Just posted this to the Earthrider's mailing list. I know there's a few bikers who read my blog, so I thought I'd post it here, too
Well, since no one else has ponied up, here's a quick rundown of what happened last night:
* Trail maintenance update: Just an overview of some of the projects planned this winter. EarnYourDirt.com has all the info on what's happening, and when and where. My understanding of it is that it'll be the point of contact for people to find out what's going on. There's also a local phone # that will contain the most current updates on trail maintenance workdays (including cancellations). I left the # at the house, but I'm sure someone else can post it here for everyone. It would probably be good to have that number listed on the website, too.
* Ozark trails: There's some new trails going in at the Ozarks. Official trail work is schedule to start in February. ERTA has received a sizable grant to go towards equipment for building these trails. Once the trails are finished, all of the equipment purchased will stay with ERTA so we get the benefit of them from here on out. The catch is that we have to put in 3,000 hours working on the trails in order to qualify for the grant. Travel time does count, so a 4 hour work day turns into an 8 hour credit toward the grant.
* New Trails: In addition to shoring up a few stretches of existing trail, the majority of this seasons trail work will be done building new trails. All totaled - there's going to be over 100 miles of new trail put in or started this winter. That blew me away...
* Awards: Sean Cairns was given a pretty cool looking bike (of the mantel variety) for all of work he's put in for Earthriders over the past few years.
* Food stamps (coupons really): Posson posted about this a few days ago - they had their Price Chopper coupon books in. From what I saw, they went over pretty well. Just about everyone I saw bought one. It's basically a no-cost way to give $4 to ERTA - the books cost $5, $4 of which goes back to ERTA, and the next time you spend $50 at Price Chopper/HyVee you get $5 off. Also, if you have a Price Chopper card, 1% of your purchases can be donated back to ERTA. They can take care of registering for us, but I'm not sure who they would be - some else can fill in the email address. :) The money that's raised from both of these will be going into purchase signs for area trails. Which leads into...
* Signs and correct trail maps: When you know the trails you're riding, you don't even think of there not being any signs on the trails. We're in a situation at Crowder, though, where we can't build any new trails until everything that is there is properly marked. This serves two purposes. First, it helps newcomers to the sport and area find their way around and make sure they're on trails that match their ability. Second, it helps rescue personal if there's every a problem and they need to get someone off of the trail network. It's one thing for us bikers to be able to find our way around and know all of the trail names, but without proper signage and maps rescue teams could spend hours trying to locate someone who's injured.
I think that just about covers everything. I'm doing this from memory, so I'm sure I missed something(s). If you wanted more detail though you should have come! :)
On a personal note, it was great to see all of the positive activity with trails and access to trails in the region. I moved here last fall from a place that just this past summer lost access to one of it's prime mountain biking locations due to urban sprawl. A lot of time and energy was spent last year trying to insure access to just a small portion of that land most of which wouldn't have been necessary had the "founding fathers" done what is being done here and insure proper access from the start. To hear talk about 25 year agreements to insure mountain bike access and numbers like 100 miles of new trail is really great. If last night was any indication, Kansas City mountain bikers are going to continue to have some excellent mountain biking opportunities for a long time to come. Thanks to all of you who are working to make sure this happens.
If anyone's up for a night ride, me and a few guys are going to meet up at the Smithville "W Trails" tonight assuming it just stays hazy and doesn't start raining. We'll be rolling out 6:30'ish. You can reach me at this email until about 5 or by phone at 816-260-7606 if you want to know if the ride's still on tonight.