Managing Mountain Bike Trails

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CJ Scott of Kingdom Trais presentation at the 2012 Vermont Trail Symposium

Transcript of Managing Mountain Bike Trails

  • Managing Mountain Biking IMBAs guide to Providing Great Riding

  • The 3 Major Issues of Mountain Bike Management

    1. Can public safety be ensured?

    2. Can environmental impacts be mitigated?

    3. Can different types of users share the same trail?

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • I. WHAT DO MOUNTAIN BIKERS WANT?

    Connection to Nature

    Escape

    Fun

    Challenge

    Exercise

    Variety

    Connections

    Camaraderie

    A sense of belonging

    Facilities

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • Types of Mountain Bikers

    Beginner Cross Country Rider

    Avid Cross Country Rider

    All Mountain Rider

    Downhillers

    Freeriders

    Dirt Jumpers

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • 12 Tips for Marketing Mountain Bike Trails

    1. Build Great Trails

    2. Provide supporting facilities

    3. Install effective signs

    4. Share the local knowledge

    5. Team up with local bike shops

    6. Get other local businesses involved

    7. Create a cool website

    8. Offer free trail maps

    9. Tell great stories

    10. Photograph your trails professionally

    11. Develop region-wide destination

    12. Track the numbers

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • II. PLANNING AND DESIGNING TRAILS

    13 steps for creating a successful Systemwide Trail Plan

    1. Understand the importance of systemwide planning

    2. Research existing trail strategies and planning templates

    3. Establish goals and objectives

    4. Engage in collaborative planning and develop partnerships

    5. Analyze users

    6. Analyze the landscape

    7. Understand constraints

    8. Draw the plan

    9. Establish design and management criteria

    10. Establish phases and priorities

    11. Strategize funding

    12. Adopt your master plan

    13. Develop an action Plan

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • Shared or Single Use?

    When trails are well designed and visitors observe basic trails etiquette, most people, whatever their means of conveyance, will have a satisfying experience on shared use trails.

    However, there are specific situations where separating trail users may be a better choice.

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • Single Use (or Preferred-Use) Trails

    Here is a list of situations where separating visitors may be the best option

    Crowded trails

    Crowded trailheads

    Extraordinary mountain bike trails

    High speed trails

    Bike parks

    Nature trails

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • Shared Use Trails

    7 Reasons why shared use trails make sense:

    1. Shared use trails best accommodate the needs of the most users

    2. Sharing helps build a trail community

    3. Shared trails are most cost effective for land managers

    4. Shared trails empower responsible, experienced users

    5. Shared use trails take better advantage of the available space

    6. Trail systems with shared trails require fewer trail miles and therefore have less impact

    7. Shared use trails manage the most users

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • Should an Existing Trail be Open to Mountain Bikers?

    15 questions to ask: 1. Are there any federal or local regulations that prohibit MTBing on the property?

    2. What are the pre-existing uses?

    3. Will the pre-existing use patterns mesh with MTBers?

    4. Does the trail have a sustainable alignment?

    5. Could the trail be altered to have a more sustainable alignment?

    6. Is the trail well located?

    7. Will the trail meet local needs?

    8. What kind of trails do local cyclists seek?

    9. Would MTBers like to ride the trail?

    10. Will the trail fit within an existing MTB trail network?

    11. If not part of an existing network, will the trail fill a local need for MTB trails?

    12. Are there presently sufficient trailhead resources, and if not, what would be needed?

    13. Are resources available to meet maintenance needs that may arise with increased use?

    14. Is there a local bike club available and willing to support the trail?

    15. If no local bike club exists, can one be created?

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • Managing Unauthorized Trails

    Most trails today are built as part of a master plan that considers multiple factors. The construction of unauthorized trails undermines this process not only because it defies the spirit of cooperation between trail users and land managers, but also because it poses environmental uncertainties.

    To keep those partnerships moving forward, it is essential that unauthorized trail construction be discouraged, and that existing unauthorized trails be either closed or incorporated into a larger, managed system.

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • Tactics and Solutions for Dealing with Renegade Trails

    Collect information

    Build partnerships

    Provide adequate trail opportunities

    Provide diverse trail experiences

    Set fair and logical mountain biking policies

    Learn from unauthorized trails

    Offer opportunities for authorized trailwork

    Add challenging lines

    Add single-use mountain bike trails

    Create special-use bike parks

    Replace closed trails with appealing alternatives

    Provide logical connections

    Avoid dead end trails

    Plan for shuttling

    Enforce regulations

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • 12 Elements for Creating a Trail Proposal

    1. Who are you?

    2. Who will benefit from this trail?

    3. Who will build the trail?

    4. Who will manage the trail once it is built?

    5. How long will it take to complete the project?

    6. How much will it cost to built the trail and who will pay for it?

    7. Where (on a map) will the trail be located?

    8. How will you manage risk and liability?

    9. How will you minimize environmental impacts?

    10. What steps will be taken to ensure that the trail wont affect neighboring property?

    11. How do you plan to deal with parking and litter?

    12. Will the public be able to participate in the planning of the trail?

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • 11 Steps for Designing Great Trails

    1. Build a partnership

    2. Identify boundaries

    3. Determine trail users

    4. Identify control points

    5. Configure loops

    6. Plan a contour route

    7. Determine type of trail flow

    8. Walk and flag the corridor

    9. Develop a construction plan

    10. Conduct an assessment study

    11. Flag the final alignment and confirm permission

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • III. PARTNERSHIPS

    The process of managing mountain biking begins by forming solid relationships. Today, successful trail systems involve collaboration between land managers, volunteer groups, and other local stakeholders, such as business, private landowners, environmental organizations, and community leaders.

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • 10 Partnership Principles

    Write specific agreements

    Start simple

    Have patience

    Respect each others viewpoint

    Be civil

    Plan for ongoing communication

    Adapt to change

    Upgrade knowledge and skills

    Keep your eyes on the prize

    Think locally

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding. Denver: Publication Printers Corp.

  • Memorandum of Understanding

    Key elements of an MOU:

    Which organizations will be involved in this project?

    What is the goal of the partnership?

    Who (by title) will represent the interests of each organization?

    What trail or specific section of land will be included?

    What, specifically, will be done in the name of mountain bike management? (New trails, bike patrol, signage?)

    What management philosophies will be employed? (design, education, trail revamps?)

    What trail design and construction strategies will you use?

    Who will be responsible for what task?

    Whats the timeline for each stage of the project?

    Webber, Pete. (2007). Managing Mountain Biking, IMBA's Guide to Providing Great Riding