Build Day – October 25, 2014

We had an official build day this past weekend, with about 35 people showing up to help build and improve the trails!  We endured some rain and a little bit of wind at the end, but everyone left with a smile.

For those who have never come out, and/or think they may not have something to contribute – here are some eye-opening stats:

  • About 1/3 of the people were first-time builders
  • About 1/4 of the people were women
  • 6 were under the age of 18
  • a couple were college students

People worked on projects ranging from putting in a drain, rebuilding bermed corners, reconfiguring a corner for better flow, packing down new portions of trail, raking trail smooth, and transplanting plants.

So truly, people of all abilities are welcome and can make a meaningful contribution to the trail.

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Helping make the berm blend in with ferns and moss.

My 8 year old daughter came out and had an absolute blast.  As we were walking back to the trail head for lunch, she turned to me and asked, “Can we come back tomorrow?” She helped pack down a couple of new berms, dug holes for transplanted ferns, broke up clods of dirt, and helped age the berms by transplanting big patches of moss.  She also helped make a batch of oatmeal cookies to share.

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A trail-gnome in training, resting after some hard work.
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Redoing a roller at the end of Springboard.

Thanks to the BLM, we had an excavator to do a lot of the heavy lifting – leaving the easy work to the people – like spreading the soil around and packing it down.

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Improving the flow at a corner

A few guys worked on an upper portion of Highballer to fix a drainage problem.  A bermed corner was prone to filling up with water, so they dug a trench and put in a drain.  No machine help here – just hard labor.

Putting a drain into "berm lake" on Highballer
Putting a drain into “berm lake” on Highballer
A job well done!
A job well done!

Thanks to the folks who came out – the trails really show the improvement, and thanks to the folks who cooked us lunch.

Of course there was also thanks to Ninkasi for the post-work beverages, to Tim Maddux for bringing donuts, Starbucks for coffee, and Team Dirt and Trevor for lunch and non-alcoholic drinks!


Kat Sweet Skills Clinic

Team Dirt invited Kat Sweet to come to Alsea Falls and lead two skills clinics for all interested.  Kat offered two classes, an all-comer’s on Saturday (October 4) and a women’s only clinic on Sunday.  The larger, Saturday, class was assisted by Christy Ott.

The weather was perfect, and the trails were in great shape – having received some rain a few days before the weekend.

After some basic skills and drills in the campground area at the bottom (body position, bike separation, braking), we all shuttled up to the top for a couple more drills (cornering) and then attacked the trails.

On the way down, we stopped at several spots to focus on different aspects of riding.  At one early section of tight twisty turns with roots and a drop, we all got off the bike and looked at the line, then watched Kat and one of the guys experienced with the trail system go down.  Emboldened with the knowledge of the better line, we all tried it – with Kat giving advice as we rolled through it.  No spills at that point.

Shortly after, at a really big, bermed corner, Kat talked about options for this turn and then demonstrated it with Christy.  While you could rail the corner (lean with the bike), we were focusing on leaning the bike and not the body.  We all then took turns, regrouping at the bottom of Highballer.

While riding down the trail, Kat and Christy would alternate riding behind different people, and having different people follow them.  Getting on-the-trail and on-the-fly feedback really helped people make changes to their riding style.

This pattern continued down the rest of the trail on Springboard.

We then had lunch, practiced some drills lifting the front/rear/entire bike, and shuttled up for another run down the trails.  The big skill we worked on was jumping, taking a couple runs at a small jump – which was a bit intimidating for a number of us who didn’t regularly ride with flats.

Kat prefers people do her classes riding with flats, because it helps teach good habits (instead of relying on clipless pedals to hold you to the bike).  Using flats was definitely a new experience for a number of us (including yours truly), but nobody regretted it.

We finished up the class with a cookie circle – everyone sharing what they’d learned and their favorite part.  Many asked Kat when she’d be back to teach again.

From the photos, it looks as though the women’s class on Sunday had as much fun as the class on Saturday.

Kat Sweet Skills Clinic Kat Sweet Women's Skills Clinic

Corvallis Car Free Festival

The 5th annual Car Free Festival was held on Sept 21st in downtown Corvallis.  Team Dirt participated in this event last year for the first time and was invited back to this year’s festival after an overwhelmingly positive response from participants.

car_free_photo_1Kids of all ages and skills were challenged to ride a bicycling skills course which included several different obstacles and a much loved teeter-totter.  Push bikes, training wheels and two wheeled bikes all rode the course, each time with increased confidence and excitement. 

car_free_photo_3Many thanks to Scott and Kirstin Carroll, who organized and led the bicycling skills course!

car_free_photo_2The Corvallis Gazette Times wrote an article about the festival, and Scott Carroll was quoted in it!  Read the article here. (cached copy)

Team Dirt Fall 2014 Calender of events

Team Dirt Autumn 2014 Postcard-page-001


On 9/15 the shuttle day prices will go up from $30 plus fees to $35 plus fees until sales close on Thursday Sept 18.

On September 27th we will have our first Alsea Falls Build day and will work on the new flow trail below Springboard and/or the new XC climbing connector.

We still have some spots left in the Oct 5th, Women’s MTB skills clinic. Riders must have one year of experience. The class focuses on bike control, cornering, braking, jumping and will cater to the needs of the group. This is a great class by Kat Sweet and it will take you to a new level of safe, confident and fun!

Please check the calender for many more events on the horizon.

MOUNTAIN BIKE MOJO: RIDE WITH CONFIDENCE, Alsea Falls, October 11/12, 2014

michelle emmons class fall 2014


New to mountain biking or need a refresher on proper technique and trail design fundamentals?   Join Michelle Emmons on October 11th and 12th, 2014, for a great weekend of mountain biking at Team Dirt’s Alsea Falls trail system.

Check out the class listing here

This two-day clinic will provide the basic skills and techniques for participants to increase their enjoyment in the fast growing sport of mountain biking. The incredible new Alsea Falls “flow trail” is the training ground for this course. Learn body positioning and balance, switchbacks and cornering, braking and maneuvering obstacles, wheel lifts, pumping, safety, trails stewardship and more!

Meet at Alsea Falls Trailhead, just above the Alsea Falls Campground off Alpine Road south of Corvallis. Email if you seek a bike rental (additional fee).

A donation from this event will be given to Team Dirt to help with the trail building efforts for 2014 trail development.

Alsea Falls, Team Dirt, Fall 2014 FUNdraiser and Shuttleday

alsea overhead Come join us for the fall 2014 Team Dirt FUNdraiser and Shuttle day

Please register here at Bike Reg

Saturday Septmeber 20th, 9:00am to 4:00pm

Sunday September 21st, 9:00am to 4:00pm

$30 +registration fees online before September 15

$35+ Monday Sept 15-Thursday Sept 18 at 8:00pm PST

Please register early so that we can reserve the proper amount of shuttle trucks to maximize the fun for everyone

We have limited reserved camping available for purchase on the bike registration page for $5/day/person at the nearby Alsea Falls campground

We have hot lunch available, T-shirts and feel free to donate additionally to the Alsea falls trail building fund.

On the following Saturday, September 27, 2014 in celebration of National Public Lands day we will have our first Alsea Falls Build day to help kick off the 2014/15 trail building season. This trail system would not be a reality without the support from volunteer trail builders. First timers and seasoned trail gnomes are very welcome to join, everyone can offer assistance!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact

Photo credit, Nathan Pfeifer

Corvallis Advocacy Report, August 2014

Martin Luther King Park

A grant proposal to improve the pavilion and children’s playground area was submitted by Parks and Rec staff.  This grant was not approved.  The grant application did not include a new pump track near the existing playground area, improvements to the existing trails, bike skills features within the park, and new purpose built trail extension within the park as we had hoped for. However these concepts were well liked by city staff if we could find another way to fund them.  We do have permission to move forward with a new trail reroute on the north end of the park following city protocol and trail standards.
Next steps for the north end trail improvements would be
• a site meeting with interested parties to go over conceptual ideas (TD) We could use a team leader on this one.
• another site meeting with city staff to go over the concept and approval process (TD and City Staff)
• a series of work parties to make it happen (TD)

 Village Green Park

The site is being examined for a new bike park and trail network.
Next steps are:
• the development of conceptual plans and cost information (TD)
• research existing master plan for park for possible update to include concept park (City Staff)
• presentation to parks board concept plan (TD)

Corvallis BMX Park

Improvements to the park to bring it back to its former state as a viable BMX track are being examined.
Next steps are:
• Further research and study on plans and permit issues involved with track improvements which would include mechanized equipment (City Staff)
• Continued work parties to improve the park (TD)

Chip Ross Park

Improvements to the existing trail network and possible new purpose built trails are being studied. The existing park does not currently have a master plan which may need to happen prior to any extensive trail development on the north side of the park which has a lot of potential for really interesting side hill type trails. However, we can go forward with some selective reroutes of the existing trails to improve them.

Next steps are:
• Establish a park master plan which would include more purpose built trails in the park including development of the north side of the park (City Staff)
• A site meeting with interested parties on possible reroutes of some of the existing trails to go over conceptual ideas (TD)
• Followed by a site meeting with city staff to go over proposed concept trail reroutes (TD and City Staff)
• A series of work parties to make it happen (TD)