Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rattling Creek Trail Woes

Yesterday was the Rattling 50 Marathon and about 40-50 riders were on the trails. Luckily, it appeared the rain held off for them (I wasn't around to check things out unfortunately). I plan to contact Frank McGuire of IMBA and try to figure out how to deal with DCNR after seeing the trails today after the bike race. It's NOT the bikers that are the problem. I'm sorry to say the DCNR singletrack the horses were on are now super soft, and after a week of wet conditions and bike race on the singletrack, it's obvious the DCNR singletrack trails will not hold up. They were fairly soft and mucky with clear bike lines (muddy). The Rattling creek trail system hardly ever had a muddy spot for many years. Now, after a horse event, the single track the horses traveled on are showing signs of wear and tear. It was most evident after the bike race. Two years ago after the Rattling Marathon, club members purposely checked the trails the next day to make sure they were "ok", and they were. The only sign of 100 bikes on the trails were on Doc Smith on a fast turn or two. Hardly no evidence of 100 bikes racing. Yesterday? 50 bikes and it was obvious on the DCNR singletrack. Something was also very obvious on the Lykens Watershed trails -- trails the same 40-50 bike traveled on -- showed NO signs of a race. There was hardly a bike track and nothing but hard-packed, smooth trail. The watershed policy is no horses on watershed singletrack and it DOES make a huge difference on the singletrack. I'm hopeful there's a resolution -- but the vibes we are getting from DCNR is the trails are for everyone. Frank, help!


Anonymous said...

I rode the race on Saturday and it kicked my butt but was able to finish. Very impressive trails.
I ran a trail crew in Colorado for 5 years and some of our trails were horse trails. The bottom line is horses destroy trails! There is no compatibility between horse trails and bike trails. It will never work. As I rode along the trails on my bike I was impressed at wahat little damage I saw from bike traffic. Imagine the same amount of horse traffic in similar conditions. Good luck. The solution is seperate trails for the two.

Chili said...

Thank you Mr. Anonymous! Glad you enjoyed the race. Our thoughts exactly on horses, and we will fight to keep horses off watershed. I'm not sure we can do anything about the DCNR trails.