ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Trials
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-30-2014, 08:15 AM   #1
motobene OP
Motoing for 44 years
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
Oddometer: 1,173
The Mentality of Making Section Areas

As a lover of making sections, here's a thread to take some of the boredom out of the off season?

Yesterday I expanded a section area, which made me think about how to better do that. Is the following principle obvious? I don't think so.

Think & Work Section Areas Before Thinking About and Making Sections

Sections are best created in areas having interesting terrain, obviously, but how to better reveal and manage what's there? Perhaps not obvious is the approach of delaying getting to specific lines. It's a subtle mentality difference, but the end result can be an increase in quality.

I recall one "committee" processes of building a section in a new area. Everyone stood around, arms dangling by their sides, jaws flapping over some specific line over prominent cool feature. We stood there in a jungle of brush, unable to see the area in whole. Sure enough, we ended up with a mediocre one-line section. I prefer to quietly dive into 'aerobic' de brushing so I can see the area better. I purposefully turn off specific solutions until I can get a better view of the whole area. The after a better view, I purposefully turn off parts of the brain that want to create lines from start to end gates. I'll build up cool areas and features individually, then later try to thread them together, first by walking, then by riding lines. It's a mentality difference.

I recall an event earlier in 2014 that was my least fun of the year. Lots of tight one-liner sections over and over. Lots of struggle, and not much fun. I stood in one hillside section with a one-liner across it. I looked at all the possibilities on the rest of the hill. "Oh that would have been fun to blast up!"

I know some of the problem is a limitation in labor. Some parts of the country, like mine, proliferate in brush and you can only put out so much, even with great tools.

motobene screwed with this post 12-30-2014 at 09:33 AM
motobene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 08:18 AM   #2
NMTrailboss
Team Dead End
 
NMTrailboss's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Oddometer: 6,027
__________________
NMTrailboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 08:29 AM   #3
brewtus
Buffoonery, Inc.
 
brewtus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Albuquerque, not New, not Mexico.......
Oddometer: 2,946
1) Volunteer at the banquet to be a TM after having several drinks.

2) Fret about it until the month comes around that you volunteered to set.

3) Scout, clear, groom, and fret about a section trail 3 weeks away from your event.

4) Start setting either the weekend of 3), or the following weekend.

5) Start all over the following weekend because you hated them when you saw them again.

6) Fret about the wind, rain, cows, bunnyhuggers, and other assorted things that can destroy your sections during the week.

7) Completely re-do you sections destroyed by wind, rain, cows, bunnyhuggers, or other assorted things the day before your event.

8) Vow not to do it next year after the event is over, too much hassle.

9) Repeat.

__________________
Work hard. Play hard.
Team Dead End. The drinking team with a Trials problem.
2-Time winner of the coveted "Best Shenanigans" award at Capt. Rick's annual BBQ.

brewtus screwed with this post 12-30-2014 at 08:31 AM Reason: Damn bunnyhuggers....
brewtus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 08:58 AM   #4
Gordo83
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: New England
Oddometer: 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewtus View Post
1) Volunteer at the banquet to be a TM after having several drinks.

2) Fret about it until the month comes around that you volunteered to set.

3) Scout, clear, groom, and fret about a section trail 3 weeks away from your event.

4) Start setting either the weekend of 3), or the following weekend.

5) Start all over the following weekend because you hated them when you saw them again.

6) Fret about the wind, rain, cows, bunnyhuggers, and other assorted things that can destroy your sections during the week.

7) Completely re-do you sections destroyed by wind, rain, cows, bunnyhuggers, or other assorted things the day before your event.

8) Vow not to do it next year after the event is over, too much hassle.

9) Repeat.


That pretty much hits all the important parts.

10) Pre ride your sections and find out they are too easy; then change them and get bit*#ed at because they were too hard.

11) Pre ride your sections and find out they are too hard; then change them and get bit*#ed at because they were too easy.
Gordo83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 09:02 AM   #5
thegraydog
2 wheels X 6 ways
 
thegraydog's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: the Coconino
Oddometer: 651
Brewtus:
7A: wonder if anybody is going to show up. Do I have the wrong weekend?


