Sunday, June 29, 2014

Vulture's Knob Trail Day 2014

At 0800 it was already inching toward 80 degrees and high humidity; I knew it was going to be an epic day.

We had an ambitious plan for the only trail day we've been able to muster up for the Knob this year, to replace the suspension bridge, Rhino three sections of rutted trail, and clear the briar and poison ivy infested section of trail leading to the furnace.

The day started early with Dusty, Kevin and I picking up a butt load of treated lumber from Lowes, the closest supplier to our local...

As we got the tool laden Volvo unloaded and workstations set up, folks started to stream in, enthusiastic to help out.  In all, we had about thirty fine folks give up their Saturday to lend a hand, so very appreciated.

Aaron  and Chris, our engineers on location, took on the task of directing the pre-fabbed bridge sections, Dusty led a hard core group out into the woods to shape trail, Lorena and Emily grabbed the clippers/machete and bug spray to take on the trimming, Christi was painting, and lots of other folks were giving sweat equity to see the Knob rise to it's promise of greatness.  I'll let the pics tell the story...

Aaron screwing in the last of the deck boards...

Frankie checking out the completed suspension bridge...

Reclaimed wood from years of building less than sustainable projects, gonna make a heckuva bonfire for the final race in October...

Christi painting up the vultures on the cabin so they welcome our guests with vibrant colors...

A big thank you to all who attended.  These are the folks that are doing the work so you can enjoy your trail time. 
Kevin Daum
Dusty Clouse
Lorena Brown
Chris Huck
Ryan Falk
Jeff Johnson
Mark Jones
Keith Feeman
Wes Jones
Nick Barnes
Greg and Jacob Kaczmarek
John Perchinske
Todd McMillen
Johnathan and Chayton Shell
Tyler Bevington
Mike Canterbury
Aaron Holmes
Tim Long
Spencer and Dad
Christi and Emily Walter

These are only the folks who signed in...if you attended but are not listed, please let me know so we can thank you in person next time we meet.

Hope y'all will join us next time.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Velocity Dually...Tubeless

Although the Dually rim is touted as tubeless ready, it does need a bit of sweet tape lovin' to get it nice and tight.  Especially if you choose to run the Knard in the lower tpi count, which is NOT considered tubeless ready.

The biggest issue I've found with this rim is that it uses a bead "shelf" rather than a bead seat.  The shelf does not grip and hold the bead of the tire, encouraging it to seat into the sidewall and protecting it from lateral loads during riding.

To deal with these issues, here is a strategy that seems to work very efficiently.

First, apply some Stan's yellow tape to the center of the rim, effectively sealing off the spoke holes per standard protocol.

Next up, we are going to create a slight raised section on both sides of the rim to encourage the tire bead to stay in place.  I grabbed some Gorilla Duct Tape, a nice heavy and easily applied product, and cut two strips about 4mm wide, placing them around the rim about 4mm from the sidewall.  Just enough room for the bead to have a little wiggle room while seating the tire but not so much that a strong lateral force will force the tire off of the bead shelf.

Then cut some tape to the width of the rim, running from sidewall to sidewall with no material moving up the vertical surface.  Two strong wraps around is all you need.

Use an Exacto knife to clean out the valve stem hole and insert your tubeless valve stem and tighten down.  I was able to easily air these up with a compressor, had to work just a little bit more with a floor pump.  I seated them with air only, then added fluid through the valve stem.

Super easy and ready for nasty trail.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

RIP Technical Trails

I'm having difficulty in expressing just how I feel right now; pissed off, frustrated, sad, hopeless. All because I do not understand the selfishness of some people.

The Knob has stood as a fun and technical trail since we began to cut the first single track in 1992. During that time til now, many endearing features have stood as defining characteristics of the trail system; the rock tunnel, the cradle, hollowed out log crossings, the squeeze tree, the gold fish bowl, etc...

While out prepping for trail work today, I discovered that over the weekend someone took it upon themselves to cut out one of the two trees that make "the squeeze" on the trail section that runs parallel to McAfee road, right before the switch back climbs. This feature has been here since the start, 22 years, with countless cyclists navigating it's tight constraints. Now it's just another dumbed down section of trail that will no longer leave an imprint in a rider's memory of the experience.

We are at a crux. This is private property that has been opened for public use because we want to share it and allow it to enrich other's lives. Many have invested time and money in this cause only to be rewarded each time their tires roll across the Knob's dirt. However, this blatant disrespect has us reconsidering whether this access is valued in the community. This action shall not be condoned by complacency in response.

If you are responsible for this, or know who is, I'd like to hear from you. Taking responsibility now will go a long way towards preserving access for all in the immediate future.