Those of us who love to ride have endured a miserable spring here in the upper midwest, with the trails closed due to wet conditions as often as they’ve been open. The weather has also taken its toll on the trails indirectly because so many of the weekly work crew maintenance sessions have had to be cancelled.
So with the weather cooperating last Wednesday night, I followed a MORC work crew at Carver Lake Park Off-Road Cycling Trail in Woodbury while they reshaped several corners.
This section of the trail had become hazardous because it’s at the end of a relatively fast downhill. Riders were often hitting the tree or sliding out trying to go around it on the left. MORC Dirt Boss Porter Million and Matt Walkowiak removed the tree, and then dug up a lot of roots and moved a significant amount of dirt to both make a small berm and provide two places for rain water to flow away from it.
Meanwhile, the rest of the crew was shoveling, hauling, and hand tamping a lot of dirt to build up three troublesome, off-camber, eroded corners on another section of the trail.
With a couple of coaching sessions from Porter, the crew reshaped the problematic corners into berms. I later emailed Porter for an explanation and he wrote:
These berms were carefully constructed to avoid puddling in the instance of rain. By taking the slope of the turn into consideration, and by also adding a roller, the crew was able to design the berm to direct any water flow to a specific drainage area off the trail. By adding the properly constructed berms to this section, a rider should be able to carry their speed through the turns, and have less fear of washing out on what use to be a couple of loose, off-camber turns.
And the crew saw everything that they hath made, and behold, it was very good. Right photo, L to R: Porter Million, Zach ?, Drew Diller, Matt Walkowiak, Aron Braggans, William Sweasy, Viv Jones, Jeff Leech, Ray Schwarz, Joel Hampton
This sounds like it was a good change to the trail. No one likes hitting trees. When I was a kid, I hit a tree and had to get stitches. haha
But one thing I’ve noticed is that too many trails are becoming “flow trails” which take the challenge out of them. Anyone can go fast, technical sections are what create a quality rider. What do you guys think about the move to more “flow trails”?
Hey Griff you spelled my last name wrong in your “tag” any chance you can change that?
All fixed, Aron. Sorry ’bout that.
I also fixed the spelling in the 4 photos and in the blog post.
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