New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby slowwrx » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:38 am

I am sure you are right, they will probably patrol for a month and then it will be over. It looks like they are focusing on a trail called backside down. Its the last section of trail that dumps you out by the creek. Its 25-30 mph if you blast it and there are some rollers that you can throw some decent size whips over. You can see far enough ahead at that point that it isn't a safety issue.

The good. The trails are great. Some fun flow stuff, trails seem to be fast when dry. On the column drive side I didn't see a single jogger or walker on the new section of trail. I was over there during peak hours as well.

The Bad. Park Cops... Lots of low spots that need to be armored or cut to drain better. You can already see where some ruts are going to develop.

Overall its certainly more good than bad.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby bikephan » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:39 am

grog wrote:The 10 mph has always been there - at least as since I started riding in '99. I'm guessing that it's under more scrutiny now since there's a higher probability of user conflicts during the transition. Give it time - my gut says an equilibrium will be reached as the two groups get used to the new situation and it won't be an issue any longer.

Meanwhile, with the exception of one post, all I've seen here are complaints. For those that have made it out there, what're the positives? Hope to hit it tomorrow during lunch. I'm sure the NPS would like some positive feedback along with the negative they're already getting here.


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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby gttim » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:11 am

grog wrote:It appears that not all are happy with the new trails . . .

Letter to the editor in the MDJ . . .

Article on the signs being vandalized . . .

Article on the expansion of trails. The funny thing about this is that if you've been around mountain biking long enough to remember him, anti-mtb activist Mike Vandeman makes an appearance in the comments . . .


I think I am more astonished, and perhaps scared, by the fact that people actually read the MDJ! Wow.

I live on Columns, but have not been onto the trails recently. I did notice on my security camera that a bunch of mountain bikers were riding onto the Riverview Condos property, appearing to be "exploring" other trails, some of which dead end behind my building.

Can't wait to ride the new trails/loops. Might just hold off until the rangers back off a bit.

Thanks for all the hard work, everybody!
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby vrk75 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:35 am

I guess NPS will look at strava segments and ticket all those people with 10 MPH or above. :)
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby slowwrx » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:39 pm

I wonder if I can run a tab or if I need to pre pay, maybe they can just keep a credit card on file. :lol:
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby k2biker » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:38 pm

vrk75 wrote:I guess NPS will look at strava segments and ticket all those people with 10 MPH or above. :)


Some of those folks need to pray NPS doesn't get wise to Strava b/c there are a lot of 'pre-opening' segments on there :shock:
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby grog » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:56 pm

Made it out there during lunch. Really enjoyed it. Today's direction had a great flow to start with (in my opinion). There's no question that it's lost the technical nature that was there when I first started in '99 but there are still a few spots with some root bundles or the rock garden by the creek. Riding it made me wish I had started riding earlier than I did so I could have experienced the system in all it's glory back then . . .

A few mud spots left (some with a little water). The "spill way" by the pond had the most water in it that I've seen in at least a year. NPS did a good job with the signs - I'd give them an "A" as it stands. There are a couple of spots that could use a little clarification as to which way is for the bike trail and which way is a subdivision access trail. And I'd strongly recommend a directional sign at the start of the trail that goes to the rock garden (right next to the small rocky climb). I saw a rider heading the wrong way down it today and my guess is that he may have come out of the subdivision right there and not seen the directional sign.

Speaking of directional signs . . . I know not everyone is on board with a directional system. I have to say, though, that it was nice to be on a climb and not have to worry about someone bombing down towards me . . .

Saw maybe 10 hikers our there - all were polite and encouraging. Granted, it wasn't exactly a peak time for either user group so maybe that made it easier to tolerate each other.

Also, good to meet tenbsmith finally. How'd your son enjoy?
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby tenbsmith » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:45 pm

Good meeting you Grog.

My son and I had a great time. Those trails are great fun. And there spots in there where all the city sounds are blocked out and it's real peaceful. On the uphill back to the paper mill parking lot we heard a couple of owl hooting at each other, which was fun.

Once we got down to the gravel, we took a right, went a short way on the gravel, then another right back onto single-track. Did we miss any single track? How far was that?
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby grog » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:01 pm

Sounds like you hit it all (assuming that the right off the gravel back on to singletrack led to a rock garden before a longish climb). Officially I think it's 6.7 miles.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby cyclesmith » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:50 pm

iride wrote:
ScottGreer wrote:Nothing to deter you from not riding.


as is often the case....

:mrgreen:
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby Perry » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:04 pm

Anyone know the logic behind closing the wide road bed from the Sibley Forest Subdivision to the top of the hill?

Why close that road? It's not even a trail... it's a road (plus just a little bit of trail where you (used to) turn to the left at the top of the hill to start the decent).

I live near the trail, and very much liked being able to get down to the river quickly and back for a lunch ride or a fast ride in the evening - or to just use the fitness trail around the river for a few laps. This has made the opening of the new trails a let down for me (otherwise they are great).

Now I have to go through Sandy Springs and back to make it to the river - especially on M, W, F. Getting back is harder either way. That's fine if I've got a lot of time, but often I don't. The new trail from the subdivision down to the river on M, W, F doesn't shed water very well either. The old trail is ready at least a day earlier than that part of the new one.

Why not leave us the option as a fast way back, a drier trail after recent rain, and/or a bailout? It's not like that goes through some delicate ecosystem. Open that back up as a bidirection section and it's perfect.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby slowwrx » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:21 pm

Perry wrote:Anyone know the logic behind closing the wide road bed from the Sibley Forest Subdivision to the top of the hill?

Why close that road? It's not even a trail... it's a road (plus just a little bit of trail where you (used to) turn to the left at the top of the hill to start the decent).

I live near the trail, and very much liked being able to get down to the river quickly and back for a lunch ride or a fast ride in the evening - or to just use the fitness trail around the river for a few laps. This has made the opening of the new trails a let down for me (otherwise they are great).

Now I have to go through Sandy Springs and back to make it to the river - especially on M, W, F. Getting back is harder either way. That's fine if I've got a lot of time, but often I don't. The new trail from the subdivision down to the river on M, W, F doesn't shed water very well either. The old trail is ready at least a day earlier than that part of the new one.

Why not leave us the option as a fast way back, a drier trail after recent rain, and/or a bailout? It's not like that goes through some delicate ecosystem. Open that back up as a bidirection section and it's perfect.


I agree. I'm over by Powers Ferry and it would have been nice to be able to climb the hill then go over and ride backside down to the creek.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby grog » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:50 pm

Given that (my understanding) it literally required an act of Congress to allow the changes, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that changes won't be happening anytime soon. SORBA-ATL/-Main, please correct me if I'm wrong. Playing Devil's Advocate . . . there's no way that SORBA and NPS would be able to satisfy everyone and I imagine that what the final layout ended up being as what was perceived to be the option that would satisfy the most people. Conceivably the old road bed was closed to bikes to offset some of the hiking-only trails (i.e. give the hikers "back" some of what they "lost").

I'll caveat the following by saying that I live nowhere near Sope - it's my lunch ride as I work near there - and spend very little time along the river, preferring the trail . . . very happy with the end result personally. The flow and rollingness is much more fun than the flatness of the road bed. Also, I initially wasn't keen on two separate loops but after riding today and realizing I was running out of time after the first lap, it was nice to be able to do the half lap.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby vrk75 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:56 am

Had a great ride yesterday. May try it again during lunch time.

1. Beautiful Scenery.
2. Signs are much improved than before but there is still lot of scope of getting confused. For instance it is not clear where the inter loop connector starts. I saw one biker riding in opposite direction in the directional loop. I and at least 3 riders entered a condo-complex. Unless, one has been to the trails before I think there is a potential of being lost once or twice.
3. The rock section is neat.
4. The descents are fun but the 10 MPH speed limit is difficult to maintain.
5. There were not many jogger/hikers when I went but had interesting encounters. I slowed down considerably for one jogger waiting for a place to pass him. He asked me as to why I did not announce my presence and he would have moved. For the second jogger I announced my presence but he did not move an inch. I announced a little louder and he rudely told me to remain behind him. May be was Mr. Vandeman. But other than that I had no issues. I realize that this is not a primarily MTB trail and Bikers have to yield to Joggers and hikers.
6. I did not see any park rangers ticketing bikers.

It is a great to have these sections for bikers. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. It is great for people who work nearby though I don't think I will make a weekend trip to these trails.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby ScottGreer » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:39 am

I am genuinely curious if only bikes are being targeted, or if all of the people with UNLEASHED mutts are being warned as well. I lost count of how many dogs I saw running loose on Saturday. Is Sope not a "leash required" area? :?:
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