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Reality Check Part 1
G’day all. Don’t know who some of you are by your web/e-mail names, Paul Bellin checking in here. My post on all of this is longer than others (not as colorful though), but those of you who know me well know that it takes a lot to make me want to jump in and add anything to these exchanges. There were some things I really felt strongly about, and my main point is further down, but work with me while we get there because it’ll help cover some ground.

I read this string this morning about the roots at Rennie (great name for a race), and I wanted to thank everyone for asking questions and sharing input, ideas, suggestions and what not. Dialogue is always, always a good thing, that’s what this is all for. I learn something every time one of these gets going. I’m always impressed by the passion that so many people, of all skill levels and whatnot, have for the trails and riding here. I usually just stay out of these things and let them die off naturally, and on the rare occasion when I do jump in, seems like it just (unintentionally) inflames someone else. I know how easy it is to let passions take control when you jump into something that’s near and dear to you. But, there were things here I really felt compelled to touch on. At the end I’ll probably wish I’d just taken another bite of the pop tart and moved on to the sports page to see who won last night (anyone wanna start a forum about the Yankees vs Red Sox? Whew, now THAT would be fire).

So, first of all, thanks again for being into what we have here and caring enough to speak up. I talk to lots of out-of-town people at all the races and events and you wouldn’t believe how jealous folks are of what we have for trails and a biking community. Just ask anyone from Atltanta…And many thanks to everyone who does trail work, at any trail, at any time. You don’t have to be a member of a club or group to do that, and I’ll never criticize anyone who takes the initiative to pick up a shovel. One thing I’ve learned, based on years of organized AND pirate trail work, is that sometimes it helps to check in with the trail manager if you’re contemplating something major because it might already be in the works or part of another future project, or there might be a reason why it isn’t getting done already (more on that below). I know I should leave this part to the trained arborists who are also highly skilled racers, but the “roots” we’re talking about were really more like weeds that grow horizontal instead of up. We’re talking about a 20 foot section on the new field trail as you head toward Tyvola, where the only other trail feature to worry about is the rabbits that loiter there. The biggest of those was maybe ¼ inch around (the roots, not the rabbits), and an added benefit is that it’ll help kill off some of the jungle that grows over that part of the trail. I spend a lot of time cutting that thorny mess back and I’m tired of scratches and poison ivy, but it’s still better than dousing it with chemicals. Unless you like being raked by thorns, in which case we can probably open up a stretch for that. These aren’t the big tree roots that add some challenge to the trail, like the evil one that keeps doinking me off into a tree (and I saw that ride-around there now, but I’m inclined to keep trying).
Continue to part II

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Tarheel Trailblazers | 182 Saddle Road | Mooresville, NC 28115
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