Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bikers are angry

They're angry at me because I published an article about a "secret" downhill mountain bike trail in the Pike National Forest called I-35. Here is one of the responses I got (typos included.) It's fairly typical of others:
You must be the dumbest person I know!!! Thanks for your article, your direction's were a little off, but people that should not be riding our trail found it anyway. Our national DH champ is from Colorado and this is where the local Pro athlete's train, including myself. That is why it is so technical. What we managed to keep secret for more than 8 years, was let out in one article. I guess that's what newspaper's do, report news. I'd like to know how you got the name and the direction's, because I don't know you, and I don't see you doing any maintenance on the trail. This trail is a place that keep's the fastest people in the state from going down Jack's, Chute's, area's in Palmer Park, and Ute. Hopefully it does not get shut down now. We've talked to the Forest rangers and they don't seem to have a problem letting a few people ride up there as long as people are not building wooden stunts nailed into the tree top's. I personally don't mind hitting single s! peeders coming up the chutes, but seeing that I race Pro 4x, DH means I have to train on my XC bike as well as road, and don't like it when dudes are bombing Edna Mae in body armor when I'm triing to climb it. This trail is the only thing on the front range (left). Where you did'nt have to worrie about someone hiking/biking up or boobie trapping it because they don't like bikers on a muti use trails going fast. I.e., palmer park and all the mysterious boulders that just seem to roll down and stop on the trail in the middle of the night. In the futer I wish you would keep unmarked trails out of the paper and especially don't give direction on how to get to them, your article was one third about the trail and two third about how to get to it. The next time you can hit a 35 ft. gap over a mine tailing , make it down that trail in one piece or you and your buddie flatting several times(I know people you know and talk get's aroung real fast) maybe then you can tell you buddies.&nbs! p;You h ave no buisness talking about, especially writing about a trail you don't even ride, you're worse then a little kid on the internet talking crap. Maybe next time you could write an article on how people that train for the pikes peak accent use the incline, and how it's illegal, and get that shut down too, or maybe where all the local dirt jumps are.Your informant is going to regret they told your dumb @ss anything about this. P.S. be carefull the next shop you drop your bike off to, may forget to tighten all the bolts, beacause most of the mechanics in town ride DH.Stoops!!!!

38 comments:

Gaylord said...

Wow, who let that guy own the forest? He sounds like the biking equivalent of those Santa Cruz surf gangs.

Yeti said...

What is wrong with people?!?! I cannot believe the elitist whining that was vomited up in that letter. And then to add THREATS?! Seriously what a bonehead. That is exactly the type of person that ruins great rides for the majority of cyclists.

Sure not all of us are sponsored pro, but come on, there are quite a few of us that can hammer with the best of them and then go share the newbies the routes so they to can hone their skills. More people involved=more awareness=more trails=more freedom=more fun.

You keep people off the trail by explaining the real dangers of the trail and explaining technique needed not by whining. Hell whining makes people wonder just how cool the ride is and makes more riders go give it a shot, if anything the response you got makes more people want to ride it.

Cycling is supposed to be a stress reliever evidently it is not working for that individual. Maybe the thought of new competition scares him. Step of the podium and share the sport!

Dave, thanks for posting this dramatic response about your article. And sorry for the rant but this elitist mentality is what gives a sport a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Hell hath no fury like someone whose trail has been disclosed.

Anonymous said...

“Bikers are Angry”…why is it you have one response if there are multiple…how is it fairly typical to others?

First, I would like to give a little background before people judge the individual you feel is out of line with their response. It is not about whining, that is easy for somebody to say if they haven’t put any sweat equity into building a trail…jumps and berms do not appear over night by a fairy that feels we need a place to ride gnarliness. There is A LOT of back breaking work that goes into having something to this magnitude. It was not a courtesy for Dave to find out information about a trail and feel it was his obligation to post this information, especially since he has yet to put time into maintaining it himself.

Yeti, I am sure you and other can hammer, with the best of them, and it is certainly not about the Pros versus non-Pros, rather, it is about common respect for those who put days of work into a trail so that it remains rideable, as well as safe. I noticed that the writer mentioned that they have resorted to this trail to avoid altercations with other, less experienced riders…this trail should be respected and so should the people who built it. As for this being a stress reliever…DH is great for stress relieving (as well as cycling in general), but I see why the stress has increased for this situation – I have put in a lot of hours myself on trails that have been shut down due to becoming over populated. It is very difficult to handle. Pipeline is a great example, it HAD fun stunts, ladders, and jumps – for some reason a story was published in the Gazette and soon after ALL of the stunts were cut down.

