Cycling restrictions in Fish Creek-Speak Out

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Cycling restrictions in Fish Creek-Speak Out
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Posted: May 15, 2008 at 18:17 Quote
I just got back for a ride in FC and since monday some little punks have built some dj's on one of my favourite parts. looks like I will be going out early one morning to dig them up. they are on the treeless side hill part above where they built the two new bridges that are really close to each other. don't really know how else to explain where it is at.

Posted: Jun 2, 2008 at 16:02 Quote
I was in FC yesterday, and saw an amazingly bad setup near Votier's. Two downed trees made into a ladder, probably 30' long, maybe a foot wide. The end was at least 8' up in the air above a 30-degree [or greater] slope. If you went off of that with any speed at all, you would be into some trees in about 10 feet. If you miss the trees, you have a 4' drop to deadfall. The "fall zone" consisted of painful-looking deadfall on one side and some more trees on the other. The wood on the ladder was pristine - I don't think anyone had been on it since it was built. Somebody wrote "I KNOW ABOUT THE LAW" on it with black marker. It's too bad they don't know how to make a decent stunt.

Posted: Jun 20, 2008 at 19:54 Quote
Here's a copy of the draft map of Fish Creek trail development.

As I understand it, the trail is being "built" by suitable adjustment to existing single track. Once the trail is mostly completed, signs will go up to indicate the designated single track ( likely by late summer '08 ). At that point, enforcement of the trail restrictions will begin.

The Friends of Fish Creek, mostly just one person, is responsible for working on the trails and getting this stuff sorted out. We're past government proposals and paperwork - the work is being done in the trenches right now. Oddly, I get the feeling this particular development is being done more haphazardly and without any significant government oversight.

Much like the Friends of KCountry, volunteers are always needed. Alternatively, if a group wants to go, they can schedule their own trail day with the Friends of FC. You get their blessing, and you can influence the "adjustments" being made to the trails we ride. If you care, get involved!

PM if you want more details.

Posted: Jun 21, 2008 at 8:59 Quote
Thanks for the map, eloso. I'm going to be attending the July 12 session that Friends of FC is putting on for crew leaders. My hope is to be an "influencer" and actively participate in the execution of the trail plan. The coordinator seems like a reasonable guy, and is quite approachable. Once he gets back from the IMBA summit, I hope we can have a chat about the plan and how it is to be implemented. I also want to know what they're really planning to do about unofficial trails in the park. There are literally dozens of them. Many are very sustainable as is...

I rode a section of the "new" trail just west of Bebo before the rains came. It's a full bench for the most part. I am eager to get back there and see how the trail held up to all the precipitation that we had. There were a couple of spots that looked like they would channel water, but we'll see.

Posted: Jul 12, 2008 at 19:34 Quote
Update

I attended the Trail Care Team Leader course today. After spending an entire day talking with Chris Lalonde, I can say three things about the plans to close trails in Fish Creek park:
- it's hard to close something that you don't know is there lol

- so far, anything being closed is pretty lame anyway
- there is a huge opportunity for mtn bikers to step in and take a leadership role

The proposed closures are short sections of trail that are either duplicated nearby or are rides to nowhere. The trail work that needs to be done this year consists largely of fixing a corner, building a boardwalk [or two], clearing some deadfall and trimming some vegetation back. The only major projects would be the boardwalk[s] and reclaiming part of the old World Police/Fire Games course west of Shannon Terrace. The corner fix could be done by two people in an afternoon, the deadfall by two people with a chainsaw in about two hours. IMHO, the boardwalks would be unnecessary if the trail was rerouted a wee bit.

I also have to say that if mtn bikers get involved now, we can determine what happens with trail maintenance and building. The members of the Friends of Fish Creek don't volunteer much, if at all. If all the Trail Care leaders and volunteers are mtn bikers, guess what trails get built?

Posted: Jul 13, 2008 at 8:19 Quote
pinkrobe wrote:
Update

I attended the Trail Care Team Leader course today. After spending an entire day talking with Chris Lalonde, I can say three things about the plans to close trails in Fish Creek park:
- it's hard to close something that you don't know is there lol

- so far, anything being closed is pretty lame anyway
- there is a huge opportunity for mtn bikers to step in and take a leadership role

The proposed closures are short sections of trail that are either duplicated nearby or are rides to nowhere. The trail work that needs to be done this year consists largely of fixing a corner, building a boardwalk [or two], clearing some deadfall and trimming some vegetation back. The only major projects would be the boardwalk[s] and reclaiming part of the old World Police/Fire Games course west of Shannon Terrace. The corner fix could be done by two people in an afternoon, the deadfall by two people with a chainsaw in about two hours. IMHO, the boardwalks would be unnecessary if the trail was rerouted a wee bit.

I also have to say that if mtn bikers get involved now, we can determine what happens with trail maintenance and building. The members of the Friends of Fish Creek don't volunteer much, if at all. If all the Trail Care leaders and volunteers are mtn bikers, guess what trails get built?

Wow, I'm actually feeling a bit optomistic. However I do not necessarily agree that everything slated to be closed is LAME. There's a ton of awesome "off gravel" trails I would surely miss. Earlier I had met with Chris and his co-workers and found they weren't interested in keeping anything open except the new singletrack. In fact once the singletrack is GPS mapped and posted ALL other trails will be off limits to cyclists so I don't think it's a matter of knowing what's there.
With that being said I do think it's a good idea for dedicated MTBers to be involved in deciding what the new singletrack will be like.
Is there a trail maintenance schedule set up for FCP?

Posted: Jul 13, 2008 at 18:03 Quote
gravityrules wrote:
Wow, I'm actually feeling a bit optomistic. However I do not necessarily agree that everything slated to be closed is LAME. There's a ton of awesome "off gravel" trails I would surely miss. Earlier I had met with Chris and his co-workers and found they weren't interested in keeping anything open except the new singletrack. In fact once the singletrack is GPS mapped and posted ALL other trails will be off limits to cyclists so I don't think it's a matter of knowing what's there.
With that being said I do think it's a good idea for dedicated MTBers to be involved in deciding what the new singletrack will be like.
Is there a trail maintenance schedule set up for FCP?

I should explain a bit further about what's going to be closed, according to the discussion with Chris. As I mentioned, "duplicate" trails will go [i.e. doubletrack will become singletrack, two routes that are 10' apart and start/end at the same place will be consolidated], as well as the stuff that doesn't go anywhere. All the delightful trails we know and love are technically in limbo, HOWEVER, Chris said [I'm paraphrasing here] that if a trail is sustainable [IMBA definition for the most part], and somebody tells the Trail Care Team Lead to keep it open, it stays open. Feeling a bit more optimistic? Wink


The logistics of closing anything beyond the most eroded, fall-line, washed out trail means that unless they're fencing off huge swaths of the park, the existing trails won't go anywhere. They have had no luck closing any trails to date, mostly because they don't know how to do it correctly. Throwing a log across the trail isn't going to deter anyone.

Trail maintenance is scheduled for most of the summer and into fall, but I don't have a copy. I can't do most of the weekday sessions, but I did sign up for two weekends. Many of the weekday sessions are with corporate volunteer groups, and will probably consist of trimming back the shrubbery on the existing trail. I'm thinking about going out and fixing the one corner myself, just for fun.

Posted: Jul 16, 2008 at 12:03 Quote
I am glad someone is involved. Good job, keep up the good work. Something else to consider is there is a major change happening in the government about how they view mountain bikes. Because of a number of new studies that have been done about mountain bike tourism, it is no longer being seen as a rebel sport, but as a huge economic motivator for an area. The BC governemnt has announced new funding for the maitenence, mapping and development of new and existing mountain bike trails on crown land. Maybe alberta is going to see the same.

Posted: Jul 16, 2008 at 20:31 Quote
knighhit wrote:
I am glad someone is involved. Good job, keep up the good work. Something else to consider is there is a major change happening in the government about how they view mountain bikes. Because of a number of new studies that have been done about mountain bike tourism, it is no longer being seen as a rebel sport, but as a huge economic motivator for an area. The BC governemnt has announced new funding for the maitenence, mapping and development of new and existing mountain bike trails on crown land. Maybe alberta is going to see the same.

Be aware the Govt. never freely gives anything without either taking with the other hand or being able to put restrictions on the existing. Recently in Alberta we mountain bikers have been restricted from riding "off trail" within the National Park. This means anything NOT MAPPED and designated as a mountain bike trail.

Posted: Jul 16, 2008 at 22:01 Quote
gravityrules wrote:
knighhit wrote:
I am glad someone is involved. Good job, keep up the good work. Something else to consider is there is a major change happening in the government about how they view mountain bikes. Because of a number of new studies that have been done about mountain bike tourism, it is no longer being seen as a rebel sport, but as a huge economic motivator for an area. The BC governemnt has announced new funding for the maitenence, mapping and development of new and existing mountain bike trails on crown land. Maybe alberta is going to see the same.

Be aware the Govt. never freely gives anything without either taking with the other hand or being able to put restrictions on the existing. Recently in Alberta we mountain bikers have been restricted from riding "off trail" within the National Park. This means anything NOT MAPPED and designated as a mountain bike trail.
Do you mean provincial park? If so that has been the law since the 1980's. And in the press release it talks about unmapped existing trails needing to be mapped and adopted as official trails. The reason is cause it generates alot of money in areas where the softwood lumber issues have had a major impact.

Posted: Jul 17, 2008 at 11:45 Quote
knighhit wrote:
gravityrules wrote:
knighhit wrote:
I am glad someone is involved. Good job, keep up the good work. Something else to consider is there is a major change happening in the government about how they view mountain bikes. Because of a number of new studies that have been done about mountain bike tourism, it is no longer being seen as a rebel sport, but as a huge economic motivator for an area. The BC governemnt has announced new funding for the maitenence, mapping and development of new and existing mountain bike trails on crown land. Maybe alberta is going to see the same.

Be aware the Govt. never freely gives anything without either taking with the other hand or being able to put restrictions on the existing. Recently in Alberta we mountain bikers have been restricted from riding "off trail" within the National Park. This means anything NOT MAPPED and designated as a mountain bike trail.
Do you mean provincial park? If so that has been the law since the 1980's. And in the press release it talks about unmapped existing trails needing to be mapped and adopted as official trails. The reason is cause it generates alot of money in areas where the softwood lumber issues have had a major impact.

Yeah, the Provincial parks appear to be under different guidelines than the national parks. The maze of singletrack at the Nordic Centre is one of the main features, and it's why a lot of tourists go there in the summer. In Banff, we're not allowed to do anything fun, even though the singletrack is there and in fine shape. I blame Sheila Copps! Boooo!

Posted: Jul 17, 2008 at 12:00 Quote
wrote:
I blame Sheila Copps! Boooo!
Sheila went for a ride on Moraine Lake trail on a horse in 1998, and within two weeks of her visit, that trail was closed to bikes forever. Usually there is a study done for a year or so before trails closures happen, but the deputy PM at the time has power!
All because she couldn't control her horse when a rider approached her on a bike.

Closures are going to happen in Banff this year all over the place, but they are building a bridge over the river for the Japanese tourists that seem to take over the place every year. The Assinaboine trail was closed in 1996, and since then, Allenby Pass is a horsekicked mess that is barely ridable, if at all. And the Horse outfitters complain at you if they see you on your bike! Like they own the place or something. And they say bikes do damage. We actually smooth out the trail that the horses destroy, but they don't take that into consideration.

Posted: Aug 14, 2008 at 16:23 Quote
My comments on the NEW singletrack trail down at FCP starting at the Bebo Grove parking lot heading West. I've been on this trail a few times now and find it a bit scary. In some areas the grass is so high you can't even see the ground on the trail. Once you crest the hill the trail is a sideslope, not at all flat, and God forbid you leave the 18" wide trail. What are you supposed to do when you come across someone going the other way? I watched as a fellow biker went tumbling down off the trail. Friends of Fish Creek are (in my opinion) just waiting for someone to get hurt so they can claim how dangerous it is to be riding in the park.
I know of another "Dad" who took his little boy, 7 years old, and his friend on this trail and the kids freaked out and cried. WTF. Wake up Friends of Fish Creek.

Posted: Aug 14, 2008 at 17:20 Quote
gravityrules wrote:
My comments on the NEW singletrack trail down at FCP starting at the Bebo Grove parking lot heading West. I've been on this trail a few times now and find it a bit scary. In some areas the grass is so high you can't even see the ground on the trail. Once you crest the hill the trail is a sideslope, not at all flat, and God forbid you leave the 18" wide trail. What are you supposed to do when you come across someone going the other way? I watched as a fellow biker went tumbling down off the trail. Friends of Fish Creek are (in my opinion) just waiting for someone to get hurt so they can claim how dangerous it is to be riding in the park.
I know of another "Dad" who took his little boy, 7 years old, and his friend on this trail and the kids freaked out and cried. WTF. Wake up Friends of Fish Creek.

Um, it gets like that every summer. Rain falls, sun shines, grass grows. It's native grass, tends to grow about 4'+ tall with the right weather conditions. You get the same thing happening in other areas of the park that haven't been touched by the FoFC. If you want it mowed, contact the park staff and have them take care of it. If it's the meadow I'm thinking of, it's not even new trail...

Posted: Aug 14, 2008 at 18:01 Quote
gravityrules wrote:
My comments on the NEW singletrack trail down at FCP starting at the Bebo Grove parking lot heading West. I've been on this trail a few times now and find it a bit scary. In some areas the grass is so high you can't even see the ground on the trail. Once you crest the hill the trail is a sideslope, not at all flat, and God forbid you leave the 18" wide trail. What are you supposed to do when you come across someone going the other way? I watched as a fellow biker went tumbling down off the trail. Friends of Fish Creek are (in my opinion) just waiting for someone to get hurt so they can claim how dangerous it is to be riding in the park.
I know of another "Dad" who took his little boy, 7 years old, and his friend on this trail and the kids freaked out and cried. WTF. Wake up Friends of Fish Creek.

Wow, if you think that it is hard then stick to the paved paths.


 
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