Wednesday, October 9

To Switchback, Or Not To Switchback

Rideable backyard trails: 1.2 miles.

Loop: N/A


Potential rideable backyard trails: 3-4 miles (on a 30 acre tract)
My little trail building crew

Yesterday eve…last night…Dave followed me home and acted like he wanted to work on trails so I showed him the way out into the wild behind my house and he went crazy swinging a mattocks like a berzerker.  When he was done the woods looked like a gloriously amazing mountain bike park the likes of which the Red River Valley has never seen.

Or something like that.

Actually, with a fresh set of eyes we saw a better possibility.  Dave pointed out my existing switchback scheme might just be unrideable and spied a line—steep it was—that would have a more grandiose radius versus the creased turns I was trying to cram onto the hillside.  His line will kick the can down the road of cutting the hanging deadfall and will be more interesting.

So there’s that.  The new line eliminates two turns and while it is steep it still looks rideable.  This is going to be a long term project for sure.  I’m hoping by the end of this month to be able to ride the loop.  

That does not mean I will have a perfect, smooth, finished trail; just a rideable loop.  Over time I can refine the trail into something truly great.

I mean, I can’t let Jeff have the best private mountain bike parkin Powell County.  I’ve got to be better than him at something besides eating cheeseburgers.  Maybe I'm also more competitive than him?  It's a talent I should look into developing.

This is the future of mountain biking.  No, not my secret little trail holler, but private land in the hands of mountain bikers.  Rock climbing has gone this route too.  

The Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition owns 1,000 acres one county over.  Why couldn’t a mountain bike group organize and do the same?  The major difference is that the Red River Gorge is for climbers what a place like Moab is for mountain bikers.  For mountain bikers the Red is more like some country club that doesn’t allow bikers or scruffy bikers.  

The RRGCC formed with a huge support base and the financial power to buy land and manage it.  I don’t see the same thing happening with KyMBA any time soon.

It is possible though…

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