Saturday’s trail work day: report and photos.
Saturday was the first scheduled work day for the new Red (advanced) trail at the Mt. Dora Mountain Bike Park. After trying on a few different names for size, such as “26er’s Revenge” and “Fart Church” (don’t ask), the trail was officially christened “Helter Skelter”, which I think is a perfect name for this short, but very challenging, trail.
This trail has an interesting backstory, and that story starts with a guy named Mark Pettengill. Mark is what I would call a “pure” mountain biker: politics-shmolitics, Mark just wants to ride sweet-ass trail, man. One fateful day last year Mark looked at the land adjacent to the existing Mt. Dora trails and saw massive potential for a challenging trail. So Mark did what any of us would do: he put on a suit, grabbed his briefcase, went downtown and started filling out forms. Yeah, right. Actually what Mark grabbed was a bunch of tools, then he immediately started cutting trail. He worked on this trail, by himself, for many, many weeks. It’s pretty amazing how much work he accomplished.
I rode the trail several times before it was sanctioned, and I was really impressed with it. I wasn’t the only one: Mike Simmons and Rob Ern, who are well-versed in the political side of mountain biking, met with city officials, walked the trail with them, and got it approved!
With the city’s approval, the Ocala Mountain Biking Association (OMBA) was now free to schedule sanctioned work days to further improve the new trail. The first of those work days was this past Saturday, and it went extremely well.
After several days of much needed rain, the weather on Saturday was amazing: clear blue skies, a light breeze and a high temperature of just 77° (F). We had a good turn out, around 20 people or so showed up ready to work. Countless wheel barrows full of rock, mulch and clay were transported from near the trailhead to various locations around the trail. It was quite a workout, let me tell you!
Lunch was generously provided by Pizza Amorè, and it was amazing pizza! When it comes to pizza, it takes a really good one to impress me. Pizza Amorè absolutely nailed the crust and sauce, which are the two things most places get wrong. Seriously, this is great pizza. I ate like six pieces, and had to force myself to not have more. If you live around here, pay them a visit. You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday–great job!
So here are a few pictures from the work day, along with captions. Click any of the images to enlarge.