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  1. #1
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    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail

    Just finished an unrideable stretch I have been working for a few weeks. The whole stretch is under a mile but man it took some effort!

    I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-image1.jpeg

  2. #2
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    More pics!

  3. #3
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    Iím riding it tomorrow morning and will get some shots. I want to see others pride and joy as well. Postíem up peeps!

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    Kind of tough to see the lines, but it's about a 3' rock drop into a couple different line options.







    Last edited by BunniBoi; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:18 AM.

  5. #5
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    Hey BunniBoi, Your pictures aren't showing up, at least for me that is.

  6. #6
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    These pics are from a recent trail rut stabilization project. A series of these check dams were installed, and the long rut will eventually fill in between the dams. A properly routed and drained trail tread was rerouted to the upslope side of the rut. The crew pictured is one of our Southwest Conservation Corps (sccorps.org) trail crews working on a section of the Purple Haze Trail, on the Zuni Mountains Trail Project.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-zmtp-01.jpg  

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-zmtp-02.jpg  

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-zmtp-03.jpg  

    Last edited by bsieb; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:16 PM.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    These pics are from a recent trail rut stabilization project. A series of these check dams were installed, and the long rut will eventually fill in between the dams. A properly routed and drained trail tread was rerouted to the upslope side of the rut. The crew pictured is one of our Southwest Conservation Corps trail crews working on a section of the Purple Haze Trail, on the Zuni Mountains Trail Project.
    That rut is from the trail or runs across the trail? Man that is steep and narrow of a rut for a trail if it is the trail!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Hey BunniBoi, Your pictures aren't showing up, at least for me that is.
    Hmmm, don't know why the forum won't let me directly upload, and it doesn't seem to play well with imgur. Pix should be clickable, even if they don't appear inline.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    That rut is from the trail or runs across the trail? Man that is steep and narrow of a rut for a trail if it is the trail!
    The rut was the trail, which was as wide as the top of the rut. Once the rutting starts, it narrows down and is eventually hard to ride, so another tread starts beside it. The situation developed over many years of waiting for approval to maintain the trail.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BunniBoi View Post
    Hmmm, don't know why the forum won't let me directly upload, and it doesn't seem to play well with imgur. Pix should be clickable, even if they don't appear inline.
    That looks nice and jungley, good job! Love the moss / green everywhere and the drop looks fun too

  11. #11
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    This is in the in-progress half pipe section. Top two turns are perfect at speed. #3 and #5 need to be extended up onto the hill more and with a wider turning radius. They rode perfectly while rough but as the trail got smoother I find myself having to brake and turn faster and more abruptly than I want. They aren't as sharp as they appear in the photo as I think that has to do with the fact I had to use a panoramic photo to get all the turns in one shot and it distorts the lower portion of the photo.

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-bowl.jpg

  12. #12
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    This is a grade reversal at the top of a switchback turn I'm rebuilding.

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-img_0821-copy.jpg

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    This is a grade reversal at the top of a switchback turn I'm rebuilding.
    Damn man you doing that by hand? Putting in the time in the dirt!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    This is in the in-progress half pipe section. Top two turns are perfect at speed. #3 and #5 need to be extended up onto the hill more and with a wider turning radius. They rode perfectly while rough but as the trail got smoother I find myself having to brake and turn faster and more abruptly than I want. They aren't as sharp as they appear in the photo as I think that has to do with the fact I had to use a panoramic photo to get all the turns in one shot and it distorts the lower portion of the photo.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Roughster, can you share general location? Don't need or want exact details, but the oaks, sandstone and bovine terracing remind me of my home turf in the SF East Bay of California.

  15. #15
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    East Bay is a stretch, but you are roughly in the right area. 8.5 miles in, another 5 ish to go before I can say ďdoneĒ

  16. #16
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    No pictures of what I'm currently working on yet, but I've got some video of what I worked on this summer.

    https://youtu.be/XBSmNaCfpks

  17. #17
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    Roughster: "Damn man you doing that by hand? Putting in the time in the dirt!"

    Long story. Even though we have funding and a development plan accepted by the state DNR, the park master plan process has been hijacked by our state snowmobile association. And the resulting lawsuits from the former park manager resulted in a reset to square one. The current manager is understandably reluctant to authorize anything except hand work for maintenance purposes only. My partner's wife has returned to a paying job so he no longer has time for trail work.

    Fortunately I have a beautiful piece of land to work in. Despite everything, I feel blessed.
    Last edited by Walt Dizzy; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:43 AM. Reason: Add quote

  18. #18
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    Water Management

    I'm in the planning stages for a reroute around a chronically wet section of trail. The area in question has, like a lot of the park, a layer of black leaf compost over a relatively impermeable clay. In the better sections, there are well-developed ravines that drain the water into manageable streams.

    The area in question does not have big ravines, but it does have a lot of water seeping through the compost down the hillside from the "perched" water table above.

    My initial efforts to relocate the trail didn't go high enough on the hillside to get over the seeps. My partner recently found a relatively dry vertical corridor to climb over the seeps. The reroute will have to horizontally traverse a section of hillside that has 4 or 5 streambeds in about 100 yards.

