Unbelievably, our second work day is also cancelled this year! This is a view of Mutton Hollow Road. It is the same in both directions. I don't really want to have to have folks hike up to the work area, so we will have cancel this one as well. But Sprague Brook is still on for Sunday!
Yes, the white trail is closing. We had the funeral ride today. Mike wore a suit, and Jen was dressed in black with a head veil, as was appropriate for the occasion. Yeah, we had a good ride, but seriously, this was a sad day. This is a trail we have been riding for over 20 years, but will no longer be available. This really sucks.
Because shotgun season starts next weekend, and it already is snowing some, we figured this would be the last chance to ride the trail, since we only have until the end of 2014 to complete the replacement. The replacement is just about done - I rode the whole thing today and it riding nice, just a few rocky areas still to work on. But it is a shame we had to spend so much time on a duplicate trail when the efforts could have gone to something that would benefit everyone.
But today, it was time to say RIP, White Trail.
We are just about done with the replacement trail. Still some work to do, especially near the "new V-rock" section, and a rocky patch about half way through. But Dennis rode it today and said it rode awesome! Still a couple of hike-a-bike sections, but by next year, these will all be tweaked and will ride great.
Here's a before and after of one section we worked on last Sunday:
It's near the end of October, the traditional end of the fall trail work season. However, despite scheduling six work days this fall for the replacement trail, it still is not quite done. However, we are getting pretty close. Here is an update on the progress.
Last Spring, we had three work days on this new trail. Those work days focused on clearing the corridor. We were successful in getting the whole corridor from the tower on Mutton Hollow Road down to the gated dirt forest road cleared. That was a lot of work as the woods were very thick here due to the big harvest of 1999. This was a great accomplishment. We also got the section from the tower to the intersection with KC trail completely done as a taste of what is to come.
We took the summer off to ride of course, but got back to building in the fall. We started by working on the tread on this section, receiving a great boost from Thom Wright and his tread scarifier that worked well on this flat section of the trail. We got the tread done about half way north from the gated road back up towards the tower.
We stopped progress to the north to focus on the short section to the south from the gated road to the end of the reroute at the CCC/McCarty Hill road. This included building a short section of the single use white trail in order for the very end of the current white trail to remain shared use. We spent four work days (poor turnout unfortunately due to bad weather) building this section, but it was worth it. Unlike the section to the north, this trail is more akin to what we are used to building, with location along the edge of a hillside, and through a relatively mature stretch of forest. This section is now done.
In the meantime, Dennis Baldwin of Ellicottville Bike and Bean set up a few weekday work sessions to work on one particularly rocky section of the new trail. This section is near the middle of the reroute, where it has the greatest separation from the old route. There's more work to be done there, but the stuff done to date is awesome and will be a very rideable section of rocks thanks to this effort.
WNYMBA would like to be the first to congratulate Richmond Virginia MORE on winning the East Coast Bell Built grant. WNYMBA is proud of the deep support that we received throughout the Western New York community. Even though we were unsuccessful in pursuit of this grant, losing 13,896 - 13,029, we believe that it is a win for WNYMBA and Western New York to realize the enthusiasm and effectiveness of this particular group of volunteers - WNYMBA - in our continuing efforts to make Western New York a better place. Even without this grant, WNYMBA will continue in our efforts to develop trails in the forests of WNY, and will continue to pursue grant opportunities to develop a wider variety of trail types in our area, including more flow, downhill, and beginner trails.
Special thanks go out the to the following for doing a tremendous amount of work spreading the word about this contest and helping WNYMBA to a strong second place finish:
- Holiday Valley
- Elllicottville Chamber of Commerce
- Cattaraugus County Tourism
- Ellicottville Brewing Company
In addition, we'd like to thank the Wonderful Community of WNY and all the many individuals who dug in and helped with our campaign. You know who you are and so do we – thanks!