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Cycling club begins work on new trail system

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With half-a-million dollars in the bank, the hard work has just begun for the Dauphin Derailleurs Cycling Club (DDCC).
The local group had it’s first community build of bike trails for the 2020 Manitoba Summer Games, around the Selo Ukraina site, July 12.
Project manager Scott Sylvester explained this was the first call out, to those who responded to the DDCC Survey Monkey questionnaire.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work, actually, in the mean time,” he said, noting a core of volunteers have cut trails on two loops that connect the Summer Games trail.
“So it’s not like we haven’t been active, that’s for sure.”
Over 20 volunteers tackled three different areas of trail for an hour, after receiving a safety lesson and tools.
Trail building is physical labour, infrastructure chair Clayton Swanton said, explaining volunteers were cutting new trail and removing the top layer of organic material off the ground, to get to the mineral base below.
They were working with loppers, saws, rogue hoes and McLeod rakes.
“Stuff that we can chop and scrape with,” Sylvester added.
DDCC will make use of some of the trails already on the site, Swanton said, and build other trails for specific needs.
The summer games loop will take advantage of some of the natural features that exist at the Selo site, Sylvester said, such as access roads, the concession area and main stage area.
“So we can make it a really appealing site from the observers’ perspective and also from the participants’ perspective in being involved with the crowd,” he said, noting DDCC is also aware of the needs of the pit crews.
“So the site is offering a lot of opportunity that way.”
The summer games bike event will be fun to watch, Swanton noted, as it begins and ends at the main stage area and viewers will see athletes whizz by, several times throughout the race.
There are four pieces of trail Sylvester would like to work on this year, two of which are the main focus and all are near the Selo upper camping gate.
“Each of those four sections are integral to the games loop,” he said, adding Sustainable Trails are anticipated to develop the summer games trail next spring and DDCC wants to have work done in advance on trails leading to them.
“We are cautiously optimistic that we will have a finished 2020 Manitoba Games course by early summer next year,” Swanton added.
To prepare for the summer games trail, Sylvester explained, the group needs to set down a good trail, before adding features, such as tabletops, berms and jumps.
“There’s no point in building a really big monstrosity of a feature and then saying, ‘hey this doesn’t work, let’s go somewhere else with this’,” he added.
Community builds are anticipated to occur Thursday evenings, throughout the summer.
Swanton explained DDCC is working with a list from the volunteer questionnaire.
“We want to get people interested in the trail building aspect and what that represents to them, their family and their community,” Sylvester said.
Swanton pointed out there is a job for anyone interested, from cleaning garbage in the bush to working with power tools.
Sylvester agreed, adding DDCC has a system to clear the trail and he has been surprised at the amount of work that gets done each time.
Anyone interested in being a part of the project is invited to fill out the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/ZFPVRTX, or by contacting tourism@dauphin.ca.
Volunteers will be notified by email of upcoming community build days.
It is important volunteers are dressed in long pants and closed-toe shoes, as wood ticks and other bugs are active, Sylvester said, along with a pair of gloves, due to poison ivy in the area.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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