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Thread: Beginner Loop

  1. #1

    Beginner Loop

    Can anyone share with me the process for how additions (ramps, etc.) are decided upon at Phase 1 and 2? I love the bank turn at P2 and wish there were more, especially around the tight switchbacks near the water.

    Just to be clear. I appreciate and respect all of the volunteers and the hard work put into building and maintaining the trails. Without these people, this experience would not exist.

    With that being said, I'm curious about the process.

  2. #2

    Process for trail design

    Mark,

    The way it gets decided is by the the COMBO board, the idea is presented (by anybody) at the monthly board meeting. The merits and negatives are discussed and a vote is taken.

    Things we consider:

    1. Safety, compliance to our insurance and park rules
    2. Impact on the environment, will it cause erosion issues or trap water. Does it follow IMBA guidelines for trail sustainability.
    3. Cost and does our budget support it, we had a fantastic design for replacing the banked turn but it broke the bank.
    4. Priority over other things that need done, this is a big one because we have significant ongoing maintenance and not a huge volunteer base.

    We have many projects that add technical trail features to the trails in mind but the long term issue is maintenance of that feature. We purposely put as few bridges as possible at Chestnut Ridge so we wouldn't need to have lots of maintenance.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  3. #3

    Process for trail design

    Thanks for taking your time to answer my question. That makes sense.

    I'm a little concerned about the banked turn breaking the bank. Given the low cost of lumber and hardware, it seems that could have been done for only a few hundred dollars. It's too bad we can not levy a fee for each ride.

  4. #4
    The design we looked at was very very cool, it had a high vertical wall, elevated lower curve, estimate for material was $5,000. The fix I did was only $300 in material. The majority cost that we did was replacing all the support posts behind the wall with 4x6 treated lumber.
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  5. #5

    Process for trail design

    5k! Haha. I would hope it was cool for that kind of money... Geez.

    What do you think about asking the local shops to ask people if they'd like to contribute $1 to their in store purchase to help maintain local trails (all proceeds payable to COMBO)?

  6. #6
    Lumber is expense, especially treated lumber. Each screw we used for the new section on the banked turn cost $0.95 each. That's $2.00 per board, not including the lumber itself.

    The idea of bike shops accepting donations from customers has been tried in the past, not successfully I'm sorry to say. The issue is the customer just spent their limit to buy a bike and even the suggestion of buying a helmet seems to sour some buyers. The idea that they donate to some local club is even less popular. Once the customer tries mountain biking and is over the steep entry price, they become more generous about supportting a place to actually ride.
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  7. #7

    Process for trail design

    Was the donation a "donation box" on the counter or was it tied to the electronic machines where the buyer could incorporate one extra dollar to the purchase? Most people don't carry cash so it's more of a convenience (or inconvenience) depending on the tactic? Moreover, the bike shops would stand to make more profits by creating awareness of the sport and I really don't hear much from the local shops on promoting the trail... at least from a financial perspective.

    Alternatively, what about the promotion of a group ride sponsoring the maintenance and creation of local trails?

    I hear money come up a lot in the message boards and its frustrating because I'm sure most people don't contribute. I'll use myself as an example. I've been riding P1 and P2 for 6 years and have only contributed one evening toward trail maintenance. I haven't paid any money, not because I don't want to or because I don't have it, but because I don't know how. There's a donation box but I am leery of someone ripping it off. Anyway, I'd like to help and I think others would too if there was greater awareness.

  8. #8
    Mark, one way people can contribute funds would be to become a Combo member. There is a link at the top of the forum that says "join".

    I have recently gone to 2 of the Combo meetings. So I'm not a board member. I've noticed a couple things. The Combo board does a lot more work than I ever thought. Sometimes I thought it seemed nothing was getting done. But there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes. Both times the 2 hours was not enough to get to all the subjects that were on the itinerary. There have been a lot of ideas bounced around at the meetings. Everyone's voice is heard. So if someone wanted to come to the meeting with an idea. I'm sure they would listen and discuss it.

    I'm actually surprised at how much work gets done. Considering the small amount of people that do the majority of work.

    The trails are maintained/upgraded/built
    Trail updates posted almost daily in 3 places.(Voice mail, OST, Facebook)
    Comboween
    They are still building up this website behind the scenes
    2 out of state trips a year are planned
    paperwork/budgeting
    I'm sure there is more than this also

    Figure all this plus I'm pretty sure everyone on the board still works full time. And then they want to ride and have fun too!

    They do work with the local shops. Recently they have gotten 3 shops to commit on having trail days.

  9. #9
    Like FordOhio said, the membership process is our primary fund raiser. The process is to simply click the join button on the top navigation bar.

    New things coming to the website are a PayPal donation button. New auto email notices about membership renewals and best of all we will now be able to send membership card via email.

    i've seen the early version of the new trail conditions pages and they look terrific too.

    The bike shop donation was run a couple different ways, one was the buyer could simply add it at the cash register to their bill, then use ash, card or check. The other was a seperate transaction cash or check only. We have also tried selling raffle tickets for COMBOween.

    The donation boxes in the parking lot are emptied frequently. There is no evidence they are getting vandalized.

    also new is we now have a GoPayment account and dongle. So we'll be able to process credit cards at all our events using iPhones, iPads e.g. Donations and membership can be processed.
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  10. #10
    Widening of the trail has occured as newbies try to avoid mud, going to require a lot of work to make is singletrack again. Please stay on the original tread.
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  11. #11
    Time to pull some dead ash trees onto the widening areas.

  12. #12
    Beginner Loop is mostly good but back in the meadow area we have overgrowth and wet spot
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

  13. #13
    Trail has been weed trimmed but repairs are still planned for early September
    Gregg Soster
    National Mountain Bike Patroller

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