The best job in mountain biking? A visit with IMBA's master trail builder.
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How to Design a Mountain Bike Trail
Vicky Sama: Joey Klein has a job that mountain bikers dream of.
Joey Klein: I go around the world to design mountain bike trails.
Vicky Sama: He is the master trail builder for the international mountain bike association. On this day, he is designing Northern California’s new single track in the king range national conservation area. To get to the trail Klein has to hike through access point nicknamed the rabbit hole a maze with tangled white thorn poison oak and manzanita.
Pink and black ribbon marked the flag line where the new eight mile trail will be built. Klein ties the ribbon to branches at eye height and then uses a clinometer to measure the trail’s grade.
Joey Klein: And I'm trying to stay anywhere from 5% to 12% this is sort of my target. I want to just have a trail that basically rolls and ungulates along this slope.
Vicky Sama: The new trail will hook up with the 14-mile paradise royal loop finished in fall 2008.
Joey Klein: This new phase, this new leg is going to have ocean views much like we’re seeing right now.
Vicky Sama: Klein has been flagging the new trail for three weeks but before he could do that he got permission from the bureau of land management which is in charge of the conservation area. On his last day in town, Klein takes the BLM manager to the flag trail. He wants to make sure everyone knows the plan. Trimming and cutting their way through a brush Klein and the BLM crew looked for potential ocean view spots considering ways to enhance the trail user’s experience.
At this stage navigating the core door is difficult. Klein says the finished product will be a legacy.
Joey Klein: Ocean views, massy oak grows and big dug furs and this is going to have a little bit of everything.
Vicky Sama: Klein will return next year to supervise construction. Until then he has several other trail projects on their way around the country. This one he says tops his list of favorites.