CRAMBA: Holdridge

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Postby alden » March 20th, 2006, 1:00 pm

Josh McCreedy wrote: I can't wait to get in on some of the log action.


yeah, i bet you can't! :lol:
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Postby KRUG » March 20th, 2006, 2:14 pm

I think the log piles are far down the road (time wise). We are going to have our hands full just to get the trails ridable and keep it radable. Also, we never seem to have the help needed through out the year to keep the under-growth under control. So unless we see a significant increase in volunteers, it's going to be just like last year with Gruber's almost unridable do to heavy undergrowth.


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Postby Interactive » March 20th, 2006, 3:40 pm

I might be able to make it this weekend, and I might also be able to borraw a chain saw, but I have no chaps. I'm not sure I've ever even seen a pair except for those of the cowboy rodeo guys.

So are there going to be extra chaps??? I love cutting up trees :D I think it's a power tool thing. :lol:
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Holdridge Trail Day

Postby jeffcolombo » March 20th, 2006, 3:52 pm

I think Mary Ann is bringing her extra chaps. I have a pair also to use. Not sure if I'm going to be running a saw. I just might be coordinating groups at first and then getting on the trail later then everone else.

I think we are going to have a good turn-out of people this Saturday, Team Sandbag, Hiking Michigan, Holly High Outdoors Club, new volunteers and the normal crew. We will have the trails cleared this Saturday. Weather willing! I'm hoping to have 6 crews with chainsaws out on the trails.

The gardening issue you talk about Krug, I hope will be to a minimal with the help of Shawn and what was discussed at the meeting we had in Feb.

That will give us more time to do trail work on trail days!

There is a lot of work to do on all 23 miles of the trail. We will need voleenteers! As far as time lines on what gets done and when will depend on turn-out. I will have an agenda that I will be working on for each trail day after this one. I'm already working on April's trail day.

On the calender I have a list of what to bring for this trail day.

DownRiverRat you got it all! We will have spools!
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Postby jeffcolombo » March 20th, 2006, 3:59 pm

As far as riding? Not sure about after the trail day, before the trail thaws in the very early morning would be best. Every afternoon that I've been out there has been muddy. I am just staying off them period even though I want to ride real bad.
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Early April Ride?

Postby Daveniz » March 20th, 2006, 10:40 pm

I'll be visiting MI in early April. Shall I bring my bike? I live in Arizona, so its a long way to bring my ride.
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Postby jeffcolombo » March 21st, 2006, 9:35 am

Daveniz I think it will still be to frozen/muddy in April. We are still having snow flurries and the temps haven't gotten over the 40's yet. But some like biking in that weather, not me. Your call.


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Postby Josh McCreedy » March 21st, 2006, 12:28 pm

Ouch, Alden, ouch. :oops: Are you coming up?
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Postby Josh McCreedy » March 21st, 2006, 12:41 pm

I re-read Krug's post about the undergrowth and it raises some questions for me. How many times a year should the growth have to be cut back? Are we not trimming aggressively enough (Gruber's especially)? How is the problem handled at PLRA, Highland, Poto, and others? Maybe these questions are moot because we simply haven't had the numbers to maintain so many miles of trail. No matter, I'm glad to see such interest and an increased focus on Gruber maintenance/improvements. :!:
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Postby Dan_Harrison » March 21st, 2006, 1:16 pm

Good question, Josh. One with no easy answer.
Pruning the corridor creates a "vegetation vacuum"-- a patch of unoccupied sunlight. Fast-growing species rush to fill the space. Usually, those species are invasives: honeysuckle, multiflora rose, autumn olive, buckthorn and so on. Two approaches-- one, prune them back to preseve the intimate, narrow singletrack experience, and commit to doing it over & over & over.
Or, whack the bejeezus out of them, roots and all-- making the perceived corridor wider. Ideally, you then transplant desireable, slow-growing saplings in their place, which will narrow the corridor again, and inhibit fast-growing invasives with their shade. The local manager might have suggestions as to which species to encourage-- often by thinning areas where they're too thick. Oak, maple, beech, cherry, and various evergreens, are easy to identify and move in 5-gallon buckets.
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Postby Dan_Harrison » March 21st, 2006, 1:20 pm

jeffcolombo wrote:As far as riding? Not sure about after the trail day, before the trail thaws in the very early morning would be best. Every afternoon that I've been out there has been muddy. I am just staying off them period even though I want to ride real bad.

From the sound of it, I'll leave the toboggan at home :lol:
I'll leave the bike & BOB trailer behind, too :(
My folding wheelbarrow can hold all my chainsawing gear-- sounds like the ticket. 8)
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Postby Diesel » March 21st, 2006, 4:04 pm

Josh McCreedy wrote:I re-read Krug's post about the undergrowth and it raises some questions for me. How many times a year should the growth have to be cut back? Are we not trimming aggressively enough (Gruber's especially)? How is the problem handled at PLRA, Highland, Poto, and others? Maybe these questions are moot because we simply haven't had the numbers to maintain so many miles of trail. No matter, I'm glad to see such interest and an increased focus on Gruber maintenance/improvements. :!:


I think a big part of the problem is that Gruber's is so long and so demanding that many people who ride it don't finish, if they even attempt it at all. If I remember, most of the problem reports from last year were on the sections of trail after the bailouts. It stands to reason that if there isn't much traffic on the trail, it's going to grow in.

I've wished for a long time that the West Loop was the section that was 17 miles long, and that Gruber's Grinder was only the length that the West Loop is, if that makes sense. The whole trail system would be easier to maintain if that were the case...it would help take care of itself.
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Postby jeffcolombo » March 21st, 2006, 4:48 pm

Well a lively conversation going on I see about Grubers and overgrowth. There are 2 problems with Holdridge as a whole.

1> The wild rose's that grow throughout all 25 miles of trails. Roses love to be cut down! They grow back twice as fast and taller. Dan has the right idea. See problem 2.

2> Volenteers to maintain all 25 miles of trails. plra has 11, potp17, highland 16 miles. On the average 6-10 people show up for trail days. Do the math. Trail days are 3-4 hours.

Not complining or looking for sympathy, rather stating a fact. We will have a discussion after this trail day about the problems and possible solutions. There are other things going on also so we will see how it all pans out during the year.
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Postby Josh McCreedy » March 22nd, 2006, 12:47 pm

Diesel, I think you're right on, Dan and Jeff, too. Seventeen miles of the West loop would be dreamy. I wonder, though, if Gruber's were better maintained, would its entire length see more traffic? Or is it the style of riding, regardless of trail condition, that makes people avoid it?
I truly can't anwer the question because I'm relatively new to this area and never rode the trail in its "intended" state. I've only ridden it when I've had to fight through the brush and dismount because my bars won't fit between the trees.
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Postby KRUG » March 22nd, 2006, 1:37 pm

I don?t find Gruber?s that technically challenging. What makes it a grueling ride is all of the undergrowth that makes for a bloody ride. If that trail was clean the entire distance it would be just fantastic. There are so many possibilities out there if we could just get ahead of the game and build more stuff. I know of a few very fun rock gardens potentials out there that I have plans for. The trail for the most part is very sound from the design aspect for erosion with just a few wet spots that need to be updated.

I can only dream about the possibilities if we don?t get more volunteering helping.


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