Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rain Finally!!!

We finally got some rain. An inch Saturday night / Sunday morning pretty easy. Dirt was perfect for stacking the back and sides of the step-up landing. Heightwise we are getting there, but still a foot to foot and a half to go.

Everything was tarped up from the great day of riding that occured on Saturday. Unfortunately I had to miss it, but Brad informed me of everything that went down, although I guessed some of the happenings from tire tracks on stuff never hit before. This picture is showing the lack of rain puddles after the drainage work that was finished last week. Right now there only seems to be one problem area with water laying and we have a solution to that.

From what I heard, Saturday was a ground breaking day at the trails. To this point only the 1st set in Geronimo had been sessioned. A couple of attempts at the 2nd set, between the end of last year and last Thursday night had a couple people wondering if this line would work with out modifying the 2nd set. It sounds like a monkey was found and sent up the tree to remove pine tree branches to atleast 20 feet high. Good thing since Dave plowed thru half the branches last Thursday night and I had visions of him impaling his eyes on dead limbs.

A session ensued that saw the 1st landing riding in and packing very nicely. Once Brad and Dave felt the groove they sent it. I guess Brad's 1st attempt saw him come off of the lip heading towards the biggest pine tree. Casually, he put his right foot out and did a foot plant off of the tree into the 2nd landing and over cleared it by a couple of feet. I guess everyone went nuts. He showed me the missing pine tree bark Sunday and I could not believe the height, because the landing was not far from the pine tree. Dave hit it up next and cleared it no problem. They sessioned it for quite a while and your typical trail tricks were done over the 2nd set. Then Dave transferred to the far left of the landing and was able to go thru the Main Line. All I need to say is that I need to see this in person. Eventually the 3rd set was hit with a lip that had not even be touched since last August. The 3rd landing goes into the ground by atleast 3 to 4 feet and that is were the digging stopped last year. A wall of death if your brakes are not dialed and it sounds like there were some near death experinces. Plans are now switching from other areas of the trails to focus on getting the 4th lip of Geronimo roughly done, so the 3rd set can be sessioned properly.

The rest of the trails rode the best they have all year and the 1st 360's of the year were done over the step-up. Without the rain in the last couple of week, a watering schedule and process with the tarps is slowly getting figured out to keep the trails dialed. Right now, just about everything is running and only a couple of lips need rebuilt. Once we have a big crew together for a weekend session, then maybe a landing or two will get chewed up, buttered up and ridened in. Get to the trails and get you digging in. The Erie guys were a no show, but hopefully they will get down soon along with the Cleveland guys. Pumped.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crappy Weekend Weather

Saturday's weather barely got into the 30's and it felt freezing compared to the 80 degree plus days we had a week ago. I don't think anyone went to the trails.

Sunday's weather was a little better, but still chilly. I had to get a workout in, so I went to the trails and Brad showed up shortly after. We finished the drainage behind the old last lip in the Main Line. Should not be a problem this year unless we get more then 5 inches of rain in a day.

We then turned efforts towards the step-up landing in the Main Line. We are looking at stepping up another 2 feet compared to last year and we started stacking up the backside. We got it squared up to the current height and are ready to add the 2 feet the next time out. Looks super good and the last lip is looking at being another foot taller. Should send you good.

Weather looks good for this week, so get down to the trails and get your digging in. Hopefully a proper session Thursday evening. No photos of this weekends digging progress.

Christmas in April at Autonomy Bikes

Some days at work when UPS delivers packages it feels like Christmas, because I forgot what I ordered and it's sort of a surprise when I open it. I was expecting the Autonomy Bikes top load stems back this week from the anodizers, but not today. Brad and I were excited to see how the colors turned out compared to the 2nd prototype batch a year ago. Getting them tumbled made them super shiny and the colors I think look a lot cooler. I'm having a hard time deciding which color to throw on my bike. As you can see we have stems available in 6 colors to spruce your ride up. If you have not seen the stems up close, they have a 2" reach, although they look really short. Very turndown friendly back side, with the pinch bolt between the steer tube and handle bars. I need to get them weighted, but last batch was about as light as anything currently available. Still skeptical, if they can hold up to my 270#+ of trail riding and technical ramp riding, they will hold up for you. See Joe or Brad at the trails or Aaron at his new bike shop soon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Little bit of Riding

What a great day to be in the woods. Perfect temp for building and riding. The plan was to do some riding today, but I was finally ready to overhaul the 3rd lip in the Main Line. It is about a foot and a half wider on the right and the bottom on the left side was shaved for more room getting into the NBL Line. It is a couple of inches taller and a little steeper then it was. Should be a sender and way better in general.

