1. Learn Stuff – Trail
As the snow turns to rain and the flowers begin to
bloom, mountain bikers everywhere anxiously twitch in anticipation of
off road riding. This
is the start of the season when trail building crews spring into action.
building and maintenance plays a crucial role in growing the popularity
of mountain biking. Riding off road, whether on public or private
land, is a privilege not to be taken lightly. There have been cases
of trails being shut down due to improper or unauthorized trail building.
As a result, getting involved with an established club that follows approved
guidelines and proper trail building techniques is the best way to lend
a hand to improve the single track in your neck of the woods.
Founded in 1988, the International Mountain Bike Association
(IMBA) is the
leading international organization for mountain biking advocacy. Its
mission is to “protect, create, and enhance quality trail experiences
for mountain bikers worldwide.” To do this they “actively
promote responsible mountain biking, support volunteer trailwork, assist
land managers with trail management issues, and improve relations among
trail user groups.” IMBA gives trail builders the skills
they need to properly construct off road trails. Since its founding,
IMBA volunteers have created over 5,000 miles of trails worldwide and
contribute one million hours to trailwork projects annually.
In the United States, IMBA serves as the national organization with state
and local chapters providing the coordination needed to gain support
and authorization for local trail construction. For example in
Planet Bike’s home town of Madison, WI, the local branch, C.O.R.P.
or the Capitol
Off Road Pathfinders,
is an active member of the state chapter WORBA (Wiscosin
Off Road Bicycle Association). C.O.R.P.
holds trail maintenance days throughout the spring, summer, and fall
on trails across Dane County. Without these troops of dedicated
volunteers, much of the sweet, flowing single track across the world
would be nothing more than overgrown thickets.
It’s easy to get involved with your local chapter. If you
are unfamiliar with your local club, you can start by searching here.
When you find your local group, just show up to a meeting or work day
to lend a helping hand. Most chapters have a small yearly due that
helps in supporting the local trails. Now that is money well spent!
Learn Stuff – Trail Building »
Handbook – Spok Light Mounting Options »
3. Advocacy Update – Bike
to Work Month »
Supercommuter – Beth Hamon, Portland, OR »
Advocacy Update – Bike to Work Month
As you may already know, May is National
Bike Month. Each year hundreds of thousands of people participate
in Bike-to-Work week and all other planned activities that celebrate
If you’re not already a member of your local, regional, or state advocacy
organization, perhaps the fun you’ll have participating in Bike Month festivities
will propel you to become a force for change in your community and get involved
in your local bike advocacy organization.
To find the group nearest you, visit the websites of either the League
of American Bicyclists or the Alliance
for Biking and Walking. Both have searches to help you get connected
to your grassroots champions of bicycling.
4. Supercommuter – Beth Hamon, Portland, OR
A supercommuter rides through every season, in all types of weather,
day and night. Choosing the simplicity, health and pleasure of
bicycling, a supercommuter simply prefers to ride a bike to the grocery
store, to work, to a concert or the café.
Portland resident Beth Hamon’s commuting record is hard to beat.
In fact, her bicycle has been a center piece of her car-free lifestyle
for the past two decades. Beth kicked her car habit in the early
when she sold her only car – a gift that her father had given her
to commemorate her coming of age. Beth’s infatuation with
the bicycle started as a child when her older sister removed Beth’s
training wheels and pushed her down the street until she learned to ride
without them. Since that time, she has been demonstrating how life
can be better by bike.
Beth commutes year round from her home in Northeast Portland to Southeast
Portland’s Citybikes Workers’ Cooperative – a
shop she co-owns and where she serves as a mechanic and merchandise buyer.
Her ten mile commute is often completed on her coveted Rivendell
LongLow custom touring bike. Another dependable ride in her
velo collection is her Surly
Big Dummy cargo bike. This comes in particularly handy when
she needs to make a run to the grocery store or farmers market or when
hauling her guitar to her synagogue where she is one of several volunteer
Beth also volunteers for Portland
Sunday Parkways, a series of events throughout the summer that closes
off city streets to automobile traffic so that citizens can freely walk,
bike, and play in the streets. Beth roams the loop on her cargo
bike acting as mechanical support to anyone who needs service.
More recently, Beth started racing cyclocross and short track XC. She
even lobbied the local short track race organizer to add a separate singlespeed
class for women. He did, and Beth will be racing again this year
in the singlespeed class.
Anyone who knows Beth knows that she is committed
to cycling. She vows
to never own a car again and wants to be able to ride a bike until her
last day on Earth. Beth declared, “When I die, I'll be
on my bicycle. I'll just slow down and fall off the bike onto
a soft, overgrown grassy knoll somewhere, with a shady tree overhead, and
I'll look up at the cathedral of leaves and branches with the sun glinting
through and that'll be it. Not a bad way to go.”
you would like to nominate a Super Commuter, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2010 Planet Bike.