12th Annual United Trails Work Day
A group of Motion Pro employees were on-hand to participate in the 12th Annual United Trails Work Day on October 13th, 2018 in the Tahoe National Forest located just over one hour east of Motion Pro headquarters. The United Trails Work Day have been an ongoing collective effort by USFS Tahoe National Forest Trail manager Paul Hart, event organizers the Nevada County Woods Riders, along with Gold Country Trail Council equestrians and the Bicyclists of Nevada County club to come together and provide much needed help with trail maintenance within the Tahoe National Forest. This annual volunteer workday is very unique bringing together equestrians, mountain bikers, and off-road motorcyclists to work together as a group.
Trail systems in the Tahoe National Forest support multi-use outdoor recreation; if you like to hike, ride horses, pedal or twist grips this area has it all. Each trailhead is marked for the proper use depending on your choice of recreation.
A brisk morning start in the Tahoe National Forest. Paul Hart from the USFS provided a quick orientation to all volunteers to start the day.
For our volunteer work, the USFS had offered a dedicated trail sponsored by Motion Pro in return for some blood, sweat, and tears. The volunteer work included clearing brush and using hand tools to cut new trail sections to re-direct around rain damaged segments.
On the day of the event all parties arrived early around 8:30am. The USFS Trail manager Paul Hart welcomed everyone and gave a quick and mandatory speech to get us started. We headed out to the trails system in vehicles using access roads, everyone quickly split into groups and set off to clear brush on existing trail and create new trails, which had been previously marked with ribbon by the USFS.
Follow the pink ribbon! Most the forest floor was covered with years of pine needle fluff. Some light clearing with a rake was all it took to get down to the rich soil.
The trail crew consisted of the USFS crew and all volunteers. Chain saw workers would clear the major trail obstructions and volunteers followed closely behind with trail rakes and clearing tools to create the single-track foundation. On-hand was a mini excavator to help with the larger clearings and grading.
The USFS crew provided backup for stubborn roots and rock.
MP crew playing in the dirt! The night before there was some light precipitation which made the soil drool worthy to any off-road rider. Motion Pro owner Chris Carter (grey MP tee) made the trip out to get his hands dirty. Chris Carter has been a long-time advocate of trail rights and supporting recreational use on public lands.
Chris Ryan from the Custom Cable department doing some last minute touch-ups to the new trail section.
Starting the workday we were kindly instructed to partner up with complete strangers to help “break the ice” between the three organizations involved. This proved to be a great suggestion to help these people speak the same language and share their respective thoughts and knowledge to continue the ongoing trail preservation for all parties.
For instance, I recall a brief discussion with two trail partners whom were with the Gold Country Trails Council (equestrian group) and we touched on a few run-ins they’ve had with motorcyclists or mountain bikes while out on the trails. They gave me some great insight on how-to properly approach or pass a horse and rider in the case we crossed paths on the trails. This is in my eyes was an important element of shared trail usage; knowing who your sharing the trail with and respecting the trail rules for both your safety and others. Always review the trail signage before entering!
The Equestrian group Gold Country Trail Council was on-hand to volunteer. They had a few horses on trail to ensure volunteers were clearing brush at the right height to give them proper over-head trail clearance.
Okay, now imagination this scenario; you’re cruising along while trail riding with your off-road motorcycle, you come around a blind corner only to find a major trail obstruction directly in front of you. In this case an equestrian rider and horse. What is the best method for both parties safety?
First hit the BRAKES! But how do you comfortably sneak by a horse on a single-track trail? I was enlightened to hear their suggestion. First STOP as quickly as you can and then simply KILL the motorcycle’s engine. This will help the nerves of both the horse and rider and allow a safe pass so both parties can move-on with their activity without incident. It’s a case-by-case scenario but to prevent the horse from a possible anxiety attack I’d prefer to be as accommodating as I can and not ride past with my engine revving! This was one interesting scenario and important method discussed between our group and the Gold country equestrian workers. I found it rather pleasing to learn from their perspective and thoughts. I never gave the particular scenario much insight before this event.
With the work complete, these single-track trails were looking prime!
By the end of the work session we had accomplished the tasks on the schedule. We headed back to the campground and everyone was treated to a graceful lunch organized by the Gold Country Trails Council. After lunch volunteers were encouraged to go and have fun on the trails for the rest of the day. With all the work complete everyone was in good spirits and many smiles were proudly on display. I found it really inspiring to see a successful joint effort have such a profound effect on the group.
The annual United Trails Work Day event proved to be a reminder of the effort involved by local groups to keep designated USFS trails open and passable for the general public. Special thanks to Paul Hart (USFS) and longtime Motion Pro friend Scott Rabeneau (NCWR) for the opportunity to participate.
Left to right: Alexis Brasier GCTC, Chris Carter MP, Scott Rabeneau NCWR Forestry Liaison, Steve Minniear NCWR/BONC, Paul Hart USFD Trails Manager, Randy Hopkins NCWR/BONC, Frank Brown NCWR President, Teri Personeni GCTC.
Left to right: Chris Carter MP, Eric Clay MP, Brandon Baldwin MP, Matt Groshong MP, Ileana Fernandes MP, Scott Rabeneau NCWR, James Gerolamy MP, Oscar Yniguez MP, Charles Thomson MP, Pat Barret MP, Paul Hart. USFD Trails Manager, Frank Brown NCWR President, Rex (shop doggie.)
Interested in volunteer work for the annual United Trails Work Day events? Click here for information.
We’d like to thank the following groups for their organization efforts and ongoing support for our public USFS trail systems:
(USFD) Paul Hart, United States Forestry Department
(NCWR) Nevada County Woods Rider
(Bonc) Bicyclists of Nevada County
(GCTC) Gold Country Trails Council - Equestrians
More about the NCWR: The Nevada County Woods Riders Motorcycle club (NCWR) brings together off-road motorcycle enthusiasts to enjoy trail rides and fun activities. NCWR promotes responsible trail use, advocates off-road vehicle (OHV) access rights, and fosters trail improvement programs with the Tahoe National Forest Service. The Nevada County Woods Riders is a not-for-profit motorcycle club based in Grass Valley California. NCWR is a chartered member of American Motorcycle Association’s (AMA) and District 36.
Author: Eric Clay