Sunday, March 29, 2009

IMBA Trail Care Crew Comes To Town

Congrats to SBMTV for sponsoring a successful trail building workshop featuring the IMBA Trail Care Crew. I attended this event Saturday, held partially in class and partially out on Jesusita Trail. The two IMBA presenters, Inga and Jason seemed a little young to be teaching trail building skills at first I thought. That was until I saw them in action on the trails. They schooled all 30 of us who attended on how to build and maintain trails properly.

The key word of the day was sustainability. For the trails this basically means, how to make trails that have the least amount of maintenance, safest, and best water drainage. The IMBA Crew let us know that our trails, or at least the ones they have been on need major work including many reroute sections to become sustainable. Which brings up the question, "so our trails are not sustainable, probably never have been- do we need to spend years making them this way?" I agree there are many areas we need to improve including what is called knicking or rolling grade dips in the place of water bars. Also "armoring" the trails with rock work so that the big rut in the middle doesn't get any deeper. But people enjoy the steepness and technicality of our trails how they are, how do we appease those who love the trails and try and make them sustainable at the same time? - To be discussed further I am sure.

I now feel pretty comfortable making a knick in the trail to provide water drainage. The knick combined with the RGD is outsloped just enough to allow water to run off the trails but not noticeable to distract user enjoyment from the trails. We did not quite get to the top of Jesusita but got quite a few finished. We also started an "armored" section of the trail near the bottom where a lot of patience and time was needed to complete a 4 ft section. All in all it was a successful day and much knowledge was learned. SB City Staff also attended and had many questions that pertained to our trails. These sustainable techniques will undoubtedly come up at the next public hearing. Our Front Country Trail Crew will also benefit from this knowledge while working on Tunnel Trail over the next few weeks.


Getting ready at the bottom of Jesusita

Vince armoring a section

Armored section after

Before a "knick" for water drainage

After the "knick" and RGD

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Crew Strikes Back

Finally mother nature gave us a break and we were able to get up on Jesusita and Tunnel to dig in to the brush problem. Tuesday afternoon we spent a couple of hours cutting back brush in one particularly bad area on Jesusita and start heading up Tunnel. Jesusita was not on the original agenda but this particular area at the beginning of the trail has been a problem for years, overgrown and taking the shape of a 'V". With that done we discovered there were actually 2 signs at the bottom of Tunnel! A little brush work and they were both visible again. We made it a little ways up Tunnel but the project continues. We will again head up to work on this project Tuesday, 4/7 afterwork. Join us is you can and enjoy a beer with us after the session is over.

Our New Sign At The TH
Jesusita B4
Jesusita After

Tunnel TH- Can U Spot The Two Signs?

Tunnel After- There They Are

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mother Nature- 2, Front Country Trail Crew- 0

First defeat we had was the trail event scheduled for November 15th, the Tea Fire ended that one quick. Yesterday we had planned on heading up Tunnel to do a little brush removal when mother nature decided to say no again. The heavy mist was enough to register as actual rainfall according to local rainfall gauges. We pulled the plug after getting to the TH a little after 8am and seeing everything soaked. Those who would have attended would have been drenched after cutting at the first tree branch. Although the mist did leave us with a good opportunity to take some cool pics- see below. We went home with our tails between our legs and our cooler still full of beer. We will try again and you will not foil us next time mother nature! We are going to experiment with the idea of doing trail work during the week after work rather than the weekends. As the days get longer this should get even more doable. We have tenatively re-scheduled for this upcoming Tuesday, 3/21 after work on Tunnel Trail. Email us if you are interested.

Not a complete defeat though, we were able to get to the top 1/2 mile of Tunnel on Friday to do some prep work and did repair some broken down tread and cut some overgrown branches. Special thanks to all that planned on attending and allowed us to cancel at the last minute!

The Soaking made for some cool photos

Our Da Kine Trail Builder Packs need some dirt on them

These beers need a good home too!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Island In The Sky

The only place in town that seemed to be sunny today was up high on gibralter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tunnel Trail Clean Up This Saturday

Reminder that this Saturday we are hosting the first trail maintenance project of the year with the Tunnel Trail Clean Up. No experience is needed and we will provide the tools and training. We are doing our part to build a better, safer trail system starting with trail maintenance per the recommendations of the Front Country Trails Task Force. We will be hitting the trails on a regular basis with the FCTC, check our volunteer page for the latest. Time/Date: 9am-1pm, 3/21, email if you need more info or would like to attend.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Trail Crew Leader Training A Success!

