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Latest Trail Status feature

Noel's picture

By Noel - Posted on 23 November 2011

So I see Manly Dam, Lane Cove and Yellomundee are currently a green light. I guess they are "latest" status, but really.. does it serve any point? Those 3 rides would be washed out with rain and currently not ridable.

Actually I have not had a manly ranger email, so I'm guessing Manly must be open, even though we have had so much rain. Seems crazy.

I doubt WSMTB would like anybody heading to Yellomundee Regional Park to ride.

I can accurately predict that there is currently at least 1 foot of water flowing pretty quickly over various Lane Cove NP causeways making it dangerous to cross.

and it goes on:

ENDURO TRAIL CLOSED due to heavy rain fall - Tuesday 22nd November. We will repost when track has dried out. CD on Mount Annan Facebook page.

Jubes: "Mary-Lou Lewis
Due to the recent wet weather riders are recommended to stay off Jubes until it dries out. For it's protection consider the track as closed." from Jubes Facebook page

Whilst it has the word "latest" I think it's slightly disconnected from reality.

Hop fiend's picture

but due to rain pissin down for the last 2 days-it will be wet-that is why I red flagged it!-do you have to ride a trail to give a trail status update?

daveh's picture

Let's assume that the reason no-one has posted an update of the Dam is because we all know that it would be a mess and so everyone is doing the right thing and staying away! I live down the road and, yes, it will be a bog in parts for a couple of days after the sun finally comes out (and that's predicted to be Saturday).

Rob's picture

Noel, as you know this is a community site. If as a member of this community you'd like to update a trail status then go ahead and do so. I'm sure everyone would appreciate it.

Cheers Smiling

hawkeye's picture

Seeing Rob's automated soil moisture sensing telemetry system seems to be offline,I took the liberty of posting a manual update.

This Sev 1 incident is being tracked under incident number IM145327 and has been referred to High Priority Incident Management. ETA for restoral of service is 1 hour Eye-wink

Slowpup's picture

+1 to the surgeon under fire.

and Rob said it well enough....


GAZZA's picture

For Hawkeye's and slowpup's response!

jp's picture

Hey Rob,

There are many, many of us who really appreciate what you've done for us all with this excellent forum, and who realize the information is only as current as we choose to make it.


Rob's picture

Thanks guys Smiling

pancakes's picture

Good on the OP for raising a valid point.

-1 for him being ridiculed for doing same. :rolleyes:

herzog's picture

I disagree - I was very disappointed by the initial post.

The OP said he was familiar with how LCNP trails are affected by the recent weather conditions, yet couldn't be arsed to actually enter a trail status update.

...and then complains at the lack of trail status updates.

Really disappointing - as it says all over the site, it's community authored. If everyone simply consumed content without ever contributing any, what would the site look like?

pancakes's picture

I read the original post as a questioning of whether the status is in fact the "latest" report of the conditions. Maybe to be more correct it should be referred to as the "Last"?

Still begs the question, why the ridicule? Not really in keeping with the mtb vibe, is it?

Pete B's picture

Maybe the people who live close to the trails could take it upon themselves to update the status when no status change has been made by someone actually riding the trail.

This seems to be happening since the OP made the point, but it took him to start this thread for this to happen. The OP probably doesn't deserve the backlash he's receiving as his point is valid.

hawkeye's picture


Noel's picture

It's harder to be controversial, any sheep can jump on the bandwagon and mock a valid point.

I can't see the question answered in the OP "does it serve any point?"

This site says up the top "Northern Beaches MTB". It then takes on (implemented by site Admin not community) some kind of role in reportng if a facility is green/orange/red. I think it's pointless to extend that kind of reporting outisde the site scope unless it's going to be maitained. If the trail status was for solely on the Northern Beaches and the riders around there kept it current then great.

"does it serve any point?"

Under it says "Updates fall off this list after a short period of time, if you don't see an area listed above then please post a new update."

Maybe it's just that "time" is not short enough, thus it's displaying overly dated reviews?

GAZZA's picture

The fact that Sydney is practically underwater at the moment would give me a rough idea that the trails are stuffed. Just leaving the house in this weather is bad enough, never mind going for a ride to see how stuffed the trails actually are.
I'm sure by the weekend there might have been a few people who might have got cabin fever and can give us some reliable updates of the trails.
Nobmob is a free site with no one making any profit from it so just chill out a bit and have a little patience!
It's not as if we've subscribed and paid out good money for a crap service!

Noel's picture

I'm not execting service, and I'm very chilled.

"updates expire after 30 days."

If it's a true "community authored" site, then maybe us as the community can change "30 days" to "3" days? Then the info is more likely to be current. Do we get that choice?

ps's picture

Latest doesn't mean current. If your aware something has happened since the latest update then .... (you should be able to figure out the status has changed).

danielschipper's picture

The initial post was a winge... Problems, issues and complaints but no solution. The solution... Change the status to 3 days? As for community site... the 30 days was changed to 14 recently based on feedback. Its been changed back to 30 days... Maybe it changed back as rides dropped off too quickly. If that's the case 3 days will just cause another problem.

Noel in the past you have updated trails without riding them (i think). What's wrong that? If you're local and ride the trail enough you experience the weather and know what the trail will be like without riding it.

So to solutions...
To all riders: Please, please, please update trails as soon as possible after every ride.
To locals: if you suspect a trail is wet mark it orange. If you know it's unrideable based on local knowledge mark it Red. In these situations call it out based on local knowledge rather than an actual sighting lap.
To Rob: Any way to show an indication of currency on the main page? Brightness of the indicator would be cool but not sure if the control has this feature... Maybe date in dd/mm format and small text to conserve space. Oh and most of all... Thanks for the site! There nothing else like it for Northern Beaches riders.

Rob's picture

Trail status reports currently fall off the list after 14 days. Yes, I know it doesn't say this anywhere but as has been noted, there have been various discussions about what this length should be and that is an update's current lifespan. The description below the lights is purposefully vague in case this does change in the future.

It's worth pointing out that Full details link at the bottom of the list which takes one to the Latest Trail Status page. Clearly the block that appears at various places cannot show the level of detail on this page, but also as clear - for those who want to know this detail that's where they can find it.

Please also don't forget that when we are lucky some trails could go for weeks (maybe longer) without even needing an update ("Sun is shining, trail is perfect, blah, blah, blah"). If that were the case and updates expired too soon then sure enough someone would complain about that too. We all should be sensible enough to know you can't please everyone all of the time, but the system is well used and thankfully updated often - surely that is a nice piece of middle ground we should all be aiming for?

Noel's picture

Yes it appears to be a value adding feature (if it's maintained) and redundant when it's not. I've updated it a few times here and there for places I ride. Sometimes I can't be stuffed. I guess I've lost confidence that there is much point really. It's good to mention some kind of works/closure or something, but weather should be common sense. The confidence level you have in it is really on based only the activity level, and well... we have enough Captain Obvious in this thread to explain what dated means.

It's slight amusing how people get fired up over somebody making some comments. Really! look out for the trolls, you nearly stepped on one.

GAZZA's picture

your first post sounded like you were having a dig at someone and your last, you're being all defensive.
There's no trolls popping up on this post, everyone who posted is a regular user and i see their names pop up all the time with valid posts and comments.
Like i said before, Chill out man!

Noel's picture

The first post is saying it's pointless unless it's up to date. The most recent post says the same.

ar_junkie's picture

It seems like every time there is an extended period of rain, people begin to get restless and somewhat narky. Sad

When making site suggestions etc. try to provide possible solutions and keep the tone neutral. It's sometimes difficult (especially with a large and growing community) to gauge whether a poster's intent is constructive, malicious or humorous.
Resorting to snide remarks or one-upmanship does not encourage a healthy discussion.

As it's been said (many times) before, common sense is unfortunately just not that common.

hawkeye's picture

It struck me that the OP seemed very much like a complaint about service levels... and that for the amount of effort made to cut and paste and construct the post, he could easily have updated the trail status on each of the rides he mentioned himself.

I therefore felt he was not really making an effort to be constructive. If he'd updated the posts first and then made the complaint that would have been more reasonable.

The statuses don't update themselves.

Seeng as - like daveh - I live right next to the dam I could post an update every day. But it's not up to me or him to be the policeman saying when people can and can't ride - I don't think that's a fair expectation to be placing on people.

+1 to junkie. Judging by the numbers I see ride up to the signs, read them, and continue anyway, common sense is remarkably uncommon unless there si an immediate penalty attached to the exercise of selfishness. Unfortunately.

Lach's picture

at present the traffic lights are trying to cover a number of different assessments:

* formal closure by the land owner - applies to Manly Dam and Mt Annan locally, RNP or maybe other NP areas when HR burning etc
* recommended avoidance so you don't undo the good work of the trail fairies - applies to places like Yellowmundie, Ourimbah, Awaba, maybe Manly Dam before the rangers make the call
* you can't do the trail much damage but you might wreck your drive train - most of our local fire trails
* there are some issues to be aware of - broken bridge, construction work, tree down etc etc
* it was great, you should get out there

There are probably other nuances people could think of. Maybe it could be automated with some fancy algorithm based on the rainfall data from the weather page?? Eye-wink

As others have said, the info in the system is only as good as the inputs provided, so the less current a rating is, the more you have to apply some common sense based on interpreting current conditions.

MarkkyMarkk's picture

I liked danielschipper's suggestions about having a way to display the traffic lights to show the currency using a brightness or date stamp indicator. This would be very useful.

However, if this is not possible Rob, what about sorting the list based on status date rather than alpahbetically? This way the older status' would fall down the list until they dropped off altogether & the recent updates would always remain at the top. I'm guessing that since the list seems to be sorted alphabetically it would be possible to sort it by another field?

Rob's picture

These are good ideas, but...

You can't gauge a light's age by brightness as this would just annoy people looking on bad quality monitors. I did think about putting a cobweb on the light that stretched across it based on age or some other such thing. However, this would probably look a bit cluttered.

As I said above, you can always find out exactly how old an update is with a single click of the 'full details' link.

As for sorting - think it has to stay alphabetical. I reckon sort by age would drive people crazy!

hawkeye's picture

I think there's probably some merit in the suggestion of having the report drop off the traffic lights if it's older than three days... or maybe a week, but no longer. The only downside I can see is a possible proliferation of "what's the status of...?" posts for less popular tracks, but it would encourage others to post and keep the reports up to date.

Damo5's picture

The exsisting system works fine ! Stop your whinging !!!

Brian's picture

Based on the weather page everywhere is wet Sad

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