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Thread: Tree Gates

  1. #21
    MoJo Bishop Dr. D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSarge View Post
    I've heard others say this. Can you define "flowy"?

    I may have the term wrong, but for me flowy is more a matter of mindset and trail familiarity. If I know a trail well enough that I'm cruising through and anticipating everything as I come to it, that's a good flow day.
    According to IMBA, this is the official definition of a flow trail: ... This style of trail typically contains features like banked turns, rolling terrain, various types of jumps, and consistent and predictable surfaces. Conspicuously absent are abrupt corners or unforeseen obstacles.

    Texas has very little of this, but it's out there.

  2. #22
    MoJo Bishop Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSarge View Post
    I've heard others say this. Can you define "flowy"?
    '
    Taken to the extreme, a "flowy" trail doesn't need to be pedaled or braked--almost like a pump track for miles. Specific flow trails are designed in large part around this idea. IMBA-spec bench cut (often machine cut) of the kind that's all around the country, but almost non-exist in CTX, is also designed for heavy flow [...we really gotta have a new term for that....]. While it doesn't have a ton of bench cut, Flat Rock Ranch likely has the most flow within a couple of hours of Austin. And Palo Duro has it in spades if you want to drive. And I haven't done a ton of Dallas exploring yet, but as I recall, North Shore had quite a bit of flow.

    In my opinion a trail that is very ground-tech heavy, like rock gardens, can rarely be described as flowy. I very much prefer a heavy mix of trail types, but if I had to choose one or the other forever, I'd go with tech--GB, Brushy, GWT and the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSarge View Post
    I may have the term wrong, but for me flowy is more a matter of mindset and trail familiarity. If I know a trail well enough that I'm cruising through and anticipating everything as I come to it, that's a good flow day.
    AKA "local flow." I first heard that term something like 11 years ago when we had an IMBA trail crew come to Shindagin for the fist time. These guys rode everywhere with everyone and they were good riders. They explained their inability to keep up with us as "local flow."
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  3. #23
    I came here for the Tacos redrider3141's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSarge View Post
    I've heard others say this. Can you define "flowy"?

    I may have the term wrong, but for me flowy is more a matter of mindset and trail familiarity. If I know a trail well enough that I'm cruising through and anticipating everything as I come to it, that's a good flow day.
    Knowing the trail well can make a trail "flow" but doesn't by itself make it flowy. IMO it's defined it by how much effort I need to keep my momentum up. A few peddle strokes now and then or some pumping should be all it takes to get you through. Typically but NOT always the trails are manicured smooth, like a skate park in the woods.

    On a scale of 1(supreme technical) - 10 (flow city) I'd put this at a 11. It also happens to be one of my favorite MTB vids:




    Seth's video shows my old stomping grounds. Duthie Hill Park was full of flowy goodness. And jumps. And Technical XC. And Downhill. It was a great mix. Start at 3 min:




    Same trip, different Youtuber. Start at 2 min.:

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  4. #24
    Live Medium Bamwa's Avatar
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    This is a tree gate thread not a flow trail thread. Having said that......At Walnut, Windy Loop has two I like and bunny trail has one I like. Deception has one where rocks get moved back and fourth. I think, no, I know they are fun. I love it when trail builders route a trail through a vee in a tree, yippee! Just don't scrape and piss off JB.
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  5. #25
    Mojo Bike Part Terminator Seths Pool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redrider3141 View Post
    Gates or no gates, I have yet to find a "flowy" trail in the area. Granted I've only ridden a portion of the trails here but I don't think tree gates are our problem...
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSarge View Post
    I've heard others say this. Can you define "flowy"?

    I may have the term wrong, but for me flowy is more a matter of mindset and trail familiarity. If I know a trail well enough that I'm cruising through and anticipating everything as I come to it, that's a good flow day.


    flow is like - gliding down the trail, through the trees, around the bends, up and down....


    those trails arent around here. other than like Walnut Creek

    central Texas is rocky and tech. learn to love it



    but back on subject - tree gates uphill are acceptable, but downhill tree gates are just stupid unless they are intentionally there to slow you down for safety reasons for what is immediately next down the trail

    there was recently a bunch of local mob community drama over this subject and a local trail system with a bunch of tree gates that were from back when 680mm bars were considered wide, and the tree gates never evolved with the rest of the biking world and bar widths. which resulted in a bunch of injured riders and people wanting to update the trails to match modern bike measurements, and then some people fighting to "keep the tree gates how they were originally"
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  6. #26
    Mojo Funky Mofo rugger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tip View Post
    Pros:
    -Sense of accomplishment when cleared
    -On going challenge to do at higher and higher speeds
    -Gives trail character with distinctive feature. "it's by that tight gate"


    Any others?
    The tree might be the only thing keeping the trail tread in place. Not the only way to solve the problem of a steep side slope, but the tree roots are often the anchor keeping the trail in place. Natural cribbing is not always possible and going back later with materials doesn't always happen.

    Admittedly, early on on Deception we did not expect to get super tech trail, so in some spots we choked it up and in others tree roots hold the tread. Most gates are gone at Deception, there is gate on Picnic that consists of 2 huge Cedar Elms, it's not going away and no one has bothered to bypass it, so it might just be one people like.
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  7. #27
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    My opinion on tree gates - neither good nor bad. They are just a trail feature to be ridden.

    I obviously have the wrong opinion here. I was under the impression that *YOU* ride the trail with whatever the trail has - technical or flow or rocks or ??? Some trails are tight. Some trails are open (not tight). Some trails have lots of rock ledges up and down. Some trails are dirt with fairly flat surfaces. No matter what the trails is or is not - it is up to the rider to negotiate the trail as it is. It is NOT for the rider to cut down trees their handle bars don't fit between so they can go faster.

    If you want to go fast and "flow" - pick a trail that suits you. Some have been built recently just for that experience. If you want to challenge your technical skills - pick a trail that suits you. There are many trails like that in CTX since most of the area is rock with little dirt over the rock. If you really want to "flow" - go to a ski resort and ride the lift up so you can "flow" your way to the bottom.

    If you want to build trail that suits your desires - get the land owner's permission and whatever permits are needed to build such a trail. Yes that generally takes years and years of effort. And all that effort and delay kills your "stoke". (Ask me how I know.) There is a meeting tonight on just this subject for the Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt. That area has both elevation and dirt so it can be one of the few "flow trails" in CTX. (see https://austintexas.gov/department/l...lan-initiative)

    And tree gates on downhills? Yeah - they are just stupid. Look at the video of pro downhill races for just how stupid they are ;-) And notice how the pro riders flow thru the tree gates with skill and finesse. Oh wait - they are riding the trail as it is. Who does that???
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  8. #28
    I only pedal the fun stuff... greenblur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    You sound like a dirt roadie. Skills or gtfo and go ride the Veloway.
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    I love you Mack. Here's me riding some road.....
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  9. #29
    I only pedal the fun stuff... greenblur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seths Pool View Post
    ...and then some people fighting to "keep the tree gates how they were originally"
    That was a fun one

    I was pro-gate in that context because there is an existing crew actively working the area. They're OGs and have their vision about that place. If they ever left or agreed to changes....I say cut 'em all.
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  10. #30
    MoJo Bishop Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenblur View Post
    That was a fun one

    I was pro-gate in that context because there is an existing crew actively working the area. They're OGs and have their vision about that place. If they ever left or agreed to changes....I say cut 'em all.
    While I didn't see the thread, I think this is exactly right. The land managers and trail stewards have, in my opinion, absolute right to have the trail they want. If I (or anyone) wants it different, I should become heavily involved in their planning sessions, or just ride somewhere else altogether. Certainly that doesn't keep me from expressing my opinions to anyone who'll listen, but I shouldn't expect the trail stewards to be impressed by my opinion if I haven't been involved.

  11. #31
    I only pedal the fun stuff... greenblur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. D View Post
    Texas has very little of this, but it's out there.
    RPR
    FCCR
    Comfort
    Couple GB runs
    And more coming....

    To me, the epitome of Centex flow is SuperD1. Hang in with me....its chunky and if you ride it slow and timid, you're gonna have a bad time. If you take your fingers off the brakes, you can bip over stuff.
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  12. #32
    Austin Single Speeders J2LS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenblur View Post
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    I love you Mack. Here's me riding some road.....
    Pretty sure you never touched the road on this one...
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  13. #33
    Austin Single Speeders J2LS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tip View Post
    Love'em, hate'em, or...meh,whatever?
    Haha… this is a loaded question there Mr. The Tip. For me, I’m agree w/ both sides of your Pros & Cons list. However, let’s just say, hypothetically of course, if there’s a 25 ish minute long trail filled w/ bones on one end and a tree gate that may or may not have stabbed my friend in the neck on the other end, I’d consider this as too many tree gates… most consisting of 1-2” in circumference. There’s no other hypothetical trail around w/ this amount of said tree gates, 5-10 of which are really tiiiight.

