Trail Working for the Trans-Cascadia and Oregon Timber Trail
Photos and words by Dylan VanWeelden
In Oregon, it is not uncommon to see two rolling waves moving with equal speed and swell in opposite directions. The Pacific is chaotic and tumultuous and the rocky beaches and moody weather facilitate this diversive behavior. But occasionally these waves move toward each other, combining and colliding with a massive, wild spike of energy — more beautiful and twice as tall as anything else on the horizon.
This is exactly the type of energy that came together last weekend in the mountain bike community. http://trans-cascadia.com/Trans-Cascadia (the 4-day blind format enduro race) and the newly founded Oregon Timber Trail (bikepacking trail going across Oregon) joined forces to create one hell of a trail building party. Over fifty cyclists, from top enduro racers to core bikepackers, shared rakes, saws, loppers, and endless Basecamp beers around the fire.
With fires raging all around Oregon builders persistently worked to cut out decommissioned trails despite the poor air quality. Compliant with fire ban restrictions, all mechanized tools (including chainsaws and brushers) were left at home leaving builders to do it all the ol’ fashioned way with a little elbow grease and a lot of sweat equity.
Sponsor companies came out to support the cause in person, paying time and travel expenses for their employees that wanted to join the trail building army. It is powerful to see folks like Santa Cruz, Oakley and Modus Sport Group put so much effort into trial building, showing that action speaks louder than dollars.
As our government agencies become defunded now is more important than ever for cyclists to get out and make our trails happen. Remember: this land is our land. We pay for it and we need to help maintain it. Let’s not give any reasons for the government to sell off any parcel of our land. I invite you to reach out to your local trail builders or US Forest Service and see how you can get involved. Learn something new by getting your NOLS Wilderness or US Chainsaw certification. It will be a lesson you take with you for the rest of your life.