The Sonoma Trails Council is promoting a trail work day that is coming up on April 30th at Annadel (in the Northern Bay Area). In an effort to get more volunteers out to help with the work day they posted the following images with some almost ironic captions:
Do you want your trails to look like this?
This image of a trail was followed by the image of the trail where the tread had been re-work with the addition of a retaining wall and fill material, and of course, proud volunteers posing on their work.
I find it quite interesting, and having led quite a few trail days myself, I can appreciate the amount of time that goes into a project like this. I also can understand the logic that went into the desire to “improve” upon the existing trail.
However, as a mountain biker, I also see what many of you probably see- the trail tread is now several feet wider, with a flat, almost smooth surface, and no rolling grade dips to speak of to at least make the trail more interesting. Or, since this was done with the intent for improving long term sustainability, to remove water from the tread. (or will the significant width simply lead to the formation of pot holes?) We all know wider trails are more difficult to maintain. When does well meaning go too far and result in what many feel is the sanitizing of the single track experience? The fact that they also mention they plan to install water bars (now considered by the modern trail standards to be ineffective) makes me question the level of knowledge here as well.
From a rider’s perspective, was this an improvement to the trail? The cool thing is that it’s now wide enough I can ride my quad on it. BRAAAP!
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