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« on: January 07, 2015, 03:52:39 PM »
Continued construction of unauthorized technical features jeopardizes the existence of the entire Skills Area.

The latest jump construction was dangerous and obviously the work of more than one person. If you want to get involved, do so through channels (post up here or PM me) or the properly constructed Black Diamond features will disappear.

Spread the word.

Wapehani / Spike Strip
« on: October 03, 2014, 09:53:08 AM »
Continuing the discussion begun in News and Information...

An officer from the BPD and I hiked to the site of the DIY booby-trap and he recovered the spike strip from where the rider who reported it tossed it.

First, this is an isolated incident so far. According to vaedwards, this happened around two weeks ago and there have been no other reports or incidents in that time frame.  I did a sweep of the other trails and found no other vandalism or concealed spikes.

Second, as several people have already said, this sort of thing needs to be reported immediately. Call 911 and notify the Parks Dept. (use the parks@bloomington.in.gov address). Posting here is a good idea to alert other users (please use this Wapehani board rather than the more general news boards above), but it is not a substitute for reporting it through proper channels.

Third, it is certainly a good idea to document what you find, but then please leave it alone until the police arrive. Note that they are able to access the park through the Hoosier Energy gate on the south side if necessary.

Wapehani / Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day 10/4
« on: August 27, 2014, 10:01:35 AM »
Save the date, everyone! This year Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day is on Saturday, October 4th.

Since the beginner loop at Wapehani is broken by I-69, I have secured permission to hold the event at the much more family-friendly RCA Community Park. (I've been rerouting the old hiking trails there, and while the new trails aren't bike-optimized, they should be perfect for an introductory event like this.)

Thanks to Revolution Bike & Bean for their past and continuing support of this event! If you are interested in volunteering to help out, please get in touch.

Wapehani / Spring 2014 Projects
« on: May 07, 2014, 09:14:38 AM »

I've been fairly busy this spring at other parks, but I'm ready to get back to grooming our local singletrack when you are. I've been stockpiling rock for some small armored berms at several locations on the south side, and there are also two intersections on the south side (just uphill from the spillway) that I would like to improve.

Are there any evenings or weekends that work better for everyone?

Other than that, there's always plenty of pruning to be done--especially on the PIC side of things. This is great self-paced work for folks who don't have time for regular group work sessions.

And I'm always open to suggestions for improvements, too.

Looking forward to getting our momentum back!

Wapehani / No Bikes at Griffy!
« on: February 19, 2014, 08:34:35 AM »
I see that someone's been snowbiking at Griffy, mainly down the Creek and Lanam Trails. Late last fall I also noticed some ruts on the Hiking Trail.

In case anyone doesn't know this, there is no biking at Griffy. Period. Wapehani is the only one of the City's natural areas in which bikes are allowed. In fact, we have Wapehani b/c bikes were kicked out of Griffy in the '80s.

Aside for a local racer with a Polish accent who shall remain unnamed, in four years I've never personally encountered a mountain biker at Griffy, but I do sometimes find evidence and we get the occasional complaint. Just don't do it. Thanks.

Wapehani / Upland Rock Garden
« on: October 26, 2013, 09:49:24 AM »
Wapehani's getting a rock garden!

Parks & Rec is pleased to announce that we've contracted with Upland Trail Design for the installation of a black diamond rock garden in our technical Tulip Loops area.

This new expert line will be located between the existing expert runout and the cobblestones. It is on the right if you are facing the "Exit Only" sign from the bottom of the cobbles. It descends from the northeast corner of the Tulip Loops to the bottom of the old roadbed, where it merges with the current black diamond exit. It's currently signed as More Difficult, and there is a new switchback flagged at the top of the line.

Currently, we're planning on allowing two-way traffic through the rock garden, while the existing "Exit Only" would remain one-way only. I've cut back that big cottonwood to restore the road to its pre-tornado double-track width to better accommodate two-way traffic.

This is a major construction project and will require closing down the cobbles as a trailhead for several weeks, beginning this coming Monday 10/28. Please respect the closure and follow the posted directions for alternate access. Thanks! 

Wapehani / Exit Only
« on: April 09, 2013, 10:50:43 PM »

More improvements are on the way for the technical line in the Tuliptree Loops.  I'll be beveling the sharp edges of the skinnies and installing a safety ramp on the jump to make it rollable.  The second roller will be leveled out and there will be a couple of long shelves with 10-12" drops instead (that's why all the soil is piled up on either side of the features there).

The upper jump has been signed "Exit Only" almost since it was installed.  That policy now applies to the bottom of the line, too:

There are still three ways to enter the Tuliptree Loops.

