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  1. #1
    Evil Jr.
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    Pinecones and Perseverance: The Official Hamilton Trail Building Thread

    On behalf of the Hamilton Cycling Club and its Trail Advocacy Committee, it gives me great pleasure (and tremendous pride) to announce that the Hamilton Conservation Authority has asked us to propose 10km of NEW SINGLETRACK in Christie Lake Conservation Area.

    The South Shore (the top area of the map below) of Christie Lake is already home to roughly 10km of mature double-track. It comprises an area roughly equivalent to the "business end" of Puslinch. Vegetation consists mainly of 30-40 year-old plantation pine interspersed with hardwood corridors. The topography is quite varied and would best be described as rolling.

    I will be leading a "Get to Know Christie" tour this Sunday morning, departing from Cafe Domestique at roughly 10:30 AM (or whenever I'm done my cappuccino). Bring your skis, snowshoes, bikes, families, dogs or whatever. Everyone is welcome! If you're not already an HCA member, it does cost money to enter so come prepared. Carpooling will minimize the price! PM or e-mail me (marcrisdale [at!] gmail [dot!] com) with any questions.



    Thanks to everyone that trooped out to the pub last night. It was huge!

    Lastly, thanks to all the hard-working Committee members that made this possible. I couldn't possibly ask for a better Xmas present!
    Last edited by garage monster; 01-28-2011 at 09:16 AM.
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  2. #2
    Ms. Monster
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    The HCA's vision was that this would become a trail centre, and attract mountain bikers specifically. VERY exciting.

    Huge kudos to the Trail Advocacy Committee for this incredibly rapid progress.

  3. #3
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    that's cool. will it end up being multi-use?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's cool. will it end up being multi-use?
    That's a qualified yes. Like the WCC trails, the plan is that it would be open to hikers, trail-runners and the like but off-limits to equestrians.
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  5. #5
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    good work X10

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    That's a qualified yes. Like the WCC trails, the plan is that it would be open to hikers, trail-runners and the like but off-limits to equestrians.
    so, basically, a moving rock garden?

  7. #7
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    so, basically, a moving rock garden?
    The way the double-track (which is open to horses, BTW) is laid out in there, the new network will come out looking something similar to Buckwallow (minus the granite) with loops darting in and out of forested "pods".
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  8. #8
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    Congrats HCC!!!
    Great job.

    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
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  9. #9
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL
    Congrats HCC!!!
    Great job.
    The SHCC has been a great inspiration!
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    Congratulations. Hopefully this sets an example for other municipalities and Conservation authorities


    Edited to ask...Did anyone guess the surprise?

  11. #11
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSCoach2
    Edited to ask...Did anyone guess the surprise?
    Can't say for sure. I think some people had a feeling SOMETHING was up at Christie but there was an audible gasp when I said "10km". And then, when I unfurled the giant topo map... applause!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    Can't say for sure. I think some people had a feeling SOMETHING was up at Christie but there was an audible gasp when I said "10km". And then, when I unfurled the giant topo map... applause!
    10k is amazing! congrats!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    ...there was an audible gasp when I said "10km". And then, when I unfurled the giant topo map... applause!
    You're quite the showman.
    Congrats on the giant step forward.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedumbopinion
    You're quite the showman.
    I like to think of myself as zazzy. I will however refrain from posting a Big Bang Theory clip on the grounds that I will inevitably get the sound of Sheldon's voice stuck in my head.
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  15. #15
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    Mr. Monster has mad presentation skillz!!! The presentation was very well received and very entertaining!!

    I'll be dusting off and polishing up the trail building tools in anticipation!!

  16. #16
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    You know what? I've never actually gone inside the boundaries of Christie Lake. It looks like that might change. :-)

    Oh, and congratulations.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  17. #17
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    Anyone who's done the Dundas Monstercross will remember Christie as the place with the dam. Somewhere, there's a video of nspace riding the half-pipe on his Steelwool.
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  18. #18
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    Great news

    Could not make the Pub Night, Let me know how we at GORBA can help and when the trail cutting dates are.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAMTBER
    Could not make the Pub Night, Let me know how we at GORBA can help and when the trail cutting dates are.
    I'd be remiss if I didn't also acknowledge GORBA's great support as we got off the ground. Super bunch of guys and gals that never hesitate to pitch in!
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  20. #20
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    Outstanding! Great news! Where do I sign up for the work detail?
    Strava made me do it....

  21. #21
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    So cool.

  22. #22
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    Dundas Monstercross is going to OUT OF CONTROL if we link these new trails into it.

    Nice work guys, the plan looks great!

  23. #23
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    Congrats! That is awesome news! Will have to go out that way and check out those trails!

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    Great to meet some of you folks today! Definitely some good trail potential in there (quality AND quantity)... Keep me in the loop as to what I can do to help!

    JD

  25. #25
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    Given the short notice I gave everyone on the Christie walk, turn-out was fantastic (as were the capuccino and croissants!)!

    In all, we were out and about in the woods of the South Shore for four hours and according to Phil's GPS, we logged over 8km of bush whacking! We even "missed" significant chunks of forest in the mid-section (just as well since we were all getting fairly done-in!).

    Prior to yesterday, I had the merest inkling of just how amazing the terrain in Christie would be and it was really cool to see everyone's faces light up as we started tromping through the pines. We were running around in there like kids on Xmas morning!

    For anyone that didn't have a chance to join us yesterday, I encourage you to visit Christie when you get a chance to get a feel for all the work that lies ahead. This is going to be one seriously fun undertaking.

    Mrs. Monster and I will probably be back there Sunday morning (recovering from Women's Weekend at Joyride) to map out the existing double-track via GPS on skis. Drop me a line if anyone wants to hook up for a guided visit!
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  26. #26
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    Great to hear the walk went well, sorry I couldn't attend as I was out of the country. You have done a great job getting this (along with the rest of the TAC) to where it is, I can't wait to help out planning and building.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirbikealot
    Great to hear the walk went well, sorry I couldn't attend as I was out of the country. You have done a great job getting this (along with the rest of the TAC) to where it is, I can't wait to help out planning and building.
    Oh, we'll be leaning on you a lot in the next while!

    Departure time has been determined for Sunday's expedition. 11AM at Domestique. That gives us ample time to ski 'til we're pooped AND heat up all our Superbowl munchies!
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  28. #28
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    Kudos on your efforts put forth, the step forward for collaborative trail creation and open access is a great win win. I don't know this trail system, as I am much more North but would consider gathering a few to help. Similar to Buckwallow - this would be a gem.

    Many cycling groups have made local progress, but what is being done on a Provincial Level. Anyone shed some light on this, not to high jack your thread, just add another layer.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by inmysights
    Many cycling groups have made local progress, but what is being done on a Provincial Level. Anyone shed some light on this, not to high jack your thread, just add another layer.

    It seems lots is happening from Durham/Rouge Valley and to the West. Anything East of Durham is a dead zone it seems.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by inmysights
    Many cycling groups have made local progress, but what is being done on a Provincial Level. Anyone shed some light on this, not to high jack your thread, just add another layer.
    In general, I'd say that we, as riders, aren't as well organised as we are Nationally (IMBA) or locally (all our strong clubs). In an effort to address this, about a year ago IMBA started their their Regional Leadership Advocacy Council (I think I got that right, RLAC for short anyway). This is going to be a sort of "club of clubs" that will give us a Provincial voice.

    It's been a teeny bit slow to get off the ground but the next big meeting will be the Friday of the Spring Bike Show. Although I'm not our club's rep (that would be kaikara), I'm still gonna sit in and take a long, hard listen.

    In the meantime, there's a great informal network of resources amongst the clubs. We all ride and build together so any new information travels quickly!
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by nspace
    Dundas Monstercross is going to OUT OF CONTROL if we link these new trails into it.
    It will be soon known as the Dundas Hell Ride.

  32. #32
    Evil Jr.
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    With the quality of yesterday's snow, skiing around Christie with a GPS in my back pocket was a lot more work than I'd bargained for but thanks to our in-house mapping guru, we now have a very accurate layout of all the existing South Shore double track.

    The cool thing about this is that even the Authority doesn't have this data so by sharing it with them, we're already doing them a big favour!
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  33. #33
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    Using the humongous (50MB! ) digital topo map given to us by the HCA and the GPS tracking I did last week, behold the Existing Double-Track Map (of awesomeness)! As you can see, the double-track breaks up the CA into tidy sectors that we've numbered for ease of reference.

    I can't tell you how much fun I'm having with this project!

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  34. #34
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    Sector 5, 6 and 7, prepare to be invaded.

  35. #35
    Evil Jr.
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    Oh ya, forgot to mention, for scale, that picture is roughly 2km across the bottom.
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  36. #36
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedumbopinion
    Sector 5, 6 and 7, prepare to be invaded.
    Heck with that! Sectors 1-12, prepare for a singletrack explosion!