    The key to getting this to work is to make sure these streams are draining efficiently. The photo shows a location where two or three trees fell over and into one of the streams. I was able to cut through the most critical spot (without destroying my chain saw), and restore the "correct" function of the drainage.

    It's not pretty, but it's a big step toward my goal of a more rain tolerant trail system.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-img_0808.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Strong efforts Walt and Bsieb! I'm going to put in an hour or so today during lunch on the next stretch of my trail. I am riding this evening with my son at a different trail system. He says my trail is too hard, heheh. I took that as a compliment! I'll try to get a picture of some freshly turned dirt with before and after if I can make significant progress!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    No pictures of what I'm currently working on yet, but I've got some video of what I worked on this summer.

    https://youtu.be/XBSmNaCfpks
    Yeah that looks awesome. Nice work! What's next?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BunniBoi View Post
    Kind of tough to see the lines, but it's about a 3' rock drop into a couple different line options.







    Holy cow! I wasn't understanding why you were trying to make a trail though that tight spot. Then I saw the vid. Are you 8" tall? Ha! That is totally messin' with my brain. I have to watch that again....
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  22. #22
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    Of course I forgot to get a "before" picture, but I noticed on my last few rides I was using the bank as a berm anyways. Figured I might as well actually make it a berm:

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-img_4667.jpg

    and a little closer:

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-img_4666.jpg

    It was a good short project. I cleaned up the runway into it as well. On the way back I checked out a mini-loop I was considering adding to the trail system and actually walking it got me super stoked on it. Definitely going to be some of the harder / more technical riding in the trail system but it will also be a very unique stretch of trail for sure!

  23. #23
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    Where the guy in the video stopped there's a really fun little sloped rock leading back up to the main trail. After the video was shot I cut the left path seen in the still pix. Just down on the other side of the trees is a really big boulder wall ride (You can slightly see it in the third pic) that only needs a bit of cleaning up and grooming.

  24. #24
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    Hereís what I have been building.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-7b2d6d04-99aa-42d8-91e3-e771bf18fd5b.jpg  


  25. #25
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    When building trail, you must keep hydrated with hoppy homebrewed goodness.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-d1206168-dd03-479c-8f39-b6e6a35d787f.jpg  


  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentpushrod View Post
    When building trail, you must keep hydrated with hoppy homebrewed goodness.
    Amen to that brother. Home brewer here as well! Thatís some black ass soil. Volcanic?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Yeah that looks awesome. Nice work! What's next?
    Some stuff that's so rocky it's all going to end up being hand built. Since I'm contractually obligated to build a certain amount of "easy" trail I'm having to move a lot rock at the moment.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BourvB6B...n-by=cotharyus
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BpCWzEeh...n-by=cotharyus

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Amen to that brother. Home brewer here as well! Thatís some black ass soil. Volcanic?
    No volcanoes around here. Just some North Dakota dirt.

  29. #29
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    What area of North Dakota?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Some stuff that's so rocky it's all going to end up being hand built. Since I'm contractually obligated to build a certain amount of "easy" trail I'm having to move a lot rock at the moment.
    Ughh that's tough sledding to move them, but man the builder in me says DON'T MOVE'em, but totally understand contractual obligations. Looking at the bottom pic, seems like you can use the rocks as hard borders and slalom the trail around them. Judging by the turned dirt, looks like that may be what you are already doing.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by firemb View Post
    What area of North Dakota?
    Near Columbus, in the northwest corner of the state.

  32. #32
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    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-w5.jpg


  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That looks like a huge gap!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Ughh that's tough sledding to move them, but man the builder in me says DON'T MOVE'em, but totally understand contractual obligations. Looking at the bottom pic, seems like you can use the rocks as hard borders and slalom the trail around them. Judging by the turned dirt, looks like that may be what you are already doing.
    Yeah, there's about two miles of "Easy" trail and then I get to start on the intermediate and difficult stuff. I won't be moving nearly as many rocks then, unless I decide I want to stack some. Still, there are some very large shelf transitions further up the hill where those trails are, so I'll either be loading in material to build those transitions up a little or cutting some rock to make ridable transitions. While I know a few people that can manage a 4 foot vertical, I don't think I'll be making that the A line anywhere. But yeah, the easy trail will be doing a lot of flowing around some of the larger rocks, with some B lines up onto stuff for folks like me who might end up riding with their kids out there.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentpushrod View Post
    Near Columbus, in the northwest corner of the state.
    Much trail in that area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by firemb View Post
    Much trail in that area?
    None. The closest single track is 100 miles away, thatís why Iím building this.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentpushrod View Post
    When building trail, you must keep hydrated with hoppy homebrewed goodness.
    Can you come to my build days, please?

  38. #38
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    I love these threads. It's nice to see what other folks are working on. Lots of nice stuff in this thread! I haven't been doing much trail work the past two seasons for various reasons but I'm back at it again. Yesterday I finally finished the transition in the foreground. It's gnarlier than it looks in the pic. I cleaned up and rearranged some of the rock and then added a load of dirt. It's much nicer now. You can drop in up top, go down the steep rock face in the middle there and then huck (or roll) the rock in the foreground. The landing's a bit flat but it's actually a pretty smooth huck despite that. In my haste, I forgot to take an after pic. I will do that next time I'm in there. There's still a good bit of ground work to be done on this trail but I'm hoping to get it finished before the snow flies.


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Ron Hoover View Post
    I love these threads. It's nice to see what other folks are working on. Lots of nice stuff in this thread! I haven't been doing much trail work the past two seasons for various reasons but I'm back at it again. Yesterday I finally finished the transition in the foreground. It's gnarlier than it looks in the pic. I cleaned up and rearranged some of the rock and then added a load of dirt. It's much nicer now. You can drop in up top, go down the steep rock face in the middle there and then huck (or roll) the rock in the foreground. The landing's a bit flat but it's actually a pretty smooth huck despite that. In my haste, I forgot to take an after pic. I will do that next time I'm in there. There's still a good bit of ground work to be done on this trail but I'm hoping to get it finished before the snow flies.

    Love the look of that stretch. Like a rock waterfall!

  40. #40
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    Here's a shot of me dropping in on the top turn of the Half Pipe. Its steep. I didn't realize it until my son decided to take the low entry and he said even that is pretty steep and scary!

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-img_e4699.jpg

    Here is my son about to hit turn 3:

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-img_e4692.jpg

    Good times and it's riding well!

  41. #41
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    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-ddf39c59-43bf-4cfd-90ed-e6f7ff1d17e3.jpg

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfo922 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm going to assume that is the "before" picture, lol

  43. #43
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    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-image1.jpg
    Iím photo posting challenged! Had to resize the finished pic. This was a morning session that a buddy and I completed. We had scouted the section multiple times, flagged three options and chose this route. Pretty stoked on how it turned out. I dig digging in our sloppy pnw winters!

  44. #44
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    Damn that looks awesome! Good job!

    I'll be honest, the first thing I thought after getting over the fact that places on Earth are currently that wet (hah its bone dry here in NorCal), is there looks to be a pretty sweet natural wood line if you help it a little to go over that creek instead of through it:

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-image1.jpg

    Definitely want to say this is from looking at picture only not necessarily knowing the terrain, dirt, wood, or reality of the area! Not trying to critique, just that the line jumped right out at me!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Love the look of that stretch. Like a rock waterfall!
    Thanks! It's a bit like that to ride as well. It's 3 rock rolls in the space of about 50 linear feet. The middle one is super steep. I dug up some older pics of this section, I will put them in a new post below.

    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Here's a shot of me dropping in on the top turn of the Half Pipe. Its steep. I didn't realize it until my son decided to take the low entry and he said even that is pretty steep and scary!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is my son about to hit turn 3:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Good times and it's riding well!
    This looks awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by wfo922 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Iím photo posting challenged! Had to resize the finished pic. This was a morning session that a buddy and I completed. We had scouted the section multiple times, flagged three options and chose this route. Pretty stoked on how it turned out. I dig digging in our sloppy pnw winters!
    Very cool. Great to see the totally raw before pic and then the finished section.

  46. #46
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    Dug up some older pics of this section, showing the progression of the build.

    This is what it looked like before I started ground work. This picture was taken standing right on top of the final roll in my first pic (right where my pack is sitting):


    There was a thick layer of organic crap at the bottom of this rock so I had to dig it out and put in a solid transition:


    Transition mostly completed in this pic and a nice view of the profile of the roll. It's pretty steep:


    And here it is looking down from the approach. The other roll is a little less than 1/3 from the top of the pic. I pulled out all the organic stuff and built a turnpike with rock and dirt to the top of the last roll. Can't see that in the pic I posted yesterday:

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Ron Hoover View Post
    Dug up some older pics of this section, showing the progression of the build.

    This is what it looked like before I started ground work.
    Solid work! That looks fantastic. I have to find me a good rock roll section for my trail, lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Solid work! That looks fantastic. I have to find me a good rock roll section for my trail, lol.
    Thanks! It's been a labour of love for sure. Looking back, I've done quite a bit of work here. Haha! I'd love to have a nice wide open section like yours somewhere too. We have mostly dense woods. There are 8 rock rolls on the first half of this 0.3mi section of trail (aptly named Rock'n'Rolla) so we have lots of that kind of thing.

  49. #49
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    There is such a cool rhythm you can get in while hand benching. I wear earphones mostly for the noise protection, but the heavy metal coming out of them definitely helps with the tough parts

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-8354c51c-64eb-4e3e-b77a-41043b58a2ac.jpeg

    I hand benched almost a quarter of a mile and finished my new section. It is rideable start to finish and has some awesome riding in it. On the way back out I spot fixed a few places that have bothering me and staged the tools for the next section I am working on. Itís going to be awesome!

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-d7e705b3-f3c8-4472-ab16-6964e97aced6.jpeg

  50. #50
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    That's rad roughster.

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    Sick, I bet it's hard work getting through that organic layer.

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    I have issues with uploading photos on here but my bud put some of our pics up in the Arizona forum. Here's a direct link.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/heart...t-1083365.html

    After two years of planning we broke ground this past July or maybe it was the first week in August? I'm not 100% certain but we managed to complete nearly 1.5 mile of tread in a few months time with volunteer efforts. The Little Elden section (in yellow on the google earth image in thread) is mostly mellow XC stuff with a good climb/descent in the center section and the Heart trail is going to be another 4.5 miles of ripping descending from the Sunset Trail. Once it's completed there will be a new 6 to 7 mile descent over 2000 vertical feet. Again, not 100% on the mileage but it's in that ballpark.

    The LE trail is part of the Arizona Trail, it's an honor to be part of planning the realignment for this as well as building it.

    Edit: I guess that google earth image isn't in that thread, sorry. I'll look for an image somewhere else and link it here if I can find it.

  53. #53
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    Cool

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    I have issues with uploading photos on here but my bud put some of our pics up in the Arizona forum.
    What beautiful scenery! Thatís a great place to be digging!

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    What beautiful scenery! Thatís a great place to be digging!
    Thanks and it really is. It's the east face of Elden so it's more of a transitional zone than the more northernly facing aspects. The digging can be pretty easy but if you need to go through a stand of scrub oaks it's pretty tough.

  56. #56
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    A little more from yesterday...

    https://instagram.com/p/BpS2g92Bo1x/

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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    Sick, I bet it's hard work getting through that organic layer.
    It sure is. It's moss and turf and full of roots. It was over a foot thick at the bottom of the rock face. Gotta get it all out of there in a spot like that. Check the pile of crap I dug out of there:



    And another gratuitous pic...



    Ok, that's enough from this piece of trail.

    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    I have issues with uploading photos on here but my bud put some of our pics up in the Arizona forum. Here's a direct link.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/heart...t-1083365.html

    After two years of planning we broke ground this past July or maybe it was the first week in August? I'm not 100% certain but we managed to complete nearly 1.5 mile of tread in a few months time with volunteer efforts. The Little Elden section (in yellow on the google earth image in thread) is mostly mellow XC stuff with a good climb/descent in the center section and the Heart trail is going to be another 4.5 miles of ripping descending from the Sunset Trail. Once it's completed there will be a new 6 to 7 mile descent over 2000 vertical feet. Again, not 100% on the mileage but it's in that ballpark.

    The LE trail is part of the Arizona Trail, it's an honor to be part of planning the realignment for this as well as building it.

    Edit: I guess that google earth image isn't in that thread, sorry. I'll look for an image somewhere else and link it here if I can find it.
    Oh yeah, that's really nice. So much vertical! We're lucky to get 3 or 400' out here. One of these days I'm going to drag my carcass out to Arizona for some riding.

  58. #58
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    Did my first "locals ride" this morning with two other local riders. Both of them knew there were "some" trails out there, but didn't know how to connect it all together. One of them got the half tour (had to bail for work) and the other the full tour. 8 miles 1,400' elevation, good times!

    Super positive feedback and some offers to help dig. Yeah goat! Makes me fired up to get it all finished up. I couldn't help but feel the small twinge of pride at the end

  59. #59
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    First Turn roughed out

    Double posting, hope that's OK. I want to keep the thread chronicling my project complete, but still want to add here as well.

    I am creating a training track for my middle-school MTB team. I have no experience with this type of trail-building, so don't know if this is good work or not. Advice welcome. So here's a before and after of my first turn. It is on a flat, utilizing the berm for elevation change. I will be adding 4" of quarter minus to the moondust in hopes of stabilizing it.

    Before
    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-before-paint.jpg

    After
    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-turn-ii.jpg

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-ess-turn.jpg

  60. #60
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    Thanks for being an involved adult!

    Possibly the land you are working has more slope than it appears in the pictures? The puddle in the grass at the top of the second picture makes it appear somewhat flat. Is this a sandy soil you are working in? What makes it moondust? I don't know what "quarter minus" is, is it some kind of soil stabilizer?

    My work is as much about preventing water damage as it is creating an interesting trail. Grade reversals are a primary design principle, and possibly more important on flat terrain than hilly! The turn you have constructed does not appear to reverse across the grade. If so, this is a design flaw that will cause the trail to degrade prematurely.*

    Apologies if my assumptions are unwarranted! It's difficult to see elevation changes in a 2-dimensional photograph.

    I hope my comments do not come across as excessively critical. I applaud your willingness to get involved and put your efforts into something worthwhile.


    Best wishes to you in your project!

    *The failure mode occurs when sufficient rain falls on the trail to exceed its drainage capacity: rain pools on the surface. Trails always sink into the dirt surface to some degree and form a channel for surface water. There is always some small amount of slope to the trail. Water starts flowing, and water flowing above some critical speed carries soil particles. The finer the soil particles, the easier they are for water to move. The volume, speed, and the force water exerts on it's channel, adds up as the length it flows increases.

    Grade reversals (places where the the trail slope changes from downhill to uphill, or the opposite) limit the length of the water channels and limit the force build-up of long runs. Grade reversals, as a water control measure, are more important than trail out-slope. Grade reversals allow us to use in-sloped turns without having them turn into unrideable ruts.

