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MORE Board of Directors – Election Results

Thank you for voting for the MORE Board of Director Elections for the 2018 – 2020 terms. Successful candidates are:

  • President: Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
  • Vice President: Bob Caverly
  • Treasurer: Michael Hillstrom
  • Director of Communications: Steve Harper

Terms will become effective during MORE’s open transition meeting January 7 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Please take a moment to congratulate these awesome volunteers for taking time to serve on MORE’s Board of Directors.

MORE would also like to extend considerable gratitude to all those who stepped up to run for a position on the board and to all the members who voted.

 

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.

Bikepacking with Russ

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West Virginia’s state motto is “Wild and Wonderful”. It certainly lived up to it this past weekend. Three bike packers set out on an adventure in Pocahontas County WV. Durbin, a tiny town with no stoplight, one restaurant, one bar and a coal fired steam engine, was our starting point. We rode the West Fork rail trail for 19 miles steady climbing at 1 or 2% the whole way.

The trail followed West Fork Greenbrier River to the headwaters. It was very scenic and enjoyable.

 

 

 

The High Falls Trail was next up in our plan. The trail is pretty, but the vast majority of the one mile climb was not suitable for mountain biking. However, the descent was mostly suitable. It took us an hour and a half to conquer the mountain.

 

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The pay-off was the High Falls of the Cheat River, an amazingly beautiful waterfall. We arrived late in the afternoon and that resulted in quick camp site selection. That is unfortunate because later exploration revealed a few really nice waterside campsites just far enough from the falls to dampen the roar of the falling water.I awoke early on Saturday and enjoyed the stillness of the deep woods with a hot cup of coffee and watched the water. To quote an Eagles song “I had a peaceful easy feeling”.

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We decided that a return trip over the mountain was undesirable. That left us with following the train tracks to the town of Bemis. We tried to leave before the first train of the day but we were too late. The engineer waved as the train rolled by and he did not seem to be annoyed with our presence. About ¾ of the way down we saw a very scenic section of the river and decided to take a break. We walked down the hill to the river bank and enjoyed the water for about 45 minutes. Mike fished a little and we all swam in the swiftly moving water. We finished the train track and faced our first steep road climb out of Bemis. Even though it was steep, the smooth surface was welcome after the track side trail. We stopped in Glady and ate lunch in a picnic shelter by the road, thank you Glady Church of the Brethren! The next section turned out to be much nicer than I had anticipated. The road was free of traffic, smooth, shady and at a reasonable grade. We then descended right back down to the Laurel Fork Campground.

 

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Our next leg was to the Sinks of Gandy. This ride was gorgeous! The hills were a little steep but still rideable. It felt like we were in Colorado above the tree line, except we could breathe! I have never seen a creek that flows into a hill before, it was really cool and creepy. The birds were circling in the cave and it was difficult to know they were birds and not bats.

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Our final day started with a climb of 1.5 miles to the top of the ridge. We were rewarded with mostly descent for the rest of the trip! The road was shady, smooth and again, rarely traveled. We stopped at Middle Mountain Cabins, a rustic setting in the Wilderness area that would be a great getaway for a group of friends desiring solitude with a roof over their heads. They are managed by the Forest Service if you are interested. We investigated all of the intersecting roads for possible detours. We settled on route 17 which followed a river through a beautiful forest. This road ended at the West Fork Rail Trail mile 7. A downhill finish makes the memory sweeter. We stopped at one of the two restaurants in town to reward our efforts with a burger, some fries and two pitchers of beer. We all appreciated “chairs with a back” one of life’s underappreciated pleasures.

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Loch Raven: It’s Really Happening!

I know a ton of folks out there in MOREland and beyond have been following our work at Loch Raven for a while now. I also bet a lot of you out there were wondering if our last big announcement really was a bad April Fool’s joke… but I’m here to let you know that it’s really happening!

 

Rest assured, MORE’s new liaison, Jim Bole, and the rest of the LR team have had had their noses to the grindstone and are doing great work. We’ve been quiet on the Loch Raven front in recent months because we’re still been working with the city to nail down the last property owner agreements we need to commence trailwork on the purple trail, before we can get down to business, but we do have one big announcement:

Flanked by representatives from Bike Maryland, MORE, GVC and BikeMORE, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake shows off REI's generous grant!

Flanked by representatives from Bike Maryland, MORE, GVC, BikeMORE, and the City of Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake shows off REI’s generous grant! Photo credit James Corbett – epiclifeimages.com

REI has made a generous, $16,000 grant to MORE to kick off Project Loch Raven! We’ll be putting the money right back into the trails, using it for tool, materials, workdays, maps, signage and environmental education materials for all trail users. This is a huge help to our efforts at the reservoir, so the next time you stop by your local REI, please say thanks for all of us!

 

While our volunteers and staff continue to work on our partnership with the private landowners to open the singletrack, we will be helping our friends at Gunpowder Valley Conservancy lead a workday August 8th on the Orange Trail off Warren Road, helping them repair water damage and bring the woods road back to sustainable spec after the harsh winter and spring.

 

We know its not singletrack, but we hope to see a lot of you out there at our first official workday under the new agreement. So check the MORE calendar for the details in the coming days and grab a friend. We’ll see you at the gathering of the tribe next month!

New Partnership with Baltimore DPW at Loch Raven Reservoir!

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2015

Media Contacts:

Ryan Delaney (MORE) 703-217-3271
Nate Evans (Bike Maryland) 410-404-1826
Jed Weeks (Bikemore) 443-465-6203

MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts), Bike Maryland and Bikemore are pleased to announce the signing of a Trail Stewardship Agreement with the City of Baltimore’s Department of Public Works (DPW) for the purpose of improved mountain bike access on watershed property, specifically Loch Raven Reservoir.

This agreement represents a new partnership between the City of Baltimore and volunteers to assist in the maintenance of natural surface trails while improving the overall quality of the Baltimore area’s drinking water supply. Together, DPW and MORE, the regional IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) chapter, will identify specific trails for improvements while closing or re-routing unsanctioned trails. Over generations, the trail system at Loch Raven was created by many user groups without consideration for the effects on the reservoir’s water quality. By using sustainable trail practices, volunteers will enhance the natural surface trails through Loch Raven’s scenic areas while minimizing erosion, which harms the reservoir.

In addition to trail maintenance, MORE and Bike Maryland will conduct education workshops on sustainable trail design and proper mountain biking techniques to reduce user impacts on the area. MORE will continue to host the annual Project Clean Stream environmental cleanup, which removes tons of debris from Loch Raven Reservoir. The 2015 event will be held on April 11 in Cockeysville, MD.

The agreement is scheduled for approval by the City of Baltimore’s Board of Estimates on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 9 am. After which DPW will verify the first official single track route through Loch Raven reservoir open to all user groups including hikers and mountain bikers. DPW, MORE and Bike Maryland will provide more information on the trail system as it becomes available.

As this new era of partnership with the City of Baltimore begins, MORE and Bike Maryland encourage all trail users to respect currently closed trails and refrain from use in wet conditions.

MORE and Bike Maryland wish to thank our partners during this process including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her staff, the Department of Public Works, Bikemore, REI, The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, and The Mountain Club of Maryland.

To volunteer in this effort or become a member, please visit MORE or Bike Maryland

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Press Release 150323 MORE DPW Watershed MOU