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Old 09-11-2012, 12:06 PM   #1
Bike Nomad OP
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TAT Gate Tagging Suggestion

In most of the TAT reports I’ve read, especially in the western half, there is almost always a near miss or an actual accident with a poorly marked gate on the trails related to the reader. The accidents that I have read about so far have been fairly minor but it’s not hard to imagine that running into a bunch of barbed wire or similar at speed could have trip ending, if not fatal consequences. I have a proposal to make. As an ADV rider community, instead of just cursing the anonymous twits that put up one of those widow maker gates without bothering to properly mark it--how about we take a pro-active stand to improve the situation? If we started packing either a couple of rolls of fluorescent orange plastic surveyors tape, or a spray can of neon paint—for the sake of a few extra seconds at each gate to tag the posts with a spritz of paint, or to tie a foot of tape to the wire, after a dozen like minded riders passed that way over a season or two, the gates should be standing out like beacons rather than being bobby traps. Maybe the well healed amongst us could splurge for small squares of adhesive SOLAS reflective tape or similar so the gates show up after dark. Lots of riders already print up stickers for their various expeditions and plaster them up in various locations---how about taking some of that energy and channeling it into something that will make back country riding safer for all of us? If anyone reading this thinks this is a good idea—feel free to cut and paste this where ever you feel it would be appropriate.

I would add to please use some common sense in your tagging. It’s one thing to mark up some old posts and wire in the middle of a logging trail—If you roll up to a freshly painted white, substantial (and noticeable) cattle guard in the middle of a ranch—please don’t take any actions that might be construed as vandalism or graffiti by the land owners—it’s important to remain on their good side.

Bike Nomad

p.s. To the mods--my apologies if this is not the appropriate place for this thread—if there is a better location for it—please move it.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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Cattle gates are all over the west. Some have a reflector or post in the center, some don't. Usually you can see the fence posts and it is up to you to assume there could be a gate between them.

However I just almost rode into an unmarked gate in the forest between two trees. I tore it out and threw it over the hill.

Ribbon will only last one summer at the most. If the person who put up the gate doesn't mark it, take it out.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:35 AM   #3
bones_708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
Cattle gates are all over the west. Some have a reflector or post in the center, some don't. Usually you can see the fence posts and it is up to you to assume there could be a gate between them.

However I just almost rode into an unmarked gate in the forest between two trees. I tore it out and threw it over the hill.

Ribbon will only last one summer at the most. If the person who put up the gate doesn't mark it, take it out.
After all destroying private property is the best way to insure continuing access.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
wbbnm
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Yeah those gates are all over the place out here. And they are rarely marked. And it would be foolish to ride like you expected them to be marked.

The are just part of the adventure of riding minor dirt backroads along with washouts, ruts, sudden sharp turns, steep hills, rocks, stretches of deep sand, arroyos, mud, puddles of water, trucks, ATVs, cows, antelope, deer, etc. You have to be paying attention. You are not on an interstate.

This all makes riding a night a little challenging. I never plan to ride after dark, but have had to do it a few times in emergencies.

I think the vast majority of those gates are legal. Our policy is to always leave the gate like we found it - open or closed. Leaving them open or destroying them will almost certainly lead to more locked gates. And we have more than enough of them.

But you will occasionally find one that once opened, cannot be closed by one person. The wires are just too tight.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
However I just almost rode into an unmarked gate in the forest between two trees. Ribbon will only last one summer at the most. If the person who put up the gate doesn't mark it, take it out.
Thank you for the reply. I have not ridden in that neck of the woods and appreciate the feed back. I do have some experience with surveyors tape. I did not think it would last for years, but based on my experience it will last from the end of one riding season to the beginning of the next. Thats why if some riders periodically add to it over a season, the gate will remain more visible and less of a hazzard.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
Yeah those gates are all over the place out here. And they are rarely marked. And it would be foolish to ride like you expected them to be marked.

The are just part of the adventure of riding minor dirt backroads along with washouts, ruts, sudden sharp turns, steep hills, rocks, stretches of deep sand, arroyos, mud, puddles of water, trucks, ATVs, cows, antelope, deer, etc. You have to be paying attention. You are not on an interstate.

This all makes riding a night a little challenging. I never plan to ride after dark, but have had to do it a few times in emergencies.

.
Again thank you for the feedback. It is of course impossible to mark every hazard on the trail—you can’t make the trails into Disney Land. I also agree you should ride within the limits of your skills, equipment and the terrain. The reason I made the first post in this thread is that I have read several accounts of riders not seeing the things at all, until they ride full bore into them. As a kid I remember an incident when a snowmobiler decapitated themselves with a guy wire off of a power pole. They started wrapping the guy wires in yellow plastic after that. Although, if the snow gets deep enough, it can cover the sheathed bit. During the Allies invasion of Europe, the retreating German Army, took advantage of the Allies jeep’s open top design and strung wires across roads to decapitate unwary GIs. With enough surgeries, pins, plates and health insurance you have a decent chance to recover from most spills—but it is still not possible to make a comeback from decapitation. Hmmm, might be another argument in favor of wearing a rider’s neck brace I suppose. You might just get clothes lined rather than killed.

Good point on the night riding as well. The majority of longer duration ride reports I read, the author usually sets out trying to avoid trying to avoid riding at night as a fundamental rule. Which I agree is usually best to avoid out in the back of beyond. It seems like in every case through, despite their best efforts, random unplanned for stuff happens that forces them into riding at night a number of times during their journey. That’s why I suggested the reflectors/SOLAS tape as well as the surveyor’s tape.

Anyone planning to do the TAT or similar gated trails next year planning to start doing this?


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