Western MA

Pioneer Valley NEMBA Chapter Meeting

Date

10/3/17 (All day)

Please join us Tuesday, October 3rd at 6 pm for a PV NEMBA meeting hosted by Harold Green at his home in Hawley. It would be great to have your involvement especially in planning for fall trail maintenance. The agenda is generally as follows:

Discuss Chili Ride planning
Update Shop Ambassador Sheet
Update on Earl's reroute/signage
Update on Sugarloaf reroute

Discuss DCR Partnership Grant application for Charlemont/Hawley

 

Contact me for directions or more information.   harold.f.green@comcast.net

Thanks and hope to see you there.

  Read more about Pioneer Valley NEMBA Chapter Meeting

Chapter

Pioneer Valley

Event Leader

Harold Green
harold.f.green@comcast.net

PV NEMBA Practice your technique/Worlds ride at Orchard Hill trails

Event Date

Repeats every 2 weeks every Tuesday until Tue Nov 21 2017 .
9/12/17 5:00pm

Orchard Hill Observatory, Amherst

Take the service road up to the observatory and park there.

  • Ride Leaders: Sam Veggeberg + Eric McManimon
  • Length: 1-1.5 hours

Directions (source: https://www.umass.edu/sunwheel/pages/orchard.html)

Orchard Hill Observatory is located at the top of Orchard Hill. You can get there by either going to the Sylvan dorms following the treeline on the East side of the hill up to the telescope or by going to the Orchard Hill Dorms and following the gravel road (turn left when you get to the road (if you go right it will take you across the bottom of the hill). The local cellular phone company has been kind enough to install a huge communication tower adjacent to the telescope. If you make your way to the base of the tower you will find the telescope. Read more about PV NEMBA Practice your technique/Worlds ride at Orchard Hill trails

Location

Orchard Hill Observatory, Amherst

Chapter

State

Massachusetts

Ride Level

Beginner
Novice
Advanced-novice
Intermediate
Advanced-intermediate

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Sam Veggeberg
781-835-8052

Charlemont Trails/Thunder Mountain Bike Park Boo Fest

Date

10/22/16 (All day) to 10/23/16 (All day)

Mark your calendars now.  We're combining the Resort's annual Boo Fest, featuring family games, contests, and fun, with an XC Bike event.

Details to be finalized, but Saturday will the the XC Rides, and Sunday a Dual Slalom and all the kids fun!

 

Location

Berkshire East Mountain Resort

Chapter

Pioneer Valley

Trail

Event Leader

Harold Green
harold@berkshireeast.com
413 348 3491

Chili Ride #7

Date

11/21/15 12:30pm to 6:00pm

Chili Ride #7 is scheduled for Saturday, November 21st! The Chili Ride is a great way to round out the fall: a 2-3 hour mountain bike ride on classic Wendell singletrack at an intermediate pace, followed by a chili-themed potluck at Bill's house across the street from park headquarters. The rides start at 12:30pm from the Wendell Ranger Station (392 Montague Road, Wendell MA) and will go for about 2-3 hours. This will be an unmarked ride, and groups can go out as they form (self-guided) or join a local expert for a tour of their favorite trails. All riders are welcome (note that there will not be a designated beginner ride), there will be a hiking group for anyone interested! This late in the year New England weather can be unpredictable so be sure to layer up, bring snacks and plenty of hydration. We should not be needing lights for this ride but feel free to bring one, just to be on the safe side. As it is hunting season bright colors are strongly encouraged! Chili Cookoff: As before, we will be having a chili cook-off this year - bring your favorite chili, side dish, appetizer or dessert for a chance to be crowned the 2015 PV NEMBA Chili Champion!! The party after the ride will be at Bill Gabriel's house just before the ranger station on the right (334 Wendell Road, Millers Falls); if you're bringing food you can drop it off at his house before the ride between 11:45am and 12:15pm. You can also leave your car in his driveway and bike over to the ranger Station (parking will be limited at the ranger station). Directions to the Wendell Ranger Station: From the east or west: Take Rte. 2 to Rte. 63 south through Miller Falls, Wendell Rd. over R.R. bridge, take Montague Rd. and follow signs. From the north or south: Take Rte 47 North to Route 63 North. Travel approximately 6 miles and follow lead in signs approximately 2 miles to the Park Headquarters. (From RT63: turn right on Highland St (before center of Millers Falls) to intersection with S Prospect St, turn right onto S Prospect St and follow that all the way up -turns into Wendell Rd, bear right) Directions to Bill Gabriel's house (from Millers Falls): Follow the signs to Wendell State Forest. Bill's house is on the right just before the Ranger Station, brown house with a red barn sitting back from the road (334 Wendell Road, Millers Falls). Feel free to contact me with questions for further information, car pooling or just to let me know you're coming. Hope to see you all soon! If you're unsure if the ride is still happening (rain, heat, surprise blizzard etc.) call me the day of the ride - leave a message and your phone number if I don't pick up and I will call you back. Location: Wendell State Forest, Park Headquarters, 392 Montague Road, Wendell MA Contact: Bill - barkeater334@gmail.com - 413-423 3737

Location

Wendell State Forest

Chapter

Pioneer Valley

Trail

Event Leader

Steffi Krug

KIDS RIDE - Kona Bicycles MTB Adventure Ride at Great Brook Farm SP

Event Date

9/13/15 10:15am to 11:30am
Come join MVNEMBA for a Kids’ Ride at the Kona Bicycles MTB Adventure Ride at Great Brook Farm SP on Sunday September 13th. Kids’ Rides are a great way for kids and teens to build strong bodies, build confidence, have tons of fun and enjoy being outside! The ride begins at 10:15 and will go between 2-3 miles depending on group. For more information about the day including directions, please visit http://www.nemba.org/events/kona-bicycles-mtb-adventure-ride-great-brook....

Chapter

State

Massachusetts

Ride Level

Beginner
Novice
Advanced-novice

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Barry Moore

Charlemont Trails System Trailfest 2015

Date

6/6/15 (All day) to 6/7/15 (All day)

We're holding another Trail Fest Weekend in Charlemont in anticipation of the grand opening of the Thunder Mountain Bike Park.  We'll be working exclusively on trails outside the park, but integral to the greater Charlemont Trails System. 

Projects will include: 
Benching and Buffing sections of Wilderness Peak and Silver Doe that were re-routed to avoid conflict with single directional trails in the park.
Finish Flagging, Roughing, and Beginning to Buff a new trail connecting Sweet 16 to the top of Red Zone.
Armouring a troublesome wet area on Silver Doe.

Attendees will receive a choice of a complementary Weekend pass to Thunder Mountain Bike Park, a complementory pass to a Monroe Bridge or Fife Brook Whitewater Raft Trip with Berkshire Whitewater or a complentary Mountain Top or Valley Jump Tour with Berkshire Canopy Tours.

There will be "Dry Camping" - no 24 hour facilities - on site Friday and Saturday night.  Work Days will begin at 9:00 AM and go to approximately 4:00 PM.  Lunch will be provided both Saturday and Sunday.  Rides will be FrIday and Saturday evening at 5:00.

Please RSVP to Harold - indicate what tools you might be able to bring.

 

Location

Berkshire East Ski Resort, Charlemont MA

Chapter

Pioneer Valley

Trail

Event Leader

Harold Green
harold.f.green@gmail.com
413 348 3491

Central CT NEMBA Fun Ride at Robinson State Park

Event Date

4/19/15 10:00am
Join CCT NEMBA for a fun ride at Robinson State Park in Agawam, Mass. Smooth, twisty trails are a great place for an early season ride. No drop rides. Rides depart at 10AM from 1 Armory Dr. in Agawam.
 

Location

Robinson State Park, Agawam, MA

Chapter

State

Massachusetts

Ride Level

All Levels

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Glenn Vernes

What Up (and Down) in Charlemont

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

If you haven't been riding in Charlemont, MA, next summer is the time to go.  

"The Recreation Capitol of New England" as Charlemont calls itself, is a wonderland of views, maple syrup, flannel shirts, grass fed beef cows, zip lining, rafting, kayaking, down hill skiing, snow tubing, and now, mountain biking.  In this quaint New England town nestled in between two mountain ridges in the Berkshires of Western Mass, the mountain bike scene is exploding as you read this. Three hubs of single-track, Warfield House, Zoar Outdoor, and Berkshire East, provide mountain bikers with a total of 35 miles of single track plus endless dirt and farm roads,  double tracks, and snowmobile trails. The town is bisected by the Deerfield River, Route 2, and a rail road.  A short road ride connects the riding hubs, with Berkshire East on the south side of the valley, and Zoar Outdoor and Warfield House on the north.

Building began in earnest about four or five years ago, when Jonathan , 'Jonny' Schaefer of Berkshire East Ski Resort, Bruce Lessels, owner of Zoar Outdoor (an outdoor adventure, outfitter, rafting and lodging company) and Harold Green, past president of NEMBA, were having a few beers at Warfield House and the idea to bring mountain biking to Charlemont in a big way was hatched.

The latest addition to the scene are down hill, one way, lift accessed trails being built at Berkshire East Ski Resort. Schaefer, manager of Berkshire East, and mountain bike rider says.  " We want to continue enjoyment of the outdoors year round. That's the way my brothers and I were brought up."   A progression of green to difficult black diamond trails are in the works.

Determined to do this the right way, Schaefer consulted with his insurance agent who recommended Gravity Logic, an international gravity trail building and resort-consulting firm based in Whistler BC.  Planning began in 2009, and lift serviced trails are scheduled to be open in 2015.  Jonathan Schaefer sees Berkshire East and the town of Charlemont as a center of activity for the many bicycling disciplines, from road rides, to gravel grinders, mountain bike races and other bicycling events.  Having the lift access trails as well as the numerous cross country trails already in place creates a great venue for enduro races (races which don't time the uphill, only the downhill sections), endurance rides such as the Whole Enchilada Ride, a 30 mile mountain bike ride touring both sides of the valley, and other mountain bike races and events. Berkshire East has the potential to meet the requirements for World Cup mountain biking events, something very few east coast resorts have.

