with US Army Corps of Engineers
Helps Start Friends Group at Wompatuck SP
is Part of the Solution
Valley NEMBA donates to Firefighters
Debuts MTB Kids Day
Trail Construction at Vietnam
Blue Hills MTB Day
Trail Care Crew Visits Connecticut
Trails Day Partnership at Tarrywile Park, CT
Big Ring Leadership Summit
& Mt. Agamenticus NEMBA Donate Bike to Land Manager
Boston Mountain Bike Video Awards
Bicycles Rewards Trail Builder
Re-Blazes Fells MTB Loop
Singletrack Single at the Fells
NEMBA Big River Clean-up
Valley NEMBA Helps Sudbury Valley Trustees
Mountain Trail Care Series Winner
joins CT Outdoor Recreation Plan project
State Park to Allow MTBs
Partnerships with US Army Corps of Engineers
The US Army Corps
of Engineers is one of the nation's largest land managers, caring
for 12 million acres of land and more than 4300 recreation sites.
In New England there are dozens of extensive Corps properties
that have great potential for recreational trail development
To help build upon NEMBA's relationship with the USACE, Rich
Kordell of Blackstone Valley and Philip Keyes made a presentation
to many of the region's managers at the USACE's Park Ranger
Conference on October 28th in Southbridge, Massachusetts. The
goal was to explain NEMBA's area of expertise and our willingness
to take part in developing projects that would benefit trail
recreation on Corps properties. As a result, it is likely that
NEMBA will hold its regional trail building school on the Corps
property at Hodges Village Dam in Oxford, Massachusetts, and
invite USACE personnel to attend. Blackstone Valley NEMBA has
been involved with care for the trails at Hodges Village Dam
and has held a couple of Harpoon MTB Adventure rides at the
A couple of weeks later, Keyes visited a USACE property in West
Hopkinton, NH to meet with Manager Alister R. Shanks and Ranger
Jennifer Samela, and help NEMBA's Glenn Kirby in his work to
develop non-motorized trails at the Elm Brook Park facility.
Glenn has been working with the Corps at Elm Brook for over
a year, and now has permission to construct trail that would
augment the work done by Ranger Samela.
With the help of Manager Shanks of the USACE, NEMBA's goal will
be to provide mountain bikers and other non-motorized users
with an extensive trail network to be constructed over the next
several years. This large management area of 10,000 acres has
an existing trail network that NEMBA will incorporate into the
overall plan of the project. NEMBA's Glenn Kirby believes "This
management area could develop into the largest non-motorized
recreational trail system in Central NH or the entire state.”
Those who are interested in assisting Glenn with this project
may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEMBA is excited at the prospect of forming concrete partnerships
on USACE properties and helping them promote more recreational
helps start Wompatuck State Park Friends Group
Bill Boles and Steve
Cobble of Southeast Mass NEMBA have become founding members
of the Friends of Wompatuck State Park. The new group will be
a multi-user volunteer citizen's organization to help improve
the park for all the many users and assist Ranger Steve Gammon
find solutions for improving access, providing maps, and promote
the park in the local communities. Also taking part in the first
organizational meeting were representatives of the equestrian
group, Bay State Trail Riders Association, and the local dogsledding
club. NEMBA’s executive director, Philip Keyes, was also
present at the organizational meeting. Anyone interested in
joining should contact Steve Gammon at 781-749-7160
is Part of the Solution
On October 13, 2004
the Trustees of Reservations sponsored an environmental conference
at the new Doyle Conservation Center entitled "Managing
Land and Visitors: Stewardship Challenges of Natural and Historic
Places". The conference was well attended with more than
175 public and private land managers from across the state.
Workshops ranged from working with volunteers and contractors
to managing grasslands and cultural landscapes, managing tree
diseases, using GIS for mapping and managing user conflicts
The DCR Blue Hills TrailWatch volunteer program was showcased
during the workshop on "Preventing and Managing User Conflicts
on Trails". Presenters Maggi Brown, DCR Supervisory Ranger
from the Blue Hills, and Joe Sloane, TrailWatch Volunteer Coordinator,
provided a comprehensive view of this peer education model that
has been used successfully in the Blue Hills for over ten years.
The focus of the workshop was to understand that there is no
single recipe to eliminate user conflicts, but creative approaches
to help minimize problems are most successful when they incorporate
In the 1960's it was said that "if you are not part of
the solution, you are part of the problem." The Blue Hills
TrailWatch program was created to be a part of the solution.
When the land managers of the Blue Hills Reservation were faced
with the task of developing policies to balance the recreational
needs and expectations of hikers, horseback riders and mountain
bikers, a handful of dedicated and diplomatic citizens led by
NEMBA’s Joe Sloane, Bill Boles, and Sue Lee, stepped forward
to help. Joe, Bill and Sue suggested a volunteer education program
to assist the park rangers in promoting cooperative trail use,
and Blue Hills TrailWatch was born. Now 50 members strong, the
dedicated volunteers teach by example, role modeling proper
trail etiquette and environmental ethics while educating visitors
to the beauties of the Blue Hills.
Keep an eye on the trails in the Blue Hills for a TrailWatch
volunteer and be sure to check out the offerings at the Trustees
of Reservations Putnam Conservation Institute, created to increase
the ability of the conservation community to protect and interpret
the natural and cultural resources of Massachusetts. Become
a part of the solution! —Maggie Brown
Valley NEMBA Donates to Volunteer Firefighters
The Pioneer Valley chapter of the New England Mountain Bike
Association (NEMBA) has given a $300 donation to the town of
Granby, Massachusetts to benefit the Granby Volunteer Fire Department.
According to Chapter President, George Willard, the fire department
volunteers have provided exemplary service to the town, and
on occasion, have been called on to assist injured trail users
at the Batchelor Street area. "We as a user group, certainly
appreciate the work and degree of professionalism shown by this
fine group of volunteers. This donation is a token of our appreciation
for their fine efforts."
Debuts National Kids MTB Day
The first Saturday
of October is now officially IMBA's Take a Kid Mountain Biking
Day, and to kick off its inauguration, NEMBA staged three great
Greater Boston NEMBA had planned on holding their event at the
Middlesex Fells but when this was nixed at the last moment,
they moved the venue to Great Brook Farm State Park. Fifty-five
kids and hundreds of dads and moms rode through nice skills
stations where the kids learned to ride over (and under) obstacles,
read maps, negotiate sharp turns, brake without skidding, trackstanding,
and be friendly to other trail users.
Southeast Mass NEMBA partnered with Urban Parks to hold a great
event at the Blue Hills Reservation, and CT NEMBA worked with
the Recycle Bicycle Clinic in New Britain to hold a stellar
event at the MDC's West Hartford Reservoir. The Recycle Bicycle
kids work in the clinic bike repair shop earning credits toward
the purchase of a new bike, and learn repair skills, proper
work habits, and improve social interactions. The bikes they
create go to a homeless shelter to help the residents get to
work and group meetings.
We thank Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation
and Connecticut's Metropolitan District Commission for allowing
us to provide safe and enjoyable locations to get kids off their
couches and out on to the trails. Childhood obesity has become
an epidemic in the US, and with city streets becoming too dangerous
to ride on, mountain biking offers a perfect solution to the
threatened health of our youth. Check
out pictures of this year's event.
New Trail Construction at Vietnam
On October 24th NEMBA
met to build the first trail designed and built by mountain
bikers in "Vietnam."
An assortment of about 30 people showed up to build an access
trail through Milford Conservation property. Old hands and new
faces pitched in to build almost 3/4 of a mile of new trail.
It was amazing how much was done by early afternoon—people
were shuttled, blowdowns were removed, and trails were cut.
An industrious group attacked a stream crossing with rock armoring.
The Tuesday Night Crew (John Goeller, Dan Ibbitson, Dave Mitchell,
Mitch Steinberg, and John Vosburg) had worked with Bob Buckley
of the Milford Conservation Committee over the previous several
weeks scouting out the area and then ultimately flagging the
trail. NEMBA greatly appreciates the effort of Bob Buckley in
allowing us to build a new access trail.
