Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuning trails

Spring is in the air and for many people that means March Madness and baseball. For mountain bikers it means trying to get back into shape after a long winter hibernation and spring trail work. I was hoping for a little of both on Sunday, but only accomplished the latter. Gambrill State park was the venue du jour and we had a crew of 15 or 16 people show up, not bad for a rainy Sunday morning. RiderX had gone out the day before and flagged the problem areas. He was hoping to send out several "teams" of people so we could get more done in less time. I think we split up into 4 groups, I lead a merry band of misfits out to the extended yellow loop. 4 of us (including myself) had the pleasure of de-berming turns, clearing out water bars and general water management maintenance. Hophead, Becky, FrankC and yours truly took care of all the problem areas RiderX flagged and one or two little things we thought would help. We then moved over to the section of yellow past stegosaurus rock. We were to hit the flagged sections there and work our way towards DKEG and Stephen. As we are working the ground we could hear the scream of David's saw buzzing through the woods, all the while joking about his misplaced affection for said tool. After adding more rocks to the root-ball ride around, we caught up with the saw miester and his swamper (Stephen) just below "pollywog pond".

As we headed back up out of the valley DKEG thought the root ball needed more rocks. In fact he wanted to fill in the entire hole created when the tree fell over. Let me tell you, it was a big hole. Stephen chopped away at the roots with the axey-hoey thing (Pulaski), as the rest of us looked for rocks, stumps and anything else that would fill the large void. By the time we were done, it actually looked quite safe...believe it or not. Not bad for a bunch of knuckleheads with picks and axes.

We hiked out of the valley and hooked up with the rest of the crew as they recapped the mornings work. Unfortunately most everyone left their bikes at home, so, an afternoon ride wasn't to be. The conversation then turned to beer and food of course. Hop and I cruised over to Il Forno for a pie and a pitcher. Another group made their way to the Brewpub, a post ride/work staple in downtown Frederick.

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