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  1. #1
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    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?

    Our backyard is relatively small compared to the large patches of woods that many are working with here, but I'd like to see what I can do to make our small 1/10th mile loop easier for riding.

    Does anyone know of alternative ground covers that could be seeded into a lawn that would be better for riding a bike across than grass?

    The main things I'm looking for:
    • At least as hardy as grass (ie, riding laps at night won't kill it)
    • Doesn't grow as high as grass
    • Lower rolling resistance than grass
    • Can take over grass / spread if seeded in together
    • Does well in sun



    What I'm looking for might not exist, but I figure it'd at least be worth asking.

  2. #2
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    Some kind of turf grass for athletic fields. Have some of that stuff in my yard, really wide, tough, indestructible blades that bog down the lawnmower. It's a no-win on rolling resistance since a tougher grass is going to add resistance. But if you do enough laps... maybe consider planting some pavers, they are guaranteed not to grow taller than the surrounding grass, and never need water, sun, or fertilizer.

  3. #3
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    Rocks.
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    Why are all the trails dirt and rocks instead or grass?

  5. #5
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    Wood chips?

    If you're wanting to be able to just ride all over the place, I don't think you're going to find anything. If you can make a path through the grass, you could do rocks, and/or wood chips. Either would have to be properly sized.

    Maybe a picture of the lawn would help. It sounds like if what you are looking for existed, we'd be using it for our lawns instead of grass.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapva View Post
    Some kind of turf grass for athletic fields. Have some of that stuff in my yard, really wide, tough, indestructible blades that bog down the lawnmower. It's a no-win on rolling resistance since a tougher grass is going to add resistance. But if you do enough laps... maybe consider planting some pavers, they are guaranteed not to grow taller than the surrounding grass, and never need water, sun, or fertilizer.
    Athletic fields and never needing water got me started thinking: I wonder how well artificial turf (aka indoor outdoor carpet) would work...

  7. #7
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    Creeping Fescue. Its a family of grasses that have great qualities (as far as non-native plants go). They require little watering (assuming you don't live in desert), little mowing if left long (usually twice a season) and self fill in. The "creeping" varieties are used in professional turf fields. The one thing though: if you keep it short, it needs lots of attention, which is why professional fields are mowed, fertilized and cared for ad nauseam; let it go long (12"+) it folds over into a beautiful lush green carpet that has as high rolling resistance as grass.

    If I was you, I would just do a slight raised bed trail with high clay content soil. Yeah, it will look like a trail, but it will look nice. better if you want to put some hostas or something along the edge. Run the rototiller, get some Georgia red clay and make it as scenic as possible.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    Creeping Fescue. Its a family of grasses that have great qualities (as far as non-native plants go). They require little watering (assuming you don't live in desert), little mowing if left long (usually twice a season) and self fill in. The "creeping" varieties are used in professional turf fields. The one thing though: if you keep it short, it needs lots of attention, which is why professional fields are mowed, fertilized and cared for ad nauseam; let it go long (12"+) it folds over into a beautiful lush green carpet that has as high rolling resistance as grass.

    If I was you, I would just do a slight raised bed trail with high clay content soil. Yeah, it will look like a trail, but it will look nice. better if you want to put some hostas or something along the edge. Run the rototiller, get some Georgia red clay and make it as scenic as possible.
    You guys can get Georgia red clay? Maybe we can work out a trade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Athletic fields and never needing water got me started thinking: I wonder how well artificial turf (aka indoor outdoor carpet) would work...
    Think it would just as cheap to go full park park and build a raised wooden track with bumps, jumps, a wall ride. Make it at least 8' high and you don't lose any existing lawn

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapva View Post
    Think it would just as cheap to go full park park and build a raised wooden track with bumps, jumps, a wall ride. Make it at least 8' high and you don't lose any existing lawn
    So.... I just happened to look at Craigslist this morning and a local tent rental / event company was getting rid of a bunch of rolls used for a single event:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-20190430_130059.jpg

    For free, I figured it's worth a try.

  11. #11
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    You have to post some pictures of that when you are done.

  12. #12
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    No no no, you people are getting it all wrong. Just use regular grass but install these https://invisiblestructures.com/grasspave2/ or https://www.truegridpaver.com/. You get the idea.

