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  1. #1
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    Anyone ride Freetown State Forest?

    I used to ride almost exclusively there back in the day, it seemed like that place was full of mtb'ers in the late 90's.

    Anyone still go out there? I was talking to a neighbor of mine, he said he used to ride there but was very unmaintained the last time he went, about a year or two ago.

    That's a shame, there were some great trails there. Now that I'm getting back into, I'm hoping to head out there again soon to check it out.

    I'd be into joining a group if anyone goes out there.
    Last edited by StuntmanMike; 09-01-2012 at 07:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    I still ride there occasionally. Your neighbor is right, unfortunately the trails are in tough shape. There was an insect infestation that killed thousands of trees so there is a LOT of blowdowns after each storm. The added light getting to the undergrowth has choked trails off too. The moto damage adds up each year too.

    I try to cut as much blowdown as I can, but its a losing battle. Every so often the dirt bikers come through and cut it too. Mostly I've been riding the southern part of the forest, which gets less moto damage, but is more overgrown.

    I see you're in Newport. Have you ridden Weetamoo woods? Much smaller but marked, mapped and maintained. About 7-8 miles of fairly fun trails, mix of wider carriage road type trails and tight technical singletrack.

    I think most riders in the Fall River area are now riding Abrams rock (Village Park) in Swansea. Its a newer network myself and a couple of other guys have carved into shape. Smoothish, flowy, mostly flat trails around a bunch of big puddingstones. About 8 miles of trails. Not marked, but very densely packed, you can't get lost.


    To be honest I'd really like to get some guys out in Freetown and cut back some of the trails in the southern part of the forest. I do a pretty good loop that starts at Copicut Woods and loops all the way up to the hunters lot on Copicut road and back.

    Let me know when you're heading out, I'm always looking to ride at any of the above spots.

  3. #3
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    Hey Jay, thanks for the info. That's a shame about Freetown, I always had great rides there. I remember the moto riders, we'd here them coming and quickly get off the trail and out of the way. So many of those trails had the deep ruts left behind by them, usually full of water.

    We used to ride both sides, we'd park at the ranger station and ride that side, or drive through the forest and ride the Copicut side. I remember there was one great loop trail over there, I don't know the "real" name, but we used to call it Rollercoaster.

    I've never heard of Weetamoo Woods, whereabouts is that? And Abrams rock sounds interesting, I'd be down for that. I was talking to one of the guysat the local bikeshop, he told me Acadia was pretty good, and my neighbor also mentioned some trails in Warwick, not too far off 95. I was going to head out there yesterday to check it out, but I figured I'd get stuck in holiday weekend traffic on Rt. 1 or the Npt bridge.

    I'd also be down for joining your trail maint group in Freetown. Any plans at all for that?

  4. #4
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    No plans yet for organized maintenance. I've been doing a bit of work each time I go out there. I'll try to round up some other people and maybe we can get something going this fall once the mosquitos are gone.

    Weetamoo woods is in Tiverton. Right near the four corners where Grays Ice Cream is located.
    http://www.tiverton.ri.gov/governmen...WWandPGmap.pdf

    Arcadia is good stuff, I've only been a handful of times. Its a big place with lots of trails, I've only ridden a handful of the trails so I'm no expert, but there is definitely a lot of riding out there.

    The other hot spot in RI is Big River. Maybe those are the Warwick trails mentioned. I know RI NEMBA does group rides there. Thursday nights I think. Anyway I've never been to Big River, which I mean to remedy this fall. I found some GPS tracks on Crankfire.com so I'm looking to get out and explore.
    RI NEMBA » Big River / Carr Pond

    I usually ride at odd times (weekday afternoons mostly) but I usually have Saturday afternoon free to ride. I've been rotating between Weetamoo, Freetown, and Swansea. Once the ice cream shop closes (Oct 8) I'll have a lot more flexibility.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info.

    Weetamoo sounds good, I'll have to check that out soon. I drive right through Tiverton on my way home from work.

    I looked at the link for Big River, and that must be what my meighbor was talking about. He said it was right off 95, and the trail info says it's off exits 6 & 7. Gotta be the place.

