These 5.5 hours of volunteer work were made possible by Mariel Tewksbury and Nathan Norton. Thank you for your support! To find out about how you can help us stay on the road and give back CLICK HERE.
This past Saturday we had the opportunity to ride in Prescott, Arizona. I have been to Prescott many times, but I had never ridden my bike there. The day before we left I asked Jay if he thought there would be any trails suitable for me to ride. He explained that Prescott is quickly becoming a premiere mountain bike destination and it prides itself on having a trail system that will appeal to riders at all levels. After discovering this detailed map [PDF] from the City of Prescott, I was excited to check it out. I ended up riding the Peavine Trail (with one failed side trail attempt) and Jay rode with his father and brother on the very technical Willow Lake trail in the Granite Dells. I can’t wait to go back with more time to explore all of the beginner and intermediate trails.
After a little online research, I discovered that the local IMBA club, Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance would be hosting a trail day on the Circle Trail the following day with the Prescott National Forest. It turns out that PMBA usually gathers a crew once a month and the City of Prescott coordinates a crew called the Over the Hill gang to work on local trails once a week.
As Chris Hosking, the trail specialist for the City of Prescott, says in this video, the trail building work he is doing with the Over the Hill gang is “raising the bar” for how trails can be built and maintained. I love this. I love that these older adult volunteers are raising expectations for what a volunteer crew can accomplish. Also, I love that Chris and the City of Prescott is supporting them and rising to the challenge to build more and better trail systems.
When I joined the monthly volunteer crew on Sunday to work on the Circle Trail I was very impressed with the number of hard workers who came out and the skills they brought to the effort. This work day was hosted by the Prescott National Forest and the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance. It was a unique experience because the trail designer, Rob Hehlen, was there and taught us the proper technique for building trail by hand. He also shared his process for choosing the route that the trail will take, starting with topographical maps in the office and then moving to the field, tromping through the brush to envision a 50 mile trail loop around the City of Prescott. If you would like to see a presentation he put together about the Circle Trail, click HERE to download the powerpoint.