Trail Tool TalkOne Saturday morning Larry gave Barry a call to go for their weekly ride. Barry wasn’t too excited that particular morning; he felt like he had been riding the same tracks week in, week out all summer long and was ready for a change. It didn’t help that it was a little cold and overcast outside either. Barry tried to give Larry some excuses and explained his dilemma. Larry sympathised with Barry and agreed, he too was a little tired of their local tracks, but said this feeling always passes once on their bikes. Barry agreed and quickly got ready, filling his bladder with water grabbing some food, and stuffing it in his trail pack for the ride ahead. They met at the bottom of the hill where they always meet and started the climb. Still a little glum, Barry talked to Larry about how cool it would be if the tracks could be changed and tweaked for the better so it wouldn’t be the same ride all the time. Larry agreed, and they both pondered how they could make this change.

As they approached the forest near the top of the climb, they could both hear music and people laughing and talking. Confused by what could only be a mystical woodland party, Barry and Larry went in to investigate. What they found wasn’t a woodland party, but a group of riders who were trail building; they were changing up the track entry into the forest. This excited Barry since it looked like they were putting in a big berm that rolled into a sweet looking hip jump (and since they were modern, forward thinking trail builders, they were also building a line that went around the hip jump for people like Larry). Barry and Larry started talking to them and asked what they were up to. They explained that they are just volunteers, and they meet every second weekend to make these changes for the (hopefully) better on the local tracks. Barry and Larry smiled at each other with excitement and asked if they could help. The trail builders explained what needed to be done and put them to work. As Barry and Larry picked up their tools, they noticed the clouds started to part, exposing the makings of a beautiful day.

As they dug, picked and raked the soil for an hour or so, Barry then sat back for a moment and pounded all of the potential of trail building and thought about all the boring bits on the local tracks that could be fixed up. One of the trail builders yelled out “Hey Sleepy!”, threw Barry a watering can and explained he could fill it up just up the hill a little; they could do a final watering and pack-down on the berm, and then best of all do a test ride. But all of a sudden a sun shower started and gave the track a gentle sprinkling. It was strange because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but it was so helpful since it watered the trail, plus it was nice and refreshing since it was so hot. Once they waited out for this little sprinkle to soak into the berm, they gave it a final pack-down.

Barry grabbed his bike and walked up the hill, excited to test ride their newly made berm. As he was about to drop in, he noticed a rainbow had formed across the track, and he smiled knowing the gold was going to be ripping a sweet berm that he had just built with his newly found trail building friends. The berm ripped so awesome that it was probably the best berm that Barry had ever ridden. He knew that a lot of this feeling was due to the fact he had put in the effort and helped build it. Seeing Barry’s excitement, Larry grab his bike and ripped the berm under the rainbow too. Like Barry, this was also probably the best berm that Larry had ever ridden.

Once they had finished test riding the berm, they all went on an epic trail ride around the hills, fizzing on the high that was trail building. As Barry and Larry ripped around the local tracks, they started to see them in a different light; they could see them with trail building eyes. What was once a boring section of track, Barry and Larry could see the potential for anything, maybe another hip jump, or maybe they could cut up even higher and use that rocky outcrop and make a drop into a sweet right hander. Whatever they decided to do they knew that they could change for the better. As they all rolled off the hill into the carpark, one of the trail builders shouted out “BBQ AND BEERS at my place?!” And that’s where they all went, to knock back some brews, smash some BBQ’ed food and talk some shit about mountain bikes late into the evening. And you know what, even though they were drinking standard lager all night long, Barry and Larry noticed that they tasted even better than ever, and they knew it was because they had earned it from the digging they had done.

Later on, as the BBQ turned into an even sweeter party, Barry and Larry noticed that there were two girls checking them out. It was probably because they were looking a little extra buff from the physical activity of digging. On the buzz of digging they both went over to the girls and started to talk to them and they all hit it off straight away and chatted and danced and laughed into the early hours of the morning. Since Barry and Larry are gentlemen, they exchanged numbers with the girls and only gave them a kiss on the cheek and went home excited about how epic their day ended up.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen is what happens every time you go trail building. Of course if you are a lady then you will probably talk to boys at the after-party, unless of course you like ladies then you will talk to them. And that is fine; because trail builders are very open-minded, forward-thinking people and don’t discriminate against anyone who volunteers.

0 Responses

  1. Good stuff Pieter….I must have been building on the other side of the forest that day. Probably just as well, as such a ripping after-party awash with chicks may have lead down the road to divorce (thanks to too many standard lagers). Best the married folk should go home early then eh! Keep up the great work man. Damn good.

      1. Yeah I’m down with that. More of a dark ale/porter man myself. Helps provide sustenance for those long days on the grubber, and has that added creative benefit. Always easier to evolve the flow with a few test rides, while ‘relaxed’.

  2. Calling all Mountain bikers. A Nation wide trail building day. All NZ trails closed for a particular day and we all picked up the tools. Imagine what we could build.

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