18 February 2013

Archival Footage: The cumulative effects of erosion

The following post was originally published at FlagstaffBiking.org on July 3, 2003. Ten years later, little has changed...

I stumbled upon a USFS trail crew doing radical rock-obliteration work on Rocky Ridge trail yesterday. Despite recent efforts to encourage positive, proactive communication and cooperation between the USFS and local mountain bikers by organizations like flagstaffbiking.org, NFTA, and FELT, the evidently purposeful misdirection, and dare-I-say intentional deception, goes on as before. 

By the time you read this, it is likely that Rocky Ridge trail, as you’ve known it, will no longer exist. 

Under the auspices of grant-funded work and a new designation as a section of the Arizona Trail route, Rocky Ridge will soon join the dozens of miles of local trail that have been re-engineered to reflect one-public agency's, and really one over-zealous individual's idealized view of what a nature trail should be.

In light of what was happening on Rocky Ridge yesterday, I rode it both ways, up and down, and tried to savor each moment. As has always been the rule, in the end, Rocky Ridge won. I was happy to leave it that way. After twelve years of struggle I’ve had but a few moments of brilliance on Rocky Ridge, and for all the effort they have, though few and far between, each been worth the challenge. No local system trail is more special to me than this one.