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Thread: Bike friendly waterbars

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Bike friendly waterbars

    The Raccoon Mountain trail that makes it way under the visitor center is an erosion nightmare. It is simply too steep and has soaked up about 60% of all the maintenance hours on the mountain to keep it in acceptable condition.

    About twice a year we regrade the trail and build up dirt waterbars to help shed the rain water off the trail. The problem is when riders go over the dirt water bars at speed they tend to get bucked up a little. This would result in riders skidding through the dirt water bars, which would eliminate the water shedding and start causing erosion again.

    Our solutions was to install flexible water bars. These water bars are constructed out of old conveyor belt material, cut in 7 foot lengths and about 16 inches tall. They were sandwiched between two pressure treated 2" x 4", and then planted in the ground so only about three inches were above the trail surface.

    Link to larger picture.

    One of the drawbacks of installing these water bars is riders, not understanding that they flex, will often ride around instead of over them. We resolved this issue by strategically placing in close proximately to trees, which along with the steep side slope will force people to remain on the trail.

    Link to larger picture.

    As you can see in the following picture, these flexible waterbars work great. They are stiff enough that they remain upright and will divert water from the trail, but at the same time are flexible enough to fold down when a cyclist riders over them. The only maintenance that is supposed to be required is a worker will need to periodically go out and scrape off the loose sand that collects behind the rubber water bar.

    Link to larger picture

    These might not be appropriate in every situation, but they appear to be the best solution we have given our current trail issues.
    Last edited by schaarschmidt; 04-20-2010 at 12:12 AM.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Finally back on the east coast in Raleigh, NC; but I claim, and I'm always throwing down in Cleveland,TN.
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    Now only if they could install these on Clemmer at Chilhowee! They have some nasty water bars there.

    They installed water bars for erosion, but the ones they made will through you over the handle bars if you dont watch out!
    Last edited by TopGun; 04-20-2010 at 01:20 AM.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Nashville, TN Benton, TN
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    Henry Trent and others have done some work to the lower Slick Rock sections leading to Clemmer and that has helped with erosion tremendously. I rode with him the a fews weeks back and he showed me what they had done. But Clemmer definitely needs some work. I think it gets worse every year.

    Can't wait to ride Megawatte(that is the trail you are talking about right?) again.

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  6. #4
    Paddlechris's Avatar
    Paddlechris is offline I hae developed a disdain for people...
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    Oct 2006
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    We used this style in WV, have put quite a few in, they work very well and do not require a ton on re-work..

    Good work..


    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post do not reflect those of NMB, Bill Gates, or the Internet. Void where prohibited. Paddlechris contains enough preservatives to theoretically live forever. Use of Paddlechris may be habit forming. If reading this post results in anything that lasts longer than 4 hours, seek medical help immediately.


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