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Daily Trail conditions in Etobicoke Creek

HOME FORUM RIDING GREATER TORONTO AREA ETOBICOKE CREEK Daily Trail conditions in Etobicoke Creek

This topic contains 473 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  caRpetbomBer 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 286 through 300 (of 474 total)
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  • #816231

    allantats
    Participant

    Well Said FastTimes,
    I was out for a full loop from Marie Curtis on up (minus Matheson) and was really disappointed.
    It was a lot wetter than I expected and had to walk a lot of sections. Lots of ruts from riding too early and will now be a problem all year or until fixed.
    Lots of standing water due to ruts and widened low areas.
    The west side of the the creek wasn’t bad (because it gets more sun) but the east side ridge is pretty bad.
    Even worse… way worse is the south end of the south loop where the motos ride.
    Huge ruts on long sections of single track. I am going to e-mail Councillor Grimes about them and call 311 whenever I see them out there but not sure it will do much good.
    They may get chased out once the Sherway Trail construction begins in earnest.
    I did manage to cut some deadfall down. You may notice a dead tree right over the trail about 4 ft. off the ground south of Dundas. I only got about half way through it before getting gassed. lol
    I’ll finish it off next weekend if it’s still there when I get to it.


    Attachments:
    #816234

    allantats
    Participant

    Well Said FastTimes,
    I was out for a full loop from Marie Curtis on up (minus Matheson) and was really disappointed.
    It was a lot wetter than I expected and had to walk a lot of sections. Lots of ruts from riding too early and will now be a problem all year or until fixed.
    Lots of standing water due to ruts and widened low areas.
    The west side of the the creek wasn’t bad (because it gets more sun) but the east side ridge is pretty bad.
    Even worse… way worse is the south end of the south loop where the motos ride.
    Huge ruts on long sections of single track. I am going to e-mail Councillor Grimes about them and call 311 whenever I see them out there but not sure it will do much good.
    They may get chased out once the Sherway Trail construction begins in earnest.
    I did manage to cut some deadfall down. You may notice a dead tree right over the trail about 4 ft. off the ground south of Dundas. I only got about half way through it before getting gassed. lol
    I will finish it off this weekend if it’s still there…


    Attachments:
    #816305

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Thanks @allantats, and thank you for your efforts. That image of the rut is crazy. I still don’t have a solution for the motos. Better drainage is still our best solution as I don’t see how we can keep these guys out completely. Certainly when we build new trails we consider ways to make it less interesting for motos but for existing trails, likely built by motos to begin with, its more challenging. I believe the Sherway trail Link will deter them as well. But that’s only because of added foot traffic, which will also makes that section busier for bikers. It’s going to get a lot busier in the south end.

    I rode through the northern loop yesterday to see how bad it was and was shocked at the level of damage and irresponsible use. Sections of trail 10 feet wide, filled with tires tracks. It’s important that we fix those wet areas or our singletrack will become double track in a hurry. Solutions should be implemented and side trails closed. I’n not sure what people are thinking riding in there right now but it’s definitely not ready. Much of it is dry, and if drainage issues were fixed, certainly could be much closer to being ready than it is. It would make sense to do that work now, when we can see what areas need it most. But there is no question it needs to be done. May mean missing a ride or two now, but we need to look down the road. To the trails next spring and fall. Its no surprise that the trails built by mountain bikers are the ones with the least amount of drainage issues. The new trails built last year are 100% dry.

    Lots of sections now look like this. I came across at least a dozen spots blown out like this, or worse. If the trail is too wet to ride through, it’s too wet to ride. Or to put it even more clearly, if you feel you need to ride around the section of trail for fear of getting wet and muddy, then its too wet to ride. Everyone riding around is what ruins the singletrack. We want to ride ribbons with beautiful forest around us, not blown out quad tracks. There is plenty of that already.

    I cut out a bunch of deadfall, some that had been ridden over hundreds of times without anyone touching it. There are a few larger trees that will take a chainsaw or reroute to resolve.

    Across the ridge at Rathburn.

    Obvious bike traffic over it, but no attempt to remove it. Quick search reveals lots of Strava and Trailforks traffic through this section, but none felt the need to remove it.

    Five minutes and two cuts later.

    Along the east ridge, between Ellington and Matheson. Ride around already formed on the right, widening the trail.

    All that is needed to get the job done.

    Tree cleaned and trail to the right closed.

    These next two need some more manpower to resolve.

    Stunts are popping up along the east ridge between Eglington and Matheson.


