Former President
    September 16, 2023

    The pump track at Middleton Bike Park is open!  Painting and landscaping need to be completed, which will happen in the next few weeks, so if there are people there working, stay out of the way and let them do their jobs.  And please avoid walking or riding on any freshly seeded areas.  Otherwise, have at it!  Look for a grand opening celebration in the spring, when the plantings have come in.
    Former President
    September 14, 2023

    What could be better than a post-ride beverage that gives back to the trails?  A portion of all sales come back to CORP, available on tap in the Beer Garden and now to carry out in cans.  Only at Capital Brewery in Middleton!
    Former President
    August 26, 2023

    Cyclocross Practice is back, free as always, thanks to our dedicated volunteers and Madison Parks and Dane County Parks!  Perfect for everyone from 'cross-curious newcomers and mountain bikers who want to improve their skills to seasoned veterans getting ready for the race season, we'll have courses set up somewhere in the area every Wednesday through the end of October.  Riders of all abilities welcome, and any bike that can handle off-road riding will work (though slick tires will add another level of challenge).  There is no such thing as bad weather for cyclocross, so practice will be on unless it is so wet that we'd be damaging the turf.

    August 23            Door Creek Park, 7035 Littlemore Dr.
    August 30            Badger Prairie County Park
    September 6          Olin Park, 1156 Olin-Turville Ct.
    September 13         Badger Prairie County Park
    September 20         Olbrich Park, 3527 Atwood
    September 27         Badger Prairie County Park
    October 4            Sycamore Park, 830 Jana Ln
    October 11           Badger Prairie County Park
    October 18           The Glen Golf Park, 3747 Speedway Rd
    October 25           Badger Prairie County Park
    November 1           Aldo Leopold Park, 2906 Traceway Dr

    If practice goes well and you want to try racing, check out the Wisconsin CX Series; there are several events in the area, and they are always a good time!

    Former President
    June 11, 2023

    The weeds are getting pretty bad out there; if you know what to do, this is a reminder to get out there and do it.  If you don't, or need a refresher on technique, read on. 

    Almost all of our trail maintenance is done by volunteers, and that could be you!  Trimming is relatively easy, can be done with one or two people, and can be done whenever you have time.  We have the equipment, you just need to hook up with a trail steward for a brief training (10 minutes or so), and then you are off. 

    One thing to remember is that weed trimming is not a detail operation; you need to cut back much more than it seems like you might at first glance;  if you leave the trails looking nice and well-groomed, between the fast growth and what falls back over the trail, in a couple days it will seem like you were never there.   

    When trimming grass, prairie plants, and any non-woody growth, you need to trim as far back from the trail as the growth is high.  In other words, if the weeds are 3' tall, you will be cutting a swath about 7' wide (3' on each side plus 1' of trail).  Otherwise, the uncut growth will grow and fall into your corridor and quickly crowd the trail again.  You can do this by cutting low for the full width, or by tapering up at 45 degree angle, so that the plants  that tip over toward the trail still don't reach it.  This will seem like a lot, and will look  butchered when you are done, but come back in a week and it will look great instead of needing to be trimmed again.  If you can talk a friend into following you with a blower, that's great, but traffic will clear most of the trimmings off the tread in short order.  And don't forget to look up; there are many grassy/prairie sections that have a few trees around, and you want to get the face-scratchers while you are there.  Usually you can whack these off with the string trimmer, but it doesn't hurt to carry a small pruning shear for the occasional woody branch.

    If you are trimming woody growth, again, trim much further back than you feel like you need to.  You don't want to leave the cut ends of small branches anywhere near eye-level on the trail.  Mostly what we are cutting around here is buckthorn and honeysuckle; you're not going to do them any harm by trimming deeply.

    If done right, trimming only needs to happen 2 or 3 times a year, and shouldn't take up too much time, especially if we can spread the work around.  So instead of complaining about the weeds, grab a string-trimmer and make them pay for slowing you down on your last ride!

    To find out more about lending a hand, email your local trail steward.