Words by Mathew Bond Photos by Jenny Lee-Silver
For those of you that are thinking, “Hey! I thought this was supposed to be a Ned’s Trail Day! Ned’s is my favourite trail! I wanted to build some sick berms!” I guess we owe you a bit of an explanation.
In the middle of winter, when most riders are pulling chunks of mud out from between their teeth after a cold ride through sticky sludge, the NSMBA Trails team sits down over a couple of beers and plans out where our trail days are going to be for the coming year. While some may think that selecting dates and locations is a simple as opening a map, closing your eyes, and placing your finger randomly on a trail, the truth is that a lot of thought and hard work go into this process. Dates are carefully selected to avoid holidays and major community events. Trails are even more carefully selected, based on an evaluation of the trails condition (structures, trail surface, erosion), maintenance activity, level of use, and consultation with the land managers.
Some trails on the North Shore are so popular that they almost automatically get added to the list. Ned’s is one of them. However, in the week preceding the trail day, word drifted into NSMBA HQ that Dirty Diapers was in dire need of repairs. Most of the structures were decrepit and there was a risk that the trail would be decommissioned by the land manager. After a few phone calls and a bit of rescheduling, the trail day was on!
This trail day was sponsored by the good folks at Different Bikes and NSRide. Different not only sponsored a trail day this year, but were instrumental in launching the NSMBA Demo Bike Program with a Rocky Mountain Altitude. If you’re a paid NSMBA member, and want to demo an awesome XC/AM bike, check out all the details here!
The original structures on Dirty Diapers, such as the Hockey Stick Drop, are really unique and something we wanted to preserve. With our dedicated volunteers, we were able to complete some major restorations to the trail and construct a major creek crossing. Here’s a few photos to tell the story:
Not everyone was a carpenter on this trailday, we had our fair share of masons as well. The entire steep section around the Hockey Stick Drop was armoured in with massive rocks. Fleurie Hunter of Trips for Kids, an organization that provides mountain biking opportunities for youth with barriers to participating, brought out members of their Youth Leadership Team to assist in the effort and learn about the art of trail building.
At lunch time, everyone was rewarded with an amazing spread and some sweet prizes! We’d like to thank all the volunteers and sponsors for making this trailday such a success. Dirty Diapers is buffed, ready-to-ride, and sure to stay a part of our remarkable trail system for many years to come.