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General Maintenance Guidelines

maintenance guidelines

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#1 pilznr



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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:32 AM

GORC has been steadily growing over the years. With the addition of new
people, come the inevitable questions about trailbuilding and
maintenance. Of course, the best way to learn is to come to a workday!
There, you'll meet experienced trailbuilders who can show you the ropes
and answer any trail-related questions you might have. Our friends from
the Peoria Area Mountain Bike Association have written a pretty nice
description of some typical maintenance situations that you might
encounter while you're out riding, which we've adapted here, with a bit
of editing to make it more applicable to GORC:

New Deadfall or Blow Downs
Can be moved by hand
If you encounter new deadfall that obstructs the trail and you can safely
move it by hand, please move it completely off the trail. This will make
the trails more enjoyable for the next rider who comes along and will
help prevent injury or bike damage. Let me be specific about trail
obstructions (and we're still talking about the ones that can be safely
moved by hand). If it is new, between 1ft and 5ft high or a series less
than 1ft high, remove it because no one will enjoy it. If it is a less
than 1ft high, laying on the ground on the trail, and stable, leave it
because some riders might enjoy riding over it or bunny-hopping it. If
it is more than 5ft over the trail, leave it because someone might enjoy
riding under it. If you are unsure, contact a Trail Steward. Do not
sanitize the trail or remove existing obstacles to suit your skill
level. Do not stack branches against an obstacle to build a ramp over
it. These branches never stay in place, and can be dangerous to another
rider. If you can't ride it, walk it. Improve your skills, and attempt
it later.

Cannot be moved by hand
If you encounter new deadfall that blocks the trail and you cannot safely move it by hand,
walk over or around the deadfall. Do not attempt to cut out deadfall or
make a reroute. There could already be plans in the works to either
remove it or incorporate it into the trail. Generally, as long as there
is no agreement with the land manager to remove all deadfall, and it
does not affect the intended flow of the trail at the point in question,
it will be left where it is. There is no guarantee of this, however.
There may be other considerations, so the decision is usually made by
the steward and land manager on a case-by-case basis. Contact the trail
steward or a mountain bike patroller. They will contact the land
manager. You can also make a report in the Trail Conditions Forum on the
website. Liability is the biggest issue here. If you do something to a
trail (all on your own) and someone gets hurt at that spot, you are
liable. The club has liability insurance to cover us when we do
trailwork, etc. When you perform trailwork on a workday for the club,
you are an agent of the club and are covered by the insurance.

Please contact a Trail Steward if you find any drainage problems. Never alter
the flow of water in a creek crossing. Do not stack branches and other
debris in wet areas. It doesn't help. All it does is create more of a
dam as the wood rots and the area remains wet and expands in area. What
is needed is a total cleaning of the area and a removal of debris on the
down hill side to allow water to flow more freely and the area to dry.

Trail Stewards
These are GORC's single point of contact for the land managers. They are all
mountain biking enthusiasts who ride their respective parks regularly
and want to make the best user experience. They are trained in IMBA
trail building and maintenance techniques and have good relationships
with land managers. After getting permission from the land manager, most
of them are willing to meet you to do trail work on non-scheduled
trailwork days if a need arises to address a problem quickly. You can
contact them through private message or simply posting on the forum for
the trail in question. The contact info for the Steward of each trail is
listed at the top of the section for each trail in the Trail Conditions
and Reports forum.

Greensfelder Cat Herder

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