Hello. Don't post here much, so the first 3 posts are a little behind the times. But i'm still in the process of creating the trail and i will update this thread until i get done. i believe in this project and thats the most important reason of why i'm sharing. Hoping it serves to inspire other riders, ideas, and projects.
i've been involved with Colonnade Mountain Bike Skills Park in Seattle for a long time. i was asked by the Project Manager to take ownership of the Novice Trail (which we are currently calling The Learning Trail). When we built what's now known as Limestone Loop (the first phase of the park) we tried to make a trail that would satisfy a multitude of riders on a challenging cross country loop. In order to create sustainable trail in impossibly dry sifty soil we used alot of rock. That along with the steep terrain made some of the trail a little daunting for some folk.
So, initially when i was approached i was a little apprehensive. But after thinking about it for a day or so, i realized that it would be a great extension to the Park, and a necessary addition. There was probably nobody as qualified to do the job. i was familiar with the in's and outs of the park, and was responsible for some of the carpentry work at the park, and ultimately if i chose to do it, i would commit to getting it done.
It was an opportunity to be creative. To utilize my knowledge of what it takes to be a sound technical rider and apply that for basic lessons for a beginning level rider. And to provide an element that is essential to our recreation, bringing in new riders of all ages, encouraging groups of riders and families to ride together, create a trail that will support our clubs Bootcamp program, and provide a trail that people can simply warm up at then go ride some of the more aggressive trails at the park.
So after only a month i'm happy to say work is coming along very nicely.
Feature 1 is a Sand Feature. My thought was to provide a feature that would simulate riding on a loose surface. Similar to a leafy trail or a muddy trail, this is a great introductory feature that introduces persons in the quick realization that trails are not pavement.
We built the decking so that riders can have ample time to advance their speed on the approach of this feature, instead of being forced to tackle it shortly after a climb.
Feature 3 Skinny is included within this feature. Not only does it double as a divider from the sand and river rock feature, it also utilizes space along the center and border of the feature to be ridden.
i'm trying to keep my features well spaced within the trail so as to give the rider ample time to adjust to each transition. However with this feature i made the exception.
Here you can see the easy line includes sandstone pavers to the left, and about 4 feet of sand, the line to the right is 10' of sand. The easy introductory Skinny borders to the right.
As you can see the sand is currently wet. Making it super easy to ride. What can i say, many materials we get for free by scouring Craigslist, and this sand was used to protect a house a few miles away from a flooding creek. We'll see how it reacts when it dries, and we can always add a different sand.
Hey innovation you have to allow for some tinkering.
After the rider rolls through this feature there will be a turn back to Feature 2 the River Rock Feature. Based on the same principle as the first, but now we're taking the rider to the next level by rolling them through a hard loose surface. Much like riding along a riverbed, and slightly simulating loose shale sections of trail.
Again to the left we have the beginnings of an intermediate Skinny, which will run for number of feet beyond when complete. The line to the left is the easy line with sandstone pavers and a 4' section of rock, then the 10' section to the right.
The 2 features are tiered, with the Sand feature having a drainage ditch cut beneath it. We have the sand at nearly 1' deep, and the river rock at about 8" deep.
Rides just a little washy, just like it should. Test run.
i asked Joel and Sarah to build me the next feature. They are doing a bang up job so far, and i'm very excited to see how it turns out. Roller Coaster Corner came from a request by Mike to have a bump structure that taugh riders to get off of their seat. Similar to a pump track, i decided to take the idea to a turn, and add some inslope. This will probably be a feature for an advanced beginner, prior to this feature i will have a mini wall ride and berm with dirt bumps, so it will be something fun to work towards.
Also in this picture you can see the drainage work we have. The space is ideal, covered by freeway deck. However the rain from in between freeway decks, and water from a silly palm tree art feature drains right into the flat where the features are. So after a day of caveman trenching and another day of Ditch Witching we have 120' of drain and catch drain established.
So much work ahead, but it's coming along splendidly in it's first month. With any luck by the end of January we will have 5 out of 17 features completed.