Barrel Roll Trail Day

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It’s that time again. We will be doing some maintenance on the Barrel Roll Trail Sunday the 15th.

If you’ve been out to the Santa Clara River Reserve recently, then you know that it did not fair the TrueGrit epic well and is in dire need of a little love. We plan on spending a couple of hours raking out the loose rocks and eliminating the braiding that has occurred.

Wanna help?

  • Meet at the Cove Wash Trailhead (where Barrel Roll starts) at 9 AM.
  • If you have a rake, bring it.
  • Plan on being out there for about 2-3 hours.
  • Water and light refreshments will be provided.

If you have any questions, please contact lukas@dmbta.org.

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DMBTA Washington County Wrap Up 2015

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Photo by John Scarafiotti

This has been a fantastic year for mountain biking in our area, and as the DMBTA Board it’s been very rewarding coordinating this great work.  Remember, YOU are DMBTA.  Give yourself a high five.  This year started with a bang by the completion of two new trails in the Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network.  Dead Ringer and More Cowbell are a huge success thanks to the help of many people including the BLM, ACE, Team Z, OTE, and a lot of volunteers.  Dead Ringer is an intermediate flow trail with purpose built bike jumps, and More Cowbell is a much needed beginner trail with amazing vistas and easy climbs.
One my favorite memories from the past year involves finishing Dead Ringer.  The trail was built from both ends, and as chance would have it, they came together at a very difficult rock outcropping.  The ACE crew ran out of time and was not able to connect the trail segments leaving Dead ringer mostly finished except for the last few hundred feet.  The local bikers were not going to let that stand and answered the call by organizing a crew connecting the segments.  It was very hard work requiring a hammer drill and building a rock retaining wall.  Nice work guys.
All of the new trails including Goosebumps and Cryptobionic were celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony with food from Sole Foods, and prizes from OTE.  It was a great time.  The local NICA kids the Flying Monkeys were also there representing the future of mountain biking.
While we were celebrating the newly completed trails, Bill Bergeron was busy laying out the next big project.  We hope to get Wire Mesa done early this year, and it’s going to be a great trail.  It will be a fast and flowing intermediate mesa trail.  Sound Interesting?  We also partnered with the City of St. George to design a new trail on Webb Hill. The trail will be an intermediate loop that will open up the ability to easily pedal to the top. Construction started a few months ago.  Web Hill will be all volunteer built so come out and help make this trail a success.
In addition to the new construction, we hosted several maintenance days. Many of you showed up to help keep our amazing trails in tip top shape. As our trails get more recognition and use, they will also need more maintenance. 2016 will see many more trail maintenance days to keep everyone rolling with a smile.
We also organized a Trail Love trail maintenance work shop and had over forty people show up on a Friday night, and over 25 made it for the trail work Saturday.  It just shows the love and commitment all of you have to mountain biking in our area.  Lets keep this going and make 2016 an even better year.
Remember it’s all about trails. Join us!

The Green Valley Competitive Area

Utah MTB lakes developmentThe image above is the development plan for the Green Valley Competitive Area or the Green Valley Race Course, as it is commonly referred to. This is a plan that was developed and approved years ago. We’ve known that we would be losing this section of land and some of the trails in the area at some point as it has been privately owned and waiting development. Unfortunately, that time has arrived.

The red patch work areas above are slated for home construction. The corridors in between will be open space. The developers plan calls for 30% open space as dictated by the city. There will be several roads. Most notable will be Plantations Drive which will run the length of the valley and become the main access for the area. The developers are hoping to begin excavation in February starting with the northern plots. The excavation will include the construction of a road to carry material being removed and deposit it in the southern area.

The most immediate effects of the development will be a disruption of the competitive use of the area. The developer has committed to working with race promoters for the first two races of the year that happen in March. True Grit and the Red Rock Rampage will be held as normal this year.

Races held later in the year will not be able to use the Green Valley Competitive Area due to the construction.

Immediate access for casual trail users could be effected but should be maintained throughout the process. The open space designated in the development plan is strategically placed to maintain trail access. The developers are touting the trail system as part of their sales pitch making it in their own best interest to maintain as many trails as possible while still selling plots for homes.

The DMBTA is actively working with the developers to ensure that access is maintained and to work with the BLM to realign any trails that are lost to maintain the integrity of the trail network. While their may be some short term loss of trail, we are confident that the overall trail experience will be improved. The development will limit motorized access and we have verbal commitment that the trails will be signed and have trailheads once construction is complete.

The biggest casualty is the loss of the bottom of the valley. The area has been used as a giant staging area for most of the races in the area and most notably for the NICA State Championships which have been the biggest mountain bike event in Utah. We are currently working with the BLM and Washington County to find a new location that can provide the staging and a race course to replace the Green Valley Competitive Area.

This is an ongoing process and we will keep you updated as things progress.

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The RMP: Everything you need to know

The BLM has released its Draft Resource Management Plan. This is big because it’s one step closer to the release of the TMP (Travel Management Plan) which will happen once the public comment period (Ending October 15th) has been closed and all decisions have been made. The RMP is important for us as mountain bikers because it is the broad strokes of what will be the end product of land use management in Washington County.

Since its release, I have been bombarded with questions from people worried about what the RMP means for public land access. As these questions turned into conversations, I have found there are many misconceptions at what the draft is saying, what it means for the public and how to go about influencing the end decision. So let’s start by clearing up some misunderstandings.

  1. There is no land grab. The land in question is already controlled by the BLM. The RMP is strictly the proposal for how the BLM will be managing that land. No land is changing hands.
  2. The BLM is not taking land away from the St. George Field Office. The St. George Field Office is the BLM. They are the ones that conducted the studies, mapped all of the existing routes in the county and created the four alternatives.
  3. No part of the RMP will negatively affect mountain biking. There is some language that on the outside can look suspicious, but I’ll explain that in depth below. There is actually a decision within the draft that states that the BLM is looking to create a world class non-motorized trail network. That’s us. We get more trails.
  4. There is no part of the RMP that will completely eliminate public access. I have heard this multiple times, especially in regards to Bull Valley, it’s simply not true.

Now that we have the myths out of the way, let’s talk about the stuff that really matters.

First, the RMP is a draft. The county is broken into different sections and each section is given four alternatives Alternative A leaves the land management the same meaning that there is no change. Yes, you read that correctly. This means that if Alternative A is chosen, nothing will change. Alternatives B, C and D all have varying levels of conservation versus access. Alternative B is the St. George Field Office’s preferred alternative as it is a good compromise between allowing access and recreation while conserving the beauty and natural resources of the area.

To influence the BLM’s decision regarding which alternative to implement, public comments will be accepted until October 15th (yes, that means you only have two days left). To voice your opinion, go here.

As far as mountain biking trails are concerned, the Resource Management Plan sets the stage for the release of the Travel Management Plan. The TMP will be the determining factor as to how many new trails we get in the next few years. The best alternatives for mtb trails will be based on the BLM implementing Alternative B for the RMP. This will set the stage for the possibility of constructing over 200 miles of new singletrack.

Yup, you should go comment now.

The one area that I am consistently getting questioned about is Bull Valley. Within the Plan there is some language that on the surface would appear that the RMP would be restricting mountain biking in this area. The last RMP had designated this area as a Mountain Biking Area which essentially required the BLM to treat mountain biking trails in the area the same as the do for OHV access.  This means that within those areas mountain bikers were considered more closely to motorized travel than non-motorized. Of course, mountain bikes are non-motorized so this opens up more possibilities for us.

There are currently no mountain bike trails within the Bull Valley area and we have not proposed any. However, none of the alternatives in the RMP would block us from doing so in the future.

To sum things up, the RMP is good for us as it sets the stage for large scale trail development in the TMP. Again, the best option for mountain biking is Alternative B as it will set us up to implementing 200+ miles of singletrack once the dust settles and the TMP is released and implemented.

We highly encourage you to read through the documents and comment. All information and links are here.

August Board Meeting

August 10 DMBTA Board Meeting Agenda

  1. Admin
    1. Insurance (10 minutes – Monte)
      1. Million dollar policy for $640
      2. Board members and members $450
    2. Subchapter Finance Reporting (5 minutes – Bonnie/Lukas)
      1. Subchapters will have own accounts
      2. Books will be reported to DMBTA book keeper quarterly
    3. Elections (10 minutes – Group)
      1. Aiden is new board member
      2. Lukas is up for another two years.
      3. Bonnie is up for another two years as treasurer.
  2. Build
    1. Wire Mesa Update (5 minutes – Kevin)
      1. On track for this
      2. Arch sites only hold up, but nothing we can’t route around
    2. Monkey Trail Day (10 minutes – Lukas/Kevin)
      1. 1 hour class followed by trail day
      2. Patrick Kell has committed to being here and teaching class
      3. Trail day on Webb Hill
      4. Back up Quail loop
      5. Tonequint School
      6. Move to second week in November
    3. Webb Hill (5 minutes – Lukas)
      1. Owned by City of St. George
      2. Waiting for MOU
      3. Could start within a week
      4. Signs numbered to help with navigation/rescue
      5. City to pay for signs
    4. SCRR (1 minute – Lukas)
      1. Ready to go
      2. Motorized could be an issue
      3. Great back up if Wire Mesa stalls
      4. Good venue when Green Valley goes away
    5. Cedar City Update (TBD)
      1. Thunderbird Gardens is built – needs touch up
      2. Parking lot has been graded
      3. Road graded
      4. Needs trailhead
      5. IMBA to be here 20th – 22nd
    6. Kanab Update (5 minutes – Chris)
      1. Joey Klein came in to do master plan for the area
      2. Public input
      3. Scouting
      4. Final master plan to be finalized soon
      5. 40-70 miles of trail
      6. Won’t be easy
      7. Cliffs and sand
    7. Trail building machine
      1. To bring in flow trail

 

  1. Maintain
    1. Trail Stewards (10 minutes – Lukas)
      1. ACE Trail Training Day
      2. Flying Monkeys Trail Day
      3. Nominations of possible leaders
    2. Maintenance by Federal Agencies (5 minutes – Kevin)
      1. Where is the funding coming from for maintenance
      2. Fed paid trail crews in certain areas
      3. As use goes up, maintenance will most likely exceed our abilities
      4. Raffle to get to paint Goose
    3. Monthly trail days (5 minutes – Group)
      1. Kevin and Monte to do a few
      2. Goose dots
  2. Ride
    1. Festivals/DMBTA movie night
      1. Rampage
      2. Quarterly social event
      3. Coasters
      4. Georgefest – sell t-shirts
      5. Camp Lynda
    2. T-shirts Sales
      1. Inventory Update (1 minute – Bonnie) 5 wmns left
        1. 5 wmns left
        2. A lot of smalls left in the mens
      2. Current budget update (2 minutes – Bonnie)

 

  1. Monthly Group Rides (5 minutes – Group)
  2. Stickers

 

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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