Archive for May, 2020

The City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department signed off on the new 907 single-track mountain bike loop off the Sitka Cross Trail, after a walk-through and bike inspection on Friday afternoon, May 22. This is the first official single-track mountain bike loop in Sitka, and part of a Sitka Cycling Club plan to build more single-track trails in town.

“Thanks to everyone who helped build this new single track trail,” Sitka Cycling Club president Doug Osborne said. “It’s very fun to ride and it’s great to have something to celebrate during this global pandemic that’s affected us all. I’m thrilled to announce that the city public works staff did the ride and walk thru yesterday and gave the trail the thumbs up. With this last step complete we have finished before our June 1st goal. Good work, Sitka!”

Single-track mountain bike trails are narrow trails designed for one-way mountain bike riding, giving riders a feeling of being closer to the woods than some of the wider trails. This trail includes banks to the curves, to help cyclists regulate speed.

Asa Dow helped build berms around the curves in the 907 single-track trail.

Amy Volz, who coordinated the volunteer crews who built the trail this spring, wanted 907 trail users to remember these things:

  • 907 is for bikers only. We’ve tried to sign it clearly, but be on the watch for curious hikers and dogs (who don’t know how to act around bikes!) and look forward on the trail. If you do see a hiker, be courteous and slow down/dismount.
  • 907 is ONE WAY only. We built this trail to be one way, hence its narrowness. Start at the entrance on the Indian River (south) end and go toward the HS (north). Yes, we’re all wondering what it will be like going “the other way” … but, that will cause real problems when two bikers meet going opposite directions.
  • As we ride 907, we’ll start to see where we need to make improvements due to more traffic. As you see these areas, let us know so that we can promptly repair. (Or, if an area needs some gravel, feel free to replace from the stream bed or the remaining gravel pile near the exit.)
  • Wear your helmet! Enough said.
  • In our tender and wet forest environs, any off-trail biking will make for muddy tracks and a degraded trail. Please keep on the gravel path. There are berms (thank you, Asa!!!) around many corners in case you find yourself going too fast.
  • Go slower (than you want to) the first few times until you learn the track to minimize accidents.
  • Above all, ENJOY!

The 907 trail is located in the lime green area on the right of this map, near the Sitka High School entrance to the Cross Trail

The Sitka Cycling Club will hold its monthly meeting from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, by Zoom online meetings, and during that meeting will discuss future single-track cycling trails. There are a couple of additional single-track loops planned for the Sitka Cross Trail, plus the Sitka Cycling Club is proposing adding new single-track trails in the Granite Creek/No-Name Mountain Area. To join the meeting, click this link, and use the meeting ID 873 1196 1011 and the password 022774.

A grand opening ceremony is being planned for once things are fully reopened from the pandemic outbreak.

• Sitka Cycling Club letter of support for more single-track mountain bike trails in Sitka

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This photo and caption was provided on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, by the Daily Sitka Sentinel. It is reprinted here with permission.)

BIKES GIVEN – Mt. Verstovia Masonic Lodge members Darrell Windsor, left, and Tom Brown pick up three bicycles at Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop recently for delivery to students. The Masons are continuing their program to give a bicycle to one student in each third grade class at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. Third-grade teachers are selecting the recipients based on students’ behavior in class and the students’ display of good citizenship. Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop donates a lock and helmet to the winners. Receiving bicycles were Taylor McCarty, Olivia Osbekoff and Jude Dart. (Daily Sitka Sentinel photo by James Poulson)

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Angela McGraw shovels gravel into a wheelbarrow so it can be used to surface the 907 single-track loop off the Sitka Cross Trail.

The Sitka Cycling Club is nearing its goal of having built its first official single-track mountain bike loop off the Sitka Cross Trail, and volunteers are needed to help continue the work so the trail will be open for riding by June 1.

The Sitka Cycling Club hosted regular trail work parties (limited to five people due so people can work far enough apart for health and safety) from 5-7 p.m. on Thursdays in May, with the next one set for May 21. Hopefully this will be the final scheduled work party before the trail is turned over to the city for final inspection and approval on Friday, May 22.

Bill Spivey takes a test ride on the new 907 single-track loop off the Sitka Cross Trail

To protect everybody’s health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreaks, all volunteers should bring sturdy shoes, work gloves, bandanas, face masks, ear plugs (especially for those who might work near someone using a chainsaw), buckets for hauling gravel, and wheelbarrows. There are tasks individuals and smaller groups can accomplish if they can’t make the Thursday groups. If you want to help, please RSVP with volunteer coordinator Amy Volz at amy.volz@outlook.com or 907-957-6009 (text) so she can coordinate the work parties to keep them to a safe size.

Dubbed 907, the first single-track loop can be found by entering the Sitka Cross Trail from the Sitka High School auditorium parking lot and turning right at the first junction (lime-green shaded area on right side of map). The loop has been laid out, and plastic sheeting spread to mark the trail. Now, workers are filling it in with rock, gravel and dirt.

Calder Prussian, 12, rides down a section of newly completed bike trail off the Cross Trail on May 10. Calder is one of the Sitka cyclists who have volunteered time to build the spur trail. Volunteers will be following social distancing protocols while working on the new path this evening. (Daily Sitka Sentinel photo by James Poulson)

The Daily Sitka Sentinel recently ran a story about the trail project, and you can read it by clicking this link.

Thanks to Laurent Deviche for serving as trail supervisor, Amy Volz for coordinating work parties, the Bayne family for bringing in gravel and other supplies, and the Raven’s Way students for labor. If you missed helping on this trail loop, we hope to have other trail loops to build later in the summer.

Another way you can support this project is to donate to the Sitka Cycling Club. You can click this link to donate through PayPal. The other option is to mail a check to Sitka Cycling Club, c/o Charles Bingham, Treasurer, 405 Marine Street, Apt. No. 6, Sitka, Alaska 99835. You can contact Charles at 623-7660 or charleswbingham3@gmail.com for more details.

Most of the supplies we’ve received have been donated, but down the road we may have to pay for signs, tools, fill dirt or rocks, etc. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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The 2020 Alaska Walk and Bike Conference is going virtual, and now it’s free. It will take place from 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, June 9-12. Click this link to register for the conference.

Each day’s agenda will open with a specialist discussing the science and evidence of that day’s theme, followed by another speaker who will feature an Alaska example. There will be an opportunity for attendees to ‘chat’ and share information after each day’s events.

The themes and speakers for each day are:

Some of our speakers include Ana Lucaci and Nicole Huegenin of Denver-based Walk2Connect, Dr. Elliot Bruhl of SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC, Chief Medical Officer based in Sitka), Bonita Banks BSN RN of South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alfgeir Kristjannson PhD from the University of West Virginia and Reykjavik University (Iceland), Maeve Nevins-Lavtar from the Municipality of Anchorage Department of Parks and Recreation, Dr Frederick Foote MD, Sarana Schell of AARP Alaska, Ken McLeod JD policy director of the League of American Bicyclists, Lee Hart of the Alaska Outdoor Alliance, and Scott Menzies and Charlie Lowell of the Sustina Bicycle Institute.

Click this link, https://www.kcaw.org/2020/05/18/alaska-walk-and-bike-conference-goes-virtual-this-june/, to hear Sitka’s Doug Osborne of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and Anchorage’s Dawn Groth RN BSN of the Alaska Division of Public Health discuss the conference during a May 18 morning interview on Sitka’s KCAW-Raven Radio.

A tentative agenda is posted below. To register for this free, virtual conference, click this link, https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_u_Hpx4yzQtK4khFeIX5BMg. For more information, contact Dawn Groth at dawn.groth@alaska.gov.

• Alaska Walk and Bike Conference flier (PDF for printing)

• Tentative Agenda for the Alaska Walk and Bike Conference (updated May 28)

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The Sitka Cycling Club will hold its monthly meeting from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, using Zoom online meetings due to the need to social-distance ourselves for health and safety during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. This online meeting is open to all interested folks interested in promoting safe and fun cycling in Sitka.

The monthly meeting is open to everyone interested in making Sitka an even better town for cyclists of all ages. Topics include success stories, a single-track trail update for the 907 loop, brainstorm how to support the single-track project, revamping the club ride and 2020 schedule, figuring out how we can promote bikes during a pandemic, updating our 2020 goals and other considerations, supporting the SEARHC Fitness Bike Challenge, planning the Alaska Walk and Bike Conference that will be virtual on June 9-12 (it no longer is postponed to 2021), planning the Sitka Half Century Ride in August, follow-up actions, and a summary and close. Also, National Bike Month is in May, so how do we plan for it during a disease outbreak that has people quarantined?

To access the meeting by Zoom, go to this link. Or you can access by phone by calling either 1-669-900-6833 or 1-346-248-7799 and enter the meeting code of 891-7801-9017# and the meeting password of 085781# when prompted.

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 738-8734.

• Sitka Cycling Club 2020 goals

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May is #NationalBikeMonth and we want to see how you’re staying healthy by biking this month. Comment on this post with a photo of you riding a bike, whether it be outdoors or stationary, to win a $100 Visa gift card.

How to enter:

  1. “Like” SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) on Facebook or follow SEARHC on Instagram.
  2. Share this post to your page and post a picture in a comment on this post of how you’re staying healthy by biking this week.
  3. Use the hashtag #SEARHCfit and tag SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) in your post. You also can email your photos to Doug Osborne at douglaso@searhc.org by noon on Friday to be included in that week’s challenge.
  4. All participants are encouraged to wear a helmet, bike on the right side of the road, and follow social distancing guidelines while riding (giving 20 feet to other riders).

Here are each week’s photo challenge prompts. Post a photo of you …

  • Week 1, May 1-7, Riding a bike on the right side of the road;
  • Week 2, May 8-14, Wearing a helmet that is level, snug, and strapped before your bike ride;
  • Week 3, May 15-21, Riding a bike and saying what you enjoyed about your ride; and
  • Week 4, May 22-29, Riding a bike and listing your three favorite rides this month.

Every Facebook/Instagram post will count as one entry, so post more than once to increase your chances of winning. We can’t wait to see how the residents of Southeast Alaska are staying healthy and active.

Three winners will be chosen at random and announced every Friday afternoon. The winners will receive a $100 Visa gift card.

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 738-8734 or to go the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium pages on Facebook or Instagram.

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