I have been admittedly slack in my contribution to trail maintenance since coming to the Island. I figured there was no time like the present to rectify the situation so I headed out for the SIMBS Trail Maintenance Day this past Sunday at the Hartland Mountain Bike Park.
I was assigned to the crew working on Who’s Your Daddy? A trail I rode just the day before.
Our mission was to open a new drop into a berm and re-route the easier option traffic around the landing zone so you can hit the feature with less danger of a cross traffic collision.
Our fearless leader Chad wanted lots of soil sifted to build up the berm and the landing zone. Since it was the toughest job and I was one of the newbies I figured I should earn my trail building stripes by working the pick axe and shovel.
It was hard work, but I had good partners to work with and we got to see immediate results as we shaped and packed the soil into the berm. For those that don’t know the reason you sift out the rocks, roots and bits of bark is because fine dirt packs down like concrete and withstands a ton more abuse than the mix of stuff that comes out of the ground. Something I learned on the job. Another cool thing is the hole we excavated to create material for the berm is now a sump that will drain water off the trail letting us ride it in the rain with minimal damage.
I like the fact that there were multiple options on the trail feature we were building so riders of all skill levels can have fun and they can ride together.
It was amazing to see the section of trail I had ridden just the day before disappear in a few hours and see a newly rerouted trail appear.
Listening to Chad explain the rationale for the design of this feature it was clear a lot of thought had gone into maximizing rider fun and safety while keeping maintenance low. This is important since we ride year round on Vancouver Island – rain or shine. So trails need to be very tough.
It was great to see so much progress made during our work session. Chad stuck around after we were done to do some finishing work and he said he would open the feature to riders by the end of the day. Cool! =)
If you want to get involved the SIMBS Trail Maintenance Day is the 3rd Sunday of every month. Meet in the Hartland parking lot at 845am and work until ~1230pm. If you let SIMBS know you are coming at this link early enough they will provide a sandwich for your lunch. A bunch of the crew goes for a post trail work ride if you want to join them.