Northern CT

NEMBA COVID-19 Guidance for Rides & Trail Care Events

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

COVID-19 Guidance for NEMBA Rides & Trail Care Sessions

 

With warm weather and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions we know that there will be an iincrease in group rides and trail work days. Please consider the guidance below, as well as the state by state guidelines, when organizing and hosting a group ride, trail care event, or other event. We all want to ride bikes, let’s just do it safely!

 

Key Takeaways:

  • All participants must sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver.

  • Email with information of any upcoming events.

  • Follow state & local guidelines (see links below as these can change frequently)

  • We strongly encourage you to maintain a list of attendees with contact info so we have a record of participation and can do outreach to non-members.  This will also help in the event contact tracing is ever necessary. 

  • Most riders prefer a smaller, more personal group ride experience. Try to keep trail groups small, 10 or less is ideal. Split larger groups if possible. 

  • Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals and others who are recreating outdoors but are still an excellent preventative measure when in close contact or when near unvaccinated or at-risk people. 

  • Respect the wishes of any volunteer or participant who requests more enhanced protocols. Every individual has their own risk tolerance.

  • Very importantly, all state and local guidelines still apply.

 

Current State Requirements: (Subject to change.) - updated June 15, 2021

Click on the State name for links to individual state COVID-19 websites

Connecticut: No outdoor mask requirements. No outdoor limit on group size.

Massachusetts: No mask requirements for fully vaccinated. No limit on outdoor group size. All State covid restrictions end on 6/15.

Maine: No outdoor mask requirements. No limits on group size.

New Hampshire: No outdoor mask requirements. No limits on group size. Covid restrictins end 6/12.

Rhode Island: No outdoor mask requirement. No limits on group size

Vermont: No outdoor mask requirements. No limits on group size. All Covid restrictions ended 6/15.

CDC Covid-19 Guidelines

CT DEEP, Maine Bureau of Parks, Mass DCR Guidance, NH State Parks, RI DEM Guidance, VT State Parks 

   Note: Some cities and towns may have different rules.

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NEMBA Recommendations for smaller events, rides, and trail care sessions

  • To schedule a group ride or trail care event send an email to

  • All participants must also sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver

  • Volunteers and participants should remain home if not feeling well, if they have received a positive COVID test, or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.

  • We strongly encourage chapters to maintain a list of attendees with contact info so we have a record of participation and can do outreach to non-members. This will also help in the event contact tracing is ever necessary. This can be as simple as a sign-in list, if capacity is not a concern, or a pre-registration site such as EventBrite. 

Many chapters just keep a record of attendees. Either by pre-signing up people or taking names and email addresses at the event. This is a best-practice, regardless of COVID.

NEMBA offers EventBrite registration, with a covid-19 questionnaire for any individual or chapter that wishes to use it. This can help with capacity requirements due to limited ride guides. Eventbrite is just one option, other options are welcomed.

When riding with the same people every week, this can be waived.

  • Respect parking regulations. Parking has become a problem at some riding areas due to the influx of new trail users. If a parking area is full, find another legal place to park.

  • Try to keep groups small, 10 or less is ideal. Participants have more enjoyable times in smaller groups. Split larger groups if possible. Large groups can also cause trail conflicts and should be avoided. Have sufficient ride leaders to meet demand or create ride limits that reflect your ride leader capacity.

  • Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals and others who are recreating outdoors but are still an excellent preventative measure when in close contact or when near unvaccinated or at-risk people. 

  • Exaggerate your courtesy to other trail users. When encountering other trail users, slow down or stop and move off the trail to provide room for people to pass unless they waive you by. Always say hello and be friendly.

  • On trail care days bring hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, etc. Some places require providing sanitizing materials at events 

  • You are strongly encouraged to review the state and local guidelines for your area if post ride food is being offered. Bring hand sanitizer, minimize the sharing of food, and ensure social distancing is maintained.

  • Respect the wishes of any volunteer or participant who requests more enhanced protocols. Every individual has their own risk tolerance. 

  • It is up to local chapters to decide what is best for their area and the comfort level of their ride leaders.

  • Follow local, state and federal guidelines. Use the links above for up-to-date information as these change frequently. 

NEMBA Trail School @ Goodwin State Forest

Monday, May 19, 2014

Riders and trail enthusiasts from an array of organizations gathered at Goodwin Conservation Center in Hampton, Connecticut for NEMBA's annual two-day course in trail design, construction and maintenance.

In addition to riders from numerous NEMBA chapters from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, participants came from the Connecticut Parks & Forests Association, the Central CT Regional Planning Agency, the Friends of Goodwin State Park, Greenfield Trails Association (NH), Londonderry Trails (NH) and even as far away as the Gennesee Region Offroad Cyclists (Rochester, NY).

In the NEMBA tradition of "work hard, play harder", the course featured not only classroom instruction but outdoors hands-on build clinics as well as an epic ride on the extensive trail system that encompasses Goodwin State Forest and Natchaug State Forest.

“Our trail school is key to increasing our capacity to improve and build more trails,” commented NEMBA director, Philip Keyes. “I’m confident that everyone who attended this year’s class will go on to put on their own trail care events and help us build a better New England for trails and trail-based recreation in all its forms.”

Our thanks to the supportive staff at the Goodwin Conservation Center and the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection for opening their doors to us and allowing us to camp out -- the evening bonfire was great!  We also thank the Friends of Goodwin State Forest for helping with project locations. Lastly, a huge shout-out of thanks to our NEMBA instructors, Paula Burton, Adam Glick, Maciej Sobieszek and Mike Tabaczynski, and to our ride leaders, Stacey Jimenez and Glenn Newcombe.

If you missed out, mark your calendars now for the May 21-22, 2015.

QC NEMBA Pomfret Trail Day

Date

9/11/21 7:30am to 11:30am

Event by Quiet Corner NEMBA

118 Wolf Den Rd, Pomfret Center, CT 

Duration: 2 hr 30 min

Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

Join us as we continue our building of new multi-use trails in Pomfret Forest! No experience necessary.

BYO tools and gloves or we can provide them if you don't have any. Please dress for work outdoors.

Post work food provided ... dogs & burgers.

BYO beverages (we offer water & Gatorade) or grillables.
Please sign the NEMBA annual (once and you are done for the year!) liability waiver before you come
https://waiver.smartwaiver.com/w/5ee3b647520b5/kiosk/ 

   Full details are also on this Facebook Page.

 

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Chapter

Quiet Corner

Event Leader

Serena Dupuis
sdupuis@nemba.org

QC NEMBA Natchaug Endurance Series Ride

Event Date

9/5/21 8:30am to 11:00am

Event organized Quiet Corner NEMBA and Glen Newcombe

23 Potter Rd. Hampton, CT 06247

Duration: 2 hr 30 min

For  · Any NEMBA member or non-member who wants a challenging ride.

   You don't have to be a NEMBA member to take part. But everone must have signed NEMBA's Annual Waiver.

Join Glen Newcombe and Serena Dupuis as they take you on an adventure through Natchaug State Forest
Meet at the Main Lot - 23 Potter Rd
Hampton, CT 06247
Glen Newcombe will lead the A group -wheels on the dirt at 8:30 am - miles tbd

Serena Dupuis will lead the B group, with a guest sweeper. 15 mile loop and will leave a few minutes after the A's

If you haven't ridden in Natchaug, this is a great way to learn the trails.

   Let's go! Read more about [node:title]

Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

Advanced-novice
Intermediate
Advanced-intermediate
Advanced

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Serena Dupuis

Southern CT

Northern CT

Rockwell Park, Bristol

200 Jacobs ST
Bristol  Connecticut  06010
United States

Easy

85%

Moderate

10%

Difficult

5%

Description

Rockwell Park is in the city of Bristol. At 104 acres it is the city's first public park.

In addition to 2.5 miles of mountain bike trails there is also a new Pump Track, a skateboard park and much more.

Taken together this makes the park a draw for area residents.

The Pump Track even has its own Facebook Page.

When you're in Bristol, check it out. Read more about [node:title]

Links to Relevant Resources

Engaging Children in Mountain Biking

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Engaging Children in Mountain Biking

By Paula Burton

 

To honor all the moms and dads who take their children mountain biking, I interviewed four families who mountain bike together. There are a range of ages of children from 4 to 16 years old. Each age has its own rewards and challenges.


