The Pensacola Off-Road Cyclists hosted a local trail building school
The Pensacola Off-Road Cyclists (porc.org) would like to thank Subaru and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) for bringing the IMBA Trail Building School to our area. IMBA Organizer, Spencer Powlison arranged for the IMBA Trail Care Crew, which consists of Kelly and Collins Bishop of Chattanooga, TN, to spend four days in the area, getting to know the key players in off-road cycling community, the local trail builders, and of course riding the area’s trails.
On Saturday, December 6th, 32 individuals representing mountain biking in Florida’s Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties, and Alabama’s Baldwin and Escambia counties attended a trail building school which emphasized sustainable and proper trail building techniques. After an educational and entertaining three hour course, class participants put their newly learned skills to work by assisting in the design and building of a new leg of the Blackwater Off-road Bicycle Trail. This visit was one of 30 stops on the 2008 schedule. The Crew teaches “sustainable” trail building, which translates to building trails that last a long time and require minimal maintenance. This helps reduce trail damage, protects the environment, and enhances visitor enjoyment.
The classroom portion of the session was held at the Blackwater Heritage State Trail Visitor’s Center in Milton and featured detailed instruction for building and maintaining multi-use trails on all types of terrain, especially our own highly erodible sandy soils. Twenty-two people attended the afternoon session at Blackwater River State Forest which resulted in an additional 1,500 feet of really nice sustainable single track.
Sunday was a day of play as the PORC gang took Kelly and Collins on a tour of our local trails at the University of West Florida. Collins rode with the more experienced group for a very fast 13 mile loop through the woods while Kelly led the less experienced riders on an easier and instructional 5 mile ride. After the post ride camaraderie, we said good-bye to Kelly and Collins as the drove away to their next event in their fully packed Subaru Outback.
We would like to thank Bikes Plus for providing (and delivering by bike) the food for our Meet and Greet on Friday night. We would also like to thank the Blackwater Heritage State Trail for the use of their visitor’s center for the Saturday morning classroom session. Truly Spokin’ bike shop provided ample pizza to fuel us for our afternoon outdoor session and thanks to CLIF Bar who provided work crew snacks at this event. And lastly, we would especially like to thank David Creamer and Woody Johnson from the Blackwater River State Forest for meeting with us and providing us the opportunity to use their lands to build the off-road bike trail and their support for- and encouragement of- this outdoor recreational opportunity in our area.