New Learning Trail at Colonnade

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest' started by Skookum, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 0
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    10,190
    Location:
    in a bear cave
    Hello all, i've recently taken on the task of creating a new Novice Trail at Colonnade. It's been a while since i've accepted the task, but it didn't take me long to form a really strong plan for the trail. Nothing is set absolutely in stone yet, but this is the foundation i'm going to build on, and i want to be transparent with my vision.
    i've received awesome ideas from a host of persons who actively tutor or have various experience in and around this project. So i'm really happy with the current plan, but if anyone out there would like to contribute with suggestion or want to lend a hand, feel free to email me back, or check the board for work parties for Colonnade.
    When building Limestone Loop, there were a few people, myself included that steered the ship to the more difficult end of the spectrum. But much of the difficulty can be attributed to the terrain, the use of rock for sustainable trail, and the lack of space. And while feedback has been super positive on the finished project, there were a few features that got left out, and there were a few people who wanted to see something not as challenging in order to get their feet wet. This trail will not only provide that, but will also be better served for BBTC Bootcamp, bike lessons, and other classes for YMCA and the like.

    i've run through the terrain armed with a number of TTF's (Technical Trail Features) that i thought are integral for the basic development of the technical aspects of mountain biking. Also with a few visits and meetings on site, i've managed to fit everything together like a puzzle, choosing routes for the trail that fit the features and appropriate terrain.

    When trying to think of a name for the trail, it led me to think of making a trail following the food chain. Naming each feature to represent progression for example you start out with Plankton and end with Blue Whale... With the grom feel of this trail i decided to stick with animals low on the food chain, and from that moved to selecting native species....

    From this brainstorming an idea formed of an animal trail key, with most of the animals have some kind of relation to each feature. There will be bulletin board somewhere near the trail system with a laminated version of the key. i'll have pictures of each animal on the key followed by the Tips... Near each feature i will bury a treated 6X6 barely exposed slightly above ground with a picture of each animal, with some plexi-glass screwed down. Somebody has a problem with a feature, say for instance Rubber Boa, they can ride to the bulletin board and read the key with corresponding animal picture. The opposite side of the key will have basic information on the animal.

    For instance.. (Rubber Boa/This is a thick-bodied snake with small eyes, tiny scales and a blunttail that is similar in appearance to the head, they are related to bigger snakes in the Central Americas like Boa Constrictor and Green Anaconda, but they are much more docile etc etc....

    So not only is it a novice skills trail, it's now turned into a bona-fide interpretive trail. As the Guinness guys would say "Brilliant!".

    The features are sufficiently gapped allowing for recovery and space to properly approach each feature. This also provides enough room for supporting riders or other riders to study technique.

    With adequate time i'm hoping to separate trail with natural terrain, some big leftover rocks, and i would really really like it if we could obtain some driftwood to keep people from bushwhacking trail, in areas that are close to intersecting. Also planting some native fauna, trees, ferns, shrubbery...

    it's likely i'll be leading no rides in the beginning of the upcoming year...:)


    Example key for Novice Trail

    1. Razor Clam-Sand Feature: Concrete bowl filled with sand, teaches balance, importance of momentum and value of acceleration.
    Tips: Seated hold the bars firm, adjust your steering to move through feature, maintain a higher gear spin to accelerate through feature.

    2. Starfish-River Rock Feature: Concrete bowl filled with river rock, teaches balance, importance of momentum and value of pre-acceleration.
    Tips: Carry more speed on approach, adjust your steering to move through feature, maintain a power spin to accelerate through feature.

    3. Banana Slug=Teeter Totter: Wood structure 1' high 8' long, teaches acceleration, balance, and weight shifting front to back.
    Tips: Carry enough speed in a lower gear to reach apex, shift weight back as teeter totters.

    4. Mountain Goat-Long Steep Climb: Sandstone pavers, teaches acceleration, with front weight shift.
    Tips: Accelerate on approach, shifting progressively from a lower to higher gear power spin, shift weight further forward to maintain traction

    Also in the tentative plans will be:
    A placed rock surface
    A sandstone paver off-camber section, emulating a washout
    A pedal placement feature with rocks strategically placed, as well as possibly a banner of some kind to remind people to duck from a low hanging branch
    A mini wall ride/berms/small jump bump
    An undulating roller coaster type structure
    A bridge with slight exposure
    Log rides including low to the ground skinnies and drops
    Log roll overs to emulate blowdown, deadfall, or big roots
    Washboard feature of small logs to emulate a rooty section
    Log Stack pyramids
    Switchbacks

    All of these will be made with an easy level and many times at least one additional line that's a bit tougher.

    The trail will end with a drop/steep chute practice area including run-out. We'll have at least 2 drops around the 1 to 2' range all will made that you can roll too, and will have at least 2 mini downhill chutes.

    Tentative plans will be to include a warm up circle, and a warm up trail that besides a bridge will be feature free, and will have "flow".

    i could use a hand, i'll be there every weekend for the next 4 to 5 months. There are multiple projects going down at Colonnade, i encourage you help in anyway you can. Finishing Colonnade will pay enormous dividends for the future of mountain biking, regardless of where or what you ride.

    Work party info and sign up
    http://www.bbtc.org/recreation/

    Thanks
    Tim
     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    4 / 0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Messages:
    633
    Location:
    PNW
    When you figure out a couple of dates in Jan let us know at the shop. Me and Weez can come down and pester you ( I mean help you. )
     
  3. MMike

    MMike A fowl peckerwood.

    Rep/Likes:
    61 / 84
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    Messages:
    18,261
    Location:
    just sittin' here drinkin' scotch
    Not a single mention of a flaming hoop. Not even a smoldering semi-circle. sigh.....
     
  4. Str8OutaBallard

    Rep/Likes:
    4 / 0
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    946
    how about a muppet pupet show under a drop? (gap the muppets)
     
  5. bockner

    bockner Monkey

    Rep/Likes:
    3 / 0
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    bellevue, wa
    A Muppet gap would definately make the next Disorder
     
  6. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 0
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    10,190
    Location:
    in a bear cave
    i'll be there every weekend in January, just check the BBTC board, you'll see my work party postings.

    http://www.bbtc.org/recreation/

    If i'm signed up for Mike Westra's party i'll be down there working on this trail.

    i've quit biking for the next 4 months or so, so i can devote all my free time to this project.
     
  7. pnj

    pnj Turbo Monkey till the fat lady sings

    Rep/Likes:
    12 / 39
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Messages:
    4,720
    Location:
    seattle
    quit biking?!!??
    injury?

    I'm about ready to get back on mine real soon....:)
     
  8. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

    Rep/Likes:
    0 / 0
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    10,190
    Location:
    in a bear cave
    Yah i tore something up in my knee but not real bad. i could ride now, but i want to slam out as much work on this trail as i can.
    i'll probably start getting back into the swing of thing in April on some short rides here or there. Come on down to the park and say hi man.