Bent Creek contract trail work- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bent Creek contract trail work

    Trail Dynamics was awarded a contract to do maintenance work on 2 Bent Creek trails: Hard Times Connector and Deer Lake trails. These projects are funded with ARRA (stimulus package) funds and the goals are to bring these trails up to current USFS standards for Class 3 shared use trail (hike/bike and believe it or not horses).

    Both of these trails do exhibit extensive erosion and significant soil loss(which is dumping into waterways found in Bent Creek) and certainly need treadwork and better water management (more frequent tread undulation in the form of knicks and rolling dips). There will be minor alignment shifts which have been flagged and approved by the FS.

    TD is sensitive to recent postings on MTBR and other locations about recent work. We will try our best to do the work as called (sustainable and having less impact on water resources) while also making both trails more fun to ride . At the end of the day however, we are just contractors doing the work as prescribed. I did have some influence during the pre-bid walk through on the project and was able to scale back some of the prescription and change a few things like an armored crossing (on Deer Lake) instead of a culvert. The spec that stays in the contract that we are the least happy about is call for a 6' wide clearing limits. We will make all attempts to do this corridor clearing work in as artful way as possible, but this requirement will certainly effect the trail experience. It will however provide for better sight-lines which can help to reduce user conflict. Again, we are just doing the job as is called for in the specs for the project.

    We will begin our work on Tuesday Sept. 7th. We will be allocating a large crew for the project so each of these trails will be opened back up post work in the least amount of time possible. Both trails combined will be less than 2 weeks of work, and my guess is we will focus on one trail at a time meaning each will be closed for less than one week. We plan to open these up on weekends so as to not disturb busy trail times.

    I am in Bend OR for quite a while so will not be involved in this project. My partner Ed Sutton will be leading the rest of the crew on this project and they all are just back from over 2 months working in Boulder on Valmont Bike Park. I look forward to riding these trails when I return late fall.

    Woody
    Last edited by Woodman; 09-03-2010 at 12:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the feedback. I'll get my popcorn

  3. #3
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    I suppose it's a necessary evil and it's good to have an agent on the "other-side"............it could be allot worse. An unsympathetic construction group with no regard or experience towards MTB concerns could have gotten this contract and we all know what that could look like........from what I know and see TD is about trail quality and preservation. Thanks Woody!
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  4. #4
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    Great to know you folks are doing the job!

    Now you're cast of steel and cast aside. Broken dreams maybe, but you haven't died

  5. #5
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    Hoping that Powerline becomes a real trail rather than the fall-line mud bog that it's been since time began. The clay delta that Warm-up dumps onto HT rd. has always needed a fix, too. Good luck, Woody.
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    will the volunteer sorba members doing work get biker bucks?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by earl06
    Hoping that Powerline becomes a real trail rather than the fall-line mud bog that it's been since time began. The clay delta that Warm-up dumps onto HT rd. has always needed a fix, too. Good luck, Woody.

    Indeed the powerline will see the most change and become something fun. We have more flexibility in the powerline corridor (as opposed to other areas) so we plan to meander a lot and make this way more fun.

    I am glad to learn someone else has noticed the red clay delta on HT road after each heavy rain. That area will also see significant work.

    Woody

  8. #8
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    Gabe,

    As you and others may know, everyone who works for TD (10 of us total) all ride mountain bikes. Yes, we care deeply about the mountain bike experience and always try to make trails have better flow. We do however also care about protecting water and other natural resources and thus more often than not agree that trails need maintenance work, especially when the original designed alignment is poor (many trails in our area fall into this category).

    We hope to achieve many goals with these 2 trails, more fun to ride but also better water management and thus less erosional forces (which means less trail tread soil loss getting into waterways).

    Woody

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by weather underground
    will the volunteer sorba members doing work get biker bucks?
    There will be no SORBA volunteer work on this project. Unfortunately, the USFS does not really recognize what we call hybrid projects (where a contractor is responsible for some of the work and volunteers also do some). That is a great approach and what we are doing in our work over in Boone on the Rocky Knob trails.

    This project is funded with ARRA money, which is the stimulus bill to help re-built America and jump start the economy. As President of the Professional TrailBuilders Association, I keep track of many trail contractors across the US. I can report that ARRA did exactly what it was supposed to do in a very niche profession, it has kept many a professional trail builder in business this year (and done a lot of need work on this countries failing trail systems).

    Woody

  10. #10
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    The power line offers some great opportunities for trail obstacles and features. As you mentioned that is a wide corridor and offers some quick dips and that could be bermed for some fun, fast, low risk turns and jumps.

    Just my thoughts...would be fun to add in some of that and would be appreciated, I think. Congrats on getting the work.

    John
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  11. #11
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    You an expect berms, rollers and jumps (rolling dips to control water) to be part of our plan for the powerline. That section of corridor will be much more fun to ride when TD is finished.

    Woody

  12. #12
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    It is good to see some of the money that is floating around going to local contractors
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman
    You an expect berms, rollers and jumps (rolling dips to control water) to be part of our plan for the powerline. That section of corridor will be much more fun to ride when TD is finished.

    Woody
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  14. #14
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    Thanks to TD. Very happy to see you get the contract and I know both trails will be better off.
    "Big Gulps huh?...Allllriggghhht....Welp, See ya later!"

  15. #15
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    Glad to hear you got the job. Also glad to hear that Stimulis money is actually out there. It seems like it has only helped asphalt contractors around here.

  16. #16
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    Wanted to update everyone, we will be working on Deer Lake Trail first. Our work began today on this trail and will last about a week. Trail will likely be closed during our construction phase, but be open over the weekend.

    Thanks to all who have posted good words and feelings about us doing the work.

    Woody

  17. #17
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    Yes they were doing some great work today on the Deer Lake Lodge trail . My favorite trail is Wolf Branch ,so far ,and they were doing some major grading where it turns steeply uphill on the Deer trail . This is where I always would walk my bike up because of the conditions of the steep hill also probably still won`t be able to power up it when their done

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMellencamp
    Yes they were doing some great work today on the Deer Lake Lodge trail . My favorite trail is Wolf Branch ,so far ,and they were doing some major grading where it turns steeply uphill on the Deer trail . This is where I always would walk my bike up because of the conditions of the steep hill also probably still won`t be able to power up it when their done
    I know exactly the section you are speaking of and have a lot of photos and video of that section of trail in a heavy rainstorm. The soil leaving the trail tread would run down the flat road and all the way to the bridge where Wolf Branch drops down and dump directly into the stream there. Give me a little time and I will dig out and post a few photos.

    Woody

  19. #19
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    I stopped and looked at the powerline trail (coming from Ledford parking lot) and man it looks good. I walked that first descent down the powerline and I really like what they've done with it. We're really lucky to have such quality trail builders so close. Thanks Woody.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashevillemike
    I stopped and looked at the powerline trail (coming from Ledford parking lot) and man it looks good. I walked that first descent down the powerline and I really like what they've done with it. We're really lucky to have such quality trail builders so close. Thanks Woody.
    Did the same thing this evening. I have to say Trail Dynamics is doing an awesome job. They took that trail which was an old beat down piece of crap and turned it into a seriously fun looking and more importantly sustainable trail. Can't wait to see(ride) Hardtimes connector when they get through. Hell I am going to have to start adding those trails to my preferred route. Woody your guys deserve a cold beer for the work so far. Thanks for taking care of BC.

  21. #21
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    Rode the trail today. It's night and day. The trail looks awesome and was a lot of fun to ride.

  22. #22
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    Great job on the power line trail. Rode it this morning before the rain.

  23. #23
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    Took an afternoon walk-about. After close inspection and deliberation, we say: AWESOME!
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  24. #24
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    I am now without a doubt a fan of TD! That trail ROCKS!
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  25. #25
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    Where is powerline? It is not on the map is it?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercusty
    Where is powerline? It is not on the map is it?
    Deer Lake Lodge trail.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snototter
    Deer Lake Lodge trail.
    Ah I get it now

  28. #28
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    I was wondering the same thing crusty one . Also don`t forget Woody`s not the one doing the work maybe that`s why its looking so good

  29. #29
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    Powerline trail is awesome, can't believe it's even the same piece of ground. You guys do amazing work, can't wait to see how the other trails turn out.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman
    ... I look forward to riding these trails when I return late fall.

    Woody
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  31. #31
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    Are they finished working on Deer Lake yet? Planning to ride tomorrow but won't disturb if they're still working on it.

    I can't wait to see what H.T. connector is going to look like.

    Mike

  32. #32
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    They have the "muddy gully" area set up for laying the lattice armor, so you'll have to get off and walk. I'd suggest checking this out from the Wesley Branch side to Deer Lake so you can experience the nice work on the old washed out section as a downhill.

    They've started working on the HT connector (Warm Up) trail today. Probably not a destination point for a few days.



    Edit: My friend, who really doesn't know trail work, says - this is a lot more better than it was.
    Last edited by M-U-M; 09-14-2010 at 03:46 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Today I rode the completed Deer Lake trail (except for the wooden thingy in the gully, it appears done) and the work is outstanding. You guys can completely overhaul the trail and make it look like it's been that way for a hundred years. And then it looks like you even swept it too...can you come clean up my woods.

    Major props to TD.

  34. #34
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    I'm so newby my fav trails in order, were, Campground Connector and Boyd Branch. Rode (mostly) Deer Lake yesterday and it's my new #1.

    I guess that means it's too easy for everyone else. For me, it means, the great condition gave me the confidence to try some jumps, climbs and descents I would've walked before.
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  35. #35
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    "For me, it means, the great condition gave me the confidence to try some jumps, climbs and descents I would've walked before."

    Already coined it "Greens Lick, Jr."



    This will be a great short route for learning skills - and don't forget, it is a sustainable piece of work.
    Now you're cast of steel and cast aside. Broken dreams maybe, but you haven't died

  36. #36
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    Ooh, it has jumps? I must shred it next time I come up to pillage your hills.


    I have to give it to Woody and TD, the transparency and communication with the riding community is pretty awesome, I love it. Keep up the good work.
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  37. #37
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    Rode Deer Lake yesterday. Overall, it's a big improvement and fun. I'm not really a fan of those tight S-turns on either side of the armored crossing though...no flow to them, IMO. Is that one of those "calming" features just to slow people down?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlavC
    Rode Deer Lake yesterday. Overall, it's a big improvement and fun. I'm not really a fan of those tight S-turns on either side of the armored crossing though...no flow to them, IMO. Is that one of those "calming" features just to slow people down?

    I would imagine the thought process was that since that trail is in close proximity to the PL's it'll be primarily a beginners loop and thus the more than usual purpose built features. Otherwise the proper drainage probably could have been achived with a much faster line through the woods. Still fun though.

  39. #39
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    I rode it today from the boyd branch end definelty not the way to enjoy it all uphill Also they have done major work to this trail for the better dosn`t even look like the same trail

  40. #40
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    Update

    Ed and the crew should finish the dirt work on Hard Times Connector today. The armored crossing using turfstone pavers has been completed on Deer Lake which only leaves a little bit of carpentry work on the boardwalk (replacing broken hand rails and bumper rails) and the whole project is complete.

    One of the things that TD brings to any given project is a larger crew (with tons of expereince and passion) and a full fleet of trail machines. We feel this is a large benefit as it means these projects get completed in the least amount of time and this less disruption to the recreating public. In fact, we choose to keep the trail open during our work (we did have the option to close it down) so the crew could interact with users passing through and get feedback.

    Users will note a crew out there next week doing cultural resources survey work along a section of this trail in the powerlines area. Bent Creek is very rich with arch sites both pre-historic (native americans) and historic (early settlers). A lot of the sites are located in the bottom lands where flat ground can be found, with far fewer sites as the slopes get steep. This is one of the challenges of doing trail work esp. re-location of trails in lower Bent Creek as these sites are protected by law.

    The good comments have been welcomed and it looks like folks are enjoying the work and it adds interest to rides/routes in BC. I got an email from a user who said " This section used to be the trail of tears for me (boring) and is now the trail of smiles (more fun and now interesting to ride).

    Woody

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    Friday evening ride

    Rode both Deer Lodge & Hard Times this evening. The work on Hard Times was so fresh, I could still smell the dirt. I greatly enjoyed the improvements! Good job TD

  42. #42
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    Would have been sick to make Powerline two mirror image trails end to end...a nice little side by side slalom "course" but yet in the name of creating a "bi-directional" trail....:wink:
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  43. #43
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    Just want to say rode uphill on Hardtimes today and was so impressed not only by the elimination of the erosion problems but the changes that made the downhill flow so nicely. Please find more work in Bent Creek

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitaneeNC
    Just want to say rode uphill on Hardtimes today and was so impressed not only by the elimination of the erosion problems but the changes that made the downhill flow so nicely. Please find more work in Bent Creek
    Yah, like Sidehill Connector!

    Nice job on both sides of the road, big improvement.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bizutch
    Powerline
    n00b alert, n00b alert, n00b about to ask stupid question:

    Which trail is "Powerline" trail?
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatNoob
    n00b alert, n00b alert, n00b about to ask stupid question:

    Which trail is "Powerline" trail?

    It is a section of the Deer Lake Trail that is in the powerline corridor (powerines overhead). There are always nicknames for certain trails, or even short sections of trails.

  47. #47
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    Just rode Hardtimes connector, unbelievable awesomeness! The only complaint I have is you made it too popular...there were damn mtnbikes all over it.

    Question for Woody; what are the potholes at the end of each waterbreak ditch? Catch basin for the initial silt runoff after the first rain?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireGoose
    Just rode Hardtimes connector, unbelievable awesomeness! The only complaint I have is you made it too popular...there were damn mtnbikes all over it.

    Question for Woody; what are the potholes at the end of each waterbreak ditch? Catch basin for the initial silt runoff after the first rain?
    Unbelievable awesomeness, sounds like you had some fun on this trail. We like making trails that people enjoy (on foot or on bikes) and want to come back again, gets all of us off the couch and into the woods.

    Yes, you are correct on the purpose of the drainage structures. Rolling dips on fall line trails are hard to get to truly drain back into the forest floor and sometimes require a lead off ditch that leads to a catch basis (settling basin, sump). In the case of the contract work in Bent Creek, there were other issues at play. BC is very rich with cultural sites both pre-historic (native americans) and early historic sites (early settlers) and trail work is done to minimize off trail disturbance of land so as to best reduce chances of disturbance of any cultural resources. Water collects in these basins and then perks into the soil or evaporates into the air when the rain stops. And as you suggest, any sediment that might be moving down the trail tread is captured instead of dumping into a waterway.

    With all the great comments, hopefully we have exhibited that you can build a trail that protects the natural resources (such as water quality), protects any cultural resources, is sustainable (meaning long term lack of needed maintenance) and is also fun to travel on.

    Woody

  49. #49
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    "hopefully we have exhibited that you can build a trail that protects the natural resources (such as water quality), protects any cultural resources, is sustainable (meaning long term lack of needed maintenance) and is also fun to travel on."

    Yep, Woody you and your crew nailed it......THANK YOU! It's really cool that you are doing this all over the country and teaching folks along the way.
    "Roll your own..........." http://smokebikes.com/

  50. #50
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    " It's really cool that you are doing this all over the country and teaching folks along the way."



    Working with the local club COTA here in Bend OR, I built some cool trail through a lava flow area yesterday, fun stuff.

    Ed and the rest of the crew are up in VA for the next 3+ weeks doing projects on GW/Jeff National Forest near Harrisonburg. The project is on USFS lands but funded by an RTP grant that the local mountain bike club got. This gives them more control over the project (as opposed to the FS funding the project) including they got to choose the contractor they thought could do the best job with the project. This could serve as a good example of how things could happen back there in western NC if the mtb public would work hard and get it's collect sheet together.

    I look forward to getting back home and riding this stuff. It will however not likely happen until late Oct.

    Thanks for all the thumbs up on our work from many.

    Woody

  51. #51
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    Rode both today and had fun. I realized that on the powerline, Ed's crew actually moved trees from the forest and transplanted them where the old trail used to be. That was SUPER impressive.

    And the berms on the connector trail were neat. Will be glad when it gets a little more raw since it's so fresh, it's sanitary. But I used to could take a BMX cruiser down Greens Lick and we all know how it's livened up and gotten fun/tech again.

    The two tabletops on flat ground were a neat idea to dry up the bog, but not sure I could get a clean run at them to clear them without hitting another trail user in the blind curve. When the leaves come off, it should be "viewable".

    I gotta pick on your guys for removing a 2" diameter log near the top of the connector that's been there for years now, but I'm sure something will take it's place eventually.
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by bizutch

    I gotta pick on your guys for removing a 2" diameter log near the top of the connector that's been there for years now, but I'm sure something will take it's place eventually.
    lol, I noticed this and missed it as well. Trail work looks good though, it needed it.
    My one says BRAP!

  53. #53
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    "I gotta pick on your guys for removing a 2" diameter log near the top of the connector that's been there for years now, but I'm sure something will take it's place eventually. "[/QUOTE]


    Surely you and Plume understand that a the FS does not see a log across the trail as a "challenge" but instead as an obstacle or obtrusion. We have to follow a trail log in the work we do and the trail log called for removal of all of these log-overs on the trail. When I was out marking the locations for rolling dips and drainage features, I stood there and watched riders. About 50% of mountain bikers were in fact avoiding these logs and riding around. It is better for the main trail to be free of log overs but have them as options just off trail. This is esp. true for the difficulty rating and trail classification of this trail.

    Woody
    Last edited by Woodman; 09-27-2010 at 01:26 PM.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman


    Surely you and Plume understand that a the FS does not see a log across the trail as a "challenge" but instead as an obstacle or obtrusion. We have to follow a trail log in the work we do and the trail log called for removal of all of these log-overs on the trail. When I was out marking the locations for rolling dips and drainage features, I stood there and watched riders. About 50% of mountain bikers were in fact avoiding these logs and riding around. It is better for the main trail to be free of log overs but have them as options just off trail. This is esp. true for the difficulty rating and trail classification of this trail.

    Woody
    Like I said...just picking. This was a stick the size of my daughters arm. Just funny, not complaining. Neat all the same to hear the reasoning behind what has to happen.

    Oh, and I climbed it from Rice Pinnacle and then turned around to ride back down it. There was a group of 3 beginners who specifically chose to go over the 2 remaining logs as opposed to going around, 2 guys, 1 girl. All made "eweett" type fun sounds.

    Thanks,
    B
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  55. #55
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    302
    The new and improved Deer Lake Lodge trail claims a victim. Young lady was being attend by fire and rescue at the bottom of long steepish section. Hope she is OK.

  56. #56
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
    Reputation: FatTireGoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    662
    Quote Originally Posted by Snototter
    The new and improved Deer Lake Lodge trail claims a victim. Young lady was being attend by fire and rescue at the bottom of long steepish section. Hope she is OK.
    I guarantee it wasn't because of the improvements. That downhill that dumps into Wolf Branch claimed a couple bodies a week before it was fixed.

  57. #57
    Third Degree Hater-Fu
    Reputation: bizutch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    562
    I almost spuna round 360 at the turn before the pavers. Wasn't the trail's fault though...just enthusiasm.
    I am not a "Role Model"

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    87
    I haven't ridden out there since the first of July......heading over this week! A local friend just told me about the "upgrades"...can't wait to check them out. I've ridden Bent Creek for 13 years and I'm so thankful for the maintenance/upkeep.

  59. #59
    Spoke Breaker!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    275
    Both Deer Lake Lodge and Hardtimes Connector are great now! Deer Lake Lodge going down to Wolf Branch is soo soo much fun... Very well done trail! I really like that a trail that is so much fun is so easy to get to (for fat, out of shape n00bs).

    Thank You!
    Fat-n00b

    KHS sixfifty606
    Felt F90

    Current Condition:
    6' 2" @ 288 lbs.

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