A Final Day at the Fork.

Apr 2, 2012
by Fraser Britton  
 
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Photos by Nic Genovese and Fraser Britton

A wise man once said that all good things must come to an end, and sadly, today was that day for a revered trail system outside of Bellingham, Washington. The North Fork trails, as they have come to be known, are a network of trails built and maintained by some of the most dedicated builders in the mountain bike world. State government has decided it can no longer cast a blind eye towards unsanctioned trails on government property due to a collection of reasons and as such, for now, the Fork is being de-commissioned and gated off. Starting Monday, tickets will be issued to anyone caught riding in the area.

The local community of mountain bikers in the area is both strong and vocal, and is coming together to attempt to work with the state to save the trails. With only 2 days of guaranteed access to go however, there was only one thing left to do: shred the Fork harder than it had ever been shredded before.

Two of the Forks legendary trailbuilders celebrate one last absolutely ridiculous run down a trail fittingly named Deliverance. 40 minutes pushing uphill through knee deep snow in a blizzard.
  Two of the Fork's legendary trailbuilders celebrate one last, absolutely ridiculous run down a trail fittingly named Deliverance. 40+ minutes pushing uphill through knee deep snow in a blizzard and it was worth every step.
A muddy bike yry clothes a helmet bag and an 18 pack of the North West s best. It s going to be a good day.
  A muddy bike, dry clothes, a helmet bag and an 18 pack of the North West's best. It's going to be a good day.
Charging down lower Moto as the sun broke through on this trail s final day.
  Charging down lower Moto as the sun broke through on Sunday, this trail's final day.
It s all about the memories. Lars wasn t riding this weekend but he was taking plenty of pictures and keeping the campfire going for those who were.
  It's all about the memories. Lars wasn't riding this weekend, but he was taking plenty of pictures and keeping the campfire going for those who were.
Cold muddy wrinkled up hands say it all. Snow sleet and torrential rain wasn t going to keep anyone away from the North Fork trails this weekend. The community came prepared though with tents a BBQ and plenty of firewood to keep warm.
  Cold, muddy, wrinkled up hands say it all. Snow, sleet and torrential rain on Saturday wasn't going to keep anyone away from the North Fork trails this weekend. The community came prepared though, with tents, a BBQ and plenty of firewood to keep warm.
Absolutely horrendous weather didn t stop anyone from coming out. It did make changing for the drive back a bit of a challenge with not a dry mud-free place in sight.
  The absolutely horrendous weather may not have stopped anyone from coming out, but it did make changing clothes for the drive back a bit of a challenge with not a dry, mud-free place in sight.
This is not a sign you ever want to see on your trails. This one was for an old off-road vehicle track but soon the bike closure signs will go up along witha gate.
  Not a sign you ever want to see on your trails. This one was for an old off-road vehicle track, but soon the bike closure signs will go up, along with a gate.
A bicycle is sometimes all it takes for grown men to become boys again.
  A bicycle is sometimes all it takes for grown men to become boys again.
Soon piles of slash from the clearcut will be blocking trail entrances and exits. Ironic isn t it
  Soon, piles of slash from the clearcut will be blocking trail entrances and exits. Ironic, isn't it?
A party in Bellingham usually means the klunkers come out. This weekend was more of a wake than a funeral and what better way to celebrate a trail s life than getting back to basics with some wildly entertaining laps on an old Schwinn with some new rubber.
  A party in Bellingham usually means the klunkers come out. This weekend was more of a wake than a funeral, and what better way to celebrate a trail's life than getting back to basics with some wildly entertaining laps on an old Schwinn with some new rubber.
How s this for contrast Diversity is the key to happiness.
  How's this for contrast? Diversity is the key to happiness.
Getting back to basics.
  Getting back to basics.
Time to say goodbye.
  A simple thank you to the trail builders. A small token of appreciation for many hours with a shovel and a saw.
Bikes. Everywhere.
  Bikes. Everywhere.
Enjoying a few last hours of sunshine on Moto.
  Enjoying a few last hours of sunshine on Moto.
  Rush hour at the North Fork.
It s a tight knit community in the PNW. When the riding was done this weekend no one was in a rush to go home. Smiles all around despite the reason for the record turnout.
  It's a tight knit community in the PNW. When the riding was done this weekend, no one was in a rush to go home. Smiles all around, despite the reason for the record turnout.
Last one out please turn off the lights. Every end brings a new beginning.
  Last one out, please turn off the lights. Every end brings a new beginning.

173 Comments

  • + 119
 Slowly but surely it will become illegal to do anything fun.
  • + 11
 That's what a shrinking government does for you I guess...keeps anything from being sanctioned and just closes it down to save $$$. Where I live they don't even have enough money to close it down! Razz
  • + 7
 the funds they allocated for this, $23k USD, could have been used towards so many better avenues, rather than temporary blockage of trail entrances and replanting the trees that they will only clearcut in another 20-40 years anyway.
  • + 0
 same thing here.... I build a step up at the end of last season, didn't take long before buddy in his side by side dressed up in a suit and tie with the title of a environment administrator or some shit, comes in and tells us hell find us if he sees us riding the jump again and son on. the jump was later destroyed that evening.
  • + 34
 As my wife puts it, the environmentalists need to pick their battles. When they alienate the mtbr's they lose an ally against the loggers. If we could stick together we could save the woods!
  • + 5
 problem is that environnement governement in usa and in canada now (shame) are now economic environnementalist. Is "this environnement" is not bringing home money, it's of no use and shall be closed. this is what environnement is for our countries now...gaz exploitation and wood cutting. that's it.
  • + 1
 This happened in Prince George. At Pidherny they recently put up a gate and piles of shit were blocking the main entrance. So now whenever I go there you have to find a new way in. Luckily none of the trails are effected yet. But its all for a new golf course.
  • + 4
 it's pretty much politics over policies everytime. it's a shame. it seems as if enviromentalists don't care about the very 3,000 ft view they're trying to "save".
  • + 37
 I consider myself an "environmentalist". But why the heck would anyone want to close trails for an environmental reason? By allowing trails of all kinds to be built, more and more people will stay/become interested and involved with a healthy, active lifestyle that promotes environmental protection! Plus, there are many easy ways to make a sustainable trail system with almost zero impact in a short or long term setting.
  • + 2
 ^makes sense to me hankyman. getting people outdoors and in these enviroments would be the best educated and informative way to experience and protect them at the same time. if you make it part of your life you inherently show a care for it and are careful to not exploit and damage it. it becomes your home. good luck to the folks and riders up at the fork hope you guys sort out a great alternative.
  • + 3
 First offense is a fine. Second offense is jail time for tresspassing on government property.
  • - 1
 You got it the wrong way, buddy. Government at all levels has expanded exponentially under Obama. This is a result of government being too big, trampling on freedom, not the other way around.
  • + 7
 The expansion of protected forest under the current president is not a terrible thing. We now just need lobbyists (from IMBA) to push for an amendment to the law that allows mtb on protected property. The environmentalists are trying to block this since they say mtb is too destructive. Then in ten years the government needs money and makes an amendment to allow selected logging and the environmentalists try to fight it but aren't enough of the electorate to make a difference. If they worked with IMBA instead of against them in the first place they would stand a chance.

I won't fight about Obama here, but I am happy to discuss trail policy.
  • + 1
 Probably going to take a lot of flak for this, but if you read what's on the trail notice, they're closing the area to protect endangered wildlife. I won't pretend to know all of the reasons behind the trail closure, but you can't talk about environmentalism and then turn a blind eye to endangered species because it means closing a couple of your bike trails.
  • + 5
 Read the notice again (and the caption). This was an old notice for a 4 wheeler track - not the bike trails.
  • + 12
 The four wheel drive community was kicked out of the area because a few rogue enthusiasts were driving around on the gravel bank of the Nooksack river and destroying salmon spawning habitat. These individuals do not represent the majority of the community, but as we have seen many times before, it only takes a few to ruin something for everyone.
  • + 13
 fuck the police
  • + 3
 I'm sick of hearing crap like this. MTB doesn't harm anything. It improves communities (our bike community is tight) and keeps you fit while being fun

They did this in my home town of PG. They put up barricades and random piles of garbage around the entrance to make it so you can't enter.
The other way is around the outer fence near a smelly ass garbage dump but now they lock the gates so it's a very long walk to the hill now. If that's not enough you're also considered "trespassers" even though no one gave two sh**s about the hundreds of people biking there before. Everyone there always kept the area clean and we greatly respected our biking environment........ But good thing we can have yet another golf course that no one will use.

Hell I would ride that place anyways. Don't let them beat you down. Evil only triumphs when good men do nothing
  • + 2
 Not at all true regarding Pidherny, epavichthesavage and NickHansen. The gate was closed as the Ministry of Transportation didn't want people parking in their pit any longer. There is an access trail off foothills, though. We are also building a parking lot near the landfill (you'll notice the logging completed recently) using resources actually donated by the BC Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Transportation. As far as the "shit" blocking the main entrance: that was actually natural blow down, which myself and many others have donated dozens of hours working to clear. Pidherny is actually a registered mountain bike recreation area, and as such, the PGCC and PG bikers have input into what happens there. I invite you to visit pgcyclingclub.ca, and the Pidherny trail maintenance Facebook page (www.facebook.com/groups/164106320312197) for more info.
Thanks,
Liam Baker,
PGCC - Pidherny Director
  • + 2
 my bad , that was the last time I tried to ride there. Haven't been there since
  • + 2
 @ epavichthesavage get involved and help get your area rideable again. It sounds like you have a proper trail group organizing, take advantage of that to build something sick.
  • + 3
 I may have to spill some of my 40oz for this
  • + 1
 Well if you're a cop is it really worth all that paperwork and trouble to "bust" someone just riding bikes with their friends? I don't know how extreme the cops are in America , but the ones here (in my town) are pretty nice. They wouldn't go out of their way unless I was starting a ruckus.

But still , this whole situation sucks. I would say to the builders and riders to stand up. Maybe a petition of sorts to make it perfectly legal? I wouldn't just let them take all that away from the people who made it all happen
  • + 1
 This just about brings a tear to my eye. Some of my favorite trails, R.I.P.
  • + 1
 We need Rainier on the east coast, or I need to leave
  • + 0
 We need some of those nice Canadian cops too. My buddy was on his BMx at sunset and the cops gave him a ticket for riding without a headlight. They assumed he would have drugs or be upto no good so they searched him and found nothing. To cover their butts they gave him the bogus ticket.
[Reply]
  • + 29
 this is beyond sad, its totally unacceptable ! Im so glad Scotland upholds the ancient tradition of the right to universal access to the land. We will ride forever here. They may take our lives but they'll never take our TRAIL FREEDOM.......
  • + 10
 This reminds me of Braveheart.
  • + 4
 Sharp eye there bud lol its a huge shame to see this, but thank you to the author of this article for telling this story in such an amazing way!
  • + 1
 I have a question about Braveheart. If the won their freedom why is Scotland still part of Britain? No offense. Honest question.
  • + 1
 Scotland are looking to separate entirely from Britain eventually, it just hasn't happened yet.
  • + 1
 400 years after William Wallaces and ultimately Robert the Bruce won freedom for Scotland, a bunch of politicians agreed on the act of union which brought Scotland and England back together again ( so similar to this sad story its all down to the bloody politicians again )
  • + 2
 What good people do through sacrifice politicians undue through a few hours at a table
  • + 1
 Environmentalism=good for the environment, not the people! Go and find another trail to ride
  • + 1
 And damage the environment somewhere else? There has got to be a balance. Mtb makes that balance pretty nicely. Not perfect but it seems like a next positive when you factor in health, community, and economy.
  • + 1
 Definitely there needs to be a balance, and in that balance between nature and civilization it is easy to favor our side and lose sight of any long term affects on the other. I agree MT biking is a pretty harmless way to experience the environment, but not entirely. I hope that is the reason for the closure and not monetary gain. When one door closes anther is opened..
[Reply]
  • + 11
 So governments are happy to deforest large areas of forests, but wont allow a trail to continue that cuts down hardly any trees at all, does literally no harm to the envirnoment and brings happines and joy to a large community of people? Because that makes perfect sense.
  • + 5
 and stimulate people to spend thousands of dollars on bikes. Trails do that too.
[Reply]
  • + 10
 This is just another chapter in the book of the Pacific Northwest Mountain biker. There are many hills with many trees, and I bet you these trail builders will not let this be the end of the story.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Nice piece. Such good times and memories on the hill. It's not over. Politics takes time, but our momentum is building, and elected officials are taking notice. Stay tuned for positive news about LEGIT DH trails
  • + 5
 Thad- Thanks for kicking ass all those years up there. Your hard work is truly appreciated.
  • + 2
 Thad built the North Fork. For real.
  • + 2
 agreed. Thad, your trail off of moto was amazingly fun to ride the first few weeks it was put in, and honestly, we all thank you for all your hard work out there. you are more dedicated to building than anybody I know.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 My first time riding DH was down Moto. I came from a BMX background and that was such a fast and flowy line and after that first day up there I was sold on MTB. I went up the NF almost every Sunday loading my mom's Ram with as many bikes and people as humanly possible. After that summer her dashboard was in about 14 pieces from shuttling countless hours up there. The people I met up there have become some of my closest friends I have ever had and are the kind of people I can call at 3am and talk about life. It wasn't just a riding spot that got shut down, but a gathering spot for friends to share life. I have traveled all around the USA and ridden so many different places both on BMX and MTB and can say that you will not find what was up there anywhere else. RIP NF and thank you for showing me how life is suppose to be lived, with love and friendship.
  • + 2
 amen brother!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Is it the police that will be out there at the trails checking for riders, or is it a National Parks/State Forrest organisation? Because in Australia unless its the police they can't fine you if you don't tell them who you are. Don't take your helmet off and keep riding. Park your truck a way down the road from the bottom of the trail and do push runs. They try to give people $600 fines here in Aus, like were ever going to give them the details to do that, they don't have the rights to touch us.

But if its going to get clear cut soon there is nothing you can do really.
  • - 5
 yeah in the states they can legal kill you now for breaking the law and having the capacity for violence. Thank you Obama for signing liberty's death warrant, and Foucault for explaining what a direct sovereignty was before I had to experience it in my life time. But on a more serious note, you can't publicly advocate people break the law though it is a contentious issue, especially in this region.
  • + 3
 Yeah mate, it's the same as the in the Blue Mountains where I live, some EPIC terrain but is World Heratige listed (rightly so tbh) which means its a hard up-hill push to get an trails. He have finaly made a breakthrough though.

If anyone wants to get in contact with someone who has succesfuly brought back a Mountains Classic (Rennies handywork anyone?) then message me and I'll pass the info on. He has worked closely with NPWS to learn the right things to do/say/attend/ask to get what he wants from local governments. I'm sure there is something we can share between us even for the better of the riding communtites on both continents.
  • + 12
 In the US, Park/Forest rangers have always been peace officers, so they have authority to perform law enforcement duties such as issuing tickets. I'm not sure what that has to do with Obama though.
  • + 12
 When I worked in the park service 8 years ago, DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) had MORE power than local police or county sheriffs. I'm so sick of people blaming everything on Obama. The man is doing the best he can dealing with aggressive republican opposition. In the United States; Forest Service, National Park Service, etc. always have had as much power, or in most cases more power than police officers.

I bought 9mm ammo at Sports Authority the other day, and they wouldn't let me use a gift certificate. The dude had the audacity to tell me it was Obama's fault. No, it's your store's policy dipshit!
  • + 2
 We belong to a nation of people who refuse to take responsibility for anything. Blame the next person higher up the pole! Obama sits atop the tallest pole in 'murcuh and gets the honor of head scapegoat.
  • + 2
 I think the Obama reference was too the renewal of the patriot act which is probably his worst mistake as president. It allows for the suspension of civil liberties for the sake of national security. That act is built on the idea that safety trumps freedom. Was there ever an idea more opposed to the idea behind the revolution? "Loved liberty more than life. . ." The obviously forgot the words to America the Beautiful. . . (I think that is the name Razz )
  • + 6
 you people need to understand the differences between federal, state, county, city, etc jurisdiction. These trails are not on Federal land, so stop ignorantly blaming the president of the US for this. The issue lies with the State of Washington and their jurisdiction over the lands. Take it up with the Governor of Washington state and the State Legislature.
  • + 1
 Good to know. It just happens to coincide with changes elsewhere brought on by federal regulations on federal land.
  • + 4
 Whoa I feel like there was some misinterpretation going on here. Obama has nothing to do with the closure of these trails... and I never said he did. I had just finished writing a political science paper about Foucault and how ironic Obama passing the new years eve sneak bill was (I believe it was originally a republican bill, but if you are interested in the actual politics of it this is not the forum to debate it on, though please PM me and correct me if I am wrong, democracy now has a ton of information on it if you don't know what I'm talking about)

basically, I replied to the initial comment which was encouraging people to break the law in a country that arguably just endorsed direct sovereignty on a national scale, but I assume not everyone online has taken political science and may not be familiar with Foucault so I figured it'd be a good idea to include a bit of a description.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Such is the cycle of trails in the northwest. I had the pleasure of being involved out there from the beginning, and will always have fond memories of good times shared with friends and the community as a whole. To all the builders, who put in countless hours out here, and made this place what it was, thank you. Especially to Thad and EB.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Thanks to EBXtreme, TZ, TQ, Matty, Trevor, Trim, The Plunder crew, and anybody else that I'm leaving out who made this better then Disney Land! This is not the last that will be heard of the North Fork! Till we meet again good friend!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 A really well done article Fraser and Nic!!!! Captured the spirit of the last weekend eloquently! I hope we all get to ride/build there again and you 2 do the reopening story! Plus the Bromance shot of EB and TZ is sooooooooo priceless!!!
  • + 4
 You know I'll be there. I've been lucky enough to ride my bike all over the world, and most of the best weekends of my life riding bikes have been close to home at he Fork, with the homies. A last run down Skullduggery with EB was a great way to cap things off. That trail got shredded into oblivion yesterday. If they do re-open, it's going to take a lot of work to get them back into shape, but it'll be worth every shovel full.
  • + 3
 Should Skull dug re-open, we will put it back together in one day. It is and forever will be the best DH trail in all of Washington. Much respect TZ!
  • + 1
 With the amount of people who will show up to work on it, I do not doubt it for a second.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Great writeup and pics, Fraser! What an incredible weekend celebrating the Fork with good friends. This is not the end of the NF, rather just the beginning and, hopefully, the catalyst to get authorized DH trails in Whatcom County. It isn't going to easy or quick, so we're digging in for a big effort.
  • + 1
 So please write a letter to all of those government officials involved!
  • + 1
 The new beginning will be amazing, whereever it ends up being. Count me in, EB. The champagne of beers is on me.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Bunkey, your augument is bunk. MTB has no impact compared to logging.

Checkout this massive landslide, that dammed Racehorse Creek, raised the creek level 100ft, until it finally broke the dam, carvinf out the creek and delivering thousands of tons of sediment into the Nooksack River. I'm sure that helped the Salmon Recovery....
www.flickr.com/photos/wastatednr/3303618505
  • + 2
 Good call TQ. I've been talking about this relatively unknown event lately, when people speak of the impact biking has in the area. Racehorse Creek was a world class whitewater kayaking run that was obliterated in that landslide. The area decimated by the landslide was the premier section of the whole run. Unfortunately, the kayaking community in Whatcom Co is tiny, and there's just not enough kinetic energy to surmount any kind of executable plan. It was instantly obvious what caused that landslide. That crown begins at the bottom of a ginormous clear-cut. It's all just wrong right now. Fingers crossed for a brighter future. Keep fighting the good fight.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 im super bummed and i dont even live in washington Frown hope you guys can get the trails back!!!!!
  • + 2
 so do we, if you can, look up the post from a few days ago, write a letter in support to the DNR representatives, as well as local city council members. Anything helps.
  • + 0
 See this sucks because I was hoping to move out to the Bellingham area later this year, but now I don't know if it would be worth it to leave where I am now. Are there a lot more shuttle trails out there or was the north fork a major part of the trails?
  • + 4
 Still make the move. This is a huge loss, but there is other amazing riding in Bellingham.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 This may be sad, but the photography sure isn't. WOW. I think hands in front of the fire should be POD.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 So many great days from the beginning. I've made some of my closest friends hanging in the woods building trails - EB, Matty, Trev, Thad, Sams, Cooley - the list goes on. 'Twas a great day yesterday. Glad everyone came out in WC conditions to celebrate the Fork. Many thanks to Pinkbike and Brad Walton for documenting the joy of our community. And don't forget to write more emails! We still may be able to do this, but remember, it's a time sensitive issue.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Great story, Super sad circumstance. I feel like people are so ignorant of what they are doing. They are protecting the environment from a little damage, but opening it up to a massacre. Bikers kill some undergrowth, erode some soil, damage some roots, but they remove almost nothing from the woods so it is all a net neutral process allowing it to grow back. The clear cutters will wipe it out and take most of the forest's nutrients away with the wood they cut so it will never be the same.
  • + 1
 Heh it's funny to read all of that here MTB vs logging & government allowing that. Last time I was writing stuff simular to all of that written around here, I got totaly neg propped, hearing stuff like: try to whipe your ass with plastic if you don't want to cut trees. Heh amazing...

1.Same authorities that make bans for MTB allow clearcuts
2.MTBikers can fk up nature as well - it just depends how much you give as we are great at taking
  • + 1
 I remember when that happened. I posi- propped you. People assume extreme positions and then take extreme action when anybody disagrees.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 It's sad both for the trails and for the nature. At least where I'm from, closing down and deconstructing the trail by authorities means that noobs will build 10 shitty "secret" trails instead of riding that good and established one.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 So sad. Why would the local/state gov't want to close something so beautiful? Should they not let their citizens enjoy the outdoors/what Washington has to offer? Instead of closing them, why not allocate some funding to maintain that area, and to ensure that it is both accessible and sustainable?

Sighh.... cast upon deaf ears, I guess.
  • + 1
 its because the government dosnt have money and there thinking fuck you i want to logg that area and make money they only think about them selves with this shit
  • + 1
 Well yea, obviously. Its probably prime area for logging, so they'll shut it down, then they'll be months of protests, but in the end the private company will bribe the local gov't and get what they want. The gov't doesn't log it, a private firm does and then they probably pay a hefty "tax" (read as: permission fee/gov't's cut).

Total BS. Money clouds the ability to see anything beautiful. Its just bigger houses, fatter guts and bigger cars for company owners. Never preserve. Just destroy.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nick! These photos are amazing. Thank you for being there to capture the spirit of the North Fork. The Bellingham biking community is amazing. Way to party it up on the last weekend. I'm glad I could be a part of it, as I sit here and pick mud out of my eyes. And relive the memories of a few last laps.
  • + 1
 Nick and Fraser. EEEk! sorry :/
  • + 3
 I just spent most of the day shredding, getting muddy and enjoying beverages anyways!
  • + 1
 As you should have! It was good to see you in your mega bright kit Smile
  • + 1
 that kit was blinding. literally. haha.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I would like to say GREAT PHOTO'S! It would have been nice to show a picture of the clear-cut that recently wiped out Deadfall with a picture of the DNR's notice to close trails due to "ecological" reasons, Seems more like profits and economics that the DNR is worried about. Here is part of the DNR's response to a request to postpone the closure;

"DNR is responsible for sustainably managing more than 2.9 million acres of state trust lands and 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands. Most of these lands earn revenue for trust beneficiaries."

"While DNR will be temporarily closing the area to repair the damage caused by these unauthorized trails, there are many other opportunities to recreate on DNR-managed lands in the area. The Blanchard State Forest is open for recreational use, which includes several cross country bike trails developed by DNR that are safe for the user and protect trust assets and the environment. "

For some reason "earn revenue for trust beneficiaries" makes my stomach turn, then reinforcing it with why don't you play on our other pieces of land (Blanchard) that are not economical for logging, ie "safe for the user and protect trust assets and the environment"
[Reply]
  • + 2
 this idea that a select few in Washington, DC, can make life choices for the rest of us makes me sick. I can't ride my bike because some liberal says I can't. I have to be taken care of by someone who doesn't know me, has never met me, and has no financial stake in my well being.
  • + 2
 Just wait until you fall in the hands of some non-liberal who owns this or that mountain or hill for a profit.
He'll probably fire a rifle at you ("I have every right to defend the right of private property from those lazy biker parasites"), or if you're lucky, let you build the trails and then charge you for the pleasure of riding them...

I.e. stop complaining about the liberals, the government, etc, etc. If that property belonged to some big forestry corporation, you probably wouldn't be able to ride it anyway.
  • + 1
 Ya, those pesky private, for profit ski resorts, how dare they charge us for using their land! Its not like they spend millions of dollars maintaining their facilities or building trails! Its not like they take that money and use it to feed their families and send their kids to college! What greedy bastards! Man, that whistler is probably the worst offender! It would run so much better if the government owned it. Then it would be free! No cost! A free lunch! And it would be managed so much better, just like Solyndra!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wouldn't it be easier and more cost effective for the state government to offer permits to those who want to build? And perhaps to cover their ass, those who attain the permits would be the ones responsible for any ACTUAL damage to the wilderness? Personally if it's a choice between no trails and building at all, and having to buy a permit, I would choose the permit in a heartbeat.
Also, I doubt there are many law enforcement officers out there who would consider enforcing this a good use of their time, its not going to help keep the roads or the cities safer in any way.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 An amazing riding zone. Hopefully this isn't the final chapter.
Nice photos Fraser, except for the first one of the midgets mud wrestling Wink
[Reply]
  • + 5
 way to go out with a bang
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sad to see this happen as well, I am not from Washington either, yet have visited a few times, enough to know and appreciate the state and what it has to offer in the way of riding! I hope that though the initiative you guys are able to either halt the closure, save some of the trails, or at least the state would consider working to preserve existing trails - even if a permit would be required. Hoping for the best!
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  • + 1
 Man, I had the pleasure of EB and Jared showing me around these trails for a day (name drop woop!) - what a complete and utter shame that these trails are being shut down. In all the places I've been to to ride bikes, Bham trails and most of all the community pouring their love into these trails are the coolest.
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  • + 1
 Hey start saying your seeing the Northren spotted owl. It's a protected species. Then try to get you trails sanctioned through BLM or the state. You can even make the argument that they won't have to put any funds to maintenance or up keep of the trails. As for logging I'm all for what were doing with the tree farms and forests here in the pnw. It sucks when it effects our trail systems but it's great for our economy. A lot of times that they go in and clear cut and replant they have a healthier forest system growing back then they started with.
  • + 1
 Unfortunately, this would probably backfire. Habitat/environmental protection is one of the stated reasons for the closure, although probably not the real reason.
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  • + 1
 Fellas its all about money. money the govt can earn through logging and not to mention me comming from california were i cant put a shovel in the dirt without somone getting butt hurt its about liability. Trails on state property thats a huge liability. Yet some how I see more horse back riders being air lifted out then mtn bikers lol. Oh well old political wigs will always hate young people lol.
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  • + 1
 Every trail closure is a loss not only for the community where these trails are, but for mountain biking as a whole. I'm very sad to hear that the folks out in Washington have lost access to some of the best gravity riding in the state. With that in mind though, don't be afraid to keep pushing for access, don't give up the fight. Be firm but polite, and as a community, we can show everyone else why biking matters.
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  • + 4
 One of the funnest / saddest / most memorable days i have spent on a bicycle / in the forest / with friends.
  • + 1
 Happy to see you this weekend Dave.
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  • + 1
 It's sad that they are closing trails for clear cutting and such. My local trails in town have been used for logging and they are absolutely wrecked now. All the skids have widened and flattened the trail, or left huge ruts from one side dragging. And all the small loose twigs and branches left behind make riding treacherous and difficult. So between annoying ruts, difficult branches, and flattened trails (which ruin the fun of choosing a line), i haven't been back in a while. Mountain biking should be maintained by bikers for bikers and left as designated biking/ hiking trails.
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  • + 1
 Its really sad that the CRD here in canada is doing this to our trails. It is one of those things where you want to go up to the f**ker responsable and punch him in the jaw. Awesome trails are going to waste after hundreds of hours of work whent into them. Stupid government. Keep the chin up, keep shreddin!
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  • + 1
 What a bunch of CRYBABIES!!!! So let me get this straight...you self righteous yuppies build an illegal trail instead of going through the proper channels from the landowner. You THEN complain when you're no longer able to do this illegal activity??? Grow up kids and take it like a man. How about I go to your property and dig a trail through your vegetable garden?
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  • + 1
 I like to "think" every end brings a new beginning, but closures like this only piss off the taxpayer who is picking up the bill while the Gov't squanders natural resources and of course Mountains of our hard earned $!!!!!!! Oh, I am sure they "promised" new trails for us right????? Same destruction at the hands of the FS going on here too........they call it "clearing".................
  • + 2
 Definitely no promises of new trails here. Although that will almost certainly be the result, whether as a legitimate alternative or a rogue one. Hopefully it will be the former, so the new trails won't one day face the same threat of closure.
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  • + 2
 Im sad that i missed this, growing up in bellingham, and riding and building here really has been a privilege and a great experience, i hope to see it up and running once again. RIP NF gonna miss you.
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  • + 2
 An amazing two days! The NF has truly changed my life! I am so proud to be apart of an amazing community. Thank you Fraser and Nic for documenting this it is truly appreciated.
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  • + 1
 Im in the midwest and have never seen or ridden these trails, but it makes me sad to hear that there are lees and less of them being made and more being shut down, and I am just getting into all of this full swing...just depressing
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  • + 1
 Such a waste! I only had the opportunity to ride at the North Fork a couple of times, but it was enough to see that it was an amazing place to ride. I know there are people working tirelessly behind the scenes to save this place (including Eric Brown, who is the guy on the left, in the first shot at the top of the page). Thanks for all your hard work to save this place guys! Your tireless effort makes all the difference! Without people like you there are no trails to ride!

Thank you!
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  • + 1
 So sorry to read this guys, please fight to get them back.... Young riders learn to respect the trees and forests from the older riders (and right now the world needs people who do that) and how to behave and so on, aswell as all the healthy exercise it brings plus the joy of being outdoors and all that good stuff. I guess the US government will not be happy till your all to fat to get off your sofas so are forced to sit indoors and watch tv adverts all day and not go out causing troublesome paperwork and risk assesments.
  • + 1
 Yeah we did that initially to help protect a well known set of trails Here close to home. Then again they were sanctioned trails to begin with so that may have helped.
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  • + 2
 The Fork will always have a special place in my heart. I hope I will wake up from this nightmare, load my bike up and go shred with my extended family.........
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  • + 2
 Thanks for the article! My plans of making it out there on Sunday, the last day, didn't work out, which is a bummer, but I'm glad my last ride there was a good one.
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  • + 1
 In Finland we have a law that EVERY mountain biker is allowed on anyone's land and to ride anywhere. Only restriction is 50meters from people's public yards. So basicly you can ride anywhere without worrying about anything!
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  • + 3
 RIP North Fork. You were the best place I have ever spent my time shredding.
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  • + 2
 So much for our public land being open ,availible or useable by the people who pay for it and want to use it in a way that won't totally destroy it.
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  • + 4
 Feel like I missed a funeral.
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  • + 1
 Gutting! so sad to see any area come to this, you think the government would have something better to F#$king do than restrict people that are doing what
they love!!!
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  • + 1
 You guys have the right places to ride, and the gov takes them away with no apparent good reason, that really s...s!!
Very sad indeed =/
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  • + 2
 That was really neat to see, glad you all got to say goodbye and ride. RIP North Fork!
  • + 1
 Mike, I wish you could have been up there with us, bro. You are always a great guy to share a shuttle day with, and your love of the trails in post canyon definitely shows! See you @ the races!
  • + 2
 I would have done the drive if I knew..............glad you guys got to roll it, great images and its a true, the Pac NW has deep roots. Even I felt your loss down here........
  • + 1
 you were there in spirit mike, as were max, carey, todd, tim, brian, pinner...all the PDX/ HR Mtb crew. Like you said, deep roots for sure.
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  • + 1
 a tear left my eye hearing about this i will have to sneek in at some point to enjoy what has been taken away
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  • + 2
 I shed a tear! If only the state would realize what there taking away.
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  • + 2
 It was a bittersweet end to an epic riding spot. RIP North Fork.
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  • + 1
 So sad to see all that hard work get torn down. End of an era, but that won't stop new a new trail system from developing.
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  • + 1
 So sorry to see this very sad I hope some good comes from all this.Trails like old friends you don't like to see them die.
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  • + 1
 Just hit me today that it was in fact my last day there... The last three days were truly memorable Smile
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  • + 1
 So sad to see this. North Fork was one of my favorite spots to visit. Good luck up there everyone!
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  • + 1
 Well done Nic and Frasier! Makes me sad we didn't go all weekend! The most sincerest thank you to the trail builders!
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  • + 1
 Some of the best trails in the world, that most people never got to ride. Shame.
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  • + 1
 the bastards !!! They r doing this to a place near me and it fucking sucks !! something must be done...
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  • + 1
 This could happen everywhere. Too many laws. Too many Lawyers.
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  • - 3
 The issue you have here is watercourse pollution. Without proper management and drainage you're turning the ground to mud causing siltation - which is a form of pollution in watercourses - damaging fisheries, distilleries, marine habitat and anything else which relies on the water supply. Riding in wet muddy conditions like this is not doing your case any favours whatsoever. You should talk to the land manager about how to put in proper sustainable drainage and talk to the management of fisheries about what time of year riding is going to have as little impact as possible. You have to see it from both sides and put in place some sort of contingency plan. It pains me to say it but the whole 'We're not doing anything wrong, we're just riding our bikes and this has no impact on the environment' approach is as useless as it is uneducated.
  • + 6
 You've got to be kidding me. We've built some of the best draining lines around, espescially in regards to our incessant rain we receive throughout the winter. No one enjoys riding through a flow-killing mud bog. And moreover, your argument holds no merit considering there are twenty 70,000 pound logging trucks ripping up the roads on any given day.
  • + 5
 Bunkey, you have no idea what you are talking about with regards to the North Fork. Trust me on this, it isn't about ecological issues at all, actually. It's completely political.
  • + 2
 The "ecologica"l is political these days. Those trail were harming nothing and no-one. But that doesn't stop them from using the 'ecology' as an excuse to bully people.
  • + 1
 The bottom of the closest trail to the river is at least a mile away, and the entire area is undergoing clearcut logging. There was absolutely no harm coming to the environment as a result of the trails at North Fork.
  • + 3
 I work in the Forestry Commission which is the UK's main government body in charge of land management, timber production, environment, recreation etc etc. I have to deal with these issues day in day out so all I'm trying to do is explain why they are taking this action in the hope you guys can use that information to your advantage. Unfortunately it all comes down to legalities. Yes harvesting operations can potentially cause huge amounts of siltation but the bottom line is that these organisations have contingency plans, liability insurance and control methods in place for any possible outcome where as you guys don't. By letting you build trails on their land causing pollution (siltation), no matter how little amount of pollution there actually is, they are breaking the law under the equivalent of the UK's Environmental Protection Act (1990).

The timber and environmental industry is a lot more bothered about potential lawsuits than the thoughts an insignificant minority of mountain bikers.

Don't get me wrong - It's not right and I'm totally on your side but that's how it stands.
  • + 2
 Logging must be a little diffrent in the UK because I am yet to see a logging operation here use anything resembling a control method. You only need to watch the rivers and creeks running brown below a clearcut to see that. I have some training in erosion and sediment control and can tell you tht the effects of these trails are negligable compared to what else is going on around them.
  • + 3
 ANGRY MESSAGE TO BUNKEY MOST LIKELY PARAGRAPH FORM
  • + 1
 This thread just got interesting. Bunky, its neat to hear the UK's side- but your too far removed from 'our' politics to fully grasp the reason why the 'Tree Farms' of the pacific northwest are managed the way they are.......we should do a foreign exchange tree stewards trip. I'd love to see your forests and I know you'd like to see ours.........and when you chat lawsuits, we Americans are just tired and turning a deaf ear to 'potential' lawsuits because we constantly live in fear of those court papers. Its no way to live or recreate. But we just do........whats the alternative? Paved trails, no features and boredom. f*ck THAT!
  • + 3
 I think the moral of the story is "don't piss off mountain bikers"
We're a passionate bunch XD
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  • + 1
 This is a great write up. Thank you.
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  • + 1
 its a shame knowing i may never get a chance to ride these trails
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  • + 1
 I have no words.. Fuck the leaders!
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  • + 0
 Everyone send money to IMBA and a request that trails be saved! IMBA will put the lawyers on it
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  • + 1
 Government land is our land. Fuck the pigs!
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  • + 1
 RIP shout out to all those who put in so much blood, sweat and tears
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  • + 0
 They need to worship the Creator and not the Creation.
  • + 4
 That's why people by the trail builders beers. The only creators we need.
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  • - 1
 I think this is a late April fools joke.
  • + 1
 Sadly, deflate, it's not. If you feel at all inclined, visit thad's earlier post, and write a letter. get involved, and maybe yesterday won't be the end of these rad trails.
  • + 2
 I apologize for my lack prior knowledge. It seemed like a mean excuse for PB's yearly April Fools Joke. This is a sad issue, and I will write a letter. Hopefully they can be saved. Good Luck.
  • + 1
 thanks for that, every bit helps. The more we flood representatives, both from the county and the DNR with letters expressing our need for legitimate recreation and trails, things will turn out for the better.
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