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Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 9th 09, 08:27 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
Bondo
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


I've seen some photos here of people doing the MUni on very-muddy
trails.
Around here that is a big no-no.

Please consider your impact on the trail.

Does a Municycle have more or less impact on the trail than regular
Mountain Bikes?

For downhill I would think MUni does not skid as much so we are better
for the trail in that regards.

In tight turns/switchbacks though, the single point interface with the
trail may mean you grind up a bit more dirt in tight jerky turns. The
MTBers might flow through tight turns a little easier.

I'm sure some areas of the country may not consider their impact on the
trail as much. (Widening trails, double-tracking, shortcuts, deepening
trails, erosion etc)

In higher alpine environments it takes years, if-ever, for a trail to
be grown over and repaired. Much of the damage caused by MTBs, Hikers
and horses tend to be almost permanent. Horses IMO seem to be the
worse.

I do admit I have never gone and volunteered for a trail maintenance
day. I may change that this next summer for trails I use a lot. It's
only right.

Your thoughts?


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  #2  
Old January 9th 09, 08:54 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
tholub
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


The impact of riding in the mud varies greatly depending on the soil.
There are places in the Bay Area where the trails are essentially two
feet deep in redwood duff. The mud's too soft and loose to hold any
form; the trails easily repair themselves as the trees drop more litter.
There are also places where the soil is bay mud that sticks and cakes
onto everything; riding on those can definitely cause damage. (There
are two mitigating factors: one, those trails are basically impossible
to ride when they're wet, so people don't, and two, most of that land
also allows cattle grazing, which has so much more impact it's not even
worth worrying about.)

The environmental impact of trail use, in most environments, is
generally overstated by alarmsts wanting to keep bikes off trails. All
trail use has some impact, but almost all major trail damage occurs from
natural processes of rain and erosion that we don't control or effect.
An exception is an environment like Moab, where we can damage the
cryptobiotic soil that forms the basis for the local ecosystem.

IMBA and its local affiliates are good organizations to get involved
with, for trail maintenance and advocacy. They work to extend
opportunities for off-road cycling (and are working right now with the
national park service on opening up some trails in national parks), and
do a lot of work to keep our existing trails available and fun. Keep
singletrack single.


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  #3  
Old January 9th 09, 09:00 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
harper
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


Road damage is proportional to the 4th power of the axle load. A MUni
has one axle, a bike has two. If the MUni and the bike weigh the same,
and the riders weigh the same, the MUni will do 16 times the damage to
the trail that the MTB does.


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  #4  
Old January 9th 09, 09:44 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
johnfoss
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


Bondo;1167567 wrote:
I'm sure some areas of the country may not consider their impact on the
trail as much. (Widening trails, double-tracking, shortcuts, deepening
trails, erosion etc) IMBA has guidelines for how to "tread lightly" and
what to do/not do to make trail wear & tear worse. Off the top of my
head the major ones I can think of a
- Stay on official trails (don't make unauthorized trails)
- Don't cut corners or switchbacks
- Ride it, don't slide it (no skidding)
- Don't widen the trail around puddles. See a puddle? Go through it!

Like Tom said, there is the *actual* trail wear & tear we cyclists
cause, and then there's the exaggerated "damage" we do as reported by
people who want us out of the parks and public lands. This is always
especially humorous when it is pointed out by equestrians, who generally
do a lot more wear & tear due to the vastly heavier weight of their
vehicles. Also, I've yet to see a cyclist take a dump in the middle of
the trail.

I am a member of, and have, participated in trail work with my local
mountain bike group, which is an affiliate of IMBA. It's been a while,
but I have to avoid certain areas because clearing brush, when it may
contain poison oak, is very bad for me.

Certain trails in my area (Sierra Nevada Foothills) are closed during
wet weather due to their tendency to wear fast under tires. People are
supposed to stay off them during certain times of the winter. It's up to
us to be responsible trail users, even if our impact is minimal.


harper wrote:
Road damage is proportional to the 4th power of the axle load ... the
MUni will do 16 times the damage to the trail that the MTB does.


Is that trail, or road? I think that figure is related to hard
pavement, though we definitely put more weight down per square inch of
tire coverage. I would venture to say that our non-braking impact on
the trail is perhaps a little larger than that of a bike, especially
with our fat tires, that displace a lot of mud and leave wide
indentations behind.



