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Thread: South Austin Trail Network

  1. #821
    MoJo Neophyte gmsampson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    does someone have a map of the region that is considered TCMA area? that's not really a "trail" but more of a connector. if we can work around it, not big deal. I don't see why it's such a big deal that dozens of people ride past the tiny cave entrance that gets used once a week, if that, by cavers. I drive and walk past that all the time, and there's hardly ever anyone in that cave. why is is so important to them?
    Hopefully this posts correctly, here is the TCAD identification for their property. Doesn't look like they own the parking area under Mopac but land on either side.

    Harris Govern Map Search

  2. #822
    I'm Rick James Bitch! kerryp's Avatar
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    We should buy that parking area, lol.

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  3. #823
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    I don't think this is a big deal and I over-reacted when I first read it. the cavers seem to be asking, politely, that mtber use that bit of land less. they cannot enforce any request to keep bikes off that land for logistical reasons- no one can reach the hundreds of riders who potentially use that trail only one time or every week, they can't build a fence in there (it will get washed away with the first rain and probably screw up the eco system in there in the process), and cavers are there so seldom that they can't post a guard to yell at riders as they pedal by.

    it is the same problem as unsanctioned the Veloway intersection. when I rode around the Veloway on Saturday, someone had moved one of the branches blocking that path and rode right past the sign. it's infuriating that people can't respect a reasonable request not to use that trail, but it's near impossible to enforce. (has anyone put a camera out there?)

    we should offer to work with the cavers to create a work-around to direct the trail away from problem areas. find out what the specific problem area is and work to encourage riders to use a different path, which is totally doable. if the cavers just want everyone to stay off "their land" even though it's part of a well established neighborhood trail, that's just not going to work. if they will compromise and work with the hundreds of people who use that area, that could work. I am fairly certain that the people who use the trail to walk their dogs, run, hike, or ride bikes outnumber the cavers anyhow.
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  4. #824
    I'm Rick James Bitch! kerryp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I don't think this is a big deal and I over-reacted when I first read it. the cavers seem to be asking, politely, that mtber use that bit of land less. they cannot enforce any request to keep bikes off that land for logistical reasons- no one can reach the hundreds of riders who potentially use that trail only one time or every week, they can't build a fence in there (it will get washed away with the first rain and probably screw up the eco system in there in the process), and cavers are there so seldom that they can't post a guard to yell at riders as they pedal by.

    it is the same problem as unsanctioned the Veloway intersection. when I rode around the Veloway on Saturday, someone had moved one of the branches blocking that path and rode right past the sign. it's infuriating that people can't respect a reasonable request not to use that trail, but it's near impossible to enforce. (has anyone put a camera out there?)

    we should offer to work with the cavers to create a work-around to direct the trail away from problem areas. find out what the specific problem area is and work to encourage riders to use a different path, which is totally doable. if the cavers just want everyone to stay off "their land" even though it's part of a well established neighborhood trail, that's just not going to work. if they will compromise and work with the hundreds of people who use that area, that could work. I am fairly certain that the people who use the trail to walk their dogs, run, hike, or ride bikes outnumber the cavers anyhow.
    Agreed. If we told them we can re-route the trail and explain to them that mtb'rs help maintain and keep the area clean, maybe a deal can be struck.

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  5. #825
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    The Austin Ridge Riders is working on a solution to the problem at Whirlpool Cave Preserve. I don't think this problem will be solved quickly or easily. It would help if everyone would chill out and give it some time to find a solution.

    Just for reference - this is private property. TCMA owns it. As private property they have the right to allow its use or prevent its use as they see fit. We have ZERO claim to any trails across their property. It doesn't matter who else uses that trail or how long it has been used. The only way we get access is if the owner allows its use. We are their guest - Act like a guest.

    The mountain biker who was rude to the TCMA folks did us no favors. I suspect that rudeness is part of why they are taking a hard line to mountain bikers right now.

    We will get much more by working WITH the land owner than working against them. Let's see if we can find a win-win solution.
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  6. #826
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    So they are butthurt because one mountain biker was rude to them on one occasion when they intensionally blocked the trail with an unnecessary fence one morning?

    I will play along, but this is childish behavior on their part as well.

    i have probably blown this out of proportion in my head. Apparently this kind of thing touches a nerve for me.. Please keep us posted.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 08-31-2016 at 01:45 PM.

  7. #827
    Welcome to Costco, I love you. ninjammin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post
    The Austin Ridge Riders is working on a solution to the problem at Whirlpool Cave Preserve. I don't think this problem will be solved quickly or easily. It would help if everyone would chill out and give it some time to find a solution.

    Just for reference - this is private property. TCMA owns it. As private property they have the right to allow its use or prevent its use as they see fit. We have ZERO claim to any trails across their property. It doesn't matter who else uses that trail or how long it has been used. The only way we get access is if the owner allows its use. We are their guest - Act like a guest.

    The mountain biker who was rude to the TCMA folks did us no favors. I suspect that rudeness is part of why they are taking a hard line to mountain bikers right now.

    We will get much more by working WITH the land owner than working against them. Let's see if we can find a win-win solution.
    Pretty sure you're referring to me here. I'd just like to chime in and say that I was by far the nicest biker that I saw encounter those folks in the few minutes I was there. I know two guys behind me just rode through the tape they had up and one coming the other way was less than receptive to being told to go around. If they're the landowners, then we are guests and should act like it. However, the man that I spoke to that day was absolutely looking for a fight.
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  8. #828
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjammin View Post
    Pretty sure you're referring to me here. I'd just like to chime in and say that I was by far the nicest biker that I saw encounter those folks in the few minutes I was there. I know two guys behind me just rode through the tape they had up and one coming the other way was less than receptive to being told to go around. If they're the landowners, then we are guests and should act like it. However, the man that I spoke to that day was absolutely looking for a fight.
    I have no idea who it was. I have heard from two different sources that there was a "rude" exchange. There may have been more than one. I suspect he was looking for a fight based on what had already happened that day. People riding through the tape and such does not make anyone receptive to a calm, logical discussion.

    I have been told about, seen and been part of such "rude" exchanges. It doesn't matter who started it or who said what to who. The opinion from many sources is that we mtbr's are the cause of all the world's problems. We are seen as guilty just for being on a bicycle. That perception will not change quickly or easily. But we have to be the ones to change it. Even when confronted by someone who is looking for a fight, we have to de-escalate the situation. Generally that means we will need to comply with a request to leave. After departing is the time to verify maps, surveys, ownership, etc. Generally that means we need a written permission to be riding that area from the land owner. Its not easy to get such permission if you (or someone that person sees as like you) has just pissed them off.

    Just for reference - I thought that was City of Austin property. That sign next to the cave looks like it was made in the City sign shop. I am coming up to speed on this area too.

    Edited to add - ninjamin - I read back thru the old posts. It was definitely *NOT* you. You were trying to defuse the situation and find a solution. That is the best we can do.
    Last edited by cxagent; 08-31-2016 at 02:53 PM.
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  9. #829
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    Why did the cavers put up a tape "fence" roping off the area and make it block the trail, knowing full well that trail users would be coming through there? Would not the logical thing to do be to put the tape NEXT to the trail so people can pass safely? I was not out there that day, but it seems like a rude and obstinate way to instigate a confrontation.
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  10. #830
    MoJo Mother Superior notyal's Avatar
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    I don't get why the cavers are so upset about sharing the trail near the cave. It's not like we are riding IN the cave. That's like if all us MTBers got upset about sharing the Walnut Creek parking the dudes getting BJ's from other dudes. I mean, they aren't doing it ON the trails.

    Ok, maybe that's a bad example.
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  11. #831
    MoJo Mother Superior fontarin's Avatar
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    So - it looks like they're a public organization with membership (TCMA Membership | Texas Cave Management Association | TCMA | Conservation | Education | Study). Do they allow members to use the property? If so, pay your 15 bucks in dues for the year and just say you're a member of the organization passing through!

  12. #832
    MoJo Bishop big_papa_nuts's Avatar
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    I wonder what would happen if someone got hurt while riding/walking/running the trail on their property. Seems like a fence should have been built YEARS ago.

    Looking at the map it seems like there is a quite a bit of area on either side of the road, seems like we could build a trail around without much trouble. Now we just have to wait for them to make their property line so we know where not to be, otherwise I don't see them having much of argument when someone happens onto their property.

  13. #833
    I'm Rick James Bitch! kerryp's Avatar
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    I had to step back and look at it this way. If I owned 5 acres of land and people had cut mtb trails through it. Would I be ok with that? Even being a mtb rider, I am not sure I would want people riding through my land, even as a pass through. If for no other reason, than liability. This is going to be a difficult negotiation.

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  14. #834
    I only pedal the fun stuff... greenblur's Avatar
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    Strava that shit, find out who was riding that day.

  15. #835
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    Quote Originally Posted by fontarin View Post
    So - it looks like they're a public organization with membership (TCMA Membership | Texas Cave Management Association | TCMA | Conservation | Education | Study). Do they allow members to use the property? If so, pay your 15 bucks in dues for the year and just say you're a member of the organization passing through!
    Here is a very interesting idea! Enough mtbr's join and it might make for some interesting votes.
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  16. #836
    dab dab faceplant cramsay3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fontarin View Post
    So - it looks like they're a public organization with membership (TCMA Membership | Texas Cave Management Association | TCMA | Conservation | Education | Study). Do they allow members to use the property? If so, pay your 15 bucks in dues for the year and just say you're a member of the organization passing through!
    Interesting reading. I didn't know what a karst was beforehand. Now I don't care.
    And how can AAR get that kind of grant money?
    And again, It would help to know their explanation. This is not "Bob's" private land. This is a 501. They got that by preserving caves for recreational use - cut the public some slack or start paying taxes.
    And I too would be happy to pay the $15 membership if it meant access to the trail that leads to it. Does that mean I get to go into the cave too? Can I bring my bike?
    And @cxgent has the patience I don't possess. I'm weary of continually being the sycophants of the outdoor community...but continue to understand and appreciate the necessity.
    • "Go over the rock, go around the rock. Don't MOVE the rock!"
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  17. #837
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    The cavers are quoting stuff from this thread on their facebook page. Stay civil. I have probably already said too much. Who is working with them at the moment? This is less than a mile from my house, so i have a vested interest in making this work.

  18. #838
    dab dab faceplant cramsay3's Avatar
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    So? I stand by everything I post on mojo, a public forum. That's why I use my real name. It seems like someone breached a lock on the cave entrance. That doesn't sound like a mountain bike problem to me. Share or don't share but don't single out the mountain bike community because a couple reportedly moved tape to get by.

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    Never-mind what I said. I paid my dues and I'm now a TCMA member. I changed my mind. The current suggestions include plans to plant cactus, put tacks on the trails, and shoot paint balls at you dirt bags as you go by. You bikers are ruining it for the rest of us.
    Last edited by cramsay3; 09-01-2016 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Now That I'm Part Owner...
    • "Go over the rock, go around the rock. Don't MOVE the rock!"
    • "Because trees don't travel 75 miles per hour."
    • "Enjoying nature...at a higher rate of speed."

  19. #839
    MoJo Neophyte gmsampson's Avatar
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    From the Facebook thread it sounds like there's some negotiation going on for a reroute so there seems to be some goodwill going on. If any MTBers happen to be going by and see someone cutting the new lock, calling it in would probably earn some goodwill.

  20. #840
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    It was me, I cut the lock so I could ride my bike in the cave.

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