22 volunteers came out on a beautiful autumn day to put in a few hours’ work revitalizing several sections of the Race Track trail. It’s a venerable trail and a local favorite so the plan was to reestablish its character of being ride able in both directions for riders of a wide range of ability levels. The wet weather has not been kind to Race Track this season but now the entire upper section of the trail, from its intersection with the Little Rainbow Trail down past where the boulders have been installed to block motorized traffic has taken on a new look. Half the volunteers worked their way up from the boulders to deberm and clean out water diversion spots. This area is still in good shape and that work should ensure that it will stay so. The other half of the volunteers went up to the highest sections of trail. The upper section with all the tight, swoopy turns has now been raked of “ball bearing rocks” and the water outlets cleaned out. The diagonal downhill dropping in just above Castle Gardens that had become narrow, channelized and full of loose rock has been debermed and the original bench cut reestablished with the additions of several rolling grade dips installed to keep it from becoming a creek bed again. As one volunteer said, “I had no idea there was actual dirt underneath all this loose rock!”.
Just below that was the most ambitious project; to reestablish tread to a short, highly eroded stretch of trail that overlooks Castle Garden. We wanted to keep the original alignment due to the overlook but the trail had become sunken and rocky making it difficult to climb for many riders. All the volunteers converged to carry tons of large rock and countless buckets of mineral soil and smaller rock while others trenched and installed larger rocks to create a series of trail wide small steps. These were backfilled and smoothed with water diversion features built into the side facing Castle Garden. Once this area is compressed by foot and bike traffic it should recreate the original character of the trail and make the climb much more doable for the average rider.
All were impressed again with our trail crew leaders who have the skill sets to quickly grasp what we want to accomplish and how best to do it. But even more, the ability of all our volunteers to work together seamlessly with such good humor and sense of fun. A very productive, good time was had by all! Lastly, many thanks to Sub Culture Cyclery for hosting the after party with hearty, homemade potato soup, beer and fantastic apple crisp. Happy Trails! SMT