GROC sponsored the Kids race and kids area for this weekends Ellison Park Cyclocross race. GROC brings a fleet of Kazam bikes for kids to rip around a miniature cyclocross course. GROC has done the for the last two years and it is always so much fun to watch the kids tear it up like they are racing in the big event. There is an official kids race that happens once a day for the two day event and watching kids from age 4 to 12 run the course will putt a smile on anyone ones face.
The Ellison Park Cyclocross event is put on by Scott Page the promoter and owner of Fullmoon Vista. This year it was the only UCI C1-C2 two-day International Cyclocross bicycle race in New York State. The weekend could not have been any better and the races are so much fun to watch. Cyclocross is growing as a sport faster than any other bike racing category in the US. USA Cycling, cyclocross is officially the nation's fastest-growing two-wheeled discipline: from 32,000 to 110,000 participants and growing and many of the new riders are women and juniors. One of the great things to see at these events is the participation by young, old, male, and female the sport has something for everyone. If your a road or mountain biker or triathlete the range of skills can be applied to cyclocross.
I was talking to Scott Page about the event and he said "It's about bikes, it doesn't matter if its elite racers or the little kids peddling around the kids race course". It struck me that groups like GROC focus our attention on Off-Road Cycling but at the end of the day its about getting people on bikes in any way shape or form we can. Bikes can change an influence communities in a very positive ways. Rochester could be one of the most bike friendly and communities based on its size and vast network of trails around the canals, rail trails, and shorter distances from towns and city destinations.
Rochester seems to have a great many local bike organizations who have there own focus, but we are seeing some progress in our city toward a more bike friendly community. We have seen bike lanes, we have our first shared-use trails in Monroe County, and we see more and more bike events happening around Rochester.
So remember to support biking in all its forms, and get out and try them all !
Within the past year, Irondequoit Bay Park West has seen a number of improvements including the split-rail fencing at on the Blue trail, new maps in the kiosks, extensive work on the Red and Blue trails, and more. GROC Trail Crew’s newest endeavor is an extension of the Orange trail.
The Orange extension project will greatly enhance the current trail network by adding length to Orange and offer some very fun new singletrack. Also, of equal importance, it will allow us to take an unsustainable section offline. While no one wants to see trail go away, closures are sometimes important to protect users (safety) and the landscape (prevent erosion). When the time comes, and we close the section of trail that isn’t working well, please respect the trail closure and the need to heal the landscape of our beloved park.
In related news, I (Adam Reitz) have stepped up to be the new captain for Irondequoit Bay Park West. Most of you know me for the work I’ve done on the Red trail – and more recently leading crews to improve Blue – others know me from my dedication to educating young riders and future trail stewards as Singletrack Academy. I love building trail as much as I do riding it and am particularly passionate about IBPW. I was part of the group that got it legalized,
helped with the initial design and construction efforts, and am dedicated to the future vision of making it a first-class riding destination. I enjoy sharing my passion and knowledge of digging, and I look forward to working with everyone willing to step up to make great things happen!
Work on the Orange extension project has already begun and will take place on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings (until completed). Pitch in and join me, and the GROC Trail Crew, in our effort to enhance the IBPW trail network!
GROC Trail Crew Captain for IBPW
Efforts are continuing to improve and expand the great trails at Ontario County Park (OCP) at Gannett Hill in cooperation with the Ontario County Parks Department. The twelve miles of shared use trails are well designed for great cross-country mountain biking and the shallow, dense hilltop soils create a fairly stable surface requiring less overall trail maintenance. That said, there are always areas that need attention to improve drainage, remove downed trees and maintain bridges. The latest effort this fall on Sept 21th included about 14 people who have all have spent a lot of time working down at OCP who came with tools and went right at it! It was too wet to stain the long red bridge on the Brown Trail so we had a majority of the people focus on de-berming and improving drainage on low spots on green, violet, purple and the brown trail. Park Caretaker Anthony Roberge joined several of us with a dump gator and moved about 6 loads of crusher-run gravel for hand placement on low and perennial wet spots at the beginning of green, lavender and the cross trail right below purple which is always wet and muddy. The gravel is not as nice looking as the natural surface, but it will work itself into the soil and we covered some of the stretches with some subsoil to help bind it together and create a more immediate natural looking surface. Anthony was a great help and we really appreciate the assistance and support of the park personnel. We plan to stain the bridge on the Brown Trail next and spend some time on red and yellow trails making improvements. We have started to scout a new trail to the west of the Brown Trail which would descend significant elevation to a cool “bench” or flat area and return back to the brown trail. Once marked and approved by Ontario County, we will again have a work party to “build” the sustainable single-track, shared use trail.
