Opinion: Who Owns a Trail?

Mar 28, 2013 at 6:00
Mar 28, 2013
by Charlie Sponsel  
 
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Trails are a contentious subject. Some trails are public, legal, and regularly maintained by an official agency. Some trails are uber private, illegal, secret-unicorn-societies where you have to know the password and secret handshake to get in. Most trails, however, land somewhere in the middle, and that often creates an uncertainty and a tension between trail builders and riders. A lot times it seems like trail builders think they own the trails they build and they think their word is law. Not surprisingly, this rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Most riders want to see trails open to everyone, and so a lot of people won't listen to an obstinent trail builder who's trying to control who rides the trail when and how. Between trail builders and riders, who's right? And who "owns" the trail?


My two cents is this: if you're riding on anything less than a fully legitimate public trail, you don't have to do anything that a trail builder or local trail boss tells you to do. Within the bounds of the law, you can do whatever you want on "their" trail. You don't have to listen to them. You don't even have to respect them.

But wouldn't it be cool if you did anyway? Wouldn't it be better if you listened to and respected the wishes of trail builders, even when their demands seem completely ridiculous, even when it means missing out on that ride or that jump or that sweet photo? If that sounds completely crazy, read on and I'll explain why I think you should give a little more patience, deference, and respect to your local trail builders, even if they're grumpy and confusing and weird and mean.

sweet photos by Tim Zimmerman

One of my favorite trails of all time, one of the trails in Scappoose, Oregon, is illegal. The trail is short, but it’s mega-technical, unrelenting, and fun as hell. It was originally built without permission on private land, it was open for three or four years, and after a multi-year negotiation with the landowners that ultimately proved fruitless, it’s now illegal. Sheriffs patrol the road that parallels the trail, and they give out hefty tickets to riders caught trespassing. It’s a bummer, but it’s a pretty standard storyline for the trails where I live.

It's almost impossible to get approval for any sort of mountain bike trail anywhere near Portland, and asking to legally build a downhill specific trail might as well be a joke - just ask the guys that have spent three years in court trying to get approval to build the Timberline bike park. Out of the twenty downhill trails near Portland, only two were built legally and with permission from the land owner. Every other trail, whether on private land or public, was built without permission. There have been success stories, of course. Blackrock Freeride area has become a big success, as has the Cold Creek recreational area in nearby SW Washington. The trail in Riverview Natural Area has the potential to be the first legal downhill trail in the city of Portland. Still, each of those trails was originally built without permission. Out of a quick tally of 20 downhill trails in the Portland area, only four are currently legal. Eight other trails have been plowed, and eight remain in a tenuous semi-secret/semi-public status.

2012 NWCUP 4 - photo by Greg Tubbs Grubworks Media. More NWCUP photos at http grubworks.smugmug.com

Mount Hood Skibowl has been running races down this course for close to 15 years, but even this trail has a shaky past and an uncertain future. Photo by Grub Tubbs.



New downhill trails are not welcome here in this part of the Northwest, and that fact fundamentally affects our local trail culture. A lot of trails are built in secret and ridden by small, exclusive groups on an invite-only basis. Shit hits the fan when unknown riders show up, especially when it’s a whole truck full of people. Oregon isn't unique in this secret trail culture, either. I've seen it in Bellingham, Whistler, San Luis Obispo, SoCal, and Colorado, to name a few. It happens in BMX trail culture, in surfing, and in snowboarding. It’s a pretty common phenomenon.

And a lot of people just don't get it. Especially to new riders, the whole thing seems unnecessary, unwelcoming, and elitist. And I'll admit, the "secret trail culture" thing can get a little out of hand, and there's probably room on both sides of the aisle for a little more "understanding" and olive branches and crap like that. And there's probably a good discussion to be had in all this: do we really need to be so secretive about our trails? Is this what we want mountain biking to be? What would Jesus or Slayer or the Fonz do? But that's not the discussion that happens. Here is every "discussion" I've ever had or ever witnessed between trail builders and random riders:

You politely (or not) ask someone to park far away from the trailhead, or talk quietly near the houses, or don't invite random people, or don't shoot photos or post a helmet cam video of the trail on Facebook, or whatever. They absolutely lose it and start arguing about "freedom of speech" this and "public land" that and probably they're even going to cite the Magna Carta or the Geneva Convention in their impassioned defense of why they can do whatever they want on a trail someone else built. Maybe they'll cite their years of experience as a lawyer or hostage negotiator or amateur frame builder, or how they used to race pro back in the day. But after everything else is said and done, every one of these discussions always ends on this doozie:

"It’s not your land, so it’s not your trail. You can’t tell me what to do."


Dumb and Dumber
"You're not the boss of me, bro."



To which I typically respond:

Why so serious



Here are the top five things you completely overlooked when you said "It's not your land, you can't tell me what to do:"

1. You're right, but what you're arguing isn't important at all. You're 100% correct when you say that "it's not your land, so it's not your trail." The trail builder and other trail users probably cannot claim ownership of the trail, and they probably have no legal authority.

But that information, while true, is also useless and non-prescriptive. Saying "it's not your land, so it's not your trail" is the moral equivalent of playing "I'm not touching you" with your older brother on family road trips. What this person is literally suggesting is that because a trail builder doesn't legally own the trail, somehow that gives everyone the moral justification to do whatever they want on the trail, with impunity. And again, legally that may be true, but the thing you missed in your massive oversimplification is that:



2. You probably still want someone to be the trail boss. Or you should. Having a grumpy trail boss sucks, but the only thing worse is having no trail boss at all. Without a trail boss, one of two things will happen: either there will be no maintenance and future building, or all maintenance and building will be patchwork, random, and inconsistent.

We’ve all ridden trails that were built by committee, and they’re horrible. Having lots of people that are willing to help with a trail is great, but not if they can’t agree to a common vision or won’t let one guy run the show. Some sections will end up being sweet, but most sections will be horrible. In the end some sections drain badly, others are awkward and slow, rocks get removed in one section, but in another section they’re piled up to make “a new rock garden,” and the whole trail ends up feeling like trail building decisions were made by throwing darts at a wall of bad options. And there will almost certainly be ladder bridges.

Even worse are trails where the trail builder abandons the trail, and nobody maintains it. Puddles get wider, ruts get deeper, berms get more blown out, and jumps collapse. Yeah, it sucks, but it doesn’t suck enough for any one person to step up and fix it alone. So no one fixes it, and it keeps sucking. Somehow random ladder bridges seem to show up in this scenario, as well. Come to think of it, I'm starting to think ladder bridges just grow on trails naturally, like weeds.

and the mega ruts

Maintenance is important. Before this trail at Scappoose was fully closed down, there was a weird interim period where we were allowed to ride but not allowed to maintain it. Death mud and mega-ruts developed almost overnight.


In short, you need a trail boss.



3. You’re probably not a good candidate for the position of “trail boss.” I’m not sure, but the fact that we’re arguing about this leads me to believe that either A) you’re relatively new to this game, and you’ve never built a trail, or B) you’ve been riding for, like, 40 years, but for whatever reason life has made you super bitter and you live to argue with people like trail builders. About everything. You tell everyone about how long you’ve been riding and how you’ve “earned your miles” and how you used to travel with Palmer back in '99, but in all those years you never actually built a trail. Sure, you leaned on a shovel for three hours at a trail day four years ago, but that’s not exactly what we’re looking for.

Either way, if we were interviewing for the position of “trail boss,” you probably wouldn’t make the cut. The person that's currently in the lead for that position is the guy who actually built the trail. Here’s a quick look at the score board, as far as I can tell. Let me know if I left anything out:

uploaded


Here's another graphic that I think is telling:

Image


In the end, someone is going to be the trail boss, and you’re probably not going to be that guy.



4. This means someone else will be making the rules. And **spoiler alert** you’re probably not going to agree with everything that guy says or does. Even if you have the best, nicest trail builder in the world, some of the decisions he makes will probably drive you crazy. There will be lines you don’t like or sections that are too hard or rules that seem arbitrary, and what's even crazier is that you might even be right from time to time. If you have an open, receptive trail builder, he might listen to and incorporate your input. If he doesn’t, though, that’s just part of the deal. If you're having trouble swallowing this hard pill, please remember item #2: "You probably still want someone to be the trail boss."


trail article
There are so many other places to build. No trail is the end all, be all of mountain biking.



5. If you still can’t handle your grumpy local trail builder, good news! You can build your own trail and enforce your own rules. Really, if the rules at this trail spot don’t agree with you, you can build your own illegal trail spot at any time, and then you can institute your own rules. Or if you think rules are bad, you can build your own illegal trail spot and have no rules, and anyone can ride or build anything all the time. Or if you think illegal trail spots are bad, you can not build your own spot, and not come back to this one. There are a host of reasonable options open to you, and there's nothing forcing you to deal with any one trail spot or builder.



Of course, these are just my opinions, and they do not reflect the official stance of Pinkbike. Trail building is a serious issue for mountain biking, but I think it's widely misunderstood by the public and by mountain bikers. It seems like a lot of people think trails magically appear when the trail fairy comes to town, and as long as that attitude persists, it makes it almost impossible to have a meaningful dialogue about this stuff. The truth is that real people spent weeks, months, or years building every trail you ride, and I think those people deserve your respect and deference when you ride. Figuring out "whose" trail it is. well, that's sort of the least important part of the whole equation.

-Charlie Sponsel

All photos that aren't from Dumb and Dumber or Skibowl were taken by the talented and ruggedly handsome Tim Zimmerman.

Who owns a trail?

What do you think? Do trail builders have the final say? Are they out of line if they tell you what you can and can't do?

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496 Comments

  • + 472
 No dig no ride.
  • + 2
 yep bro' : can't say more !
  • + 74
 everyone that rides that trail in some way should help out
  • + 3
 chyu said it
  • + 31
 I don't agree with no dig no ride but i think that if it's an illegal trail you should be considerate to who ever is involved in it's building and maintenance. This could include asking their permission to ride it. Not once in New Zealand have i come across a trail builder who makes up stupid rules, or any infact except for common sense. But people are always saying kiwis have a different attitude, i don't know what it's like overseas.
  • + 104
 I have spent many months and years building trails, I love people to ride them I don't however appreciate riders coming along and altering the trail without asking permission, often I have turned up and the trail alterations have been poorly executed because certain newbies cannot ride the feature you have spent a lot of time perfecting and really have no idea how to build the trail sustainably. There changes are often crap and turn out to be more lethal than the feature they cannot currently ride. I try where possible to put an alternative line for even the newbie to ride, not always possible though, Where I build it is MOD owned but they treat this as common land so I appreciate I have little say in what I do, a little trail etiquette would go a long way, thats all I ask for. It would be great if everyone could understand the unwritten rule if you build and want to add to the trail then ask permission of the person building, sometimes they bring an idea along that I think Oh wow if I only I had thought of that. Take the time to get to know who is doing what and you never know you may end up with a better trail network than you ever imagined, but please show respect to the guys and gals who sacrifice many many hours of back breaking work for you to enjoy.
  • + 23
 People fail to understand that trail builders still enjoy riding with people they just want to preserve the trail they spent months building. If you turn up to 95% of trails wether legal, official or otherwise with a shovel as well as your bike and a decent attitude you will be welcomed with open arms. What trail builders hate is when people turn up thinking it's their devine right to ride the trail and then ride all day and leave without fixing any case marks, ruts etc that they have caused.
  • + 54
 I find these days newer riders have less and less respect for other peoples trails , I have been building for about 10 years now mostly on my own and i'm sick to death of people ' editing ' my tracks .

I spend weeks building tracks only for some little pricks to decide they don't like a certain section or jump so they smash it up and make it so they can ride it easily.

Fcuk off and make your own tracks ! and to be fair these types want such easy tracks and turn up in quite large groups that they could easily build what takes me weeks in a few days.

I know full well I don't own the trails but I sure as hell did dig them by my self for other peoples pleasure , I'm totally happy with people riding my stuff , that is exactly why I built it , but when they start taking lips off jumps , digging out root sections and cutting out off cambers that is when I get really pissy...

PS: Is pink bike actually encouraging illegal trail building ?
  • + 3
 This hit the nail right on the head. There's a grey area between reasonable and illegal: unwanted behaviour that's tolerated by law, like in this case ruining other people's trails.

The big question is what to do. You could probably build a small house with all the books written about this which hasn't stopped people being dicks to each other..
  • + 14
 For me, it comes down to mutual respect. if the boss is a dickhead, and dosn't respect anyone but his friends, I'm not gonna show him much respect. But, our local trail boss is respectful and kind towards everyone, (even people who come once on shitty bikes) so when he asks us to not ride something, I respect it. Thanks Paul
  • + 4
 If I don't want people riding some thing i'll put the word out and also bury the section in logs and stuff so that it's obvious its not ready yet . Doesnt allways work but mostly does , but my trails are not official so people can legally do as they please but morally they should respect the builders wishes.
  • + 18
 I don't believe in no dig no ride because sometimes people show up late to the game, and I think those people still have a right to ride. However, people need to respect the trail and the trail boss, and when it comes time to help rebuild or fix up the trail, everybody needs to come out and help out.
  • + 7
 I couldn't agree more about the no dig no ride. TheArbez makes a good point about showing up after the trail has been made, but trail maintenance is something that can ALWAYS happen. There is no such thing as a perfect trail. Put in some work to earn/deserve your time riding the trail.
  • + 3
 check this out.:
if the landowner wasnt problematic
and the cops werent fining everyone.. (they have a choice !)
and your local council was bike friendly (and not fat bastards)
this discussion wouldn't be this heated up..
trailbuilders would stop taking xanax to keep the nerves down of being caught or trails destroyed

there will always be dicks around.. but hey blame it on diversity

seconds :
the trail ruiners..(dicks) skidding with no need, riding off trail/track and so on..
even in bike parks.. now those piss me off Blank Stare
your NOT drifting if you're blocking your rear wheel...

but TBH here in holland isnt much trail to be build.. no mountains and barely hills..

BUT if i read all this above.. i am happy to be a 80% street rider from time to time..
  • + 31
 I have spent 2 years creating about 2km of trail, pretty much on my own. friends come out and help, but overall I have put in more than half the work myself. Sometime organizing everyone to do something simple can be difficult. Sometimes my friends build stupid shit I have to tear down for safety, oh well. At least they are trying.
I love to see anyone and everyone riding and participating in the construction of Crikey Creek "my trail". Anyone who builds a trail, for them and their close friends to ride needs to take a serious look in the mirror. Building a trail does not give you any power or authority. relax your shit and learn to share your creation with others. It's the law we should be fighting, not our fellow riders!
  • + 51
 if you dont have time to dig. ( i work 50+ a week so its hard) always carry a little folding saw when you ride, to get over hanging branches and such. also pick up sticks and fallen logs when you can. every little bit helps
  • + 13
 If it's not part of an official, legal trail network then you better be digging if you want to ride the trails. I don't think that you necessarily need to dig on every trail you ride, but you should be digging somewhere on a regular basis. Us trail builders always have several projects going on at once and it's not always possible to help on every trail, but as long as you are contributing to the overall scene then everything is cool.

As for the rules, as ridiculous as some of them may seem (particularly to newer riders) most of them are in place due to lessons learned from past experiences. Things like parking away from the trail head, carrying your bike at the entrance and exit, no loitering at the exit, etc. In the past builders weren't as worried about this sort of stuff and guess what? Trails started getting shut down right and left. A little bit of effort by those enjoying the fruits of the trail builder's labor can go a long way toward prolonging the life of a trail. It's things like complaints from neighbors (parking, litter, loud music...) and excessive shuttle runs that tend to be the driving force behind zones getting shut down. Now if you're blessed enough to have fully legal trails than the whole scene is totally different. But for now most of us have to deal with the fact that most trails are technically illegal and it takes the effort of all who ride and/or dig on them to keep them around as long as possible.
  • - 23
 "if you don't have time to dig"

This is insulting to trail builders everywhere. No one on this earth has any more time than anyone else. Thanks for moving a branch out of the way with your folding saw. I'm glad you consider that 'doing your part'.
  • + 6
 You can always do a little something to help at the trails. Trail Boss is the word! Usually have great vision and build a complete setup. They could use more help. Everyone can pack holes, sides and backs. Leave the takeoffs, transition changes and features to his creative madness. Always fix what you wreck and water if available.
  • + 4
 I'm so glad we don't have this kind of bickering where I live. There are virtually no secret trails and I've never heard of anyone that has been criticized for simply riding a trail. The only expected behavior is that you don't modify or dumb-down a trail without permission.
  • - 30
 If someone is breaking the law IE building an illegal trail they should probably keep their mouth shut.. I am glad people build trails but don't expect me to break the law with you.. It's like the asshole speeding and flashing his lights to anyone who gets in his way.... Stupid argument I think.. I will let the ones who will take the risk build it and I will respect it if I ride it... I have never had anyone yell at me for riding something, but if they did I would be tempted to punch them in the face.. Unless they were holding their shovel...LOL... And to the builders, don't jump down my throat I respect all the work you do just stop and think that if you are breaking the law you shouldn't be yelling at anyone UNLESS THEY ARE MESSING STUFF UP...my 2 cents..
  • + 10
 "I will let the ones who will take the risk build it and I will respect it if I ride it" - doesn't sound very respectful. Let us do all the work for you while you go and enjoy your life.
  • + 8
 Yep, so glad that attitude of telling people what to do is rare around here. Unless someone is damaging the trail, there is no problem. I ride many trails that I have never worked on and have no intention of ever working on. At the same time, I am one of the most dedicated trail builders around. It is just understood that people work on their local trails. This works out great. Everyone digs near home and yet is welcome to go ride anywhere else too. There is still some unhealthy bike culture in the area, but bickering over the right to ride a trail is not part of it.
  • + 6
 How many of you have ridden trails that you haven't built? Answer... All of you! I strongly feel that the three options, given above, that we may choose from are too constraining. I say, respect, ride, listen and f*cking build in turn. When I build it's for everyone; it's to inspire others to continue carrying the torch too! Even by, adding to the labor I've put forth makes it great.
  • + 16
 bradwalton: please get over yourself. you are out there by your own choice.
  • + 5
 Great! If everyone does their part, it works. The problem is that not everyone does their part. The article is mostly akin to the problems with the US welfare system.
  • + 14
 "This is insulting to trail builders everywhere. No one on this earth has any more time than anyone else. Thanks for moving a branch out of the way with your folding saw. I'm glad you consider that 'doing your part'."

