Archive for the ‘ Cycling ’ Category

Trail Work 20100801

A big thanks to Tony and Skip for working today. Tony has done an incredible amount of work for us with his excavator. Today he started by grading off three areas of slumping along the trail.
Before: (click images to enlarge)

Slumping adjacent to trail

Slumping adjacent to trail

Grading to remove slump

Grading to remove slump

In addition to simply pushing the rock and soil away from the trail we also improve the grade to run water away from the trail and fill-in section that are below trail level. This improves trail safety and eliminates the boggy sections that were accumulating water.

Grading adjacent to trail.

Grading adjacent to trail.

Tony deepened the trench on the east side of the tunnel. We started at the entrance and set a laser bubble level on a sawhorse to help maintain the depth.

Laser at tunnel entrance

Laser at tunnel entrance

We used a yardstick to check the depth of the trench; note the laser “dot” in the photo.

Checking the trench depth

Checking the trench depth

Skip and I were tired after all the grading, trench work and clean-up, but we both wanted to see how the wet vac would work on slurping the mud from the tunnel floor. So, we unloaded the generator and hooked up the wet vac. We collected some of the mud/water into an existing pool with squeegees and started to slurp up the mess. It worked great. I shot a photo showing how good it worked on a section of floor that had been squeegeed.

Wet vac results

Wet vac results

We managed to work our way over to the large batch of mud that Tiffany and I had accumulated last week, between lights 3&4. Skip pushed some water from adjacent sections over with the squeegee and we managed to capture nearly all the mud, before cracking the vac nozzle on the concrete. Since we couldn’t vacuum the flat surfaces we started cleaning out drains. It’ll be interesting to see if the drains work better with the extra sludge removed by the vac.

my saddle pack contents

I often need to help people on rides or stranded on the trail. This is what I carry:

saddle pack contents

saddle pack contents

(click image to englarge)

    spare tire (used tire, wrapped in kitchen wrap)
    Park multi-tool
    Innovations IH CO2 inflator
    CO2 cartridges (bulk pack from WalMart)
    Hurricane HPV mini pump
    two spare tubes in sandwich bag to protect them
    pair of tire “irons”
    flat kit
    “green” spoke wrench
    two tire “boots” cut from old road tire
wrapped tire

wrapped tire

Wrapping the spare tire tightly in kitchen wrap makes it very compact and manageable. I’ve need to use that spare tire several times myself, but more often I’ve donated it to other riders with cut tires. It’s a savior when you need it.

measuring the grade

Thanks to the Hilti company for loaning me one of their super accurate laser levels for the weekend. I spent a portion of Friday and Sunday afternoon-evening taking measurements on the the tunnel gradient. Good news, the tunnel is definitely going downhill to the west and we will have no drainage toward the east entrance. Total elevation drop east-to-west is 30″.

I must say that it is really nice to have access to some first class equipment to do these measurements. The Hilti level is accurate to 1/16″ in 300ft, self-leveling with a detector that tells you how far you are off zero with audio cueing. There’s no guessing with this data, I took readings every twenty feet over the measured 723ft of the tunnel. Very kind of the local Marietta office of Hilti to help us out. Still need to plug the data into a spread sheet to calculate the height of the curbs we will need to divert the water out the west end; however, reviewing the raw numbers, it looks like the 2″ height for the curb I was thinking of will be adequate for most of the tunnel. There is one “bump” ~60ft in length on the norhside of the tunnel that will require some lowering to make the curbing work efficiently.

Hilti laser detector

(Click image to enlarge) In the enlarged image you can see the red light from the rotating laser beam. The self-level feature made this soooo easy. Just attach the laser to their tripod and press the “on” button. It was ready to go in about a minute! Hilti provided everything except the sliding transit stick which I had to buy from Home Depot… the $50 dollars was well spent as it made the measuring process easy. Just slide it until the detector read “zero” (like the photo) and read the height on the stick.



Also managed to sneak in a photo of a butterfly that was visiting our work site. Sorry that the macro quality on my camera isn’t the best, but a colorful subject.

Brushy Mtn Tunnel, update July ‘10

We’ve achieved some amazing results with our clean-up efforts at the Brushy Mtn Tunnel on the Silver Comet Trail. Dry weather during early July rewarded us with a nearly dry and mud free tunnel to ride through. (Click images to enlarge)

Brushy Mtn west

Brushy Mtn Tunnel west entrance, early July

Inside tunnel, near the east entrance:

Inside tunnel, early July '10

However, with the return of warm humid weather, the cool interior temperatures of the tunnel cause a rapid transition. The high humidity causes the formation of tunnel fog. In early morning you often can’t see the other end of the tunnel. Wisps of fog emanating from the tunnel form “tunnel ghosts”.

Tunnel Fog

Tunnel fog, approaching west entrance to tunnel.

Tunnel fog at west entrance, the east entrance is not visible due to the dense fog.

Tunnel fog, early morning.

Tunnel fog, early morning.

As the exterior temps and humidity rise, the tunnel walls begin to condense water. The condensing water trickles down the walls and pools on the tunnel floor.

Condensate on tunnel wall.

If you click and expand the image to the left, you can see condensing moisture running down the tunnel wall and pools of water forming at the base of the wall.

When high humidity and warm temperatures persist for several days, the interior surfaces of the tunnel will become saturated with moisture. During the late evening, the interior lights of the tunnel and evening sunlight from the west entrance can form a shimmering effect on the moist tunnel walls and floor.

Evening at the tunnel.

Evening at the tunnel.

I don’t like the tunnel being so wet, but it is a pleasant visual treat and dramatically demonstrates how the water accumulates in the tunnel.

Sunset on the Trail

Snapped this photo leaving the Rambo Trailhead the other day.
(Two images, digitally stitched, click to enlarge.)

Sunset Rambo Trailhead

SCT Hwy92 and Old Harris

Worked on the Hwy92 bridge section of the Silver Comet Trail today. Build-up from erosion has been forcing mud onto the trail at this point and creating a hazard. I had removed the mud from the trail previously but didn’t have time or a plan to address the real source of the problem. Sorry, no before pictures for today’s work. The plan that I came up with was to create two berms to channel the silt laden runoff away from the trail. I then created a runoff channel adjacent to the trail. I was able to merge the three channels into the existing natural runoff.

In this image you can see the trail runoff channel on the left and the upper silt berm to the right. (click images to enlarge)

Upper Silt Berm and Runoff Trench

In this image you can see the drainage channel and the lower silt berm. A lot of material had to be moved to create the berms and drainage channel, as accumulated soil was well above the level of the trail. If I had more time and energy I would have extended the runoff channel as sections are still encroaching onto the trail. These mods will get the job done for now.

Lower Silt Berm and Drainage Channel

On the opposite side of the bridge, the silt accumulation had formed a bog with several inches of standing water. I was able to open the drainage and the bog is now draining.

Bog at Hwy92 bridge.

    Erosion Control at the new Old Harris bridge

A professional erosion control team came in and did an outstanding job of cleaning up the potential disaster area at the new Old Harris bridge. This action prevented imminent disaster as the hillside was on the verge of failing. I don’t know who was responsible for getting this work completed, but it was timely and well executed. The huge amounts of accumulated silt were moved, the drainage re-contoured and straw-matting was secured to the slopes.

In this image the silt was a foot high and the force of the silt had broken the fence stake.

Massive silt accumulation at Old Harris bridge.

Muck had accumulated into an sludge pool.

Massive silt accumulation at Old Harris bridge.

What an amazing difference. I hope we can get this team to repair other areas of the trail.

Old Harris bridge erosion control.

Old Harris bridge erosion control.

Overall the work was excellent. I wish they had removed a section of slumping (see image below), but the drainage provided should be adequate. I hope they re-seeded as part of the process.

Slumping on South side.

Tommy’s 24hr Ride for Livestrong

Stopped by Marietta High School Saturday evening where Tommy Foster was riding to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Tommy was riding strong, taking longer pulls on his bike than scheduled.

Go Tommy, Go.

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Tommy has raised over $10,000 dollars for Livestrong and had many friends and family there supporting him.  He did an excellent job of organizing this effort and gaining community support.

Tommy riding his 24hr Livestrong Challenge

(click images to enlarge)

Tommy on Track for his 24hr Challenge


WG at the Tunnel

Frankie had a cute idea. With all the work we’ve been doing at the tunnel, what better than a photo of me at the tunnel.

(click image to enlarge.)

Silver Comet Trail mud and “washout” clean-up 20100604

Recent heavy rains had created several areas of potentially dangerous washout on the trail.  Even our most experienced riders, including me,  had incidents where the bike behaved “squirrel-ly” .   Some spots were muddy, some were sandy.  Of course Georgia red clay mud can be very slick and dangerous.    Poor erosion control and  silt accumulation  were the culprits responsible for most of the problem areas.  I’d have to say that GaDOT has been lax in their responsibility to manage erosion of embankments of roads crossing the Silver Comet trail.  In fact, every problem area and potential problem in the Paulding section of the trail was associated with a road bridge.

GA92 Bridge was where I started, just west of the Hiram Trailhead.  (Sorry no photos)
We had one of our best riders warn us about this spot.  I was out there the next day, taking the morning off from work.  Soil accumulations were no longer allowing normal run off.   A slurry of mud and water was accumulating on the trail; very dangerous , very thick and very slick when wet.   Using a flat nose shovel I removed the mud from the trail.   Where practical I removed accumulations of mud adjacent to the trail,  improving drainage and restoring normal runoff of rain water.    I also improved the drainage of adjacent pools of standing water.

Tools of the Trade: work shoes, flat-nose shovel, hoe, and stiff-bristle push broom.

Tools of the Trade

Mt Olivet Rd Tunnel

Tire tracks in thick sand at Mt Olivet tunnel

You can see the danger here. Deep tire tracks in the sand.  This turned out to be much more sand than I realized when I started.  The sand was wet and heavy.  I initially had thought about using a bucket to haul the sand out, but soon realized that was not going to happen.  I elected to shovel the sand into piles as a temporary fix and removing the immediate hazard.

Shoveling the sand.

The sand piles and cleared area

Sand piles

GA 61 bridge, east of the Paulding Chamber Trailhead

Trail silt washout

This is how problems like this start. Silt and debris accumulate at the edge of trail, eventually, run-off begins to flow over the trail rather than next to it. To correct problems like this I use a flat-nose shovel, starting usually at the low-end of the run off and create a scallop in the soil next to the trail. This forms a shallow trench for the water to run off the trail, rather than across. (click photo to see detail) If the mud not too thick I can remove the mud and create the drainage channel adjacent to the trail with one shovel stroke. Just removing the mud on the trail will not fix the problem, just temporarily patch it.

Cleaned section with run-off channel.

The worst section at GA61 bridge was on the east side. A large section of mud was spreading across the trail.

GA61 worst section.

Mud removed, channel created

Not an ideal fix, the mud has been removed and a shallow channel created next to the trail.  Much more work will need to be done in this area.   Soil accumulation will need to be removed and silt fences added to manage the erosion.

May 15th: Polk Pedals for Parkinson’s Road Ride

I’ve offered to add a road ride to their event.
This ride will be self supported with two store stops thru the Taylorsville area. I’ll post the route soon, expect some seldom-ridden roads to make it interesting and a bit more challenging. Distance will likely be 45-50miles.
Lunch at Frankie’s, West GA WG route and a chance to ride with Webgeek for only $25, all for a good cause.

More details soon…

Event Details:
Please join us on our inaugural ride for Parkinson Disease and let us know how we can make this ride bigger and better next year. See Press Release Below:

James Trussell, President/Chief Volunteer Officer
NWGA Parkinson Disease Association.

The NWGA Parkinson Disease Association will be hosting the POLK PEDALS FOR PARKINSON’S Bike ride on the Silver Comet Trail, Saturday, May 15th to raise awareness about Parkinson Disease. Because this will be our first year hosting a Bike Ride event, we are only planning a short 14 mile ride beginning and ending at Seaborn-Jones Park in Rockmart followed by lunch at Frankie’s Italian Restaurant.

Here are the details:

•ONSITE REGISTRATION AND RIDE Begins at 9:00am, May 15th
•REGISTRATION FEE: $25.00 includes Lunch at Frankie’s and Commemerative T-shirt (While supplies last) Please pre-register by May 7th to guarantee your t-shirt
•Funds raised will support the programs and services of the Northwest Georgia Parkinson Disease Associaton.
•Riders are asked to raise additional funds if possible.
•Prizes will be given to the individual who rasies the most funds for Parkinson Disease, Rider who comes the farthest to participate and for the largest team participating.
You can register online at:
Frankie’s Italian Restaurant in Rockmart
Trussell & Associates Insurance Agency in Rome.

Registrations may also be mailed to NWGA-PDA, PO BOX 3211, Rome, GA 30164

For questions about registration or sponsorship of the ride, please call Jennifer Hulsey at 770-546-0286 or James Trussell at 706-235-3164/706-413-3264

James Trussell
Chief Volunteer Officer (NWGA Parkinson Disease Association)
Georgia State Congressional Coordinator (PAN)

Save the Date!
2010 Southeastern Parkinson Disease Conference and
2010 NATIONAL Young Onset Conference
October 15 – 17, 2010
Sheraton Gateway Hotel
Atlanta, Georgia