Fairly early in my trials career the club let DerViking and me set a trials, because we persuaded the USFS to permit an area that hadn't been open for awhile. I really like doing it. Counting that one, we've pioneered three areas.

Each has its challenges. Trim the trees. Pine needles are slippery! Pull out a lot of cactus, acacia, manzanita. One of our sites is very steep, so the challenge is finding and building a route to a section at all. Another has so much cobble it's disheartening; rather than just toss rock we started piling it, like New England farmers.

Riding a trials set by a master I can perceive a progression from easier to harder, or lower to taller, or reassuring to daunting. I don't think my trials probably scan that way.

Another subject: how do you develop a closed area, like brush it out and clean off the rocks without attracting attention? Not saying I've ever done that....

Come to think of it, we have enough built terrain here at home to host a trials. Fun to build, but not as fun to ride as natural terrain...
thegraydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 09:07 AM   #6
ridenm
not waiting anymore
 
ridenm's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Carnuel, NM USA
Oddometer: 2,651
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewtus View Post
1) Volunteer at the banquet to be a TM after having several drinks.

2) Fret about it until the month comes around that you volunteered to set.

3) Scout, clear, groom, and fret about a section trail 3 weeks away from your event.

4) Start setting either the weekend of 3), or the following weekend.

5) Start all over the following weekend because you hated them when you saw them again.

6) Fret about the wind, rain, cows, bunnyhuggers, and other assorted things that can destroy your sections during the week.

7) Completely re-do you sections destroyed by wind, rain, cows, bunnyhuggers, or other assorted things the day before your event.

8) Vow not to do it next year after the event is over, too much hassle.

9) Repeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordo83 View Post
That pretty much hits all the important parts.

10) Pre ride your sections and find out they are too easy; then change them and get bit*#ed at because they were too hard.

11) Pre ride your sections and find out they are too hard; then change them and get bit*#ed at because they were too easy.
12) Go into cardiac arrest when you see the gasoline bills from driving out to the trials area every day two weekends straight (or more, depending on wind, rain, cows, bunnyhuggers, or other assorted things).
Fortunately, current gas trends minimize this.

Seriously, I look for spots where the terrain and flora (trees and cactus) define the boundaries of the section area, because I am a firm believer that ribbon should not used as an obstacle.
__________________
I've learned to live with reduced expectations--I'm a Vikings fan.
ridenm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 09:31 AM   #7
motobene OP
Motoing for 44 years
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
Oddometer: 1,173
You guys respond quickly!

To keep from the usual timing out I submitted the first post in pieces, but got kicked out anyway. The above is now as I originally intended.
motobene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 11:04 AM   #8
brewtus
Buffoonery, Inc.
 
brewtus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Albuquerque, not New, not Mexico.......
Oddometer: 2,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by motobene View Post
You guys respond quickly!

It's your own fault for posting such an interesting thread!

Anyway, all kidding aside, I too hate "1-line" sections. To me that's a trail ride, not a Trial. I try my very best to set sections with multiple lines for all classes when I can. I also strive to set sections that can be ridden multiple ways, not "this gate first, this gate second, in that order, period" sorta crap. Trials is a thinking person's sport. I enjoy seeing how the competitors interpret and ride my sections, seeing what they come up with for alternative lines that I may or may not have seen, etc. Riding with the Vintage guys in the past few years has really made me work towards having the sections flow well also. I personally try to avoid herky-jerky zig-zag sections when I can, and also have the start and end of the sections flow with the section trail. I don't accomplish all of these things all of the time, but I try my best to set my Trials this way.

I too am a fan of not having the ribbon being an obstacle. It's a boundary in my humble view. Expanding on that, I also avoid having the ribbon under a bush or tree that sticks out 3-4 feet into the section. That's poor Trialsmastering in my opinion. The tree or bush now becomes not a boundary, but a hazard that can catch a bike, sleeve, glove, brake/clutch lever, or poke a face or an eye. That's not Trials, that's just frustrating. Move the ribbon, or trim back the bush/tree. Again, just my humble.

