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Heads up Flyboy!!
3,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
FYI, if you have had a desire to learn trail work techniques and show the forest service your concern as mountain bikers for the trails this is our opportunity. I'll be there for the May 7th workshop and May 21st trail workday. Jeremy:

Greetings all,

I have been contracted by the US Forest Service to put on a series of workshops for Trail Crew Leaders and other volunteers doing trail work on the Pisgah District. The dates for the workshops are as follows:

May 7th- At the Cradle of Forestry from 9-5. This is an all day indoors session that includes:

-Intro to sustainable trails.
-Designing trails for sustainability.
-Enhancing the user experience.( The use of trail anchors, gateways, edges
and more to make trails more interesting and improve our human interaction
with the landscapes.)
-Trail construction (photo series showing hand build and machine build)
-Trail maintenance techniques
-Trail innovations(this is a popular slide show with photos from all over
many great trails in the US. This also covers some history of trails in the
US and the evolution of trails, how they are designed, built and used).
-And more.......

May 14th- 9-5 Field day learning proper trail maintenance techniques. Meet at the Black Mtn Trailhead just beside the Pisgah work center.

May 21- 9-5 More field work with hopefully some advanced techniques. Meet at the Black Mtn. Trailhead again.

For each of these you will need to bring food (lunch and snacks) and water. For the field workdays, you will also need the following: work clothes including long pants and good footwear, protective eyewear (normal riding sunglasses are fine), your bike helmet (the USFS is now requiring helmets for trailwork so bring your bike helmet), work gloves( full finger riding MTB gloves are fine) and of course a willingness to get dirty and make a positive difference in the trails you ride.

We need good participation from the mtn bike community and this is a great chance for us to earn the respect of the USFS and other trail crew volunteers working on the district. Building a trails community is important and this will certainly go a long way in that mission. If you are interested in attending, you have to let me know so we can get an accurate headcount for chairs during the classroom session and tools during the workdays.

My ultimate goal is to prevent any new waterbars from being placed on Pisgah trails. This of course will be a monumental task, getting the "old timers" to learn new tricks and give up the oh-so-cherished waterbar. These provide a known hazard for mtn bikers, are ugly as hell, and simply don't work for very long. We will be learning how to build good rolling grade dips instead which are self cleaning (if built well), look more natural in thier landscapes, and of course are easy to roll on a bike or become great booter jumps adding to the mountain bike experience.

If you are a crew leader, ever thought you would like to be a crew leader, are just a regular volunteer who wants to learn more, or just getting started and want to start off right ; then these workshops are for you. There is no cost to volunteer workers, my fees have been covered by the USFS.

Please shoot me an email at: ascentdesc at citcom dot net if you have interest or want to learn more. Pisgah trails received an enormous amount of damage during the storms of last season. This is a great chance to learn how to do the right thing to repair some of that damage and help protect the important trail resources in our area. Please pass this info on to any you feel will be interested.


Heads up Flyboy!!
3,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Further FYI from Woody :

Concerning various conflicts with the trail workshops:

I did not set the dates in a vacuum, but worked with the USFS to come up with what we thought made sense. I had to get this done before heading out to Vancouver to the World Mountain Bike Conference in early June. I am one of the Keynote Speakers for this conference and also part of a panel discussion on Risk management.

We needed to set days that we thought a lot of folks could attend, it is always a logistical nightmare trying to work this out. The USFS wanted to make sure crew leaders from other groups could attend the training: Pisgah TrailBlazers (Equestrian Club), Carolina Mountain Club (Hiking club), Haywood Knolls (Hiking club), Pisgah Hikers (Hiking club) and more.

We knew all too well is setting dates that we would not be able to capture everyone who wanted to attend. By setting the 3 consecutive Saturdays, we felt many folks would be able to attend a day or two. It is not perfect, but it is a good start on some quality training for folks working on the district.

I would suggest that if at all possible, Mike postpone his KY trip with his dad. I realize that is a sacrifice to make but I feel a small one considering what he will learn in a day and to help create a stronger trails community. A while back there was a quote in the paper by the President of the Carolina Mountain Club which he said " Hikers are the only ones working on trails, equestrians and mountain bikers are just tearing them up". Let's all work together to make him eat those words.

I would be happy to do some night time sessions in the future in Aville for those who can not attend these workshops. Such workshops will not however have the added advantage of working with other trail related groups in the area and building the larger trails constituency.

I will also pick a few weekend days in the future to train those most interested with a desire to become crew leaders and assistants.

The general problem with folks doing trail work is way too many are doing the wrong thing, they may be solving one problem but creating another. Waterbars do not work, and yet the hiking folks are placing them on an ongoing basis. Rock armoring is a great solution to eroding trails, but you need to know the rules on where rocks can (and can not) come from. Crews (maybe even some mtn bikers) have harvested rocks from streams and rivers to harden approaches (this is OK in some places but not on the Pisgah District). Some rocks were harvested for a project from an archeological site, this was really bad.

My PowerPoint presentations will cover the basics of good design, why trails fail, and the various impacts to trails (from water and various user groups). It really is a ton of info in one day. The other workdays are great, but there is always on going opportunities for such.

Let me know if there are any other questions.

Woody Keen
[email protected]
President- Trail Dynamics LLC

Vice President- Professional TrailBuilders Association
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