Thursday, December 3, 2009

last dirt moved for 09 at tp

Saw the sustained cold temps forecasted and remembered to get out late Tuesday for about 3 hrs to clean-out and build-up some grade reversals (dirtwaterbars) on Tranquility's Inner Climb before the dirt freezes. It's amazing the flow of water created by Spring snow melts.

Pulled the dirt from the drain onto the dirtwaterbar. As the bars get bigger, the drains can fill up with more sediment before water overuns the bars. Hope we're down to a Spring and pre-Winter cleaning now. 8-)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

freeze/thaw time of year

With forecasted temps mostly below freezing from Wednesday on, frost in the ground will need to be ridden when the temps are below freezing, otherwise thawing produces a slimey tread.

Say NO to mud. When frost is in the ground, ride early in the day before the temps get above freezing.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

some kc dirt (and rock)

Visited family in kc and took friday to visit three trails by the Earth Riders Trail Association. These guys have over 100 miles of singletrack. Stocksdale/Walnut Woods and Swope Park were new to me, I've been to Blue River Parkway before. I went to enjoy the ride but also to note their trail design.

Stocksdale/Walnut Woods has a green trail on a prairie and a blue trail in the woods with more climbing and some rocks. Because of the lack of rock, the design used some longer climbs without grade reversals than I've seen at their other parks. Had Ginger on a lead and was able to do most of the blue without getting off the bike. Saw a family out there: dad and dog running, kids on bmx bikes, and mom walking. Very cool. I rate this trail comparable to Tranquility in technical difficulty.

Went to Swope Park next. This is the newest ERTA trail with about 3 miles available. Very enjoyable. I actually had some questions as to why they chose to put in a bench on the right when a plateau was available on the left?

This following pic is looking back down with the plateau on the right. More grade reversals and shorter climbs resulted.

A good part of the initial layout runs along the top and side of this outcropping. Nice for seeing others below. The trail was difficult and I pushed a handful or more of times, especially for the 1' step ups. Talked with a guy who broke his hand on a step up. There's a bowling pin out there called the 8 pin marking where a broken hand needed 8 pins.

What I like about this trail is the climbing sections were rideable without blowing up. With rock available for ttfs, trail difficulty doesn't have to rely on or overuse climbing to provide a challenge. I like the continuum from picking lines to miss rock, to roll over rock, to lifting wheel(s), to progressively difficult trial moves.

My legs were a little sore after a lap each way but I still stopped at Blue Ridge Parkway. BuRP is downstream from Swope Park on the Blue River. ERTA has started a trail to connect them via the river bottoms. Both parks built up along with the connector will total over 50 miles!

BuRP has green, blue, and black routes. I walked a lot of the black route last time (a lot of trial moves) so I just stayed to the green and blue today, though I couldn't find the connection for the lowest section (route 5 and following). Good because my legs were really feeling it by now. These trails were a little steeper and the tread was more difficult because of the amount of horse traffic it gets. Because of the underbrush, trimming maintenance is needed, unlike what I saw at Swope Park. Still BuRP is very much worth the effort with some abandoned roads and RR bed, scenic bluff overlooks, and a house (only basement and sidewalks left) being overtaken with nature on the bluff.

That 2" root just in front of my tire has my number. Two times I've been to BuRP, I've endo'd on that root! Going too slow, tired, weight forward and high to look down the bluff, it put my pelvic bone to the stem and helmet to the ground. Hello!

100 miles on the car, maybe 17 miles of singletrack across different terrain, 7 hours out and back. Big Smiles! 8-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

work, play - mostly play

Thanks, Mike, for working, riding, and taking some pics.

Brian, Mike, Todd, Tim, Marie, and myself worked and played, well mostly played. About 1.5 hrs (9 total hrs) work and 3 hrs play. Two laps clockwise and one counter-clockwise. Counter has much more difficult climbing.

Climbed up the Tower bluff, running out of energy and air at the last switchback. Even after catching my breath, legs wouldn't make the last switchback but Todd did. Feel good that the layout is rideable both directions.

