Tuesday, May 11, 2010

IMBA World Summit 2010: Peoria, IL

So the first trail stop was at the PAMBA Trails. On Sat night we had encountered some moderate rain but decided in the morning that since we had driven all night to get there that we should stop in and at the very least check out the trails.
I have been working as the IMBA Midwest Region RD for almost a year now and had often been asked if I had been by PAMBA yet. As it is in the southern part of my region (a huge region) I had not yet had the chance to make it there and this trip was part of a mission to make sure that I did. So with that said there was perhaps a a bit of pent up need to ride these trails when we pulled up to the parking lot. A lot rides on me seeing a clubs trails. I help make decisions on some grants, I give input on Trail Care Crew Visits, I give input on IMBA Epic Ride decisions, I help promote the trails to industry etc. So it is pretty important for me to see them. However when we pulled up to PAMBA it was wet, I have to admit the decision I made to ride it was not the best choice I have made and I certainly paid for it. We went to Black Partridge and hiked in a ways on trail 3 which is sort of the trade route there. I was totally impressed with how much it had drained and what good shape it was in, so much so that we decided to ride it. Well Trail 3 was rideable, trying trail seven however was the mistake. It was a newer trail and about halfway in (past the chance to bail out) it became clay gumbo. We were not leaving ruts, but we were getting covered in mud. Of course once we returned to the parking lot, there was a trail crew getting ready for a work day. I realized then and there the mistake I had made! We meant well, in fact the ride was perhaps more important to PAMBA than they will realize, but we were muddy and on wet trails and in that case nobody is above the law, including me despite how careful we were on the trail and we had set a bad example. So I apologize sincerely to PAMBA. I have to say though the trails were bomber, well drained well made, well designed and a asset to Peoria that is for sure. Of course because of the wetness we did not hit any of the other systems, but if they are like Black Partridge, the riders in Peoria are lucky to have such great trails and I would highly recommend them if you are heading south like we were.

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