S&S Trails Blog
Oct. 26, 2010 Senna Hills: Maintenance
May. 31, 2010 May 4-9 IMBA 2010 World Mountain Bike Summit
Apr. 10, 2010 Timberlane Maintenance
Mar. 30, 2010 PTBA Annual Conference
Feb. 23, 2010 2010 DORBA/Lone Star Trail Building School
Jan. 11, 2010 Excruciation Time!!
Dec. 3, 2009 Senna Hills, Austin, Tx
Dec. 3, 2009 S&S Trails Excruciation Exam Flyer!
Oct. 26, 2009 Senna Hills Trails, Austin, Tx
Oct. 26, 2009 Pedernales Falls Equestrian Trails
Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Oct. 26, 2010 - 10:27 am
In September and the beginning of October, S&S Trail Services was busy in west Austin at the Senna Hills neighborhood. Flooding had moved a couple of bridges and tumbled a few trees. The S&S Crew trimmed weeds and performed routine maintenance on most of the trail system, in addition to correcting the storm damage. One section of trail had cedar duff build up on the low side, preventing water from draining. This whole section was debermed.
The month of May got off to a great start with S&S Trails traveling to Augusta, Georgia for the 2010 International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) World Mountain Bike Summit. Approximately 200 delegates from all over the world converged on the Southeast to learn from each other and ride some awesome singletrack. S&S Trails are corporate sponsors of IMBA, and we’ve attended every biennial summit since their inception in 2000. All the prior summits were held out west or up north (including one in Canada), and this year was the first to highlight trails in the southern region of the US. Since Susan started riding in Florida and has always been partial to the southeast, it was very exciting to have trails and landscapes featured that were quite different from those that were highlighted in the past. The motto for the event was GRITS, Great Riding In The South, and the moniker certainly fit.
Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Apr. 10, 2010 - 12:02 pm
March 29-31 Timberlane Utility District maintenance
At the end of March, S&S Trails took a quick trip to Spring to work for our good friend Bud Gessel at TLUD. Some of the crushed granite trails needed a little resurfacing due to erosion, so we called up our local co-worker Chuck and got busy laying down more material. We also used our little dozer (affectionately named Sam) to do some drainage work to prevent future erosion problems, in addition to using her to load crushed granite into the dump buggy to carry it out to the trouble spots.
Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 30, 2010 - 12:50 pm
March 22-27 PTBA Conference
S&S Trails traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas to participate in the first members-only conference for the Professional Trail Builders Association (PTBA). In the past a conference was held every year that was open to the public and governmental agencies, in addition to the professional trail contractors that comprise the association. As a member of the board of directors, Susan was involved with discussions to change the conference format to an every other year event that would alternate with the National Trails Symposium and IMBA biennial summits. Because those two conferences occur on even-number years, the large PTBA conference that’s open to the public will occur in odd-number years starting with 2011.
Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Feb. 23, 2010 - 8:27 am
February 20 and 21 Ryan and Susan returned to Sid Richardson Boy Scout Ranch in Runaway Bay (about 1 hour northwest of Fort Worth) to teach our annual trail building school to Dallas Off Road Bicycling Association (DORBA) trail stewards and regional land managers. On our way there, we stopped at Purtis Creek State Park on Friday the 19th to do a trail assessment and provide some consultation services at the park manager’s request.
The DORBA school is organized by Rick Buckley, a dedicated member of DORBA and organizer of the local IMBA National Mountain Bike Patrol program. Through his relationship with the Boy Scouts of America organization, he facilitates access to the scout ranch property which provides an excellent training environment for beginner and advanced trail builders alike.
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Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Jan. 11, 2010 - 4:10 pm
On January 2nd, S&S Trail Services hosted the 6th Excruciation Exam. We had a record 146 competitors on the 81 mile course. Unfortunately, wet weather caused us to have to take out a few sections of trail, namely The Wall at Rocky Hill and The Palisades at Bluff Creek Ranch.
Scott Henry (Team Hammerhead Bicycles) won the mens’ race in 5:12:51. Henry was in a lead group of 7 riders on the roads over to Rocky Hill and barely slowed going through the checkpoint going into the 21 mile lap. Tristan Uhl (Southern Elite/Sun & Ski, (5:23:34) was the closest chaser, keeping Henry almost in sight through Uhl’s home course of Rocky Hill before hitting the road with a 3 minute deficit. Uhl admitted to slowing down into the headwind on the way back and thought that he might get caught by Chad Hardt (5:25:30).
The womens race was won by Shae Rainer (Trek VW). Shae went into the singletrack at Warda in 1st and never relented the lead. She was followed by Claire McKenna (Hammerhead).
We appreciate everyones participation. We even had a few racers thank us saying that the race was their favorite and they look forward to it every year.
S&S Trail Services recently completed the first natural surface trail system in the Senna Hills community on Bee Cave Road in west Austin. The project development followed a convoluted path and came about in part due to a referral from our former business partner, who was unavailable to complete the project himself when the opportunity arose. Last spring several members of the board of directors for the homeowner’s association (HOA) decided that a trail would be a nice amenity for the neighborhood. The Senna Hills community is near the Barton Creek West neighborhood, which has trails that were developed many years ago and our company has performed maintenance work on over the past few years. Apparently homeowners in Senna Hills would sometimes venture over to Barton Creek West to utilize the trail system, as they had no trails available in their own back yard. The HOA board members knew that a nice parcel of land owned by the community was not going to be utilized for building new homes, and would therefore be available as protected green space that could have a trail built on it to allow the homeowners to walk and bicycle in the woods.
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Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Dec. 3, 2009 - 1:00 pm
Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Oct. 26, 2009 - 2:56 pm
So, we’ve started a new project out at Senna Hills with the cooperation of the Homeowners Association, and the MUD, that will be a 2.5 mile long system initially. The project, located just west of Austin, is a high end neighborhood with rolling hill country terrain surrounding it. We’ve only begun the project a week ago and made some pretty good progress, despite all the rain. We even had a pretty successful volunteer workday this past Saturday. Its great when the neighbors all get behind a project! The board even offered for us to use volunteers in this case, as we were planning on strictly a turn key project.
Pictures and progress reports to follow soon!
So, September kept S&S Trails busy with reroutes on the horse trails at Pedernales Falls State Park, and with exploring some contract opportunities for the coming months. We were able to finish about half of the work that needed to be done at the state park. The rest will be finished in November, when the funding is complete.
We used a couple of new to us techniques that really helped make the project go well. We were rerouting trails that were fall line, and putting in contour trail. This also meant we needed to close down the old sections of trail. We wanted to rehab the trails as best we could. This meant that the hard packed earth had to be dealt with. Typically, this would involve scoring the ground somehow, but the trails had eroded down to bedrock in many locations, making scarification almost impossible. Also, we had this issue of all this top soil we were removing from the new sections of trail, that would just get moved downhill. Our solution came in the form of a Bradco Tilt Attach. We used our blade to get the bench cuts started and a second machine equipped with the tilt attach to scoop up the spoils. We then deposited the spoils on the old trail tread, filling it as well as we could. This helped in a number of ways, the largest is it all but eliminated the hand work that needed to be done on the new sections of trail. True, there were still track marks to get rid of and some masking to do, but not the large amount of labor intensive dirt raking.