Last night I attended the MAMBO board meeting. Local riders will remember this organization was formed 14 years ago in response to attempts to close off mountain biking at Loch Raven reservoir. The MTB crowd stepped up to the plate, agreed to take care of the trails and saved the day. The rest, as they say, is history. Or it could be if the group doesn't stay active.
These access problems never go away and we, as mountain bikers, need to stay ahead of the issues. MAMBO itself has been kind of quiet the past couple of years, but it's still there and it needs people to get active, promote the organization and help keep our trails open. 2003 saw MAMBO teaming up with the other Mid-Atlantic group MORE for a number of trail work days as well as organizing their own efforts at Loch Raven. This was great, but we need more people showing up and/or offering time. So, consider joining or if you've got something to offer, have some funds you want to spend or just want to give something back to the trail, pop on over to the MAMBO website. Or, drop into the Bike Doctor in Linthicum and talk to MAMBO president Jeff Dalik. They've got 4 work days for Loch Raven scheduled this year, so grab a shovel and dig in.
And speaking of trail advocacy, issue #105 of Dirt Rag has an excellent article by Philip Keyes about what you can do to help the trails. Grab it fast though, this issue is sure to sell out, due to the SMOKING cover!
P.S. updates may be sparse or non-existent over the next week as I head north to play knuckle-dragger in search of powder. I'm taking the bike too, but not sure what kind of internet access will be available. So go ride your bike instead of playing on the computer, but come back soon.
Slip and Slide //
Tuesday - February 17, 2004
Monday saw the temp hovering right around freezing, but if the trail was in the sun it was soft and in some cases muddy. We headed for the North facing part of the river valley knowing that most stuff would be frozen. Overall, we were right. The Cascade trail was several inches of ice and it felt o' so solid when you went down on it at speed. I had removed the studded tire on the rear and replaced it with my normal 2.4 Motoraptor. Studs on only the front just wasn't cutting it on some of the trails. Ice skates would have been better.
Gettin' Down //
Sunday - February 15, 2004
I was running with the DH crowd today. Gravity, hits and technical stuff. Lots of fun with the temperature about freezing. Around 25 people showed up to have a go at 250 in cold hard cash. Three downhill heats, each on a different run. One chance at glory for the fastest run. Best total time takes it home.
And in case you were wondering; yes, I rode my single speed. Stock setup: 34x17, fully rigid Surly 1x1 with the Jones H-bars. I managed to pull second in the first heat, a tight and twisty run that turns into nasty rocks, drops and steps at the end. Stage 2 saw me get squirrely out of the gate. I buried my front wheel in the mud on the first jump, sending me over the bars. In my haste to untangle my bike from itself I chewed up more time. With no speed for the setup on the second jump, I barely get enough speed to clear it before getting my head back together and having a good run down the rest of the course. Didn't matter though, my time sucked. Heat 3 is the longest run with some nasty ice patches early on in a series of rooty "S" turns. Luckily I had the spiked tire up front and can work this section. I run out of gear in a few of the straight away sections and just pump and flow, cranking things up when it counts. I get first place, a full 3 seconds ahead of the next guy. Not good enough to make up for the Heat 2 disaster, I get sixth overall for the day.