    Wandering some of those larger reforested sections was almost overwhelming. Where to start???

  37. #37
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    That's awesome! I live in Waterdown so I could ride there from home on a good day!!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiotMTB
    That's awesome! I live in Waterdown so I could ride there from home on a good day!!
    It'd be a bit of a (yucky) hike along 5 but yeah, you'd probably be there in under an hour. The bonus is that the ride-in fee is way cheaper than the drive-in fee!
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    It'd be a bit of a (yucky) hike along 5 but yeah, you'd probably be there in under an hour. The bonus is that the ride-in fee is way cheaper than the drive-in fee!
    you can ride singletrack about 90% of the way right into christie lake from waterdown, i do it regularly, let me know if you need to know some of the trails
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirbikealot
    you can ride singletrack about 90% of the way right into christie lake from waterdown, i do it regularly, let me know if you need to know some of the trails
    Hmm, now that you mention it, you're right. I've just never pieced it all together into one ride!
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  41. #41
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    I know the waterdown trails inside-out, but I had no idea there was a trail system into christie lake!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiotMTB
    I know the waterdown trails inside-out, but I had no idea there was a trail system into christie lake!
    Assuming you can get yourself to the "underpass" at 6, you can scoot up the Bruce from there and take that out to the Optimist trail and BAM, yer there!
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  43. #43
    GAME ON!
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    i wish i knew this area better

  44. #44
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    Aha...excellent, thank you!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    i wish i knew this area better
    I've been at it for the last seven years now and people are still showing me new stuff all the time.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    In general, I'd say that we, as riders, aren't as well organised as we are Nationally (IMBA) or locally (all our strong clubs). In an effort to address this, about a year ago IMBA started their their Regional Leadership Advocacy Council (I think I got that right, RLAC for short anyway). This is going to be a sort of "club of clubs" that will give us a Provincial voice.

    The way you describe it. It sounds almost similar to the Alpine Club of Canada model. Or the Federation of Mountain Clubs BC model.

  47. #47
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    Stay tuned...

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    Stay tuned...

    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DfubZlBZV0s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  49. #49
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    Not the one I was going for, but close enough:
    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="960" height="750" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9pJJHDvA8Lc?hd=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  50. #50
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    Now that Something BIG has come and gone (quite successfully I might add), we're about to get into the meat of the matter. (Careful what you wish for - you might get it!)

    While thousands were out frolicking in the muck and the mire of P2A, a hearty group of bushwhackers was out at Christie Lake on Sunday corridor-flagging a new Green loop and pin- flagging the remaining Green and Blue sections that we're aiming to have built for our presentation to the HCA Advisory Board in June.

    The HCC is hosting another build day (don't expect the fanfare of the TCC visit) for this Saturday (April 23) and numbers are limited. At last count, there were 6 spots left open. If you're interested in moving some earth, PM me and I'll get you in touch with the right people.
    Last edited by garage monster; 04-18-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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  51. #51
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    Lots more work yet to be done on the trails! We have another build day on Saturday - please RSVP Peter (contact info below) so we know to expect you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter
    Saturday, May 7 · 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Location
    Christie Lake Conservation Area
    1002 Highway 5 West
    Dundas, ON
    HAMILTON CYCLING CLUB - ONTARIO, CANADA

    The Hamilton Cycling Club is planning another build day on Saturday May 7th starting at 9am. If you are interested in coming can you RSVP me below as we will be limiting the number of people attending.

    You should bring with you any shovels and rakes that you have. We will probably be working on raised tread and that will require moving dirt so shovels will come in handy. Also make sure you wear appropriate footwear as well as bring water and any food needed.

    If you have an questions let me know.

    Peter Martin
    peter.martin [at] phrenic.net

  52. #52
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    The weather is going to be about the same as our original build day too. I can hardly wait! Might have to bring a bike with me!
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  53. #53
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    Another great build day out there yesterday. The weather was perfect and we had enough people out to put together two solid crews. Sadly, we have to hand the IMBA trailer over to another club this week but we definitely made the most of it while we had it.

    For added smugness points, I rode up on the Kona Ute loaded to the teeth with boots, a rake, a shovel and my shiny new Lee Valley Pulaski.

    So far, we've logged nearly 600 hours of labour and we've done about 1km of trail. Doing things right takes a lot more time than we'd anticipated but it's also been a steep learning curve. We're getting so much better at it every time we head out.

    I'll likely be heading out for another 4-5 hours next Sunday morning and if you're interested, PM me and we'll work something out.
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  54. #54
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    Trail set up and cost to get in.

    I have been an active rider on the back trails of Christie for years and I was wondering if these trails will be set up on different levels of skill. Do riders have to pay the $7.00 gate fee to get in the park each time they ride. Many Thanks and so exicted to here this is moving ahead.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamaha
    I have been an active rider on the back trails of Christie for years and I was wondering if these trails will be set up on different levels of skill. Do riders have to pay the $7.00 gate fee to get in the park each time they ride. Many Thanks and so exicted to here this is moving ahead.
    We have plans for (and have built samples of) green, blue and black (easy, medium and difficult) singletrack trails. Also, we have a 200m kids' loop flagged. Depending on volunteer support, we're HOPING to finish 10km by the end of the year, though this might be a tad ambitious.

    Of course, if you go in a back entrance to Christie, this is technically poaching, which the Club can't condone. By far the best deal if you're routinely biking in is the:
    Trail Access Pass - Good for single person entry on foot or bike
    Adult: $31.50 plus HST

    If you and family (or friend) are routinely driving in, the vehicle pass is also a good deal (this is what Mr. Monster and I have):
    For only $95.00 plus HST, the HCA Membership Pass allows driver and passenger admission to HCA conservation areas for one year from date of purchase. Enjoy Valens, Christie, Dundas Valley, Fifty Point, Confederation Park, Spencer Gorge/Webster's Falls and Westfield Heritage Village. Seniors passes are $68.00 plus HST. Renew your pass for just $85.00 plus HST.

    Day pass entrance to Christie:
    Vehicle and driver: $9.00
    Each additional passenger: $4.50
    Walk/Bike in per person: $4.50

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamaha
    I have been an active rider on the back trails of Christie for years and I was wondering if these trails will be set up on different levels of skill.
    In fact, for Mother's Day, we walked what we have so far with my in-laws and they seemed very confident that they'd be able to ride the green trails we've built on their hybrids. Which is exactly what we were aiming for.

    Now, that's not to say that they're boring - ramp up your speed and you'll feel just like an Ewok on Endor!
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  57. #57
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    Next scheduled trail day is this Sunday at 9AM. We've passed the IMBA tool trailer onto another club so for this one, it's BYOT!

    PM me for details if you're interested!
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  58. #58
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    Did I do that bad of a job at the inaugural trial build?

    Cause ya'll seem to be looking at my out of town schedule for the past 6 weeks and scheduling build days when I'm not here!

  59. #59
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    We had some guest-builders (Mr. and Mrs. Louda) out yesterday to help us bust the Green loop out from the deep dark pines into a gorgeous verdant ravine! It may be the prettiest section we've built yet!

    I'm thinking of poking out there for an early-morning (this week looks hot) mini-build this Saturday if anyone has time to kill...
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    (Mr. and Mrs. Louda)
    Mr. and Mrs. Louda? So they've made it official

    I don't understand how you guys found the energy to build trails. I was absolutely toast on Sunday after the 8 hour...
    Strava made me do it....

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Mr. and Mrs. Louda? So they've made it official

    I don't understand how you guys found the energy to build trails. I was absolutely toast on Sunday after the 8 hour...
    Maybe I should have said Ms. Louda to keep things more on the up-and-up.

    Luckily Pulaski and McLeod work uses a more-or-less different set of muscles than Soloing. For the record, there were four people out at the build who'd Soloed the day before. Tough crowd!
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Maybe I should have said Ms. Louda to keep things more on the up-and-up.

    Luckily Pulaski and McLeod work uses a more-or-less different set of muscles than Soloing. For the record, there were four people out at the build who'd Soloed the day before. Tough crowd!
    The trail build was great recovery! My knees were so stiff after the race but the use of the upper body and "decorating" was great for stretching out the hams and keeping things from stiffening up more! It was such a nice morning for being out in the trails helping out rather than actually riding them Lots of beer and bbq topped off an awesome weekend !

    Keep us posted for more build days!

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    With the thunderstorm that rolled through Saturday morning, we had to pull the plug on Saturday's build a little early but even with only a little over two hours of digging, we were able to finish off the ravine section we started last week and poke back into the pines.

    Compared to the hardwood forest in the ravine, building in the pines is a breeze!

    We're planning to be back at it again Saturday. Inch by inch!
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  64. #64
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    Just got home from the Hamilton Conservation Authority Advisory Committee meeting where we were given unanimous approval to continue with our entire trail network based on the pilot building we've done to this point.

    Score another big win for the Club and all the dedicated members who have contributed to this huge project! We've been sitting on pins and needles a bit to this point and this kind of endorsement is really gratifying.

    It was especially nice after the meeting when the Committee Chair came over and thanked us for all that we've done so far. I was just about speechless. Wow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Just got home from the Hamilton Conservation Authority Advisory Committee meeting where we were given unanimous approval to continue with our entire trail network based on the pilot building we've done to this point.
    A huge thanks to the Conservation Area staff, who have been incredibly supportive throughout the process, including last night at the meeting. The IMBA Trail Care Crew visit also played an enormous role in giving us sustainable trail building skills and credibility.

    So much work still to do!

  66. #66
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    Congratulations...that's some more really good news!

  67. #67
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    I should also mention that Christie Lake is playing host to a HUGE concert called the Harvest Picnic on August 27th (unfortunately, I'll be at HAN that day ) and I'd LOVE to have at least one section fully open by then.

    Listen to Daniel Lanois for more details!

    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WS39NBW7joc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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    Ran into a bit of a snag Saturday morning. The trails were closed (even to us) due to all the damage from last Tuesday's "micro bursts" (i.e. almost tornadoes) in Hamilton. Apparently a good chunk of the forest in the north-east took quite a beating. I talked to the head groundskeeper and he said we should be good to go by this weekend but he wanted to err on the safe side for the time being.

    Environment Canada estimates over 80,000 lightning strikes in Hamilton during the storm!
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  69. #69
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    ouch, just wish all these build days weren't on weekends that i have to work (damn 4x12 shift schedule). I haven't made it out since the first day.

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    Things didn't turn out too badly for us this Saturday. On our first day back into the woods after the micro-bursts, there were only three big pines down across the trail (a fourth, thankfully, fell just to the side). It took the better part of two hours to clear that up and I was pretty much done-in but I'm relieved to know that was the worst it.
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  71. #71
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    We made the news paper! (http://www.dundasstarnews.com/news/article/238502)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dundas Star News
    Group eyes Christie park’s ‘remarkable topography’ for mountain bike trails

    Mountain biking enthusiasts will have a challenging new course to test their mettle if plans for a specialized trail network at Christie Lake Conservation Area get the green light.

    Spearheaded by the Hamilton Cycling Club, the project will see the group’s volunteers build 10 kilometres of single-track trails in an underused area to the south of the Greensville park’s reservoir known as the pine plantation.

    The plans go to the Hamilton Conservation Authority board of directors on July 7, but already have the endorsement of staff and a key advisory board.

    Marc Risdale, an executive member of the cycling club, said the one-way trails will be developed in consultation with authority ecologists to ensure they don’t harm sensitive areas and include beginner, intermediate and advanced sections.

    They will also be suitable for hiking, snowshoeing and, potentially, cross-country skiing, although some stretches may be a bit narrow for the latter, the Dundas resident said.

    “The trail will highlight another side of Christie that people don’t know. They just think of it as these wide, sort of horse trails going around pine plantations,” Risdale said.

    “When you get in those trees, it’s really another world,” he said.

    “There’s a remarkable amount of different topography and forest types, so it’s really well-suited to this kind of project.”

    A boon for Hamilton

    Dan Bowman, chair of the conservation areas advisory board and an authority director, said as long as the trails are built safely, they will be a boon for Hamilton, especially as the Pan Am Games focuses attention on cycling.

    “I’m excited for Dundas,” he said.

    “I think this sort of proposal allows people to practice their sport in a safer environment. As well, though, people will test their limits to do as much as they can as quick as they can.”

    Sandy Bell, manager of design and development, said the trail system will not only draw more people to Christie, but provide a less destructive alternative for Mountain bikers who use the Dundas Valley in an area “that is fairly well controlled.”

    The trails will be between 1.5 and three metres wide and use hard-packed earth to provide natural runoff and avoid washouts, he said.

    “One of the things that goes behind this approach is that I’ve always felt that when you don’t want people to go in certain other places, then provide them a place where they can go,” Bell said in a presentation to the advisory board.

    “We think the most effective people in keeping everyone on the trails are the other bikers. If they put this effort to get this established, they’re going to make sure they do everything to make sure it’s kept open for them.”

