Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow and Manzanita

In the past few days, I've spent hours clearing manzanita that hung across local trails. As is often the case after a big winter storm in Nevada County, heavy snow pushed these brushes down so they block the singletrack. As of now, there is a LOT of these downed brushes in our area.

I worked using large Fiskar loppers, but you can use this smaller 15" model which fit in your Camelbak and weigh next to nothing.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Land Trust Trails

The Nevada County Land Trust has created an interactive map that describes trails and trail projects they are working on. Great stuff. In my experience, it always pays to make maps of these projects public, as it gets the community excited about such efforts.

Personally, I am still awaiting a map of the Tribute Trail (a.k.a. Deer Creek Trail). Anyone know of one?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Emails Needed for Empire Mine Trail Plan

Please email your comments to State Parks regarding the proposed Osborne Hill trail plan. You can use the following letter as an example, editing it as you see fit. The deadline is December 24th.

Email address: CEQANSC at parks dot ca dot gov
Please put "Empire trails" in the subject line


Heidi West – Environmental Coordinator
California Department of Parks and Recreation
Northern Service Center
One Capitol Mall - Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Ms. West

As a local recreationist, I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Osborne Hill Trail plan for Empire Mine State Historic Park. As you know, this park offers an important trail inventory for our local community.

While I generally support the plan, I ask that you consider the following changes to it:

- User built trails currently slated for eradication should remain and become part of the park trail system. These popular trails have been used for many years and are often in excellent condition. In places where these trails have unsustainable slopes or design, State Parks should implement minor changes to achieve sustainability.

- When aggregate is used, the trail design should be such that it does not occur directly after a blind corner or sharp turn. Bicycles can lose traction in such conditions and leave the rider falling down onto sharp aggregate rock.

Thanks you for the hard work State Parks has put into this planning process. I look forward to seeing the results.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

High Grade Trail

From the Zack-Man:

"Nothin like the smell of fresh single track. December 5-7th Friday-Sunday

You are invited to come up and participate in the creation of the "High Grade Trail". This USFS trail will connect Forest City trail head with the top of Plioceen Ridge with connectors to the "Plum Valley Ditch Trail" and "Ridge Runner Trail".

Come participate in state of the art trail building techniques and check out equipment like the Groomer, Battle wagon, Bitch Witch and Max the Trail Excavator. Participate in Layout and alignment, creation of rolling dips, tactical features and finishing.

Overnight accommodations and base camp will be at the Tin Can Cabin and the Yomana House.

Contact us for more information and to RSVP.
Zachi Anderson 530 274 2388, Tin Can Cabin 530 287 3448

Directions; 17 miles N on highway 49 from Nevada City turn Right on Ridge Road. 15 miles to the left turn down 1 mile to Forest City. Tin Can Cabin- turn right in town up Main St. to end of pavement, proceed up school street till first sharp right infront of school house, park at houses. Trail work- back up pavement from town 1/8th mile to wide dirt landing on left just past powerlines. Follow ribbon and sounds of Joy. On the trail by 8-9am .

Bring your bike, trails are in great shape."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Trail Do-Over at Empire Mine

As you may have read, State Parks is planning significant trailwork in Empire Mine State Historic Park. Some trails will be eradicated, new ones will be added (including a mountain bike specific trail) and others will be re-worked. Certain sections will see additional aggregate (gravel) on the surface. Which ones you ask? Well, see for yourself:

Note - This is 5MB+ PDF download

The file shows the existing trail network, proposed network and details about the proposed work. Please take a look and send any comments to the following address by December 24th:

Heidi West – Environmental Coordinator
California Department of Parks and Recreation
Northern Service Center
One Capitol Mall - Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814

Email Address: CEQANSC at parks dot ca dot gov
(Include 'Empire Trails' on the subject line)

Fax: (916) 445-9081

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit - Recap

The IMBA Trail Care Crew visit to Nevada City was a freight train of awesome.

We had a super fun party with *amazing* food and free beer, a 40+ person trail building session that broke ground on new local singletrack, two sweet mtb rides, swag handouts, eight new BONC members, an excellent presentation on creating a better bike club and another on building the best possible trails. All during near perfect weather in late November.

View the photo album.

