Saturday, July 22, 2017

Minus Ten Review- 29

"The Pines" on the North Side of Ingawanis
NOTE: Due to computer maintenance this post is a little late today. 

 Ten years ago on the blog this week I posted about riding on the trails at the Boy Scout Camp Ingawanis. Ironically, there was little going on for riding on the South Side in those days. All we rode was on the North, for the most part, and those were the best trails by far back then. They still would be, but for some oddness having to do with two factions.

The most grievous thing was that the North side trails were also used for horseback riding. When the trails first opened up to mountain biking in the early 00's, the mountain bikers cleaned up and extended the trails in the North Side until there were some issues with the horse folks. They used all of the new stuff, but even though they were not averse to complaining about trail conditions, they never lifted a finger to help out. Secondly- The horse folk, who tpically have a lot more disposable income, were paying rent and event fees to pasture horses on Camp properrty and to have horse back trail riding events at the Camp. The Boy Scouts were looking for money any way they could get it and a measly mountain bike race didn't compare to the thousands of bucks horse people threw at them to use the land.

So, when we bikers complained bitterly about having to maintain the trails with no help, having to deal with trail being obliterated by grazing horses, and having the trails shut down to us during horse back riding events, the Scout Ranger turned a deaf ear to us. That's what pushed the development of the South Side into high gear, because those trails were off limits to the horse back riders due to the fact that the COPE area was there, and the rules for the Boy Scout Camp forbade the horses and riders to be anywhere near that area. Somehow or another mountain biking was allowed, but even we had to keep our distance from a certain hilltop on the South Side. Anyway..... it worked out that by about 2010-2011 we were not riding on the North Side much at all, and a couple years later we weren't riding that side.

David Pals checks his camera settings during recon for the 2007 GTDRI in Tama County
By 2014 the Camp was in such dire straits money-wise that the Scouts had dispensed with the on-site ranger and pretty much had shut down any mountain biking on the North Side. Logging of both sides, which the Scouts allowed to get more money,  also disrupted trails. The South Side trails were repaired, the little used North Side ones weren't always maintained back into rideable shape. The increased development of more sustainable and exciting trail on the South Side made this a moot point, however. Now there is talk again of re-entering the North Side and doing trail work for mountain biking, but the equestrian question and how we would deal with the Boy Scouts of America has not been addressed, so I am not too hopeful at this point that anything will happen in the near future.

Also, I was discussing Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational details. The route was mainly devised by my then Trans Iowa co-director, David Pals. He devised a route in and out of Marengo, Iowa, where he lived at the time. The recon took in several gnarly Level B Maintenance roads, one of which is pictured here. David inferred at one point that this pictured road, along with another that followed it, are now no longer open to travel. I have not been down that way since T.I.v6, so I have not confirmed that, but I need to get back down that way to have a look and see what the situation is.

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