    Risdale said it takes six volunteers about three hours to build 100 metres of trail and he expects the project to take about two years to complete.

    “We try to get rid of topsoil and dig down to subsoil so we gave good mineral soil, so that it drains well and you can compact it,” he said. “It’s all hand labour and it’s quite intensive.”
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    They only screwed up a couple of minor things. The trails are intended to be two-way (not one-way) and will remain so unless traffic levels far exceed expectations, and they're 1.5-3 feet wide, not metres wide. Still, a good, positive article.

  73. #73
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    Teeny tiny little update: last Thursday, the HCA's Board of Directors approved the Advisory Board's recommendation and we are now officially OFFICIAL!

    Next step is to finalize the MOU and then, it's all over but the building!
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Teeny tiny little update: last Thursday, the HCA's Board of Directors approved the Advisory Board's recommendation and we are now officially OFFICIAL!

    Next step is to finalize the MOU and then, it's all over but the building!
    That's awesome!

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  75. #75
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    great news can't wait to ride

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosti View Post
    great news can't wait to ride
    Hand building is really slow though - especially in the summer when people get busy with, you know, riding. Building is ongoing, but watch for another big trail day in the fall.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Hand building is really slow though - especially in the summer when people get busy with, you know, riding. Building is ongoing, but watch for another big trail day in the fall.

    I hear ya!

    We have more trail projects in the works ourselves.
    More sections of trail in Short Hills Park to do starting in August.
    As well we're even being asked by the Bruce Trail Association and Region of Niagara to help them with trail issues now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL View Post
    I hear ya!

    We have more trail projects in the works ourselves.
    More sections of trail in Short Hills Park to do starting in August.
    As well we're even being asked by the Bruce Trail Association and Region of Niagara to help them with trail issues now.
    That's really exciting! There are so many trails we'd love to follow up on around here, but there simply aren't the resources (read - guys with tools, time and energy) to pursue all of them at once. Over the next 5-10 years, though, prospects are incredibly bright for trails around Hamilton.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL View Post
    As well we're even being asked by the Bruce Trail Association and Region of Niagara to help them with trail issues now.
    That's awesome. I know when we hosted our Trail School, the Iroquoia BT participant was really interested in what IMBA had to say. He even bought one the trail building books!

    As an organization, the Bruce Trail has its own share of problems, from an aging membership (that is averse to digging) to ever-increasing pressure on their trails. As the population of Southern Ontario grows, so does traffic on their (sometimes wacky) trails and some of them are showing the effects rather dramatically.
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  80. #80
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    I have to say that what you are doing needs to be commended!

    How can I get involved? I have been out of town most of the summer, but I’m back and want to help.

    When is the next trail build session?

    Rick

  81. #81
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    Between dealing with those early Summer micro-bursts and the arid conditions we had in July (clay ain't no fun to build with when it's dry), we took a bit of a hiatus. I can see things picking up again just the other side of Hot August Nights when most of our racing will be done and the ground will be soft enough again to take a hit from a Pulaski.

    If you want, drop me a line at marcrisdale (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll get you added to our building mailing list.
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  82. #82
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    Just found a nice little article on the Christie Trails in the Hamilton Conservation Authority Newsletter. Since that time, the trails have been approved by the Advisory Board and Board of Directors of the HCA,

    Christie testing mountain bike trails

  83. #83
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    I'm pleased to announce that as of today, Christie Lake officially has its first single-track mountain bike trail open and ready to ride!

    Now, before you load the bike in the car and head on down, please be advised that it's only about 500m long (although pleny tight and twisty).

    We have lots more in the works though and in the rest of the time we were out there, we did a ton of corridor clearing for future trail.

    One of the highlights of the day came when a trail runner bushwhacked with her dog into where we were and said "I love these trails you guys are building!" That pretty much summed up everything we were hoping to accomplish.

    We're planning one last big build day for October. Stay tuned for details and we'll do our best to give you a chance to help us open the next 1000m!
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I'm pleased to announce that as of today, Christie Lake officially has its first single-track mountain bike trail open and ready to ride!

    ...

    We're planning one last big build day for October. Stay tuned for details and we'll do our best to give you a chance to help us open the next 1000m!
    Congratulations or your work well done. If I lived closer I would come out to help with your next build day.

  85. #85
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    Thank you for the note sir.
    Are you saying that we can ride trails that YOU guys built?
    That is very nice of you.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Thank you for the note sir.
    Are you saying that we can ride trails that YOU guys built?
    That is very nice of you.
    Of course, these trails are open to any and all and anyone that makes it out to the Monstercross will have a personally guided tour.

