This shot of my favorite hand tool, the mcleod, in the flowerbed of my home kinda hit me yesterday.
I will admit there were a few beers involved, which is why Iâ€™m writing this now rather than duringâ€¦
As an old friend and I threw back a few light beers and did maintenance work on LAMBA tools in the Iowa summer humidity, the sweat dripping in the sun adversity that goes hand in hand with utilizing such an implement reminded me of all the work that has gone into our communityâ€™s unlikely custody of solid mountain bike experiences.
As often occurs in the human condition, inspiration need be shared, this is my feeble attempt:
The worn, practically self-sharpened blade reminded me of our friend CG, who almost single-handedly (figure of speech as Iâ€™m sure he used more than one hand) and painstakingly carved the initial singletrack loop at Squaw Creek.
The painterâ€™s masking tape reminded of one of our most recent events in Vinton, the distance between the tape is a simple / handy way to measure the width of the trail volunteers were creating.
The updated LAMBA logo so vehemently debated over and graciously provided by Jason Clary of Cellar Door CreativeÂ gives us a much sexier way to label our equipment.
Topping out with duct tape attempting to retain the rubberized replacement handle grip on the end of this heavily used tool of trail building andÂ maintenance.
Oh yeah, and the prairie flowers… a perfect metaphor for the conservation efforts led by our founding president, Rob Johnson. *LAMBA needs those passionate about conservation efforts to step in / up to help, now more than ever!
Not to focus solelyÂ on the past, FYIÂ the city has been in touch about the installation of prairie in the sun exposed portions of Beverly and the Sac & Fox corridor. While this will affect our trails and result in extra work to keep them in shape, it will be an amazing opportunity for conservation and native flora to be reestablished, further beautifying the natural spaces we enjoy.
Working to clean and eek more life out of the LAMBA hand tool libraryÂ it was easy to fall intoÂ summer mode and my brain completely mixed up theÂ days… thinking it was Tuesday, but in fact it was Wednesday and our crrent LAMBA folk and leadership were revitalizing the Wednesday night thing (a riding / social event held on Wednesdays as announced, for those who don’t know).
This brings me to the triangle of advocacy, or something like that, which is applicable to sustainable mtb clubs, IMBA chapters, communities all around; but that is a post for another time…Â So yeah, I missed out on a part of our local mountain bike experience (scene) but I was doing what I do, fulfilling my role; whatâ€™s yours?Â It takes a village or so they say, plug in! Â Â -Ken
Socialize – LAMBA Trails / Rides
It’s a cool scenario: Â folks from Vinton visit Cedar Rapids, ride Beverly Park singletrack, and ask the question “Why not in our hometown?”
To make a long story short –Â Vinton Parks & Rec. contacts LAMBA, your local IMBA chapter assists them with a plan, IMBA grants a trail care crew visit, and wallah… backyard trails in Vinton, Iowa.
Ha, there’s a lot more to it than that! Our emerging mtb friends a bit to the north have some awesome ideas, a solid plan, a lot of work to do for it all to come to fruition, and are well on their way; stay tuned / plug in… https://twitter.com/VintonORC
p.s. LAMBA’s ability to bring mtb experiences to our area is a directÂ result of theÂ work of IMBA, and has continued to evolveÂ due to our partnership with IMBA; bottom line – please support these awesome nonprofits by joining your local chapter!Â http://lambaonline.org/join-lamba/
Thanks for reading, see you on the trails
Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series
37th Avenue and 21st Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
CATEGORIES / SCHEDULE
8:00 AM -> Trail Run – 1 lap – $20 early bird/$30 same day*
9:50 AM -> Kids, Marathon, and Juniors Registration Closes
10:00 AM -> Kids Race – 1 short lap -FREE!
10:05 AM -> Marathon – 4 hours – $35 early bird/$45 same day*
10:10 AM -> Juniors – 1 lap – $20 early bird/$30 same day*
11:30 AM -> All Registration Closes
11:45 AM -> Cat 1 [Expert] – 4 laps – $25 early bird/$35 same day*
11:50 AM -> COMP – 3 laps – $25 early bird/$35 same day*
11:55 AM -> Cat 2 [Sport] – 2 laps – $25 early bird/$35 same day*
12:00 PM -> Cat 3 [Novice] – 1 lap – $25 early bird/$35 same day*
Register @ IMBCS.ORG or https://www.usacycling.org/register/2016-1554
*Above pricing does not include the USA Cycling (USAC) License Fees. See event website for details. Race distances subject to change based on course conditions.
For race updates, delays, or cancellations, visit us on: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LinnAreaMTB/
NOT RIDING, BUT WANT TO BE INVOLVED? BE A VOLUNTEER! E-mail LAMBA07@GMAIL.COM and be a part of the crew for timing, registration, set-up, marshaling and more!
Ah winter riding, such a conundrum when it comes to hitting the dirt. Itâ€™s not an exact science due to multiple factors (i.e. soil type, moisture content, grades, temperature, sun exposure, leaf cover, etc.) therefore black & white steadfast rules donâ€™t really exist, itâ€™s ultimately up to the best (and hopefully educated) judgment of each trail user. Do know this… if you’reÂ leaving an impression on the trail more than a half inch deep, you are causing problems that will require volunteer time and attention; not cool. People want to get out on the trails, a good thing! However, we address this problem every spring, throughout the “normal” riding season, and now in the winter… I could go on and on, but wonâ€™t. Instead, check out this regionally similar post with more details, it is one of the better / more accurate ones Iâ€™ve come across. And here is another from our FORC’n Quad Cities friends, who are awesome. Thank for reading and clicking every single link Ken, the LAMBA guy who is really into trails
— LAMBA (@LinnAreaMTB) December 1, 2015
Fall will be over in a blur, get out and ride!
Support the group that brings singletrack to the Linn area…Â Click HERE to join LAMBA, be eligible to win prizes!
- Board Meeting at Need Pizza 10/27 @6:30pm
- Beverly Park Trail Run 11/15
It’s been said that the best trail in the world is the one your ride the most… after a hard day at work, for the exercise, preparing for an upcoming event, just for fun, etc. For these and many otherÂ reasons, local trails are super important to many a trail user.
Make note, almost every single singletrack in this country is maintained by volunteers.Â Where am I going with this? This. LAMBA is a 100% volunteer nonprofit. We don’t have paid staff, every volunteer toiling in the dirt, meeting rooms, etc. is doing it for free, in their spare time. Why? Because they love and possess great passion for the trail experience.
Consider donating your time… lend a hand with trail work / maintenance, plan a social event, get involved on the political side of things, talk to people about the trails, whatever promotes this awesome activity! I don’t know a single person who isn’t busy, so think about your strengths and what you’re willing to do, and consider committing to a finite activity, or more. In my humble opinion, it is one of the most rewarding things a person can do. Thanks for reading. -Ken, Singletrack Trail Lover
Don’t be a “they sayer” LAMBA needs YOU!
What’s your absolute favorite trail to ride? Think about how good that experience makes you feel. Then, consider how good it would feel to give something back to the trails we all enjoy.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) works in close partnership with local-level chapters like LAMBA who donate thousands of hours in volunteer trail work every year to make your riding experiences the best they can be.
The IMBA Trail Fund helps power this work. Last year, IMBA’s Trail Fund provided more than $360,000 in direct support for 30 mountain bike projects in 15 states. IMBA enhances your donations by pairing them with money from the bike industry to double and even triple the level of support for trail projects.
Visit imba.com/trail-fund to make a donation, or to learn more.