Yesterday I mentioned doing trailwork over the weekend. This was not a "take a look at all the wonderful things I do to make the world a better day" post. It was just a "take a look at the bike related activity I took part in over the weekend" post.
While benching away at yet another sloped hillside, Jerry said to me, "You know you like to do trailwork."
"Not really," I replied.
I don't really enjoy hacking away at a stump until my fingers hurt when I try to straighten them. I hate roots that grab the McLeod outta my hands, and I loathe swinging a Pulaski into the dirt only to find a buried boulder. I work on trails mostly out of guilt. Deep down I know that 90% of the work is being done by 10% of our riding community (I'm in the 90% club).
Sure, there is a sense of pride when I return to a trail I've recently worked on, and I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor, but that's not the main motivation. I just wanna do my part, or at least a part of the part I should be doing. Just like last year, I'm shooting for twelve work days in twelve months. I fell behind during the summer of 2011, and had to squeeze in some extra days later in the year. I imagine that will happen again, forcing me to play catch-up this fall. I'll make it happen because...
I'll feel like shit if I don't.
I do get distracted quite easily while working. I see a rock, and then I see another rock, and then my brain starts playing Tetris. I wanna stack the rocks, line 'em up, position them, flip them... whatever it takes to make them into something I can ride over. Fortunately Jerry was willing to drop what he was doing and help me with my latest project that I thought I could knock out alone in fifteen minutes that ended up taking the both of us closer to an hour.
There are a lot more rocks in the woods surrounding this new trail. Rocks the size of houses, cars, medium size pigs, beach balls, surf boards, microwaves... they're everywhere.
I won't feel right if we don't end up riding all over them, but I gotta do my fair share of the grunt work as well. Trail building ain't all about building sweet jumps and sick lines.
So if you're in the 90% of people that are doing 10% (or none) of the work, why not try to commit to 12 days in 2012? Even if you just do a couple hours each time, you'll only be giving up 24 hours of your life. Just one day, and since this year is a leap year, you won't even notice it went missing.
Don't know where to start?
IMBA ain't the only option in some towns, so ask around at local shops, search the vastness of the internet, or camp in the middle of your favorite trail until someone comes along with a shovel and help him/her.
Unless you don't need trails (or a mountain bike) to do your thing...