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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I-5 Collonade Mt. Bike Skills Park is located under the interstate freeway deck, just north of downtown Seattle.

Through the work of volunteers through IMBA local affiliate BBTC, a major construction project is being worked on with Trials area, pump track, jumps, and more advanced trail. Right now all the work has been dialed into the Novice area.
A couple months ago i was pretty happy to complete the framing on an undulating bridge with all kinds of weird angles. i find it funny now to think that i was halfway expecting someone else to finish the slats. i thought at the time, that it would be a pretty easy task for someone to finish the bridge....



Fast forward to about a month ago, where i was working on another project at Collonade. At the time we were really looking for lumber to finish many structures for TTF's (technical trail features). We were pretty desperate and i remember a short conversation with BBTC Exec Director Justin Vanderpol on suggestions to retrieve some. i had no idea at the time that i would be able to contribute more than just suggestion.

That very night we had an epic wind storm blow through the Pacific Northwest. Wiping out huge trees, widespread power outages. My Grandmother was pretty worried about it, so i spent the night at her house.

i gotta say it was pretty bad. Up in the high mountains you can hear the wind howl, and it was like that with gusts up to 80 mph. i stayed up pretty late after the power had gone out, listening to stories from my worried gram. At about 3 in the morning i was pretty spent so i resigned myself to the spare room in the basement, with the fatal comment of "i think the worst is over"....

Crack, boom! ahhh crap....



Well needless to say it was very stressful and trying times. But after everything was said and done, me and some family members were able to clear the tree off the house, gave some of the wood to neighbors, borrowed a chipper and turned alot of to mulch, and it's likely i'll do most of the repair work myself when the weather turn good and i get some time.

But much of the tree i took to Collonade. With the big help of Art Tuftee who's been pretty much the main guy with the construction aspect of the project we were able to split and haul off most of the tree rounds.

This is the kind of stuff i revel in. Taking a negative and turning it into a positive. Mt. biking if anything is a medium to challenge and test yourself in many aspects. At the time when i was suggesting to Justin where to find lumber i had no idea a week later i'd be hauling the tree that had plowed into my grandmothers house to the park. But now it's there, and will be enjoyed by many users in a positive way.

But the story didn't necessarily end there. The tree wasn't quite thru screwing with me yet...

Remember how i said that how i thought that finishing the rest of the bridge was going to be easy?

Well anyways we had to hand split all the slats. We're looking for this bridge to last maintenance free for 5 to 10 years. Gotta split off the bark for longevity. Using various hammers and wedge.



Next we gotta have the raw split lumber fit flush on finish lumber that's offset. NOT AN EASY TASK. If it fits flush it won't move, so it should wear, and will be solid. So firstly i mark the angles with a crayon.



Next i'll make a sawcut with the angle i think will make the log sit flush. And chip away with the wedge...



Til i get it fitting nice so i can lay the board down and it won't rock and have any movement that would slowly loosen any fasteners.



So we get it fitting in nice and flush, then it's a matter of getting the board to be relatively even with the other slats. Here this one needs a little more splitting since it's high on the right side.



A little more splitting is in order to even it out.



So finally after getting it to fit good we can pre-drill a hole just through the raw log. That way it won't split it, then we can we drill our screws into the framing.



So after over 13 hours (holy crap that took forever!) we got us a new bridge!



Yes it took until dark this evening to get done, haha. And yes it did snow on us in the city yesterday, and yes it's rare.



Grandmas bridge. It's a funky design as this angle you can see it undulates from left to right as it climbs. Then after it turns left it also banks left. Cool design which should be challenging for a novice, it was pretty challenging to me in many many ways prior to me ever putting tread on it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
indiemtbkr said:
Cool story:thumbsup:
Sounds like you put in a lot of hours building that.

I was thinking of treating some of the free wood that I want to use for rungs. Got any suggestions?
Y'know i was just talking to Art about that a while back, but i can't remember what he was suggesting. i can ask again and get back with ya, suppose you could google some info too...:)
 

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Skookum said:
Y'know i was just talking to Art about that a while back, but i can't remember what he was suggesting. i can ask again and get back with ya, suppose you could google some info too...:)
Oh yeh. I'm just being lazy. Google and me are close friends :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i think Mike W's doggie has psychic powers.

 
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