This past Saturday the agencies, led by the USFS and Kerry Kellogg successfully trained 15 people that will lead trail work programs in the near future. Those that attended included our own Dave, also Jed and John from SBMTV, Paul from MTF, Kelly from Kona Bikes, Robert and Sandy from Blacksmith Endurance, Jason from LPFA, and Bryan- local trail mapper. Also in attendance were local trail users Sam, Ben, Mike, Richard, Luis, Ray, Randy, and Jill from City Parks. Of the 15 trainees, about half of the leaders were bikers, the rest being hikers or runners. A very good representation from the cycling community and it tells much about cyclists wishes to better our trails.

After reviewing the rules and regulations of putting on a maintenance project all the attendees hit the trail. Some light trail work to the lower part of Jesusita was done and much poison oak was removed. Most of these attendees will be leading or participating in events in the near future, like our "Tunnel Trail Clean-up" this Saturday(email for details). One good part of different kinds of users all getting on the trail at the same time was discussing how changes to the trail were needed or wanted. We all reshaped a small rocky section of trail not before discussing how rocks are fun and useful when cycling. This was the first time members of the trail using community all discussed trail repair rather that just having someone doing a repair without discussion. We have been adamant that if a major repair or change to the structure of a trail is too be done, users need to be part of this decision process. Our fingers our crossed.

Heading up Jesusita

Mike working the rocky section-before

That same section-after

Friday, March 13, 2009

Parma Park Re-opened!

Yes Parma is open with exception of areas that are under repair or severly damaged. Read the official report here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trout and Dogs Don't Mix on Rattlesnake Cyn

Saw this sign on Rattlesnake yesterday.

Also saw this giant man eating dragon

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Those Goats Are Kicking It Montecito Style

Brush Goats 4 Hire have been all over the place the last 6 months. They were up near Rattlesnake then Tunnel then TV Hill, and now on Romero Canyon for the next few weeks. I was coming down the fire road and glanced off the edge and saw what I thought was new fencing. I stopped to check it out because why in the world would someone put fencing along a near vertical hillside? As I got closer the "baaaas" of goats answered that question.

The location is nearly impossible to see from the trail and hidden by steep terrain. The fence line is located on a ridge which was once a trail someone in the neighborhood must have created. Pretty funny I have been using Romero for years and never new this trail existed. The trail is all beat up but seems to run from the Romero fire road down to the road below? The goats have been hired by a concerned neighbor who wanted to create a defensible space between their property and the sea of brush behind their property. Aren't these goats getting full?

Visit Their Website:

Area where goats have cleaned up brush
The ancient trail and fence line

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Touching People's Lives.....In Virginia

We received this email From Tom B., a multiuser and student from West Virginia.

My name is Thomas B**** from West Virginia University and I emailed you about a year ago asking for information on what your organization is about for one of my projects. Well I'm writing back to say that my presentation was a success, I earned an A, and I even taught some of my classmates about the importance of multiuse trails. I put my free sticker on my truck and motorcycle for everyone to see and I wear my shirt as soon as I get it out of the dryer. Two wheels are my way of life and my truck serves as a means to transport both my bike and motorcycle. I would like two of the new stickers to put on my truck and motorcycle so that I can show my support of the coalition. I'm also giving another presentation here at WVU in the upcoming weeks on the importance of multiuse trails and I want to influence more people, just like two semesters ago. Thank you so much for the support and good luck continuing the fight for more multiuse trails.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Upper Tunnel Trail Clean-Up 3/21

The 21st of March our Front Country Trail Crew will do it's first project of the Spring. We will be brushing and doing minor trail repair to the upper part of Tunnel Trail down to the power lines. Having been on the trail recently it was already so overgrown in some places you have to duck to pass. Almost 100% of the upper water bars are filled to the brim with silt. We plan on doing something about this. We already have several people interested but are able to accommodate 3-4 more who are willing to spend a Saturday morning cleaning the trail. The plan is to meet at Tunnel Trail Head at 8 or 9 then get driven to the top and work our way to the bottom back to our cars. Anyone interested in driving up Gibralter we would also appreciate your help greatly. Contact us if interested: