Northern ME

NEMBA COVID Guidance for Rides & Trail Care Events

Friday, April 9, 2021

NEMBA COVID recommendations for NEMBA rides & trail care sessions

 

As the warm weather approaches and trails dry out, we recognize that there is an increased demand for group rides and trail work days. Please consider the guidelines 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:

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

  • Ensure you have a participant list with contact information in case contract tracing efforts are needed. This is a requirement.

  • Try to keep groups to 10 or less. Split larger groups as necessary. 

  • Wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

  • Respect the wishes of volunteers who request a more strict approach. Every individual has their own risk tolerance.

  • All participants must also sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver.

  • Email office@nemba.org with information of any upcoming events.

  • Very importantly, all guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status.

 

Background:

Out of an abundance of caution most NEMBA chapters put a hold on Trail Care days and Group Rides as the Covid-19 Pandemic escalated. As vaccination efforts continue, and studies suggest extremely low transmission rates while outdoors, NEMBA looks forward to resuming trail work days and group rides. Recently, it seems like everyday one or more of the New England states relax their recommendations and guidelines. Their overriding concern though, of course, is still safety. NEMBA must follow at least the minimum guidelines set by each state. But these state guidelines vary in their directives. So, we have developed recommendations that support the cautious resumption of group rides and trail care sessions. See state by state restrictions at the links below.

 

NEMBA Recommendations for Group Rides

  • Group rides are allowed in all New England states. The permitted size of those groups varies. NEMBA is recommending group sizes of 10 people or less. When more than 10 people are expected our recommendation would be to divide up into smaller groups. This reduces interruptions to other trail users and helps keep things safe and fun. But we leave it to local chapters and their ride leaders to determine what is best for them.

  • If you anticipate more than 10 attendees to a ride, break into smaller groups and physically disperse the groups (example: direct one group to the north end of the parking area, the other to the south etc. Or, plan different meet-up locations for the groups. Your goal is to avoid creating a large congregation of people in the same area)

  • NEMBA requires using some method of rider registration or participant recording so that in the event of needing to track an individual’s contacts, you can provide that information. Please record the name and phone or email for each participant. 

NEMBA offers Eventbrite registration, with a Covid-19 questionnaire for any individual or chapter that wishes to use it. But Eventbrite is just one option. Many chapters just keep a record of attendees. Either by pre-signing up people or taking names and email addresses at the ride. 

  • Maintaining at least 2 bike lengths between each rider ensures physical distancing.

  • If the ride stops for any reason, encourage social distancing there as well and mask up.

  • Wear masks when gathering (at the start of the ride, working on a trailside repair, etc.)

  • Ride with a mask at the ready so that you can quickly put it on if you come across other trail users where you can’t maintain a social distance of at least 6’. Or better yet, leave it on. While a mask is primarily a courtesy to others, it also provides protection for you.

  • 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 and maintain social distance. Say hello, but give everyone space.

  • For now, don’t linger together in groups before or after rides. We can get our “social” back on when the pandemic diminishes further. This also means no social food gatherings after rides for now.

  • Try not to overwhelm a riding area. If a riding area is busy, try to find an alternate time or location to ride.

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

  • We leave it to local chapters to decide what is best for their area and the comfort level of their ride leaders.

  • Bring hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, etc. Most states require providing sanitizing materials at events.

  • 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.

  • All the above health and safety guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status

  • When a NEMBA chapter wants to schedule a group ride, send an email to . That way your event will be covered by NEMBA’s insurance.

  • All participants must also sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver

  

Currently, larger group events (MBAS, etc) are on hold. Some chapters have begun planning for fall 2021, but most states currently restrict large events. Further guidelines will be developed as needed to accommodate for larger events.

 

NEMBA Recommendations for Trail Care Events

  • Limiting trail care groups to 10 people or less. If a larger group shows up, please split into small groups. Ensure there are enough volunteer leaders to manage demand.

  • NEMBA requires using some method of participant recording so that in the event of needing to track an individual’s contacts, you can provide that information. Please record the name and phone or email for each participant.

NEMBA offers Evenbrite registration, with a Covid-19 questionnaire for any individual or chapter that wishes to use it. But Eventbrite is just one option. Many chapters just keep a record of attendees. Either by pre-signing up people or taking names and email addresses at the ride.

  • Embrace social distancing. Spread out and work on different parts of the trails.

  • Wear a mask, especially when it is not possible to maintain at least 6’ of distance between participants.

  • Bring hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, etc. Encourage participants to bring their own gloves and tools if possible. Minimize the sharing of tools, and clean between use.

  • Advance sign up or, events run by invitation only, could be used to put limits on numbers.

  • Minimize pre- and post- event socializing. This also means no social food gatherings after trail care events for now.

