Pisgah SORBA Big-Dig updates- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pisgah SORBA Big-Dig updates

    Thought it would be good to have one thread here for updates on the Big Dig instead of weeding though several threads.

    Some rock got moved into place yesterday for the rock armoring above the upper bridge (new) location. All the rest of the needed rock will be moved into place this AM (Thur).

    Word has the bridge materials who'll show up today at lunch and if so we will start prepping bridges (cutting stringers down to length, cutting deck boards down to right width) and hopefully moving some into place and then start digging the mud sills.

    Machine work starts this AM so we should have some tread ready for finish work for volunteers.

    Weather in the afternoons is a concern, bring rain gear and we hope to be able to be productive dodging thunder boomers.

    If you are late to any scheduled event and no one is available to sign you in, we will do that up the hill. Please however grab a helmet and other PPE before heading up. For those whom do make it on time for any of the scheduled meeting times, please expect a safety briefing and then to be broken into different groups with specific tasks and crew leaders.

    The support for the project thus far is huge, thanks to all for stepping up.

    Please stay tuned here and Pisgah Area SORBA website and FB for updates. There are some special days developing sponsored by local shops. These are cook out and beer events. Will post up details when we know more.

  2. #2
    Dig it!
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    Lets get it on! I will be there every chance I get.

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    Should you do more trail work?

  3. #3
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    We had a slow start to the project this AM. Mobilization to the top with machines was slow, and I then had a major problem with my machine. Other than that, we get off and running. Some materials hauled, some machine work done, some rock armoring done, bridge mud sills starting to be ready fop stringers.

    20+ volunteers showed up, thanks to all. See you Sat. that will be a big day.

  4. #4
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    Pics? For us lurkers and long distance PAS supporters. Hoping to get out there the end of June for an 'up and over' Black Mtn and then some riding.

  5. #5
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    Today was a 13 hr day for me, no time to take photos. We will however post some here or on the PAS website after the weekend.

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  7. #7
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    No rain today which was a plus to the crew working. A full day in the woods for 4 of us with a few coming out for a few hours. If none of the regular scheduled volunteer times don't work for your schedule, just come on out when it does fit your schedule and we can likely find some to do. This is a really big project and we need many hands.

    It was a good day. Moved in some more rock for a long armored section, machine work happened, and the lower bridge got stringers into place and is basically ready for decking.

    Expecting a good number of folks for tomorrow, and we should have some photos posted up after the weekend.

  8. #8
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    A few photos from yesterday and the low bridge location.
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  9. #9
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    I hiked up and checked out the bridge work Woody, looks great. Best part was seeing the creek (with no name) find it's happy place again.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  10. #10
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    Same location, at the end of the day today. Not bad progress. This bridge will be completed tomorrow, and will feature a wood on-ramp that my guess a few of you will use for a jump onto or to clear the bridge.

    We pulled 3 old failed bridges out of the creek today.

    Upper creek that had been choked with sediment got all cleaned out yesterday and is slowing free again. That crossing will feature a 16' bridge and a long section of rock armoring AKA rock garden leading to the bridge. Second bridge might also get finished tomorrow.

    Big day tomorrow.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for the pics & updates Woody, you guys are making some great progress. Working today, but plan to lend a hand on Sunday.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  12. #12
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    Maybe we will get to name this creek. How bout Happy Creek?

    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireGoose View Post
    I hiked up and checked out the bridge work Woody, looks great. Best part was seeing the creek (with no name) find it's happy place again.

  13. #13
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    See you then, thanks for the help.

    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    Thanks for the pics & updates Woody, you guys are making some great progress. Working today, but plan to lend a hand on Sunday.

  14. #14
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    Bring back the Creek Gap!!

  15. #15
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    Would you settle for a bridge with built in on ramp that can serve as a booter? That is what is being built.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusSommers View Post
    Bring back the Creek Gap!!

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    Quick recap from today (sat.) and more details and some photos in the AM.

    20-25 folks out today, good solid crew. Rocks were slung into place, timbers were wrestled, folks added their own special touches and tread got finished behind machines. Got to see folks I have not seen in a very long time, and made many new friends.

    I had my doubts on finishing the project in the timeline I originally laid out when I saw the bridge design and again when I saw the timber when it showed up. The bridges are just are so overkill and each bridge is 4-5 times harder to build than needed which is a time suck vortex. At the end of today as bridge 1 was almost completed (which grew a bit in scope) and seeing what we accomplished in 2 days, I now have good confidence we will in fact do the impossible and complete this project on time and the trail can open back up with only a 10 day closure. Impressive.

    Lots of help still needed next week for all the scheduled workdays, come on out. Thanks to the good folks who busted arse today and got a lot of good work done.

