GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

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GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

Washington Grove Public Meeting - Tuesday, April 26th

On Tuesday, April 26th, the city is holding a public informational meeting regarding the trails in Washington Grove, at Cobb's Hill Park. This is a great opportunity to get your voices heard about access to more riding in the city!

The city will be conducting an assessment of the overall trail system, including an evaluation of existing trails and uses, as well as recommendations related to best practices for enhancement and maintenance of the trail system, and conceptual design for trailhead entrances.

With the success of Clean Up the Parks this weekend, let's continue to show the community that GROC is a valuable asset. Details on the meeting are below:

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 
5:30-7:00pm

Tay House Lodge
85 Hillside Avenue, Rochester NY 14610

Meetup.com Event

 

State of GROC 2016 - Spring Kickoff

Dear Members,

I wanted to touch base with everyone to fill you in on the latest happenings with GROC. Since the beginning of the New Year, things have been moving and shaking in our leadership / volunteer ranks and out in our community. Let me start off by telling you about our reorganization efforts.

As many of you know we hosted a volunteer meeting back in Feb. to recruit new volunteers into various areas of GROC. This meeting, as well as volunteer info we collected from our Jan. survey, produced many new volunteers that have now founds places on our committees. And, I’m happy to report that all the positions we identified for our Communications Committee have been filled, our Trails Committee is staffed and also has many new contributors from the downhill community. We found new volunteers for the National Mountain Bike Patrol, and we’re looking forward to training lots of new trail crew once this weather begins to cooperate!

Another area we have focused on is our operations. We have spent a good amount of time on producing a variety of documents designed to clarify job positions within GROC, as well as guidelines that will help us function more effectively now and into the future. We also have been examining our practices & procedures from a liability perspective to ensure GROC and our volunteers continue to operate safely and without incident. And finally, we developed an evaluation system for assessing potential properties we are offered to build trails on…not all are suitable for shared use trails, so we needed a system to identify the good candidates.

From a membership perspective, we decided that we wanted to be more transparent and improve our communications. So, we made it a priority to consistently post meeting minutes on our website, and have also developed a communications plan that will utilize a variety of platforms: social media posts, newsletters, emails, and videos. We are even working towards producing articles that we hope our membership will not only enjoy, but will also find informative. And, in keeping with the idea of transparency, we want to share with our membership how their dollars are spent so, while I have your attention, let me tell you about that.

First off, you need to know that being an IMBA chapter means they are responsible for handling our membership transactions and information. For this, and some other services they provide for us, they get 60% of your membership fee. Of the remaining 40% we get, half of it goes to covering our insurance costs. That generally leaves us with a few thousand dollars to pay for event expenses, volunteer awards, and tools. Most of our building materials are provided by the Towns / Counties we partner with. We have comfortably operated within this budget for many years, but rarely have any excess. Looking to the future, if GROC and our membership wish to take on new projects – new trail networks, bike parks etc. - we are going to need more paying members, and this has been on our radar too!

Speaking of looking to the future, we have some cool stuff in the works I’d like to share with you…some of you may have heard that we are looking at new areas for trail development, and that’s true. We recently walked through Greece Canal Park, and several Chili properties. Most of these properties are not well suited for trails, but we are still in talks with Chili about one undeveloped property that has some promise. We will get back to you on this once we have more info. We have also walked a 300 acre property in Sodus, and though it is quite a way out there, this property has potential too. We are currently waiting to do a second walk through to assess the area when it is dry. We expect that a decision about whether we take this project on or not will come by the end of spring.

Another potential project that is in the very early stages of development is the construction of a new bike park at Dryer Road. Many of the details of this project are still up in the air, but we have spoken with Brian Emelson, Victor’s Parks and Rec. Supervisor, about our ideas and have been given a green light to put together a formal proposal for the project. The board will be voting on whether to proceed with creating this proposal at the end of this week. However, everyone should know that putting together a proposal does not mean the bike park is a done deal. If it is to move forward, A LOT of work will need to be done on our part, and we will absolutely need your support. We’ll be sure to keep everyone in the loop as things develop!

And last but not least, we are planning to have co-sponsored trail work days once a month with some of the local bike shops. We are still working on the details, but these work days would be fun filled, work, ride, eat events that we hope will bring the mtb community together, not only to get some trail work done, but also to enjoy the great trail networks we have built!

Looking back over the past 4 months we have accomplished a significant amount. I’m really proud of the progress the organization has made and know it was only possible with the work of our dedicated volunteers. THANK YOU to all that have recently stepped up to fill areas of need, and for the die-hards among us that have kept, and continue to keep, the GROC torch burning. I’m excited for the future of this organization, and mountain biking in our community. Let’s continue to envision what we want it to be and make it happen!