Oh really?!!! Wow. Yeah, many people have more time than others and if anyone thinks otherwise are fooling themselves. I use to spend all my time off building trails. Now, my life is completely different and I am hardly ever able to make time to dig. People have families, relationships, work, no work, no significant other, no family, etc. Has nothing to do with the US welfare system, for once actually. Has nothing to do with entitlements.
  • - 13
 So you are saying that trail builders have nothing better to do with their time and they should feel so lucky as to have others to build for?
  • + 10
 I know plenty of builders with families, long work hours, etc. I also know plenty of single riders that don't work much and have never lifted a shovel in their life.
  • + 23
 if you are too busy to build a trail then you are to busy to ride it.
  • + 12
 pieters- HEAD SHOT!
  • + 8
 Everyone has time to dig, it's just a matter of priorities. I know a lot of guys (including myself) that essentially put the bike away for 5-6 months during the winter and spend their "riding time" digging. I work 50+ hours a week and have a wife and kid and I still manage to get out and dig on a regular basis and get plenty of family time in. Sometimes it means that I have to forego sleep or put in 12-14 hour days to make it happen, but I make sure that I find a way.
  • + 13
 @ esstinkay "bradwalton: please get over yourself. you are out there by your own choice."

Yes, I am out there building because I want more trails. If you are out there riding these trails then you, too, want more trails. If every rider did their part imagine how many more trails there would be.
  • + 8
 No, I'm not saying that. Build for yourself and the people that are close to you. Expecting things in return and a bunch of other random people is actually a sign of this current entitlement crowd. I also know many people that are single and do build. Generalizations are ignorant at best. And no, not everyone has time to dig. I don't know how anyone that has any sense comes to this conclusion. Props to you for having a family and digging. Not everyone is capable of that, everybody is different. Some people have jobs that drain them more than others. Everybody has an opportunity to dig at some point, and they really should.
  • + 1
 i've been to trail work days where guys will only show up cuz they get points towards their standings in a race series. talk about f'd up! i think if you have time to ride you have time to pick up a shovel at some point as well. for myself, it's like investing and caring beyond just my bike. matter of being respectful and thankful to those who've made trails happen and sustainable. pay it forward somehow. as for secret spots..use the first rule of fight club...
  • + 2
 My favorite trail is built on privately owned property and has become a beautiful maze of single track XC type riding. Here's why:

1. Nobody outside our neighborhood knows about it. There's literally zero traffic on any given spring or fall day (it's lousy in the summer- mosquitoes, ATV/dirt bikers with beer who think mountain bikers are gay and all sorts of carnivorous wildlife all make for fun/borderline dangerous misadventures), and the network is so vast that I've accumulated days worth of riding in this place and still haven't explored everything it has to offer- I still very easily get lost back there.

2. Everybody who rides cleans up after themselves. There's no trash anywhere on the trail, no tracks left over from motor vehicles, and nobody is allowed back there when it's storming or rainy. I've even seen the occasional horseback rider out there, but never any evidence left over afterward.

3. The trail is privately owned and rider-maintained. Trail-blazing and any major building is not only against the rules, but entirely unnecessary. Though the trail owner/builder is somewhat gruff (he's made it clear that if he feels his trails are being abused, he'll fence it up and cite anybody he finds on them), he has also put his effort into both making the trail ride amazingly well for the typical rider and made this worthwhile for everybody. That has garnered enough respect from the riders that we are willing to follow his rules and help out where he needs us to.

As much as I love this trail and I wish I could share it with you all, let's face it. It's in the middle of nowhere in the New England area, and too much traffic will get it locked up with big, black "No Trespassing" signs barring the trail entrances.
  • + 2
 Where I'm from (Midwest US), we don't have a problem with illegal trails - we (local club) obtained access by working with local government and land managers and we build/maintain 4 different trail systems in the area, all on public land.

The problem we run into is people deciding to ride the trails when they're closed, building rogue trail features, and trail poaching. As Steward ("Trail Boss") of one particular trail system for our local club, it can get very frustrating to deal with these issues over and over again so I can align myself with the Trail Boss attitude. The difficult part is not having any authority to enforce rules since the trails are public land.
  • + 3
 Pieters nailed it. You can make excuses all day long but if you're taking something out without putting something back, you're a burden on someone else.
  • + 1
 This. Im out there by my self almost everyday digging and I always build hoping that other people will come out and enjoy all my hardwork. All is that people respect the place and fix ruts,cases, etc. Doesnt seem like a big price to pay. And a lot of the time the people fighting trail bosses could have helped out and it would have been a lot easier and quicker then causing problems.
  • + 0
 i say ride as long as your willing to lend a hand if your asked
  • - 32
 I cannot speak about other countries but here in the US if you build a trail on public land without permission you are breaking the law.. If you are on National Forest land you COULD be charged with destruction of government property... Which is a felony. And national forest rangers carry guns and have the same authority as police officers.. do you think you can march into the woods, build a log cabin and bitch at people for getting near your house? It is a strict law because if it was not then every wannabe trail builder in the country would be wrecking the forest with pallets or random crap..we need to differentiate between legal trails and illegal ones. These are two different topics. Digging legally= good Illegally= bad for all the idiots on here that is as easy as I can put it.. I would show you a pop up book if I could... If an illegal trail digger thinks I would risk breaking the law to help them they are mistaken.. But if said dumb asss builds a good trail I will ride it because I am not breaking the law.. And if you have a family and are digging illegally you are a bad parent.. So please all you morons who are building illegal trails in the United States keep &building trails so I can laugh at your dumb ass as I ride them... And thank you!!
  • + 1
 this story hit it on the nose,i'm that person that makes the trail,and yes free riders show up and think its time for photo kit time not shovel dirt time,i made it so we all can all ride it,but when you ride don't just walk away fix it the same way you saw it before the ride,i've bean makeing jumps turns shoveling dirt since 1976,and i had to shovel dirt before i can ride or the older kid's would take my bike and park it,kid's these day' have no respect,ive sean trails come and go that's why trail builder have there rules they put time in so you can have fun on what they made,don't think they don't,its called art.
  • + 6
 I'm 15 and I love building trails. I'm pretty sure that what I build and where I build is illeagal, but as a rider I am trying to progress and in my area I'm not to well catered for with a good trail. Thus I build my own where I can progress and have a decent trail to ride.
  • + 6
 no intention to dig, no ride. Always carry a shovel in the car, i dont think everyone needs to dig to ride a trail, but the intention should always be there, repairs should always be made, rules must always be adhered too. Anyone found littering should have one of their tyres shot. Fuckers.
  • + 8
 Well, I don't agree with "no dig, no ride" at all. I've built and worked on my share of trails over the years, and I'd never demand that anyone dig or repair one of those trails before riding it. If it's on Crown Land, then it's good to go. Anyone who can find it should be able to ride it. I've also built access to backcountry zones for winter riding, cutting in snowmobile trails, etc. If someone has the fortitude to find their way in there, then good for them. The land is owned by all Canadians, so they are as entitled to use my trail as I am. Private land or illegal trails would be a different case, but living in the land of the free (everywhere north of North Vancouver) there really aren't too many of those.
  • + 4
 @Parkcityplush: if you ride the illegal trails you advocate illegal building. As for me, I am fine with building illegal trails. It is the only way to get legal trails. Build it, get public support for what exists and then make more. Doesn't always work, but do you know of many trails that were legal when they started? Though you may be a douche, you are doing us a favor riding them.

The real resolution is to put the liability for dangerous activities on the person doing them. No land owner should get sued by a biker who gets hurt ever, unless there was malicious intent. Freedom from liability would open up so many forests to riding.
  • - 36
 Taletotell.. Sounds like a win win you morons build them I help you out by riding them.. Glad you have no problem breaking the law....speaks volumes about your character
  • - 22
 Sounds like the immigratin problem...i came here illegally but since they are already here let's make them legal... Friggin idiots
  • + 1
 I live in Ontario, I like to build trails but they all suck because I dont have any good spots to build, maybe an illegal trail is the way to go? or is that too hefty for a 13 year old?...
  • + 0
 Damn straigh that's how it works with me and I'm 15 so not sure why people like I don't know maybe freaking 25 years older than me don't understand that rule... On the other hand..... Since I'm 15..... And there are maybe 15 other ppl that ride insane mountain bike trails and race and junk like I do it's extremely hard for me to upkeep this rule..... But having said that its even harder to find people to help so its impossible for me to really upkeep that rule... I try but I can't really
  • + 6
 the 13 year old and the 15 year old do more to make me rethink my view than some pompus dude in Bend (riding heaven) Oregon ever could. Growing up I played in the woods. I knew if I got hurt it was my fault. I didn't ask permission because why should i care if a guy didn't like me walking around miles from his house without hurting anything. I guess I build trail with the same attitude. I never build anything crazy on private property, and I figure a dirt path in someone's back woods where they never go is harmless. That said, if a young ripper goes out and builds stuff and gets himself or others hurt that's a shame. Probably best to stay off private property.

Unused public land is another story. A nearby park is beyond the abilities of the local government to maintain. The parks service guy caught me with a shovel and I said I was making a hiking trail and he pretty much patted me on the back. Said he was glad the community was doing something since the park service lacked the resources. And that is how I see it. The local government is unaware of the need and refuses to listen to the community when we try to clue them in, so sometimes we just need to take up our shovels and do something about it. When we do, suddenly there are hikers and cyclists and horse back riders getting out and having a good time on the shared resource they couldn't use before. This is the only way I've ever had success getting anything done with a local government
  • + 0
 You just are not a happy person are you... Please stop cause your the reason why we bitch about people on our trails..... Cause your mean and you act like the whole area of the United States of America is yours and you and only you get to ride it then totally blow out or burms and take all the moss on the huge awsome rocks that normally make for amazing videos and pics.... Now having said that..... I have never had people ride on my secret trails.... Why cause I'm freaking 15 and no one cares about me... O well
  • - 19
 Sometimes people's stupidity on here really surprises me^^ I never even mentioned liability or anything close... If you would actually read my post past the first sentance then you would know that the only point I was making is that if you are breaking the law by building an illegal trail and then yell at anyone who doesn't ride it how you want is a stupid argument.. If I was younger without a family to worry about I would be there with you.. Liability never came into my posts.. And if ^^^ got a pat on the back by the ranger then good but if it is a NATIONAL FOREST RANGER and not a PARK RANGER ( big difference) an he has a hair up his ass you could be in big trouble.. So for the ones who actually read a post before attacking let me say once again my point is do not bash the countless riders who are not willing to take the risk of breaking the law to build a trail.. How am I to know if an existing trail was built legally? Only the people building it know that.. And whoever the mod plus was whose post disappeared, you should know Better than post someone's name on a public forum... So READ POSTS BEFORE COMMENTING... AND ANOTHER TIP... READ YOUR OWN POST BEFORE HITTING THE BUTTON SO YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE SUCH A MORON!!!!
  • + 2
 yes my track is not legal,thats not the point,and i don't demand you help,just have respect of other that came before you and laid the path.just remember its all good till its gone.
  • - 11
 Oh so I thought the mod was posting the guys name but that's his username... I hope people aren't using their real names as usernames....
  • + 9
 ParkCityPlush... more like ParkCityDouche. Reading your posts makes me feel sorry to be remotely associated with Park City. It is the internet, pal. And why would you have to worry about using your real name as your user name? Do you want an alias to express really stupid opinions that you know people will hate in real life? Get over yourself and respect the people who build the trails you ride on. Every trail started out as an illegal trail but every trail can end with reckless usage by random gapers. Oh and... CAPS LOCK!!!! SERIOUS BUSINESS!!!
  • - 10
 Gapers,,, I used that term when I was a kid too
  • + 3
 this is whats wrong with human's on here they hide,don't be scared to use your given name,my street name is jaws,or dirty-o in mtb,we all must learn to live and let live,there's no room for hate,just remember word don't mean shit,only if you let them.
  • + 4
 PCP (lol!!!)- That's cool, bro. Keep living the way you're living. No one really cares. It's accepted that people like you will always be around.
  • + 4
 If anyone wants a really good laugh, read the past comments ParkCityPlush has made. I was almost in tears halfway down. It'll for sure brighten up even the most depressed bastard's day.
  • - 14
 It's not hiding... With all the wackos out there it is common sense.. I am done with this convo because of you pink bikers.... I never said anything hatefull I just tried to get my point across without it being contorted just like this will now turn into me being a coward and hiding.... Google your own name and see how it is a safety thing.. I feel like I am talking to my 10 year old..
  • + 7
 And I feel like your my mentally challenged grandpa. Knowing someone's name doesn't mean you know actual personal information, unless you're some kind of super hacker or have other means of special access. Here's a parting thought; if you really have been biking since the late 80s (cool claim bro, really cool), then you should know that every trail was illegal at one point. If we had to go through legal means every time at the very beginning, we wouldn't have anything close to what we have now in terms of bike parks and other legal trails. If you don't want to come across as hateful next time, don't down talk to people you don't know on the internet by insulting their intelligence or maturity... I feel like I am talking to a 10-year-old. The grammar and spelling isn't too far off either...
  • - 7
 So how old are you 34?
  • - 5
 Google your own name and see what comes up
  • + 2
 there is a creepy guy in Florida with your name scott.
  • + 9
 Arguing over trails in real life sucks but is sometimes necessary. Doing it on the internet with a bunch of people you don't know and who probably don't share your trails seems a little ridiculous but I guess is also a sign of passion, pride & purpose for trail builders.
  • + 2
 I build, maintain, do trash removal and even try to wash away tag.. Yep every bit helps. I'm making signs for our most recent trails and taking a trash can there... Hopefully people will get the picture. I even keep bouldering spots clean Smile
  • + 2
 I totally agree! Im 20 and jobless so I just build, ride, climb, gym
  • + 1
 I don't agree with the "no dig no ride" rule but the "too busy to build too busy to ride" rule makes a lot of sense. Trails around here are not technically legal but the trail boss makes sure the land owners are ok with it and they don't mind if everybody and their brother rides them. I'm really grateful that these people took all that precious time to build those trails and ensure that they don't get shut down. I started riding somewhat recently so most trails are already built but I make sure I participate in building new trails and try to show up to as many maintenance days as I can. I also carry a bunch of tools and try to fix stuff here and there when I ride.

I always find it disheartening when you only see like 10 people show up on maintenance days when you know like at least 500-1000 people riding the trail. Even worse is when you know biking clubs and the shops around here usually don't participate even though they'd be out of business if there would be no trails to ride.

I can understand why some trailbuilders are pissed and I think it's often legitimate but I don't believe acting like a dickhead will help their cause, quite the contrary.
  • + 5
 Doh! I was gonna post picks of the ghetto ladder bridges I built with free wood from work. Now I'll have to find some free clay to build on this sandy shit cause ladder bridges are out of fashion. Jesus would bring wine and bread and may be able to influence the rain. Slayer can always make blood rain from a lacerated sky, which once coagulated should make some pretty good berms and booters. The Fonz will bring the babes of course.
  • + 1
 If you can't grab a shovel, a pick, or a rake you shouldn't grab a pair of grips!
  • + 2
 Agreed. Very well worded my friend
  • + 2
 I have built a multitude of trails illegal and legal and i don't ask anyone to help just cos they wanna ride them. It's not as if digging isn't fun so those saying a rider who doesn't help build is a burden should remember that they probably enjoy digging trails and if they don't then why don't they just stop. People are so selfish they just can't understand the prospect of giving without expecting something in return. I like watching people riding things i've built it's satisfying.
  • + 2
 Yeup so don't the rest of us. What I personally hate are people who, with a trail I put 60 hours into, feel they have the right to ride it without consulting me. It's a selfish reason of course but it's better than having friends of friends coming and riding under the wrong impression that it's not supposed to stay hidden. The next thing you know a lot of people know about it and that's the first step in a trail getting shut down or destroyed by mis-use/litter, but either way it can easily lead to the trail going away forever.
  • + 5
 I think every death of a trail in the war for free biking for everyone is worth it. I say this as a builder, and I will respect anyone's secret if they entrust it to me, but my own trails do go on strava. I want them ridden. If the riders are respectful and the owner learns about mtb good things can happen. Without conflict there is no growth.
  • + 2
 in los angles ca. trails are hard to come by,once shot down its gone there no win for the trail here just lost.o one more thing if you didn't make it don't just think you can just show up and start the photo shut,and put my track on blast,all you new free rider's will come to this point one day and say now i no why its gone.there more rider and no more trail maker's.
  • + 3
 I agree 100% with what you say.
  • + 1
 Thanks for your input not sure who you where talking to but it showed up as me so thank you!
  • + 3
 ^^^^ taletotell. I know the comment is late, but your comment is 100% right!! Excellent friendo!! Beer
[Reply]
  • + 57
 At the end of the day, the builder can lay down all the insane rules they want, because they also LAID down the trail you're about to ride. It's like a friend lending you their car, they want you to do all this dumb crap before you park it back in the garage, but you do it, because it belongs to a friend. Trails should be the same way. There's stipulations to everything, and if the trail builder is nice enough to let you ride the trail, then you should return the favor and respect their wishes.

We's all friends in this game aren't we?
  • + 4
 I agree.
At the end of the day, these are the people you are going to ride with, share a few beers and try to rip their legs off.
So why fight them? Enjoy with them!
  • + 12
 all bikers are friends right?
  • + 5
 Yes! We all create a big family.
  • + 5
 That works great for new trails that a single person or group built and maintains. But in some places trails have existed for many decades. It would be wrong for someone to work on a trail that people been riding for 20 years and all of a sudden think they have any more claim to how it should be ridden than the 50 year old guy who wanted to ride the raw, less maintained trail that has been there for as long as he can remember. This isn't really a rebuttal, but rather an additional perspective from someone who lives in an area where most trails are older than the people who ride them.
  • + 4
 You forgot, the the hypothetical car was stolen!
  • + 1
 Maybe. There is so much more politics to the issue of unsanctioned riding than simply the builder v. rider. Interestingly, this article has alot to do with the Portland area, but fails to mention that one of things that scuttled the last big attempt to open up some of the existing trails in the City to bikes was the discovery by news crews (I'm sure directed there by the opponents) of unsanctioned trail building within the park. Who has the higher moral ground--the folks working to get approval of sanctioned trails or the unsanctioned builders? Should the folks that were working so hard to get sanctioned trails built be allowed to go out and tear down/cover unsanctioned trails? I don't know--both parties have legitimate points as many of the best trails start as the unsanctioned variety. It's not an easy question to answer. It's certainly not as easy as the builder gets to be the emperor of the trail.
  • + 3
 Look, if you want to be a trail nazi you gotta earn it. You gotta be the dude who rocks up alone and says nothing about it, the dude that spends twice the hours anyone else does, the guy that turns up first and preps the trails, that leaves last having fixed shit up, THEN you can be a nazi. s a rider if you argue with that build you can go and build your own damn trail. To me LOCKS are the answer. But then what about a public trail, or a place you have to pay? Payment 9/10 times is to cover insurance, the builders pay it too. You still have to earn your keep with shovel work. Now a trail nazi isnt a prick. All it takes is you showing willing and getting involved and we are the safest dudes you will ever meet. We teach you how shits done, help you build what you want, and show true passion for the sport. Honestly i could go on, and i might just write and submit an article up here, as it has gotten my blood pumping a bit. One final note, Builders just because you put in shit loads of work back in the day you need to keep it up, But riders, respect the work that was put in back in the day. If that old school builder has the skill and really takes you under his wing, let him some slack, learn from him as really he is training you up to pass on to you his graft. Chances are you ride more and harder than him anyway.
  • + 6
 At the end of the day, it's night.
  • + 2
 to be fair, a builder laying down rules on an illegal trail isn't like a friend lending you their car. it's more like if they lent you some one else's car, that wasn't theirs in the first place...


look i'm not saying that the things people spend money and hours on don't have value and shouldn't be protected, but we are all borrowing everything we use to support our addiction. for me this is an issue of a few groups of people with misaligned expectations of what mountain biking is about. we know how builders that ride feel, and how riders that build feel, and even riders that don't build feel. but for me, i'm happy to ride whatever is in front of me at the time knowing (either because i've been invited or all are invited) that nobody else really cares what i do when i'm on my bike. most of the time that means tooling around on public stuff, because thats just my style, but where ever i am i keep in mind that i'm there as a guest, and whoever is responsible for upkeep REALLY is too.



@ dfiler: mad respect for your insight.
  • + 1
 It is not like stealing a car. You are not stealing the land. It goes no where. It changes temporarily. It is more like you washed your neighbor's car without permission. It will be dirty again soon enough. Or maybe it is more like your buddy went to the community shed and took a shovel without signing it out, then loaned it to you. it is his rear end, so if you are a good friend maybe you shouldn't treat the shovel like crap. Instead use it to bury your bodies and get it back to him in good condition so he can return it without anyone noticing.
  • + 1
 People are fuckwits you just have to deal. Whoever builds most wins. I've dug up roll ins built by bmxers who didn't use the other lines. But I re positioned the roll in so it would still work. Wrote them a bitch note about it and them taking the tools. They bitch noted me back and we eventually met shared a joint and learned a thing or two from each other about making trails flow. Expect people to fuck it up and it'll piss you off less. If it is your work of art then take a picture or shoot some video. Trails evolve and devolve and if you really dig and build there the most it will reflect that. If there is a line that is too hard for most people they will destroy it. If you want it to stay build an option line that still flows. Democracy will always suck more than your own dictatorship. So majority rules except on my trail that I started and ride the most. You can only ride it if you do some work and it is the work I want.
[Reply]
  • + 32
 I love trail building, if you dont build it, youa wont be able to ride it.
Continuous improvement of trails is what gets you out the door on a cold winters night, night ride.... no night build.
Anyone can ride the trails I build, that is what they are there for.
The things that frustrate me are;
The straight line riders... if you cant ride a section dont just ride straight on, I wont block it as I like trails to look as natural as possible.
Rubbish... There are bins at many trails I build
I cant ride that jump so I have the right to take it down... if you cant ride the jump on the big line, ride the akternative line, dont just take the jump out.

Trail building is about creating art that rides as well as looking good.
My latest video on here has some of my trails on it, I have ace pals who listen and help implement my ideas which often sound mad to start with. Thanks guys for all your help building, it is always fun.
  • + 5
 straight line riders !!! I hate those bastard !!
  • + 1
 Yes, don`t fall fo the fall line..
  • + 2
 A lot of the time they are strava bitches :/ haha
  • + 2
 I gave you positive on this betsie now you owe me
  • + 1
 props to you Sir Big Grin I'll be back in a few weeks can't wait o go out with you guys Razz
[Reply]
  • + 30
 One thing that wasn't mentioned... When on an illegal trail, turn fucking Strava off!
  • + 5
 Abso-fucking-lutely. Don't fucking advertise that you are trespassing.
[Reply]
  • + 26
 hold on....I'm gunna have to forward this article to a few people.
[Reply]
  • + 23
 I own a trail but I'm happy to let people ride it I mean that's what it's there for but aslong as they aren't going to destroy and would be happy to put a shovel in the dirt
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Trail building makes me happy for several reasons.
1. I like being outside.
2. I like making things with my hands.
3. I like the aesthetic of a well built trail.
4. I enjoy the entire challenge: The vision. The debate. The direction. The modification. The construction. The debate.
5. It pleases me to make something from nothing.
6. I enjoy making something that will get someone stoked. Be it the top 1% or the bottom 1% of riders.
7. I enjoy the time with the homies in the woods, being all neanderthal and primitive.

Trail building can be frustrating, but that's part of #4, and the challenge is always welcome.
But what can ruin it for me, is the vague population of non-builders who are targeted in this article, and in the poll.

There are people who feel entitled to fruit without labor. A fresh line, without moving a shovel. A maintained line, with no maintenance workers getting in their way. I wish I could ride more, but, the truth is, I build more every year than I ride...so I see a lot more from one lens than I do from another.

I am always happy to build a trail, maintain a trail, rebuild a stunt, or create a better experience on a current line, but all I ask, is a simple 'thanks'. After hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and thousands of hours or work....that is all it costs to ride what we build. We don't expect people to drop their bikes and pick up a shovel. We just expect that they don't ride OVER our shovels, swear at us because we slowed down their run, or complain that we've closed off a section of trail.

Slow down when you see trail builders. Say thank you. Say 'good job'. Say 'have a nice day'.
There's a reason Mom and Dad spent all that time teaching you to do that. Here's where you apply it.
  • + 2
 I aggree. I build my own trail all the year. New lines, new jump ... My digging level is better than my riding i think ! But what a pleasure to ride my line !
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Just because you don't dig doesn't mean you don't contribute to the trail, I ride my local trail a couple of times a week, and I didn't help to build it. But every time there is a tree on the trail after a big storm or rocks that have rolled on to the trail I'll stop and remove them. Same with low hanging branches. If someone adds a new line that wasn't put there by the trail builder, I'll block it off and restore the original line. But I agree with badbadleroybrown, if you want to keep the trail solely to yourself and your mates you have to build it on your own land, if not you'll have to deal with people doing shit you don't like. Because after all you did build it on land that didn't belong to you in the first place
  • + 5
 This. Our local trail system has existed so long and sees so much traffic that it is very difficult to tell who the boss is let alone the builder. Makes me leave my shovel at home though I have been sorely tempted when the brake ruts get out of hand. I do stop to pull out new hazards caused by storms, but even that can be controversial if there is a possibility that it can be seen as a new feature. There is a rock garden at trail's end that changes character monthly from being ridden and the rain washing in new paths and rocks that I wouldn't even think about moving a pebble out of.
  • + 2
 @ AaGro: This is exactly the mentality biking needs. Many areas in my area are old and popular as well, and for me every change in the trail is positive. My frame of mind is that most trails are in a pretty good state of equilibrium with nature if they only need a bit of maintenance. I guess I just really like natural stuff, even if it isn't as flowy as possible or whatever.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 I don't think you can tell anyone "no you cant ride" unless you are the land owner. But if the person is just being a pinhead about it you and your buddies can make them not want to come back. Im not saying beat them up but, just make it difficult for them to enjoy their ride. Im a big believer in contribution, everyone has to work hard to keep trails fun and safe.
  • + 6
 As an illegal trail builder, telling others they can't ride your trail is like two burglars arguing over who gets the tv.

Eventually, everyone is going to get caught. The only way you can keep the gig going is to be civilized (and legal).
  • + 1
 You can't steal that from me! I already stole it!
[Reply]
  • + 13
 The me me me, mine mine mine attitude to be typically american and reminiscent of the locals only surf and skate attitude and, very unhelpful in creating a bond between riders who should be standing together to get permission for more trails to be opened up instead of bitching amongst themselves. Come to europe to ride and you'll see countries with infrastructures dedicated to cycling, bike freindly trains, buses and hotels. There is a communal spirit and nobody who rides someone elses trail would think of leaving any of the berms etc in an unridable state and nobody who built a trail would stop anybody from using it and the powers that be have better things to do than worrying about a bunch of cyclists making a few trails as long as it's done with care and consideration and not pissing the non riding public who use the countryside off too much.. That's called respect and it cuts both ways.
  • + 2
 Wow do you live in the land of milk and honey? I feel so unprivileged to live in scary selfish America. That attitude of selfish trail bosses or hard nosed legislation comes from a few people making it hard on the majority. Diversity of personality is what makes it hard, I guess you don't have to worry about that in you magic land.
  • + 4
 I agree. Secrect trails are selfish. We need to work together with local councils and the forest service to get shit legal.... keeping it in the shadows is good for you but bad for the sport
  • + 7
 Yep, don't knock 'Merica unless you've dug a mile with my shovel.... glad you got it so good there, B777.
  • + 3
 Jerry if you want to know about my secret trail you have to promise not to tell anyonejust like I promised not to tell anyone BUT if you brake your promise and you do tell somone just make sure that they promise not to tell any one else.
  • + 4
 I'm lucky enough to have lived and worked, ridden and skated in the States for 5 years, a truly amazing country and incredibly welcoming and open people for the most part, I have also lived in Denmark, Holland, Norway, Spain, Portugal, India and the UK and now live in France near the Swiss border so feel I'm in a good position to make comaprisons.
I'm not knocking the US just calling it how I see it, for such a open place there is a kind of 'you ain't from roun here are ya boy?' And 'we're not from round here so who gives a f*ck' ' attitude, if it could be gotten rid and there were a bit more consideration and respect from all sides for the others, then every body would benefit.
And if anyone is ever in France look me up and we'll hit some of the local trails.
  • - 2
 What a bunch of naive revisionist stand strong together Viva la Revolution bullshit. Brotherhood my ass/
  • + 1
 Seems to works for me and most of europe but each to their own if you're happy being a negative fuckwit then I'm happy for you. Strange really you seem to like Switzerland and it got the way it is with just the kind of attitude you call bullshit.
  • + 3
 RIght on B777! I always welcome new riders to the trail. The secret handshake trail to me is a pain. We shouldn't have to drop buzzwords and be "cool" when traveling just to be told where the trails are.
  • + 2
 Unhelpful insulting stereotypes "me me me, mine mine mine attitude to be typically american " are ridiculous. Either you said that to get a reaction - which you got - or you are deliberately blind. In every country there are trails which are publicly known and there are trails that are not well known. There is a reason for both and this article delves into why. Your insulting generalizations ignore that reality and speak to specious pandering.

I have no idea why you felt the need to speak of this brotherhood of commonality of interests. Anyone who's ever done a shred of work in advocacy knows that is just one side of the coin. We are our own worst enemy and no amount of your preaching can change this reality
  • + 3
 And there ladies and gentlemen is the reason that people bicker and bitch over trails and nothing will ever get done with attiudes like this fool has. I feel sorry for anyone that has to ride with you.
I said typically american because I have rarely if ever encountered that locals only attitude in other parts of the world and who gives a shit about advocacy ? i'm speaking from experience, something in which tou are sadly lacking.
And if it had been said to get a reaction I couldn't have hoped for better than yours.

Anyway enough of this silliness, I wish you all the best.
  • + 7
 and I wish you the best too B777. You care deeply about the subject as do I. It sounds like both of us have spent time in the advocacy and building trenches. I am just more jaded having seen the work of people I respect destroyed by takers. It is good that you have not yet reached the jaded stage. Everything needs a balance. Perhaps we disagree about where that balance lies. Good trails to you.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 Great article!

Sadly, I can identify with lot of things in it... We've got loads of (young) riders in my hometown that think the local trails are just something made by invisible and selfless forest-dwarfs. So they do whatever they want. And all we get from those riders are blown out berms and litter everywhere.

And If you gather with few friends to fix the trail, the next day it's full of guys that probably have never had a shovel in their hands but are more than happy to ride the shit out of your work.

So this year I decided to move to the other part of forest to build my "top-secret" trails...
  • + 3
 Yup if.you dont want anyone to ride it build it all alone and ride it all alone and never talk about it...... if you got more then one person word will leak out and strangers will eventually show up..... i say dont keep em secret build em every where let any one ride em and put constant positive preshure on the forest service........ If no one told you about the first secret trail you rode... how would you feel
  • + 1
 I'll still be working on more "public" trails from time to time because I like some of them... But it's cool to have your own secret trail where no one destroys or rebuild anything, where you can just ride alone, relax and feel like you're the only man on earth Wink

And I don't mind people from different towns that occasionally come and ride my local trails. But guys who ride every week on trail but never dig or fix anything piss me off.
[Reply]
  • + 10
 Ahhhhhhhh the underlying beast of a question,who's trail boss? lol
My two cents are give builders a high five and ride the lines. If you wreck something then fix it. If you want to make an effort and put some time in building then build your own small section or give the builders a hand but do not alter the current trail to your liking.
Happy trails folks
  • + 3
 3 lines that sum up everything !
  • + 1
 well said claw.
[Reply]
  • + 10
 Strava + GPS + forums + photos + videos + GoPro = death knell for "illegal" / "illicit" trails

commercial ruin of every aspect of mountain biking will result in it eating its own arse. some things need to stay "underground" for good reason. commercialization and over exposure ruins mostly every decent and interesting scene, as has been proven over time

mountain bikers are no different to any other mass demographic - once it gets so big with so much exposure (e.g. a trail) you reach a point where abuse and ignorance starts to destroy e.g. garbage, excessive wear, inability to maintain trail, unwarranted changes and dumbing down to cater for the masses, harassment of neighbouring residents or negative impact on local natural resource operators who are the primary access to these trail areas (in North Anerica)
  • + 1
 Well stated!
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Being mad at riders for coming to your trail to ride it is like being mad at the ocean for crashing a wave onto your sand castle... and both are solved the same way, grow the fuck up and get over it. If you build trails on YOUR land, then they're for you and your buddies... if you build trails on PUBLIC land, they're for the public regardless of your righteous indignation.
  • + 3
 Agreed. No matter how secret a trail is, somebody will find it eventually. Best to accept that public land = public trail.
  • + 1
 @Badbadleroybrown... I wonder how many people on here know who Jim Croce is..Baddest man in the whole damn town!!
  • + 2
 @ParkCityPlush...Meaner than a junkyard dog
  • + 2
 Badder than ol' King Kong ... I love Jim Croce.... Him, Hank Williams Jr and Senior and Johnny cash can punch me in the face(living or not) anytime.. Then I'll buy them a beer!
[Reply]
  • + 12
 I have built a 'illegal' trail, I don't care who rides or what they film on it as long as they don't ruin it or change it.
  • + 4
 and as long as their actions dont disclose the trail to people that dont want it there
  • + 2
 I film secret trails, but never show establishing shots (beginning or end) so its hard to tell where it is, im planning a few at the moment but only 2 or 3 people currently know!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Charlie, those pie chart and the graphic are hilarious and this is a great discussion.

I see the issue around trails different than the "locals only" nature of surfing because surfers usually don't do anything to create their surfspot - other than finding it first. Mother nature does all of the work for surfers. Whereas, the experience of mountain biking is only as good as the trail your riding and the friends you're with. Good trails don't build themselves and poorly built trails don't get ridden often. A well-routed and built trail probably took a small crew 1-3 years to get it "done" (quotes because no trail is ever really done). I don't think a lot of riders can even grasp what that amount of effort is like and how much sweat, blood, passion, bushwhacking, arguments, hypothermia, and sore backs go into that process.

Folks posting from other parts of the world likely haven't had their trails shut down...something that happens regularly in the U.S. and THAT is a large reason for the implied secrecy and why trailbuilders tend to get grumpy. While that's always the risk someone takes when they build unauthorized trail (I despise the word illegal), the reality is that when a spot blows up with more riders, it brings a lot more attention and, many times, the land manager chooses one course of action. Closure. If you've had this happen with your own work, you understand everything I've said above.
  • + 4
 Well said. It's interesting that a lot of the comments on this subject are from the point of view that builders don't want people riding their trails because it ruins them. I know of very few builders with that mindset. Most all of us love to see our trails being ridden. Plus maintenance is way easier than punching a fresh line in. It's the rules of secrecy, keeping a low impact, and being aware of your entrances and exits that builders are the most concerned with. To many these rules seem like overkill, but unfortunately they are the result of lessons learned when you are careless about these sorts of things. If the trail gets shut down the builder loses countless hours of hard work, sacrifice, and a rad trail to ride; the casual rider only loses the riding spot. A little consideration to the risk vs. reward goes a long ways.