With loose dirt and some benching needed, the trail is the most difficult it will be to ride. The loose dirt requires finesse that will disappear with age and compaction.

Most of the trail is less than 5% grade except for the short, steep ups or downs. Similar to Jewell with little undergrowth, just hardwoods. Therefore very little maintenance. Climbing along bluffs like Platte, L&C, and Jewell, but not as steep except for the Tower bluff, terminal velocity in the tight trees like Manawa. Some ttfs require finesse and power, but connected with contour trails for recover time.

The uniqueness from other THOR trails are: the amount of cedar trees; the short, steep Tower bluff; the long, gradual chapel bluff; a swinging bridge; riding along the Platter River; and private property.

Topography, flora, fauna, and land manager rules give each trail a unique personality. We are blessed by our natural resources, and given the limited trailwork volunteers, we should not take for granted the trails we have.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Want to ride Calvin Crest? Sun, Nov 22

Discussed with Craig and Calvin Crest mtb trail will not be open to the public till next year. We want the first time, self guided ride to be a great experience. Hence, the mtb webpage, signage, and kiosk must be in place before the public opening.

But we will have a ride or two by appointment before then. This Sunday, Nov 22, is one such appointment. This also happens to be coupled with trailwork. Bring your McLeod or we'll have one for you to use. Ride after we work.

Seems most (99.5% according to IMBA) prefer to ride on these beautiful Fall days rather than do trailwork. I would rather just ride too, but then there would be less trail coming online. We can only ride when the ground is frozen. Let's do trailwork in these cooler temps AND ride.

We start work at noon and ride after that.

Questions? ask here or send me an email: tpmbt at cox dot net.

Will have a carpool leaving Bike Masters at 11.

To wet your appetite, I took some pics while touching up a couple spots last Sunday. This sequence is of the Tower Bluff descent we built a couple weeks ago. About 70' of drop with 5 switchbacks. Very fortunate to find these plateaus because much of the bluff is 35%+ grade straight down to the river bottom.

This is at the edge of the bluff. Need some benching but it is rideable. Maybe lack of benching is a ttf? 8-)

Benched a deer trail to drop down on a plateau. A boy scout fall line trail is to the right of the orange coffee can bottom.

First switchback. Able to incorporate natural grade for a wall ride. Chris saw this line.

Skipped to third switchback. After first ride, reworked to direct riders wide left to more easily make the sharp descending right turn.

Fourth switchback is a nice lefthand sweeper.

Here is another view of the fourth and fifth switchbacks from up the hill.

Same view from still higher up the hill.

Fifth switchback. Built in stall before right turn for grade reversal to shed water off the trail.

This follows part of a deer trail and finally exits on the river bottom.

On the river bottom is the Meadow Trail. Reminds me of an abandoned roadway that is slowly returning to nature.

If you want to experience this before the public opening next year, come work and ride with us this Sunday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trail Observation - Caution Note

Below is a report about events that took place at Lake Manawa recently. We are posting this for situational awareness purposes. With the transition of day light to nite time riding these shortening days Please Exercise Caution at our parks both in the trails and at the trail heads.

"This is an automated trail report. Please DO NOT click REPLY or REPLY ALL to this e-mail.
We received a report regarding
Lake Manawa

Where work is needed
Safety IssueMy coworker sent me the following message regarding a visit to Lake Manawa on 11/09/09. I appologize for his writing.
"I went out to Manawa yesterday to do a little mountain biking and when I got there some weirdos just got out of the trails. 3 older guys no helmets and crappy mtb's. They put the bikes in the back of their pickup, then a DNR officer arrived and parked right behind them. I guess there were reports of someone shooting a gun out there and the cop asked if he could search there vehicle. A few minutes later a real police officer drove up and the DNR officer found a handgun on the guy.My girlfriend and i proceeded out on the trails when we saw 3 real odd people walking on the trail and the last person in the group was carrying a handgun."
I thought somebody should know.
- Kevin"

I was a part of a small group ride last night at Lake Manawa and didn't have a single problem except we were running out of batteries and couldn't keep riding through out the nite. It is in SWEET condition right now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Calvin Crest update

First let me state that Calvin Crest is currently CLOSED to the public. It was reported some bikers were out poaching the trails. Please respect their property and don't ride there when it's closed.

