We began reworking the Sechler skills park beam skinny a couple weeks ago (blog post here). In the past week, our friends Matt and Jon Feldman at Cannon River Tree Care went out of their way to drop some logs at the gate to the skills park. So CROCT Dirt Boss/El Presidente Marty Larson and I used one of them with the available beams to reconfigure an intermediate-to-advanced-level beam/log/beam combination skinny:
A few days later, CROCT uber-volunteer Bill Nelson put a fresh chain on his chainsaw and flattened the pine log between the beams. The skinny can be ridden either direction but it’s designed to be a progressively harder challenge when riding it south/towards the ball fields:
We’ve temporarily rolled the other logs together into a sizable logover. With the addition of a short beam at one end, the pile also provides a difficult skinny challenge:
CROCT member Josh Seifert shows how to do it all in this short video:
We now have a small teeter totter in the Sechler skills park area, approved by the City of Northfield. Props to Jim Wellbrock and fellow volunteers for making it happen:
We put it to use during Monday night’s youth group ride with great success:
The nearby dirt pile (used for the baseball fields) now has 5 ‘lines’ on it, providing 5 levels of difficulty for riding over it:
After watching the problems that some of our Monday night series youth have had on the beam skinny, we’ve started work on reconfiguring it. We don’t have it all worked out but in the interim, there’s now just a single line of 3 beams. We’ve piled the rest of them on the river side of the trail.
We’re a long way from some of the technical-rich MORC trails systems in the Twin Cities metro, but we’ve been gradually adding optional technical features to our Sechler Park trail in Northfield to keep things interesting for more advanced mountain bikers.
With the spring thaw, the two skinnies created by a chainsaw work crew in late January in the area of the Sechler trail some are calling The Playground are now ready to ride. They’re advanced-level skinnies, not because they’re high but because we haven’t flattened them. They’re both in the early stages of rotting so we opted to just lightly score them, hoping we can get a season or two of use out of them.
The larger of the two skinnies now has a ramp to make it easier to get up onto the log. The other end of the log splits into two branches. You can drop off the log in between them or try your luck on the narrow branches and finish with a wheelie drop off the ends.
The other skinny is a bit tougher not only because it’s smaller and tapers to very small but it’s also bouncy:
We have designs on a third advanced-level skinny nearby, one of three still-living trees that toppled over together towards the river. It’s almost ready to ride. We just need to figure out the entrance. Until then, just pick up your bike, place it on the log, and go:
Also available on other parts of the trail are two logovers that have different levels of challenge depending on where you choose to ride over them:
I spotted this log along the Sechler Park river bottoms MTB trail last fall, thinking it would make a great skinny. After some discussion with CROCT president and trail steward Marty Larson, we decided it would be best to make it an intermediate-level skinny by shaving it flat like the log on the right that was recently created at MORC’s Elm Creek Trail:
So we organized a small trail work crew today, including two guys with the best electric chainsaw 2017 has to offer: Bill Nelson and Dave Nygren. Unfortunately, after they sliced the end off the log, we discovered that it was starting to rot. So it didn’t make sense to put all the work into slicing it flat for an intermediate-level skinny. So instead, they scored the top of it to make it an advanced level skinny. Likewise, a narrow log skinny next to it:
We still have to construct a ramp of sorts to make it easier to get up onto the bigger skinny. We have the log pieces ready but the ice and frozen dirt prevented us from making it stable.
In the meantime, we’ll be looking for another log that would be a good candidate for a beginner/intermediate-level skinny.