New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

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

Postby OffroadRatfish » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:15 am

grog wrote:there's no way that SORBA and NPS would be able to satisfy everyone


This.

Want the perfect trail? Go get yer own land and build it.

Also, I too prefer singletrack to roads and gravel river walks, as I ride mountain bikes.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby vrk75 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:53 am

The dogs were usually well behaved.I have seen worse in Polk county or in several of my road rides.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby tenbsmith » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:43 am

End of the ride pic. My son said this place was zen and we hung out for a while soaking it in. We were lucky to have it to ourselves.

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

Postby Perry » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:44 am

OffroadRatfish wrote:Want the perfect trail? Go get yer own land and build it.


Where did you build yours?

OffroadRatfish wrote:Also, I too prefer singletrack to roads and gravel river walks, as I ride mountain bikes.


Me too, but not everyday, which is about how often I am out there. If I accidentally checked the wants smart alec replies box, I missed it. I asked a serious question. Why remove a useful, wide access trail from what we already had? I don't want it for technical riding enjoyment, I want it for access to the rest of the rec area and a fast way to skip either loop.

My understanding was that we needed congressional approval to open up singletrack. We were already on that roadbed because no congressional approval was needed to permit bikes there. If true, the decision to take bikes off that trail was an NPS decision that they made on their own (and could reverse).

Another good reason to keep it open is that it's an easier trail for newbies (except for the rocks right at the start). I've made the trip with my neighbor's kids (8 and 10) before. I don't think they would make the new trail without pushing their bike most of the way (and getting in your way.)
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby k2biker » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:57 am

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.



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There really is no logic. When they first showed us the plan we asked why they were closing that section and they only answer was "we want hikers to have their own trail." Really? There's still plenty of that. I argued that newbies need a good place to ride, quick access is needed for emergencies, and there are a lot of older folks that ride out there that may not have the desire or wherewithal to ride the entire loop. Those blasted 'No Bikes' posts blocking trail are a problem in many ways -- no way to get emergency vehicles (ATV's) in there, no way to get trail maintenance equipment in there, etc.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby k2biker » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:07 am

ScottGreer wrote: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? :?:


Yes, dogs are required to be leashed but few are on the trails.

As for the rangers handing out speeding tickets, my educated guess (based on recent comms with the Rangers) is that they will probably make an example of a few folks early on but they do not have the manpower to be out there all the time. So play it cool, folks. If you come up behind a hiker / runner, announce your presence and make a safe pass. As always, courtesy will get us further than most anything else. If you take a minute and NICELY explain that it is safer for them to go the opposite direction of bikes so that the are not alarmed when I biker approaches, hopefully, at some point, maybe they will start understanding. Be heads up on the Western Slope (aka Backside Down on Strava) and Ho Chi Minh (Sope Creek overlook trail) and be aware of peds on those sections on the DH days. The first time a ped is hit by a biker on those sections, the anti-bike folks will be all over it and we'll have little recourse.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby OffroadRatfish » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:16 am

Perry wrote:
OffroadRatfish wrote:Want the perfect trail? Go get yer own land and build it.


Where did you build yours?


I haven't yet. As such, the perfect trail does not currently exist.

But it's on the radar. :mrgreen:
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby joelfehrman » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:46 am

ScottGreer wrote: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? :?:


It's been that way as long as I've ridden there. Leash law is in effect but often not observed.

I haven't had the issues with angry runners that others have reported. I always slow to their pace and use friendly communication. If that doesn't work then eff them :)
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby yellowzx » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:26 pm

I always say Hi to the hikers and runners, I do both out there as well, and I have never had a problem. I have never had a problem as a runner, I yield to bikers, I know how much fun it is to rip down the hills, but some of them are kinda rude. If I as a runner step to the side so you can go all out on a down hill a "thanks" or "hi" would be nice, even a smile to knowledge what I am doing. If we want this to work we are going to have to step it up and blast everybody with politeness so all they can say is that those mountain bikers are too nice and friendly to us.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby cmags » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:59 pm

yellowzx wrote:I always say Hi to the hikers and runners, I do both out there as well, and I have never had a problem. I have never had a problem as a runner, I yield to bikers, I know how much fun it is to rip down the hills, but some of them are kinda rude. If I as a runner step to the side so you can go all out on a down hill a "thanks" or "hi" would be nice, even a smile to knowledge what I am doing. If we want this to work we are going to have to step it up and blast everybody with politeness so all they can say is that those mountain bikers are too nice and friendly to us.


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

Postby Perry » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:30 pm

I always smile and say thanks anytime I pass a hiker or biker.