Thanks goes to everyone who volunteered, including:
  • Bill Haire and the Land Trust for the trailwork planning and work
  • The Sierra Express Racing team who showed up big time for the trailwork
  • Chuck Ross and Chris Thibodeau who led the Union Hill team kids as they built a sweet rock freeride feature on the new trail (see pictures)
  • Shannon Wright for everything, especially her cooking skills
  • Fred Bergman, who among other things arranged sponsorship with Auburn Bike Works (thanks ABW)
  • Dave Hughes for being the best ride sweeper ever
  • New Belgium Brewing for donation of excellent beer
  • Rich Strohl who picked up the excellent beer from Sacto
  • Jason and Anna of IMBA for sharing their incredible trail and club knowledge
  • IMBA for creating such a great program
  • And anyone else I forgot

Hope you can get out and enjoy the trails this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Trail Rundown

I thought it might be useful to describe new trail efforts in our area and my understanding of the status of each:

Diamond Arrow Trail (Rock Creek Road to the South Yuba Trail) - Passed environmental assessment, waiting Archeology and Botany assessments. No word on when we can begin turning dirt :-/

Hirschman Pond Trail (near Cement Hill Road) - Under construction, much of it is open, but needs clearing and other work.

Scott's Flat Trail (new trail near the lake) - I am meeting with NID this week on this proposed trail (see map).

Loma Rica Trail (along Brunswick Road) - Currently under construction under the auspices of Bill Haire.

Deer Creek Trail (near Nevada City) - Beginning construction, again under the auspices of Bill Haire.

Bowman Mountain Trail (near Grouse Ridge) - Flagged and cleared. Construction on hold until the snow melts this spring.

Forest City Trails (Ridge Runner, Sandusky, etc.) - See forthcoming blog post from Zachi Anderson

North Yuba Trail (west of Downieville) - This fall, SBTS is hoping to punch through the new section to near Goodyear's Bar.

This list is probably not complete and does not include current/planned re-routes of exisiting trails, such as the Pioneer Trail, Up-and-Over Trail and others. Read about Land Trust trail efforts.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanks in the Union

Fred Bergman wrote an excellent letter to the Union that appeared in today's issue. It thanks all the groups and individuals who helped out on the Pioneer trailwork day last month.

Local residents should take heed, as these volunteers helped enhance a recreational gem (the Pioneer Trail) that we all enjoy tremendously. Thank you for the acknowledgment, Fred!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Forest City Recap

Just received the following email from Zachi Anderson:

"It has been a while. A lot has happened in Forest City this year. The bridge is completed. Even better is the sweet trials section called “Pearl Necklace” adjacent to it. The Sandusky Trail has seasoned well and we have tuned up all the switchbacks so they are ridable although challenging. We just got the go ahead to begin construction on the epic 8 mile downhill (Ridge Runner and Jersey Trails) from the upper trail head all the way down to FC.

Our goal is to get as much roughed in before winter to allow it to season. We are going to start this work in earnest the next two weekends. In fact. We will be up on it for 10 days starting Halloween. Please come on up for some riding and trail play. There are some sweet sections in this new route that will roll your eyes into the brain with pleasure.
We are currently starting to work on grants for '09. Anyone who could help with that would be great.

We also are still looking for a website angel. Pour sad website just doesn’t seem to have any legs."

IMBA Itinerary

I've published a full itinerary for the IMBA Trail Care Crew visit to Nevada City. It includes:

FRIDAY 11/21

Ride (Miner's/Scott's Drop Ride) 1PM - Meet at Nevada City Hall on Spring Street.

Club Care Presentation, 7PM, 503 Sacramento Street, Nevada City - Learn about building a better mountain bike club


Trailbuilding School, 9AM to noon @ Nevada City Hall - Learn techniques for building great trails for all users

Trailwork on Deek Creek Trail - 1PM - 4PM - Meet at 16545 Champion Road, Nevada City - Help build the latest trail right outside of town!

BBQ/Potluck (location disclosed to participants) - Good times as we eat, drink and tell tale tales

SUNDAY 11/23

South Yuba Ride, 10AM - Meet at trailhead parking near South Yuba Campground.

Please register today. It is FREE.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nevada City IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit

The IMBA Trail Care Crew is visiting Nevada City, CA on November 21-23! This special event is free and will involve trail building clinics, BBQs, rides and good times. We'll help build the new Deer Creek Trail and learn a lot about building quality trails and a better bike club. We have multiple rides planned, including a South Yuba ride.

We would love to have you join us for all or any part of this event. Please register online.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Loma Rica and Forest City Trails Update

Trail builder Jon Fisher recently sent me a message that ended with the following declaration: "There are never enough trails." EXACTLY! Which is why efforts on the Loma Rica Trail and elsewhere are so inspiring.

Jon tells me that he and others are working hard on the arched bridge near the second entrance to Loma Rica Ranch. Jon re-graded it and then laid some 3/4" road base to harden the trail. Bill Haire was on the rake and laid a 30" wide trail.

Up in Forest City, Jon and others used an excavator and miniskider to rebuild the trailhead parking that they built last fall (and was since vandalized). Some rock building is needed to finish it. Plans are to build the new Ridge-Runner Trail next. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pioneer Trail is Now More Singletracky

Over the weekend, BONC joined over 100 volunteers who helped cut a new section of Pioneer Trail near Excelsior Road. Other participating groups included the Nevada County Woods Riders, Gold Country Trails Council, NU HS mountain bike team and SYRCL. The new section is fantastic. It is tight and twisty with lots of ups and downs. It will be as nice as any other section of Upper Pioneer. More needs to be done, but we'll get there soon enough!

A special commendation goes to the Woods Riders, who provided more volunteers than anyone, even though the trail is non-motorized. And of course a special thanks to Fred Bergman who helped facilitate this extraordinarily well coordinated event.

If you could not make this event, please plan on attending the IMBA Trail Care Crew weekend on 11/21 - 11/23 as we work on the new Deer Creek Trail, ride a lot and drink beer :-)

Some pictures of the Pioneer trailwork

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day - Pics

Here are some pictures from our damp but very fun Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event at Empire Mine:

As expected, turn out was modest due to the weather, but those who showed up had a great time! My daughter loved it so much, she did two rides, than rode again at home. Thank you to all who participated and donated.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

All About Cooperation

For a long time, I have preached the scripture of sharing trails and working with different user groups to expand local trail opportunities. Yesterday's Union carried a front page story that describes how three local groups are coming together for this weekend's trail construction project on the Pioneer Trail. Very inspiring.

Please consider joining us this weekend (learn more).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

BONCers and the New King Range Trail

BONCers Jim and Cathy Haagen-Smit were honored at the dedication ceremony for this new Paradise Royale Trail in the King Range. I can't wait to ride it! Read the story.

Word is that this trail offers something for every level of rider, from smooth sections, to rocky technical parts that require trials skills. I am also curious to know what building techniques volunteers used to deal with the incredible amount of rainfall the King Range gets.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day - Empire Mine

BONC will host our own Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day on Saturday, 10/4 at 9AM.

We will lead a few rides for big and little ones from Penn Gate at Empire Mine starting at 9AM. Kids five years and older are welcome, all the way up to high schoolers. We have rides for everyone, plus snacks and give-a-ways. All riders must sign a waiver form, wear a helmet and bring a bike.

Please mark your calendar. We still could use need some additional volunteers and non-cash donations. This will be a great time!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pioneer Singletrack Conversion

Please join us as we convert Pioneer fireroad into singletrack as it descends into Bear Valley:-)

October 11th from 9am till 1pm (free lunch provided at 1:30pm)
October 12th from 9am till 1pm (bring your own lunch, water)

Camping is available Friday and Saturday nights at the Diamond Creek parking area. No running water at this site. RVs and trailers are OK. Meet at the Excelsior Road at Highway 20. A short distance down this road will be our meeting place for both days. Please wear long pants and hiking/work shoes and gloves. If you would have any of the following tools would be of help to bring: loppers, pruners, shovels, steel rakes and/or McClouds.

This is a joint project with the USFS, Gold Country Trails Council, Nevada County Woods Riders and BONC, so it is *super important that we have good mountain bike representation*.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Meeting with the Horse Folk

As you can see from yesterday's post, I had a great meeting with the Gold Country Trails Council last night (view the slides). We spoke about sharing trails and unifying our efforts. The presentation was well received.

I promised attendees that I would share some of the comments equestrians made about local mountain bikers with BONC membership. These included:
  • Equestrians find that the vast majority of local mountain bikers are extremely considerate and courteous on the trail. Even if a cyclist rides inappropriately, he or she is receptive to constructive criticism from equestrians on the trail.
  • No one wants to replicate the culture of user animosity and conflict that is so dominant on Bay Area trails. We have something very special here that is worth preserving.
  • Horses are prey animals. Thus they react quickly if a hiker or cyclists suddenly appears from behind a tree. Because of this, please announce yourself, talk and make some noise when you approach a horse.
  • When riding on a trail that cuts across a slope, it is best to ride on the down side of the animal.
  • GCTC equestrians try to avoid wet trails because they leave hoof holes and such trail conditionals are stressful on the horses legs.
GCTC is working very hard on many of the USFS trails that we ride and enjoy. It is crucial that we continue to work with them and support their efforts as much as possible.

Sharing Trails

I made the following presentation to the Gold Country Trails Council last night:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Wrapping Up the Forest City Bridge

From Zachi Anderson:

"The bridge project is pretty much done. We have to attach the handrail but every thing else is now done. In the picture below you can see the pearl necklace that Jon Fisher is walking back on. It descends from the embankment above for a sweet trials run. The entrance to the pearl is 60 feet farther back up the trail with a filter at the beginning. The employed concept is that the route to the trials section has to be a clearly less traveled secondary trail (12” wide) and not the primary trail (36”wide). The filter is a technical section (in this case a 16” rock step up) that has to be negotiated to access the main trails section. The entrance is prepositioned to eliminate impulsive uninformed attempts. You must have ridden the main trail to see the option first. It is all very stable boulders that are sustainable (no rot) and all hardened surfaces over 10%.

BIG thanks to all the people that have helped. Jon Fisher and Tom Ernest especially for their high volume of participation and personal investment. We will line up another fun weekend to ride this baby when we throw in the hand rail."

A big thanks indeed!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trail Riding on Multi-Use Trails

I'll be speaking at the Gold Country Trails Council on September 9th @ 7PM at the Golden Empire Grange Hall. The topic will be "Trail Riding on Multi-Use Trails", but I plan to use the opportunity to dialog with the local equestrian community.

It would be great if other local bikers join join in. Our positive relationship with local equestrians is one of our most valuable assets and one that is envied statewide.

11283 Grange Ct. Grass Valley, CA - Map

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tahoe National Forest Trail Update

From Joe Chavez of the Tahoe National Service:

"This is just FYI on some recent trail work, so you will be aware of the changes.

Empire Creek Trail - The two climbing turns installed last fall by No-Toil group and SBTS have been hardened with turf stones. Soils are ashy here and will never firm up (like the west end of Chimney Rock Trail). The reroute of the switchback above these climbing turns has been completed. The trail now makes a large sweeping turn, putting you out on the ridge at a nice vista point. Bottom end of the Empire Creek trail (steep section right off the road), this area has been lengthened to lower the grade (expect new turns). Wet springs, my one remaining trail crew member is currently working on draining the springs off the trail along the lower end of the trail. There will be deeper rolling dips supported by rock on the reverse grade (expect larger, more abrupt dips - slow down).

Lindsey Lakes Trail - Just below the intersection with Crooked Lakes Trail (near Rock Lake), the first section of the Lindsey Lakes trail reroute project to lower the grade is done. The trail now contours over to a vista point and returns to the old trail in the dry meadow. (only several hundred feet of the original trail has been rerouted, there is still much more to do on this reroute project)

Excelsior Trail - Last remaining section of reroute identified in the Burlington EIS has been completed (40 foot hill climb section in the plantation). The trail now contours in and out of the drainage.

Gibraltar Trail (single track) - We started to reroute the very steep section of trail immediately out of Dean's Ravine heading north. We expect to finish this piece of reroute the week of Sept 1, when I have a chance to get back there. We already contoured across the steep slope to a point that we know it is feasible. The reroute goes across the steep sidehill, then turns back where miners created a "gut," then it will reconnect back to the old trail above the steep section."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

North Fork Trail Vote


"Write an email or attend a hearing to support the NORTH FORK TRAIL!

On Aug. 26, 2008, at 8:35 a.m., the Placer County Board of Supervisors will be meeting to consider certifying the Final EIR & approving the North Fork Trail along the American River - in the board chambers at 175 Fulweiler, Auburn.

We WANT the Board to do this so we can FINALLY see construction getting underway on this long-awaited new trail. If you can attend the hearing, great! OR please take 2 minutes NOW to write a short email to your supervisor to ask him to approve this new trail. Please!

Here's the email address for the Board of Supervisors:

Subject line: North Fork Trail Project.
[Contact Jim Haagen-Smit if you have any questions at (916) 663-4626.]

Talking points:
  • The trail will be environmentally sound by design.
  • What better way to get folks to appreciate nature than by providing a simple trail to access it.
  • With high gas prices more & more families are looking for affordable ways to recreate near home.
  • A healthier community saves money by dealing with costly health problems associated with obesity.
  • Volunteers helped build trails in the area; the community likes to give back by supporting these kinds of projects."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Steering Committee Kickoff

Last night, the new BONC steering committee conducted our first formal meeting at Twin Cities Church. We discussed some great ideas, assigned tasks to committee members and talked about where BONC is and where we need to get to. A big theme that emerged from the evening is how BONC needs to embrace more fun: more fun rides and more fun events. Nevada County has many mountain bikers, but only a relative few participate in BONC activities. We aim to change all that.

I am certain we will see some related innovative club initiatives soon. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please let me know.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tahoe Donner Event - Recap

Last weekend, over sixty NorCal mountain bikers convened near Donner Summit this week to build some new singletrack and ride many, many miles of primo Sierra trail. Participating clubs included BONC, FATRAC, BTCEB, MBOSC and ROMP. Sponsors included New Belgium, who contributed free cases of their finest brews.

From Wednesday through Sunday, we rode countless group ride on the Tahoe Rim Trail, Hole-in-the-Ground, Donner Lake Rim Trail, Sawtooth Trail and many others. We camped out at Donner Lake State Historic Park, with access to beaches, showers and BBQs. On Saturday, we all pitched in to clear brush for a new section of the Donner Lake Rim Trail high above the lake near Tahoe Donner. This will be a gorgeous section that towers at 7500' with sweeping views of the area. These vistas and great weather kept us inspired as we trimmed back vegetation for the new trailbed.

It was a big success, but it sure would have been better to see some more local representation from BONC and SERT. We hope to make this an annual event, as it was soooo much fun this year! Pictures and videos.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Forest City Trail Fun

The Forest City folks are staging trailwork on weekend of the 25th.  They hope to put the last touches on the bridge and to prune out the Plum Valley Ditch Trail. On Labor Day weekend, the group will host rides all weekend. Camping, BBQ music and other fun (bike polo).  Ribbon cutting for the bridge etc.

Please consider joining these great events.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pruning Bullard's

We had a modest turnout for today's trailwork at Bullard's, but six of us managed to trim back all the overgrowth on Rebel Ridge and some on Bullard's Bar Trail. I am really excited that Rebel Ridge is finally clear of the nasty overgrowth that made it unpleasant to ride, especially on the south side of Marysville Road.

Note that there are a few downed trees (as usual) on Bullard's Bar Trail between Rebel Ridge and Schoolhouse Trails. Hopefully we can take these out soon; they are somewhat small.

The advantage of the shorter trailwork session was that we were able to get in a fun ride (i.e. not while nackered) on this trail system after we wrapped up our work. Bullard's is a great place to ride on a hot day because there is so much shade.

Big thanks to Fred Bergman who spearheaded and coordinated this project! And others who came to Bullard's recently to help improve trail conditions. Bullard's is a high maintenance system, but is so worth it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Illegal Round Mountain Activity

Word is that some trouble has brewed on Round Mountain. One resident reports:

"There are now 2 fire areas at Coyote Lookout- one very recent, both ugly. Fires, firearms trash and paint ball trash have recently appeared on Moonlight (across from Coyote Parking).

The road sign at Hudson & Rock Creek is missing- making emergency response more difficult in the neighborhood. There have been several BLM "Day Use / No Fires" signs vandalized this summer.

The Round Mountain Planning area is a Day Use Only and a No Fire area. Motor bikes and other motor vehicles are required to remain on roads."

I've asked BONC members to keep an eye out and report any such activities. One member suggested carrying a camera to document the damage and take pictures of violators if possible. I believe that the BLM has a new enforcement officer for this area:

Ranger (Grass Valley)
(916) 985-4474

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where Can I Ride?

As president of BONC, I get this question a lot. The good news is that there are many answers on the award-winning BONC trail guide page. It has lots of links to external resources and Google Earth (KML) files that describe excellent area rides.

Got a suggestion for a map for this page? Have a KML file you would like to share? Just let me know and it is as good as posted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Forest Update

Zachi provides this very interesting update from Forest City:

"This weekend is the last weekend of the month. For the rest of the summer, we will be having our gatherings and rides on the last weekend of the month.

Although people may continue to meet for projects and rides on other weekends, our goal is to plan a weekend a month that everyone can hangout together and share goodtimes and progress on their various interests.

July has been a busy month. Here are is a review of some of the projects."

"This month we also finished rough flagging in the new Ridge Runner Trail and the Jersey Trail. This will be a dynamic new downhill or uphill climb from FC to the top of the ridge. It features new curving trail layout that is less linear in nature and some fun features you can find on your own.

We also did quite a bit of scouting this month. We found a connector to the lower Truckee Ditch which creates a route from Miller Ranch all the way to the Goodyears Bar Overlook. This is a critical connector to the bullards bar trail system. The final 3 miles of the Plum Valley Ditch were scouted. This is also a critical connector to Bullards Bar. When opened this will make the trail 10 miles long! And the old Downieville Trail was tracked entering FC from NC and departing toward Downieville.

Lastly we have the Sandusky Bridge. A huge project that is almost done. This stone bridge boasts a 20 foot arched span and a trail deck that warps through the area like a gliding hawk.
This weekend we hope to top out the bridge with the curbing and finish the approach.

SO, Lots to celebrate. Please consider bringing up some friends for some fun riding and camping. We will be up from Thursday – Sunday. Generally there is a BBQ Saturday night and a ride Sunday."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bullard's Bonanza - 8/2

BONC is going to mix it up a bit for our next trail day at Bullard's. We'll have a shorter volunteer session (9AM - noon), with some killer riding afterwards. BONC will provide free beer and snacks. Join us on Saturday, August 2nd at Bullard's Bar. Meet at 9AM @ the USFS Yuba River Ranger Station at the corner of Highway 49 and Marysville Road. Map.

We will work to improve BONC-adopted trails in the area. Please bring gloves, long pants and shirts, water and insect repellent. See you there!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bridge Building in Forest City

Zachi and company continue to put in many hours of skilled work into the new bridge at Forest City. From Zachi:

"We had a fantastic last weekend.  Lots got done.   The new Jersey Ravine Trail has gotten flagged in.  And excellent work on the bridge.   Here are a few photos!  Please come up and play.  Water is almost stopped at the creek.  This is the last few weekends to bang this out!"

"Dates upcoming…  Last weekend of every month, ride and projects.  Aug 16th, 30 mile ride event and BBQ with artshow in town and music."

"Thanks to all that came up, 14 in all.  Look forward to finishing this up."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Pioneer Trail Closure

According to the USFS, the Pioneer Trail will be closed due to brush mastication work on Wednesday (7/9) between Skillman campground and the Equestrian Staging Area.

Consider using the Hallelujah Trail as an alternate route. The contractor is aware of the trail and the Hallelujah Trail will be buffered (protected).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New Trailwork Reporting Tool

BONC has a new tool for tracking trailwork hours. Using Google Docs, I've created an online form whereby BONCers can report donated hours on an honor system.

Please use this to report ANY trailwork you donated, even if it happened mid-ride. This tool will allow BONC to:
  • Award our volunteers (think swag)
  • Plan future trailwork
  • Apply for grants
  • Use aggregate trailwork statistics for advocacy
Note that information entered in this form is only accessible by members of the BONC steering committee.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Protect Singletrack on California State Lands

From IMBA:

"Urge California Decision Makers to Adopt Bike-Friendly Land Protection Measures

The Assembly Committee on Natural Resources recently passed a bill -- authored by Assembly member Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus -- that directs the state to assess the suitability of numerous state lands in Northern California for Wilderness designations.

Bicyclists value natural landscapes and access to trails that bring us closer to nature. Because our activity is a quiet, low-impact and human-powered use that is compatible with wild settings, we believe many of these Northern California areas should not be protected with Wilderness designations, which would effectively prohibit bike access.