  6. #6
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    I rode Freetown almost exactly a year ago when visiting relatives in Fall River. Not a destination location, but I definitely had some fun, especially on the trails around the quarry. My route, which I wouldn't copy but might make a good reference, is here: Freetown Fall River State Forest Ride by quaestionis at Garmin Connect - Details

  7. #7
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    Freetown

    I ride Freetown twice a week, lots of great trails if you know the trail system. Blowdowns are a constant problem but I ride with a group so we stop and move as many as we can.

  8. #8
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    Lobujitracer, I agree that there are still a lot of great trails. I think the biggest problem is navigating without a guide. I've been riding there since the early nineties, so I pretty much know my way around by now, but there are still areas that I don't ride often that confuse me. I think its hard for anyone who doesn't know the place to put together a good ride.

    I was the guy that started building trails in Swansea, and once the ball started rolling it picked up speed quickly. From me, to me and my friends, who broke their 10 year old bikes and went to Bikeworks, which got the shop guys out there, who told their customers, some of whom started building trails and the rest is history.

    Basically having some success there has got me dreaming about the huge potential of Freetown, especially since the Fall River Water Supply land is now open to bikes. If they'd let us build there, and if there was enough of a crew to actually do the work....

    So I'm interested in networking with anybody that rides Freetown. I also plan on trying to meet with the local land managers, even if just to ask permission for maintenance and try to build a relationship. I also carry tools with me every time I ride there, but its overwhelming, between the blowdowns and stuff growing in where the clearcuts are.

    A map and marked intersections would really be needed to make it a great place to ride, but planning that out makes my head spin, and would have to go through DCR and probably Fall River water dept.

    Anyway do you ride with the group that goes out? Is it wednesday nights? I'd like to join up for a ride or two, if just to see the loop you ride and meet some people.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, lots of space/potential in Freetown.

    I used to ride with a couple of different people in the 90's that knew the area quite well, so I got to see alot of great trails. I haven't been there in over a decade though, so I probably don't remember very much of it. I think I remember all of the fire roads, even after I stopped riding I'd go back there occasionally with my Jeep, usually after a good snowfall. Most of the trails we rode ended up meeting back up with the fire roads at some point, so that's one good way to not get lost, just learn the fire roads at least.

    Like I said the other day, definitely count me in on any trail work you want to do in Freetown.

  10. #10
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    I live in Fairhaven, not too far from Freetown. I used to ride there also back in the 90's. I think Yesteryear used to put on some races there. Count me in also for trail work.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatsbullshark View Post
    I live in Fairhaven, not too far from Freetown. I used to ride there also back in the 90's. I think Yesteryear used to put on some races there. Count me in also for trail work.
    That's cool, now there's at least 3 of us for trail work! lol

    I always loved the varied terrain out there. That and the size...it was nice to go out there and be able to ride totally different trails from one weekend to the next.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    That's cool, now there's at least 3 of us for trail work! lol

    I always loved the varied terrain out there. That and the size...it was nice to go out there and be able to ride totally different trails from one weekend to the next.
    Definitely! Good to have more people helping and out riding and the size and diversity of Freetown are its greatest strengths, that and the rocks! Gonna ride there this weekend and assess things again, then hopefully get out there with some power tools.

  13. #13
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    Im in east taunton and massasoit gets to be a bore, id be into helping out and at the same time learning my way around freetown.
    Ive been told its quiet easy to get lost.

  14. #14
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    Also......
    Looking to take my girlfriend (hardtail 29er) and her 10year old son(hardtail 26er) on "family rides"
    Looking for something with like 8-12 mile loop of fireroads or double track.
    they wants to mountain bike with me(and i want them to love it as much as i do!), but having then follow me down singletracks with drops and rockgardens is surely going to make there interest in trail riding fade until they have gained confidence and control on their bikes.
    anyone know of areas in southeastern mass or close by that might be right for us?

  15. #15
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    Ksousa81, check out Copicut Woods or Destruction Brook.

