the… wait for it… mcleod

This shot of my favorite hand tool, the mcleod, in the flowerbed of my home kinda hit me yesterday.

the... wait for it... mcleod


I will admit there were a few beers involved, which is why I’m writing this now rather than during…

As an old friend and I threw back a few light beers and did maintenance work on LAMBA tools in the Iowa summer humidity, the sweat dripping in the sun adversity that goes hand in hand with utilizing such an implement reminded me of all the work that has gone into our community’s unlikely custody of solid mountain bike experiences.

LAMBA hand tools

As often occurs in the human condition, inspiration need be shared, this is my feeble attempt:

AAAThe worn, practically self-sharpened blade reminded me of our friend CG, who almost single-handedly (figure of speech as I’m sure he used more than one hand) and painstakingly carved the initial singletrack loop at Squaw Creek.





BBBThe reinforcing bolts reminded me of LAMBA founding board member, Rob Lanz, who spent many a night wrenching away in his garage to keep our equipment functioning, winterized, etc.






CCCThe painter’s masking tape reminded of one of our most recent events in Vinton, the distance between the tape is a simple / handy way to measure the width of the trail volunteers were creating.






DDDThe worn Vans stickers, an initial attempt to mark our tools for easy identification.




EEEThe updated LAMBA logo so vehemently debated over and graciously provided by Jason Clary of Cellar Door Creative gives us a much sexier way to label our equipment.





Topping out with duct tape attempting to retain the rubberized replacement handle grip on the end of this heavily used tool of trail building and maintenance.


Oh yeah, and the prairie flowers… a perfect metaphor for the conservation efforts led by our founding president, Rob Johnson. *LAMBA needs those passionate about conservation efforts to step in / up to help, now more than ever!

Not to focus solely on the past, FYI the city has been in touch about the installation of prairie in the sun exposed portions of Beverly and the Sac & Fox corridor. While this will affect our trails and result in extra work to keep them in shape, it will be an amazing opportunity for conservation and native flora to be reestablished, further beautifying the natural spaces we enjoy.

prairie Wil

Working to clean and eek more life out of the LAMBA hand tool library it was easy to fall into summer mode and my brain completely mixed up the days… thinking it was Tuesday, but in fact it was Wednesday and our crrent LAMBA folk and leadership were revitalizing the Wednesday night thing (a riding / social event held on Wednesdays as announced, for those who don’t know).

This brings me to the triangle of advocacy, or something like that, which is applicable to sustainable mtb clubs, IMBA chapters, communities all around; but that is a post for another time… So yeah, I missed out on a part of our local mountain bike experience (scene) but I was doing what I do, fulfilling my role; what’s yours? It takes a village or so they say, plug in!     -Ken

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August 4, 2016 · Ken · Comments Closed
Posted in: LAMBA