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Thread: So gratifying!

  1. #1
    The White Jeff W
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    So gratifying!

    I spent the day last Sunday doing a reroute of an old trail that went straight down the fall line and spilled out into a mudhole at the bottom.

    The local race series thought enough of it to include it in yesterday's race.

    As I was riding through the new section the rider in front of me, having no idea that i built it, said "man that really flows nice"!

    You couldn't remove the smile from my face with a chainsaw.
    No moss...

  2. #2
    JDM
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    I get excited about riding stuff that I helped build too.

    It seems crazy at first to spend hours working on berm that you can ride through in a few seconds. Then I realized that those few seconds of joy get multiplied by many riders on several rides per year for several years. It is completely worth the effort to build a nice section.

  3. #3
    Give it a crank
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    I often see that kind of reaction when I say nice words to trail crews I pass by once in a while. You can just see them light up when they see first hand how much others enjoy the results of their efforts.

  4. #4
    Hermit
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    I know where you're coming from. Trail building has become about half of mtb'ing for me by now.

    Thanks to ALL trail builders EVERYWHERE.

    And a big WTF? to all the riders who can't manage even one day a year to pitch in.

    Steve Z
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  5. #5
    The White Jeff W
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    Steve how many miles do you suppose you've done? I know I have a long way to go before I catch up to you!

    Gotta say that I really like the process of carving a strip of single track out of nothing. Almost as much as riding! More to come...

    BTW I saw on the camba forum that you posted that you've never ridden Brady's Run. Get in touch if you'd like the grand tour some time! Maybe organize a group to come down
    No moss...

  6. #6
    I need skills
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    very nice!

    A month ago I dragged my 8 and 9 year-old sons with me to reroute a small section. We started from scratch.

    Flagged, cleared debris and brush, bench cut a bit. Took 3 hours. When we finished, my youngest stood on the new trail, mouth agape, and proudly repeated a this a few times, "wow, there was nothing here, NOTHING."

    I knew then he "got it." He understood the pride people can take in their work and in volunteering.

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    Build, ride, rest, repeat.

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    I enjoy that feeling too, but it gets quickly wiped away when a few punks come and dig up the middle of a tabletop and build up either side.
    when people throw large rocks inbetween woops and haphazardly cover then with dirt.
    And when illegal dirtbikers come and mutilate a trail.

  9. #9
    I build my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnson View Post
    A month ago I dragged my 8 and 9 year-old sons with me to reroute a small section. We started from scratch.

    Flagged, cleared debris and brush, bench cut a bit. Took 3 hours. When we finished, my youngest stood on the new trail, mouth agape, and proudly repeated a this a few times, "wow, there was nothing here, NOTHING."

    I knew then he "got it." He understood the pride people can take in their work and in volunteering.
    I made the mistake of calling it "trail work". Once the kids got out and found out it was playing in the dirt, their attitudes changed dramatically.

    When I showed up at the middle school, opened my van and started handing out machetes, brush hooks and axes to 10 to 12 year olds, I was the coolest dad ever.
    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.

  10. #10
    Unpredictable
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Build, ride, rest, repeat.
    Almost correct. See

    mtbtrailcare.com

    We don't rest

    I had to laugh about the kids. A while back when I asked my son to come and help on a dig day, his response was "Dad, I am not going to be the future of trailbuilding in this area!" and he went to the beach with his mates. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    I spent the day last Sunday doing a reroute of an old trail that went straight down the fall line and spilled out into a mudhole at the bottom.

    The local race series thought enough of it to include it in yesterday's race.

    As I was riding through the new section the rider in front of me, having no idea that i built it, said "man that really flows nice"!

    You couldn't remove the smile from my face with a chainsaw.
    Quote Originally Posted by JDM View Post
    I get excited about riding stuff that I helped build too.

    It seems crazy at first to spend hours working on berm that you can ride through in a few seconds. Then I realized that those few seconds of joy get multiplied by many riders on several rides per year for several years. It is completely worth the effort to build a nice section.
    totally agree, as a trailbuilder there's nothing more satisfying than planning out a trail, building it and then riding it or watching others ride it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails So gratifying!-bris-way.jpg  

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  12. #12
    Delirious Tuck
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    agree to all above, I think my trail days = build days = DH days this season and riding what you've built and then hearing about it through the grapevine is a ton of win.


    pascale... I'd recommend a bench cut and removing the downhill logs, log will trap water and make mud patch which will widen trail and bench will let it last a long time with minimal maintenance (also make it bed in faster and make it a faster line). Looks like a nice line.

