5.29.2010

Earn your turns (mountain bike style)

There has been a stretch of great early season summer weather in central Vermont. It's great to experience some warm sunny days strung together because the previous two summers have ranged from pretty damp to downright sodden...

Consequently, I have been spending a lot of time riding my battered Redline Monocog. As I once posted here, "Even as the apocalypse approaches, I still like riding my bike"-- what was true then, is even more true now, in this era of environmental catastrophes, global financial meltdowns, and on a more personal level -- persistent, grinding job uncertainty.

There are many place to ride a mountain bike near where I live and work, however maintaining the trail networks is a large commitment. Centrally located trails in Waterbury (Perry Hill) and Stowe (Town Loops) are heavily used and quickly deteriorate if not cared for.

Last weekend there was a massive trail building work day to perform finish work on a trail linking Little River State Park to Stowe's trail network.

Local trail builder extraordinaire Hardy Avery marshaled the volunteers at the start. Even a small work crew needs to work in an organized fashion but keeping 50+ people organized and productive seven miles into the woods takes some leadership and planning ability.

Drainage improvements are important in building trails that will last in Vermont's wet climate.

Mud-be-gone: A low section of trail after installation of a new culvert covered with rock and a sand-gravel mix.

What the finished product can look like: The Pipeline trail (photos of construction last summer here), a very buffed series of switchbacks up the hill to Trapp Family Lodge.

On a related topic, registration for the 3rd annual Vermont Mountain Bike Festival is now open.

One thing about mountain biking, it's hard to discover places to ride. This event will highlight all sorts of varied riding in the area along with various other fun happenings. The bike industry has been very supportive of this event and there will be many bling bikes to demo and lots of swag to be had... it should be a good time.

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