    (My wife just rolls her eyes when I start talking like this! The only people who care are people who have had to rebuild trails that have failed due to water damage. Like me.)

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    ...
    Possibly the land you are working has more slope...
    Nope, its flat. Perimeter of an athletic field. Only elevation change is the berm around the field, maxing out at 3 to 4 feet.

    What makes it moondust?
    It's clay, no sand. If it's wet (almost never), it is slippery and sticky. When it dries then is ridden on or dug up it turns to powder. Out here it is called moondust.

    I don't know what "quarter minus" is
    Gravel passed through a 1/4" seive, where everything smaller (fines) is kept as well. It is commonly used here for stabilizing surfaces and also used to lock in pavers and such. My gravel supplier actually suggested something even smaller, but I can't read his writing so I don't know what it is called. He wrote "M/??? Fines" The material he suggested dries to a concrete-like hardness, but can still be broken with your fist. We are going to experiment with mixing it in, to different degrees, with the moondust to see if we can get a surface that is more natural than a paved surface, but more stable than what we have now.

    My work is as much about preventing water damage as it is creating an interesting trail. ...
    This is really different work for me as well. My priorities when working on singletrack seem completely at odds with this project. Out there, erosion is the biggest concern, but it's 70 miles of trail with lots of elevation change and the primary goal is sustainability. Here, the whole trail is just .7 of a mile, it will be regularly maintained, the only water it will see is from the watering system, which I can control (I think :P)

    As the project progresses, I am finding my priorities shifting, moving away from a technically challenging track and moving toward a focus on fun. A couple of comments on here and listening to my kids feedback has reminded me that what is fun for me is often overwhelming for them. I need to remind myself that I'm designing the track for them, not me! Simply getting some miles under their belts so they are comfortable on their bike and building their stamina is becoming the primary goal of the track. I haven't given up on the challenge features, but that is becoming the side-bar instead of the focus.

    The turn you have constructed does not appear to reverse across the grade.
    I either misunderstand what a grade reversal is, or the photo doesn't convey the slope change. Each turn is sloped down at the entrance then up at the exit. I do indeed have water pooling in the bottom of the curve because a sprinkler is hitting it. I'm hoping to deal with this by re-aiming the sprinkler. Actual rain is so infrequent as to be a non-issue. Time will tell if I'm being naive and will come to regret making that statement


    Apologies if my assumptions are unwarranted! ...I hope my comments do not come across as excessively critical.
    Others' ideas and critique is the point of my post and your comments are welcome.

    I applaud your willingness ...Best wishes to you in your project!
    Thanks

    (My wife just rolls her eyes...
    Mine too

  62. #62
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    It sounds like rain driven erosion isn't the concern where you are working as it is here where I do my work.

    At the risk of being offensive, I'm going to have one more crack at it though.

    First, designing for fun and designing for challenge, while not necessarily exclusive, are fairly good first-order approximations for putting together a trail. My partner and I have spent way too many hours discussing the pros and cons of various trail features, but the one concept that seems to cut through the ambiguity is to ask, is it fun to ride? If a good case can't be made for fun, then the question becomes, "Why are we building/ignoring this?" On the other hand, if there is a way to make the trail do something interesting, or different, or unexpected in a good way, we're all about that.

    It sounds like you are getting grade reversals if the elevation of the middle of the turns are below their ends. That addresses the issue of creating a long channel that water can flow down and indeed fits the definition of grade reversal as I understand it.

    As you have noted, the turn tends to collect water at that low point. Perhaps that is of minor concern given the relative lack of rain in the area. In an area with significant rainfall, having water collect in the middle of the turn would not work well, especially in a clay soil.

    If water collecting in the low spot was a problem, the solution that I would go after would be to orient the trail such that the middle of the turn lies directly on the fall line of the slope you are working on.

    Another way to think of it is we trail builders prefer to route trails across hillsides, with the shortest possible amount oriented directly up (or down) the fall line of that slope. Turns in this scenario exist because in most places we don't have enough land to just keep going along the face of the slope, but instead have to turn around at whatever boundary limits the trail.

    If turns are added to a trail laid out to work with the slope of the land, and whatever boundaries are present, they automatically line up more or less correctly. Your situation may not allow you to follow this for excellent reasons, but that's the basic concept.

    Turns oriented in this way are protected from water damage by building a grade reversal at the top. Either a mound of dirt across the trail, or a small counter-turn into the hillside will do the job. Done correctly, they force water to exit the trail.

    Again, apologies if I'm underestimating your knowledge. I tend to slip into boring, offensive teacher mode when I can't talk face-to-face and get a sense of the other person's level of expertise!

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    ... is it fun to ride?
    Good overall goal to be sure. ...

    ...of minor concern given the relative lack of rain in the area.
    I chatted with the guy monitoring the watering. He showed no interest in the track nor the impact on the track, so this may end up being an issue after all. Hopefully I can build a friendly relationship with him and find some way to help him out. Maybe over time I'll be able to foster some concern for the track. We'll see how it pans out.

