Dang! We were so close to finishing out the last trail on the Sunset West property… So.Close.
I went and walked the trail Saturday morning, so I’ll go on record; We made the right call. At 9am it was barely 20 degrees and it was noon before the temp broke 30. Brrrrr…. But more than the temps, the lack of sun on
Friday meant there was still a fair amount of snow in the grass and it wasn’t going anywhere Saturday morning. That would have been one miserable build day for sure…
“Hey Scott, but I saw some people out on the property digging and they drove some super official looking vehicle. What gives?”
Second thing first, I guess. Adam, has hooked up the Trail Crew leaders with some super cool magnets to throw on our cars/trucks when we are leading builds. While we occasionally use the dirt road that bisects the property to shuttle tools, it is closed to vehicle traffic. Adam thought it would be a good idea to clearly mark our vehicles to avoid confusion. I think they look pretty awesome.
First thing second, I’m glutton for punishment… Ask any number of people who have heard me mutter “I wonder where this goes?” while on a ride… 😉 But I’ll save that for another post. Point being, a little chilly weather isn’t going to keep me from sculpting some sweet trail, especially if the “The Most Understanding Wife Ever” is on-board.
Saturday morning started slowly around Casa del Cody. From scratch pancakes, bacon, fried eggs, fresh coffee, you get the gist. The Most Understanding Wife Ever suggested we go for a walk, and seeing a perfect opportunity to check in on trails, I agreed.
After a leisurely stroll down the Coal Creek path, we arrived at southern entrance at about 11am. Snow and muck was still covering our new rock work and
the dirt at the south entrance looked like it was definitely going to stick to the soles of our shoes. It wasn’t looking promising for a ride or a build day, but it was promising enough for a little hike, so we continued up the “Sidewinder” trail up to the top. The dirt wasn’t great, but it was improving quickly. The humidity was dropping and the sun was finally starting to come out. By the time we finished walking the main loop, the character of the dirt had completely changed. I couldn’t help myself any longer. I turned to The Most Understanding Wife Ever and said, “soooo, ummm… how about we spend the day together?”
It is all about how one frames the question, right?
I continued, “I could go grab the tools and… ” yeah, I got about that far. Surprisingly, however; she didn’t immediately try to hit me, heck she didn’t even flat out say no… “So, What you are saying is there is a chance?”
That “chance”, finally turned into a “Yes”. You can see why she is “The Most Understanding Wife Ever”.
We let it warm up a little, picked up the tools from the secret ESA tool bunker, headed over to and started digging on the north-end of the commuter trail.
Cutting new trail is a lot of work. I admit, when we got started I had all kinds of visions about how much we were going to accomplish. Those were quickly and appropriately squashed with hoe full of roots, cactus, and rocks. I scaled back the objective for the day and we got to work. I started by cutting in the critical edge and she came through on the second pass to establish the tread. I then went to the beginning of the section and started dialing in the tread and back slope. She did the same from the far end. Right about then, Lee, from Miner’s Tavern rolled up, and started tamping down our work. Perfect.
We wrapped up just before Sunset.
Let’s Ride! was the conversation. OK, we’re Coloradans, right? What’s a little cold?
10:30am on Sunday came a lot quicker and colder than Saturday. I can neither confirm or deny the role that a certain (and mighty tasty) brew from Boulevard brewing may or may not have contributed to the later start.
Adam, Brian and I met up at the top of the South-end and started taking laps. Have I mentioned just how incredibly fun these trails are? Anyway, the dirt was in phenomenal shape. That loose turn that I have been worried about for the last two weeks, it firmed up perfectly. It was the kind of dirt that allows a rider to just throw their bike into a turn with careless abandon, knowing the tires are going to hook up and the bike will hold its line. In conditions like those, even someone like me can look like they know what they’re doing.
What was I thinking about? Building… yeah, I’m little obsessed at the moment. Hey, I look at it like this. The sooner we get the West-side complete, the sooner we can move to the East-side and start building some REALLY amazing trails.
After a couple hot (ok, it they were more like tepid) laps, I talked Brian into helping me do some digging. Sa-weet.
I headed back to the house to change and grab some tools. He did the same and we met up at the top of the south-end to review our options. After a quick discussion and some dirt kicking, we settled on working the south-end of the commuter trail where it had already been roughed in. We carried the tools down the work area and got busy.
First swing of the hoe and, “Thunk”… I buried its head into a ball of roots the size of my toro… oh, f*@k, this is going to be a hard day…
The next two hours consisted of near continuous removal of massive carpets of roots. Slow, slow work. But we stuck to our goal and worked through the plant matter to get to the perfect dirt that was waiting below. Bring out the rakes!
A quick note about my build days, Never be the last one to show up. Right Chris? 🙂
We generated a lot of dirt, more than we’d be able to use on the section trail we were working. So I did what any Trail Crew leader would do, right? I ask the crew to put the dirt in wheel burrow and carry it to the top of the steepest hill and to the location of a future project. 🙂 Chris and Brian deserve a medal or something… they got it done. Thanks guys.
The dirt is absolutely amazing right now… Call it “Brown Pow” if you wish, I think I’m going to start calling Erie Gold… its that good. Get out and RIDE! and don’t forget to tell us what you think about the trails.