Author Archives: ebxtreme
Did you Know?
- The WMBC has already received approval from City Council for a pump track in Whatcom Falls Park!
- We will be proposing 2 more pump tracks in Bellingham City parks in 2017?
- The Whatcom Falls Pump Track will be 16,500 square feet (1/3 of an acre) in size.
- It will accommodate ALL levels of riding and have a separate pump track for groms and beginners.
- The pump track is being designed and co-built by Steve Wentz – one of the best pump track builders in the world – along with further design and testing input from pump track champion (and good friend), Jill Kintner.
- The Whatcom Falls pump track will cost an estimated $30,000 for the construction, storm water remediation, permitting, and signage. That is a fraction of what other similar-sized public pump tracks cost around the country.
The Whatcom Falls pump track and similar projects only take place because of the amazing volunteer efforts and the financial support of our members! It’s that passion and support that is turning Whatcom County into a mountain bike mecca and will further allow the WMBC to lead the way on future projects.
See you on the trails!
Trail Director, WMBC
A huge thanks to the 47+ volunteers who came out to give upper SST a MAJOR dose of love on Saturday!! Not only did all of the berms and jumps get a lot more dirt, but the trail got fresh drainage the whole way down to the 1200 road.
We are asking folks to give the trail a few days to settle in and compact before riding it. Below the 1200 Road and rock drops is still open and we’ll have the upper section opened up by Turkey day.
Thanks to Eric, Jadyn, Luke and the rest of the Fanatik crew for their support and plenty of food and drinks for everyone.
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) supports outdoor recreation and preserving natural spaces in Washington State. Please take 2 minutes to sign on to a letter asking our legislature to continue funding their programs at the same (or better yet, higher) level. This funding will be helping the WMBC as we start to get authorized trails going with the DNR and other land managers.
If you’d like to read their full letter, you can do so here:
Hello WMBC Supporters,
A couple of weeks ago, a NY Times reporter was in Bellingham to cover another story. While the reporter was in town, he wanted to interview mountain bikers and representatives within the WMBC to get our response to the proposed Senate Bill 3205 – Human-Powered Travel in the Wilderness Act. Surprisingly, the article thrust our little organization headfirst into this discussion. If you’ve not seen the NY Times article, you can read it here.
WMBC, along with our friends at Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, have been tracking this issue closely and we’ve conversed with the Sustainable Trails Coalition about the bill’s potential impact to mountain bikers in our state and nationwide.
As a 30-year old organization, it’s never been clearer how much mountain biker’s value the natural and wild areas in which we recreate. Our Community also recognizes the importance of getting youth into our forests to form their life-long relationship with the outdoors. We take great pride in helping to create our next generation of trail stewards and trail maintenance volunteers.
In Washington State, mountain bikers have had numerous successes partnering with conservation organizations and other recreation users to enhance recreation access while also preserving wild places. Locally, examples of those collaborative efforts can be seen with the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance, the Upper Nooksack Access and Travel Management Plan, ongoing efforts on Blanchard and Galbraith Mountains, and the Colville National Forest Management Plan. Additionally, Evergreen (EMBA) has had many successes over the years working with conservation groups with the creation of several Wilderness areas without losing access to high-value mountain bike trails.
However, we recognize that’s not been the case in other areas of the country where mountain bikers have continued to lose access despite their best efforts of partnering and collaboration – most recently in Idaho and Montana. Often times, the mountain bike community has been a large maintainer of these trail networks. Wilderness or Wilderness Study Area designation may mean the loss of these trails, which, in turn, limits access to these wild places moving forward.
Due to the current blanket ban on bikes in the Wilderness, mountain bikers are often placed in a conflicting position; mountain bikers are conservationists by nature and yearn to preserve these same wild places, yet supporting wilderness can mean lost connections to our most favorite trails. Not unlike our hiking and equestrian counterparts, we love wilderness areas for their views, mountain lakes and streams, wildlife, and the solitude they provide in a busy and wired world.
In our discussions with both Sustainable Trails Coalition and Evergreen, we’ve noted the intent and the way the Bill is currently written is tight and free of any “Trojan horses”. However, legislation is often changed during hearings and committees and we are currently concerned about additions or changes to the bill that could weaken land protection and open up resource extraction. The current sponsors of the Bill – Senators Lee and Hatch – have a history of attempting to transfer Federal lands to State ownership and, as such, there is skepticism from many mountain bikers about their motives behind this Bill.
WMBC will monitor the progress of SB 3205, and will look for both bi-partisan support and any additions and revisions that are incorporated before we can consider voicing support.
We commend the Sustainable Trails Coalition for starting this much-needed discussion surrounding human-powered bicycle access into Wilderness, and for looking at better ways to maintain trails in an era of declining budgets for land managers and trail crews. As we learn more, we will keep our supporters up-to-date on SB 3205’s progress, and we will continue to work collaboratively with conservation partners locally and across the state to preserve and enhance non-motorized recreation wherever possible.
Other Information Below:
Senate Bill 3205 – Human Powered Travel in Wilderness Act:
Bike Mag Video about the Boulder-White Clouds in Idaho.
Pinkbike Series on this topic:
The DNR has issued a statewide burn ban effective immediately. Please take note if you plan to camp in the near future.
As part of the DNR’s Baker to Bellingham Recreation Planning for Whatcom County, they want to hear about how you recreate on their lands currently. They are already aware that recreationalists are already utilizing lands across the Whatcom County landscape, so be sure to tell them where you recreate and why it’s important to you/
Please take 5 minutes to fill out this survey!
Mike Storm has posted the schedule for his continued work days on the Civic Dirt Jump park. The first one is this Saturday, July 9th. All build days start at 9 AM. Come on out and help tune up the dirt jumps!
- Saturday, July 9th
- Saturday, August 20th
- Saturday, September 10th
- Saturday, October 8th
If you ride or recreate in B’ham, please help the WMBC by taking 5-10 minutes to fill out our 2016 Trail Survey.
Your answers are completely anonymous and they greatly help the WMBC when we are in trail planning discussions with our local land managers. We also compare them to our previous years’ surveys as well – which helps us show trends in usage, etc.
It’s REALLY easy….honest! Please share with your riding, hiking and running friends.
Last Sunday, we had two crews on the hill giving two heavily used trails some fresh work.
The Ridge / Miranda:
Jack’s Queens of Dirt Racing led a great group of 35 folks and 11 kids to give the Ridge and Miranda more maintenance, plus they continued their work on a paralleling trail to help spread users out along our northside access trail. A big shout out to Javon Smith for leading a beginner trailbuilding session to give a group of folks the ins and outs about specific tools, trail construction and proper maintenance techniques. Csaba and Chris helped lead the charge on the newer/upper section and a ton of quality work got done!
Over near the top of the hill, Skagit Naturopathic led a crew of 13 folks fixing some of the worst spots on the bottom of Wonderland trail (aka, Naughty Nellie) got a big pass of drainage and trail tread repairs. When the crew dug into several spots, they ended up being a pandora’s box of red rot that needed to be fully excavated and then filled with rock and dirt. The crew decided to completely reroute one of the muddiest sections of the trail slightly uphill so the water will have somewhere to go. There will be more work on Wonderland in the coming month to knock out the other sections that need more drainage.
Ma Nature brought the pain last week in the form of crazy winds that wreaked total havoc on our trails. Knowing another wind storm was fast approaching, the WMBC didn’t flinch and, with the combined effort of riders armed with their handsaws and our trail crews on Friday and Sunday, we struck back with an equal amount of vengeance to get the Galbraith trails cleared!
Here’s a quick look at the numbers. Within 3 days of Windapocalypse 2016…..
- 64 blowdown were cleared with chainsaws (numerous others were cleared with handsaws)
- 28 trails were opened back up
- 100 hours of work (documented)
A HUGE thanks to everyone that chipped in – whether it was dragging big debris and branches off the trails, stopping mid-ride to cut something with their handsaw or coming out to woodchuck for our sawyers. We’ll be doing more cleanup this week on Galbraith and likely in the Chuckanuts as well.
Last, a reminder that this level of coordinated activity doesn’t happen on it’s own and the WMBC is reliant on our community’s financial support to make our trails some of the BEST in the world, so please consider supporting the WMBC!