Dirt Treaders

Do you have Suggestions for Lower Cobbles?
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Author:  EBasil [ Wed May 09, 2018 9:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Do you have Suggestions for Lower Cobbles?

I have a Nat'l Trails Day project pending, on Cobblestone Trail. As described below, I am interested in your ideas if you are a regular rider and have some understanding of trail work.

My inquiries are as to Lower Cobbles, which is the section of trail beginning at the Duck Pond dam, heading south and downhill, past the Whoops and popping up just north of the lower connector to the hike/horse side, all in Los Penasquitos Canyon. Upper Cobbles is ripe for renewal of the design my crew(s) have installed and maintained since 2004, but I need rain for that and I see none. We may re-trim "the bushes" but my current intent is not for Upper Cobbles work this season.

Okay, so:
--what are your thoughts on the large, black, rocky fill installed in the Ess curve just above the trail split to the hike/horse?
--what do you think would be a good repair to the washout just below the trail split to the hike/horse section?
--what did you think about the "bypass" we had that went around where the washout is (the bypass is currently brushed/closed)? It slows us, but it runs around "above the mud" in wet times. What do you suggest?
--What ideas might you have regarding repair to the Whoops (which have had a step cut into them by someone you should feel free to catch, kill and brand with "Bankerboy wuz here")? What would you do?
--What are you thoughts, as an esteemed rider, about cobblestones on cobblestone trail? Do they harsh your flow?
--What are your thoughts about the heavy, black, chunky rock fill used to armor the last "pop up" at the bottom of the trail? Beginner riders and kids have real trouble here, what is your suggestion for that?

Okay, so keep in mind that we can't get the chairlift I want, and that your great ideas might not be something I can implement with the funds, materials and restrictions we face when working in the preserve. You might have a great idea that I can make work, though.

Finally, National Trails Day is Saturday June 2nd. Please be kind and understanding if you encounter some trail closure while "free labor" tries to get some werk dun that day :cheers:

Author:  k2rider [ Thu May 10, 2018 6:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do you have Suggestions for Lower Cobbles?

My suggestion is to track down the builders of Greer Ranch and give them free reign to do whatever they want = instant quality trail. The only downside of that is the masses will start descending on the PQ area in lieu of driving up to Murrieta every weekend.

Author:  Kimba [ Thu May 10, 2018 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do you have Suggestions for Lower Cobbles?

It's been a while since I have ridden there, so not sure on the details you mention. There is a sand pit before the uphill that slows things down. If that was gone and there was a line maybe not going totally straight uphill with a bermy kicker. Not sure if there is enough room there though for any turns or a berm. The lower part just seems boring. Maybe some small curves and berms, and optional rock features. Hope this is helpful. Thanks.

Author:  mongooseboy [ Mon May 14, 2018 8:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Do you have Suggestions for Lower Cobbles?

I rode that place almost everyday for a few years while I lived in Scripps Ranch, Shits and Cobbles were the high point of the ride after the Del Mar Mesa was leveled back in the late 90s. Cobbles was always a challenge, not so much for the steepness of grade, but more because the trail was constantly changing, be it horses, rain, loose cobblestones, sand pit, whatever. I like that,

I can remember riding down the fire road that leads to the Tower at the top of Shits and looking over the edge of the dropoff, and seeing that gnarly rutted trail with one skinny line that might not be the same line as the last time I rode it was always exuberating. Now its kinda like a bike path with all of the cinderblock embedded in the trail, and even with all the hard work that goes into the "trail Restoration" the blocks will move over time and more work will have to done to replace and maintain what is there now, eventually, nothing lasts forever. I believe, less is more and if it aint broke don't fix it. Shits was always ride able before the renovation, sometimes it was really gnarly, some times it was not so much gnarly, but you could always ride it if you had the ability, now anyone can ride it. And the Stravatards can climb it, on their hard tails, while yelling at you to get out of their way before you ruin their P.R.. Bottom line, its just not Shits anymore.

If cobbles has to be messed with I would hope that the renovations don't change the entire personality of that section of trail. Perhaps some water bars to keep the water from gaining enough momentum to move the cobblestones too far down the hill after a heavy rain. That trail has been used pretty much self regulated for decades it is shared by Horses and Bikers, has it changed , yes, will it continue to change, yes, I know that the trail needs some love, and thank you for getting out there, but I hope when its all said and done it's still Cobbles.
my .02

Author:  EBasil [ Mon May 14, 2018 11:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do you have Suggestions for Lower Cobbles?

I love Cobblestone Trail, if not for its technical challenges or rad factor but for familiarity and evolution of something I have ridden since it was a full-on, double-track truck/Jeep road all the way to the dam.

