Author Archives: ebxtreme

USFS Sawyer Certification Recap

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!


Double Down! Chuckanut Trail day Recap


Brendan, Emily, Eric, Chris and Dan at the end of the day.

Michael Storm and Dan Waters led a great crew of folks to work on Double Down on Saturday.  The morning started out a bit wet and dismal, but quickly dried and even turned to sun by the end of the day! This made for almost ideal conditions to move and pack dirt.


Jon, Greg and Logan on Double Down

Drainage was the focus of the day here. The weather this past winter was especially hard on Double Down. After a shocking amount of snow followed by a massive amount of rain, the trail was pretty wet and rutted out and needed attention.


Emily transplanting ferns.

The crew spent the day scraping muck off the trail, cutting in drains and filling holes. This may not sound like tons of fun, but MAN was it needed. And boy was it satisfying to see the results after! There were greasy turns and standing water in many spots on the trail in the morning, but at the end of the day there was no water and we left Double Down much smoother and dryer than we found it. And don’t worry, we certainly didn’t remove all the bumps, mainly just potholes and ruts from water damage. It’s still pretty rugged, just a lot dryer!


Ike Bancroft – WMBC intern!

Special thanks to Dan Waters for co-leading the day with Michael.  There was a lot of ground to cover, so having a knowledgeable extra hand to help with coordinating volunteers really helped.  Thanks Dan!


Greg and Jon clearing drians and fixing

Also, thanks to our new WMBC intern, Ike Bancroft! Not only did he work furiously on the trail, but he also volunteered to pick up lunch!   A huge thanks to all our volunteers that spent their Saturday with us digging down on Double Down including John Rutter, Dan Froula, Chris Rose, Andrew Burns, Brendan Boyer, Greg Heath, Eric Prestbo, Emily Yeh, Noah Young, Logan Wetzel, John Ross, Mike Brodsky, Toni Walbridge and Misti Walbridge. The results are nothing less than miraculous! Thanks everyone!

Saturday’s Chuckanut Trail Day cancelled – Join us next Saturday!

Hi folks,

Quick update:

Tomorrow’s trail day on Chuckanut is cancelled as the Cleator Road is closed due to snow at the top of the mountain.  We also need to do some dirt work projects up top and it’s going to be pouring rain all week, so it would just turn into mush.  We’ll get another day on the calendar soon.

Irish Death / Das Autobahn next Saturday:

Our next trail day is next Saturday, March 18th and is sponsored by Iron Horse Brewery. Following, we’ll have an apre trail day fundraiser at Kulshan Brewery K2!  Kulshan will donate $1 per pint of Greenwood IPA and Iron Horse Brewery will have a guest tap of Irish Death, they will also be donating $1 per pint too!  Stop by for some trail work, a beer…or both!

Post trail day fundraiser @kulshanbrewery K2 !
Kulshan will donate $1 per pint of Greenwood IPA and Iron Brewery will have a guest tap of Irish Death, they will also be donating $1 per pint too!

More info. here:  

Turning scrap metal into WMBC youth programs!


Northwest Recycling’s Community Donation Bin benefiting the WMBC!

Do you have unwanted metal laying around?

What metals are allowed??

Ferrous Metals: Junk cars, scrap steel, cast iron, appliances, oversize iron

Non-Ferrous Metals: Aluminum, aluminum cans, stainless steel, copper, brass, zinc, lead, insulated copper wire, shavings, radiators, batteries, circuit boards, starter and alternators, electric motors, transformers, copper compressors.

ALL Proceeds go to these Youth Education Programs:

• RRAD Mountain bike balance and safety course
• RRAD Trail building course/Middle School Service Learning projects
• After school mountain bike clubs
• Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

If you have questions or need help moving larger items, please contact Chris at

Thank you for your support! Every little bit helps.  Also, many thanks to  Northwest Recycling 

Advocacy Alert! Blanchard Update and Evergreen Lobby Day


Fall Sunset from North Butte. Photo: Nathan Hoch

Hi folks,

Below are a couple of opportunities to get involved and help make a difference locally and statewide.

Blanchard Mountain Update:

Here’s a quick update on the effort to preserve the core 1,600 acres on Blanchard Mountain.  The Governor has added $1.5 MM towards Blanchard in his biennium budget, but that is $6.2 MM short of the final goal.  Please join a virtual town hall meeting with Representatives Kris Lytton and Jeff Morris on Thursday, February 9th at 6 PM to discuss options to help save the Blanchard Core from future timber harvest.  Details are below:

Thursday, February 9th at 6 PM     –    Phone #:  1-877-229-8493 AND ENTER PIN # 116359.

Background:   On February 9th at 6pm, there will be a virtual telephone town hall meeting being facilitated by state legislators Jeff Morris and Kristin Lytton.  A representative from DNR will begin the meeting with an overview of the history of the Blanchard Strategies Agreement. Then representatives Morris and Lytton will talk and then there will be a chance to submit a question. The aides will curate the questions and choose representative questions that allow the ensuing discussion to cover the range of issues that are of concern.  You can learn more about Blanchard here.

What can you do right now to help? 


Evergreen Lobby Day – February 22nd in Olympia

Get involved!  Join Eric Brown and like-minded riders from around the state as we meet with our representatives and discuss how we can continue to make Washington the best place to ride mountain bikes.  The only requirement for this is to be passionate about trail access and mountain biking.  Evergreen will have meetings scheduled for us with our legislators and will help with a morning training session on topics.  If you’ve ever wanted to get involved in government, this is a fantastic opportunity in a low-stress, fun manner.  Bellingham folks will carpool down to Oly together, so if you intend on going and register, please let us know and we will figure out driving logistics.

Registration Info and more details here:



All Out 2017 – Sponsored by REI

rei logo


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 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!


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.

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

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.

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

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:

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

Pinkbike Series on this topic:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3: