Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tillie Fowler Park Trail Armor - Part 1

On Saturday of this past weekend a group of us from the local SORBA/IMBA chapter headed out to one of the area urban parks and launched a trail armoring project.  The park is called Tillie Fowler or West Side Regional Park, and it is on land owned by the US Navy and leased long term to the City.  The property is actually abandoned Navy Base housing, and sports all sorts of defunct infrastructure and water treatment facilities and stuff, all long since abandoned.  

This was the Split's first foray to the west side of town, a journey of quite a large distance, for a bus that didn't move for a good many years and has only this year been back on the road.  A few things popped up.  First, a little fuel starvation to deal with again.  Probably more crud from the gas tank in the main jet.  Second, the sun visors make me slouch way over the wheel to see out of the thing, and while that looks kinda cool in a thuggie "yo yo, whassup?" kinda way, it makes my back hurt.  I think I'll pop them off the bus and bag them as keepers and just run no visors.  Finally, no matter how hard I try, the glass gets so gooey.  Does glass absorb the off-gasses from upholstery and then even after cleaning release the goo back to the surface to materialize as fresh smudges and smears?  Glass is always dirty in the thing.  Weird.

Anyway, on to the park.  The trails there currently run along a couple ridge lines that are man made. Our goal is to run new trail perpendicular to the ridge lines and then cross them back and forth as an added feature to provide difficulty.  In order to do that though, we need to armor the ridge.  The first section is a totally new segment, including trails cleared up to and away from the two ridge decks we are building here.

Placing the 4x4 footers, in concrete, and then cross bracing with 2x4's.  The first 2x8 stringer of the top section is fitted in preparation for lag bolts.

Same thing down at the other end of the flat upper deck, and then in the distance another 4x4 waits to join the structure.  The stringers down the slop will be 2x12's and there will be three of them. All lag bolted together. This feature will last through a nuclear explosion.

In the distance, Troy clears the trail that will be the approach to these features.

Charlie digs a hole.  He's from the Bronx so you know he's done that a few times before... 

Side view of the bottom footers dry fit in place and the 2x12's cut to fit.  Lag bolts on the way.

The center 2x12 is lowered into place.

Me, Brian, Charlie, and Ryan (doing work). The top of the 2x12's are cut with a radius edge so that the transition from slope to flat is gradual.  More speed on the bike!  Here Ryan joins the 2x12's from the slope to the 2x8's from the flat.

Then woodland creatures began to develop an appreciation for the improvements we were making.  Here Ryan holds up a King snake that tried to volunteer to help.  Red on black safe for Jack.

Charlie digs footers for the downside of the feature.  This is on the opposite side of the ridge from the previous work, so together there will be a decked up-an-over with dirt in the middle on the crest of the ridge.

Looking down side dos.  Again,  2x8's on the flat, then dropping down the slope beyond.  This will be a one-way trail, so the steeper side is the down side.  4x4's as footers in concrete with lag bolts all around.

Looking up the down-side of the ridge.  The 2x12 stringers are cut to fit and the upper framing is complete.

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Steve Reed said...

God, that looks like a lot of work. It's just hardening the trail, right? So it doesn't get all muddy and degraded?

Love the King Snake! I always heard "Red on black, friend of Jack," but whether he's a friend or just safe I suppose it's the same thing!