Brad and Joe T put some hours in watering, raking, brooming and smoothing things out. Nate was down to help out again. Dinger made an appearance and a quick half a dozen laps before getting to work. Everything is looking better everytime we leave. The 1st lip and landing in the Main Line was hit up and the fix looks to be a good. The Roller Line to Main Line was looking good. Brad was going high and hit the new 7th lip and landing, along with the berm to 8th lip to step-up. I'm guessing most of the older sets will be running in the next week or 2 and the fine tuning will continue.

Spring Dig

Well, the snow melted off and we had a good productive day at the trails. It was cool, but a comfortable cool. After all the rain we got this last week, we decided to focus on drainage issues. Brad and I gutted out the right side of the 2nd lip in Geronimo. It needed done in order to allow that area to dry up enough to make it ridable after rains. Many barrows of gravel were removed to the perimeter of the plateu behind Geronimo's 1st landing for future plans of filling this area with a new line.

Four New York state boys came down and put some work in on the bowl spine area. They are making progress, but are still digging virgins. We discussed showing them some of our techniques for easier mass excavation of rooty soil. We are just pumped that they are down making an effort and can't wait to ride also.

Dave and Chevy showed up about the time we finished drainage on Geronimo. Efforts were turned towards the old last landing in the Main Line. This area has always been a problem if we get more then 1/2" of rain and shuts the trails down if more then that. The ditch running to the side of the plateu was widened and deepened along with more dirt between the set removed. The landing was stacked up on the back side to form the standard dank pad and the landing widened on both sides to the trees. This landing is now wide enough to land an airplane.

If the rain holds off, Sunday should be a little of much needed riding time.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Did we miss Summer???

What is going on with this weather? Last weekend we were diggign without shirts and this morning I wake up to snow on the ground. Is it November and I slept the last 7 months?

Anyways it looks like it will warm up nicely today, maybe into the low 60's and we should be able to get some work at the trails done. Probably going to be muddy for sure, but we got plenty to keep busy. I have not been able to get to the trails since last Saturday and 2 or 3 good digging sessions went down. Curious to see what got done, get some pics and get a digging work out on.

Come on down and dig. There is plenty of shovels for everyone, just don't use mine when I'm there. The trails are not going to build themselves.The photos above are from The Heathens trails last May. Two of my favorite pics taken last year of the Spencer boys. Aaron with a casual tobaggan and Jordan leaning it over without one foot.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Winter Tarp Experiment a Success

NBL Line progress is showing. Dave and crew have the lip out of the berm roughed to height and it just needs squared up. It looks a ton better this year and is going to be fun. Some more dead trees to cut down and de-stump before the landing and next lip can be worked on.

Before picture of the Main Line 1st lip and landing. The guys chopped them up Thursday night to start the overhaul of them.

After picture of the Main Line 1st lip. Same height, just a little mellower. Squared up to look proper and should ride in nicely. This lip has been neglected for years and finally got the attention it deserves. I didn't get a good picture of the landing, but it was stacked up and squared off in the back to form a dank pad and the landing was stretched out. The gap looks a couple of feet shorter, but should not effect the next lips performance.

Here is the 1st lip and landing in Geronimo. Not much going on here besides it looks so much better then last year. We never got the flat before the 2nd lip and the 2nd lip to dry up enough last year to send it properly. It looks ready to go right now.

View from the roll-in direction of Geronimo. I'm glad to see the high corner of the 1st landing did not turn to mud and collapse over winter. We spent many weeks last year getting it to this point and it is not easy stacking dirt a couple of feet over your head.

What an amazing day Friday was to be in the woods. Low 80's for temps and sunny. No shirts required. If that does not get you pumped for trails after the long cold winter that just happened then there is something wrong with you. We are hoping for and expecting a good turn out Saturday to do some damage on the re-building that needs done.
I almost forgot to mention the Winter Tarp Experiment. Our goal was to cover lips that rebuilt last year and were dialed to see what would happen over winter. From what I witnessed last night the lips are as dailed and as fast as they were in the Fall. The tarping of the landings helped a lot also. Plans are to chop the landings top 2 inches of surface, water a little, rake smooth and butter up. I'm estimating it saved us at least 3 to 4 weeks of labor and riding in time. Plans for a jam around the 1st day of summer, to avoid the bottle necks with PA fall jam season definitely seems possible. Experiment was a success.