October BoD Meeting Minutes + September Activity Reports

Mid-Atlantic-Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Board Meeting

REI Tyson’s Corner

October 9, 2017

7:00PM-9:00PM

 

Board Members Present

  1. Ernie Rodriguez, President
  2. Rob Lowe, Vice-President
  3. Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
  4. Tom Howe, Membership Director
  5. Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
  6. Aaron Richter, Treasurer
  7. Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director

MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests

  1. Jonathan Kidwell, MORE Trail Boss
  2. Jim Bole: Loch Raven Trail Liaison

Item #1: Current Financials (Aaron)

We are doing well overall. Overall expenses are approximately $10K less than at the same time last year (due in large part to not paying outside support for MoCo Epic this year). BoD held a general discussion of MoCo expenditures. We have booked costs of approximately $25K for MoCo 2017 so far but that will go up, as it does not include purchases made the week of the event. One note was that MORE has made $1500 in interest this year compared to earning zero interest last year and in previous years, due to opening a savings account for a portion of MORE’s cash reserves.

Item #2: VA Trails update (Ernie sitting in for Jeff Niner)

Ernie received a $1,000 check for Bull Run to Occoquan Trail (BROT) that the donor agreed could go to MORE’s general trail fund or remain with BROT. Board will decide where the funds should go.

Lake Fairfax had a work-day today. Take-a-kid mountain biking was Saturday.

Fountainhead had a work-day last week.

Wakefield had a recent work-day.

Mt. Vernon activity is still on hold. MORE is still working w/the liaisons and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Conway Robinson will approach MORE for grant funding for building a boardwalk.

Elizabeth Furnace: MORE has a new liaison and there will be a work-day on the 21st of October.

Item #3 MD Trails Update (Dave)

Brunswick/Rivers Edge: MD SHA has a new grant administration team. MORE submitted a revised grant application, with responses to SHA’s comments. Carlo is meeting w/NICA regarding a future race on these trails.

Greenbrier: Nothing to report

Frederick Watershed: Unauthorized trail building has taking place and this is a problem w/the State/City. There is a now four-person liaison team working in Frederick Watershed and they are working w/SHA, the City, DNR. We have an RTP grant w/SHA, but SHA has additional questions regarding the exact locations of the trails on which grant funds will be used.

Gambril: No report.

Emmitsburg: Nothing to report.

Patuxent: Final field measurements were submitted to DNR and DNR is preparing a detailed map of the trail corridors for the MDE grant application. MORE has provided final comments on the trail corridor map.

Hashawha: Approximately forty people rode the recent discovery ride.

Patapsco: Trail Fest was successful. Rides were difficult. Just over 1100 people participated over two days. MORE is looking at ways to continue to support Patapsco and Patapsco Trails Fest.

*Kudos to Dan Hudson for conceiving and organizing the Discovery Ride series. This has been extremely successful in getting MORE members to ride trails they may not be familiar with

Loch Raven (Jim Boles, liaison in attendance): No progress. No response after amended MOU has been transmitted to the city. No formal work-days, no formal rides, etc. “Old Watershed Style” approach.

Seneca Creek State Park (SCSP):

Rosaryville: Nothing to report.

Bacon Ridge (Anne Arundel Co.): Phase III meeting was recently held.

Damascus: four miles of trail and a skills park being built in a new park just west of Damascus

Fairland: Montgomery County has approved a skills park. Austin Steo’s organization will build it; planned completion is by the end of 2017.

NW Branch Trail: continued progress on extending this trail to a full 7 miles.

Schaeffer and Muddy Branch: County has enhanced the rock features at the S. Germantown Skills park.

Cosca: no report

Cedarville: no report

Chesapeake: no report

Gunpowder Falls: Another discovery Ride in late September. Was well attended, approximately 50 riders. GUMBO (Gunpowder United Mountain Bikers Organization) a MORE partner led the rides. Just beyond MORE territory and approximately 20 miles east of Gunpowder Falls a new state park is being built.

Cabin John: another half of machine built re-route has been completed south of River Road.

IMBA Ride Center Application: MORE and MoCo have re-submitted the Ride Center application.

Item #4: Track it Forward Discussion (Ernie)

Unself continues to make progress in providing FREE volunteer tracking tool for IMBA, however the system is not ready for prime time yet. We’re not dropping Track-it-Forward until the new system is in place and provides a better user experience. We’ve worked too hard to introduce a new system to our liaisons; we need to make sure we keep reporting hours, rides and other volunteer activities.

Item # 5: Dig In Campaign (Ernie)

“Dig-in” is part of the new chapter-funding strategy by IMBA. Any chapter can participate. Patuxent’s liaison, Tom Newton was the only project area to express interest in the program in response from messages from Dave Magill, Jeff Niner and Ernie. MORE submitted for Patuxent. Chapters get 80% of the overall project funding and IMBA gets 20%. IMBA has $50K to share w/all chapters. Ernie voiced his opinion to IMBA that smaller chapters should receive 100% of funding for IMBA-sponsored projects. We should hear on the results of the Patuxent application in the next four weeks.

Item #6: IMBA Update (Ernie)

IMBA approached Ernie regarding feedback to key IMBA leaders; IMBA’s intent is to reach out and meet with every chapter by phone or in person. IMBA is listening to chapters and working on supporting all mountain bike organizations, not just chapters. Ernie noted that IMBA is reaching out and interacting chapters; they are the stakeholders. New chapter program should go live in January 2018. Approximately 70% of revenue will stay w/chapters in the new model. Ernie noted that IMBA is becoming more transparent with their staff so chapters understand who is part of the organization and who is coming and going. A full local “chapter” (see below three different levels that IMBA will now recognize) will give approximately $15/member IMBA—this goes to back-office support, phone support, etc. What this means is that chapters must “help their neighbors.” MORE has been doing this all along and we have been effective at this. No regional directors in the new model. Three HQ back office staff remain – Ernie suggested augmenting back office staff with volunteers to make sure we capitalize on free labor volunteers offer.

Building Community: IMBA will begin focusing on supporting and partnering with ANY mountain biking organization, not just IMBA chapters. This will help in all Mountain biking grassroots efforts.

New levels to be recognized by IMBA: “Supporter” (dig-in funds and very limited support), “Affiliate” (dig-in funding, some professional help, no phone support), “Chapter” (full back-office phone support, dig in campaign and limited professional help).

The weekly membership report from IMBA has been very valuable and will be improving in future iterations.

Strategy is to reduce overhead by not spending as much funds on fulfillments, i.e. mailings, etc.

IMBA will retain the online store and IMBA-branded merchandise. Also looking at co-branding (i.e. a MORE-IMBA t-shirt, MORE-IMBA jersey, etc.). IMBA is narrowing its focus regarding what will be funded and supported in the future.

IMBA outreach: Ernie will recuse himself from MORE topics when issues regarding IMBA arise. Specifically, when the decision arrives regarding MORE’s status as a “Chapter” under the new IMBA model. General discussion ensued about MORE’s Chapter status.

No more Chapter-Charter agreements in the future. MOUs will take place of the C-C agreement. The IMBA-MORE agreement has no expiration; it ends when it is cancelled.

Item #7: November Strategy Retreat: 11-12 (Saturday to Sunday) (Rob)

Tee-up items for November and what we want to discuss. Topics will include: 1) MoCo, 2) fundraising, 3) FY2018 Events, 4) Sponsorship (reaching out to teams and less to bike shops); 5) job descriptions & organization review, 6) liaison program, 7) website future (web & email), 8) elections, 9) membership growth, 10) future board members, 11) Cranky Monkey race series, and other items.

Item #8: Elections (Ernie & Rob)

Open Board seats starting January 2018: President, Vice-President, Operations, and Treasurer.

We need to know who, what, when and get prepared for the upcoming elections. Table this item for the November Strategy Retreat. All prospective Board members are welcome to attend this two-day retreat in WV (90 minute drive from Silver Spring, MD).

Item #9: January 2018 Board Transition Meeting (Rob)

Dave Magill will host the January 2018 MORE Board Transition meeting in Silver Spring, MD. A back-up location is Alexandria, followed by Reston. The meeting is tentatively planned for January 7th 2018, from 10AM-4PM.

Item #10: Branding (Ernie)

MORE must promote and protect its brand. Everything MORE does should have its brand promoted and it must be protected. Please use tag-line “Riding Bikes and Building Trails since 1992” in correspondence.

Item #11: Winter Party (Carlos)

Gwendolyn Coffield Recreation Facility in Silver Spring MD is rented for the February 3rd, 2018 Winter Party. Should we consider holding a spring 2018 (April/May) time event? Could we do a small NoVa Epic, like a combined BROT and Fountainhead ride? Board will discuss in November. For Winter Party, need to consider and plan for key volunteer recognition for 2017, specifically volunteer teams, individuals, liaisons, ride leaders, etc. What types of items will MORE give as recognition? Need to finalize this during the November Strategy Retreat.

Item #12: 25th Anniversary Store Club Ride Store (Rob)

Discussion took place regarding having one more run on 25th Year Clothing. Q: Can we combine awards, general store purchases for members, and the “25 for 25 Campaign”? A: we should discuss and finalize at the November Strategy Retreat. Action Item: Ernie will contact “Club Ride” to re-open the store for MORE apparel.

Item #13: REI Dirt Prom (all)

Dirt Prom will be held at the REI DC store on October 21st from 4PM-7PM. MORE will be a major participant and will be supporting REI. Do we have sufficient advertising and announcements? MORE being asked to provide volunteers for pouring beverages. Board agreed we need major participation for this event. Also, we should be using the #optoutside hashtag to support REI and their “#optoutside” campaign. We should be reminding members to tag: #ridewithmore, #optoutside, #MORE, #MoCoEpic, etc. on all social media platforms.

 

VOTE: A motion was voted on and passed to provide $1,000 to the 2018 Patapsco Restricted Fund as a gift of support from MORE, esp. recognizing the community building that TrailFest creates.

Item #14: MoCo Epic 2107 Update

Steve DonTigny will provide details on behalf of the MoCo Committee. Board requests that the MoCo committee give a de-brief to the board in either November or December.

*The next MORE Board meeting will be held November 11-12th during the November Strategy Retreat in West Virginia.  

September 2017 Activities for the October Report

President – Ernest Rodriguez

  • Ride and Volunteer for Patapsco Trail Festival
  • Meeting with NOVA Parks for BROT redesign construction – build has begun
  • Continue membership communication turnover with Tom
  • Process Patapsco Trails Festival, Fall Camping Trip and MoCo Epic Memberships from BikeReg with IMBA
  • Renew Virginia Tax Exemption filing
  • Teleconference with “Unself” volunteer tracking application for free replacement for Track-it-Forward, maybe next year
  • Apply for IMBA’s “Dig In” campaign for Patuxent River State Park with help from Tom Newton
  • Successfully appealed CFC rejection decision, we are now back in CFC for the National Capital Area!
  • Help with MoCo Epic

Executive Director – Steve DonTigny

  • Loudoun County Trails Summit-PROS
  • Capital Trails Coalition Monthly meeting
  • PHTA BOD meeting
  • MoCo Epic

Vice President – Rob Lowe

  • Ride at Patapsco Trail Festival
  • Trail work at Wakefield – 2 Days
  • Agenda development for October BoD meeting
  • Discussions about sponsorship with various shops/teams, more to follow
  • Unself Meeting to Review Progress
  • 4 Days of Volunteering at MoCo Epic 2017

 

Treasurer – Aaron Richter

  • Filed md sales tax exemption
  • Mailed checks and prepared financials

Operations – Greg Dwyer

  • Posted BoD meeting minutes
  • Social media postings throughout the period
  • Recruiting for upcoming BOD position(s)

MD Trail Advocacy – Dave Magill

  • Lots of MoCo planning; volunteering Sat-Mon
  • Worked with Carlo Alfano to revise Rivers Edge grant application in response to SHA comments
  • Interviewed by MoCo Cable TV along with Todd Bauer regarding MORE and our work on trails
  • Solicited and obtained $250 bronze sponsorship from PBHTA
  • Finalized Patuxent 50 foot trail corridor with Tom Newton for DNR/MDE permit
  • Discussed Loch Raven access situation with liaison Jim Boles and possible next steps
  • Resubmitted MoCo IMBA ride center application with support of MoCo Parks

VA Advocacy – Jeff Niner

  • Corporate fundraising letters written/mailed
  • GWNF trail work logistics preps with new Trail Liaison
  • Email/Call to Barbara Nugent re Mt Vernon Park
  • Email to VA Trail Liaisons re Trail building Best Practices/Safety/Commonsense
  • Trail work social media management

Member Representative – Tom Howe

  • Membership Emails and Outreach
  • Wakefield Trail Maintenance
  • Patapsco Trail Fest 42 Miler (cut short) and volunteered in the beer tent 

Activities Director – Carlos Alfaro

*Did not receive report

Trail Boss – Jonathan Kidwell

*Did not receive report

September Meeting Minutes and August Activity Reports

MORE Board of Directors Meeting

September 11, 2017 at REI NoMA Washington DC

7:00-9:00PM

Board Members Present:

Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez – President

Rob Lowe – Vice President

Aaron Richter – Treasurer

Carlos Alfaro – Activities Director

Jeff Niner – VA Advocacy Director

 

MORE Staff and Members Present:

Steve DonTigny – Executive Director

Jonah Meyers – Assistant Treasurer

Item #1: Briefing on Mid-Atlantic Outdoor Alliance (Jonah)

Meeting with Don Beyer went very well.  Ernie, Steve Jeff and Jonah (all MORE MTBer’s attended the meeting).   He surprised us by asking where we would be biking as he walked in the door.  He did ask us what specifically we need help with, e.g. National Park Service, local trails, power line access, West County Trail (Fairfax).  We will continue to follow-up with specific asks and invitation to interact with membership.

Meeting with US Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD) went well.  Chris (no last name) from Whitewater Paddlers and Jonah attended the meeting.  Will follow-up discussions on Riley’s Lock closures on the Potomac and invitation to interact with members at the Patapsco Trail Festival and MoCo Epic.

Item #2:  Briefing on Financials (Aaron)

All bills are current and funds are accounted for.  We had a check come in from BikeReg as partial payment for MoCo Registrations.  We also had a refund check for our deposit from The Loft for our Gala.  We discussed adding Rob, Steve or both as signers for our bank account.

Item #3:  Briefing on membership (Ernie)

Membership communications have been transferred to Tom Howe who successfully sent out messages to lapsed members and members whose membership will expire in September.  Tom is also taking over daily “Thank you for joining/renewing” emails to members.  We have members who live outside MORE territory and this makes a complete membership count difficult.  Currently MORE has 1,602 members with some members actually belonging to multiple organizations or having duplicate email addresses.  If MORE-only members and duplicate email addresses are filtered out, the membership number is about 1400.

Item #4:  Briefing on VA Trails (Jeff)

Kyle Bondo had a successful trail workday at Laurel Hill in support of Wolf Bouncer (race).  Tom and Carlos were able to get tools to Kyle in support of the work day.

Applied Trails Research completed a trail assessment for the first 6.5 miles of trails at Bull Run Occoquan Trail (BROT).  Larry Cautilli, Steve DonTigny, and Ernest Rodriguez attended a meeting with NOVA Parks and PATC to gain approval to proceed with two segments of trail reroutes.  Reroutes will comply with NOVA Parks environmental and sustainability parameters.

Mike Mullins continues to work on rerouting muddy areas of Conway Robinson to improve trail sustainability.

Ryan Delaney hosted a Prince William County Trails Workshop.  Steve DonTigny reported about 30 people attended including two representing Fort Dupont (Washington, DC) and one Arlington County MORE member.  It was a great class taught by Applied Trails Research for two days of both classroom and field application.

Steve DonTigny is planning to attend the Loudoun County Parks and Recreation Outdoor Spaces meeting to answer questions regarding MORE and building sustainable trails communities.

Continuing work on Mount Vernon, Meadowood, Wakefield, and Laurel Hill by key volunteers and liaisons.

Item #5: MoCo Epic Update (Steve)

We currently have 380 registered riders with three weeks to go.

Steve will continue sending out communications for registration, volunteers, and critical needs.

Continuing work on beer sponsor, final permits, food vendor, logistics, aid stations, fencing, first-aid, demo’s, course marking, seeping and set-up.

Will need help with obtaining artwork from sponsors to create printable graphics for t-shirts, marketing.  A volunteer is needed to coordinate producing artwork and printing.

Will need help with support vehicles to supply aid stations and shuttle riders who are not able to complete course.  A logistics coordination volunteer is needed.

Item #6:  Fundraising (all)

Jeff Niner sent out personal letters to prospective donors with ask for support.

Ernie applied for Keen Effect grant from Keen apparel.

Item #7: Trailhead News (Rob)

We are overdue for an issue of Trailhead News.  Rob is planning to ask for content from board members and publish Trailhead News over the next couple of weeks.  Topics will include our calendar, events, night riding, and trail project updates.

Item #8:  Communications Update (Rob)

Rob will continue to coordinate generation of monthly communications briefs by board members to keep liaisons, staff and members in the know of activities with MORE.  The intent is to standardize monthly communications previously completed by Ernie.

Item #9:  IMBA update (Ernie)

Ernie has accepted a position on IMBA’s Board of Directors effective October 2017.  IMBA will issue a news release.

IMBA has begun the fall membership campaign in support of growing chapter membership.  MORE members who signed up in August through Patapsco Trails Fest, the MORE Camping Trip, or MoCo Epic will be included in the drawings for SWAG and bike as memberships were processed in September, not August.

IMBA is beginning a “Dig the Dirt” fundraising campaign to support local trail projects for chapters.  IMBA has secured a national sponsor who will match funds raised by local chapters, collected through the IMBA website up to $30,000.  These funds will be matched until the fund is exhausted nationwide.  Matching is dependent on local chapters raising funds and only matching the first $30,000 nationwide.

Item #10: MORE’s Fall Retreat (All)

Discussion among Board about upcoming November Board of Directors strategic retreat in West Virginia.  Idea proposed to solicit member input for topics.  Already on the agenda are job descriptions, division of effort/labor, task assignments, events, membership, branding and communications.

Item #11: Winter Membership Meeting and Summer Festival 2018 (Carlos)

Carlos has already reserved Seneca Creek State Park for our 2018 summer festival with a deposit.  Carlos has reserved Gwendolyn Coffield Community Recreation Center (in Maryland, site of our previous Winter Meetings) for our Winter Membership meeting and will finalize the time and deposit soon.

 

August Activity Reports:

 

Steve DonTigny

  • IMBA All Staff calls
  • Capital Trails Coalition meeting
  • Bikenitc Dirty Crit
  • BikeArlington Our Shared Streets Pop Up event
  • NoVa Parks BROT meeting
  • Prince William County Trail Building Seminar

MoCo Epic

  • MoCo Parks meeting/logistics
  • Final Permitting
  • Menu Planning, Whole Foods meeting
  • Team Meeting, volunteer committees, task assignments
  • Aid Station letters, Sponsor Packages sent
  • BikeReg editing/updates, e-blasts, funds request
  • Inventory of supplies
  • Rental payments/deposits
  • Sponsor calls
  • Family Ride Day planning, sponsors

Dave Magill

  • Revised IMBA ride center application for MoCo; which is being given final review by MoCo parks before submission to IMBA
  • Finalized routing for Pepco trail in MoCo from Muddy Branch to Soccerplex, allowing the license agreement to be finalized and permitting to begin
  • Working with Tom Newton, collected all data for Patuxent permit applications, working with DNR to finalize map/gps track needed for permit applications
  • Working with Carlo Alfano, amended the Rivers Edge RTP grant MOU based on discussions with SHA personnel, awaiting their feedback regarding whether the MOU is now in a form SHA will execute, which allow work to begin on the project area
  • Procured additional pavers for SCSP, fixed stepping stones on Seneca Bluffs trail and drainage on the Schaeffer whoops.
  • Supported MoCoEpic route planning.

Ernie Rodriguez

  • Membership processing for Fall Camping Trip, Patapsco Trail Fest and MoCo Epic
  • Transfer of membership renewal communications to Tom Howe
  • Meeting with Don Byer in support of multisport advocacy
  • Meeting with NOVA Parks for Bull Run Occoquan Trail

Tom Howe

  • Assumed ownership of membership renewal communications from Ernie
  • Provided tools to Kyle Bondo (of Reckoneer) from the Wakefield tool cache for his Sunday, 9/10 Work Day at Laurel Hill in support of his upcoming races the weekend of 9/23, 9/24

Jeff Niner

  • Compiled/mailed out fundraising letters & materials to companies on Steve D’s list
  • Arranged donation from CenturyLink SVP (one for IMBA, another for MORE)
  • BROT re-route meeting preps/review
  • Conway-Robinson re-route preps/review
  • Helped arrange tool loan to Kyle Bondo for 9/10 trail work day at Laurel Hill in preps for Wolf Bouncer Race

 

Aaron Richter

  • Paid bills,
  • worked on books,
  • filed for Maryland sales tax exemption.

 

Carlos Alfaro

  • Delivered new tools to Mt. Vernon (Thanks to Tom Howe). Trail work there is great, going to wind down for winter to only 2x a month trail work days.
  • Reservation for Summer Festival Completed, Seneca Creek State Park, Saturday June 02, Paid In Full
  • Reservation for Winter Membership Party almost done, Gwendolyn Caulfield Center, Saturday February 3, 6-9pm, Not Paid Yet, Staff marked it on hold, just waiting on nonprofit price and will pay for it with my CC.
  • Offered help to Phil Von Hoen for MORE Fall Camping trip.

 

Greg Dwyer

  • Various social media postings, emails, etc.
  • Posting of monthly BoD minutes to the MORE web-page

August BoD Minutes + July BoD, Staff, and Member Activity Reports

Mid-Atlantic-Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Board Meeting

REI Tyson’s Corner

June 12, 2017

7:00PM-9:00PM

MOREBoardMeetingAug2017Agenda-Draft

Board Members Present

  1. Ernie Rodriguez, President
  2. Rob Lowe, Vice-President
  3. Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
  4. Jeff Niner, VA Advocacy Director
  5. Tom Howe, Membership Director
  6. Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
  7. Aaron Richter, Treasurer
  8. Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director

 

MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests

  1. Steve Dontigny, MORE Executive Director
  2. Jonah Meyers, MORE Vice-Treasurer
  3. Jonathan Kidwell, MORE Trail Boss
  4. Brad Hawk, MORE Ride Coordinator

Item #1:  2017 Budget/Financial Review + Gala Financials (Aaron)

Budget is looking good.  Thus far in the calendar year we’ve earned ~$20K in membership donations and $1K in interest made on our investments.

Gala raised $14,484 ($7,200 in tickets). We’re still waiting to see if/when we get our deposit back.  Many lessons learned.  Happy to report that we’ve made money from this event.  Next event may be five years from now, for a 30th anniversary.

 

Item #2:  Membership Update (Ernie)

As of this month, we’re at 1,452 members.

 

Item #3  MD Trails Update (Dave)

Rivers Edge:  Call tomorrow w/MD State Highway Administration.  They have not signed any of the MOUs that were awarded over 12 months ago.  We want to use the grant from the city of Brunswick to match the existing grant.  A slow process.  It’s a $15K grant and there must be a $7,500 matching grant to see this to completion.  We’re trying to use volunteer hours for the match.  No volunteer work completed before the grant was signed will be applicable to list as “costs” towards the $7,500 matching grant. SHA requiring a much more specific plan for how we provide the match (hours vs. $’s) and what it is used for (work plan) than in past years.

Gambril and Frederick Watershed:  good turnout during recent volunteer workdays.  Still awaiting land survey for the FY2017 grant. SHA wont execute the grant until the specific trail(s) we plan to work on are identified.

Emmitsburg:  Nothing to report.

Patuxent:  Dan Hudson is responsible for the MD Department of Natural Resources permits.  New co-trail liaison for Patuxent, Steven Cover.  *Dave reached out to a local equestrian organization to collaborate at Patuxent for volunteer trial work and funding.  The organization is PBHTA (Potomac Bridle and Hiking Trails Association, http://pbhta.org).

Hashawha (Carrol Co.):  Ride this coming weekend (August 19/20) on Sunday the 20th. It will be MORE’s Trial Series Ride #3.

Patapsco:  Patapsco Trail fest organizers have extended an invitation to MORE BoD, liaisons and staff to ride and participate for free. 

Seneca Creek State Park (SCSP):  The park-funded design for hiker/biker bridges (lighter and easier to build vs. equestrian bridges) is done; this was paid out of SCSP’s budget.

Rosaryville:  The large bridge is out (land around it washed out).  This is the third “temporary” bridge fix before a longer-term bridge can be installed.

Bacon Ridge (Anne Arundel Co.):  Nothing to report

Damascus:   Four miles of trails built and nearly ready to open.

NW Branch Trail: Three miles of trails being built to extend current four miles of trails will soon be open.

Schaeffer and Muddy Branch:  Pepco is looking good to approve and permit the connector between these parks and hopes to get work started (to be done by MoCo Parks and MORE) later this year.

Cedarville:  the recent ride event was cancelled due to rain.

Chesapeake: *MD trails committee approved the allocation of $1K from the general trails fund to the Chesapeake Trails Fund for Chris Garrett to buy tools.

MoCo Ride Center Application Update (Dave):  Application will soon go to IMBA for consideration. MoCo has the lead for the application, w/assistance by MORE BoD and staff.  Feedback was received on the application that focused on details and information regarding trial types in the area.    MoCo will fund the “professional services” to evaluate the application (i.e. someone from IMBA will ride the trails over a week-long period). This is supported by Casey Anderson of MoCo Park and Planning.

There is also a discussion about a new “urban/metro ride center” concept that IMBA may create that IMBA thinks would be well suited for the DC metro area.

 

Item #4 VA Trail and Advocacy Update (Jeff)

Bull Run to Occoquan Trail (BROT):  Applied Trails Research (ATR) (https://appliedtrailsresearch.com ) has been selected to complete the trail assessment for BROT.  We expect to have the assessment completed and work started by end of 2017 or early spring 2018.

NoVA Parks HQ:  Met w/Barbara Nugent.  Discussed Lake Fairfax pump track and an award for building community and maintaining the pump track.   Discussed Mt. Vernon Park status; working w/the Park manager on education and other opportunities.  Working to set up a future meeting with Fairfax County Park Board member Lynwood Gorham after the August recess period for access to Mount Vernon. Goal is to eventually be granted approval for MORE to take over the trail maintenance for the park.

Conway Robinson: looking to work a re-route at bottom of a hill. 

Meadowood:  MORE’s liaison is looking to work w/Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on a re-route at bottom of creek. Possibly a boardwalk.

Laurel Hill:  Looking to restore current trails but plan must be approved by local users, i.e. equestrians.  Mike Applegate and Chris Morin have been very, very active at Laurel Hill doing great work.  Kyle Bondo is working with FCPA and trail liaisons to host a race at Laurel Hill.

Accotink:  Volunteer workday is needed–Trails could use some brushwork, downed tree removal and cutting.  Looking to hold a trail workday in the near future.

Wakefield:  A trail-work day should be organized in the future—need is there.

Loudoun County:  MORE is looking to get more involved in Loudoun Co.

Loudoun Co. has reached out to MORE for trail master planning support.   IMBA will be involved in a future telecom w/County staff—the idea is that IMBA would design the trail and MORE would build it.

Trails Summit in Stokesville:  IMBA coordinated a mountain biking summit at the Stokesville Loge through a grant from a MORE member to create the VA MTB Alliance.  The VA MTB Alliance is an advocacy and networking organization designed to share ideas and best practices among all VA mountain biking organizations while creating a stronger advocacy voice with land managers and elected officials.

Purceville Watershed:  Jay Pelletier is looking to participate as the trail liaison and get MORE members riding on the trails.

Prince William County:  Trail Building Workshop in Prince William Co. and partnership w/Ryan Delaney: (Sept. 9/10):  looking to support at next month’s workshop. A two-day class put on by Applied Trails Research.  Ryan D. has extended an invitation to MORE members who are considering becoming trail liaisons.

Motion put forward by Jeff Niner:  to re-allocate $16K from the General Trails Fund and $15K from the Fort DuPont fund to support BROT upgrades.  The original source of these funds were REI grants, and REI supports the reallocation of the grants to the BROT.  Applied Trail Research (ATR) is making the assessment to re-do the trail from fountainhead to the marina.  Motion passed unanimously by BoD.

Motion put forward by Dave Magill:  to move $13K from the 25th Gala Event proceeds into the Grants Working Capital Fund.  Motion passed unanimously by BoD.

Item #5:  VA Mountain Bike Alliance (Ernie/Steve)

IMBA organized chapters and unaffiliated mountain biking organizations including MORE is working as a forum to coordinate, share best practices, and creating a unified voice regarding MTB trials in VA.  VA MTB Alliance its own entity which Steve and Ernie will participate with along with other volunteers interested in advocacy.  It looks to be the beginning of a great information-sharing group with joint advocacy benefits.  No cost to MORE. Richmond, Roanoke, MORE, CAMBO, Lynchburg, Shenandoah and a couple of other clubs initially attended and the group is looking to involve other groups like Quantico and Prince William Co. trails.

 

Item # 6: MoCo Epic Update (Steve)

MORE is close to similar registered numbers at this time last year; we are 12 fewer than last year.  Email marketing is helping and MORE is currently delivering hard-mail marketing into the field.  Two potential beer sponsors:  Denizen and Smoketown brewery.  Denizen offered to donate two kegs and sell MORE additional kegs at wholesale price.  Denizen will provide a tap system for the day.  Steve will continue to reach-out to other breweries.  Action: BoD recommends reaching out to DC Brau, and in any case ensure there is enough can beer at the event given how high the demand is when all the riders return in the afternoon. (Greg and Steve to coordinate).  Working w/Whole Foods to supply some of the aid stations w/drinks and fresh fruits.  Action: Steve to ensure vendors know they have to supply their own refrigeration.

Bike route issue:  a routing issue in Kentlands—re-routing around an October Fest celebration already in place at Kentlands.

Committee update:  Steve needs to meet w/the groups and get the volunteers up and running:  Trails, marking/clearings, parking, course marshals, beer servers, etc.

Permitting is underway; scheduled to meet w/the parks at the end of this month.

 

Item #7: National Public Lands Day (Ernie)

National Public Lands Day is October 1st.  MORE does not yet have a coordination/outreach plan.  REI wants to be included and involved.  Jeff and Dave will coordinate and develop a plan.

 

Item #8: 25 for 25 Funding (Ernie)

The BoD needs to start advertising it.  Ernie will work with Martin to develop webpage and social media blitz in support of the $25 for 25 years fundraising campaign.

 

Item #9: Fundraising Effort Update (Ernie)

Action:  Board Members are asked to provide updates to the Fundraising Plan Steve drafted six months ago.  Action Item: all board members will report fundraising contacts at our next board meeting.

 

Item #10:  Winter Membership Meeting (Carlos)

Q:  Shall we reserve the Caulfield Center or look for another venue?  A:  YES—lock it in, but let’s also be on the lookout for another venue for next year, where riding is close-by, such as the facility at Fairland Regional Park near the Icehouse Pavilion.  Action: Carlos will look at options at Fairland regional Park. The Winter Membership Meeting will be held the day before Super Bowl in early February 2018 as in years past to maximize attendance.  Need to focus on the details for swag: Cannondale, Shimano, Trek, etc.  MORE is looking to recognize trail volunteers, members.  We will begin the silver spokes award process for nominations, voting and coordination of awards.

Q:  What about the summer member’s meeting location?  Action:  Carlos should also reserve the summer venue at the same location and do this within the next two weeks.

 

Item #11:  Communication Schedule & Fall Trailhead News (Rob)

Rob is reviewing all of MORE’s communication activities—Trailhead news will go out in the future (i.e. by the end of September, Quarter Three).  Need to Solicit articles & topics from BoD, staff, and MORE members.  Q:  When are MORE’s major events happening?  A:  They seem to be bunched up in late spring, summer, and fall.  What about getting a trail work calendar out at regular intervals?  Ernie:  three months ago we talked about assignments for all the BoD.  Action:  Ernie will follow-up on trial descriptions and reminders for BoD’s responsibilities for communications.

 

Item #12:  General Topics
Q:  When will elections be held for the vacant Board positions (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Operations)?  Late November/early December.  Strategy session will be held in early November (11/12).  Next month will most likely be Aaron’s last BoD meeting but will work remotely to support the BoD.  Fall Camping Trip in September is also on the calendar.

 

*The next MORE Board meeting with be September 11th at REI in MD, 7PM-9PM. 

 

July 2017 MORE BoD, Staff, and Member Activities for the August Report

 

 

President – Ernest Rodriguez

  • Membership
    • Work with Tom to send out reminder emails to lapsed and expiring members for renewal
    • Send out daily “Thank you” emails to renewing members
    • Attended DirtFest at Big Bear in WV as MORE
    • Attended MORE’s 25th anniversary gala
  • Advocacy
    • Attend and join newly formed “VA MTB Alliance” with Steve
    • Focus is on networking for sharing ideas, best practices and creating a strong state voice for advocacy
    • Attended meeting with Steve DonTigny and Ryan DeLaney with Congressman Don Beyer for MTB advocacy
    • Attended meeting with National Park Service with Steve DonTigny and volunteers for trails, reroutes and possible pump track
    • Working with NOVA Parks on selection and path forward with BROT sustainability work
  • Support
    • Participated on Gala committee planning
    • Sent out personal emails to members encouraging them to attend our fundraising gala
    • Processed and tracked gala ticket sales and donations
    • Processed Women’s Intermediate MTB Class registrations for Simona and Anne
    • Participated in IMBA’s Ride Center discussions and application for MoCo
    • Applied for grant from Keen shoes, “Keen Effect”
    • Created website and Facebook post
    • Trails committee, tool grant for Chris Garret to support building new trails in Carrol County

Executive Director – Steve DonTigny

  • Public Open House – Benjamin Banneker Park Project
  • Ft Dupont NPS meeting
  • Gala Committee calls
  • 25th Gala Event
  • Staff Calls
  • Capital Trails Coalition meeting
  • VA MTB Alliance weekend
  • Google drive and contacts database
  • OA planning calls
  • OA Meeting with Rep. Beyer
  • MoCo Epic:
  • marketing materials to VA shops, MD volunteers
  • Whole Foods meeting, contract
  • Beer sponsors
  • Final permitting
  • Aid Station letters and confirmations
  • BikeReg account and emails

 

  • MoCo 2017 Signups – 141 Riders / 191 with Volunteers – 2016 – 203 at same point.
    • The 25 Miler: 21
    • The Whole Foods 40M 66
    • The Shimano 55M 15
    • The Sandy Spring 75M 23
    • Sweeper/Course Demark 16

Vice President – Rob Lowe

  • Lead Wakefield Rides
  • Ad-hoc Wakefield and Accotink Trailwork/Trimming
  • Aug BOD Meeting Agenda and July Activities Report
  • Attended 25th Anniversary Gala
  • Communication Schedule Research

 

Treasurer – Aaron Richter

  • Prepared books and paid checks
  • Meet with CPA and finalized 2016 tax return and financial review
  • Attended 25 Gala
  • Attended MORE EF ride

 

Operations – Greg Dwyer

  • Gala Event participation and beer delivery
  • Secured small business donation for the Gala–Shine Massage of Riverdale, MD
  • Recruiting for upcoming BOD position(s)
  • Social media postings throughout the period

 

MD Trail Advocacy – Dave Magill

  • Developed and submitted IMBA Ride Center application for MoCo, obtained IMBA feedback, working on revised application
  • Drafted and submitted MORE maintenance agreement for the Pepco trail to MoCo Parks
  • Worked with Carlo Alfano on Rivers Edge RTP grant, trying to get SHA to accept our plan and execute the grant MOU, redrafted the application
  • Collected GPS data at Patuxent River for submission to DNR for permitting
  • Processed grant request from Chris Garrett for Chesapeake Church Trail with Trails Committee
  • Arranged delivery of more pervious pavers to SCSP
  • Led Schaeffer Farm trail workday
  • Helped organize Hashawha ride and communication between our liaison and parks dept

VA Advocacy – Jeff Niner

  • Met with NoVA Parks rep at their HQ to discuss status/way ahead for Mt Vernon Park
  • Pushed ticket sales/Attended 25th Anniversary Gala
  • Scheduled meeting w/ Mt Vernon Park Supervisor
  • Drafted Email to VA Trail Liaisons re Trail building workshop (9/9-10)
  • Distributed MORE promotional materials (stickers and hang tags) at FH parking lot on 8/5

 

Member Representative – Tom Howe

  • Working with Ernie to take over reminder emails to lapsed and expiring members for renewal
  • Working with Ernie to take over sending of the daily “Thank you” emails to renewing members
  • Working with Ernie to streamline / understand process of automatic email notifications for membership sign-ups
  • Attended MORE’s 25th anniversary gala

 

Activities Director – Carlos Alfaro

  • Assist with 25th Anniversary Gala
  • Attend 25th Anniversary Gala

 

 

Trail Boss – Jonathan Kidwell

  • Updated website and Track it Forward
  • Began distribution of tools to liaisons
  • Attended 25th anniversary gala

 

Ride Coordinator – Brad Hawk

  • Attended 25th Gala
  • Various social media (FB, Instagram, Twitter) postings

 

Fundraising Development – Jonah Myers

  • OA DMV planning call
  • OA DMV meeting with Rep. Beyer
  • Donations tracking
  • BOD recruiting

 

Historian and Website – Martin Fernandez

  • Web maintenance
  • Member communication; mostly forwarding answering queries from site/Facebook
  • Participated in Gala committee; gathered solicited imagery and put together anniversary video; reached out to old members for messages

 

25th Anniversary Video

Tap…TapTap…DRIP…Tap…

Since we are celebrating our 25th anniversary we thought it would be fun to dig through our archives and share some of the articles and news we published on MORE’s first printed newsletter, “Trailhead.” Over the next few weeks we’ll “Throw back Thursday” and share some of these with you.

The item below appeared in MORE’s January 1998 issue during undoubtedly a period of rain, or in anticipation of looming weather. Then President Dan Hudson put his thoughts on paper to draft this message, still relevant today; well, $4 for a movie?!? Enjoy!


President’s Column
A Few Words from “the Prez” by Danny Boy Hudson

You’ve been hearing it for hours. A dream perhaps? Squenching your eyes, you try to wish it away…Tap…Drip…Tap…The sound of rain. It’s different at every house. At mine, I hear the drops bounce off the chimney cap, punctuated by the occasional drip down to the damper flap. After it becomes obvious sheer will is not parting the clouds, you drag yourself out of bed and survey the damage. First comes the window-peek. You fortify yourself with dry sunny thoughts and lift a curtain corner. Damn. Branches blowing. Leaves swirling. Puddles boiling. Not what one pictures when thinking of ideal riding conditions. The remaining hope? Storm localization. It wouldn’t be the first time Washington has gotten soaked while Frederick or Front Royal remained balmy and clear. Off to the television for a weather radar fix. Nothing like cold hard facts provided by the latest technological wonder to once-and-for-all buoy one’s spirits or drown them in the muck…

As an aside, I’ve really got to hand it to WRC, TV-4. While most of their competition is featuring Reverend-Dujour or cut-rate cartoons whose characters’ images don’t even blink, WRC broadcasts news early both Saturday and Sunday mornings featuring weather updates at least four times an hour. Just what the enterprising outdoor enthusiasts too weak or cheap to have cable needs to accurately plan their day. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah.

…There is no dry refuge in the cards today. The mottle of blues, greens, and yellows makes it perfectly clear we are headed into a third consecutive wet weekend. No riding for Dan again.

I have a question. How many of us remember what they did before dedicating their lives to the pursuit of better biking? I’ve been doing this for seven years now, since the later years of school, and honestly can’t recall. This realization dawned as I balanced my bike on the porch and seriously considered an attempt at riding up some steps and into the living room as the rain pelted the windows around me! One nasty weekend is easily survivable. Let’s be honest, we all could stand to do a little routine maintenance on our steeds. Clean a chain, repack some bearings, retention a wheel, all those things we’ve been putting off till just such a rainy day.

If you’re good, you could probably even find time to finish and make it to the matinee. A second bad weekend starts to push the limit. By this time, your ride is cleaner and in better working order than all those Trek-Fisher Bontrager-Klein-Lemonds lined up down at the local shop. Sure you could go to another movie, but is Gattica, even with Ethan/Uma (hey, gotta be fair!), really worth 4 bucks? Football? Just doesn’t have the attraction anymore. Three consecutive rain-outs is enough to cause panic to set in. The lucky folks can get a fix by tuning into the Outdoor Life Channel or slapping a copy of Tread into the VCR. Just have to get outdoors? Now is a good time to consider running. How much harm can you do to yourself or the pavement by jogging in the rain? Definitely the cruelest circumstance for the conscientious trail cyclist is for the sky to suddenly clear after nonstop torrents have turned all the trails within a hundred mile radius to mush. Aiiieeee!!!

Seriously, we don’t realize how much fun cycling really is till we can’t do it. But if you want to keep riding, resist temptation and stay off the trails when it’s gooey. We are real lucky here in the Mid-Atlantic. Our riding season extends pretty much year-round. Many of our brother and sister cyclists in hallowed riding areas like Durango or Moab find themselves cooking in an oven or buried under a ton of snow for large chunks of the year. Us? We’ve just got to put up with the occasional wet or snowy stretch. Shoot, it’s unusual for our trails to be out of action for more than a week at a time. The surest way to mess things up long term is to hit the trails when they’re not ready for it. While the physical damage may be short-lived, you can be sure that the memories of irresponsible use will be long-lasting in the minds of unsympathetic land managers and those who want bikes out of the woods altogether. Of course, some trails drain better than others and MORE will be sensitive to prevailing conditions when scheduling rides in the damp times of the year. But when in doubt, please stay off the dirt.

Are you aware RockShox specifies routine maintenance on their Judy fork, which requires the removal of the legs, every twenty hours?T? I bet it takes most of the next rainy morning just to get the fork boots back on right!

The Inner Workings of the Next Generation: Chris Chance and his Latest Shock-a-Billy

Since we are celebrating our 25th anniversary we thought it would be fun to dig through our archives and share some of the articles and news we published on MORE’s first printed newsletter, “Trailhead.” Over the next few weeks we’ll “Throw back Thursday” and share some of these with you.

The item below appeared in MORE’s March/April 1997 issue shortly before we raffled off the Shock-a-Billy frame generously donated to the club by Chris Chance of FAT City Cycles. Then President Dan Hudson put together this article with details about the frame and the raffle.. Enjoy!


In my new duties as “Head Honcho of Raffle Operations,” I’ve been sharing a lot of time with the Fat City Shock-a-Billy. Spend even a few moments looking at its details, especially in the form of the rear-end, and it is obvious Chris Chance put a whole heap of thought into this thing before wheeling out FAT’s second generation full suspension steed. But there are many other highly regarded sprung rides out there which attempt to solve the problems inherent in suspending a bicycle in completely different ways. How did Chris arrive at what he thinks is the ultimate form of mountain bike suspension? Through the magic of e-mail and the INTERNET, I got to ask him…

Schock-a-Billy

MORE: Describe the Shock-a-Billy in one sentence.

FAT: More than just a good giggle on rough downhills!

MORE: MTB suspension has grown in fits-and-starts. The first design which gained widespread acceptance was the original “Amp”: low pivot at the bottom bracket, shock inline with the seatstays, and extra pivots by the rear dropouts. Many full suspension bikes, including the first-generation Shock-a-Billy, borrowed these concepts. While it provided the first practical cross-country suspended ride, there was still much room for improvement. The long stays were flexible. The shock was asked to handle lateral as well as compressive loads, leading to a lot of maintenance headaches. The extra pivots also added to maintenance. And brake performance for traditional cantilevers on the rear was compromised as there was no way to pull from the center as required. In an effort to correct these problems, designs have again diverged. Trek went for a “unified rear” on their Y bikes, GT uses a “four bar linkage” technique on the LTS series, and Cannondale continues to refine the old “cantilever beam” approach. The new Shock-a-Billy uses yet another approach, a variation on the original “Amp” where the shock is isolated by a rocker_ Why did you go this route instead of one of those chosen by Trek or GT or…?

FAT: There’s a lot that we liked about the AMP design and a lot that needed improvement. We went to a rocker design on the seatstays to remove the shock from part of the structure of the frame, to provide better control of the rear wheel and better braking. We moved the main pivot to midway between the large and middle chain rings to minimize the adverse effects of chain tension through the range of gears in those two chain rings. When in the small ring, there is a slight tendency to pull the rear wheel down, thus aiding in traction in steep climbs. The swingarm and pivots have all been beefed up to further minimize flex, thus providing more control over the wheels, All of the pivots have been thoroughly sealed, in an effort to minimize water and soil intrusion which contributes to bearing wear. I think we’ve done a really good job with our custom designed seals and oil ports in the main pivots.

MORE: All suspension frames tend to be “busy”. After all, placing a hinge in the middle of a bike frame is going to require a little bit of extra material! As a result, many full suspension frames are made from aluminum to save weight. Even diehard steel fans like Ibis have used aluminum in their full suspension rides. Yet FAT continues with steel for the Shock-a-Billy. Why?

FAT: We’ve built our Shock-a-Billy with chromemoly because we’re able to get the material to do what we want. Our expertise with chromemoly is unsurpassed and our goal is first to refine the frame design, pivots and seals; and second, to focus on weight reduction, where appropriate_ We’ve built and sold several hundred original Shock-a-Billys and have learned the pluses and minuses of working with an aluminum rear end. As a result, we chose to build our new full suspension rear end using chrome-moly, as it was the most versatile given the frame design. Where you have space constraints between the chainrings and the tire, we can maximize clearance and stiffness with chrome-moly because of its greater stiffness.

MORE: I have heard rumors of a linkage retrofit for the Shock-a-Billy which will boost its travel. What is the latest?

FAT: Our Shock-a-Billys have been designed as cross-country bikes, not downhill-specific bikes. We are more committed to this aspect of the sport and have concentrated our efforts accordingly. We have no plans to design any retrofittable increased travel rockers at this time.

MORE: A more general question… Is full suspension the direction mountain biking is heading? In the past, we’ve had members of MORE dabble in it to come back to their hardtails. How does the Shock-a-Billy fit into the scheme of things at FAT?

FAT: Full suspension is here to stay. All off-road vehicles have full suspension and there will be customers who favor increased comfort and ease of mobility in rough situations, for whom the Shock a Billy will be a joy to ride. However, there will also always be people favoring a lower tech approach and, perhaps, less aggressive terrain, where a hardtail paired with a suspension fork will deliver the performance they’re after. Note, too, that we are seeing an increase in demand for our Big One Inch forks (Fat’s premium rigid fork) which leads us to recognize that there may also be a long-term demand from a smaller segment of the market who prefer a rigid setup as a function of their particular riding styles and/or terrain. Cost, weight and maintenance are factors to consider when evaluating whether to go fully suspended or stick with a hardtail. We dig all of the combinations and try provide a wide enough range of frame designs to meet the needs of all of our customers.


Chris also asked me to forward the news that he is again his own boss. In 1995, FAT City got caught up in the swirl of buyouts and consolidation that struck the cycling  industry and for the last two years has been part of Serotta. Unfortunately, the move to upstate New York did not work out as everyone had planned. As of March 1st, Chris Chance became owner, for the second time, of Fat City Cycles.

So that is the word from the man himself. But how does it ride you ask? Well, club member Peter Webb got to have an extended six-week trial on the ‘Billy late last year. Comparisons are made to Peter’s personal steed, a FAT City Yo Eddy equipped with a Rockshox Judy. In general, “to compare it to my Yo would be very easy, (the Shock-a-Billy) handles just as good in tight singletrack as well as being great at high speed descents. The only real difference is at the end of a long ride, my body was not aching all over. Peter comments that he didn’t notice the additional weight, just enhanced performance due to the suspended rear.

The Shock-a-Billy tested came in at approx. 26 lb. versus Peter’s Yo which is a svelte 23 lb. Also, he made no mention of the unwanted “flex” or “‘wag” in the rear-end that plagues so many other suspended rides. I think the most telling comment on the Shock-a-Billy’s performance are Peter’s parting words_ “I liked it so much I’ve ordered one!”

I’ll conclude with just one paragraph of shameless groveling. If you have been on another planet for the past six months, you might not be aware that MORE is raffling off a Shock-a-Billy frame to benefit our trail projects, in particular Fountainhead. And it is not one of those lame-o deals where some company dumps last year’s model in some unsellable size and color on a desperate organization. The winner of our raffle gets a shiny new Shock-a-Billy built and painted to order!

Tickets are $10 each and the drawing is June 8th at the “24 Hours of Canaan.” You need not be present to win. If you’d like to purchase, or better yet, sell some tickets, contact Dan Hudson at (301) 345 5214 or see me at any MORE membership meeting. Every ticket sold is another tool, waterbar, or sign, making the trails better for all users in the region.

We thank FAT City for stepping up and doing its part. We thank our members who have or will rise to the challenge as well.

 

New MORE Logo Design Contest

A few gems from our archives, the submissions to MORE’s logo design contest; circa 1994

The Year in Review

Since we are celebrating our 25th anniversary we thought it would be fun to dig through our archives and share some of the articles and news we published on MORE’s first printed newsletter, “Trailhead.” Over the next few weeks we’ll “Throw back Thursday” and share some of these with you.

Here’s a “year in review” article from the Nov/Dec 1996 issue of Trailhead. 1996 was a banner year for MORE, and a busy one! take a look….


MORE is on Track in 1996

When negotiating a new track, every rider must find that elusive, almost mythical path that we call “the line.” Within the trail itself, of course, the line is that particular route for our wheels that offers the least resistance, demands the least exertion, promises the least impact, entails the least peril, and delivers the most fun in traveling from point A to point B — usually about ten feet. Where the line lies is sometimes a matter of consensus, sometimes not. Finding it is often a subjective, Zen-like matter. At even five m.p.h. down a rock-strewn singletrack, conventional deliberative decision-making is, in practice, far too taxing. Instead we de-stress and feel, focus and find our way through the line almost intuitively. And a sweaty grin is our reward.

Dan Hudson, MORE's ride leader and candidate for President receives commemorative trail tool from IMBA's new President, Ashley Korenblat, capping of a great year for MORE.

Dan Hudson, MORE’s ride leader and candidate for President receives commemorative trail tool from IMBA’s new President, Ashley Korenblat, capping of a great year for MORE.

In 1996, organizationally speaking, MORE found “the line.’ We picked our way through a maze of public hearings, advisory group meetings, volunteer work days, trails conferences, fund-raising efforts and sundry educational workshops, and we ended up with… well, a big sweaty grin.

What does that mean? It means that because of MORE, mid-Atlantic mountain bikers were welcomed onto singletrack in two park systems where, before, bikers were banned. Montgomery County opened two parks in metro Maryland, and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) authorized the construction of new, bike-legal singletrack in Fairfax County. And the Schaeffer Farms trail complex, built mostly by MORE, is open and nearly complete.

It means that more generated over 1,500 hours of volunteer labor maintaining and building trails. (Add 200 hours for public meetings and hearings.) Your work commitment through MORE underlies the changing reputation of mountain bikers in our area. The result: Fifteen miles of brand new singletrack, and some ten-miles of newly legal trails, all attributable to MORE/you.

It means that MORE has been honored by major bicycling organizations, like the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) which bestowed upon IviORE its 1996 Model Program Award, and the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club (PPTC) which this year awarded MORE not one but two grants under its Community Services Grant Program.

It means MORE members benefit when bike businesses contribute money to trails, and product and discounts to trail users, through MORE. Fat City Cycles (national), Performance Bicycle Shops (VA, MD), City Bikes (DC), Blackwater Bikes (WV) and Whitetail Ski & Mountain Bike Resort (PA) have all decided, with good commercial reason, that MORE members arc worth an investment.

It means that MORE has raised 54,000 for parks — most for Fountainhead Regional Park. We’re well on our way to reaching that $6,000 goal, thanks to your generosity. And more importantly, we’re learning how to raise substantial money for trails for all user groups.

It means that some 250 people joined MORE in 1996 — including Fifty women. It means our members now range in age from 16 to 53. It means responsible riders, from sponsored speedmongers on the race course to fire road roving leisure lovers, all found a comfortable place at MORE. Our variety of rides and events suit our variety of members.

It means that MORE members helped found the region’s first volunteer bicycle patrol, working in close cooperation with the Maryland-National Capital Park Police. Volunteers serve as roving good Samaritans, trained in first aid and police procedures, acting as eyes and ears for local law enforcement. It means a positive, high visibility role for trail cyclists.

It means that MORE made our good web page great (see the newest update yourself and watch that “hit counter” go?) On top of that, we put out a top-flight newsletter, Blowing our own horn? Maybe. But then several of our stories are slated for re-printing in national magazines!

It means that despite all the education, advocacy and occasional preaching, MORE still considers plain old fun to be our ultimate mission requirement. Just when you think you’ve heard more appeals than you can endure about helmets, the Rules of the Trail, low impact riding and the need for trail maintenance, we lead a spectacular ride through GW National Forest, unfurl a wacky game like Frizbike, conduct an eccentric night ride through the heart of the city, or throw a party or a picnic that you just won’t ever forget. We know where our roots are and, if need be, we invite you to remind us.

Of course, all was not perfect in Fat Tire Land 1996. Our revered treasurer, Trish Bunn, was afflicted with Lyme Disease in Wisconsin several months before suffer-ing an unrelated burst blood vessel in her head while in Colorado. Thankfully, she’s on the road — or the trail — to recovery. Charlie and Valerie Theriault, who left an indelible mark on the club through sheer personality (and lots of hard work), moved to Minnesota. And the once-hallowed family name of Kosmicki now no longer appears on our roster.

In the trails department, the Frederick Watershed was nearly closed to bikes, and the spine of the Catoctin Ridge, the blue trail, remains threatened. Maryland, despite its normally positive approach towards trail cycling, may curtail biking in Patuxent River and Gunpowder Falls State Parks under new “Wildlands” regulations. And across the region, isolated land managers consider the misguided strategy of segregating trail users, needlessly limiting where hikers, bikers and equestrians may go.