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  #5  
Old January 9th 09, 10:24 PM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
harper
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


johnfoss;1167612 wrote:

Is that trail, or road? I think that figure is related to hard
pavement, though we definitely put more weight down per square inch of
tire coverage. I would venture to say that our non-braking impact on the
trail is perhaps a little larger than that of a bike, especially with
our fat tires, that displace a lot of mud and leave wide indentations
behind.




That is road or hard pavement.


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  #6  
Old January 10th 09, 01:28 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
tholub
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


johnfoss;1167612 wrote:

Is that trail, or road? I think that figure is related to hard
pavement, though we definitely put more weight down per square inch of
tire coverage.




If I'm not mistaken, the weight per square inch we put down is more or
less equivalent to the tire PSI. So since we run at lower pressures
than bikes, we actually put down less weight per square inch of tire
contact. In exchange, we have larger contact patches.


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  #7  
Old January 10th 09, 01:43 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
pkittle
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


The trails in Chico's Upper Bidwell Park, where I do most of my riding,
close for at least three days after significant rainfall. I always
adhere to the trail signs, and have been known to get ****y at bikers I
see out when the trails are marked as closed. I've done trailwork with
the parks department, and it's a fun way to help out. We have a
recurring trail day the 1st Saturday of each month, and it's a nice way
to make a positive impression on a variety of trail users. Many of the
people who show up to help are hikers or equestrians, and it's good for
them to see cyclists helping out.


--
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  #8  
Old January 10th 09, 02:10 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
Unicaw89
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


Bondo;1167567 wrote:
I've seen some photos here of people doing the MUni on very-muddy
trails.
Around here that is a big no-no.

Please consider your impact on the trail.

Does a Municycle have more or less impact on the trail than regular
Mountain Bikes?

For downhill I would think MUni does not skid as much so we are better
for the trail in that regards.

In tight turns/switchbacks though, the single point interface with the
trail may mean you grind up a bit more dirt in tight jerky turns. The
MTBers might flow through tight turns a little easier.

I'm sure some areas of the country may not consider their impact on the
trail as much. (Widening trails, double-tracking, shortcuts, deepening
trails, erosion etc)

In higher alpine environments it takes years, if-ever, for a trail to
be grown over and repaired. Much of the damage caused by MTBs, Hikers
and horses tend to be almost permanent. Horses IMO seem to be the
worse.

I do admit I have never gone and volunteered for a trail maintenance
day. I may change that this next summer for trails I use a lot. It's
only right.

Your thoughts?




I think in simple riding from a-b we do simular trail damage, good
arguements with our PSI vs their dual wheels for weight distribution. I
only disagree with your statement on tight turns, since mountain bikers
take these turns at a higher rate of speed they would have to apply the
brake often times causeing to slide creating burms in the track. I know
from my experience in mountain biking that I spend alot of time hitting
those turns with a roost to maintain my speed, or just for fun . On a
uni when you do a switch back you are allready pretty much being forced
to take it at the appropriate speed(slow), unless you are rockin a guni
or 36, in that case your just crazy.


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  #9  
Old January 10th 09, 02:35 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
john_childs
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


As Tom said, the situation varies greatly depending on the type of soil
and other local factors. There are trails in the Seattle area that are
rideable year round, even during the Seattle wet season. There are also
other trails in the area that are not rideable in the wet season due to
causing trail damage and due to the type of mud.

A nice thing about the Seattle area is that if you are very serious
about riding you can manage to ride trails year round.

I believe unicycles cause less trail damage than bikes. Unicycles
don't spin the tire trying to get over roots and obstacles. You can't
spin the tire on a unicycle because if the tire slips you fall off. Not
so on a bike. Unicycles also don't skid when slowing down. Unicycles
also tend to take a different line around turns (a unicycle can take the
inside line of a corner that a bike could not manage). So while the
bikes may be chewing up the outside line in a corner a unicycle can take
the inside line.

Riding in the wet does require some special trail etiquette. If there
is a puddle across the trail you should ride through the puddle rather
than skirting around the edge of the puddle and widening the trail.
Trying to ride around a puddle or riding off the trail to get around a
puddle causes trail damage. Stay on the trail.


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  #10  
Old January 10th 09, 02:39 AM posted to rec.sport.unicycling
harper
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Default Does MUni impact the trail more than MTB?


john_childs;1167788 wrote:

Riding in the wet does require some special trail etiquette......Stay
on the trail.




If staying on the trail applies to riding skinnies our group effort at
etiquette leaves a great deal to be desired.


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