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Washington bi-directional trails. Wrong decision IMHO

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Hi,

 

I'm new at US and I've been visiting some places to ride some enduro. I went to Taneum and Walker Valley. Amazing places and great trails, but I'm very concerned that the trails are bi-directional, meaning you can crash with another rider going in the opposite direction. At walker valley I almost crash 2 times with very close calls, and after that I decide to go away since I wanted to be back at home without broken bike/bones.

 

Riding areas have great maps and therefore I think the solutions is pretty easy, like put an additional legend at the entrance of each trail saying "do not enter, this is the exit" or something like that.

 

I'm from Chile, where we have a lot of mountains and places to ride, and one of the first things everyone gets worried about in a new trail is these type of accidents, and therefore we mark every trail with a blue sign at the right and a right one on the left....everyone knows that red must be at the left side, otherwise you're on the opposite direction. I've seen some broken helmets and arms because of this....is pretty serious even if you're going slow, since the real speed of your crash is your bike's speed + the other bike's speed against a wall....do the math.

 

Is this something already discussed? if not, can we do something about it? I'll be more than happy to help to mark the trails.

 

Mauricio

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Hi mauricio, in general, this is a problem when people treat trails like race courses. It makes sense to have 1-way trails in tiny small areas with dense trail networks, but in most places it doesn't make sense. 

 

For sure, I don't think everyone would obey the directional signs, since they already ignore the signs that say 'closed to atvs' or 'closed to motorized use'. So when ricky racer thinks he's on a 1way trail and hauls even more azz than normal, his head-on will be even worse than normal.

 

the best solution is to ride within your vision, and keep in mind that on a blind corner, the other guy is going to use up  half of that vision to get himself stopped.

 

I believe this even tho I had a potentially fatal head-on myself a few years back (luckily ended up with only a compound femur fracture).

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Yeah, its not the worst idea. However, there a lot of trails I enjoy running both way's and it would be a real bummer to lose that option. When doing a long loop route, it is nice to have the freedom to choose trails going either way. I'll take the risk of a head in exchange for the freedom to travel both ways.

 

And just because they're are signs, your going to go full blast assuming everyone else is obeying the signs too? Still risky.

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It's scary for sure, but I've been riding 40yrs and only had 1 head-on contact...always go right :)

 

What Llama said is the truth, slow down if ya can't see.

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Fair enough guys, thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions. Which places you recommend to go fast without concerns? I mean, where you guys practice for races?

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I believe Jones Creek has some one way trails.

 

I think most folks here are in favor of keeping trails bi directional with maybe a couple of exceptions. There are a couple trails that I would like as one way, but for the most part I like the flexibility of bi directional. Most of us who ride single track gain enough experience and familiarity with our trail systems over consecutive seasons that collisions become a non issue. I have had one collision and 2 close calls in 8 years. None in the past 3 years mainly a result of increased experience and familiarity of the trails. 

 

Post next time you want to ride and follow some one who knows the area you are riding. Enjoy and stay safe.

 

later

 

danny

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Fair enough guys, thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions. Which places you recommend to go fast without concerns? I mean, where you guys practice for races?

 

ride private tracks and trails... join a club with property only they can ride, or get friendly with club members. several NW moto clubs have their own property, we CFMC-"http://www.cascadefamilymc.org/" have our own property in capital forest that we build single track trails on year round, they are bi-directional but our ridership is still somewhat small and you always know who is out riding that day on the trails, pick a direction and go as fast as you want without hardly any risk of head on, not with another rider anyway..  trees are then your only concern. or just do races, there are offroad races or poker runs virtually every single weekend in our state.  checkout the nma calender for events.  http://www.nmaoffroad.org/page/show/288004-calendar

 

cheers...

Edited by DRS

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Fair enough guys, thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions. Which places you recommend to go fast without concerns? I mean, where you guys practice for races?

 

Just find a guy that is faster than you, and send them out front as the 'probe'.....or as we sometimes call him...."crash test dummy"

 

:)

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So I have a few ideas to throw out there as far as reducing the risk of running in to people.

1. Build up endurance, pack a lunch and go as far and high as you can (or just hit the hard trails), my experience says the further you get from the trail head or staging area the less people there is. The riders you do come across tend to be more experienced.

2.  Ive noticed that most groups leave the parking lots between 730-10 am. and return around 230-5pm. So if you leave in that general time, and return in that general time, for the most part you and all other groups would be going in the same general direction

3.  While at the parking lots/staging area, hit some of the other groups up. Find out what loops they are doing. What there planned outgoing and return routes are. just having an idea will help you avoid a crash. See if they are cool with you tagging along.

