Seeking Mountain Bike Trail Development Opportunities

 

This website is a showcase of my abilities in trail design, building, maintenance and management; to draw the attention of land-owners and land-managers, who might be interested in hiring me for improving their existing trails, or developing an entirely new mountain bike park.

 

Glasgow-Parking_Square 

The Hydrocut is a very successful and popular trail system, frequently receiving over 400 users daily. This park enjoys stellar reviews and has been chosen as the best cross-country mountain bike trail in Ontario and in Canada.

 

My work on the Hydrocut started in 2001, with only few kilometers of pre-existing trails. The original trails got improved and many new ones were rapidly built under my leadership, with the end result totaling 25km. I credit myself for the park’s conception, long-term vision and master plan development. I take pride in the design of easy trail connectivity, establishing unique unidirectional traffic, and creating superb trail flow. My good sense and understanding of desirable trail qualities comes in part from the extensive experience in mountain bike racing. Great care was invested on my behalf, in creating signage, maps, and this website. I’ve recruited and organized numerous volunteers that helped with the manual trail construction work, as well as the laying out of some of the trail sections. Support was also received from sponsors and aides in promotion, fundraising, logistics, and administration. The trail work’s logs, history, and pictures have been documented diligently. More details about my achievements and abilities can be found in my resume. References are also available.

 

I am eager to get connected to potential employers, to show them how I can build, maintain and manage extraordinarily attractive, sustainable, and profitable trails.

 

Sincerely, Igor Dragoslavic

 

Kelso08

 


 

 

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Hiring Helpers for Trail Work

I am looking for helpers to build cross country mountain bike trails in Rosseau, Ontario. The wage is $25.00/hour, for 8-10 hours in a day. Travel expenses are paid, and three meals a day are provided. The lodging is in Summer camp lodges with bunk beds and hot showers. Need to bring your own beddings/sleeping bags. The project starts on Saturday June 13th and ends on Sunday 21st. People can come up for two or more days on dates that suit them.

Let me know if you are interested, Igor

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Transitions Bike Parks Website

transitionsbikeparks.caThis new website, along with the recently developed logo, is a marketing and branding element for a BMX and freeride bike park designer and builder. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. Knowing the client and understanding his business, is an essential part of proper graphic design representation.

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Transitions Bike Parks Logo

TBP_LogoTransitionsDrawingMuskoka-Lakes-20120624-00245dionne-tabes-edit

This is my latest logo creation. It’s for a BMX and freeride bike park designer and builder. The logo and the letters resemble his drawings of concepts for bike park layouts, and the curvy aesthetic of the track designs.

Now we are moving onto building a new website…

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Ode to Trees

safe_imageThe Hydrocut is many things to many people. The main attraction might be in exercise, fitness, training, outdoors, adventure, community, socializing… For me it is primarily about the tress. Ode to Trees by Hermann Hesse.

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Last Summer’s Project

MuskokaWoods_1306_01 MuskokaWoods_1306_02 MuskokaWoods_1306_03 MuskokaWoods_1306_04 MuskokaWoods_1306_05

Transitions Bike Parks hired me to do this project near Rosseau, Ontario, for Muskoka Woods, one of the most respected premier residential summer camps in North America.

My crew worked on improvements to the flow and connectivity of their existing xc trails, and we also added some wicked new sections. Apparently the new and improved trails were so well received by the users, that the management is looking into expanding their mountain biking program.

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Louisville Mega Caverns

Louisville Mega CavernsI always dreamed of doing something like this, and now someone beat me to it: http://www.team-awesome.cc/neon-velo/louisville-mega-caverns/

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The Latest Project

DSCN0274 DSCN0280 DSCN0282 DSCN0283 DSCN0288Just did laying out some sweet, feature loaded cross country trail, to be built intertwined with a preexisting dirt jump park on a private land.

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There is Still Time for Time Trials

Some good times and personal records have been flowing in lately into our TT competition page. Now is the time to use every opportunity, whenever the trails are dry, for making an impact in the 2014 results!

1:16:53  – Morten (new personal best!)

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The Web Monkey Speaks: Unwarranted trail maintenance

SolidDumbDown

By Vernon Felton, as published in the Bike Magazine

 

“Good bye, buddy.” I leaned over and gave Duane—or what remained of him—a final, fond pat.

He was chewed up. Someone had taken an axe and hacked Duane to death. I’m sure they had the best of intentions in mind, but, damn, I was struggling to see the logic in it.

I met Duane about six years ago. I was riding along this rolling stretch of rocky singletrack when a mass of roots loomed up in front of me. It was a slimy nest of cedar that suddenly rose up about three feet high. On the other side of the slippery root ball was a steep little roll-in that led to another tangle of roots, followed by a hairy switchback and a steep gully … You get the idea—this was the point at which the singletrack went from being all lollipops and unicorns and became something more like a broken nose. And it all started with that one intimidating tangle of cedar roots.

I opted to walk that section of trail during that first roll through, but first I stopped at that root ball and gave it a name. Freddy Krueger notwithstanding, I’ve always believed that things become less frightening once you’ve given them a name. So I looked at that twisted mass of wood and decided to call it “Duane.” It seemed as good a name as any.

On my second time through, I crushed Duane. Sailed right over him. It was exhilarating. In the years since, I must have ridden over Duane a couple hundred times. He became a regular, welcome fixture in my life. I’d hump up a couple steep miles of fireroad, hang a left on that singletrack, get into my flow and then catch some speed so that I could hurtle past Duane. Though I only crashed a couple times on that slimy mess of roots, the approach always gave me the butterflies and cleaning it always left me with a big, shit-eating grin on my face. I came to love my run-ins with Duane.

So I was saddened this afternoon to see that someone had decided to “improve” the trail by pulling a Texas Chainsaw Massacre on poor, old Duane. I’m guessing the goal here was to make things easier or “safer” and while that might sound laudable, I think that kind of trail maintenance is almost always a complete crock of shit.

Don’t dumb down the trails
I realize there are sections of trail that are so dangerous, so poorly planned, that a reroute is necessary. Most of the reroutes made in the name of “safety” that I have seen, however, don’t actually warrant that kind of dumbing down. Duane was a great example. If you couldn’t surf over Duane, you had plenty of time to hit the brakes and walk over it. And if that was what you needed to do, Duane was actually doing you a favor, because the trail only got harder from that point on.

Duane was like a good friend who was always willing to tell you where things stood—no bullshit or well-intentioned lies. Duane rose up out of the rock and cedar duff and loudly proclaimed, “Put on your big girl pants because shit is about to get scary, right here, right now.” If you couldn’t handle Duane, you sure as hell couldn’t handle the next couple miles of rock and roots. Duane was actually performing a public service by preventing people from getting in over their heads and that was a very good thing.

It’s not a matter of being an elitist
I’m not writing this out of a sense of elitism. I’m not trying to sound like The King of Rad. Plenty of riders can put me to shame on my favorite trails and plenty of trails humble me regularly. But here’s the deal, mountain biking isn’t Tee-ball where everyone is equal and everyone wins. No matter how bitchin’ you may be, there are always some trails that are going to be over your head. This, it’s worth noting, is actually what makes riding interesting.

When faced with a section of trail that scares you, you have three options. First, you can take a deep breath, scout the best line and give it a go. You might make it, learn something and become a better rider. Congratulations. Second, you can turn around and find a trail that’s better suited to your abilities. There’s no shame in that at all. There will be a day when you’re up to the challenge and you can give it a go. And finally, you can be a complete ass and decide to pave over the trail for “the greater good,” even though the rest of us don’t actually want you to do that on our behalf.

Is it really that simple?
I can hear someone out there arguing that some sections of trail need to be improved. I agree completely. If the trail is eroding or is poorly designed and consequently creates conflict between user groups, be my guest—go through the proper channels and help your local trailbuilding crew improve the trail. That’s a good thing and I’m not railing against it.

I also realize that nailing a rickety, 12-foot tall ladder bridge to the nearest tree in the middle of a well-traveled multi-use trail is generally a bad idea. You can’t funnel a woman pushing a baby stroller onto a death trap. Stunts and technical trail features should be well-planned affairs. But again, that’s not usually the kind of situation that sparks these kinds of trail improvements.

Most of us have readied ourselves to plunge into a well-loved rock garden and found that some jackass who couldn’t ride it had spent his Saturday morning being “helpful” by removing all the rocks. We’ve seen jumps leveled because they seem scary. We’ve had our trails straight-jacked, neutered and lobotomized.

“Hey, jackass, just because you can’t ride the trail, doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t be able to.”

Something for everyone… Seriously!
Every trail has its own character. Some days you want to cruise something smooth. Some days you want to plunge into a trail that’s a bit more demanding. Variety, as the old saw goes, is the spice of life. When some wannabe Boy Scout decides to help the rest of us by making every trail mundane, he robs us of choice and degrades the mountain biking experience for everyone.

A well-designed trail system is supposed to contain a mix of trails of varying difficulty levels: this gives people options, reduces congestion and helps cut down on illicit trail building. Forcing everyone to ride trails that fail to challenge is the equivalent of trapping the general public in an elevator and forcing them to listen to Barry Manilow. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. It’s also, to put it plainly, dickish behavior.

So, for the sake of the greater good, please, don’t be a dick.

Don’t dumb down our trails.

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Little Side Project

IMG_20140918_181806 IMG_20140918_180256IMG_20140918_182615IMG_20140917_165115IMG_20140917_164942This is a recent project that I’ve helped with, as a IMG_20140918_180535subcontractor for the Transitions Bike Parks. It’s a sweet little MTB skills development park for the City of Mississauga.

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Kamikaze Stone Faces

IMG_3320A surfacing of this old picture, from 7 years ago, is a nice reminder about the Kamikaze’s evolution. When I’ve originally built the Kamikaze, in August of 2002, many people were laughing at it, how ridiculously unridable it was. But then with time, after getting used to it, this trail became one of the biggest thrills in the Hydrocut. After few years, the original steep banks were even heightened.

The thrill of dropping into the steep slopes has its price though: inviting erosion, which is especially excessive on such a loose sandy ground. The way to keep this trail from falling apart, was to armour it with stone, and keep adding to the armouring, like Ron, Mark and I did in this picture. The battle never ends, especially with the ever increasing traffic, so some further armouring will need to get underway pretty soon…

 

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It’s Time Trial Time!

TTTakeoffIt is the perfect time of the year for chasing fast Hydrocut lap riding times. The vegetation is subsiding; allowing better visibility, while the trails are smooth and hard packed but tacky enough for superb traction.

Some quick time reports have been flowing in lately. Whoever thinks she/he is fast, it doesn’t mean much unless it’s reported, posted and compared to others and to the earlier results of the individual.

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Trail Builder’s Paradise

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The Latest Trail Map

HydrocutMap

Here is the updated map that reflects the latest changes in the trail’s connectivity. Note that with these changes there aren’t any remaining two-way trails; they all now have ONE-WAY mandatory direction for cyclists. Also keep in mind that the trailhead maps are outdated; they aren’t correctly showing the connectivity of the Landfill side trails.

Please ask for a permission to use and reproduce the map.

Enjoy…

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Norco Demo Day – May 28

DemoDayNorco Demo Day is coming up! Join us on Wednesday, May28th from 5pm – 8pm at the Glasgow entrance for an evening of new bikes, trails, and bbq! Norco factory representatives will be on hand to answer any and all questions about the 2014 Norco line up, and there will be lots of brand new, 2014 Norco bikes to try out on your favourite trails! Been looking to try a carbon hardtail? Maybe a new 650b full suspension? This is YOUR night! Don’t forget your Helmet and pedals (there will be technicians available to install them for you.) This is always a fun, relaxing way to spend a Wednesday night, so we hope to see you there!

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Tree Clearing Finished

IMGP2313 IMGP2316 IMGP2318 IMGP2320 IMGP2321Thanks to buddies Raf and Jim, all the trails are finally cleared from fallen trees, for now at least, till the next wind storm.

Please give it a day or two for the trails to dry up after the latest rain.

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The Gravel Causeway

GravelLevyThis trail section would be under 2′ of water right now, if not for the beautiful gravel causeway that was built last year. Without it, half of the Frankenstein would be cut off, completely inaccessible. Next time you run into Clay, thank him for solving the problem and making the project happen!

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The Latest Trail Counter Data

TrailDataOur Data Man Marty has been diligently tending to the trail counter machines and meticulously collecting, analyzing and displaying the data. This gives a clear picture about how the trail users’ visits, through the two trailheads, are effected by the weather conditions.

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The First TT Result of The 2014 is In!

RickVandermayRick Vandermey has thrown thrown down the gauntlet for the 2014 TT’s!  He is humble in saying that his “leisurely” pace made it more like throwing down an argyle sock than a gauntlet.

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King Street Cycles Wednesday Evening Rides

2014 season King Street Cycles Wednesday Evening MTB Rides starting Wednesday, April 30! Sign up now with KSC ride club to be sure your ready! Every penny of the $20 fee goes to the trails!

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Monkey Boy is Freed

monkey-boy-1 monkey-boy-2 monkey-boy-3After the first shift of fallen tree removers was chased out by falling night, Mike Weinmann couldn’t stand the left behind nasty cluster in a fast section of the Monkey Boy, so he took care of it regardless of the darkness.

There is still an easy to cut little tree on the Bootleg, if someone wants to help with that. We are also waiting to hear is anyone has seen fallen trees on the Adam’s Run?

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All The Trails are Ready for Riding!

IMG_8436 IMG_8441 IMG_8443 IMG_8446 IMG_8447_ IMG_8447 IMG_8448 IMG_8450 IMG_8451 IMG_8453 IMG_8454 IMG_8456 IMG_8459We’ve spent 6 hours on clearing deadfall today. There was so much to do, that after a while we’ve stopped counting and taking pictures.

Frankenstein has been cleared form four impassable clusters of fallen trees, except for one log near the and, that will need hiking in with a two man saw. All other trails are cleared, with only few remaining logs on Bootleg and Monkey Boy trails, and maybe Adam’s Run, which we’ve ran out of time to check.

All the trails are dry, aside from the very few minor wet spots. Enjoy while it last till the next rain.

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Drying Out The Trails

IMG_8413 IMG_8419 IMG_8423 IMG_8424 IMG_8425 IMG_8429 IMG_8434This long weekend was a battle against the persistently wets spots on the Glasgow side of the trails. The worst areas were solved with reroutes, culverts and drainage canals.

The trails are in a pretty good shape now, and most of them are ready for riding. Enjoy!

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Most of The Trails Are READY!

Glasgow side if fine for riding, except Frankenstein, which still has some wet spots and fallen trees.

The Snyder’s side is usually better, so it is assumed it too will be fine, but please use discretion and stay away if it turns out that some trails still need drying time.

Soft ground is okay, as long as the tires are not making ruts…

Enjoy!

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Exciting Notice!

ExcitingNoticeForest thawing in-progress: Summer is coming!

Warning:

Your favourite trails are at risk of rutting from shoes and tires.

You Can Help!

Please Stay off the single-track trails until the ground dries up.

 

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