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 article below was published in January 1996 and written by MORE’s newsletter editor, Andy Carruthers. Enjoy, and let us know what you think in the comments below…
Pro Racer Penny Davidson Endorses Fountainhead MTB Trail Project!
MORE initiates Fountainhead Trail Fund to Raise $6,000
Two-time national champion racer and ESPN commentator Penny Davidson has signed onto MORE’s Fountainhead Regional Park Mountain Bike Trail, the first single-user trail being built for cyclists in our region. Davidson, a competitor known for her wide variety of talents, was approached by MORE representatives at the January IMBA Mountain Bike Advocacy Conference outside of Tucson, Arizona. Based in California, Davidson is a Certified Public Accountant and a former school teacher who has made substantial public efforts in support of trail advocates including IMBA and, now, MORE.
MORE Fountainhead Fund Chairman Andy Carruthers said, “We’re very, very pleased to have Penny on board the project.” He continued, “We hope hers Will be the first of several celebrity endorsements that we can parlay into a successful fund-raising campaign in support of the trail.” MORE has committed to raising $6,000 for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) to meet a public funding shortfall for the project. The capital campaign already has an e-mail account (
FntnhdFund@aol.com) established to serve as an informational clearinghouse and contact point for potential sponsors and members of the media.
“The level of enthusiasm for the Fountainhead Trail within the club, and within the larger trail cycling community, is very high,” said Carruthers. He noted that the trail, which is tentatively planned to extend as far as eight miles in length, would be a first in many respects: “It would be the first unpaved, bicycle-only trail in the entire metro area, the first NVRPA site to permit cycling on single track, and the first concerted effort by the local cycling community to raise substantial funds in support of a mountain bike trail.”
After seeing trail closures at Sugarloaf Mountain, across Montgomery County and in most of Northern Virginia’s largest parks, cyclists have been rudely informed that they cannot take trail access for granted anymore. “Free trails are a thing of the past, if they ever were a reality at all,” said trails coordinator Brad Convis. While area MTB riders have begun to shoulder their share of trail maintenance responsibilities through groups like MORE and the Capybara Mountain Bike Club with support from the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club (PPTC), cyclists need to note the long term financial and political contributions to trails made by groups such as the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) and the American Hiking Society (AHS). “Mountain bikers need to pay our dues, and this project may well be an image maker or an image breaker for us,” said Convis,
MORE members are urged to help locate potential major donors for the project. “If your employer has a charitable contribution or matching fund program, please contact us,” said Carruthers. He noted that certain firms and businesses were already being considered for appeals and asked for help in screening them; “If you or someone you know closely works for a Northern Virginia bike shop, sport utility vehicle dealer, outdoors store, America Online or the Old Dominion Brewing Company, please let us know.” Referring to this last organization, Carruthers suggested that MORE’s fund-raising campaign might be informally dubbed “RockShox & Root Beer.”
MORE members, said Carruthers, will be approached by mail to make a contribution in support of the Fountainhead Trail. “Well be asking them to make a donation of $50— roughly the cost of a new rear derailleur.” Too much? “Well,” said Carruthers, “we’ll be asking them to consider making a contribution of $100–roughly the cost of a good quality wheel.” A tall order? “We don’t think so,” insisted Carruthers, “because we’ll be asking them to consider the highest commitment level– $250, roughly the cost of a Yakima roof rack system.” When all is said and done, said Convis, “if mountain bikers don’t have trails, there won’t be much for them to do with their derailleurs, their wheels and their roof racks, and I think cyclists know that.”
© January, 1996–The Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE)
Learn MORE about the Fountainhead Project and how far it has come in the last 20 years…