Peter Landre, Trail Coordinator
Here we are, into fall already. But, we don't want to put a fork into the riding season quite yet. Since the cool weather allows comfortable riding almost every day and we all enjoy seeing the leaves changing colors.
As the GROC project managers for Dryer Road Park, we want to give a status update. As outlined in an article that we posted on GROC's homepage (see ”So sad…”), the trails at DRP have suffered a lot of damage. The reasons for the damage are also described in that article.
From our position and as lovers of the trail system here,at times it seems overwhelming when we look at how much damage has occurred on so many trails. If we, the Project Managers and all the trail crew volunteers, had decided to do little or nothing to correct the damage, the result surely would be that the trails would soon become essentially unrideable and many of the trails could get to the point of having to be permanently closed. Although the Town of Victor fully and generously supports our volunteer efforts, they do not work on building or maintaining trails themselves and are not planing to do so even if we were to walk away. So, we chose to redouble our efforts and are well into a late summer– early fall push to fix and improve the trails. The really great news is that we have had some super work parties and the momentum seems to be growing.
Successes, so far:
- Multiple grade reversals and general trail repairs on VHT (Victor Hiking Trail) have made it smooth, more fun to ride and highly sustainable and they prevent water and sand from cascading down the trail.
- We even built a cool, flat "parking" area just outside the entry to VHT with a great view and plans for more improvements to make it a great rest spot.
- We built an extension of Tree Beard with tandem log-overs that allows the rider to be able to stay on single track between the Tree Beard and VHT, without having to exit onto the field. And, we made a separate short trail off Tree Beard, named Kat’s Cut. I want to thank and acknowledge Reece Kreilick and his scout troop, As part of his Eagle Scout project, joining us to make these trails.
- Improvements at the other end of Tree Beard (near the entry to Bone-A-Part) cleaned up a nasty, rooty chicane around two large trees, avoiding the need of a significant rerouting.
- A grade reversal at the top of Bones now diverts water, which was gouging the trail. Other improvements were made on Bones to improve the ride.
- Several deep troughs had developed on iPod. These were filled and the turns were slightly reshaped with new grade reversals added strategically placed to keep water from running down the sections.
- Above the drop on Bone-A-Part, a deep trough had developed. This area was regraded. On a separate return on Bone-A-Part, which had some exposed and dangerous routes, we were able to reshape and slightly berm the turn to create better flow, less brake dragging and much more fun.
- Jeff Rader, who supervises the parks department crew, brought us loads of dirt to the pump track and then Evan Brent and his volunteer crew reshaped the humps to make it more “pumpable”. We now actually are praying for rain to allow these repairs, as well as the others on the trails, to be packed down.
- Mary Lee has made a lot of new signs to mark the trails with bright white lettering
- Too many to even list! Almost every trail has moderate to severe damage that needs to be repaired. Moreover, some of the trails are getting close to the point of having to be permanently closed if we don't correct the problems that may soon make them unsustainable and too dangerous to ride.
- We will have to go trail by trail to fix and improve them all.
- Just as a tease, I want to let everyone know that flagging has been done by Kirk Bingaman on a proposed new trail, and we will be recruiting volunteers for work parties to make that trail happen
What you Can MUST do:
- Sign up for GROC Trail Crew Meetup, which shoots you an e-mail whenever a work party is scheduled. Of course, you have to attend work parties to be part of the solution. Currently only a very small fraction of the total number of riders participates in trail work. That is not only unfair, but will lead to burnout of these dedicated individuals, leaving no one to take care of the trails.
- Join IMBA and GROC. We must have strong and well-supported organizations at the local and national levels to fight for and maintain access to trails
- Don’t ride when the trails are wet
- Don’t skid your turns
GROC Project Managers of Dryer Road Park