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23 August 2018 - PNW

E-MTB Power at the Trans-Cascadia Build Party

Shimano STEPS E8000 assist MODUS Sport Group's Trail Building Efforts in the PNW

Team Shimano heads out the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for the final build party with the Trans-Cascadia Team, industry friends and many volunteers to help maintain trails that have not been used in years.

Since 2015, Shimano’s outside sales agency, Modus Sport Group founded the four-day, blind-format enduro race in the Cascade Range. Every year this race is capped at 100 athletes and revolves around a true backcountry experience; limited cell service, camping and good food. The past three years the race has been in the greater Oakridge, Oregon area, while this year they decided to relocate up to Southern Washington in-between Mt. Adams and Mt. St Helens.

The history of Trans-Cascadia is more than just giving racers an experience of their lifetime, it’s about supporting the local riding scene. The months leading up to the race, Trans-Cascadia rounds up hundreds of volunteers to give old trails a new life. Often these trails are extremely remote, which means there are hundreds of fallen trees, massive overgrowth, and general maintenance needed. These volunteers include people from the bike industry, local IMBA chapters, US Forest Service and people who are just stoked to help out. Each year, Trans-Cascadia holds three work parties that are four-days long. All you have to do is get yourself to the remote area and the crew will take care of all essentials. They even bring in a local chef from Hood River.

This was an opportunity for the STEPS Team to bring in a fleet of e-bikes to the volunteers. The format each day requires a strenuous amount of pedaling to get where the actual trail maintenance starts. For example, the first day of trail work there was a 3,500’ climb over 12 miles just to get to the main building area. Many of the volunteers were using traditional bikes, but were carrying chainsaws, trimmers, shovels, plus all their food and water for the day. This alone would add up to 40 pounds for some. This is where the e-bikes came into play. The individuals who were lucky enough to get an e-bike for the weekend, were able to cover the 25 miles in half the time as a traditional bike. Not only was the time saving portion big, but they were able to stay energized for the actual trail maintenance itself. The trail work would vary between four to six hours, four days in a row. The trail work included: removing fallen trees, trimming excessive brush, moving massive rocks, and making the trails better for the racers and future users.

The four-days capped out with a total of 55 miles, 8,000’ of gain and 18 miles of trail rehabilitation. The e-bikes allowed nine of the volunteers to get their destination quicker, more driven and more smiles than the rest. The Trans-Cascadia is just a month away. To get involved with the build days or the race, visit Trans-Cascadia.com for more information.  

 

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Planning out the day

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Custom designed trail building bikes by SyCip helped carry the load of equipment

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Brant, our West Coast STEPS Demo Driver, checking out the trail conditions

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Aaron Bradford on the Pivot Shuffle equipped with STEPS E8000

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Builders were rewarded with a warm and delicious dinner from a professional chef

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Well-earned time to relax by the fire with the MODUS crew and volunteers