Browse Category by Advocacy

This has to do with city infrastructure, city planning, laws, and those that do what they can to make a place for bikes on our roadways.

29+, Advocacy, Alaska, Bicycle, Cordova, fat bike, Mountain Biking

Trail Talk: McKinley Trail ride

Another day, another trail that needs some TLC. McKinley trail has some of the best potential in the area for a good MTB trail, even as a loop- as it connects with the Pipeline Lakes Trail to the west. Who knows- there could be a possibility to extend the trail up to McKinley peak, or at the very least to the 610′ knob to the NE of the lake. A trail does already extend beyond the McKinley Lake cabin, up to the Historic Lucky Strike Mine- but its mostly a creek and needs some serious attention.

Though not designated as a MTB trail it’s (mostly) rideable, full of really fun sections that are linked by sections needing quite a bit of work. Much of the trail has turned into a narrow & deep rut full of very slippery roots and log waterbars. Pedaling in these sections is difficult or impossible. In it’s current state most wouldn’t consider it suitable for bikes. Though I’ve talked to a couple people about riding it, I have never seen anyone else on a bike while on it. It showcases many examples of why a trail SHOULDN’T be built a certain way in the rainforest. Much of the trail has become a creek, and there standing water (mud) in many places. A good indicator that a trail needs some revamping is when new trails are made. Hikers are blazing new trails to avoid mud pits and bogs as well as slippery stairs and rooty sections like that below.

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That’s one hell of a way to sell one of my favorite trails in this area isn’t it? All that said- a lot of the trail has been hardened with rock and literally TONS of gravel have been brought in to make a solid trail. These sections have good drainage and are a lot of fun to ride. There doesn’t seem to be any good reason why the whole trail isn’t built in this way. It would make for a super great flowy trail. The USFS is currently in the process of replacing the old “corduroy” with bridges and new sections of trail for safety in some areas and to protect the old trail built for mining in the early 1900’s. After one of their first bridges was installed I spoke with the local USFS trail coordinator about how a taller bridge required dismounting the bike and that kinda sucked. In riding yesterday I saw a couple new bridges- slightly wider and low enough to ride over without having to get off the bike to get on the bridge. Well done.

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Relive ‘McKinley Trail’

When the trail was originally built I’m sure the stairs and waterbars worked fine- but it’s time to revisit the techniques used and while that’s happening it seems like a good idea to expand the opportunity for other non-motorized users groups.

I’m curious how many folks out there are riding in Cordova and what trails they think have potential to become a flagship trail for mountain biking in our National Forest. Where do YOU ride in Cordova?

A link to the trail on GaiaGPS can be found HERE.

 

29+, Advocacy, Alaska, fat bike, Mountain Biking

Cordova Cycling Coalition is a thing

Last week was a big week for cycling in Cordova. There was meeting for the brand new “Cordova Cycling Coalition” as well as the PTA Bike Rodeo! That may not seem like a lot to some of the big city dwellers, but for Cordova it’s a pretty big deal. Our little fishing village has limited options for cyclists. You’ve got to be an adventurer, making the most of our limited bicycle infrastructure. Many kids here start on push bikes, graduate to a bmx and move onto a motorcycle or 4-wheeler as soon as they can. We’re a town predominately propelled by petroleum but let’s face it, most of the United States is. So I’m glad we have opportunities, as infrequent as they are, to celebrate the bicycle and get people riding.

20180414_103834Turning wrenches at the PTA Bike Rodeo, Cordova.

Many communities base their cycling effort on commuters. As an example, 3.4% of commuters in Seattle use a bicycle to get to work or school (2014.) Their smug neighbor to the south (Portland, OR) ranks number one in the US with 7.2% (2016.) The national average is way down there at 0.5%. That means if 11 or so people commute by bike in Cordova, we’re right on the national average. I think many here in Cordova would agree that the largest barrier to cycling here is the weather. It can be shitty. Shitty on a level that few people that don’t live here could understand. So shitty that it can be dangerous. Biblical amounts of rainfall, high winds, heavy snow… shitty.

When I moved to Cordova I was a proud non-driver. I was living in Austin, TX working as a bike messenger. I hadn’t owned a car in 8 years and didn’t see any reason to… but Cordova had other plans for me. After a year, I bought a 4Runner. Things I took for granted living in the city like public transportation, pleasant riding weather, and proximity to trails; I no longer had. Cordova requires a little more independence. There aren’t droves of people parked at the trailhead out mountain biking. If I wanted to ride, I went by myself. No big deal really. I’ve been playing with myself most of my life. 

Though access might not be as easy as in a larger community, Cordova does have quite a few opportunities for those that want to get out and explore on two wheels. We’re home to about 20 miles of paved roads, plus quite a few gravel USFS roads, trails and easements, as well as old logging roads and trails that are infrequently used (and free to access if you have a permit from the native corporation.) The hardest part about riding those trails, is knowing where they are. I started mapping them on my own, and then through some friends that run a guide outfit in Oregon, found out about the GaiaGPS app. There is a pretty badass layer you can put on the maps called “USFS Classic” which as far as I can tell, contains all of the logging roads in Prince William Sound. Pretty damn handy if you’re looking to ride on the Copper River Delta, especially if you’d like to incorporate some loop trails.

Many of the USFS trails contain what they call “Step & Run” trail building techniques- which consist of pressure treated wood stacked on top of each other as stairs- not great for walking and near impossible to ride. It is an effective technique to put in miles of trail on the cheap, but it’s kinda shitty if you want to ride a bike around this beautiful area. Some of the best riding that I’ve found is on this old system of logging roads from when the Native Corp was logging here in the early 1990’s.

