The "STRAVA Effect"... and "KOTS" Trail
|Posted on September 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM|
Many folks do not understand how racing mountain bikes up and down the trails in the Mountain View Park wetland and upland area erodes them even faster, "necessitating" in more trail days and trail building activites.
There is a point where the trails becomes so eroded, they cannot be properly maintained or repaired, usually resulting in another reroute, realignment, bypass, etc. This effectively means a whole new trail is cut, and the riding abuse, repair, or reroute cycle (no pun intended)starts all over again -- usually within months, not years.
Gold dirt is being dug up off- trail, along with rocks in order to "try" to make the mountain bike trails "sustainable". It just isn't working, and leaving a lot more ecological damage in its wake. And that is the whole problem with mountain biking activities. Ride and build, ride and build. it goes on incessantly. Mountain biking, and especially STRAVA racing on the trails is a very erosive activity on our temperate rain forest trails.
And now, enter, the STRAVA mountain bike racing craze: http://www.strava.com/ This is just not sustainable, at all, uphill or downhill. It erodes the already fragile trails and forest floor, even more so.
STRAVA racing on "King of the Shore" (KOTS) Trail, in the upland area. Much of this trail has a greater than 10% grade slope, with some areas hitting more than a 20% grade slope. Anything greater than a 10% grade is fodder for greater erosion from mountain biking, especially racing in which damaging braking, skidding and cornering places a lot of wear and tear on the trails. Here is an example of how one particular wetland/upland trail is becoming eroded quickly...necessitating another NSMBA Trail Day on it in the next week. We need to use some critical thinking here:
- 8.6%Avg Grade
- 795ftLowest Elev
- 1,173ftHighest Elev
- 378ftElev Difference
- Ridden 293 times by 105 people
- 8.8%Avg Grade
- 1,059ftLowest Elev
- 1,189ftHighest Elev
- 131ftElev Difference
- Ridden 478 times by 163 people
- 7.8%Avg Grade
- 934ftLowest Elev
- 1,195ftHighest Elev
- 261ftElev Difference
- Ridden 301 times by 99 people
As you can note from the above numbers and stats, that is a lot of racing (ripping and shredding) on the King of the Shore Trail, alone, rain or shine, four seasons a year...
From this trail building video on King of the Shore Trail, you can see how much gold dirt and rocks are being being dug off-trail to "fix" the KOTS, reroute, etc. Later in the film you can see the style of riding that places a very heavy and erosive footprint on the trails, just like STRAVA racing does...This kind of riding and building NSMBA-style is never-ending. It cannot be good for the forest, in any case.
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King of the Shore & the MEC Grant
(MEC sells mountain bikes. Their focus is clearly not environmental conservation, or else they would not be supporting such trailbuilding here.)
There are many places on Fromme Mountain, and elsewhere on the North Shore that have been assessed to be of much lower environmental value than the Mountain View Park wetland and upland area. We need to work to decommission these mountain bike trails and contain mountain bikers to a much smaller area than the sprawl they have now. Many multi-use mountain bike/hike trails usually end up becoming mountain bike only trails, for obvious reasons... Safety issues, for one.
Remember this is public forest land, which should not become a "commercialized and privatized" amusement park for mountain bikes, especially inside the critical and sensitive habitat of Mountain View Park wetland and upland area. Much damage has been done already, due to too many new trails being built. where environmental assessments advised closure of more trails. We need to work for restoration and conservation, not more mountain biking in the Mountain View Park wetland and upland area.
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