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Mountain Biking in Wilkes
Efforts shift upstream to Warrior Creek during 2008
Help blaze the trail at Kerr Scott Lake
Volunteers are needed to help construct mountain bike trails at W. Kerr Scott Lake.
A major work day will be set for the first Saturday of each month. Check the BMCC Riders Forum
for details on where to meet.
If weather conditions are iffy, check the BMCC Riders Forum
for cancellation information; work often goes on if the weather isn't too bad.
BMCC trailblazers made excellent progress in 2007. The club finished a scenic 2.5-mile loop off the Overmountain Victory Trail in September, then completed a trail re-routing project to bypass a steep section of the OVT.
In 2008, attention will shift upstream to Kerr Scott's Warrior Creek area. BMCC will build several miles of new trails and do extensive rehab on some overgrown, poorly planned trails there. Work at Warrior Creek began Feb. 2nd.
The trail crew has also been working on a downhill slalom course. They hope to complete the ds course in March.
Volunteers of all ages and abilities needed
Typical work day activities include preparation of trail beds, brush cutting,
removal of deadfall, roots and stones, and mulching of disturbed areas.
The toughest work is done by machine. BMCC owns two Ditch Witch mini-bulldozers
to establish the rough route of the singletrack trails. Volunteers are needed to fine tune the trail bed so it will shed water and be suitable for mountain biking and hiking.
"Come out and help make it happen!" says trail boss Jim Horton. "The more people we have, the more new trail we'll have to ride. There's jobs for everyone (young, old, fit or feeble). We need people to rake, cut, dig, chop roots, clip small roots or just hang out."
What to bring
Participants in trail building sessions should bring:
Appropriate dress (long sleeve / long pants)
Safety goggles (if you plan to operate a chain saw)
Rake or lopping shears (optional); Pulaskis and McLeods (specialized trail building tools) will be available
Water / fluids
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, IMBA and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources have provided specialized tools for use by BMCC during trail building sessions.
When the work is done, have some fun
Bring your mountain bike. Workers will ride after the work day.
For more information
For more information on the trail work days, e-mail trail boss Jim Horton
or call him at (336) 838-1948 (work). Smaller informal work days will take place throughout the winter, Jim reports. If you have some spare time and would like to help, please let Jim know. Community groups are also encouraged to volunteer.
Volunteer here to help blaze the trail
To volunteer to help with trail improvements and learn about proper trail building techniques, complete the online registration form below. We'll contact you with more information.
BMCC receives grants to support trail efforts at Kerr Scott
The Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club received several grants recently to support trail building efforts at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, BMCC president Jason Bumgarner announced.
BMCC has purchased a second Ditch Witch mini-bulldozer, thanks in part to financial support from the Willkesboro Tourism Development Authority, 55Nine Performance, Boone Bike & Touring, Samuel Jackson & Co. and Wilkes Telecommunications. The new trail building machine will speed construction of new trails at Kerr Scott.
Tar Heel Oil is pitching in to support BMCC's trail building efforts. The local BP distributor is donating free fuel to keep the club's two Ditch Witches running.
BMCC has received a $3,633 Adopt-A-Trail grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, William G. Ross, NCDENR Secretary announced. The funds will be used to purchase hand tools to construct and maintain the Overmountain Victory Trail and Dark Mountain trail systems.
And 55Nine Performance
, promoter of the 2007 BURN 24 Hour Challenge
, recently donated $3,000 to the BMCC trail fund, Eddie O'Dea of 55Nine
announced. The donation reflects profits from the 2007 BURN event, held Memorial Day weekend at Dark Mountain. The event sponsorship agreement specifies that any profits from the annual round-the-clock mountain bike race be devoted exclusively to trail construction and maintenance at Kerr Scott. 55Nine
is an Atlanta-based firm offering precision bike fit, coaching and sports nutrition services.
"These funds will be put use in efforts to build and maintain the trail systems at Dark Mountain, the Overmountain Victory Trail, and Warrior Creek," Bumgarner said. BMCC has built a 15-mile network of hiking and biking trails at Kerr Scott, with more trails currently under development.
BMCC expresses concerns about timber cut at Dark Mountain
Brian Pierce, Jason Bumgarner and Jim Horton of BMCC met with W. Kerr Scott reservoir facility manager Terry Ramsey Feb. 20, 2007 to express the club’s concerns about plans to log timber in the Dark Mountain Recreation Area.
The area to be logged is not on the trail system, but the planned access road to the logging site will disrupt the Lake Loop, a 1.3-mile section of the trail, BMCC trail boss Jim Horton reported Jan. 22, 2007.
Ramsey is currently exploring an alternative route to access the logging area that would not impact any trails at Dark Mountain.
If the alternative route falls through, Ramsey pledged to re-route the currently flagged access route to minimize impact on the trails.
"Mr. Ramsey has agreed to work closely with BMCC trail designer Jim Horton and others on designing a road entry through the core trail that would have minimal impact on existing single track," BMCC president Brian Pierce said.
"Mr. Ramsey very cooperative and sensitive to our concern, and I sincerely believe he wants to work with us to either avoid impacting the trail, or minimize the impact. He also serves as Vice President of Tourism Development for Wilkes Chamber of Commerce and recognizes the impact our events and trail building have on local tourism. He was duly impressed when we shared that IMBA quoted the 'value' of our existing trail system at $280,000--based on their cost per linear foot method," Brian said.
The logging project is on the calendar for late fall, but may be delayed until 2008.
BMCC has planned and constructed more than a dozen miles of single track trail at the lake since November 2002. The trails draw bikers, hikers and trail runners from across the area. The trail system is also used annually for several competitions, including the Burn 24-Hour Challenge
Illegal modifications at Dark Mountain could endanger riders
Illegal modifications to stunt features at Dark Mountain are creating a potentially dangerous situation for riders, BMCC mountain biking coordinator Matt Adams reports.
"Someone recently moved the bench at five points, putting it behind the teeter-totter. This is very dangerous as individuals that typically ride the trails would not normally be braced for the bench afterwards. This could result in someone getting injured, which would result in the complete removal of such stunts," Adams warns.
This isn't the first time someone has tinkered with the stunt features at Dark Mountain, Adams said. Riders are urged to exercise caution and inspect the layout of stunt features before attempting them.
Individuals modifying or relocating stunts aren't only creating a dangerous situation for hapless riders, they're also breaking the law.
"Modification and relocation of stunts is prohibited at the trail system unless approval is received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," Adams said. "The Corps has charged BMCC with maintaning the trails to include any stunts, trail modifications and expansion. Therefore please contact BMCC as well." Adams
and BMCC trail construction coordinator Jim Horton
are the two BMCC officers in charge of trail building and maintenance.
BMCC Club News for July 2008
BMCC will help fund Bridgette McLean’s trip to the USAC U23 & Elite Road National Championships August 6 – 10, 2008 in Orange County, CA. Bridgette will compete in road, TT and crit races. BMCC members voted July 9th to donate $500 from the proceeds of the 2008 RAW.
BMCC cleared about $1,300 from the 2008 RAW. Participation was down from 2007. The event will return to the first Saturday in May for 2009. The local Safe Kids organization will continue to stage the Seth Teague Memorial Bicycle Rodeo at same time as the RAW. Lisa Watkins has volunteered to organize a family friendly kid’s ride for ‘09.
A record number of riders gutted it out in the BURN 24 Hour Challenge this year. The club received $1,200 in donations to replace the Ditch Witch destroyed by fire earlier this year. The club has also received a $3000 donation from 55Nine & Eddie O’Dea from race proceeds. The funds will be devoted to trail development at Kerr Scott.
Trail development continues at Kerr Scott with new trail being added at Warrior Creek weekly. BMCC President Jason Bumgarner emphasized the need to document all volunteer hours. The club voted to purchase an IMBA-sponsored liability insurance policy for trail work volunteers.
BMCC is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on plans to develop the Dark Mountain trail head. Tentative plans include installation of signage, changing areas, additional parking and the eventual addition of power and water. Club delegates will meet with members of the Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority Aug. 26 to discuss the project.
Jim Horton has produced a great looking new Kerr Scott trail map in cooperation with USACE, Friends of the Lake and the Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority.
The Appalachian State mountain biking team will host its home MTB race Labor Day weekend at Kerr Scott. Racing will be offered in four disciplines: XC, DS, DH, ST.
BMCC Events: Something for Everyone in 2008
BMCC will stage a full roster of mountain and road events in 2008. Mark your calendar and plan to join us for these exciting events:
BURN 24 Hour Challenge
, May 24-25. This round-the-clock mountain bike race returns to Dark Mountain for the fifth consecutive year.
---the Rides Around Wilkes road cycling event---has a new date, Sat., June 6th. The 15th annual RAW will coincide with the Seth Teague Memorial Bike Rodeo at West Park. RMS chip timing and team competition return for 2008.
Hurt, Pain & Agony
, July 26th. This American Cancer Society benefit ride will offer a commemorative jersey this year. Ride director Matt Daye may make this ride even more agonizing in 2008…stay tuned.
King of the Lake
mountain bike race series…May 2-3, July 12-13, Oct. 15-16. King of the Lake will be three weekend-long NORBA-sanctioned mountain biking events combining Super D, Dual Slalom and time trial competitions.
Rollin' Round the River Ride
, September 20th. RRRR offers 20 and 50 mile route options with rest stops at living history sites in the scenic upper Yadkin valley.
BMCC needs you: Trail builders sought to expand Kerr Scott system
Luna Cycles in Lenoir latest shop to join members-only discount plan
Join BMCC and save big at bike shops across the area
BMCC members can also get a 20% discount on mountain, road, triathlon, cyclocross and touring frames and forks from Lynskey Performance Designs
. If that name sounds familiar, it should...these are the folks who brought the world those oh-so-popular "lite" and "speedy" titanium bikes before they sold the company in 1999. Now they're back in the business, making custom titanium frames in Tennessee.
Show your BMCC membership card and save at all these BMCC partners:
on bicycle accessories at Cooks
, West Park in North Wilkesboro
on all accessories except Yakima products at Magic Cycles
on clothing and accessory purchases at Paceline Bicycles
in Winston-Salem. The BMCC discount at Paceline does not apply to bicycles, components or parts.
BMCC to help map Wilkes road cycling routes
The Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club will help area planners map a network of road cycling routes in Wilkes County.
BMCC members Brian Pierce, Lazaro Holguin, Jim Horton and Tim Murphy met with Wilkes County planner Eddie Barnes and officials from the High Country Council of Governments (HCCOG) in November 2006 to discuss the project. At the meeting, BMCC agreed to develop a list of suggested road cycling routes. Tim Murphy is in charge of compiling the club's route suggestions.
Some counties in N.C. already have signed and mapped cycling routes, developed with the assistance of the state Department of Transportation. A request for assistance from NCDOT has recently been added to the area's Transportation Improvement Plan, but officials here say it could be up to ten years before NCDOT gets to the request. Seventeen N.C. counties are ahead of Wilkes in line, and NCDOT typically completes only a few plans per year.
Rather than wait, Wilkes County plans to develop its own network of road cycling routes and get NCDOT to adopt it. The process includes the follwing steps:
BMCC developed a list of 14 possible road cycling routes.
HCCOG transportation planner Craig Hughes will evaluate the routes. Considerations include safety, connectivity to tourist attractions, and availability of parking and restroom facilities at start/finish sites.
After routes are approved by HCCOG, Barnes will seek approval from the local county commission.
Once the routes are approved and funding is provided, signs will be posted along the routes and a Wilkes County cycling map will be produced.
BMCC will post the routes on the club website as soon as they are approved.
Routes are envisioned for all sections of the county. In preliminary discussions, possible routes were discussed for the following areas:
Rendezvous Mountain Educational State Forest
W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir
WRMC Wellness Center/Yadkin River Greenway
Not all routes will qualify for inclusion in the plan, said Phil Trew of HCCOG. Here are some of the criteria that will be used to evaluate the routes:
Safety, including pavement conditions, traffic counts and population densities along the route
Connectivity to to tourist destinations (W. Kerr Scott Dam, old Wilkesboro, Yadkin River Greenway, Stone Mountain, Rendezvous Mountain, etc.)
Availability of public parking and restrooms at the start/finish site.
Routes can be loops or out-and-backs.
Routes must be completely within Wilkes County.
Paved roads are preferred. (NCDOT will not include unpaved roads in its official plan.)
Most routes will be 15-40 miles long. Some shorter and easier routes are also needed.
Cycling News Around the USA
U.S. road cycling deaths on the rise
League of American Bicyclists press release
The recent release of the 2005 annual assessment of motor vehicle crashes highlights an alarming trend. Bicyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes increased by 7.8 percent in 2004, and fatalities have increased more than 20 percent since 2003. Too many of our street designs and vehicle improvements have made it far too easy for drivers to speed and there are many more distractions to driving than ever before. Highway users who are not in cars are increasingly paying the price. The fact that injuries and fatalities increased in every non-occupant related category clearly demonstrates the need for Congress to pass “Complete Streets” Legislation to ensure that state departments of transportation are fully considering all users when constructing transportation facilities. Click here
to see the League's letter to NHTSA. To see the NHTSA report yourself, click here
IMBA working to expand National Park biking options
International Mountain Bicycling Association press release
If you've ever tried to enjoy a National Park by mountain bike, chances are you've been disappointed. With some notable exceptions, America's premier park system is closed to off-road riding.
That's going to change with a new five-year agreement just signed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the National Park Service. For the first time, National Park Service leaders in Washington, D.C., have formally recognized mountain biking as a positive activity, compatible with the values of our National Park system.
A benefit to millions of bicyclists is the potential opportunity for new access to hundreds of dirt roads in National Park units that have been closed to bicycling. While National Park Service rules require a lengthy process to open singletrack to bicycle use, appropriate dirt roads may be opened with a more straightforward administrative
"This agreement represents a true breakthrough for mountain biking," said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. "It opens the door for individual park units to partner with mountain bikers and investigate new riding opportunities on a case-by-case basis."
"The National Park Service is committed to increasing public awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities in the national park system that promote health and fitness," said Karen Taylor-Goodrich, the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection."And mountain bicycling in authorized areas can be an excellent way to enjoy America's outdoor heritage in a manner that is compatible with resource protection."
As part of the agreement, IMBA and the Park Service will initially partner on two pilot projects to be selected later this year. The projects will bring mountain bikers and park officials together for on-the-ground teamwork and serve as models for future collaboration.
Additionally, IMBA will provide technical and volunteer assistance to National Park units that are interested in improving their off-road cycling opportunities. IMBA programs such as the National Mountain Bike Patrol, Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew and the IMBA club network can now apply their stewardship skills to our National Parks.
Mountain biking can be a solution to many challenges facing National Parks today. Bicycling gets people out of their cars; away from congested roads, parking lots and trailheads; and out into the fresh air. Mountain biking can also encourage more active exploration of parks and counter the societal trend toward obesity.
So what does the future hold? While mountain bikers shouldn't expect a revolution of new singletrack in National Parks, the partnership signals an encouraging direction for the future. With enhanced communication and cooperation between IMBA and the National Park Service, mountain bikers can anticipate that cycling opportunities in National Park units will continue to improve.
The National Park Service manages 384 parks, monuments, battlefields, buildings and recreation areas and more than 80 million acres of U.S. public land. In 2004, National Parks hosted more than 276 million visitors.
About IMBA: Founded in 1988, the International Mountain Bicycling Association is a nonprofit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide by
encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trailwork, cooperation among different trail user groups and innovative trail management solutions. IMBA's worldwide network is comprised of individual members, bicycle clubs, corporate partners and bicycle retailers.
New transportation bill could transform America's biking landscape
League of American Bicyclists press release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than $3 billion in federally approved funding will potentially transform America's biking landscape over the next five years, the League of American Bicyclists reports.
With the new transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, approved by Congress in August 2005, bicycling advocacy organizations across the USA are celebrating a huge success.
"The billions of dollars Congress has made available in this bill to improve bicycling and pedestrian access represents a clear victory for Americans," said Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. "Funding a new Safe Routes to School program not only improves safety and reduces congestion, but it is also an important part of the fight against childhood obesity."
The $612 million carved out for the development and implementation of a Safe Routes to School program is an enormous achievement. The program will target primary and middle schools and will focus on offering children alternative ways to get to school safely. In addition to the new Safe Routes to School program, core funding for transportation enhancements, congestion mitigation and recreational trails was preserved, and in some cases increased.
The bicycling and pedestrian successes in SAFETEA-LU are due to the remarkable unity and dedication of the bicycling movement during negotiations, LAB said. America Bikes, a coalition of organizations representing the more than 50 million Americans who bicycle, set an agenda early and stuck by it throughout the three years of negotiations. The bicycle industry, through its Bikes Belong campaign, underwrote the campaign.
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. The League works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million cyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates.
Parkway vistas preserved, thanks to Conservation Trust of N.C.
At milepost 270.2, near E.B. Jeffress Park and the Cascades Overlook, a 124-acre parcel of land has been purchased by CTNC and will be donated to the National Park Service for inclusion in Parkway lands.
"The purchase of this property is important because it adjoins two other tracts CTNC previously protected, forming over a mile of protected Parkway views," said Reid Wilson, CTNC's executive director. "The eventual addition of this property to the Blue Ridge Parkway will give the National Park Service the option of adding to existing hiking trails that start at Jeffress Park and the Cascades Overlook."
The property near the Cascades is relatively flat, making it highly desirable to developers. "We knew we had to move fast," said Ed Norvell, CTNC's legal counsel. "The property's spectacular views and connection to other protected properties made it an immediate priority."
Meanwhile, up the Parkway at milepost 223, CTNC has acquired Saddle Mountain, a local landmark, and a nearby property known as Saddle Mountain Vista. BMCC's Hurt, Pain & Agony Metric Century route passes through this area.
The 251-acre Saddle Mountain tract will become part of a 463-acre N.C. Natural Area open to the public for low impact uses, such as hiking, bird watching, photography and nature study. The tract adjoins the Saddle Mountain Wilderness Area, 4,527 acres already protected by the Piedmont Land Conservancy.
The 201-acre Saddle Mountain Vista tract will be donated to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Order your N.C. Share the Road license plate now
NCDOT press release
On July 11, 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly ratified House Bill 85, which created a special license plate for bicyclists and their friends known as the "Share the Road" license plate (pictured above). This specialized plate will have the “Share the Road”
sign featured as a logo on the left side of the standard “First in Flight” NC license plate. Before the Division of Motor Vehicles will begin manufacturing these plates, the NCDOT, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation will need applications and fees for 300 plates. Added to the normal cost of automobile registration ($20 or $25), the specialized plate will cost an additional $30, or $60 if a personalized plate is desired.
The Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation (DBPT) will receive $20 per plate for bicycle education and safety initiatives. “We are very excited about this new way to support our bicycling community,” said Tom Norman, Director of DBPT. “This license plate gives both motorists and bicyclists the opportunity to promote highway safety and highlight the importance of sharing the road. With approximately four million North Carolinians owning a bicycle, it has become increasingly important for cyclists and motorists to understand the rules and responsibilities of the road. Also, we will be able to expand our program to distribute bicycle helmets to disadvantaged children through local bicycle safety programs.”
The Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation must collect 300 completed applications, before the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will begin production. Eac
h license application must be accompanied by a $30 check or money order. Applications submitted now will be eligible, on a first come basis, for the lowest plate numbers. At the time of your next regular registration renewal, DMV will collect the additional plate fee for your “Share the Road” license plate, as well as, the customary automobile registration fee. For an extra fee, “Share the Road” plates can be personalized with up to four letter/number characters. The plate will have a registration sticker expiring on the same month as the existing plate.
For more information or to request an application, call (919) 733-2804.
Send applications with a check or money order to:
Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation
1552 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1552
2008 cycling events from across the state - all in one place
NCDOT press release
There's a great North Carolina bike ride waiting for you. Whether you'd like a weekend ride or a week-long tour, a relaxing pace or a challenging competition, a small group or a large group, you'll find it on the 2008 NCDOT Calendar of Bicycling Events
, available now online. With more than a hundred annual events in communities throughout the state of North Carolina, there is something for everyone. You'll want to check back often, because more events are added weekly as information rolls in. So it's time to tune up your bike, pick out a ride and join your friends for the best of North Carolina...by bike!
Local Special Olympics cyclists shine in state competition
Wilkes County Special Olympians brought back gold from cycling competitions at the North Carolina Special Olympics 2003 Fall Games.
Chris Clarida of Moravian Falls, a World Games Gold Medalist, won a gold medal in the 25 km road race. Chris scored silver medals in the 40 km road race and 1 km time trial. He also placed fourth in the 5 km road race.
Teammate Tanya Moore of Millers Creek grabbed a gold medal for her performance in the 15 km road race. She snagged silver in the 1 km time trial and the 10 km road race.
BMCC congratulates these outstanding young cyclists! BMCC's annual Rollin' Round the River Ride
is a major source of financial support for the Wilkes County Special Olympics program.
New website on High Country road cycling has it all
Bicycling magazine calls the cycling in the Blue Ridge High Country "simply some of the best road riding in the world." Lance Armstrong chose the area as the location for his "comeback from cancer" training camp. Now there's a new website to help riders plan road cycling trips to the Blue Ridge High Country: http://blueridgebiking.tripod.com
(note: no www. prefix
Up to the minute High Country weather
Links to all our area's 2008 road cycling events
, including Blood, Sweat and Gears, the Blue Ridge Brutal 100, the Bridge-to-Bridge Incredible Challenge and BMCC's own Rides Around Wilkes, Hurt Pain & Agony and Rollin' Round the River events
to area bike shops, rider forums and attractions
The riders in the website's photos should look familiar; they're BMCC members who participated in the club's High Country road ride series during 2002.
The website is a companion to the book "Road Cycling the Blue Ridge High Country".
"Road Cycling the Blue Ridge High Country" features more than 800 miles of road cycling routes, with cues, maps, elevation profiles, photos, route descriptions, and information about roadside attractions and outdoor options along the routes. Rides in the book range from short, flat "leg stretchers" to epic rides up to 6,630 feet in elevation. "Road Cycling the Blue Ridge High Country" has rides for everyone from families looking for a leisurely spin to extreme cyclists looking to test their limits against Eastern America's highest mountains. It's available now at Cooks, Boone Bike and Touring and from internet booksellers like Amazon.com
Lance Armstrong was blown away by the "beautiful, peaceful, soulful mountains" of the Blue Ridge High Country. Bookmark http://blueridgebiking.tripod.com
and use it to plan your next High Country cycling getaway.