Several RaMORE club members and board members joined Nathan Burrell and the James River Park crew in Harrisonburg, Virginia recently to attend the IMBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Summit. Mountain bike clubs from all over the Mid-Atlantic showed up to represent their local communities of riders, trail builders and trail users.
Friday night we met up at the Court House Square and were treated to a viewing of Pedal Driven after some obligatory welcome and weekend introduction speeches. If you haven’t already seen Pedal Driven I highly recommend checking it out. It provides a very well written and entertaining insight into some of the serious problems regarding land access and relationships that we as mountain bikers are facing all over the country. Unfortunately, most riders are unaware that these problems even exist. The video does a great job of mixing trail advocacy in with some killer mountain biking footage. Think; an informative version of a New World Disorder flick and viola you have Pedal Driven.
Saturday morning Harrisonburg’s own city trails called the Hillendale Park Trails provided us a nice morning spin with adequate amounts of rocks and tight turns to wake up the senses before meeting at the Conference Center for breakfast and a day full of classroom meetings. The meetings and educational seminars covered several insightful topics that included: TCC Advocate training, Youth in Mountain Biking, a Land Manager Round Table that featured our very own Nathan Burrell
speaking as a land manager on behalf of the success of the JRPS inner city trails, Diversity Builds Strength: Women and Mountain Biking, Trail Successes and Challenges Around the Mid Atlantic, TCC Club Care, Capacity Building 101, and finally a VA State Breakout Session. All of the sessions were full of great information that we hope will help us build you a bigger better mountain bike club.
Now we all know that all work and no play just isn’t the mountain biker way. After the classroom sessions finished up we all made a beeline for the wonderful Massanutten Western Slope. The plan was a Super D race down the rocky and fast Massanutten Trails. The local mountain bike club (Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition) has put in countless hours of trail work over the past few years to make the Western Slope trails some of the sweetest trails in the area. At the base of the mountain we all chamoised up, helped ourselves to a few of the tasty drinks provided by Troges then begin the climb up the side of the mountain headed to the top. The Super D would start from the mountain top but there was some awesome single track to check out on the way up. SVBC member and SBC owner Thomas Jenkins was kind enough to lead a casual paced ride up the mountain and offer insight to the trail and its construction along the way. Having Rich Edwards of IMBA Trail Solutions (who has also contributed many hours to the design and construction of the Massanutten trails) along for the ride was icing on the cake.
Atop Massanutten mountain riders nervously lined up for the start of the Super D.
Some were on hardtails while most were on full suspension bikes.
Some were wrapped in body armor while others chose lycra.
Regardless of our bike or clothing choices when the race director called you up to the line and said “GO!” the common theme heard all way down the mountain was “Man this trail is sick!”
At the finish line Troges and Qudoba awaited hungry racers.
The “social” kept on rolling well into darkness with good times and stories being shared by all.
Sunday morning hosted several organized group rides for all levels of riders. Not everyone survived the entire weekend and make it to the Sunday rides but those who did were treated to some of the George Washington National Forrest’s finest singletrack.
We at Richmond MORE would like to thank all of our members and friends who made the trip over to Harrisonburg. We would also like to thank everyone involved in making this weekend happen. Yeah Frank Maguire that’s you! Also IMBA, The IMBA Trail Care Crew, SBC, SVBC the town of Harrisonburg and everyone else involved.