IMBA California Policy Advisor Tom Ward has testified in front of the committee and many members expressed their support for mountain biking — but they still passed the bill out of committee. Unless they hear from the mountain bike community, the bill will keep moving and suggest massive closures at three important parks.

There are many ways to protect these important places without banning the existing use of mountain bicycling. Cyclists need to rally and make sure their assembly member hears from our constituency.

Take Action!

IMBA's simple online comment form takes seconds to complete! Tell the governor and your state senator and representative you support land protection that allows bicycling to continue.

A quick phone call can be even more effective. Click here to find contact information for your elected officials.

Please also forward this alert to all mountain bikers, bike shops and industry employees you know.

Additional Information

Assembly Bill (AB) 2923 passed from committee with a 6-2 vote and awaits further review in the Assembly Appropriations Committee

Sponsored by the California Wilderness Coalition, the bill directs the Resources Agency and the State Lands Commission to assess whether selected state lands merit wilderness designation.

Mountain biking is an existing use in several of these areas, including Robert Louis Stevenson State Park and Henry W. Coe State Park.

Mountain bikers also have a long-standing proposal to create shared-use trails in Austin Creek Redwoods State Park.

Because Wilderness designations would prohibit bike access in these parks, we urge that these areas should be protected through other means.

IMBA California’s Tom Ward is meeting with key Senate staffers and will keep the pressure up to ensure that mountain bike access is protected."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Deer Creek Trail Approved

Last week, the Nevada City Council threw its support behind the Deer Creek Trail project. According to the Union:

The council also approved a resolution of support for the Deer Creek Tribute Trail, an 8-mile trail that will follow sides of Deer Creek. The trail would begin in downtown Nevada City and about 6.5 miles of it would be on existing trails and unimproved roads, according to a staff report. The Friends of Deer Creek have received a $912,000 grant for the project. The Planning Commission previously approved the request on a 5-0 vote."

In a strange twist, the council decided to change designation of the trail from "multi-use" to "local use". Ostensibly, this was done to emphasize local control over the trail and the future ability of the city to change restrictions on trail usage. Or it could be to make sure that everyone knows that it is for locals, not some durned flatlanders. In any case, it is weird.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Building the Forest City Bridge

A whole bunch of folks showed up in Forest City to build the new stone arched bridge. Zachi Anderson just sent out a bunch of great pictures from the event.

Zachi writes:

"This week we will be preparing the false works. This is the arched form that the bridge is built on. We will do this in town at Tom’s house. We will bring these this weekend to install them and then make the big push for the last span on the July 4th weekend. Please contact me if you want to play..."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mike and Dave at Bullard's

Mike Haire is at it again with his highly motivated trailwork efforts. On Sunday, he spent hours trimming back brush on Bullard's Bar trails. Dave Larson stopped by to help out too. See the before (top) and after (below) pictures.

Many thanks guys! You deserve large quantities of Mountain Dew.

So much more needs to be done at Bullard's. Mike would love it if you could join him for additional brushing work on Sunday, June 15. The trail along Marysville Rd between 7 ball and Rebel Ridge needs help too.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Pioneer Update - Volunteers Needed

Fellow trail advocate and BONCer Jane Ragan recently sent a note to me about conditions of the Pioneer Trail near Bowman Lake Road. According to Jane, this section is now brushed out and should remain clear for the season. Thank you for your hard work Jane! She has put in many hours on this trail and at Forest City, Burlington Ridge and elsewhere.

However, two blowdowns persist on this section and await a chainsaw. Also, the section above (east of) Lang's Crossing remains thick with brush. Any volunteers care to help out?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Trail Blazing in Forest City

Word is that plenty of trail building is going down in Forest City. My covert inside sources (Jon Fisher and Zachi Anderson) tell me that work has begun on the arched bridge and Zachi has his new excavator fired up. The bridge approach and the buttress is dug. Jon was able to grade out 1/4 mile of new trail with his new tractor as well.

