Thursday, November 28, 2019

Hitting the Trails with my Big Boy

That's a Silky Big Boy that I'm talking about...

It seems like trails ALWAYS need work, from minor fixes like moving some branches to major builds or re-routes; it's hard for me to be out riding or running without seeing something that needs attention.

One of the recurring problems we've had over the last few years in my neck of the woods have been blow downs. Yeah, we get PLENTY of small (and not so small) branches that can easily be moved, but we also get many large branches and whole trees that come down with the wind.

I'm sure it's a symptom that suggests the overall health of our local tree population might be in trouble, but it could just be that the overall age of our locals trees is advancing to the point that they're weakening. Either way, the result has been that after every wind storm there are big limbs and trees down that need to be moved.

In many cases, the limbs and trees are so large that a chainsaw is the best tool for the job, but chainsaws have a number of issues associated with them regarding their use on trails.

First and foremost, you need permission from the land manager, be that at the city or state level. Next, you need to ensure that you're using the saw properly, and I've been to several chain saw safety courses where I've seen some things that leave me shaking my head. And finally, if you've got permission and the right training, you need to get the saw out to the spot. I've used a bike trailer but to be honest, by the time I haul the saw, extra gas, extra bar lube, chain sharpener and all my gear (chaps, boots, helmet, eye/ear protection, etc--I've taken care of way too many patients with chainsaw injuries to skimp on that stuff), it can seem like it's just too much of a hassle.

I've had a number of different folding saws and they've been "okay" for many jobs, but I've never been too impressed until recently. 

Enter, the Silky BigBoy 2000. I *thought* about the KatanaBoy, but the BigBoy seems to provide the best bang for a folding saw that big and still packable. The BigBoy isn't cheap, but at between $60 and $70, it's not crazy expensive either, and after a few uses it will more than pay for itself with how well it cuts and the work it can help you do.

I've taken this in my pack on a few rides and the saw cuts so well. It's important to note that it cuts on the back pull, and that will help the blade do its job and last a lot longer. See below's "before" and "after" pics with about 15 min of work in between:

I've been working on perfecting my trail tools and I've got quite an assortment of ones that are packable and not. The BigBoy is big enough to handle big jobs and small enough to fit in the pack and not be a bother. I guarantee this will be getting lots of use.

Stay tuned for more trail tool reviews.

No comments: