It’s been a whirlwind week, which is why I haven’t posted. It was just supposed to be the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) visit, that’s it! Then Albuquerque decided to put mountain biking advocacy to the test by throwing 2 big doozies on us. One turned out to be minor, the other…pretty big deal.
Minor: We thought we were going to lose a section of the Foothills to new development near the Embudito trailhead. Turns out we won’t lose any trail, but we’ll have a nice wall of homes to ride up against once development is finished.
Major: The establishment of Travel Management Rules in the Sandia Ranger District (this includes Cedro and Otero). About 100 people showed up to this, with about 5 representing mountainbikers. There’s more to come on this.
Matt did a good writeup on the IMBA events, so check out his blog for more details.
Nat and Rachel Lopes, our IMBA Trail Care Crew, trained us at the BLM and then we went out to apply what we had learned. Everyone met at the White Mesa trailhead, got some basic directions from Matt and Rachel, then we drove out to the area for some manual labor.
Here’s a pic of the area we planned to fix. I’m at the top, looking down. You can see a faint trail off to the left of the pic. Only the very beginning of that trail would exist after our work today. The rest has “disappeared” into the landscape thanks to creative trail work.
And here’s a pic of the trail that “disappeared” as people hike up with the trail tools. Even Tom, our local Mountain Bike Hall of Famer, couldn’t make it up without a break.
Now THAT is saying something about the loose, steep, well-eroded climb that we removed and replaced with a fun section of trail.
As you can see from the following pics, we had trail designers and then the worker bees. Several stages of worker bees ensued…the ones who just wanted to hack away started at the front, followed by the more anal retentive types who would tamp down and form the nice trail (yes, I was one of “those” types). It was lots of fun and amazing how much we got done in only about 3 hours!
So after a good day of hard trail work, we followed it up on Sunday with a ride in the Sandias. We did a shuttle ride from Ellis all the way down to Faulty. The end of the ride was celebrated at Ribs with excellent barbecue and beer. I hear Nat thought this was an epic trail…one of the best he’s ever ridden in his 3 years as a Trail Care Crew member. That’s saying a lot…he’s been to 46 states in the U.S.! I know we have excellent trails, so I’m not too surprised. I was really happy we were able to get both Rachel and him out there.
There was 1 piece of bad news from the Sunday ride…we had a casualty. Our favorite M&M ride leader, Jim, took a fall on Tree Springs in a knarly,technical, rocky section of trail. A minor concussion and 22 stitches above the left eye and eye lid later, I think he’s gonna either get a full suspension bike or at least a better fork for his existing bike. On the way to the emergency room, Jim was his ever-cheerful self, talking about how much he enjoyed the ride and how he was going to be ready to do it again. Get well soon Jim!
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