    Copicut Woods abuts the southern part of Freetown State Forest, but its completely different experience. Wide old farm lanes with a bit of singletrack, some of which is very rideable for the beginner. Just avoid the Soggy Bottom Trail as it is mostly unrideable bridges and bogs. Very scenic and mellow. Probably only about 5 miles of trails, but there is a trail that leaves from main parking lot on Indian town road that leads into the Fall River watershed lands to the west. The trail has a really technical section about 15 feet after you leave the parking lot, but after that it gets easier and then you hit a bunch of fire roads. This area isn't marked and its not on the Copicut woods map, but the fire roads are mellow.

    Copicut Woods | Bioreserve | Fall River, MA | The Trustees of Reservations

    Destruction Brook is in South Dartmouth and it has about 8 miles of old farm roads and singletrack. Its not very technical but there are some roots. The marked trails are pretty easy, some of the unmarked trails are bit more technical, but honestly still pretty tame by regular New England MTB standards. Easy to navigate, quiet, and scenic, as soon as my kids are old enough to hit the trails, this is where I'm taking them.

    Destruction_Brook_Woods

    Good luck and have fun!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksousa81 View Post
    Im in east taunton and massasoit gets to be a bore, id be into helping out and at the same time learning my way around freetown.
    Ive been told its quiet easy to get lost.
    Yeah, frankly the place is a navigation nightmare, though truth be told that was part of why I liked it so much when I first started riding there. Getting lost added excitement and miles.

    We'll have to get a group ride together soon, do some riding and pruning.

  17. #17
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    Icecreamjay thanks for the info we will defiantly ride both those locations!
    As for getting lost that is defiantly the truth! Just keep on enjoying yourself cranking away at the miles and thinking that eventually you will find a familiar trail.... Or back track haha

  18. #18
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    I'll vouch for Copicut Woods. I just rode it today with Jay and had a great time. It needs some work, but all in all it was a lot of fun and a great ride.

    A great tip I learned from Jay is to keep a small pair of one handed pruning shears on you, it's a great way to do some quick maintenance on the fly. Branch hit you in the face? Stop and trim it and enjoy NOT getting hit in the face the next time you ride there.

    I'm actually now thinking about some way to mount them to my bike so they're super easy to access and aren't bouncing around in my pocket.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Branch hit you in the face? Stop and trim it and enjoy NOT getting hit in the face the next time you ride there.
    Yep, 485 branches down, only 14,274,987 left to trim.

    Seriously though, good ride today. We also bumped into a guy who works for the Trustees of Reservations, which is the organization responsible for Copicut Woods. Apparently they have been working on a comprehensive map of the Southeast Mass Bioreserve. And its finished!

    If you're not familiar with the bioreserve, its a conglomeration of conservation land including Freetown State forest and all the conneced DCR land as well as the Fall River Watershed land and several local town and charity owned pieces. At 13,000 acres its a pretty decent chunk of land.

    So this guy handed me a 16" by 24" map with every single trail in the greater Freetown area. He says they will soon be available at the Copicut Woods main parking kiosk. I looked it over and I know Freetown very well and there are trails marked that I haven't ridden, or maybe I did and was too lost to even know where I was. The map also includes at least 50 marked intersections. The guy says the signs should be up in the next month or two. So Freetown is getting a Wompatuck/Trail of Tears intersection marking system. With corresponding map. Its my dream come true.

    This makes me want to get out and clear these trails even more. We rode today and the stuff we rode needs a chainsaw pretty badly. Then major pruning on several trails. But definitely something thats doable. Mike and I are planning or riding next Saturday afternoon, maybe do some more cutting. I'll try to get out with a chainsaw one of these days.

    And as they say, pics or it didn't happen

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33175822@N06/7990349131/" title="2012-09-15 002 by Ice Cream Jay, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8452/7990349131_9a110d26d3.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="2012-09-15 002"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33175822@N06/7990361716/" title="2012-09-15 004 by Ice Cream Jay, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8037/7990361716_2c297cff4a_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="2012-09-15 004"></a>




    And this one shows the intersection marking better

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33175822@N06/7990351427/" title="2012-09-15 005 by Ice Cream Jay, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8306/7990351427_79ecc2cd1f_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="2012-09-15 005"></a>

    Funny how just yesterday I was *****ing about how hard it is to navigate out there.

  20. #20
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    I ride there sometimes. What part of the forest are you looking to clean up?


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    Specifically the trails south of the first hunters lot on Copicut Road that lead out towards the Copicut reservoir and the long singletrack that winds out there and also the trail up and down Copicut Hill.

    Once those intersection markers are up and the maps are available it'll be a lot easier to identify the trails that are getting overgrown. Some of the trails are OK, but there are a few choked with blowdowns that could use a chainsaw. I haven't ridden most of the more popular trails up near the ranger station and triangle since before the summer, so I don't really know how much maintenance is needed up there.

  22. #22
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    I would be willing to put some time into cleaning up some of those trails. Usually I ride Massasoit but it gets a little stale


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  23. #23
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    Cool, I'm definitely gonna be trimming some of the trails back, but I'm trying to figure out the best way to organize and get other people out there.

    Maybe a Saturday or Sunday some time in October? Stuntman Mike and I rode most of the good singletrack in the southern part and found a couple of trails that need some attention. We're thinking about riding either around the ledge or from the ranger station next. I figure once we've checked out most of the trails we can see what needs to be done, then plan a ride/trimming day.

    I figure we'll have most of the problem trails identified by then so we can prioritize and pick a route and prune it out.

    I'm gonna go by the ranger station and talk to them about the use of power tools (chainsaw specifically). I think I'll try to chainsaw the blowdown as soon as possible as I'll probably hike to do that.

    I'll keep this thread updated and hopefully we can get a group together to do some basic cleanup. It would be nice to have the trails in good shape by the spring, hopefully the intersection signs will be up and we can recommend some routes that people can use to do their own self guided rides out there. Nothing like a lot of tires to keep the trails in good shape.

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    Hey guys, I've got time Saturday afternoon so I plan on riding in Freetown from around 12:30-4 or so, give or take a half hour either way.

    I've been working on the loop Stuntman Mike and I rode last weekend, so that's what I plan on riding. My plan is to clear those trails, as they're in pretty tough shape.

    Let me know if any of you guys want to come. There are several sections that need pruning and a bunch of blowdowns to cut.

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    Smile count me in

    Brand new to mtb but I live in the area so hit me up when there is sometrail fixing going on!

  26. #26
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    Wish I could join this weekend but wife already made my plans for me.

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    Had a blast can't wait to get a nice bike so I can keep up with you guys

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    Yeah that was a good productive ride.

    Got 4 guys out there and we rode/cleared just shy of 6 miles. Took about 4 hours and we cut about 15 blowdowns out and pruned probably miles of trail. Most of the heavy work is done for this set of trails. I'd like to get a leafblower out there, but thats not gonna happen till the leaves fall, I'm not doing it twice (in one year anyway).

    I'll keep chipping away and lets try to get another group out sometime in October.

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    Whenever you wanna go out just give me a shout especially after the shop closes I don't do anything during the week

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    Yeah, great day today! A good ride and got a lot accomplished. Next time around riding those trails will be great, no stopping to climb over blowdowns or getting slapped in the face by errant pine branches.

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    Hey I'm free again on Saturday afternoon, you guys want to do another ride? If so, where? We could ride the same trails again and maybe do a little more pruning, or ride the trails near the ledge or ranger station. Whaddya think?
    NEMBA Freetown VP

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    I'm up for sat! I could go either way as to where we ride. I'm up for getting more pruning done at CW, I like the idea of getting that place all opened up, but I'm really itching to see what Freetown looks like.

    Actually, on second thought, I like variety, so let's do Freetown. Maybe start on the Ranger Station side and do some pruning as needed.

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    Cool, I was leaning towards the Ranger Station. I rode the Copicut trails twice this week, pruned out a bunch more, so I'm ready to ride somewhere different. The rangers have the maps and we can ask them about when signs are going up. I'd like to ride out to Profile rock too, haven't been there in a long time. Its supposed to rain tomorrow and showers predicted for Saturday so it may be a little wet, but I'm game as long as its not downpouring.
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    Yeah, count me in. As long as it's not a monsoon, I don't mind getting a little wet.

    And you got to ride twice this week already! Lucky! We're losing daylight fast, by the time I get out of work I have about enough time to get in an hour ride if I stop at Weetamoo or maybe CW on the way home from work....IF I remember to throw my bike in the car in the morning, which I forgot to do yesterday. I thought it was supposed to rain today, so I didn't even bother. Obviously I was wrong, haha.

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    Well we rode around the Ranger Station the other day and the trails are hit or miss.

    The multi-use trail (moto trail) was in decent shape. Most blowdowns are cleared and it isn't too overgrown.

    The Massassoit trail has a couple of large blowdowns and is very, very tight, it'll need pruning.

    The trail to profile rock was almost completely grown in. We cleared about a quarter mile of it, so you can get out to the road. Thje profile rock area was a disgrace. Looks like DCR does minimal maintenance. It's been turned into a party spot, and ATV's have been accessing it from the gas line trail. Someone even tagged the profile. Nice, wonder what King Philip would think of that. Hopefully his ghost haunts those bastards.

    The hiking loop (dotted line trail on the DCR map) at the north end of the park is almost completely gone as well. It goes through a very large clear cut and the new growth is choking the trail.

    Anyway we've decided to focus on maintaining the Copicut trails and getting those done before starting any more work on those hiking trails. Tentatively I'm planning a trail care ride on Sunday October 21 in the morning. We'll meet at the Copicut Woods parking lot on Indian Town road.
    Last edited by icecreamjay; 09-30-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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    I think I can make the 21st and might be able to recruit some more help. keep us in the loop on where and when. great job!

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    Yeah, the moto trails were in pretty good shape, and a lot of fun. Profile rock area is pretty much a waste of time, and the sad state of the place is a real shame. I'm curios to see how things are out by the Ledge though.

    Copicut is fun, and will be great with some care. I'm looking forward to getting back out there! Count me in on the 21st.

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    In case anyone is interested, I scanned in the map. The intersection markers aren't up, but its better than nothing.

    Here's the northern half, its got the ledge area and the ranger station trails.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33175822@N06/8041988947/" title="Bioreserve North 2 by Ice Cream Jay, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8460/8041988947_43631c9d57_b.jpg" width="746" height="1024" alt="Bioreserve North 2"></a>

    And the southern half, its missing the ridge hill trails in the very southeast corner and some trails out beyond boiling spring and edmund house trails.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33175822@N06/8042021440/" title="Bioreserve South 2 by Ice Cream Jay, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8312/8042021440_af3b7ec712_b.jpg" width="746" height="1024" alt="Bioreserve South 2"></a>

    This last one shows the trails we've been working on. The pink is stuff that has already been mostly pruned and cleared, though it still needs to be blown/raked. Yellow is the next to be tackled and the light blue is the project after that.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33175822@N06/8042140777/" title="Bioreserve South modified by Ice Cream Jay, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8034/8042140777_cf24147c42_b.jpg" width="746" height="1024" alt="Bioreserve South modified"></a>
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    Hey guys, the trail cleanup ride for this sunday is still on. I've had some pretty good responses so hopefully we get a bunch of pruning done.

    We'll meet at the Copicut Woods parking lot on Indian Town Road at 9 am this sunday the 21st. Anyone that's thinking of coming, let me know so we know how many people are coming. Feel free to PM me with any questions, etc.
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    Still on for tomorrow? Are you riding or hiking in to clean the trails?

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    We're still on, and we will be riding.

    We've cleared the trails closest to the parking lot so we've got some ground to cover before we get to where we'll be working. Bring some lightweight loppers or hand pruners. I rigged up a couple of hedge trimmer "sheaths" so I can bring out a pair of scissor style hedge trimmers in my pack without worrying about getting stabbed in the back of the head. I'll have extra pruners with me to loan out if needed.