  14. #34
    Fuhlauto Balogna Ridenfool's Avatar
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    I like 'em. They are skill builders. Anyone who whines about them has little interest in bettering their skills. Anybody who takes one out is of the same caliber as those who cut cheater lines because they don't like the more challenging one the trail builder selected.

    Back in the day I built several into trails at RHR. During the reign of Boomer, Skid, and Crash as proprietors. Crash (Rob) bought some new carbon bars and didn't cut them down to the width of those he replaced. Then, he hit the trails and forgot this. The result was him living up to his namesake and his brother (Skid) was so amused he made signs for each of them, labeled "Rob Knocker" at each tree gate.

    Anyway, once familiar with any particular gate, I enjoy seeing how much speed I can carry through them. Once you get it dialed in it is almost as if the gate isn't there at all. A skill builder that is easily added when designing a trail.

    cxagent nailed it. The trail is what it is. Ride it, or not. Just stop complaining because something is too technical for your preference. It just means you have more to learn and build upon.

    There's plenty too technical for me, and I recognize this as a lack on my part, rather than as a lack on the part of the trail.
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  15. #35
    MoJo Mother Superior FJsnoozer's Avatar
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    My opinion:

    New trails, do whatever you want.

    Old trails, leave the trees the fuck a lone and learn to ride them. if you aren't the KOM because you cant acutely time the move through a tree gate, get the fuck out of here and stop posting about cutting them out in the endurbro group.

    Lets cut all of the trees down and put lame kickers on long standing trails...bullshit.

    I see a lot of cutting going on around town. Greenbelt, walnut, everywhere. Lamos who cant corner well enough or power out of a chicane.

    I'm done.
    Last edited by FJsnoozer; 04-03-2018 at 10:44 AM.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenblur View Post
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    I love you Mack. Here's me riding some road.....
    I remember that spot. I could *JUST* clear the road without the ramp. OK, I might have hit the edge of the road on takeoff.

    But who am I to talk. I still think "enduro" is an off road motorcycle race with technical features (hills, mud holes, etc) nobody is expected to be able to ride.

  17. #37
    Live Medium Bamwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenblur View Post
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    I love you Mack. Here's me riding some road.....
    On one wheel too! Next time stem grab for the complete unicycle sykeout.

  18. #38
    MoJo Mother Superior The Tip's Avatar
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    This discussion was not started to justify removing any existing gates all willy nilly. Far from it. Don't fuck with the trails cannot be said enough times.


    Talking about flowy trails: The SATN has several fun, flowy spots. CC Metro has fun stuff on both sides of the creek. My wife refers to the north bank run as, "The fun trail." For those that have higher skill sets than my wife it is fun because it doesn't take much speed to get that illusion of speed because of the back and forth motion.

    Bambi to me is a flowy trail too. Even though it does not have a lot of weaving back and forth routing, it is fast (going downhill) without any obstacles.

  19. #39
    MoJo Mother Superior RidingAgain's Avatar
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    Tree gates can be gimicky... And that's not something, in my thinking, an outdoor mtb trail should offer.

    I've ridden trails where some sweet flow is just wrecked by some trail builder thinking "Hey, look, there are two trees close to each other, let's use it in the trail."

    And even worse is when race trail builders think they need to do it... Seemingly forgetting that not all racers are 5' 9" tall, and weight 170lbs... Clyesdales need space to maneuver.

    Also... Where is this tree gate going to be... Will hooking a bar cause the rider to possibly fall over a fifty foot cliff... Or go head first over the bars into another tree?

    I'm thinking that just the fact that you need to ask about it kind of tells you that it's really on the far periphery of what riders want on a trail.

  20. #40
    Hugh Jass MrMentallo's Avatar
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    I don't mind tree gates as long as they add to the experience. When they detract from it and/or are so numerous as to induce anger, that's when the trail builders need to step back and look at what they are doing. I'll take them within the context of adding to the difficulty of a trail within reason. When they become either so tight to the point of requiring scraping or a dismount to get through for reasonably wide bars is when they become unreasonable.
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