I rode a lap on Monday, July 29 after RAGBRAI to see what kind of shape the trail is in at this point in the season. I am happy to report my numb hands got very happy as the DNR's long awaited boom hedge mower attachment arrived and has been put to use on the main trail sections. After 3 or more years of trimming by hand with my loppers, the machinery can now make a swipe through and open up the trail making sight lines safer and the trail fast with no worries of face slappers.
The connector sections and deep woods on the east side that are not maintained by the staff will get treatment this week and next from me with the loppers and my scythe. I am still trying to figure out a safe way to get us down the hill and around the new boat shelter area to complete the loop, but there are several options to make it work safely.
There are a pair of downed trees that need to be removed, but the entire trail is rideable and fast at the moment. The work done along the shoreline as the project to rebuild the shore and control erosion is now complete with limestone chips being spread over the baked dirt with ruts being removed. Other areas have been treated with mulch to help with water absorption and mud control.
The permitting process is underway at USA Cycling as I completed everything online yesterday (July 30th) and submitted it to USA Cycling. A FAT BIKE category was added (non USA Cycling and non IMBCS), but will be available for fun with prizes for the top 3 finishers. The FAT BIKE category will do 2 laps and tires must be at least 3.7" in width to qualify as a FAT BIKE. A KIDS RACE for ages 10 and under has been added and all participants will be rewarded with treats at the end.
I ordered 3 Kybos this year as 2 was not quite enough last year to handle the crowd. Other things are in the works as well to make the event be worthy of riding in this year.
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