Postby danwalko » Sun May 01, 2011 8:45 am

Hey everyone....

I actually got out for a ride at Rocky Ridge yesterday and could not believe the difference between the YAMBA-built trails and the old trails at RR. It appeared there may have been 4-5 inches of rain at Rocky Ridge during the storms on Wed and Thurs of this week. I saw evidence of severe runoff in many areas that don't normally get very wet. The usual wet spots like the entrance to trail 5 were very bad.

I was struck by how dry the YAMBA-built trails were. OMT had just a few areas of dampness but no standing water. Rusty Chair was totally dry and the drains and improvements we made during our last work day performed exactly as expected.

YAMBA is making a difference in the state of the trails in York County. In recent years we have completed some great new additions to the York County Park trail system. Trail 2c, the new 1, and the recently finished Copperhead at the Lakes and OMT, Rusty Chair, and Broken Arrow at RR are just a few that come to mind immediately. These are fun mountain bike trails that are completely sustainable even with rains like we had this week. We cannot continue to make progress without your help! We typically have 10-12 members attend each trailwork session - many times - the exact same members each session. This is out of a group of over 150 paid members.

My point here is that we need more help! YAMBA has NO new trails planned for 2011. We have decided that we need to try to improve and maintain what we have right now. Many of the old park trails are badly in need of maintenance due to poor construction, runoff, and most recently, overuse - especially at RR. I understand that many of you find the trails in the York County Park system to be mediocre at best. I agree that other locations like White Clay, Fairhill, and Raystown have more to offer in the way of mileage and trail quality. However, there is something to be said for being able to walk out your door and be at the trailhead and on the bike within 10 minutes after work on a weekday.

We need more help with our scheduled maintenance projects this year so that we can start planning for the next great trail in York. We have an endless list of areas where we can re-route existing poorly built trails or even add to the existing trail network. Please take the time to think about that next time you are riding on Rusty Chair. YAMBA spent over 700 hours of labor on that trail last year and it was worth every minute. If every member attended just 2 trailworks a year - thats a total of only about 8 hours of your time - we could build a Rusty Chair style trail every year.

Our next trailwork is Saturday, May 7 at 9:30am at the Lakes. I hope to see many of you there.

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Postby rmichels » Sun May 01, 2011 9:06 am

Hoping to make this one!
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Postby wrench347 » Sun May 01, 2011 9:39 am

Sorry I was a slacker and missed a couple. I'll be out for the next one!
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Postby Glancing Aft » Sun May 01, 2011 8:15 pm

I would love to make it, and apologize for not making any so far this year, but every single TM session has been on the same day as a MASS Race this year (including the one on the 7th) :(
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Postby kraft » Mon May 02, 2011 3:36 pm


A well written post. It is unfortunate that most of the people viewing it are the ones that actually help out with trailwork.

This part got my attention.

"I understand that many of you find the trails in the York County Park system to be mediocre at best. I agree that other locations like White Clay, Fairhill, and Raystown have more to offer in the way of mileage and trail quality."

A couple of things came to mind.

When White Clay does a project an Army of volunteers show up, not just dozen or so.
Wouldn't it be nice to have the Army Corp of Engineers help out at our next YAMBA trail building session.

Considering the amount of usable land we have to deal with, risk management issues by the land owners, lack of adequate workforce, multi-user concerns and the budget we are given, mediocre is not the word to be used. I think it is more like a miracle we have what we've got.

I have had conversations with people from out of town that have said that Rocky Ridge is one of the best small trail system parks they've rode. They did emphasize "small park" and I have to agree from a technical perspective anyway. If you are willing to move away from the smooth single track and look at the amount of structure you have to challange yourself within this small park it is quite impressive although maybe a little hard to find. There are more fun obstacles in the parking lot alone than most others have within the whole system. With that being said and maybe rocks and logs not being your thing - you can drive 20 minutes to the lakes and there you have some of the nicest smooth single track around (when it's not wet) with nary a rock or log to be found (except for the one rock that person found the other week on trail 7).

I think it is great that we have 2 parks with 2 completely different personalities that close in proximity that we can ride all week long, especially with the price of gas. Just think how great it would be if every rider that rides RR and/or the lakes would give one day a year to assist in trailwork. 1 Day. Just 1 Day.
Do the thing that is hard to do and the power will come.
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Postby finsout » Tue May 03, 2011 6:15 am

Dan, I agree 100 percent with everything you wrote (and Jim too). After riding White Clay and seeing what high turn out can bring, it's a shame that more people don't come out to help. I would like to point out though that while big organized trail maintenance days are of huge value, perhaps more emphasis can be put into smaller ad hoc projects that can be worked on but a small group of people when they have time. Two examples are adding berms to the upper part of Broken Arrow and restoring the creek in anticipation of the inclusion of a bridge. ScottyB, TimB and I have been asking to do these projects for a few weeks and would gladly give our time to make them happen. What I would like to see more of is small groups take on these types of projects working within boundaries set by YAMBA. So you guys meet with the group and outline what they can and can't do, then, after getting clearance from the County, turn them loose to get it done. Something like this may allow more things to be in process simultaneously.
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Postby ScottyB » Tue May 03, 2011 12:11 pm

I agree with everything said so far. And small teams working on separate projects in their own time would offer a chance to get more done. Send Kevin a list of who was there, how long, and what was done. I think it would be something worth trying on some small projects to start and go from there. As a group we should come together (at a trail work) and talk about the projects, get ideas and suggestions, make sure we are all on the same page. Then let the teams go at it.
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Postby RockyMountainSkip » Tue May 03, 2011 7:48 pm

Very well spoken Dan and 110% accurate!

For those of you who cannot make our YAMBA trail work days due to race schedules and work schedules, remember that you can also "adopt-a-trail" within the York County Parks. This allows you to help out when your schedule permits with a trail or a section of trail and includes minor maintenance like trimming and de-berming to help minimize erosion. Several of our members are "adoptees" and these folks are certainly unsung heroes for the behind the scenes volunteerring that they contribute. The adopt-a-trail program allows YAMBA to concentrate our Trail work days on larger scale maintenance and trail building projects so be sure to drop Kevin an email if you are interested in an adoption!

See ya on the trails,

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