Saturday, November 19, 2011

Trail Work on Picture Rock's First Corner

Redstone Cyclery has been the designated trail steward of Heil Ranches Picture Rock trail since it's inception. Any time we'd have a trail work day set aside, County staff would ask us what we wanted to work on, we would figure out a place, and we'd get a crew out there to get 'er done.  About 8 months after the trail opened, it was obvious that the very first uphill right corner (and the very last downhill left hander) was built wrong.  Going up was no big deal, but coming down was a decreasing radius off camber corner.  In short, it was a corner designed to spit people off trail.  After a few years, the corner got more blown out with more braking bumps and just plain got worse.  We kept bugging Boulder County to let us rebuild the corner.  Always, the answer was, "No, that's too big of a project."  We kept plugging away with other trailwork sessions and continued to build our relationship with Boulder County Open Space. Finally, when we sat down to schedule a winter Saturday for trailwork, we once again asked about this corner.  Finally, we had our chance.

 You can see in the picture above where the new line crosses the old line.  Coming downhill, we made a slight dip to the left, then back up to the right.  This is both to help scrub trail user speed and to help shed water from the trail.

 We then brought OUT the upper radius of the turn by pushing the dirt farther to the outside.  We removed the matting from underneath the previous and rehabbed the inside of the corner. The county crew had already planted rocks along the outside perimeter of the corner.  It wasn't to make a "fence of rocks" but, rather, to make a basis for our berm.  Better to use hard materials like rock over strait dirt for a bed.

 Here, you can see the finished berm.  LOTS of road base material was brought in.  The road base is a better material for compaction.  It takes over a year, but it sets up and hardens better over time than regular dirt.  More road base, smoothing, raking, more road base, smoothing, raking, etc.  We kept working and reworking this corner until it made sense.
 In this picture, you can see the original, rehabbed line on the right and the newer grade reversal on the left.  At this point, road base had been added and the vibrating tamper had been run over the trail.
 Here's a better shot of that same area.  You can see how the trail is benched into the dirt to help keep you on the trail.  The trail bed is still slightly angled to the downslope to help shed water.

  After we ran the compacter on the newly benched in trail, we took some more material off the upslope side to create a back slope.  By this time, the tread of the trail was great, but having what is effectively a curb on the right can potentially catch a riders wheel or pedal.  We got on that chain gang style and had the back slope dialed in within minutes.  What a great working crew we had today!

Below is a shot of our newly bermed and compacted corner, looking at it as if you were coming up the trail.

 Our good buddy Mike from the County gave this project two solid thumbs up.  LOTS of riders on the trail today were especially stoked that we were finally reworking this corner.  The worst corner at Heil no longer is!
Thanks to EVERYONE that came out today to make this workday such a major success.  Maybe it's because I've personally wanted to do this corner for a long time, I don't know, but I think we really batted one out of the park here.  Sooooo good.   Got a new camera and don't have the timing down for action shots, but here's one of Chad railing the new corner on his way home.
Special thanks to Oskar Blues for providing the on site coffee.  It wasn't cold, but it wasn't exactly warm either.  The blustery weather and cooling temps made us all appreciate the hot joe.  Thanks OB!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks good. Thanks for the work!