Central NH

Central NH NEMBA Mini-Xs a Flow Trail

Monday, August 4, 2014

Central NH NEMBA has just completed building a "flow trail" in Page Hill. For a number of weeks the chapter has been operating a mini-excavator to build the trail, and now the final touchs are just being finished up.  Come ride!

A flow trail is a gravity trail that has lets the ride flow down as if on a roller coaster. There are bermed, banked turns, short whoops but now sudden changes in direction or gnary technical features. It's a trail that requires minimal pedalling and just lets the rider carve and surf his or her way down.

It was a long day but Central NH NEMBA managed to punch through and complete work with the Kubota on their last day renting a mini-excavator.  Most all of the hand work, fine tuning and sculpting is also done and they're proud to present their new flow trail to the world -- called Shock Therapy.

CNH NEMBA board member, Kevin Orlowski, commented "I'm not sure what the final head count for the day was but I want to say it was a crew of around 20 give or take a few.  Many of which put in near a 12 hour day to put this trail to bed.  This was a big team effort by the chapter but a special congratulations is in order for Jesse McGowan who really championed this project and saw it through to completion."

A flow trail like this is never fully 'complete'.  CNH NEMBA have been test riding sections as they were built, trying to make sure the lines made sense and the flow was indeed present but speeds will increase as it rides in and there is always smoothing and tweaking to be done.  The last 10 feet or so of the trail is still a tad rough as the crew was running out of daylight at the end of the day but everything else has been tampered / trimmed / buffed out.

Check out photos of the project on the CNH NEMBA blog:  http://www.cnhnemba.org/2014/08/flow-trail-complete.html

Flow Trail Complete!

Kubota Flow Trail

Monday, August 4, 2014

It was a long day but we managed to punch through and complete work with the Kubota on our last day of the rental period. Most all of the hand work and fine tuning and sculpting is also done and we are happy to present 'Shock Therapy' to the world!

I'm not sure what the final head count for the day was but I want to say it was a crew of around 20 give or take a few. Many of which put in near a 12hr day to put this trail to bed. This was a big team effort by the chapter but a special congratulations is in order for Jesse McGowan who really championed this project and saw it through to completion.

A flow trail like this is never fully 'complete'. We have been test riding sections as we built them trying to make sure the lines made sense and the flow was indeed present but speeds will increase as it rides in and there is always smoothing and tweaking to be done. The last 10ft or so of the trail is still a tad rough we were running out of daylight at the end of the day but everything else has been tampered / trimmed / buffed out.

What this trail needs now is WHEELS! Pack those lines down and give us feedback while you are at it. There have been a few calls for a tour so keep your eyes peeled here and on the listserv for some group rides coming up in the near future.

Central NH

Page Hill

Murrray Hill Road
Hill  New Hampshire  03243
United States

Easy

40%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

20%

Description

Page Hill History:

Over the past three years CNH-NEMBA has devoted many resources to the trails at Page Hill. This trail network was born at the tail end of 2010 when Lakes Region Conservation Trust approached our chapter about developing trails on the 470 acre parcel. We spent that autumn scouting the boundaries and control points to feed them into a long term master plan. Three and a half years and over 1,200 volunteer-hours later we have a trail system with over 7 miles of singletrack for intermediate to advanced riders. With the hilly and technical nature of the trails (and a little double track sprinkled in) you can easily put together a 2-3 hour ride.

When we broke ground in the spring of 2011 we were starting from scratch. Our first goal was to build a bi-directional loop that would keep a rider pedaling for 1 to 2 hours. This meant using some of the existing doubletrack to link up our new trails. It also meant roughing-in some trails without taking the time to do all the rock work, bridging and benching that really make a trail fun to ride.

In 2012 we alternated between adding new singletrack and going back to improve sections that we had left rough, off-camber or wet. We kept tools wrapped in tarps out on the trail to allow for a mid-ride work session.

In 2013 we got caught up on all the major, nagging problem spots. In most cases we transformed the worst choppy, hike-a-bike sections into some of the most fun and flowing ones. With all the must-do fixes completed, we ended the year finally reaching our goal of having a full contiguous loop of about 7 miles or so of mostly singletrack with just a bit of doubletrack mixed in.

We wanted to keep our momentum going so we made big plans for 2014 centered around the construction of a new machine built flow trail. This trail will be a 1 mile, 350ft descent, one-way flow trail.  As of July 2014 construction has begun and excellent progress is being made.

Our master trail plan has several other trails in various stages of planning and approval.  Lakes Region Conservation Trust has been an amazing partner to work with in this endeavor.  If/when we are successful in implementing the full plan Page Hill will feature 10-15 miles of excellent singletrack for all to enjoy.

Trail Description:

Page Hill is a challenging place to ride.  True beginners should probably check out Franklin Falls just down the road but Intermediate and Advanced riders looking for a challenge will love Page Hill for its mix of flow, elevation gain and technical features.  The height of land is in the northwest corner of the property and the fall line trends southeast across the property.  If you are heading either north or west you are probably climbing, south or east and you are probably descending.

Most trails at Page Hill ride great in both directions. You can mix and match depending on whether you are looking for technical descents or ascents.  The exception to that rule would be Magikal Mystery Tour (or MMT) with some of the steep ravines and hairpin turns that trail rides best in the clockwise direction.  Bear Claw, Hard Hat, Hydra, and Spring Trail all have great flow.  The terrain at Page Hill is somewhat challenging to work with. Many of the trails have long bench cuts when we needed to go across the fall line to cut the slope.  You will find well built bridges here and there to span drainages.

For those looking for a true challenge, a ‘real mountain biker’s trail’ look no further than The Dude Abides.  This trail takes you over the high point of the property and will require you to use all of your line picking skills to their fullest.  Technical ridge riding, rock garden puzzles, an excellent full body workout.

Local Shops

Chainline Cycles

Goodale's Bike Shop

Links to Relevant Resources

Local Eats

Pat's Seafood & Pizzeria

Flow Trail Progress at Page Hill

Page Hill Flow Trail

Monday, July 21, 2014

We are two weeks into our 4 week rental of a Kubota kx-018 and things are progressing great with the flow trail at Page Hill.

 

The trail is about half done and we are getting more efficient with the machine work as we go.  Confidence levels are high that we will complete the trail within the next two weeks.  The beginning of the trail is ready for test pilots, all of the really technical features have B lines and any jumps are rollable with less speed.

 

We also have some hand built finishing work to do and crews will be out doing work this week and this weekend so if you are interested in lending a hand in getting this trail to completion contact Jesse at (jesse[at]mcgowans[dot]info)

  Read more about Flow Trail Progress at Page Hill

Ride Like A Girl #5 - Highland Mountain Bike Park

Event Date

10/11/14 10:00am
Clinic Focus:  Climbing and descending steep terrain on HMBP XC (free).        

Date: 10/11/14, 10am

Clinic kicks off the 4th Annual Women’s Freeride Festival Weekend at HMBP (admission required).

Heading into its fourth year of offering clinics to female riders seeking to develop their mountain biking skills, HMBP and NEMBA proudly present RIDE LIKE A GIRL 2014! Tried and true, this series brings some of the best local riders and coaches to some of the greatest local trails to inspire and instruct women of the northeast!

This free women-helping-women skills building series teaches proper technique to improve bike handling skills in a fun and supportive environment. (NEMBA Membership Required).

The series, designed with progression in mind, focuses on developing control on increasingly more technical terrain throughout the season.

We believe CONTROL leads to CONFIDENCE, and confidence leads to COURAGE, the courage required to CHALLENGE the comfort zone and CONQUER more technical trail and features!

NEMBA membership and Pre-registration Required.

Registration opens one month prior to the clinic date. Email Karen to reserve your spot.

Please include in the subject line the clinic you wish to attend. In the body of the email please provide your full name, city/town & state, NEMBA membership number, and phone # in the event of a cancellation.*

More information on the Ride Like a Girl Series

Location

Highland Mountain Bike Park

Chapter

State

New Hampshire

Ride Level

Beginner
Novice
Advanced-novice
Intermediate

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Karen Eagan

Ride Like A Girl #3 - Franklin Falls

Event Date

8/9/14 10:30am
Clinic Focus:  Finding flow while cornering. Look and lean instead of braking!

Heading into its fourth year of offering clinics to female riders seeking to develop their mountain biking skills, HMBP and NEMBA proudly present RIDE LIKE A GIRL 2014! Tried and true, this series brings some of the best local riders and coaches to some of the greatest local trails to inspire and instruct women of the northeast!

This free women-helping-women skills building series teaches proper technique to improve bike handling skills in a fun and supportive environment. (NEMBA Membership Required).

The series, designed with progression in mind, focuses on developing control on increasingly more technical terrain throughout the season.

We believe CONTROL leads to CONFIDENCE, and confidence leads to COURAGE, the courage required to CHALLENGE the comfort zone and CONQUER more technical trail and features!

NEMBA membership and Pre-registration Required.

Registration opens one month prior to the clinic date. Email Karen to reserve your spot.

Please include in the subject line the clinic you wish to attend. In the body of the email please provide your full name, city/town & state, NEMBA membership number, and phone # in the event of a cancellation.*

More information on the Ride Like a Girl Series

Location

Franklin Falls Dam

State

New Hampshire

Ride Level

Beginner
Novice
Advanced-novice

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Karen Eagan

Central NH

Franklin Falls Dam

Federal Dam Access Rd.
Franklin  New Hampshire  03235
United States

(603) 934-2116

Easy

50%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

10%

Description

The Franklin Falls Dam federal flood control llands are located on both sides of the Pemigewasset River between Bristol and Franklin, NH.  The property consists of more than 2,500 wooded acres and spans five towns.  It is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The mountain bike trail system is centered near the Franklin Falls Dam administrative offices on highway 127, three miles south of I-93 off exit 22.  The system currently consists of approximately 10 miles of multi-use trail, built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.

Much of the terrain is very “un-New England like” with very few rocks.  As a result Franklin Falls is known for its flowing, buff single track.  It is great venue for group rides with mixed skill levels.  Experts can enjoy high speed tree-slaloming, while novices can enjoy the trails at a more relaxed pace without getting in over their heads in difficulty level.  Even your roadie friends can have fun here!  Some of the fastest flow can be found on trails that include Moose Gully, Pine Snake, Bee, Lost Wall Rusty Bucket, and Stump.  Trails on the slightly tighter side include Rogue, Caddywhompus, and Cellar Hole.  The newest trail, Sniper is a nice combination of flow and undulating terrain.  For advanced riders looking for a more technical challenge, Salmon Brook Trail offers steeper pitches, tight switchbacks, narrow benches, bridges, and rock gardens.  It rides best when entering at its intersection with the Rusty Bucket Trail.

The signature trail at Franklin Falls is Mighty Chicken.  It is sure to put a smile on your face.  Mighty Chicken is a gravity trail, built in a natural half-pipe created by the walls of Chicken Ravine.  The trail surfs up and down the ravine walls then finishes out over a series of drops and berms.  It continues to be tuned to increase the yeehaw! index.

The trail system is open year round, and is a great choice for early spring riding when other trail systems are closed for mud season.  Sandy sub-soil keeps the area extremely well drained so mud is virtually non-existent.

Background:

The story of the current Franklin Falls trail system dates to the fall of 2006.  At that time the trail inventory was small and consisted of Piney Point, a short nature trail; the Heritage Trail, running north-south through the park; and few double-track connectors.  Mountain bike use was minimal due to the limited mileage available.  Mike Geldermann worked in the area and occasionally looped through the trails during lunch hour bike rides.  Wanting a better lunch hour ride venue, Mike contacted the US Army Corps of Engineers office at the park, and discussed expanding the single-track trail system with Ranger Jennifer Rockett.  The USACE rangers were very receptive to providing more opportunities for public recreation, and were willing to work with an organization to make it happen.  At the time Mike and his lunch hour riding buddies, Scott Pelletier, and Mike Blouin, were basically just a few “schmoes with bikes”, not exactly the type of organization that the US Army Corps of Engineers was looking to partner with.  They needed to become part of a credible organization.  The solution was easy…..Join NEMBA!  Suddenly the “schmoes with bikes” were instantly transformed into representatives of one of the largest trail advocacy groups in New England, backed by years of trail building experience.  NEMBA already had partnerships with USACE, so much of the ground work was already laid.  Mike knew WM NEMBA President Rob Adair through previous mountain biking adventures in the White Mountains.  He contacted Rob for some advice and direction.  Rob’s contribution was invaluable. He drafted a “Memo of Understanding” between NEMBA and USACE to partner on trail development at Franklin Falls, and enlisted the help of Philip Keyes to make it official.  The USACE-NEMBA partnership was made official in January 2007 with the signing of the Memo.


Meanwhile, about the same time and on a parallel path, local riders Grant Drew and Barry Greenhalgh, were working to help resurrect the remnants of the Central NH NEMBA chapter.  Grant had independently contacted Ranger Jennifer Rockett to inquire about trail development at Franklin Falls.  Jen put Mike and Grant in touch.  Shortly thereafter Matt Bowser and Kevin Orlowski joined the fray, and the nucleus to begin development of the Franklin Falls Trail system was formed.  As a side note, when Grant was a child, many the town folk recognized that he was bound for greatness, but no one ever dreamed, except maybe his mom, that he might be president someday.

