1. Learn Stuff – Trail Building

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.

Trail 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!

1. Learn Stuff – Trail Building »

2. Accessory Handbook – Spok Light Mounting Options »

3. Advocacy Update – Bike to Work Month »

4. Supercommuter – Beth Hamon, Portland, OR »

 

 

25 to advocacy

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2. Accessory Handbook – Spok Light Mounting Options


Our Velcro-attached Spok lights are super versatile making it easy to ride home safely when you’re out past your bedtime. If your handlebars or seatpost are too cluttered opt for an alternate mounting position. Don’t limit it to our suggestions. See how creative you can be with your Spok lights. They’re available individually as front and rear or in sets.

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3. 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 the bicycle.

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.

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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 90s 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 music leaders.

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.

If you would like to nominate a Super Commuter, please contact us at info@planetbike.com.