Ryan, Kyaiera, and Reese Tucker (age 4)

Ryan and Kyaiera began taking Reese to Mianus River Park in Stamford, CT as soon as she could ride a push bike. Mianus has plenty of rocks and roots. Besides a strider or push bike, Ryan rode with Reese on a shotgun seat . Now the family is often spotted at Thunder Mountain Bike Park in Charlemont, MA.

Since Reese was old enough to talk, she would point to the lift and ask to go up the lift at Thunder. A few weeks ago, with a new bike that has brakes, she did her first run on Sugar Line, the beginner trail at Thunder. Ryan says that she is beginning to see “lines'' or ways to navigate down and up technical sections.

Ryan and Kyaiera are thrilled to finally be riding as a family, since up until now, the two of them had to take turns.

Ryan highly recommends scheduling mountain biking into family life. Ryan feels the sport has given Reese confidence in other physical activities and on the playground with her peers.

Reese is willing and enthusiastic about new challenges. Most of all, it is a great way for the family to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the sport.


Chris, Meghan, Matt (age 7), Luke (age 5), and Natalie (age 2) Del Sole

Chris started his oldest son on a Strider balance bike when he was two. He progressed to pedals eighteen months later and began riding trails on a 16" bike around the time he went to kindergarten. His younger kids started riding on a shotgun seat on my bike at age two then began the balance bike to pedaling progression in a similar fashion. As a family that skis every weekend in the winter, mountain biking is the perfect off-season sport for them.It allows them to get outside and be active together while also providing great cross-training. Like skiing, riding a bike gives kids a level of autonomy they rarely get in their day-to-day lives. Their self-esteem, confidence, and fitness are all nurtured thanks to mountain biking. They also sleep better after a ride, which is great for Mom and Dad's sanity! 

To maintain the children’s interest in mountain biking, the family watches mountain biking videos on YouTube, and they also film and edit their own videos. Chris built a small trail network in the woods behind their house for the kids to ride on, and he set up skinnies and ramps in their driveway. Chris has three kids, so every so often he’ll take each one out solo as a way of getting some one-on-one attention. 

The best advice Chris has for families is to think about each ride as an investment in the future. Buy your kids proper gear and keep your initial expectations low - a ride of even just one mile on dirt is better than an afternoon spent watching TV. Make sure you bring plenty of snacks and water and take time to explore your surroundings while you're in the woods. If you're patient and keep things fun, those one mile rides will quickly become longer.

Terrain choice is also very important. Keep both the technical challenge as well as the elevation changes as mellow as possible in the beginning. Prior to taking his kids on a trail, Chris makes sure to ride it himself with a "beginner’s eye."

When asked what would make mountain biking easier for families, he would recommend the following:

1. Better trails - regardless of age, beginner mountain bikers need mellow terrain without big elevation changes to learn bike handling skills and start to build confidence and fitness. Little legs only make those requirements more important! Machine built flow trails and skills parks are essential for safely introducing young children to this sport.

2. Equipment. The market for high quality children's equipment has grown immensely in the last 5-10 years, but I still see too many parents buying bikes for their kids at big box stores. Local shops have been slow to embrace this market, too, meaning most sales are happening online. Brands like Strider, Spawn Cycles, Prevelo, Norco, Little Rider Co., Woom Cycles and more are putting out miniature versions of adult bikes and clothing, and that makes all the difference in the world. As an adult, I wouldn't accept a bike that weighs 50% of what I do, so why should my child?

3. Clubs can play a huge role in growing the sport and introducing families to mountain biking. Many mountain bike Moms and Dads don't know how to get their young children (say, 4-7 years old) started, because they didn't start that young, and haven't seen many kids that age on the trails. Local MTB clubs are made up of knowledgeable riders who love to give back to the sport and can play a pivotal role in helping families get started through gear recommendations, guided rides, and skills camps.

Chris says that there is a wealth of information available to bike parents today, if they know where to look. A favorite website of mine is The Bike Dads (www.thebikedads.com), which has reviews, tips, and tricks on kid-specific equipment.


