Thursday, April 26, 2007

Well Built Stunt

Technical trail feature on a Don River trail

Construction close-up

Stunt in use

I took a lot of flak from the biking community for my post a couple of days ago. Some of them can get pretty rankled when you criticize their work. The construct that I portrayed may be well built but it is in the wrong place. Building something that close to the water is not good, especially a river as volatile as the Don. One good rainstorm like the one in August 2005 and it will be turned into a pile of junk.

This is not to say that all the "technical trail features" are poorly constructed. I came across this one last year and took some pictures. I was particularly impressed because it conforms to IMBA building standards, new wood (no reused pallets), screws used instead of nails, and nothing attached to the tree. In addition the stunt doesn't block the trail so a timid cyclist (like me) or a hiker can veer around it.

The only thing this builder didn't do is obtain permission from the landowner to build it. The main landowner in the Don Valley is the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. Surprisingly, the city doesn't own this land but does manage it on behalf of the TRCA. This is a legacy of Hurricane Hazel. In the aftermath, the TRCA became responsible for all the river valleys in Toronto.

While this stunt (and others like it) are unauthorized it is unlikely that anybody is going to tear it down anytime soon. Both the city and the TRCA have other priorities. So in the meantime, if you've got the right bike and the gumption, get out there and enjoy them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holy cow... a reasonable, almost concilliatory article about mountain biking.

My goodness, what have you done with the real Donwatcher?