    Fills all of Tim's requirements. Notice he didn't put a budget on there.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    So.... I just happened to look at Craigslist this morning and a local tent rental / event company was getting rid of a bunch of rolls used for a single event:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190430_130059.jpg 
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ID:	1249331

    For free, I figured it's worth a try.
    Uhh, try cornering on it when its wet. Get back to me after.

  14. #14
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    I guess I should back up and give a little more context:

    I started building wooden features in the backyard last summer to ride with my kids (4 & 2). The closest spots for riding are about 30 minutes away, which makes it hard to go riding with them after work and be back before it's time for it's time for them to start getting ready for bed.

    Here's some shots of the yard:




    The biggest issues we faced:
    • My 4 year old got frustrated pedaling around the grass on his single speed and decided he'd rather just ride around the flat driveway out front than ride on the grass (not my idea of exciting). In another year or so he'll likely be on a geared bike and have a bit more strength developed, so it'll be less of an issue for him.
    • Doing a pass around the "trail" with the lawn mower on its lowest height before each ride helped, but was pretty tedious.
    • Needing to do a pass around to clean up dog poop every night was another time sink that took away from riding.
    • If there's dirt, the kids want to dig in it -- the approach to the bridge section I built last summer is now referred to by the kids as "muddy center" and is indeed a large mud pit. Again, another thing that should get better over time.
    • We have some low areas at the back / side of the lot that turn into swamp when it rains -- until I solve that, it's mostly dry weather riding for us. Planning on getting a few truckloads of dirt to even that out.


    Once things dry out a little, I'll probably start out putting the carpet underneath & in the approach to where I have the existing rollers & ramps. I'm hoping that will help with the mowing and make it easier for the kids to get up to speed enough that it'll be fun to session them.

    The big tests will be:
    • How well does it hold up to riding on it and mowing near the edges?
    • How is the traction?
    • Do the kids leave it alone?
    • Does the dog poop on it?

  15. #15
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    Lucky kids

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    Some updates on the astroturf -- (still need to get some more photos):
    • Have to either be really careful mowing around the edges or come up with something to put down to cover them -- my wife got a little too close and tore up the end a little with the riding mower
    • Dog & kids seem to be leaving it alone
    • Rollover is better than the grass
    • Traction doesn't seem to be significantly different than the ramps (OK, but not great when wet)


    Decided to start going down the bike park route for the muddier area on the other side of the yard, but wound up spending half the weekend trying to get my minivan unstuck (eventually a friend came by with his 4wd truck to tow me out):
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190518_181626990.jpg
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190519_105343942.jpg

    I know treated landscape timbers may not have the longest life, but at $2.50 on sale at Menards + an 11% rebate, it's about 1/4 the cost of ground contact 4x4's.

    Also think I figured out a solution for lighting at the back of the yard -- stopped by the city building department here and they wanted $170 just for permits to running a 15A line out to a few poles in the yard. When I started adding in the materials cost for wire, conduit, & tools for trenching, hard-wiring just make sense.

    Started looking more seriously at options for solar lights and came across these:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-61s73dkywsl._sl1000_.jpg
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NQ4L1SB/

    The big difference vs. other models that I could find was that they have an option to just turn on full brightness at dusk and stay on until the battery runs out. When I've looked outside around midnight, they were still going.

    Haven't ridden at night with them yet, but based on a quick walk around the yard, I think one light mounted to a 8' 2x4 attached to every other fence post will be enough

  17. #17
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    Grass (actual or plastic) and wood are poor substitutes for real dirt when it comes to fun and 'rideability' IMO/E. Even concrete and pavement are far better.
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  18. #18
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    Food lighting too? The neighbors are going to be happy lol

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Food lighting too? The neighbors are going to be happy lol
    The lighting is pretty directional and all pointed so that it's contained within the yard -- the neighbor behind us actually has a large sodium halide light from the local electric company on a utility pole in their backyard to light up some tennis courts, which is a LOT more obnoxious. We actually had to put in light blocking curtains in our bedroom to sleep at night.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Grass (actual or plastic) and wood are poor substitutes for real dirt when it comes to fun and 'rideability' IMO/E. Even concrete and pavement are far better.
    All else being equal, I'd always pick riding on some nice dirt trails or at the skatepark over riding in the backyard (regardless of surface).

    Other than sidewalks and a 1/3 mile paved trail across the street, though, there's not much interesting around us where we can just get out and ride. By the time we can get kids & bikes loaded up & then unloaded, it's at least 30-40 minutes before we're riding (plus the time to pack back up and head home).

    With a few features in the backyard, I can roll my bike out after work, goof off for 20 minutes with the kids on the ramps and then head back in for dinner.

    On the building & maintenance side of things I enjoy working with wood more than I like working with dirt, so that's another aspect of fun to balance.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    All else being equal, I'd always pick riding on some nice dirt trails or at the skatepark over riding in the backyard (regardless of surface).

    Other than sidewalks and a 1/3 mile paved trail across the street, though, there's not much interesting around us where we can just get out and ride. By the time we can get kids & bikes loaded up & then unloaded, it's at least 30-40 minutes before we're riding (plus the time to pack back up and head home).

    With a few features in the backyard, I can roll my bike out after work, goof off for 20 minutes with the kids on the ramps and then head back in for dinner.

    On the building & maintenance side of things I enjoy working with wood more than I like working with dirt, so that's another aspect of fun to balance.
    I get wanting to have something in the yard - we did a pumptrack and jumps and wooden 'skatepark' style ramps in mine when my son was younger also. It's nice to have something in the yard to mess with, but I also don't see much advantage of building a short wooden backyard sidewalk over the paved one you've already got across the street.

    IME, besides decent quarter/half pipes, wooden structures lose their draw really, really quickly. Yes, they probably tick the 'instant gratification' box better than building from dirt (particularly if you don't have experience working with dirt), but they tend to get boring very quickly and don't take well to modification. They also fall apart pretty quickly unless you overbuild.

    We used to do a fair amount of them and after dealing with them in real life for some years, I try to avoid them if at all possible now; a truckload or two of screened loam can be reshaped over and over into all sorts of fun things, and requires little upkeep over time. Think modelling clay vs popsicle sticks. Plus kids love dirt.

    Anyway, still very cool that you're getting something going in the yard; just wanted to share my experience. Luckily for me, my town asked me to build a public track at our local recreation area and they gave me a choice spot to work with and buy me all the dirt I want. Now everybody has a close-by spot to get get a little ripping in, with or without the rug-rats!
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I get wanting to have something in the yard - we did a pumptrack and jumps and wooden 'skatepark' style ramps in mine when my son was younger also. It's nice to have something in the yard to mess with, but I also don't see much advantage of building a short wooden backyard sidewalk over the paved one you've already got across the street.
    The one thing building in the backyard has going for it vs. the paved trail across the street is potential for change in elevation and more interesting features. Thinking about building a skinny alongside the longer straight section I started on over the weekend, a sloped berm in the corner leading into it, and a gradual incline leading up to / down from the opposite corner.

    Might just be my inexperience working with dirt, but it seems like it'd be harder to build up with dirt and get as close to some of the trees in the yard.

    IME, besides decent quarter/half pipes, wooden structures lose their draw really, really quickly. Yes, they probably tick the 'instant gratification' box better than building from dirt (particularly if you don't have experience working with dirt), but they tend to get boring very quickly and don't take well to modification. They also fall apart pretty quickly unless you overbuild.
    I'll wholeheartedly admit to falling for "instant gratification" -- part of what's made it fun has been seeing when small wood features get built on local trails & trying to build our own versions to session at home.

    I'm trying to walk the line between overbuilding vs. what people tend to do with homemade ramps and underbuilding vs. what people do on public trails. Most things are 4' wide for a combination of making it feel safer and to make the base wide enough that the structures are self-supporting without anchoring them down to the ground via posts.

    We used to do a fair amount of them and after dealing with them in real life for some years, I try to avoid them if at all possible now; a truckload or two of screened loam can be reshaped over and over into all sorts of fun things, and requires little upkeep over time. Think modelling clay vs popsicle sticks. Plus kids love dirt.
    For the lower-lying area I'm building in right now, I'd need a LOT more than one or two truckloads just to fill it in to keep things from getting water-logged in the spring.

    I'm well aware of just how much the kids love dirt -- once they get old enough that they're able to help with maintenance and not just destroy things we might try it out.