Wapehani / Mill Creek Tech Park (Hoosier Energy construction site)
« on: December 19, 2012, 07:59:21 AM »
Interesting article in today's HTO.  Looks like Hoosier Energy could end up being Wapehani's new neighbor on the south side.  They want to move their headquarters to the tech park on the south side of the park.

There are several levels of approval, of course, and the whole deal is contingent on a tax abatement, but they're seeking that this Friday.  City Council will have final vote.  I'll keep you posted on opportunities for public comment.

What general concerns or questions, if any, do you have about the development of the tech park?

Wapehani / Black Diamond
« on: September 03, 2012, 07:32:10 PM »
Let's talk about technical trail features (TTFs).

The larger, long-term context can be found in this thread about Wapehani's place in Bloomington's Journey to Platinum. The more immediate context is that someone got hurt on the jump (the ramp in the middle of the Tulip Loops). In fact, the rider didn't realize it was a jump. There's no threat of legal action, but we will be adding more signage to that features area. All of our new technical trail features (jump, skinny drop-off, ladder bridge, small tabletop) are already signed Black Diamond, and both the jump and the ladder bridge are behind additional Black Diamond signs at the forks preceding them.

The IMBA difficulty rating system is posted in the trail head kiosk. If you were to inspect any of the new features (and I would encourage even experienced riders to walk a new technical feature before riding it), you would find that they are built on the conservative side of Black Diamond. For example, the Tulip Jump is preceded by a narrow, cobbled tread apx 12” wide; the 4' wide deck rises to 26” above the tread over its 6' length, and riders will rise still higher to the apex of their jump. In other words: the lower limit of Black Diamond is still Black Diamond.  Most Difficult means Most Difficult. It means more risk. These spurs and TTFs are intended for expert riders and experienced riders looking to hone certain skills.

Our features will remain clustered in the middle of the Tulip Loops. Plans for further rerouting will focus on more sustainable singletrack and proper switchbacks. We will not be remaking Wapehani as a whole in the vein of the Tulip skills area (although as trees come down we may add log overs and trailside skinnies).

Features may seem like no dig deal to some users, a nuisance to others, and a challenge to still others. Until this crash, I have had only positive feedback about the TTFs. Perhaps this would be a good time for regular park users to weigh in on whether or not you expect a mountain bike park to provide such features, whether or not you use them, questions about safety, etc.

I'll open by saying that I'm re-thinking the little tabletop. Perhaps we could shave it down, move more material down there, and shape a set of rollers that would be more fun for more people.

What do you think?

Wapehani / Unauthorized Trails and Features
« on: February 20, 2012, 04:42:57 PM »

To the person(s) who cleared a trail straight down the dam and built a jump at the bottom: if you're reading this, thanks for following up on the yellow flier that I posted in front of your trail.  As you can see, I closed it down.  I don't know if you're new to the park, mountain biking, or both (or maybe you ride BMX?).  I certainly hope you're not a veteran biker who is familiar with Wapehani.  But either way, we need to talk.

I'm Kevin, the City's Trail Supervisor at Wapehani.  I work for Parks & Rec.  Allen Edwards, who also posts here, is the official HMBA rep for the park.  Together, Parks and HMBA have made huge improvements to Wapehani since the end of 2009.  We have even more in store this season.  And we need all the hard-working volunteers we can get.  What we don't need is rogue trail clearing and unauthorized technical features.

There were a number of problems with your short-lived addition to the trail system, but the two big ones are: you did not have permission and it was unsustainable.

Again, we need dedicated volunteers to improve the park and I hope that you will channel your energies into legitimate efforts.  Please post or PM if you have questions about how to get involved. 

Other users: if you see someone putting in a trail or building a new feature, ask to see a City ID.  Ask whose permission they have.  If you've been involved in volunteer efforts, maybe try to talk to them about HMBA. Thanks.

Wapehani / Platinum Improvements and HMBA rep
« on: July 30, 2011, 10:00:11 AM »
As I mentioned in another thread, and as I've discussed with a number of the park's most dedicated volunteers, Wapehani is going to see major improvements as part of Bloomington's commitment to moving up the Bicycle Friendly podium from Silver to Platinum.  This will, over the next several years, include capital improvements such as bathrooms and improved bicycle access.

Parks & Rec is working closely with the city's Planning Department to make this happen.  This process will also involve a more involved partnership with the HMBA, who is our supporting partner on a major grant application which we hope will allow us to fund some capstone projects (boardwalks, features) that will complete the revitalization of the official trail system that we began two years ago.

Even though we will have to wait for capital improvements, we will be bringing all stakeholders together to develop a larger vision for mountain biking in Bloomington (hopefully early in 2012).  Without preempting that phase of the process, I believe that everyone is excited by the prospect of enlarging Wapehani, as well as linking it to a companion trail system.  I would encourage you to use this thread to post suggestions in the meantime.

Finally, Allen Edwards has agreed to take on the responsibilities of being the local HMBA representative as we move forward with this process.

Wapehani / The Mystery Jersey
« on: July 24, 2011, 09:07:42 AM »
What do a yellow rain jacket, boxer shorts, a red toothbrush, a generic (one-bolt!) stem, and an old Cannondale jersey have in common?

Aside from the fact that Eric and I found them all buried in a pile off-trail, I have no idea.

We half expected to start digging up the bones of a lost mountain biker.

So who can solve the mystery?  Anyone ditch this jersey in the woods ten or fifteen years ago?  Rodkey, have you been burying your bad luck at the park for awhile?

Edit: I didn't realize that the Fat Tire Journal has a YouTube channel, if you're looking for retro footage...

Wapehani / Lost and Found
« on: June 12, 2011, 09:28:07 AM »
I've found a black Pace cycling cap and a pair of pretty nice sunglasses. PM or post with further identifying details and they're yours.

Wapehani / Wapehani Tornado Damage
« on: May 27, 2011, 12:47:53 AM »
From today's Herald-Times:

The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday it was a tornado with winds gusting as high as 110 mph that ripped through a small portion of Monroe County Wednesday night injuring at least 17 people and damaging about 30 homes.

The tornado likely touched down about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Ind. 45 and Leonard Springs Road moving northeast toward Ind. 37, said Tara Dudzik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The sporadic damage in that area suggests the tornado may have touched down more than once and included several “microburst events” — the downward motion of air as opposed to a rotating tornado, Dudzik said.

Guess what lies northeast of Leonard Springs Road along Hwy 37?

That's right.  Wapehani got hit by a tornado:

The Park is effectively closed.  Wapehani Road is blocked and the parking lot is inaccessible:

The gate to the old roadbed is in here somewhere:

Here's a view of the pad/slab from the cobbles and of the beginner trail just below:

It's just crazy damage everywhere we were able to get a look at:

I have no idea when the park will be open again.  As Eric said, weeks at least.  

If you are interested in helping with the cleanup, I hope to organize a work session for National Trails Day (June 4th, next Saturday).  Let me know if you could make it.

In the meantime, please do not park on Wapehani Rd and try to hike in. We need unimpeded access to that road in order to re-open it and we'd rather not have folks wandering around while we're sawing.  Thanks.

Wapehani / Directions and Information
« on: May 11, 2010, 10:55:35 PM »
Information about Wapehani from the City of Bloomington.
Park Hours: 5 AM to 11 PM
Night Riding is Permitted

From Bloomington
Wapehani is located on the west side of Bloomington; Hwy 37, in fact, marks the park's western border.
From Bloomington, take either West Bloomfield Road (W. Second St.) or West Tapp Road

If heading west on Bloomfield, look for Weimer on the left just past the Twin Lakes Recreation Center (formerly the Sportsplex). Turn left onto Weimer and follow it until Wapehani Rd appears on your right just as Weimer curves to the left. Wapehani Rd dead ends at the parking lot.

If driving west on Tapp, look for Weimer on the right just past the Clear Creek Trailhead. Turn right onto Weimer, then make a left when Weimer meets Wapehani Rd.

Please note that although there is a trailhead up by the cell tower, the cul de sac at the end of Tech Park Blvd is not a parking lot. That trailhead (just southwest of the cell tower) is maintained—minimally—for emergency access, maintenance, and for riders who cycle up from Tapp Rd.

Tech Park Blvd is now a private road owned by Hoosier Energy. The former informal trailhead at the cell tower is closed. There is no access to the trail system on the south side of the park; please follow Weimer Rd to Wapehani Rd.

From Out of Town
From Hwy 37, look for either the Bloomfield Road or Tapp Road exits. Follow either road east. From Bloomfield, Weimer Rd will be on your right just past the Twin Lakes Sports Park (baseball fields); from Tapp, Weimer will be on your left.  Wapehani Rd, which leads to the parking lot, is about halfway between Bloomfield and Tapp.

Clear Creek Trail and Rail Trail
Wapehani is less than a mile from the Clear Creek Trailhead at Tapp Rd (approximately .8 miles via Weimer Rd). Clear Creek Trail, in turn, is linked to the Bloomington Rail Trail. By 2011, when the next phase of construction on the B-Line Trail is finished, the Rail Trail will be connected to the B-Line, and thus to downtown Bloomington. 

Riders looking for extra mileage (not to mention a good warmup and spin down) might consider incorporating these multi-use trails into their ride. Depending on which trailhead you park at, you can add up to 10 miles (round trip) to your ride.

Click here to download a Bloomington Parks & Recreation brochure that includes a map of the Rail Trail and Clear Creek Trail.

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