Gaylord to answer your question “Who let that guy own the forest? He sounds like the biking equivalent of those Santa Cruz surf gangs.” Perhaps the permission this individual obtained from the National Forest to even do something like this and was told to keep it one the DOWN-LOW would explain why! How do you know it was a guy? There a lot of fast girls in this town too.

There is more to this story than “bikers are angry” it has a lot to do with not having mutual respect for other riders, those who have put so much time and effort into building and maintaining a trail. They are angry because they now see all of this hard work getting ruined because of one story…a story that wasn’t researched enough to find out how it came about.

Anonymous said...

It's public property. If you want a trail guaranteed to be for bikes only, form an organization and buy some property. Otherwise, you need to get the Forest Service to designate it as "bikes only" and post plenty of signs so that people exploring on foot will know.

Secret? The trail is indicated on the USGS 1:100,000 scale maps. Since the Garmin US Topo product was derived from this data, it is available to the many users of Garmin GPS receivers. Of course, it isn’t exactly correct on the maps.

Pikes Peak Atlas also shows the trail along with some of the old mine roads that connect to it. Hikers, like me, have no trouble finding it. I led a group hike using it last fall.

It was probably a nice, more commonly used trail when the “Stage Road Picnic Ground” existed.

Two Dollar kid from Better Off Dead said...

"It is not about whining, that is easy for somebody to say if they haven’t put any sweat equity into building a trail."

An illegal trail.

If it is on public land it is one of two things:

1) Illegal
2) Public

Take your pick. If you don't want to share it with others either a) buy the land or b) build it in your backyard.

chairman mao said...

whaaa!!! whaaaa!!!

a reporter posted truthful information in a public newspaper about a trail on public land.

welcome to america, comrade.

Anonymous said...

I have talked with many of the riders that enjoy this trail and in my experience they have been very cordial and open to others using the trail. It isn't an illegal trial, read the original article and it mentions it being on the area's maps for many years—The issue arises when inexperienced people go up there and try and ride it. There was never any issue letting people enjoy the trail but having directions published in a local paper is reaching the wrong "mountain biker"--this trail is not The Chutes or Caption Jacks, it requires a bit more fortitude to get down and enjoy. Also, the trail cannot sustain the traffic that many other local trails see and there is a small group that keeps it safe and fun to ride. Many cyclists do not have the time nor experience to properly maintain a trail so when someone is putting in the hard work they don't like to see it destroyed--they just want to ride and not see anybody get hurt, whether is be hikers, dogs or other mountain bikers. There is a lot of hard work that goes into many of the trails we all enjoy in this area and we all owe a thanks to those that are willing to put in the time! Give them a hand maintaining and ride within your abilities (and trails within your abilities), it benefits everyone and I think most will remain happy! Just don’t think you can take advantage of someone’s hard work and not put in the time yourself—

John said...

As many have stated, this is public land; a large portion of the public has not put the time and effort into exploring, enjoying and maintaining it as others. In my opinion, exploiting such areas is a form of welfare. There is a difference between informing the public of the local hikes and biking trails and exposing a "secret stash". I bet Dave has a few stashes that he chooses not to publish, it's unfortunate more discretion was not used in this case.

Also, if this is in fact an "illegal" trail, it should not have been published, thus encouraging more "illegal" use. In this case, the media is culpable.

Best to learn from our mistakes and move forward, maybe an apology would have been better than vilifying a brother biker.

freerider said...

Thanks suckers! I'm so gonna ride that trail this weekend with all my idiot friends and our Next dual suspension bikes. Oh yeah, I'm not gonna help out one little bit in maintaining this trail. Hopefully, you guys will get started on a new secret trail that I'll also eventually use and not help out with.

Anonymous said...

How can I give my blood sweat and tears to help build and maintain a trail if is secret? Wouldn't it be more prudent to share the information and gain workers that would respect the trails because they helped maintain them? Some one post an organization that aids in the upkeep of these more advanced routes and I will gladly show up. Stop complaining and start solving the problem. Come together and work towards a common goal of teamwork trail maintenance and knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I bet I ride with the majority of you non-pro XC dorks on a regular basis, there are probobly a few that can hammer out some climbs, but this is a DH trail, so go out and buy a real DH bike, and shovel, and put your money where your mouth is. As for Yeti there were no threats, and Freerider, Karma will get you too. Hopefully someone doesn't get a carborator dropped on there board BRO!!! Ya I watched Lords of Dogtown too Gaylord. Blogs are so much FUN!!!

Anonymous said...

"How can I give my blood sweat and tears to help build and maintain a trail if is secret? Wouldn't it be more prudent to share the information and gain workers that would respect the trails because they helped maintain them? Some one post an organization that aids in the upkeep of these more advanced routes and I will gladly show up. Stop complaining and start solving the problem. Come together and work towards a common goal of teamwork trail maintenance and knowledge."

