Author Archives: ebxtreme

All Out 2017 – Sponsored by REI

rei logo

REI

A huge thanks to REI and the 60 folks who came out to help dig with us on Saturday….it’s been great to have so many kids out digging this season!  We took a divide-and-conquer approach to the day and worked on the new Cowbell connector, Gate & Switch and Evolution.  Thanks to Bill Hawk, Jim Fricker, Devon Pelkie and Michael Storm for leading the various efforts and Eric Ashley for not only digging, but for snapping some great shots from the day.

Gate and Switch:

Michael led about 25 folks The crew went in to clean up all of the ruts that formed after the recent work in Fall.  The ground was still soft from near-record rains in October and then the freeze/thaw and snow.

Cowbell:

Cowbell is a new connector between Lost Giants and Lone Wolf that Devon Pelkie and Russ Lambert have been working on.  Our goal is to create a “stacked loop” system in the Lost Giants area to gives newer / beginner riders more options on the lower mountain.  We got the trail cleaned up, outsloped for drainage and tamped down….there are still 3 REALLY wet sections that are going to need to dry up before we can open the trail up.  Until then, we’re asking folks to stay off of it….thanks!

Evolution:

The first stump drop is getting rebuilt thanks to Jimmy, Bill, Jesse, Jeff and Trevor who were out on Saturday getting posts and stringers in place and moving the split cedar for decking up the hill.  They’re shooting to have it finished by next couple of weeks and it’s still fully taped off….just continue to use the ride-a-round.

WMBC Calendar!

Don’t forget to stay up-to-date on our trail days and you can subscribe to our Google Calendar if you have a Gmail account.

https://wmbcmtb.org/wmbc-calendar-of-events/

Help the WMBC build pump tracks in 2017!

Future Pump Track in Whatcom Falls park!

Future Pump Track zone in Whatcom Falls park!

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.

Please consider supporting the WMBC with a donation during our end-of-the year Annual Supporter Drive.

See you on the trails!

Eric Brown

Trail Director, WMBC

Draft Design of Whatcom Falls Pump Track

Design (Draft) of Whatcom Falls Pump Track

 

Steve Wentz and Jill Kintner sketching up initial designs at Whatcom Falls.

Steve Wentz and Jill Kintner sketching up initial designs at Whatcom Falls.

 

EB, Steve Wentz and Jill Kintner discuss layout design at Whatcom Falls.

Eric, Steve Wentz and Jill Kintner discuss layout design at Whatcom Falls.

 

SST Trail Day Recap

Fanatikbike.com

Fanatikbike.com

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 next gen learning the ropes.  Photo:  Eric Ashley

The next gen learning the ropes. Photo: Eric Ashley

So much fresh gold thrown on SST!  Photo:  Eric Ashley

So much fresh gold thrown on SST! Photo: Eric Ashley

Kicking off the day with the game plan.  Photo:  Eric Ashley

Kicking off the day with the game plan. Photo: Eric Ashley

Advocacy Alert! Help support the WWRP!

WWRP supports outdoor recreation and preserving natural spaces

Support the WWRP!

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.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5A_7MGwZZZuaV126P5PzisfaKsYiCD1gtuQTkq0OTeE6I-A/viewform

If you’d like to read their full letter, you can do so here:

http://www.wildliferecreation.org/getinvolved/wwrp-funding-request-sign-on-letter/at_download/file

Bikes in the Wilderness – WMBC’s Response

A 360 degree view from the top of Abercrombie Mountain in the Colville National Forest.

A 360 degree view from the top of Abercrombie Mountain in the Colville National Forest.

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.

A view from Canyon Ridge Trail - the lone trail open to Mountain Bikers along the Mount Baker highway.

A view from Canyon Ridge Trail – the lone trail open to mountain bikes along the Mount Baker highway.

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.

Tara taking in the views off of the Kettle Crest trail.

Tara taking in the views off of the Kettle Crest trail.

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:

https://kevinmenard.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/human-powered-travel-in-wilderness-act.pdf

Bike Mag Video about the Boulder-White Clouds in Idaho.

http://www.bikemag.com/videos/exclusive-gathering-storm/

Pinkbike Series on this topic:

Part 1: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/banned-in-the-usa-part-1-2016.html

Part 2: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/banned-in-the-usa-part-2-2016.html

Part 3: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/banned-in-the-usa-part-3-2016.html

 

State wide Burn Ban in Effect!

Folks,

The DNR has issued a statewide burn ban effective immediately.  Please take note if you plan to camp in the near future.

http://www.dnr.wa.gov/news/dnr-bans-campfires-across-state

Thanks!!

 

Advocacy Alert! Take the DNR Recreation Survey!

em_dnr_logo_2_color

Hi folks,

 

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!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MJLX6LJ

Civic Dirt Jump Build Schedule!

Civic Dirt Jumps on a sunny day.

Civic Dirt Jumps on a sunny day!

Hey folks,

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!

Monthly schedule:

  • Saturday, July 9th
  • Saturday, August 20th
  • Saturday, September 10th
  • Saturday, October 8th

2016 WMBC Trail Survey

Hi folks!

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.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/wmbc2016

It’s REALLY easy….honest!  Please share with your riding, hiking and running friends.

Thanks!!

Trailday Recap: The Ridge and Wonderland Trails get some love.

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!

Javon getting the crews prepped for the day.

Javon getting the crews prepped for the day.

 

The next gen of trail shredders!

The next gen of trail shredders!

The Queens of Dirt!

The Queens of Dirt!

Showing the groms how it's done.

Showing the groms how it’s done.

Put a crown on it. Fresh Trail!

Put a crown on it. Fresh Trail!

Before and After of fresh trail.

Before and After of fresh trail!

Jack's Queens of Dirt Racing

Jack’s Queens of Dirt Racing

Wonderland:

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.

One of the many giant mudpuddles - Before.

One of the many giant mudpuddles – Before.

One of the many giant mudpuddles - After.

One of the many giant mudpuddles – After.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newly benched section to route above the muddy zone on Wonderland.

Newly benched section to route above the muddy zone on Wonderland.

Newly benched section to route above the muddy zone on Wonderland.

Newly benched section to route above the muddy zone on Wonderland.

 

Newly benched section to route above the muddy zone on Wonderland.

Newly benched section to route above the muddy zone on Wonderland.

Newly benched section to route above the muddy zone on Wonderland.

Newly benched section to route above the muddy zone on Wonderland.

 

Skagit Naturopathic

Skagit Naturopathic