Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scott's Flat Trail Improvements (Lakeside)

This morning, Rick Weaver and I put in some volunteer hours on the BONC-adopted Scott's Flat Trail. Under Rick's expert guidance, we took out the big downed pine across the trail. Bucking a large suspended tree like this is beyond my pay grade, so I just took pictures and helped roll away what Rick lopped off.

Next, we worked on a nearby section where water backed up in a few places. With a pick and shovel, we dug water outlets on the side of the flume to allow water to flow off the trail. Because the mud is so saturated, it will be some time before the trailbed dries out enough to sculpt the final product. But this is a great start.

Some additional pictures.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

BONCers Improve Round Mountain

Be sure to check out the Round Mountain trail improvements BONC volunteers accomplished today. With many new faces, a solid turnout, newly sharpened tools (thank you Land Trust) and near perfect trail building conditions, we kicked butt:

Re-built one of the steep RM Trail switchbacks - Matt and Dan led the charge on this one, sculpting a beautiful, more sustainable route.

Created an entirely new switchback on the Upper Hudson Trail - Dieter and company artfully built a new climbing turn which replaced a badly eroded fall line section. Across the road, I used a pick axe to eliminate the water trap that created a nasty axle-deep bog in the wetter months.

Cut bench and pruned - The rest of us focused on re-establishing the proper width of many portions of the South Yuba and Round Mountain Trails and pruning back vegetation. We also cut some drainage outlets.

Repaired signage - Terry, Rich and I installed a new sign post at the RM/S Yuba intersection. A big thank you to Chris Rose who donated the post.

Additional thanks to Sierra Coffee Roasters, New Belgium Brewing, Bill Haire, the BLM and all out fantastic volunteers! BONC's next official trail volunteer day is on Saturday, January 28 at Hirschman Pond, though you can also help out the Scott's Flat Trail Alliance as they continue work on this new trail.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Round Mountain Trail Volunteer Day - Sat. 12/17

Help us improve Round Mountain singletrack near Nevada City! We'll throw down for free New Belgium cold beer and hot chocolate. With a good turnout, we can accomplish our tasks quickly and ride these great trails afterwards.

We will place and repair signage, create drainage features, cut bench, trim back overgrowth and have a good time hanging out in this beautiful area. Meet at at Merrimas and Rock Creek Road @ 10AM on Saturday, 12/17/11. Waiver signature required. Hope you can join us!

See map.

YBONC/BONC at Victorian Christmas

If you get a chance, be sure to stop by the BONC/YBONC booth at Victorian Xmas in Nevada City. We have a raffle and other goodies for sale, all of which benefit the Scott's Flat Trail project. We also have maps and a schedule of 2012 BONC events. Stop by and say hi!

On Sunday, my daughter baked and sold a bunch of cookies for the booth to support the trail. Her cookies may make a reappearance, who knows. Don't let an 11 year old girl out-donate you! And remember, you can always support the project online.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Singlespeeding in Nevada County

I recently built up my first dedicated singlespeed rig. After ~15 rides, I've fallen in love with SS riding. Why you ask? Well, I am trying to understand myself, but it goes something like this:

As a 12 year resident of Grass Valley, this flavor of riding has provided a new set of challenges on trails I've ridden countless times since moving here. Hills that were mundane or routine are now significant physical challenges. Cleaning them are often personal triumphs of strength and determination (or in my head they are). At the end of a ride, I feel thoroughly worked in a new, different way. I very much feel that I've accomplished something. The 29er wheels make the hardtail thing much more fun for me, as the big wheels smooth out the rough sections.

Not all local rides are SS friendly (or at least not with my current level of skill/strength/stamina). But routes that I find well suited to SSing include: Bullards, Miners/Pioneer/Scott's Drop, certain trails at Osborne Hill/Empire Mine, Auburn and Round Mountain. I am learning that you want rolling trails which are less flat. Big climbs are OK too, as long as they are not crazy steep.

I plan to explore more trails on my SS to see which are fun and which are beyond my abilities. South Yuba Trail is on my agenda.

ABOUT THE BIKE: Built on a 2011 Specialized Rockhopper SL 29 frame, my bike uses a 32/20 gear combination, which suits my desire to clean as many sections as possible without spinning out too much on flat portions. I use a suspension fork (Reba XX with a remote lockout) and super wide Easton Haven carbon bars for leverage.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Scott's Flat Trail Construction: First Impressions

Today, I had the chance to check out progress with the new Scott's Flat Trail construction on USFS land. Note that this trail is not open yet and is only in a rough cut phase; please do not ride the trail yet. Lots of finish work is yet needed, then a winter of precipitation.

The Scott's Flat Alliance construction team is doing a great job thus far. The trail winds through the forest and will feature moderate berms and dips/jumps where you will be able to enjoy some airtime, if that is your thing. I spoke with Chris Rose, who is leading the chainsaw crew and he is pleased as well.

The first section starts on flat terrain, so it might be challenging to provide adequate drainage. It is only after significant rainfall that you tell for certain where water will collect. I always think that a trail isn't really done until at least few years after construction when you get to tweak things here and there.

Please donate!