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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so i built a trail in the woods behind my house a few years back so i could commute easier to a friends house. My friend moved away, and the trail got overgrown. Im rebuilding it so i have something to do for the rest of the summer. I cut all the brush, ferns, dug up the problematic rocks, set up a wood jump, and all the other stuff. I have two problems though. Before i ask my questions, ill describe the trail.

This trail is right behind my house. Its a mile long or so, and it cuts through heavy woods. The beginning of the trail is a steep downhill, the rest is entirely flat. A small stream cuts through it at 2 points when it rains, and when it doesnt its a 2 foot drop. The problem is its a drop on both sides of the dry streambed, so i cant get up it without losing all my speed. The stream is maybe 4 or 5 feet wide, so bunnyhopping isnt an option. The other problem is that 20 feet after the downhill theres a 90 degree turn to the left. I dont know how to keep my speed when going through it.

So i thinking for the stream bed i would build a bridge. Can anyone give me tips as to how this is done or show me an example? I thought of making it a gap, is there a way to make it a bridge when theres water in the stream and a gap jump when its dry? For the 90 degree turn, i was thinking about building a berm. How is this done?

Any tips on adding fun stuff to the trail are apreciated (i already have a few natural jumps and a see-saw) Thanks for you help in advance.
 

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2' climb outa the streambed

having to climb steeply up outa the stream bed sounds like a more interesting technical challenge than crossing a boring ol' bridge. but heaven forbid it would slow you down. hey, I know, if you build the bridge and then pave the whole length of trail, you can go really fast...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
im sorry i should have explained more clearly. The fun stuff like natural jumps and drops and stuff are within 10 feet of the stream bed. I need to build the bridge to maintain a little speed so i can get some air on the jumps.
 

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noMAD man
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Check with your electrical company.

ajw8899 said:
OK, so i built a trail in the woods behind my house a few years back so i could commute easier to a friends house. My friend moved away, and the trail got overgrown. Im rebuilding it so i have something to do for the rest of the summer. I cut all the brush, ferns, dug up the problematic rocks, set up a wood jump, and all the other stuff. I have two problems though. Before i ask my questions, ill describe the trail.

This trail is right behind my house. Its a mile long or so, and it cuts through heavy woods. The beginning of the trail is a steep downhill, the rest is entirely flat. A small stream cuts through it at 2 points when it rains, and when it doesnt its a 2 foot drop. The problem is its a drop on both sides of the dry streambed, so i cant get up it without losing all my speed. The stream is maybe 4 or 5 feet wide, so bunnyhopping isnt an option. The other problem is that 20 feet after the downhill theres a 90 degree turn to the left. I dont know how to keep my speed when going through it.

So i thinking for the stream bed i would build a bridge. Can anyone give me tips as to how this is done or show me an example? I thought of making it a gap, is there a way to make it a bridge when theres water in the stream and a gap jump when its dry? For the 90 degree turn, i was thinking about building a berm. How is this done?

Any tips on adding fun stuff to the trail are apreciated (i already have a few natural jumps and a see-saw) Thanks for you help in advance.
Before you laugh too hard, what I'm talking about is power/telephone poles. Amazingly, they will give you telephone polls from some of their projects that they can't use because they are old or used. These make excellent bridge bases to tie treated lumber to so you can make excellent crossings.
 

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TNC said:
Before you laugh too hard, what I'm talking about is power/telephone poles. Amazingly, they will give you telephone polls from some of their projects that they can't use because they are old or used. These make excellent bridge bases to tie treated lumber to so you can make excellent crossings.
Telephone poles are good for bridges. We've used 'em on occasion, BUT they are heavy, really heavy. Taking the wood where you want it can, and will be a challenge. Both times had a group of 10+ people to move the pole(s) into place.

JmZ
 

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Too complicated....

ajw8899 said:
OK, so i built a trail in the woods behind my house a few years back so i could commute easier to a friends house. My friend moved away, and the trail got overgrown. Im rebuilding it so i have something to do for the rest of the summer. I cut all the brush, ferns, dug up the problematic rocks, set up a wood jump, and all the other stuff. I have two problems though. Before i ask my questions, ill describe the trail.

This trail is right behind my house. Its a mile long or so, and it cuts through heavy woods. The beginning of the trail is a steep downhill, the rest is entirely flat. A small stream cuts through it at 2 points when it rains, and when it doesnt its a 2 foot drop. The problem is its a drop on both sides of the dry streambed, so i cant get up it without losing all my speed. The stream is maybe 4 or 5 feet wide, so bunnyhopping isnt an option. The other problem is that 20 feet after the downhill theres a 90 degree turn to the left. I dont know how to keep my speed when going through it.

So i thinking for the stream bed i would build a bridge. Can anyone give me tips as to how this is done or show me an example? I thought of making it a gap, is there a way to make it a bridge when theres water in the stream and a gap jump when its dry? For the 90 degree turn, i was thinking about building a berm. How is this done?

Any tips on adding fun stuff to the trail are apreciated (i already have a few natural jumps and a see-saw) Thanks for you help in advance.
The advice you're asking for is too complicated to impart on this type of BB. too much of what you're asking will depend on where you're building the trail, soil types, elevations, etc. Much of what you've briefly described sounds like the trails weren't built susatinably or designed/laid out properly in the first place. Understand, I'm not running you down for this, but simply stating what appears to be, based on the information you've provided.

I'm confused because you've removed rocks yet have added stunts. Usually, rocks are considered natural stunts. The bridges you're trying to build sounds like fairly serious project. Based on the litigous society in which we live, I have a couple of questions:

- Who owns this land?
- Do you have permission to build these trails on the land?
- Do you have permission to build stunts on the trails?

Bridge Advice
I've never been a big fan of using utility poles for trail building materials because they're soaked with creosote that leaches in to the ground. I prefer to find natural materials and use those to create bridges, stunts, etc.

Pick up a copy of Lightly on the Land. It's a book by the Student Conservation Corps that outlines natural trail design and building techniques. There are several differnt bridge building techniques outlined in this book.

Ken
 

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beer thief
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What Ken says is worth reading. Bootleg trails can screw things up far beyond the implications of that one trail, depending on who owns the property.

Assuming you have all that under control, the "bridge" project you're talking about sounds like it could be handled with a couple planks. A 4' to 5' span is no problem, and you can make it as skinny or as wide as you'd like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ken in KC said:
The advice you're asking for is too complicated to impart on this type of BB. too much of what you're asking will depend on where you're building the trail, soil types, elevations, etc. Much of what you've briefly described sounds like the trails weren't built susatinably or designed/laid out properly in the first place. Understand, I'm not running you down for this, but simply stating what appears to be, based on the information you've provided.

I'm confused because you've removed rocks yet have added stunts. Usually, rocks are considered natural stunts. The bridges you're trying to build sounds like fairly serious project. Based on the litigous society in which we live, I have a couple of questions:

- Who owns this land?
- Do you have permission to build these trails on the land?
- Do you have permission to build stunts on the trails?

Bridge Advice
I've never been a big fan of using utility poles for trail building materials because they're soaked with creosote that leaches in to the ground. I prefer to find natural materials and use those to create bridges, stunts, etc.

Pick up a copy of Lightly on the Land. It's a book by the Student Conservation Corps that outlines natural trail design and building techniques. There are several differnt bridge building techniques outlined in this book.

Ken
My family owns the land, its unused woods that empties out on a dirt road. I do have permission to build on this land (of course, its mine) and my parents approved the stunts im building. The rocks i took off the trail were impeding the building of the bridge im building. I couldnt attach it to the ground without moving the rocks first. I doubt utility poles would work, since i would have to bring it through deep woods. Plus, its unnecesary, since the stream is 5 feet across.
 

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It's hard to give advice when we can't see the trail. Berms are real easy to make, all you need is dirt. Just grab a shovel and get to it! Look at a pic of a berm on a dual slalom course in a MTB mag and make it look like that. Try to make the 90 degree turn a little less sharp if you have to. The taller the berm the faster you can ride through it.

The bridge part is up to you. 4-5 feet really isn't that much of a gap, so a dirt jump would be a blast. It's hard to tell since I don't know how much speed you can carry through his section. An actual bridge is easy to build, just put down some 2x4's or 2x6" and lay some planks across them. You can make the bridge level with the ground so it flows better if you want to. Or you can make the bridge like a foot high with a little ramp on both sides so you can jump the whole thing or just ride up and over and down it.

Another option is to do both: build a little gap jump with a small bridge next to it. Kinda like an "option" trail that avoids a scary stunt on a downhill trail. That way you can pic what you want to hit.

You're lucky to have your own land to build trails on! Have a blast and get dirty!
 
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