Outside Haus was fortunate enough to attend three of the four parts of the IMBA’s Trail Care Crew weekend. We first attended the fundraiser Friday night at Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life where the Disciples of Dirt and Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards collaborated and helped pull together raffle monies and blind auction bids to help fund trail development and maintenance in the region.
On Saturday, we were able to join 30-plus volunteers that enrolled in the IMBA’s Trail Care Crew training, held at the Lorane Grange in Lorane, OR and brought to us by Subaru, IMBA, Trek and a few other sponsors. Kudos and thanks to IMBA’s Jake Carsten and Jenny Abraham who were gracious and patient with the broad swing of serious and joke’ster questions and ad lib, during the morning session. Showing up to see their full wrap IMBA graphics on a spit shine new Subaru Outback was a feast for the eyes. Made my rig look a bit aged, but that’s what Subaru’s do is age, and they do it well. After lunch, where we provided samples of Skratch Labs new Raspberry Fluid Replacement alongside Laughing Planet Cafe’ donated burritos, served by Jimmy with Kona Bikes, we headed up the road to WhyPass for a bit of ‘training becomes practice’ with words like ‘nick’, ‘fall line’ and ‘lucky you didn’t run with scissors’ (Taylor).
The trail building/repair/removal session at WhyPass was really, quite amazing. In the space of two hours, 35 sets of hands equipped with wild-ass firefighter hoes and big, unwieldy yet wieldy tools called McLeod’s managed to close and completely hide 400+ feet of existing, ruinous trail and replace it with a freshly cut and much improved (fast & flowing) section with a natural earth berm cut inside, rather than built outside, with a pair of nicks, 3″ followed by 3/4″-less gravel in a wash out and several reclaimed rutted sections with drastically improved base for water runoff. Can’t wait to come back and try it out…To end the weekend, we met and combined a group at LCC to carpool down past Cottage Grove, out Brice Creek Road past Dorena Lake to Crawfish, right off the Brice Creek Trail. Oregon Adventures showed up with their van and hauled a van full of us to the top and dropped us off for 7 miles of mostly downhill adventure.
Two things I wished I had brought… a little bit of protection, and the proper riding jacket. A brush with a tree and a rock wouldn’t have mattered with a knee pad and shoulder pad, but I got away safe with only minor bruises and managed to save more than one situation where things could have gotten ugly. Jake & Jenny rode downhill with us twice, then they and three others of us hugged the Brice Creek Trail back to where we started, refreshing again on some Skratch Labs fluid replacement… this time, Lemon Lime.