So you want to start riding trails

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So you decided trails are for you or your looking to find out if they are for you. I found out about the trails in this area from this forum or maybe you will hear about it or be invited. I cant say what it is like everywhere but from all I have read, watched on YouTube and heard first hand, its best to bring a shovel and/or rake the first time out. Personally I left my bike at home the first few times, although, there has only been one other person digging when I have gone out if I showed up at the same time he did.

So. Here is a list of things I feel is essential when going to the trails.

  • shovel - shows your ready to work and this is how you will earn respect
  • rake - optional, just depends on what the trials are like
  • 2 or 3 towels - clean yourself up after your done IF it was wet and you can use one to place over your seat for the ride home if you got too dirty
  • shoes - I bought some rubber garden shoes from Sam's Club. They only go up to the shins but are all rubber. The mud where I am at is grey and sticky. I ruined one pair of shoes. These wash clean in water
  • wet rags- soak the rags and fold them in half twice and they will fit into a sandwich ziplock. these can be multipurpose. If you get mud on your arms and legs you can wipe yourself down before the ride home. If its summer, toss these in a cooler and when your toasty, throw them on your neck. this cools your whole body because the main nerves in your neck will register the coolness and tell your mind your body is cooling off (I like to freeze mine the night before and leave them in the cooler
  • cooler - obviously. i take water, leave the soft drinks at home, I try to take some extra in case i have buds and they want to a drink too
  • spare clothes - yeah, so you probably wont have a phone booth to change in superman but you can always change your socks or shirt before you head out
  • trash bags - i wipe off the handles of my tools and place the business ends into the trash bags. Keeps my car free of dirt. I also put my dig shoes and anything else that is messy in here. It doesnt hurt to carry a bag with you to the trails. If you see trash, pick it up and haul it out.

If you are lucky someone will be happy to help you learn how to maintain, repair and maybe even build. I STRONGLY suggest watching some videos first. In hind sight I wish I had done this first. Although the one guy I met gave me the link below. Its pretty helpful and a great start.

  • https://vimeo.com/trailpirateco

DO's

  • watch the videos above
  • take a shovel
  • ask where you can help
  • show up to work, not just talk
  • do some work
  • watch what others are doing (not the guys standing around, watch the guys who are actually working)
  • dont leave trash

DONT's

  • watch only videos of riding trails
  • take a bike, leaving your tools at home or in the car
  • ride before working
  • toss dirt that blows away in the wind and doesnt hit the track (i have seen it before)
  • throw trash
  • talk about what you have done on other trails (no one cares because these are those trails, if you loved those trails so much, take your happy butt back to them)
  • tear down something that someone else has worked hard on
  • tell anyone how to maintain, repair or build (if your so stinking smart, just find something that needs to be done and start doing it, the people who know their crap will notice and recognize you, dont force yourself out there)
  • ride when it is wet (this causes lots of problems and produces a lot of needed repairs, if someone sees you doing it you will lose a lot of respect or be told to leave)

Im no seasoned veteran at this stuff. Most of this is common sense and on videos you will see online. Just remember, when your new you need to earn the respect of others. Be cool, do some work and they will take you in. If your a jerk and only ride then they wont respect you, no matter how good you think you are at riding.

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