    Anyway, still very cool that you're getting something going in the yard; just wanted to share my experience. Luckily for me, my town asked me to build a public track at our local recreation area and they gave me a choice spot to work with and buy me all the dirt I want. Now everybody has a close-by spot to get get a little ripping in, with or without the rug-rats!
    Always good to hear others' experiences -- I'm sure my view will probably shift after a few more years, but for the short-term this seems like the right path for us.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Thinking about building a skinny alongside the longer straight section I started on over the weekend, a sloped berm in the corner leading into it, and a gradual incline leading up to / down from the opposite corner.
    Having a fairly decent sized wooded back yard, about half acre, I thought it would fun to build and ride a trail through it. The reality was it got boring really quick. There wasn't enough downhill to be satisfying and the uphill became a chore. If I had a perfectly flat lot, maybe a pump track would be fun. But the trials furniture, ramps, boxes and skinny's that I can easily change and move around, never seems to get old.

  24. #24
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    Some updates -- here's the astroturf down:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190523_202100740.jpg

    Shot of the end where I need to trim a little after my wife ran it over with the lawnmower:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190523_202125785.jpg

    Made some progress on the wood path over the long weekend:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190528_082545479-1-.jpg
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190528_082550960-1-.jpg

    Here's the current plan:
    • Ramping going up leading towards the spruce at the right
    • Elevated platform continuing around the spruce
    • Slope downward toward the left corner to gain speed
    • Banked turn on the left corner
    • Semi-skinny jutting off the longer path and then connecting back in
    • Small drop at the end of the skinny if you keep going straight

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-trail-plan.jpg

    Waiting on more wood chips to start the turn at the left -- we put in a request for another load from Chip Drop, so we'll see how long that takes (first request took about 1 week).

    For those who haven't heard of it, you can sign up to get free wood chips from arborists in your area with the caveats that you don't get any say in when they come or how much they leave:
    https://getchipdrop.com/
    Last edited by TimTucker; 07-08-2019 at 10:32 AM.

  25. #25
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    Pretty cool really. I would just "ride it in" and maybe add a base with small chips and/or pebbles. The lawn is toast anyway so why not make a "trail" through it.
    Mowing under it will be a pain...
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  26. #26
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    Continuing to make progress -- framing for the elevated deck is coming into place and I hauled another 1,100 lbs of deck blocks into the backyard last night.

    Since the kids play out back during the day while I'm at work, one of the challenges is figuring out how to divide work into chunks so that whatever I start is left in a "safe" condition at the end of the night.

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190612_081540457.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190612_081609349.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190612_081653353.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190612_081728022.jpg

  27. #27
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    Awesome. You've been working hard!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    So.... I just happened to look at Craigslist this morning and a local tent rental / event company was getting rid of a bunch of rolls used for a single event:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190430_130059.jpg 
Views:	61 
Size:	79.9 KB 
ID:	1249331

    For free, I figured it's worth a try.
    There is a mtb trail in Myrtle Beach, SC that as you can imagine is difficult to maintain due to high traffic (big tourist area) and very sandy soil. They use this type of carpet on a lot of the hills and other areas that are just too sandy. Works well and no one complains.

  29. #29
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    Made more progress over the weekend -- really starting to look like a ramp now:

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190616_202510060_hdr.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190616_202536805_hdr.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190616_202553122_hdr.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190616_202558948_hdr.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190616_202631838_hdr.jpg


    For those curious on the process for putting things together, this is roughly how it went to put the sections together:
    • Run a line of string from beginning to end for the stringers
    • Run a line from beginning to end along the tops of the deck blocks
    • Use 2x4's as a template to space out the deck blocks along the bottom line
    • Put 4x4's in each deck block
    • Use clamps to attach horizontal 2x6 support between each set of 4x4s
    • Level the 4x4's from left / right
    • Pre-drill & screw in the 2x6 support to the 4x4's
    • Place the 2x6 stringers onto the horizontal supports
    • Level the 4x4's and clamp down the stringers
    • Predrill & screw to attach the stringer to the 4x4's at each end
    • Use rafter ties at each end to attach the stringers to the horizontal supports

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190614_211045329-1-.jpg

    Still needs a 3rd row of stringers in the middle connected by blocking to the other 2, decking, & railing.

  30. #30
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    Work still in progress -- looking for some feedback on some future ideas I'm kicking around:

    Here's what we'll have when we're done with the current project:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-yard-plans-phase-1.png

    These are some of the ideas that are kicking around in my head for future add-ons:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-yard-plans-future.png

    Adding in the banking around the turn is pretty much for sure at this point, since I'm not sure how safe the corner is going to be without it.

