"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Giving Back

The trails out at SIUE have been my training ground for the last few years.  I've run and mountain biked them until I know every twist, turn, root, and stump like the back of my hand.  Although sometimes it seems like just yesterday when I couldn't turn around without getting lost out there.  To say that I am thankful for this trail system is an understatement.  So when I heard that the Gateway Off-Road Cyclists were having a workday in my backyard I jumped at the chance to lend a hand.

Actually I had been harboring a fair amount of guilt for not helping out in the past.  GORC holds a couple of workdays out there during the year and I have always had a scheduling conflict, until now.  I was informed about the workday at the January Metro Tri Club meeting and made sure my schedule was clear.  One of our members always makes the argument that since we use the trails so much  for training we should help maintain them as well.  Agreeing was a no brainer.  GORC is a volunteer organization that maintains many trail systems in the area.  I'm not sure how many exactly lets just call it more than 10 less than 20.  They are faced with a tremendous amount of work and the only compensation is being able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

We worked hard for about 3hours with almost 40volunteers 12of which were Metro Tri Club members including fellow bloggers Mike and Kate (visit Kate's blog to see pictures of the trail in progress).  We used tools I had never heard of before.  Pete our crew leader told us to grab a couple hazel hoes, a fire rake, and some pulasky's.  "Excuse me but I have no idea what you just said".  He explained it and we were on our way to the section our group was to work on.  We did some raking, grubbing, benching, and clearing., Yeah, I didn't know what benching and grubbing were either.  At the end of the day we had completed a brand new half mile section of trail, and I will admit that when I ran that section the next day I was proud of what we had built.

Seriously, do not use this as a guide.

If you use the trails in your area find out who maintains them and see if you can lend a hand because as Pete said "it helps your trail Karma to give something back".


  1. And it was fun! Well, for those of us without bad backs, anyway.

  2. I wish I could have been out there with you. Cheer season and GORC work season always overlap. Thanks for going and working on those trails so i can use them, you are the man. Robin

  3. That was fun helping out. Like you, that was my first time volunteering and I use the trails a lot.