Cactus Rework :(

Discussion in 'Trail Conditions' started by DBMX119, Sep 14, 2018 at 7:59 AM.

  1. DBMX119

    DBMX119 Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Rick McKee
    Cactus in Whiting has been closed for a few weeks for rehab, but yesterday the signs were removed and it was finally open. I was excited.... What did they change? Did they simply fill in some of the potholes? Do a major re-route????

    Well... Not exactly.

    The jump at the entrance was removed. Bummer, but not surprising as I've seen a bunch of people crash or go off course there. I pretty much expected it to be gone.

    For the most part they graded a few things and added some large rollers for water drainage. A bunch of the holes were filled in towards the bottom as well.

    The bummer is it was all done with no water, so the majority of the trail is REALLY soft and loose. Like not fun to ride loose with deep and not packed down at all sand. I'm concerned the majority of it is just going to wash off when the first rain hits, leaving the trail in worse condition than it was before.

    It was bad enough I was wondering if they meant to keep it closed and a mountain biker just moved the signs out of the way at the top of the hill?
     
  2. no worries

    no worries Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Brad
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    I hadn't been to Whiting for a month or more, since I stopped by last night, so Cactus was a complete surprise to me.

    As you say, the work itself seems fine, but why now??? It is downright dangerous in the current condition, and I think the planned improvements will be ruined before it gets packed down enough. Most of the turns/berms are 2 to 6 inches of loose dirt. There were many tracks showing previous riders bulldozing into and through the back of loose berms.

    We're getting a good marine layer overnight, but I don't think it'll be enough. Why would this type of work be authorized in September? I know they did Borrego early summer, and it was pretty loose for a while, but then all the foot traffic stamped it down. Are they hoping for the same here? It gets mostly bikes, and at speed. Hmmm. Kioti?
     
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  3. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cypress, Ca
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Nomad CC 27.5
    it was open last saturday when i was coming back from el luge. no signs about trailwork. almost washed out the front tire in a few turns. i survived, so it was epic!/?:mad::confused::mad:
     
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  4. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    Kioti here. ;)

    I rode it yesterday evening. Other than being loose and unconsolidated, I thought it rode well. :thumbsup:

    But I'm also surprised they did the work in dry conditions--maybe they'll try to water and pack it down? Otherwise, I agree it's a little challenging to ride and the loose soil's likely be displaced or wash away in the rain, as @DBMX119 states. The same work in damp conditions would've been cool.

    I'm also concerned about the big ravine on rider's right near the top. It took out the trail once and continues to grow. If it impacts the trail again, I'm not sure there's enough space to rebuild-- so we'd potentially lose Cactus. I'd personally like to see run-off diverted away from the ravine (or somehow managed and controlled), and the outslope of the trail shored up with boulders, like was done at the pond outlet on Sleepy Hollow.
     
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  5. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    This sort of thing gets done up my way every year and it was only a matter of about one week before it was packed down pretty good each time dry work was done. Add the slightest marine layer/dew and things get better even faster. All it took up here was usage to pack it down so ride the heck out of it now.
     
  6. Ebruner

    Ebruner Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Erik Bruner
    Current Bike:
    SC Hightower, Kona Hei Hei
    I'll go check it out next week. It seems odd that they would try and do the work without water... especially when it would be pretty easy to walk a water buffalo or water truck back there via the fire roads.

    Not to toot my own horn, but I'm a project manager for one of the biggest GCs in orange county. I could likely hook something like that up for free for future trail work and it would give us more then enough water to accomplish even a major rebuild. Would OC Parks be game for that sort of donation/assistance when it comes time to do trail work or is that sort of thing a non starter?
     
  7. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    It's not a non-starter @Ebruner. They might really appreciate it--especially for volunteer projects. I think this one was hired out, so the contractor would be responsible for the water. Maybe they'll still bring it, as they'll get a better result if the soil's damp, compacted and allowed to dry IMO.

    I know from personal experience it takes a lot of water to do something like this, which is why most of us prefer doing tread work in damp conditions. I think we used 150 to 200 gallons to do a short section in Riley once.. maybe 40-50 feet of trail. And typically, the water initially beads up and runs off, as opposed to the slow saturation of rainfall. During the season, the best conditions come after several days of light rain, when the water seeps down around 4 to 6 inches. Then, if you've got good soil, it's "party time!"
     
  8. Oaken

    Oaken Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    CeeJay
    I rode it last week and thought it wasn’t bad at all.
    There always seems to be trail work done every year right about now. Always a powdery mess. :bang:

    CloudyIlliterateFrigatebird-max-1mb.gif
     
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  9. Obsidian

    Obsidian Member

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Name:
    Obsidian
    Current Bike:
    2017 Intense Tracer
    The jump at the beginning was the best part of the entire trail. Oh well, one more reason to not ride Whiting.
     
  10. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Riding the powdery dirt of Whiting and Aliso will never pack it down. It just gets deeper and fluffier. There's a reason @kioti and his minions (me among them) don't do tread work until during or after a rain. It has to have water to pack down.
     
