It’s that time of year again, please use common sense when it comes time to choose whether or not to hit the dirt.
Leaving pock marks from walking or ruts from riding requires time and energy to repair, and you know we’d rather use our resources to bring you even more high quality trail opportunities.
The world wide interwebs doesn’t reach everyone, so put the word to the streets, err trails…
LAMBA does so much more than ride our bikes in the dirt. Here’s an update / summary of our conservation efforts, which continues year after year.
Our work began in 2006 with the removal of tons of trash and left over farming materials scattered throughout Beverly Park. After an assessment by the state forester, our efforts expanded to annual projects aimed at controlling a wide range of invasive plant species found in the park, including garlic mustard, oriental bittersweet, honey suckle and barberry.
LAMBA applied for and received a grant from CLIF Bar to purchase materials to protect a large number of small burr oaks being harmed by deer. In one of its biggest conservation projects, LAMBA funded the purchase of 400 native trees from the state nursery and organized volunteers to get them planted throughout the park.
It is important to note that LAMBA’s conservation efforts are not just long-standing, they are an on-going part of who we are and what we are about. This is because mountain bikers know that healthy parks aren’t just better for recreating in, they are what makes our community a better place to live in, both now and in the future.
-Rob Johnson, Founding President & Conservation Chair
LAMBA is temporarily suspending all club activities due to issues with insurance cost and availability. We are working diligently on solutions.
On February 13th LAMBA was notified that there would be no renewal of the national insurance program for mountain bike clubs and it would expire on February 28. Since then we have been working very hard to find a replacement policy, as it is best practice for non-profits to carry general liability insurance. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors, many underwriters are denying coverage to mountain bike clubs with any history of design, consultation, or build of singletrack.
This means LAMBA will not be organizing or hosting social activities, rides, trail work, maintenance, etc. until further notice.
The silver lining to this issue is that LAMBA is analyzing land use agreements, risk management procedures, and general club operations; we will come out of this a better organized and a stronger advocate for off road cycling. We have open lines of communication with our land managers, and are having continued dialogues with our partners and supporters regarding better access for high quality singletrack.
What can you do to help?
#1 Contact your local elected officials and tell them that singletrack facilities are an essential community amenity like swimming pools, golf courses, and playgrounds and need to be part of our local parks system.
#4 Get out and enjoy the sport!
Thank you for your continued support.
We need your help and feedback to assist the board with setting goals for 2014! Please take a few minutes to complete our survey…
Not a member? Sign up! http://lambaonline.org/join-lamba/
*edit: You don’t need to be LAMBA member to complete our survey, rock it out!
Speaking of surveys, here’s an easy one from the City of Cedar Rapids (below). We can’t tell you what to put on there, but wouldn’t it be cool if a chunk of the surveys returned had a lot of singletrack trail / mt. biking themes to them? Just saying.
City of Cedar Rapids Wants to Hear from You
The City of Five Seasons is looking to residents to help cast a vision for strong economic development. What makes Cedar Rapids the place to live, work, and play? How can we attract young professionals and thriving business leaders? What are our leading industries, and how do we make them stronger? Resident input will help craft strategies for job growth, professional resources, and lifestyle enhancements. Take a quick survey and help share your feedback with the City of Cedar Rapids: http://cedarrapids2020.com/
Fairview Trail Run ®
5 Mile Run – 3 Mile Run / Walk
Sunday, November 3rd, 2013, 12:00pm
Beverly Park – MAP LINK
Anytime IMBA comes to town, the mountain bike community gets giddy and perhaps a little star struck! It was no different when Linn Area Mountain Bike Association (LAMBA) was awarded a Trail Care Crew visit and began preparations to host the current Crew, Jesse and Lori, in Linn County.
A brief background of the events preceding the visit…LAMBA joined the IMBA Chapter Program, changing the status of the group to a subordinate of the international organization. With the integration into the program came many benefits, including potential TCC visits.
Last year, LAMBA worked to raise the funds to bring the trail building arm of IMBA, Trail Solutions, to Linn County to create a concept plan of two Linn County Parks. Trail Solutions spent two weeks evaluating Squaw Creek Park and Pinicon Ridge Park. This took place in November of last year, with final plans presented in February.
Upon presentation of the plan, club leaders meet multiple times with the key County stakeholders and presented to the County Conservation Board. Volunteer trail workers also rough flagged proposed trail corridors. LAMBA was approved to begin construction of the green loop (official name TBD) up near the sledding hill and playground at Squaw Creek. Volunteer crews worked on the south side of the trail during the spring and summer months.
