Here we are, into fall already. But, we don't want to put a fork into the riding season quite yet. Since the cool weather allows comfortable riding almost every day and we all enjoy seeing the leaves changing colors.
As the GROC project managers for Dryer Road Park, we want to give a status update. As outlined in an article that we posted on GROC's homepage (see ”So sad…”), the trails at DRP have suffered a lot of damage. The reasons for the damage are also described in that article.
From our position and as lovers of the trail system here,at times it seems overwhelming when we look at how much damage has occurred on so many trails. If we, the Project Managers and all the trail crew volunteers, had decided to do little or nothing to correct the damage, the result surely would be that the trails would soon become essentially unrideable and many of the trails could get to the point of having to be permanently closed. Although the Town of Victor fully and generously supports our volunteer efforts, they do not work on building or maintaining trails themselves and are not planing to do so even if we were to walk away. So, we chose to redouble our efforts and are well into a late summer– early fall push to fix and improve the trails. The really great news is that we have had some super work parties and the momentum seems to be growing.
Successes, so far:
- Multiple grade reversals and general trail repairs on VHT (Victor Hiking Trail) have made it smooth, more fun to ride and highly sustainable and they prevent water and sand from cascading down the trail.
- We even built a cool, flat "parking" area just outside the entry to VHT with a great view and plans for more improvements to make it a great rest spot.
- We built an extension of Tree Beard with tandem log-overs that allows the rider to be able to stay on single track between the Tree Beard and VHT, without having to exit onto the field. And, we made a separate short trail off Tree Beard, named Kat’s Cut. I want to thank and acknowledge Reece Kreilick and his scout troop, As part of his Eagle Scout project, joining us to make these trails.
- Improvements at the other end of Tree Beard (near the entry to Bone-A-Part) cleaned up a nasty, rooty chicane around two large trees, avoiding the need of a significant rerouting.
- A grade reversal at the top of Bones now diverts water, which was gouging the trail. Other improvements were made on Bones to improve the ride.
- Several deep troughs had developed on iPod. These were filled and the turns were slightly reshaped with new grade reversals added strategically placed to keep water from running down the sections.
- Above the drop on Bone-A-Part, a deep trough had developed. This area was regraded. On a separate return on Bone-A-Part, which had some exposed and dangerous routes, we were able to reshape and slightly berm the turn to create better flow, less brake dragging and much more fun.
- Jeff Rader, who supervises the parks department crew, brought us loads of dirt to the pump track and then Evan Brent and his volunteer crew reshaped the humps to make it more “pumpable”. We now actually are praying for rain to allow these repairs, as well as the others on the trails, to be packed down.
- Mary Lee has made a lot of new signs to mark the trails with bright white lettering
- Too many to even list! Almost every trail has moderate to severe damage that needs to be repaired. Moreover, some of the trails are getting close to the point of having to be permanently closed if we don't correct the problems that may soon make them unsustainable and too dangerous to ride.
- We will have to go trail by trail to fix and improve them all.
- Just as a tease, I want to let everyone know that flagging has been done by Kirk Bingaman on a proposed new trail, and we will be recruiting volunteers for work parties to make that trail happen
What you Can MUST do:
- Sign up for GROC Trail Crew Meetup, which shoots you an e-mail whenever a work party is scheduled. Of course, you have to attend work parties to be part of the solution. Currently only a very small fraction of the total number of riders participates in trail work. That is not only unfair, but will lead to burnout of these dedicated individuals, leaving no one to take care of the trails.
- Join IMBA and GROC. We must have strong and well-supported organizations at the local and national levels to fight for and maintain access to trails
- Don’t ride when the trails are wet
- Don’t skid your turns
GROC Project Managers of Dryer Road Park