    ... having water collect in the middle of the turn would not work well, especially in a clay soil.
    Indeed. I took a bad spill when I tried riding one short wet section once; it was like trying to ride on wet ice. Not only could I not keep the bike upright, but pulled a groin muscle trying to catch myself while doing a nice imitation of the splits.

    ..such that the middle of the turn lies directly on the fall line of the slope you are working on. ...
    If I understand correctly, this is how all of my turns are situated. The fall line intersects the apex of the corner at a right angle.

    Again, apologies if I'm underestimating your knowledge. ... and get a sense of the other person's level of expertise!
    No worries. Don't know myself how to judge my own level of expertise! and this style of trail and this soil is all new. Even when I think I know, it helps to explain it to someone to make sure I've got my head around it. Thanks again for the reply.

  64. #64
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    Possibly a drawing might clear this up:

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-switchback-turn-copy.jpg

    The wavy black line at the top of the drawing represents the top of a hill. We're more or less standing at the bottom of the hill. We want to make the trail go from A to B. That's not exactly on the fall line, but way too close to fall line to be sustainable. So we add the switchback turns to the proposed trail shown as the blue line. Water doesn't collect in the middle of the turns because they are placed like teacups turned onto their sides.

    Is that how you position your turns? If so, how is water getting hung up in them? That's what I'm not getting.

  65. #65
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    Three days into my trail dozer rental, what a lil beast, just canít recommend it too highly, weíll worth the price if you are short on labor. Iím a lucky guy, Sutter Equipment is located fifteen miles from my house

    I worked a 100yd section this morning, very rocky, volcanics, pretty much a conglomerate with rocks ranging from fist size to unmovable, the dozer can move boulders up to 150-200# depending on how itís ďrootedĒ. It took two hours to doze, the section, by hand it would have been days.

    Iím working solo, so itís slow going, gotta move rocks that get in the way of the tracks. In three days, ~fifteen hours, Iíve cut over a mile of trail on moderate slopes with sage brush. Itíd be faster with help and if my hill was not a damn rock pile!

    Build pics to follow ...

    From the drivers seat:
    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-cf455674-b1a3-452e-b733-3a89af97d5fb.jpg
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Three days into my trail dozer rental, what a lil beast, just canít recommend it too highly, weíll worth the price if you are short on labor. Iím a lucky guy, Sutter Equipment is located fifteen miles from my house

    I worked a 100yd section this morning, very rocky, volcanics, pretty much a conglomerate with rocks ranging from fist size to unmovable, the dozer can move boulders up to 150-200# depending on how itís ďrootedĒ. It took two hours to doze, the section, by hand it would have been days.

    Iím working solo, so itís slow going, gotta move rocks that get in the way of the tracks. In three days, ~fifteen hours, Iíve cut over a mile of trail on moderate slopes with sage brush. Itíd be faster with help and if my hill was not a damn rock pile!

    Build pics to follow ...

    From the drivers seat:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I gotta go reprogram the hydro controller on one of those this morning. When they work, they're great. We're blowing in 4 miles of trail with one, following that with a mini-ex for the heavy cleanup/finishing, then letting the volunteers have at some handwork. The loop will be a new turnkey nica course for TN, including an open field for staging/start/finish, appropriate grades and safety considerations. Once that loop is done, and our local SORBA chapter has more funding secured, that loop will be the foundation for (access to) a couple of nice flow/jump lines, some advanced XC stuff, and a big(ish) for this area technical descent. Once I finish the controller reprogram though, I gotta go back to breaking rocks at a the other trail.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Three days into my trail dozer rental, what a lil beast, just canít recommend it too highly, weíll worth the price if you are short on labor. Iím a lucky guy, Sutter Equipment is located fifteen miles from my house

    I worked a 100yd section this morning, very rocky, volcanics, pretty much a conglomerate with rocks ranging from fist size to unmovable, the dozer can move boulders up to 150-200# depending on how itís ďrootedĒ. It took two hours to doze, the section, by hand it would have been days.

    Iím working solo, so itís slow going, gotta move rocks that get in the way of the tracks. In three days, ~fifteen hours, Iíve cut over a mile of trail on moderate slopes with sage brush. Itíd be faster with help and if my hill was not a damn rock pile!

    Build pics to follow ...
    Sounds like you are off to a good start. Is that a Sweco you are using? I am filled with envy!

  68. #68
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    A very small reroute

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-img_0846.jpg

    Today's project was a very short reroute of a section of trail. The original trail, to the left of the picture, had become chronically wet because a seep developed just above it.

    The reroute, on the right side of the picture, uses the old trail as a water diversion feature. I cut a ditch (middle of the picture) that provides a defined channel for the water to drain down. The new trail crosses the ditch at right angles, and has an elevation dip at that point to prevent water from flowing down the new trail.

    I'm not completely sure this fix will solve the problem, but the alternative is several times longer and would need to be switchbacked across a ravine with lots of rock in the bottom. Given the amount of rain we've had this year, it's a virtual certainty I'll know if the problem is fixed before the ground freezes.

