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A Well Marked Trail


I must confess to being slightly disturbed by the recent trend I
am observing in endurance of ride managers feeling compelled to 
provide a "well marked trail" as some riders seem to be expecting
a trail marker every 10 feet (yes, I am using hyperbole here).

Not only because such trails are a nuisance to mark, and even
more of a nuisance to unmark (I have been there), but also
because I have absolutely no desire to share the trail with
people who are riding "dot to dot"--since, in my experience, 
these are the type of riders who are more likely to...ummmmm...
mow down other trail users (I have been there too).

I recognize that endurance is not the sport of mounted
orienteering, and, therefore, finding the correct trail should
not be made deliberately tricky in order to specifically
challenge the orienteering skills of the participants (or to 
intentionally confuse people who are not already intimately
familiar with the trail), but it is a sport where participants
go out into remote areas for extended periods of time, so
endurance riders should have at least some ability to orient
themselves and find their way without being (metaphorically 
speakding) led by the hand at every step.

Paying attention enough to be able to follow the trail IS (for
me) a part of endurance riding 




I have no desire to be on the same trail with people for 
whom it is not (because there is a good chance that following
the trail is not the only thing that such people aren't paying
attention to).

I would rather be at an endurance ride that following the trail
requires the riders to pay fairly close attention, because then
I don't have to worry about being trampled by inattentive riders
since such people will have long since gotten off course :).

Orange County, Calif.

p.s. On the other hand, I will also state that ride officials that
ride management has put out on the course to ensure that all
riders follow the right trail (that's what number checkers are,
officials that make sure that everybody goes the whole way down
the correct trail and that nobody cuts off part of it) should 
know where the right trail is...and be willing to provide that
information to riders who ask for it.

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