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  1. #1
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    Any advice for the first time builder?

    Helping with my first build this next week. I'm excited but I have 0 experience. The trail is actually being coordinated by Progressive Trail Design so I'm not on my own by any means. However any advice for the person just starting so i dont just show up green?

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  2. #2
    zrm
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    Stretch a lot. Don't over do Ibuprofen, it's bad for your kidneys.

  3. #3
    memento mori
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    Listen close,do what's asked and don't free lance. It's manual labor,just work hard and pay attention.

  4. #4
    I build my own.
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    I'm sure they'll mention it but just in case they don't. Be aware of who's in your "kill zone", if you can hit them with your tool, assume you will.

    Besides that, pay close attention, learn lots and HAVE FUN!!!
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  5. #5
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    we tossed this up on our web site..

    trail work

  6. #6
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    bring gloves, energy bar and water, be aware of the "circle of death", pace yourself (you'll be sore later). Be a sponge and take all the knowledge in. Have fun.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Any advice for the first time builder?

    Thanks for the link. I have to learn fast since there are days I might be out there with 3-4 at best

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  8. #8
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    Don't dig too deep on first pass. Dig the bench a layer at a time, clear the dirt out of the way to see what kind of progress you are making and remove another layer. Beginners take big swings and often dig too deep.

  9. #9
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    bweide.... nice tip..... always trying to tell folks don't disturb terra firma any more than you have to. pounding with a mcleod, tamping or dancing on disturbed soil isn't as what centuries has done...

  10. #10
    JDM
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    Good for you! I get really excited every time I ride a section of trail that I helped on.

    I like to wear my camelbak when doing trail work. Otherwise I forget to drink and get really thirsty later.

    Resist the temptation to use excavated dirt to build a partial benchl. Broadcast the excavated material well away from from the tread. Build a full bench: 0723-2806-MTDC: Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook

    Resist the temptation to add lots of turns and bumps to make the trail interesting. A trail that seems interesting at walking speed can be nearly unrideable. A trail that seems pretty straight and flat at walking speed often has great, flowy corners and rollers and bike speed. Clear the proposed corridor and RUN it if you aren't sure (preferable with your hands in the handle bar position while small engine noises with your mouth).

  11. #11
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    Thanks again everyone for the input. I don't really get to help with the design, just the work but I at least want to show up prepared to get it done.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bweide View Post
    Don't dig too deep on first pass. Dig the bench a layer at a time, clear the dirt out of the way to see what kind of progress you are making and remove another layer. Beginners take big swings and often dig too deep.
    This. When I see my volunteers with a tool over their heads, they better be chopping a big ass root---not digging. I like to tell them that they are coaxing and caressing a trail out of the earth, and not hacking one out. We are shapers of dirt, not butchers of soil. Keep your tools low, I almost never raise mine above my waist, and take a little bit out at a time. Many short strokes with the tool is much more efficient and less tiring than a few big swings.

  13. #13
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    Re: Any advice for the first time builder?

    Not me working (this was done while I was at my daily grind) but here are 2 of the other guys working on a intermediate downhill flow trail



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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any advice for the first time builder?-uploadfromtaptalk1363571670470.jpg  

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  14. #14
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    Nice page. I think I'll copy a few if your points in ours if you don't mind.

    Here's our current trailwork FAQ: Motor City Mountain Biking Association - Trail Work FAQ

  15. #15
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    This is just a quick test of the start for the XC trail....we are going to tone it down a bit.
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  16. #16
    The White Jeff W
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    Quote Originally Posted by pascale27 View Post
    bring gloves, energy bar and water, be aware of the "circle of death", pace yourself (you'll be sore later).
    So its not just me then. Its Sunday and I still have some residual soreness from some trail work I did last Wednesday. I always laugh when people say "We're gonna build trail then ride afterwards. Im usually so exhausted after a couple hours I can barely carry the tools back to the car
    No moss...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    So its not just me then. Its Sunday and I still have some residual soreness from some trail work I did last Wednesday. I always laugh when people say "We're gonna build trail then ride afterwards. Im usually so exhausted after a couple hours I can barely carry the tools back to the car
    I had a first time trail builder come out and lend a hand yesterday thinking he would ride afterwards. Now, granted he's new to mountain biking too, but he's military, and he's ridden BMX for years. But by the time we got done he was done too. He's hooked though. I think I've got another good volunteer on my hands.

  18. #18
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    You probably have figured this out already if you've already been out there, but I found the most important thing as a rookie was to build with an experienced builder, and stay close enough that you can observe and chat occasionally. I dabbled in trail building for a bit before I started helping a local trail building legend on a project and seeing a master at work drove my learning forward exponentially. Then it is just spending time to refine what you learn.

  19. #19
    Unpredictable
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    Listen to the instructions and don't do anything you have been asked not to. For eg, we almost never use wood on our trails - it just does not last in our weather. On a recent build day a new volunteer added heaps of wood to a berm despite being specifically asked not to use the logs that were lying there. Our fault for not being there to stop it happening, even though we were only working some 30m away on what looked like the tricky part of the day's work.

    Another thing beginners don't see is just how "big" and solid you have to build to make trail last and just how large and outsloped, rolling grade dips have to be made to avoid clogging with use in wet weather. While I agree you have to be cautious to not over-cut benches etc, you must also avoid flat trail that encourages water flow along it. As per a previous post, this must be done without making an awkward riding line - big rollers, rather than small bumps is what is needed.

    Have fun. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for wanting to do the right thing.

  20. #20
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    Re: Any advice for the first time builder?

    Its actually been going very well. I'm no master builder but I now work a McLeod with skill. We've managed to accomplish getting 2 downhill flow trails done and groomed about 5 miles of singletrack/cross country paths.

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  21. #21
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    I have found my favorite tool is the Polanski but the McLeod is pretty awesome too

  22. #22
    I build my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpledesign View Post
    Its actually been going very well. I'm no master builder but I now work a McLeod with skill. We've managed to accomplish getting 2 downhill flow trails done and groomed about 5 miles of singletrack/cross country paths.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy SIII using Tapatalk 2
    You hooked yet? I should warn you, it's addictive.
    I hardly ever ride anymore. I'm down to about 80%/20%
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  23. #23
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    Re: Any advice for the first time builder?

    That's for real. I rode once in the last 9 days, while dumping 24.5 hours into a half mile addition to a localish trail. Aside from being rough flagged, I've got a fair amount of latitude with routing and construction, in a place that is very feature friendly.

    I've been able to incorporate some rocks(we don't have many here), build a small table top with an armored ramp over an existing mound, add a really technical, rooted line, and will be adding a small rock garden next time out.

    Though I usually try to ride every day, there is something gratifying and addicting to building a trail with your own flavor and signature.

  24. #24
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    Well here it is "Phase 1"

    Any advice for the first time builder?-1005724_486633931414024_172314401_n.jpg

    Any advice for the first time builder?-246944_662551750427670_1483241031_n.jpg

    And a quick video:

    Two Rivers Bke Park (no sound w/ GPS) from Kelly C. on Vimeo.

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  25. #25
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    Wow that looks great!

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