8000 Feet To Go

Barbara and I did about 1000 feet of damage today. I was pretty tired after riding the 40 mile loop with Carlos yesterday. We started at Truly Sokin’ in Milton and rode up to the trail, did the loop, and then headed back. It was an easy ride but i was sore today.

Super easy clearing but the raking is rough with all the wire grass. I’ve been digging it out because it creates a huge bump in the trail.  Lots of potential for skinnies but they will have to wait since I’m trying to get the loop finished. We did some extreme meandering because the forest is so open in this area. What I rode felt pretty nice, in fact the whole section we did with IMBA is pretty sweet. A little smoothing and packing and it ought to be fun. 7 hours total.

Published in: on December 27, 2008 at 3:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nice Turnout

When I got to the trail head this morning I was surprised to see David and Chris with their bikes. I was even more surprised to find that they were done riding and ready to help with trail work. When Carlos arrived that made four hearty souls to crash through the brush.  I started by cranking up the gps so I could reflag the corridor and the putting in some pin flags. When I got everyone squared away I went searching for the rake that I left at the other section of trail. By the time I walked at least a mile, found the rake and walked back I was beat and they were done with what I had flagged. I cranked up the gps again and flagged some more. I found another nice log for a skinny, a turpentine pot and a dog skull. We probably cleared 1000 feet of trail and added another 14 hours to the tally. I’ve got the whole week off so I plan on heading up again.

Published in: on December 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

What A Fun Weekend

But I’m glad it’s over.  And I can go without eating pizza for a while also. I think the big plus was Woody being interested in some of the hardening techniques that we maybe can use in the more erosion prone areas. That would be something i need to bringing up occasionally. The only negative was not having enough trail ready to build. We had a bunch of people and the clearing went by really fast. I think having more flagged out would have gotten more people into better terrain and thicker brush. Dave, Mike and Robbie seemed to be getting into the trail design so I’m hopeful I can get them out again to practice their skillz.

The PORC crew got me a really sweet Dakine Builder’s Pack  (big enough to carry a chainsaw or a couple of thousand pin flags) for all my efforts. That was extremely nice and unnecessary. I guess they don’t realize that I enjoy doing this as much as I like riding.

Kelly and Collins sent a bunch of pictures which I’m sure will be posted on the PORC website.  This was my favorite.img_4082_bw

Published in: on December 9, 2008 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

What I Sent to the Local Newspaper

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.

Published in: on December 7, 2008 at 5:46 pm  Comments (1)