  17. #17
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    Lots of trail heros today. Props of course to Ed and Shrimper for donating machine time and being 2 of the best builders I know. Chuck leading up the bridge crew, awesome wood work as always. Greg and the rock crew did amazing work. Finish crew did great work. Mark the gimp S. was our greeter and handled sign in, thanks for staying interested despite being on crutches. Jeff and the cook out crew were a welcome site after coming down off the mountain, cold beer and burgers were awesome. Too many folks to thank for their part.

    My choice for top hero today is Mark M. from Kernersville NC. Mark drove up last night and found a camp site at midnight up Avery Creek Road. He wanted to be a part of this project despite having never ridden any of the Black Mountain Trail. That kicks arse, thanks Mark.

  18. #18
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    Here are some photos from today. I was way too busy to get many photos, I sure others will post up some better ones than what I got.
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  19. #19
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    The not so glamorous side of trail building: Shrimper and an assistant wrestle a thrown track back on.
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  20. #20
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    Photos showing the detail of the fine work on the on-ramp of the bridge. Thanks Chuck, you and your crew are doing awesome work.
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  21. #21
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    So far things are coming together nicely.
    I am going to try and show again tomorrow. At least by 6 for the free beer and food.

    Actually, I would really like to see that bridge to the end so I will probably be there.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  22. #22
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    Bring it. Bridge 1 will get finished, and bridge 2 will get framed.





    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    So far things are coming together nicely.
    I am going to try and show again tomorrow. At least by 6 for the free beer and food.

    Actually, I would really like to see that bridge to the end so I will probably be there.

  23. #23
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    You gotta walk too far to get to bridge 2.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Would you settle for a bridge with built in on ramp that can serve as a booter? That is what is being built.
    Excellent

  25. #25
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    Shhhh, that is not for jumping. The forest service wouldn't like that.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  26. #26
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    I would know that better than most, I have walked up this trail many of hundreds of times now in the life of this project.


    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    You gotta walk too far to get to bridge 2.

  27. #27
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    Weather looks great for today (Sunday), come on out to help. After work pizza and beer at the trailhead, yahoo.

  28. #28
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    I think I over did it yesterday and tweaked my back.
    I am still going to try and make it out this evening because I would like to see that bridge finished.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  29. #29
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    Bridge 1 complete with Woody strength testing it.

    Gee, I sure hope nobody jumps that creek when they come flying down the hill.

    Pisgah SORBA Big-Dig updates-10410137_10201998184783067_6073117338128952874_n.jpg

    Now on to the second creek crossing....wait, there is a second creek crossing?
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  30. #30
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    Doubtful without a lip... But I'll try

  31. #31
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    Weather report yesterday said 10% chance of rain, and yet it rained all morning up on the trail. Thankfully it cleared before the volunteer start time and we had 25 folks again come out. Shrimper and I got wet all morning and were cussing the weather people, but was happy it did not continue all day.

    Will post up some photos later today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Weather looks great for today (Sunday), come on out to help. After work pizza and beer at the trailhead, yahoo.

  32. #32
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    Well Done. I was backpacking to the top in April and noticed all those timbers in the creek below the bridge. How did you get them out? Cut em first?

    Thanks,

    Eric ||

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC_dirtsurfer View Post
    Well Done. I was backpacking to the top in April and noticed all those timbers in the creek below the bridge. How did you get them out? Cut em first?

    Thanks,

    Eric ||
    Hey, Eric--Just below the existing bridge we discovered timbers (mostly native poplar) from several previous bridges. A sawyer cut them up enough that they could be removed from the creek channel using an excavator, then sawed them into smaller blocks when they were on the trail. Because they're native, we could use the blocks for stream bank stabilization--hopefully they'll be nice and mossy soon. All dimensional (treated) material and associated hardware was removed from the native stuff and will be hauled off the mountain as part of the project. The stream flow is more natural now without the multiple blockages from the old timbers.
    TZ
    Geriatric mountain biker and trail maintainer... ...with digital braking!

  34. #34
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    Re: Pisgah SORBA Big-Dig updates

    So far so good! The turn out thus far has been awesome.


    BUT, we still have a ton of work to do and need you to help rally some troops towards Lower Black. Anyone can contribute their efforts and it will absolutely help to get this project finished and into the win column.

    Thanks for the tremendous effort everyone has put into the Big Dig thus far. You know a good thing is happening when local bike shop owners are coming to lend a hand even though its a busy Saturday.

    Speaking of bike shops, the Hub and The Bike Farm are ponying up their normal Wednesday night ride and bringing the whole crew to join us for an evening of playing with dirt and beefed up bridge building. They are also sponsoring the evening with food and beer. Suspension Experts is on board as the sponsor for Thursday night.

