Westchester Mountain Bike Association
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 Post subject: Re: New age phenomenon
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:50 pm
Posts: 532
Fergie wrote:
Hey MTV!

Just a quick note about how all of this crazy mtb stuff happened in Westchester:
Basically, everything mtb related in Westchester Parks exists because of Dave DeLucia. If it wasn't for Dave, those "No Bikes" signs would still be up at Blue Mountain. Without him, there is a good chance that nothing would be legal, and we would all be poaching powerlines or sluming it on road bikes.

When I first started working on trails, Dave was VERY knowledgeable about trail design and environmental impacts. In addition to his extensive woods knowledge, Dave was also a professional landscape architect, and perhaps more important, has excellent taste, and an acute sense of design. Dave taught me a lot about trail building, and we also both learned a lot from the New York, New Jersey Trail Conference (NYNJTC). Since this was about 1994 or so, IMBA barely existed on the East Coast, and what "mountain biking" would become was still being defined. (Look at a Mountain Bike Action magazine from back then, to gaze at the horror that could have been...) The people with trail building experience were hikers, and we used what we learned to build mtb/hiking compatible trails.

Anyway, without getting into the history of who built what trail, the point is that Dave taught me over 20 years ago, and later we worked with others to build various trails. Dave worked with MTV. Dave and I worked with Chuck, AJ, Scott, and many many others. For example, the trails that Scott recently built involved a handful of people with over 50 years of combined trailbuilding and maintenance experience. I think there will probably be 100 years of combined experience at the lodge party this weekend.

Over the years, many lessons were learned, and some of the trails aged like a pair of acid washed Z Cavariccis, but the trails in the Westchester Parks are among the best in the US. These amazing trails are not the result of luck, but the wise guidance of Dave DeLucia, and thousands of hours of work from dozens or rather hundreds of skilled volunteers. (I should also note that in addition to trail builders, WMBA volunteers have also put in countless hours promoting the sport, running the festivals, races, raising money for charities and the parks, teaching, etc. etc.)

I should also note that the residents of Westchester Country have gotten dozens of miles of well maintained trails for riding, hiking, trail running, nature study, etc. at barely any cost. Mountain biking has gone from a fringe pseudo sport, to a highly respected outdoor recreation institution.

I think the stuff lipster94 is talking about IS the future of the sport, or at least part of the future, but I think that is going to come from the generation that is participating in High School mountain bike races right now, not the generation that can't figure out what size wheels belong on a mountain bike. I also suspect that it will be happening first on the fringes of various golf courses, or other private companies with deep pockets, before it reaches The Parks.

Before we start planning miles of new trails, lets fix up what we got, and build a pump track or two first!

EDIT: And I swear I'll get around to cutting those logs that fell on the beginner trail at Sprain... unless they rot away first...

And for those that don't know :arrow: http://www.63xc.com/erikf/sprain.htm 8)
Thank you Erik.

 Post subject: Re: New age phenomenon
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:19 am 
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 8:07 am
Posts: 1692
Location: Exiled in PA
Fergie - thanks for calling out the support of the Parks and specifically Dave D. At each step of the way, there was a tremendous amount of support and guidance.
I am actively involved with land manager relations in PA and I can say it is not nearly as easy to build a trail or even maintain access to a park as in Westchester. And it is all because we have an active Mtn biker as land manager.
And as far as "flow trails" are concerned, they are IMBA standard issue trails. We are very fortunate to have built our trails before they became fashionable. I do love to ride them and am totally happy to drive to Raystown or Kingdom or wherever to ride them. You know what you are going to get because they are exactly the same everywhere. Very sad in a way. But in the end, I make it a point to ride Blue Mtn more than any other trail network - even the ones only 8 miles from my house.

I don't care what you may have heard, head toward the light.
It's the way back

 Post subject: Re: New age phenomenon
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:12 pm
Posts: 4
Thats a nice throwback article. Great work by the forward thinkers to have a vision to create the network of trails...truly "If you build it they will come".
How do we maintain them so they don't continue to end up in Dicky Brook? or how can we get blow downs cut up in a timely manner? Are these red tape types of issues?

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