There are so many more trails out there than most people are aware of. If you're known for going around poaching trails, then all you will ride are the ones that you happen to find. But, if you're putting forth an effort to improve your local scene, the doors will open for a multitude of riding opportunities that you would never have been aware of before. Trail builders don't build on every single trail they ride. But what they do is contribute to the overall scene increasing the trail network foot by foot. Charlie hit the nail on the head with the last line of this article "Figuring out "whose" trail it is. well, that's sort of the least important part of the whole equation." The important thing is that you appreciate what has been built for you. Along with that appreciation naturally should flow the proper respect of the builder's wishes so the trail can be enjoyed by many for years to come.
  • + 2
 Yes^^^^ ! Can't agree more. Help your local builder! Don't hassle them about where the secret spots are. Volunteer to lend a hand with the shovel for a few hours instead of playing amateur videographer. You will be amazed at what you will learn about dirt, lips, turns, ruts, maintenance, and many other aspects of riding you may have never been aware of.
  • + 2
 EBX- i agree with everything, but your surf spot logic. You have to remember around these parts most surf spots involve tresspassing (private property /tribal lands). Crowds lead to authorities taking notice and closing access and issuing tickets. So i do see a sort of connection. Anyhow this is a mtn biking site, back to bikes. Ps- thanks for all your efforts.
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  • + 7
 As a builder myself, I enjoy seeing people riding them, even modifying them (if for the better.) The land is not mine, or "ours" it's for our enjoyment. So, as long as everyone respects the trails, come on and ride! I don't prescribe to the No Dig No Ride rule. Not everyone is expected or even cares to do that.
  • + 3
 I would think most trail builders would feel this way so long as people respect the trail and leave it in the condition they found it. Isn't seeing people enjoy the trail why you build?
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  • + 7
 im a trail builder in whistler bc, im building on provincial land and in no way is it "public". i have worked year round sun, rain and snow.It is the culmination of passion, blood, sweat and tears. At this point and in the near future i will not show this trail to anyone but close friends co-building with me. We have our own reasons for this, but there will be a day when the trials will be revealed. When that happens i dont expect to be able to control a large group of people hitting the trails day to day. its going to come down to respect and work ethic by those that are so lucky to ride them. At the end of the day konatrevor said it best, respect. lend a hand with the trails you ride. give back a little, leave a six pack to your local trail builders and most of all, try building yourself on your own project. Have fun.
  • + 4
 Good luck with that. The second you tell a single other person, consider it spoiled. If the trail is any good at all, no one keeps their mouth shut. Not even close friends. In that area, you'll be lucky if someone doesn't just stumble upon it.
  • + 3
 your mom showed me your trail last night
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  • + 7
 I am 53, and currently recovering from a broken tibia and fibula I acquired while mountain biking. I also have back issues. My local trail bosses, both in Salida, CO and Columbia, MO, lack resources as well as labor. Since I have more money than pain-free time, I write checks rather than show up for work days. My trail bosses (and I) seem satisfied with this situation.
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  • + 7
 I agree with this article...but the idea of no dig no ride has always pissed me off! Ive built several trails with my own two hands that I know have been ridden on by those outside of my circle!! As long as u leave it the way u found it, I hope u had a fun ride!! By following the ideology that "if you didn't put a shovel to dirt, then u can't ride here" boils down to "stay in your neighborhood and never ride anywhere else the rest of your life." It's that way of thinking that will ultimately make the mtn biking community the same as all the other immature, bullsh-t, wanna b alpha male groups!! Get out, ride, have fun, have respect and enjoy the world that is our playground!!!
  • + 2
 The worst is when someone shows up when the trail is halfway done and starts telling you how everything is wrong and how they would have done it to make it so much better.
  • + 2
 That's when you tell them to go find their own plot of land, get some tools and build what they think a fun, rideable trail should be! Then ill go and critique their work!!
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  • + 10
 Who owns the trail? Nobody.

But between us, if you ride and never dig then you are a bad person. A really bad person...
  • + 2
 Especially if you see people digging but dont stop to give a hand Big Grin
  • + 2
 not true !!! i stop and just hand over beer money, diggin is thirsty work!
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  • + 6
 builders are boss, trails will change with the amount they get ridden, they will grow and develope just like our riding and skill level do. bottom line though, if you didn't put it there, you don't call the shots. remember the sandbox kids? if they are not your toys, don't take them home.
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  • + 6
 Here, in Azores islands, trailbuilding is something of a dark art...what hapens here, is that we have a very small working group (wich I'm part of) that tries to maintain the trails as best as we can. We spend money, for fuel, workers, transportation and so on, and the rest of the riders on the island just take a good rest and get to ride whenever they want...it's not fair, it never was, but if some of us don't keep the trails runing, there's no place for our very, very expensive bikes to roll in. So respect the people that make the trails, ask them for permission, and once an a while, just once and a while, show up to help them keep the f#$%&ng trails up and runing, will you?
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  • + 8
 i thnk one thing we can all agree on. horseback riders are never allowed on our trails!!!
  • + 4
 Such horseshit I gotta pick my dog shit up 15 ft off trail but no horses can shit up n down a fuckinh trail god damn horse shit
  • + 2
 Horses massacre trails... It's like trying to ride on a million tiny invisible speed bumps..
  • + 3
 god damn horse shit!
  • + 1
 Around here, I agree completely. After riding in North Carolina, I realized that this is not always the case. With certain soil types, it works out real nice. Tsali is a good example. One day a trail is horses and the next it will be bikes. Never had any issues at all there with that soil, and riding through shit really pisses me off. One would never believe it until they see it for themselves.
  • + 1
 What are you talking about? Tsali is one of the worst places for horse shit on the trail.
  • + 2
 Hahaha, you have no idea. I ride there all the time and have no issues because it breaks down so quick and drains well. I get in about 40 miles there a month, and never had any issues.
  • + 3
 I solved that issue around my trails, before the horses would crap all over the bike trails. Then one day I had a brain wave and started crapping on the horse trails and after a few horses ran through my crap they had learned their lesson and now the local trails are safe from the horse crap.
  • - 3
 Horse shit is annoying but doesn't destroy the trail..horseshoe prints will for sure and they turn into teeth chattering bumps.. No matter what the soil ... But I agree they would be good to use a trail blazing tool to start a new one and you can't get in trouble for "digging".. Hmmmm luckily horseback riders don't like riding on trails where mtb riders like to go.
  • + 1
 we have had big problems with horseback riders destroying trails here in Kansas City. they ride where they arnt allowed. but it is fun to see a couple of horseys stalled at the top of a rocky shoot or a drop and then you just blast by them
  • + 0
 heaven forbid that an off road mtb trail gets bumpy..
  • + 2
 I agree with Brad Tsali is horrible now just mud hole after mud hole. No horses on trails ever that are for mountain bikes.
  • + 3
 @ dave- sure, I have no idea. I did live in NC for 23 years. 99% of trails in Pisgah that are open to bikes are also open to horses. I have eaten a lot of horse shit flung up off the trail by my front tire. It doesn't break down in a day...
  • + 2
 elduder, if you will it... what is your name? You say that you build trails around Cincinnati, but you don't look familiar. Each to their own, Tsali has some of the smoothest trails that I've ever ridden. Bradwalton, there is no reasoning with you.
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  • + 8
 I don't really care if people ride on "my" trails.... but i just cant stand the relentless garbage thats left behind.
  • + 1
 And everyone has pockets and there are garbage cans throughout the universe.. Lazy fux is all they are.
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  • + 5
 If you want to ride you suppose to be involved in building process but sometimes you cant. So what I think is:
you can ride the trail as long as you dont destroy it, take your rubbish home with you and if ask to help with building/maintaining you could give a hand or at leat buy four cans of beer as a gratitude
  • + 3
 It took me a while to come to this conclusion, but I agree. A lot of people seem to expect the trails to magically maintain themselves, and like to bitch when they are blown out or rutted, but not as many want to get off the bike and help.

For my local trails I help out once a month and don't care who rides them so long as they respect the trails and the environment.

At my place I've been building a pump track at the bottom of our garden, it's a heap of work and that will be: no dig, no beer, no ride.
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  • + 6
 If I'm out building a trail, I'm building stuff so I can ride it and get stoked- if other people are riding and getting stoked on my trail thats a winner! (If they're not braking through berms)
  • + 1
 Hit the nail on the head.
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  • + 4
 As a trail builder, my only issues are these:

1) Rude riders that see you building and either just ride by without even a wave or, and this has actually happened, yell at you to get out of the way.
2) Riders that dumb down trails because they can't ride them.

It's my trail, but I don't actually own it. I build "my" trail for everyone else to ride just as much as for me and my buddies. I don't expect beer, help or anything else. Just don't be a douche and don't steal my tools! F**k, I hate that.
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  • + 4
 So how many people that are preaching 'no dig, no ride' have come to the Alps (namely Morzine), ridden and destroyed trails that locals have spent many hours building and maintaining? Seems hypocritical to me.

To name but a few trails that have suffered a demise because people are more willing to ride than they are to maintain:

-Yeah Boy
-Up Your Bum
-BKS
-Hattok

Next time you're out here maybe find out who actually spent hours up hours bilding these trails and offer to give them a hand...
  • + 0
 Would this be tourists or 'citadans' who are coming to Morzine because of it's rep ? If so it's up to you to protect all your hard work by educating these people.
It's weird we're about an hour from Morzine and have had none of these problems on the trails we've got together and we have a lot of people using them..
  • + 3
 It is tourists that come and straight-line hero the place, wrecking berms, ruining jumps etc etc. I spose they're here on holiday so couldn't give a damn, but my point was that they are hypocrites because as soon as someone comes and rides their trails back home they are up in arms. That's the point. Respect works both ways...
  • + 3
 I was kind of thinking the same thing when people say "no dig, no ride". That seems a little rigid of a standard to live by. I agree with basically all of what this article is saying but if you live strictly by a "no dig, no ride" philosophy then people would never be able to ride anything but your local trail that they helped build correct? I'm sure that everyone at some time or another has taken a trip to some other trails besides their local hills right? Everyone at some point is going to ride trails that they didn't help build or maintain.
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  • + 4
 No dig no ride really gets on my nerves. From my point of view the trail scene (dirt jumps) in England is poor. Myself and others have put in serious time at our local spot, Sandbay, which is well know and we are currently in the process of digging a whole new line, something to rival Woburns big set. Find it on Faceboook as 'Sandbay dirt jumps'. Because our spot is very well known about we get people turning up to ride all the time. Last winter as its a sand spot our jumps were running perfectly so we were overwhelmed with people. I loved it, whats the point of digging if you cant share your spot with others, making friends and having great sessions. But oh how things change. Now as things dry out and we are looking for other places to ride, asking the friends we made over the winter about their spots and local haunts and they and they keep mum. We never get invites to their local trails, they are kept as secret and exclusive as possible. This is where no dig no ride is an issue. People expect you to dig at every spot you go to before you are 'allowed' to ride there. Im sorry but thats balls. If you could only ride trails you have dug at then very few people would ride more than one spot, let alone any.
  • + 3
 Encouraging people to come and ride, and if they are a bit ignorant of the digging culture educating them about it instead of being a arse about it is exactly what should be done. If everyone digs at their own spot but is welcome to go ride others it would promote such a better scene. You would ride all the trails about, maintained by the locals. Then when they come to ride they can come to your trails, which you have maintained, and have a great time. I dont know if i have explained that clearly but i tried. A friend of mine said 'if i had trails id let everyone come and ride, whats the point in keeping them secret, trails is about the friends you make as much as the jumps'.
  • + 2
 Im in no way suggesting that it its the locals job to do ALL the work, anyone going to some trials should un-tarp, water and repair them as needed, take their rubbish home and maybe bring a BBQ for the locals. But if there isnt that inclusive attitude towards newbies or 'outsiders' then we are outcasting far to many people. If dirt can become more mainstream it will get funding. Look at all the bmx tracks and cross country loops that are being built. Millions of pounds is splashed on them because of their popularity. If the same could happen in dirt jumps then we would have legal, maintained and free spots built. Take a look at 'Van Road Trails' for what can be achieved with funding. Anyone that argues thats not a good thing need a knock round the head with a spade! Granted they aren't incredible trails, but as a first step its a very big one in the right direction!I can understand wanting to keep a spot secret for fear of it being closed or wrecked by local delinquents but the majority of larger spots have stood the test of time, so are unlikely to get plowed, are big enough so it puts chavs off so they're is no reason to keep them hush hush. Its infuriating as the kid that can do all the tricks and whose name gets known gets an invite everywhere but the real 'trail bosses' and dedicated locals who just have a good time are left in the dark.And the thing that really caps it off is its always people with lush trails or loads of spots to ride that pedal this sh*t! Its so and to progress and become part of the scene if you don't have an 'in'. people just don't want to know.
  • + 3
 Bit of an essay but i hope it changes at least one persons mind. See you on the trails......Hopefully
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  • + 3
 So if you dig, is that the only patch of dirt you ever ride (and keep it to yourself, or do diggers sometimes wander off to ride what someone else built? At some point we are all just eaters of someone else's labor. I imagine there are dicks within every sort of rider you meet, and I think the take-away from this article needs to be some level of concideration in all directions.
As a long time rider, with very little time to ride (work, wife, kids, actually having interests beyond biking...) if I find an hour or two to myself, I need the escape of getting on my bike. (That may not be enough time to break out the shovel and hike to that trail) If I stumble accross your secret stash of dirt-n-bumps, I might even ride on it, but it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the sweat and love a builder put into it.
Most of the trails I ride, legal or not, were cut by hikers, not mountainbikers... and have been here before there ws such a thing as a mountain bike. That's a whole other (but kinda similar) battle, and the wild growth of ladder bridges on those trails doesn't calm that fight at all.
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  • + 8
 Nice Job Charlie.
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  • + 3
 as far as secret spots..i respect no dig no ride. traveling to different areas and also doing trail work taught me that. respect when you walk into someone's home usually will get you an invite back. crashin a party AND bein a dbag when you're there doesn't work. true trail builders are a creative nomadic clan. they have to be. respect to them.
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  • + 7
 Respect mon, must have it.
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  • + 3
 I'm a builder in Maine; rocks, roots, ledge. Even with the machine-built track we put in last year I can hand-buff about 10' of trail per hour. That one trail is about 3500' long, and that's before the rain hit last fall and we discovered that there are springs running out of the sides of several berms.

I say this to give folks that ride, though don't build, a small idea of the time commitment we builders put in. And for every hour I build, that's an hour I'm not riding. Not complaining there, cuz building's more like life-size sculpture that stokes everyone out. And we're so incredibly fortunate here to have a great scene with tons of support from the local town and land trust, as well as riders and hikers.

But to get back to that 10'/hour. Think about what fraction of a second it takes to ride 10' at speed. Yeah. Not much. As a builder I expect riders to respect the track. Though more than that I want them to show up for a trail day and put some sweat in. Like me they might just learn that building is as much fun as riding...
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  • + 3
 Hey Charlie! We just met the other night at the Lumberyard and it was pretty cool to stumble upon this piece the day after. It's very thoughtful, well-composed and funny. I just have to add, that by creating these illegal trails in the first place, you could be harming years (and unfortunately in Portland DECADES) of hard work building the relationships that get legal trails built. If the hardcore, dedicated riders that spent time working on these illegal trails instead spent efforts building a community of riders, then perhaps we would have more wide-spread support to get legal trails built. Cliques are not productive. We need to convince hikers, and other nay-sayers that mountain biking is the right sport to promote to get kids off the couch and into the woods. That takes more than the few civic-minded people that stand up to that task. That takes the entire community of mountain biking. Although I do work as an "online movement builder," so maybe I have a narrow, idealist view. Who knows. I sure hope not, because Portland has so much potential.
  • + 2
 Hey Tracy, I just saw your comment! Yes, it was really nice to meet you at the Lumberyard, and I totally agree with you that riders should be more involved in creating legal riding areas. However, as great as legal efforts are, there are two reasons that illegal trails will continue to get built. First, like I stated in the article, most legal trails that I know of started as illegal ones. Like it or not, "beg forgiveness" has a way higher success rate than "ask permission." As I'm sure you know, there are so many hoops to jump through in order to get a trail legally built, that it's a non-starter more often than not. However, to make an illegal trail public and legal, all a land owner has to do is not destroy it and put signs up. Second, most legal trails are horribly boring. Not all of them, but most of them. All of my favorite trails are illegal. And that doesn't mean they have to be unsustainable or dangerous, it just means they need to be built by someone with a good eye who knows a thing or two about riding. Problem #1 is systemic, and might take decades to change, but problem #2 just takes new faces with fresh ideas getting involved with official trail building. Hopefully people like you and I can help with that.
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  • + 3
 I'm still promoting the "don't be a dick" philosophy for life but also, especially, for trail use. I don't subscribe to the negative phrasing of "No Dig No Ride." I dig cause I love to ride and share that with others, however, I also know that there are factors that can impact that, like havign a tiny infant, a toddler, and heavy PhD load blah blah blah... I would hope over the span of my life that I dig because I want to, not that I feel forced to. There are times in my life when i have more time to build and times when I have less time but I still want to ride. It's super easy to say as a teen "No dig No Ride" when all you have to worry about is when to update the apps on your phone, but life ebbs and flows. Don't be a dick applies to riding trails you didn't build, sharing trails you did build and building a positive community in general. Trails are a bit like posting on the internet, once they are out they are out and you give up some of that control. If there are reasons why this may be detrimental, perhaps keep that cat in the bag and don't fuss if you let it out and things don't go as planned. Don't build on others trails and ride them like something you have borrowed or as though you are in a rich aunts fancy house. Just my thoughts.
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  • + 3
 In the San Fernando valley in Los Angeles I am completly surrounded by 5000 ft mountains and they are all on total lockdown. There is about 3 downhill runs here worthy of anything. I want nothing more than to dig and make trails happen, but its almost impossible to do anything here without 'the man' getting on your back. We are one hated bunch that's for sure.
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  • + 3
 Unless a trail is actually on the builders private property. A builder should accept that "if you build it, they will come". trails are what our sport is about. From my experience I wouldn't want just anyone digging on my trail anyways. many dont know what they are doing and would do more damage than if just riding the trail. This tends to be an issue where I live. kids drag pallets and plywood all over the woods, stack rotten timber and make shotty stuff. essentially damaging both relations with forest service and the trial. How many people on here have been on a road trip and stopped to ride various trails along the way? that is also a big part of our sport. go different places, ride different stuff. You ride ours, we'll ride yours.

I'd say this is a respect and be respected situation. dont go around thrashing berms and changing or damaging features. ride it and respect it. if you break it, fix it. if you find debris on your ride, remove it.

long live the trail!
  • + 3
 Exactly. Private Property trumps everything. Other than that, yes, respect is shared. The rule "don't be a d!ck" pretty much covers it.
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  • + 5
 Awesome pie chart. Trail builders work harder than anyone else in the bike industry, and get less than anyone else in return. They are king.
  • + 1
 Trail builders run the industry and get nothing in return. Companies make money off of their work.
  • + 8
 If a person is a trail builder and they feel like they did not get anything in return, they should quit trail building. Trail builder's have the most rewarding work out there. How awesome is it to plan a trail system, execute it, ride it, make it better, then have the best flowing trail?! Money is not everything to everybody. People that are all about money suck to begin with.
  • + 1
 dualsuspensiondave: exactly!
  • + 7
 Uh, how exactly do trail builders run the industry?? 90% of the trails that people ride in this country were originally hiking trails. That is a fact. Just in the last few years are legal bike specific trails coming into existence. Don't get me wrong I admire what trail builders do and I have built my share over the last 20 years ( Mostly Illegal unfortunately). But to say that companies make money off their work is kinda nonsense. They play a part in helping this industry & sport grow, but they don't run the industry.

