Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Vote for CORBA for Mtn Bike Hall of Fame by July 15th!

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

mbhof-logoThe time is now to vote for CORBA (a chapter of IMBA) for induction into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Museum. We were nominated last year and therefor are eligible again moving forward. To learn more about CORBA’s nomination, click here.

CORBA has been on the forefront of mountain bike advocacy since there was such a thing. CORBA as an organization has developed groundbreaking advocacy policies, standardized trail building guidelines and design techniques, and outreach programs (Skills Classes, Mountain Bike Unit volunteer patrol). CORBA members were present at the initial summit which created the International Mountain Bicycling Association, and is listed as a Founding Member of that organization. CORBA may be eligible as an advocacy candidate for the Hall of Fame, but the organization could easily also be included as a Pioneer.

For you that are already members of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Museum, check your mailboxes for your ballots. If you need to join the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame visit their website at www.mbikehof.com. There are options to join via PayPal or by printing out the membership form and sending a check.

Voting ends July 15th, so don’t delay!

Why? Good Question!

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

20120421111-Malibu-Creek-State-Park-Hike-Bike-Run-Hoof-300x199

By Mark Langton

It was recently brought to our attention that newly elected president of Equestrian Trails, Inc. (ETI) Robert Foster, a retired law enforcement officer, donates his time as an emergency medical technician at So Cal High School Mountain Bike Racing League races. Mr. Foster is a staunch supporter of the league, and in his president’s message in ETI’s most recent newsletter he stated that it’s a new era in our public open space trail systems, and mountain bikers are part of the trail user community so we all should try to figure out ways to get along.

Now I’ve been doing this advocacy thing for over 25 years, and I’ve experienced a lot of encouraging progress in the areas of shared use, especially when it comes to opening more trails to bicycle use. To hear the president of an organization that has historically had some of its members rally against mountain bikes say that we need to get along is truly groundbreaking. But things like this come fewer and more far between than I’d like, and during these 25 years I have often asked myself “why am I doing this?” The answer is always “because it’s the right thing to do.” This might sound insane (insanity once being defined by Albert Einstein as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results), and in many ways this might be true. But then something like Robert Foster’s reasonable position comes along and I think to myself, maybe we have been doing the right thing after all.

Over the years we have heard many reasons people feel mountain bikes don’t mix on shared use trails, but only one is valid; people riding their bikes too fast at the wrong time and place (around other trail users) is just not a pleasant experience for the people being passed at an inappropriate speed. As I’ve said many times before, we all have within our power the ability to solve this issue: slow down. In other words, use caution when around others. Let me put it another way; your actions represent the entire mountain bike community. The smile you create through a pleasant trail encounter goes a long way.

The Grand Canyon by Bike, Not Burro

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The Suburu/IMBA Trail Care Crew helps bring new singletrack to the North Rim

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has often been called the “eighth wonder of the world.” Lesser known is the area’s value as a mountain biking destination. Eighteen miles of moderate singletrack with stunning views into the canyon are open to bikes on the North Rim. The land is managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) North Kaibab Ranger District, which is looking to add additional miles to the existing, out-and-back trail.
IMBA Grand CanyonContrary to popular belief, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is not a desert. The Rainbow Rim trail sits at 8,000 feet, winding through forests of ponderosa pine and aspen trees. Users can expect to see abundant wildlife, including the rare Kaibab Squirrel, a white-tailed, tufted-eared critter that only lives in the 40-mile radius of the Kaibab Plateau. The forest is also home to wild turkeys, often spotted running in packs through the trees.
During the last weekend of September, the Subaru/ IMBA Trail Care Crew (TCC) helped the staff of the Kaibab forest prepare to add seven additional miles to the existing Rainbow Rim trail. Several of the rangers there are mountain bikers and wanted IMBA’s guidance to design the extension specifically for bikes.
To kick things off, IMBA hosted Land Manager Training, helping the Kaibab forest staff and rangers from the neighboring Dixie National Forest to better understand mountain bikers as a user group. The presentation was followed by a robust discussion about resource protection, risk management and trail design.
The Trail Care Crew—along with IMBA regional directors Ryan Schutz and Patrick Kell—then assisted the rangers in finding the most fun, beautiful and sustainable route for the new trail, which will utilize a steep side slope to add a loop and turn Rainbow Rim into a lollipop ride. Schutz, Kell and the TCC flagged the steep hillside carefully, using the contour to ensure good flow in the final trail while keeping riders off an unpleasantly steep, loose service road. The new section of planned trail must undergo an environmental assessment, but as soon as the Kaibob rangers get the go-ahead, construction will begin.
The Rainbow Rim project also involves a road-to-trail conversion, which is already underway. The TCC and volunteers from Arizona and New Mexico reclaimed 900 feet of road, converted 1,200 feet of road into trail and cut 900 feet of brand-new singletrack to bypass the old road. The USFS will finish where the volunteers left off, replacing the road with sinewy singletrack.
After a night spent camping on the North Rim with the volunteers and sharing a headlamp-lit cookout, the TCC had a chance to ride the Rainbow Rim trail.
“The remoteness of this trail gives you a feeling of isolation that is often not found at the South Rim,” said TCC member Jesse Livingston. “And the well-designed nature of the trail allows riders to enjoy mileage that is difficult to achieve in mountainous terrain.”
Only a few days after the TCC left the Grand Canyon, the Kaibab rangers contacted IMBA headquarters asking for more help with their next big trail idea. We hope this visit marks the beginning of a lasting partnership with one of America’s most treasured natural splendors.

SUBARU REWARDS IMBA MEMBERS WITH HASSLE-FREE VIP PURCHASES
Subaru’s VIP Program allows IMBA individual/family members and IMBA member clubs to purchase or lease any new Subaru saving $1,300-$3,000 off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, without haggling. Visit imba.com/tcc for details.

Be The Solution

Monday, December 10th, 2012

By Mark Langton

I agree with hikers. I agree that when a mountain biker goes by me too close and too fast, it’s scary and unsettling. And they don’t have to be going fast, just too fast for the conditions. If a mountain biker goes by me at 15 mph on a fire road, no problem. If a mountain biker goes by me at 15 mph on a singletrack trail less than six inches from me, then I have a bit of a problem.

I agree with hikers right up to the point when they say all mountain bikers should be banned from trails because some of them go too fast around other users. You can’t tell me I’m banned from the trails because of someone else’s irresponsible behavior.

I believe there’s nothing wrong with going fast, as long as it’s being done safely (and within reason). If mountain bikers go so fast as to create a danger to themselves–such as crashing and having to utilize tax payer money to get medical treatment and evacuation from the backcountry–then people could point at the mountain bike community as creating an undue burden on the resource management agency. But as we’ve seen, crashes of this nature are relatively few. But the agency still takes notice when there’s an increase.

I know there are those out there, myself included, who are angry at the people who disregard common sense and speed past others with no regard for common courtesy. They’ve replied many times to our blog posts. They are angry because they know that the people who are acting irresponsibly know they are doing it, but continue to do it anyway in spite of the fact they are giving the mountain biking community a bad name; when all they have to do is very simple. Be The Solution. Just slow down around others.

As an experiment today I stopped in the middle of a singletrack trail as a rider approached me coming downhill. Although he had plenty of room to see me, he ran into me, and nearly flew over the handlebar. He was apologetic, and the conversation we had was enlightening; because he was used to others getting out of his way, he just assumed I would, too.  I recounted an instance when I was riding along a trail and I came upon a hiker with her head down, and as I slowed to a stop she looked up, startled, and nearly fell over backward. Had I assumed she heard me and was going to get out of my way, I probably would have run into her.

It’s never going to be completely safe on the trails. There are always going to be accidents, but by slowing down around others (and maybe even slowing down for blind corners), we might be able to avoid a lot of very avoidable ones.

 

 

 

 

Resolve to Solve in 2013

Monday, December 10th, 2012

How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions that you are hoping to keep? There is one you can make and keep, guaranteed. It will help you, the mountain bike community, and the trail community at large. Ready? Slow down when passing others!

How many things in life can you do that actually solve a problem? On our trails, the one justifiable complaint about mountain bikers is that they sometimes go too fast when passing others, which can be scary and upsetting,even to other cyclists. So all you have to do is slow down when passing, and you SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

Slowing down while passing others on our shared-use trails is a pure win-win proposition. The people who you pass feel good about mountain bikers. WIN! You feel good because you didn’t scare anyone, and everyone has a pleasant exchange. WIN!

Here’s a suggestion: Treat others you are passing on the trail as if you are holding the door open for them. That brief pause is a show of consideration, courtesy, and humanity that will come back to you and the mountain bike community in many positive ways.

It’s up to you. Would you rather finish your ride knowing you did something positive for mountain bikers and trails users, or that you made it worse for yourself and the mountain bike community? You CAN make a difference. And all it takes is slowing down when passing other users!

 

Federal Trails Funding Secured for Two Years

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP), the federal funding program that supports natural surface trails, has been reauthorized for two years in a bill that the U.S. Congress approved this July. An $85 million program, RTP strongly benefits mountain bikers and funds the development and maintenance of thousands of trail miles.

“We are very grateful to our grassroots advocates whose relentless calls and letters elevated the importance of RTP. This has been an extremely long reauthorization process — time and time again, mountain bikers rallied to save RTP,” says Jenn Dice, IMBA Government Affairs Director. “We also would like to thank U.S. Sen. Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Petri for their commitment to the program and seeing it through this difficult process.”

RTP has funded iconic mountain bike trail projects across the country, including two IMBA Epics: FATS in North Carolina and Brown County State Park in Indiana. RTP funds were also used in the construction of the just-opened Rockburn Skills Park in Maryland and the Highbridge Bike Park in New York City. IMBA chapters and clubs have become experts in securing RTP grants for trail construction and maintenance.

In a new development, governors and state-level department of transportation offices have the opportunity to opt out of the entire program and return funds collected on behalf of RTP back to other uses (such as roads). For example, a state like Colorado could lose more than $2 million that would have otherwise gone to singletrack, trailheads and other expenditures that benefit mountain bikers. IMBA urges its members to contact their Governors about the importance of RTP funding for trails. Governors must decide by mid-September, so do not delay.

Groups interested in taking advantage of RTP funding to further trail projects should visit imba. com/resources to learn more.

Copied from IMBA Trail News, Summer 2012

IMBA Trail Care Crew Report from California

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Most applications requesting Trail Care Crew visits originate from mountain bike advocacy organizations. In the 23 visits we have made, this stop in central California was only the second time that a land management agency — the Georgetown District of the U.S. Forest Service — made the request. It’s something we think the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crews will start seeing more of as federal, state and local land management agencies learn how much there is to gain from working with outside partners.

Limited budgets and ongoing funding cuts are a grim reality for many Forest Service districts. Partnerships between land managers and local mountain biking advocacy organizations offer much-needed relief — bike clubs can supply knowledge, experience, volunteer labor and more to help fill the gaps between the vision for new trails and the reality of getting them built.

The Georgetown District staff we met with are excited about what they can accomplish by working with local mountain bike advocacy organizations, including the Folsom-Auburn Trail Riders Action Coalition and the Forest Trails Alliance. The Eldorado has great potential, with good existing trails and the potential to develop some great ones. The nearby trails in Auburn are popular and sometimes a bit overcrowded, so developing the Eldorado’s trail network holds the potential to benefit riders and lessen their impacts by spreading them out over a greater area.
The name “Eldorado” conjures an imaginary place of great treasure and opportunity. Will California’s Eldorado National Forest live up to such a grand definition? We think they are on their way.

— Jake and Jenny

From the International Mountain Bicycling Association‘s quarterly publication Trail News, Spring 2012

Save the date!  CORBA will be hosting the IMBA Trail Care Crew October 18 – 21 later this year.

