//Trail Status mouse over Java // Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??

Author Topic: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??  (Read 4407 times)

tomc

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Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« on: April 13, 2014, 05:02:20 PM »
I'm always busy with my kids and all sorts of other things and my riding is pretty much a "why don't you go now" sort of thing. So I don't have much time to devote to trail maintenance days. But today I was checking out the trails at Ft Ben. Very muddy in sections and standing water in many sections. I have some pics that I can post later but I was wondering if there is anything I can do while I'm out there?? I've heard people write about unplugging drains and so forth and the thought occurred to me, .. "can I do this while I'm out there by myself"? I'd love to help out the trails but am a little unsure what to do to help them out.


I also saw that people seem to be making alternative routes around the main trail to avoid the messy sections(I didn't follow them). Is this something that could be done to protect the main trails when they are bad and muddy?? If not, why not?? Seems a few alternative routes might be good to avoid the main trail getting completely trashed. People seem to just go ahead and ride anyway despite any red flags. I walked my bike a lot today but was wondering what can be done if people are out there riding anyway.


How do I unclog a drain?? What can I do to help out?? Are there any videos or suggestions you might have for someone that gets out frequently but can't make the trail work days? I'll post a few pics later and maybe someone can point out something that needs to be done that wouldn't require a work group to do. 
[size=78%]  [/size]

David Kuehnen

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 05:26:33 PM »
Attend a trail maintemsnce session led by Paul or one of the local trail bosses.  These sessions are announced here and on Facebook.  The seasoned trail maintainers will be more than happy to give you he knowledge to do trail maintenance.  Paul startef a thread in this secvion on how to deberm an area holding water.  Outside of what he descibed any other trail maintenance should be done with the approval of the local trsil boss.

Alternate routes should never be made to avoid a wet area.  Remember, HMBA has invested a lot of effort to be allowed to build trails on public property and the routes have been established with the approval of the land managers (DNR, City of Infianapolis, etc.) . The creation of alternate routes will only hurt our relationship with the land managers.  If there is a prpblem area, it will be dealt during a trail maintenance session.  Pleade linl pictures and locations on the appropriate trail condition thread so that problem areas can be prioritized. 

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Doe

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 05:56:39 PM »
We did work on rerouting a couple of areas on the west section of Schoen yesterday, maybe that is what tomc is talking about.

Stoker

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 06:25:52 PM »
The best thing you could do for the trails would be staying off them when there are "red flags."  You might not have a lot of time to devote to trail work, but the volunteers that do show up also have lives.  I'm sure there are many things the trail workers would rather be doing than repairing damage done by riders/walkers who don't think trail closures apply to them. 

Fmerritt

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 09:22:45 AM »
Take advantage of the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew coming to Indy in May! Must register online to participate.  https://www.imba.com/civicrm/event/info?id=396&reset=1
 
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Paul_Arlinghaus

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 09:47:48 AM »
I will work on putting together a post on self pace trail work.  Keep in mind that although most are well intentioned, in many cases riders with no formal trail building/maintenance training often create more work for our volunteers or even worst make changes to the trails character.

So what tasks are allowed for regular volunteers is different than for riders who haven't worked with the local trail crew.  Nothing is worse that seeing poor work or trail modifications and not knowing who is doing it.

As mentioned, esp. this time of year, checking the HMBA trail status prior to riding is a great step.  Most folks who haven't done trail work will say that a trail was 90% good to go.  To those of us who do trail work, That means that 10% of the trail is getting thrashed. 10% of Town Run is .7 miles.  10% of BCSP is 2.4 miles.  That is a lot of trail to fix.

If you encounter standing water or more than a few mud holes,  leave the trail as quick as possible and let others unloading bikes know that the trails are to muddy to be ridden.

Spring is a difficult time of year for trails.  The trees and plants aren't out yet to suck up water.  There is a lot of ground water from winter snow, we typically get lots of rain, and everyone is excited to ride. 

Our regular volunteers are excited to ride as well, but instead of riding on the first nice weekends we are out working on the trails.  And folks wonder why we are grumpy when the trails are listed as red and riders roll up on muddy bikes while we are working on the trails.

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Indiana Dave

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2014, 07:09:53 AM »
To answer your question more directly...and I'm not a trail boss, or expert...
Weed-eating is probably the biggest self-paced trail work you can do.
A few times a summer, especially early when the plants are just starting to grow out, some of the trails, and especially some sections that may pass thru a clearing or field, need weed-eated.
Also, I've carried some hand trimmers, and cut "face-smackers" and sticker bushes back that have grown out onto the trail.
Something also, as simple as picking up trash around the trail head, and along some fishing spots along the rivers and ponds near some of the trails.
I too, feel like I can't devote enough time to trail building/maintenance, so these are some things I've done to help out and not feel like I'm riding the trails for free.
Picking up trash with your kids is a great way to let them feel like they are doing something good too.
David
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gmcttr

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 04:17:05 PM »
...
Also, I've carried some hand trimmers, and cut "face-smackers" and sticker bushes back that have grown out onto the trail.
Something also, as simple as picking up trash around the trail head, and along some fishing spots along the rivers and ponds near some of the trails.
I too, feel like I can't devote enough time to trail building/maintenance, so these are some things I've done to help out and not feel like I'm riding the trails for free.
Picking up trash with your kids is a great way to let them feel like they are doing something good too.

Excellent advise.

A couple of times a year, I take hedge trimmers and pruners with me to clip briars and open up fast areas where the vegetation grows in and limits your sight distance making two way traffic more dangerous than necessary.

Something as simple as slowing down to kick a stick off the trail can save another riders derailleur.

tomc

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 03:46:43 PM »
Great advice guys. I typical rider sees the trail much differently than those that work on them. But this year I plan to help in a group when I can and help individually as often as possible. I'm very thankful for the work everyone has done to allow us such nice trails here in the Indy area. I'll keep an eye out for trail sessions and for how-to's on individual work. I just want to be part of the solution, ... not the problem. [size=78%] [/size]

Steve King

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Re: Anything a a single rider can do to help trails??
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2014, 07:48:44 PM »

Want to learn to build, maintain, and care for trails, sign up for this free event.
The Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew will be visiting Southwestway Park in Indianapolis between May 15-17, 2014.

http://www.hmba.org/wp/2014/05/subaruimba-trail-care-crew-to-visit-southwestway-park-in-indianapolis-may-15-17-2014/

 

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