Matt, Mary, Paige (age 16) and Cora (age 13) Tullo

Matt and Mary started mountain biking in college together and continued through their adult life, so their kids didn't really have a choice. They were coming with them!

Outside of the obvious physical health benefits, Paige and Cora have gained confidence through mountain biking. They have overcome mental obstacles and fears every time the family is out riding. It is a time away from screens; a time to enjoy nature and experience fun family time together. Matt and Mary have passed on the experience to their extended family during weekend long camping trips centered around mountain biking .

To maintain and encourage interest in mountain biking both of the girls rode bikes at a young age in the driveway and around the neighborhood. Once out of the neighborhood, the natural progression of the sport leads to ever-changing goals. Learning how to ride new features, faster turns, longer rides,keeps them coming back for more. Paige joined a team and participated in cross country racing, which added a new element to her riding. Paige and Cora started off as reluctant, cautious riders on tech. Now, Paige is racing and riding bike parks, and Cora has become a"Mountain Goat" climber. Both feel like they are ambassadors for the sport and are always trying to get more girls to ride.

Matt’s advice for other parents is to start off slow, and never push beyond the "fun" factor. If riding on gravel trails is what everyone is enjoying, continue with that. Slowly introduce new elements and see how your child does. Find something your child did well or something they overcame during each outing and focus your comments on how proud you are of their effort rather than ability. Try not to show frustration or doubt..

One of the most important factors is choosing the proper trails.

Keeping the frustration level down by avoiding a trail that is too "techy" is the best way to keep them coming back. Then progress as skill increases. Riding with others around their age is another great way to keep them enjoying the ride and motivate them to keep going. If you ride at Rockhouse Hill in Oxford CT , you may see the Tullo family out for one their family rides, with a variety of relatives and others in tow. And in addition to riding together, the family is seen frequently at trail work days.


Monika and Ben Stokes (age 16)

Monika and Ben now spend much time mountain biking and going on great mountain biking adventures, including NEMBAfest at Kingdom, Moab, Santa Fe and Cyclocross Nationals in Kentucky . It wasn’t always that way. Monika needed an outlet for a very energetic young Ben. She bought him a used Red Rocket bike that had training wheels. Monika had to take the training wheels off, because Ben was doing skid stops and tipping over. He just loved riding that bike everywhere around the house and yard.

Monika was not a mountain biker herself, but was an excellent skier, and was on the pre-Olympic team as a teenager in the Czech Republic before she came to study in the United States. When she went trail running in the local Norwalk CT area, she would see many mountain bikers on the same trails. She met Dave Francefort of the Fairfield County Chapter who encouraged her to go mountain biking.

Monika soon discovered that mountain biking was a good substitute for skiing. When Ben was five or six, Ben needed a new bike. Monika found a used bike from a relative, and had Ben choose a new paint scheme for the bike: red and black. Ben was also involved in the care of the bike. It turned out that Ben really liked biking, Monika had fun taking groups of friends on rides, so she started a team, and has been riding and racing ever since. Ben continued racing, both locally, and nationally in cyclocross finals. Ben won the CCAP mountain bike for Category 1 juniors this year.

Stewardship is also important to Monika in addition to managing the CCAP team in Norwalk. She also made Ben do trail work from an early age and now he loves doing it on his own. Ben has become very serious about riding, puts in a lot of training time, and is committed to sport. It has taught him responsibility and self-reliance. He has learned teamwork and has matured as an athlete and a person.

Monika’s advice for other families or parents who want to mountain bike with children is to take them on rides with you.

Make the time. Gear them up properly. You need to do it with them. They learn from adults. Find an easy, appropriate trail to start on, bring pockets full of snacks, enjoy first experiences and keep exploring. Set your ego aside and bring your child’s friends. Connect with local mountain bike groups for advice and information on trails, skills parks, and pump tracks.

Monika says mountain biking is a great sport for the whole family, and she encourages everyone with small kids to start young and get the children on the trails.


I hope this article has been informative and helpful but has also shown how wonderful it is to ride with children and to see them grow in the sport and as people.