In the weeks prior to the trail construction, members of the
Vietnam Land Management Committee spent a lot of time designing
and flagging the proposed trail. Since the trail is located
on Milford Conservation property and will serve as an access
trail to NEMBA's parcel, the committee worked in close consultation
with Milford's Conservation Commissioner, Robert Buckley. A
final walk through was done with the commissioner the day before
Greater Boston NEMBA generously provided their tool trailer
so that all 30 volunteers would have the right gear for the
job. Among the volunteers was nearly the entire staff of Milford
Bike, the local bicycle retailer. With such a good turn out
of helping hands, three-quarters of a mile of new singletrack
was cut in a little over three hours. The new trail leaves the
abandoned rail bed near Route 85, which will eventually be a
paved bike path, and heads over to "Condo Rock." The
trail has several fast flat sections with some flowing turns,
some technical rocky section and a very difficult rock bridge.
It should prove a worthy addition to the trail system and help
alleviate some of the access problems.
Our thanks to everyone for coming and we look forward to undertaking
some new projects in 2005.
Blue Hills MTB Day
Believe what you've
heard - the Ninth Annual Blue Hills MTB Day celebration at Houghton's
Pond was the best ever! Over 600 riders converged on the Blue
Hills to experience what has become the premier family mountain
bike event in Eastern Massachusetts. From tandems to training
wheels, it was wall-to-wall smiles on June 20th.
The DCR's Blue Hills staff, under the superb direction of Ranger
Maggi Brown, teamed up with volunteers from NEMBA's SEMASS chapter
and Blue Hills TrailWatch to present an expanded 2004 festival.
Shifting the event to June from its previous place on the fall
calendar brought a ton of early-season energy to a glorious
day with clear blue skies. A new and much larger location at
Houghton's Pond enabled organizers to include more industry
sponsors as well as expand the skills areas to host Bill Piotte's
Incredible Technical Playground for young and old alike. A superb
article that appeared the next day in the Quincy Patriot Ledger
pointed to the skills building aspect of the event and featured
a cool photo of nine-year-old Noah Piotte nimbly hopping his
bike over one of his Dad's barrels! Blue Hills staffers John
Jacoppo and Nate Skrocki were also able to expand their popular
Kid's Obstacle course that saw heavy action all day long. The
Pit, The Teeter-Totter and The Ramp of Bumps are now famous
with kids throughout the land.
In preparation for a day of rides, "The Old Coot,"
Bill Boles, assembled a team of helpers who scouted, mapped
and arrowed various routes for riders of all abilities to either
follow on their own or as part of a group ride. TrailWatch's
Steve Cobble and his ride leaders put together an amazing schedule
of rides that went off every half-hour under the watchful eye
of Ranger Tom Bender who kept everyone on schedule all day.
Ranger Dave Furey and TrailWatch's Ian Sloane teamed up to lead
several hugely popular rides for families and kids.
Bike Limbo was as popular as ever, with hard-fought contests
in all divisions from the tallest 26" wheels to the lowriding
Super Modifieds and limbo newbies on training wheels. The Trackstand
Contest took on a new twist as expert finalists from the ranks
of the Wheelworks and Independent Fabrication staffs balanced
their way through on-mike sponsor interviews to the delight
of the crowd.
SEMASS President Rich Higgins recruited new members with offers
of serious swag and hot burgers from the official NEMBA barbecue
grille. As soon as word got out, the NEMBA tent was the place
to be and be seen. Prior to the event, Rich took on the responsibility
of making sure that no rider in New England missed out on an
invitation to the Blue Hills fun. Through forum postings and
broadcast e-mails, Rich worked with Philip Keyes to bring all
of NEMBA's publicity resources into play.
Rich was also instrumental in making this the first year that
SEMASS NEMBA took on a primary role in the planning and organization
of the Blue Hills festival. In the weeks before MTB Day, Rich
actively supported the efforts of Chris Patrick and Bill Moeller
to craft a new SEMASS website to help get the Blue Hills message
out. The www.semassnemba.org site now has some great photos
from this year as well as the Patriot Ledger newspaper article.
It also enables SEMASS
to provide direct links to the websites of sponsors who make
this event possible each year.
This year, over thirty industry sponsors and local businesses
extended their generosity to participate in person with tents
and staff as well as offering awesome donations of swag. Several
new sponsors joined the established ranks and added exciting
new energy to our efforts. Be sure to check out the 2004 sponsor
list on both the NEMBA and SEMASS websites. Visit these sponsors'
sites and their shops and offer thanks by bringing them your
Blue Hills MTB Day is all about encouraging families to discover
the joys of biking outdoors together. It's also about riders
making connections with old and new friends. The strong partnership
between the DCR Blue Hills staff and the mountain biking community
transforms the dream of an event like this into a sweet reality.
. —Joe Sloane
Trail Care Crew Visits Connecticut NEMBA
We had waited with
great anticipation and months of preparation for the blue and
white IMBA Subaru to drive into our neck of the woods for a
four-day, action-packed trail care visit. Amazingly, every event
went off without a hitch.
CT NEMBA is one of the first visits of the newly hired crew
from Oregon, Chris Bernhardt and Jill Van Winkle. On the first
day, we hit the ground running by performing two trail site
assessments at Osbornedale State Park and Pequonnock State Park.
We also did a walk-through with Jon Peterson of www.Bikerag.com,
and Doug Eli, a CT NEMBA trail boss.
The projects were chosen, and then we were off to Cycle Fitness
in Monroe for an evening slide show highlighting some of the
best places to ride in the world. Wales looks like an awesome
place to ride, but then I think I have to go to Oregon first.
So many places to ride!
The next morning, we packed the car with tools and headed over
to Kellogg Environmental Center. Alex Sokolow (CT NEMBA board
member and IMBA representative) arranged for the trail workshop
for twelve land managers, some from CT DEP and a few from municipal
parks. After the lecture and lunch, we hit the trails for some
One group learned how to use a clinometer to determine the appropriate
grade of a trail so it won't erode, while the other group learned
how to benchcut a trail to expose the mineral soils and create
a long-lasting trail. IMBA has just launched their new trail
building bible, Trail Solutions, and most of the land managers
bought a copy.
Despite a dreary start to the next day, eight intrepid trail
volunteers arrived at Calvary Church in Trumbull to learn about
trail maintenance. The crew talked about a number of topics,
from getting land managers' permission, to grade reversals to
free riding stunts. Doug Eli, NEMBA trail ambassador, arranged
for the inside portion of the workshop, and in the afternoon
the sky cleared and the group did some serious rock work, armoring
an approach to a stream crossing while maintaining the technical
features of the trail. We also placed quite a few "choke
stones" or rocks placed to keep a rider on a narrow section
of trail. Dave and Kathy Herde, trail ambassadors, brought excellent
food, and helped direct the project. Others who helped with
the project were: Laura Nowack, Bobbi Stak, Mike Wallace, and
Sunday was all about riding and fun. Dave and Kathy Herde led
a three-hour ride at Trout Brook, making sure we hit every technical
section in the park. Dave Cleveland and Ed Perty, trail ambassadors,
joined us, and even Chris and Jill admitted they were tired
after the ride. I know I was!
It was a great long weekend, and if you ever have a chance to
catch one of the TCC visits, do so. I learned a lot, rode a
lot, and best of all made some new friends. —Paula Burton
Trails Day Partnership at Tarrywile Park, Danbury, CT
CT NEMBA helped lead a National Trails Day event at Tarrywile
Park in Danbury, CT, along with Eastern Mountain Sports, Appalachian
Mountain Club, Letterboxing, Western Connecticut Orienteers
The land managers are interested in improving the trails of
this 700 acres urban park, and a new map and re-blazing project
are in progress. All the groups worked together on a variety
of projects, and CT NEMBA focused on improving a stream crossing.
Rocks were placed to allow passage during high water, and a
new approach was built, cribbing the treadway with rocks, and
moving the treadway out of a wet area. The manager, Sandy Moy,
was impressed with the work, and we have been asked to come
back again. She also attended the recent IMBA land managers'
workshop held in Derby, CT, and NEMBA looks forward to a continuing
good relationship with the park management.
If you live near Tarrywile, we are seeking trail ambassadors
and other folks willing to volunteer at Tarrywile. Please contact
Paula Burton. A meeting
will be scheduled sometime in the next several months. —Paula
Big Ring Leadership Summit
April 16, 2004 – Acton,
MA – Sixty of the New England Mountain Bike Associations's key
advocacy leaders participated in NEMBA's Big Ring Leadership
Summit at Cape Cod's Camp Lyndon in Sandwich, Massachusetts
on June 11-13th to discuss the future of the organization's
The summit resulted in scores of concrete
plans to improve advocacy and the organization as a whole, including
producing a land manager conference, a freeride summit and large
youth-focused riding events.
"It was an inspiring
work hard / play hard weekend," says NEMBA's executive director,
Philip Keyes. "Never before has NEMBA brought together its brain
trust for a weekend of problem-solving, leadership training,
and networking, and there was incredible synergy between all
the participants, who collectively have more than 500 years
of advocacy experience under their belts."
Jim Hasenauer, past president
of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and
Hall of Fame inductee, agreed. "It was great working with these
NEMBA leaders. These folks love mountain biking. It's amazing
to watch an organization both fight the good fight in preventing
closures and at the same time be so proactive in developing
new riding opportunities. The future of New England mountain
biking is in good hands." IMBA staffers, Brandon Dwight and
Scott Linnenburger, also shared their expertise at the event.
Key topics included strategies
to prevent the imminent closure of parks to mountain biking,
ways to deal with the creation of unapproved trails and constructed
trail features (aka, "stunts"), developing and managing a volunteer
base, and how to be politically effective at the local, state
and federal levels.
According to NEMBA's
new president, Tom Grimble, "As the largest regional advocacy
organization in the country we strive to push the envelope of
mountain bike advocacy, and this summit provided both the training
and focus to allow us to push those boundaries even further."
pictures of the event...
Bikes and Mt. Agamenticus NEMBA Donate Bike to Land Manager
16, 2004 – York, Maine – The Mt. Agamenticus Chapter
of the New England Mountain Bike Association (MTA NEMBA) today
announced that through the generosity of K2 Bikes, the association
presented a Zed 2.0 mountain bike to Mt. Agamenticus Conservation
Manager, Robin Stanely. The mountain bike will be used by Mt.
Agamenticus' trail crew to help maintain over 50 miles of trails
in this watershed region in southern Maine.
According to Mt. Agamenticus NEMBA's director, Steve Cole, "we're
excited with the recent success in forging a partnership between
NEMBA and the land managers, and we're grateful to K2 Bikes
for helping to get land managers using mountain bikes to take
care of their parks. K2's bike donation will help them maintain
the more remote areas of the watershed as well as give them
a inside view about what mountain biking is all about."
Stanely is interested in getting a trailer for the bike to faciliate
K2 was excited to make the donation. "We pleased to have
a land manager on one of our mountain bikes, and we all realize
how important it is to take care of the places that we ride,"
said K2 Marketing Coordinator, Matt Peternell.
MTA NEMBA plans two more trail care days at the park and will
be helping lead over 100 volunteers from Tom's of Maine on July
Boston Mountain Bike Video Awards
The New England Mountain Bike Association announces the winners
of its annual amateur filmmaking event, the Boston Mountain
Bike Video Awards. The winners were selected at the award ceremony
presented by JRA Cycles of Medford, MA and Rocky Mountain Bicycles
of Vancouver, BC on April 24th. The event featured special guest
Wade Simmons, professional mountain biker from British Columbia;
Redbones Barbecue; "mountain bike bingo" with prizes
from the sponsors; highlights from last year's finalists; and
a screening of the best local amateur cycling films of the year.
The house was packed, with 250 attendees, topping last year's
attendance. In order to encourage attendees to join NEMBA, an
anonymous donor matched all membership up to $1,000, and the
event brought in 47 members and $8170 in proceeds. All proceeds
will benefit the advocacy efforts of NEMBA.
Jeff Udell, "Ride
Like a Girl"
Jim Ioannidis, "From Dawn Till Dusk"
Ben Haulenbeek and Jade Jenny, "Ground Rush preview"
Sean Sullivan, "Lord of the Chainrings"
The other finalists were Lucas Brunelle, Paul Girard, Tom Guilmette,
Mark Halliday, Jon Kibler, and Justin Schroth. Films included
a documentary-style "adventure" film, an excursion
on the frozen Charles River through Boston, a production featuring
talented local area female riders, and a take-off on a classic
French film that originally featured a Ferrari. The winners
split $500 in prizes from JRA Cycles.
"The variety of video styles made for a fun evening,"
said Krisztina Holly, the event's emcee. "Attendees ranging
in ages from 6 to 66 took part in this celebration of local
New England riding culture, and the event has raised some much-needed
funds for NEMBA."
The evening started with an interview with Wade Simmons, professional
mountain biker and freeride pioneer, who had just recently been
voted in a reader poll as one of the top three most popular
mountain bikers in the world. Simmons regaled the audience with
stories of his work and, when asked for tips on how to become
a professional rider, he suggested, "You just need to keep
riding, and get better and better. Everything I do is calculated.
It's the young riders, who try to get noticed at all costs,
that get hurt. You have to build up to it." He also debunked
some myths, when he described the very rigorous procedures necessary
to build trails in the North Shore of Vancouver. Simmons was
available all evening to sign autographs and chat.
Bicycles Rewards Trail Builder (SingleTracks
#74 July 2004)
the 250 volunteers that turned out to any of the 32 Tomac/NEMBA
Trail Care Events, Alexis Arapoff of Stow, MA was the lucky
winner of a Tomac Bicycle Revolver Pro dual suspension bicycle.
This series harnesses the energies of mountain bikers to build
and care for trails in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine,
and is the largest title-sponsored trail care series that has
been sponsored by a single company. The series began in 1996
under the auspices of Merlin Metalworks, and last year the sponsorship
transitioned to Tomac Bicycles. The American Bicycle Group owns
both Tomac and Merlin.
Tomac Bicycles has renewed it sponsorship of the series for
the 2004 season, and there are more than 38 events already planned,
with many others to be announced in the near future.
"We're fortunate to be able to provide such a wonderful
incentive to our volunteers out on the trails," says NEMBA
Executive Director, Philip Keyes. "Last season was especially
meaningful since our trail care program was the first in the
country to be given an Environmental Merit Award by the Environmental
Fells MTB Loop (SingleTracks #74 July
The Mountain Bike Loop at the Middlesex Fells has a new look.
The look is Green. For 16 years the loop has been marked with
square red signs with a picture of a bike and the words “Bike
Loop” on them. These signs were very clear to understand
but were also a target for vandalism. People opposed to bike
access at the Fells as well as those looking for souvenir would
remove them, causing much confusion.
Working with the DCR, NEMBA purchased and installed green blazes
marking the 6 mile loop in both directions. The new blazes are
2" x 6" aluminum painted emerald green and are clearly
visible along the entire route. Before anybody fires off an
e-mail to tell us that we forgot to pound the nails in all the
way, they are that way on purpose. The special aluminum nails
are intentionally left unseated to give the tree room to grow
without popping the sign off. The aluminum is also found to
be less toxic to the trees and will not destroy saw blades if
the tree ever falls down and needs to be cut up to be removed.
As I already mentioned, the new blazes were purchased by NEMBA
using your membership dollars. Like the boardwalk we built in
the Fells last year, this is a highly visible way to see your
support of NEMBA helping the parks where we ride. I want to
give special thanks to some folks from RAGE who once again showed
up to help out with this project. I am really encouraged by
the way NEMBA and RAGE have been working together recently.
NEMBA will be hosting six trail maintenance days at the Fells
this year. Details can be found at www.gbnemba.org or www.nemba.org.
As these days proceed you will see some changes to the trail.
Re-routes will be put in to avoid the real bad sections and
other sections will be worked on to make them narrow again.
When riding the Fells, do your best to keep the trails narrow.
Singletrack Single at the Fells (SingleTracks
#74 July 2004)
April 25th the Greater Boston Chapter of NEMBA kicked off this
year’s Tomac Trail Care Series with a great day in the
Middlesex Fells. 25 people showed up on Sunday, many, shaking
off the affects of the previous night’s video awards,
to do some much needed repair work on one section of the Fells
Mountain Bike Loop down by the water treatment plant. This particular
area has very limited parking immediately adjacent to the trail
but the DCR rep was kind enough to open the gates to allow us
to park along the fire road, thereby avoiding those nasty tickets!
This section of trail, also part of the Orange Trail, has seen
many trail days over the years. The original trail was a straight
shot, up and over the hill with no turns at all. Much of it
ran directly along the fall line causing an extreme erosion
problem without any help from the extra wear and tear of hikers
and bikers. This was also a real problem in that at the bottom
of the hill, this trail crossed a road frequented by large trucks
from the water treatment plant and the idea of riders getting
rundown had the MDC very concerned. Through our efforts, this
stretch of trail has lengthened as we have added switchbacks
and long traverses to reduce the grade of the trail and provide
needed drainage points to minimize erosion. Even with this though,
through the last year the trail had widened out in many places
as people would go around a wet spot or along an easier line.
Cut throughs had also developed as walkers would make a beeline
up or down the hill. Once these lines became visable, they were
ridden and hiked so often that they needed attention.
Over a hard three hours of work we were able to narrow this
entire ~200 yd section of trail back down to a 3-4’ width,
chosing the line most likely to hold up to future use. Rolling
grade dips were put in to improve drainage to the sides, long
standing water bars which had been filled in with washdown were
dug out and repositioned. The most striking changes though were
seen at the two sharp corners where the trail had taken a beating.
Through major bench cutting and the placement of anchor points
to keep people on line, and in one case, extensive hardening
through the placement of a layer of busted rocks, we now have
some beautiful corners which are way easier to navigate and
should hold up very well! All of the cut-throughs are gone,
with fallen trees hauled in and “randomly” placed
to make off-trail adventures way less inviting. We also planted
quite a few trees, some of which, we hope, will survive to further
help define the trail. With a variety of riding skills in mind,
we were careful to leave as many interesting and fun obstacles
on the trail as possible while still providing a line ridable
by most anybody with the lungs to make it over the hill. It
will never be easy but is sure is nice!
Thanks to everyone who gave up their lovely Sunday morning to
help and a special thanks, as always, to Claire Grimble for
an awesome after-work luncheon! —Chris Harris
RI NEMBA Big River Clean-up
(SingleTracks #74 July 2004)
Rhode Island celebrated Earth Day in a big way this year. On
Saturday, April 24, 2004, 77 people showed up to help clean-up
trash and tires in the Big River Management Area. This hugely
successful event was hosted by the West Greenwich Nature Conservancy,
the Friends of Big River, and the Pawtucket River Watershed
Association in conjunction with the RI-Trails Advisory Committee.
The event organizers were excepting about 40 people, but many
user groups rallied their troops to double their estimates.
Hikers, horseback riders, dog sledders, motorcyclist and mountain
bikers split into smaller groups to remove trash from 5 different
sites, recording well over 200 volunteer hours. Dumpsters were
filled to capacity as the volunteers pulled paper, bottles,
tires, stoves, car parts and lots of other junk from the woods.
Afterwards many people joined together for a cookout, a raffle
with lots of great prizes and a chance to meet all the user
groups who helped out.
