Friday, September 25, 2009

Trail Building

Since my move back to the land of vacations and taxes, otherwise known as Maine (of course when you live here you don't get to take vacations as you always have to work to pay the taxes), I've been lacking in quality trails right out the back door. I'll admit I was pretty spoiled over in Conway with Davis Hill out the back door and the great trails of Peaked, Sticks and Stones, and Cedar Creek all within riding distance of the house. Of course in Conway there is also a very large riding community, but over here in Bridgton there seems to be a large contingent of people working far too much just so they can pay their taxes.

What this has meant is that there are many trails that are overgrown or places where a trail should just appear. I keep thinking that will happen, but alas it has not.

That has meant a bit of picking away at some sections of trails that needed to be cleared and this week it has meant a bit more flagging, raking, cutting, and moving things like downed trees and rocks. I'm making a bit of progress and now have a couple of good loops (short, but fun), and am starting to enjoy the process of building. The best part- no damn bridges! Although there are a few sections that will require bridges, but they will be a good 36-48 inches wide with grip tape applied to the riding surface.

Last night I wanted to go check another stand of woods where there were some good trails about 10 years ago, but has since been logged. I was all of three minutes into the ride when I had a very quick and violent trip over the bars while I was not rolling very fast. I managed to not smash up my face, as the helmet took the hit, but it rattled my skull pretty good and I managed to mash my wrist and shin in the process. I kind of wish someone had a picture of my on the ground trying to untangle as it was one of the better scorpion poses I think I've ever had.

Of course being by myself, it being three minutes into the ride, and knowing I had a hall pass that lasted for at least another hour, I picked myself up checking to make sure that I wasn't about to be treated to that pain that takes a minute but when it hits it knocks you on your butt. But things seemed to be working. The blood coming out of my shin seemed to be only a trickle and the swelling was going to happen regardless of if I stood around or rode, so I remounted. I think I was trying to convince myself I hadn't thrashed myself so I took off and before I could realize that my vision was off a bit and my neck and arms weren't really communicating all that well I found myself flying through the air once again. This time the landing was fairly tame, however it really shook my confidence.

I choose to walk out of the woods and remount after I found a trail that I had already raked, and rode slowly to a place where I could at least make some trail improvements for my next ride. My neck and shoulders got pretty tight, but I was able to rake and clear debris for the next hour or so and almost go another loop completed (maybe tonight). Needless to say Advil has once again become a good friend of mine.

My hope is that I can find some other riders who live in the area. We have a few kids on campus who have said they'd like to get out and ride. One of whom I've gotten out with a couple of times. I've seen a vehicle rolling around with some nice shiny bikes on the roof, but have never seen the bikes actually being ridden- I'll have to work on that.

That's it for the moment.


No comments: