Saturday, March 10, 2012
Lake Manawa Reconnaissance
So it was in the upper 60s early afternoon, sunny, and very windy. For mid-March, I had to get out and on the bike. After all, it had been 3 weeks since my last ride. With the wind, it seemed to be a good day to check out the trail work that has been done at Lake Manawa.
The trails were underwater most of last summer - Missouri River flood waters. It was my favorite trail. Was a great place for me to ride.
I had commented that it would look that the trail system would need to be built from scratch. Recently, word was re-designing and trail work has started. A trail day was scheduled but the weather was nasty. Was some other work day while I was in Albuquerque.
Anyway, weather today was for riding in the woods (or at least trying to ride in the woods). Manawa bound.
Past the kiosk and the fence, I found the "Blue" arrow trail marker. A couple bikes have been down the new trail, leaving ruts. Except for the silt deposits, the trail looked that it just needed tread work (at least a lode of bikes riding the trail).
As I continued walking or riding my bike. I started seeing some problems with the trail. This was no longer the easiest trail in the area that I used to ride. It was not that the trail was re-designed, it was confusing. Coming out of on section, the trail changes to a "green" arrow trail. Then back into a "Blue" trail. Thought I was still on the same trail. No junction, just new difficult designation.
As I came to the old log crossing area, the new trail does not look to be sustainable. At the new ditch, the I noticed the trail becomes VERY narrow. The trail corridor width is for a black trail. There were more and more log crossings with no bypass, and I would judge at least needs black skill-level rider. Yet, I am still on the ONE trail.
At 0.9 mile, I bailed off the trail and hiked the bike up to the levee and rode the levee back to the parking lot.
Now, lest you think I am just complaining, I tried to offer helping with the trail design. I have seen some great trail designs during my travels. Lake Manawa needs lots of work (trail surface, by-passes, trail corridor). Otherwise, I will have to forget dirt riding, except for out-of-town trips. The local trail for unwinding, riding dirt, and getting into the woods, is gone for me.