Author Archives: ebxtreme
There are many things that make our little bike community awesome, but one element is the amount of pride our folks take in our trails and the areas we recreate!
Whether that involves taking a huge group of women out on the trails, helping with a massive cleanup on Earth day, majestically shaping berms and jumps or taking a group of kids up to work on the trails or just volunteering at one of our events, our community constantly steps it up and blows us away with their support!
There is a smaller group of twisted individuals who continually drop little nuggets around Galbraith for your (and my) benefit. As just a small example of their work, take a look at the new railing on the Jack and the Beanstalk bridge that Mark Belles created and he and Devon Pelkie recently installed. The level of detail is over the top!
Next up is another one of Jimmy Fricker’s famous benches that appeared over the weekend at just the perfect mid-ride location…. the top of the 3 Pigs!
A big thanks to these three for their continual love for putting smiles on people’s faces around the hill!
We had a great crew of 15 folks out on Rock n Roll last Friday. The Kulshan crew was led by General Manager, Dave Vitt, who came equipped with all of the supplies necessary to have a fun and productive trail day. The goal for the day was two-fold – brush the trail (beginning to end) for the season and get a bunch of drainage work done. Brian, Andrew and Tim ran the weedeaters and the rest of the crew focused on clearing/creating drains and building up trail tread where necessary.
The trail was brushed WAY back which should last us through the summer and drainage work happened about 2/3 of the way through the trail. Another great day on the trail with the folks at Kulshan brewing!
As part of their annual “trail vacation” from their real jobs, Andrew Fletcher-Love and John Miller, once again spent over a week up on the mountain giving Unemployment Line a a ton of love and updates.
They concentrated from the bottom of the trail up and made adjustments to several big sections, fixed a perpetual seep at the exit and added dirt to many of the berms and jumps – where necessary.
As always, look before you leap, but the changes are flowing well (despite the soft dirt) and things are intuitive. Ride it with caution and go check out their latest handiwork! Huge thanks to Andrew and John for their work and attention to detail (e.g. the revised bench and bike stand area at the viewpoint).
We had about 25 volunteers come out to our Double Black Diamond trail work party on Sunday, May 7th.
Morning clouds gave way to afternoon sun and dirt conditions were perfect with the right amount of moisture for shaping and packing. Holes were filled, existing drains were opened up, and some new drains were added in an effort to get water off the trail. A few hazard trees and logs that were close to the trail were also removed for riders’ safty, which resulted in some tight sections being opened up. Many sections of the trail were given a fresh layer of dirt, which is still soft in many spots.
Adam from Treelines NW had the killer BBQ lunch setup with burgers, hotdogs, chips, and beverages for the hard-working volunteers (who all left with a fresh Treelines t-shirt as well!).
The Cleator Road has re-opened, so please take it easy on the fresh dirt. Ride to help pack it in, not tear it up.
We had about 20-25 people come out for the Mount Baker Imaging trail day on Lair of
the Bear as part of the WMBC earth day events on Galbraith.
The crew was led by Jeff Jaap and did a ton of organic removal in some of the problem soggy spots near the top which was replaced with rock armoring to prevent the holes from returning. At least 150 large rocks were moved and used throughout the trail. The largest of them took 4-5 people to move!
A couple corners on the upper third got a little touch up to improve the exit speed, and all the drainage down to the bridge was given a quick cleanup. Things should be in great shape for the spring, and there will be a few more small drainage improvements in the creek and lower sections throughout the summer.
Thanks again to Mount Baker Imaging for hosting the trail day, and keeping the rock moving crew well fed!
The Cedar Dust trail day sponsored by Boundary Bay Brewing was a huge success. Jimmy Fricker led a crew of about 25 adults and 5-6 kids in all. The weather stayed nice and the sunshine helped keep everyone warm and dry. Boundary put on a post-lunch Easter egg hunt for the kids and handed out lots of great prizes and everyone stayed hydrated! Many thanks to Janet for bringing up YUMMY Mac n Cheese from Boundary for lunch.
