Monday, December 18, 2006

Meeting Report

There is a lot going on so I apologize for getting this out so late. Whaddyagonnado?

I'd like to personally thank everyone for coming and to those who TRIED to come out. We had a solid group of 25-ish show up. I estimate that this group represents a solid 100 riders. Everyone told me that their friends couldn't make it and that they were to report back. Here's a quick shot of half of the room. I was paying too much attention and should have taken more pics... Sorry.

As a recap, I told the story of how we got where we are today in terms of the Norris Lane jumps. If you scroll through this blog you'll get details but here's the short story. Time line might be off as I'm stoopid:

Mid 05 - stuff shows up at Lewis and Clarke (depending on who you talk to, it's called different stuff). I started riding it and paying attention.

Fall 05 - Full-time trail crew mentions to Eric that they saw a bunch of jumps off of Norris Lane and they are going in there to remove (destroy) it all. Eric and I ask for a stay of execution to talk to park management about the features. Dan and I go out there to take pictures and check it out. MORE and MAMBO put out the word to find out who is doing all the building and ask them to stop and open a dialogue.

Spring 06 - Dan, RickyD, Eric, Jeff, Amy, Jen and I meet with then park manager Gary Burnett and he agreed that we could keep the stuff for a while. He asked that we do what we can to stop the builder as a condition of it staying. Dan, Eric and I pitch the idea of a new site for a jump park with legit stuff in another area. He's stoked and thinks it's a good idea. We have another meeting with Austin, Dan, me, Eric at Park HQ to show him what we are talking about and he's still stoked.

Fall 06 - MORE is still defending the Norris Lane stuff until the new stuff gets built. Gary Burnett gets re-assigned and we start working with District Manager who is also stoked on our ideas. We bring in Ben from IMBA Trail Solutions to work on the layout and design of a Hilton Area site that looks promising.

Winter 06 - I find out Ben will be in town, we convene a meeting, people show up, I blog about it... Here we are! I also spent a few hours in the woods at Patapsco with Ben and Dan at the proposed Hilton site. Looking at the ground and listening to Ben describe what we are going to do was rad. I was able to really visualize what we are talking about and it will be amazing if we can pull it off. This is going to be one cool riding area!

I handed off the mic to Ben from IMBA and he explained what was bad about the site and why we are talking about another site. He lays out his pedigree of building experience (including street courses for pro riders like Aaron Chase in Asheville). We then talked about what we want to do on the site, time line for the building and approval process, $$, rider involvement, etc. We asked everyone to write down what they want to see and we got some great feedback.

In January, there's a DNR Resource Planning meeting at the Norris Lane site. Staff from Annapolis DNR HQ will be coming out to see the jumps. MORE will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the realities behind how this happened and our desire to avoid bike-trail-whack-a-mole in Patapsco. The MORE Patapsco Attack Team is me, Eric, Jeff, Joe, Dan and Austin. Most of us will be there. If you want to be involved and can take the morning off during the week, just let me know and we'll coordinate.

February is the quarterly meeting of DNR people who approve the projects in all central region state parks. Our Patapsco Attack Team (I just made that up and I like it) will be presenting and asking for approval of this project. It's rare to have access to this group and we are confident that we can push the project through at this meeting. Here's hoping.

MORE has ponied up cold hard $$ to pay IMBA for technical trail construction plans. I occasionally hear bad stuff about MORE regarding stunts, jumps, etc and people think that MORE is responsible for taking stuff out. The reality is that MORE is made up of people like me and you. We work for ALL KINDS of riding. Ever ride at the 495 jumps? MORE and IMBA have been involved in keeping that alive for years now. Do you like some of the log rides and new trails out at Patapsco? That's MORE. If you support this type of stuff, you should be a member. If you live in the area, you should be a member. If you DON'T live in the area but support this type of stuff, you should be a member. This is OUR organization and if you think stuff is going in the right direction, you should volunteer to help out. If you DON'T like the direction that in which MORE is going, you should be involved and change that direction. It's a democracy and we all need to pitch in to get it right. Join MORE, join IMBA, show up to trail work, volunteer for the board, show up to meetings and help make mountain biking better in this area.

Preachy, eh?

Hit me with questions. Thanks again for coming out. Check back for updates. Keep a good thought and Happy Holidays!


At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks again for all the help and support, mike. this is mike - i was at the meeting (at avalon cycles (the guy concerned about going out there to tear down jumps all alone). i want to help out. if you have a group going out to do some tear downs, please include me. you can reach me at - i am out of town for xmas from 22-27 but back after that and ready to rip.

At 11:29 PM, Blogger gwadzilla said...

just as basketball players need backboards and rims
it is nice to have nets as well

the mountain bike culture is an evolving sport

it is foolish for this coast to not embrace some of the developments of the sport

I think the Fort Dupont/Fort Circle area could do well to have some more cut trail, then some man made stuff, as well as a pump course

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please do post the January meeting date and time once you know it...with a few days' notice I bet several additional souls will make an appearance!

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Big Daddy Mike said...

Thanks guys. Jan 9th is the date.


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