Monday, August 4, 2008

Kitsuma & a Set of Loppers

Kitsuma in Black Mountain is my favorite trail bar none because there is no where else you can get 4.5 miles of high speed, twisty DH singletrack & a gated, paved, shallow grade road climb that is a piece of cake back to the top. If I had to break out that much climbing on singletrack, I'd still think it was my fav...but it would double the time to ride. As is, you can't beat 1hr 30 minute rides that have that much DH built in!!!

Anyway, it's my baby but neglected for years now. The rhodos have made impossible to lean into the bank of rail turns & link sweepers. Just one long blind scraping tunnel that pushes you off the track. On a climb, no big woop...but on descents it's a bloody, itchy mess & dangerous when you add the random uphill hiker.

I gutted every tight mess I could find & Todd Branham & crew took out 2 head high trees and groomed the sides the length of the whole trail to give breathing room the length of it. My approach was to take an S turn area and cut out a visual line of sight down trail. I'd park my bike down trail and walk back up to spot my bike..then cut a view path all the way back to my bike. It made a HUGE difference. On the very last left hand switchback uphill turn on the 3rd climb, I cut really deep into the uphill side of the trail. Brush had grown into what was the original trailbed & a new line had formed down low that was almost vapor. Threw brush in the old line and magicly after 30-40 minutes, out of the underbrush popped the original. Felt like a pro...heh. Pretty neat.

In the end, Kitsuma is now epicly fun again and alot of the original flow came back now that you can see where you're linking things up again. Todd has another work day for the end of the month to repair eroded sections where the trail itself is just GONE. I'm going to campaign my fellow gravity junkies to come help and hope they will join in the dig.

My back is a complete knot & I suffered a heat stroke almost on the climb out..but am pretty proud of the attention given to my old friend.

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