Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The shopping cart move. Or, sanitization gone too far.

Recognize this move?  It's from the Lunch Loop in Grand Junction, Colorado.  My backyard, literally and figuratively.

It's near the bottom of the Holy Cross, and has existed more or less intact (save for some natural erosion) for 15+ years.  

Pictured is the "up move", an ~18" ledge that leads you to a short, sloping roll toward a ~2.5' drop to (more or less) flat.

I've been using it for more than a decade as a place to help dial in suspension settings whenever I build or test a new bike.  It is a fun, easy move -- up, roll, drop, repeat -- consistently doable on every kind of bike you'd regularly ride at the Lunch Loop, but it is also useful for dialing things in.

I went to it last week for exactly that reason, and was shocked when I got there:

Someone(s) must have spent *hours* building that shitpile of weakness.  I looked closely, and am 99% certain that I could have rolled a shopping cart (even with a wobbly wheel) up it smoothly.

In other words, someone with zero skill could now easily roll up onto that boulder.  Makes me wonder aloud what they do once up there?  Just trying to get a better cell signal?  Good place for a selfie?!!  

It took me a solid 20 minutes of heaving rock to restore the move to it's natural state.

Honestly?  If you built that ramp I'm embarrassed for you.  

Learn to ride the trails as they are.  Elevate your game instead of bringing things down to your level.  There is no shame in walking things until you learn to ride them, but it is despicable to deliberately dumb trails down.


  1. You are one elitist fat headed M'fer. But I agree with you.

    1. If you care to support this statement with some sort of proof or evidence on how my actions were elitist, I'm willing to listen and debate the idea.

      If all you have is name calling, I'll be deleting your comment shortly.

    2. Nothing elitist about it, Anon. Holy Cross is a challenging ride with challenging, natural features. If you can't ride 'em, ride someplace else or learn to ride better. Don't sanitize the trails. The Lunch Loops area dozens of trails that are easier, as built, than Holy Cross.

  2. Mike I'm relatively new to the whole mountain biking thing and come from a climbing background. And to be honest I can understand why someone, probably someone pretty new to biking who has spent most of their time in trail centers and on man-made (or man-modified) trails, might do this sort of thing. Sure it's dumbing down the trail. But that happens a lot right? For instance berms make it easier to turn, logs across ditches etc...

    The climbing equivalent is chipping which is creating holds where there are none. Well it's not really equivalent as chipping is almost universally frowned upon in the climbing scene. The odd time a well meaning but misinformed beginner may knock a few holds into a climb that they find too difficult. But I suppose the point is that it's not a grey area, in climbing, altering the rock is completely unacceptable. In mountain biking it's not so clear. And I guess this is why I have some sympathy for the person who altered that rock step.

    1. The climbing equivalent would be bolting a crack.

  3. I don't agree that chipping is analogous. Bolting a ladder to the wall would be analogous to what happened here.

  4. In climbing a line of big holds is effectively a ladder. But I take your point it was heavy handed. But do you see what I'm saying about it being a gray area?

  5. Not remotely gray IMO. Chocking a single rock in there could be considered grey. Spending hours removing any needed skill by constructing a ramp is pretty clear cut, and entirely ridiculous.

  6. I am in agreement with you. What bothers me equally is seeing my local single track turned into an amusement park with rocks stacked 6 feet high to make a jump and many other contrived features. It's not a dumbing down, but lacks respect. It demonstrates a complete lack of imagination for using natural terrain (of which we have an abundance), and is bad for the sport. You have any of that kind of thing going on up there? As one of the "old guys" around here, I think my sentiments are in the minority.

  7. I don't see the gray here.
    I see it as theft.

    That trail and that move have been doing fine for years. Maybe folks go home and tell their family that they finally cleaned that section that has stymied them for ever.
    Maybe they wander to the hospital to get patched up. Hoping they'll try it again.
    Maybe they walk around it- maybe they watch someone clean it and that little seed is planted.

    But to me- it's theft. It's taking from others.
    It's making the selfish arrogant assumption that you speak for everyone.

    Sure I've blown a turn or skidded into a section changing the line.
    But there wasn't an intent to erase what I can't handle.

    It's crap. It's too common. It's the dumbing down of trails.
    Taken as far as it can go- it'll mean all trails are rec paths.

    Kennedy quoted some clever guy when he said don't pray for things to be easy.
    Pray to be stronger. Or some such gibberish.


  8. Not much point making an easy entry move easier when there is a 2.5' drop to flat waiting on the other side. If you can't manage an 18" step up you probably can't handle that drop safely.

  9. This has been getting bad at lunch loops for awhile now. Even the BLM has had a hand in removing challenging trail features.

  10. This is more of a turf war than anything else. It could be argued that building any kind of trail there in the first place is dumbing down the place to make a followable and rideable trail period. For millions of years there was no trail there. Then some bikers and/or hikers came and made a trail that suited their desires. They were happy with it and rejoiced. Rode much. Then some other bikers/hikers came along and decided they wanted to use the same place to meet their desires. Made a few changes, and rejoiced. Now if the original trail breakers owned the land, they would be justified in holding all others to their standards. The problem is they dont own the land, not entirely. They have partial ownership. The other people who made the changes to the trail have just as much ownership, as its owned by the public. Public turf war. Who will prevail?

  11. Sure the trail was there before the Baby Jesus and Gawd built it.
    It is the Holy Cross after all. (pretty sure the Holy Ghost didn't help w/ this area)

    Sure it's a matter of opinion.
    Sure it's just turf. One small teeny skirmish on a pile of nothingness.

    But who will win this type of turf war is simple. The most dedicated will win.
    It takes longer to assemble than destroy. It takes more effort.

    And building that ramp a few times has got to wear out your dedication for a single step up.
    All I'll have to do is move a few stones and trundle them downhill.
    My dedication burns bright. And like most things fueled by belief and (likely misplaced righteousness)- it'll burn longer.
    Hopefully in some sort of spectacular out of control run away fire type way.

    Make America Less Rampy Again

    What would Jesus do? Well, he was a walker mostly so I don't know if ramps played into his thinking.
    But I hope he would learn to do a simple step up, or be content going around it until he took the half hour to learn to.

  12. Most important of this whole post is how rad that bike seems to be.

    oh, and ramps are lame.

  13. I live 0.2 miles from Lunch Loops and am a rider of average technical ability. As such I walk a lot of places with no shame!

    There are plenty of easier trails at Lunch Loops, so anybody that wants it easier can just go there.

    I can't really imagine the rider that would ride and enjoy Holy Cross, that couldn't do the entry move to this boulder, but could do the drop on the other side.............

    Or, you can just ride around the thing....

    Thanks for clearing the junk out, MC.

  14. yes Cleaveland- that thought keeps rattling thru my head too.
    If that section of trail was too hard w/o a ramp- surely there were ample other areas that blew them up as well!

    Oh well.
    Go ride.
    Winter is coming.

  15. Clean it and get it out of there....