LLC Trail Love – NWTA Trail Building Day

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A call to local bike riders and trail users went out through the Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA) and the Sellwood Cycle Repair website as well as a post on the local blog BikePortland.org in early August. Locals were urged to come out on Wednesday Aug.8th  to help repair and lay in new trails on what us locals call the Lewis and Clark trails, named for their location next to Lewis and Clark College. These trails, formerly owned by Riverviw Properties, have hosted the infamous Wednesday night “Mountain Bike School” rides for Team S&M racers and employees for years. Found just a short ride from the Sellwood shop on the other side of the Sellwood bridge and up through the Riverview Cemetery on SW Palatine Hill.

Julie enjoying mountain bike school

These trails feature some steep descents, challenging side hills and when ridden in early spring wet weather, very challenging climbs. Unfortunately, some of these trails have become  damaged beyond repair and new routes were planned to allow the old trails to be returned to the fern and English Ivy covered forest floor.

Our guide to the trail work was Jeff Hough from Portland Parks and Recreation.  With about 25 volunteers, we received a brief tutorial on our tasks and set to work after signing in and choosing our tools. Beth Ann and her man Matty showed up ready to get dirty as well as myself and Julie. Many friends of the shop showed their support by putting in their time and sweat. We even had a 12 yr old boy happily chopping away at a huge log, bound and determined to chop through the enormous downed tree( a chain saw was brought in to finish the job). With so many volunteers, we could have used a few more group leads but our sections were managed pretty well.

This 146 acre property was purchased by the City of Portland from Riverview Properties. Our own Erik Tonkin was instrumental in making these trails a permanent fixture for local mountain bikers. From what I can tell, the city is doing what it can to make these trails multi use and work with the neighbors to avoid any conflicts with trail use. While we were hacking away at debris and ivy roots, a man from the neighborhood came down the hill to have a heated conversation with whomever was in charge. It seems he was concerned about all of the cars parked at the trail head and was concerned that these new trails would bring unwanted traffic to his quiet neighborhood. Although the man was visibly upset seeing all of these  people working away in the forest, our leader Jeff had a very matter of fact conversation with the man about the plans and use of the trails, strictly monitored by the City of Portland. The neighbor left without incident.

Julie representing the Sellwood crew

Trail use is a very heated issue here in the Portland area and we bikers do our best to be good stewards of the sport. Showing respect to the trail and the neighbors that live in the surrounding areas goes a long way to improving our relationships between all trail users. Thank you to everyone that came out to show your support of these trails.

To read more on the subject, Jonathan Maus from BikePortland.org did a write up about this event. 

http://bikeportland.org/2012/08/10/riverview-property-holds-major-mountain-biking-potential-75766#more-75766

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