The Wall of Shame

The Hydrocut Trails’ existence is burdened by a constant tug-of-war between constructive and destructive forces. Countless volunteers have left their mark and continue to give their contributions in the collective building of a greater good for the benefit of the public. However, the achieved results too often get diminished by careless, ignorant or deliberately malicious actions in violation of The Trail Rules by some of the trail users and the trespassers. Such events create additional work for the volunteers; a frustrating waste of resources and an unnecessary detriment to the progress. Find bellow the examples of the adverse attitudes, harmful deeds and behaviours:

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Nice Weather Doesn’t Mean Nice Trails

No kittens will be killed in the Hydrocut, but the mud-riders will inexorably attract much bad karma onto themselves. Ride in mud and be sure that you and your dried up ruts will be cursed every time other decent riders will have to ride over them…

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The War on Mud Holes Continues….

IMG_8104A weekend ago the mud holes on Bypass Trails got eliminated. This weekend the entire Stinky Girl on this side of the boardwalk was taken care off. The mud holes were so many; too difficult to keep count, but they were all taken care of with gravel fill or slight trail reroutes. The Frankenstein is next on the list.

With such repairs the trails will quickly dry and be ready for riding soon after the rains, but unfortunately many people are inpatient to allow even a shortest drying period, so they will continue to create new mud holes and the war will never end. Even in the most awful trail conditions over the weekend, some people were seen happily slipping and sliding all over the place on their mud covered bikes…

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The Chain Gang

CoolHandLuke CoolHandLukeGangThe chain gang toiled deep into the night again; moving seven full truckloads of gravel to four stashes along the hydro corridor. The big mud quagmire near the the exit, along the railway, was also filled with gravel.

The gravel stashes will be used for filling the mud holes that keep appearing on the trails. All this work wouldn’t be necessary of course, if people were to be more patient and hold off their riding, just a day or two after the rains. It is a great injustice that all the “chain gang convicts” were innocent, while the real perpetrators keep going free and unpunished.

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Rock Restauration

Everybody relax now; the rock has been brought back to its former glory (as close as possible).

This exercise was a throwback to few years back when we had to spend a full day and 8 cans of camouflage spray to cover up someone’s brilliant idea to define the trail by neon-orange spraying every tree along the Stinky Girl and Frankenstein.

A note to people with ideas and will to improve the trails: please contact us, we can give you useful tasks to do. It is much better to work on improvements that will be appreciated, instead of waisting your time and energy on unauthorized things that will always and promptly end up being neutralized anyway.

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People Are Stupid!

Some jerk that’s unappreciative of the opportunity to enjoy nature so close to the city, has decided to “beautify” one of the Pointer Sisters Rocks on the Rockin’ Ronnie Trail, by painting it neon pink.

Or some brilliant parents have let loose their dimwitted spoiled brat child. The unfortunate kid’s brain is probably so overstimulated from computer games, he must have had an urge to liven up the “dullness” of the nature.

Or even worse; riding on this type of trails is so out of someone’s comfort zone, they thought they will make it “safer” by pointing out the “dangerous” rock. There are many other obstacles, similar to this one; they too will have to be painted then. Wouldn’t it be much simpler though if people would get the hell away from where they so clearly don’t belong?

Either way, here we are again, forced to spend time and money for reverting dumb actions, as if we don’t have better things to do…

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Frankenstein Touchups

The changes to the Frankenstein exit have been wrapped up with installing the trail sign.

We’ve also blocked off the UNAUTHORIZED path that was created by people shortcutting from the flood in Frankenstein to the exit of the trail. Once such shortcuts get established, it is very hard to brake people’s habits. Combating shortcuts is of a paramount importance, cause otherwise we’d end up with a confusing maze of cris-crossing trails all over the place. It is a pity to divert our time on such unnecessary tasks, instead of spending it on improving the trail system.

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Muddy Trails

This comes from our neighbouring trail system in Guelph; a perfectly worded wisdom that absolutely applies to the Hydrocut Trails as well:

The trails are extremely wet. Please respect the closure. Damage done to the trails during the wet season means we spend more time maintaining and less time improving the trail system. Spread the word.

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Mud Riders

These pictures revel the pretty standard occurrence at the trailhead: In complete disregard to the common trail etiquette, trail rules signs, the trail closure sign, and even a physical barrier, people give them self a right to ride the too-muddy-for-riding trails anyway. We, the trail maintainers, are completely puzzled by this…

– Isn’t it obvious that these rules and signs are implemented for some (very good) reasons?

– Is it so hard to comprehend that riding in mud is harmful to the trails, otherwise why would the trail maintenance staff (which by the way are all 100% VOLUNTEERS and riders) be fighting so hard against it?

– If people come to ride these trails even in mud, then they obviously must enjoy riding them. Then why would they want to destroy something that THEY enjoy so much?

– Some of the perpetrators argue that in their opinion the riding conditions are “just fine”, “not bad at all”, “good enough”, etc. But shouldn’t the deciding on what is or isn’t acceptable, be up to the ones that do the actual maintenance?

– How is this different from tearing up the turf from a soaked baseball diamond, or taking a jackhammer to a hockey ice that someone worked very hard on getting into a good shape?

– Is it hard to imagine what would the trails look like if all the hundreds of daily trail visitors would ride indiscriminately like this?

– Don’t they think that we, the trail maintainers, would like to ride too? Then what gives them the arrogance to allow themselves trail access before the trail-caretakers allow it to themselves?

Wa are sincerely trying to get a better understanding of this phenomenon. Please share your thoughts and ideas about possible ways to deal with this. You can do this by commenting bellow, or sending a private email.

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Closed Means Closed

The Hydrocut Trails are maintained exclusively by volunteer labour. Part of the trail maintenance work is guarding against the destructive activities. Riding in muddy conditions is awfully detrimental to the trail surface, so our dedicated volunteers take a great effort to prevent/stop this from happening. One of the prevention measures are the temporary trail closures with a chain/sign, like shown on the picture.

Despite the very obvious and unavoidable sign, way too many riders completely ignore it, and in a blatant display of disrespect, crawl under the chain to enter the trails. When confronted about this, many come up with imaginative but incredibly ridiculous excuses.

To put it simply: the people in charge of the trail maintenance have taken the effort to close the trails. They are also the only ones that have the authority to reopen them. It is completely at their discretion to decide when that will be done. If anyone wishes to influence the making of these decisions, they are more than welcome to join in the trail maintenance, which will automatically give them the ability to do trail closures and openings.

Of course the majority of trail riders are appreciative of the trails; thus respectful of the rules. From them we ask to use their peer pressure powers to try to turn around as many bad apples as possible.

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The Bridge Embankment

Earlier in the Summer the connection between the Landfill and Petersburg portions of the trail system was changed form a single two-way trail to two much safer separate one-way paths. To do this wee had to install a new bridge over the canal. This is a wonderful bridge, but it took awful lot of work to construct and install the bridge and shape the approach passage through the embankment. With the cooler weather the dirt bikes have started coming out and riding through the Hydro corridor and over our bridge. They ride straight over the the embankment (their path is shown on the picture). This is wrecking the embankment and endangering the cyclist.

We’ve already spent volunteer hours on blocking their passage with deadfall, but it is likely that more hours and considerable expenses will have to be wasted to battle this problem.

The dirt bikes and any other motorized vehicles are illegal on all Regional land (the Hydrocut Trails) and in the Hydro corridor, so please report them to the Waterloo Regional Police whenever you see trespassing in progress. Cal the number (519) 653-7700 and ask the operator for “dispatch”.

 

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