See you on the trails,

Jeff Wright

President

 

Survey Results

Hello GROC members & fellow riders,

We wanted to say thanks for taking our survey and for sharing your thoughts. We value your feedback and opinions! For those of you that are interested, I have enclosed the results of the survey which was completed by over 150 people (from the member meeting & online). A few things we learned and intend to work on are signage at Tryon Park, developing more advanced level trails and/or include more technical lines & features on existing trails. From comments that were included on the surveys we also learned that many people are looking for more riding destinations, want to see areas that contain jump lines and other bike park type features, as well as riding options for beginners, and additional places where fat bikes can be ridden in the winter (we have been hearing this on some surveys, but also on social media).

GROC intends to follow through on all of these suggestions, and for some of them, conversations / brainstorming is already underway. We are excited about taking on these projects, but as you know, everything we do is accomplished by volunteers. So, we need your help! Please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you're not currently a volunteer to find out how you can help.

VIEW COMPLETE SURVEY (PDF)

Sincerely,

Jeff Wright
President
Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists

 

Winter Riding & Trail Abuse

There are more winter riders than ever due to the popularity of Fat Bikes and warm El Niño winters in the Northeast, but we must be mindful of the harm that can be done to the trails that we’ve spent so much time to create during the summer.

Yeah it’s winter and that doesn't mean you have to stop riding. Actually once ground frost takes place and it stays cold it is less harmful to a trail than soggy fall or spring riding. Please help take care of our trails and spread the word!

Winter Riding Tips:

  • Ride when the trail is frozen - go early if it is going to warm up.
  • If it is cold and frozen the trail is "dry".
  • If it is wet at the trailhead it will most likely be wet on the trail, let it freeze and try it another day.
  • Stay off thawed trails it takes a toll on the surface.
  • Avoid wet areas, get off and carry you bike, ruts ruin trails.
  • Roots, leaves, ice, snow packed trails…be careful!
  • Dress appropriately, stay warm and layer.
  • Cycling speeds increase wind chill, i.e. frostbite on exposed skin
  • Exposed metal on skin can cause frostbite, watches, key chains, jewelry
  • Bring a cell phone
  • Your camelback and line might freeze. Try to keep it internal.
  • Keep your bike outside before you ride, warm bike = frozen parts.
  • After your ride if you bring the bike inside make sure it dries completely before you take it back outside.
  • Use winter lubricants and grease.
  • When the bike drifts sideways make small corrections rather than over steering.
  • Plastic parts freeze and become brittle, be kind to those parts

 

 

Corbett’s Glen Park Update

Following the email correspondence from the Town of Brighton Superintendent of Parks Tim Beeman on Jan 17th, GROC was informed that the Town would be officially closing its park to bicycles citing excessive trail damage due to bikes and pedestrian safety issues. After complying with the Towns request to inform our membership of the closure, GROC representatives requested a meeting with Town officials to address the concerns stated.

On Jan. 28th, GROC representatives Jeff Wright, Adam Reitz, and Mark Rosenzweig, met with the Town’s Commissioner of Public Works and the Superintendent of Parks. There were a variety of issues discussed, but the majority of the conversation focused on several key areas:

  1. The Town has a 1996 ordinance that states bikes are not allowed in any Brighton Town Parks, unless otherwise authorized.
  2. It was GROC’s understanding that Corbett’s Glen Park was open to cyclists due to certain language that was written in the Town’s 2004 Master Plan document that refers to the trails as “multi-use,” even though the plan does not specifically cite cycling as a permissible activity.
  3. The Town’s current administration does not interpret multi-use as inclusive of cycling.
  4. Any excessive trail damage was not caused solely by cyclists, but by all users as a result of poor trail design, water, and excessive trail use when conditions were delicate.
  5. In exchange for inclusive access, GROC would be willing to support Corbett’s Glen Park by offering to help educate users on proper trail use and contribute to trail work projects.
  6. GROC as an organization has contributed over ten thousand hours of volunteer trail work to the 4 parks it has created shared use trails in, equating to over three hundred thousand dollars of value added to those parks. As a respected organization in the community, representing a growing user group, we wish to be included in plans for future park development and when park master plans are up for review.

On Friday Jan 29th the Town of Brighton followed up on the meeting with an email stating that they decided to move forward with officially closing the park to bikes and asked that GROC continue to spread the word of it’s closure. Park personnel will be posting signs at some point in the near future informing park users.

We are disappointed that the Town of Brighton has chosen to exclude cyclists from Corbett’s Glen, but this advocacy effort has brought awareness to Park and Town officials, not only regarding our organization, but the off-road cycling community in general. If you are a Brighton resident and are unhappy with this decision, we would encourage you to contact Town officials to express your disappointment with their multi-use policy, and to advocate for a more inclusive shared-use policy.

GROC Board

 

 


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