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Thread: Epic Weekend

  1. #1
    Yappy little dog!
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    Epic Weekend

    A chance to give back to the trails in my new home state. I was itching at the chance for a little trail maintenance and the opportunity to work on the Colorado Trail, one of the premier trail systems in the country was exciting. Two of the organizations I belong to, the Front Range Mountain Bike Patrol and Team Evergreen were teaming up with the Colorado Trail Foundation (hikers), Bicycle Colorado, Boulder Bicycle Alliance, COMBA, IMBA, and the US Forest Service. Needless to say, this is a very big event. I had the opportunity to help organize a poker run for our fun ride on Sunday. More on that later.

    I took Friday off to get an early state in setting up camp and go for a singlespeed ride. The portion of the trail we were working on was located in Buffalo Creek, a singlespeed friendly terrain (at least for me). When I got to the group campground gate, it was locked, so I changed, loaded up the bike and made hast for the trails.

    I decided on a short loop just in case I couldn't hack singlespeeding. First trailhead takes me up 543 past the boulders to Gashouse. What a beautiful Colorado day!





    Reaching Gashouse, the climb begins. Will I be able to handle the sustained grind?





    So far, so good. The grind is slow, but I'll staying on the bike. Except for the temptation of gold against blue.









    Eventually my SS climb lands at Baldy trail. Now, that wasn't so bad! It's great to be on the SS again. I've missed it.





    Then it's time for some hamster spinning downhill!





    And of course, some more gold on blue.



    And some more pea stone singletrack back to 543.



    GPS Stuff:





    Saturday was work day. The condo was cold last night. I should have brought the small tent.



    The tools of the trade...



    The work team leaders get some last minute instruction.



    After splitting into groups, I choose the group lead by Bill Manning who is the managing director of the Colorado Trail foundation.



    Todd, a fellow mountain bike patroller is a man with a mission. Two handed MacCloud!



    So today a team of about 120 were rerouting a little over a mile of trail that was not built sustainable. The old trail was reclaimed and you'd never know it was there. The new trail was built with the latest trail techniques to allow to runoff and multi-use traffic. Although the majority of the people working today were mountain bikers, this trail was originally conceived and built by hikers. It's just another example of users coming together for a greater cause. But where were the equestrians?







    OK, now lets get this straight. The next pictures show what some people would believe to be sanitization. However, let's keep in mind that this particular section of the CT is smooth. The other trails in Buffalo Creek that connect with the CT offer plenty of technical challenges. Having one or two "obstacle" spaced far apart does not serve any purpose, especially on a multi-use trail. This was the subject of a few heated debates during our work.





    As if I didn't inflict enough pain on my body swinging a Pulaski, I figured I'd ride the new section of trail when I got back to camp. So up the green mountain loop I go.





    However, I ended up getting lost and missing the CT intersection. So I ended up going down Tramway, a loose rocky downhill and back up 543.

    The poker run on Sunday was well received. It was not a fund raiser, just a thank you to those who helped. We had enough donated swag that everyone who participated won something. Riders had the choice of 10, 24, or 38 miles. A few of us did the 10 miler to get back in time for card selection. Video of that ride, including the new trail section will be posted on my Website.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    I had the opportunity to help organize a poker run for our fun ride on Sunday.

    So today a team of about 120 were rerouting a little over a mile of trail that was not built sustainable. The old trail was reclaimed and you'd never know it was there. The new trail was built with the latest trail techniques to allow to runoff and multi-use traffic. Although the majority of the people working today were mountain bikers, this trail was originally conceived and built by hikers. It's just another example of users coming together for a greater cause. But where were the equestrians?

    OK, now lets get this straight. The next pictures show what some people would believe to be sanitization. However, let's keep in mind that this particular section of the CT is smooth. The other trails in Buffalo Creek that connect with the CT offer plenty of technical challenges. Having one or two "obstacle" spaced far apart does not serve any purpose, especially on a multi-use trail. This was the subject of a few heated debates.
    Ummmm, a fellow Jersey guy couldn't find another Jersey guy even if they were staring at each other in the face across a bonfire or as you announced the Poker Run prizes - duh!! I just realized that was probably you.

    There were definitely debates about the trail work including in my own head. I was a little leery about some of what we did, and I still am. Build it wide enough (3' ft.!!) so that two equestrians can pass, I don't know man. Most equestrians step aside to let people pass and really how often do they meet up compared to other users. I stuck mostly to reclamation as I couldn't justify a 3 ft. wide 'singletrack'. Where were the equestrians we were doing that work for? Well perhaps they've done other work and I know I've worked alongside them on trails in the past (the CT in fact) - good people for the most part just like you and me. As for sanitizing, well frankly you don't go to Buff Creek and the CT for technical challenges. However making the trail a ballroom floor is also over the top. Nevertheless, I will still enjoy the CT and as nature works on it things will return to normal

    Well enough about the debates. Overall it's a good thing; the re-routes are necessary to help maintain the trail over the long haul, it's a great show of volunteerism by mtb'ers, I got to meet some great folks again and I had a blast!

    Now about that "Master Plan" and forty NEW miles of trail!!! Do you need volunteers for that Forest Service, cause I'm there for that?

    Ed E
    Last edited by edemtbs; 10-02-2006 at 08:01 AM.

  3. #3
    Scott in Tucson
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    Epic

    Thanks for the report Schnauzers, and nice job on the poker run.

    Huge thanks to everyone that organized the weekend. I know what it takes to keep a trail work event working smoothly, and it isn't easy. I think it was a huge success.

    Oh, I like your GPS software, too.

    Ed -- I have some similar debates about trail width and removing technical features. You do need to keep in mind the character of the riding in the area. There really isn't much point in trying to add technical features in Buff Creek, as you said.

    As for trail width, I'm with you that narrow is better. In AZ we also build to about 3' wide. I was opposed at first, but having seen how some of the new trail has shaped up over the last few years, it doesn't bother me much anymore. Oftentimes the trail will grow over pieces of the tread that aren't being used. The trail users define the active tread as it gets worn in. It usually makes a better flowing trail when constructed a little wide -- then bikes have more room to take the better line. It's very hard to know what that line is going to be beforehand (hard to visualize riding with speed).

    Also, although I think most of the crew leaders were advising against it, much of the trail was constructed using at least partial fill to "build up" the outside edge of the bench. This is far from a permanent solution, and after some rains, I think the trail will get quite a bit more narrow than it is. You really have to dig into the hillside to get a true 3' bench. Most of the trail I saw was not actually fully benched to 3'.

    Course, I'm just a desert rat and I could be way off. Very little experience building trails in the forest here.

    Anyway, it was a great weekend, all around.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  4. #4
    3327333
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Huge thanks to everyone that organized the weekend. I know what it takes to keep a trail work event working smoothly, and it isn't easy. I think it was a huge success.

    Ed -- I have some similar debates about trail width and removing technical features. You do need to keep in mind the character of the riding in the area. There really isn't much point in trying to add technical features in Buff Creek, as you said.

    As for trail width, I'm with you that narrow is better. In AZ we also build to about 3' wide. I was opposed at first, but having seen how some of the new trail has shaped up over the last few years, it doesn't bother me much anymore. Oftentimes the trail will grow over pieces of the tread that aren't being used. The trail users define the active tread as it gets worn in. It usually makes a better flowing trail when constructed a little wide -- then bikes have more room to take the better line. It's very hard to know what that line is going to be beforehand (hard to visualize riding with speed).

    Also, although I think most of the crew leaders were advising against it, much of the trail was constructed using at least partial fill to "build up" the outside edge of the bench. This is far from a permanent solution, and after some rains, I think the trail will get quite a bit more narrow than it is. You really have to dig into the hillside to get a true 3' bench. Most of the trail I saw was not actually fully benched to 3'.

    Anyway, it was a great weekend, all around.
    Really great points and yes I agree that nature and user activity on the trail will eventually make it more narrow. I need to trust the very experienced IMBA folks more and go with their guidance.