    Part of the reason it's taking us so long to build these trails (aside from pesky things like wind storms and racing seasons, ) is that we're building them with an eye to HEAVY usage. We figure it's way easier to do it that way from the start than trying to repair/patch things later on.
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  87. #87
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    What's the best way to access the Christie trails by bike? The official entrance off the highway is not really accessible. Is entering by any other entrance poaching?
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  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
    What's the best way to access the Christie trails by bike? The official entrance off the highway is not really accessible. Is entering by any other entrance poaching?
    The easiest alternate entrance to find is the dirt driveway by the paper mill ruins on Crook's Hollow. The most fun way to get there though is along the Optimist trail in Greensville. The closest entance to the new trails is off Middletown.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    The easiest alternate entrance to find is the dirt driveway by the paper mill ruins on Crook's Hollow. The most fun way to get there though is along the Optimist trail in Greensville. The closest entance to the new trails is off Middletown.
    Thanks.

    I went to check out Christie for the first time today. I've been by, and around the area, but never too far inside the borders of the CA.

    I headed out from Ancaster on my CX bike. It's a nice ride to get there. I took Mineral Springs > Binkley / Middletown. I rode 'Round the Lake, and ventured down Hill & Dale, and I got to check out this much talked about piece of new singletrack.

    First, my impressions of Christie in general. As is, it seems like it has quite a lot to offer a family, or a solo outdoors explorer. By my estimate, there are about 3 000 000 picnic tables within the CA, and numerous Pavilions. There appears to be adequate parking to hold a considerable crowd on a hot summer day. There is a nice, relatively small beach, there are fishing ponds, and even canoe / tube rentals, and docks. There's a summer snack bar, and they do indeed have a disc golf course as well.

    Access is pretty easy by car for out-of-towners, with the park being less than 10km from the 403. As garage monster mentioned, there are several options for bike access as well.

    The existing doubletrack trail network is pretty nice. There are many sign posts, and the trail surface (gravel / dirt / grass) is in very good shape. There are some little elevation changes. It's not flat, and it's not divided by the escarpment either. The forest is nice and varied, with areas of neatly lined up pines, and other more natural looking areas. The existing 10 km of trails have connections to: Crooks’ Hollow Historical Trail, Bruce Trail, Lafarge 2000 Trail. All of the trails I rode were easily covered on my CX bike.

    And, as you have read, there is in fact a new section of singletrack. This is cool. As mentioned there is about 500m of trail built. It rides nicely in either direction. The trail surface is hardpack, and the trail is nice and narrow, with lots of twists. It's not a piece of trail you ride at mach Albiotard speed. And, yes, there is a nice pair of berms. The world can never have enough berms.

    I wanted to ride the trail back and forth a few more times, but unfortunately I ran over a branch with a whole bunch of 2" long thorns on it. With no provisions to fix a second flat, I headed straight home after I got rolling again.

    So, in conclusion, it is a very nice CA, with a lot of potential. It is exciting to see dreams slowly becoming a reality. I commend the efforts of the HCC and friends who are pushing this project forward.
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  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
    ...but unfortunately I ran over a branch with a whole bunch of 2" long thorns on it.
    Ah yes, that would be a hawthorn branch. They have thorns ON their thorns!

    We've done our best to clear that trail of hawthorn trees (you should see my hands) but there might still be the odd branch here and there. Stay alert!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
    What's the best way to access the Christie trails by bike? The official entrance off the highway is not really accessible. Is entering by any other entrance poaching?
    Great review, rkj! Glad you enjoyed the teeny bit of open singletrack.

    Realised we never answered the poaching question. You are supposed to pay for access, just like in the Dundas Valley. If you go in by the front gate, it's something like $7 per trip. However, if you're using the conservation areas frequently by bike, a yearly membership is $35 (includes ALL Hamilton Conservation Areas).

    Having said that, I've never seen anyone monitoring the trails in Christie (I have been asked a couple of times in the Valley). The conservation area knows that most local cyclists will ride up by way of the dam and not go through the front gates and they're fine with that.

    The Conservation Area has been incredible to work with through all this. Just as a goodwill gesture, I'd highly encourage any locals to buy the $35 pass. We have the family membership, from which we totally get our money's worth.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Ah yes, that would be a hawthorn branch.

