Southern CT

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

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.

HV NEMBA Family Ride @ Rockhouse

Event Date

5/8/21 10:00am

HV NEMBA Family Ride @ Rockhouse

Saturday, May 8th, 10 am: Family Ride, Rockhouse (Oxford, CT) 5-8 miles.

Meet at the gravel lot below Oxford High School (off Route 188).
 

*Pre-Registration via e-mail and a phone # for Contact Tracing are REQUIRED!*

*E-mail Isaac Taylor 

   Sign NEMBA's once-a-year Ride Waiver ahead of time. Read more about HV NEMBA Family Ride @ Rockhouse

Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

All Levels

Ride Types

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Isaac Taylor

HV NEMBA Intermediate Rockhouse Ride

Event Date

4/30/21 6:00pm

HV NEMBA Rockhouse Ride

Friday, April 30th, 6 pm: Intermediate, Rockhouse (Oxford, CT) 9+ miles.

Meet at Holbrook Road, red/white entrance (“Rolling Coal” trail on Trail Forks).

*Pre-Registration via e-mail and a phone # for Contact Tracing are REQUIRED!*

*E-mail Maria Dumoulin to sign up: mariadumoulin@sbcglobal.net

   Sign NEMBA's once-a-year Ride Waiver ahead of time. Read more about HV NEMBA Intermediate Rockhouse Ride

Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

Intermediate

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Maria Dumolin

HV NEMBA Class Cycles Ride Series

Event Date

Repeats every week every Monday 30 times .
4/26/21 (All day)

HV NEMBA Class Cycles Ride Series


6:15 pm meet, wheels-down 6:30 pm: 

Intermediate/Advanced, locations will vary.

Sponsored by Class Cycles (requires separate waiver: https://www.sefiles.net/merchant/5201/files/ClassCyclesWAIVERANDRELEASE1.pdf)

*E-mail Dave Herde to sign up: dwherde@gmail.com and to find out the location of this week's ride.

*Pre-Registration via e-mail and a phone # for Contact Tracing are REQUIRED!*

  Sign NEMBA's once-a-year Annual Waiver ahead of time. Read more about HV NEMBA Class Cycles Ride Series

Chapter

State

Connecticut

Ride Level

Intermediate
Advanced-intermediate
Advanced

Ride Style

XC

Ride Leader Name

Dave Herde

HV NEMBA Beginner's Ride Series

Date

4/19/21 (All day)

HV NEMBA Beginner Rides

Starts Monday, April 19th, 5:30 pm: Beginner, Waldo State Park (Southbury, CT).

Note: Starting May 18th, this ride will continue the first and third Tuesday of each month at different locations.

These rides are aimed at newer rides although anyone can attend.

They are fun no-pressure rides where we try to finish with more smiles than miles.

*E-mail Paula Burton to sign up: peburton@aol.com

Note: *Pre-Registration via e-mail and a phone # for Contact Tracing are REQUIRED!*

  Sign NEMBA's once-a-year Annual Waiver ahead of time. Read more about HV NEMBA Beginner's Ride Series

Chapter

Housatonic Valley NEMBA

Event Leader

Paula Burton
peburton1@gmail.com

Southern CT

Haley Farm SP, Groton

30 Haley Farm Rd
Groton  Connecticut  06340
United States

Easy

30%

Moderate

50%

Difficult

20%

Description

Haley farm State Park abuts Bluff Point State Park.

It's a great place to ride and explore. Riding both parks at the same time would make for a challenging day's riding.

The best description of Haley comes from the Trailforks page.

Connecticut's first governor, John Winthrop Jr., owned part of the farm in 1648. Over the years the land passed through various hands, including the Chester family in the 18th century, whose headstones are still on the property. When Caleb Haley owned and farmed the land in the late 19th to 20th centuries, he had a very unique hobby which can be seen throughout the park - the building of stone walls. Boulders found on the property were extracted and placed by an ox drawn stone-puller. The walls separated a number of pastures. Some remains of the farm's buildings are still visible near the entrance of the park.


In 1963, efforts to protect the farm from being sold to developers began. The State of Connecticut agreed to match funds raised for the purchase of the farm. The Groton Open Space Association with the help of The CT Forest & Park Association led a successful fund raising effort that led to the purchase of the property. In July of 1970, Life Magazine featured an article on Haley Farm titled "Battles Won". Haley Farm became an official Connecticut State Park in July of 1970.

Nearby Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve was protected from great development pressures and was saved in 1975. It can be reached from Haley Farm via a bridge over the railroad tracks. The two parks, combined, offer over 1000 acres of land and are permanently protected as open space for public enjoyment.

  Read more about Haley Farm SP, Groton

MTB Adventure Ride @ Bluff Point

Date

8/22/21 (All day)

SE CT NEMBA Bluff Point MBAS Ride

Join us for an awesome summer day at Bluff Point. 

There will be Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Hero trails.

  There may be options for to join a groip ride for every ability level.

Bluff Point's trails stand out for their excellence. Bluff Point is the oldest CT State Park which was originally created to give CT's citizens ocean beach access.

  So bring your swimsuits for a refreshing dip after the ride.

  Check this MAP for a quick look at the trails.

The routes will extend off the peninsula to the Haley Farm State Park and beyond to the north.

  More details to come. Check back soon.

Sign in: Starts @ 9:00 AM

Last Riders Start @ Noon

Cost:

$10 NEMBA Members

$25 Non Members

FREE if you join NEMBA or renew your membership at the event.

Kids under 12 ride free with a registered adult.

 

  Read more about MTB Adventure Ride @ Bluff Point

Chapter

Southeastern CT NEMBA

Trail

Event Leader

Brett Severson
bseverson@nemba.org

December Ride Challenge Update

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Hi SECT NEMBA Chapter Members,

 

We want to thank everyone who participated in our first December Ride Challenge and also thank those who signed up for a new NEMBA membership or renewed. Great news, we have enough swag from our fantastic sponsors to give away to everyone who participated in the ride challenge!! We'll also be randomly selecting three members who renewed or joined in December to win some swag. Finally, we will also be giving out a special Iron Rider Award for the person who rode the most throughout December! We’ll be contacting winners mid-January, so keep an eye on your email.

 

A huge thank you to all of our sponsors for your support and helping to make this event a success!!

 

Wayfarer Cycles

Airline Cycles

Cycling Concepts

Specialized

Voler Apparel

DeFeet

 

Covid Brings Central CT New Trails

trail kiosk with bikes

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Central CT Chapter had some exciting news coming into 2020 with the opportunity to build the first bike-specific trail system in the town of Rocky Hill at Dividend Pond Park. They introduced this venture to us in SingleTracks issue 163 and this December we had a chance to catch up with Luis Moreira to learn more about how this project has fared since its inception. We also learned a bit more about its future.

Though a compact 68 acres, the Dividend Pond Park includes a rich history of grist, saw, and corn mills in addition to the multi-use trails. The parcel includes 10 water powered archaeological sites going back as far as 1667 and forward to the 1900’s. The town has captured some interesting historical notes on each of these sites in the park brochure, such as the $10,000 horseshoe.

This new bike specific trail was intentionally designed and built to provide a place for families and people new to the sport to ride, but the flowy nature of the trails and the advantageous contours of the land can provide a fun experience for all. In fact, Luis challenges you more advanced riders to tackle the Strava loop without braking and see how it goes.

Looking back to the beginning of this project Luis credits Glenn Vernes, Central CT Chapter President, with the insight to develop the Dividend Ponds area and add to the nearby River Highlands mileage. Glenn kicked off the project by introducing Luis to the powers that be who manage the area, and with conversations, approvals, and agreements to maintain the trails they were off and running. Or more specifically walking and flagging, and re-walking and re-flagging, and scouring google maps and contour lines to determine the best route for the eventual two miles of flow trails for part one of this endeavor. Many hours were spent strategically planning how to incorporate the elevation changes while staying within the boundaries of the approved plot of land.

2020 has been a challenging year for many, but it also provided Luis and Glenn time for building trails, refining flow, and adding little features of fun sprinkled throughout. Luis estimated that over 500 volunteer hours were spent on just this trail since the beginning, but I imagine that’s a very conservative estimate once you hear about the many 8-hour days he spent perfecting corners and clearing debris. Sometimes that debris takes the form of removing unsanctioned and dangerous features added by well-intentioned but uninformed trail users. *PSA – always check in with the trail managers before adding features to a trail*

Luis notes that while before Dividend Pond got little to no riders, now he often sees many people out there enjoying the trails with their families. He’s even spotted an enduro champion out there exploring the trails as Luis takes his regular rides making sure everything in the area is running smoothly.

Kudos to Glenn and Luis, and all the other NEMBA volunteers, for creating and maintaining this wonderful opportunity for local biking.

What are Luis and Glenn doing with all their time now that this project is cruising along? Well of course they are continuing to build and incorporate additional enhancements for this area (and others). Phase 2 of the “Div Pond” project includes a new scenic loop that follows along the river and that maybe, just maybe, will include a jump line or an advanced section.

Time will tell.

In the meantime, get out on these trails and make sure you let them know what you think!

 

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