Mountain Bikers should feel proud of themselves as we contributed
between 25 and 30 volunteers to this event. (The exact number
is unknown as many people did not indicate what group they belong
to.) The time and numbers we put in has not gone unnoticed;
someone from another user group commented that initially he
was against legalizing mountain biking in this area, however
seeing us willing to work on this day and the other positive
PR we've been done has begun to change his mind. So a very huge
thanks to all the mountain bikers who showed up and worked hard
to make this day a success. —Tina Hopkins
Blackstone Valley NEMBA
Helps Sudbury Valley Trustees (SingleTracks
#74 July 2004)
On May 1st Blackstone Valley held a trail maintenance day to
help the Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) control erosion on a
steep section of the Pipeline Trail that is within SVT's land
adjacent to Callahan State Park. Eighteen NEMBA volunteers,
led by Mark Lamkin and Anne Shepard, plus several members of
SVT and the Appalachian Mountain Club, installed seven grade
dips on the Pipeline and improved several more on the Pioneer
Trail. These two trails are the primary access routes to other
parts of Callahan State Park from each of the major Callahan
Parking lots. The SVT’s Land Steward, Dan Stimson, worked
along side the crew throughout the day and seemed much appreciative
to get the help.
We hope our efforts will increase the acceptance by SVT for
mountain bike use on a couple of major trails near Callahan.
SVT will soon install new trail markers which will help to clarify
which trails are open to bikes. Please help us continue to foster
the growing goodwill with SVT by complying with their existing
trail restrictions. —Rich Kordell
Trail Care Series Winner (SingleTracks
#74 July 2004)
we mention the lucky person of the Rocky Mountain bike, we first
want to thank this great company for their support of the NH
Trail Care Series. Entering into its third year of sponsorship,
Rocky Mountain Bicycles’ generosity shows their commitment
to preserving the sport and their belief in NEMBA's efforts.
But if you're not the chosen one don't feel left out. This past
year the New Hampshire NEMBA chapters had a tremendous number
of projects throughout the state, so competition was tough.
We created new trails, opened up areas that were closed to cycling,
built boardwalks, improved trails and forged stronger relationships
with land managers. The end result is we have more places to
ride, so we all win! Thank you to all who helped make this possible.
So without further a-do, drum roll please….The lucky winner
is Mike Lanigan!
Mike pitched in at our very own Rocky Mountain Bicycles sponsored
NH Trail Care Event at Ft. Rock (Henderson Swasey). Congratulations,
Mike, and we look forward to many more people coming out an
helping make the trail better for everyone. Check the calendar
for a Rocky Mountain Bicycles Trail Care event near you….
and good luck! —Len Earnshaw
NEMBA joins CT Outdoor
Recreation Plan project (SingleTracks
NEMBA has been invited by the Connecticut Department of Environmental
Protection to join with other recreation groups in the development
of a federally mandated outdoor recreation plan.
It's been ten years since
the CT DEP last formulated an outdoor recreational plan. Referred
to as SCORP, or Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreational
Plan, it is a planning tool designed to respond to the goals
and desires of our recreational community. It's also the principle
planning tool that enables CT DEP to take advantage of funds
offered by the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCFW).
The LCFW funding provides a significant means to secure open
space land acquisition and protection. This in turn increases
outdoor recreation opportunity for all of us. I hope that I've
got your attention. SCORP is important.
Over the next six months, CT DEP will
work with an array of outdoor recreation advocates to develop
a SCORP plan for presentation to the National Parks Service,
the administrator of the LCFW. In direct response to NEMBA's
efforts across Connecticut as a trail advocate and the de facto
MTB community representative we have been invited to participate
in process to develop this plan. This is an excellent opportunity
to allow the MTB community to be heard. Stay tuned for updates.
State Park to Allow MTBs (SingleTracks March 2004)
Wachusett NEMBA Vice President, Alf Berry, and member Michael
Morin, made a formal request to the Ware River Watershed Advisory
Committee to allow mountain bikes on certain trails in the park.
While certain details still need to be finalized, the committee
voted unanimously to accept the proposal. According to Berry,
“NEMBA has a great reputation outside the mountain bike world.
One member of the committee was also involved with a hikers
group that is in charge of managing the Midstate Trail. He said
that his experiences with NEMBA specifically and MTBers in general
have been positive. He made specific mention of trail work that
NEMBA has performed on the Midstate. Another member who was
a horseback rider said that he has always had positive encounters
with MTBers, particularly in Leominster State Forest.”
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