Monday, October 13, 2008
CITA trailwork gets a thumbs up
Here's my thumbs up for the trail work day put on by CITA over the weekend. Saturday was cracked bright and early with me heading over to pick up a couple power buggies from Capital City Equipment. Now, allow me to hop on a high horse here, but I think the CITA guys are in serious need of some direction when it comes to what will and won't work in regards to power equipment. Having a little experience in such things, I thought this might be a bad idea. I wasn't disappointed. You see, power buggies are designed to haul heavy loads of concrete over flat compacted surfaces. What we were working on for the most part wouldn't remotely be considered flat or compacted. Hopefully nobody from the equipment company reads this, but we're damn lucky we didn't spend the better part of the day fishing a buggy out of the creek. We still put the buggy to use, but a 4 wheeler with trailer or small Bobcat would most likely have been a much better choice.
I showed up around 9 and dug straight in on getting things going along with the rest of the early risers. We quickly realized that additional tools and material would be needed so I headed off to Home Depot in search of some wood, wheelbarrows, and sledge hammers. With the plastic smoking and screaming, I got our supplies and made it back just in time for the work day to officially kick off at 1. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon ferrying broken concrete to the 3 different work areas on the trail and letting the manual labor hump it in from there to use as trail armor.
After I hauled pretty much all the concrete we could ever want, I pitched in and helped the crew at the entrance place armor. I've also had a bit of experience building stone/boulder retaining walls, so placing armor came as a pretty natural fit. It's heavy and tiring work, but all in all it went pretty well. That is, until about the last half hour when I slammed stone against stone and forgot to remove my thumb first! F'ing meow! That really stung. It's been quite some time since I've smashed my thumb that good. I retired from slinging stone at that point and directed the other two guys on how and where to place while I nursed my wounds. Stay tuned to the end of the post if you like gore...
All things were pretty much wrapped up by 5:30 and the remaining group walked all the new sections. Not too bad so far. I was pretty happy with most of the work and couldn't wait to give it a run. Not one to let being dog ass tired get in my way, I threw on my bibs and shoes for a trial run. I certainly didn't let it hang out, but I gave it a nice run through and enjoyed it except for one spot that just didn't feel right (more on that later).
Here are a few pics stolen from Justin and Squirrel of the day:
Attempting to get the buggy stuck (you don't see the 8+ guys it took to push it back out of this spot)
Morning break time
Armoring the trail (before my thumb got smashed)
Enjoying the fruits of our labor with a nature walk (and beer)
Andy says "Hey ya'll watch this"
That pretty much wrapped up my day as I was beat and headed for home. My day wasn't quite done yet though. As promised, here's your gore for the day:
Throbbing thumb wakes me up at quarter to 2 in the AM
Hmm, a swollen and mashed thumb and a drill bit, whatever could I have planned...
Tried to drill by hand first, but ended up breaking out the power tools
Ahhh sweet bloody relief
Sunday found me meeting the guys for our typical Sunday morning thrash through the woods. My thumb was still pretty damn tender so I assumed my racing heart rate would promote some serious throbbing. Luckily I was mostly wrong. We took our usual line through Denman's and I started working on my log crossing skills I'd been advised on by Pete and Lou. Amazingly enough they worked pretty well. I did have a few exciting moments as my timing was off which sent my rear wheel hurtling skywards while I tried to not go over the bars.
Most of the way through the first lap we met Tom who was out getting his dirty hundy in for the month. He couldn't have picked a much nicer day. We decided to double back and meet up with him for a loop through Hillside and Rollercoaster. The amazing morning temps held out and we worked up a healthy sweat. I even managed to stay upright with the exception of the damn creek crossing on rollercoaster.
Everyone else headed off to church and home after one lap, but I stuck through another trip through Denman's with Tom as it was such a nice morning out. Even a couple hours at work on a Sunday looming directly ahead couldn't darken such a sweet ride.
Posing with Tom at mile 38 of his hundy