    Beer, food, and good folks, not a bad way to give back to a trail most of us hammer. So grab some friends and let's get this project finished.

    Everyone I spoke with that has seen the trail work and what is happening to it has been nothing but stoked. Let keep the momentum going and finish strong. We need you!
    Should you do more trail work?

  35. #35
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    Here are some photos from the Sunday work session.

    Rock work, bridge strength testing, moving big arse timbers and more. Good day in the woods, thanks to all who came out.
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  36. #36
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    Pisgah SORBA Big-Dig updates

    Nice work y'all!

  37. #37
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    Thanks for your help. Upper bridge is framed and ready for decking. We decided that the on ramps is best way (easy) to again deal with the excessive height so Chuck and I will be working on materials needs for that today and work to get materials to low bridge. Wed. volunteer day will be getting materials by hand from low bridge to upper bridge and getting that finished (along with finish work and more rock armoring).


    [/B]
    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Nice work y'all!

  38. #38
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    We need big efforts all this week to finish up, come on out and help make a difference.

  39. #39
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    Weather looks good for today (Wed), come on out to help. Cook out and beer after the work session. We have been averaging 25 folks per work session, I would love to see us crack 30 tonight.

  40. #40
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    Here is an update on where the project stands:

    Machine work is done to lower bridge, and this tread is ready for finish work and special touches. About 1 hour of dozer work up top and that will get done this afternoon. Low bridge in completed minus the bull rails and those might go on today. Upper bridge is framed and ready for on and off ramps and then decking. Hope to get that also completed today.

    I have worked some on the lower section of trail (below low bridge down to Thrift road) by scarifying tread not to be used and starting some new tread work. We should get half of that done today before volunteers show. More rock work needed at lower bridge and a few spots above.

    Worked with FS yesterday to get last needed materials up to lower bridge: riprap for stream-bank at low bridge and decking and poles for upper bridge (which will have to hand carried up).

    Focus today for the volunteers (of course numbers determine what we do):

    -Carry lumber up to high bridge and work on the approach ramps and decking
    -Stream-bank stabilization on low bridge with riprap
    -Finish rock armor on one cross drain between the bridges
    -One culvert placement and cover between bridges (trenching is done with machines, just need to drop in culvert and cover)
    -More rock armoring for the approach of the lower bridge
    -Finish work behind machines

    We had a great week last and averaged 25 per workday (and of course the machine and bridge crew working hard in front of the volunteers). We need a bigger push for the 4 days scheduled this week, would like to see 25-30 for each of these days. Please continue the social media push to get folks out. If we have good turn out this week, we will indeed finish this project which is HUGE!

    FS folks were out yesterday and they are super impressed and excited. Several FS folks are mtn bikers and they are wanting first ride on the trail, that is a good sign when they are arguing over who gets to ride it first.

    A huge thanks to everyone who is working hard to make this the biggest PAS trail project ever successful.

  41. #41
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    I'll be out there for Saturday's work day!
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying"

  42. #42
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    Nice pics. Yep, some really overly big overly strong bridges. If I ever happen to be riding in the winter on a fat bike and an avalanche comes, I know where I'm ducking under. Or even an earthquake...

    Look forward to seeing firsthand all the hard work, end of June.

  43. #43
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    See you then, thanks.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ride-beer-rinse-repeat View Post
    I'll be out there for Saturday's work day!

  44. #44
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    About 50 people yesterday and The Hub fed us all afterwards.
    Good food, good beer and they made sure it never ran out.
    After working up top on the second bridge, it was awesome coming back down and seeing how much all the hard work changed the trail in just a couple hours. I noticed quite a few places the wheels can leave the ground.

    Suspension Experts is feeding us tonight. Lets not let them off the hook easy with a small crew.

    Pisgah SORBA Big-Dig updates-10390177_10204283274708631_8779446557067095491_n.jpg
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  45. #45
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    That was a great turnout! It was very cool to see all those folks lugging tools and timber up the mountain. To be fair i was skeptical of the work that was changing what i consider an already great trail. After seeing it in person i think its all for the better. More flow, WAY better water control, and at least 3-4 "naturally occuring rock formations" per 50ft of trail if ya get me. What was awesome was seeing everyone grabbing rocks and setting em in all over the place, adding their own personality to the trail. I Can't wait to ride what we built! lower Black wont be as fast but it will have a ton of character.

    Thanks Hub folks for the Dales and Food...

  46. #46
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    Wed. update:

    We put the "BIG" in the BigDig yesterday. I don't have an official head count yet but it was on the high side of 50. Huge day. Lots of good rock work, low bridge completed with bull rails, upper bridge 3/4 decked, moved the old bridge to a new home down the trail, culverts placed and covered, backslope shaped leading to low bridge (AKA berm turn), tons of finish work.

    Wow. A huge thanks to each and everyone who came out. Good work, and good food after the work session.

    After an 11 hr workday for me yesterday, you would think I would fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Nope, had trouble sleeping last nigh as I am just so excited about this project and the new energy and momentum.

    Let's go big again tonight. I can't wait.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Wed. update:

    We put the "BIG" in the BigDig yesterday. I don't have an official head count yet but it was on the high side of 50.
    Absolutely incredible; fingers crossed I can make it out today, Sat. and/or Sun. at least once!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Wed. update:

    We put the "BIG" in the BigDig yesterday. I don't have an official head count yet but it was on the high side of 50. Huge day. Lots of good rock work, low bridge completed with bull rails, upper bridge 3/4 decked, moved the old bridge to a new home down the trail, culverts placed and covered, backslope shaped leading to low bridge (AKA berm turn), tons of finish work.

    Wow. A huge thanks to each and everyone who came out. Good work, and good food after the work session.

    Let's go big again tonight. I can't wait.
    Official volunteer count for Wednesday evening was 58, with 193 hours contributed to a great cause... Somewhere I saw 34 already committed for this evening--we'll certainly complete the decking and bumper rails on the upper bridge, along with lots more finish work. The pace of this project and the enthusiasm of the volunteers are quite impressive!!

    TZ
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  49. #49
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    Its about the community, and this community is making several very big statements.

    Great job everyone, let's finish strong. I hope everyone is coming to the volunteer appreciation party/chapter meeting on Tuesday night at Oskar Blues.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
    Should you do more trail work?

  50. #50
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    I will be there this evening for sure.

    Gotta another bridge to finish.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Because you slackers did not finish that bridge, now you got to come back Sat. and work w/ Chuck again to get it all wrapped up.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I will be there this evening for sure.

    Gotta another bridge to finish.

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    When will we be addressing the future plans for middle black & upper black? I would like to share some thoughts/ideas as well as some folks I know.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Because you slackers did not finish that bridge, now you got to come back Sat. and work w/ Chuck again to get it all wrapped up.

    Thanks.
    Well if we had a crew leader that was't so busy sanitizing stuff and bought us enough decking screws and kept our batteries charged, the bridge would be finished.

    Oh well, when it is all done the rodies will love it.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  54. #54
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    Oden, Right now the plan for the section from Thrift Cove up to the fire ring is fairly minimalist. Get it draining with mostly if not all hand work. Prob take place this Summer and Fall in smaller groups.

    Upper Black may happen this Fall or Winter but is equal in size and scope to lower Black as far as the amount of work to be done. Minus a bridge or two... We are considering it for another project in the Big Dig series.

    But a lot has to take place before that project occurs. We will make an announcement when we get it worked out with the FS.

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    Should you do more trail work?

  55. #55
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    Looking great guys keep it up!

  56. #56
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    Chuck was your crew leader, I am the project manager. Don't blame me for not having what you need, just a wee bit busy making sure the whole project is moving forward and little time to focus on minor details like having deck screws.

    FS is buying additional needed hardware today, and we will finish that bridge on Sat.

    FYI, I have a plan for the leftover round poles. How bout some steps/drop offs (you know, stuff roadies would like )




    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Well if we had a crew leader that was't so busy sanitizing stuff and bought us enough decking screws and kept our batteries charged, the bridge would be finished.

    Oh well, when it is all done the rodies will love it.

  57. #57
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    A big thanks to Woody and everyone else for making this happen. I was really impressed with the changes. It will be a much better trail than it was. See ya'll out there again tomorrow.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    FYI, I have a plan for the leftover round poles. How bout some steps/drop offs (you know, stuff roadies would like )
    There you go doing more sanitizing.
    Maybe you should just pave the damn thing....or is that plan for middle Black?
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  59. #59
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    sorry I couldn't make it out today, I had a great time Wed building the bridge (I would've brought batteries.....)

    Big thanks to Woody for setting this up, I didn't get to say thanks in person at the BBQ, you were too busy taking credit with other people....

  60. #60
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    Thank you for coming out. Busy, I have not noticed I was busy.


    Quote Originally Posted by shupack View Post
    sorry I couldn't make it out today, I had a great time Wed building the bridge (I would've brought batteries.....)

    Big thanks to Woody for setting this up, I didn't get to say thanks in person at the BBQ, you were too busy taking credit with other people....

  61. #61
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    42 volunteers out today (Sat. June 7th) for a great day in the woods. Lots of rock work in several places, the upper bridge got finished, finish work on the lowest section of trail and a few special projects completed.

    Here are a few photos. Too busy up and down the the trail to snap very many. As you see, lots of folks doing good work, getting dirty and having fun. Thanks to all who came out.

