The forest gnomes are busy building again at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. (Did they ever stop?) I caught a glimpse of these magical beings yesterday, after my teammate Katie and I took a fun, swooping run down Ryan’s Eternal Flow. Right at the exit, we found ourselves at the base of a towering, half-constructed wooden structure. What will you be? I wondered silently, but only for a second. Because Mike Westra, Project Manager for Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, and his shovel-swinging work crew were right there, ready to answer.
“It’s going to be an 8-foot drop to flat,” said Westra.
I really didn’t know what to say.
“Just kidding,” said Westra.
Apparently, this new “fly-over” structure will have a ramp up to the apex and another one down the other side, which will feed into a huge, speed-catching berm.
“I like berms,” I said.
The amazing constructed elements are a big reason why riders of every level and style are flocking to Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. Even people who are reticent about riding ramp work can appreciate how cool it is to ride in a place where natural and constructed trail features seem to work so well together. Clearly there’s an art to trail construction–and to built structures in particular–but one doesn’t need to be so skilled to lend a hand in the building process.
According to Westra, for the next couple of weeks, work party members are needed to help transplant flora–including lush and lovely fiddle-neck ferns–before the plants become too brittle to move. And if you can swing a shovel, that’s really all you need to be put to work.
You also don’t have to wait for a scheduled work party on the Evergreen calendar to get involved. If you can rally your own group, you can set up a time with Westra to come out and dig in. Contact him at mwestra@evergreenMTB.org
See you on the trail–or at the work party.
Angela Sucich, Freelance Writer