cburch wrote:sounds like a great idea. but i think you should go through the park stewards to make sure its designed and built for the long term and not closed down before you even finish it. we are still on slightly shakey ground with the city over frick after the whole 276 ordeal and we probably shouldnt push our luck.
Unreal Machine wrote:Update: we are still in the pre-planning stage, but there is definitely a lot of potential for this area. It would probably end up looking like a cross between the Nature Trail and Dinky Bridge Trail, but it would be built to strict IMBA standards. Hopefully by the end of the month we will have the route finalized and a map with the proposed trail drawn out with elevation points. At that point other people can walk the route, give their thoughts, and we can submit the plans to PTAG. If all goes well this could end up being one of the best trails in that park.
dfiler wrote:Unreal Machine wrote:Update: we are still in the pre-planning stage, but there is definitely a lot of potential for this area. It would probably end up looking like a cross between the Nature Trail and Dinky Bridge Trail, but it would be built to strict IMBA standards. Hopefully by the end of the month we will have the route finalized and a map with the proposed trail drawn out with elevation points. At that point other people can walk the route, give their thoughts, and we can submit the plans to PTAG. If all goes well this could end up being one of the best trails in that park.
PTAG and almost all bikers would love more singletrack in Frick. Here are a couple things to keep in mind.
There are numerous other issues being negotiated with the park. In order to keep a good working relationship, it helps to take everything into consideration prior to approaching the park with new trail proposals. Normally we try meet other park users half-way in regard to conflicting desires for trail management.
For instance, the extension to dinky bridge was contingent on closing the steep, eroding original exit. This was mostly successful. Unfortunately, a new fall-line trail developed where that extension ends and merges onto the Braddock trail. We have been asked to close that descent. It is debatable whether attempts at closure will be successful but it has been requested.
Similarly, the extension to bradema (nature center trail) was contingent on closing the final fall-line, high speed exit. Walkers get scared and mad when bikers exit at high speed. Whether there is a real danger of collision or not, the current exit results in tension among park users. Another concern is that because erosion has caused roots to become exposed. Novice riders avoid the roots and go to the side, widening the trail. Each year the trail gets wider and new go-arounds develop to avoid roots. While it will certainly be controversial, the plan is to close that exit once the bradema extension is fully cut in. Hopefully, in the long run bikers will appreciate the additional mileage. Steep fall-line trails are fun but it would be better if they weren't highly visible and didn't exit as a jump over the highest pedestrian traffic trail in the park.
276 also caused some tension but it looks like everything can be resolved if we successfully close all but the two stream crossing entrances closest to the uphill climb. The ones further down stream were described as unsustainable due to devegetation and the resulting erosion during torrential flow. Again, whether we agree with that assessment or not, the wise choice is to concede to that request and maintain good relations.
There is other maintenance on the to-do list as well. The entrance to iron gate is getting wider each year as people avoid riding over roots and go to the side of the trail. It is around 15 feet wide now. At some point it should be narrowed back into singletrack. Also, the long bridge at the end of iron gate is in danger of collapse and needs to be reinforced. The center masonry pier washed away a couple years ago and 4x4 stringers aren't sufficient for a 16 foot span.
What this all means is that we should probably concentrate on finishing the on-going projects and get the current trails back into shape prior to going to the parks conservancy with a new trail proposal. They need to see that PTAG can plan, construct and maintain the trails that were previously requested and approved. This tactic seems to be working. It is awesome that new singletrack is getting officially approved and constructed in Frick!
If you're in Frick much, you'll likely run across me doing trail maintenance. Feel free to stop and discuss or lend a hand. I'll be working on the bradema extension after work a couple nights a week until it is finished.
dfiler wrote:Bradema has been extended with a lot of new trail between Biddle and Braddock. Instead of crossing Biddle and dropping straight down, it crosses Biddle, continuing along the contour line until nearly going under the forbes avenue bridge. Then it switches back, comes all the way back past the current exit, goes backward on the existing trail for a bit, splits to the left for one last switchback loop, and then exits on level ground through some dense trees.
The intention was to improve relations between bikers and pedestrians by eliminating the high speed fall line exit onto the braddock trail. The new exit is much slower speed. It also eliminates the erosion problem on the current exit.
The new section was designed to continue the mostly level or downward character of the trail. If we did a good job, it will soon seem like it has always been part of the trail, continuing with the same personality all the way to the bottom of the park. While some riders will hate losing the fast technical exit, hopefully most will view the additional length as an acceptable tradeoff.
Next time you're in Frick, check it out. While still soft and in need of much more work, everything is already rideable.
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