Trail Work = More Smiles and Miles

It was a rainy fall day in Riverside when 3 of us sat in a room discussing what we could do to continue to give back to the community that has given us so much over the years. Ideas were tossed around, copious amounts of coffee and snacks were consumed, and after much deliberation we kept coming back to trail maintenance.  Keeping our trails clean and rideable is a far too often overlooked component of the sport we so regularly enjoy, and we wanted to fix that.  Many of our employees take to the trailhead each weekend with rakes and shovels in tow, and while the individual efforts don’t go unnoticed, we decided that a more concerted effort would return greater results

I must admit that the thought of maintenance never really crosses my mind when I’m descending my favorite section of single track, but I know someone must have put in the work!  Who are these mythical trail fairies? Are they magicked down from the sky every night and beamed back before the first tires hit dirt in the morning? The clear answer is of course no…they are you, and me…well not me really, but you get where I’m going with this. Chances are your local trail network is in such good shape because a handful of selfless individuals dedicate their time to cleaning, building, and maintaining the trails.

Developing a Game Plan

Fast forward from that meeting in fall, to several weeks ago, when the pieces of the puzzle started to come together. Not really knowing where to start, we reached out to the Riverside County Parks department to see what help, if any, we could provide. The response we received was overwhelmingly positive, and the plan to adopt one of our local trails was set in motion.

“The Skyline Loop Trail… is a 4.4 mile section of some of the most fun, put a smile on your face, great for everyone trails, that you can enjoy year round.”

 

The Skyline Loop Trail, located just 5 minutes north of our headquarters is a 4.4 mile section of some of the most fun, put a smile on your face, great for everyone trails, that you can enjoy year round….Or could enjoy year round had it been continuously been shown the love it so clearly deserves.  Unfortunately, as is the case with routine maintenance, it was ignored, and in need of a little TLC.

Putting a Plan into Action

Before we knew it the first of 4 scheduled dig days on the calendar was upon us, and we had a solid crew scheduled to hit the trailhead at 8am. With a clear objective set, we met our point of contact at the trailhead, divvied up the tools, applied our sunscreen, and set off to start our day of rehab.

Three weed whackers lead the way down the path, with McLeods, shovels, and rakes clanging behind. We were making incredible progress, with nearly ¼ mile of trail knocked out in the first 2 hours..now this may not sound like a lot, but when we arrived that morning the trail looked like a scene out of Jumanji…god forbid anyone rolled a 5 or a 7!

Progress continued throughout the day, and although we had some setbacks here and there, I would have to say it was a fantastic first day out on the trails. When it was all said and done, we got through almost a half a mile of trail, we had filled 10 large trash bags, and did what we could in terms of graffiti abatement.

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“We got through almost a half a mile of trail, we had filled 10 large trash bags, and did what we could in terms of graffiti abatement.”

 

Dig Days 1

Final Thoughts

Before our first dig day, I hadn’t previously participated in any trail rehab efforts, and I must say this was an incredibly rewarding experience. Walking back out of the trail that day, looking back on what hadn’t been there before was pretty fulfilling. Now I don’t want to get sappy or stand on a soap box, but if you have the opportunity to get out and build out your local trail network or do some work rehabbing some singletrack on a weekend, I highly suggest giving it a shot.

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We share a passion for bikes that started before we began working in the cycling industry.  It’s that same love for bikes that drives us to help build a growing and sustainable cycling community.

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