Hope I made some sense

Shank out

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Just find a guy that is faster than you, and send them out front as the 'probe'.....or as we sometimes call him...."crash test dummy"

 

:)

Taneum Junction is a very busy place. Use caution whenever you are near the staging area......... people are always riding beyond their "sight " distance near the staging area/trailheads...... 

 

My normal riding partner found out about the speeding 50 on a trail less than a 1/4 mile from Taneum Junction. We were going very slow leaving the staging area/pavement, but the 50 rider was haulin the mail on a blind corner. Riding partner is just getting back to riding and the accident happened in early June. Had a minor tibia fracture and multiple ligament injuries-none needed surgery. Doctor said it would take a 50 mph minimum car crash for the injuries presented. We were going 10/15 at most........ 

Edited by trailwhale

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Not only are those trails bi directional, they are multiple use, you can encounter horses, bicycles, hikers, trail runners, and wildlife on them. They are not appropriate for race speeds under any circumstances.

As to the question "can we do something about it?", absolutely, just keep treating public trails like your personal race track and soon motorcycles will be prohibited on them.

I realize that you're visiting, or new, here and not familiar with local trail use, but there's lot's of locals (mountain bikers included) that need to learn this as well.

Edited by motovita
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Hi mauricio, in general, this is a problem when people treat trails like race courses. It makes sense to have 1-way trails in tiny small areas with dense trail networks, but in most places it doesn't make sense. 

 

For sure, I don't think everyone would obey the directional signs, since they already ignore the signs that say 'closed to atvs' or 'closed to motorized use'. So when ricky racer thinks he's on a 1way trail and hauls even more azz than normal, his head-on will be even worse than normal.

 

the best solution is to ride within your vision, and keep in mind that on a blind corner, the other guy is going to use up  half of that vision to get himself stopped.

 

I believe this even tho I had a potentially fatal head-on myself a few years back (luckily ended up with only a compound femur fracture).

I hate quoting the BS the railroad drills in our head but one  rule is "prepared to stop withing half the range of vision"

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Fair enough guys, thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions. Which places you recommend to go fast without concerns? I mean, where you guys practice for races?

Johnson Valley, California.

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Ride events if ya wanna let her rip, or maybe get out early on weekday mornings.  I've head  too many times, got hurt a few times but usually just pick myself out of the brush from the evasive maneuver. Popped a tire on a quad once :rolleyes:

Edited by highmarker
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I mean, where you guys practice for races?

 

I've been hit head-on in a race too, fortunately not serious. There've been some serious head-ons in enduros in california. If I want to really go fast, I just do it on trails where I can see.

 

Another option is ride with buddies, and let a gap open to the first guy, then ride like hell to close it. The first guy has to be more careful, but the riders behind can push a bit.

 

OTOH, I was with a group near foresthill once, and the 2nd rider in an oncoming group hit the 2nd rider in our group, so even if you're not first, there are some dumazzes out there.

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My trails will be one way only this Saturday. Bring 35.00 and you can ride as fast as you can for 500 minutes :smirk:

Edited by shotgunscott
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I'm new at the area, not visiting. I'll search for other places then. I'm not a pro or anything like it but I like to go fast as I can without getting killed, just knowing my limits and trying to improve a little each time, that's why I think one-way trails will avoid the crash and everyone can improve their riding skills without any other risk than falling or crashing yourself against a tree or something.

 

I still think is too dangerous, and I see many responses on this thread with crash experiences that shouldn't had happened, so I guess everyone's agree that the risk is there. In Eurpoe and Southamerica the enduro trails are mostly one way (official trails, not open areas) because of the same....rider's safety is first...even a bike crash can generate sparks, gasoline leaking and therefore a fire. Even in California are one way (not sure if all of them, but a lot of them). We should care about nature and ourselves first. If you get bored about riding the trail into the same direction over and over, rotate between places or change the direction of the trail once a year. It's an small sacrifice to get a huge benefit....not broken bones. Even better, the riding areas are so big that is pretty easy to create several alternatives for the same loop.

 

Regarding horses trails, I guess that's why there are some trails where horses are allowed and others where they're not.

 

My 2 cents guys, don't want to disrespect anybody here, I just think you have great places here and can be even better with little effort.

Edited by mauro_arriagada
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