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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First Trail Braid

Did a loop the Echo Valley Loop today which basically is ride up the Brody Road from the Echo Valley Lot and come back down on the Gussy Trail. There was another set hoof tracks and except for the third stream crossing that I know I have to fix, it appeared that the rider was staying true to the trail.

There was one digression. At Via Roma, the rider decided not to travel over the armored section and instead ride through the skunk cabbage above the crossing, which is not part of the trail. This will be very bad if this continues and it tells me that we either need to change the Via Roma so that it's narrower for just bikes to travel and armor just where the stream crosses, or we need to create a second armored crossing.

You many not be able to see it but in the picture below, just to the right of the tree in the left side of the picture you can just make out where the soil has been turned up.

Below, I am showing graphically where the trail braid is taking place. I have no problem armoring this point further and shortening the ramp, which is why I think the rider chose this route rather than the Via Roma, but we can't have this take place when someone doesn't a particular part of the trail, or for that matter if they can't negotiate it, make their own trail around it. This is called trail braiding.

Mountain bikers always say, improve your skill not the trail. From a mountain biking perspective, this crossing is sweet. It has many different lines to choose from and it's solid! What I have done below is to further identify the path of the trail with some logs that will hopefully direct riders in the future to stay on the trail.

However, in this case perhaps this crossing has too many wobbly stones that would scare off any horseback rider. Therefore, we probably need to make a different crossing point of the horses. A spot where the back is more compacted and there is little mud to be churned up. Maybe it's this point or further upstream. Looks like another thing to do on May 24th.


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