Friday, March 11, 2011

IMBA TCC photo re-cap and Buffalo Mtn. monkey business

Last weekend Melinda and I hosted the IMBA Trail Care Crew at our house for the weekend. Who the heck are they you ask? Go here to learn a little bit about who they are and what they do. We had Steve and Morgan Lommele, a really cool couple that we had alot of fun hanging out with.

I've already written a re-cap of the entire weekend for the NTMBA site so if you want to know more of the details about what went down go here. I didn't see any reason to repeat everything I've already said and what alot of you have already probably read. Steve and Morgan have their perspective of the weekend reported here.
So anyway what I've got for you are some other little tidbits that maybe weren't as important or might have left the NTMBA report a bit lengthy and of course alot more pics.

It wasn't all lectures and workshops, there was alot of hanging out shooting the bull, drinking a few brews and of course a bit of riding.

The section of trail we worked on last weekend was basically built all wrong, during heavy rains it had a small creek running down the middle of it as you can see above.

Friday afternoon several of us accompanied Steve and Morgan into the woods to watch their flagging process.

I basically took a bunch of random shots and video, scouted the other new trail across the creek that is the Azalea Trail and goofed off.

It crazy some of the stuff you can find in the woods when your just standing around in the same spot for a couple of hours. Steve and Morgan went back and forth in one section of trail flagging, reflagging and then reflagging some more. Finally they came to a mutual agreement and we headed back to the cars to go ride.

Since they had already ridden Bays the day before we took them over to Warriors Path to show off one of our crown jewels.

Both Friday and Saturday we started the day off with workshops fueled with coffee and donuts. Yes I ate more donuts that weekend than I have in a long time but I'm pretty sure I earned the calories.

Kingsport, TN

We had a good sized crew show up for Saturday's workshop despite the threat of rain. We actually got pretty lucky the entire time we were in the woods because I really don't recall getting rained on at all.

The photo above is #1 in a series of 4 all taken in the same spot. The trail you see to the right is the old section of Big Oak just above where the problem area begins. Look closely on the left and you will see the orange pin flags marking where the new trail will begin.

Kingsport, TN

#2 This photo is at the very beginning of the workday as the volunteers are just beginning to clear away the leaves on the new trail.

Kingsport, TN

#3 The digging or benching of the new trail (left) has officially begun. On the right the old trail is being prepared to return it back to nature and make it disappear so it will look like the old trail never existed.

Kingsport, TN

#4 Again this photo was taken in the exact same position as the previous three. The new trail is officially completed and the old section no longer exists. It was amazing to look back and try and figure out where the old trail used to be.

Later that evening Melinda and I host a social event at our house in celebration of the new section of trail we built. Unfortunately the weather did not hold out for the party but I took necessary precautions and set up the EZ-UP out on the deck for crowd gathered around the uh... um... adult beverage dispenser.
I shot quite a bit of video from the weekend, some riding, some trailwork and just some random stuff. As soon as the trails dry up, hopefully tomorrow, I plan to head up to Bays and ride the new section, completing the footage I need to make a video. It will probably be next week before I get a chance to put it all together so stay tuned.

Pretty much all week I've been stuck indoors except for Tues when Melinda and I spent the entire day digging ditches. Today B-Rad, the Applebeast and I went for a ride on Buffalo Mountian. I kinda figured we would get rained out when I went running yesterday but B-Rad said we were on and that we were riding the roads from his house to the trailhead getting in about 8 extra miles. We saw a little bit of everything as far as conditions go. Sun, strong winds, clouds, snow, and small streams where there are not usually small streams.

It seems that everytime I ride Buffalo Mountain the weather is either rain or snow, never sunny and nice. I'm not sure why that is but I aim to change that this summer. I always wonder how B-Rad got to be such a strong rider, the ride we did today is his normal route and it hurt. I think I need to joining him more often especially if we're going to be competing together in the TN Cup series together.

We ascended up to the firetower which is currently being restored, somewhere I haven't been in a while. We really only rode around 2 miles of the new Pinnacle Firetower trail which was nice from what I could tell but it was completely covered with snow.

A view form atop the firetower, the views weren't the best with all the clouds in the way but it was too freaking cold to be up there for very long anyway.
I was probably a bit under prepared, riding up I was sweating alot and once we started back down I got really cold. Cold enough that it took me a few hours to warm my core back up. At one point in the decent I lost feeling in my toes which made me nervous until B-Rad told me it would take a while before I did any damage. Every once in a while I would have to stop and warm up my hands, they would get so cold I was having trouble shifting gears and braking.

Once we rolled back into B-Rad's driveway I think we logged close to 24 miles, not bad considering the conditions we dealt with.

After I left B-Rad I headed over to Norris Schwinn to pick up the bike formally know as Brownie. Dave finally finished her and I have to see she looks awesome. I still have a few things to do to her before I'll call it done but it shouldn't be too much longer, at least I brought her home. I really didn't have time before work to snap any good pics but I will tomorrow and I'll give a full run down on the restoration job.

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