Fun thread!
__________________
Work hard. Play hard.
Team Dead End. The drinking team with a Trials problem.
2-Time winner of the coveted "Best Shenanigans" award at Capt. Rick's annual BBQ.
brewtus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 11:22 AM   #9
thegraydog
2 wheels X 6 ways
 
thegraydog's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: the Coconino
Oddometer: 651
Reviewing your new original post:

Yes, the committee approach can be counterproductive. And some sites just have a lovely line, while others have great features but are hard to string together.

When one is assigned to create a section, it's legit to ribbon the line, then clean it up enough to suit. When developing area, I prefer clearing the whole site, so that the many lines become evident.
Our club got a new, permanent site south of Flagstaff on USFS this fall. While the trials masters went about setting specific lines, a few others just cleared rock and tree debris for hours.

San Y as an example: A great lot of the terrain probably has needed no manipulation at all. But there are zones to west and east that are hard to find your way into, and hard to imagine sections. I've been lost up on the west ridge, and haven't been east of the canyon. Do you (NMxcns) set sections out there?
thegraydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 12:17 PM   #10
brewtus
Buffoonery, Inc.
 
brewtus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Albuquerque, not New, not Mexico.......
Oddometer: 2,946
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegraydog View Post
San Y as an example: A great lot of the terrain probably has needed no manipulation at all.

That's not necessarily true. Some Trials have been set in areas that has not been ridden in a while, requiring trimming and clearing. Lineaway set a Trial earlier this year in a canyon that had not been ridden in years, and had to clear out a way to get into it. Also when we "go back" to SanYo after the summer mountain Trials, the summer rains really make the undergrowth explode, and sections that were clear in April are overgrown in November.



Quote:
Originally Posted by thegraydog View Post
But there are zones to west and east that are hard to find your way into, and hard to imagine sections. I've been lost up on the west ridge, and haven't been east of the canyon. Do you (NMxcns) set sections out there?
I'm not entirely clear as to which canyon you are referring to. We have set sections all the way to the east boundary fence, it's pretty cool out there. The west end of the area has been set also, usually referred to as the "Windmill Side", with sections along the "National Trail", named after the section trail used when a National was set there in what, 1993? That area is cool also, with terrain vastly different from the east end of the area. Both areas are rich in rideable sections, and if one cannot set a good Trial there, then Other Sports Beckon.
__________________
Work hard. Play hard.
Team Dead End. The drinking team with a Trials problem.
2-Time winner of the coveted "Best Shenanigans" award at Capt. Rick's annual BBQ.
brewtus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2014, 01:43 PM   #11
motobene OP
Motoing for 44 years
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
Oddometer: 1,173
Here's another section bitch. I walk sections and spend lots of calories kicking out stuff like branches and ankle-biter rocks. Heck, even a baby head or two! It's like trying to play golf with junk yard cars on the greens

You San Y guys have to deal with brush too? I haven't been there for many years, and that was only riding on the rocks. Hope to ride there in 2015. Hope to ride a fair number of NM events this year. Have Casita, will travel.

The arid regions proliferate in brush. We're sometimes arid, sometimes flush in green. We've been in D4 drought for years, so aside from totally burning up, our brush problem has been slowed down other than the weedy annuals that do well in drought. But when the wet years come, Western Oklahoma has soils, temperature, and solar energy to make brush work vain in short order. My biggest hate: chainsaw vines (Smilax).

My cows are good friends for abatement of brush and weeds. They clean up well in winter. In spring and summer they can't keep up... if it rains.
motobene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2015, 08:54 AM   #12
lineaway
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: nm
Oddometer: 2,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegraydog View Post
Reviewing your new original post:

Yes, the committee approach can be counterproductive. And some sites just have a lovely line, while others have great features but are hard to string together.

When one is assigned to create a section, it's legit to ribbon the line, then clean it up enough to suit. When developing area, I prefer clearing the whole site, so that the many lines become evident.
Our club got a new, permanent site south of Flagstaff on USFS this fall. While the trials masters went about setting specific lines, a few others just cleared rock and tree debris for hours.

San Y as an example: A great lot of the terrain probably has needed no manipulation at all. But there are zones to west and east that are hard to find your way into, and hard to imagine sections. I've been lost up on the west ridge, and haven't been east of the canyon. Do you (NMxcns) set sections out there?
John, we used to have another gate two miles west around that other side. The riding over there was great. It was used by us mainly for practice for years. We only had one event over there and then BLM closed it off to us. Somehow that hill had some precious cactus that never grew anywhere else. There also was a home that the owner was a grower of another `rare` plant near by. He never much liked us over there.
__________________
Relentless hard on to remove the all day dab.
lineaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2015, 11:00 AM   #13
broncobowsher
Beastly Adventurer
 
broncobowsher's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Baking in AZ
Oddometer: 1,509
I have helped a couple of times. By no means an expert. I even tore out a knee in a section I made up for myself.

A few of my insights...

Think of the checker. At times add one last turn and a road up the hill to where the checker will be standing. Especially true when the ranks are stretched thin and you are likely to only have one checker per section. Herd the riders to the checker so the checker doesn't have to run back and forth. A trials bike has no issues going 50 feet uphill, a checker will get tired of doing that every rider. When done setting up quit thinking like a rider and think like a checker. Where would you stand to check that section?

Find spots and connect the spots. You can use the same obstacle for two different classes by setting gates dictating the approach and departure. Easier classes get a straight run at something and some runout at the other end, harder classes put a turn that makes for a harder line in the same spot.

Simple stuff still screws up the better riders. Don't concentrate purely on the big events.

The last one I helped with we started by making the beginner line. If you can get that out of the way it is usually easier to add tougher stuff. But it can be difficult to add a lower line if you start with a harder area first.

More lessons to come as I learn more.
broncobowsher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2015, 11:10 AM   #14
ridenm
not waiting anymore
 
ridenm's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Carnuel, NM USA
Oddometer: 2,651
Quote:
Originally Posted by broncobowsher View Post
The last one I helped with we started by making the beginner line. If you can get that out of the way it is usually easier to add tougher stuff. But it can be difficult to add a lower line if you start with a harder area first.
This. As an NMTA lower class rider my experience setting sections applies to Beg-Nov-Am-Int lines. You have to be able to get beginners to, through, and from the section back to the loop. Everything else builds on that requirement: kind of a Maslow hierarchy of needs thing.
__________________
I've learned to live with reduced expectations--I'm a Vikings fan.
ridenm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2015, 08:28 AM   #15
motobene OP
Motoing for 44 years
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
Oddometer: 1,173
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridenm View Post
This. As an NMTA lower class rider my experience setting sections applies to Beg-Nov-Am-Int lines. You have to be able to get beginners to, through, and from the section back to the loop. Everything else builds on that requirement: kind of a Maslow hierarchy of needs thing.
Applies also to the upper classes. I determine the general flow from the base line, which in our area is Intermediate, then try to work in enough to satisfy everyone else.

Ditto too to whomever said to not only use big stuff for the uppers. Ryan Young points out that most points are not taken on big obstacles but in turns. You can up the big stuff to near impossible for a class and thus rack up points, but do too much of that and the riders will think, but not say, that your section design skills suck.

I like to have some features in sections in trials where the guys are scared of something and stand around jawing over it, but when they ride the feature few points taken. Clearing the obstacle elicit a hoot or two, but few crashes. They way to know how much to push it? Ride the features and have others check your work.

I also try to avoid a 'hammering' effect in section design where there are tough bits strung so closely together there is little space to settle down and attack the next thing. A real bummer is to ride a trial with almost all the sections being one-liners and like that.

Another thing to avoid is having all the sections flow up slope. Climbing under power is what we do most, but there should be sections that predominate on braking.
motobene is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 03:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014