    Does putting a small rock garden in between the main path and the skinnies make sense? I don't think I've seen it done before, but it seems like it might allow for a slightly safer bailout than a normal drop-off and allow fitting an extra technical section into a small amount of space.

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    Personally, I'd want the skinnies to have only soft grass to either side, moving the rock garden to the opposite side of the main highway. Not that 8" is particularly skinny, but falling onto rocks from any height is not good.

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    The challenge with soft grass on the in between area is that like the main path, I'd likely be building with puncheons underneath to keep it above the wet ground.

    24" is probably OK for that type of construction, but getting down to 8" seems like it'd be in danger of tipping.

    The easiest way I can think of to support it would be to connect to the main path, which would mean a series of landscape timbers perpendicular to the skinny - without something like rocks inserted to even it out, I'm afraid that anyone who deviated that would be instantly OTB.

    I'd also like to put in some sort of rock garden section somewhere in the project, so I figured it might kill 2 birds with one stone to use it as a separator.

    Still a lot of work and loads of wood chips before we're at the point where that gets built out, though, which is why I figured I'd be good to start getting feedback on the more complicated parts.

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    Here's an overhead / side view of the idea for the rock garden / skinnies to better depict how it would work with the puncheon construction.

    Note that moving the rock garden off to the right of the boardwalk isn't really an option since it run near the fence and what little space is in there has already been promised to my wife for trees & other plants.
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-rock-garden.png

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    Phase 1 complete! Had some fun riding it with kids last night.

    Initial assessment is that a banked turn is probably needed around the curve -- tried it out with the kids last night and the turn was a bit much for the 2 year old.

    Thinking it might even be a good idea to attach vertical netting like this to the supports around the edge of the curve just in case -- otherwise I'm imagining someone going into the downhill with a bit too much speed and winding up going over the fence into the neighbor's yard:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/40-x-3-Safe...t/331854650674

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190701_140542.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190701_140555.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190701_140600.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190701_140639.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190701_140654.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190701_140644.jpg

  35. #35
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    Had some delays in a side project (literally attaching a traverse wall to the side of the ramps):
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190706_155149.jpg

    Now getting started on the next phase -- putting in a wood berm around the corner:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-20190707_203409.jpg

    I'm a little worried about the possibility of someone just going straight and winding up jumping over the fence into the yard next door, though. Debating on making it 3-tier instead of 2 and having the 3rd slope be a wall ride, but that leaves me with a few questions:
    • Is 48" or so enough height for the steep section on a wall ride?
    • Would adding a few ground anchors on every other support through the middle be enough to handle the extra horizontal force?

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-banked-turn.png

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    I think 48" height is more than enough. At least one anchor mid turn might be good idea, but increasing the 2nd tier angle a bit would make the entire structure stronger and really hard to move.

  37. #37
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    Have been making some progress over the last week on the turn.

    Ultimately I decided that making the 2nd and 3rd tiers each a bit shorter would bring down the 3rd tier angle a bit and make it more likely to get used.

    These past threads / write-ups helped with figuring out approach:
    http://qcforc.org/users/vibrato/WoodenBerms.pdf
    https://forums.mtbr.com/trail-buildi...l#post13212535

    Here's some in progress pics:

    1st tier -- all set to 6 from horizontal (via a bubble level app on my phone):
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190710_122537008.jpg

    2nd tier -- Starting at 40" from the end, goes from 16, 20, 24, 26, 28, 26, 24, 20, 16 (will be a 12 set on each end by the time I'm done):
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190710_212538011.jpg

    3rd tier -- Starts 32" in from the 2nd tier, with the exception of the ends where it starts a little sooner:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190713_111430479.jpg

    Starting to add in the supports for the surface:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190715_081416444.jpg

  38. #38
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    Some more in progress shots -- main framing done and decking starting to go on:

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190804_150452174.jpg

    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190808_195934889.jpg

    Off to Menards to get another load of 2x6's tonight!

  39. #39
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    Finished the wood berm last night:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-20190815_190841.jpg

  40. #40
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    Looks like a lot of fun! Nice work.

