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Productive trail workday on Saturday (pictures).

Monday, January 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

January
21
2013

The weather for Saturday’s trail workday was excellent, and we had a strong 20+ volunteer turnout. A lot of my mountain biking friends were there, and I met some great new people as well. Everyone was in good spirits and we all worked very, very hard.

We started work at around 8:30 AM, and the last of us completed clean-up and departed around 3:00-ish. It was so impressive to see an overgrown field in the middle of an orange grove transformed into a mountain bike skills area in such a short period of time.

I very much enjoyed being part of the crew who made this small, but fun, adjunct to the Mt. Dora trail system. Riding the skills area will be even more satisfying knowing that I helped build it.

The Red (advanced) line still needs some more work. The main challenge on this line was meant to be a couple of tricky rock gardens, but we simply didn’t have enough rock on hand to get them where they need to be. We’ll be adding rock and making that line more difficult very soon.

A nice unplanned bonus that I and a couple of other volunteers suggested was a tabletop jump. We had plenty of clay on hand, and Mike Simmons and Rob Ern (who were in charge of Saturday’s project) were cool with the idea. The jump came out pretty darn good (pictures below), and I think it’s a valuable addition to the skills area.

Tabletop jumps, if you’re not familiar with them, are the safest way to practice the art of jumping. That’s not to say you can’t get hurt on them (I’ll probably be the first to prove that), but they are much safer than trying to jump gaps when you’re first learning. As an XC rider who has not seen much air time, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of this feature. I’m never going to be a big air guy, but I’d love to be a little more comfortable and confident when my tires are off the ground.

Right now the clay is pretty soft. We were hoping for some rain to help firm up the clay, but no such luck. I think Mike and I are going to head out there early this week with some portable water sprayers and give everything a light dousing.

Unfortunately one of the volunteers was injured on Saturday, and the EMTs were called in. After lunch one of the young volunteers (I think he was 13 years old), took off to ride the main trail with a couple of his friends. He decided to attempt the very steep wooden roller (an advanced feature), and as he crested the top of the roller he must have panicked a bit and locked his front brakes. He fell hard, breaking his wrist in a couple of places. His friends were shooting video of him at the time, and I saw the footage. It was a hard fall, and difficult to watch. The paramedics made sure the kid didn’t have a neck or back injury, put on a temporary splint and he was able to walk out of the woods on his own. I’m told that the young man had a successful surgery on Saturday night, and is at home recovering. There are some pictures of all this below (don’t worry, nothing graphic).

Here are my photos from the workday. Photos run in chronological order, from first thing in the morning to project end.

 

These are Mike Simmons’ photos (captions are also Mike’s). I’m in some of these shots.

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