Saturday, June 25, 2011

Page Hill Trail Map

I've been working with Quantum GIS, an open source mapping program, to produce a map for the Page Hill trail. Below is my first draft. It looks like QGIS will work quite nicely for our needs. I have also played some with Inkscape, an open source vector graphics editor (alternative to Adobe Illustrator). I didn't use Inkscape to produce this draft, but it will help to make the final final version look really professional.

This map should be serviceable for navigation with a few warnings: The GPS data for the two NEMBA trails (Bear Claw and Hard Hat) came from early scouting missions rather than the finished trails so it isn't quite a accurate as I'd like. Also, the doubletracks Page Bypass and Clough Trail and Ravine Trail are an adventurous mix of washouts, tall grass and fallen logs. Finally, the trails are almost completely unmarked. Even as the trail designer, I missed the right hand turn on to Hard Hat when I was climbing up the Access Road!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday Ride @ Page Hill

Of all the times to forget my GPS device!  We ride the one place we really need to start mapping things out and I leave it at home...c'est la vive.

Weather was not 'ideal' but it also wasn't horrible.  Wasn't raining so much as just dripping off the trees and our new trails were holding up quite well with the added moisture.  Hardly any trouble spots at all.  The 4 of us rode Bear Claw and Hard Hat to the power lines and then took some existing doubletrack back to the border of the property and then we explored a bit in both directions.

Its almost overwhelming to look off the side of the existing doubletrack seeing the multitude of options that we have for future expansion.  We looped back around and climbed back up to the entrance to Hard Hat to head back home.  And a doozy of a climb it was.  Felt great on the SS...sort of.

We've got some more plans for work in Page Hill this season to try and get the area a bit more 'loopable'.  Keep your eyes peeled here and on the Upcoming Events page.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Page Hill Trail Day Recap

What a glorious day to cut some singletrack!  We had a great group out at Page Hill today to get things rolling on what will hopefully be a great multi-use area in Central NH in the years to come.  The goal for the day was to get the first two singletrack trails on the property.

Jesse clearing leaves old school

 Barry goes new school

The first trail will provide access from the beginning of the driveway up the first little hill to the cabins to avoid having to climb directly up the driveway.  You'll thank us when you see it.  Still some refining to do but its ready to ride.  Most of the work was clearing with loppers and then raking and clearing brush.  A bit of rock work here and there but not much.  We spanned a wet area with use of rocks in one spot which might also get some lumber but we will wait to see how it holds up / rides.  We found a few trees with bear claw scratches in them while we were building this one so we are calling this trail 'Bear Claw'.

 armoring an off camber turn

progress, slowly but surely

Heading from the cabins the second trail takes you out to one of the main doubletrack arteries running through the center of the property.  A hardy group of 4-5 put the first half of this trail in and then in the afternoon we sent in reinforcements and there was probably a group of 20 or so working hard to finish things off so we all could get to the cookout (AKA the real reason for showing up).  We found a hardhat laying in the woods about 3/4 into building this trail so, you guessed it, this one's called 'Hardhat'.

creating a line over a rock wall

these guys were calling all the shots

CNH NEMBA en masse

All in all we think we may have around 2mi of singletrack built, give or take...we'll need to get some actual GPS data soon.  Thursday night group ride here in the coming weeks?  Tie those trails into some of the existing doubletrack and power lines and you could probably get in a 5+ mile ride (and maybe more) at this point without trying too hard.

The Prez working the grill

Not a bad place to hang out after a hard days work / ride

I don't know about everyone else but personally I am really excited about what Page Hill could become.  It's going to be a lot of work and we're going to need a lot of help, but there is a lot of room in there to have lots of fun.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Franklin Falls

Our Thursday night group rides are in full swing now and we are consistently getting great attendance. Despite the chilly weather, 8 riders showed last night and we hit just about everything Franklin Falls has to offer including Sniper, our newest (and still unfinished trail).

As a side note, I have been conducting a very scientific bicycle species study that enumerates the types of bikes that are showing up for Central New Hampshire mountain bike rides. I am here to report that there are 2 unmistakable trends emerging from this groundbreaking study. The first is that 29ers are becoming the norm and have been in the majority on more than half our rides. The second trend is that singlespeeders are showing up in record numbers. In fact, of the 8 riders that showed up last night, 4 were on singlespeeds. If you do the math, that comes to almost 97.4%. Only time will tell whether all this in depth analysis means something, but I'd like to think that a lot of the riding in Central New Hampshire is well suited to 29inch singlespeeds. Or maybe we have just a bunch of dummies who succumbed to the marketing machine.

Don't forget to stop by Page Hill trail day this Sunday (See below upcoming events for directions). We will be working on the first 2 trails on the property. There will be water, tools, snacks, and all the blisters your hands can stomach.