  69. #69
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    Sutter Trail Dozer 300, 24Ē width, weighs 5k, six way blade, steel tracks, designed and built in NV!

    After four days straight on the dozer, Iím straight up beat. Them steel tracks are not easy on the muscles and joints, more so cuz you gotta stand while operating; sore legs too.

    I got these funny rashes where my thighs and forearms brace on the pads. Using knee pads to save my knees for when I brace on the radiator.

    Gotta cut a climbing trail ~ 1/2 mile and connector trail ~1/2 mile, then weíll see how much time and energy I got left. Thereís so much raking and rock moving on the trails I already cut, Iíll be busy until spring.

    From today: Turned an old dirt road into a flow trail

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-21cfecf8-c90e-4dd2-99e4-f9ca3fd02e5e.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    Sounds like you are off to a good start. Is that a Sweco you are using? I am filled with envy!
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  71. #71
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    Thanks for the correction. I was not aware of this machine, looks capable of moving dirt!

  72. #72
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    Rode this morning so decided to get some time in the evening out fixing a switchback that was too sharp. Tried to use the existing cow determined turning radius and it just wasnít working. I used a 10í line to mark the arc then put in a solid 3 hours and made good progress. I spent a good amount of time restoring the ďoriginalĒ line. I am going to ride it tomorrow morning to see if Iíve done enough or if it needs more work. Here is the before:

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-96c10a3f-e31d-4f33-8042-2e2b26b0f3bd.jpg

    I know how sharp the corner was doesnít come through that photo well not how steep of a hill it is on. Iíll post the after pic tomorrow when I put the finishing touches on it!

  73. #73
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    The picture does show the turn radius as being too sharp, at least to my eyes. I've gone through this process too. A 10' radius is rideable, 15' to 20' is better.

    Photographs are poor at showing slope, but the background trees give some sense that the trail is on a steep hillside.

    The dirt appears to have a lot of rock, I'm guessing that bench cutting is a lot of work.

    I've found out the hard way that animals don't always walk a sustainable path!

  74. #74
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    True on cows not being very good trailbuilders I tried to ride it twice as part of the loop over the last few days, almost got it this morning. It is "rideabe" downhill and is actually quite fun as it is hella steep. As for uphill (the primary direction), as I confirmed through one of the guys who rides the trail and is a better rider than I am, it is also rideable.

    So now my question is do I keep it as a "challenge" section or do I bring it down to intermediate/borderline black level? I would guess if I sessioned it, I would clear it after some practice. I wouldn't call me the best rider or most in shape rider in the world so I am leaning towards leaving it as is, but it will definitely stop the majority of riders on their first time through for sure in the current state.

    What is your guys' thoughts on this? For a DH section I would leave it for sure as a challenge, but I struggle with leaving at a challenging feature in a climb. It is not because it is rocky or rooty, it has 10' turning radius but the second you hit the apex of the turn the angle just kicks up STEEP and you just have to rip your cranks off with power to get up it. Seems like a slightly artificial challenge right now, but the other guy seemed to enjoy it in the current state.

    Thoughts?

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    True on cows not being very good trailbuilders I tried to ride it twice as part of the loop over the last few days, almost got it this morning. It is "rideabe" downhill and is actually quite fun as it is hella steep. As for uphill (the primary direction), as I confirmed through one of the guys who rides the trail and is a better rider than I am, it is also rideable.

    So now my question is do I keep it as a "challenge" section or do I bring it down to intermediate/borderline black level? I would guess if I sessioned it, I would clear it after some practice. I wouldn't call me the best rider or most in shape rider in the world so I am leaning towards leaving it as is, but it will definitely stop the majority of riders on their first time through for sure in the current state.

    What is your guys' thoughts on this? For a DH section I would leave it for sure as a challenge, but I struggle with leaving at a challenging feature in a climb. It is not because it is rocky or rooty, it has 10' turning radius but the second you hit the apex of the turn the angle just kicks up STEEP and you just have to rip your cranks off with power to get up it. Seems like a slightly artificial challenge right now, but the other guy seemed to enjoy it in the current state.

    Thoughts?
    I really don't like janky turns. They don't seem like a good technical feature, just makes things awkward. You have really good slope to work with, just figure out a turn radius that matches the prevailing speed and use the topography.

    Do you know about Omega-shaped turns? Going uphill just before and just after the turn (like in Walt Dizzy's sketch) does a few things:
    - allows water to drain before & after the turn
    - increases turn radius allowing you to maintain more speed
    - naturally scrubs a little speed on the up hill pieces which eliminates or reduces braking bumps.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    True on cows not being very good trailbuilders I tried to ride it twice as part of the loop over the last few days, almost got it this morning. It is "rideabe" downhill and is actually quite fun as it is hella steep. As for uphill (the primary direction), as I confirmed through one of the guys who rides the trail and is a better rider than I am, it is also rideable.

    So now my question is do I keep it as a "challenge" section or do I bring it down to intermediate/borderline black level? I would guess if I sessioned it, I would clear it after some practice. I wouldn't call me the best rider or most in shape rider in the world so I am leaning towards leaving it as is, but it will definitely stop the majority of riders on their first time through for sure in the current state.

    What is your guys' thoughts on this? For a DH section I would leave it for sure as a challenge, but I struggle with leaving at a challenging feature in a climb. It is not because it is rocky or rooty, it has 10' turning radius but the second you hit the apex of the turn the angle just kicks up STEEP and you just have to rip your cranks off with power to get up it. Seems like a slightly artificial challenge right now, but the other guy seemed to enjoy it in the current state.

    Thoughts?
    My $0.02 is there isn't a formula to apply in this situation that will get you to an answer. The things I would consider in addition to the difficulty are:

    -How much time do I have to spend on this one part of the trail? The only way I know to reduce the slope at the fall line (apex) of the turn is to move dirt from the upper section to the lower. It's a lot of work.
    -Is it going to be fun to ride? Compared to other climbs anyway.
    -Is it sustainable? Is the trail uphill going to shed water before it gets to the turn? Will riders spin out and kick dirt out of the turn?

    Cool trail! And a beautiful piece of land.

  77. #77
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    The Sutter 300 Trail Dozer is an amazing tool for building single track, highly recommended. Waaaay faster than a track hoe, perfect for setting the trail bed so volunteers can finish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    Thanks for the correction. I was not aware of this machine, looks capable of moving dirt!
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  78. #78
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    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-snowshoe-track-adjustment.jpg

    This is probably the last trail work I'll do this year, until and if we get enough snow to groom.

    Another really short reroute. The original trail is on the right, covered with some of the brush I chopped out of the reroute. Mostly honeysuckle and buckthorn.

    The trail I replaced was new as of 6 weeks ago, but even more rain than we had previously activated a seep directly under the tread.

    I love the photos I'm seeing in this thread with sunshine. Its the season of overcast and rain where I live. If we're lucky though, it may freeze hard enough by the weekend for some riding.

  79. #79
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    Like grade reversals, it's reall hard to have too many or to have a turn that is too big.

    I "freehanded" all of my turns, using the natural turn radius of the dozer to help me gauge what is reasonable.

    Bigger turns take more work, but they also prevent riders pushing out the edges and causing issues down the road.

    Of course you can be "mean" and make people learn how to ride tight radius turns

    I got all my dozer work done for this season, now it's raking and building features.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy View Post
    The picture does show the turn radius as being too sharp, at least to my eyes. I've gone through this process too. A 10' radius is rideable, 15' to 20' is better.

    Photographs are poor at showing slope, but the background trees give some sense that the trail is on a steep hillside.

    The dirt appears to have a lot of rock, I'm guessing that bench cutting is a lot of work.

    I've found out the hard way that animals don't always walk a sustainable path!
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  80. #80
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    Realignment of a corner on Springboard, a green flow trail in the Alsea Falls trail system in the mid-Willamette Valley in Oregon. The work is paid for by donations from riders all over the state who have come to support us during shuttle day fundraisers.

    Looking down the trail at the new entrance. Old entrance was to the right of the tree in the middle of the photo; riders would brake hard coming into a left-hand stopper/berm below that tree, go up and left, and then reach the berm and turn down and right. We called it the "corner of death".

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-imagejpeg_1.jpg

    Looking up the trail at the exit. This is pretty much the same as before.

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-imagejpeg_0-1.jpg

  81. #81
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    Trailforks has a cool new(ish) feature to show photos from work reports.
    "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.Ē -Ernest Hemingway

  82. #82
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    Okay, I promised a follow-up, so here it is! I am officially done messing with it. I plan on going out after work with the tamper and just smashing this shit out of everything. It is very dry so not sure how effective it will be, but it will have to do until we get some rain here in NorCal.

    Overall I added a grade reversal right before the entrance (bottom / right side of picture slightly out of the field of vision of the picture), another small one right before the actual turn, and another at the top of the turn (clearly visible). Given the steepness of the turn I enlarged the turning radius to 12 feet and dug the trail straight down about a foot but sloped down and with several small channels to help control water runoff.

    I will be riding it tomorrow morning and am looking forward to seeing how it feels. I know DH it is going to be badass as it was already good and the work I did earlier will only make it better / more smooth. I will be curious how much "easier" it will be.

    I still don't think it will be super easy as it is still pretty steep, but most intermediate advanced riders should be able to power up it now "onsight".

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-switch.jpg

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-switch-anno.jpg

    Just another stretch of the trail looking hella sexy on the hike out!

    Show a Pic of Your In-process / Recently Finished Trail-trail.jpg

  83. #83
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    Great pics and description, thanks Roughster.

  84. #84
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    On the hike out to work on a stretch that needs some tread love, I had a moment of inspiration and figured out a way to get part of the trail that was on a fire road off onto singletrack. With minimal effort it is now already rideable and extends the trail by almost 0.5 miles without any doublebacks. Has some sweet rock features and a rock garden. Rode it 3 times this morning as a loop. I'll try to get some pics of it tomorrow. Now if I can just make it up to where I should be working on without extending the trail more ... lol.

  85. #85
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    Sounds lovely, how 'bout a pic or two :P

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