Written September 2013
My name is Travis Kroschinsky. I am your average 33 year old ripper. There are men and women like me all over BC. I know because I see them wherever I go. I have been mountain biking and trail building seriously for about ten years. I don't go as big or as hard as I might have in my early twenties, but the crew that I ride with and I still get it done. I have also learned in recent years that "up" can be fun as well and fairly crucial to maintaining a 30-year-old semi-lumpy body. I am unsure which I like better, riding or trail building. Anyone else have heroes that include Tom Pro, Digger, Big Red Ted and local trail builders like Vance Fugeta along with Watson, Peat and the Berrecloth's? That's a bit of a lie...riding is the best. Especially when you have grooved that new corner or are comfortable enough to throw your bike around on that new hit. C'mon, most of us build to ride!
I am a shop teacher and I have started to get some of my students involved in some of my projects.
The thing about getting older is your free time gets downsized a great deal. When I didn't have anyone to answer to, there was always time. Any free moment I had, and many that weren't, were spent building and riding. Now a little boy and a little girl who need to be taught about this world take major priority over my life. That's OK. I would not trade it for the world. I love my kids, cherish this time in our lives and know that it is short.
That said, I am frustrated. Not with life but with myself. My biking has been cut but not to a point where I can't get out (things have gotten significantly better since I discovered night riding
). Guess what has happened to my build time? I have selfishly neglected the trail that I have been working for close to four years now and when I have had any free time have chosen to ride rather than build. What happened to the self-realized guy that always put his time in because that is what you do to give back to the thing that you love? And it's sad because I know that between building and riding I know my talent shines more in the build department.
"Send it Home." A line I built a while back. Photo by Baxter Redfern
I lived in Vancouver for ten years and cut my teeth building and working on "secret" trails my buddies and I built on the North Shore. Later I improved those skills and learned more about building and maintaining trails for everyone working in the Whistler Bike Park. I have continued to build since moving back to Penticton, my hometown, about seven years ago.
A spot I helped my good buddy Ryan to create! Photo by Harookz
Whistler trail work....taking a break. Photo on the right is from a recent project in Penticton.
My favourite, most recent build on a trail called "Riverrun."
There are those who will scold me for telling you this, but Penticton is a hidden gem. Think of all of your favourite interior places to ride. We've got it all. And where we don't have it we have great potential for it. Things have made a turn recently but still remain mostly unregulated. Currently there are great trail networks, maintained mostly by awesome people working on their own or in small groups. We do the best we can but there is room for improvement maintaining old trails and building new ones. It shouldn't be this hard! I have decided I am taking a stand towards finishing what I started and helping the local trail network meet its full potential for all riders!
Penticton is a rad mountain bike destination. You should ride here.
Single track goodness!
Starting October 1st 2013, for one year, I will donate all of the time I normally spend trail riding to building and maintaining trails in Penticton (if you see me on a trail bike I am getting to a build spot not accessible any other way!
). Let's do the math. 52 weeks a year, 4-6 hours mountain biking per week would equate to around 300 hours. For a guy in his early 20's that might not seem like much, but for a guy with a young family, trust me, that is a significant amount of time. All of the times I would normally go out to ride I will pack my vehicle full of the essentials: chainsaw, shovel, maddock, hammer, nails and go and do the right thing for myself and for mountain biking in Penticton. I will donate equal parts to my own projects, maintaining existing local trails with help from PACA (Penticton and Area Cycling Association)
, and cutting in a new "secret" trail that will be decided upon amongst local members of the mountain bike community.
team was here recently doing some shooting. That was a thrill for those guys to come and send it!
My son's hero used to be Spiderman. Now it's Garrett Buehler.
I have a Facebook Page
that will keep track of my progress and I will post where I am going to be and on what days to give a heads up to anyone that would like to join me. This is not a one man operation! Anyone who wants to pitch in or is already out there getting it done in is welcome regardless of riding/building background.
Can't wait to get back on the trails in October!Travis Kro
We'll soon have an update on all of Travis' work as his year comes up in a few month's time.