    Finally as you said the event went very smoothly especially given how many people were there and the amount of work that was done - huge congrats and thanks to the organizers, the sponsors, the clubs and the Forest Service.

    Ed E

  5. #5
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    Good job with the trailwork and beautiful pictures. Nice meeting you on Friday, schnauzers.

    We were a bit lost on Friday and could not find the Buffalo Creek trailhead. After driving around for 30 minutes, I spotted a white SS maybe 50 yards off the road. I figured it had to belong to a serious rider. I pull in there and we were in luck. It was an office station for the firefighters or something and the SS owner walked out and drew us a map.

    It was then that we ran into schnauzers with his Ventana X-5 and 29er. Once I saw his Ventana X-5 and he saw my El Saltamontes and realized I drove up from Kansas City, I thnk we both figured out the mtbr.com connection at the same time.

    It's always nice meeting mtbr members in person. I had a great weekend in Colorado and I wish I could have stayed a couple more days.

  6. #6
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by edemtbs
    Ummmm, a fellow Jersey guy couldn't find another Jersey guy even if they were staring at each other in the face across a bonfire or as you announced the Poker Run prizes - duh!! I just realized that was probably you.

    ....

    Now about that "Master Plan" and forty NEW miles of trail!!! Do you need volunteers for that Forest Service, cause I'm there for that?

    Ed E
    You know, when you came by to pick cards and said your name was Ed and just use an E for the last name, I had thoughts. Then you went to what I though was your bike and it wasn't an SS, so I though it wasn't you. Turns out it was. Oh well, we'll meet up at some point.

    As for the master plan, you'll have to ask Keith about that (he'll probably chime in on this thread). He's got the skinny on it.

  7. #7
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Good job with the trailwork and beautiful pictures. Nice meeting you on Friday, schnauzers.

    We were a bit lost on Friday and could not find the Buffalo Creek trailhead. After driving around for 30 minutes, I spotted a white SS maybe 50 yards off the road. I figured it had to belong to a serious rider. I pull in there and we were in luck. It was an office station for the firefighters or something and the SS owner walked out and drew us a map.

    It was then that we ran into schnauzers with his Ventana X-5 and 29er. Once I saw his Ventana X-5 and he saw my El Saltamontes and realized I drove up from Kansas City, I thnk we both figured out the mtbr.com connection at the same time.

    It's always nice meeting mtbr members in person. I had a great weekend in Colorado and I wish I could have stayed a couple more days.
    That was a wild chance meeting. We'll be doing the epic again next year, so plan on coming down (west) for the fun.

  8. #8
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Thanks for the report Schnauzers, and nice job on the poker run.

    Huge thanks to everyone that organized the weekend. I know what it takes to keep a trail work event working smoothly, and it isn't easy. I think it was a huge success.

    Oh, I like your GPS software, too.
    Wow! The actual developer of the best GPS software in the world. Keep up the good work. A lot of people email me asking what I use and I always send them to you.

  9. #9
    I can't ride 45!
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    A great weekend! Thanks to sponsors, organizers and fellow volunteers.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    Wow! The actual developer of the best GPS software in the world. Keep up the good work. A lot of people email me asking what I use and I always send them to you.
    Yeah and he was sitting right in front of you too. I could have introduced you. At one point he was fiddling with my brand new 60CSx - gadget geeks.

    Then you went to what I though was your bike and it wasn't an SS, so I though it wasn't you.
    The only bike I brought was my SS. You may have seen me messing with Krein's sweet Lenz Behemoth.

    Ed E

  11. #11
    loco
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    Well I have to say overall it was a pretty great weekend. I got to meet and ride with some new people and everyone seemd to have a pretty good attitude. It made me feel really good being able to give back to the MTB community and at the same time see how trail systems are built. It seemd like every biker that passed us thanked us for our volunteer work so that was really appreciated too. For anyone that doesn't know me I was one of the Alpha bikes guys with the Kona Hardtail. Thanks again to all the sponsors and volunteers.
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    Last edited by konacoffee; 10-02-2006 at 06:32 PM.
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (Ferris Bueller)

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