    They are well made, and we all love that stuff, but I would rather see an effort put into repairing and fixing the single track than adding this sport of thing. It’s awesome but not a priority like other areas are. If you want to build something, build some bridges over problem areas. The area these are built in was soaked and rutted to shit. Maybe consider tackling that first? This is obviously being built by mountain bikers, with some skill, and I hope they can find their way here so that their efforts can be used is other areas. I’m down to build some bridges! I’ve been asking for help with this for two years. These are also built on private property, near where the previous jumps and camp were removed by the security at HP. So again, connecting here, and sharing that information could have been helpful to all involved. These are man made structures and open up a whole other level of liability. They are harmless I know, but this isn’t a bike park where we know 100% that they are being maintained. What if they are damaged, unsafe, or sabotaged? We need to build things that are safe and sustainable. We learned this lesson in the Don and in Wiarton. So thanks to whoever built these, but please join us here and be part of the bigger picture.

    Lots of erosion this year. Luckily a high line was built here last year:

    This section should be clearly closed with new trail above it.

    I dont have time, nor have any interest in managing the trails virtually on Trailforks, But if someone wants to champion this, the trails should be hidden. If you cant dig or help in other ways, this could be a valuable contribution, maybe the most valuable. That is easily the number one thing we can do to try and mitigate the damage to these trails. I already came across a home owner who lives along the trail who has noticed increased use and is considering his options for reducing it. Only takes a few angry neighbours to cause a real problems for us all. Also came across two other riders, trying to follow the TF app through the creek. Spoke with them at length, but their argument was that the trails are “open” on TF.

    Anyone wanting to help dig should request to join the private forum.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #816308

    allantats
    Participant

    Thanks for taking the time to bring attention to the issues, I had lots more pics but couldn’t seem to attach more than one.
    I was quite surprised to see the stunts going up as I would assume those are built by local riders.
    I don’t bother with Trailforks so that is not something I will be championing, but am willing to help with some repairs.
    The east ridge seems to be worst area of the north section if we can get a crew together…
    As for people riding wet areas I have no solution…can’t fix stupid…

    #816311

    fietser
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing both @allantats and @fasttimes.

    Full disclosure: I have not been on the trails yet this season.

    I know I already mentioned this to @fasttimes but honestly I just feel defeated and saddened. I know that likely sounds lame but those are the facts. Quite frankly, it doesn’t seem like the Councillor cares about the Motos. I have been in contact with his office on numerous occasions, going back years, as well as speaking to him directly about it several times. The reality is he feels that it isn’t something that can be controlled but is quick to say make sure to call 311 or the police when the infraction is taking place. But let’s not kid ourselves, these are not priorities. I feel the only way to actually keep the motos out would be to create barriers – which I have suggested to him but again, this doesn’t seem to be a priority. That being said, we also need to make sure that mountain bikers are also playing by the rules and not riding in the mud – but as you said, ‘You can’t fixed stupid/entitled/ignorant etc…’

    I find it shocking the City of Toronto has just completed a Ravine Management Strategy (on top of having a Natural Environment Trails Strategy) and this level of destruction and irresponsible use if still tolerated.

    The crux of the issue is that these trails are not formalized and as such really no one is going to take responsibility for them – other than those who are currently using them in a responsible manner. Which leads us to the next issue, these trails are now posted on an App that also doesn’t give a rodent’s derrière about what happens to the trails. Why has this been allowed to happen? Why has the City of Toronto knowingly allowed a private company to post informal trails on a widely available App? If the City is so hellbent on preserving the Ravines I fail to see how allowing Trailforks to post trails without any check or balance on their use and upkeep is a responsible decision? What is the benefit to the City or the TRCA to having these informal trails posted? I can see the benefit to TF but not to the communities in which these trails are found.

    As I was saying to @fasttimes the other day I can remember riding in the Creek for YEARS without seeing another rider, and if I did see someone I likely knew them by name, because we stopped and introduced ourselves. Clearly that has changed. I certainly don’t need to know everyone’s name but I would find some comfort in knowing that they are part of the solution rather than being part of the problem. Let me be clear, I don’t want the trails to be a secret, they aren’t mine, but I want to know that users are connected to the community that keeps them up and running. I can remember joking with long time Creek rider Andy McKean that you always knew a Creek rider because they were packing a folding saw – that was how it was done. Judging by the photos posted above it seems those days are long gone.

    Back to the task at hand.

    From the photo you posted @allantats it looks like that rutted section is after the Queensway bridge? Can you please confirm.

