Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trail Maintenance #1

January brought an unusual amount of rain to the foothills. Combine this with frozen North facing slopes and the runoff was very damaging to a lot of our favorite trails. Bob's and 5 Mile Gulch were two trails that needed immediate repair.

Eastside Boys looking bummed

view from the creek (photo credit?)

Ridge to Rivers has several "trail days" that are coordinated with local volunteer groups like SWIMBA. Some team members were able to join one of those trail days and arrange for Team Eastside Cycles to help finish one project on our own. Bart and Sam from Ridge to Rivers gave us plenty of instruction on "what to do" and "how to do it". See these photos from the Trail Day at Bob's  Trail a couple weeks ago.

all this has to get buried

check dams and fill


Covered Rock

Lots of Rock "uh... what's a lot?"

Mine Site before rehab

"thigh deep"

adding rocks

more rocks

Sam showing me how to rehab the "mine"

The project at 5 Mile Gulch would require a massive amount of "manual labor". The guys from Ridge to Rivers met a big group of volunteers from SWIMBA and on Thursday of last week they "farmed" a literal ton of rock. (gathered from the surrounding area bucket-by-bucket, on-rock-at-a-time) Our group is a bit smaller than some, but we have very strong, eager volunteers. Our job was to fill and cover the trail with "dirt" from a "mine" point that had been scouted by Sam from Ridge to Rivers.

If you look at the photos, imagine that every rock was picked up by someone, placed in a bucket and then brought to someone else at the trail site. That next person was responsible for placing big rocks to be "check dams". They would then place all the small rock in between check dams to provide a stable foundation for the trail. It should also be noted that there is a lot of "sledge hammering" to break the rock up a bit and fill the voids. 

Intersection Sign Post

Big Rock = Check Dam

How Many Rocks?

"A... LOT... of rocks"

The work Ridge to Rivers and SWIMBA did in a single day at the 5 Mile site is staggering. Kudos to those guys and gals. Team Eastside Cycles brought a small crew of 8 (plus 3 mascots) to put the icing on the cake. In just about 4 hours, we were able to dig, haul, dump, pack and rehab the "trench" that Mother Nature put down the center of the trail.  We definitely had the "easy" job and the rewarding job of seeing the finished project first.

The "Mine Site"
Wheel Barrow & Bucket Brigade

Yes, one at a time. They're heavy!
This is icy and slick.

Starting to look normal
How many buckets of dirt does it take to fill a trench?
"bobsled team" 2 manning a full wheel barrow up the hill
Making Trail
Almost There "4 More Wheel Barrows"
Team Eastside Volunteers
Thanks to Ridge to Rivers for allowing us to help with work on one of our favorite trails. The Eastside Crew will make another appearance at the bottom of 5 Mile for another "trench repair" near the trailhead in a couple weeks. The above crew headed to Boise Fry Co. for burgers and beers thanks to sponsor, Matt Green Photo. (except Kate, she still had the energy to go for a ride -- note the helmet) The next time your ride past the trail sign at Watchman/5 Mile Gulch junction, tip your helmet to Ridge to Rivers, SWIMBA, and Team Eastside Cycles. I know I will get a little pleasure in knowing the efforts put into the trail I'm rolling over. Ride safe!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hello again...

Since we are going into our 4th year as a team, we decided it's time for a change.  Team Eastside will be sporting a new look this year and are excited to represent and promote our 2014 sponsors, which include Eastside Cycles, Trailhead Chiropractic, Matt Green Photo, Boise Fry Company, Habitat Veterinary Hospital, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Bar Fly and Polar Bottles.  Please support these sponsors that support local cycling!

The majority of the team took a long needed break from the bike after cyclocross season, and members are starting to get back into the swing of things already.  Rob Burke kicked off the 2014 season at the Slammer RR #1 and Michael Shaw is patiently awaiting the snow to melt, so he can climb his favorite trail - Trail of Tears.

Check back throughout the year for race updates and tales of the 2-wheeled kind!  Local mountain bike racing starts next month with the Knobby Tire Series Sagebrush Scramble.  Hope to see you on the trail!