New Trails: Dead Ringer and More Cow Bell

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The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association in conjunction with the BLM (and some serious volunteer help) was able to get two new trails constructed in the Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network.

There were two objectives that we wanted to accomplish with the construction of these trails. First, we wanted to address the issue of getting to the Upper JEM Trailhead. Up until now, one had to ride the big loop (Goulds, Hurricane Rim or some variation) or pedal up the heavily trafficked Sheep Bridge Road. Second, there is a need for easy trails in Southern Utah. We here the request from many getting into mountain biking and even more from folks who would like to introduce friends and families to the sport, but don’t feel comfortable taking them on many of our other trails.

Our first objective was accomplished with Dead Ringer. Dead Ringer travels from the JEM up to the Upper JEM Trailhead via a bench cut trail that maintains a consistently mellow grade. This means that you can climb back to the trailhead easily and completely on singletrack. This trail also adds a beginner level way to get down from the trailhead as it avoids all of the drops and with the easy grade, does not have any of the technical challenges that the Upper JEM does.

And then there’s More Cow Bell. As Kevin Christopherson, Quentin Morrisette and Bill Bergeron, amongst a few others, began to walk the area and find the exact course for the trail they found a way to incorporate a beginner loop without dropping off of the mesa. More Cow Bell is that loop. Coming off of Dead Ringer, it follows the rim offering splendid views and then loops back on itself or connects back to the JEM right above the JEM Drop. There is very little elevation change, but what is there is nicely utilized to create a fun, fast trail that would be great for beginners.

Below is a map of the currently constructed trails.

DeadRinger and MCB MapWhat you are looking at… The upper dot (in the map, this is lower in elevation on the trail) is the junction of JEM, Goosebumps and Dead Ringer. The lower dot is the junction of Dead Ringer and More Cow Bell. More Cow Bell is the inner loop. The line on the right is the JEM. The line coming in from 59 is the dirt road the tees with JEM to the right and Dead Ringer to the left. Map courtesy of Red Rock Bicycle.

Construction of these trails would not have happened this fall without the countless hours of volunteer work put in by DMBTA board members and our local trail experts. Kevin Christopherson, DMBTA board member, wrote the EA that was reviewed and accepted by the BLM. Having Kevin write the EA sped the process up for building this trail by a year.

The original lines drawn on paper were put there by Quentin and DJ Morisette of Over the Edge in Hurricane. Both helped with flagging and design of the exact alignment spending hours tying ribbons to bushes and putting pin flags in the ground. Bill Bergeron put in countless hours working and reworking the route. Bill was also instrumental in the design of Goosebumps and Cryptobionic from last year.

The BLM provided the bulk of the manual labor paying for the ACE crew to come in and construct the majority of the trail. With the amount of rock work and bench cutting that was needed for Dead Ringer, they weren’t able to quite get the entire trail finished.

As you can see from the above photos, a few locals went out and did the back breaking work that was left to finish the trail. Without Bill Bergeron, Brian Herreweyers, Fred and Regina Pagles this trail would still not be finished. We are lucky in Southern Utah to have such passionate and willing individuals in the mountain biking community.

Luckily, we have some great new trails but we aren’t finished yet. There is a section ready for construction and the ACE crew will be returning in the next few weeks to put in about 4 more miles.

With this project wrapping up, we have already moved on to our next one. With the amount of work and time that these trails take to build, we can use all the help we can get. Join up here, http://dmbta.org/join/membership/.

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St. George City Bike Park – Update

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The Dixie Mountain Bike Trail Association began working with the City of St. George almost nine months ago with the objective of bringing a mountain bike skills park to Southern Utah. With an incredible amount of help from Assistant City Manager Marc Mortenson, meetings were held and slowly the key decision makers caught the vision and value of such a facility in St. George. This left funding as the biggest obstacle.

This past November the Recreation Arts and Parks Tax was on the ballet for Washington County. We made known at that time via our Facebook page that if passed, this tax would fund the construction of the bike park. It was close, but the measure was successful. With the passage of the RAP Tax, the obstacle of money has been overcome.

The city has identified six locations that they feel would work for a bike park based on infrastructure, needed acreage and proximity to the population base. The next step in the process is identifying the best location for the park.

This past week, we spent some time viewing one of the sites off of Sunset Boulevard. It has the needed grades, the size, is located within the city limits and is designated as open space for recreational use. There is also enough acreage that a bike park and some beginner singletrack could be built to compliment the skills park.

We’re excited about the prospects of getting a place for people to develop the skills they need to ride the more difficult trails in the area. We will be working hard to ensure that this project makes it to fruition and promise to keep you all in the loop as thing progress.

More pics of this site.

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November News

It’s November and I’m sunburned. I have to admit that is not a complaint as much as it is me bragging about how much time I’ve been “forced” to spend outside the last few weeks. Apparently spending 2-4 hours in the sun, even in November can make you glow, even if it is just a little bit.

If you follow us on Facebook (and if you don’t you should), you’ve seen pictures of pink ribbons strung throughout the desert.

morganThe BLM asked the DMBTA for help designing the newest addition to the Hurricane Cliffs trail network. We were ecstatic to be involved. The project consists of a connector trail allowing for more loop possibilities on single track. Specifically, there will be a section that goes from the JEM, just past the Virgin River Dam road crossing, down to the bathrooms. Across Sheep Bridge Road, there is another section that heads toward the mesa. Once at the fence, it will split. The trail to the right will take you back to the JEM. Head left and it will drop you onto the unnamed single track by the water tanks.

As this project has evolved, we’ve become more and more excited about it. We were able to get local trail building legend Morgan Harris to lend his time on a section and parts have been described by the BLM’s Dave Kiel as “instant classic.” We are confident everyone will enjoy the new trails.

This trail will have a few sections where there are A and B lines. This means there will be sections that are more difficult and have some possibility for a whoa factor, but no one will be forced to walk as there will be a B or flat liner around every one of these features. The trail is designed with all level of riders in mind.

I think we can all agree new single track is what it’s all about. Construction is scheduled to start this week.

The DMBTA also has some trail maintenance scheduled for this weekend. We will be trimming the corridor on Gooseberry Mesa. This will take place this coming Sunday. Meet at the Little Creek gas station in Apple Valley at 10 am. We will carpool as needed from there.

Further details can be found on the Facebook event page.

This is just the tip of the ice berg. The DMBTA board is busy working on several upcoming projects that will keep your tires on sweet trail. If you haven’t, join our efforts here.

Build. Maintain. Ride.

 

Building, Maintaining and Riding Trails

trailtodayWith the recent changes the DMBTA has seen, we saw an opportunity to re-think and re-focus what it is we hope to achieve as an organization.

As we looked back upon the couple of years that the group has existed, we can see the rallying of the troops around the announcement and public comment period of the BLM’s Travel Management Plan. The mountain biking community came to life as soon as it was known that we could lose, or possibly gain some trails. And thus the
DMBTA were born.

Since that time we have grown, our relationship with land managers has continued to mature and we are more organized. We became a Charter Chapter of IMBA last year and with the strength of that international organization behind us, we hope to be able to make Southern Utah an even better place to ride.

In our last meeting, there were a lot of ideas thrown around about what we wanted to accomplish. In the end, everyone agreed that it comes back to trails. Without ‘em, we have no where to ride. And thus it was settled, our focus has been and will always be trails; Building, Maintaining and Riding.

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Status Up-date for the Rockville Bench Trail

The Rockville Bench is closed to bikes until the BLM Travel Plan is complete. Please honor this closure. It is the only possible hope we have of gaining access permanently in the future.

From Joe’s guide to Zion National Park

The Rockville Bench will not be opened until the travel plan is signed and complete.  In addition, there is no guarantee that the trail will be open to bikes in the final plan, or if it will even be recognized as an official trail at all. There are a variety of factors that will influence the final decision, the most notable being public comment.

The BLM has at least six months before the release of the draft travel plan for public comment. They have completed preliminary evaluation of 2,000 miles of motorized and non-motorized routes, and have roughly 200 miles remaining.

What can you do to help? Two things. 1) Keep reminding mountain bikers to stay away. We have had numerous incidents of individuals and groups violating the closure.  This does nothing but damage to the reputation of all mountain bikers. 2) Offer meaningful comments once the draft plan is released.

We will post links here of the draft, on FB and via e mail with instructions on when to comment.

Unfortunately, the Rockville Bench is a perfect example of why illegal trail building is risky and stupid. By not considering land ownership and access, this was a disaster waiting to happen. Once the Anasazi Plateau subdivision began to be developed, mountain bikers, with a misplaced sense of entitlement, continued to ride there, ignoring private property and angering the residents. This eventually resulted in the closure and the problem continues today.

The BLM realizes that every user group has individuals that make everyone else look bad. Mountain bikers, ATV riders, climbers, and motorcyclists all have similar problems. But lets try to be the shining example, not the norm.

To counter this, please remind everyone that the Rockville Bench is off-limits to bikes–then ask them to join DMBTA.

 

 

 

Spring 2013 Trail Projects

Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association invites you to join us as we build our trail volunteer capacity in Southwest Utah while improving our local trails.

The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association is a mountain biking access and trails advocacy group formed in June of 2010 in response to the BLM travel planning process. Our mission is to create, enhance and protect opportunities and experiences afforded mountain bikers in the Southwestern Utah area. DMBTA became a chapter of IMBA in June of 2012. We are working to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the BLM, and eventually the Forest Service and local municipalities to empower mountain bikers with the ability to grow the trail infrastructure once the new Travel Management Plan is approved.

We have a series of trail projects, clinics and classes planned for 2013. Over the Edge Sports will kick off the season by Presenting 3 clinics on basic trail building and maintenance techniques.

1. Dec 1 – 3:00 PM – OTE Shop Hurricane Rim – Maintenance Clinic
2. January 5 – 3:00 PM, OTE Shop Trail TBA – Maintenance Clinic
3. January 26 – 3: 00 PM – Quail Lake Trailhead – Building Clinic
4. February 9 – 3:00 PM – Quail Lake Trailhead – Building Clinic

Other Trail Projects
5. February 10 – 10am Barrel Rolls and access Trail Maintenance
6. February 23 – 10:00 AM Poppy Trail –Bloomington – Signing project
Signing on going – issues
7. March 28-30 -DMBTA + IMBA Subaru Trail Care Crew Summit, classes, trail work, discussions

JEM Drop Trail Day

The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association had a trail day on September 30th. The nasty drop on the JEM that has always been a struggle for many riders, was once again cleaned up. In addition to eliminating all the loose rocks and cleaning out the deep rut, much of the trail was armored to keep erosion from occurring again.

Over a month later and after two races on the JEM, we are happy to say the trail day was a success.

Stay tuned for future projects. We look forward to continuing to improve and expand riding opportunities here in Southern Utah.
 

BIKER/CLIMBERS JOIN FORCES

Southern Utah Bike and Climb!

JOIN US Apirl 15th at 10am at the Zen Trail Head to spend a day trading worlds with the Southern Utah Climbers. The day will start with a mountain bike ride in the Green Valley area. Depending on the number of participants and skill level we will divide and introduce the climbers to the wonderful world of mountain biking. The rides will last approx 2 hrs and then we will reconveen in moes valley for some eats and recovery and discuss ways we can join forces in land use planning,  ethics awareness, and land stewardship.

The in the afternoon us Mountain bikers will be treated to a climbing lesson

Climbing shoes are available from Desert Rat for $5.. mention SUCA

RSVP on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/303360129734089/

We are very excited that this first ever joint advocacy event is coming together