At some point, a competitive bicycle rider is asked “How hard is it to build your own bike trails?” Although it is hard to build a good singletrack trail, the process is not too tough to be impossible. In case you are inspired about building your trail and know your reasons for doing the same, you can succeed in the job. You have to be passionate about the task and have to put in commitment and hard work. Find out about the difficulties involved.
Scouting the area
You have to scout an area and decide whether you would like to ride on mellow or steep hills, smooth dirt or technical rocks. It would be nice to have areas such as swamps, dense forests, big cliffs, meadows and drop-offs in your trail. Take pen and paper along and sketch a rough map of your biking trail. A tape can be very useful with longer trails.
The real difficult part is not the physical task. It is more about getting proper approval from land managers and land owners concerned, and request them to give you a written permission to start building your trail. If you wish to make the route ‘legal’, you have to approach these people and place a formal request. Keep in mind that without proper permission from the land owner, you should not build any trail. It is illegal to create one even on public land.
Buying / gathering necessary tools
A shovel or spade, clippers, handsaw and a scythe for clearing out bushes are necessary. For removing grasses from bike trails, weed eater can be useful.
Clearing the trail
Clearing out trees and bushes can be really hard time consuming and energy draining. The actual trail might be just 1 foot wide, but it is advisable that you clear 4 – 6 feet to fit your handlebars through. The faster your trail has to be, the wider should you make the clearing. It is important to get some friends to work on the trail as well, and not work on the trail alone. Working on the trail alone for too long can be de-motivating, given that the task is back-breaking.
Maintenance of the trail
Even when you have finally built your trail, keep in mind that it has to be maintained regularly. Grass will grow back if you sit back for too long, and you have to trim them often to maintain your trail.
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