Sunday, August 31, 2008

More adventures in Wissahickon

Today was a nice 3 and a half hour ride in the heart of Philly in Wissahickon Park. You can't really complain about a ride in the middle of a city that has moments of Pisgah-esgue glory. This place is truely amazing, once you get over the smell of fecal matter everywhere (it is in the middle of a city). Tomorrow will be a day of getting everything prepped for TEN of the countries best trails contractors to be on site and busting a move on getting the current work finished and beginning the last bit of work in the phase.

Return to WissaPisgah

Wissahickon Park in downtown Philly is an absolutely amazing place. The park has HUGE poplar trees and a wet, dark demeanor. Yesterday the crew leader, Scott, Rich Edwards, Kevin and myself walked around in the current work site in Wissahickon. This is the third "demo" project IMBA has done in the last three years. I came here in 2006 for the first demo and it was a very cool place. I have always enjoyed the park and look forward to the coming week. Below are photos of parts of the project. The top two goal for this project are to keep the trail tread dry in a very seep laden area and to keep moisture from being able to freeze deeply on the trail surface. Here, we have a huge retaining wall built to work over top of a large rock outcropping that has water consistently seeping out of it even in this drought heavy summer. The other photo is of a dirt and rock causeway that elevate the trail out of a wetter lowland area. Today, I am going to try and ride all of the twenty mile trail system, then I want to go to the Philly art museum, but we will see how long the ride takes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Drying out and packing up...

Well, as usual the last day on the project brought loads of rain and everyone settled in for the classic contractors "what do we do now?" Here is a photo of what we do. Today found everyone cleaning up and trying to dry out all there gear as well as packing up for a drive tomorrow. I am headed to Philly to get in a couple of rides over the weekend, then it is back to the long grind starting Monday. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and try to welcome Fall with open arms, I know I do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dawn to Dust....

Pretty nasty day, the dirt is so dry these last couple of days. It has been a test just to try and get some tuning done to the trails. Above is the burden of the dust. However, I did get a chance to tune a couple of insloped turns, not 100% because of the dust, but better than before.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The joys of the job...

Sometimes you have a good day.

Fresh tracks at Raystown and the Lake. Enjoy your day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Inquiries and Line Burners....

I have been receiving quite a number of questions pertaining to the posts about the Raystown Trails. Rich Edwards of IMBA Trail Solutions will be glad to answer any of your questions just send him a shout at Rich at IMBA dot com.

On to today. It was a little on the dusty side today, Steven keeps saying he is waiting for it to dry up a little, but I think it is just the dust getting to his head. Can you even see his head in this photo?

But, on a more interesting and "cooler" side, I have been talking about using motos to "burn in lines" on large trail system builds like this to check macro flow and also to create a visible line that allows users to quickly enjoy their experience rather than feeling like they are still in a construction zone. A crew of three out of Harrisonburg have been in town for two weeks doing just that and lopping roots and clearing out limbs along the way. They are currently working on a trail called Ray's Revenge which is the heart breaker of the system. It is always great when you can have that one trail that just beats you to a bloody egoless pulp. It will take them two days to clear it, then I am going back to ride it. I can't wait to get photos that capture how torturous this trail really is.

Finally, I spent a little time in my art mind enjoy.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What a long strange weekend it has been...

Life can be very textured in so many ways. This weekend was certainly as textured as the rock above. This was a cool section of rock down in a drainage here in Raystown. Saturday was a day of wondering around in the woods and working with a couple of different volunteer groups. This photo was shot while working with a crew of Juvie offenders that were in a Forestry Camp that did outdoor community service projects...yeah they pretty much were impossible to get things done with.

Then, was the afternoon session with Juniata College freshmen. These kids I was expecting to be totally useless and was expecting to have to fight against wanting to kill them. BUT, to my surprise, THEY KILLED IT. They were great to work with, most of them wanted to be Biologists and they dug...DUG...what I was throwing down. We had an absolute blast. Here is the post workday shot, GROUP HUG KIDS...Rich had a crew that he was working with in the rocks and well, poor guy.

Then, last night the crew from Wissahickon that are working on a project out there came into town and we had a big CONFERENCE MEETING...yeah that means I had a raging headache at about three o'clock, because it took that long to get the hangover. Shenanigans.

Below are shots from the ride we did at Raystown with the Motley Krew...The photos are of the crew climbing the booze off, then a shot of getting ready in the four car parking lot...what's up with that? Finally, well Rich had a little nap while Valerie was dealing with her flat tire...poor guy.

This should be a great closing week, peppering a great 30 mile trail system.

Friday, August 22, 2008

House on wheels...garage included...

Yeah this is what I am talking about. I think we have a target for next year. Tow this behind the car with a DRZ600 on the back and a couple bikes. ROLLIN'.

Today was a reorientation to Raystown. Pretty straight forward. Tomorrow is a 60 person Volunteer Day, should be good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two weeks ON after a weak OFF...

Well here is a photo from the road today. This is a layered rock shot from the drive down into Huntingdon where we are staying during the Raystown Project. I am back to it for another week here then a week in Philly helping close out that project. Enjoy and ...Ahem...GAME ON.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Possibly MY last Dirty Thursday

Over the last week the club has been transforming into the 09 planning stages and one of those plans is to move couple of new people into leadership roles at Bent Creek, part of them being leaders next year involves giving a certain level of on the job training. Jerud led DT last week and either he or Shaun will be leading the next three DT's. I will be on the road for the time and will begin putting as much information as possible into their hands for a smooth transformation.

On to today's DT, there are three problem tread creep sections on Pine Tree in Bent Creek. One was fixed last week by cutting bench fully in and establishing a full tread construction technique. The second one will be kept as it is and the final one was fixed tonight using a hybrid technique of a rock retaining wall on the low side of the trail and a smooth 24" bench for that section but leaving the technical roots above that. I have asked all the people who worked on the last couple to keep an eye on the three sections and see which one gets the best response and also which one lasts the longest. My opinion? The first answer is the right one. Tread creep is a part of a trail like this and even if you fix one or two sections in a year there are more sections that will need the work and the trail will continue to have a very distinctive feel anyway. Check out last weeks product and then the work from this week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

End of the travel for a couple weeks.

Here are the last few photos from Raystown Lake, I highly recommend you visit in the next couple of years. 2 and the trails will be ideal. 5 plus and they will have fully settled.

This was a great trip, Harrisonburg was great as I got to look at a pumptrack retrofit, which is a new vision and also to go to Raystown and be involved in an overnight trail system creation. 30 miles in a year. I go back to give the trails a little extra spice and make sure they simmer just right. Michael Burton has been an absolute pleasure to work with, Steven a great wing man on the machines, and Billy as always "life on the trail". Together all the contractors on Raystown have been the Confederacy of Builders, I hope to come back next fall and "ride the white" will see. Enjoyed the drive home, I forgot what a nine our drive turned into an eight hour drive looks like. Saturday evenings are the time to make good time Southbound on 81. Put that in your notebook.

Until next time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Crushin' It...

Another great day in the woods, we worked through a few cruxes and made our way a few steps closer to the end. I am leaving tomorrow to head back to Asheville for a couple of weeks, then it is back up here to PA for a couple projects. Enjoy the pics.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Coming and Going...

This has been a day of variety and some headaches. I spent the morning trying to create a flow laden photo, but I failed. It is hard to make these things "work". Then, we got rained on, no big deal but with the progress of catching up to the Sweco I decided to ask for an "office" day. Mike said no big deal and I broke away from the pack to try and catch up on paper work. Enjoy the photos of attempted flow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Raystown Day Two....

Great day today, not nearly as taxing as yesterday. We finished one loop and got some rain last night which allowed things to not be as dusty today. Billy managed to open up THREE bees nests as part of the day and taught us all a little jig called "BEE GONE BEES". Here are a few photos from the day. Check out the guy in the prison looking outfit, yeah thats the boss. This whole working in the woods thing is okay by me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Production Trail Construction...

Welcome to Raystown Lake trail system, the latest in trail factory production. On the Sweco we have Bill on the ground there have been a slew of other guests. The current inhabitants are myself, Steven from SORBA Pro Trails and Mike Burton of Long Cane Trails, a bunch of southerners building trail north of the Mason-Dixon line. Kinda funny. Enjoy the photos more to come but after a 12 hour day my arse is beat.