header ad

Cheater Lines….


This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  DanLevin 2 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

  • Author
  • #820558


    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to stop cheater lines from coming back?

    Long story short, but there seems to be some trail donkeys in Jefferson Forest who are clearly riding lines just to go around roots.

    I’ve lost count, but there are two specific spots in the forest that I’ve had to block and reblock probably 4-5 times this summer. Whoever is unblocking the big cheater line, has now started tossing all the logs, branches and whatnot that I use onto the proper trail. What the heck?!

    The trail has existed in its current form since I started mountain biking. There is no problem with it.

    How can we really stop them from unblocking the cheater/strava lines? I am laminating a polite “please stop” sign and will post it on the pile of crud that I reblock the trail for the 5th or 6th time tonight. But based on recent activity, I’m guessing the sign will be gone and the crap moved back onto the trail proper.

    Why? 🙁 Roots are good….. I admit there is some sort of satisfaction gained by blocking these lines, but damn, its starting to become an every ride type of thing.




    And for reference, this is the one corner that keeps getting messed with.

    Its hard to tell, but the picture below is from what I found a few weeks ago. All those logs are sitting on the ACTUAL trail. They moved them all over from the right. The cheater line is to the right of the pile and completely cuts the corner and roots.

    Excuse the potato camera, but this is after I moved all the crap back onto the cheater line. As you can see, its not a small pile of crap. But someone keeps moving it….



    I’ll preface this all with you really have to chose which hill you want to die on in these scenarios.

    Based on your photo I’m looking at less than 2 minutes to undo the work you’ve done to close the line. The debris may be plentiful, but it’s light weight and easily removed by an individual.

    IF you want to close that off in a more effective and potentially permanent manner you’re going to be spending some time there and you’re going to need some help.

    1. Break the tread – if it’s a rake and ride there’s nothing preventing the few moments it would take to clear the debris and re-open the line.

    2. Create an Obstruction – Find larger (heavier) obstructions – If you can move it alone chances are real good so can someone else. Logs (not branches) that require significant effort and large rocks tend to be exceptionally effective. Use them to define the inside of the corner.
    Pro Tip: dig them a trench or small pit to anchor into. Having to push them out of the way is one thing, having to lift them is a significantly more difficult task.

    3. Build a Better Line – Ensure the line you want people on is the one they want to be on too. If it’s too difficult or breaks flow no one wants to use that line. Consider rock armoring the roots to provide a less abrupt experience (and protect the tree) and sloping the turn inward to reward those going quickly while providing a great platform for those less comfortable on the terrain.

    Hopefully it helps, but I’d really weigh the value of doing so. If the roots on the outside of the corner fit the theme of the trail I’d do it, if they’re a one off that doesn’t fit the theme, maybe the “cheater line” is the answer and there’s another trail that needs some of this treatment more than this one.

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    What @blurredlines outlined is perfect. I too hate these lines but it can be long battle that will ruin many rides. I’m having a smilier remove, put back rock battle on my local loop. Take the time to block it permanently and make the desired line the best it can be. That line looks fine, I can’t imagine what the person’s issue is other than they want it completely smooth. Something Ontario trails don’t need more of.

    I know the fellow who build and maintains there has asked that others stop these cheater lines as well. Hopefully together you can end this.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Thanks for the replies, great points.

    Yeah I guess if I can move that stuff alone, then there is nothing stopping someone else from moving it. I spend a good 15-20 minutes moving everything back each time. Some of the limbs are 15 feet long. I clearly need to move bigger and heavier items onto the line. It sucks though, whenever I ride there I’m usually alone. And there are absolutely no rocks or boulders.

    What I don’t understand is that the original proper trail is already pretty wide, so while yes there are a few roots, you can kind of simply ride between them and not really touch any. And if you’re going “down” the turn, there is even a slight natural bank to the corner. These people are just straight lining right through the brush.

    Part of me knows I might be fighting a losing battle, but Jefferson Forest is one of the spots that I grew up biking on. Even on this same trail even. My thinking is that if we let this one go, how long before more and more cheater lines start appearing? I don’t want Jefferson to turn into Walker Woods.

    So what I really need to do is get some buddies to down there and help move some serious logs and crap onto the line.



    I made another attempt and it seems to have worked so far. One and a half weeks have gone by and the trail in that spot hasn’t been changed.

    Fingers crossed….




    Cheater lines… like the ones on “Crackhouse” on that awesome rooty switchback ? You can literally see tire marks just going perpendicular to them just to get past that section faster. Boils my blood lol – earn it!

    I live 20 minutes away from Jefferson and would be happy to ride with you and patch some of that up. I am DannyL on pinkbike (we chatted in the Newmarket and surrounding area” thread early this year) or you can reach me on facebook as Danny Levin.




    And there is also a facebook group “Jefferson Forest Mountain Biking” where your efforts may gain further support. Who knows, maybe the culprit is in the group and seeing everyones reactions will have them stop… For all they know, they may think they are doing some good and you are the jerk messing their stuff up. Ignorance is bliss.



    Hey Dan, for sure I’m always up for a ride!

    Is that group private? I don’t use Facebook, but perhaps I’ll have to create a new account and take a peak.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    It’s a public group. If you don’t get around to it you can find me on Pinkbike. I ride year round 🙂


Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

People Who Like Thisx


People Who viewed ThisX