I nominate you. Take your own initiative and let’s get it going!

The trail isn't "secret"; it's just not what you want Joe Schmo who has little idea how to ride a mountain bike or maintain a trail to come skidding down and wrecking themselves. Unfortunately people don't always think before they leap...

rupert murdoch said...

The Gazette is hardly a 'public' paper.

bitter mcsecretbikerider said...

I'm every bit as mad as the backcountry skiier that had his powder stash hosed or the bass fisherman who's Miller Lite drinking buddies disclosed his "secret spot."

I was just driving down Cheyenne Canon and saw some Huffy-riding chimpanzees heading up there in a Datsun Fastback. Now I'm really P.O.ed.

the ghost of jones downhill said...

(in ghostly voice)

Learrrrrn a lesssssson from meeee. Motorcycles are neeeexxxxt. Karma will find you all even the freeaky bike bullies who think they are cooler than Chris Davenport.

al said...

It's a pretty standard ethics test to ask, "What if everybody did it?" The idea is that if you can't stand the idea of everybody doing it, then it's not a good idea. The reasons to build and use a secret training track on public land may feel compelling, but unfortunately that doesn't make it right. One of the risks of trying to do something secretly is that you'll be found out. That the folks who built the trail are upset that its existance was disclosed is understandable. That doesn't make the building of it right, nor the anger justifiable. To borrow from "Field of Dreams," if it's on public land and you build it, they will come. If you don't like who shows up, well, that needed to have been factored in before you started.
Having said that...I can feel them now...flammis acribus addictis.

John said...

I must agree with many who have encouraged trail users to respect and help maintain any trail they use.

Also, and respectfully correct if I am wrong, just because you can find a trail on a map doesn't necessarily mean it is open or legal. This may only apply to motorized uses, but the USFS considers all trails closed unless clearly marked as being open. I don't remember when this Travel Management Plan rule changed but it made a huge number of trails illegal overnight.

Our local USFS is a good partner and serves the public well. We don't want to put them in a bad position to have to scrutinize or close any of our trails. It's unfortunate they don't get better funding!

Anonymous said...

Illegitimi non carborundum!!

Chris Croker said...

All of you people that comment in these forums are partially responsible. You tease Phillips about when he's going to be done holding Chris Davenport's jock - now he has to cover other topics of interest.

LEAVE PHILLIPS ALONE!!!

zen said...

That's one strange quirk about this area - locals so unwilling to share information about public trails.

I'm reminded of the Limber Pine Trail at the end of Edlowe road in Woodland Park where locals would post "threat of towing" notices on cars that would dare park by the trailhead, and where more than a year after Hayman and the reopening of the forest, area residents still fought to keep the "forest closed" sign at the head of the trail.

But it seems to me that John Muir was right on this one. Its better to get honest eyes and caring hearts out on the trails and in the forest than it is to try and keep them for ourselves and lose the public support and interest.

The fact is the small bunch of trespassers, neglecters and destroyers are already at it. The littered shores of the forbidden Seven Lakes demonstrates that.

Getting the word out doesn't ruin these trails. It brings new eyes and hearts. I for one join John Muir in believing that mostly is a good thing.

the knitrider said...

Mikes gonna booby trap your bike, yo.

Anonymous said...

READ CAREFULLY:

To the "Angry Guy". Learn to spell jackass. Proofread before you send. It will make people respect your opinion a little more.


I'M GONNA RIDE THIS TRAIL NOW. IT AIN'T A SECRET NO MO.

I'M GONNA TAKE MY HARDTAIL HUFFY AND RIP IT!

Dave Philipps said...

Maybe they should hold the pixie repack on I-35.

Njoy the Ride said...

Its obvious that some of these folks never poured themselves into any project before: built a trail, a ramp, or found their own spot away from the crowds. This is why they can't relate to the people who built/maintained/sessioned this area.

My suggestion is to make the trail even nastier. Let those who don't belong get their asses handed to them...most likely they won't return for a little while.

To the ass who posted about "non-pro XC dorks". Just cause you ride a DH bike doesn't make you a great rider. In fact most DH'ers I see are larger guys (aka FAT) who are somewhat out of shape. Don't hate on someone for not relying on a shuttle or 7" of travel to make up for their lack of finesse. We all peddle our bikes and thats that.

Show respect, you'll get respect. If you ride the trail, you help maintain it. It seems pretty simple to me.

Trail Runner and Rider said...

I see both sides of this argument quite clearly. For those who say that trails on public land should be public, you are pretty much correct... However, this trail is a good example of why exceptions to that logic exist.

I-35 is a trail salvaged from a forgotten line down an old topo map. It was resurrected to meet a demand that no government agency (USFS, BLM, Park Service, or City) has attempted to recognize the existence of; DH riding. Right now, the supply for this type of riding falls far sort of the demand. Unfortunately for other trail users, DH riding spills out onto well traveled, muliuse trails that receive a high level of use. (These are the ingredients for significant user conflicts.)

What was so great about this trail is that it was created to meet this demand head on. It was kept secret for two reasons: 1) the powers that be agreed to allow its advanced features to exist IF the group that rode and maintained it remained small and skilled, and no ladders were built or features were created from living wood. And 2) so less experienced riders, hikers, equestrians, or trail runners wouldn't inadvertently travel on it and hurt themselves or its users. Therefore, maintaining a high level of discretion regarding its existence was providing a small, but crucial supply to the existing demand AND was keeping ignorant (in an innocent way) users from potentially dangerous confrontations.

This is why I and so many other riders are "angry" with Mr. Phillips. He completely disregarded the above logic and instead acted selfishly by publishing the existence of a trail that was clearly better off left to the capable few that were aware of its existence. As a result, the years of dedication and effort put forth by Front Range riders is at jeopardy. Not to mention their small supply of advanced trails with light user densities. Personally, I am not angry with Mr. Phillips. Not anymore. I am instead very disappointed with his decision to publish directions to this trail, not mention its existence. The fact that he has the audacity to criticize the responses of those who have spent their lives working on this trail shows a severe flaw in is his character. I hope that he is able to overcome this flaw and learn from the emotion fueled responses to his article that some trails are better off left out of the public eye.

J said...

"Trail runner and rider" hit it right on the nose! Well said!

snake hater said...

It is a trail for godsakes...not the ark of the covenant.

The trail is only there for the penitent man.

Walter Sobchak said...

"Over the line! Am I the only one here who give a shit about the rules?"

Anonymous said...

great way to put it trail runner! i could not agree more. i also think it was irresponsible of dave to post this trail and the directions to it and childish to poke fun at people who approached him with criticism. i am sure it will catch up with him at some point. the cycling community here is not that big. word travels fast.

Dave Philipps said...

How exactly did I poke fun at anyone?

foghorn leghorn said...

Lemme guess, you figured it was subtle enough not to be recognized for what it is?

"Here is one of the responses I got (typos included.)"

So brief, and yet so telling.

zen said...

This is an age old kind of argument. There's not a climbing book or wilderness guide author who hasn't incurred this same kind of wrath. There will always be those who for one reason or another don't want THEIR secret stash discovered by OTHERS for fear that they will lose it. Fair enough. I understand that.

But truth is no secret is forever. It was bound to come out sooner or later. If not Dave then someone else. So cut him some slack. It's not like he's killing babies here.

Maybe now you can use this exposure, Dave's writing abilities, and all of your shared passion for biking and the outdoors to do some good, and demonstrate why there should be more I-35 type trails out there. Shining the light here doesn't have to be a bad thing.

No Flush Club Kid said...

I personally would be very pissed off if someone blabbed about where my safe haven is. (My secret out of the way toilet where I take a dump at when I'm at the office).

Mike said...

Let racing die if the best the US has to offer is a small social club built on "sweat equity" and a holier than thou attitude.

And, yes, I'm going to sabotage your bike next time I work on it.

-Mike

Anonymous said...

Damn...does that guy work at the post office?

Anonymous said...

To reply to Foghorn Leghorn,

>Lemme guess, you figured it was >subtle enough not to be >recognized for what it is?

>"Here is one of the responses I >got (typos included.)"

>So brief, and yet so telling.

The flamers/mad bikers who write such eloquent and articulate emails ought to be thankful Dave employed subtlety. I would have more directly pointed out that too many botched landings on their sacred trail has left their higher thinking centers working on the level of my 2nd grader. Stupid is as stupid does.

Anonymous said...

"To the ass who posted about "non-pro XC dorks". Just cause you ride a DH bike doesn't make you a great rider. In fact most DH'ers I see are larger guys (aka FAT) who are somewhat out of shape. Don't hate on someone for not relying on a shuttle or 7" of travel to make up for their lack of finesse. We all peddle our bikes and thats that.

Show respect, you'll get respect. If you ride the trail, you help maintain it. It seems pretty simple to me."

Theres nothing wrong with xc riders. We just don't like them going up DOWNHILL trail yelling, "Right of way" and "Yield to the uphill rider".

Also anyone who doesn't know how to control their speed could easily be hurt on this trail. No one wants it sanitized but XC riders and hikers.