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Central CT NEMBA Women's Ride

Event Date

Repeats every week every Wednesday until Wed Sep 29 2021 .
7/21/21 5:30pm

Central CT NEMBA Wednesday Women's Ride at West Rock Ridge State Park

This will be an intermediate, no-drop ride at a social pace.

Meet at Lake Wintergreen lot at 5:30pm.  Wheels on the ground at 5:45. 

Please bring a helmet and bug spray, and be sure to sign the waiver online. 

Contact Tricia Dowcett-Bettencourt at 203-668-1634 or tdowcett@gmail.com for more information.

   You do not have to be a member of NEMBA to attend.

   But everyone must have signed the NEMBA Waiver. (But only once.)

Let's Ride!

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Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

Intermediate

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Tricia Dowcett-Bettencourt
203-668-1634

Central CT NEMBA Saturday Ride

Event Date

Repeats every week every Saturday until Sat Oct 30 2021 .
7/17/21 10:00am

CENTRAL CT NEMBA SATURDAY MORNING RIDE SERIES

We'll be riding at various places around central CT.

Intermediate paced adult ride about 2 hrs duration.

Helmets and mountain bikes in good working order are required. 

   You do not have to be a member of NEMBA to ride.  But you do have to have signed NEMBA's Annual Waiver.

Check the Central CT NEMBA Facebook page for the weekly location.

All rides will start at 10 AM unless otherwise posted.

   Let's Ride!  Read more about [node:title]

Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

Intermediate

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Glenn Vernes

QC NEMBA Trail Care Series @ Pomfret Forest

Date

9/2/21 (All day)

QC NEMBA Trail Days @ Pomfret Forest

   Please sign NEMBA's Annual Waiver. (But only once)

   Let's make Pomfret's Trails even better

    You don't need to be a member of NEMBA to join us. 

    You just have to want to make our trails better.

Sept 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm

All of these are at the Pomfret Forest trails - 118 Wolf Den Rd Pomfret Center, CT 

May be an image of tree, outdoors and text that says 'QUIET CORNER NEMBA POMFRET FORES FORESTTRAIL DAYS 5 5pm 8am .Thu, July 29th Sat, July 31st Thu, Aug 5th Sun, Aug 8th Thu, Sept 2nd Sun, Sept 12th 5 pm 8 am 5 pm 8am NEMBA 118 Wolf Den Rd Pomfret, CT Tools provided, but bring gloves, weed wacker, rakes, loppers, hand clippers, ifyou have them!' Read more about [node:title]

Chapter

Quiet Corner

Event Leader

Serena Dupuis
qcnemba@gmail.com

QC NEMBA Youth Ride Series

Event Date

Repeats every week every Tuesday 4 times .
7/6/21 (All day)

QC NEMBA Kids Ride Series

Event by Quiet Corner NEMBA

41.762172128665966, -72.17847866015212

Price: Free · Duration: 1 hr 30 min

For  · Anyone with a mountain bike.

   You don't have to be a member of NEMBA to take part, but you must have signed our Annual Waiver ahead of time.

KIDS! Join us for FREE guided mountain bike rides with Quiet Corner NEMBA members to improve your trail riding skills, build confidence, and most of all have fun!

Who: Kids (8-18 or at parents’ discretion). Parents can ride also or drop off & pick up.

All Levels Welcome - we will split into groups based on ages and experience levels. Join us for one or more nights or the whole series.

When: Every Tuesday in July (6, 13, 20, & 27), 6-7:30PM

Where:
Mansfield Hollow State Park
Roughly 151 Bassetts Bridge Rd., Mansfield, CT.
NOT the Boat Launch. First parking lot on your right as you pass the Boat Launch on your right. Drive ALL the way in past the field to park under the pine trees.

Trails are a mix of dirt/gravel cart road and single track (narrow dirt trails). Kids must be comfortable riding on an uneven surface.

Children must have a reliable mountain bike, helmet, and water.

Registration Required:
https://www.eventbrite.com/.../qc-nemba-youth-ride-series...

OR Visit www.eventbrite.com and search for QC NEMBA

Questions: email John Ywarsky -  

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Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

All Levels

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

John Ywarsky

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