Trail Day – May 13, 2017 – Rerouting Mile 11.25

Text by Mike Jarosick, Photography by Mike Jarosick & Wes McElravy

Twelve of us assembled in mountain bike parking lot Saturday, May 13th to enthusiastically swing our tools on the trail.  Ryan O’Dell went out on some very necessary briar-chopping detail in the area of miles 8.5 to 9.5.  The rest of us constructed the re-route at about mile 11.25.  We’ve had our eyes on that project for a long time and finally got to it.  Planning for the project started in September as a couple of us marked the route after doing a walk-through with the forest manager to explore options.  Bypassing the previously-existing final plunge to the covered bridge became necessary as erosion and trail widening continued to take its toll on that fall-line section.  There was a very positive vibe among the workers as we were excited to make this improvement.  We were happy to receive words of thanks and approval from riders who came through and tested the new trail. One of the fun highlights of the re-route is a leftward, downhill hairpin turn that will require balance and precise braking and turning.  It is much like the ones at Mohican Wilderness and Douthat State Park, VA.  We anticipate that some tweaks will need to be made, but the bypass is in rideable condition and the old trail has been closed.  Sixty man-hours went into the project and an additional 5 hours were spent on the briar work.

The work crew consisted of Mike Jarosick, Stevo Burden, Rabbit, Mark Jones, John Mumaw, Caleb Zemrock, Wes McElravey, Mike Ullman, Joel Halfhill, Brad Rogers, and Chris Seeley.

The 2 photos above are of the eroded, widened mess that evolved over the years on the steep descent to the covered bridge at about 11.25 miles.  Keep in mind that photos always cause a steep grade to look less steep.  Some of us don’t mind riding chunky trail for its technical challenge, but this section will continue to erode and widen.   “Fixing” this mess was not a viable option, as it follows the fall line of the slope.  We had to bypass it with a more sustainable alternative.

starting at the top……view of the slightly banked turn with French drain shortly after entry onto the new bypass

After exiting the curve, this traverse takes one to a leftward hairpin turn.

entering the hairpin turn

view of the hairpin turn

exiting the hairpin turn

This traverse after the turn takes one back to the existing trail after bypassing the previously-illustrated eroded mess.