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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Armoring on the Blue Trail

While walking with the Newtown Conservation Commission on Saturday, we hooked around on the Blue Trail to circle back onto the Gussy Trail for more examples of benching and armoring when we came upon this crude armoring on the blue trail.  My guess it was done by mountain bikers that ride the western side trails, which is a mixture of blue blaze and horse trails.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Newtown Conservation Commission Trail Walk

Went out on Saturday with the Newtown Conservation Commission to show them examples of trail benching and armoring to give them idea of what to expect when I am building a trail on Town Open Space.  I am working on my first trail on Town land called the Point of Rocks Preserve and the Commission isn't quite up to speed yet on trails even though they have a mandate to acquire more open space for the purpose of building trails.

Paula Burton is explaining the benching process.
She benched this section of the trail.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall on the Gussy

Went for a walk on Saturday at Upper Paugussett State Forest with the Newtown Conservation Commission to show them examples of how single track trail are built and I couldn't get over how vibrant the fall colors were in the forest that morning.

Clouds and Blue sky made for excellent color combinations

Looking down the Gussy from ROW

Looking the other way down the Gussy along the ROW

Monday, September 20, 2010

Before the trail gnomes

Here is the blow down on the Gussy Trail that is about 50 yards past the double stream armoring section. Paula did a fine job cutting the log into two usable pieces. Only, they are mighty heavy and rolling them into position will be a chore.

Haven't quite decided how to set them up.  A lot depends on how far I can move them.  The larger of the two, which is the heaviest, too, is probably the easiest to maneuver because it will roll.  The other one, with the bough sticking out will not be.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Didn't your drill Sergent ever teach you the proper way to camo something?

Found this deer blind about 30 yards from the corner where salt block was placed. I wonder if that really got the deer to track through here. Fortunately, the orientation is away from the trail and over looks a little clearing (made by the hunter perhaps?). Guess it's perfect for bow hunting and I appreciate the hunters forethought in making the kill zone away from the trail.

Not sure about the legality of this structure, though. If anything, cutting the brush for camo is probably illegal and clearly the person responsible for building this never learned that you don't use dead leaves to camo a structure. Maybe deer can't see it but to me it sticks out like a sore thumb.

I wonder what the DEP will say?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday Observations

Haven't been down the Brody in a while so I road the basic Echo Valley Loop Sunday evening before it got dark. First thing I noticed rolling into the Echo Valley lot was it appears there has been some more ATV usage. It would appear that they are staying on the fire road. Of course if the state did a proper job blocking the opening across from Silver City Lane then there probably wouldn't be a problem at all.

Hippy Stack

Blockage - didn't look like anyone has been using this part where it was logged last year. If they are using it, they usually come in from the intersection with the white trail, so this doesn't make any sense.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Early Morning on the Gussy

While riding the Gussy Trail at Upper Paugussett Wednesday morning I came across an interesting thing - a reflector tab. Looks like hunters are starting to use the trail by putting reflector tabs in the trees. Of course, at 6:30 in the morning I decided to have a little illumination myself.

Rick pointed out in his Trail Ambassador report from last weekend that there was another blowdown and it's between the second and third stream crossings (if headed north). Trail gnomes have already made it into an up-and-over, however, this has great skinny potentional.

Anyone reading this post who has a chainsaw and would like to help, please contact me: eatsleepfish[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Hunter Dumper

Rick submitted this picture of one of the regular hunters at Upper Paugussett State Forest.  This is the guy that I ran across a few years ago taking a dump in his van while parked at the Echo Valley Lot.  I remember riding up into the lot one fine day only to find the side of his van wide open with him in it.  After chatting him up a bit I realized that he was sitting on a bucket and his trousers were bunched at the knees.  I quickly bade him good day and rode off!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sept 1: Orange Season has begun

Got a note from Rick this morning that said he had a good ride at Oh Dark Thirty on the Gussy but as he was hitting one of the stream crossings he heard a gun shot. At the Wet Spot he encountered a hunter hunting squirrels. Time to break out the Orange!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Early Morning Eeries

Got out to the Gussy for a little early morning ride before work. The drought effect is in full effect making it look like fall on the Gussy. Hopefully, the 4 or 5 inches of rain we just got will change that. Gussy is seeing a lot more knobby activity but very little horse. Everything is riding nice and smooth.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More trees down on the Gussy

I think this tree was leaning for the longest time and now it's down.
Perfect skinny material, just need to ramp the end.