    We need one more push tomorrow and then we will be done. Come out on and help get this project to the finish line. Bring your bikes and riding gear. If we have a good turn out, the plan is work for 2 or so hours and then suit up for a ride. Everyone who has helped with the project is invited to join us at 5:30 at the top of the trail for a first tracks ride down all the great work. After that, I plan to close the trail and let it settle in for a week. The trail will re-open to all Sat. June 14th.
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  62. #62
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    What an awesome project to be a part of.

    Anyone that doesn't think this is a huge improvement over the old trail is crazy.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  63. #63
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    Perhaps you have forgotten, there are a few crazy trolls who hang out here on MTBR.

    Thanks for all your help, you have been a very big part of this. Will you be part of the ride tomorrow evening? You deserve an early spot on first tracks.


    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    What an awesome project to be a part of.

    Anyone that doesn't think this is a huge improvement over the old trail is crazy.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post

    Thanks for all your help, you have been a very big part of this. Will you be part of the ride tomorrow evening? You deserve an early spot on first tracks.
    I am planning on it.

    And thanks, it really was a lot of fun. I almost hate to see that it is over but I don't know if my body could do a another week of it. lol
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  65. #65
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    It does look much wider

  66. #66
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    Don't ride it then.

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  67. #67
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    More education for those that don't know how trails mature.

    While new work is full bench width; with a bit of time, seasonal change, how the trail gets ridden in and compacted by the users and rain, the erosion of the top most layer that doesn't bind, are just a few of the factors that will affect how a trail matures. Leaf litter alone will change the width perception.

    New trails will tighten up over time as as dominate lines form.

    According to over 50 volunteers I spoke with, the trail is tighter and more technical and looks like it will be a blast.

    But then again, they have seen it first hand.

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    Should you do more trail work?

  68. #68
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    I was able to make the Saturday workday (I'm coming up from Greenville) and I have to say the "new" trail looks outstanding - I will be up in 2 weeks to give it a run. Great job to all involved and nice meeting some of y'all (along with some I have met in the past out and about).
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying"

  69. #69
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    Also a big thanks to Sycamore Cycles for some awesome BBQ.

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    Thanks for coming out. We had a few out of towers show up which was awesome. Should be drying out today, may open it tomorrow if dry enough but late Friday for sure so open for the weekend.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ride-beer-rinse-repeat View Post
    I was able to make the Saturday workday (I'm coming up from Greenville) and I have to say the "new" trail looks outstanding - I will be up in 2 weeks to give it a run. Great job to all involved and nice meeting some of y'all (along with some I have met in the past out and about).

  71. #71
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    We had 18 folks out Sunday for the final push and we did indeed get finished, thanks to all who came on the last day.

    Good weather today, should have been good for drying out the tread. I will check the trail tomorrow and if dry we will open it up. Back up plan is to let it sit a few more days and open it for the weekend.

    A total of over 650 hours went into the project which is amazing.

    I will post up some post work videos later this week.

  72. #72
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    Just a reminder of the PAS Chapter meeting and volunteer appreciation gathering tonight at Oscar Blues:

    Pisgah Area SORBA » Blog Archive » Chapter meeting June 10th, 2014 at Oskar Blues Brewery – Brevard

    Grill out and free beer, come on out.

  73. #73
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    Is There a Timeline for work on Middle or Upper Black?

  74. #74
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    Lower Black Mountain Trail is Open for Business!

    As of 11:30 this morning lower Black Mountain Trail is open--let the celebration begin!

    (Or, if you're a keyboard azz clone with a glass half-empty view of the world, let the whining begin... ...wait, the whining already began.)

    TZ
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailZen View Post
    As of 11:30 this morning lower Black Mountain Trail is open--let the celebration begin! Kimi

    (Or, if you're a keyboard azz clone with a glass half-empty view of the world, let the whining begin... ...wait, the whining already began.)

    TZ

    Woot! I wont be able to get back for a couple weeks, but it looked great while I was working/hiking it.
    My bike MCA kinda climbs like a billy-goat. WOO WOO!

  76. #76
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    Now you're cast of steel and cast aside. Broken dreams maybe, but you haven't died

  77. #77
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    Dirt surf

    See post 54

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  78. #78
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    I might have to take a half day on Friday and go ride it again accept for doing the whole trail. The corridor is a lot narrower and tighter than it was previously. A much better mountain biking trail. I would not call it flow by any means. Lots of twists, turns, rocks, kickers, etc. Is it a freeride downhill park? No, but some of the better trail work that I has been done. I always considered the fun part of black to be over by time you got to the Thrift Cove intersection. For me this has added a lot more fun factor for the lower section.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  79. #79
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    For those who ride it and don't like it better, just ride down Thrift Cove. It is about the same as what Lower Black used to be.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  80. #80
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    Here is a video of the "super highway".