I hate to say it but trailbuilders really need to put their efforts into building legal trails, it is a much harder route to go but if we want mountain biking opportunities 10 years from now legal trails will be the only way. The Cold Creek area that Charlie wrote about took 8 years to come to fruition!! lots of banging heads against the wall but now we are riding one of the best DH trails in Washington and hopefully they will let us build more. This trail will hopefully be here in some form for the next 50 years if bikers don't blow it!
  • + 1
 Of course trail builders get a lot out of building a trail. That is why they do it. But they get nothing in return from the bike industry. How can you say that companies do not make money off of the trails? There are videos and photos all over this website as advertisements for bike companies all shot on trails that they did not participate in building. Look at any print magazine and see pictures of trails that are exploited, with little, if any, return to the trail builder.

People that are all about money? You think the type of people who are out in the woods multiple days a week building trails for everyone to enjoy wouldn't enjoy a little kickback? If you have this much time on your hands, you aren't exactly rolling in the dough. Tools are expensive. And the time these guys are spending digging could be spent riding. Trail building is one of the most satisfying ways to spend one's time, but these type of comments make it seem even more under-appreciated than it already is.

@Vic- where did you get your statistic from? I would guess that 90% of trails around here were originally bike trails. You even used a bike-specific trail as a reference. Hiking trails are fun to ride, for sure, but the industry would still be stuck in the 1990's if it weren't for progressive bike trails, like the one you mentioned. If you don't think trails drive the bike industry forward, tell me exactly where the industry would be without them.
  • + 2
 Nothing in return from the bike industry? There are plenty of bike shops that help fund, and also have employees that actually help build and maintain trails. I agree that bike manufacturer's should get more involved with funding for trails. I would have enjoyed a kick back from weeks on end trailbuilding, but instead I put in my own money and hard work. There are people making a fair living building trails out there, and sure, they should get paid a decent rate. Even the most progressive trails around here paid people to build full time at rates that were similar to their existing jobs. I almost relate it to a good bike shop employee that really knows their product well, has great customer service, and also can spin a mean wrench. They don't get paid near what they should.
  • + 1
 @brad. I am not saying I don't appreciate trail builders and I think they are very important to our sport, are they the reason this sport exists? no! Do they run this industry, not even remotely! Mountain biking started on trails made by hikers or dirt bikes. Give me any trail that you ride on and I would say it most likely started out as a hiking trail. Yes in the last 10 years more trails are being built as bike specific but our sport started out on hiking trails and most people in this country ride hiking trails.
Cold creek has 1 bike specific trail that is 3 miles long, the other 20 miles of trail are either hiking trails or logging roads! I bet even in Bellingham it is the same.
Oakridge Oregon which has some amazing trails to ride, NOT ONE TRAIL was made by or for bikes!!! NOT ONE! Now IMBA is working to make bike specific trails but that is in the works.
It is a fact that there are more trails that were not built by bikers then there are. Some logging and hiking trails are over 100 years old and mountain bikes have been around for 35 years and mountain bike trails are less then 20 years old.
The bike industry does support trailbuilders in a very big way, some of my friends are full time IMBA trail builders! so your point is off the mark, does the industry support illegal trailbuilding no, and it shouldn't because it is not sustainable to our sport and is counterproductive. I say this as a person who has built illegal trails and have seen some get torn down and some are still around from what i hear. The only way to ensure trails are around 20 years from now is the legally built way.

We all as mountain bikers need to be focusing our energy on trail access and legal trailbuilding, everything else is going to be wasted effort. Yes some illegal trails turn into legal trails but a majority of them get torn down and give ammo to all the anti bike groups out there, like the Sierra Club.
  • + 2
 The majority of trails I ride on were built by bikers for biking. Those are the kind of trails I want to ride. Now that you're talking Oakridge and IMBA, it's obvious we're talking about two totally different sports. Don't get your lycra in a wad.
  • + 1
 Brad where you shred is an exception for the most part but if you took the total trail mileage of the area vs how much was built for MTB vs other user groups I think the numbers would be higher than you think. While I have seen Vic in lycra I assure you he is a shredder and pretty integrated in the sport from many different perspectives. Remeber trails like we ride in the density we have in our region (the PNW) is a rarity. I may not agree with vic on illegal trails but I do agree with him on his other points.
  • + 1
 Brad I am sorry you think that they are 2 different sports, and perhaps you should take a look at my profile before you attempt to call me a name! although I have been called worse. lol The guys who ride Oakridge, Cold Creek and Black Rock and anything in between are all the same sport and we are all looking for trail access. I have been riding mountain bikes a very long time and have been working in the bike industry for over 20 years. I have been racing downhill for 20 years and I know more about trail access issues than you from what it seems. Your attitude is what will get trails closed to all bikers including your trails. We as mountain bikers have no entitlement to trails, most trail situations are tenuous at best, we either work together or not at all and loose trails at an even faster pace then right now. Just a side note even your trails in Galbraith started as fire roads and have been modified for bikes by bikers which is aweswome, and it took a lot of hard work from more than just trailbuilders I can assure you that.
  • + 2
 If I were to call you a name, there would certainly be no 'attempt'. I don't care about your profile or your credentials because you don't know a thing about where I ride. Sure, Galbraith mountain started as a place to ride motorcycles, and those trails are still there, but the fun trails on Galbraith were built much more recently by bikers for biking. There was nothing there before. What would be fun about riding a trail that used to be a forest road? There is a plethora of trails here that are not on any maps and that is where I like to ride, so both of you are wrong about the percentage of trails that I ride that were built by bikers. I really couldn't care less about these trails getting closed because it's better to have had something great than have had to compromise your whole life. There are lots of talented, motivated trail builders in this area and it seems to be working pretty well for us. Even the legitimate trails are getting closed due to logging, so it really doesn't matter either way. The Canadians all seem to get the fact that it's your own fault if you get hurt. The legit bike trails in the US are lame by comparison, and that is impossible to argue. I have worked with IMBA before and it's mostly a bunch of self-righteous back-patters who claim to know it all, when if fact the methods I witnessed were a waste of resources and likened to a flexing contest. Your comments are speculation and generalizing, and it's fine if you want to stick to supporting your opinions of your backyard, just don't assume to know everything outside of your little bubble.
  • + 1
 good lord, Vic, just for kicks I had a look at your profile and the first thing I saw was you saying this about yourself: "been riding mountain bikes since 1985! been racing since 1990. Yes I have been riding mountain bikes longer than most people on pinkbike" holy ballz bro, get a grip! You are a major douchebag.
  • + 1
 Haha. now who is getting their lycra in a wad Brad! again I have been called worse Smile

We are getting off topic so good luck to you up there and I am sure we will run into each other on the trails up there or maybe you come down and ride what we have here, it will be well worth your trip. let me know when you do I would be happy to show you the trails, and I can assure our legit trails are not lame in the least bit!
I do agree what you guys having going up there is awesome and I hope it continues long after we are not riding anymore. But when you look at the country as a whole you are the ones in an awesome bubble of great trails, the rest of the country is not so lucky. It's not speculating or generalizing it is a truth you can't deny.
  • + 1
 @bradwalton: One of the best videos up recently www.pinkbike.com/video/317410 but each time I watch, it just reminds me of this thread and kills it for me.
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  • + 7
 Nothing worse than someone changing a trail they didn't build
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  • + 4
 i like the guys that come out and see the trail you're building and say "YOU should do this" or "YOU should do that", but don't even consider grabbing a shovel and helping you do this or that.
  • + 2
 Haha you are exactly right, this annoys me so much.
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  • + 3
 First off, I'm a noob to mtb and have yet to build a trail but would love to so don't everyone get all bent. I've got my eye on a spot not to far from where I live and I have tons of construction experience. To tell the truth half of the ladders, ramps an bridges I've seen so far (including on PB vids should be used for firewood) they just don't look like they will hold up long. Second being a military man of 15 years if I'm biking, camping, fishing or whatever I leave the sight cleaner or better than I found it because it's been drilled into my head all these years from training on public lands.

So here is what I believe; If I'm riding on public land and happen across a really nice trail, I'm going to ride it. If the builder is there and accuses me that I am going to mess it up and just leave then we have a problem, and he will have a big one if he's one of those guys that's dumb enough to get in my face over it. I respect what other people do to make riding better, especially hard work. Also you're an idiot if you think other people are not going to ride it specially on public land. It's to bad not everyone is going to respect it, I do.

Being on private land is another story. I'm in north ID so that ask first thing is really big here. So same scenario as before but I'll ask "Did you ask to be here and for permission to build that trail?" If the answer is yes then cool I'll do my thing somewhere else or ask if I can help. If the answer is no then, "well too bad I did, lets go talk to the land owner and see what he has to say about you building shit on his land without permission".
  • + 3
 Mark, as someone that's been on both sides of this discussion, here's my 2 cents. It's been my experience that most builders are chill with folks who are both respectful and courteous. I've certainly ridden down other builders' trails and stumbled across them working on said trail. What happens next often decides how that interaction will go. Do I give a disingenuous "thanks for the trail" and just keep on rolling or do I get off the bike, pull out a beer from my pack for the builder and make an offer to help? Even 15 minutes is a big help when someone else is fresh and you've been digging for hours. A lot of builders will say thanks, but no thanks and the gesture was enough. Some builders will take you up on the offer and maybe that gives the builder the 15-30 minute break they really needed or the extra body helps them move some cribbing or rocks? For reference, I've had packs of 10-15 riders come through a build zone without a single offer to help me out....
  • + 3
 @ebexteme, You sound like the type of guy that I like to run into on the trail. I' just talkin' about the one that's usually what we refer to as "that guy". You know "don't be that guy".
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  • + 3
 I agree there is a balance. I ride other people's trails but I ride at odd times (ie. Midweek) when nobody seems to be around. Not knowing who the builders are it is pretty difficult to ask permission or assist.

What I do try to do is treat the trail with respect and do my best to avoid damaging it, and when I do meet up with someone I do ask if they built it. One day I hope to meet the builders and offer my help. It is not something I would do without them as I have zero building experience and to mess up what they had achieved with some crappy half-soaked repairs might be even worse for them...

The other thing is that everyone has different time constraints. A full time job and family makes it difficult to ride with any regularity as I live some distance from the trails here. If I were to go and build I would not get to go and ride.

I can fully understand why some people would be angry at me, but perhaps we should be looking at ways in which those who cannot directly build can otherwise assist, perhaps financially or with beer? Again, when the trail bosses are secretive it is difficult.
  • + 1
 As a trail builder the beer suggestion sounds great Smile as I said in an earlier post I love people to ride what I build that is over half the satisfaction of building a trail, the rest of the satisfaction comes from sculpting the trail.

I wish more people would adopt your attitude.....
  • + 3
 I think it's just about respect though - don't act like a dick and in general less people will be dicks back (I'm not accusing anyone of being a dick by the way...). I'm sure half these arguments or problems would disappear if people just backed down from their high horses and explained themselves...

Rules for riding other people's trails are as follows (feel free to add more!):

1) If you have to put it on Strava (or anything else) make it private so nobody else can 'see' it.
2) Don't advertise the location of the trails by cycling into that hidden trail head as a massive group goes past. Be subtle.
3) Try and find out who built it and, if you are lucky enough to actually meet them, offer to help.
4) If you know the trail is so wet that riding it will turn the whole thing to sludge don't ride it.
5) Don't be a dick.
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  • + 3
 How can anyone say "No Dig, No Ride"? Unless EVERY trail you have EVER ridden you have built, then you're being a hypocritical fool. It's a convenient thing to say when you don't want someone else riding where you are... but you're more than happy to make an exception when it's you riding unfamiliar territory.

If someone is trashing a trail, feel free to say "hey don't do that, don't hit that jump, don't braid the trail, etc." (something you don't need to be a 'trail boss" to do). All too often these "bosses" simply show up and just tell others to get out because they're being selfish, and letting their ego do the talking, not because the rider is doing anything wrong or hurting the trails.

Also, the article is written from a completely one sided view...You could have thrown in a little bit from the opposing point, to address it, at the very least. This piece isn't a discussion so much as it is a "respect the people who built the trail regardless of how they act".

The message should have been:
For riders: Don't hurt trails you don't contribute to (disassemble jumps, change lines etc), try to be discreet when you're doing something that isn't legal (leave no trace... don't litter, don't be noisey, don't leave beer cans), be discerning about who you ride with (don't bring go-pro hero buddy). Finally, thank the trail builder if you run into them, buy a beer for them later, and offer to help out sometime.

For builders: You put the work in, so you do deserve respect, and props. However, being a jerk to fellow riders will never gain you respect. Try to be accepting of rookies. Don't assume every rider on your trail is the 1 guy that keeps hurting it, chances are, they're not. Extend a chance for riders to help you... Instead of "get out, this is mine" say "hey, come back Thursday and help me smooth out a line".

Both sides, just be cool.
  • + 1
 Couldn't agree more.
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  • + 3
 Im on the builders side of this discussion, and I although I dont have a problem with anyone turning up riding anything I build, there are certain things that will always piss me off. If someone turns up will im working on a section of track and moans, or even worse, tries to ride the section im working on. I will always say hi to anyone I see riding down the trails and they straight up ignore me. Last but no means least is anyone that cant ride a track and decides to try and change anything. At the end of the day there are people willing to put the work in and people that aren't, as I said, I have no problem people riding what I choose to build, but anyone that moans about a track ive spent months building in shit weather can go fuck themselves.
  • + 2
 @ cadge: "anyone that moans about a track ive spent months building in shit weather can go f*ck themselves" That made my day. Thanks!
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  • + 5
 Nobody owns the Mountain I'lll be proud that someone use the trail that I build .
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  • + 5
 i dont mind others riders using the trail i made ,but jut ride it dont modify it
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  • + 2
 There is a trail system that passes on my property where we'll build our new house this summer. It's been there for a while and I haven't built it but now we own a small portion of the network that goes through our land (all the network is on private properties). The trail has been rerouted to go around the neighbourhood but the problem we are facing is that people are used to passing via that entrance to acces the network.

I don't mind if people on MOUNTAIN BIKES or on FOOT pass on our property if they respect our privacy. I plan on rerouting the trail and build a couple of cool features to keep riders happy and keep them off our backyard but there will always be idiots who can't respect what's not theirs and I can foresee the problems arising.

We are unsure how to deal with this, me and my wife both ride and bought this property because of it's access to trails but we don't want riders to think it's their right to do what they want on our land... All we ask for is respect in the end!
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  • + 2
 If u build it , you have to assume everyone is going to ride it. Especially on public land. When building a trail, you must also assume that no one is going to help maintain it. And if someone does, all the better. I am the guy that is a part of all of it , building, maintaining and riding. Fuck angry trail builders and fuck angry people! I'm out there to not be angry. I'm there to let the rest of the world go for a while and even though we pour our hearts out onto these trails, the anger should not be a part of it !
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  • + 2
 This is awesome I've spent countless days and months fixing and building no one likes to help make the trials bitching they just expect them to be Now I don't mind dif people hitting the trials I built but I want respect for the trails the hills and the people out there hikers ,horses , other mtb riders When we build in public land we represent our mtb community So we have to be respectful and obey the trail rules If you don't like the trial rules go spend a couple months makin your own.


And also to all you riders who don't grab a shovel and pitch in on trial building or help Maintenance. Just do it pitch in at your local trails see how much more respect you get from other riders

But in the end the few of us that build want people to enjoy them and we hope we made the most bitching trails Smile



But if its public land it's county or private land so the city most of time owns land
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  • + 2
 There is one more thing that is overlooked when riders say "It's not your land, you can't tell me what to do:"

6. The builder can close the trail permanently. And if you can't find even a little bit of respect for a builder, its pretty unlikely that you'll have the discipline to re-build it.
  • + 1
 I agree respect goes along ways so it does take you places, I found `secret' trails on public land around my town way out of my league in skill level I turned around with mouth shut never went back.
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  • + 2
 Living in Northeast usa.. there are limited trails and an overly controlling nemba assoc. I build my own trails and try to get people involved who enjoy freeride/dh style trails..But getting spots to do it and not get fined or shutdown or kicked out is tough.. And if i catch someone littering or destroying things Myself and my friends have worked hard on, then yes i will slap the shit out of you.. But if you find my trails and ride them..do just that! And Enjoy!!! Good Luck finding them!
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  • + 2
 I think this whole thing boils down to respect. People put in hard work to build trails and they don't want them ruined or messed with, and that's perfectly understandable. But at the same time I think that people who build trails on public land also shouldn't act like spoiled children who take their ball and go home when people they don't like show up. If people ride the trail and leave it in the same condition or better than when they show up then there should never really be a problem.
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  • + 4
 its like lego... You dont want other people messing up your creations but if your friend is nice and plays by your rules sure I'll let them play with it for a while
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  • + 5
 You wont catch me on a trail, Im so fast I make my own lines. An my kits brand new.
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  • + 2
 Before you put a crap load of time into some awesome trail build, why not talk to the landowner first? Oh...and make everyone who rides it sign a waiver or carry their own insurance, if the landowner agrees to let you 'borrow' their land.
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  • + 2
 If someone has put the time into a trail... I'm going to ride it regardless. Some of us don't have weekends to crunch in building time, or equipment to build.... at the same time though, it doesn't go unappreciated. If I see a trial builder there and he ask to lend a hand, if I have a free moment I'll gladly do so. but if I get bitched out cause I didn't build, well he has no right to kick me off crown land and that's the risk he has taken. If your a builder and you want to keep you trails exclusive then do so in the comfort of your own property. You can't simply build and claim. its very similar to hunting season where people build treestands in the middle of the forest and expect them to be exclusive to them simply cause they built it.... a reasonable person would respect the effort put in and, if it ever so happened that the owner of the treestand showed up while you where there, you would be reasonable and offer it to him without question. but if he becomes and ass and flips his shit at you. then hes clearly a dick. He should expect that if its not on your property and its on crown land, its pretty much open to anyone. you build on crown land. I will ride it. I will respect your efforts and do what I can to maintain and lend a hand if possible. if your a huge dick and expect exclusive rights to the trails, dream on, I'll be back. if you confront me and try to prove that you have authority regarding the trail that is not on your property. well this is the primary reason why over time people are going to shut you down.
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  • + 2
 As far as the US is concerned, this is a land of property rights. That's how it was founded ("Go west, you man!" 40 acres and a mule, etc.), and that's how it is today. Take a flight over the middle part of the country and you see the pride people have in their property lines. (Compare this to flying over Europe where the boundaries between "your piece of land" and "my land" are blurrier.)