When Calvin Crest is opened to the public, it will be announced on the THOR blog.

Friday, Paul and I went out and cleared two fallen trees, added more orange marking tape and raked sections of trail in order to see it better.

Saturday, I spent several hours tweeking the phase 2 layout and raking more trail.

Sunday, Brian, Chris, Dave, and myself spent a couple hours building six switchbacks to get down a 70' bluff. Then Todd, his wife and daughter, found us as we blazed the trail back to the entrance of phase 2 loop. At the bottom of the bluff, we hooked into the Meadow Trail that finishes the loop. Phase 2 added another mile, so about 4.25 total. Approximately 30 hrs over the three days.

Because of the small number of volunteers, we were exhausted and blistered from the pace and actually surprised to finish phase 2. (After riding it, it still needs a couple tweeks.) We then went out for a well deserved buffet.

We came back to ride a lap before hunters go out - to taste the fruit of our labors. As Chris attempted the rooted climb, he fell and twisted his ankle badly. He would find out later that night he actually broke his ankle in two places. The first casualty and the trail isn't even open to the public yet.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Meeting with IMBA


Ryan Schutz (IMBA's Regional Director) will be visiting on November 9 & 10 to do a "Scoping Visit". He'll be here to get a lay of the land, and facilitate us through the process of creating what we hope will be a master plan of our green space/trail system. With your help, we... can identify our existing green spaces, parks, greenways, preserves, etc and also identify the gaps and potential connectors.

On Nov. 9th, he would like to meet with the THOR advisory board members and those interested in playing a role in learning more about organizational building.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

trailwork at calvin crest sat and sun nov 7&8

Time to put some sweat equity into local trail construction. With IMBA's green space review next Monday and Tuesday (open to all members), THOR has been given authorization to construct singletrack this Saturday and Sunday at Calvin Crest in Fremont.

Saturday and Sunday, Nov 7&8
09:00-15:00 Trailwork the first half or so, then ride. Bow hunters are on the property so we are limited to this time window.
Directions to Calvin Crest

There is about 3/4 of a mile to build.
1) Cut and clear branches out of the trail corridor. Hand Saws, Loppers
2) Clear vegetation, bench and compact tread. Rakes, McLeods

The soil is like Platte River State Park - loose and easy to shape. From my perspective, trail construction opportunities don't get any better than this.

We have some tools, mostly need people willing to give their time and energy.

Email Dale tpmbt at cox dot net to carpool or rsvp.

For those available Friday, Paul and I are going out there if you're interested.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

excellent day at calvin crest

GPS photo from Tim: 3 miles (3.25 via computer) and 500' climbing. That number feels high.

Chris, Paul, Bryan, Dave, Tim, Craig, myself, and Ginger went to work finishing up the last few ttfs so that the entire lap would be rideable. Amazingly, we finished as planned at 3. Craig fed us excellent lasagna, green beans, garlic toast, and iced chocolate cake for dessert. We then strapped on the helmets and rode! Sweet! Non compacted dirt and difficulty made a couple ttfs so difficult no one cleared everything the first time, but Tim cleared his second lap. Several then did a counterclockwise lap which is more aerobically and technically challenging because of short, steep climbs. No one cleared the entire lap. A fun-paced-lap takes about 30 minutes.

With no tread worn in and intermitent markings, every one took their turn leading and getting off trail. 8-) Need some more marking, a little raking, and she will be ready for prime time! Details for the public grand opening to be announced.

Paul took some nice pics here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

calvin crest work and ride

Trailday Sunday, Oct 18
Work: Noon - 3
Pizza: 3
Ride: 3:30 - ?
Drive to end of road and park past building.
The more people to work, the sooner we eat and ride bikes.
A crew carpooling, caravaning from Bike Masters, 129th and Fort. We leave at 11:00.
RSVP or Questions: tpmbtatcoxdotnet

Tools: chainsaw, mcleods, shovels, bikes

After almost two years of surveying, laying out, and building trail, Calvin Crest is one workday away from phase 1 being finished! I went out Friday and walked the trail to get some pics of what needs to be done. I enjoyed the walk immensely and can't wait for VIRGIN RIDE!