Jon continued," We are committed to being a dynamic year round family destination and resort."  A paid trail crew is in the plan for the future and that crew may be working on the cross country as well as the down hill mountain bike trails.

"The easiest lift access trail is designed and built for first time down hill mountain bikers as young as 7 years old, and will be fun for more experienced and skilled riders as well." explained Gabe Porter -Henry, marketing manager of Berkshire East and another flannel clad employee of Berkshire East.    "High end mountain bikes, guided tours, and lessons will be available also."

Out on the trail following the whirring noise of the chainsaw, Chris Conrad, project manager for the crew from Gravity Logic, was clearing corridor for the 3 ½ mile green trail.  Originally from North Carolina, and an avid mountain biker, he headed to Colorado for his ' soul ride' and while riding found a job at a ski area building trail and eventually went to work for Gravity Logic.   "The first trail to open will be the green trail, wide (4 feet wide), with low grades of 5-7½ %, good sight lines through the turns, and low berm walls. Gravity Logic has guidelines for the trail designations that have been tested through experience.  The powder blue (novice/intermediate) trail will be 2 or 2 ½ miles long, with rollers, and is machine made also.  A true blue trail with tighter turns, bigger and steeper berms is in the plans.  The black diamond trail has a steeper average grade with some fall line on ledge and more technical features such as jumps and drops.  It will be a single track and mostly hand built."

Conrad explained the design process, " We meet with the client, look at topos, identify wet areas or other areas of concern, and for the green trails and machine built trails, access is very important. You want the green trail to start very near the top of the lift."  To cross downhill ski trails, the trail needs to be flat and straight. Out west, berms and other features can be constructed in ski trails due to a higher snow pack.

Further down the green trail, past a beautifully constructed wide berm with grade reversals to manage water and to control the speed of the rider, Kerry, another Gravity Logic employee, was running a full sized excavator across a couple of hundred feet of fractured rock.  A few days ago, the jack hammers crushed a swath of ledge into a manageable pile of rock.   Kerry is from out west, and this is the first time he has experienced the challenges of building trail in the east, but he was very enthusiastic about the opportunity to build here.  As trail builders in the  north east know, rocks are a blessing and curse.  

While the new down hill trails are in progress, building also continues on the cross country network, Charlemont Trail System or CTS.  Two miles of beginner trail, Bear Cub, leave from Berkshire East parking lot. Turns are being polished and new connections are being built so making it possible to stay on single track and avoid double tracks.  Also two blue cross country trails were built in the last year, Farmstead and MST, near the top of the Berkshire East side. Harold Green, a former president of NEMBA, is now leading the work on polishing turns, benching off camber sections, and putting boardwalks on wet areas.  Also with more riders, the trails are becoming smoother and a bit easier to ride. But don't be fooled, these trails will kick the butt of even advanced riders!  For those who enjoy climbing, the trails in the ski area property will be open to ride to the top of the mountain with a pass.

Over the past four years, Harold brought the resources of NEMBA into play.  Under the auspices of NEMBA, CTS has been awarded an RTP grant to build boardwalks on the Rice Brook Trail in the Warfield hub, has sponsored a NEMBA trail school, and provided a tool crib.  The second edition of the CTS map has been published and is available at Zoar Outdoor and Berkshire East.  Information, led rides and event listings are also available on the CTS Facebook page. Harold is, " excited to have more people riding in the community." He is also looking forward to having more events, possibly a weekend festival with races and rides sometime in 2015.

Bruce Lessels, owner of Zoar Outdoor, says, "right now, the trails appeal to a certain type of rider. One who is very fit and doesn't mind rough trails and climbing. However, the new blue and green trails at Berkshire East will appeal to the intermediate riders, and we are looking for more places to put trails that will be good for a wider range of abilities." MIT recently had an intercollegiate mountain biking race with many different events such as short track and double slalom. A number of the racers stayed at the Zoar Outdoor campground. Some of the bike trails lead right from the campground.  "The single tracks at Zoar were originally offshoots of cross country ski trails." Bruce continues, " There was only a trickle of mountain bikers, but it is becoming a steady stream. "

Riding the trails in the Charlemont can be a challenge, but the rewards are well worth the effort.  Riders pop out of the forest to see views of farms, the valley below and surrounding hill tops.  Following trails with the names of General Hospital and Get Smart, the rider will find an abandoned TV tower, purchased by the town in 1960's because there was no TV reception in the valley.    Or skip the climb, and park on East Road (a dirt road behind Berkshire East) and ride to check out the 227 ft wind turbine and the 1800 solar panels which provide 100% of the electricity for the ski resort and then some.

This is truly a unique area. The trails are pure New England with a taste of Whistler. Have fun exploring the ups and downs of Charlemont, and don't forget your extra tube, a  snack, and a sense of adventure.  You'll need it!

411:
Berkshire East Mountain Resort
Zoar Outdoor
Charlemont Trail System

By Paula Burton (SingleTracks #137)

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