Singletrack In Madison: The Conversation

An early version of a story about new singletrack in Rockland Preserve in North Madison sparked a conversation about mountain biking and the role it plays in our community's recreational mix. Let us know what you think.


Editor's note: An early version of a story about some volunteers building some new singletrack at Rockland Preserve, with the town's permission, sparked a lively conversation about the role mountain biking plays in our community's recreational mix.

Mountain biking is allowed at Rockland Preserve. It's also a place where people do bird watching, walk their dogs, look for wildflowers, discover historical sites, and take a quiet walk in the woods.

To read an updated version of the earlier story, you can go here.

You are welcome to participate in the conversation below.

Pem McNerney (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM
Question: Are bicycles or mountain bikes allowed in wilderness? Answer: Bikes are not permitted in wilderness. However, there are thousands of miles of mountain bike trails on non-wilderness Forest Service and BLM lands throughout the United States. http://wilderness.org/content/frequently-asked-questions-about-wilderness#4 So that suggests there are different standards for different outdoor recreational areas. Mountain bikes at Rockland is not a new development, the advisory committee made up of experts and volunteers in Madison knows that there is mountain biking there and allows it, along with other uses.
Victor June 19, 2012 at 12:01 PM
What damage?
John Juan June 19, 2012 at 12:16 PM
No they probably realized no one can be reasoned with, so they went outside and kept building
Tina G. June 19, 2012 at 01:47 PM
They didn't get quiet, they just stopped listening to the empty bluster of people like DON JOHNSON.
Patty Plant June 19, 2012 at 05:15 PM
To Deaf Ears: (Yes that's you!) Can't wait to do some skidding and sliding into the corners, rerouting around obstacles and having a contest of who can hit a tree the hardest and survive. It'll be fun trying to pitch our spent drink bottles into the trash cans as we wiz by at 20 mph too. Seriously, be careful not to drop any marijuana seeds because no one wants seedlings popping up and ruining someone else grow. Just kidding. None of these things could ever possibly happen when Madison permits vast numbers of unknown and uncontrolled mountain bikers from everywhere to pounce upon the forest at will. NOT.
John Juan June 19, 2012 at 06:42 PM
You're absolutely right none of it will happen, mountain bikers ideally never actually skid unless its a last-ditch effort to avoid hitting said trees, we want to hit obstacles because they make the ride more challenging, as mentioned hitting trees is no fun, and we all use hydration packs instead of bottles (plus who puts trash cans in the middle of the woods? what eco-terrorists). Any weed growing on the trail would be eaten by deer before it gets to be 6" tall or run over/stepped on, and its really not going to draw in that many more riders. Any thing I missed Patty? I had faith in you at first
Matt June 19, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Most of these people with negative comments are not actual people. They're fakes, using a fake names, fake e-mails, and falsified registration information, violating the terms of use for Patch. More than likely they are all the same person doing it. Someday, Patch might do something about it, and it has been reported to them, but not likely anytime soon. I would just ignore them. Nobody with capable of rational thought is going to believe anything this fake says or believe any of their false empty threats.
Stan Danish June 20, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Who is Matt, he or she never actually said? i
Anita Bathmatt June 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Good morning Matt. You point has already been gone over and discussed in another Patch blog. Folks fear retaliation from all the anonymous Matts with no last name and the anonymous Anita Baths out there. These types appear unstable, constantly complaining and making demands about everything and everybody. If anyone dares to offer a difference of opinion, they both go on the offensive blog attack. Everything is either their way or no way at all. Add to this that since they are both anonymous to the readers, they may either have some direct or indirect political connections. Hence power to potentially use and abuse at their discretion. There is no incentive to be on the receiving end of all the Matt and Anita propaganda and rederrrick.
Michael Deufrey June 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Matt is a frightening individual in my opinion.
Angel Rodriguez June 22, 2012 at 02:53 AM
I think that one of the greatest achievements here is the coming together of both young and old for the purpose of doing something progressive and positive for the community. It is a treat to see such passionate debate about this. The greatest accomplishments in this world are hard fought and not always easy. That said, I am proud to see such commitment and enthusiasm from Madison's youth.
YouGottaBeFlippinKiddingMe June 23, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Et tu Patty?!? Seriously?!? You need three additional legs for your PoV to have a stable base on which to stand... We can patch ignorance. We cannot fix stupid... Arguing with stupid is stoopid! Dew ewe sea watt eye mien? Hopefully this post was informative... If not, reread line four...
YouGottaBeFlippinKiddingMe June 23, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Seriously, Don?!? You need three additional legs for your PoV to have a stable base on which to stand... We can patch ignorance. We cannot fix stupid... Arguing with stupid is stoopid! Dew ewe sea watt eye mien? Hopefully this post was informative... If not, reread third line...
