Sunday, November 23, 2014


I've been spending my mornings before work raking leaves off the trail at WYCO.  It's nice to be able to set tires on dirt and to be able to see the (formerly) underlying obstructions but most importantly I'm knocking down the leaf berms.  This winter when it snows, the melt will shed off on the clean trail and it'll be a couple of days before it's ridable rather than a couple of weeks.

I hope to finish this weekend- oh, my weekend is Monday/Tuesday- so I can ride it after that.

I have had several people stop and thank me for the work I'm doing.  They think I'm a Trail Mason.  I tell them I'm just an interested party making a contribution.  They don't realize it's a selfish endeavor.

The Trail Masons have created something great and it deserves a whole lotta love.

By Thanksgiving, WYCO will be primo and the most solid ride in town.

Thanks Cliff and Joe and all those who've contributed to this masterpiece.  I hope you don't mind me touching it up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To put a fine edge on things

I spent most of my day off reshaping and sharpening my pulaski.

It's the only pulaski I've ever owned and it's one of my favorite earthly possessions.  I remember buying it at the Ace Hardware in Manhattan because I wanted to touch up a few spots on Fancy Creek Trail.  What an amazing tool.  Thank you Ed Pulaski.

While I had the file and stone out, I put an edge on my spade as well.

It's great to have a sharp edge on a spade because the weight and driving force makes it a great tool to get through big roots with one cut.  I don't hone the edge on the spade- I only file it because it gets dinged pretty quickly anyway due to contact with rocks and all the other things you do with a spade.  But when it's sharp, and if you can find a giant vein of a root just under the surface of soft ground, when you plunge it in and divide the thing with one powerful plunge.. well, the feeling is like no other.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

4 Days in Arkansas

I just got back from 4 days in Arkansas.  Hobbs, Leatherwood, and Womble X2.  I felt like my toe was finally healed enough to go 100% (and I was right) and I thought it might be my last chance to get down there in a long time.

I think I've finally figured out the formula for a smooth Arkansas trip.  I drove directly to Hobbs and rode there the first afternoon, then stayed in Eureka the next two nights.

I spent all of Day 2 riding.  Started out at 8:30 am from my room at Sherwood Court (Awesome place!) and headed into town for a quick breakfast.  Then I rode out to Leatherwood and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon on the trails.  After that I rode back through town to Sparky's for post-ride eats and drinks, finally returning to my room that night.

There is no better place for beer and burgers than Sparky's.  They have the best on-tap selection of beers including many local micros... and CHOCOLATE BEER!  And their salsa burgers are crazy good.

Days 3 and 4 were spent on Womble.  I'd originally planned to hit Vista on one day but decided I wanted to ride all of Womble instead.  That trail is a singletrack dreamland.  I did an out and back from the Fishing Village to Hwy 270 the first day and an out and back the other direction from North Lake towards Hwy 270 the second.  The trail was a little overgrown on the section from Hwy 270 to 94, but otherwise it was in great shape.  Beautiful.

There is a section of trail in the middle where it travels the south-facing slope.  I'd only ridden that section one other time- on the very 1st "Arkanthaw".  I remember taking a picture of Doug and Lyle on the exposure that day and it's also when Sweet Feet McCreavey came into being.