Words: Moniera Khan
Pictures:Â Berglind Hafsteinsdottir & Gina Hopper
A couple of weeks ago Muddbunnies put a call out for volunteers for their trail day. The trail was Daleâ€™sÂ â€“ probably not something Iâ€™m riding anytime soon â€“ but trail karma doesnâ€™t care, as long as you do yourÂ share of the work. So I signed up to help out.
We spent all day playing in dirt. I went through the bushes looking for rocks, then hauled the rocks overÂ to where we were trying to firm up a line that was getting too smooshed up through the wet season.Â You know? Smooshed up? Like muddy and boggy and ikky.
I got a quick lesson on building the rocky foundation â€“ itâ€™s like a 3D jigsaw really. Once the big rocks were fitted together we filled the gaps in with smaller stones. The next step was to fill the remainingÂ gaps with gold. For trail-builder newbs like me, gold is the magic dirt that is a really stable base for trailÂ building. You go a few feet off the trail and dig a hole. Once you get past the black organic matter youÂ hit gold.
My next job was digging gold for another section of the trail. I loved swinging the pick-axe ummmm â€¦Â I mean the pulaski into the dirt. Once youâ€™ve loosened some of it, you fill bucketsÂ upon buckets upon buckets of it. Another member of the chain gang hauls the buckets over to whereÂ the gold is being poured onto the trail. Singing the work song that the dwarfs in Snow White sing asÂ they head into the mine is optional.
Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s digging in dirt, or the manual labor, or doing your share to support our ridiculouslyÂ amazing network of trails â€“ but working a trail day is deeply satisfying. Maybe itâ€™s just spending a dayÂ outdoors with amazing people! Itâ€™s also a great opportunity to socialise with people you may not usuallyÂ ride with. Being served a gourmet lunch trail side is an added benefit. Our chef served pizza with freshÂ arugula and truffle oil. There were brownies for dessert â€“ I think she said something about Â layers ofÂ ganache and Thomas Haas chocolate â€“ but the happy sighs from the appreciative volunteers drownedÂ out the details. We had chocolate â€“ we were happy.
You can find the trail day report here.