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


I hate bikes said...


Thanks for the write up- that is a great illustration of how to fix "cupping" with the before and after shots. We're glad you were able to come away with so much from the Trail Building School, and although placing rock is not only tiring, but time consuming, having your trail be ridable for years after makes it all worth it! We're looking forward to coming back and riding in Santa Barbara with you all again soon!


Jason and Inga
Subaru/ IMBA Trail Care Crew

Multi-use Trails Coalition said...

You are welcome and thanks to both of you for giving Santa Barbara the latest trail building info. We look forward to putting that knowledge to use on our trails in the near future. Thanks again and keep up the good work at trails all over.

Multiuse Trails Coalition Board Member