The Lakes – trail "improvement"

Home Forum Bike Forum The Lakes – trail "improvement"

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)
  • The Lakes – trail "improvement"
  • simonfbarnes
    Member

    Dollywaggon needed significant work as there was a danger of the whole slope collapsing, however the main track is unrideable for most riders and someone said a ranger told him to ride on the grass (despite TJ's claims of environmental wrecking)

    coffeeking
    Member

    Any photos of said problems? Must be pretty damn hefty if you can't cope with it with 7" of travel! Christ, you could ride over a fridge with 7".

    grumm
    Member

    How far down do the steps and waterbars go on Dollywagon? When I did it I think it was the section down to the tarn, then from there it was still nice rocky goodness – have they 'improved' more of it?

    I rode some of the top bit, but had a couple of over the bars moments – quite fancy another pop though, as long as the bottom bit is still good.

    I suspect there is only a relatively small amount of bikers that would be using this route so they probably don't really see the need to cater for them – still annoying though.

    Must be pretty damn hefty if you can't cope with it with 7" of travel!

    It's pretty difficult to pop your front wheel up when you are right off the back of the bike and going round a tight corner. If you are going slowly the travel isn't really going to help you that much.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    We had some of those waterbars built up here when there was an anti-mtb guy in charge of forestry – sounds like he may have moved to your area ๐Ÿ™‚

    I spent a few days walking round our course with a 4lb hammer and a chisel (bolster). I put a slight bevel (1/2") on the width of the waterbars and also did a bigger bevel so that there was a ramp wide enough for tyres in one spot. This doesn't change the waterbar but removes a lot of the risk of a snakebite. The wee ramp was for chickens like myself who can't bunnyhop ๐Ÿ™‚

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    Dollywaggon:


    (Harvey will usually ride anything)

    One for TJ, check the erosion:

    JonEdwards
    Member

    I can understand the need for an armoured trail. I can even understand the steps (some of the time) as they'll be safer when icy, but its those damn water bars…

    coffeeking – they're about 18"- 2' wide and 12" deep, and you're approaching them coming down a steep flight of rock steps. A few of them have a lip on the uphill side too. In principle you can "just" manual them, but the consequences of failing to make it are pretty horrible.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    There is nothing in the regs that says the trail has to be suitable for bikes.
    It just has to be maintained to allow its continued use. Given that it's pretty rare to see bikes on Helvellyn (at least, compared to the number of walkers that are up there) you can argue that they're simply catering to the majority.

    SFB is right, something needed to be done with that trail and it's been done with maximum sustainability/longevity in mind – unfortunately, that plan doesn't include making it nice to ride.

    scruff
    Member

    (Harvey will usually ride anything)

    He's wearing lycra, if was in baggies he'd have cleaned it fo sho.

    grumm
    Member

    How far down do the steps and waterbars go on Dollywagon?

    โ“

    I remember hearing rumours that they were extending it.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    I remember hearing rumours that they were extending it.

    there's only a short section near the tarn not already done!

    JonEdwards
    Member

    How far down do the steps and waterbars go on Dollywagon?

    Just down to the tarn at the mo. The rest of the trail down to Patterdale is pretty much as I remembered it from 9 years ago.

    There is nothing in the regs that says the trail has to be suitable for bikes

    Surely there is, as it's a bridleway, and as such needs to be suitable for horse and bike access? A large amount of the work done in the Peak (santisation at it's worst – singletrack -> gravel motorway) seems to have been done on the basis that it "has to be safe for horses"…

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    seems to have been done on the basis that it "has to be safe for horses"…

    though in fairness anyone taking anything other than the most limber of fell ponies up there would be guilty of animal cruelty! I don't know how you'd get it down Lower Man…

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    dollywaggon, mentally difficult waterbars, one completely unrideable I reckon*, big step down right into waterbar about 12" high on the far side proper wheel stopper. No decent run in/out to pick up speed to launch over it either.

    *has anyone ridden it all? (not sfbs route ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    JonEdwards
    Member

    *has anyone ridden it all?

    Sort of. As I said above, there were a few places where I had to stop, look, work out a different line, avoiding said water bar, push back up a few feet and have a second crack at it.

    So yes, I've ridden all the way down, but no, not in one go, feet up, and no, I've not ridden "the trail" and only "the trail".

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Surely there is, as it's a bridleway, and as such needs to be suitable for horse and bike access? A large amount of the work done in the Peak (santisation at it's worst – singletrack -> gravel motorway) seems to have been done on the basis that it "has to be safe for horses"…

    Yes but trail classification is arbitrary at best and a complete total nightmare. As SFB says, no-one in their right mind would be taking a horse up there so why is it even a BW?
    Loads of trails have been re-classified from BOATs and RUPPs, no real criteria and the law specifically states that bikes don't need to be considered! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    I've seen FP's that are basically roads yet bikes aren't allowed on it. They are however allowed on the 6" of muddy trail signposted as a BW just to one side of it. Bonkers.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    So I spent most of last week up in the Lakes – somewhere I've not been in FAR too long. Some big rides, epic weather, magical views, and some great trails.

