It's all about focus when you're riding your favorite trail. You focus on what line to take, how to clear the rooted section up ahead, hopping a log feature, attacking a steep uphill—or avoiding a chipmunk. But you also need to focus on a very important aspect of off-road biking: Public Relations.
Our trails are specified as "multiple use" trails, meaning, well, you can pretty much figure it out. Chances are good that you'll encounter other users who are not on bikes: hikers, dog walkers, bird watchers—dog watchers, etc. We all need to become ambassadors of our sport and welcome other users by slowing down, pulling over, saying hello, chatting for a minute or two, and generally just being friendly. In the past, off-road biking has sometimes gotten a bad rap due to "kids almost running people over," etc. We've all heard stories like that. If you walk the trails, you'll find that those stories are no longer true. Most bikers pull over, say hello, and let you pass. Off-road bikers are not disrespectful "kids" hell bent on running down anything in their path, but a responsible and socially-diverse cross section of who we are in Western New York. We just need to change a few perceptions that are stubbornly sticking to us. There's always Whiteface or Killington if you want to bomb down a trail and be in the zone without thinking of anything else. On our local trails though, it's inevitable that we'll encounter others who are moving slower than us, whether it's slower bikers or other users. We still have some ground to cover on the way to proving we care about our local trails more than anyone else.
So, on your next ride, keep in mind that you're also campaigning. You're the instigator for change and an ambassador of good will for all of us. We all represent each other when we're out there. So have good trail manners, pull over for another user, slow down, smile, say hello, shake some hands, pet a dog or two, and let people know we care about preserving trail use for everyone. A positive image in the mind of the non-biking community will help ensure off-road biking will have a place on our trails for years to come.
But of course, don't forget to nail that gnarly, rocky, rooted downhill.
See you out there!
Volunteer for a crew. That means you!
As you know, the primary mission of GROC is to provide and maintain your access to off-road cycling trails. By doing so, GROC also has created a large community of mountain bikers. This has led to the opportunity to have many different types of events both on and off the trails.
All of our events have been put on by the same small core group of volunteers, mostly members of the GROC Board of Directors. This dedicated group is also heavily involved in the vital tasks of running the organization, interfacing with land managers and running trail work parties, to the tune of thousands of volunteer hours over the years since GROC has been in existence. To continue to create and put on successful events, we really need others to step up.
The purpose of this letter is to ask each of you about your interest in having events, what types of events you would like to see, and whether you would be willing to help plan and run events. Please follow the link below and take a very brief questionnaire. We appreciate your input!
Presented by Park Ave Bike Shop, in cooperation with the GROC Trail Crew
WHEN: Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Tryon Park
PURPOSE: This work party will be have several projects including starting new trail.
WHAT'S ALSO DIFFERENT: To make it more fun and rewarding, GROC is having one work party at each park that will be sponsored by a bike shop. PARK AVE BIKE SHOP is generously sponsoring this event on Saturday, 7/30. So, after we finish working, we will have food and beverages for all the hungry/thirsty trail workers. And there still is lots of time for riding, too.
OTHER DETAILS: Wear long sleeves and long pants (mosquitos and ticks), eye protection, work gloves and solid shoes or boots. Bring water. Bring clippers or loppers if you are going to be on the pruning crew. Bring pick, shovel, Lamberton and Rogue hoe if you have them and you are going to work on a trail project. (No experience needed)
RSVP: We would greatly appreciate your RSVP here so that we can know how much food and drink to provide. Also, when you do respond, please indicate whether you want to prune or do a trail project.
Jonathan Brown, Mark Dunn
GROC Project Managers, Tryon Park
Love Your Trails, a Community Work Party, sponsored by Full Moon Vista, on Sunday, on June 26, at Dryer Road Park, was an absolute blow up in terms of attendance, results and fun. Thanks to all who made it happen, the sponsors, project leaders and coordinators, and most of all, the volunteer workers. Special thanks always and forever to Brian Emelson, Town of Victor Parks Director for his support—yes, that was him pushing wheelbarrows full of crushed stone—and Jeff Rader, his crew chief, who had brought us the many materials we needed to do our projects.
In spite of stifling heat, 96 degrees, 53 trail lovers did so much to make the trails better for all of us. We sent out a large crew to do pruning to clear the overgrowth along the trails. Included in that group were 7 members of Pittsford Mountain Biking Club, proudly wearing their jerseys—looking great, guys! We had 4 crews working on vital trail projects: building 2 new, super-smooth grade reversals on VHT trail, adding 6 pavers to solve a tricky problem spot on Tree Beard, creating rock gardens in place of cut throughs on Ziggy’s, major de-berming and sand removal on multiple trails including Owl’s Maze, and building up grade reversals on Kasha.
Then, they all came back to the parking lot, where GROC and Full Moon Vista had set up their tents, rocked out sweet tunes on Scott’s sound system and served a well-earned picnic lunch. They devoured grilled hot dogs, pop, chips, cookies, orange slices and even a homemade Quinoa salad.
Lots of folks still had enough in the tank—energized by lunch apparently— to ride the trails. Did I mention the heat? Who knows the humidity and heat index? Mountain bikers are amazing critters.
This was the first shop-sponsored work party. We look forward to having 3 more this season – see below for details!
GROC Project Manager at DRP
Love Your Trails Community Work Party Series: