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is down to roll...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
10/18/08 9am- Dan'ger and I arrive at Sandhill. It's been almost 11 months since I've been out there. I'm pretty sure it was at the Race-4-Tara 1. Fortunately the hwy 4 bypass sped things up considerably. No more Lone Tree Way. Basically East on 4, South on the Hwy 4 bypass, right on Walnut, Left on Camino Diablo, and your there. Don't need to take Balfour Rd to get to Walnut.

After arriving, it was obvious that the condition of the park deteriorated significantly. Visitors are greeted to a Temporary Closure sign and a rusty chain on the closed gate. Since first going to Sandhill in 2002, it's the worse I've ever seen the park... and it's not due to the lack of love or effort from P&R. Time, heat, sun, drought, and ground squirrels took its toll on the beloved berms and jumps. Even the teeter-totter looked like it took a beatdown

view from lower DS



view from mid DS


We walk the 4x and DS to view the damage, then talk to Renee. She explains that their gas-powered weed wacker broke down, but they could run electricity via mobile generator if we could happened to have an electric. After taking a test ride, we leadoff with the McClouds and begin scraping the weeds on the rhythm section of the 4x course. The 12 foot wide course has become a 2-4 foot wide single-track due to the weeds and rubble. After the first few mounds, I'm already wishing for power equipment, or at the very least, more help!

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Looking down the rhythm section pre-work:


After some hard work by Dan'ger and myself:



Fortunately, halfway through the rhythm section, Scrub aka Chris Q shows up for reinforcements. Excluding the Clayton and Concord locals, he's one of the few true local in the ECCC (East Contra Costa County). He grabs a McCloud, a broom, and a beer, and tackles middle section starting with the big double and triple. We finish up the lower section, and join him as Renee cleans up debri. As evident by the 3 ladders he helped built, Scrub is always down to shows the park some love.

The triple and berm, cleaned up by Scrub:



upper section




The first big berm is crumbling, as with most of the DS:



We get as far as the 1st right-handed berm from the top, and call it a day. Fortunately, the Cal Cycling team will be batting second on Sunday. The crew batting third on 10/25 and cleanup hitter on 10/26 are still to be determined, but that's where YOU come in.
 

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is down to roll...
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
...but that's where YOU come in...
The 4x course is almost there. Just a bit more work before it's ready for the Race4Tara-2.

The start gate to first righty berm were untouched. The grooves from where the lanes converge should be smoothened out. The gate needs to be tested and the dirt underneath cleaned up. The sidehills of jumps are still covered in dead weeds. Squirrel holes need to be filled. The main course needs watering and to be smoothened out. The left side of the rhythm section needs work. I hate to say it, but that's just the 4x course. The DS is hurtin'...

Phil and Renee have the idea of splitting the lower section into two options by placing hay bails right down the middle. If not for the race, at least for future practice sessions. A new addition to the park is a pumptrack was started:



To the right of this shot is a big mound of dirt, dreaming of completing the loop and becoming a full pump track. It's just missing volunteers! Please come out and help with the park. There's lots to do, and still good sections to ride. Shoot...the first thing we did after talking to Renee was ride! It's all about riding and supporting those within our community and family of mountain bikers and our favorite spots. Sandhill is my favorite. Please make it one of yours, too!

Thank you,
East Bay Rich
 

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Feeling a little taller
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Excellent write-up, Rich!

I hadn't ever been out to SHR before and for that matter, never ridden a 4x course either. It seems like a blast and if I did it a bit more, I could see being more into it.

Phil and Renee are big into mountain bike advocacy and into altruistic deeds in the community. They need a little love from the mountain bike community right now in order to get the course back into shape for the Race for Tara 2 and other charitable events.

I realize it's a haul - it was somewhat out of the way for Rich and me - but it's so worth the effort!
 

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On the last straight maybe you could put some cones or haybales down the main middle line during the practice weekend so you could have a better chance at passing on the last straight.

I can't get over there until Sunday Nov 2nd and if I can get the day off from work I'll be there on the actual raceday. Working sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brian B. said:
On the last straight maybe you could put some cones or haybales down the main middle line during the practice weekend so you could have a better chance at passing on the last straight.
I agree with Phil's idea and glad that racers like Brian would support the change. It has a totally different feel riding outside the middle line. We'd just have to even it out on the left side where those DJ's used to be.

If you didn't see rb's post on the FR/DH forum, Cal's team built up a new start hill on the DS course, and made the entire DS rideable again! Good job guys! I'm hoping to head out there again on the 25th or 26th to work, ride, and get back the BTC tools (and maybe run some ideas past P&R regarding the park's future...).

Thanks,
Rich
 

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enter and win
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I'll be there Oct 25 and 26 and hope to see lots of folks out there too to help. Phil & Renee are the bomb and the race4tara2 couldn't happen without them or SHR. Please come out and help if you can! a thousand thank yous.....becky
 

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How's this coming along. I plan on coming out here this Saturday with a large crew. I don't really live close enough to help on the weekdays and I'm way to busy riding my bike on the weekends to help with trail work. We want to show our support by riding out there. I noticed that on the website it says park is only open on practice days from 4-6pm. Is that right? I'd be happy to help doing some trail work and playing on the jumps if we can ride at the same time. What's the story?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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