GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

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GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

Over the Finish Line – With The Win

 

Last night the Monroe County Parks Advisory Committee met to review the study done for the Shared-Use trail pilot program in Tryon and West Bay Parks. The report  done by EDR was very thorough and the its conclusion was that shared-use trails had no adverse environmental impact and that the trails have had a positive impact for the two parks.
 
GROC and the efforts of volunteers were recognized by the PAC community with Dave Rinaldo and Larry Staub  stating how much they appreciate GROC's efforts. Many of the opposition were at the meeting but they did not have much to say.  One even got up and spoke very positively about GROC's work. I have to say that that might be one of the best things out of all of this. GROC and volunteers have been positive and inclusive throughout this process. We not only built trails that we want to ride but ones that all trail users enjoy. We set the example for how sustainable trails can improve the experience for all users while minimizing environmental damage.

The question was asked "so what is the process for other parks and shared-use trails?" Larry Staub said that the process for opening other parks' trails for shared-use will include evaluation and study through the master plan process similar to what was done for Tryon and West Bay.

Larry said the they are hoping GROC will work with the County on Greece Canal Park as that park already has shared-use trails as part of it's recent master plan update. If you live in the Greece area and would like to see shared-use trails in this park, please contact Jonathan Brown. We are looking for a Trail Crew leader to manage this new opportunity.
There are also two more parks currently in master plan review, Mendon Ponds and Webster Park. Please contact Jonathan Brown if you are interested in working on getting shared-use trails in either of these parks.

Thank you to all the people who came to the PAC meeting and for all the work done by hundreds of volunteers. This was a significant effort but the results are wonderful for our parks and the sport we love.

Sincerely
Jonathan Brown
President GROC




 

10 Years of Building and Maintaining Shared-use Trails

This year GROC turned 10 years old! Our contributions have been publicly recognized several times over the years for the positive impact on the community including awards for volunteer work from Genesee Valley Recreation and Park Society and the Rochester Parks Society. We also received an award from Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks for asset building in the community. We have received two proclamations from the Monroe County Legislature recognizing GROC's efforts in the community and the improvements to our local parks. The second proclamation was presented on 11/14/2014 by legislators Dan Quatro and Debbie Drawe at full meeting of the Monroe County Legislature.

This year we became an IMBA Chapter, one of only a few in this region. Being an IMBA Chapter provides GROC additional credibility and more opportunity to develop and maintain shared-use trails. Anthony Duncan, IMBA's Mid-Atlantic Regional Director spent a few days with us recently and helped present a sustainable trail building seminar at Ontario County Park. GROC contacted other trail organizations and local land managers and invited them to attend. Despite the cold weather and snow, we had a good number of participants join us for the event.

 

Where we have been?

A look back to where we started and a review of all the work and time invested by our volunteers really inspires us to continue our efforts. GROC can only exist with participation of the community. We have put a significant number of hours into our local parks over the last 10 years and have brought shared-use trails to Monroe County Parks for the very first time. The Ellison Parks Master Plan was the fight that changed the conversation and the trail work we have done since has proven that the off-road cycling community is a significant resource. GROC has contributed over $250,000 dollars in volunteer hours since 2008.

Check out this 2014 Year in Review for the stats and the value of what our volunteers have done since 2008:

 

 

Where can we go?

GROC has a tremendous amount of opportunity. There are 21 Monroe County Parks yet today only 2 are designated for shared-use. In order to begin the process of opening more parks, GROC needs to organize around the County's Master Plan process. There are three park master plans currently being developed. These include Webster Park, Mendon Ponds Park and Powder Mills Park. There have already been some public-input meetings and there will be more in the future. We would all love to see more parks open but trail access comes at a cost. The cost is in leaders and volunteers to build, maintain, and support the park for shared-use. We will need your help in order for GROC to organize an effort to open additional parks.

How can you help?

We all want to see more trails move to shared-use status but there is a lot of work that goes into developing, managing and maintaining trails. Before we can consider new trails, we need to be able to support and maintain the ones we have access to today. The quality of our trails has a direct impact on being able to open additional parks for off-road cycling. So what can you do? GROC needs more than just the volunteers who show up to trail work days. WE NEED LEADERS. Leaders are GROC members who adopt a park they are interested in to take on the role of organizing volunteers for work parties and working with the land managers as GROC's representative.

If you live near a park where you would like to see trails opened for off-road cycling then please consider contacting GROC about becoming a Trail Crew Leader. Don't worry if you don't have much experience. We can help and train you. We are looking for those who love their local park and want to see it open for shared-use.

Thank you to all the volunteers and Trail Crew Leaders who have been keeping our current shared-use parks in great shape.

Dryer Road Park - Mark and Mary Lee Rosenzweig

West Bay Park - Adam Reitz

Ontario County Park - Pete Landre

Tryon Park - Mark Dunn

Please visit the Trail Crew Meetup website to join Trail Crew or to contact me or any of the Trail Crew Leaders: http://mygroc.com/trailcrew

Thank you again for a great year!

Sincerely:

Jonathan Brown
President GROC

 

Check out this 10 year video timeline

 

"It's About Bikes"

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 !

Jonathan Brown
President GROC

 

Irondequoit Bay Park West - Update

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!

 

Sincerely,

Adam Reitz

GROC Trail Crew Captain for IBPW

 

Ontario County Park Trail Update

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

 
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