Ride in Peace, Bob Taylor

Our GORC family lost a cycling brother on Tuesday December 20th.  While Bob Taylor made the most of the past 15 months – continuing to ride even after 2 brain surgeries and chemo treatments, he lost his battle with brain cancer early Tuesday morning.  He lived life to the fullest and was a great friend to have on any ride.  Not only did Bob love riding, but he truly believed in what GORC stood for – even so far as wearing the GORC jersey at his funeral.  We could not ask any more from a member.  He is survived by his two adult daughters.  

Ride in Peace, Bob.


Trail Tools: Spartacus (Revisited)

Spartacus, our rock moving tool developed by one of our own members, last made an appearance on our blog back in 2008 when Ron debuted it with links to the plans.

I am revisiting Spartacus here to centralize the information we have about the tool and link to the blueprint plans.

In our original post back in 2008 we wrote:

"Tom Erb designed Spartacus several years ago to help with much of the rockwork at Klondike, but since we've been using it quite a bit as of late, I thought I'd mention it again.  This is a very clever device, made out of chains arranged in concentric circles, that lets you move heavy objects, usually rocks, when you don't have the luxury of bringing in heavy equipment. The rock is maneuvered onto Spartacus, and then up to 8 handles allow for a number of people, strong of back, weak of mind, to carry or drag it to the desired position. 

The plans for building your own have been released under the Creative Commons license, or you can pay Tom to build one for you."

Well, it's not clear if Tom has the time anymore to build one for you but we are sharing the plans with you. We have enhanced the Spartacus concept by applying the same design using nylon straps like those designed to tie down large truck loads. This has decreased the standalone weight of Spartacus by over 20 pounds (or more). This is a huge improvement as the complaints from volunteers who have had to carry Mr. Spartacus more than a half-mile have been silenced.

Image of nylon Spartacus in use 
(poor visibility)

Finished product courtesy of Spartacus 
rock delivery method

Below you will find the original document describing Spartacus:


The Spartacus is a chain sling used to enable people to move heavy rocks and objects during trail work. It is ideal for moving rocks bigger than a few people can move, to enable crib walls, stunts, and other rocky features. It's also the ultimate tool for closing renegade trails and building choke points into your trails to discourage unauthorized user groups.

! Specifications:

* Constructed of over 40 feet of 750 pound working load proof chain
* Connecting links are stronger than the chain
* Eight handles allow everyone a comfortable grip

! Directions:

1. Use multiple pry-bars to roll a heavy rock onto the Spartacus.
2. Get a bunch of strong people to pick up or drag the rock to near the desired place.
3. Roll rock into place.
4. Keep a sledgehammer handy to help rocks fit where you want them to.

! Warnings:

1. Not for overhead lifting
2. Use at your own risk
3. Only people should use the Spartacus. Connection to mechanized equipment is not recommended and should only be attempted by qualified personnel.
4. Inspect your spartacus daily for damaged links and connecting link
closures. After years of use, we haven't had one fail yet, but you
could be the first. See numbers 1 and 2 again.
5. Wear boots and gloves, duh. Consider steel toe boots if you do this a lot.
6. If thrown like a fishing net, Spartacus may cause brain trauma.
7. Spartacus is not a toy.
8. Do not taunt Spartacus.


Plans, assembly directions, and parts lists are available free of charge under the creative commons license.

Download the blueprints in PDF format (117KB)

Contact GORC via our message board if you need one pre-built.

We do ask that if you build a Spartacus, please send us photos of it in action at gateway_mtb yahoo com.

Best of luck in your trail building endeavors.

Happy Holidays from GORC

You'd think it would be easier to find a good holiday themed image searching for

bicycle + holiday + wipeout

but it would seem that this tree in a box on a trike.bike will have to do (thanks a lot google images). Hipster not included with purchase (but that's an assumption).

However, v this v  did happen over the weekend. 
They knew nothing but rolled with it...

Carnage post-package-parcel-delivery derby. 
Gonna need a damage claim form for a lot of those presents.

See you all on the blog in 2012 -

or next week.

Until when.............

SIUE Workday 12-10-11 Pictorial

Wow, a big Thank You! to everyone who showed up at our SIUE workday this past weekend. Forty-nine (49!) people showed up and we completed the new section of trail...yes completed. It was a total of 0.3 miles of trail, while not a lot, it is still something.

Big Thanks to The Cyclery for providing lunch! Please stop by and tell them thanks. Also, thanks for to the Bike Surgeon for providing our swag give aways for the day and showing up to work on the trail. Please go in and thank them for their time and swag.

We are continueing our trail building in the new area on Jan. 21st. GORC hopes to see you all out there again.

Thank you very much for taking the time to help make the SIUE trail system bigger and better.

Here are a few photos from the workday;

Just cleared corridor getting ready for some mild bench work

Maplewood has sent one of their paid staff to the last three workdays - this is huge! Jessica is working some benchcut.

Rodney and his daughter Maya taking a break.

Mike Dunston's section looked perfect - of course.

Taking a break from perfection

Ron striking a trail terminator pose

Ross is ready for some Iditabike trail conditions

Post-workday swag giveaway. It was a bit too wet to ride after the hard work so some of us went to the Global Brewery in Edwardsville.

Rock Hollow Workday: A Few Images

Over 40 volunteers (GORC, Americorp and school students) helped clear the trail corridor and build a sustainable benchcut near the beginning of the trail. This workday will help the contractors who are bidding on this project see what the finished trail should resemble.

Here are a few images from the workday:

Volunteers hiking in from the Glencoe Mini-Railroad

Signage at the Rock Hollow entrance provided by the Great River Greenway organization.

Volunteers clearing the corridor

Bryan Adams and crew worked on this water crossing the entire workday

You can see the trail on both sides of the drainage