Hubbard bike trial maintnance- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: LarryFahn's Avatar
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    Good job! Hubbard bike trial maintnance

    When we first started riding up Hubbard it was a lot of mining roads, access trails for the power lines and quad trails the hunters use. Over the past 3 years, the riders (mtb) will mark trails off during the winter and break them in during the spring. One of our trails was made on a flat section on top of the mtn. Somehow, the water table is really high. I'd like to say that this trail was built on a dry season and we never saw it as a problem until this year. We've avoided it for most of this year. But, even on "dry top" days that it was ridden, it would get dug up some. The other day Dan and I went up to scope out new trails. While we were there we noticed a big puddle about 15 feet long and mucky stuff before and after it. We decided to "put some sticks across it". 3-4 hours later we had a beauty of fixed ST.



    We built up the wood lengthwise first using downed trees that were about 4" in dia. We then laid the same dia pieces across the pervious layer. Because of the inconsistency of natural wood, we then took small branches and twigs and broke them up into 4-6" pieces and dropped them all over the top to fill in the spaces and lock everything in place. Dan then did the rest as I took over the before and after rock beds. Dan took small dia branches and made them about 30" and laid them across the "bed" of twigs, making sure to keep them tight and not use anything that is rotted. I found some rock piles (natural ones) that have rock slabs standing vertical. I started to pull these rocks out and carry them over to before and after the bridge. We laid them out accordingly to keep the wheels on the narrow rock beds. No sharp turns that will cause the rear wheel to track off the rocks. What was gooey mud is now a solid rock bed! What was a puddle is now a solid wood bridge! We put up "guard rails" to keep the riders on course. Where there's intersections, we laid down trees that were already down, on the edges so riders can now find them without missing them. You can see some of the guard rails in the pics. We want to redo a good percentage (10%) of this trail to keep it from getting like this section was. Over all it's about a mile long.

    Some things I'd like to add in.
    We scoped out the before and after lines to make sure it would have some flow.

    We didn't alter anything that wouldn't be visible from 10-15 feet.

    Nothing was changed dramatically so that a rider would miss it.

    We put in a new line down a rock that everybody used to go around (not pictured). It was about a one foot drop with 2 tombstones sticking up after it. Everybody would go to the right of it. We took one of the tombstones and put it after the drop as a transition. It led directly to the other tombstone and eliminates it.
    1) This will let you ride on the rock instead of around it, which will help stop any erosion.
    2) We didn't close off the old way though. We don't want to "force" anyone into hitting something they don't know is there. It's better for people to see the new feature and ride it on their own instead of guard railing the old line off and making them do something they've never done after riding a trail several times. The old line will be eliminated when the regulars know about the change and accept it.

    Also, don't baby it up so that it's like a paved road either. Notice the rocks are only about 12" to 16" wide. The bridge was around 30" to 36" but narrowed when we put the guard rails in to about 20" to 24" when it was finished.

    I know a lot of people don't want to do trail work if they can be riding instead. But the fact of the matter is it's just as fun. Did you ever dream of your perfect trail? It took 2 of us 3-4 hours to build 150 feet+ some side work. Dan wouldn't stop! He told me he wanted to be done riding by 1. Instead our time was spent maintaining. We didn't officially stop until 2:30. We had to play rock, paper, scisors to see who would enjoy the fruits of our labor first. He won.

    Fahn
    Last edited by LarryFahn; 11-25-2006 at 10:42 PM.
    Hubbard Bike Club

  2. #2
    beer thief
    Reputation: radair's Avatar
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    Nice to see your passion for trail work, but how long do you think those sticks will last?

  3. #3
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    Nice to see your passion for trail work, but how long do you think those sticks will last?
    Yep, it's good to see designated trail stewards like us step up to build new trails and maintain old ones. The work is rewarding and fun!

    Also, radair makes a good point about the sticks. I wonder, too, how long they will last. In the future, you might try to find an area in which to build new trail that is sloped more than 5% to prevent pooling. Also, if you haven't already, try to attend one of IMBA's trail building schools. They rock!

    D

  4. #4
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    I'm figuring maybe 3 years until the bottom ones rot and turn into some sort of base. The top of the bridge is about 4"- 6" above the water itself. It's not always a puddle there. Our thoughts after were to put a stone 'foundation' down and build a wood bridge over it using pallets I can get from work. 15" wide by 12' long. But this came out really good as is. I was trying to figure out a diversion ditch, but it's at one of the lower spots. Do you guys have any other ideas as to what we should do if it decays?
    My original plan was to build around this one. The problem with that is- A) Another trail B) The surrounding areas aren't much better C) A ton of thick brush.

    Thoughts? Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  5. #5
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    I'm figuring maybe 3 years until the bottom ones rot and turn into some sort of base. The top of the bridge is about 4"- 6" above the water itself. It's not always a puddle there. Our thoughts after were to put a stone 'foundation' down and build a wood bridge over it using pallets I can get from work. 15" wide by 12' long. But this came out really good as is. I was trying to figure out a diversion ditch, but it's at one of the lower spots. Do you guys have any other ideas as to what we should do if it decays?
    My original plan was to build around this one. The problem with that is- A) Another trail B) The surrounding areas aren't much better C) A ton of thick brush.

    Thoughts? Fahn
    Nice initial work.

    If the surrounding area isn't any better, don't build a new trail. If it is better enough to provide outslope and drainage, build the new trail (assuming you have permission) and reclaim/close the old trail. Go through the thick brush if thats where the sustainable tread corridor is. Replant some of that thick brush in the old trail. I know thats more initial work, but it's a better long term solution.

    The rock at either end of the quasi "turnpike" you've built will last. Perhaps that's the solution all the way across. Consider "choking" the outside edge with larger rock or logs (turn logs perpendicular) so that the easy line is to ride the rocks, otherwise users my widen the trail.

    The trail construction book "Lightly on the Land" has some ideas/illustrations of "turnpike construction. IMBA's book and website have considerable info on tread hardening with rock.

    Keep up the work.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    I'm figuring maybe 3 years until the bottom ones rot and turn into some sort of base. The top of the bridge is about 4"- 6" above the water itself. It's not always a puddle there. Our thoughts after were to put a stone 'foundation' down and build a wood bridge over it using pallets I can get from work. 15" wide by 12' long. But this came out really good as is. I was trying to figure out a diversion ditch, but it's at one of the lower spots. Do you guys have any other ideas as to what we should do if it decays?
    My original plan was to build around this one. The problem with that is- A) Another trail B) The surrounding areas aren't much better C) A ton of thick brush.

    Thoughts? Fahn

    Larry:

    Great work

    I like to use things which keep the trail natural rather than trucking in gravel and other items. I guess if you had some flat rock to lay over the top of the logs this would elevate the trail up from the water. Wood soaks up water and becomes soft quickly.

    We had a section at FS someone did the same and after riding it less than a year the logs sank into the mud and then the wheels of the bikes broke the logs in half. Not that logs are wrong, but we talked about doing a wet section with 8 dia.logs making it raised up quite a bit. Kinda hard to find blowdowns that size in the area we were working, so I guess ya have to use whatever you have handy. Large logs won't break under the weight even wet. They do get slippy though and you have to concentrate on keeping the front wheel straight.You can add small rocks on top in between the logs for traction, but we won't do that. Our trail is all about learning the technical aspect of riding.

    Try using large flat rocks in a pattern that the wheels of the bike will be supported and not drop between the rocks and interlocking them with smaller stones so as to bind the whole thing together. We put really big rocks in the center of our trail to make it a challenge since it was so fast with just stone.


    Looks great though!

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