And 1996 was severely wet. We know that riding muddy trails damages them, and so we don’t. But Mother Nature has certainly put a damper on conscientious riders this year. (Any more bad weather, and we’ll all become permanent roadies.)

All in all, though, it was a great year to be member of MORE. With your active participation, 1997 will be even better!

FAT City Cycles Sponsors Fountainhead Trail

Since we are celebrating our 25th anniversary we thought it would be fun to dig through our archives and share some of the articles and news we published on MORE’s first printed newsletter, “Trailhead.” Over the next few weeks we’ll “Throw back Thursday” and share some of these with you.

Ever wonder why Shock-a-Billy Hill is called that? Well, as part of our sponsorship agreement with FAT City Cycles, we promised the custom frame builder to name a gnarly section of trail after their signature frame; This articled appeared in the September 1996 Issue of Trailhead. Read on for the scoop.


We're getting FATter: MORE vicePresident Martin Fernandez (right) and Newsletter Editor/all around MORE guy Andy Carruthers (left) finalize the FAT alliance with Wendyll Behrend-Chance of FAT City Cycles during the 1996 Newsweek 24 hours of Canaan.

We’re getting FATter: MORE Vice-President Martin Fernandez (right) and Newsletter Editor/all around MORE guy Andy Carruthers (left) finalize the FAT alliance with Wendyll Behrend-Chance of FAT City Cycles during the 1996 Newsweek 24 hours of Canaan.

Shock-a-Billy Frame to be Raffled; October Picnic Slated

Getting FAT? We are,

Fat City Cycles, that is, A high performance frame builder based in upstate New York, has teamed up with MORE to sponsor the Fountainhead Regional Park mountain bike trail in Fairfax County. As a primary sponsor of the region’s foremost MTB trail initiative, Fat City has agreed to provide $2,500 in cash and merchandise including a full suspension Shock-a-Billy frame to be raffled. Fat City has also subsidized MORE’s new four-color informational brochure under the exciting terms of the MORE-FAT partnership. Read on to find out how you, MORE, Fat City and the Mid-Atlantic mountain bike community can win, win, win!

Here’s a chance for you to get FATter: on Sunday October 20th, MORE and Fat City Cycles will be holding our Fall picnic at Fountainhead Regional Park. We hope to have several Fat City bikes for you to test ride on singletrack, in addition to the usual socializing and hoopla (B-B-Q, Frizbike, sundry bike-based fun). Details are still in the works, so please consult the Ride Line (703-502-0359) or contact Susan Musante (703-807-0143) for the latest info in October. [Please, please remember that this event is strictly limited to members of MORE and FAT Cogs (Fat City Owners Group members) and their families. The Fountainhead trail is NOT completed and NOT open for public use yet.]

A strong reputation for quality and customer service has already made Fat City among the most preferred brands of quality mountain bikes in the prosperous Mid-Atlantic region, Fat’s sponsorship of the Fountainhead trail is a measure of that! company’s commitment to trails and an acknowledgment of MORE’s success garnering positive press and the respect of land managers and trail users region-wide. The partnership means higher visibility for FAT, more funds for Fountainhead and ultimately, more open trails for all.

Sales of the ten dollar tickets began at a brisk pace at the July 21st Fountainhead fund-raiser ride, where a special guest appearance was put in by Jim Hasenauer, president of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). In order to assure all participants a fair chance at winning, ticket sales will be capped at 1,000. Thus far, MORE has raised over $2,000 of our $6,000 goal for the trail project, including some $600 in raffle revenue.

To purchase your tickets, bring cash or checks to the next Fountainhead trail day– September 7th at 9:30 AM!!! (Call Doug Oates for details at his new number–(703) 660- 6409.) Or attend a 7 PM MORE meeting on the second or fourth Tuesday of the month at the Fairfax Circle Performance Bicycle Shop or the first Tuesday at

the Rockville Performance. Not convenient? Send your check or money order (payable to “MORE”) to MORE/Att: EZ, P.O. Box 2662, Fairfax, VA 22031 along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Your tickets will arrive by mail within three-to-four weeks. Full details about the Shock-a-Billy raffle will be available on MORE’s stellar Web page (http://apollo.gmu.cdu/-chain/more). Additional information can be obtained by e-mailing FntnhdFund@aol.com or by calling MORE President Ed Zimmerman at (703) 779-3576.

Sink some bucks in a chance at high-end equipment while directly supporting your access to top-quality trails. Write a check now!


Follow up – The article below, by Andy Carruthers, appeared in a July/August 1997 issue of trailhead announcing the winner of the FAT City Cycles Shock-a-Billy Raffle.

Trail Volunteer Wins Shock-a-Billy Raffle

“Holy (Cow!) I cannot believe it!” Says Annandale Native.

The Winner, Carl Begeson

At the close of Newsweek’s 24 Hours of Canaan, the crowd was never so hushed as when Chris Chance of FAT City Cycles climbed the stage and pulled the winning ticket for MORE’s marathon raffle. The lucky winner? You.

You and every cyclist in the region who rides trails like Fountainhead and Schaffer Farms, projects made possible in part by raffle revenue and publicity. Yeah, yeah, yeah… we know, but who really won?!

The answer? 34 year-old Carl Bergeson, who got his lone ticket for volunteering at a MORE trail day.

Bergeson, a MORE member for three-plus years, had this to say when told of his good fortune: “GET OUT!” An incredulous pause, and then: “Get out of here. Oh my God, you’re kidding me?!” he said. Finally, when his skepticism waned: “I WON THE SHOCK-A-BILLY!!!!”

Bergeson’s well-won current bike, a 1993 Specialized Rockhopper Comp with rigid fork, had “hit everything except the lottery said Bergeson. The Raffle has made possible a radical upgrade. The Shock-a-Billy frame, with a suggested retail price of about $2,000, was generously donated by FAT City Cycles.

But gear isn’t everything as Bergeson acknowledged. “I’ve always been impressed with MORE. It’s a whole attitude. They’re not a bunch of bike snobs. Just a lot of people who enjoy mountain biking.” And, he added pensively, “go to a work day, you never know what will happen.”

How Far We’ve Come…

Since we are celebrating our 25th anniversary we thought it would be fun to dig through our archives and share some of the articles and news we published on MORE’s first printed newsletter, “Trailhead.” Over the next few weeks we’ll “Throw back Thursday” and share some of these with you. The “Of Note” below appeared in the December 1995 Issue. It gives you a snapshot of how long the club and its volunteers have been working to gain access to valuable riding destinations…

The included attachments represent early work by MORE’s leadership and key volunteers to gain access to the “Shed”. These, along with many more efforts from our current liaisons and dedicated volunteers such as Philip VanWerkhoven, David Kalt, and Joe Whitehair set the tone that led to MORE’s current MOU with the City of Frederick; Indeed, how far we’ve come…


Of Note…

…the Frederick Watershed remains open! The Utility Committee of the City of Frederick met November 15th to consider the impacts and issues surrounding trail cycling. Early rumors of an imminent closure caused MORE to mobilize in advance of the meeting, contacting local officials and consulting with IMBA’s Tim Blumenthal. Member Brad Convis addressed the committee armed with stats about our trail maintenance activities and a willingness to work with land managers to mitigate problems. Public officials stressed that the Watershed area exists to provide the city with its water supply, and was not particularly intended as a recreational area. They also expressed safety concerns about illegal parking along the roadside. Nonetheless, they seemed amenable to continued use by mountain bikers and welcomed MORE’s initiative.


The letter below was submitted by then MORE’s VP Martin Fernandez to the Frederick City Council to offer MORE’s help in maintaining the trails. MORE Member Brad Convis used it when addressing the committee, along with additional documents.

MORE Letter to SHed

Brad’s request to schedule a trail work day at the shed was promptly approved.

Frederick Watershed Letter