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  1. #1
    stoneblender
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    Blueberry Lake Grand Opening - June 1st, 2013

    The Mad River Riders and Vermont Mountain Bike Association are excited to expand our partnership with the Green Mountain National Forest/USFS with the new Blueberry Lake trail network. The trails are designed and largely built by Hardy Avery of Sustainable Trailworks and his trail crew, with help from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, the Riders, and the staff and students of Green Mountain Valley School.

    Leonard's Loop is named for Leonard Robinson, the man behind the creation of Blueberry Lake and the owner of Blueberry Lake XC Center, which is just down the road. The upper loop, Flying Squirrel, is named for the feeling you get while riding it. The routes are flowy and smooth, with easy to moderate pitches.

    The grand opening kicks off at 1 PM with a short dedication, then there are free guided beginner and intermediate rides, a guided hike, free Exprezo bike demos, free Clearwater Sports boat and paddleboard demos, and lots more fun. Join us for a great day.

    Here is a quick preview of the trails ... hope to see you there!



    John
    Last edited by atkinson; 05-28-2013 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Somebody please tell me I did not just see a stroller i assume with a small child in it being pulled behind a mountain bike on single track. That would be a dept. child services call waiting to happen in MA.

  3. #3
    stoneblender
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    Don't worry, she is wearing a helmet, plus the roll cage. She falls asleep sometimes. The roads are far more dangerous. We showed the Chariot to give an indication of how smooth and flowy the trails are. Sorry about the MA thing.

  4. #4
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    So... how do you find this place?

  5. #5
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    Sort of a unique pacifier! At one of our local downhill areas there is a father/daughter team. She is about 13 and a pretty kick a$$ little rider. Maybe that will be you two some day if she supervises the Ben Hur reenactment!

  6. #6
    stoneblender
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    So... how do you find this place?
    Plunkton Rd. East Warren, VT. The trail map is on our Facebook page.

    John

  7. #7
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    Not single track either. It is wide, beginner, multiuse. Great spot. The lake is super nice, and with young kids, parents can take turns hanging at the lake with the kids while the otherone burns laps on the trails. Good bass fishing too!

  8. #8
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    What a great spot! I rode this with the Mrs. last fall(?) and it quickly went to the top of her list and that was before it was finished. She loved the flow and the pace without white knuckling and cursing me through the ride. The bridge looks incredible. Wish I could make it tomorrow. Have fun and thanks for the work. How much travel is in your baby carriage suspension?

  9. #9
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    Not single track either. It is wide, beginner, multiuse. Great spot. The lake is super nice, and with young kids, parents can take turns hanging at the lake with the kids while the otherone burns laps on the trails. Good bass fishing too!
    so this is not singletrack?



    then what is it?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    so this is not singletrack?



    then what is it?
    To me it looks like a box with a red X in it. Maybe other folks see a picture. My comment about the trail was in reference to John pulling his girl thru there in her burly cart. Point being this is very beginner friendly, not at all inappropriate for burly carts, kids on walmart bikes and first timers. I have spent cosiderable time there on the phase 1 build, as well as fishing the lake. One day last year an old coworker who moved to Warren fro Jackson Hole came by with his wife. She was having a blast. She said they started MBing out west where there is alot of benched, wider, less tech riding. When they moved to VT she quit riding. Hated to rooty singletrack. They live 1/4 mile from the Blueberry trailhead, have a baby, and this trail constrution is such an asset to them and has a big impact on their personal quality of life. One of the most rewarding interations I have had as a trailworker. It's so nice to talk to people that are on board with all the trail development. The lack of beginner trail riding in VT has been a deterent for folks just picking up the sport. As much as I would rather construct expert trail, it's these types of projects that make the tremendously physical and greuling work totally worth while. You'd be suprised (or maybe not) how ungreatful the "real" MTBers can be because we haven't built trail exactly as they would like it, and yet how few of them actually do any meaningful trail constrution. Blue-B is a model for any phase 1 in Vt and the setting is rediulously idealic. Trails or no, it's beautiful land. Sustainable TrailWorks and Sinuosity are both adding miles of machine built stuff every year. Making everything moe-betta.
    Last edited by DaveVt; 06-05-2013 at 05:10 AM.

  11. #11
    the train keeps rollin
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    gr8 Job guys, I plan on riding in Mad River this summer, dropping some coin in the local establishments while I'm there, BB lake looks super fun. Keep up the good work.
    beaver hunt

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    Sustainable TrailWorks and Sinuosity are both adding miles of machine built stuff every year. Making everything moe-betta.
    Dave,
    What are your feelings on sustainability and machine built vs. hand built trail?
    Sorry for the thread drift y'all.

  13. #13
    stoneblender
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    Sorry to interject when you asked Dave to reply, but here is what I've seen. No offense, but your question is not the right one. It's like asking if using a hammer or a nailgun is better at building houses. The real question is final judgement based on results of the design and build. You can mess up an easy project with any tool or build a work of art with a tiny chisel.

    Machine-built tends to be more efficient, but not always appropriate for the terrain or goals. Hand-built is slower, but not necessarily less or more sustainable. The pitches, drainage and armoring are the most important sustainability factors in any build.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 802spokestoke View Post
    Dave,
    What are your feelings on sustainability and machine built vs. hand built trail?
    Sorry for the thread drift y'all.
    Built trail is more sustainable then trail that is just cleared and ridden in. Hand built is more expensive and labor intensive then machine built. Raked in trail can be sustainable if traffic never gets too high, and it will require on-going work keep it nice. There is no absolute answer, Every network is different IMO.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for your thoughts Dave and Atkinson. I'm studying issues such as sustainability in my college courses. Sometimes I feel torn between conservation and mountain biking. However, I feel confident the two can cohabitat our forests. Instead of just yapping about it, I hope to be able to get out this summer and get my hands dirty to get a real sense of it all.