Need to bench trail through this ravine - 60'

Need chainsaw operator and crew to remove tree suspended over trail.

Hard climb over roots out of creek bottom. Needs 50' of benching.

Widen trough so rideable or pushable through back-to-back steep ravines.

The trail turns right almost 180. Need to clear branches and shape a berm.

Here are a few other pics to wet your appetite:

Ride along the Platte with the obligatory 100' bluff to ride up or down.

Suspension bridge with lots of verticle movement.

Lots of cedars to smell and limit the mowing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Manawa Trails Good to Go

After 3 long evenings of trail work, the trail leaders pronounced the Lake Manawa trails Race Ready. There will be no need for a Thursday evening work session. Thursday Night Ride will not be disturbed by trail workers.

Thanks to everyone that came out to help whip the trail into shape. Several spend many hours working at other parks and helped at Manawa. We had several first timers. We welcome you and thank you for your help. Hope to see you again. We encourage you to join THOR. Some came to work 2 or all 3 evenings. Thanks for you dedication.

The trails were mowed and trimmed. Branches were lopped. Some mud pits were filled in. Log crossings were staked and checked for sturdiness.

Thanks again those that attended the work nights. Those that did not make it out, we hope you see to helping another day, We always need the help. It takes many volunteer hours to THOR maintain the trails.

Monday, September 21, 2009

good first day of work at manawa

Nice turnout Sunday afternoon for trailwork at Manawa. Steve, Tom, Todd, Angie, Andy, Martin, Paul, and Dale were sawing, moving limbs, lopping, weedwacking, fortifying ttfs for 16 work hours. Steve had put in 4 hrs earlier in the week with the DNR's rider. Thanks guys.

The top of the trail corridor has been raised so nothing should be on the helmet or face. No 2nd Chance still has a 2' diameter tree diagnally through the corridor causing one to duck. I good chunk of trail east of the parking lot was wacked.

Steve said there is still trimming that can be done Monday night around and near the parking lot after a rain. And there is more wacking needed for Tony's Playgound, the Landing, No 2nd Chance, either tonight or Tuesday night.

Steve will be at Manawa at 5 Monday night (tonight). If you can help for an hour or two, that would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

tree farm in tranquility

All those trees planted on the southhill are part of the Walt Mertz Tree Farm. They were kind to work around our trail so in years to come, we will have more shaded trail to ride!
The sign is right off the Inner Loop Bypass. Just a reminder to stay off the road between the tree farm and creek, rather ride the ILB instead in either direction.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Upcoming Manawa Work Days

Manawa work days are has followed....Please plan on attending at least one day!
Large areas will already be cut before the 20th by the mower to cut down on the work loads.
Sept. 20, Sunday, 5 till dark, trim weeds back, cut any branches and remove them.
Sept. 21, Monday, 5 till dark, trim weeds back, cut any branches and remove them, start on any low/muddy areas.
Sept. 22, Tuesday, 6 till dark, finish any work.

Sept. 24, Thursday, 6 till dark, work on any areas that need it, and ride the course.

Drinks will be provided all days, met at the red truck in parking lot, bring your tools that your need for the days you plan on coming, don't have tools we have you covered just show up with the heart to work! Many riders in the past have brought their bikes to ride back to the sections that need to be worked and have saved time.

Please tell your friends and help get the word out!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Head Knocker at Manawa

Received from a Trail User,

Watch out for a low hanging limb in the black section of Manawa until further notice.

Trail leader notified.

Monday, August 31, 2009

water flowed over tranquility culvert

Walking through Tranquility and saw the cones at the Inner Loop culvert were down. Upon getting there I saw the culvert outlet had evidence of water flowing over the top.

Looking at the inlet, someone placed a piece of pavement over 1 of 3 6" pipes. This caused the water to back up and overflow during one or more of the downpours.

Hopefully having full capacity back and adding a small tributary to the inlet will keep the water from flowing over the outlet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Prepare for Reroute at Swanson

Due to the land owners request to the City of Bellevue a portion of the trail north west of the fire station training area is going to be rerouted late summer/early fall. Basically the new trail as you round the corner of the fence is going to parallel the fence line until you get to the ditch jump affectionately known as "Fire House Air".

The land owner has tolerated runners, walkers, bikers and equestrians on their land for many years now and has notified city officials they want public use of their land to stop.

The new trail has to stay approximately 18 feet from the western side of the fence. This new trail has approximately been cut in by the Trail Leader Tom but the final tread location hasn't been flagged or cut in.

This change will cause significant heart ache amongst old and new users to Swanson because its really good trail we are losing. The best thing we can do is educate other users and comply with the land owners wishes.

More to follow on a trail day and the old section closing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Signs @ TP

The new warning signs finally got finished up today. The city asked us to put these in due to riders not following the verbal requests to avoid the farmhouse and construction area. The construction area is between the entrance and exit of the inner loop. Basically between the 2 signs posted in the area. Please use the inner loop bypass instead of the gravel road, if you are not riding the inner loop. Also do not ride on the gravel road up to the farm house. Someone lives there and is frequently operating machinery around the barn. There have been some close calls and he doesn't want anyone to get hurt. The city parks people really enjoy having us out there and are just asking for a little help in keeping everyone safe.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

tp reroute for tennis expansion

The city is taking more dirt out for the tennis court expansion. It looks like they are sloping the west side down to court level, so this may be as far west as they go.
They took out about 50 yds of trail but still left the cut and wall rides further down the SouthHill Descent. Looks like those are on the outside edge - will ask if they can leave those since it's outside the court area.

So a short switchback was cut in to link up the trail. This turns left after a slight uphill to scrub off some speed and exit water off the trail. I like going right first and then cut across the old trail to round out the corner more.

After the ground dries, might be a little wall ride action available. But most likely that pile will be flattened on final grading. The trail will be right to the edge of the slope to the courts.

Finally, first vandalism of a sign at TP - camelback/ice loop split.

Misfits are also digging holes in the tread and putting in booby traps - dried out branches stuck in the evergreens and pointing out to the trail - and similar stuff, at the south end of the Ice Loop.

Keep your eyes open out there.

Tranquility Trail Crew

Friday, August 14, 2009

South Hill construction active again at Tranquility

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up on Tranq. The city is active on the south hill again and have started removing some of the dirt piles we are using. The first dirt pile section is gone with a 10 ft drop off in it's place. I put up some flags to steer people away from the area but i think we will wait on cutting anything in till we know the plan for the area.

If the trucks/earth movers are working in the area, please give them plenty of space. Also, please be careful on the south hill descent. What was there one lap, might not be the next. If you enjoyed the dirt pile sections this summer, you might want to hit them soon. They may not be there next week.

Tranquility Trail Crew

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Loading the BOB

Dale and Paul loaded up the BOB for trail work at Lake Manawa.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

much accomplished tuesday at manawa

16.5 hrs across a handfull of workers accomplished a lot. Dale pulled two eaters, chainsaw, 3 loppers, gas and oil back to Tony's with mary and bob. Dave pasted directional stickers, Tom and Paul ran the weedeaters, Dale ran the saw on four down/low trees, Dickey was pulling limbs and lopping. Very humid and we worked too late to ride a lap but things looked good over what we did ride.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tranquility is race ready!

Thank you to all that came out to the TTD to get Tranq ready for the race this weekend. The trail is in excellent shape due to your efforts. All together, we had 12 people out working the trail Tues night. A special thanks to Dave, Chris and Zoe for bringing their mantis out to work the bumps out of the re-route/bypass areas. Also thanks to Marc for big hours out mowing the south hill area solo.

I hope we can get a big turnout for Manawa trail days. Dickey is always helping at the other trail days and we owe him a few. Gather your troops and let's get Manawa whipped into shape!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lake Manawa Trail Days

The scheduled August trail work is being extended to 2 evenings. We need good turnouts. Both evenings, meet 6pm in parking lot (congregate at the red pick-up or mower).

Planned work: Monday, Aug 10th-

Mow the trail
Trim the trail
Cut and remove any trees in the way
Lop branches
Install new stickers on markers
(Need 1 person to stay until the mower is finished to help return the mower).

Tuesday, Aug 11th-
Complete installation of new stickers on markers
Trim rest of the trail
More lopping
Any other tree cutting
Repair log crossing(s)
Rework habitually wet/muddy area

What to bring:
weed wackers
insect spray
long pants

THOR will provide cold drinks. Lots of works could be done. Tell your friends; help maintain the train.

Please RSVP in the comments for this posting.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Branched Oak Update

From one of the Trail Leaders,

Area 7 trail continues to grow and the upcoming race should be a 4.5 mile loop. Some of the new sections could use some riding to smooth things out. dont be afraid to ride after some rain, it dries really well and the rain will help smooth things out.

There is a tree down that we have to do something with (anyone good at making a real mellow log stack(it needs to be easy per park manager).

We have been having some trail gremlins tearing down tape and putting our brush piles across the trails.

Please be careful as some of the 4 legged users do not want to follow the directional flow.

Authors comment: WE DONE GUYS!!! 1.5 miles of trail with a very small work force is magnificent. The newer sections people aren't real pleased with right now will be pleased next year once the things groove takes riding and racing. Keep up the great work!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

successful trailwork at L&C

Josh came out early at 4:30 and weedwacked the needed areas. Seems someone(s) have been doing some trailwork down there previously so it wasn't in really bad shape. The rest of us took loppers, shears, a shovel, and mclintock and brushed out the trail corridor - removing the bunji sticks on the Neverest reroute, new growth and a lot of suspended dead limbs were also removed.

Had several new faces and we really appreciate their participation in maintaining a trail they ride. Several are THOR members and several are not. Thanks for giving your time and passion Russell, Tyler, Nick, Brett, Joel, Steve, Dale, and Josh! About 17 work hours were put in.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Race Prep Trail Day @ Tranquility

Hello All,

We will be having a trail day at Tranquility on Tuesday Aug 4 to prepare for the race on the 8th. If possible, please bring weed eaters, lopers and rakes. I will have a couple weed eaters/rakes to loan if needed. As always, please bring fluids to drink and long pants and bug spray are recommended. Thank you for your time and efforts to keep our metro trails in excellent shape throughout the season!

Please rsvp in the comments if you can lend a hand.

Tranq Trail Council

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tuesday at Lewis and Clark

We’ll need weed eaters and loppers. This will be a maintenance trail day to manage the vegetation growth. I'll get over there early and get started. I'll meet people in the lot at 6pm and give an update of what and where we need it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tuesday Trail Day for July 14th Swanson/Tranquility

Hello everyone,

This time around the TTD is for Swanson and Tranquility on July 14th. Both trails are in need of a trim. Please meet at the trail head at 6pm for Tranquility and 5pm for Swanson. Work time is usually around 2 hours depending on the amount of people. If you show up after 6, just follow the sounds of weed eaters to locate the work crews. Long pants are suggested along with bug spray. Please rsvp in the comments if you can help out and tell us which trail you will be heading to.
We thank you for your time and efforts to keep our trail system in pristine shape!

For more information on upcoming trail days, Check out the Trail Day Calendar

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Manawa Trail Days

This will be a weekend of trail work at Lake Manawa.

Friday (10th), Sunday (12th), Monday (13rd) 6-8pm

Tools needed: Weedwackers, Loppers, Pruners
Bring bug spray, long pants, gloves.

THOR will provide Gatorade.

Friday evening, Trail Leader Steve will be mowing the trail. Anyone else that can attend can help with the other work needed.

Sunday and Monday evening will be for trimming the trail. We also have a tree over the trail and a branch that partially blocks the trail. Steve has the chainsaw needed and man the saw.

The trails have become somewhat overgrown. We need to trim the trail - below, along the side, and overhead.

