I quite fancy adding some stuff into some local trails. Nothing gnar, just to improve the flow as some others have done in areas around here. Before I make a mess of what's there, I was wondering if there's any books or guides about building sustainable trails/features that won't either injure people or wash away and ruin the trail. I'd rather not do a cack handed job and make things worse.
Trail building - any books or guides?
that won't either injure people or wash away and ruin the trail. I'd rather not do a cack handed job and make things worse.
Friend of mine ended up with a broken wrist after someone chose to "improve" a local trail he rode regularly.
I am sure there was/is a guy who frequented this site a few years ago who broke his back in a similar incident
Trekster - Well that's the point. There won't be jumps and things, it's more to fix the washed away trail edges. The trails are mostly animal runs and some old footpaths in the woods around the valleys and some of them are getting a little dodgy in places so I'd quite like to move the line of the trail or widen it a bit to make it less likely to dump riders off the side of the hill
Lee McCormack's $10 eBook has some good information in it, even if you're not building a pump track (http://www.leelikesbikes.com/ebook-welcome-to-pump-track-nation)
Others have linked to the IMBA stuff which is OK. It's all general guidance though so application on a particular site can need a bit of common sense / judgement of appropriateness.
Some new links to things I haven't seen before too, thanks Asterix.
Ian Warby did a few articles / clips of trail maintenance on a website. Google should sort you out unless anyone else can link to them?
Regarding the ethos of unilaterally deciding to change a trail - it's a tricky one. One man's pleasure is another man's poison. You have to be sensitive to this, within reason. Is there anyone else doing similar stuff or an established group already? It should go without saying that adding something which could catch people out is to be avoided, but you'd be surprised what such features might be (i.e. innocuous stuff). You have to be able to understand how a trail works / is likely to be ridden and how any changes might interact with that.
Getting involved with a local trail group is the best way to learn about this stuff. Only so much can be learnt from books, working with others who are more experienced is good.
It's all general guidance though so application on a particular site can need a bit of common sense / judgement of appropriateness.
that's really true - a lot of the US stuff might seem a bit theoretical/idealistic if you have to work/ride in a good old soaking wet clay based british woodland
You have to be able to understand how a trail works / is likely to be ridden and how any changes might interact with that.
From beginner to expert, the local and the visitor! Causes quite a bit of discussion
#1. IMO, IMBA's Trail Solutions is the trail best trail book out there, by far. Most of the US hiker-type trail books are stuck in the past with waterbars and such.
#2 Natural Surface Trails by Design gets into things that IMBA doesn't even touch on. They're the things that give a trail its character or make it special. Things like anchors, edges, and gateways impact how you feel about the trail. The concepts of safety, efficiency, playfulness, and harmony also shape your experience on the trail. The book also covers wear and erosion from different trail user groups.
#3 IMBA also publishes Managing Mountain Biking, but its less construction oriented but does have a section on technical features and adding challenge to trails.
Your biggest issue will likely be that you are limited to what you can do within and existing trail corridor/right of way. So no doubt you'll have to violate some of the rules in the book; like your trail may be steeper than ideal, but that's where the right of way goes. But you can still make the best trail possible with the constraints that you have!
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