Saturday, April 24 was Trail Boss training at the Veterans Memorial Pavilion at Brooksvale Park. A good turn out of CT NEMBA members came from all corners of the state to learn about mountain biking advocacy, trail design and building techniques, working with land managers and other important aspects of being a Trail Boss.
Paula Burton got the morning started getting everyone in attendance to give introductions before she began her slideshow. Most of the attendees were already CT Trail Ambassadors and this program was the next step into becoming more knowledgeable regarding trail management.
Paula had the group pair up into teams with someone you did not know and take 15 minutes to quickly design the optimal trail system. The exercise brought up some common themes of trail design. Paula spent the next hour reviewing types of trails, building techniques, trail issues, etc. and included a demonstration on how to properly use a clinometer.
Next we headed outside where Paula and Ryan reviewed trail building tools, their usage and safety. The “Circle of Death” (keeping adequate distance between you and other workers) was stressed as important thing to keep in mind when using tools. Knowing your tools and how to use them safely will greatly minimize the possibility of an accident.
We headed back in for presentations by Ryan Tucker on working with land managers and David Francefort on wood bridges, walkways and rock armoring usage.
After lunch the group broke in 2 groups for hands-on outdoor work. Paula took one group for trail design and assessment, covering issues such as erosion; preventative techniques such as knicks and grade dips; and tips for designing a reroute or new trail. Ryan and Dave took the other group out for benching techniques, which include each person performing a full bench. The groups switched after an hour and each session was done again.