Laura L. is one of the younger members of MMBTS at 8 years old. We took her out to ride the first two segments of Family Guy and give us her impressions. Laura is riding a 2011 Kona shred single speed hard tail with disk brakes. The shiny black bike looks especially sharp with an orange MMBTS sticker on it.
Family Guy is being built to provide a downhill trail for less experienced riders like Laura. It is also being built to provide a connector for the trail heads of Jean Guy, Race of Spades, Toothless, SLF and Billy Dog and allow the consolidation of parking at the JG trail head where there is really room to park. Turns out the timing was right with the re-contouring of the ditches making parking at the Billy Dog trail head difficult. We met several parties parking at the JG trail head planning to ride Family Guy to Toothless or Billy Dog. So the trail was already meeting its second purpose. And is it boring for these guys? When someone asked “Is it worth trying the new section of family guy down to Billy Dog and then ride Billy Dog?” Zach Shipowick, also a, MMBTS member replied “Yes Family Guy to Billy is very worth it. FG is a pretty fun little rip for sure and more riders on it will only break the trail in and make it even faster than it already is. Plus it adds quite a bit of length to a single run down Billy.”
So is the trail right for less experienced riders? Laura had a good look at the nice rock entrance off the road – and then walked it. We weren’t too surprised. It does look rather intimidating. But right after the entry, she was on her bike smiling.
Things went well until a second steep area in about 200m that is also rock armored. She stopped and looked at it. Hesitated for a moment and then jumped on her bike and cleaned it. Now, not only her but the trail planners were smiling too.
We thought maybe some more trees just before the Toothless parking area needed to be cleared. But at low speed with her narrow bars Laura had no problems. Maybe this tight area is appropriate to slow and/or challenge the more advanced rider and let the new riders improve their bike maneuvering skills.
On our second run down the first two sections of Family Guy, Laura rode down the entrance. Almost cleaned it but took a small spill at the bottom and scraped her knee. She forgot to put the pads back on after our lunch break. While waiting to take a picture of her coming down the second rock armoured area again the camera caught the creator of Pneuma checking out the other side of the road. I think up Pneuma and down Family Guy will make a great loop when it is done.
In conclusion – it looks like the trail is already an effective connector trail for the trail heads and will provide just the right amount of challenge for new riders and a great rip for more experienced riders.
Right now the trail dead ends about 600m down from the Billy Dog entrance. We need about 200 volunteer-days to complete the trail. That sounds like a lot, until you consider the turnout at the first two trail days this year and what we have already accomplished. On the first trail day we had 75 people sign in and 54 on the second trail day for a total of 129 volunteer-days and we cut about 1330m of new trail. Family Guy is going to be the trail with hundreds of builders. Come out and be one!