The Final Trail Build of 2015
It promised to be a wet miserable late November day with only a dozen or so confirmed attendees for our trail maintenance weekend. The daunting task ahead of us was lugging a truckload of wood down from the bottom of the 10th side road allowance and building over 100′ of board-walk in muddy conditions all this on a day that had the weather gurus promising snow.
My first task of the day was to gather up those that missed the email and would arrive at Mohawk instead of on the 10th side road and 4th line. I dropped off some tools and paperwork to JJ and then headed to Mohawk so that any stragglers could be redirected to the build. Waiting in the Mohawk lot every now and again my phone would beep and there would be a cancellation, would it be a disappointing day? In the pre-HAFTA years some current members participated in a project lead by Igor H. building the other board-walks in the Mahon tract under similar circumstances and it ending up taking them a few days. At least Rob Schultz was already coming back with some donated coffee from Marketplace Starbucks for our volunteers. If numbers were low the people who did come would be totally caffeinated. One by one our volunteers honked their horns at me as they drove up Guelph Line and some dropped by to talk before heading over to the build. Despite seeing volunteers were in fact coming I was still worried whether we would have enough of them and board-walk material.
At half past nine I opened the Mahon gate and headed down the road allowance toward the mountain of wood at the Bat box and was stunned – The turn out was amazing and that lumber pile had disappeared into a train of volunteers stretching out as far as I could see, with each person carrying a handful of lumber to the work site. Once the lumber was distributed and a few minutes of discussion took place nearly 40 volunteers were divvied up into groups and our board-walk assembly line began lurching into action. It didn’t take long to get production set up and the framing done. Then dozens of volunteers armed with their own drills began screwing in the decking. To me this was raucous and a magical sight. Paulo took a small group and headed out to Gnome rock to repair the ramps while the rest of the team was making quick work of the board-walk. The project was looking to be done in just over 3 hours, however we ran into bit of a snag. Nearing the end of the project we discovered we were running out of decking, however some quick thinking lead to JJ and some strong volunteers hauling wheelbarrow loads from an old stash that was all the way down on the stunt trail. Further brainstorming lead to some of the remaining 4x4s being split in half and used as decking.
Thankfully all the snags were ironed out and the job was finished well before the allotted time! We even had an opportunity to fine tune the project and socialize before wrapping the day up. We’d like to thank all our sponsors and in particular the PRFCT Line T shirt company and Via Ciclante for providing the generous prizes we raffled off to the volunteers. We’d also like to thank Halton Region and their forest manager Ron Reinholt for organizing all the materials that went into this board-walk. Finally we’d like to note that sponsors are always needed and with the extra perk of things like bike goodies, gear and coffee it hopefully gets a few tired people out of bed early to help.
All in all we had an awesome day with our team of selfless volunteers quickly finishing the job and having an amazing time in spite of the weather. Thank you all for helping HAFTA make your trails even better and hope to see you at our AGM in the new year!
Prizes from the draw are as follows:
- Via Ciclante’s Continental Tires – Jennifer Sage
- Via Ciclante’s Shimano SPD Pedals – Ian Deeks
- Via Ciclante’s T9 Chain Lube – Raf Rider
- Via Ciclante’s T9 Chain Lube – Brett Kril
- Via Ciclante’s T9 Chain Lube – Gerard Foley
- The PRFCT Line’s I Will Allow It T-Shirt – James Bannister