Trail Head Meeting 9/17/11
This past Saturday PMBA invited all of the Equestrian groups out to their group ride. This was also done earlier in the year but, only a small few of the equestrians showed up... not the case this time! The horses out numbered the bikers this time!
We started off by letting everyone know what was happening with the coalition and the things we are trying to work on. We let everyone know about this site so they can read up on what we are doing.
Most of the comments made by the equestrians to the bikers were to let them know you are there. Make some noise as a soon as you see them. A biker asked what should we do once you see us. The answer was to stop and the horse person will let you know what to do, either stay where you are and move off the trail to the downward side, or they will move off and let you pass. Don't go ahead and pass the horse even if they have moved off the trail until the rider says so. Sometimes the horse is still unsure and the rider needs a little more time to calm the horse.
Speed was mentioned.... seemed to be the big topic... we, the PTSC are working on trail 347. The forest service has been out brushing the blind corners and creating better site lines. For the places where speed and no site distance there are discussions on how to slow the biker. The answer seems to be to put a "slowing obstacle" in the trail... this would not impede the trail for other trail users, but slow the biker down to either go over or around thus causing the speed to be reduced.
It was also mentioned who to hold accountable for any accidents. This comment got a lot of attention by everyone. At this time there are a few supporters for fining speeding bikes and for making certain trails bikes only and horse only. While their concerns are valid, there were more supporters for working in cooperation in being courteous to other trail users, keeping all trails open to everyone, and taking on their own inherent responsibility of their choice in riding modes.
It was noted that change doesn't happen over night and trail 347 will be the testing trail to see how these ideas work.
The other major question was how to educate out of town riders... not just bikers but horsemen too. They need to know what we are working on and we have guidelines for how to enjoy our trails.
PMBA is holding a Wonderschlautt bike event October 14-16. Most of the riding events happen on the 15th. Although they don't know how many bikers will show up they have asked the respective Equestrian groups to provide a horse or two at each of the trail heads they are leaving from to help educate the out of town riders.
It was mentioned that the Equestrians and Bikers let their respective shops know what is happening, either with a flyer or someone stopping by to give them the run down. This would be the bike shops and tack shops in town. It seems if someone from out of town comes in they stop at a shop for a map. If we can educate the shops to let them know our trails are multi-use, and to be courteous to everyone, and know who to yield to, this might just make this whole coalition a success!
We feel this was a positive step in the right direction for all involved and we will continue to hold these types of meetings in the future.
Immediate Future Happenings
The October event, mainly on the 15th, , PMBA will be holding rides at several trails. It might be nice to have a horse and horseman at the start just to show we all get along and answer any questions and such. The ride times are at 8:30 and at 2:30. None of the trails will be shut down to other users and to tell you the truth we really don’t know how many people to expect… you might get there and only two people are there.
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