Below is the Stuck Lake-Boulder Alley Loop trail. If you look just north of where the red route is, you can see the jumbled little wad of logging roads. That is a hill that the kids in town call “The lookout” and I can see a lot of potential to ride up the hill and make some sweet singletrack down. 
Stuck Lake Boulder Alley loop

Here is a fun little ditty that I put together from the ride. Pro tip: check the wind when you go out there. If you ride it clockwise, the wind won’t suck so bad if it’s blowing easterly. Riding Against The Wind is for Bob Seger songs.

Relive ‘Lunch Ride’

We’ll see what happens with the Cordova Cycling Coalition, but I hope it keeps some steam and maybe, just maybe, we can get Cordova on the map as a cycling destination.

Advocacy, Bicycle, Seattle, Washington

Ales for Trails in Seattle!

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This Thursday in Seattle, you should go drink beers at Brouwer’s in support of Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and the building of more trails in the Northwest.

They will have beer from Oskar Blues BreweryGoodLife BrewingNew Belgium Brewing and Fremont Brewing Company, and Hopworks Urban Brewery nand all proceeds will go directly to Evergreen for ongoing trail work. So, come meet the Evergreen folks, mingle with the beer folks, and join them in celebrating and supporting a great cause!

More info at the Brouwer’s website

Or on the Facebook page for the event.

 

 

Advocacy

Don’t forget to VOTE today

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Well today is the day to get out to vote. Of course you should ride your bike to the polls. Vote for who you vill, but please- vote. The decisions that our elected officials directly impact the infrastructure put in place to support cycling, public transit and walking in our cities. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years. Who gets voted into office with tomorrow’s election will pave the way for the transportation of the future, women’s rights, racial equality, legal marijuana, marriage equality, the list goes on.

Also, this:

Advocacy, Bicycle, Bike Porn, Events, Portland

Ruckus raffles frames to support women’s cycling

You know how dry cleaning shops have tons of clothes that never get picked up?  Apparently that happens with bikes too. Ruckus Composites, a Portland Oregon based Carbon Fiber repair business, is making use of those bikes that never get picked up- those that would otherwise end up in the dead pile. This dead pile has been accumulating since they started in 2008- and now they found something to do with them.  They’re working with local and national non profit organizations as well as grass roots cycling teams, to repair and custom paint these bikes and raffle/auction them off to raise money and awareness for causes that they believe in. The proceeds from these frames will go directly to organizations in need, the bikes will go to the lucky winners of the raffles.
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The first two frames will be raffled in support of Presented By Let’s Race Bikes (PBLRB). PBLRB is a Oregon based project dedicated to supporting and enabling elite female cyclists to compete on a national level. They are breaking down the financial barriers associated with professional cycling by offering support to female athletes through crowd sourced initiatives. PBLRB has raised money to date with support from The Athletic and Sellwood Cycles in Portland OR. We are excited to work with them and proud to support their efforts in cycling.
To enter the raffle, you can purchase tickets online here, the raffle will end on June 17th. Ruckus will announce the winners and total amount raised for PBLRB on that date. Tickets can be purchased for 25 dollars a piece, or buy 3 for 60 dollars. Tickets are tax deductible(?) and the money raised goes directly to supporting the wonderful and talented women of Presented By Let’s Race Bikes. All the details about the project can be found here.
About Ruckus Composites: Founded in 2008 by Shawn Small, Ruckus is a Portland OR based company in dedicated to all things carbon fiber. From frame repair, to custom add on’s and after market products that complement repairs and the longevity of carbon fiber bicycle frames. Now with several employees and seeing massive growth, Ruckus is the leader in Carbon Repair in the cycling industry working with direct customers, bike shops around the globe and nearly every major frame manufacturer in the industry.
Advocacy, Events, Volunteer, Washington

Sharing Wheels: Kids Bike Work Parties

Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop is a non-profit organization dedicated to “connecting unused bikes to people who need wheels.” Once a year in June kids have the opportunity to trade in their bike they have outgrown and get a bike that fits them. At the Kids Bike Swap, kids donate their old bike and receive a voucher for the value to be redeemed towards another bike Sharing Wheels has refurbished.

Sharing wheels needs the help of the community to help prepare kids bikes for the upcoming Kids Bike Swap on June 8th. To help join them at one or more of their scheduled work parties. Tools and snack provided, all skill levels of volunteers welcome.

Location: 2525 Broadway, Everett WA 98201 sw-logo-061

Upcoming work party dates:
Thursday 4/10 6-9 pm
Thursday 4/24 6-9 pm
Saturday 5/10 10-3pm
Thursday 5/22 6-9pm
Sunday 6/1 10-3 pm
Wednesday 6/4 6-9 pm

More information at the Sharing Wheels Website.

Advocacy, Film/video, Media

Dear Motorist

A touching video getting at what often is the root of the problem between motorists and cyclists, a break down in communication and a lack of understanding. What would your letter say?

Advocacy, Alaska, Bicycle, Events, GO MEANS GO events, Portland, Seattle, Washington

New Calendar

Have a bike event coming up?  Seattle, or the rest of Washington?  Oregon? Alaska? Anywhere else?  We want to help get the word out.  Let us help you put your event on blast.  Email us with the info and we’ll get it up.

Right now I see a lot of CX going on in Oregon, and Washingon- what you got? Tweed ride?- Got it.

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