  • 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.

  • All the above health and safety guidelines still apply irregardless of any individual’s vaccination status

  • If your NEMBA chapter wants to sponsor a Trail Care Event send an email to . This will ensure that your event will be covered by NEMBA’s insurance.

  • All participants must sign the NEMBA Annual Waiver

 

State by State Guidance 

Connecticut Covid Response          CT DEEP Response

Maine Covid-19 Response             Maine Bureau of Parks

Massachusetts Covid-19                Mass DCR Guidance

New Hampshire Covid-19              NH State Parks

Rhode Island Covid Information     RI DEM Guidance

Vermont Covid-19 Guidance          VT State Parks

 

  Read more about NEMBA COVID Guidance for Rides & Trail Care Events

Northern ME

Trafton Lake Trails, Limestone

392 Ward Rd
Limestone  Maine  04750
United States

(207) 328-7491

Easy

60%

Moderate

35%

Difficult

5%

Description

Trafton Lake is a recreation area owned and run by the town of Limestone. At only 85 acres it somehow squeezes in 5 miles of trails. There is also a connector trail leading to and from the High School.

The trails are mostly flat and smooth offering views of nearby farmlands as they travel through a dense hardwood forest. 

The recreation area also hosts seasonal camping and there's a boat launch for Trafton lake. No fees are charged to use the trails but there is a fee to camp. $10 for tents and $20 for RVs.

This is a very pelasant place to ride, perfect for families and newer riders. Extending your ride to and from the High School will add another 7.5 miles to your ride. Read more about Trafton Lake Trails, Limestone

Local Shops

Trafton lake Campground

Northern ME

Split Cedar Trails, Van Buren

St Mary's Brook Road
Van Buren  Maine  04785
United States
See Directions Below

Easy

50%

Moderate

40%

Difficult

10%

Description

The Split Cedar Trails explore the lands surrounding the reservoir.

The longest trail is the Split Cedar Trail Loop. Circling around the reservoir on it's northeaster edge it connects to a trail leading from the Van Buren Water District building in town. That link is theee miles long.
The Split Cedar Loop, 5 miles in lenght, is fairly easy but offers good views of the water. Be sure to check out the ebaver huts.

The 3.7 miles White Hawk Loop is partially contiguous with the Spli Cedar but it's more difficult. It crosses the dam and has some of the best vistas in the system.

There are a couple of other loops and some short interconnecting trails. In all you'll explore over 11 miles of trails. Or, if you elect to do an out and back from the Water Distraick Building, almost 17.

Trailhead:  From the junction of Castonguay Road and St Mary's Brook Road follow St Mary's Brook Road for 1.6 miles.  You'll see the parking area on your left.





  Read more about Split Cedar Trails, Van Buren

Northern ME

Nordic Heritage Center, Presque Isle

450 Fort Fairfield Rd
Presque Isle  Maine  04769
United States

(207) 762-6972

Easy

20%

Moderate

70%

Difficult

10%

Description

The Nordic Heritage Center (NHC) is a four-season outdoor recreation facility managed and operated by the Nordic Heritage Sport Club. The facility includes a world class cross country ski and biathlon venue with a stadium and lodge, a team wax building, and 20 kilometers of cross country ski trails and over 20 miles of mountain bike trails. The lodge is open to the public from 6 am to 10 pm and includes kitchen facilities, restrooms, shower rooms, and a sauna. The trails are free to the public.

 

The mountain bike trails at the NHC include over 20 miles of hand made and machine made single track that crosses most of the Maine Winter Sports property and some adjacent properties. Rich Edwards of IMBA's Trail Solutions designed the majority of the trail system. The trails wind through different forest types and vary from smooth and fluid to narrow and technical. Moderate to expert line options such as log skinnies, exposed bedrock outcrops, and natural drops can be found on some of the trails. A skills/terrain park is available for practicing dirt jumps and other technical features such as skinnies, log obstructions, stairs, teeter totters, etc. Other features of interest include "The Enchanted Forest" (don't miss the tree gnomes), and Vacationland, an intermediate/expert loop that circles one of the ridges on the property.


     
Directions:
The NHC is located along the town boundary of Presque Isle and Fort Fairfield in northern Maine. From Main Street in the City of Presque Isle, take Route 167 (Fort Fairfield Road) northeast toward Fort Fairfield. Stay on Route 167 until you pass the Quoggy Jo Alpine Ski Centre at the top of a hill on your left. The entrance to the NHC is also located on the left about 1,000 feet past Quoggy Jo. The trailhead for Tom's Trail is located beside the main entrance.
 

By Chad McPherson

        Read more about Nordic Heritage Center, Presque Isle

Links to Relevant Resources