The month of April has certainly seen a flurry of activities at Boggs. We kicked it off with a visit from the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew (TCC) – Lani Bruntz and Jordan Carr. The young trailbuilders whose interests outside of mountain biking include downhill skiing, snowboarding and backpacking, are contracted with IMBA for two years to instruct trail building all over the U.S., driving from one location to another in their signature “logo-heavy” Subaru Outback (click on the photo).
They arrived on Thursday afternoon, April 9th, and proceeded to evaluate the re-route section on Jethro’s Trail that was planned for the Saturday on-the-ground trails instruction at Boggs. Both gave a nod to the preliminary alignment but offered suggestions to improve drainage and “trail flow”, an expression that encompasses heightening the feeling of traversing along natural undulations of the terrain (vs. a constructed straight line), safety, and trail sustainability – minimizing the maintenance needs of a trail.
On Friday, the IMBA crew came to Lakeport and presented “Better Living Through Trails“, which explores the positive relationships between communities and their trail systems, supported by recent case studies on the health, economic and social benefits of trails to communities. The rationale in holding the presentation at the County Board of Supervisors’ chambers was to facilitate participation by county and city staff, as well as citizens who may not wish to make the drive to the South County. Wilda Shock, a member of the Lake County Regional Economic Development group, commented that the destination marketing case studies were particularly insightful. For instance, Oakridge, Oregon, an area that experienced a severe downturn in timber sales, decided to focus on developing sustainable trail systems in national forest lands to build an outdoors recreation economy. The area is now transforming into a world-class trails destination for mountain bikers as well as other recreationists.
The following day, trails instruction commenced literally “at school”: Cobb Mountain Elementary School’s multipurpose room served as the venue for the indoor instruction segment of the TCC visit. IMBA has perfected their curriculum based on their Trail Building School, employing detailed illustrations from their Trail Solutions Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack. The lessons covered the phases of trail building, from site selection to flagging, permitting and construction with emphasis on the different building methods, particularly as they related to the afternoon session. We broke for lunch around noon, and then headed to Boggs for field training.
Above is a snapshot of the crew from this year’s visit vs. the photo below – the last time Subaru/IMBA TCC were here in 2004 (thanks to Tom Smythe for locating photo archives in his amazing filing system!). Back then, the crew worked on the Shaker Trail re-route and armored the seasonal creek crossing at Gails Trail.