The past two months have flown by in the Red Rock Bicycle Universe. The shop is hopping, the weather has turned for the better and Bill, our Trail Maintenance Specialist, has been busy. Over February and March, his focus was on three main projects we will detail below: Grafton Downhill Armoring, Little Creek and Guacamole Grafitti removal and Trimming of Gooseberry and Guacamole.
Trimming Gooseberry and Guacamole
One of the less sexy things that trail maintenance encompasses is the trimming of foliage. We run into this particular issue more on the east side of Washington County where the elevation is slightly higher and most of the trails run through Juniper and Pinyon forests. Seeing that both of those trees are living things that grow, they require consistent trimming and removal to ensure trails can be ridden unimpeded.
And if you’ve ever accidentally caught your hand on a Juniper, you also know this is vital for safety.
In addition to the trees mentioned, the mesas are covered in Scrub Oak. This small, shrub-like tree won’t stop you suddenly like some of the others, but it is not fun to ride through and grows extremely fast. It also happens to be one of the most time-intensive trees to properly trim. Each tree can be tiny and they grow in thick stands. Cutting back a 5-foot section of Scrub Oak can easily take up to an hour.
As part of the effort to trim the Goose, the Red Rock Trail Crew hosted our first public trail day. Several locals showed up and put in some good work cutting back trees, shrubs and otherwise.
Gooseberry is finished. Guacamole and Little Creek have had some work done, but will continue to see more work over the next month or so.
Grafitti Removal on Guacamole and Little Creek
Unfortunately, one of the main projects Bill worked on over the past two months was removing the unauthorized paint markings on Guacamole and Little Creek.
Many of Washington County’s trails exist in a limbo land of accepted routes but not designated trails. We are allowed to ride them, enjoy them, but the type and scope of marking those trails is limited and has been established as a compromise between land managers and the mountain bike community at large. This is why both Guacamole and Little Creek are marked with cairns and not with paint. Cairns are authorized because they are temporary.
We got word that unauthorized markings had appeared on both mesas. Bill dropped the work he was performing on Grafton and quickly did some recon. Within a day, he was out removing the markings. Anyone who has had the displeasure of trying to remove paint from slickrock knows how tedious this work is.
Armoring the Grafton Downhill
On a much more positive note, Bill spent a couple of weeks on Grafton Downhill armoring and massaging out the trail. We have heard so many good things about the work he did out there. From what we hear, it is running fast and fun! Everyone seems to be stoked and all we have to say is get out and ride!
The Trail Crew will continue to host public work events and there are opportunities for the public to get involved. Check it out here.