My Norwegian friend can't wrap his head around the myriad regulations we have here on "public" land. That being said, here in the US land is always owned by someone. And it is especially NOT owned by some outlaw mountain biker with a shovel and a bunch of free time to "carve gnar," as much as I wish that were true. Wink
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  • + 4
 If everyone who rides just did one or two dig days a year or just helped maintain their local trails then a lot of these problems would dissappear
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  • + 2
 We have trails all over the Ottawa/Gatineau capital region built illegally, and it was bad enough in the early 90s before the internet with just NAMING a trail with a cool name (Multiple Orgasm in the Gatineau park as an example) and seeing an explosion of ridership on it but now, with web forums, and people who can't keep their mouths shut, or forget to disable the GPS tagging feature of their cameras... or not posting their times to Strava for the world to see, its even worse.
  • + 1
 If you mean wolfe trail in the gatineau park, that is named for one of the settler families to the area as i recall. Its been the official trail name on maps of the park for decades.
  • + 1
 its up near meech lake. it was a nice ridding spot until ncc and locals decided to clear it out and make it a walking trail.
  • + 1
 Same trail, the start of the loop is near the last parking lot along meech road. Its always been a hiking/walking trail and since 1990-91 its always been a banned trail to mountain bike on. There's still major ice storm damage from 1998 on parts of the loop which was never cleared because its specifically a hiking trail and hikers can just climb over the downed trees. Mountain bikers who don't care about the fines, usually just ride along ridge road and then start wolfe in the middle. In twenty years I think I've only ever ridden it from the parking lot up ONCE on a group ride.
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  • + 2
 Modern trail building really is an art form, like an interpretive dance inside a sculpture. There really is something to the 'auteur theory' applied to a trail, especially when one artist's vision is applied with rigor, and builders deserve all the respect and deference owed to any artist. Messing with their work is like scribbling on a Rembrandt.
BUT
When the trail is illegal, a certain sense of practicality is not only legally necessary, I'd think it would also be very beneficial and helpful to the artist as well. Like the pain of a graffiti writer seeing their tags obliterated or altered, the pain and (warranted) indignation of a builder seeing their trails altered and destroyed has to be taken into perspective. When you build on land that is not yours, you do not have any control over its use. You never will, and if you go into the whole process with that in mind, knowing that your labor may eventually be perverted or destroyed, you can see the ephemerality of your art form as a natural and even (possibly) valuable part of your work.
Remember there was something there before you built your trail, and it was beautiful too. And know that even if you didn't see them, there were people there before you who liked it quite well before you did your masterpiece, and quite possibly liked it better that way.
You can paint the world's greatest painting on the side of your own van, but if you paint it on your neighbor's van without asking him, don't be surprised if he doesn't see the beauty of it!
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  • + 2
 A group of people in NZ have created a charitable organisation called Trail Fund NZ. People and businesses can contribute funds to the not-for-profit organisation and distribute it back to trail projects around the country. It's a super simple idea that's fuelled by a few highly motivated people. I guess from a funding side of things, everyone can contribute trailfund.org.nz
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  • + 2
 This has to be my all-time favourite Pinkbike content ever!!

Time to break in the "add to favourites" feature! Thanks for the great points presented in a hilarious way. I would imagine arguing with this writer would be like going up against this guy:

www.27bslash6.com
  • + 1
 I love that site. Maybe Charlie used some from this post for his inspiration? www.27bslash6.com/p2p2.html
  • + 1
 Dang, that right there is funny. Reminds me of some of my email interchanges with Arabian princes over my Craigslist 'item'.
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  • + 5
 I can't even think of who owns a certain downhill trail that I ride. It keeps owning me!
  • + 1
 Have yet to ride a "real" dh trail in Luzon. Mostly footpaths or single tracks (footpaths). Dumaguete boys make an effort to have their trail and not just footpaths. Not saying that it's really bad, but I would like to see a man made trail for DH, Trail riding with good features.
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  • + 2
 so what about a trail we built as an xc team including an insane road gap that were maintained by the team for at least 2 years until the time local dh crews showed up and randomly/egotisticaly started building in it.?the funny thing isn't that the trail is now kinda ruined for xc biking coz' of the huge gap jumps right in the middle of the trail but that "i have to -G MAN BE CAREFUL MAN! on other trails' ,they built, burms coz' there's a possibility i might get some dirt off em'.trails that i was invited to join...as a former xc biker and a tryin to be dher now i think its really really important to respect other trails today if you as a trail boss or a building crew member want your trail to be respected tomorrow.....
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  • + 2
 I enjoy people riding trails I built and having fun, just as long as they keep the skidding to a minimum and don't change things without permission. When something gets added I think sucks or is built poorly its removed immediately no hard feelings, but usually i feel its a safety thing. If some one removes something it goes back in with the biggest rocks I can move!

And why do people insist on dragging pallets out "build" with ffs...
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  • + 2
 In my "neck of the woods" things are really simple (but nowhere near perfect). We have Whinlatter. It's on Forestry Commision land but built and operated by a separate company. You can go there and (except for car park charges) ride the trails for free. They're governed by the FC (so have lots of Health and Safety mumbo-jumbo attached), they're basically an XC ride in the forest with the occasional roller/blown out berm (If you want to get stoked, you're better off watching Movies for your Monday than riding there) and the maintenance is sporadic and often difficult to define.However, did I mention they're free to ride?
A short drive away is a place called Hamsterley. They have exactly the same set up as Whinlatter with the exception of a corner of it that's leased and run by Craig at Descend Hamsterley. Craigs trails are burley and are guaranteed to give that sensation of "Stoke". They're well maintained (year round) and there's even events/races held up there. Guess what? That sh*t's not free. It's good, it's well looked after, the trail boss (Craig) is a legend, he has to pay to rent the land (and build and maintain it) and I don't know anyone who's ridden there who doesn't think the prices he charges aren't fair.
  • + 2
 In the tweed Valley we have Glentress and Innerleithen, both run by FC and governed by their rules, we have many other trails aswell though, but here we have the Glentress Trailfairies who volunteer currently once a month to help maintain the trails at Glentress and sometimes Innerleithen, I hate it when you get people complaining about the trails, im just like . . .come to fairies and bloody help then! so annoying
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  • + 2
 I ride trails in Christina lake, and i have not had rules, really laid back, and the trails are well maintanced. just started riding there last year, now to talk to the guys who help build the trail to get in and help. but i havent had any issues with stuck up trail bosses.
  • + 1
 The drama usually comes from pressurized areas - places where illegal trails are killed by too many people riding them or by authorities getting wind. In Canada, we're lucky that public land is pretty open. And in Christina Lake, you're lucky that you have just the right amount of riders to keep trails active without getting blown out.
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  • + 2
 For all those out there with the opinion of "The trails should be free for everyone to ride whenever they want", here's my advice...
1)Go out and buy some land (that way everything's legal and won't get destroyed). 2) Build your awesome trails. 3)Employ a year round maintenance / build crew so they stay awesome. 4) Even though you've spent (and will continue to spend ) a sh*t load of money advertise your trails nationwide so they're not secret in any way and invite everyone to come and ride for free.
If you're not able to follow those 4 simple steps it's probably because you're living in the real world. As such, I would suggest that people would benefit from adopting a real world attitude.
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  • + 2
 I'm not a trail builder, I wouldn't really know where to start but I do love to ride trails and i am part of this awesome mountain bike " family "
I really appreciate the hours of work the guys and girls put into the dirt and think that it is only right that the trails be respected weather they are commitie, illegal or FC trails.
The trail builder should certainly be the " boss " and it is only right that they should be aware of you intention to ride and we should respect there rules as they are usually there for the sake of the trail and our riding pleasure.
I would be more than willing to earn my right on a trail with shovel and in future build my own trails.
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  • + 3
 i think the trails must be free for everyone, but if there is a good reason to not to ride the trail you should ride another...no one can say,"it's my trail get the f*ck of... "
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  • + 2
 It’s a tough gig all around, nothing about this sport is easy. The $$$ bike means nothing without a trail. Building trails is a monumental task and everything about it is personal. Respect yourself, others and the environment! Can you dig it?
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  • + 2
 It depends on the trail. You cannot compare a downhill trail at a bike park and a trail in the woods that have been built privately. In my opinion, if a trail has been built from scratch by one or two, even a group of friends, they should have power on what happens to that trail. After all they are the ones who put the time and work into it. If you do not agree with them and dont think you should help out, there are plenty of public tracks and bike parks for you to go to. So, if you dont want to dig and help out, dont ride other peoples trails, go to a bike park !
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  • + 2
 I think it is all just a bit of Mr Perfectionist approach. I have built trails before just to find them ripped to bits by local authorities within few days. Did I cry? No- we rode it so I went to build something else somewhere else. And will carry on as long as necessary. It is all about fun guys- never forget it- whether you are building or riding.


However it is about respect too- ask yourself- how many trails have I built in my life and is that (potentially) significant experience is enough to alter someone else's?


And just ride guys- have fun. That is all. Hence I am in the middle- no hate towards anyone but no love towards haters tho.
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  • + 1
 I see it as a Chicken-Egg Situation.. One can't exsist without the other! No trail, no riders. But no riders, means no trail!
If you ride it, there should be some form of acknowledgment whether it be helping out or even just props to the bulider.. Like wise builders should be stoked on riders choosing their trails to ride and shred on! Surely we all build and ride for the same reasons? Why can't builders and riders work together to expand the sport and everything within it... Peace out.
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  • + 1
 if its an illegal trail, the only people i will listen to are the police or the owner of the property. that being said im not gonna trash the thing on purpose. but some guy claiming to "own" the trail is just gonna make me laugh my ass off in his face. hes the one that trespassed in the first place in order to make the trail.
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  • + 1
 The bottom line is that even though we are endangering ourselves out in the middle of the woods building crazy lines, that's the only way we can build what we want to ride! Every sick downhill trail that is built near legal trails gets torn down, so as a freerider it's hard to build anything sick anywhere. It's pretty much never gonna be legal unless its sanctioned by a bike park or you own the land. Or it's "crown land" in Canada.
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  • + 1
 All Trails are illegal down here in Ecuador.. Goat paths that grew with the years and became sweet trails.. As a builder, I'd say that the reward is shredding down your own trail, yeah, you will get pissed as to how damaged it gets with other riders. As a rider, shredding someones else trail is about understanding them, flowing or hucking like them. Our sport is about getting adapted to the circumstances.. If someone wastes their time destroying a jump already built, their loss, they'll never learn.. It doesnt matter if you've built a track, you'll always get tired of it, that's why you have to vary from time to time the spots you ride!! ENjoy biking!!
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  • + 1
 A question that has some personal relevance:

What if you are the landowner, and people are starting to build a trail that goes through it? You ride, you understand people want to build trails and enjoy them, but you also live in a country where someone that gets hurt on an illegal trail going through your land can sue you. What are you supposed to do, be the grinch that ruins people's fun? You can talk to the builders and ask them to build elsewhere, but sometimes trail builders will ignore you and just say 'you can't just BUY this land, man, its for everyone'. In the end of the day someone is responsible for everything that occurs on a privately owned piece of land. Any thoughts on situations like this?
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  • + 1
 I've just gotten started to be involved with the local trail network and doing maintenance and keeping them clear, and it takes a lot of coordination, communication, and time. So please give props to people and lend a hand, even if it's just scouting out an old trail for damage or something.
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  • + 1
 This article sound's right but it only covers a really specific case: there's a legit identifiable and unique trail builder. Many trails have a long history and many people contributes to make what they are. They often started as hiking trails then features has been added, sometime to make it better, sometime ti make it terrible, there is generations and generations of kids and grown up men who worked on this trail. So yes it pisses me off when a guy show up and do some maintenance and eventually tied things together and eventually put some decent amount of work for a while and claims that's his trail... It's not all black and white! Trail builder also need some education, they have the potential to ruin the sport for everybody by building stupid stuff that will attract the attention or by ruining efforts made to make some trails legal...
Also keep in mind the sport will never grow (and bike will never be cheaper, pros will never be able to make a living) if there isn't legal opportunities for the mass to ride some of these trails.....
So yes I respect real trail builder that build great trail from scratch but be honest with yourself there's lot of grey area and trolling. I think respect and not something you can claimed but it's something you must deserved.
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  • + 1
 Ok everyone! Let's all hold hands!! And sing 3, 2, 1....... This land is your land This land is my land From California to the New York island From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and Me!!!!
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  • + 1
 Loved this article.. Its pretty dead on! With commitment and passion comes trails. Totally feel it on keeping trails secret.. Till the time is right Smile Thats just how "blahblahblah" stays so prestine!

P.s build your own trails if you dont like the rules! Smile
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  • + 1
 If you're not building trails - you're stuck riding somebody elses vision. usually a hiker's or a deer's vision. So, I build trails, enjoy doing it, and love riding them. If somebody rides my trails, I don't get pissed. If you worked hard enough to create it, it's a small fraction of the work to maintain it. When I ride other people's trails, I stop and maintain what I can, but usually I stick to my own projects as they are enough. Now.. on the other hand. If you are poaching dirt jump trails that are immaculate. Maybe you're a shit rider that cases landings, then in that case ---- No Dig. No Ride.
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  • + 1
 This article sound's right but it only covers a really specific case: there's a legit identifiable and unique trail builder. Many trails have a long history and many people contributes to make what they are. They often started as hiking trails then features has been added, sometime to make it better, sometime ti make it terrible, there is generations and generations of kids and grown up men who worked on this trail. So yes it pisses me off when a guy show up and do some maintenance and eventually tied things together and eventually put some decent amount of work for a while and claims that's his trail... It's not all black and white! Trail builder also need some education, they have the potential to ruin the sport for everybody by building stupid stuff that will attract the attention or by ruining efforts made to make some trails legal...
Also keep in mind the sport will never grow (and bike will never be cheaper, pros will never be able to make a living) if there isn't legal opportunities for the mass to ride some of these trails.....
So yes I respect real trail builder that build great trail from scratch but be honest with yourself there's lot of grey area and trolling. I think respect and not something you can claimed but it's something you must deserved.
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  • + 1
 Things have to be give and take, not take and take. Can't take things for granted nor treat it as if you're entitled, else you're in for a surprise when it's "taken away" from you. "Giving" a tiny donation to IMBA and paying taxes doesn't really count.
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  • + 1
 It's all based on respect here at the end of the day, if someone chooses to build a trail and lay down some what may seem as. 'stupid' rules, then abide by them, or you'll find 2 choices, build your own, or find another trail, I think that's fair enough!
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  • + 1
 A buddy & I took on a project trail that some folk had started years ago, never finished it and eventually abandoned it. Just the 2 of us working on it, has turned out well, nice flow, multi use. Here's the problem, equestrians trample the jumps and drops, other riders altering said features, and some complaints from other riders about landings and take off's. And I must add, recently had some tools stolen. As for the equestrians....nothing we can do, they are gunna do what they do no matter what. Other riders altering......don't alter, add a feature to said trail. Complainers....stop complaining and grab a shovel. If anything, just help maintain it. We don't own it, but it wouldn't be if we hadn't taken the time to revive it. Thank you, Far-Nor-Cal rider.
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  • + 1
 Legal trail or not, ride it like you built it (ride don't slide). Hate those retards drifting burms in the bikepark, creating brake bumps all over the place.

The land owner owns the trail. Crown land is everyone's land (legal trail or not).
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  • + 1
 I own a piece of land that has 20 acres of wooded ravine at the west end of the property. I spent countless hours building and maintaining there. I have had my work modified to be made easier many times. After 25 years of this, I don't get so worked up anymore. Some people are entitled, some people are respectful. I own the land, and did the building. I accept I cannot control the dicks who leave garbage and spin muddy areas into unrideable trenches. All of this elitist whining I'm reading is amusing. Keep bitching as much as you want, but it isn't going to change. I built my trails for me, and I enjoy them. When they get changed, I put them back the way I want them.
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  • + 1
 I see alot of if you dont build you dont ride. I disagree if you want to own the trail buy the land. As a landowner who cares who builds what. its not yours. You can build whatever you like but if the land does not belong to you niether does the trail. IF YOU WANT A PRIVATE TRAIL BUY THE LAND.
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  • + 1
 Ok I had a dilemma a year ago, there was these jumps untouched for a year I patiently waited to see if they were gonna be re built by the kids what built them, my girlfriend said they all moved no one rides em, I got a shovel and a couple friends and went to work come back from a busy month to find a bunch of dumb kids ruined our line said they were to small i'm like no they weren't done and you idiots dug without thinking...

Now this spot is just 2 kickers a hip and some rollers and a trick jump no flow, no fun and complete shit now its 100% abandoned cause of these dumb kids.

I think private trails and shit cool 100% respect to the builders but how do us people get into a good scene of people to help and have a good time, I ride my bike 5+ hours just to do 1 run cause i'm not "Holy" enough...I wont touch a shovel inless I got your permission to HELP! So that no dig no ride is not really a good saying to use...
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  • + 1
 very good article! I wish someone is taking care of the trail I ve build the past twelve years. now everyone is doing crap on it. And those damn kids are complaining about some logs on the trail from logging work. But none of those kids took their saw and clear the part of the trail!
  • + 1
 Then give them a saw and teach them the word 'respect'
  • + 1
 That's What i tried to do! but no result... Then I did maintain it because these trails are important to me. Guess what now everyone is shredding it again!! But no one put a bit of love on some spot that suffered from the logging.
  • + 2
 f*ck them then, plant mines Wink
I should be around Mulhouse in June I'll look you up so I can ride your trail and I'll bring a shovel and beer.
  • + 1
 You are welcome!
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  • + 2
 I agree completely, I build trails and if some hot head decides to turn up and trash it then we get seriously pissed, what we say goes, even if it's my friends little brother.
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  • + 1
 Very awesome discussion and really at the core here what we are discussing is respect.

Nothing sucks more than riders or others not showing trail builders the respect they deserve. I personally expect you to follow my rules or the rules of the trail regardless if Illegal on private property or public lands. If I was cool enough to show you my secret trails, invite you to my house, or just meet you on the local public trails that I (our group) maintains. I expect you to respect the hard work and time put into to make an awesome places for you to ride. Its simple If you don't I wont invite you back and i certainly won't show you any more of my goods and I will make sure to let all my fellow builders int he region know to not let you in on their secret stashes.

