Tuesday, December 10, 2013

SLO: Mountain Biking, Backpacking and Hiking with Meetup.com

Meetup.com: I'm doing all my mountain biking rides through meetup.com, so I encourage you to sign-up for the SLO Mountain Biking meetup group. I am also in the Central Coast Hiking meetup group. Finally, I am also in the SLO and Central Coast Backpacking meetup group. I encourage you SLO types to join all 3 and go on some great outings.

If you don't know what meetup is, read bout it by clicking here. Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest. For me, I joined the Mountain Biking, Backpacking, and Hiking meetup groups in San Luis Obispo - you should try it. We had a great ride yesterday (Saturday 12/14/2013) out at Montana de Oro.

Willow Springs Trail Work Day Friday 12/13 and Saturday 12/14/2013: Things are going well on this project.   BUT we will definitely be working this Saturday.  We've had a pretty good volunteer turnout so far but for sure need folks this Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th, 2013.  I think we are set for tomorrow (Thursday 12/12/2013) with some A.G. hikers and Forest Service folks.
Above: Manzanita tree next to a trail work tool (photo from Sunday 12/8/2013 CCCMB.org trail work day at Santa Margarita Lake in SLO County. See trail tools for more information on the tools we use for building trails, including the McLeod tool above.

We are easy to find.  Highway 166 to Pine Canyon Fire Station on the left and then almost exactly 4 miles to the trailhead on the right/south side.  You will see cars in the parking area about 50 yards off the road.  If you get to Rock Front Ranch you've gone too far (probably because you had your eyes closed).  Showing up at 9:00 is just fine. The weather has been great.  By 9:30 the sun is over the ridge and it is very comfortable trail work weather.  Bring food and plenty of water. See CCCMB.org for more details and information.

Sunday 12/8/2013 Santa Margarita Lake Trail Workday Update: At the last minute, I had an opportunity to participate on this trail work day with about 30 to 40 eager (but cold) CCCMB.org trail workers. We had a great day clearing brush, and I have the photos to show it! Click to enlarge - Enjoy!

Email update from CCCMB-er, Kathy R.: 28 people (bikers, equestrians and hikers/runners) came out for this workday, focusing on the new Sapwi trail extension.  Amazing work was done -- brushing and tread work that was a great start on this section of trail.  Lots of brush was gathered and moved to a main trail intersection for future chipping.  More opportunities to work on this trail in the future!  Thanks for everyone who came out.  

Raffle winners were:

Jonalee Istenes- Riding Warehouse

Michael Moise-K-Man Cycle and Run

Tom Becker- Galley Restaurant

Paul Reinhardt-Wally's Bike Works
Bill Waycott-Trinity Cyclery

 Above: The eager trail crew gathers in the 25˚ cold weather - eager to get started - and get warm!

 Above: we get to cross the narrow lake in the park's pontoon boat - about 15 at a time.

 Above: mission of the day - brushing the trail route and hauling out the abundant brush - after bundling it up first. As the trail got longer, we had to carry the bundles further!
Above: End result - bundles of foliage at the trailhead, awaiting the chipper-shredder crew.

Bike Bell Update! Bill Jenkins of CCCMB.org reports that after a devastating fire last year at Bevin Brothers Bell Co., the BELLS are BACK! Find them
at a bell box near you! Please borrow and return to any bell box or you can donate 4 bucks each at Bells4Bikes.org Let everyone know you are sharing the trails. Bells are also for sale at Art's Cyclery, Cambria Bicycle Outfitters, Flanders Bicycle, Foothill Cyclery, Pedal Power, Riding Warehouse and Wally's Bicycle Works.

Here's a photo of the bells with different sponsors' names on them (stole the photo from my pal Bill J.):
Yes, bike bell's are a bit goofy, but they are integral to safety on the trail, IMHO. Our local trails are used by bikes, hikers and equestrians, and to date, we have been relatively successful at sharing the trails among these users. In the event that unresolvable conflicts arise, it is my opinion that the mountain bikers will lose and get kicked off the trails. So we have a vested interest in avoiding incidents out on the trails. Bike Bells are one way for the higher speed bikers to let other trail users know we are coming (before we get there).

Yes, the bells are annoying to us bike riders, but they effectively notify hikers and horses that we are coming, and can be heard from several hundred feet away. I almost always use bells when I ride, especially on weekends on popular trails, but I am the only one in my riding group that uses them - I understand why, but its still too bad.

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