Armed with all the knowledge a shiny new copy of the IMBA trail building book could offer, they set about flagging future trails.  The first new trail, Whaleback, was cut in early spring of ’07.  Bee Trail soon followed.  The first official Franklin Falls NEMBA trail day was held in June of 2007.  Nearly 30 individuals, including members from the Central, Southern, and White Mountain Chapters, several local residents, and staff from the US Army Corps of Engineers joined forces to rake out and bench in some of the newly marked trails.  Peter Desantis brought valuable trail building knowledge and the SNH NEMBA tool trailer.  By days end four new trails had been added, and momentum for further development was established..

As of this writing the trail count has grown to 17.  CNH NEMBA appreciates the ongoing support of Rangers Jen Rockett and Natalie McCormack, and continues to work with them to further enhance and sustain the trail system.

After a good ride, apres bike food and spirits can be found just 2 miles south of Franklin Falls in the city of Franklin at the intersection of Routes 127 and 3.  Ciao Pasta is a big favorite, serving great Italian food in a relaxed atmosphere.  Also near the same intersection, for faster food try Al’s Village Pizza, a restaurant and bar, serving subs and you guessed it…pizza.  West across the Route 3 bridge and one mile north on Route 11 is another choice with traditional pub fare, the Wind Fire Tavern.  All serve cold beverages suitable for rinsing the dirt out of your teeth.

Central NH NEMBA considers Franklin Falls its home base, but also maintains Ahern Park in Laconia, and led by Jesse McGowan is developing a new trail system, Page Hill, in the town of Hill, NH.  The Page Hill trail system development is a partnership with Lakes Region Conservation Trust. Read more about Franklin Falls Dam

Local Shops

Goodale's Bike Shop

Links to Relevant Resources

Local Eats

Ciao Pasta

Al's Village Pizza

Wind Fire Tavern

Central NH

Hopkinton-Everett Reservoir

175 Winslow Rd
Dunbarton  New Hampshire  03046
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

30%

Description

Location:

Winslow & Ray Roads, Dunbarton NH


Introduction:

The "Hop-Ev" recreation area is over 8,000 acres and offers advanced intermediate to expert terrain with nearly 20 miles of trails. Hopkinton-Everett is one of many State properties managed by the New Hampshire Trails Bureau. Reminder: Be prepared for other trail users, this is a multi-use trsil system and is open to ATV's, trailbikes, hikers, and equestrians, too.

Ride:

I'd put forty minutes into the January ride, leaving from the OHRV (Off-highway Recreational Vehicle) parking area via the Sugar Hill Loop. The temp read low forties and the corn snow gave that steamy, humid, "everything is melting" feel to the woods. Even after a couple warm and rainy winter days, the trails this clear afternoon made an easy ride. Credit that to the snowmobile and ATV traffic that had packed things nicely for this lone, odd mountain biker in the woods.

I'd been on my backside twice already, one of those times very nearly in the middle of an ice-bottomed puddle. Sure, it was warm for January, but getting soaked still would have cut short the 10 mile loop I'd planned to retrace from my book, Mountain Bike America: New Hampshire and Maine . I wanted to revisit a ride that was good in winter, and in my experience, that meant finding packed snow. For exactly that reason, New Hampshire's Hopkinton-Everett Multi-use Trail System (Hop-Ev) proved a great choice.

Less than 15 minutes outside Concord , NH and the interchange of Interstates 89 and 93 sits this gem of a riding spot. The property is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is sometimes called Hop-Ev Reservoir, though it isn't a drinking water reservoir. It's a dry reservoir, managed by the Army Corps for controlling flooding in the Merrimack River Valley. Via a partnership agreement, the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails manages the 30 or so miles of multi-use roads, double-track and prime singletrack on the property.

Eastern Fat Tire Association (EFTA) President Denis Laliberte has more history with Hop-Ev than perhaps anyone. He's one of the founding fathers of the network and knows it as the true success story it is.

"This property was a dumping ground (in the mid-eighties)," Laliberte remembers. "It was a junkyard. Party spot. Total chaos without trails, just a lot of dead ends, driveways and old logging roads."

An unmanaged mess is the way the State and the Army Corps remember it as well. Laliberte's dirt bike club, the Merrimack Valley Trail Riders (MVTR), worked with the State to lay out trails for yearly events. The energy of a responsible partner in MVTR combined with the Army Corps' need to manage use on the property and the State's desire to site an OHRV network in the southern part of New Hampshire. This perfect storm of needs and partnerships created the trail network mountain bikers enjoy today as well.

"The system remains much the same as what MVTR laid out in the beginning," agrees Laliberte. "With EFTA, we ran the Second Start (mountain-bike) Enduro on those trails for 13 years."

While Hop-Ev remains predominately an OHRV riding area  —and MVTR remains its most active trail partner— NEMBA's Central New Hampshire chapter is also riding and doing work there. Writing as a NEMBA member who both motors and pedals, it's easy to see why. New England mountain bikers and dirt bikers like the same stuff-tight technical singletrack. That's what Hop-Ev offers in spades. It also offers miles of smooth gravel road suitable for sharing with beginner or less skilled riding partners in the warm months. Riders can advance from there to the ATV trails as skill and fitness increase, then tackle the dirt bike trails for the most challenge. In winter, roads like Choate Brook and Bassett Mill double as a great introduction to snow and ice riding for experienced mountain bikers who don't yet know what hills, corners, traction and braking feel like on the white stuff.

The thing I hate most for winter rides are long descents and obstacles likes rocks poking up in the middle of the trail. Hop-Ev doesn't worry me in this regard. The landscape offers lots of short, steep climbs, but no long ones. The trails, while root-strewn in places, aren't nearly as rocky as traditional New England singletrack, leaving lots of clear, quick descents into smooth, bermed turns. Using the ATV grooves in the snow makes it sinfully easy to rail a sketchy turn and hit the next uphill with momentum. Hop-Ev is a middle ring pedal-fest summer or winter.

I got about half my January attempt to retrace the route from my book done. As mentioned, I followed the Sugar Hill Loop out, but 200 yards from its end at Bassett Mill Road I got stopped cold, literally. Choate Brook stood in my way and it flowed fast, deep and wide from the snowmelt and rain. There is no bridge and water submerged all the big rocks. Many trails at Hop-Ev are designated one-way for rider safety, but I was the only one using Sugar Hill it seemed, so I could have doubled back and found a cut that joined the rest of my loop. Or, I might have had to ride all the way back to the parking lot, the wrong way on the trail I just came out on. I got about 15 feet into doing that, then felt the shame settle in. I turned around and charged the stream. If I fell, I'd be frozen for the 15 minute ride back to the car. If I cleaned Choate Brook, just my feet would be frozen. The water filled my shoes and my legs responded with a jolt. I got to the far bank upright, railed a corner and wiped out on some ice. On my ass for the third time that day.

I jogged the bike up to Bassett Mill Road and found the packed snow and ice surface exceptional. There were no soft spots for the wheels to drop into and even the small climb after turning onto Choate Brook Road offered great traction. Two ATV riders approached from the opposite direction as I huffed and puffed my post-Christmas largeness up the hill. They weren't Satan's spawn, as some people like to stereotype. It was the middle-aged guy and his wife who I'd seen heading out from the parking lot. We exchanged thumbs-up. This is the typical interaction on a multi-use network, where riders are sharing their rights to public land. EFTA's Laliberte notes after more than a decade of running the Second Start Enduro for mountain bikers and charity, "We had hunters, dog walkers, dirt bike riders, ATVs and mountain bike racers out there all at once. That intensity of use was the exception, yet still, conflicts were few and far between. There's room for everybody. It comes down to awareness of and respect for one another. In the end, we all just want to ride."

I agree, and Hop-Ev is the place to do it, come snow or summer sun.
   

 

Directions:

Take Interstate 89 north from it's junction with Interstate 93 in Concord , NH . Take Exit 2 and turn left onto Route 13 south. Turn left at the junction with Route 77 (blinking light). After about 1 mile, turn right at the country store onto Winslow Road . Follow Winslow .6 miles and turn right at the sign for OHRV parking.

Hop-Ev closed to MTBs and OHRVs: End of continuous snow-cover until May 23rd. 

By Robert Fitzhenry
Author of MTB America: New Hampshire and Maine
To buy “MTB America: New Hampshire and Maine"  check www.amazon.com, the LLBean Freeport store, or local bike and book shops in New Hampshire and Maine.

  Read more about Hopkinton-Everett Reservoir

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Goodale's Bike Shop

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