Q: Some mountain bikers, included myself do not care for the logs on some of the HPT trails. I often come across these logs and often remove them myself. Is there a governing body that checks to see if the trails are deemed safe?
A: When riding on the trails you should be prepared for rough terrain and obstacles, including logs, rocks, etc. All of the trails that HPT builds utilize IMBA guidelines that you can find here. And more importantly their rating system that you can find here. We attempt to build trails that are not only safe and sustainable but offer challenges for all levels of cyclists. Please read the guidelines and you will see that we are in tune with them.
Challenge is part of the enjoyment of the trails. Please don't take it upon yourself to groom the trails for easier riding. If a section of trail is too technical for you, you have options... ride slower, get off and walk or don't proceed. Leave the more advanced areas for those with adequate experience.
The challenges (logs, rocks, etc) are there for a reason. An example of this would be rocks embedded in the soil. Besides enhancing the character of the ride, they help maintain the integrity of the trail by holding the soil in place.
The obstacles that are on the trail are part of the design process of building a sustainable trail. In addition, most of the obstacles have an optional route to ride around and/or a ramp over.
These are public trails, and were designed with safety and various skill levels in mind in accordance with IMBA trail design guidelines and standards. By removing obstacles to suit your own wants, you are changing the flow and characteristics of the trail from the intended design, not only destroying the intended experience for other trail users but creating hazards by allowing riders to carry too much speed through sections. Changing the trails can also force cyclists to brake later and harder creating environmental issues. We welcome your help but please do not alter the system and create more work for the volunteers.
In the past, we only had a small area to work with, we built the existing trails to try and satisfy a wide variety of skill levels (including expert riders). Some of the challenges that you may think of as "dangerous", are like a crack in a sidewalk to a skilled rider and present no challenge whatsoever. We have to take all of these skill levels into account. Now that HPT's trails are expanding into a much larger area, many more trails will be built for beginner and intermediate riders, hopefully you can make it out to help build the trails and become part of the solution.