YouGottaBeFlippinKiddingMe June 23, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I LOVE You Tina G.!!! Pem. Tom. Philip. Juan. a few others, Thank you... For those other slightly ignorant diatribe disgorgers, we need a [stfu] button... Pointless to 'argue' with Someone who would need three additional legs for their PoV to have a stable base on which to stand... We can patch ignorance. We cannot fix stupid... Arguing with stupid is stoopid! Dew ewe sea watt eye mien? That is why the Smart and Strong position can be relaxed and Silent... I am so moved by the topic that I anticipate trying Mountain Biking out! I do not want to know what interests or hobbies the opposition' may have, because if I enjoyed them in the past, I have resolved to dissociate from them in the hopes to never associate with individuals such as they are! Solo, sad, lonely individuals... I want to be a part of this Mountain Biking Group!!!
YouGottaBeFlippinKiddingMe June 23, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Tina G. How can I find thee? Call Adam at my Hartford work number 9I3-3OOO (that can Trace ALL Calls; Blocked, Unlisted, Unknown, ANY!)
Walter Weaver Jr. June 23, 2012 at 08:31 AM
You can't please some of the people any of the time. If Pem actually took orders from the likes of the anonymous Matt and Anita Bath guy bloger, she would be doing that full time and never have any time left to report or print anything. No one really cares what Matt and Mr. Bath support or don't support, like or don't like. It is alright to post some actual facts on a topic or an opinion as long as it is clear that it's just that, an opinion. Once is enough, then move on without continually making the same slightly modified comment and continued demands over and over to do this and do that. They need to get off the keyboard and get a life actually accomplishing something positive rather than just critiquing what everyone else thinks or is doing. I'm not just talking about this article but all the local articles in the Patch and elsewhere.
Peter Laroue June 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM
What an erosion mudslide mess after the rain this morning, 06-25-12 likely only getting worse as the day goes on. Didn't see anyone there trying to prevent the damage from occurring. Looks like a lava flow made out of fresh mud from the recent excavation. Rutts and washouts as predicted.
Pem McNerney (Editor) June 25, 2012 at 01:54 PM
You posted this at the height of the storm. Were you out in Rockland during the storm, with all the thunder and lightning, or commenting on what you saw around your house?
Tina G. June 25, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Very dubious.
Peter Laroue June 26, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Out on the trail during a brief break from the storm. Anyone is free to see for themselves, first hand before anyone trys to mend it up.
Tim Burton June 27, 2012 at 01:27 AM
That is a very curious post by Peter Laroue. I was in Rockland today on many of the trails, including the entire length of the new trail that is being built. The most interesting thing about my time in Rockland today was the fact that I was obviously the first human on the new trail since the rain storm, there was not a single foot print or tire track on the trail. The only marks on the new trail were rain drops and deer hooves. There was not a single instance of erosion or evidence of running water on the entire length of the new trail. This is the obvious sign of a sustainable and properly built trail. On the other hand, there were many signs of erosion on the trails and dirt roads that have been in existence prior to the town acquiring the property. Peter is obviously mistaken on which trail is the new trail. And Peter, it is funny that you posted the below about another Patch topic the same day, you think you are being fair and ethical, very ironic. "If it is in print, it must be true. Ring, ring, ring, what is that saying, Guilty Until Proven Innocent? The records agency people at the local cop shop would never be able to figure out how to provide an update on final case status anyway. If they could, a better way would be to only print statistics initially with no names attached. Then later, only print the names of those who have been found guilty or plead guilty. Fair and ethical all the way around"
Gayle Newton June 27, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Hi Timmy B. I read the same post you mentioned and didn't find it curious at all. They didn't say or make any claim to being the first human on the new trail since the rain storm. It actually said during a break in the rain storm which would mean something more like during. So Timmy, you are either obviously mistaken or sadly just trying to twist the words of others around to fit into whatever agenda you have. Also don't see anything funny, unethical or ironic about anyone posting a few comments or opinions on different topics. The only thing I get out of all this is that the Tim Burton person is an odd duck, in my opinion. Quack, quack as they say out in nature.
Matt June 27, 2012 at 03:33 AM
How intriguing. Which Madison, CT was this "brief break from the storm" where you allegedly went in to survey the alleged washout? Because if you look at the radar for this storm and the time you posted, it shows that what you've said is a complete lie. There was no "inbetween storms". There was nothing, and then there as the storm. And the storm continued through the time of your post at 8:46am. You did not go for a walk. You did not see any erosion or washout. You made the whole thing up. (All images are timestamped in GMT, which is 4hrs ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.) 7:00am: http://picpaste.com/pics/0700.1340766873.png Nothing on radar. It hasn't even rained once yet. 7:45am: http://picpaste.com/pics/0745.1340766269.png A 12 minute shower is over Rockland just before the storm arrives. 07:58: http://picpaste.com/pics/0758.1340767004.png The passing shower is clear of Rockland, storm 14 minutes away. 8:00am: http://picpaste.com/pics/0800.1340766523.png The storm is approaching. 12 minutes away 8:12am: http://picpaste.com/pics/0812.1340766769.png The storm has arrived at Rockland. 8:20am: http://picpaste.com/pics/0820.1340766632.png Rockland under the gun 8:30am: http://picpaste.com/pics/0833.1340767352.png Storm continues without a break 8:40am: http://picpaste.com/pics/0840.1340767723.png Storm still continues without a break, and at the time of your post.