Forrest and a few friends worked on the north side entrance to Cedar Dust (near the Ridge) to tighten up the entrance and eliminate the braiding. They added in a culvert and replanted vegetation in the area to keep riders using the original entrance.
The rest of the crew focused on drainage and brushing throughout Cedar Dust. The trail should be running really well all summer and will get a bit more dirt work and brushing as needed.
As many realize, prior to the roads accessing Galbraith were gated, it was a heavily used party area and a place where garbage, cars and other items were often dumped.
Over the years, we’ve cleaned up various areas of the mountain (and taken a lot of garbage off), but for this year’s Earth Day we decided to make a big dent in the remaining garbage. A huge thanks to the amazing crew that used this day to help clean up the mountain. Also, a big thank you to Marty at NW Recycling for donating the metal scrap dumpster and their matching donation program to help support the WMBC!
Items removed from Galbraith on Saturday were:
- 2 old Cars – Jonathan Huffman brought his mini-ex up on the hill and with the help of Shey and Dan, they got two cars pulled out of the woods onto his flatbed trailer and loaded them into the scrap metal dumpster.
- Below the Cell Tower’s, we removed a Dishwasher, freezer, car trunk, car door, water heater, many old culverts, old wheels/tires.
- Old garbage that dumped above the top of the 3 Pigs.
- Old oil containers from logging operations (not related to Janicki!). One was still 3/4 full.
- Old Stunts that were off of Cedar Dust – These were damaged during logging several years ago and were rotting in the woods.
- Old beer bottles and cans from the top of the Cell Towers.
- Old metal culverts sitting in the woods off of the tower road.
We’ve got an insanely busy month ahead of us. Please see the events below and plug in wherever you can!
Saturday, April 22nd: Earth Day Clean Up
IMPORTANT: We are meeting at the Samish Lot at 8:30, so folks can also go to the March for Science. This day will be to get some of the really old garbage off of the hill. Stuff like old tires and cars from the days when there were no gates on the mountain. If you have a truck and don’t mind hauling stuff in it, please bring your truck with you. Also helpful are come-a-longs, tow straps and tow ropes. If you have a truck with a winch, that would be helpful as well. We will have two dumpsters on the hill….one for scrap metal and one for garbage. Any stuff that can be recycled will go into a pile and hauled off in the next week or two.
Saturday, April 22nd: WMBC Joyriders Women’s Spring kickoff.
Ready to kick off a great year of Women’s rides! Meet on the road above Last call starting at 9:30am and rides start at 10am go until 12:30. Please carpool- you can park at lake Padden and pedal in, or be early to snag a good parking spot, on Samish way, or the dollar lot on Galbraith Lane. 1-4pm Post ride beers and raffle at Kulshan on James st! Kulshan will donate $1. per pint to WMBC!
Sunday April 23rd: Lair of the Bear Sponsored by Mount Baker Imaging
Meeting at the Samish Lot at 9 and carpooling up to the top of LOB. You can also ride or hike up to join the crew. Jeff Jaap is leading this day.
Sunday April 23rd: Boundary Bay / Cedar Dust Alley Fundraiser – Bellingham Beer Week
From 12-4 PM, Boundary is bringing Galbraith Mountain to YOU!! Get ready to have a radical time as we turn our alley into a Mountain Bike playground and festival! During Bellingham Beer Week, this event will raise funds for WMBC , and we’re shutting down the alley behind Boundary Bay for…BIKES…BIKES & BIKES. Polecat will be playing at 2:30.
Wednesday, April 26th: Aslan Fundraiser – Bellingham Beer Week
As part of Bellingham Beer Week, the good folks at Aslan brewing are donating 9% of all drink sales to 9 non-profits in our community. So, swing by Aslan on Wednesday the 26th, have a pint or two with us!