    We've done our best to clear that trail of hawthorn trees (you should see my hands) but there might still be the odd branch here and there. Stay alert!
    Yeah, those. I know that clearing hawthorn makes trail building extra fun. We've got a trail in St. Catharines named "Whole Lotta Rosie" in reference to all the thorny stuff that had to be cleared to put the trail in.

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  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Great review, rkj! Glad you enjoyed the teeny bit of open singletrack.

    Realised we never answered the poaching question. You are supposed to pay for access, just like in the Dundas Valley.
    Yeah, you're right. It's just like the Dundas Valley CA. There are numerous entrances, and it's impossible to police. DV has some signage and money boxes, but I did not notice anything similar at Christie. I don't imagine many cyclists / hikers who enter away from the gatehouse would make a point of paying for a day pass ($4.50 bike / walk in). However, if you do plan to use the CA regularly, getting the season pass is the right thing to do.
    Last edited by rkj__; 09-20-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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    Next track building day.

    Is there a set day for the next track building day at Christie?

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamaha View Post
    Is there a set day for the next track building day at Christie?
    We haven't officially announced it yet but unofficially, it's going to be October 15th. I should have more details this week so save the date.

    We're planning on working from 9 to Noon and then going for a ride after a lunch break.
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    The official notice is out!

    I hope everyone had a great summer! With the fall season upon us the trail building has started back up and we are planning a build day for Saturday Oct 15th. We are hoping to get about 3 hours of building done, followed by a BBQ and a then a ride to help burn in some of the trails. The planned schedule is as follows:

    SATURDAY Oct 15th – Christie Lake Conservation Area

    9:30- Meet at trail head

    10:00-1:00 Trail Build

    1:00-2:00 BBQ (We are also looking for a sponsor(s) to provided food so if you know of anyone please let us know)

    2:00-? Ride some virgin trail!

    We unfortunately won’t have access to the IMBA tool trailer that weekend so any tools (shovels, pruning tools, rakes, Pulaski’s, McLeod’s,) you have would be very useful. if you could please RSVP including what tools you have if any, we may be able to borrow some from neighboring clubs if needed. Based on turn out we may have a few projects to work on including bench cutting, berms, and a possible section of armoring.

    As always make sure you bring appropriate footwear, gloves, water, tools and your bike!

    Look forward to seeing a great turnout

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    Nect track build

    I went out with a friend to meet on Oct 15th track build. The young lady at the gate said she never saw a group of bikers with shovels and rakes. The weather was a little wet , perhaps it was cancelled. Is there any more group builds happening or should I go up and do some raking and clipping in my spare tiime.

    Ps the trails that are completed are super to ride.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamaha View Post
    I went out with a friend to meet on Oct 15th track build. The young lady at the gate said she never saw a group of bikers with shovels and rakes. The weather was a little wet , perhaps it was cancelled. Is there any more group builds happening or should I go up and do some raking and clipping in my spare tiime.

    Ps the trails that are completed are super to ride.....
    Bummer! They sent a notice to all who RSVPed that it was postponed until the next week due to weather. Didn't re-post here because I was kinda busy in hospital...

    If you PM garage monster, he'll set you up with the build mailing list. There will be another BIG build in the spring, but in the meantime, there is a core group out most weekends. I think they'd prefer you hook up with them at least once prior to working on your own to make sure you're on the same page re building. For example, the green trails should not have many exposed roots; the canopy height should be low enough to keep out horses etc.

  99. #99
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    Announcement: From now until the ground freezes, there will be weekly builds at Christie Lake CA starting at 9AM every Saturday.

    There is now a Facebook Group for this activity and since I am "le suck" at FB (yes I joined just so I could be in this group - thank you all for the many friend requests), please PM philshep or kaikara (or anybody more useful than me) to be added to it.

    There's no better way to enjoy the last few soggy days until Xmas so please don't be shy! We'd all love to meet more local riders!
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    Here is the Facebook page - anyone who wants to can just go there and sign up. We are going to be putting trail builds and other info there.

    Welcome to Facebook - Log In, Sign Up or Learn More

    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Announcement: From now until the ground freezes, there will be weekly builds at Christie Lake CA starting at 9AM every Saturday.

    There is now a Facebook Group for this activity and since I am "le suck" at FB (yes I joined just so I could be in this group - thank you all for the many friend requests), please PM philshep or kaikara (or anybody more useful than me) to be added to it.

    There's no better way to enjoy the last few soggy days until Xmas so please don't be shy! We'd all love to meet more local riders!

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