Malissa Stone June 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Matt in my opinion is a self proclaimed wanabe meteorologist who once again is aggressively avoiding the problem of erosion damage on the single track using the usual political technique of the distraction method. That is, sway the focus away from the real problem of erosion, onto something else, without ever addressing the real problem of erosion. Since he wasn't there during heavy or lighter rain, strong wind or less wind, he simply wasn't there and doesn't know then or even now. Probably as simple as break from sideways to straight rain regarding the term break. He needs to get away from his couch and keyboard and out in the forest before attempting to awe us with his wisdomists opinions. The time it took for him to search the internet & cut and paste his post, he could have gone out and seen the damge in person. Matt and Tim: What manufacturer, size, model and tread patter are all of your shoes or boots when you surveyed the erosion damage? Didn't see your foot prints up in the preserve unless you were wearing your stealth Native American moccasins. The erosion damage was caused by changing the angle and direction of the natural terrain by constructing the single track trail. The water changed normal flow direction and followed the track down hill like a stream or river, before washing out over the side.
Pem McNerney (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Actually, Matt makes a good point. Thanks for the research on that Matt, much appreciated.
Ms. Renee W. Devonshire June 27, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Correct that Matt does make a good point that he in fact was never there during or after the rain and couldn't possibly know if there was any erosion or not. Answer: Erosion on new single track.....YES. Point made. Observers 1, Matt ZERO.
Pem McNerney (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 06:04 PM
OK, party over. It's clear that this thread cannot go on without some babysitting. So I'm going to put it on moderation and only comments that are relevant and bear some sort of resemblance to being on topic will be sent through. Thanks to the folks who made some good points and raised valid concerns. I let it run for a while because sometimes, even with all of the noise generated by topics like this, Patch readers come up with great ideas for stories. But it's clear that the signal to noise ratio on this thread makes it hard to focus on those ideas. My apologies to you for the boorish behavior on the part of some of your fellow conversationalists. If you have a sincere interest in continuing this conversation and making a valid contribution, I welcome that and will look forward to that. For those of you who are reading this for the first time, keep in mind that these are reader-contributed comments, only some of them contain factual information and some of it, frankly, should be taken with a grain of salt or a whole truckload for that matter. Ride on ...
Collin Begal June 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Regarding a great idea for a story...... A story suggestion: Visit the dilapidated Town of Madison dog pound off of Copse Road on Bridge Street next to the railroad tracks. It's is dismal, embarrassing and sad. Ask what year it was built. (?) Ask if it would meet current standards and requirements for a town operated dog pound regarding new construction. It would not. Noise, insulation for heat, cooling, size, isolated quarantined area, exercise runs and areas etc. The town allows those poor animals to have to try and survive under adverse conditions because the dog pound is so old, it's grand fathered regarding current standards of design and animal care. Currents humane health and animal safety standard are there fore good reason, that being the welfare of the canines. The town apparently figures since they don't have to comply with humane standards, they won't. They probably figure that they can save a few bucks and no one will ever know or complain because it is so isolated out of sight and out of mind from the average resident. If they are proud of the current dog pound and have nothing to hide or be ashamed of, I challenge then to advertise a public open house. Surprised P.E.T.A. hasn't gotten wind of this yet.
Marty A. Dudley June 29, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Madison Dog Pound: Funny about all the emotional reaction, outrage and subsequent protests regarding the Alex Wullaert case in January 2012, after the fact when a dog was killed. But when it comes time to be pro-active to protect animal rights and local dogs the Madiosn Dog Pound in this instance (before something bad happens) no one lifts a finger. That's Madison for ya. Visit the Madison dog pound if you can even find it and do your own research on conditions there vs what the current standards of design for animal care is in Connecticut and elsewhere.
Pem McNerney (Editor) July 03, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Comments on this thread are being closed down. If you have anything else you'd like to say about it, you are welcome to email me at pem.mcnerney@patch.com.


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