We all know how you are the most awesomest trail builders ever but keep it to your self and work out your ideas on your own trails or share respectfully your ideas with me. Don't tell me my jumps sucks just because you can't hit big gaps. Don't change our lips or build go arounds on techy/steep sections. For god's sake everyone repeat after me "WE DO NOT REMOVE ROOTS OR ROCKS" If we close a trail don't poach it regardless if its on public land , private land , or mars for that matter. Respect the rules of trail! respect the builders who make places for you to ride. Enjoy riding the vision of the builder even if it s not yours... Remember whats the first rule of fight club we do not talk about fight club........
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  • + 1
 TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS! Illegal trails are a shared resource that belongs to none of us. The actual owner of the property has the only real power and in this case lets call him or her Super Man. The rest of us cannot claim to be Super Man, but we can form a social order that allows us to share this resource until Super Man takes it away.
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  • + 1
 If you build a trail on public land it is a public trail. If you build a trail on private land it is a private trail. Nobody should trespass to ride a trail. If you do build a private trail you are probably a prick that should stay on your trail. If you ride on public land, treat all hikers, horse back riders, joggers, and other riders with respect.
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  • + 1
 Really the land owner "owns the trail" if not, you should really try and respect whatever the rtail builders say. Also true is the fact that if they choose to build in a public place, then it is open to everyones rules, not sayin it´s rigth though. Ultimately, no dig, no ride! haha
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  • + 1
 I agree with this article, mainly because growing up we had enough dirt bike trails to ride for days and not be in the same spot. As time went more and more people came and disrespected the trails and local land owners. Fast forward to the present and the spots that are left cops are immediately there trying to impound. The other spots have neighborhoods built on what used to be great trails. I know this isn't a mtb story but the principle is exactly the same, you should use common sense when riding trails that are not yours (which a lot of ppl do not), or you'll end up with absolutely nothing.
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  • + 1
 Team Robot head droid delivers with an involved and thought provoking piece and does not disappoint with his debut of taking over the world. Well done. Coming up on 500 comments in 48 hours thus far.

If it is a legal trail, ran by a local trail club or other organization, fair game for any one.

If it is an illegally built trail that few close riding friends know about, even if it is on illegal land, I would agree in saying 100% that it is "their" trail. We don't have many here, and the riding scene isn't so huge where you are going to get poachers and such. You will be very lucky to find viable terrain within a reasonable driving distance to make a trail project worth it. That being said me and my close mates have one in progress and if loads of people started showing up when its complete, namely uninvited riders, that could possibly pose a problem with property owners(whoever they may be) and law enforcement obviously. I'm not going to go starting a fight or some shit but i would explain to them the situation, if they don't abide by said rules they then they are not welcome. Or let them stay and risk losing the trail altogether because of their inability to do what has been asked.

Trail boss makes the rules. It sounds like the situation in the area's mentioned in comments and article have it way worse than we do. I would take that trade off due to the flat terrain we have here personally. Nonetheless, what the boss says is what goes. They built it, with their own f*cking hands. It IS theirs.
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  • + 1
 I've only been riding for just over a year but have become close to the trail boss at my favorite trail, and know several others. Most are nice, some aren't. All deserve respect since they are devoting their personal time, all the time, to make what is a labor of love. They wouldn't do it otherwise. I always volunteer for trail days when I have the time, which isn't often, but I owe a lot to the trails I ride for making me much healthier after coming back from a serious condition. I'm middle aged and this is the way I get excitement. The harder the trail the better and I have the scars to show. It is very hard for most people to understand what really goes into trail building. Its not just time and shovels. They can't do it alone. They have to ask for help, which is hard when you need volunteers, and you have to put up with the personalities of a very diverse group who all think because they are giving up their time to help, they should be able to make decisions on what to do. The trail boss has to deal with town or county officials, police if its not exactly sanctioned, website/facebook development, materials purchase and tools... mostly with their own money, weather, vehicles to haul the stuff to the work site, listen to jerks on the trail criticize, punks who steal features or signs or damage them just for fun, or worse...rebels who go on their own and decide to change things, usually making the trail unsafe in the process. The trail boss deserves a tremendous amount of respect, period. The trailboss is not new to riding and usually has very good judgement on the way to lay out the trail. I can say this, if my favorite trail was built the way I wanted, it would look ridiculous and wash out within weeks. The fact that I have followed the trail boss religiously has made my riding and skills achieve a much higher level. There is no experience like doing the job, and no other skill translates to trail building.
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  • + 1
 Simply put, anyone who builds rogue trails without permission on anything other than their own property is a vandal and should be dealt with accordingly.... As far as ownership goes; it always, always, always, defers to the owner of the property.
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  • + 1
 I am the boss of the illegal trail in my city. me and my friend have built it from nothing. and it is free and welcome to all mtb riders. the only problem is the dirt bike an quadrocycle riders. these skillless motherf*ckers sometimes damage our kickers and sidewalls. sometimes I wish I had a dozen of anti-tank mines.
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  • + 1
 i cant understand how many people think that all trails are for them and they dont have to respect them they destroy jumps just for fun and offcorce the throw all their rubbish in our trails

i am a dirt jump trail builder an because my trail is really known in my neibourhood i have a big problem
i think that if you want to ride in your way like dartmoor says you must built your trail in your own references and dont let anyboby destroy your trail
in the other hand if you dont have enought time or you dont like digging offcorse you can ride in others trails but you must respect them because they offer something importand for youand help them as much as you can
just ride your bike guys have fun and RESPECT Smile riders must be friends

IF YOU DONT AGREE WITH YOU TRAIL BUILDER GO RIDE IN OTHER PLACES OR GO HOME AND SELL YOUR BIKE
(sorry for bad english)
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  • + 1
 Private is private. Public is public. On the legal side if its on public land and you are telling someone not to ride its a restriction of free movement, violation of basic human rights or in other terms very illegal - so go ahead and call police on these idiots who want to be the boss of trails on public lands. Me me me, my my my, I I I. Share kids, share. Know your rights! Otherwise one will be without an eye, another in jail, another in hospital and so on.
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  • + 1
 I love building trails almost as much as riding them. Nice when people help out and say thanks for your hard work, or even bring you a cold brew. Super cool seeing your lines enjoyed by lots of riders. Good way to be expressive and build some nice art in the forest. Some rules are needed depending on the trail just for riders safety, ie look before you leap.
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  • + 1
 Correction "Don't care , I ride a dirtbike, I go where I want to" but I also give the common respect that all trails deserve, like not ripping up the trails with 45 horsepower , and only going down on mountainbike trails,and helping maintaining trails . Like I tell my kids everyday "Do whatever you want just be respectful !" PEACE
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  • + 1
 So how many comments later, and no one has changed their mind or impression of what is correct behavior. It's nice to provoke critical thought and dialog, but no one seems to be learning anything. The opinionated are still opinionated, the dicks are still dicks, the hippies are still hippies, the lawyers are still lawyers, the "entitled" are still "entitled" and...

"Can't we all just get along?"
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  • + 1
 I think the type off people that wont dig are just straight up lazy and have the 'someone else will do it for me attitude'. Please take up road cycling, do you think your life is to busy to dig when you manage to ride every weekend. Not 1 rider has a real reason not to dig. Im pure lazy and still grab a shovel at 28 and have 2 young kids.
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  • + 1
 How many times has this conversation played in my head while out there building. Jjust spent 6 hrs fixing the work that some fellow rider did to a line that i put countless hours into. They did what they thought was right for them. The trail was built rogue but has been legalized thanks to the politically correct, forward thinking few. Seems that new age riders have wider bars , and likely spent hours in bike parks, bmx tracks etc, growing up and need wide, bermed, brain-dead lines. Wasn't my vision, but i don't own, the land and can not stop 'progression' . I believe respect should be given to the builder .....if you know who that is. Some builders chose to be under the radar, for personal. legal. family,work conflicts...... but if you know them, please offer them a beer. It is hard work and they could use it.... or spent 15 minutes to find or move rocks or logs for cribbing. Whatever. In the end, i build trails for me, but i love to hear someone say they like it and thanks.it goes a long ways. My local bike shops, community and knolly bikes have been very supportive over the years and it helps me get over days spent fixing when i could be riding or building new lines. in response to one entry, yes there are trails built solely by one person. quite a few that i know of personally.
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  • + 1
 I'm in between but for a different reason you noted in the article.

While I agree that if a trail is built from scratch then whoever builds it should be respected and listened to and everybody who rides it often should give a hand at maintaining it, there is a part of it that you did not mention in the article.

I don't know how it is in Canada, but here in Spain many of the trails we ride are either formed by continuous passing or old mountain walking paths or parts of old mountain "roads" and whatnot, and there is no maintenance done to them, none at all. It's just there and the bushes don't grow because people goes on them and if eg. there's a big rock in the middle after a big rain somebody will get it out of the way, but that's all that's done in the way of maintenance. They turn twice as gnarly during rain season because rain here means 2 days of massive rains then don't see it for a while, and that rain really overruns the terrain and brings out ruts/rocks/whatnot, but we don't touch them, we just keep riding them a tad slower until the continuous passing sort of settles them again.
  • + 1
 (continues, didn't let me post in one, said something about registering my IP for possible spamming, wtf?)

All this is to explain this: as I said, if we're talking about a built from scratch trail (as in before there were just bushes and you wouldn't even think about riding there) then yes, trail builder is king and respect him and abide by its rules. But then someone doesn't like a section of the kind of trails I'm talking about and decides they're going to build a berm here or I'm gonna "fix" this very rocky section I don't like that kills my arm and make it all flowy, then I have a problem if that person goes all a*shole and boss mode, because I don't see why should I stop using something or abide by crazy laws on a trail that was there and because that person didn't like the way of it decided to change it. I liked it the way it was, but hey, I can put up with you changing it if you want, as long as you're willing to put up with the fact that other people may have liked it the way it was and are not going to be spending time or avoiding said trail just because you decided to "fix it" or soften it because it was too rough for you.
  • + 1
 (again, sorry, looks like I rambled a bit, if any of you has stayed with me I thank you)


Again, I understand that a nice built trail with cool berms and precise transitions and jumps and carefully man made rockgardens and very flowy is a cool thing to ride, and I utterly respect those who build them and never put my tires on one of those trails before being given permission and/or offering my help to keep them going, but I expect others to understand the other side of it too. Because while it's cool to build them and everything and I respect in that sort of trails the "no dig no ride", some of us don't have or don't want to spend that extra time and are just happy riding the existent trails, rough and sometimes non-flowy or abrupt as they may be, without having to dedicate a vast amount of our limited ride time working on those trails.

And this goes even more when we go a step below (I am assuming that this article is mostly focused on downhill trails) and we go to enduro/am trails. When I'm going to be spending over 2/3s of my time on the way up and getting tired and so on, I don't mind and I actually prefer if the trail is less worked on and more natural, often implying a rougher/slower descent which, after so much time pedalling up, I appreciate more than a 5 minute full on uber fast way down.
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  • + 1
 Unless situated on private property, I feel that trails - no matter how they came to be - are "everyone's property". I can't speak for the masses, but when I dig in a new trail, its because I wanna' share the groove with everyone. It's good juju man!

The no-dig, no-ride "rule" doesn't take into account a lot of factors, but I do STRONGLY encourage all trail users to give at least one day a year to trail maintenance. I feel that if they can't do at least that much, then they are posers who shouldn't be using the trails.

Andrew
www.southokanagantrailalliance.com
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  • + 1
 We have a big problem with paid trail builders in our area. They think the trails they build are the shizz when in fact they pretty much suck. Their trails don't hold up in the weather and they diss on everybody who tries to give them feedback or improve the situation. These, Alpine, guys, Trails, are so lame.
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  • + 1
 Wow this article really hit a nerve !!
A few years ago me and some buds spent about 6+ hrs clearing a trail of windfall , huge physical day, absolutely just tapped !
We cut out the last log at the end of the trail , then 3 dudes who were lost rode by us ! We were blown away, they had no idea what we had just done,and they had no idea where they were . Anyhow, they rode away. 10secs later the last dude came back thanked us and gave us 20bucks for beer. We took it and laffed our asses off , then drank beer !
'Thanks' goes along way in my book ..
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  • + 1
 I've got a lot of respect for tail builders,they do a great job and put a lot of time and effort into it ,so yes,I think riders ought to respect there hard work .I do think local riders ought to be a it more careful advertising there illegal tracks though ..... Yes take the pics and videos but don't say where they took um ...if your local track gets too many riders they gonna clamp down and that's gonna really piss off a lot of people ,just keep it for your riding buddies :0)
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  • + 1
 random question: I was reading 6-7 different peoples posts under this(mine was only 1 of the ones im referring to) and they were below threshold now. is there any way I can still see them? its kinda odd to ask, seeing as I have been using this site since 1997, but ive never wanted to see them, again, until now. can I see them, and how(if I can)? I don't remember the usernames of the people that wrote them, either.
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  • + 1
 If its private and that they own then they have authority but if it's public with permission you at least have to help but most builders don't want other people changing what they have already built or ruining it so it has to be balanced so that's why you have a "dig day" so you can chip in and help but they way the original owner wants
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  • + 1
 Treat the trails with respect and i have no problem with you riding them... but if you mince all my berms... then fix em before you leave.. if you case my jumps then fix em... if you create bumps n ruts n shit.. well just leave em there..ohh and dont fuckin leave trash and plastic crap everywhere.
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  • + 1
 I don't agree with 'no dig no ride' and 'secret trails', to a point. If you let just anyone know where your trail is, they might ruin it by just being a terrible rider, or by injuring themselves on it and getting the place shut down. But at the same time, people should be allowed to ride places they haven't dug - I do, but at least have some respect about it. I build my own trails, and help maintain some places where the original builders aren't around any more, and I don't mind other people riding them (hell, the more the merrier), so long as they respect them, and don't mind me coming to ride their trails sometimes without picking up a shovel.
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  • + 1
 I ride trails that have been built by other people, but I help maintain them,(when I have time) making drains so the trails don't get water logged,clearing fallen trees and even building when the world conspires to ruin things.

I hope to be helping a friend build a new trail this spring, when our hectic lives allow us some time off that suits both of us Smile
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  • + 1
 Charlie is awesome. People are lazy and generally do not want to build and if they do want to generally lack the ability to. Doesn't matter who you think you are, respect the trail boss and the trails. No dig no ride. And if you are going to ignore that and ride anyway DO NOT film or post pictures. There are plenty of nice trail bosses out there and there are plenty who would gladly ruin your day. So be respectfull, polite and go dig.
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  • + 1
 Guys thanks for building trails, but the trail is owned by the land owners. If it's public land its owned by the public. If they find it they can ride it. If limiting access to your trail keeps you up at night, you need to re-evaluate we you build. I do know some builders like Pat from NSBS and Digger, if builders with that level of respect in the community ask for a trail not to be ridden the majority of people will not ride it and it's generally enforced by the local biking community. But if you are building for your little cliche of friends and haven't built up community support behind, no one is going to care that your trails get poached.
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  • + 1
 Every trail needs a trail boss, but how do you decide who it is? If 5 people put there time and effort into the trail. Some work everyday, others work on weekends. Some people bring tools others dont, etc. How do you decide who is the "trail boss"?
  • + 2
 The person who scoped the line and invited others to help is officially in charge of that line , every one else is an extra pair of hands.
  • + 2
 OR.... each person could pick up a tool of their choosing and fight to the death, then we would know who's BOSS !!
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  • + 1
 its really, really simple.. if you ride an area regularly, whether its legal, illegal, semi-legal, you should put some time in, period. Trails do not build themselves, trails do not maintain themselves. The "I don't have time argument is BS", I work two jobs and have two kids and I find time to dig. IF every one spent an hour a week, great things would be accomplished.
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  • + 1
 Hmm I don't think the builder owns the trail. Everyone progresses, times change. I don't think it's right to alter someone's jump or structure but if a person wants to add another jump go ahead. Everyone else is a suck about worthless petty shit. That's what makes our "community" of mountain bikers so sweet. All mountain bikers should always support eachother and accept new ideas. If someone is upset that a jump is kind of shakey, don't cry fix it!!! Teach people to build better jumps. Offer beers. Talk. Share stories. And the whole kicking people off trails that are not on private property that a person owns... Like f*ck them!! Laugh in their face and shred. Maybe offer to shuttle togeather but other than that f*ck EM'!!!
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  • + 1
 im working on a trail, spend a lot of hours, working on raining days, and always a f*cking dirt/trial/mx riders are destroying my hard work, i dont know why the people dont respect, YES it's a illegal trail, but dude.. when i see a nice fresh jump, never ridden why you destroy with your moto? i dont know why are this... i think im gonna cut their brake hose, and see how they die with the nearly tree
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  • + 1
 just think the more people to ride your trail the more people RIDE, the more people that RIDE the more people the make trails, the more people to make trails the more trails, the more trails the more people RIDE. if everyone wasnt such a D*k about their trails more people would ride and there would be more options of trails and enjoyable experiences. and if your riding someone elses trail its common sense BE RESPECTFULL not only to the trail but to the EARTH in general. ownership is just a modern title nobody OWNS the earth!
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  • + 3
 Well, nobody owns anything BUT i really think every rider if is in a trail should at least help (even a little) when is possible, respect is good and save some teeths Big Grin
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  • + 1
 Don't want people on your trail? don't build it on public land...If you build on public land, the public will ride on it, and you have no right to tell them they can't. That being said, riders SHOULD respect the wishes of the trail builder. Most of the time the rules they are trying to impose are there to keep the trail from being shut down or ruined.
  • + 1
 I don't know many trails, or trail builders for that matter, who impose, or even attempt to impose, some arbitrarily arrived upon rules for that trail.

I do, however, believe that there are core groups who invest far more time and resources into a trail than anyone else, which in turn should grant them some degree of exclusivity in the maintenance and build-up of "their" trail. Trail building ain't rocket surgery, but it's nonetheless a craft with a high degree of failure among the recreational 'digger/builder'.

Want to contribute? Find out who's labor of love it is. Ask them if they'd like help. If not, enjoy it in the fashion and form they have intended it to take on.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i am 100% with this, it's a code of conduct that is and should be followed! something else that chaps my balls is when someone new helps move something that needs extra man power (eg tree across the trail), then that person thinks they are "in" the trail crew and can do whatever they want.

