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Monday, 25 April 2016
Riding the Rez
Monday, 25 April 2016
Riding the Rez

Now that the "no bikes on trails" signs are down from Watchung Rez (a cop who helped remove them, through a bike shop owner friend of mine said it's official now) I've been riding there a lot, and I have to say it is both awesome and horrible.

 It is awesome to be back on a regular basis after years of worrying if should I ride or not, will I be hassled?  Especially since it's literally a few miles from my door.

However, it is horrible because many of the trails are in bad shape.

The damage is clearly due to natural causes and human neglect; erosion, and no one doing what is needed to repair or minimize it.  This is what happens when you exclude a major trail user group... your trails deteriorate.   

The trails are generally rideable, but it would be such an even more wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors if they were better taken care of.  So it is sad that so far the county has yet to schedule the promised inclusion of cyclists in particular mtb groups like JORBA.  Oh well, governments are often free with promises -- and just as free at forgetting or postponing them.  Or maybe something actually will be done -- who knows? Hopefully it will, the neglect is not something that will help in the long run.

In the meantime the park is a great place to ride and with the no bike signs removed by the government, there is a much reduced chance of anyone giving you sh!t.  So get out there and ride!  

We have a great park right in our own county.  Yeh the trails could be better, (maybe this is why so many ride fatbikes as opposed to normal or traditional styled mtb tires?) but the fact that it could be better does not mean we shouldn't use it as is until much needed improvements are made.  For that matter, if you see a moveable hazard and can stop safely, fix it.  I did this the other day in another park [not Watchung res], a bridge made of beams had been messed up, one of the railroad tie size beams was some distance away.  I dragged it over and reseated it, them moved all the other spread out beams back together.  The same thing at Watchung, tho less dramatic.  I've stopped to move the odd loose rock or even litter off the trail.  And once half of a huge tree (lighter than it looked).  Why not leave things better than they were?

But the important thing is  if you look at the public now, people want a place to ride -- and other people, hikers etc., don't mind.  The way to keep access is to use it.  If no one rides there, are waits for some official notice in the paper, they may be waiting years, in which case in the meantime, nothing would have been done to restablish cycling as a normal trail activity.  Beyond your enjoyment, riding there helps make cycling more visible and seen as a regular normal thing.  And therefore reduces the likelihood of any intolerant jerk trying to kick us out.

Ride safe, ride well, and have fun.  Just watch the dilapidated bridges and washed out trails in some spots.



Posted by blog/bicyclerider at 12:05 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016 8:19 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 25 May 2016 - 11:35 AM EDT

Name: "Steve"
Home Page: http://none

Hey I see that this post is fairly recent, and I was hoing you could tell me a good loop to do at Watchung.  I'll be up there on Friday and maybe next week and also wanted to know if any trails are still hiking only, etc.  AKA how do I ride there, enjoy it, and not make people mad?


email me if you'd like at stephennerney [at] 

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