In 2003, it suffered particular wet weather damage that led to deeply-trenched ruts over an extended length of the trail, which led to more deep trenching and erosion. In early 2004, the Multiuse Trails Coalition put together a set of massive trailwork days that were supported by MTC and SDMBA members...and we designed and installed major repairs that are still in place, today. We extended our work down below the dam, all the way to The Whoops, and devised the split-trail system with the parallel hike/horse trails in order to broker the deal to "open" the trails officially for bikes and in May 2005, I was the one who personally removed the No Bikes signs to officially open Lower Cobbles (Upper was still private and outside City jurisdiction).

In 2006, the Multiuse Trails Coalition installed even greater modification to Upper Cobbles over two more big trail days. The changes were based on the hydrology of the trail (water defines Cobblestone) and particular riders screeched about "too many cobbles in the trail" and "terrible ramps the destroy the climb", and etc... but all the stuff worked and the trail performed well over successive seasons with minor, but consistent maintenance designed to keep the trail natural but to get water off of it and into the adjacent arroyos. There has been no real work in more than 3 seasons and --other than the issues on Lower Cobbles-- the trail design has largely held up. It does get a lot less water with all the houses and grading above.

Anyhow, the areas of attention I listed above are issues related to washouts, sections that are unpleasant for beginner riders and sections that are unpleasant for the ultra-gnar guys who can actually pedal. So, we're converting it all to e-bike compat...wait, that's not it.

So, there will be some changes. If you crave the opportunity to shriek in panic, you'll get it. If you miss the challenge and flow of Cobblestone as a great XC trail but don't currently maintain any stats on Strava, you might not be so traumatized, but who knows. If you thought the trail was natural and unmaintained, now you'll see how it got that way.

On June 2nd, we'll have a few crews out there working on a few things:

- the large, black, rocky fill installed in the curve just above the trail split to the hike/horse (Lower Queens). Bench a high-line around the west side of the curve; use material to cover the chunky section that freaks out the sensitive types (well, one of the sensitive types). Install diversion/dam/drain below this section, and above legit entrance to Lower Queens Trail. Brush-in the bogus entrance to Lower Queens.

--the washout just below the trail split to the hike/horse section. Fill washout with large cobble to reduce water capacity. Cut benched high-line to the west side and re-open the "bypass" that goes around the seasonal mudhole, focusing on a flow-line that works both up and down but that requires you to turn the bike. Bench and level a flow line between the bypass and the base of The Whoops, transferring soil to the "mudhole" sections but maintaining a defined tread line allowing rider to maintain speed and to choose the Whoops or the bypass to the west.

--Repair to the Whoops (which has had a step cut into it). Recontour and restore the first Whoop as a downhill (south riding) ramp-up. No changes to the remainder.

--cobblestones on cobblestone trail. There's a reason for the trail name. If you don't like it, just go to Rose Canyon.

--the heavy, black, chunky rock fill used to armor the last "pop up" at the bottom of the trail? Beginner riders and kids have real trouble here... Well, rats, okay we're gonna dumb that down a little because it's a problem and adds at least a second to really gnar Strava times. Decapitate and fill, just a tweak, we'll get over it. Hakuna Matata.

--New trail/Old Trail that's too technical for most riders and is mostly washed out. Oh, not sure where this one is? Well, we have an opportunity to re-open something that is quite a bit gnarlier than anything nearby but should be rideable for anyone willing to try it afterward. Call it "new trail" if you like...either way, ain't nobody riding it right now and we're going to put out the call for YOU to help open it up.

So, that's about it. That's generally what we've come up with for a single day that will tune and extend the tread life of a great section (and add a bit of new trail) in a manner consistent with the theme and content of Cobblestone Trail.

Most of the project will be one I run for Boy Scouts and related trail builders, but the "new trail" project very nearby will be one for which we will seek "open volunteers" ready to bust-ass for four hours in the morning in order to create something new.

See you out there.

Author:  EBasil [ Tue May 29, 2018 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Do you have Suggestions for Lower Cobbles?

Okay, the projects are planned out and we've got a corporate sponsor for lunch, afterward. Are you interested in some trailwork on Cobblestone?

2018 National Trails Day Service Project
Trail Repair and Contouring, Cobblestone Trail, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve
June 2, 2018 – 7:00am to 1:30pm

If you'd like a great morning of hard work, when you'll make trails better for runners, hikers, mountainbikers and equestrians, this is the project for you. The 2018 Trailwork project for Boy Scouts and related members of the trails community will be Saturday, June 2nd. This project will include four distinct worksites on a section of multiuse trail known as “Lower Cobblestone” and will involve hard work to recontour trail(s) in order to improve passability and durability of the trail surface.

To Participate:

1. RSVP by email to “EBasil@aol.com” no later than NOON on Friday, June 1
2. Prepare your Work Gloves, Sun Hat, closed-toe shoes, sunscreen and personal water supply.
3. Do you have a shovel, rake and/or wheelbarrow? Bring it.
4. You will receive an email on Friday, June 1st, confirming your participation and providing the address for “meeting/trailhead”. We will hike to the worksite.
5. The first 50 participants will be eligible for LUNCH afterward, sponsored by The Burwood Group.

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