Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

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Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby welsh mountain goat » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:12 pm

Guys,

OK, Moose and I were up at Fox yesterday, having another look at all the DH trails to prepare for finalisation of an old BSA project. The project started a few years ago, the new DH trails got built, a few trails were altered, a few shut, and not much else has happened. To finish it we just need to finalise the signage, and hopefully eventually Forestry will find time to add a proper turnaround for the DH trails.

Anyway, whilst we were riding/mapping/assessing the trails, it became clear a few trails are really not getting used, in particular a few that are really excellent all-mountain/XC trails. To be fair there is nothing there that couldn't be ridden on an XC bike, but some were just crying out to be ridden. In particular the Steep track (original Fox DH trail) is a great fun trail, loads of rocks, some jumps, tricky, techy stuff. But us riders all seem to start at the triangle and never venture down this way. Why?

Obviously signage and mapping will help this, and we were discussing the idea of getting a better route out to the Steep track (which starts near the croft road turnoff), maybe with some new singletrack to link into an existing trail bowman built but which the DH'ers never use. I guess the biggest other issue is the ride back up? The slog up the guts or heartbreak is fine once, but not too appealing mulitple times, unless you think the Foxy 1000 is fun! However we rode up 3 times, and it was OK, and we got a few cracker runs down the trails. But a nice 4km singletrack climb would certainly be a brilliant option.... ;)

So, who uses these trails? Anyone do a little DHing? Shuttle runs sound fun? Thoughts/comments? There are some awesome trails to ride there, but the ones that are maybe most XC friendly are just not getting used because they don't suit the DH'ers so much, so are just waiting to be ridden.....
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby ozzybmx » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:45 pm

The biggest problem is the ride back up definately, a 2 hour round trip in the car with a couple of quick DH runs and 2-3 slogs back up the guts isnt really worth it.

A sweet singletrack back up "PWT style" with a few nice features would definately get a few more XC riders down there.
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby Cramp » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:49 pm

I think signage would be a big help, don't get out to fox much but usually stick to what I know.

As you mentioned a link trail to join it up would be great and a sign to point out where it is :)
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby Hobbo » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:56 pm

I was up at Fox on Sunday doing XC instead of DH with my mate due to the Pull Out of the 3rd Guy who was to drive his Van to CP for returns, now my DH mate is depressed to catch trains at Mitchem. Better signage and easier xc return to top would help much too. Maybe have once a month Fox DH meets ?
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby welsh mountain goat » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:20 pm

maybe we just need a chairlift?!

Yeap, I think the real thing is getting the way back up sorted.

At the end of the day we have the land to build something as classic and awesome as Whites or the Wall in Afan, or the loop at Cwmcarn, which are examples of great trails in South Wales based on similar land areas- they are all great trails (13-20km long) with a gradual climb up from the bottom, some cool sections at the top, then an awesome long descent at the end that goes on for ages- like bluegums or tunnel crossover on steroids for 3-5km.

We have the land there, a land manager that is basically happy for it to happen, but we just need to build it!
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby roscoerider » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:39 pm

I ride the Steep Track everytime I go to Fox and its my favourite bit of track up there. Its even better now the mad bastard magpie has hatched its chicks and lost interest :D
The new stuff just finished recently is great too-more of that please...

The problem with Steep Track is the slog up the Guts after, but isn't that what mountain bikes are for? My Roscoe goes down it really well, and while its not the lightest steed back up, it is rideable, albeit slowly. Doing that more than once a ride is not an option for most people though. Its quite time consuming, when you could be ploughing round the XC stuff.

I took another pommie guy up to Fox for the first time a few weeks back and his comments were that it is great in that you can get a lot of fun for not a lot of riding up hill. Most of the rides we both knew well from the UK all started with at least 30 minute climbs.

I reckon more signs to the top of Steep Track would get it ridden more- and also maybe a singletrack loop back up from the end of the top section where it meets the fire trail- if you had a fun loop back up that bit you could ride that sections loads of times per ride. Its probably also been ridden less recently because the mad maggie has been bombing until the last few weeks.

The one big difference Ive noticed to UK trails is the lack of signs- if you dont go to Fox with someone who knows it, you would miss most of it. Waymarkers make it much easier and also provide direction- Ive been told by a few poeple Ive ridden with up there that they'd only ever ridden the same sections in the reverse direction to me?

Are there any more trails like steep track up there? If so Id like to tag on with you next time out to find them.

Cheers,

Jim

P.S. Did anyone see Seiko yesterday? She left the Cellar door at 7am and had not returned when we left at 5pm! Hope she got home ok.
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby roscoerider » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:42 pm

With you there Welshie- the Welsh trail centres are the most fun you can have with yer trousers on. ;)
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby welsh mountain goat » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:46 pm

Seiko had been down the bottom of the dh trails, but came up with us at around 2pm when you saw us. Not sure where he went from then though....

Thanks for other comments too roscoe....
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby Hobbo » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:48 pm

Little Ol' Adelaide hasn't enough people or cash to make big things happen like NSW and Vic. We just have to make DH at Fox "a once a month event" and take turns with the trailer for the time being ?
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby ozzybmx » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:56 pm

welsh mountain goat wrote:maybe we just need a chairlift?!



How much ?

chairlift.jpg
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby rodman » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:43 pm

I've been up there a bit recently doing shuttles. You're right, the trails don't get used and those that do are trashed. Ruts from the rain and fallen trees make the riding less than ideal.

From memory there's a huge tree down on Fox Fast as it comes out of the wall ride section. There was a tree down on the lower section of Fox Long. Not sure if either have since been removed though.

The only way I'd be up for a day of AM there would be if the climbs were broken up a bit more... If there were "loops" the whole way up/down a trail.

Eg:
Park at the bottom car park, ride to the top of Fox Fast.
Rest for an hour.
Ideally a new piece of trail would spit me out of Fox Fast, even if a climb was involved and cut me over to the top of Patto's Curse.
Climb back up to the top of Fox Long.
Descend Upper Fox Long into the Lower section.
Again, ideally a new trail would spit be back out to the fire trail above.
Climb back to the top of Fox Long.
Descend Fox Long into Fox Bowl.
Realistically I'd be well and truly knackered by this point, but if not a climb back up to the top of Boardwalk could be cool too.

That or a chairlift. I'd much prefer to be riding these trails on my downhill bike. :lol:
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby rodman » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:48 pm

roscoerider wrote:The one big difference Ive noticed to UK trails is the lack of signs- if you dont go to Fox with someone who knows it, you would miss most of it. Waymarkers make it much easier and also provide direction- Ive been told by a few poeple Ive ridden with up there that they'd only ever ridden the same sections in the reverse direction to me?


DEFINITELY! After checking out Mt Stromlo, I think Fox (and everywhere in SA to be honest) could do with some new signage.

At Stromlo they have six loops to choose from, (Beginner to Advanced) and that means that instead of having to learn the name of each trail you're riding that day, you just pick a number and just "follow 2" until you're finished. Less thinking and more riding. :D
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby welsh mountain goat » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:59 pm

Hobbo wrote:Little Ol' Adelaide hasn't enough people or cash to make big things happen like NSW and Vic. We just have to make DH at Fox "a once a month event" and take turns with the trailer for the time being ?


BUT.... we have superb terrain within a short distance of the city, and a keen community, so we should be BETTER than other states. In the UK the best riding is NOT where the population is, but where the terrain is. People travel to Wales and Scotland to ride there (and spend their money)....it's not JUST about the locals or the local scene, it's about what you can do for your sport.

Melrose- population of 300. Trails to die for......and an attitude that of 'we build, they will come'!

Sounds like I need to start a regular shuttle day. I've got the trailer and van, room for 7 more. Who's in?! You can bring your DH bike Rodman...;-)
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby welsh mountain goat » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:06 pm

rodman wrote:
roscoerider wrote:The one big difference Ive noticed to UK trails is the lack of signs- if you dont go to Fox with someone who knows it, you would miss most of it. Waymarkers make it much easier and also provide direction- Ive been told by a few poeple Ive ridden with up there that they'd only ever ridden the same sections in the reverse direction to me?


DEFINITELY! After checking out Mt Stromlo, I think Fox (and everywhere in SA to be honest) could do with some new signage.

At Stromlo they have six loops to choose from, (Beginner to Advanced) and that means that instead of having to learn the name of each trail you're riding that day, you just pick a number and just "follow 2" until you're finished. Less thinking and more riding. :D


yeap, I have been banging on about this for ages. We are trying to finalise this with the DH stuff, and move it across to the XC stuff if we can. Should really be 3 loops leaving from the triangle marked the whole way. eg. one 7km beginner loop, 10km intermediate, 25km black diamond epic Xc loop. It will happen, but I think we need to get a 'masterplan' sorted first before we get this happening, although it was discussed recently within the SAMBA board that we get some interim loops signed, much like Squidie did at Melrose. At the end of the day there is so much more we need to do up at Fox.....
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby Hobbo » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:38 pm

welsh mountain goat wrote:
Hobbo wrote:Little Ol' Adelaide hasn't enough people or cash to make big things happen like NSW and Vic. We just have to make DH at Fox "a once a month event" and take turns with the trailer for the time being ?


BUT.... we have superb terrain within a short distance of the city, and a keen community, so we should be BETTER than other states. In the UK the best riding is NOT where the population is, but where the terrain is. People travel to Wales and Scotland to ride there (and spend their money)....it's not JUST about the locals or the local scene, it's about what you can do for your sport.

Melrose- population of 300. Trails to die for......and an attitude that of 'we build, they will come'!

