Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rolling My Wheels On Gateway Park's Trails With Fallen Trees, Brush Blockages, Snakes & A Bobcat

Those are my handlebars back in Gateway Park today, looking at the ever growing piles of brush that is blocking much of that which was not blocked before the brush was cut and piled.

The brush cutters were back cutting and piling brush today.

I think I may have figured out the purpose of all the brush cutting. I think the Fort Worth Park Department may have decided it was a good idea to open up this section of the park, giving open access to the cliff from which one looks down on the Trinity River. This part of the park did have a bit of a claustrophobic feel to it, prior to the brush being cut.

The brush was an issue even before I started to roll my wheels today. As I was unloading my bike from its motorized vehicular transport, to load it with that which I take with me, as in wallet, camera, phone and water, a guy rolled up, stopped and asked me if I was riding the single track.

When I indicated I was pedaling the single track he advised me to not pedal past the two cones I'll come to at the point where the trail has its first steep down and up section. I indicated I knew whence he was referring. He said he pedaled past the cones, zipped down the hill and then had to slam the brakes when he saw the trail was blocked by brush and brush cutters.

The guy also warned me about a downed tree further down the trail that he slammed in to due to it being on part of the trail that zips up and down with sharp turns. He said he went through the jungle to get to the paved trail and around the downed tree. When I got to the obstruction I decided just to turn around and go the wrong way, back to an easy exit to the paved trail.

All the trail problems had me wondering if the Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association is still actively maintaining the Gateway Park trails.

A few weeks ago, on the informational sign at the trailhead, I read about a problem the FWMBA was a having over losing its insurance and thus not being able to keep up their part of the trail bargain they'd made with the city.

I re-read that information today which directed me to the FWMBA website for updated trail info.

I don't think I'd been to the FWMBA website before. That is a screencap of the Gateway Park part of the website you are looking at here. It is a well done website.

The FWMBA website gave me no indication that this organization is no longer actively involved with the Gateway Park trails.

On Sunday as I rolled over the Gateway Park trails I suddenly found myself faced with an incoming couple pedaling the wrong direction. Today it happened again, with a solo guy. Both were confused by the maze of trails. It is easy to get going the wrong direction, or take a wrong turn on to a disc golf trail.

 I have only seen two directional arrows anywhere on the Gateway Park mountain bike trails. And both of those are a bit confusing.

I don't know if the FWMBA people realize how popular their Gateway Park trails have become. Popular for a good reason. They are fun trails, as long as no brush blocks your way before almost getting hit by someone rolling the wrong direction.

Other than blocked trails and other aggravations I had myself a mighty fine time rolling my wheels today, with that mighty fine time including having my first bobcat encounter ever at Gateway Park and almost rolling over a snake for the first time this year...

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