Off to the Ranch #15: Integrating natural features into a bicycle trail
Heeeyho Readers! How about some trail building?
There's a rock on the way!
Poop. I can't wait to go back to the ranch. I'm in the state capital to have my eyes checked (nothing to worry about; I should be fine). It's a huge-ass metropolis, so one can imagine the enxiety after leaving nature to come to a forest of concrete and steel. That's the first rock on my way.
The second rock is a real rock. A solid rockery-rockety rock right in the middle of my MTB trail. Some trail builders like to remove them meteorites to create fluid trails. On the other side, there's me. I'm all up to integrate natural features into the trail. Soooo, I decided to create a simple jump over Patrick's house (Sponge Bob, anyone?). Let's check it!
To start with I need a take off. The rock is about 40 cm tall, so a pile of hard-packed dirt should do the trick. It is important to whack the soil as hard as possible, thus avoiding wash-offs after rain storms. A hoe is the tool of choice. Then, I used a hard wood rod to whack it down.
That's the take off side of the rock above. On the other side I decided to place a wooden log to create a safe exit for those who don't want to jump. That way, a rider can simply roll over the rock.
Lastly, I discovered the log would roll if ridden over. For that, I cut two stakes and hammered them down in front of the log. As time passes the log and stakes will most likely rott, but I can always substitute them. First I cut a tippy end with a machette. Then Thor-hammered the thing into the earth. It won't move anytime soon.
It isn't a ginormous jump, but the final result is pretty fun to ride on. One can jump over the rock or simply roll over. It works both ways too. If a rider wants to ride up the trail, the log servers as a step up. Here's the final result.
There's little space for those wanting to avoid the rock at all, but, considering the whole trail down to this point isn't for beginners, I don't think a chicken like is that important (perhaps in the future).
I made a shorts video of the whole build to make it more interesting. I hope you enjoy.
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Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking and more than 5.000 km cycling. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.