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Grant helps NW Trail Alliance buy trail building machine

Posted by on September 17th, 2010 at 10:29 am

Thanks to a $75,000 grant, the Portland-based Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA) will purchase a new machine that will enable them to build more trails more easily. The grant is from the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program (which is funded through the gas tax) and it was administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Allow me to introduce you to the $75,000*, Oregon-made, Single Track ST240…

The ST240 built by the aptly named company, Single Track (which is based in North Plains).
(Photo © J. Maus)

The NWTA applied for the a grant back in January and just received confirmation of their award this week. The OPRD grant required a 20% matching donation and NWTA President Tom Archer said they’ve already raised $15,000 thanks to member donations and several fundraising events. They plan to take delivery of the ST240 by May of next year.

Archers says they’ve already got plans to use the machine to build trails at Stub Stewart State Park, Sandy Ridge, and maybe even on the proposed new pump track at Mill Park in East Portland.

The purchase of the ST240 is just one part of NWTA’s new Trail Development Partnership Program. The program will also include an extensive trail building training as well as an expanded partnership with land managers and other agency partners around the region. Far from being something anyone can just hope on and blaze a trail with, Joe Rykowski, the new program’s interim director, says all operators will be required to show proof of certification in a sustainable trail building course and the ST240 can only be used to build trails that have been formally approved.

http://nw-trail.org/forum/trail-care-trail-building/trail-building-resources/2312

Having the expertise and resources to build sustainable mountain bike trails — instead of having to rely on cash-strapped public agencies and land managers to do it — removes a major hurdle in creating new places to ride. On that note, later this month the International Mountain Bicycling Association will bring their Trailbuilding School to Portland

Learn more about the Trail Development Partnership Program on NWTA’s website and watch a video of the ST240 in action below…

*CORRECTION: The original version of this story listed the price of the ST240 as $94,000. The actual price is $75,000. The $94,000 figure includes purchase of the machine, a trailer to haul the machine, some accessories, and the initial operator training for 10 people. I regret the error.

Demo of ST 240 trail construction machine by Barrett Brown from Joe Rykowski on Vimeo.

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Comments
  • Perry Hunter September 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

    NWTA is a certified contractor then?

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  • Eric September 17, 2010 at 10:52 am

    AWESOME!

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  • Jocey September 17, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Congrats Tom, NWTA and all Portland area mountain bikers. This is a big win!

    See y’all out for the IMBA trail building clinic next weekend.

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  • Spiffy September 17, 2010 at 11:24 am

    awesome! putting the labor power in the hands of the (qualified) people is a great start…

    Far from being something anyone can just hope on and blaze a trail with, Joe Rykowski, the new program’s interim director, says all operators will be required to show proof of certification in a sustainable trail building course and the ST240 can only be used to build trails that have been formally approved.

    so they won’t we doing any Forest Park zoo-bomb style runs down through the middle of the hill? or sneaking that thing into the Grotto’s backyard at night? (:

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  • wsbob September 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

    “… having to rely on cash-strapped public agencies and land managers to do it …” maus/bikeportland

    Does the mountain bike group, Northwest Trail Alliance’s purchase of this machine imply that off-road bikers are not willing or able to volunteer sufficient labor to hand build off-road bike trail?

    Trail building machines seem like a new thing. I suppose it costs money to have people hand build trail, but I wouldn’t have thought it would require highly paid land managers to do that work. With a little supervision, most people could handle a grub-hoe, shovel or rake, to build good trail. Is there something about this machine that makes it able to build mountain bike trail that is more sustainable compared to what people could build by hand?

    In exchange or a little food and shelter, there’s probably people that would volunteer to hand build trail. I always thought that the trails in, for example, the Columbia Gorge, were all built by hand by CCC (civilian conservation corps) workers.

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  • jv September 17, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I think the singlemost impressive thing about this machine is that it is effectively a radio-controlled mini excavator! The operator can be up to 150 feet away. This is awesome.

    Even with manual labor, there are certain tasks in trail building that really benefit from some (slightly) heavy machinery.

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  • jordan September 17, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Great news. A big thanks has to go out to Joe Rykowski who really spearheaded this effort.