  13. #13
    Hermit
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    Steve how many miles do you suppose you've done? I know I have a long way to go before I catch up to you!

    Gotta say that I really like the process of carving a strip of single track out of nothing. Almost as much as riding! More to come...

    BTW I saw on the camba forum that you posted that you've never ridden Brady's Run. Get in touch if you'd like the grand tour some time! Maybe organize a group to come down
    Not as much as you'd think, but I've done some. I was at every trail work day when they built Quarry at WB, but heading up to Royalview is too much of a haul for me. Then we have 2 miles or so at North Road in Warren, plus another mile or so at Beaver Creek plus rehab on the 1 mile Pine Ridge trail at BC, plus a bunch of other trail work at West Branch. Less than ten miles, but it's getting there. Getting together a proposal for the newest 1 mile loop at North Road this fall.

    Gotta say I LOVE building trail at Beaver Creek, with all the rocks and hills. If all goes according to plan the new mtb club (Rust Belt Revival) is going to make Beaver Creek our showcase and try to build up several more miles of hike/bike not accessible to horses. We were down there two weeks ago starting the rock work for a way cool stream crossing on the new trail.

    I've heard that Brady's has a lot of climbing. Climbing is not my friend. I have a respiratory condition that makes it so I lose my breath pretty quick, so I try to keep away from trails with lots of hills - especially with other riders who'd have to wait for me.

    As a matter of fact I'm trying to get over a respiratory infection right now (pretty nasty this time) so I haven't been riding at all for like three weeks. Instead I've been doing trail work a couple of times a week - it's a lot easier to pace myself doing trail work and I find that if I'm careful I can still work when I'm sick. I'm feeling better today than I have for many days, so I have hope that I'll be out riding this weekend.

    Steve Z
    Pedaling when it's dry
    And paddling when it's wet

    My insignificant blog:
    http://swampboy62.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    FloridaKeys Fishing Guide
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    I spent the day last Sunday doing a reroute of an old trail that went straight down the fall line and spilled out into a mudhole at the bottom.

    The local race series thought enough of it to include it in yesterday's race.

    As I was riding through the new section the rider in front of me, having no idea that i built it, said "man that really flows nice"!

    You couldn't remove the smile from my face with a chainsaw.
    +1 !

    I find it helpful to keep in mind that you build/maintain the trail for yourself too, and not just for the unhelpful peeps whom more often than not are the biggest whiners...
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

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    You don't rest ? Got to sleep sometime, right?
    Unless you're a vampire, then its just night riding for you.

  16. #16
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    We are an equal opportunity trailcare group. Vampires welcome. Daywalkers are hard to come by though. After coming out of the bush in pitch blackness so many times I am thinking of a night vision bionic eye implant.

  17. #17
    I build my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    We are an equal opportunity trailcare group. Vampires welcome. Daywalkers are hard to come by though. After coming out of the bush in pitch blackness so many times I am thinking of a night vision bionic eye implant.
    I've been seriously thinking about night vision for exactly that reason.
    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.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefriar View Post
    agree to all above, I think my trail days = build days = DH days this season and riding what you've built and then hearing about it through the grapevine is a ton of win.


    pascale... I'd recommend a bench cut and removing the downhill logs, log will trap water and make mud patch which will widen trail and bench will let it last a long time with minimal maintenance (also make it bed in faster and make it a faster line). Looks like a nice line.
    The logs really don't lay flat so water still can roll of the trail. We decided not to bench it and follow the natural contour. This was the initial cut, it was a divert for a really bad eroded area. 2 years later this section has broken in nicely with no erosion.
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  19. #19
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    Sorry to the OP for continuing off topic, but this log below trail issue is a really interesting one.

