One of our tenets here at SORBA-Woodstock is to reach out to new riders and make our sport accessible and enjoyable for those interested in giving trail riding a go. IMBA’s annual Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day is an excellent vehicle for that effort and this year’s event was our most attended TAKMD to date. The weather was great and we had tons of young riders out to enjoy the rides and contests.
Later that afternoon the Jump Jam at Quehl Holler provided fun and excitement for kids of all ages and gave everyone a chance to see just exactly how this trail should be ridden. There was a huge crowd that lined the full length of the course. We’re very much enjoying the new community of riders that have come to Blankets Creek to ride and develop the Holler; it’s great to have these guys join in our efforts and bring a youthful dynamic to the park. We’re also currently working on setting up some Holler riding classes led by the trail’s builder and namesake Ethan Quehl. Stay tuned for more info on that soon.
The very much less interesting, yet ever so important side of managing our trail system at Blankets Creek continues as well. The Wall Ride safety netting is pending approval from the COE. We’re submitting an engineered drawing to the Corps for use as a template for all future boardwalk constructions. A Wetlands Delineation study will soon be ordered paving the way for the new Expert Trail’s Implementation Plan. The parking lot expansion project is finishing its 30 day public comment period and we are anticipating construction will begin in November.
One of the major components of the parking lot expansion at Blankets Creek will be the new restroom facilities. We spent some time discussing the SORBA-W annual budget at this month’s meeting and, believe it or not, the Port-A-Johns at BC account for almost a quarter of our expenditures. We have recently secured the county rate for the Porta-A-Johns, but it will still be a great relief to get those off our books.
On the income side of the ledger, the donation box at Blankets brings in on average about $12,000 annually and is our primary source of revenue. We want to say “Thanks!” to all those that contribute in this manner. Purchasing the raw materials and maintaining the tools that we use to build trails is a regular expense and we couldn’t do all this without your support.
2011 brought us a new, much needed, flow of funds from the race events organized by Mountain Goat Adventures. The three very successful and popular events conducted so far this year have meant an additional $6,000 for our chapter. We are truly grateful to have such a competent and generous partner in Lisa Randall and MGA. The first ever Dirty Duathlon at Rope Mill in late October will be the final event of the year and we expect it to be a great one. Check their website for details.
This Dirty Duathlon will send the runners down the new trail at the Taylor Randahl Memorial Trails which is inching nearer to completion. The trail consists of two loops with the first loop of .4 miles being a very smooth and flowy section of beginner trail goodness. The second loop, which has been rough cut and is rideable with caution, is 1.6 miles long and brings a bit more challenge. The entire trail is designed to provide a stepping stone for those that aren’t quite ready for the Avalanche loops.
The leaves are piling up and the days are quickly growing shorter; soon our thoughts and efforts will be targeting winter projects. Keep us in mind and check the website often for opportunities to help us get some more trails built and more features added in preparation for next year! And night rides, who’s ready for some night rides?