    It is clear that this section of trail is basically unrideable. My plan is to head in on Weds evening and do some work there rather that the ride I had planned. I had also planned on riding out of town on Saturday morning but if there are some interested people I feel that some work on the trails is likely a far more pressing need than my own riding at this point.

    #816313

    allantats
    Participant

    Fietser,

    The rut pictured was north of Queensway but I can’t remember if it was north or south of the train tracks.
    You are correct in that it is unrideable. I’m not sure what repairs can be done there that won’t be undone the first time the motos go through on soft ground again.
    There was a tree down across the small black stone hill right at the train tracks. Someone trimmed the limbs off but I left it on purpose as the motos definitely can’t get over it.

    Unfortunately, I am already committed to a Marie Curtis beach cleanup (don’t get me started on single use plastic) on Saturday morning so cannot do any trail work.
    I could make some time on pretty much any other weekend…

    #816315

    fietser
    Participant

    Thanks @allantats I will find it. Try and do what I can for the time being anyway.

    No worries about Saturday. We were at Sam Smith for the clean up last weekend – I hear you about single use plastic.

    I am sure we will find time to hook up and get some work done.

    #816329

    fietser
    Participant

    Should find the rutted section much more user friendly today. Needs tires (not moto tires) or some stomping to pack it down.

    Thanks to all those involved.

    Attachments:
    1. Rutless....jpg

    Attachments:
    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #816359

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Went in to remove deadfall and repair damage along the Meglington trails. Someone had already cut between the trails in the loop to avoid the fallen tree, numerous times. Enough that two new trails were burned in. Guess that’s easier than fixing the issue. I closed those trails and removed the deadfall including the end of the larger fallen tree which was overhanging on the trail. Built up both sides of the fallen tree into a banked hip, up & over. I then adjusted the line on one side to work better given the awkward angle of the down tree. It could have been removed completely but I would have needed more help. I also removed the smaller tree above so that riders can carry speed into that section.

    Before

    After

    Before

    After

    Closed connection trails

    Up/over/hip
    Before with poor angle

    After




    Down tree above had to be rolled over and propped up to cut.


    New line. Closed line on the left.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #816360

    fietser
    Participant

    Looks great – thanks for all the hard work.

    Hopefully others will see it and pitch in to fix some of the other trouble spots. I think it is important to realize that the work that is being done is to FIX problem areas not build ‘new’ trail or add TTFs. The work that is being done is to better the experience for all users rather than simply adding challenge for select groups. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a challenging feature as much as the next rider but simple adding them adhoc doesn’t seem like a very sustainable choice on these trails.

    I certainly don’t want to belittle or seem unappreciative of any of the efforts out there I just think we need to make sure the entire community is on board with what is happening. We need to be transparent about the needs vs. wants and make sure our efforts are not in vain.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #816361

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Looks great – thanks for all the hard work.

    Same to you @fietser Takes a village, or community in this case.

    Well said on features. I love them as well but think they need to come second to overall sustainability, garbage pickup, drainage, closing spider lines and advocacy/working with other user groups.

    The skills of new builder are appreciated, could use those skills throughout the Creek to better the overall experience for all riders.

    #816362

    allantats
    Participant

    Wow…good work and many thanks to both!!
    Ooohh…did I see a new power tool in a couple of those pics?
    Fietser did you fill in the whole length of that rut or is some more work needed in there?
    I should run fat bike tires up and down it see if it needs more filling in…?

    #816365

    Tom Shaw
    Participant

    The Trails and the people who use them are lucky to have volunteers like this.
    Nice Effort.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #816373

    fietser
    Participant

    Hey @allantats we were able to fill the whole length. Some fat bike tires rolling on it would be great.

    It may need some tuning up once it settles in a bit but we can get to that in time. The rain last night will be a good first test.

    #816383

    braindamaged
    Participant

    Hey guys,
    Good to see the usual guys are putting in the effort to maintain our little network. I feel stupid because I’ve been waiting patiently for the trails to dry out so that I can go for a ride while everyone else has been irresponsible.

    I laced up my running shoes and ran the north and south sections all winter long on the days when I know the ground was frozen. What I watched the damage happen from February on, with the repeated freeze thaw cycles, the “fair weather” motors and the cyclists where out making ruts. By the end of winter the frozen ruts where so bad I had to stop running the trails because they where messing up my ankles.

    All this damage was done well before the spring thaw and rain season and now whenever we have a nice day the riders are out making a bad situation worse.

Viewing 15 posts - 286 through 300 (of 474 total)

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