  11. mtbfan

    mtbfan Member

    Name:
    Sylvia
    I talked to the Ranger yesterday, and they will NOT put water down it. They said that they will have to wait for the next rain. I asked him, so two more years then, and he giggled, but it's really not funny. He also said that Sleepy Hollow and Sage Srub are next. Cactus is not fun to ride right now in my opinion. Too loose everywhere, and I am not hopeful without any rain in the forecast.
     
  12. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona

    Fat bikes for everyone!

    This seems odd to me because OC is generally a cooler, more damp environment than where I am. It would seem that the onshore flow your area is regularly subject to would have that dirt a little more moist, naturally.
     
  13. Danimal

    Danimal Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    They do trail work practically every year at this time, and after a few weeks it gets packed down and ridable. I must say that cactus in particular was getting really torn up with massive break bumps that gave me a good beating. Im looking forward to the new improved trail once it all settles in.

    And yes, Cactus isn't too fun at this time so I'll be riding other local trails for the next few weeks. :)

    One thing that needs to be noted here is the large increase in traffic at Whiting. Quite a few good size housing tracts have opened near it in the last few years. This has dramatically increased the foot/bike traffic and the wear on the trails , so maintenance is needed.
     
  14. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    After hearing some of the horror stories, we chose to skip it yesterday. Sage Scrub is getting just as bad.
     
  15. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley

    Brake bump smoothing is best done with damp soil. You want the damp fill-dirt to bond with the damp surface-dirt. I usually try to do this both early in the rainy season for the best season-long conditions, and again before the start of the dry season to help the trail stay smooth as long as possible through the summer.*

    I also try to leave as much of the pre-existing, hardened tread intact as possible because it often forms a strong, asphalt-like crust. This crust resists erosion from rain run-off and user (boot, tire, hoof) displacement. I can't predict how the soft, unconsolidated tread on Cactus will hold up, but I'm not optimistic.**

    Adding Sage Scrub and Sleepy Hollow to the mix will only compound the problem, IMO. If there's any way to delay the work until proper tread work conditions exist, that'd make for a huge improvement in sustainability, trail quality and user safety.


    *It's challenging to do this on Cactus because it dries very quickly after a storm (sometimes by 10:00am in my experience). For some reason, this wasn't done last Spring-- the last damp-soil trail work just missing the 'ideal condition' window and done in fairly dry dirt.

    **The last time dry work of this nature was done on Cactus (I believe so a MULE rescue vehicle could be driven on it), the loose soil persisted until the dirt was shoveled off the trail. Then the tread was consolidated and re-shaped once the rainy season began.
     
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  16. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    This would be great!!!
     
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  17. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    Havent had so much onshore flow in the last couple of years. Even when it does happen, during the summer months it just doesnt put enough moisture in the soil and everything is a dust pit by september.
     
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  18. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    Consider it "rolling chunk" that grows in dry conditions and is easily removed in damp. :thumbsup:

    To paraphrase @Danimal, it proves the popularity of a particular trail, as well as the limits of available alternatives. (I doubt it helps that the Oakley trails are closed, which ironically blossomed around the time Whiting and O'Neill were closed after the Santiago Fire.)
     
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  19. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    Sounds like there is too many riders in OC (trails can't handle the use/abuse). :D
     
  20. SingleTrackJB

    SingleTrackJB Member

    Location:
    Newport Beach
    Name:
    SingleTrackRider
    Open up the Irvine Lake area!! (See other thread). They could even combine it with Irvine Park... (wishful thinking i know...)
    Those Oakley trails were fun. I am happy i could try them at least once. Shame though
     
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  21. DBMX119

    DBMX119 Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Rick McKee
    This is not the normal trail work and I doubt it will simply pack down after I rode it. If anything all of the loose still will get pushed off the trail. A lot of the rollers (yes big rollers) will likely have one groove/rut through them too.
     
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  22. Oaken

    Oaken Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    CeeJay
    I rode it this morning. Ankle deep powder in some places. Not fun. Ranger and tractor were at four corners.
    Lots of braking bumps on Sage. Two groups with dogs.
     
  23. Jmsracer

    Jmsracer Newbie with Hope!

    Location:
    Foothill Ranch
    Name:
    John
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Bronson
    My opinion, Whiting has never been in worse shape and this work has made it that much worse. The last several years, there hasn’t been a call for volunteer work after a rainfall like we often hear about in Aliso..not very proactive. Wait till the first newbie on an ebike hits the rollers mentioned above with too much speed..very frustrated after seeing this trail this morning. Thanks OC Parks
     
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  24. mtbfan

    mtbfan Member

    Name:
    Sylvia
    Well, I sent an e-mail to the the senior OC Parks Ranger to address my concern about the planned work on Sagescrub and Sleepy Hollow, and I will post her response. I agree with the fact that Whiting Ranch is seeing a lot more traffic due to all the new housing developments in the area. It would be nice to build new trails to divert the crowds a litte. Isn't there room for added trails? I also don't understand why places like Limestone, Baker or Bommer Canyon can't be opened up for weekly use. More people would spread out into different areas rather than congregating into one small place. They conduct races there and offer open access with hundreds showing up, so the "protect the habitat" really doesn't convince me.