Youth-Oriented Publication Available Soon, Take A Kid Celebration Slated for Oct. 6

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

With major support from Shimano, IMBA will publish two special editions of IMBA Trail News in 2012. Copies of ITN Youth Edition will be available on IMBA’s online store, free of cost except for shipping fees. These full-color, print magazines will focus on providing resources for adult leaders of youth-oriented mountain bike programs, plus stories, photos and tips that young riders aged 12 to 18 will enjoy reading.
This October, in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, IMBA has pledged to get 30,000 children participating in 300 cycling events for the annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day celebration. We could use your help in reaching this goal on Oct. 6. Broadcast Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day to your chapter/club networks, host a ride or sponsor the IMBA outreach program.
Since we believe that kids should be on bikes everyday, we’re encouraging all participants to sign up for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), whereby you pledge to be active at least 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Youth (6-17 years) should get moving for at least 60 minutes per day, and adults (18 years or older) should be active for 30 minutes per day. What better way to get active than to be out riding a bike?

From the International Mountain Bicycling Association‘s quarterly publication Trail News, Spring 2012

New IMBA Mapping Program Underway

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

IMBA is proud to launch its long-anticipated mapping project and the IMBA National Trails Database (INTD). The database will offer a GIS-based online resource that documents natural surface, bike-friendly trails. It will also display information related to IMBA programs from the local to the federal level.
The mapping work has only just begun — the ultimate goals include providing dynamic trail maps, trail descriptions, reviews and information about IMBA’s work in map form. The INTD resource will answer questions about where to ride and what trails might be affected by access threats and travel management plans. It will showcase and describe the work being done in the U.S. and around the world by IMBA and its partners, chapters, affiliated clubs and individual supporters.
“Since almost everything we do is location-based, IMBA has a great opportunity to connect people to the world of mountain bike advocacy in a way that’s both graphically informative and visually exciting,” says Leslie Kehmeier, IMBA’s full-time mapping specialist. “From the regions we cover to the members we serve, right down to the trails we ride, the mapping program will further IMBA’s mission to protect, create, and enhance great trails experiences for mountain bikers worldwide.” Pilot projects will include a map of Santa Fe (NM) mountain biking trails prior to the IMBA World Summit there, and maps for each IMBA Epic ride.

From the International Mountain Bicycling Association‘s quarterly publication Trail News, Spring 2012

9th District Court Rules against the Forest Adventure Pass

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a published opinion on February 9th reversed and remanded a lower court ruling that had dismissed a case against the U.S. Forest Service.  They found in Adams v. USFS that the Recreational Enhancement Act “unambiguously prohibits the Forest Service from charging fees in the Mount Lemmon HIRA for recreational visitors who park a car, then camp at undeveloped sites, picnic along roads or trailsides, or hike through the area without using the facilities and services.”

Excerpted from the published opinion:

“The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (“REA”) prohibits the United States Forest Service from charging fees “[s]olely for parking, undesignated parking, or picnicking along roads or trailsides,” for “hiking through . . . without using the facilities and services,” and “[f]or camping at undeveloped sites . . . .” 16 U.S.C. § 6802(d)(1)(A), (D) & (E).

“Despite these clear prohibitions, the Forest Service collects fees from all drivers who park their vehicles in a mile-wide piece of the Coronado National Forest running along the 28–mile Catalina Highway, the only paved road to the summit of Mount Lemmon, a heavily used recreational area an hour’s drive from downtown Tucson, Arizona.

“Four recreational visitors sued, seeking a declaration that  the Forest Service was exceeding the scope of its authority under the REA by charging fees to those who drive to Mount Lemmon, park their cars, then picnic, hike, or camp in nearby undeveloped areas. Plaintiffs also sought to enjoin the Forest Service from collecting such fees. The district court granted defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs appealed. Because plaintiffs are correct that the Forest Service’s fee structure contravenes the plain language of the REA, we reverse the district court’s dismissal of Count I and remand to allow plaintiffs to pursue that claim.”

In CORBA’s ongoing relationship with the Forest Service, we understand that locally the Adventure Pass is a major source of their funding for on-the-ground projects, maintenance and services. Even with Adventure Pass fees, they are grossly under-funded.

It is unclear at this point how the ruling will affect Southern California’s Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernadino National Forests, where the adventure pass program has been in place for more than a decade. Currently, fees are required for all vehicles that park within the forest boundary, even if, as in the plaintiff’s case, no facilities are used. Many eyes will be watching when Adams v. USFS returns to the lower court.