Thursday, January 10, 2013

Homegrown Singletrack

Trail crew Mike, Zack and Chris
Don't get us wrong, we're loving all this great snow. But there's not a day that goes by that we don't think of our bikes. Partly that's because they're hogging one-third of our mudroom, and we have to step over them to get to the ski poles, but we also just really love two wheels.

This love got us thinking back to last fall, and ahead to next spring. That's the beauty of this spinning planet: we will ride again.
November in Vermont is a unique time of year. Snow in the mountains lures one for early season turns, while sweet single track below can be had amidst Vermont's short hunting season. This year the focus for us has been singletrack in our back yard.  After a year of cleaning up our woods by removing blow downs and piles of brush, the real work has finally started: trail building.

So this year that wonderful cold, frosty lure of early season turns, that itchy anticipation of scratching down the mountain hasn't quite happened for us. Instead, we're hearing the call to build.

Rider Chris Lee on R.I.P.
Sarah and I are no strangers to driving to some of the best hard built, hard fought singletrack in VT, like Perry Hill, Carse Hill, Adams Camp, Northfield ... the list goes on.  But driving there can be the least fun of the whole experience, so when we searched for a place to call home, land was certainly of most important interest. As a child I can't ever remember driving to ride my  mountain bike; it was a home grown affair. We would get out of school, get on our bikes, and ride 'til dinner. I remember not being able to stay awake all day in class, only to be magically awakened as the last hour of class slowly ticked away and I looked forward to getting on my bike.  This is something I want to recreate from my youth, out-the-door riding. And Patrick Kell, formerly of VMBA and now of IMBA, once told us that everyone should have a trail to ride within 15 minutes of their front door. We're shooting for 15 seconds.
Riding - plain and simple. Absolutely no driving.

Late night brush burning.
So what can you do with 5 acres?  Well let's just say there's no world- class caliber XC trails to be had here(this will hopefully change). But we do have some great contours to play with. So with that I called  friends, gathered some tools and beer, and started digging.

So far we've put together some great lines, like R.I.P and B-line, that are all collaborations of riders'\builders' ideas. Next year we hope to bring in more than a bit of dirt and build a pump track, all ready in the design and recruitment stage, plus a skills course, and as much flowy singletrack as 5 acres can handle.


  1. It looked fun when I walked it with Odin!

  2. I'd love to run a shovel over there. Post some work days this spring.

  3. Will do Dave, we would love to have you over.

  4. Will do Dave, we would love to have you over.