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...454857&fref=nf

    Anyways, anyone who has seen it before knows this is a lot better than it was.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  81. #81
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    Trail was re-opened yesterday lunch time. We had 2.5 days of no rain and things wee starting to dry out, but a big ole Pisgah style thunderstorm last night brought back the rain. PAS plans a "tune up" workday in a few weeks once the trail has been ridden some (my guess is a lot).

    We had a great chapter meeting and celebration last night with many volunteers involved in the project and 4 FS staff showing up (several rode bikes to the event). I have a final walk through with the FS staff Friday AM and to talk strategy to keep the momentum and positive energy moving forward.

    Again, thanks to everyone who was involved. Well over 100 different folks helped out and we donated over 650 hours on this project.
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  82. #82
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    Trail is open again, please ride with respect: Respect for the land, respect for other users. We had a nice 2.5 days of dry, but it rained again last night. There will be some soft spots, and PAS volunteers will schedule a tune up in a few weeks after some traffic on the trail.

    What can expect:

    -More sinuosity (continual curvilinear shape)
    -Much greater undulation (ups and downs which provide for good water management and fun on a bike)
    -Despite what the movie critics (who have not seen the movie) say here, the trail (usable tread surface) is much more narrow than before. Old usable tread was 8' average with 10-12' in places, the new tread average is 4' or less
    -Much better sight-lines straight ahead on the trail but also around curves
    -Views of the creek and water features you have never seen/experienced
    -Though still a bit wet and soft in places, over time the tread will be much drier
    -More rock than before. We reused all rock dug up from old roadbed, but also imported over 4 tons of rock for armoring in different locations
    -Generally more technical (not less as some posting here would have you believe, but they have not seen Lower Black 2.0). You will now have to use your handlebar to steer and maneuver the bike, where as before it was mostly straight line which is typical for old roads as trails.
    -More fun
    -More stable and maintainable
    -Way less impact on the creek and natural resources

    Here was a few videos of the work:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f96-...ature=youtu.be

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdN1...495695&index=2

    022 - YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTyN...ature=youtu.be
    Last edited by Woodman; 06-11-2014 at 10:38 AM.

  83. #83
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    all,
    thanks to everyone who has done all this work on black. now for the ignorant part of my post...did ya'll reroute the lower section completely or rework it? was it all the way to the the shelter? i don't get out that way too often, but i love that trail. thanks again for all the work ya'll have done

    b

  84. #84
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    Just the lower part from Thrift Cove down.

    It was a road to trail conversion.
    It used to 8 to 12 feet wide going down. We narrowed that 4 feet or less turning it in to true single track. It is however following the old trail and not rerouted. It now just twists and turns within in the old trail.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    Oden, Right now the plan for the section from Thrift Cove up to the fire ring is fairly minimalist. Get it draining with mostly if not all hand work. Prob take place this Summer and Fall in smaller groups.

    Upper Black may happen this Fall or Winter but is equal in size and scope to lower Black as far as the amount of work to be done. Minus a bridge or two... We are considering it for another project in the Big Dig series.

    But a lot has to take place before that project occurs. We will make an announcement when we get it worked out with the FS.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
    Thanks for your reply & input. Middle & upper black are the two sections that I ( and several others I know) would like to be involved with. I think there are some great options when addressing those trails.

  86. #86
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    Rode it again today with mattnmtns and snototter and what a blast.
    It is still a little slick but nowhere near as bad bad as it was the day we finished. It is firming up nicely and will only get better with time. So many more opportunities to catch air than before and few surprise kickers that launch you higher than expected.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Thanks for the ride report. It was wet on Friday, but we have had 2 days in a row with no rain (a new record). I wish I had time to go ride it before heading west, but have a ton to do and that may not happen. My guess is it will be packed and riding good when I return in 15 months.

  88. #88
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    You should seriously take an hour and just ride up Thrift and do it.
    You seriously did a good job on this and deserve to taste the spoils.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  89. #89
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    On Friday morning, PAS President Chris S. and I had a walk through of Lower Black with FS folks including District Ranger Derrick I. FS staff were very happy with the overall project, but especially impressed with the bridges and rock work. It had rained every day since we opened the trail on last Tuesday and there had been lots of traffic so a fair bit of bike tread damage. Some of that should heal as things dry out and we have traffic on the tread with the right moisture content for some good compaction. It has now been dry with no rain for a few days and the reports I am hearing is tread is firming up nicely.

    As always, there will be a few out spoken riders who "liked the trail just the way it was". Almost all of the feedback I am hearing however from the recreation community is positive. Many riders have been on the new trail and like it much better and find it way more interesting (and many feel more challenging). I spoke to hikers on Friday who really like the new tread, better sight lines and views of the creek, but also noted a more "trail like" feeling. The FS is super happy and will continue to push for a more sustainable trail system reducing the impact trails (and trail users) are having on the land. And most important of all, the creek is way more happy than before.

    Thanks again to all involved.
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  90. #90
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    Rode it twice on Saturday because it was too much fun not to ride a second time. Awesome job, it absolutely stays in the spirit of the most difficult rating, requires more skill to ride fast, and provides a better user experience of the surrounding woods. It's not a "flow trail" that steers my bike for me; there were multiple good line choices that required me to steer my bike.
    Again , good job PAS, volunteers, and involved trail professionals!

  91. #91
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    Am hearing of lots of folks riding it twice cause it is so much fun. Keep in mind that in the trails world of USFS, difficulty ratings do not speak to how technical a trail is or is not, but instead how long a trail is. Black Mountain is rated Most difficult due to being 9 miles long, not because of any technical aspects. I know, this makes no sense but is real. USFS Trail Design Parameters do speak to difficulty to a certain degree, but what Class a trail is rated for FS management is not generally shared with the public. I will be pushing to downgrade Upper Black to a Class 2 trail and new development (when that happens which is not any time soon due to needed NEPA) should reflect Most Difficult Class 2 trail.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Rode it twice on Saturday because it was too much fun not to ride a second time. Awesome job, it absolutely stays in the spirit of the most difficult rating, requires more skill to ride fast, and provides a better user experience of the surrounding woods. It's not a "flow trail" that steers my bike for me; there were multiple good line choices that required me to steer my bike.
    Again , good job PAS, volunteers, and involved trail professionals!

  92. #92
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    Interesting tidbit of knowledge... So what you're telling me is that instead of a squigglier line to show 'difficulty' it should really just be a longer line. I guess in reality if you straighten out a really squigly line, its also truly longer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Am hearing of lots of folks riding it twice cause it is so much fun. Keep in mind that in the trails world of USFS, difficulty ratings do not speak to how technical a trail is or is not, but instead how long a trail is. Black Mountain is rated Most difficult due to being 9 miles long, not because of any technical aspects. I know, this makes no sense but is real. USFS Trail Design Parameters do speak to difficulty to a certain degree, but what Class a trail is rated for FS management is not generally shared with the public. I will be pushing to downgrade Upper Black to a Class 2 trail and new development (when that happens which is not any time soon due to needed NEPA) should reflect Most Difficult Class 2 trail.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

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  93. #93
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    Trail is certainly more sguigly than before!!!

    FS trail management leaves a lot to be desired. At OHV areas, the trail difficulty ratings mean what they should (how hard a trail is from a technical standpoint). But non- motorized trails don't use the same philosophy. My discussions with local FS folks recently found they agree that it makes no sense.

  94. #94
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    I know, that's why I said " in the spirit of" not "in the definition of." Meaning, what I think when I see the most difficult rating...and when I think of what Black Mountain trail has meant to me for the past 17 + years. It was the first trail I rode when I moved to the area and it has changed so much...sometimes for the worse, but this time definitely for the better.

    So again, thanks!

  95. #95
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    You have some sweat equity in the project as well, so thank you. And thanks for the positive comments o how the trail rode.

    I hope the momentum can continue, but I will not be a part of it. Heading west late this week for a 15 month adventure out and about, but also lots of time based in Bend OR.




    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I know, that's why I said " in the spirit of" not "in the definition of." Meaning, what I think when I see the most difficult rating...and when I think of what Black Mountain trail has meant to me for the past 17 + years. It was the first trail I rode when I moved to the area and it has changed so much...sometimes for the worse, but this time definitely for the better.

    So again, thanks!

  96. #96
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    After riding it again on Sunday I can say that in only 1 weeks time it improved immensely. I can't wait to the progression of this trail on regular basis.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  97. #97
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    I tried to ride it on Sunday but had to walk down (tread was way to soft for a bike) so I can't say how well it flows, but from my perspective it looked like sight lines might be better and bikes will have to slow down which means user conflicts might be reduced and it might be safe to run up again. That makes the project successful, imo. So, thanks for that.

    I wonder how long it takes for the areas covered with downed trees and limbs to revegetate? I realize I'm in the minority who is more concerned with aesthetics than anything else... Most mountain bikers won't even notice...

    Anyway, you should do Butter Gap next. It is close to water and in dire need of help.
    More Trails, Not Less

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  98. #98
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    Pisgah SORBA Big-Dig updates

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    I tried to ride it on Sunday but had to walk down (tread was way to soft for a bike) so I can't say how well it flows, but from my perspective it looked like sight lines might be better and bikes will have to slow down which means user conflicts might be reduced and it might be safe to run up again. That makes the project successful, imo. So, thanks for that.

    I wonder how long it takes for the areas covered with downed trees and limbs to revegetate? I realize I'm in the minority who is more concerned with aesthetics than anything else... Most mountain bikers won't even notice...

    Anyway, you should do Butter Gap next. It is close to water and in dire need of help.
    At this point in your public melt down, I'm not sure you could tell your arse from a hole in the ground. In your mind, do you think anyone is concerned about your unstable opinions?

  99. #99
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    It's still damp in places...

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    I tried to ride it on Sunday but had to walk down (tread was way to soft for a bike) so I can't say how well it flows, but from my perspective it looked like sight lines might be better and bikes will have to slow down which means user conflicts might be reduced and it might be safe to run up again. That makes the project successful, imo. So, thanks for that.

    I wonder how long it takes for the areas covered with downed trees and limbs to revegetate? I realize I'm in the minority who is more concerned with aesthetics than anything else... Most mountain bikers won't even notice...

    Anyway, you should do Butter Gap next. It is close to water and in dire need of help.
    I walked the Big Dig project area in both directions this morning; with the recent work and the almost-daily showers we still have some soft spots, but most of the tread is in good shape and can certainly support a bike and rider...

    The areas "...covered with downed trees and limbs..." should revegetate in a year or so. Similar areas on DSRF (Hickory Mtn Loop, lower Cedar Rock) are showing new vegetation after only 4-6 months. The areas on lower Black were scarified to break up the compaction of old tread areas and reduce the time required for new vegetation to take hold...

    Had you deigned the event worthy of your presence, you could have declared yourself Lord of Trailside Aesthetics and set out with a crew to address revegetation while the work was in progress!

    TZ
    Geriatric mountain biker and trail maintainer... ...with digital braking!

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    Maybe I don't know DW like you guys... so either is he baiting or you dudes are blowing this out of proportion....? Based on his simple comments, he is giving props to the trail. & he is right, butter gap is a mess & should be addressed for riders & hikers.

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Am hearing of lots of folks riding it twice cause it is so much fun. Keep in mind that in the trails world of USFS, difficulty ratings do not speak to how technical a trail is or is not, but instead how long a trail is. Black Mountain is rated Most difficult due to being 9 miles long, not because of any technical aspects. I know, this makes no sense but is real. USFS Trail Design Parameters do speak to difficulty to a certain degree, but what Class a trail is rated for FS management is not generally shared with the public. I will be pushing to downgrade Upper Black to a Class 2 trail and new development (when that happens which is not any time soon due to needed NEPA) should reflect Most Difficult Class 2 trail.
    I hope that a different viewpoint is considered on upper black..? There are 2 options available to this situation. Which can be discussed in person/meeting.

  102. #102
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    Major props to all of you who worked to transform lower Black. I'm a Southeast PA based rider, just got back a long weekend in Brevard. A buddy from Philly married a local Brevard girl 12 years ago and I've been visiting them every summer for the last 12 years. Long story short, I'm very familiar with this trail and am blown away by how great the changes are and how it was all accomplished in just a few weeks. Great community effort and incredible results! It was fun before but now so much better.

  103. #103
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    Wow. Super impressed with the work you guys put in on Lower Black. We visited over the weekend and rode it for the first time in about 3 years. Still smiling from the fun ride down. Really awesome work. Thanks to all involved!

    I also hiked up it with my dog one morning and even took some photos to refer back to for future trail work (much smaller scale) on my local trails in WV. Thanks again, and congratulations on some great work.

  104. #104
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    Finally got a chance to ride this on the last weekend of July. The work is amazing! A challenging, fun trail was made even more challenging, more fun and sustainable to boot. The rock work is artisan grade !

    Thanks
    The Other Eric

  105. #105
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    The major rework of lower Black Mountain continues to great good reviews. Some are posted here, and I get PM and emails on a regular basis from folks loving the work. I have had many reports that the trail is dry and riding great. Here is an excerpt from an article on the recent Dirt Rag that was on riding and beer in Asheville area:

    The bottom of Black Mountain Trail got overhauled. When I heard that last bit of news, a wave of fear reverberated down my spine. The bottom part has definitely changed, and in my opinion its been reworked perfectly- new undulations, better tracked berms, rollers, and a new bridge. We fly down the fast lower section and it seems as if its twice as long as it was in its previous life.

    Thanks again to all who helped with this major project.

    PAS had 55 out on Green's Lick today for a tune up of a Bent Creek favorite.

  106. #106
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    Another good review of the hard work we put into lower Black:

    Recharging the Soul in Pisgah - Pinkbike

    "The bottom of Black Mountain has recently been re-worked and the handy work is amazing."

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