Fast forward to September of 2013. Jesse and Lori arrived on Thursday night to present a hybrid approach to Club Care to the LAMBA board. Guests from the board of the Iowa City club and new LAMBA members joined the group, bringing the total to over twenty participants! Instead of ‘death by PowerPoint’, the group opted to have the pair facilitate a discussion as the beginning stages of strategic planning. Those in attendance discussed their current likes and future goals. A decision was made to evaluate the use of committees to expand the roles of club members and transition some leadership opportunities to others. The event was held at Dublin City Pub, so food and drink complemented and livened the discussion!
Friday morning was spent on the ground evaluating the final portion of the green trail. Corridor clearing and flagging were completed, readying the project site for Saturday’s work. One volunteer was injured in the process by a bee sting…the others finished the day unscathed.
On Friday night, a group of about ten, gave Lori and Jesse a tour of Beverly Park. The first order of business that night was to debunk the stereotypical group ride and instead organize under the premise of ‘ladies first.’ The girls took the lead and shared the urban park with our guests.
Saturday was a day of much anticipation. The morning consisted of IMBA Trail School at Mr. Beans in Marion. Our trail building group clearly was not a group of morning lovers, especially on a Saturday, and massive amounts of coffee were consumed during the first hours of the school. Bryan and Steve became experts at using a clino to determine grade and we all learned the basic aspects of trail building, including corner types, bench cutting, and erosion control, all the while entertained by the Crew’s use of media in the presentation.
As is typical in the Midwest, a week of gorgeous fall weather was followed by exactly one day of rain that so happened to begin around ten am on Saturday and continue through three pm, foiling our plans to bench cut the final piece of the new green trail at Squaw Creek. Keeping safety as a paramount contingent, it was decided that we would not place nicely sharpened tools in the hands of our eager volunteers to traverse the slip-n-slide that was quickly taking the place of our trail. Instead, Jesse conducted a detailed demonstration on bench cutting and our volunteers schemed times to come back out and finish his work.
A lovely dinner with the Crew at Bata’s wrapped up the night and the visit. It was a great experience for the newly christened trail gnomes and fairies, and showed our traveling guests, that yes, there is mountain biking, good food, and great people, in Iowa.
Thanks to all the willing volunteers and the Crew. In a course of three days, over 149 volunteer hours were logged, the dollar amount for those hours totaling nearly $3000! And we trained sixteen trail builders, garnered renewed interests in the club activities, and, enjoyed a little bit of riding.
REGISTER HERE - http://tinyurl.com/
Let people know you’re attending! www.facebook.com/
Thursday, Sept. 26
- Club Care presentation, 6:30 pm @ Dublin City Pub upstairs, 415 1st St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Friday, Sept. 27
- Social ride at Beverly Park, 6:30 pm
Saturday, Sept. 28
- Classroom 9 a.m. – noon @ Mr. Beans in Marion
- Lunch provided
- Trail work 1 p.m. – 4/5 p.m. @ Squaw Creek
* Please do not plan to attend the work session if you can’t make it to the morning classroom. Wear pants, closed-toe shoes, a hat, gloves and bring water for the trail project.
The recent closure of Sylvan Island in the Quad Cities and the damage to Beverly Park in Cedar Rapids made me realize that those who enjoy singletrack need to be sure to do everything possible to keep and enhance our local trails. Here is a list of ten fairly simple things to get the process started.
10. Join your local IMBA Chapter. There is strength in numbers and IMBA can help us increase those numbers. Joining a local chapter ensures that some of your money stays in Iowa! You can join here: http://lambaonline.org/join-lamba/
9. Volunteer. Go to the next trail work day, trails don’t build themselves and as cute as they sound, trail gnomes and fairies don’t exist.
8. Ride. User demand shows our land managers and those in charge how important singletrack is for every community. Take a friend who has never ridden with you!
7. Show up. At the next board meeting, bike parking event, membership drive, or Trail Care Crew visit. Attendance counts.
6. Log your hours. We use this as leverage to show the demand for trails and to correlate a dollar amount to that time. This is a big number by the end of the year. You can log your hours here: http://www.tinyurl.com/lambavolunteerlog
5. Know what your local group is doing. This is the information age, there is no excuse to not be part of the local activities. Stay up to date with LAMBA: https://www.facebook.com/LinnAreaMTB
4. Be a do’er and do something helpful! Getting whipped in the face when you ride? Grab a pair of loppers the next time you are going out. Find something you can do and let the trail steward, board, etc., know that you will do it!
3. Tell others. Invite your friends and family to ride. The more riders and volunteers, the more power we yield for more trails. Do you see a trend here?
2. Remember why we do this in the first place. Mountain biking is supposed to be fun. Who doesn’t want to ride their bike in the woods?
1. Write to your local officials and send letters to the editor (they all have email now too). Tell them how much you appreciate the work LAMBA is doing and how much you enjoy the recreation opportunity that singletrack provides.
Let us know how you do on the list!