1 respect the trail builder and their vision. (i can speak for myself, i am open to others ideas.)
2 stop dumbing down the trail if you cant do a section don’t make a new go-around ask someone who can they will most likely tell you more than you ever wanted to know about how.
3 one day of work doesn’t entitle someone to carte blanche on the rest of the trail or area.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Most of the single-track by my house if officially off-limits to MTB bike, but that was never enforced until recently. The trails are all maintained by the local Parks Deptment and mostly maintained by hikers. That being said, the mtb riders that ride them have a reasponsiblity to NOT be dicks to the hikers they encounter while riding them. Otherwise they ruin it for every mtb rider out there. Well, guess what happened. A handfull of guys build a new STRAVA DH trail complete with jumps and tied it right into the hiking trails. Hikers almost got killed by someone going for the KOM and now the trails are very-much off-limits to bikes and that is being enforced with tickets. Thanks guys. It only took one dick to ruin it for everybody.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm the trail boss, I've been willing to break the law secretly in the woods already, you really going to argue with me? Didn't you notice how much those berms look like bodies? I could use another berm right there actually. Come here.

I'm building 2 trails. I want people to ride them. One will be the area's only real DH trail and it is illegal. I want people to enjoy it. What I don't want is for people to build garabage on it. If they want a new jump the can work something out with me.

Great article.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ya if you dont own the land all you can do as a trail builder is disguise the entry/exit points, build it proper so not too many maintenance days are required, and hope most respect the trail.
Eventually word gets out if ur trails any good, and/or someone gets hurt on it and crap snowballs from there like rain down a fallline trail.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i have built and am maintaining 5 trails at the moment all of which are illegal. if i like you and think you can ride them i might tell you where they are but no way do i own them. the main reason for not wanting lots of people coming to ride is that they are illegal so the more people that come the more likely we are to get caught and fined. and if you do come ride dont bitch its too difficult and doesnt flow. let of the brakes and get loose. it flows alright Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Trail builders are the reason you get to ride that awesome trail! So respect them and their trail wich is a form of art. Usually the builders are supper cool people and riders. Land owners can be jerks especially when they hack your favorite wood features apart with axes! But you still have to respect them its their land and they don't want to be sued. So be curious and remember illegal spots could not be there next time you ride, so be nice to builders and owners and enjoy their trails!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this artical made me smile....lots of snobbery goin on in the comments.....i basically follow the rules an guidelines of riding hear in england,if its private property its a no-go.....but if its public land weather iv built the trial or superman built the trial i dont care im ridin it...hence the reason its PUBLIC LAND. it means anyone can ride it.i dont litter the place or use it in any bad way apart from ride it.i write this because someone once told me to get off a PUBLIC trial because i wernt part of there ridin crew.im my own ridin crew an i ride where i want! SIMPLE
  • + 1
 you re right. If someone dig in a public land he starts that trail knowing that the trail will never be his property. I don t think that diggers are stupid, but they are often narrow minded. It s like if i decided to build my house in a random forest. I can t argue that's really my house because i built it illegaly. The property concept is only a fantasm.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 cant agree more, its always the people that have never held a shovel before that do the complaining, about everything. if its annoying them sooo much go buy a fucking spade!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I would like to thank the Shed Bike Club and SOURCE for the work they do on our neighbourhood trails, NSMB for the shore, and God for the Whistler and Silverstar Bike parks. Thanks again.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have been Riding for a few seasons now. When I started riding I was so impressed by local dj's n the Dh trails. I couldn't imagine fucking with something someone else built n Put time into it. If they are old lines I will ring em back I will buff things out and fix shit but making someone's line different is fucked. If it's a mandatory gap it's a filter feature learn to ride better or dig ur own shit.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I agree that if you build a trail you kinda have a right to be pissed off at people 'modding' or even destroying it. HOWEVER there is one tiiiny exception - sometimes there are trails, or even whole spots with stuff built not by a single person, but by multiple riders constantly riding there and adding something to the place. Like playgrounds, where all the kids from the 'hood come to ride their bikes, no matter what the skills they have. And when suddenly some guy claims his ownership over it, it kinda sucks, cause lots of people have put their effort to build it and now someone decides that you can't dig here because you would ruin it.

tl;dr
NO DIG NO RIDE FTW but do not be a douche and respect other's work too!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 And this is why I bought the house that came with 15 acres of land on the side of a hill with 500 feet of vertical drop.
  • + 5
 I have a mid terrace house in the city with a garden the size of a postage stamp and 0 feet of vertical drop. I also have a back yard and a coal shed.
  • + 1
 I lived in a city during college and hated it!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 In Israel we have just one real DH trail, the forest preservation authority ruins every trail and jump... So we have to keep it secret
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i don't agree, who's responsible for the trails 100% trail builders NO, EVERYONE using the trail is RESPONSIBLE, both trail builder and rider. trail builder mentality "In the end, someone is going to be the trail boss, and you’re probably not going to be that guy." NOT!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Pretty sure most trails are a semi- collaborative effort...at least in my experience. Hats off to anyone who builds a *good* trail one hundred percent by himself, which this article somewhat implies. Above all, don't build on it if it isn't yours!
  • + 1
 I think you completely missed the point about having one person with the vision and the knowledge. otherwise it's just a bunch of people digging dirt and may or may not become a trail.
  • + 1
 There has to be a person with the vision and the knowledge, who has spent a lot of time in the area scouting and routing. Sure, most trails are a collaborative effort, but think about how much effort it takes the HNIC (head nigga in charge) just to motivate these other people to help.

This article isn't implying that anyone builds one hundred percent by themselves. If they did, they would have no one to blame but themselves for letting word get out.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Lets all just get along build and ride welcome new comers show them how to build and repair get them involved its worked in lincoln uk hidden trails just outside of town recently invited lots of new guys all been good help dig they use the bins ect makes for a better community bigger stronger ride scene ? I love traveling miles on a train with my dh rig and just showing up at trails riding and enjoying life never been met with hostility yet dont be greedy share trails and shredd the days away in good company just my opinion
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Im native American and ya'll on my land. And I say. Go for it. hahah
[Reply]
  • + 2
 These shovels were just sitting here and we're not sure how all these jumps got here, Officer.... and, you can't own water , but you can rent beer...
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Poor article. Didn't think this amounted to very much. At the end of the day, the LAND OWNER is the boss. They own the land, meaning they are paying or have paid for it so, you must do what they say. I know things are different in other countries but here in the US, if it's not a park or public trail, you don't have the right to go on the land. Its called trespassing.
  • + 0
 Agree too. The article starts one way, then looses focus and forks off in to a legal/illegal DH issue. It should be titled "Who owns illegal DH trails".

Interesting to see all the trailbuilders chime in though... Man, there's a LOT of trail out there.
  • + 2
 If everyone followed Byrd's logic, there wouldn't be a problem or need for articles like this. Illegal or 'secret' trails wouldn't get found out about because other riders wouldn't want to 'trespass' on land that isn't theirs. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Everyone wants to, and does, ride it, regardless of who built it or where.
  • + 1
 I wouldn't go so far as to say "poor article", but instread a rant.. where I'm not really sure what the rant is about. What is the take away here? What exactly is the author's motivation and who is the target audience? Maybe some specificity would help. 1/2 of the responses are about no-dig/no-ride, but I'm wondering if this is supposed to be about not-yours/don't-dig or maybe go-away/don't-ride.
  • + 2
 Brad, its really not so much my logic but it basically following the law. I guess by calling the trail "secret" you can skirt around a more accurate word "private". The only thing secret is that it not publicized because its not public. Just like the pump track in your backyard, its yours. I wouldn't like it to come home and find a couple guys building something new. There isn't a need for articles like this, is it trying to justify trespassing? Like its ok because there's a dank trail there and it must be ridden. NO, it doesn't with out permission from the owner.
  • + 1
 You are absolutely correct: if riders would follow the law and not trespass on land that isn't theirs, there wouldn't be a problem. The title is fitting for the article. If you don't own the land, you shouldn't ride or maintain it without permission.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Hahaha i love the pie chart :')
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I build trails for me, the way I want them to be.i make them hard to find.but if some one wants to ride them they are more than welcome, just leve them as they find them=every one happy.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If we all be the kind of people we'd like to meet we'll all get along great and ride happily ever after. There are more than enough people out there who'd rather we didn't exist.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Great article,been battleing this crap for years,the problem is to many idiots dont understand and scew it up for everybody. thanks for getting this out there!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 since 4 months ago we are building a trail and it is very very difficult. We've got a lot of bushes, some little trees and barely we can walk throw the new zones we have to clean but it is quite fun Smile We love it
[Reply]
  • + 0
 i actually enjoy building trails, because since i ride i can envison a dope line down the hill, i don't know how every rider doesn't likes building, are you guys who don't touch shovels just stupid or something?? why find your dream trail, build that shit
  • + 2
 Maybe, they would like to build, but don't know how to start. Then they see comments and attitudes like yours calling them stupid. Maybe try helping them instead of being hostile and they will want to learn.
  • + 2
 nah im not like that to new builders, I'm talking to the people who openly admit to not touching shovels, like all they do is ride other peoples trails and complain that their blown out
[Reply]
  • + 3
 so that means im not weird when i say to everyone to respect god damned beautiful moss near my trail. good.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This may sound insane but i build trails for everybody, and i think it benefits to be ridden, as long as its not a sloppy mess.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 If you don't own the land you have no right to dictate who uses it. If you don't want people riding your illegal trails, keep them secret!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just finished building up my trail after a year and two months. All built by me and it is hard work. I love when people ride my track but I think they need to help maintain things too. Just my two cents
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is partly why I wish urban freeride would came back. All the fun with none of the beuracratic garbage. (Well I guess you still have to deal with the police and security guards occasionally).
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Where I come from we have nice trail builders, but probable because I never see them tore down.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think it is totally up to the trail builder. Without him, there would be no trail!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I agree, its lame for other riders to abuse the "illegal" trail and blow it for everyone else, but the irony of complaining about not respecting the "trail boss" of a trail built illegally is too much.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I do bitches. don't ever forget it. i dig, i ride you ride, you blog, you reap the benefits pull your head out of your ass and contribute Cunts
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Good to see team robot on pb. Can't wait for more great articles like this. I completely agree, though i have rarely felt pressure to conform to another builders desires.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 If you don't own the land the trail is on then you don't own the trail. Pretty simple. Don't care if you've spent 20 years building it, if the land ain't yours then neither is the tail.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm a trail builder and I hate when strangers come and destroy berms and or other stuff !!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 After reading this I've never been so happy to live in nz. Our local councils are very mountain bike track friendly.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 bring the boss food and beverage.
  • + 2
 I've even offered up cash to diggers on far away trails I've ridden! Always refused. But everyone takes my spare tube.

I think I would amend the "no dig, no ride" mantra. I think it's impossible to dig (more than move sticks and logs, rake a berm or pick up other people's trash (bastards)) on every trail you've ridden, due to time and travel constraints. Some of us actually have jobs five, six and seven days a week. AND kids. The "no one has less time than anyone else" BS comment is ignorant.

So pick one trail and make a difference. Closer to home is the best place to start, or your most visited trail. Work a berm. Cut back the foliage just a bit. Hell, build a bigger jump. Just do something. Imagine the change with 15 minutes of work from every rider on a trail each visit. I'd like to live in that world.

Please note: this does not mean moving the rocks out of a difficult rock garden, or clear cutting the entire landing of a jump you don't know how to land right, or creating a new section of trail that quite doesn't flow without putting in some serious trail digging time WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I build my own trails. I put the time in to maintain them. I somehow find the time to ride them. If you don't get invited it's because you aren't welcome.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Worst things where people come to your trail and make all the features smaller so they can ride them! If they want it smaller they can build their own!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I expect to see more people out working on the trails this weekend, this was a great way to make riders feel guilty about never doing any trail work.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 nature owns the trail
[Reply]
  • + 3
 the land does not belong to us, we belong to the land.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Not a fan of the ladder bridges, Charlie?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I didn't read any of the article and I think this is a stupid subject, but Semenuk absolutely owns that big drop line at Rampage.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I got busted building a trail and ended up with a felony and a 70,000 fine. Still in court 6 months now. It pays to know where your digging
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Thank you trail builders....that's all I have to say
  • + 2
 amen brother
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Very true. I work my butt off building and unfortunately did face fines and community service time. i definitely think if its not yours... get off
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would have built my trail a long time ago if It wasn't 100% sure it will be destroyed within the year... So I help at official trails, not as much as I should but still.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Fortunately I've never heard anybody pull the "It's not your land, so it's not your trail"
  • + 2
 Well I agree with you but it get's fuzzier when it's on public land. With that said, the trails that are on my land, whether I built them or not, are mine and I will do what I want with them, including closing them!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 all i can remember is the order to go and watch dumb and dumber now. if this should not do it, i will continue with animaniacs.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Problem is when the "trail boss" barely does any maintenance and leaves some trails un-ride-able, and wont let you repair them.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 "without us builders, you wont have where to ride!!
so shut the f*ck up or I'll break your face"
[Reply]
  • + 3
 If I Piss all over it , does it make it mine now ?
  • + 4
 If so... I own a LOT of trail!
  • - 1
 @ chuckbike: no, if you built it & $hit all over it, then it's yours.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just to put in my two cents everybody should be a trailbuilder and help keep the trails prime in my town very little are we building with less than 10 people.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If you don't own the land, you don't own the trail If you built the trail, you don't own the trail.... unless you own the land of course.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 its really stupid arguing with a trail builder/crew after all the work & time they dig in up there, real stupid
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You can't own the water! It's God's water! The snossberries taste like snossberries.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 The problem is that on some trails there are multiple parties who build and changed some parts of the trails over many years and some of the are complete douches.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 stupid questions like the current one make me go less on this site...at least for forum purposes
[Reply]
  • + 2
 The future generations own the trail.
  • + 1
 Thats right.... for our kids...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Respect your trailbuilder.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Bill Murray owns everything!
  • + 1
 True, he parties beside my house in a secret bar, apparently he owns secret bars too. Dont fuck with him.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think this is a great read. As someone who has done a lot of trail work this winter I could not agree more.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 one of the best topics ive ever read on pinkbike!! all the young guys who have started to wreck 'our' trails need to read this.!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Have money to buy a bike? Then get a shovel too... If not and you ride my work you are my slave kid!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 If you build a trail, then ride it 5 times within quick succession, your clearly bored and need to dig new stuff. Build, Ride, Destroy, ???? Profit
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I need help maintaining the PFDH../myne trail!*&^%)((##@trying 2 b incognito**ANYBODY?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Come to Russia, guys)) We have a tonz of lands, which don't belong to anyone..
[Reply]
  • + 2
 No dig, no ride. Live by it or take up skateboarding
[Reply]
  • + 1
 we have roaming rights in Scotland, but unfortunately not a free pass to build where you roam!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Good article, and I must say; I'm incredibly impressed that the word "zone" was not used once in the whole thing.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 TRAIL BUILDERS OWN THE TRAIL THEY BUILT!!! those who don't dig & just ride are BLISTERS, they show up when the work's done & don't contribute to help maintain trails.
  • + 0
 You sound like an unpleasant blister. Do you dig on every trail you have ever ridden, or do you only ride the one you dig on? Get off your high horse and go pop yourself.
  • + 2
 come ride my trail bro...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 What no chicks can be trail bosses? Psha!
I kid, Chaz, I kid.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 My shovel knows more about trail then you do.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sometimes you own the trail, sometimes the trail owns you!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great article. It should be required reading. Down with the over entitled, selfish, me me me crowd!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 you need to make trails that people will try to make more shit on make it stupid so other people will help make it good it kinda works out
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i feel like XCers think they own every trail
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I hate the DNR with a passion!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dont' care, I Ride a dirtbike, I go were i want to!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 TRAIL BUILDERS OWN THE TRAIL THEY BUILT!!! those who don't dig & just ride are BLISTERS, they show up when the works done & never help maintain the trails.
  • + 1
 I would still much rather have people ride and not dig, than dig shit sigle track walkers paths or make newbie changes to my trail. I would just be glad someone is riding my trail. PS, I notice that most comments here are made by people who haven't even read the write up, they have just looked at the pictures, read the first comment, and now base their opinion on that. No Dig No RIde is not the message of the article at all.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The poll says ride somewhere else... I live in Arizona and i cant
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Good words. PLUNDER > TEAM ROBOT
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Bought Funyuns at the gas station! Funny cause it's true.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 The Trail OWNS US!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Poachers gonna poach
[Reply]
  • + 0
 ownership!? **** off!!! if you own the land its yours; if not, just ride man
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I ride wherever and never dig lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 & others!!etc**tuol.cnty/stan.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You know who owns it? I own that shit!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 well, that escalated quickly!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 what do you do when the so called trail boss doesn't know how to build and ladders keep appearing....
  • + 11
 then you go and build your own trail
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Chuck I should have a field day with your grammerar errorers
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dat "secret DH society"...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It really is bullshit though how hard it is to get new trails built
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Relax man. Its just time and dirt......
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I hate surfers who claim a bit of sea.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I got my own trails on my own property. Paid the cause to be the boss!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i own the trail. now get off my grass, young punks
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thank you for this. Boom.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Hows about if its not your land you shouldnt be on it? Problem solved.
  • + 3
 This is the simplest answer isn't it. Get permission to be on the land or stop bitching.
  • + 2
 This cuts out a huge portion of riders from the sport. Sounds odd, but it is true. If all the trails that started illegal had stayed that way and then we all got kicked off there would be as many bobsled runs as bike trails.
When the local government sees that this is popular they adjust the laws. How do you think bike lanes started?
  • + 1
 So then you give up all hope of creating something you've always wanted to build and ride? Most motivated mountain bikers are gonna go ahead and do it anyways. Not all of us are fortunate enough to own massive amounts of land.
  • + 2
 Well I like quads and dirt bikes but that doesn't mean I'm going to start riding and building trails on other people's property because I want to ride and build trails. Get permission, ride where it's legal or buy your own land. Those are pretty much your options. People work and buy property. They pay taxes on it. Go ahead and ride and build and don't care but its trespassing none the less and that means court, fines and maybe even jail if you don't learn the first time. Just saying.....
  • + 1
 True, and that is the risk we take.
  • + 2
 Agree, if it's illegal, and you are trespassing, you are a douche bag and aren't helping the sport. I'm sure these people would be the first to complain if people to use their land because they didn't give a fark about ownership.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 No FairJudges No Norbs!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 you vote with you shovel
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Great read Chaz!! ...now let's go dig and shred bikes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Gotta legalize it...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I own the trail.
  • + 2
 no i own the trail
  • + 2
 Nope...I do.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Well said Charlie
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Most trails in Canada are on Crown Land, thus they are owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second and her subjects, the British people.
  • + 15
 Lol nigga pls, those are owned by her Canadian subjects, not her british ones
[Reply]
  • - 1
 This is why I carry a large knife with me when riding lol
[Reply]
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