    It would be good to see photo examples of logs below trail. I don't know if it would make a thread of its own? Seems to me there are 4 log below trail scenarios:

    As a trail border - If the logs on the outslope are embedded in soft soil, mud will probably accumulate and clearing it may be impossible.
    The trail to Grandma's house or whatever. Everyone hates it, but when basic trails are scratched out and ridden-in rather than being manufactured, there has to be some basic border and there are places where trail can be made this way. The sticks lie on grass etc and rot fast. If there is a real disadvantage it is there is no way to coral or prevent corner-cutting.
    If the logs are suspended rather than embedded, then they can act as visual clues or subtle sight-lines, directing riders in ways that increase the trail experience and/or avoid unstable sections of trail. Pascale
    Perhaps least discussed is the use of logs on the outslope of stony trail. Large logs positioned with a ballast of smaller stones on the trail edge will catch sediment sheeting over the trail. In time the tread raises and becomes more smooth. When it clogs, the water flows along the log to obvious drain sites. Try this where you build. It may be NIMBA (not-IMBA) but it works.

    As a structural trail component below the tread - It better be huge, maybe treated and you have calculated for decay, because no timber will live forever under dirt unless you are building on the moon or maybe Death Valley.

    As part of a feature like a berm above the tread - As above

    As a stand-alone feature or monument -

    Thanks for any thoughts or pics

  20. #20
    JDM
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    Ridnparadise,
    I like your response. I get frustrated by posts that sound like cut-n-paste from the IMBA handbook. While it is a GREAT guide, it is just a guide. It isn't a list of immutable commandments.

    Many of the best trails that I've ridden adhere closely to the IMBA techniques. However, some really good and even great trails break a few rules. In fact, one of the flowiest and lowest maintenance trail systems in our area is entirely rake-n-ride. Thanks to well drained soils, you can ride it as the snow is melting in the spring or during a rain storms without finding any mud.

  21. #21
    I build my own.
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    To expand on Ridnparadise's idea, how about a thread with success stories of breaking IMBA "rules"? If I think about it for a bit, I bet I could come up with a few.

    Constant maintenance doesn't count. It's gotta be sustainable.
    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.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    As a trail border - If the logs on the outslope are embedded in soft soil, mud will probably accumulate and clearing it may be impossible.
    The trail to Grandma's house or whatever. Everyone hates it, but when basic trails are scratched out and ridden-in rather than being manufactured, there has to be some basic border and there are places where trail can be made this way. The sticks lie on grass etc and rot fast. If there is a real disadvantage it is there is no way to coral or prevent corner-cutting.
    If the logs are suspended rather than embedded, then they can act as visual clues or subtle sight-lines, directing riders in ways that increase the trail experience and/or avoid unstable sections of trail. Pascale


    Thanks for any thoughts or pics
    yeah I guess I should've explained the logic of leaving them there. They do "frame" the trail and keep people from widening this section and as I stated water passes thru since these logs don't lay flat on the trail to block run off. Maybe I'll take a now photo to show you guys what it looks like 2 years later.
    Last edited by pascale27; 10-11-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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  23. #23
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    I lead most of the trail building efforts in this town and have for the past 3 years or so.

    There's a Beginner Mountain Biking class here as part of the Outdoor Leadership minor, and it's fun to see/hear the kids in the class telling war stories about the crazy trails they went on. Then describe to them what more experienced riders do with certain features on those trails....and see jaws drop. Best part is: these are trails we've built to be super beginner-friendly but have plenty of options for the ambitious rider to rail through and catch air all over the place.

    There's also a fair number of permanant residents here (Oneonta, NY) who we (the college kids) ride with on the weekends. They're always appreciative, regardless of what kind of work we are doing (even if it's some jump or drop they will never hit) and always give a "thanks guys" on their way by (if they don't stop to chat). One guy in particular always has a face that goes from concentrating on his ride to a big silly grin as he sees we're out working.

    Then over the summer a few of the locals raked out a section of trail that extended our trail Stinger, knowing full well that since it was raked out, we would come in and sculpt the heck out of it. A month later the new part of Stinger has a double, a jump-berm-jump transfer feature, and a big 4' down by 18' out stepdown...with no real consequence for coming up short. Beside it is a pump section with some big whoops.

    Seeing the silly grins and hearing "WAHOO!" "WHOA!" "YEA!" "ALLRIGHT!" on big group rides is just awesome. Can't wait till this weekend for the Oneonta Epic. One group will do 40 miles and I'll be leading another group for 25-30. We are expecting 40+ people between the two groups plus a few out of towners coming in for the day. Should be a fun time.

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