Ushering in summer
Settling into the spring riding season in the Agreement Forest has taken some time this year. The first snag came hot on the heels of our AGM. Just as we were escaping March old man winter laid down an impressive ice-storm on the 25th. Many riders were worried we’d have another catastrophic storm like 2013 – A storm that saw lesser used trails so heavily clogged with fallen trees they never recovered. In the end this new storm was nowhere near as damaging, but it still wasn’t messing around as it brought accretions of ice ranging from 10-20mm. That is a lot of ice, but in a stroke of luck for our trails, there was a lack of wind and a prompt warm front following which allowed trees to quickly shed ice.
The thing about warm fronts is that they aren’t all sunshine and lolipops. Just a few days after the ice storm melt we saw a new front that caused temperatures to rocket to 17°C. The worst part of this storm was it poured about an inch of rain in one go. That rainfall caused rivers and streams already swollen with melt-water to overflow and flood the trails.
Before anything could dry up we plunged right back down into winter with nightly lows in the double digits. It was thusly that the trails became a half frozen slurry of mud and ice as we oscillated around the freezing point for what felt like weeks all the while politely asking users to stay off the vulnerable trails.
It wasn’t until April 20th that we decided the trails would be able to handle regular traffic with minimal damage. Unfortunately some had people ignored the previous warnings so our trails gained more soft spots and deepened the older ones. Those same riders took the opportunity to cut themselves a new trail off of Christmas trail which we had to close. Not only because the land owner hadn’t agreed to it, but also since it went through a patch of green violet the ecologist had identified earlier.
Maintenance Day 1 of 3
After the debacle of early April and with temperatures rising, riders were really ready to get outside so they turned in force on April 26th to help open up the trails for the season. This was the first of three maintenance days to occur.
Maintenance Day 2 of 3
It was job well done in Hilton Falls, but the work was not over. We still had to deal with issues on our side of the forest complex. On the 30th of April we hosted the first HAFTA led build and maintenance day. Two main projects were to be tackled, the first of which involved giving the pines a much needed tune up and pruning as this section had not been up to snuff since the logging.
Before this got started we went out and spent about $500 on tools and Spokes and Slopes generously matched that amount with their donation bringing the purchase up to a cool $1,000. Big shout out to them for the help in the trail department.
Next came the small issue of closing the extra lines at the Bat Boxes. Not a popular project, but things are always a negotiation and this one was requested by the land owner after the results of their five year survey were returned to them.
Maintenance day 3 of 3
The last build day of the spring season took place April 1st and the people who came out weren’t kidding around as the weather had taken a turn for the wet after the previous day’s sunshine. On the agenda was sitting and drinking coffee and hoping that nobody would come out, but we should have known better as mountain bikers aren’t afraid to get a little dirt under their fingernails. The first task was to armour the lead in to a low spot we had previously board-walked on the B.C. Rocks trail.
Up next was redoing the rock-work on the “Easy/Hard” section of B.C. Rocks. Ever since the wooden feature rotted away and broke it didn’t ride too smooth.
We’d like to thank the volunteers who turned out for out build and maintenance days! Each volunteer helps to motivate us and when people show up on a rainy day we can’t help but feel the future of these trails is bright. Hope to see everybody out enjoying them!
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