Saturday, October 3, 2015

No Dig, No Run

Apart from paying your entry fee, to start Angeles Crest next year you have to finish a race that is at least 50 miles long, and commit to completing 8 hours of trail maintenance work in the vicinity of where you live, train and race.  This weekend I completed the latter with the awesome folk at the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Assocation, and here are some random thoughts.

  • Your favorite trails do not cut themselves.  Over where I live--the provincial government has contractors to machine cut certain trails, but finishing and drainage engineering is done by volunteers.  (Maybe it's a Canada thing with our silly population density or lack thereof.)
  • Trail douchenozzles are the reason why we will end up with user fees sooner or later.  Probably not really applicable to where I live (i.e. the People's Republic of Canada), but I've seen Facebook retorts to notes to stay off wet trails as a means of avoiding rutting that basically are predicated on the argument that the trail maintenance people need something to do.  Hahaha nope.  Because everyone drops popcorn on the floor of a movie theater so janitors can earn their pay.  Right. 
  • If you have time to run, you have time to help out.  If you're that hell bent on following your training schedule, then come out when you're tapering.  There's no excuse for not doing this.
  • Because it's just like yard work!  Seriously, all the tools we use can be found in most garden sheds.  But where yard work will make your significant other look at you weird and net you a less shittier yard, a day of trail work gets you a few running buddies, a few riding buddies, the low-down on upcoming trails to be built, and the occasional beer.  Plus it's a full body workout--you get to hike tools in, then spend time raking, pulling roots out, pulling trees out, throwing rocks, and other fun things that could kill you.  
  • Yes, it's that easy!  All you need are some clothes that can be sullied, decent work gloves (maybe with a shock absorbent factor for using axes), maybe a friend if you're shy, some snacks, and that's it!
  • And speaking of upcoming trails...  The GBCTA essentially has an unofficial policy that spells "if you sweat on it, you can ride on it" with regards to new trails.  So you get to touch trails before the general public can!  (And also know where they are!)
  • And the trail karma.... Empirical evidence suggests that once you start taking care of the trails, you will never trip and fall on those trails ever again.  
  • But if you really don't have time to help out.... I call bullshit, but at least throw some money at these trail groups.  The GBCTA has a massive tolerance for equestrian douchecanoes because of their patronage.   They don't have too much shits to give about horses leaving their shit everywhere because each year they give them a sizeable donation.  True story.  
    • But seriously, horses are terrible. 
Stateside?  Go seek penance from these cool kids.

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