The Eugene Friends of Trees program is doing a great job expanding their plant-by-bike tree planting events. Let’s work toward having all trees planted by bike!
It is really fun and efficient to join in a planting event with a bicycle. You can join a bike team for a planting event with just yourself and bicycle, or bring along a trailer if you have access to one.
There are two upcoming events:
Saturday, April 4th, 9:00AM
Friends of Trees Office – 11th and Lincoln
Saturday, April 25th
University of Oregon area
RSVP to Jennifer (email@example.com) and to request more details.
Without opportunities for non-motorized recreation, many people will never gain an appreciation for nature that turns them into exactly the kind of environmental advocates, donors and voters that groups like the Sierra Club and Mazamas depend on.
As a backpacker, environmentalist, and biologist (sort of), I understand why groups like Friends of Mt. Hood, Bark, Mazamas, Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club might initially be wary of a mt. bike area on Mt. Hood. But, as a mt. unicycler and occasional mt. biker, I know those fears are exaggerated, unfounded, and uneducated. It’s time that outdoors and environmental groups stop hating on mt. bikers . Mt. bikers like Disciples of Dirt are stewards of the environment, not crazy ruffians trampling a pristine wilderness.
Furthermore, if we don’t have a condoned place to ride, renegade riders will make their own trails and those rarely are environmentally safe. I don’t condone this, but it happens. Having sanctioned places to ride keeps new riders riding on trails that are maintained by groups like Disciples of Dirt, rather than making their own trails wherever they want and leaving them to erosion.
Anyway, it’s rare that internet comments are useful, but you should read the following quoted comments from the BikePortland article. They succinctly explain why YOU should support mountain bike trails, which are currently very rare.
Very excited for this month’s women’s MTB ride!!! We had 28 women’s on last months ride!!! It was great to see so many women out riding their mountain bikes.
We will be riding out a Whypass again. All women of all skill levels are welcome to join. Pass along an invitation to all your female friends who want to ride.
Whypass is located south of Lorane Oregon and contains many miles of fun to ride trails. We will have lots of experienced women mountain bikers out to help on the ride. Lots of opportunity to gain new skills, meet new women, and get muddy!
When: March 30th
Meet: 9:45 AM at Albertson’s on the corner of 18th and Chambers in Eugene. From there we can carpool/caravan out. Or you can meet us at 10:30 at the gravel pile
For more info: email kellysandow-at-gmail.com-we can even help you find a bike to take out and ride for the day!
The big winds caused some trail damage this past week and though most hikers and bikers think the Forest Service clears and maintains all the trails we all love to hike and ride it’s actually volunteer groups, such as the Disciples of Dirt Mountain Bike Club (DOD), who contribute many thousands of hours to trail work each year. The various government agencies don’t have the manpower or budgets to do it all on their own anymore. After this weeks big winds DOD is gearing up to get some of those local trails cleared. The following information comes from Paul Timm, the Trailwork Coordinator for the DOD:
Lending a Hand via Flickr: North Cascades National Park
Each spring the DOD, and our sister club in Oakridge the Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards, or GOATS, organize multiple trailwork parties to tackle cutting out all the trees that blow down, repair the trail where erosion may have taken a toll, and cut back brush that encroaches. Many of our members are certified by the National Forest Service to operate chainsaws, and many of us have had field training on the right way to build and maintain trail from both the NFS and IMBA, the International Mountain Bika Association. IMBA is the recognized leader in trail design for safety and sustainability. See www.imba.com for more info.
Last Sunday’s wind storm caused some serious damage that everyone is aware of. Here it is 4 days after the storm as I am writing this, and some folks are still out of power. What do you think happened in the woods? Lots of trees fell and are blocking trails. To that end, we are organizing an immediate effort to reopen the trails in our winter playground near Lorane. If you think you might like to come out to lend a hand we could use you.
we are organizing an immediate effort to reopen the trails in our winter playground near Lorane. If you think you might like to come out to lend a hand we could use you.
This information was shared on the Disciples of Dirt Yahoo Group last week by the DOD Executive Board and I thought it was important to share with the general bike community as well. One of the missing pieces to Eugene’s Platinum Bike Friendly Community status is good local mountain bike possibilities. Making trails accessible for people without the need to drive to them, especially for getting kids and families out there, is an important goal for us to be working towards. So far there has been a lot of talk and some dashed hopes from the Parks department when it comes to getting more trails in town. What we need is action. Thanks to DOD members putting time and effort towards this goal! Please consider contacting City leaders and Parks & Open Space staff to tell them if you think this is important as well (information at the end of the post).
Last week, members of the Disciples of Dirt (DOD) Executive Board met with City of Eugene Parks and Open Space (POS) staff in hopes of beginning the formal process of adopting Arlie Park, which would have involved the Disciples of Dirt agreeing to construct approximately 5 miles of trails that would be open to bikes as well as hikers. These discussions have been going on for several months, and everything we were hearing suggested that we may be able to begin building trails before the end of 2011.
In this meeting, the DOD Board were told some very disappointing news. The City of Eugene’s funding problems will prevent them from doing the required preliminary work that would be needed prior to beginning trail construction. City of Eugene Parks and Open Space Division has a significant Parks maintenance budget shortfall, and they are taking drastic measures to try and reduce their operating expenses. While DOD was prepared to provide volunteer labor for all the construction work and future maintenance needs, and even to hire consultants to work through the land use permitting process, there were some planning and design tasks that could only be done by City of Eugene POS staff. We were told that there is not likely to be funding or staff available to do this required work for at least the next 18-24 months. It is unlikely that funds will be available that soon unless Oregon’s economic improves. There were no guarantees that funding will ever be available.
Volunteers Working on the Headwaters Trail
With this news in hand, the board asked about the possibility of other opportunities to expand the amount of trails open to bikes in the area. Last year (around the Ribbon Trail closure), parks staff agreed to do an assessment of the entire Ridgeline trail system to re-consider whether mountain bikes could safely share the existing trails with other trail users, and to look at possibilities of approving new trails for bikes in the Ridgeline trail system. As you can guess, the same budget issues have prevented Parks staff from being able to find the resources to consider this issue. They are not able to begin this process for at least the next 18-24 months. Again, there was no guarantee that funding would ever be made available for this study. Continue reading “City Parks & Open Space Gives Little Hope For Local Mountain Bike Trails”
That is what grabbed me about the email. The Center for Appropriate Transport’s “Trips for Kids” program already sounded like a good idea, since it gave youth who might not otherwise get the opportunity to get out in nature and learn mountain biking skills. The specific call for volunteers that I saw back in June was for the all-girls ride, which also got a thumbs-up from my feminist brain. But when the call for adult volunteers clearly stated “no experience required,” I went from passively approving of the project to actively writing back. “Do you still need volunteers? I have no experience…”
See, for all my current bravado as a daily bicycle commuter, I came into cycling slowly and awkwardly. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-20s that I really started using a bike, gently coaxed along by my sweetie. This same sweetie, once I got somewhat steady on my wheels, tried taking me on his favorite mountain-biking trail. And, of course, I instantly wiped out on the trail and ended up sliding down a hill on my face. Scab city!
Last Monday, 60 members of MTB Eugene returned to the Eugene City Council to continue lobbying for mountain bike access to the newly-built Ribbon Trail. This was MTB Eugene‘s second time testifying before city council. This time, they came armed with more reasons why there should be more mountain biking trails in Eugene–including specific rebuttals to Neil BjÃ¶rklund’s letter in which he listed his reasons for closing the trail.
Unfortunately, this particular city council meeting was sort of ridiculous. The public testimony portion of the meeting ran for over an hour and a half: 42 different people testified on diverse topics like the West 11th EMX route, downtown homelessness, the new “no loitering” paint by the downtown bus station, and the two chicken limit in Eugene. The testimonies included aggressive poetry, a few hard-to-follow rants, and a live chicken. I rather enjoyed the entire thing, being a fan of circuses in general, but it was hard for the eight people testifying for MTB Eugene to stand out amongst the craziness.
The Eugene City Council listens to testimony from MTB Eugene on April 26th
The recently-formed mountain bike advocacy group MTB Eugene is returning to the Eugene City Council on Monday, May 24th to lobby for the re-opening of the Ribbon Trail to cyclists. MTB Eugene, which was formed in response to the city’s decision to ban cyclists from the Ribbon Trail, has a goal to eventually open the entire Ridgeline trail system to bicyclists.
The closing of the Ribbon Trail has proven to be the most popular subject on WeBikeEugene by far; this seems to indicate that mountain bikers in Eugene are a silent and suppressed majority. Indeed, Eugene (like Portland) has ridiculously little mountain bike trail access in relationship to its size and large bicycling populace. Much of this is due to a perceived conflict between mountain bikers and hikers, and the belief that mountain bikes damage trails more than hikers. Both of these beliefs have been shown in study after study after study after study to be false. Some studies have indicated that the real issue is the fear that hikers have of conflict with mountain bikers – a fear that for the most part exists only in hikers not exposed to mountain bikers.
MTB Eugene’s testimony before city council on Monday will address a few of these issues, as well as other specific reasons that The Ribbon Trail should be re-opened to bikes.