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Posts Tagged ‘IMBA’

 

Material by ways of EP/BC:

I believe Fall is here, my favorite season and why I choose to live in Wild Wonderful WV!
It’s hard to find any better place than WV to enjoy fall colors and festivities.
Get out there and ride your bike and enjoy this wonderful time of the year.
This issue:
This Sat October 6th is National Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day.
With help from Specialized and IMBA, EP/BC will be hosting kids of all skill levels at Poor House Farm Park in Martinsburg, WV this Sat for some riding and mountain biking instuction.
Date: Saturday, October 6th, 2012
Time: 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: Poor House Farm Park
At The Pavilion
We Are Limited to 50 Participants
    
Please Bring:
  • Parent
  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Good Riding Shoes

Local experts will be on hand to discuss essentials for mountain biking. Give some helpful hints and help with skills.

We will also discuss trail building opportunities for Poor House Farm Park
Fall Cycling Opportunities
Fall is one of the best times of the year to ride (My Favorite!) and here are a few places that are wonderful to check out:
Just remember to pack the essentials and dress properly. Come in and we will happily show you the many ways to properly pack for the adventure.

 

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I have a goal. This goal is to create some more trails in my local neighborhood at an undisclosed location. I have not purchased any IMBA books, or paid for any plans/schematics in order to have the least amount of environmental impact to the area. This trail will also have $0.00 invested into it.

Doesn’t sound too promising does it? What these contingencies have left me with is to follow deer trail, and old wagon paths in order to make the building easy as possible.

I have encountered several issues:

  • Marshy land
  • Fallen Trees
  • Time

The entrance into the new trail is connected to the old area of trail by a deer path that goes across a piece of land that is seasonally marshy. If this trail is to ever prosper, It needs to be accessable all year round. I quite some time taking some spare treated wood from the garage to make some pallet-esque platforms for people to traverse the muddy areas. The amount of time it took to make these platforms, move them into the woods, and put them into place was ridiculous. I think for twelve feet of platform, from concept to installation, took five hours. FIVE HOURS FOR TWELVE FEET. Did I tell you I need about 40-50 feet of clearance over this muddy area?

Not only is this a problem, but further along the trail, there are several fallen trees 10-14 cm in diameter that just need to be taken out-of-the-way in order to have an enjoyable path.

Solution: Corduroy Paths – Yes, I have taken a chainsaw into the woods to clear fallen trees, and I’m placing these lobs in the marsh. This method is still a ton of work, but it is a lot faster, and a lot cheaper than building platforms out of lumber. I’m sure if there were mountain bikers that saw me doing all of this, they would think I was crazy, trudging through the mud and placing logs all over the marsh.

The crazy thing is that there is no immediate reward to all of this. The amount of work needed is still immense, and difficult. It is to the point where power tools are required to be lugged into the woods, and lots of carrying debris to free up space.

It does end up with me sleeping very well at night. Yesterday, I went out into the woods at 8:00 AM, and by noon, my back hurt like a farm boy bailing hay or some kind of equivalent labor all day.

For those people who have built trails by yourself, what are your opinions and tips? How do you create paths to cross marsh? What about clearing leaves? Do you make the trail well visible? Should I weed-whack the little growth along this new trail? How long on average will a singletrack trail last before maintenance is needed? I’m learning a lot as I go, but advice never hurts.

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WVWC college cyclists and I went out and did a bit of trail maintenance the other day. We ended up doing a quirky three-mile loop that runs into other close by trail systems, but this one had been discarded for nearly a year. Our primary job was to:

  1. Move branches, logs, BIG rocks, and other obstructions out of the way.
  2. Cut away thorns or other kinds of pokey plants that could scrape oneself while riding.
  3. Place ribbons/trail markers along the route.

Everything went according to plan, and I tended to take fallen logs, or ones that were on the trail, and lined them alongside the trail to make a natural path designator. Others thought this was unimportant, but it is always something I appreciate while riding on a trail; personal preference, I guess. I wonder what IMBA says about things like this?…

After crossing a small stream, we ran into a major briar patch where there were purple briars! I have used my elite boolean search skills to find info on the plant, but I do not have enough basic info to come across it on any databases.

The plant was your typical prickly briar you come across all too often while doing trail maintenance or overall riding, with the exception that it was purple, with a removable white film on the outside:

purple briar, trail maintenance

Click for larger image

I’m sure someone knows the taxonomic name for this plant and is happy to tell me~

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Many of you already know, I use many MTB trails that are on land not classified as public property; I’m sure many of you do too. West Virginia does not have the Freedom to Roam acts that England and Wales do. Land is protected under the rights of a property owner, and they can do just about anything they want to do with it. This can mean sad times for us trail riders when we go back to an area after an extended amount of time and find the land barren, or mangled into unrecognizable terrain. By all means, if the landowners truly own the land, then there is no problem with this except that feeling in your gut.

What? Did you feel a little bit of yourself die; like this trail was somehow vicariously yours? Is that the legendary beast of cyclist’s entitlement bearing it’s ugly little head? This is an unfortunate example of how nearly all cyclists have some how taken their status of being a second class citizen while on two wheels and formed something out of the grudge created by everything allegedly opposing them. When we’re faced with a trail vanishing or being plowed for construction, how often do we put ourselves in the other person’s place? Or how often do we become angry and self-righteous? We as cyclists are always looking for tracts of land and facilities for our use, but as these rights are given to us, it is time to accept some responsibility and pack up shop when the doors are closed.

There will always be more trails and public pathways that can be utilized in our lifetime. Just because someone is trying to make a living or earn a dollar for tearing up their own land doesn’t mean you have the right to retaliate. (more…)

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