  16. #16
    stoneblender
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    One thing to remember 802, our hiking trails have a much larger impact than the biking trails in VT. Don't get sucked into feeling guilty for riding, when hikers get a free pass for some of the least sustainable routes in the state.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by atkinson View Post
    Sorry to interject when you asked Dave to reply, but here is what I've seen. No offense, but your question is not the right one. It's like asking if using a hammer or a nailgun is better at building houses. The real question is final judgement based on results of the design and build. You can mess up an easy project with any tool or build a work of art with a tiny chisel.

    Machine-built tends to be more efficient, but not always appropriate for the terrain or goals. Hand-built is slower, but not necessarily less or more sustainable. The pitches, drainage and armoring are the most important sustainability factors in any build.
    I think users numbers is the most important variable.

  18. #18
    stoneblender
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    The better the build, the more people want to ride it. That's an infinite loop right there. Check out the Scottish builders for inspiration.

  19. #19
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    so I rode Blueberry Lake yesterday....

    here are some of my thoughts

    Pros

    -drains really well
    -good flow
    -easier technically than most trails in the area(could be a con as well)
    -lots of fun

    Cons

    -not really beginner friendly
    -lots of climbing per mile(not really beginner friendly) about 200 feet per mile
    -guide stones scare the hell out of beginners, and could potentially hurt beginners
    -waterbars are abrubt...not really beginner friendly


    Blueberry Lake is fun as hell. Really it is. Its a 3 in half mile rollercoaster that just begs to be hammered. Its drains very well and despite the ultra wet spring/early summer we have been having its was solid as a rock most places. Its is IMO singletrack just like Northfield or Hardy's haul despite being machine built are singletrack. expect to take less than 30 minutes if you are a fast rider to complete everything there but its fun and worth doing again or reversing your direction.

    Blueberry Lake is not IMO beginner friendly. I know I am in the minority of people speaking up here but hopefully more will join in on this so the trails builder can truly see though the eyes of the beginner and not though the eyes of super gnarly dudes who have been riding bikes hard for decades on what is fairly technical trails around the area. At blueberry lake you start by diving straight down a gully with guide stones on both sides. the guides stones will clip un suspecting new riders pedals, and then the water bars are deep enough to have consequence. Then considering that the climbing is pretty much set at IMBA standard(about 200 feet per mile) instead of far below the standard which would make sense for a beginner trail . IMO I think 100 feet per mile would be a great for a " beginner trail" Also the switch backs are going to be a lot scarier(in some cases) to scary for a beginner to navigate especially downhill.

    I hate to post negative reviews of trail, and this is not. Blueberry lake is fun for intermediate riders and up and those expert who like faster trails from time to time but I am just hoping that future attempts in this area to make 'beginner" trails have input from people who can looks at things from the mindset of a out of shape middle aged guy who just bought his first MTB and wants to find some place to ride, or long time MTBer kid, or in my case my new to MTBing girlfriend. And not just the mindset of this trail is so much easier than the what I learned on that its much be beginner.

    there is a local mindset here that beginner = boring. or beginner = fireroads. Quote from promeniet local rides who does post here. "beginner rider? send them up Cottonbrook" right..... Cottonbrook is a 1.5k gravel road climb with gnarly snowmobile decent. I would send them there if I never wanted them to try MTBing again.

    beginner trails that are easy, non intimidating can also be fun and used for wide variety of riders and users. Raystown Lake,Pa has an awesome beginner loop.

  20. #20
    beer thief
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    I haven't been to BB Lake but one comment about the climbing. You mention 200' per mile - this works out to less than 4% grade, which is pretty easy climbing by any standard. I agree with you that beginner trails do not need to be boring.

    I have mixed feelings about guide stones. While they tend to prevent the trail from being braided and widened, they can become pedal clippers and flow killers. We've seen some that seem dangerous. That said, there are a few spots in our area that could use a few.

  21. #21
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    I haven't been to BB Lake but one comment about the climbing. You mention 200' per mile - this works out to less than 4% grade, which is pretty easy climbing by any standard. I agree with you that beginner trails do not need to be boring.

    I have mixed feelings about guide stones. While they tend to prevent the trail from being braided and widened, they can become pedal clippers and flow killers. We've seen some that seem dangerous. That said, there are a few spots in our area that could use a few.
    200 per mile total or 200 foot for .5 of going up..... which is an 8 percent grade sustained with steeper pitches. its easy for better riders but for beginner not so easy for beginners.

  22. #22
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    Rode it last fall with 2 beginners. They loved it.

  23. #23
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    Any updates on trail conditions currently and for the weekend?

  24. #24
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    Rode here yesterday for the first time - - smooth, flowy, bone dry with a few tire-sucking mud pits. 90% of the trails were bone dry and perfect. Deer flies were out in force.

  25. #25
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    Rode Blueberry Lake with my wife and 3 kids, plus another couple and their 2 kids. Kids ages ranged from 8 - 13. These trails were perfect. I can't thank those responsible for making it happen enough. Everybody could ride and climb these and it was fun for all. Does Vermont get any nicer in Oct than this? Don't think so.
    Great to see so many riders out enjoying the trails.

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