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What to Expect at a Trail Building Day

trail building what to expect

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#1 pilznr



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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:20 PM

Trail Building Days are at the core of what GORC is all about. They are the reason the club
was founded: to build trails that we are able to ride and enjoy for
years to come. While the work is hard, you'll probably find that in
addition to being very rewarding, you might find yourself having a lot
of fun as well. At the very least, you will have a different perspective
on trails when you ride over a section that you helped build yourself.
You don't have to be a GORC member, and there's no experience necessary
to participate. Trail Building Days are led by experienced Crew Leaders who will
explain trailbuilding technique and show you how to use the tools

Here's what to expect at a typical GORC Trail Building Day, which
usually takes place from 9am to 1pm on a Saturday, including a few
things you might want to bring to make the experience more enjoyable:

General Items:
-Water is sometimes, but not always provided. Most people either wear a
Camelbak, or bring their own water bottle, just in case.
-Snacks. While food is provided after the workday, it isn't usually available
during the workday itself. You might want to bring an energy bar in case you get hungry.
-Glasses. To keep flying debris out of your eyes. Glasses are sometimes provided, but you can wear your cycling glasses.
-Insect repellent. Some of the parks where we work have loads of ticks, so it's a good idea to bring this.
-Gloves. You'll definitely need these. A pair of work gloves is best, but you can wear cycling gloves too.

The intensity of the work can vary depending on whether you're doing light
maintenance with loppers, or benchcutting with digging tools. Most
people wear long pants and dress in layers so that they can make
themselves comfortable as they go along. If you plan on attending a lot
of workdays, you might want to invest in a pair of gaiters.

Tools are provided by GORC or the land agency we're working with. Many GORC
members have purchased their own tools. If you have loppers, or a tree
saw, you might want to bring them, but they aren't necessary.

Most of the land agencies will allow you to bring children, but some have
minimum age requirements to do actual work. If you want to bring them,
you'll have to make sure they are prepared for getting into things like
poison ivy, and alert for insects and other critters. You will also be
responsible for keeping them away from any possibly dangerous situations
where trailwork is going on. The same goes for dogs. You'll have to
obey the rules regarding leashes which vary from park to park.

Since the number of Trail Building Days is limited by season, we do our best to go
through with every
Trail Building Day unless the weather tells us otherwise. Light
rain and snow are not usually things that will stop a workday, but
weather which makes it unsafe to travel, or makes the trails unsuitable
for a particular task is. For example we've canceled a Trail Building Day at
Klondike to repair some switchbacks because the trails were just too
muddy to get any useful work done on such a steep hillside. We got
snowed on during the construction of the Rollercoaster at Castlewood,
but it turned out to be a very productive Trail Building Day, albeit cold and wet.
Common sense usually prevails and the decision on whether or not to go ahead
will be made by the Steward and posted on the forum, so if there is any
doubt, check there before heading out.

After the
Trail Building Day is over, food is provided by a donation from a sponsoring bike shop, and some
schwag is usually given away. Weather permitting, a ride on the new
trail then takes place so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor!

If you have any other questions regarding a
Trail Building Day you wish to attend,
don't hesitate to post it in the forum. Remember, GORC is an
all-volunteer organization, and without your help we wouldn't be able to
have so many great places to ride in the Metro St. Louis area. See you
at the next Trail Building Day!

Greensfelder Cat Herder

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