Trail Maintenance 101.... with Randy
By: Marco Osborne
Trail work is the very beginning of every mountain bikers dream. We all love riding trails and sometimes forget how those trails came to life. Someone had to cut it, build it, maintain it to keep running to it's greatest potential. In some ways trails are like a nagging girlfriend, they take constant attention. The more work you put in the more you are rewarded.
I personally love working on trails; maintaining, building or just clearing some down trees or brush. It's satisfying and one way I like to give back to my community. Living in the Lake Tahoe region it's extra special and exciting. Trails are usually covered in snow 6 months of the year, so when spring time rolls around and the snow starts to melt out, us mountain bikers get all fired up to start opening up our local gems. This is the easy part of the process as the trails have already been established in years past. We are just here to clear it out after a long winter of fallen trees, pine needles and heavy debris that have now covered our trails.
I've put together a little video showing this process of opening up one of my local trails. It's basically just me walking up and down the trail with my rake, chainsaw and McCleod. I start by raking all the pine needles off the trail, cutting any down trees or liming anything that's protruding into the trail and removing any unnecessary rocks. It's also important to check on drainages and fix any issues you might find. If there are any features that need some basic attention I will grab my McCleod and fix those issues. It's pretty simple really, just get out there and enjoy some time in the woods. Don't forget to pack your favorite beverages of choice and special trail snacks. It's one of my favorite down time activities to do and is pretty rewarding in the end. Once the trail is all spruced up its time to grab your bike and give her a rip after all that hard work!
I hope this inspires people to get out and do some trail work. We are all in this together and a little bit goes a long way. Grab a rake, grab a shovel, start attending your local dig days or even start riding with a small hand saw. It's crazy what you can get done in a short amount of time. Get out there and get those hands dirty, you will be amazed on how gratifying this process is. No dig no ride!