  41. #41
    Wanna ride bikes?
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    This is sweet! That's a serious project, I applaud the time and money you've poured into this. Looks really fun.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Finished the wood berm last night:
    Looks great. How does it ride?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapva View Post
    Looks great. How does it ride?
    Rode it for the first time last night and it was pretty fun -- it's a big improvement over the original non-banked turn that I had in place before.

    Kids have been riding on it off and on since the first level was finished and seemed to have been enjoying it, but I was holding off until it was complete to try.

    Haven't worked up to getting up to the taller slope yet. but I've been trying to intentionally build just a little past my skill level to give something to work towards. Not sure if I'll ever get to the point where I'm comfortable doing the vertical wall ride portion, but that's mostly in place to keep the kids from hitting it too fast and accidentally jumping over the fence (plus it makes it look cooler).

  44. #44
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    I've been working on some bypasses and technical sections for skill development.

    I was talking with my son (4.5) about putting in some rocks to practice riding on and he brought up that we needed some roots. My initial thought was to just make a small boardwalk section with some 2x3s screwed down on top of the main surface every few feet at slight angles to the trail.

    Tonight I was thinking - I still have a bunch of rolls of astroturf in the garage, so what about rideable putt putt holes as trail features?

    Looking at something like these as inspiration - the 2x2s they're using as obstacles reminded me of what I'd been thinking about for "roots"...
    https://www.closerweekly.com/posts/d...ily-fun-56893/

    Anyone ever tried something similar? (either fake roots or making combo miniature golf / mtb features?)

  45. #45
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    Got some free limestone off Craigslist and started on the "semi-skinny" / rock garden section:
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190830_084547666.jpg

  46. #46
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    Continuing to build, but learning from trial and error how wide things should be (it's really hard to gauge the widths of decking on features just from watching YouTube videos).

    Got this "skinny" section together and concluded that 16" was a bit too narrow when you add together my current skill level, the short approach, the initial uphill, and the speed coming out of the wood berm into it.

    My kids have been having fun running back and forth on it and my oldest has taken his balance bike across but is a bit too intimidated to try his pedal bike on it.

    The 8" skinny section coming out is likewise too far over to get to with my current level of skill.
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190901_152137318.jpg
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190901_152031085_hdr.jpg

    Will need to go back and rework some of it later, once I get done with the next section -- a 24" path that bypasses the climb / berm.

    Rode a little on it so far and the curve is probably closer to the skill level that I was looking for -- took 10 passes going around and was able to clear it on the last 3 of them.
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190907_101419481.jpg
    Rideable ground cover alternatives to grass?-img_20190907_101453326.jpg

    As a point of comparison, I took a look at some of the curved features that Velosolutions is putting in at a new park about 40 min. away from us over in Westland, MI and the wooden features there are all 30" wide with a lot more spacing on the approaches.

  47. #47
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    That's looking really cool!

  48. #48
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    man that's awesome. I can only imagine the heart attacks that would happen at our HOA if someone did that in my neighborhood.
    . . . . . . . .

  49. #49
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    Luckily no HOA to deal with here and the city building department says no permits needed for "play structures". It's on the back 1/3 or so of the lot and you'd never even know it was there from the street.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Got this "skinny" section together and concluded that 16" was a bit too narrow when you add together my current skill level, the short approach, the initial uphill, and the speed coming out of the wood berm into it.
    A bit too narrow is good. After a few dozen runs that is going to get easy fast, better than boring. Awesome job!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Anyone ever tried something similar? (either fake roots or making combo miniature golf / mtb features?)
    Landscaping ties on edge would make challenging roots, and easier on the tires than square 2x2's.

  52. #52
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    Gonna make a helluva bonfire when you get sick of it!
    Sinister Bikes
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  53. #53
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    Soooooo...














    when can i move in?
    I want something good to die for
    To make it beautiful to live
    I want a new mistake, lose is more than hesitate.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    Soooooo...

    when can i move in?
    Was thinking the same thing, but the 1,500 mile commute might be a problem.

  55. #55
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    Took some video this week of the main path around the yard:
    https://youtu.be/XGmrJrLvY1M

    I'll probably rebuild the roller section in the spring to flow a little better. Right now the gap between the first two it a bit too small and the first approach is a bit too steep. Will probably shoot for ~16ft. from peak to peak.

  56. #56
    Braaaapp!
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    Very well done.
    "It was like a German, techno-weird, acid trip." - The Hoff -

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