I'm not a big trail work guy. I usually pitch in a day or two every year at places like Demo, where I believe we, as mountain bikers, actually have influence on the outcome of a trail and the way it rides. Even that is probably a generous estimate of the actual time I put into digging dirt or moving logs. I usually have only one day on the weekends to ride, so trailwork isn't always high on my list. There are also many other ways to support the mtb community, so I don't feel completely guilty for my lack of trail work time.
So what's so special about the Tamarancho Flow Trail? When I first heard about the Flow Trail project here, I thought, great, let's see how that turns out. I really didn't appreciate how big this project was, and when I saw various posts and pics posted by Davey Simon, I was really excited. I think many riders who have never seen or experienced a flow trail do not know what they've been missing. I started by making a monetary donation to the cause, because I honestly didn't know if I would make it up to Tamarancho anytime soon. Then the moons aligned this past weekend, and I just made the decision to go because I wanted to see the trail itself and get a taste of the bermy goodness. And I did feel more incentive to go because I think this trail being built is a huge step in the right direction for mountain biking in the Bay Area. Even if it is on private property, the flow trail is highly visible, and widely available to the public.
My plan was to head up to Tamo on Saturday, ride to the meeting spot at the trail, pitch in 2-3 hours of work, then enjoy an easy paced lap around the rest of the trails. And, of course, to finish off the day with a beer and a sausage at Gestalt Haus. And to my pleasant surprise, jtmartino pinged me, and was totally game for a funday in Fairfax doing exactly that. When we approached the meeting spot, we ran into Spindelatron, heading the other way. He said no one was there! Well, that was a little disappointing, but he had been putting in lots of hours, and he knew what needed work, so he led us to the bottom of the flow trail, and we just started working. A few minutes later, we were joined by Nick, and the four of us got busy with the shovels.
Right as we started breaking a sweat, the man himself, Jim Jacobson, showed up on an ATV. Apparently, he was waiting for everyone at the top! He came down to work on the bridge (pictured below), and seeing that we were in good hands with Spindelatron, just gave us some guidance and general directions on what needed to be done on our section. As the day progressed, several others showed up to help, and Jim quickly had them on various tasks. Before we knew it, our 3 hours were just about up! I think that was perfect, because we stayed long enough to complete some challenging tasks, and we could see tangible results. I could honestly say that we felt quite proud of the little bit we accomplished. At that point, we called it a day for the trailwork, and left Nick and Spindelatron digging, so jtmartino and I could get our ride in.
Unfortunately jtmartino's back was not in agreement with that plan. Apparently, shoveling dirt, digging clay, hefting lumber, and lugging buckets of water was okay, but pedaling up and over obstacles was just not gonna happen. So he graciously offered to go drink beer first while I rode a lap around Tamo. How could I turn that down? After we parted ways, I tried to keep my pace as brisk as possible, but I quickly found out on the rock gardens how worked my arms were from all that dirt sculpting! I managed to not die working my way back to the B-17 extension. At that point, I decided jtmartino can have an extra beer while I took the detour up to explore the upper section of the Flow Trail. I was truly impressed by how much work has already been done. There I found kids of all ages having a blast, I met the man responsible for cutting all that wood you see, and I scoped out the spot where the lumber will be used to build the skills area. Very, very cool! Oh, and of course, I rode the upper section of the Flow Trail. Guilt free.
Major props to the crew up there. Really great job!
If you're interested in donating, go here:
Tamarancho Flow Site
If you're interested in volunteering, just go there on Saturday and/or Sunday.
Entire photo set is here in my Picasa album:
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