A good turnout will help getting the trail back in shape. Please RSVP in the comments section of this blog posting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

invitation to learn more about advocacy in Iowa

Wanted to spread the word about an opportunity this weekend. Email me if you're interested in attending!
from Ryan Hanser:
Saturday is not about 'trail school'... It's about all the Iowa clubs getting stronger together -- learning from each other and collaborating across the state. DNR relationships are a common thread, for example...

I strongly encourage you to find someone on your board to make the time to join us -- 9 a.m. to around 3 p.m. Saturday at the downtown library. All other affiliates will be there. And, of course, you're welcome to stay through Sunday for the race ;)

Let me know if I can answer any questions. Hope to see someone this weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Manawa Update (10 June 09)

1. The trail is very saturated with standing water in many places. Give it an extra day or so after it quits raining to let it soak in and firm up, very greasy.

2. Still some logs over trails so ride Alert!

3. Mown and weed wacked.

Slap Dickee on the back and say thanks when you see him next.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Manawa Trail Days

Friday June 5th.-mowing the trails, trim if enough people. 600p.m. till dark. (weather permitting) Don't feel like working, that's fine, come out and make sure we don't get stuck with the mower!

Monday June 8th.-finishing mowing if not already done, keep trimming what is needed. (weater permitting) 600p.m. tell 800p.m.

Tuesday June 9th-finish trimming the trails, clean and install new stickers where needed, cut dead fall out, pick up trash, 600p.m. tell 800p.m.

drinks provided all three days, Tuesday I will bring my grill, some dogs, and chips, for all those who help out. Have something you like, bring enough for everyone! Remember no glass in the park.

Tools that are needed-
gas trimmers
safety glasses
(and bring your bike to ride after the work is done)
Hope to see ya one of the three days.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Frank says all's well and Swanson. Go ride!

Save your strength for Manawa trail day next week!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Branched Oak Area 7 Trail Day - Sunday May 31st at 9 AM

Come on out to Branched Oak Area 7 on Sunday May 31st at 9 AM and help groom the trails, install trail markers, and cut some new trails. The forecast is looking great for a trail day!

T.H.O.R. trail markers will placed at trailheads and other key areas throughout the trail. A new section of trail will also be cut.

Work is scheduled for a couple of hours, so bring a bike and ride the trails afterward!

Friendly reminders:
  • Wear long sleeves and pants for protection from critters and poison ivy/oak/sumac
  • Wear eye protection
  • Bring some leather work gloves
  • Bring sunblock and bug spray
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks (hydration packs work great!)
  • Bring loppers, weed wackers, mowers, etc.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Iowadirt Workshop open to THOR members

Iowadirt is welcoming THOR members to join their workshop with the Subaru / IMBA Trail Care Crew, June 20th at Lake Ahquabi State Park in Indianola. 

Friday is a classroom session and Saturday will be in the field.Correction: Saturday is not in the field. Here is what how the director described it:"In short, CITA is hosting a 'summit' with the TCC on Saturday as a way to help all Iowa IMBA affiliates -- separately and collectively -- by sharing best practices in running our organizations and discussing ways we can collaborate to improve Iowa mountain biking. "

FRIDAY (w/ Hansi Johnson)
(morning ride at Ahquabi?)
Meeting: "Embracing Iowa Dirt" workshop @ Ahquabi
    10:30a - TCC 'school' content (singletrack 101)
    Noon - Lunch (class continues)
    1:30p - Discussion (roundtable)
    2:30p - Adjourn (visit to Summerset trails)
Dinner: BBQ at Summerset (tentative)
Ride: Summerset @ 6p
Beer: Royal Mile

Meeting: Iowa IMBA affiliates' summit @ downtown library
    9a - 'Club Care' workshop
    Noon - Lunch (discussion/planning begins)
    3p - Adjourn
Ride: Center
Dinner: Raccoon River Brewing Company
Party: 'Freedom Riders' screening at Hotel Fort Des Moines

Ride: Sycamore TT (IMBCS race) @ 10
To support any THOR members who wish to go, THOR is offering $75 towards gas and hotel per group of (4). 

For more information and to register, go to Once you register please contact roxzanne(dot)abbott(at)gmail(dot)com so she can get all attendees in contact with each other. One of your party will need to be responsible for organizing travel arrangements and booking a hotel. 

As a reminder, THOR will be hosting our own workshop in later summer/early fall but we thought this would be a great addition and also a great way to make connections with neighboring trail crews. 

PS: Info at

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Just a reminder to all. Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the Horse riding season at Platte River State Park. Please refrain from riding the horse area between the hours of 9am-4pm weekdays and on the weekends. Signs are posted at the top of trial leading from the Wild Turkey parking lot.
Mountain bikes tend to spook the horses and the unsuspecting rider. If even one mtber has an encounter with the horses on the trail that could jeopardize the use of the horse area for the rest of us.
So please enjoy the park, try the main park trails until after 4pm or get out there early and finish the ride by 9am.
It also marks the start of the Bacon ride season.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Swanson Trees Removed

Title sums it up. Two logs gone now.

Small group of folks finishing up the weed wacking Tuesday the 19th. If you have the time join them for an hour or so starting at 5:30. It will help them finish up faster and get to riding their handy work sooner.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

tranquility gets a hair cut

Tuesday workday was rained out. Chris, Paul, and I put in some hours over several days and trimmed the highest weeds and branches in the nursery. Not complete manicure but she is acceptable. Didn't spray or pick up trash.

Raised the Nursery trail cooridor roof to 8-10' so hopefully won't have dead branches periodically lowering and tall people getting hit in the face. 8-)

Found this dead limb hanging over the trail. A couple strokes with the saw and she was down.

Monday, May 11, 2009

tuesday trailday at tranquility

***Postponed b/c of rain***

Tomorrow, May 12, we are having a trailwork day at Tranquility.

Fort St entrance, drive slowly through the farmhouse complex back to the corner with cars. If you are stopped, tell them you are here for the THOR trailwork day.

6-8 pm.

Work list:
1. Mow the south hill climb, ice loop, south hill descent, inner loop and bypass. 2-4 mowers
2. Spray north creek loop, south creek flats, end of north hill descent. 2-4 sprayers
3. Trim branches in nursery, fort st loop, north hill descent - loppers, saws 2-4 people
4. Pick up trash - 2-4 people

RSVP is appreciated, leave as comment here.

Thanks for putting sweat equity into THOR trails!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

tp southhill descent reopened

After the Ice Loop, you can ride to the top of the Inner Loop and go down the regular direction or about halfway along the reroute on top of the hill there are flags to the right that put you back on the Southhill descent. This uses some of the dirt piles to add a few ttfs. Basically, you ride the old trail onto the dirt piles and back off onto the trail.

Note: If construction equipment is active, do not ride in that area.

This option is temporary and may last a short or long time, depending on how long the Parks take to finalize the grade and remove their roads.

tp trail adjustment and bypass

After talking with Joe, the resident park employee, we rerouted the end of the South Creek Flats and beginning of the Inner Loop for safety reasons. There have been several close calls between park equipment and bikers.

The last picture shows a new bypass of the Inner Loop so that we can stay off the 150' of road between the Inner Loop entrance and exit. This section is off limits just like the storage area and farm house driveway.
Joe is very serious about this and signs will be going up stating "No public access, violators will be ticketed". Please stay out of the restricted areas.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lake Manawa Clean-up Day

THOR members participated in the annual Lake Manawa Clean-up Day. We joined some 150-200 volunteers picking up trash.

The volunteers were divided into groups. As usual, we worked at the Missouri River Boat Ramp / Mountain Bike Trail area. There were about 25 of us picking up trash in that area.

This was also mushroom hunting season here. We encountered a couple with 2 bags full of trash and 1 bag with 2 mushrooms. They had not come for the clean-up day, just figured they could pick up some while walking. Thanks folks!

The photo here shows the trash the crew picked up in less than 2 hours in the mountain bike trail area. It also gave us a opportunity to survey trail conditions.

There is an new(?) group "Friends of Lake Manawa". We exchanged contact information with them.

The next trail day at Lake Manawa is scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th.