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August on a very dry El Prieto.

Sunday August 17th, thirteen MWBA volunteers braved the heat and worked hard on El Prieto.  Brush had grown heavily throughout El Prieto despite conditions dryer than many of us have ever seen in the canyon.  It was a very successful day thanks to the big number of people who showed up to help.

Tailgate sandwiches & cold drinks wrapped up a good day on El Prieto.  A big thank you to all the volunteers who came out to spruce up El P!

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Roguing on Sunset

Norma Desmond on Sunset, voguing it up before Madonna was born.

Even Norma Desmond welcomes you to Sunset.

I’m not talking ’bout Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, desperately preparing for her final close-up, I’m talking about doing trail work on Sunset Ridge with very little training and no support from the Forest Service and/or a local chapter of IMBA such as MWBA or CORBA.

If you see work that needs to be done please contact us on our facebook page, on twitter, or email us and let us know.  Even if you do have experience in trail work, don’t go rogue. You still have to get permission from the Forest Service. If you don’t, they might get rogue on your ass. In other words, the Forest Service will do what they can to stop you, which includes a fine and a possible court hearing. It’s all in a code which means it’s serious.

Per Title 36 CFR it is a citable offense to cut or damage any timber, tree or other forest product; damage any natural feature or property of the US Government; or dig, excavate, disturb, injure, destroy, etc. resources or property of the US Government – and the offender can be fined or required to appear in court, or both.

Don’t rogue the trails! Instead, come out and join us so you can learn the proper skills and techniques to be a bad-ass trail blazer! Plus, you get a lunch on us! Not too shabby. And unlike Norma’s ill-fated lover, Joe, you will live to see another day.

But if all else fails, see below; pictures are worth a thousand words. The one on the left is the wrong way to create a drainage channel, the one on the right is the proper way to create a drainage channel.

Rogue drainage

Wrong way to build a drainage channel on a trail. This is damaging and undermines sustainability.

This channel doesn’t damage the trail and is effective at moving the water off the trail into a drainage area. The rocks are there to alert users the drainage channel is not another path.

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Trail sign to alert users of our presence.

Regular is Good!

We took the sage advice of our forbearers and made a point to become more regular.  So, if you’ve ever  had the desire to volunteer and give back to the community and you are a trail user, why not come out and do some trail work with us? If you can’t join us in July, no biggie, come and join us in August. What’s that you say? You’re busy for the rest of the summer? No problem, come and join us in September, October, November, etc.. We are out there the third weekend of EVERY month! Sometimes we work on a Saturday, but mainly we are out there on a Sunday. Check back here or email [email protected] for information on a particular month. So Regular!

Our adopted trail Sunset Ridge has been getting a lot of love lately and it’s been paying off. Riding down is incredibly fun, particularly on the sections you’ve worked on. You literally know every rock in the trail. So good. After the last round of much needed, yet crazy rains last winter, we discovered sections that needed new drainage and run-off areas. We also discovered some of our armoring work on the switch backs held up very well and others, not so much. There’s always brush work to be done after the rains and tread work is a regular treatment. A volunteer’s work is never done.

For June, we decided to focus on brush work on Lower Sunset and we also tackled the crazy wooden steps switchback section. Don’t worry sports fans, it’s still technical, rocky, steep and fun. Our goal was not to “dumb down” one of the most technical sections on Sunset, but rather, keep it technical yet make it safer. When one falls off one’s bike because one is pushing one’s limits, one prefers to not impale oneself on a random t-bar or rebar stake. We took out the element of death by impalement (which almost killed us trying to get the damn stake out of the ground) and we also rounded out the dangerous metal plate at the top of the switchback by creating a basket of rocks to smooth out that edge. No more chance of cutting one’s shoes off one’s foot while rounding the switchback. However, if you do decide to ride the tight switchback, you better dust off your BetterRide lessons going down the steep railroad ties. You won’t die from impalement anymore, but that section still demands respect and mad skilz.


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