Sounds like I need to start a regular shuttle day. I've got the trailer and van, room for 7 more. Who's in?! You can bring your DH bike Rodman...;-)


Hey you do Heaps already, which is Great but it guys like me that need to get involve with trail building, marking and even shuttling up and down hills for others. I have a fair sized trailer and vehicle so I'll put my hand up for the next meet for the DH fun at Fox ? Folk in Melrose are smarter than some other towns which are now ghost towns due to lack of interest to save the town.
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby 29er » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:08 am

Just wondering if they don't get ridden because a lot of people don't know they are there or think they are just DH tracks.

I haven't ridden steep for about 5 years, it was a rutted out DH track then. It was challenging towards the bottom on a Xc bike back then.

Is there a decent map of the trails at fox? The only maps I've seen are pretty average and hard to follow. Maybe a nice map like Forrest has with a numbering system? All you would need on the trails is a star dropper with a small sign attached with a number on it, if we are allowed to do that. A web link to the map is all that's needed so you print out the map and do your own tour.

A single track climb Pwt style would be great. The fire road climb are hard and boring.
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby welsh mountain goat » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:33 am

29er wrote:Just wondering if they don't get ridden because a lot of people don't know they are there or think they are just DH tracks.

I haven't ridden steep for about 5 years, it was a rutted out DH track then. It was challenging towards the bottom on a Xc bike back then.

Is there a decent map of the trails at fox? The only maps I've seen are pretty average and hard to follow. Maybe a nice map like Forrest has with a numbering system? All you would need on the trails is a star dropper with a small sign attached with a number on it, if we are allowed to do that. A web link to the map is all that's needed so you print out the map and do your own tour.

A single track climb Pwt style would be great. The fire road climb are hard and boring.


Yeah, signage is under control. Should happen by the end of the year. Steep track has been rerouted at the bottom to avoid the bad rutted section, and now contours around along a much nicer route, ideal for an xc bike.

Squidies map is in to date at the.moment, will post a link later.
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby a.j » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:48 am

i think a single track climb would make riding that side of the hill so much more fun. would have to make it not much fun to ride down though. sign post it up only but you will still get a few go down.

could run a simple rotating rope system up the hill like the old ski tows. ride up to it and hang on for dear life.
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby barry » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:15 am

We dont know the name of the tarcks or where they go. Have looked at the maps on the internet and on the signs, still dont know!

Anyway we started dropping down there in the last month. It is good fun, the first time was a bit of an adventure as we had no idea were we were going or how we were going to get back. Took us a bit of back tracking and a few dead ends but we have a little loop now.

Down some track where the top section is impossible to keep the rear wheel on the ground. some big wall corners and then a huge fallen tree or 2 (under one, over another), then through handlebar high weeds to the bottom of the climb. Recently a bulldozer has been up the climb and ripped sections of it.

The climb takes 20 mins, comes out near the section that was new for the last 24 (night disco), that has been redone with berms and the reworked tree section. With the rest of the the 24 loop it makes 14km and 330m of climbing so nothing too savage. With XC/AM bikes, it takes about as long as shuttles.

Anyway the first time down there it was an adventure, reminded me of riding 20 years ago, no idea where you are going, just your bike and a bunch of tools!

Signs would have got us down there sooner. Sure single track climb, or funky loops would help. To start with clear signs of where to go and how to get back would really help. But thats Foxes, its a maze until you know a loop or two, pretty intimidating to new riders unles they have an EPIRB.
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Re: Fox DH trails- how to get more of US riding them?

Unread postby Hobbo » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:31 am

barry wrote:We dont know the name of the tarcks or where they go. Have looked at the maps on the internet and on the signs, still dont know!

Anyway we started dropping down there in the last month. It is good fun, the first time was a bit of an adventure as we had no idea were we were going or how we were going to get back. Took us a bit of back tracking and a few dead ends but we have a little loop now.

Down some track where the top section is impossible to keep the rear wheel on the ground. some big wall corners and then a huge fallen tree or 2 (under one, over another), then through handlebar high weeds to the bottom of the climb. Recently a bulldozer has been up the climb and ripped sections of it.

The climb takes 20 mins, comes out near the section that was new for the last 24 (night disco), that has been redone with berms and the reworked tree section. With the rest of the the 24 loop it makes 14km and 330m of climbing so nothing too savage. With XC/AM bikes, it takes about as long as shuttles.

Anyway the first time down there it was an adventure, reminded me of riding 20 years ago, no idea where you are going, just your bike and a bunch of tools!

Signs would have got us down there sooner. Sure single track climb, or funky loops would help. To start with clear signs of where to go and how to get back would really help. But thats Foxes, its a maze until you know a loop or two, pretty intimidating to new riders unles they have an EPIRB.


Your right about the Maps of All MTB Trails, it was the first disappointment when I started riding, I am thinking of getting my 10 yr old son to build a 3D Model for a project at school to help me get my head around where trails go and return. :lol:
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