    In response to wsbob: Yes trails can be hand built but the machine significantly increases the speed and length that trails can be built without incurring major labor costs. It also should be said that even with the machine it takes significant hand labor to finish the trails that have be roughed out by the machine. We cannot be successful with out the support of our volunteers.

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  • Joe R September 17, 2010 at 11:49 am

    note: The ST240 machine costs $75K, the overall cost for project start-up is $94K (includes purchase of trailer to haul the machine as well as some accessories… oh, and initial operator training for 10 people).

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  • f5 September 17, 2010 at 11:50 am

    WSBOB #5:

    To answer your question, no it shouldn’t imply cyclists are unwilling to volunteer. Especially so to yourself, given how you’ve been told on this website the reality in FP and other places that it’s quite the contrafrty: Cyclists are quite active in trail building, volunteering, etc. That you would suggest it displays your continued bias.

    Does your post imply that you think people should ruin their bodies moving huge boulders (etc.) like CCC-era folks did (while getting paid) back in the ’40′s?

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  • Joe R September 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

    WSBOB #5:

    What this machine represents is an asset which can be leased to agencies which have funding for this …

    Also continuing to augment use of volunteer labor.

    80% of the heavy lifting can be accomplished by use of mechanized equipment. then volunteers can come thru (during a scheduled volunteer work day) to put the finishing touches down by hand.

    Volunteers will be able to feel much more reward since their efforts will create much more usable trail in a shorter amount of time.

    Also, when using 100% volunteer hand labor only, the project takes much more time – that’s more time that people are disturbing the project site. This machine has small footprint, one to two people can operate it for a week… with volunteers coming in on weekend. Project done in less time equals saved money and saved impact to environment.

    It’s win-win for all involved.

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  • Joe R September 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Also want to point out that this program is in start-up/early pilot phase. We’ll be piloting initially with just a handful of agencies and regional volunteer organizations.

    The main purpose is that this is an asset which can be leased to agencies who already possess funding and would be renting equipment regardless. Now, they’ll be able to lease a custom machine for constructing trail – general equipment rental companies wouldn’t carry this kind of purpose-built machine (due to high cost and low number of customers who would have this specific need)…

    It can be used both for new trail construction as well as maintenance/re-route of existing trails to improve.

    The program being developed includes sliding price scale depending on type of project machine is being used on. Obviously, if project was inline with NWTA’s primary mission, then the largest “grant” would be given to agency to offset cost of leasing machine. this grant could then be leveraged as matching funds towards funds they are seeking on project. that’s the root of how this will help out the “cash strapped” agencies. They lease equipment anyways to complete projects, and now they’ll have opportunity to lease this specialized piece of equipment.

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  • Zimmerman September 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    This is great news! I’m happy to see the mountain bike community pull together to make it happen.

    An aside: I see Bikeportland’s local anti-mountain bike troll is hungry. Hopefully, if you don’t feed him he’ll go away. The veil isn’t even thin anymore…

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  • wsbob September 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    jordan #7, thanks for a little further perspective on reasons use of this machine was considered for building mountain bike trail rather than more use of hand labor.

    Since the picture does show it to have a front scoop, in reference to f5′s remark, perhaps you have some information about what size boulders this machine can handle, not that having to move boulders should be commonly required in the construction of mountain bike trails.

    By hand, people can easily move large volumes of earth. May take longer than with the use of certain machines, but there’s lots of people out there that don’t have work, that could likely do by hand what this machine does.

    The question I presented isn’t whether off-road bikers are willing to volunteer to labor on building mountain bike trails. The question was whether or not they were willing or able to volunteer sufficient labor to hand build the volume of mountain bike trail that the mountain bike group, Northwest Trail Alliance had in mind to use this trail building machine for.

    By the way, CCC (civilian conservation corps) workers did get paid, but not much compared to wages of the day. Instead, they got food and shelter as partial compensation. If f5 wants to expand on how he thinks “… CCC-era folks …”, “… ruin(ed) their bodies moving huge boulders …”, he can, but I don’t think there’s much to that claim on a general basis.

    Even today, some people still know how to use their bodies for physical labor without injuring themselves. If necessary, large boulders can be moved with several people using prybars, but the smart thing, is…to go around the boulders. An exception would be for example, sections of the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia Gorge, where trail was run across the face of vertical rock face. Pretty sure dynamite was used to do that, which this machine likely wouldn’t have been able to substitute for.

