Sunday, April 29, 2012

Venturing Further Into Webster Park

After yesterday's Pick Up The Parks hike I was inspired to ride some trails in Webster Park that are outside my standard route.

I took a camera and stopped to take pictures of landmarks that might be useful for navigating in the future: trail signs, blazes, intersections, bridges, etc.

It really does seem crazy in Webster Park.  It feels like I encountered another trail intersection every minute and there are a lot of unmarked trails.

I think I'll add some of these trails to my usual ride, and slowly add more and more.  I'd like to really know Webster Park.

My ride was good... some good climbs, some good hops.  I continue to get more comfortable with my high gear, shifting more consistently. My hamstrings started cramping up on my last few hill climbs.  I hate that feeling.  If I don't let up I know I'll end up on on the ground in agony.  I'll probably be bringing energy gels with me more regularly.

Lately I've been working with some gps map tools and image geotagging for the Friends of Webster Trails.  So I practiced some more with doing that:
Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2012-04-29

Saturday, April 28, 2012


This morning was the third annual Monroe County Pick Up The Parks (PUTP) event at 7 county parks.  The Friends of Webster Trails (FWT) and the Genesee Regional Off-road Cyclists (GROC) both attended the event at Webster Park.  As a board member of both, and a Webster resident, of course I was there.
The Penfield Green Initiative also had a presence.

There was a great turnout.  I'd guess 50+ volunteers. But Webster Park is a big place so we split into small groups. The park already seemed to be rather clean so it was more like and Easter egg hunt or trying to find the hidden treasures.  The garbage tended to be along the perimeter of open areas where the mowed areas transition to wild vegetation.  The wind blows it there and I guess people throw trash there thinking it's out of sight, out of mind.  I started in a group of about six, but with trash being rare and along a single path, it quickly became obvious that working individually would be most efficient.

I hiked along open park field but soon found some trail to walk.  I actually found some really nice single track that I'll definitely be coming back to for some muni action.  I ride in Webster Park, but it's a big place and I certainly haven't seen it all.  I generally ride in the south end but today's work started in the north.

The majority of what I collected was soda cans and beer bottles.  At one location I stepped off the trail for a beer... bottle only to discover more and more.  There were so many of those old style Genesee bottles with no neck.  Then I found some stranger things, like a very nice serving platter, a bowl, a ladle, and two fancy glasses, all made of crystal!  Plus there was a small but heavy decorative crystal basket about the size of softball.  All this was on a brush and tree covered hillside well off a trail below a picnic area.  If only trees could talk!

With dozens of bottles, cans, and all this crystal, my garbage bag was heavy so I dropped it on the park road at the top of the hill and started a new bag.  I turned away for a few minutes and when I looked back the bag was gone and a car was pulling away.  I guess another PUTP helper was taking it away?  I don't know what happened too it, which is kind of too bad because I would have liked to show my finds off later.

After that I hiked further into the park trails and actually felt like I was lost.  Years ago when I got into muni I explored Webster Park and got lost.  A lot of those trails aren't great, and since I get lost in them I generally stick to my usual loop to the south.  I'm telling you, it's really very easy to get lost in this place.  There are very few trail signs although many of the trails are blazed with paint on trees.  But since I did see a few cool trails I feel like I have to get back in there and ride more.

So while being lost I continued to pick up the occasional trash, mostly cans and bottles.  I found something of a junk pile about 20 feet off one trail and was able to make a good dent in it.  It was mostly plastic oil bottles and beverage containers.  I didn't have space for the busted up toolbox.  It's weird how some stuff seems so out of place.  I'm not sure who was bringing this trash so far from their homes.

Eventually I started to recognize where I was.  I was in the area that I got lost in years ago!  But I kind of remembered a grassy muddy trail that lead to Holt Rd, and sure enough that's where I popped out.  I headed north, collection a small amount of trash along the tree line before eventually seeing the park area near the lodge that was the PUTP home base.
That pretty much ended my exciting garbage collection adventure.

Wow, if you've read this far you must be a connoisseur of fine writing. ;-)
Before I continue, here's my PUTP hike map:

Webster Park - Pick Up The Parks - 2012-04-28

After PUTP I met up with a couple of FWT board members to inspect a section of the John Unger Nature Trail (JUNT),  a short trail off of the Hojack.  There's a 35 foot section of unsustainable muddy trail that we'd like to have a boardwalk built over.  Likely a boy scout will do this work.

John Unger Nature Trail - 2012-04-28

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sydney at the Community Arts Day Talent Show - 2012

Just like last year, Sydney rode her unicycle at the Webster Community Arts Day Talent Show.  But this time she did her hooping too, like at her school talent show.

I'm amazed at 2:15 how she recovers from what seems to be an out of control hoop.  Nice job Syd!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Consistent Hill Climbs

This afternoon I rode at Whiting and Webster Park and continued to push up the hills. I kind of impressed myself in a couple of ways.

Half the battle of climbing hills on the trails is fighting the incline and the other half is fighting the roots. The steeper the incline, the more sensitive I am to getting over roots and navigating around them. Today there were a good number of times when I was so very close to losing this battle but I managed to correct and hold on. Yay me!

I was also able to climb my red hill nemesis twice today! Yay me again!

Along the way I met a couple hiking in Webster Park. They were curious about my unicycling and we got talking. I liked them a lot. They appreciate the trails and The Friends of Webster Trails, and liked sharing Webster Park even with bikers, despite having a trail running right along their property line. Not all neighbors are this cool.  It also turns out their now adult son had a unicycle as a kid and it's up in their garage rafters. I gave them my phone number so I could buy it if they are interested. We'll see.

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2012-04-20

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chiyoda Inspection

Today I hiked at the Chiyoda Trail just around the corner from me. It's a short trail through a small section of woods, near the relatively new community center.  From the community center, it leads to the Bird Sanctuary trail, which goes to North Ponds Park and the Hojack Trail.

Unfortunately the terrain is flat and low, so it stays wet if not swampy. The town has begun to add some fill to make it better, but it will take a lot more to make it a good trail.

There's an interesting old rock farm wall that crosses the trail, and I hiked along that too. I call it the Great Wall of Chiyoda.  It ended at a blank yellow sign. Strange.

Some photos of my trail and wall inspection:

I'm also experimenting with geotagging photos and creating trail maps for FWT. Here is a test map:

2012-04-15 Chiyoda Trail Inspection

Saturday, April 14, 2012

FMCP Trail Work

The number of trails that the Friends of Webster Trail (FWT) maintains is increasing as we add Four Mile Creek Park (FMCP) and extend Whiting and the Hojack trails.  So we've decide to have trail works days on two Saturdays of each month instead of the usual one.
I'll be leading one each month and Jeff, our Trails Committee Chair, will continue to lead the other.

This morning I led FWT's first one of the year at FMCP.  The turnout was on the low side with only 12 workers showing up, so we didn't get all the work done we had originally hoped to.  But we got a lot of work done:
  • widened the descent before the first bridge and spread stone over it to prevent mud
  • removed some of the stumps where brush had previously been cut
  • cleared several new trail sections to reroute previously cut trail to higher ground
  • installed a culvert pipe to give water a place to flow under a trail
"Leading" the work was more "getting the ball rolling".  We have a lot of experienced trail workers that don't need any direction and are able give direction to others as needed.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Current Hill Challenges

I left work a few hours this afternoon to do some riding. The weather was nice and my brain was fried.

I rode at Whiting and Webster park.  You'd think I'd get bored at these places, but there are still a number of hills that challenge me and I continue to make progress.

At Whiting I made it up a major hill on the red trail.  I believe this is the second time I've done it, the first being back in September.  Later I rode the yellow trail in the opposite direction I usually do, to attempt the steepest hillclimb on that trail.  I didn't make it but I got further than ever.  In the past I made it about halfway, but this time I was at about two-thirds.  Although the incline is certainly near my limit, I think it's the roots that make it most difficult for me.  Changing direction on a steep ascent to avoid larger roots is tricky.

Just writing about this makes me excited to try again.  I guess I like a challenge.

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2012-04-13

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Whiting and Webster Ride

I had a good ride today at Whiting and Webster Park.  I made some good hill climbs and am taking advantage of my high gear in more places.  I rode about 12 miles.
My shoulders are a bit sore and I'm a bit saddle sore... typical of first rides of the season.

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2012-04-07

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

First Muni Ride of 2012

It was about 50°F this afternoon and I left work a few hours early to go for my first muni ride of the year. It pretty much felt like I picked up right where I left off, unlike last year when I felt more out of shape on my first real muni ride.  Maybe the P90X helped.
My plan was to ride into Webster Park too, but on my way out of Whiting who did I see? Jamie! Coincidentally he was heading into Whiting for his first muni ride. He has been practicing his riding but had yet to hit any real trails.  So instead of heading into Webster Park I rode with Jamie.
He's doing vey well for having started in November.  He had bunch of good long runs and made some gutsy attempts to climb and decend some hills.

It's kind of surreal.  At the end of last season Jamie saw me riding at the trails, and now he's riding!

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2012-04-03

Sunday, April 1, 2012

KH April Fools

Kris Holm put up a funny April Fool's page today. I'm not sure it will be there for long so here are the screenshots:

Catching Up

Things have been busy lately and I have neglected my blog a bit, so here's a summary.

P90X Phase 3 has been a failure so far.  With spring here my mind is just not in it.  I'm also fairly burnt out on it.  I thing the biggest problem is the length of the workouts.  I think I'd like to create my own workouts that are about half as long.  I lost 10 lbs in two months, and got a bit stronger.  It was certainly better than continuing to be dormant.

While I read about the local mountain bikers getting out to the trails, I have yet to ride.  During the nicer weather my uni wasn't ready, life was busy, and I figured the trails were still a bit wet.  And whenever the weather hasn't been perfect I've shied away from riding.  But soon I will ride!!

Weight Weenie
During the winter I collected some lighter weight parts for my muni.  I'll be posting about those details soon.

I'm still somewhat active in The Friends of Webster Trails.  We have our monthly meetings, but I also attended a public meeting on March 5th regarding concerns about extending Whiting Road Nature Preserve's green trail to the north.  Some area residence are concerned about things like protecting deer, having hunters in the area, privacy, crime, and noise.  Fortunately for the trail lovers, the town decided to continue to allow trail development.  FWT will work with the neighbors to try to keep everyone as happy as possible.
I'm also planning on leading one of the two FWT trail work days each month.  The first one is two weeks away!
I've also been working a bit with another FWT board member to improve our maps and abilities to create and change them.

 I don't think there's been much GROC activity happening lately.  Everyone's probably busy riding!

Webster Park
Monroe County had a public meeting on March 21st for residents to offer suggestions on the Webster Park Master Plan.  The attendance was nowhere near what it was for the Powder Mill Park or Ellison Park Area master plans.  But a few from GROC and FWT attended, as well as people with a variety of other interests from butterflies to pickle ball!  As far as opening Webster Park to offroad cycling, for now it will not be considered.  Perhaps that's why attendance was light.  We must wait for the current Tryon and Bay Park West evaluation period to be completed, sometime around November.  So maybe next year.

That's all for now!