to “progress” the sport while they “grow” it.

    Come on Morgan and Anonymous. Snark at me with that polite Canadian passive-aggression. I love that shit.

  17. Who is this “thad” goober? He seems like the annoying kid in 6th grade math class who always shoots his hand into the air to tell the teacher he knows the answer.

    In case you didn't realize, “thad,” all kinds of trails get built in USFS land, not all of which are rolling grade of the type you insist must be used, allegedly, because you provided a link. If you think USFS always adheres to its own rules/regs, you don't know nearly as much about USFS policy and procedure as you pretend. USFS is famous for ignoring its own internal rules/regs whenever someone greases the right palms or schmoozes the right bureaucrat. Also, there have been thousands of lawsuits concerning USFS failure to adhere to its own “requirements” as stated in rules and regs.

    There's nothing more annoying than a Know-it-All who is basically a city slicker who has big steer horns on his SUV. All hat, no cattle.

    Maybe you should shut up, “thad.” It's obvious you're here to fellate IMBA, rather than acknowledege where and how IMBA has screwed things up with its Lowest Common Denominator approach to trail guidelines. In fact, you sound a lot like a responsibility-avoiding bureaucrat.

  18. This debate in nonsensical. We have a representative from a trail advocacy group in Canada presenting a case example and it being dissected by someone who's experience is clearly with US land agencies and managers. As a trail and land manager in British Columbia, when I attend IMBA conferences in the US, I can only shake my head at our differences. Check out the British Columbia provincial government's policy on trails and allowance for technical trail features on Provincial Crown land. Have a look at the allowable standards for stunts and features in the lower Seymour conservation area. Both standards developed and approved by governments. Consider some of the approved and sanctioned trails being built in places like Burns Lake, Williams Lake and Squamish. We have set standard for the amount of mandatory air allowed. Clubs propose what they want to build and if it is reasonable it is usually approved and the club is provided with third party liability insurance policy, paid for by the government.

  19. Any accusations that I am in this for personal financial gain are out to lunch. Sure, I'd love for the bike industry to continue to pay my bills, but the point of my article had absolutely zero to do with that.

    My first point was experiential in nature. Long before I was making my living producing mountain bike content I was doing my best to help get my friends and family out on bikes in any capacity. I love technical riding and there is A LOT of that here – but there needs to be a place where we can take visitors and new riders. What are the positives of scaring off new riders? Honestly. Fault me for wanting to get people stoked on bikes? Alright, but that seems like a red herring.

    My second point related to Sutton's complaint that advanced-level riders aren't building the trails THEY want to ride at public trail days. No shit! I explained in concise detail how those riders can get to that point – and it surely doesn't start at a public trail day. You either build rogue or you get involved with the advocacy association's land manager relations efforts and push your agenda. But only the official route is going to create a lasting effect – this is no longer the Wild West.

    Leading the sustainable charge? Not exactly. I work for an online mountain bike magazine; I am familiarized with my local trail politics as any rider should be; and I am involved at the on-the-ground level with the NSMBA's work. It is the combination of these things that gives me the voice and the outlet, but I encourage anybody who wants to join the discussion to get in touch with me. This conversation continues to be worth having and I will happily publish well-written and reasonable additions to the discussion.

  20. “Getting everyone on bikes” for what reason, Morgan? Are you lonely when you ride? Is a ride only worth doing if 25 others are with you? Is a trail only worth riding if it can handle 100 riders per hour?

    You sound like you want me to be proud of or impressed by your stated desire to get everyone on a bike. Why is that? Does everyone have to ride? Do you imagine that you're the sole vector of Humanity Advancement if you get someone else onto a bicycle? Why can't you let them find out for themselves whether they want to ride a bike, and whether they want to choose another activity? Why is that your burden in life?

    When you get all these new riders onto bikes, they go to what trails exist. And crowd them. And complain about their supposed navigability. Up in BC you folks have responded to this with keen dirt sidewalks and perfect horizon modification of irregular trailbeds. 15 years ago that wasn't needed, though. Why? Because the attitude wasn't focused on “growing the sport” and dumbing down trails as a vector for such growth.

    NSMB.com is as guilty as any publication or source when it comes to this paternalistic, morally superior attitude of “we're improving the world by getting more people on bikes.” You don't even realize what you've done to places where building new trails isn't permitted.

    So, thanks for that. Nice work. Enjoy your “insider” status while you've got it.

  21. There's definitely some regional variations to these construction/access arguments. Where I live, 90% of the trails are rogue and they're the best trails I've ever ridden, partly because they're rogue and go interesting places without requiring a drive. Half the local trail club is fat dudes who can barely ride and just like doing trail work as a hobby in and of itself. Most of us riders support the club in theory.

    One problem is that they do too much trail work or work too much on short stretches of trail. Ridiculous numbers of hours go into making a quarter mile of trail and after several volunteer days and many smaller efforts, two miles of trails are ready to go. The rogue trails would be ten miles longer with that much work. Even worse, existing trails are over-maintained. Fuck leaf blowers. While autumn leaves can slow you down, seasonal variation and some novel slipperiness keeps the true cyclists coming back. When it's been raining non-stop for 3 days and you just have to ride, put on the rain gear and go ride because our leafy organic trails can handle it.

    I guess I side with growth is cancer's comments above about not caring too much about the growth of the sport. My town's rogue trail solution is great for the 150 or so people who ride them each year and its a local solution that's been going strong for 15 years. No amount of advocacy would legally get us what we have. When landowners complain, we re-route. When development comes knocking, we re-route. Suburban sprawl and inefficient land uses have their up-sides.

  22. I would take the trade off of having more people on the trails if it resulted in getting more people on bikes. The trails aren't that crowded where i ride and most beginners and intermedates wouldn't ride where i ride anyways. Mountain bike growth may be cancer in some peoples spoiled, self-centered temporary world of entitlement but I like the idea of making the greatest sport in the world more accessible to everyone.

    Such a strange world, one where the concerns of the next generation are completely out of touch with what it will take for them to actually enjoy their existence in the future. While i myself am enjoying the fruits of the corruption of the North American capitalist ponzi scheme, I look forward to the coming humility of the masses preoccupied with their delusional world of entertainment and leisure.

  23. “Making the greatest sport in the world MTBing more accessible to everyone”? See that's where you lost the plot. MTBing isn't a sport for everyone. It's a sport for those who can face the challenge of nature and wear it's hits. My 80 yo grandmother does not fit into that category. What you are implying is that we should dumb trails down enough so that she can ride them and call herself a MTBer? Next you'll want to create skydiving for people who have a fear of heights and celebrate the growth of that sport when 90% of the population is stepping off a 5 inch step and that's all that's available in skydiving. Shame on you, a traitor to our sport.

  24. Steve i should have been more specific. I want to make the sport more accessible to as many children as possible, You got a problem with that? Take your issue with it, wipe it on your middle finger, and stick it up your own ass.

    This sport is going to grow and you can not and will not stop it. Haters? Damn they'mad.

  25. So, I've built a trail or three over the years….everything from 2,800 vert. DH trails to xc access/climbing trails from a trailhead.

    The sport needs all of it and the folks that truly want/desire advanced technical trails REALLY need to be involved and at the table with land managers to propose and steer these kinds of projects. Keep in mind, this shit is a marathon, not a sprint and these proposals can take anywhere from 3-5 years (or longer) to get approved. So, that means A. getting involved and B. staying involved and, from what I've seen, a lot of folks don't have the long-term vision or patience or would just rather go out and build. That's totally fine, but when your trail is found (and it will be found), someone will need to advocate to keep it around, so you better have a good relationship with your advocacy group. You also better make sure your trail is routed well enough that its worth fighting for. If your trail is a fall-line piece of shit that is an erosive nightmare, then that's likely not a battle your local group is willing to stick its neck out for….something to keep in mind.

    Growth is for Cancer: Totally disagree with you on many levels. First off, the more folks that ride mt. bikes (old, young, newb, expert, xc, dh, whatever), the better clout we have with land managers, politicians, conservation groups and other potential allies. I've seen first hand what it can do and how it helps influence decisions.

    Second, nothing gets me more stoked than seeing kids riding (or often pushing) their bikes up our local hill in packs. We're talking middle schoolers and sometimes younger who are totally stoked on our sport. We've got several mt. bike clubs in our local schools and those groms are our future advocates and trail builders. Think about how ski schools/ski buses get kids involved in snow sports at an early age! So, sometimes we absolutely do build for folks like that and there needs to be trails that are appropriate for their skill level. Think about it: is a beginner going to build a trail? That makes ZERO sense.

    Having ridden the Shore for 15 years or so, I rode Fromme a few times this year and couldn't be more stoked on what's happening up there. Still PLENTY of tech, but some flow added and some long-overdue re-routes to stuff like Ladies, Expresso, Dreamweaver, etc. The fact that guys like Jerry W., Digger and Woodsy are involved means the work is top-notch and will last for years to come.

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