Building MORE trails at Cosca

AN update from Austin Steo, Cosca Trail Liaison

The Scott Scudamore National Volunteer Leadership Award

Nominate a MORE Volunteer for the IMBA Scott Scudmore National Volunteer Leadership Award


Most MORE members have surely heard the name of Scott “Scud” Scudamore in conversation throughout the years. If not, here is a brief introduction to one of MORE’s most active and dedicated volunteers, from my perspective…

In the early 90’s, when I was part of MORE’s Board, we organized a ride to Gambrill State park. Nothing out of the ordinary. Back in those days our riding destinations were limited and Gambrill was one of our primary meeting points (Gambrill, in fact, was one of the first parks MORE adopted to manage and maintain trails on). That scheduled ride would be different. Those in attendance would be treated to something new: the energy of Scott Scudamore.

I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “who is this guy? where the heck did he come from?” His riding, at the time, had yet to match his enthusiasm. I kept hoping for the ride to end so that we could see him make it safely to the parking lot. Despite the many falls, scrapes, and scratches, Scud finished the outing with what I came to know as his distinctive smile. Immediately after he wanted to know when we would be back out again, and how he could become more involved so that he could ride with us more often.

That was his way. After knowing him for over two decades I seldom found anything that Scud did in which he did not devote himself 100%. Shortly after that ride Scud started to be come more involved and became an integral member of MORE’s leadership and active group of volunteers.

That first meeting also led to many more and began to forge a friendship between us that would last until the day he left us, way to soon. I counted Scott amongst my best friends. Not only did we ride together constantly, but we became friends off the bike as well, doing things together completely unrelated to the sport.

In the time I knew him, Scud became highly involved with the club and rose to become a driving force behind many of the initiatives that MORE follows today. For years he volunteered and helped our organization forge into the future, along the way he made hundreds, if not thousands of friends, and showed all of us how to live life to the fullest, – to be passionate about what we love.

Scott ScudamoreShortly after he passed in late December of 2013, Then MORE president Ernie Rodriguez, Vice President Jason Ashmore and I crafted what would become MORE’s Pillars:

We crafted these specifically from Scud’s contributions to the club. From these we devised the MORE Scott “Scud” Scudamore Memorial Award with the idea of giving it to MORE’s most devoted volunteers. Since the award was instated it was awarded to Frank Raiti (2013) and David Scull (2015), two people that have been instrumental in ensuring we all have places to ride in the region.

I was extremely excited when earlier this year IMBA announced that it planned to award outstanding individuals who make significant contributions to the mountain biking community in his name.

The Scott Scudamore National Volunteer Leadership Award will publicly recognize outstanding volunteer efforts within the IMBA network, with the presentation of ten (10) awards annually. The funds will be distributed via unrestricted grants to the chapters to which the awardees belong.

I’m hoping that MORE, Scott’s and our regional club, and the organization that he helped shape so much is duly represented.

Please take a moment to nominate someone from within MORE’s ranks who you feel has made a significant contribution to riding in our region. I know there are plenty of volunteers within our membership who deserve the honor. If you want some ideas, just shoot me a message and I’ll share my nomination with you.

Future of MORE

Op-Ed
By: Kevin Adams

A recent MORE forum “Forum” topic tied the future of MORE to the Forum and opined that without a strong Forum, or some other mechanism, MORE will cease to exist as a member/rider-focused organization.

Seventeen weighed in on the topic. Four were board members. Excluding board members, the remaining cohort represented approximately 1% of MORE’s membership and were overwhelmingly – 12-to-1 – in favor of reviving the Forum’s functionality. Their opining caused a shift of resources that resulted in restored Forum functionality.

This is the Op-Ed point where arguments about the Forum being the third rail of MORE politics and questions such as what was the opportunity cost to placate this 1% are introduced. Since I’m not a politician, I’ll pass on the former and knowing Martin, I’m sure he weighed these costs prior to juggling priorities and if there actually was a cost, only his family or sleep incurred it. ¡Gracias amigo! Vamos a dar un paseo en bicicleta cuando regrese a los Estados Unidos.

To me, this was the perfect Forum thread as it contains MORE’s best in 39 posts/replies and reveals MORE’s future which can be summed up in one word…

involvement

Why should someone get involved with MORE? With limited exception, MORE is a volunteer run organization. Volunteer organizations are resource limited and small levels of involvement provide the

opportunity

to make big differences.

But I’m just one person, aren’t you exaggerating things the argument goes? Now you know why I’m calling the above Forum thread “perfect”, a small number who chose involvement made a big difference in the Forum experience for all users.

How does someone get involved with MORE?

MORE is a large and diverse organization with a multitude of ways to get involved. For example, if you’re reading this Op-Ed and you’re not a member, please consider joining. Membership dues start as low as $30 annually. MORE’s membership dues and other fund raising support the Forum’s server and bandwidth.

With year-end giving season fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to get involved with MORE by making a cash donation. MORE is a 501c (3) non-profit organization representing both its members and the general mountain biking community in ensuring we have great places to ride now, and in the future. All donations are tax deductible. MORE also accepts corporate matching gifts so if your employer matches your generosity, you essentially can double your involvement. MORE has invested over $21,000 in maintenance projects and completed over $400,000 in new trail construction to date this year alone. None of this would have been possible without the involvement of hundreds of people just like you.

Don’t have excess cash, but have some time? MORE has involvement opportunities for you.

Frequent the Forum and get involved by contributing where appropriate.

Show up at a club ride at a trail you’ve never ridden. You’ll have the opportunity to make new friends and have a new ride experience!

Introduce your kids to mountain biking by getting involved with the sMOREs ride program. sMOREs is a MORE member benefit focused on kids and attracting new adult members with kids to join. Consider taking an even bigger role and help MORE expand the sMOREs ride program. MORE has secured the backing of a well-funded foundation to provide funds for this program and is looking for a program manager to figure out how available funds should be best utilized to implement improvements.

Show up at a MORE trail work day. They’re scheduled on the calendar and approximately 16,000 trail work volunteer hours have been logged by MORE over the past three years. Again, you’ll have the opportunity to make new friends and tell existing ride buddies all about your exploits the next time you’re riding the trail you worked on.

Become a member of the mow team at Schaeffer, Seneca Greenway north of Watkins Mill Road (lead by TROT), Seneca Bluffs, or be on the lookout for new programs, such as the trail tread maintenance program, that are being rolled out to improve everyone’s ride experience in between scheduled work days.

The only trails that haven’t had a volunteer day in years are the ones without liaisons – Cedarville, Locust Shade, CCT South, and Silver Lake. If you live near and ride these trails, here’s your opportunity to make a big difference.

Trail work isn’t your thing, but you have other talents, involvement opportunities are available with MORE’s

…website so that to paraphrase Crash “we have a solid calendar…an improved places to ride section…and more timely front page and news updates;”

…leading club rides, especially ones on the weekend where we can attract new members by introducing them to trails they have not yet ridden;

…events, either free to members/guests or open to the public where admission is charged to support club programs; and

…officers and board.

This last involvement opportunity is critical. According to Colin Powell, “strategy equals execution.” MORE needs strong officers and a board with an entrepreneurial spirit biased toward action to accomplish its mission and goals.

MORE’s officers run the club. Officers are appointed, not elected, many officer positions control a budget and have delegated authority to manage it. You can make a difference by coordinating events, ride programs, local bike shops, grant writing, and trail work days. Additional involvement opportunities are in fundraising, advocacy, and communications. If you would like more information on officer positions, please contact us.

MORE’s board members serve as both officers, who run the club, and board members, who provide policy and oversight. Board members are elected positions. If you are looking for a thankless job – it’s about giving, not getting – providing a tremendous opportunity to make a difference, MORE has a ballot awaiting your name. There are four board positions up for election which are scheduled for early December. You can even nominate yourself for a board position and it’s as easy as sending an email to nominations@more-mtb.org.

Scud nominated me for board service without my knowledge. I’ve served on the board three years and this service has been, by far, the most rewarding job – don’t kid yourself, it’s a job – I have ever had. I’m leaving the board next month to start a non-profit which precludes my continued service due to potential conflicts of interest. I plan to continue my MORE involvement as trail liaison for Cabin John and other volunteer roles. As I’m stepping down from the board, I’m thankful that Scud got me involved and the opportunities presented as a result.

Involvement opportunities are calling! Please consider answering the call in whatever way – small or large – that you are comfortable doing. You’ll be glad you did.

Kevin Adams is an inaugural MORE Club Enduro Member, MORE’s outgoing Treasurer, and founder of SCORE, Inc.; a non-profit dedicated to increasing the organizational capacity of, and raising money for, IMBA Chapters. The opinions expressed here are his and may not reflect those of MORE or the MORE Board.