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  • dan September 17, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Allow me to just say this: holy smokes that machine is awesome!

    That is all.

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  • davemess September 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    This is awesome news!!!

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  • wsbob September 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Joe R #10, I appreciated what your conscientiousness about not disturbing natural areas, which you refer to as ‘the project site’:

    “… Also, when using 100% volunteer hand labor only, the project takes much more time – that’s more time that people are disturbing the project site. …”

    If the presence of sufficient volunteers necessary to hand build mountain biking trail would significantly disturb natural areas where trail was being built, in ways this machine would not, in some situations, that might be a valid reason to use this machine. In past though, the short term presence of trail building crews building trail by hand has not seemed to disturb natural areas to an extent they weren’t able to easily recover from.

    As far as the point about time taken to build trail by hand compared to by machine goes, what’s the rush?

    In your comment #11, you touched on the complex means some agencies commonly resort to for funding various projects; grants and matching funds. Perhaps that refers to money outside of local sources, such as the federal government. A better example of self sustaining community, would be for localities to accomplish projects within their areas, using local capital and labor.

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  • wsbob September 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Correction: “Joe R #10, I appreciated your conscientiousness about not disturbing natural areas, which you refer to as ‘the project site’:

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  • GlowBoy September 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    “Does the mountain bike group, Northwest Trail Alliance’s purchase of this machine imply that off-road bikers are not willing or able to volunteer sufficient labor to hand build off-road bike trail?”

    No! I’m not going to comment on the appropriateness of this machine one way or the other, but I will say that PUMP/NWTA has NEVER had any difficulty turning out large numbers of volunteers. Mountain bikers are more than willing to show up and get the work done where we’re actually allowed to in the anti-mountain-bike climate of NW Oregon. The Forest Park work party organized earlier this summer, for example, had a very large turnout.

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  • Blah Blah Blah September 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    One thing worth mentioning, the ST240 is built in Oregon by GK Machine in Donald, a large employer of Oregonians.

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  • DK September 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Attn: politicians and land managers

    We need some land made available in short order so we can avoid the cost of storing a $94K paper weight.

    This is not meant to be tongue in cheek. Get behind your mohogany desk and do some work for your mt. biking constituents. We’ve been neglected in this city for a LONG time and we’re almost all old enough to vote now. Time is of the essence.

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  • Joe R September 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    dan #14, davemess #15:

    Yeah it is. *grin*

    wsbob #16: “As far as the point about time taken to build trail by hand compared to by machine goes, what’s the rush?”

    I know that there’s a serious backlog of maintenance work in the Tillamook State Forest on existing trails. There’s also projects onhold that eventually will be able to move forward on, and projects nearing “ready for construction” phase… It’s not that there’s a rush, it’s that there’s ALWAYS more work out there than just volunteers can do.

    Volunteers are valuable but when there’s a timeline (management is one of the resources which has to be balanced by agencies) and trail needs to be completed by X date, then it’s good to know there’s a reliable resource that can do the work at a known pace. Never know how many volunteers are going to show up…

    So while there’s not exactly a “rush” (and this machine isn’t going to magically terraform the local region into a mecca of single track networks – it’s just one machine.. equal to about 10 volunteers depending on type of soil/terrain being worked)… it will take pressure off volunteers to be everywhere at once helping out on any given day.

    Just another tool in the arsenal to get the job done on time and under budget.

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  • wsbob September 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    “…Mountain bikers are more than willing to show up and get the work done …” GlowBoy #18

    Despite what certain others commenting to this weblog might imagine, what you say in that statement GlowBoy, is exactly what I would have thought.

    Particularly towards the construction of mountain bike trail, off-road bikers would likely have been willing to help build it by hand, doing all the work this machine can do.

    Instead, for reasons given so far that don’t seem very persuasive, this trail building machine is brought into the forest. Tapping into Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD)grant money; it’s not as if Oregon’s budget has money to spare. In fact, Oregon has got a huge challenge coming up in the next legislative session just to keep Oregon’s budget balanced.

    So yeah…more power to off-road bikers for construction of trail in Stub Stewart, the new pump track, Sandy Ridge and so on, but, given the circumstances at hand, the rational for spending money on this trail building machine is dubious at best.

    Joe R …again, I appreciate your comments. I can see the thinking about timeline management and the costs thereof, but relying on machines to do what people should be doing gets to be a bad habit that can have serious consequences.

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  • Joe R September 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    wsbob #21: “it’s not as if Oregon’s budget has money to spare”

    The RTP grant award came from federal gas tax money (yeah, everytime you buy gasoline there’s a % which goes into that pot of money). Feeds back into each State to fund projects for off-road recreational trails. No money gets diverted from any other projects, this is all money which goes to these sort of projects. Typically, there’s about $1 million made available to Oregon’s RTP grant thru this federal program.

    “…rational for spending money on this trail building machine is dubious at best.”

    *chuckle* I’ve done volunteer trail building for the past 6 years. I’ve dreamed of a machine like this sinec Day 1. It’ll allow me (and others like me) to work all day on a section of trail – making large amount of progress – then still have the energy to enjoy the evening with family. (instead of crashing on the couch dead tired and bone weary).

    Besides… “Work smarter, not harder.”

    Again, this is a tool available to agencies who are renting equipment for trail projects anyway… generally equipment not ideal for building SINGLE TRACK in steep terrain. ST240 isn’t a general purpose machine. It’s designed to do what it does very well.

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  • Joe R September 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    @Perry Hunter #1: “NWTA is a certified contractor then?”

    Perry, sorry for not replying to this sooner. This project is in pilot phase, and we’re pulling together an operations guide for this program.

    You’ve asked a very fundamental question which a NW Trail Alliance legal volunteer is researching currently.

    Can’t comment on behalf of NWTA, but personally, here’s what I think… NWTA has provided trail tools to volunteers for years, and as a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation, there’s been no requirement to be licensed/bonded to provide volunteer labor/equipment. We’ve simply got a larger piece of equipment and more skilled volunteer labor which we’ll be making available. Or, we’ll be leasing the equipment for use by agency certified operators i.e. then they handle the labor contract stuff.. we simply make the equipment available under lease contract.

    But thank you for your question. It’s a good one.

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  • Anton September 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    It’s adorable! (Where can I get one?)

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  • wsbob September 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Joe R …fair enough. I don’t blame you for wanting to get a lot done and still spare yourself from being dog tired at the end of the day (maybe you didn’t have a good enough trail buddy along with you, telling you to ‘Slow down already! Enough is enough!).

    The money, numbers, juggling game can be complex. Wherever the money comes from, it’s still costing citizens to put this machine to work doing what people could and probably should be doing by hand, if for no other reason, than because we’re the nation with too many people that have become fat from over-eating and not getting enough physical activity.

    I suppose the question of how trail work should be done is at least partially philosophical, and may touch on ethical considerations too. Machines have long been regarded as one of the great boons to mankind. And yet, some of them seem to have an uncanny way of getting back at us.

    The very idea of using a machine to construct trail through natural areas seems incongruous with that type environment. Nobody working manually to construct trail should be driven, or be driving themselves to be bone tired as they do trail work. They should work as long as they feel good, then slow down or stop for the day.

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  • Trek 3900 September 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Nice machine. Took a lot of engineering to create that thing.

    Is is acceptable for use in the forest? In urban forests I don’t see a problem with it.

    The Bikeportland article says it was paid for by the gas tax. Now the mountain bikers owe a big thank you to the gas guzzler drivers and big oil. Most of us drive cars so that isn’t a biggie; just don’t forget who paid for the machine as you launch into your tirades against cars in Portland.

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  • jim September 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Just a single rollbar? This should have a full roll cage

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  • Joe R September 20, 2010 at 9:27 am

    @Trek 3900 #27:

    NFS was first to order one of these machines. NW Trail Alliance was second. We’re getting serial #000002! ODF is ordering one as well (they also received an RTP award for purchase of ST240 and trailer – but they’ll be utilizing mostly in Tillamook State Forest to work on the backlog of offroad motorized trail maintenance).

    @jim #28:

    Many of the “ride on top” equipment in this form factor do not have full roll cages. I can see a desire to want to have a full roll cage when working thru brush, but then… for that I’ll be away from the machine remote controlling it…

    And if thinking for safety if operator rolls it over embankment… Yeah, a full roll cage would be great. Guess it’ll just more certainly mean operator will be more careful about NOT rolling it over edge, eh? *evil grin*

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  • Joe R September 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

    @Trek 3900 #27:

    Additionally, if putting a full cage on this custom machine designed for threading thru the woods, then it’d no longer have that narrow form factor that makes it a “single track” machine. You’d now have this bulky cab sticking out either side of machine getting hung up on tree trunks, stumps, branches, etc.

    This thing can thread the needle where no other machine can go.

    Knowing when to step off and remote control it while tethered off from winch is a safety thing.

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  • wsbob September 20, 2010 at 10:59 am

    “… Is is acceptable for use in the forest? In urban forests I don’t see a problem with it. …” Trek 3900 #27

    When the work to which it’s applied is the construction of trail for use by non-motorized travel, why don’t you see a problem with it?

    “… – but they’ll be utilizing mostly in Tillamook State Forest to work on the backlog of offroad motorized trail maintenance). …” Joe R #29

    In saying “… offroad motorized trail …”, are you referring to offroad trail intended for use by off-road motorcycles and ATV’s? That sort of thing? I can readily understand that people wanting to ride those type internal combustion powered recreational vehicles would find the use of the trail building machine to be acceptable.

    For the construction of trail for non-motorized, human powered backwoods recreational travel, use of this machine seems contradictory to the fundamental ethic guiding the use of such trail.

    In your comment #10, you said in part: “… What this machine represents is an asset which can be leased to agencies which have funding for this … ”

    Does this mean the off-road biking group Northwest Trail Alliance, a pedal powered off- road biking group, may be leasing its trail building machine to agencies involved in the construction of trail in the Tillamook Forest and elsewhere, for use by motorcycles and ATV’s?

    Not that this is necessarily a bad idea. I’m just wondering if that’s what the group intends to do. (note Trek 3900
    #27′s closing paragraph)

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  • abomb September 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    wsbob,

    have you ever worked on any trail crews?

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  • wsbob September 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    “wsbob,

    have you ever worked on any trail crews? abomb #32

    Never on a crew. Built trail independently for private individuals.

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  • kgb September 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Did you use shovels or did you just use your bare hands? It seems to me that if it is a trail for individuals then the only acceptable way to build the trail is with your bare hands.

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  • Ryan K. September 21, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Transportation and outdoor recreational infrastructure (trails, trailheads, campgrounds, and etc.) are not natural, although they may cross through natural areas. Outdoor recreationalists like natural areas and outdoor recreational infrastructure give them the ability to connect with and experience nature first hand.

    Non-manual labor forms of recreational infrastructure construction and maintenance have existed for a long time – including during the CCC era of infrastructure creation. A sampling of examples of non-manual labor construction and maintenance include the many trails in the region that are built upon old logging and rail road grades, dynamite is used much more than one may think (I was hiking just last week north of Mt. Rainier and heard the National Park Service blasting to create new trail and then met the crew doing the work – and by the way, I thanked them for creating the opportunity for me to get to where I was), spraying/mowing/sawing vegetation are on going tasks, and specialized trail building machines are not new.

    Currently, excellent progress is being made on construction work to re-build the Gales Creek Trail in the Tillamook State Forest by a contractor utilizing mechanized trail building equipment. I am pretty sure I’m not the only trail user out there that is excited to hear progress is being made on this trail that has been closed since the 2007 storms. I chalk that up as part of the backlog that Joe mentions.

    I definitely encourage trail users to participate regularly in volunteer trail construction and maintenance activities. I’ve personally done these for numerous area agencies, including ivy/blackberry/garlic mustard pulls, planting trees for watershed councils, pruning, clearing windfall, tread maintenance, and etc. Please check the NWTA website calendar and attend a volunteer work event – be prepared to work hard, have fun, meet amazing people, learn a thing or two that will empower/educate your future blog comments and of course aid in the next time you attend a volunteer work event, and feel like you are contributing to the solution (that is what the country is really founded on – folks contributing to solving the various issues that our society faces, providing recreational opportunities is just one of the many needs we all have). Looking forward to seeing some new faces out there.

    Cheers!

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  • Ryan K. September 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

    And, of course – Great work NWTA and Joe for spearheading this effort to form a co-operative ownership of this machine!!!

    This is cutting edge for a volunteer non-profit organization such as NWTA, and is an excellent way to continue to work with the other trail user groups that NWTA has established great relationships with, through numerous manual labor volunteer work events and advocacy/land manager meetings, and provides a new “vehicle” to create relationships with new partnering organizations.

    Thank you for your continued volunteer efforts that so many trail users benefit from and take for granted.

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  • wsbob September 21, 2010 at 9:37 am

    kgb, if it seems to you that bare hands is the only acceptable way to build trail, then that’s the way you should do it.

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  • f5 September 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Ryan K — Thanks for the level-headed perspective. As much as a few of the repeat commenters try to poke holes in anything and everything mountain-bike related, it helps to have reasonable perspective and information from people who actually know what they’re talking about, rather than folks just hell-bent on trying to force their skewed opinions on everyone.

    Also thanks for the Gales Creek update — that’s was a beautiful trail that’s been greatly missed.

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  • Joe R September 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

    @wsbob #?:

    I’m sensing that you have a bit of Luddite in you. It’s ok. Everyone is entitled to their own belief system. I gather that you’ve rubbed many people here the wrong way – maybe on purpose just cuz it’s so easy to get under people’s skin these days. *shrug* I had to try hard to look past your mindset and answer your questions in a fashion that would have educate others about the thinking that’s going into this new Trail Development Partnership Program which NW Trail Alliance is in process of starting up.

    @Ryan K #35:

    Great to “see” you Ryan!

    …”check the NWTA website calendar and attend a volunteer work event – be prepared to work hard, have fun, meet amazing people, learn a thing or two that will empower/educate your future blog comments and of course aid in the next time you attend a volunteer work event, and feel like you are contributing to the solution (that is what the country is really founded on – folks contributing to solving the various issues that our society faces, providing recreational opportunities is just one of the many needs we all have”

    AMEN brother! AMEN! Your thread captured much of what was bouncing around in my head – but I hadn’t had time to get back to this thread to help educate.

    Note (blatant plug for upcoming volunteer opportunities) – there’s going to be monthly scheduled build days slated for the Stub Mountain Biking Area at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park starting mid-October. Check the nw-trail.org event calendar soon! And yes, we’ll be building Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, and Apr… only the Jan event will be weather dependent. Also plannning to serve up a hearty meal (ala CCC days) back at a shelter area of the park to refuel volunteers for afternoon of either continued work or climbing on bike to get out into the woods to enjoy all of the great trails in and around Stub!

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  • wsbob September 21, 2010 at 11:28 am

    “…I’m sensing that you have a bit of Luddite in you….” Joe R

    Joe, don’t know what you mean really. My personal reservations about the use of trail machines are confined to the construction of trail in natural areas. The idea of natural areas as I understand it, is in part, for those areas to serve as a refuge from all types of machines, including ones like this trail building rig. So to me, the use of the trail building machine for recreational trail in natural areas designed for human powered travel is contradictory to the purpose natural areas have been set aside for.

    No, I do not deliberately seek to rub people the wrong way on this weblog or anywhere else. In a sense, I’ll agree with you though, that certain people reading this weblog seem to expend a lot of energy letting viewpoints expressed here that diverge from their own, get under their skin.

    That in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Letting a divergent viewpoint get under one’s skin becomes bad when the manner in which it’s responded to is rude and doesn’t reflect any effort made towards having thought through issues in question.

    Joe…I don’t particularly agree with you about what I think I understand this trail building machine will be used for by the NWTA. I give you credit though, for the way in which you answered the questions about that use that I raised in my comments to this subject. Your response was informative and respectful.

    I thank you again for that and hope others will take your example as one they might consider following in an effort to support a more consistently constructive dialogue here on bikeportland.

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  • f5 September 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

    WSBOB, you generally provide so many details to exemplify your points, but you offered so very few details about the trails you’ve built.

    We’d love to hear more about your private trailbuilding.

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  • wsbob September 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    “… We’d love to hear more about your private trailbuilding.” f5 #41

    I doubt it. I think you’re looking for an excuse to continue being rude and obnoxious. That’s why you received the earlier, short answer.

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  • Zimmerman September 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Funny, I don’t think it’s f5 being rude in all the pro-mountain biking articles on this website.

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  • abomb September 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    wsbob,

    You do relies that your bike is a machine and shouldn’t be in a “natural area”, if you go by your own thinking.

    We all want to hear about the trails you have built.

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  • slightlybent September 22, 2010 at 8:14 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanatic

    “Fanaticism is a belief or behavior involving uncritical zeal, particularly for an extreme religious or political cause or in some cases sports, or with an obsessive enthusiasm for a pastime or hobby.”

    I’ll admit freely that I’ve got a touch of the fanatic in me when it comes to creating destinations for mountain biking recreation. As long as wsbob and the masses like him admit they are fanatics as well – “environmentalist” is your label. I have no label other than “mountain biker”.

    I am a soldier, and I’m on the loosing side but know there is no other side I’d rather be on because we WILL prevail in overthrowing the tryanny. We lack resources, we lack leadership, we lack freedoms to enjoy the world how we want to enjoy it. Hmm, sounds like what someone in the American Revolution would say.

    Wake up, we are at war.

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  • Charlie B September 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    wsbob, as far as I can tell, simply enjoys playing the Devil’s Advocate. It’s a troll for sure, but serves a purpose. Joe and Ryan were able to succinctly reply to wsbob’s queries that provide background and substance to the many arguments that might be elevated by the many varied adversaries to furthering mountain biking in the Portland area; adversaries with much sharper and effective teeth.
    We (the mountain biking community) owe wsbob a debt of gratitude for prodding our collective responses to get a better understanding of the barriers we face.

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  • wsbob September 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    “…You do relies that your bike is a machine and shouldn’t be in a “natural area”, if you go by your own thinking. …” abomb

    It could be said that bikes are machines; they have gears, chains, etc. I’m more inclined to think of them as vehicles. Most importantly though, bikes are human powered machines, not noisy, fossil fuel powered, emission spewing machines, as I imagine this trail building machine is.

    But I haven’t checked to see what fuel it burns. Maybe you can tell us what it burns. Does it perhaps burn biodiesel, vegetable fuel or propane? Any of those would be an improvement over straight gas or diesel. None of them would be as good as people doing the work with their own muscles.

    Besides gathering fuel for rude responses, I mostly don’t think you’re interested in hearing about any trail building I’ve done.

    For anyone reading that does have a serious respectful interest, I’ll expand a bit on what was done and how. Trails I planned and constructed were walking trails. Check one of my earlier posts to this thread for some of the hand tools I used to construct them with.

    Each of the projects consisted of visually surveying the area where trail was to pass through, noting grade, soil conditions and drainage; plotting out the trails path, clearing vegetation in preparation for grading the footbed, etc, etc.

    All trails were built on private property, in steeply sloped wooded ravines such as are fairly common around here; for example, around Sylvan. Objective being that a person walking could traverse a section of the ravine top to bottom, to follow or cross a drainage creek, on a solid foot bed that would not contribute to erosion, etc. etc. When done, all offered beautiful views from many different angles and elevations.

    I always have had a great time working on the trails I’ve constructed. Takes some task specific physical conditioning. Not having it after having been slack for awhile just means it’s probably going to be smart to take it easy until the conditioning comes back.

    More could be said, but that should be enough. There are probably books that describe it far better and in greater detail. So, besides the obvious…mountain biking…what kind of trails do you guys like to build?

    Charlie B …no, I wouldn’t waste my time or anyone else’s playing Devil’s Advocate, unless it was for a whim, in which case I’d say up front, that it was for that purpose. I listen to what people say, then ask myself…’Is what they’re saying, right and fair for the specific circumstances and situation?’. And go from there.

    If I think there’s something that people should be thinking about that hasn’t already been entered into the discussion, it seems to me to be entirely valid to bring it out and let everyone consider it. The idea is for it to not be a ‘vs’ kind of thing. Unfortunately, some people seem to only want to see a view different from their own in those terms. That’s an issue for them to work out with themselves.

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