    BUT… A lot of the bridleways have undergone some pretty serious renovation work which seems to have been done with no thought for trail users other than walkers. Long, steep, flights of steps, with (and this is the killer) really vicious water bars. Absolute wheel trappers, and given the steepness of the terrain, any rider dropping their front wheel on, will be needing a hospital very shortly afterwards.

    Now people tell me I'm a pretty good rider, and yes I did eventually manage to clear Dollywagon Pike (the worst example I came down), but I did have to stop and have a good look at some of the water bars for alternative lines, whilst others were distinctly "lauch, clench and hope" efforts. The former simply defeats the point of building a weatherproof trail, the latter arguably a little stupid when I'm riding in the big hills on my own (but a 7" travel bike helps).

    If I'm struggling on a big bike, a lot of other riders aren't going to stand a hope in hell. Now whilst I'm completely anti "trail sanitising", surely there's a duty of care for the people doing the work to consider all potential legal trail users and not build something that's actively dangerous? The steps I don't mind – they're just a little bit dull after a while, but surely there's a better drainage option than building wheelcatchers every 50m?

    The quieter trails I rode were fabulous. Blacksail down to Wasdale was lovely – bit of everything, Grizedale -> Patterdale – nice, and a lot easier than I remeberit from 10 years ago; whilst dropping down from the top of Honister Pass down to Gatesgarth down Fleetwith was simply awesome – steep, loose, tight, technical, exposed, down right scary in places. Fantastic.

    Anyway. No doubt I'm going to get a flaming/MTFU for daring to complain about trails being "too hard", but it's actually not that I'm objecting too. It's the principle of "if you need to build something, then building something that doesn't consider all potential users" that I have an issue with.

    robinbetts
    Member

    Afrade to say, bridleway just means that you are "permitted" to take a bike/horse there. No requirement that you actually can!

    robinbetts – Member
    Afrade to say, bridleway just means that you are "permitted" to take a bike/horse there. No requirement that you actually can!

    Which is a good thing! Think of all the Bridleways that would have to be sanitised so your next door neighbour, his fat wife and the 3 kids can all use it.

    grumm
    Member

    Just down to the tarn at the mo. The rest of the trail down to Patterdale is pretty much as I remembered it from 9 years ago.

    Ta.

    there's only a short section near the tarn not already done!

    hmmm I don't remember it being that short

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    hmmm I don't remember it being that short

    starting from the BW junction by the tarn, no more than 250m of track ๐Ÿ™ Basically the pitching starts as soon as the track swings right onto the climb

    It's not a good example of pitched path building – boo. It's harsh enough descending on foot! Good on you for trying to ride it.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    simon – I'll bite – how do you think paths turn into a wide eroded mess? – people riding/ walking at the side of them Seen / shown to happen many times over

    One of the things you should consider is "what would happen if everyone did what I do" The answer is you will soon have an eroded line alongside the armoured path. On steep fragile slopes like that bikes cut lines which gather water and rip the soil away.

    Its a basic component of mountaincraft / etiquette to ride / walk on the most eroded / armoured bits to contain erosion.

    Of course you will now come in with loads of bogus justification for your poor practices.

    What yo do would not be acceptable in terms of "reasonable" access in scotland

    simonfbarnes – Member

    ……….someone said a ranger told him to ride on the grass

    Last time this was discussed you claimed you had been told directly by a ranger to do this.

    Now its a friend of a friend.

    anc
    Member

    To be honest I don't really have a problem with with the pitching. Dollwagon was a cr@ppy manmade scree which was expanding very quickly before they put the pitching in. Now the grass is growing back and the fellside is becoming more stable. The pitching is a rideable if your used to that sort of thing and if your not keen there's plenty of chicken run options to the side. Unfortuately the volume of traffic nowadays means these pitched paths are necessary to protect the fells.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    "what would happen if everyone did what I do"

    a) I wouldn't blame them the rocky steps are a nightmare
    b) observation would suggest "nothing much", it's very tough grass and the slope is fully stabilised now.

    Last time this was discussed you claimed you had been told directly by a ranger to do this.

    sorry, no, I quoted the person who told us that in the thread. I don't need a ranger to tell me what to do, in fact I don't even believe in rangers as I think they're made up like gods.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    One of the things you should consider is "what would happen if everyone did what I do" The answer is you will soon have an eroded line alongside the armoured path. On steep fragile slopes like that bikes cut lines which gather water and rip the soil away.

    I'd hazard a guess (having been up Helvellyn several times on both bike and foot) that there are <200 bikers a year using it whereas there are thousands of walkers. At busy times, the path is too narrow to cope with them all so where do they go – that's right, over to the sides.

    The slope is a lot more stable now than it used to be. The first time I did it the whole thing was just a massive scree slope, it's grassed over and shored up now.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    Of course you will now come in with loads of bogus justification for your poor practices.

    perhaps you could save me the trouble and write it for me ?

    What yo do would not be acceptable in terms of "reasonable" access in scotland

    luckily I won't be going there :o)

    Tell us TJ, you seem very grumpy, are you not gettin enough lurving ??

    DavidM
    Member

    What anc said. It was essentially steep loose scree beforehand, personally I reckon it is more of a challenge and probably a better ride now. There is one HUGE waterbar that seems a bit excessive, and I am a long way from riding it all but I don't think it is too bad. IMO the original erosion came from years and years of thousands of walkers going up and even if 200 or so riders a year go down the grass, I doubt you would notice any change. That said last time I was there walkers where talking the shortcut down the grass.

    Dollywagon ain't a great example of the National Park Staircase, but the builders didn't have much to work with, except a loose scree slope. The pitching down from Sty Head utilises a lot more natural features, slabs and the like, and personally I think it is an excellent bit of trails.

    Hows that for 2 cents

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    in fact I don't even believe in rangers as I think they're made up like gods.

    in the interests of honesty I'd like to clarify this – there may well actually be rangers and gods, however their level of intervention in real world situations is similarly absent, and their true nature may be different to that imagined.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    The pitching down from Sty Head utilises a lot more natural features, slabs and the like, and personally I think it is an excellent bit of trails.

    Now that I do agree with, although I didn't have the cleanest run as it dumped it down for most of my descent and all the walkers in the area were desperate to get of the hill, hoods up and oblivious to both my polite "Hi there/lovely day for it" and the banshee scream of my sopping wet brakes. The slab sections were a lot of fun.

    Must admit, I was suprised to literally not see another bike out. The walkers were obviously a little surprised too – they all seemed quite shocked that someone might want to ride a bike on the high fells. Invariably friendly though!

    fizzer
    Member

    JonEd did you do the gloriously unsanitised descent from Long Mire to Seathwaite? Fook me it were good yesterday.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    the gloriously unsanitised descent from Long Mire to Seathwaite?

    crackingbit of trail, already done that this year with walna scar, might try to fit it in again before winter.
    Agreed about sty head, that's how to do pitching properly. The downiest downhill I have ever ridden, absolute cracker. Pity it's such a ***** to get to the top.

    "what would happen if everyone did what I do"

    Fatuous argument. Everyone does not do the same thing and never have done. You've got to stop this suburban communist thinking of yours TJ. It just takes you further from reality.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    It was only a TJ drive-by this evening ๐Ÿ™

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    In response to TJ's suggestion that I had changed my story, here is the original post I quoted in http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/hell-vellyn-last-sunday-pics

    splatz – Member
    Ineteresting discussion but just to set this off again…..

    After riding the zig zags about 18 months ago I rang the National Park Officer to suggest that in future if replacing bridleways with rock stairs then the water channels should really be culverts. This would make them safer to ride – it's the water channels rather than the steps that scare the S%*t out of me. It would still be a real challenge but otherwise rideable if it was just steps and culverts.

    The LDNPA officer responsible advised me to ride down the grass and that the steps were put there to reduce the trudge erosion of the walkers.

    The man thought I was a fool to say that it was pointless spending so much on reducing erosion control only to advise mtbikers to ride down the grass. And wouldn't it be better to do future work with mtbikers in mind?

    So if the LDNPA advise riding down the grass then the attacks on sfb seem misdirected – and for once he is just doing as he's told.

    Oh dear he won't like that much!!
    Posted 1 year ago # Report-Post (27 Apr 2009 )

    so, not me gov :o)

    fizzer
    Member

    We await TJ's response with baited breath. Could he actually have been wrong for the first time ever?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    If I'm struggling on a big bike, a lot of other riders aren't going to stand a hope in hell.

    You would think so but it's amazing what a hardtail does for the confidence….

    grumm
    Member

    You would think so but it's amazing what a hardtail does for the confidence….

    Have you ridden the route in question?

    JonEdwards
    Member

    You would think so but it's amazing what a hardtail does for the confidence….

    I *love* riding hardtails, and some of the bits I rode over the 4 days would have been more fun on my BFe, but that particular descent would have been particularly brutal on a hardtail.

    the gloriously unsanitised descent from Long Mire to Seathwaite

    Nope… do tell? Which Seathwaite is it? Got a grid ref?

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    grumm
    Member

    Think he means the more southern Seathwaite over the other side from Coniston. You can go Coniston-Torver-Stephenson Ground-Seathwaite-Coniston via Walna Scar. Cracking ride.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    Nope… do tell? Which Seathwaite is it? Got a grid ref?

    SD 222 943
    http://www.bogtrotters.org/maptest.php?jumpto=322230,495080,8,50,400,150,300,0

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)

The topic ‘The Lakes – trail "improvement"’ is closed to new replies.