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.
Date: March 25, 2017
Trail: Ridge (Alternate Climb – name tbd)
Trail Adopter: Jack’s Bicycle Center / Queens of Dirt
Trail Leads: Chris Mellick, Csaba Horvath, Javon Smith
# of Volunteers: 38
Total Duration: 9am – 3pm
Total Hours: 225 (a few volunteers came late and early, most took 30 minutes for lunch, crew leaders spent extra time for setup and breakdown)
Trail Work Completed: Despite cold and rainy weather, 38 volunteers showed up on Saturday to help cut new line as a continuation of our alternate single-track climbing route up to the Ridge lookout. We had a mix of experienced and new builders, and encountered some tricky challenges hiding along the route we had flagged, but made a lot of progress! Removed all organic, built 8 switchbacks and completed tread in some areas. It is “rideable” but not complete. At the end of the day, we flagged both ends of the new section to discourage riders and let all the freshly moved dirt settle. We still need to complete the tread in some areas, fine-tune some switch-backs, add armoring in other sections, as well as naturalize the entire route.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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, April 1st – Double Black and Double Down trail day
Meeting at 9:30 at Clayton Beach / Lost Lake parking lot. Folks will carpool to the top of Cleator Road from there and work Double Black down with the focus on fixing some of the more beat up sections of the trail.
Tori Broughton (Expert Women) goes through some giant Cedars.
Saturday, April 8th – Civic Dirt Jump Work Party
Meeting at 9 AM. Come down and join Michael Storm on our monthly work party at the DJ’s. Bring a bike to session the jumps after the work is done (weather dependent). More info here:
Saturday, April 15th – Cedar Dust trail day Sponsored by Boundary Bay
We’ll meet at the Samish parking lot at 9 AM and our plan will be to get Cedar Dust brushed and drained and ready for another busy spring of action. We’ll make sure the Cedar Dust IPA is there to quench your thirst too.
April 17 – May 1 – Whatcom Falls pump track
We’ll have a myriad of ways to help during the construction process. I’ll keep folks posted as we get going on this about the specific needs/days.
Saturday, April 22nd – Two events!
WMBC Joy riders spring kick off women’s ride.
9:30 AM at the Samish Lot
Earth Day Cleanup / Trail day on Galbraith:
Meeting at 9 AM, we’ll focus on cleaning up some of the old/remaining garbage on the mountain (from the days when there were no gates). If we can get some winches, we’ll pull some of the old car bodies out as well. More info. here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1972952822935935/
Sunday, April 23rd!
12 – 4 PM Cedar Dust Alley at Boundary Bay Brewery
Come down to say hi to the WMBC and enjoy a cold Cedar Dust IPA. RRAD will have a bike course set up and Jack’s will be there with demo bikes and are donating a 20” Giant kids mountain bike to raffle off. More info. here: https://www.facebook.com/events/267764143675942/
2PM – Aslan Fundraiser
As part of Bellingham Beer Week, we are one of 9 non-profits that Aslan will donate 9% of drink sales to during the week. Come grab a beer and hang out with the WMBC!
Thanks to the folks at Aslan Brewing for their support this year!
May 12th (Friday) – Rock n Roll Trail day sponsored by Kulshan Brewing:
Come join the good folks of Kulshan Brewing get Rock n Roll dialed in for summer. We’ll make sure there’s plenty of Lager or Greenwood IPA ready to go. More info. here:
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!
On Saturday, April 22nd, the WMBC Joyriders will be hosting their kick off party and fundraiser! After party will be at Kulshan Brewery on James St.!
Meet at the intersection of Rd 1000 and Rd 1100 near Last Call starting at 9:30am. Rides start at 10am and go until 12:30. Please carpool- park at Padden, pedal in, or be early to snag a good parking spot. Post ride beers and raffle at Kulshan on James St. Kulshan will donate $1. per pint to WMBC!
Facebook Event Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1256597657720624/
A few quick updates for you all.
Recreation NW Expo:
Swing by and say hi to us at the Recreation Northwest Expo Saturday at the Fairhaven Ferry Terminal. We’ll be there along with many other recreation groups from 1-6 PM and we’ll talking mountain biking and trails (of course). If anyone is interested in volunteering and helping me out a bit tomorrow, I’ll gladly reward you with some schwag and beer…..just shoot me an email!
Freehub Trail day:
Bill Hawk and Brandon Watts will be leading crews on Evolution and PT à Eagle Scout tomorrow. Meeting at the Samish Way lot at 9 AMif you’d like to help get those dialed for spring. If you’re planning to ride tomorrow, please avoid those trails….thanks! More details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/274133373007683/
I’ll be meeting with Janicki’s crew on Monday, but they are planning to begin logging West of the Pipeline Road in the Kaya, Bunny and Art’s area next Thursday. We’ll get in there early in the week to flag the heck out of the trails, so their machine operators can limit trail damage, but those trails will be closed until further notice beginning early in the week.
Also, there will be a LOT of truck traffic on the Pipeline Road while harvest activity is taking place. As such, we’ll ask folks to try to ride from the north side or begin your rides after mid-afternoon when their crews are off the hill. If you encounter logging trucks during a ride, we’d ask you to please pull over and let them pass through since we only have one entrance/exit on that side of the hill now.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Trail Director, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support! Every little bit helps. Also, many thanks to Northwest Recycling