This tree went down near the blowdown that is off the trail down from Blue Trail Cross Roller.
Rick told me about this one and he did a great job putting some smaller logs on both
sides to ensure riding over the log doesn't impact the flow of this part of the trail.
It rides smooth as buttah!

Here it is from the other side.

Trees are still in shock and dropping leaves.
We got at least an inch of rain Sunday night
and more rain on Monday night, too
hopefully it will help

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More Stuntry

While it may look like fall, the drought conditions in this part of Connecticut send the trees into a premature leaf drop, it's really just the middle of summer and by the hefty amounts of waffle prints on the trails it appears the Gussy Trail is getting a lot of use now. There were tire marks in the leaves at the base of the roller pictured above, something I haven't seen yet, except for my own. The skinny, built by the trail gnomes, seems to be getting a lot of attention too with this new and improved ramp built. Yes, it seems the Gussy Trail is becoming a popular trail when riding at Upper Paugussett State Forest.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Up-and-Over for how much longer?

While Rick was fixing a flat I noticed this Up-and-Over needed a little fixing although we have been riding it this way for some time now. I simply moved the flat rock that used to be right before log back to it's original position. Looking at what used to be the first of two logs, it has been ground down and I wonder how much longer till other one gets ground into wood chips.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The New Up-and-Over

Finally got back to the forest, with Rick this time, for a little early morning ride before work and we tried out the new Up-and-Over courtesy of some trail gnomes. Here is a good picture of the feature. The middle log provides a little kicker: first on your chainring or bashguard and then the rear wheel that you need to be prepared for but as long as you have good momentum it's a no brainer.  If you haven't seen it already, I posted some video on Cycle Snack of Rick and I riding this feature.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

De-pooping the Line

Last week I wrote about this serious pile of road apples that some equestrienne left right in the best line to ride at the Wet Spot. It's actually the hardest line to take but the most fun. Well, after looking at it for almost two weeks I decided to take matters into my hands by using a stick to push the crap off the trail.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pooping the Line

I think I posted this on the Snack last week but thought I would make mention of it here after riding through here again.  Here is a good example of when an equestrienne doesn't curb their horse what it does to the trail.  The best line in the wet spot starts where that mound of road apples happily sits.  

So I found a new line last night, just a little to the left.  If you go too far to the left and not over the rocks then you are hitting the P-Path/Loser Line.  You have to roll over the big rock just to the left of the poo.  Make sure your speed is up because those rocks will stall you out.  

Thanks to some poo, it just got harder to clean the wet spot.

Monday, August 9, 2010

More Trail Gnomes at Work

A little handiwork was accomplished at this log cut in the past week and unfortunately I didn't bring my camera to get a shot of it so I am going to have to give you a written description instead.  

What they did was move the cut pieces shown in the picture above and use the log itself as the up-and-over.  It's really nice and rides great but make sure you have your weight back when going over it.  It's now fun to ride in both directions and appears to be getting some use evidenced by the outer ring marks in the log.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New and Improved terrain feature

On my ride up the Gussy this morning I came across the new up-and-over in a state of dissaray. Not sure if this was an intended or unintended act. It could be been done by a mountain biker trying to huck or wheelie drop on the down side which could make the smaller log roll out of position. I found another rock to wedge it in better and it rolls even better now.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Another blow down

Only, it's not blocking the trail rather just off it. Rick and I were thinking that if you were to cut the tree that it's leaning against and were to roll it up hill and cut off the other end (or not) you could get a really cool skinny out this one. It would be like a crescent.

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