I've only had two "problems" out there (if you can even call them that). Both were people with poor situational awareness due in large part to them wearing headphones.

One was on the climb up from the river. A guy in his 40's or 50's was stopped on the trail, in the middle of the trail, fishing for something out of his backpack with his bike between his knees. As I approached, I said "excuse me sir" - no response. As I got closer I said it again - no response. I finally stopped just short of his bike and shouted it - no response. So, I bumped his rear tire with my front tire and he just about jumped into the ravine - said he was sorry and moved out of the way.

The other time was a slow pass on a heavyset woman walking down the left side of the trail (the wide road). She mouthed off something at me about letting her know I was there - again with headphones on. I have a very loud rear hub - sounds like nest of very angry bees. She apparently decided a good offense was her best defense.

I broke a chain out there on my last ride - lost a link. I fixed it by the pond so I could ride home. Apparently that's quite a sight as I had people stopping to watch (and listen to me curse under my breath). The chainbreakers on those Topeak tools really are one use devices. It's pretty much shot now - soft metal.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby cmags » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:46 pm

Perry wrote:The chainbreakers on those Topeak tools really are one use devices. It's pretty much shot now - soft metal.


Crank Bros multitool chainbreak is one of the best I've used, better even than many dedicated chain breaks.

http://www.crankbrothers.com/tools_multi17.php

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

Postby OffroadRatfish » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:41 pm

New trails good. Signage is good (in most spots). Not sad about losing the rock step, anymore (cuz the new rock garden is pretty sweet) or the descent from the road to the river (because there are other better ones to replace it, and we only lost part of it anyway).

Saw people, most were nice, 'cept for one guy on a bike who totally ignored us. Saw rangers (on bikes). Didn't get a lecture. Endo'd in front of them. :rock:
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby vrk75 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:09 pm

OffroadRatfish wrote: Endo'd in front of them.


Now that's some show of respect.
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Re: New trails at Sope Creek--date set for opening

Postby patrick » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:45 pm

After nearly 15 years of hard work by many, many dedicated folks, all I can say about Sope Creek is WOW. The trails are a blast. After my ride Saturday I saw a ranger on a mountain bike and stopped to say hello and thank him. We ended up chatting for a good 10-15 minutes. Here are a few items we discussed not previously mentioned on this thread:

-The fences put in place during NTD a few years back to close down trails on the fall line will be removed soon
-Do not ride Sope at night, the homeowners and businesses call the cops and the call is logged. I have no idea if all calls require a response (ie 911)
-One bridge with hand rails is very narrow, approach with caution
-One bridge crosses a ridge and requires a hard turn, almost a switch back but with no climbing. If walking you are fine but with any speed you'll come to this bridge in a turning radius. If this bridge gets wet, approach with caution or you'll likely wipe out and the drop off is about 3-5 feet. Anyone bombing down Thunder Rock Express and crossing the bridge near the end knows exactly what I'm talking about. From trail school I recall industrial strength shingles work well. Anything we may suggest to NPS?

The ranger wrote a lot of off-leash tickets. I encountered over a dozen people with their dog off a leash and one dog chasing a deer a solid mile or so from the owner (calling the dog). I suspect the off-leash dogs might be a user conflict area in the very near future.

Helmets are not required but strongly suggested. It bothers me when I see people without a helmet. These are the folks that file lawsuits and money spent defending (or settling) could go towards trail work. For those of you that want to say something to the helmet-less rider, I heard a good phrase years ago that works well. If you see someone without a helmet yield and say "let the pro come by." The rider usually laughs and claims not to be a pro. If you mention they aren't wearing a helmet so you assumed they are a pro, they laugh but get the point.

Don't forget to pay the $3 parking fee or better yet, get an annual pass. I learned Trout Unlimited folks are the biggest offenders of not paying the fee and Share the Road tags and vehicles with bike racks are middle of the pack. If our user group was at the other end of the bell curve from the fish mongers, all the better.

I'm not sure where the NPS/Cobb County property line is on Sibley Forest mtn bikers are riding the NPS section and homeowner are none too happy. It isn't so much the riding as it is the yelling, which makes dogs bark, kids wake up, etc (direct quote from ranger). The ranger asked me to mention this on my post as it has become an issue they have to address. And the NPS knows it is bikers. He said this is the biggest issue the park has right now facing our user group.

As stated on a few comments, our speed may intimidate folks, so be kind at all times.

Final point, the no bike sign vandalism as reported in the paper a few weeks ago did not come from the rangers. The guy I spoke with agreed it was a hatchet job by the paper and apologized. It was bent pretty badly from what he said.

Other than that, enjoy and thank the Rangers!
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