I’ve been off the bike for a few weeks now due a fractured metacarpal. This is the third bone I’ve broken within a 1 year time period. After having never broken a bone my good fortune has finally caught up to me. I’m sure most of you can relate, but I personally live, breath, drink, bikes. So not being able to ride a bike isn’t something I take well, though I’m starting to figure out ways to make the best of it.
Packing in the rollers
I took this opportunity to do something a bit different than usual. As an avid trail builder, I approached a local ski area, Granite Gorge about offering mountain biking. Over the course of the past few weeks I’ve been building trails and helping to promote grassroots races.
Working until sundown with friends.
Everything is being done by volunteers who are passionate about riding bikes. It’s not just mountain bikers, some of the biggest help came from two of my good BMX friends. It brings a tear to my eye to see riders from such diverse disciplines working together.
Racer on one of the Sprint Enduro courses
The first event is what we called a “Sprint Enduro”, a 2-3 minute course with technical downhill sections, pedally traverses, uphill climbs mixed in. Due to races around the area, the only date we could realistically hold an event was the following weekend. One week is not much time to build trails, promote and organize a race yet somehow it all came together in the end. It was far from being a polished event, but everybody who showed up enjoyed themselves.
The second event(s) is actually a reoccurring event. It’s a weekly Tuesday night dual slalom race. The dual slalom course features a variety of flat turns, rollers, jumps, and berms; a little bit of everything to test the riders skill. Unfortunately we have only been able to hold one single event due to rain storms. On cue every Tuesday around 6pm the sky opens up on us. Which is a bit frustrating after prepping the course for the race, but that’s life. Even though we’ve had a few minor setback, I’m still excited to work on this project and see it grown.
The whole dual slalom course from the top
Overall this has been a positive experience. It’s definitely made me appreciate event promoters more. The amount of work that goes into even a small grassroots races is easily overlooked. I don’t think I’ll ever be a full time event promoter but I do see working on bigger projects in my future.
As of writing this I am finally out of my cast and slowly working my hand back to strength. I’m looking forward to finally being able to ride the trails I built. It’s hard to build and not be able to test the trails/obstacles yourself. They commonly need a bit of tweaking and with out the testing process it’s hard to make things flow quite right.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with bunch of pictures from the building process and from the one dual slalom race where it didn’t rain.
Getting trained on the Mini Excavator
First real item I built using the Excavator.
The jump going into the Berm shown above
Looking up at the berm after the jump, going into the second berm
Two riders racing head to head, in the second berm
Pro XC racer Matt Green left – Spooky Bikes owner on the right – The last berms before the finish line jump
Another view of the berms, and the finish line jump in the background.
For more photos you can check out:
Granite Gorge Bike Park Facebook page
Granite Gorge Bike park Instagram page