Two-Track: Sharing the Road
January 12, 2009
I like the places where everything interfaces.
A two-track is such a place.
Bike, hike, horse, ski, snowsled, dogsled, truck, car, motorcycle, quad, hunter/fisher/trapper.
They all use the same two-tracks.
That's the name of the game.
Lots of mtbikers rave about ORVs.
XC skiers rave about beelers.
But sometimes the whole range of users are compatible.
When? When not?
Basically, it seems that when one user negatively impacts another, then it's a bummer. When does that happen?
I suggest that a motor or two never bothers anyone.
Furthermore, a few snowmobiles passing along a trail can make it great for skiers.
And I see many two-tracks where I know ALL these types are in play.
The problem is in OVER-USE.
I suggest that any over-use hurts the same-kind user as much as other-users.
So that too many snowmobiles are a pain for skiers...they're also a pain for each other.
I'd guess that after a certain number of snowmobiles, say, go down a trail it's wrecked for them and everyone else. Maybe a few dozen times.
Also, enduro motorcycle events are flagged through the simple woods to start. There's no trail at all. After 100 motos go thru it's REALLY HARD for any more to pass. So too many bikes make it so that more really can't even pass.
The main problem in all this is EROSION.
In level-ish trail this manifests itself as whoop-dee-doo's.
After 100 motos go down a trail, the 101st can barely keep 10mph as they rise and fall 3 feet every 20 feet.
Even moderate car use on a two-track after a year or so will result in potholes that grow to enormous size and stop all further passage.
What sport does the best at trail maintenance? Offhand it seems to be the mt-bikers.
They know all this about potholes. That's why they have the "don't ride around it" rule---that just spreads the hole mayhem.
Hikers can wreck a hilly trail via shortcutting.
Horses can gully out a hill so that you can hardly see a rider going down it.
I'm no pro at all this, so the numbers are likely quite different than what I suggest, but it's true that there's a limit on all these uses and the limit isn't so big. After the limit, you need to maintain or go elsewhere.
So that's the ticket: REPAIR YOUR DIVOTS!
Whoever uses a trail in a way that changes it, that impacts it, should repair that impact, or make sure a representative of theirs is doing the same in an appropriate timeframe.
If an "impact user" were to bring a shovel along with them (and patch their divots) it SEEMS like maybe everyone could all get along all the time.
Well, then there's the noise factor. Then there's the habitat disturbance factor.
It seems interesting to me that at a certain level of use, all users do seem able to get along.
Beyond that, there's a variety of tactics that are needed to make things work, for compatibility or for specialization.
But I like a two-track.
They seem to work the best for the most.
That's why I started http://twotrack.ning.com.
No, it's why I started OYB!
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