Sunday, April 22, 2018

Bull and Jake Mountain

Last week me and Iz were doing trail work, ran into a guy riding a motorcycle on Jake, got a couple of photos, passed them on to Stan, who passed them on to the USFS... Stan and I also talked about putting up some laminated flyers in response. I put together a sample, he liked it, sent me a list of locations that would be good to put them up, etc.

So, today I did that - put up flyers at various points in the system.

Less Heavy Handed

That's my flyer. I believe that it kindly requests that people not ride motorcycles on the trails, and includes a nod to that particular rider's effort to ride with respect for the forest.

I also laminated and hung them in such a way that they can't just be torn down. At least not easily.

I was a little surprised when I got there that someone had already made their own signs and posted them at the kiosk, port-a-john, and at the entrance to the Jake trail.

More Heavy Handed

The message is a bit heavier handed than I went for, and being the guy that was there and took the photos, I think it overreacts a little. He was riding in the rain, but I didn't see that he did any more damage to the trail than we did walking on it. The trail design is due as much thanks for that as his efforts, but for whatever reason, at the end of the day, his trail/forest impact was minimal. This guy in particular wasn't riding in any way that a hiker or mountain biker would be worried about either, so I can't say that it is likely he'd injure or kill one of us.

However...

Riders on horseback are another issue altogether. I'm not sure that they'd _likely_ be killed or injured, but it's definitely more likely that they would than a hiker or mountain biker. There are no trails in Georgia that are open to horses and motorcycles, so the two user groups have little or no interaction. I can definitely imagine a guy on a motorcycle not knowing how or even whether to communicate or yield to a rider on horseback, looking like an alien robot monster to the horse, spooking the horse, and the horse throwing its rider as it spins and bolts. I wonder if that can be characterized as likely though, or just possible in general and more likely with certain horses. There are plenty of trails in Louisiana that are fully multi-use: horse, hike, bike, motorcycle, and ATV. I wonder if there are issues with that on those trails. It could be that no one rides horses on those trails, even though it's legal. Ehh... I wonder, but it's really moot. A rider on horseback at Jake and Bull shouldn't have to worry about any of it at all.

...and so we put up signs.

I guess we'll see what shakes out of this. I hope our message isn't too mixed. I also hope our efforts don't just escalate the conflict.

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