    Let me know if you plan on joining us, that way I'll know how many people to expect so we don't leave before everyone shows up. So far I've got myself and 3 other definites, but the more the merrier, as they say.

    Supposed to be nice and the Pats aren't on till 4
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    Will be there


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  43. #43
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    Great ride Sunday! We got a lot done, and the weather couldn't have been better.

    Good turnout too, six of us, plus a stray we picked up on the trail, haha. He was on his ride alone and ran into us as we were pruning, and the first thing he said was "hey, you're the guys who cleaned the trail!". He went on to say how good it looked and thanked us for the effort.

    That was nice, someone has already noticed the work that has been done and appreciated it. After that he rode along with use for a while and joined in with the pruning.

    And starting at 9 was great, we were out of there at one and still had the rest of the day.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Great ride Sunday! We got a lot done, and the weather couldn't have been better.
    Agreed !

    In other news, I attended the SE Mass Nemba meeting on Monday night and they voted me VP of Freetown SF. It was that easy, I didn't even have to campaign. That in turn motivated me to go visit the head ranger. He was pumped that there are mountain bikers doing some maintenance. He has only 2 guys at his disposal and has to manage Freetown, Profile rock, dighton rock SP, Acushnet cedar swamp and a couple of other properties, no wonder he has no time for trail maintenance. He pretty much told me he doesn't ever get out on the trails and that I should prune away to my hearts content.

    Then I headed down to the Watuppa reservation to talk the guy in charge of the Fall river water supply land and basically the overseer of the "bioreserve". He was also happy to have mountain bikers helping out and seemed very pro bike. He mentioned he needed a volunteer to put up the trail markers, so I volunteered. I'm excited to get these markers up.

    He is also planning a Bioreserve ribbon cutting event for next spring to unveil the new map and trail marking system and really wants to include mountain bikes. Maybe a Nemba fun ride?

    Thinking about another Trail Care Ride, possibly November 18? The Sunday before Thanksgiving. Probably the last official one of the year. I'm leaning towards pruning the Massassoit Trail and some of the trails leading up to Profile rock. Its stuff the Moto's don't ride and is good for riding and hiking. A good PR ride too as it would start from the Ranger station.
    NEMBA Freetown VP

  45. #45
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    Congrats on your promotion to VP : ) Sorry I missed the ride last Sunday, nice weather + lots of outstanding house projects = no ride for me. But will pencil in Nov 18 for the Massassoit Trail ride / pruning.

  46. #46
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    Rode the trail we cleared this a.m. Saw a couple of fresh scrapes and a small sapling rubbed up. I guess the local deer population appreciates the trail clearing also


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  47. #47
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    Congrats, VP!

    That's great that they're happy that the maint is being done.

    Count me in for the 18th! I'm doing a Spartan Race at Fenway the day before, hopefully I'm not too banged up to ride!

  48. #48
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    Unfortunately not going to be able to make the 18th. I thought the Spartan Race was on the saturday, but it's actually Sunday the 18th.

    Anyone up for any riding next weekend? Say Fri, Sat, or Sunday?

  49. #49
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    Hey Mike,

    No prob about this weekend, I think Doug and I are just going to go on Saturday and finish cleaning up from the hurrricane. There were dozens of old dead trees down on all the trails we had just cleared. I've got most of the stuff cut except for that long trail that goes by that house, but that one has probably 20 trees to cut so that's the plan for Saturday.

    Anyways I think the best bet is to keep working on the Copicut trails rather than spread out our efforts all over the place. There are a couple of trails that we haven't even started on that add different options to that ride. I've also started putting up the signs, I plan on doing that area soon.

    I'm up to ride next weekend, we can do some work, or just ride, whatever.
    NEMBA Freetown VP

  50. #50
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    Great to see some interest in Freetown SF. I've been riding there occasionally for the past few years but I know there's a lot more trails than I've found so far.

    I'm interested in trail maintenance with you guys and finding new trails, might have a friend also interested.

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