Why do they do that?posted by: | category:
I do some of my best thinking in the evening while I’m walking the dog. Sometimes it is while zoned out on the trail bike climbing up behind my house and other times it’s while trudging up the same hill in flip flops. Either way, I seem to do a mental recap of my day while simultaneously looking at what Ma Nature has going on around me.
Yesterday for example I was replaying the fact that no less than eight people asked me what was up with the state of the trails in Garboland. At the same time I also noticed that the grass and subsequently the dog rolling in it both seemed to be covered in white puffs of foam. Spit bugs are back read the background ticker in my mind when all at once the two ideas merged with the thought “Why do they do that?”
Well the bikers do it because they want to know what the plan is for the trails and I’m the person most likely to know the answer. The spit bugs apparently do it because they are in their nymph stage and the froth protects them from heat and injury before their tough outer shell thingy hardens.
To answer all of the people inquiring about why we open the trails and then let them get beat up, here is the science behind it… When we first open Garbanzo it is really wet and maintenance on the excavator built trails is not possible. If you disturb the mud with machines it liquefies and your entire trail surface runs off into the nearest ditch. In a few weeks once it dries out we are able to work with it and rebuild the riding surface into a much better flow. But, there is more to it than that. We only have so much machine time and with three different geoclimates (valley, sub alpine & alpine) we have to work with each at the right time. The valley level trails get rebuilt and made perfect while there is still moisture to work with, once the machine leaves the valley it won’t be back for some time so they need to be as buffed as possible. Fire hazard creeps into the equation around now too, as the lower trails dry out and we move up to work in the sub alpine.
Now that Dirt Merchant is done we will be bumping the machine up to Freight Train and Blue Velvet to start the process at that elevation. At the same time we will be working in the Alpine digging out more snow so we can get the Top of the World trail cracked in a couple of weeks.
The spit bugs dry out once the armor gets hard at which point they leave their house of drool and are ready for action. The adults are know as Froghoppers and have an impressive resume when it comes to sending it, able to jump 100 times their length with an acceleration of 4000m per second! If that was to scale they would be able to send it off the top Crabapple Hit and land on the bottom one.
Now if we could only take a page out of the spit bug operating manual and cover ourselves with foam to protect from the heat and pad up the soft bits that hit the ground and tend to stick causing us to take weeks off our bikes. At least they are smart enough to wait until the armor is hard before going for it.
Oh well, I guess the pressure suit will have to do until Alpine Stars can come up with the foam suit. Stay cool out there. BF