NEMBA / IMBA Trail Schools 2006
Harold Parker State Forest & Vietnam
Trail School Pictures
Considering the floods and tempestuous weather plaguing New England, we were lucky to have a fine weekend for our back-to-back Trail Schools at Harold Parker State Forest and Vietnam. Over sixty trail volunteers attended over the course of the weekend, and it was great to reunite with Scott Linnenburger and Aaryn Kay, a veteran Suburu/IMBA Trail Crew that now manage the program and IMBA Trail Solutions. We were aslo lucky to have Trek Bicycles' Bob Priestley come out to demo Trek bikes and to take part in the training at Harold Parker.
The two courses drew students from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and while most were affiliated with many NEMBA chapters, we also had members of the conservation community as well as the Maine Outdoor Center.
At Harold Parker, attendees received instruction on the key elements of trail layout and construction. Dan Streeter, Joe DiZazzo, and other trailbuilders from North Shore NEMBA are constructing over a mile of new singletrack this spring, and we chose the more challenging terrain as the classroom for the trail school. Descending quite steeply, the new trail weaves its way down the rocky slopes and incorporates an exceptional rock feature that allowed us to construct an alternate line that should provide challenge for the skilled riders.
After the school, attendees were given the opportunity to ride Trek's latest and greatest mountain bikes, and check out North Shore NEMBA's newest trail creations. Harold Parker has undergone a significant facelift over the last few years because of this chapter's stewardship, and the park has become one of the better riding locations in eastern Massachusetts.
On Sunday, thirty new students made their way to NEMBA's property at Vietnam. As we sat on the rock ledges next to one of the challenging jump sections called Blind Faith, Scott Linnenburger explained why he thought NEMBA's freeride park was so valuable to riders and trailbuilders alike:
"What you have in Vietnam" said Linnenburger, " is a trail laboratory where you can design and build features the way you want and have them still be appropriate for the environment. A place like Vietnam will be a showcase in a few years to bring in land managers and show them that challenging technical trail features are appropriate not only here but on public lands as well."
In addition to learning some of the basic elements of good trail design, participants analyzed a section of trail which flowed poorly and was prone to trail braiding. The solution was to build a new section of trail, incorporating lots of rock that would provide a better riding experience and create the type of flow riders are looking for.
"Our trail schools are all about building greater capacity for NEMBA to do more, build more, and better help our public lands," says NEMBA's Philip Keyes. "It's our hope that the information we conveyed will give these folks the confidence and basoc skills they need to take on projects of their own, so we can all benefit."
We thank everyone for attending, as well as all the the people and agencies that made the event possible: Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation, Dan Streeter, John Vosburg, Dave Mitchell, Mike Tabaczynski, Tom Grimble, and of course, Scott Linnenburger, Aaryn Kay and all the others at the International Mountain Bicycling Association.
(Click Picture to Enlarge)