These guys are absolutely kicking but in F-Town. I can't wait to ride these trails and features.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Help Protect Missouri Bar and Humbug Trails

SPI hopes to log an area near the South Yuba River. Regardless of your feelings about such things, trails in the vicinity need to be preserved. Too many times in my nine years in Nevada County, I have seen commercial logging outfits totally trash trails and walk away from the carnage. Please consider submitting the following sample letter (or something like it):

California Department of Forestry/Calfire
Resource Management
6105 Airport Road
Redding, CA 96002
fax 530-224-4841

RE: Buck Timber Harvest Plan, THP # 2-07-092-NEV(3)

To whom it may concern,

As an avid trail user, I know that the Missouri Bar and Humbug trails are important historic paths that are used extensively by our community. They provide access to beautiful public lands that area residents enjoy throughout the year. I am concerned that if implemented, the aforementioned timber harvest plan could significantly damage these trails. Therefore I ask that the CDF act carefully when considering approval of any such operation. Specifically:
  • The plan needs to ensure that any operation associated with the plan leaves the trails untouched. It is not acceptable to damage culturally significant trails and attempt remediation afterwards. These trails need to be preserved in their exact state, regardless of the cost and inconvenience to the logging plan proponent.
  • The plan needs to address precisely how it will pro-actively avoid any impact to area trails (including the South Yuba Trail) that could be caused by nearby logging operations, runoff, etc.
The area in question is not an obscure, remote hillside, but instead a natural endowment cherished by the community. Residents access this beloved area via these trails and it is the CDF's responsibility to safeguard these priceless cultural resources.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ride and Hike - National Trails Day

Ride and hike with your fellow trail users and celebrate Nevada County trails! As part of the local National Trails Day celebration, the Nevada County Land Trust is leading a bunch of trail events on Saturday, June 7th.

BONC will lead two rides (advanced and beginner) on Saturday, June 7th. Meet at 10AM at Rood Center to carpool to the trailhead. Afterwards, riders will enjoy BONC-provided snacks and drinks. No need to register, just show up and ride.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Burlington Ridge Trails Open

From Joe Chavez of the USFS:

"FYI - The helicopter is done logging. Therefore, the Burlington Trail
Closure has been terminated as of today! Enjoy! Joe"

Friday, May 09, 2008

CANCELLED: Bullard's Trailwork - 6/10

This event is now CANCELED. We will try and reschedule as soon as possible. If you know someone who wanted to attend, but does not read email regularly, please let them know.

Sorry for the late notice. The USFS just informed me. Long story.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Less Rash

If you find less poison oak on the South Yuba Trail in the next week or so, please thank Mike Haire, Dave Hughes, Tom-of-Sacramento, Rich Strohl and George Maire.

They are trimming the nasty stuff away for the rest of us, partly in preparation for the Big Brothers Big Sisters ride. My skin thanks you.

Monday, May 05, 2008

New Trail to Hirschman Pond

From Bill Haire:

"On Saturday, May 17, I will need the help of ten or so volunteers to
brush out the trail to Hirschman Pond from Cement Hill Road, across
from the County Government Center (Rood Center). We will be preparing a path from the planned trailhead to the pond along the trail route."

Want to help out? Call Bill Haire at the Land Trust: 530.272.5994

Individual Trail Work

This year, I've seen a great trend happening on local trails: individuals or small groups of volunteers doing trail work independently. These folks are not waiting for someone else to schedule a big group trail event, but instead forge ahead with smaller projects on a more frequent basis. Of course, this needs to be done with land manager permission, but it represents a great means of accomplishing more on the local trails we all love and use.

The latest example involve the finest efforts of Dave Hughes, Mike Haire and Tom-of-Sacramento (sorry Tom, but I don't know your last name). On Saturday, these three heroes headed down the Missouri Bar and South Yuba trails. They improved sections, trimmed back overgrowth and took out some downed trees that had forced trail users off trail. These guys put in EIGHT HOURS of work! Please thank them the next time you see them around town.

As you may know, for years I've encouraged trail users to carry smaller tools during rides/hikes. A few minutes trimming and sawing here and there collectively makes a big difference. For example, I've taken out lots of overgrowth on Osborne Hill near my house over the winter during hikes with my dogs. My tools of choice are hand clippers, a folding saw and these incredibly light, powerful loppers that fit in my Camelbak.

Then again, if you dig the camaraderie, fun and free beer offered by group trail work days, there is a Bullard's Bar trail event on Saturday, May 10th.