April 28 – May 7th – Unemployment Line Overhaul Sponsored by Terrain Gym:
Andrew Fletcher-Love and John Miller will once again take their “vacation” to give U Line its yearly overhaul. They like to keep it to a small crew, but if they need help, we’ll let folks know. Maybe some cleanup on the upper section of the trail or another area where they aren’t working.
Sunday, May 7th – Double Black Diamond Trail Day sponsored by Treelines Northwest
We will focus on Double Black Diamond working top down. As usual, Adam and the Treelines folks will stoke folks out with great food and beverages. Bill Hawk is leading this day.
Friday, May 12th – Rock n Roll Trail day sponsored by Kulshan Brewing:
Come help the Kulshan Brewing folks get Rock n Roll. We’ll make sure there’s plenty of Lager or Greenwood IPA ready to go to kick off your weekend right. More info. here:
Saturday, June 3rd – National Trails Day – Stewart Mountain Kickoff!
Folks, we are officially putting shovels into dirt in the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance and this will be the first of many build days out there this summer. The plan is to re-route some of the pre-exisitng trails to create a nice up-route on Stewart mountain.
Saturday, June 10th, Civic Dirt Jump build day
Join Michael Storm for another Civic DJ build day to get the jumps in great shape before the summer season hits. They usually go from 9-12 and then there’s some time to ride after. More details to come as we get closer to the date.
If you’ve shown up to any of the WMBC build days over the past couple of years, you’ve likely run into Michael, his wife, Leigh, and their trail dog. They are super approachable folks who love to ride and dig as much as possible. They also both recently received their USFS sawyer certifications and have dove head-first into our community….we’re really glad to have them!
Michael was a huge help on the Gate and Switch bridge last summer, has been helping clear blowdown a ton this winter and is game to help wherever needed. He’s one of those people who can take on projects that aren’t considered the glory work – like drainage or brushing a trail. We asked Michael a few questions about himself below.
WMBC: How long have you been mountain biking and how/where did you get your start riding trails?
MN: I started biking over 20 years ago. I really got into it when I was living in Ketchum in the late 90’s ski bumming, and it was the summer sport.
WMBC: Personal preference….XC or DH riding?
MN: DH is all smiles and high fives. Love the trail rides, but for pure fun factor I have to go with DH.
WMBC: Give us a couple of your favorite trails in the area.
MN: Double Black/Double Down is the new classic. On Galby, Prison Love/Lair of the Bear for creative design. Orient Express, SST, Bobs, and Evo get the smile going.
WMBC: How long have you been in Bellingham and what brought you here?
MN: My wife and I moved here 2.5 years ago. Seattle was growing and it was time to get out. We have family here, and wanted easier trail access.
WMBC: What motivated you to start doing trailwork? What’s the most rewarding aspect of digging to you?
MN: Being involved with Evergreen and learning from Bryan Connolly. I love doing problem solving in trail design, trying to figure out what the terrain is giving us, and how to make it fun.
WMBC: What does being a good steward mean to you?
MN: To me it is being a part of our environment and acting accordingly. Finding a balance that promotes recreational access while protecting the land, but also respects our neighbors, other user groups.
WMBC: Any shout outs you’d like to give or anything else we should know?
MN: I am constantly astonished from the Bellingham community of volunteers. For woodwork, a big shout out to Jimmy Fricker. For dirt work, I am a big fan of Jeff Jaap’s trails. The WMBC board does a fantastic job. I am amazed that I get to live here.
Last Saturday, the WMBC hosted a sawyer certification class. In total, we had 13 WMBC sawyers, 1 Whatcom county park employee and 6 BCH members all got their USFS level B or C sawyer certifications.
We started the day with a classroom session going over the basics and then we headed to the woods to get practical experience and allow the instructors to evaluate everyone’s use of the saw in different scenariois. This allows all of the sawyers to clear blowdown with any public land manager in the country! The BCH folks also got a crosscut class for clearing trees in the Wilderness.
Big thanks to Tom and Tony from the Backcountry Horsemen for their instruction and our class of fantastic sawyers!