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Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday, May 4th Trail Building

Four mountain bikers showed up this morning. Matt, Ryan, Jeff and Wayne. Wayne and I have been going back and fourth on email and he said that he could get his riding buddies out for some trail work. I was hopping to see some more folks from NBLA, afterall many were saying that they couldn't do Saturdays, so here it was a Sunday yet no one showed up from their camp. At 9 AM I distributed tools and we headed out. We did work in two areas:

The New Stream Crossing - which is part of the re-routed section of the trail that I had been working on the past couple of weeks. While we were finishing up this section Tom (NBLA) and Rob (friend from work and a mountain biker) showed up. I had them go back and start prepping the Double Cross area.

The Double Cross - I call it because there are two stream crossings with 100 feet of one another. The northern most crossing turned became quite an engineering feet that started out with a little cribbing and turned into the construction of Hadrian's Wall. The other stream crossing started out with humble beginnings, too. We were going to armor the upstream portion of the crossing and make a quasi rock skinny on the down stream portion. After it was all said and done it now looks like a Roman Road, or in keeping with the Roman theme, Via Roma.

Three more people showed up while we working on the Double Cross. Cindy, Jim, and Nick. Nick found my blog and had been wondering when the next event was. His presence was a tremendous help and did an outstanding job on Via Roma. After we were done, around 12:15 we took a picture of the whole crew.

These crossings have been a major impedement of opening the trail and with their completion the trail is now completely open. Doesn't necessarilly mean that the trail is done, there is still quite a bit work in the benching department still needed to make this trail a sustainable trail. Trail building is not just about clearing, although that is important, it's really about building a path through the woods that can withstand the stress from different usergroups will put on it. That is why there is a lot of benching.

If you just cleared the path and let users continually trod/ride through, in places where there grades, you create streams when it rains which errode the treadway to the point where it will no longer be usuable and then you need to re-route the trail. That means more work. By benching these sections, you create a treadway that allows the rain to sheet off the trail to the side without getting any momentum to errode the trailway. Doing this also creates a harder surface that shed leaves easier, too.

Hope to see more people out for the trailbuilding. If we can keep this momentum up, the trail could easily be completed by fall. In fact, the next trail building day will be June 7th, for National Trails day. We will be meeting at the Pond Brook Boat Ramp off of Hanover Road. After the trail building session, there will be a BBQ provided by NBLA and CTNEMBA! Hope to see you there.
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