A while back we asked about your favorite trail features; now it’s time to check out the other side of the coin. Trail builders take note!
What is Your Least Favorite Trail “Feature”?
Some mountain bike trail features are more fun to ride than others. Then, there are the features we try to avoid.
The main artificial feature we have on my local trail is piles of slightly loose logs you’re supposed to roll over. Sketchy and not particularly fun.
Horse riders on a non-equestrian technical downhill.
If peeps hafta bag their dog stuff, do equestrians hafta bag their horsie stuff?
Some places require it but equestrians usually don’t listen
The feature that makes no sense to me is the narrow gap between two trees that may or may not be wide enough for modern handlebars…to the trail builders I say “why”???
They are tryna get you to sway to the music!
Hard to believe I know, but many trails we built long before modern handlebar widths exceeded them.
That’s what chainsaws are for, to fix the past.
The so-called “Canadian Pass”….
If the terrain is gentle and you are in total control, you can often sort of ‘Thread’ your bars through, one at a time. Fun…..
Check it out first….see how much space you have…….handlebar widths vary! Watch your knuckles!
If its fast and ridiculous — invest in a compact Silky Saw. They are good for deadfall and unfinished trail clearing……..
Boulders that stick out into the trail, particularly a downhill section. They’re not sitting on the trail, but the way in which they stick into it makes the trail about 1/3 of its normal width.
My least favorites are technical uphill trails that require wheel lifts over roots, rocks or fallen trees. Probably because that’s what I have the most trouble with.
There was a time, however, I quickly made it a fun challenge. I cannot emphasize enough how much better this has made me over time.
Fallen trees/logs. I usually bash my BB
Turns for the sake of turns because the trail builders think it creates “flow”.
I love wooden skinnies, especially ones low enough that falling off (repeatedly) doesn’t risk injury. Rock gardens, especially artificial piles of rocks, are my least favorite because they’re the only things in recent memory I’ve been injured on.
It needs to be looked at a different way.
There are definitely features that I reject as legitimate MTB……..I may have to face a desperate life misadventure, like driving into a deep lake or being mugged, but I don’t look for such things in my planned life (such as it is).
These have nothing to do with the technical difficulty of a feature. You can have a Double Black that can “easily” be ridden with advanced techniques…..and/or the right bike…..and a lethal Blue that can kill you.
These dangers mainly occur in wheel and handlebar traps……..in rock gaps, roots, ruts or wherever……..especially where there are dangerous consequences. I don’t believe these things merely raise the standard to Double Black (for the Right person)………I think they suck and I fix them (if I can).
These things are common in trails that started as hiking and, especially, horse trails…..so much of our contemporary efforts need to be spent sorting that group-user mess out.
Do some folks actually enjoy riding bad crud? (not in the sense that “I survived the earthquake”)….Well, they can always get their thrills on some cruddy trail somewhere, especially if they have good medical and psychiatric insurance. Just please don’t try to stop me working on safe trails that need advanced biking skills.
Are climbs a feature?
I chose skinnies/bridges because my favourite trails are natural and hand cut. Although, I do appreciate that wooden features are sometimes necessary, then they’re fine.
Anything made out of planks of wood, with the exception of necessary bridges.
Wood rots easily and becomes a deadly hazard. Its nice to have time and rock to build like The Pyramids. Otherwise…….really thick, preferably treated, oversized lumber……fastened with bolts and lags with washers.
I ALWAYS pre-check any wood feature I ride……once in the ICU is enough.
I find skinnies and their ilk (like teeter totters or whatever they are called) a turn off. I think that stuff is fine in a bike park setting, but it isn’t anything I want to come up on while riding trail. If they serve a necessary purpose like a bridge or as a way to traverse a ecologically sensitive or erosion prone area, then all good. But skinnies for the sake of riding skinnies on a nice trail? No thanks.
Im not real happy with drops over a foot or two.
Long gaps or very steep face-jumps, especially when they appear on a blue trail.