Those of you who made it up to the East Coast North American Single Speed Championship of the Universe know there is sweet singletrack and tough technical terrain in State College, PA. Well, one more reason to head up is so you can get your drink on right along with some fine riding. July 24th is the State College MicroBrewers & Importers Exposition. Details here.
Jack and Jill (and a bunch more) went up the Hill //
Friday - June 11, 2004
So, one of the primary reasons the the IMBA summit was held close to these parts was access to Washington, DC. On Monday, the final day of the summit we were shuttled by bus to Capitol Hill. Mission: to visit representatives of Congress from our respective states and be heard about MTB issues. Now, I think the summit had about 150 mountain bike advocates in attendance and nearly all of them headed to DC, with the possible exception of a few international folks. That's a lot of voices for our cause.
I'll admit, I initially wasn't planning on participating in this part. Then I decided I'd like to see how this political machine I despise so much works. And after I was committed, I came to another realization: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Yes, if you don't speak up, how are your representatives going to know what you want? While I always vote, I've never, ever contacted one of those people out there who are supposed to be looking out for my interests. There is a battle going on for access out there. It might not be in your backyard now, but if you wait until it is, the fight only gets harder.
Besides access, there's cash. In current transportation bills in both Houses, there are funds for trails in the form of something called the Recreational Trails Program (RPT). Your local club can apply for grants through this program to help with trail building. The contact listed on the web page, Christopher Douwes, came to the summit to speak about how the funds can be used. Contact him for more info, he was extremely helpful and seems to really enjoy his job. The House of Representatives has the better of these two bills, offering more money for RPT, so that's naturally the one we want. So, think about taking a few minutes to write your representatives to ask for their support on this. They work for you after all.
Hot Off the Press //
Tuesday - June 8, 2004
What you see here is the brand spanking new IMBA Trail Solutions book. Well over 250 pages of trail building and design information including details about construction, maintaining, use of tools, freeride and singletrack. You name it, they thought of it. Full of detailed diagrams and photos, this is guaranteed to be the bible of trail building for mountain bikers, clubs and land managers. Quite simply, it is good stuff. Look for it to be available for purchase from IMBA in the immediate future.
Go out and save the trails //
Tuesday - June 8, 2004
OK boys and girls, I know I promised more coverage from the ECNASSCU but you may have to wait a bit. Just got back from four days at the IMBA summit where we talked about building and saving trails. It was a good time with a lot of good people even if the scheduling was super packed. I'll try to sum things up shortly or at least hit some high points. In the meantime I leave you with two quick things. First, a picture from Sunday's ride where we got to introduce summit attendees to the rocks and challenges of our local goods at Gambril State Park. This is Leslie from Colorado who did a great job navigating the tricky trails. Second, answering a question as to which bike was her favorite, pro downhill rider Marla Streb said it was her "hardtail single speed". I'm sure most readers would agree.