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Archive for June, 2020

Sam Jones carries gravel while working on the Little Machete Loop single-track mountain bike trail on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

The Sitka Cross Trail from the entrance near the Sitka High School Performing Arts Center parking lot. The new 907 loop is in the lime green section to the right (above the Cross Trail). The Little Machete Loop will start near the exit of the 907 loop and is below the Cross Trail in the lime green section on the right.

The Sitka Cycling Club started building its second single-track loop on the Sitka Cross Trail last week, and another work party is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, June 18. Meet near the exit of the recently completed 907 Loop, and the group will then move to the new Little Machete Loop to continue building that 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 regular 5 p.m. Thursday work 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. Work parties are being limited to no more than 5-7 people so volunteers can spread out on the trail while working.

Laurent Deviche, who is supervising the trail-building project, said there is trailwork people can do on their own:

Find flat stones from the surrounding forest and put them in muddy holes, or on the side of the trail.   
 
Continue to put down fabric (black and cached at Little Machete entrance and exit) and big gravel (the pile with the larger rocks at 907 exit). You will see that we’ve completed the first uphill from the entrance —continue on from there toward the exit. We have buckets and a shovel cached on Little Machete. Bring your own gloves.
 
Walking on it to pad it down and riding on it to see how it’s going and provide suggestions on what to do next.   
 
Other things we’re thinking about: When biking up it’s a pretty hard left. Giving some thought to make that more doable; more a sweeping (curve) than a quick 90 (degree turn) would work. Just walking it and visualizing next steps and the best path. Finally, we have a wood structure at the top before we go left, that threads through some trees right after and needs to be figured out. We also want to build a little speed bump feature at the exit so bikers don’t go flying into the Cross Trail at high speeds. 
 
IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS ON THESE QUESTIONS, SEND TO ME!!!

Black fabric being laid over muddy spots on the Little Machete Loop before being covered with gravel.

To give people a flavor about what a single-track mountain bike trail is all about, Michael Foss put together a YouTube channel for the Sitka Cycling Club that includes some GoPro videos of rides and walks on the new 907 trail.

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.

These trails are being built as part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the City and Borough of Sitka, signed in February. The plan is to start with a couple of trails all in the same area, then build more trails later in other parts of Sitka. Sitka Trail Works is helping support this effort. A future Sitka Cycling Club project is the building of a skills course or pump track, where mountain bikers can improve their technical riding skills in an area that looks like a motocross track for bikes.

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NEW TRAIL – Asa Dow wears a mask as he cuts a branch placed at the exit of the new 907 single-track mountain bike trail loop off the Sitka Cross Trail to officially open the trail Monday afternoon (June 1, 2020). Dow was one of about a dozen volunteers who built the trail, the first of its type in Sitka. The single-lane trail is exclusively for bikers and runs south to north. The Sitka Cycling Club, which organized the construction, will be building a second bicycle trail off the Cross Trail. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Our first official single-track mountain bike trail has been built. Are you ready to build another?

The Sitka Cross Trail from the entrance near the Sitka High School Performing Arts Center parking lot. The new 907 loop is in the lime green section to the right (above the Cross Trail). The Little Machete Loop will start near the exit of the 907 loop and is below the Cross Trail in the lime green section on the right.

The Sitka Cycling Club will meet from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, at the exit of the new 907 Loop to begin work on the next trail, called Little Machete Loop (LML). They also will look at a longer, more challenging trail possibility to be built later this summer called Ewok, which connects to 907.

Volunteers already have done some scoping work for the new trail, and gravel has been delivered to allow people to start doing work on the trail. There also is black roll that can be cut and placed over the really muddy spots in the trail, then covered by large flat rocks and gravel, to help prevent trail wear and erosion. Other work includes policing trash and other litter off the trails.

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.

Michael Foss wears a GoPro camera as he walks the Little Machete Loop (LML).

There are tasks individuals and smaller groups can accomplish if they can’t make the regular 5 p.m. Thursday work 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. Work parties are being limited to no more than 5-7 people so volunteers can spread out on the trail while working.

Laurent Deviche, who is supervising the trail-building project, said there is trailwork people can do on their own:

“Volunteers can continue to lay coarse, fist-sized gravel from the nearby streams using buckets on the trail that is marked with orange pin flags. When taking rock from the stream channels be careful not to take it from places that could cause the stream to alter its existing channel. The middle pile of gravel that was delivered is almost gone, but that can also be used as the base layer in that section. Remember we are shooting for a 16- to 18-inch tread width.

“It would be helpful to bring your own wheelbarrow to cart rocks from the pile to the trail. We will continue to post updates to work that can be done throughout the week.” (Contact Amy Volz to get on the email list for trail updates, and to sign a volunteer waiver so you can be covered by our liability insurance.)

Flagging marks the entrance to the Ewok loop, which will be built later this summer.

To give people a flavor about what a single-track mountain bike trail is all about, Michael Foss put together a YouTube channel for the Sitka Cycling Club that includes some GoPro videos of rides and walks on the new 907 trail.

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.

These trails are being built as part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the City and Borough of Sitka, signed in February. The plan is to start with a couple of trails all in the same area, then build more trails later in other parts of Sitka. Sitka Trail Works is helping support this effort. A future Sitka Cycling Club project is the building of a skills course or pump track, where mountain bikers can improve their technical riding skills in an area that looks like a motocross track for bikes.

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After the successful completion of the new 907 single-track mountain bike loop off the Sitka Cross Trail, the Sitka Cycling Club will host a meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, using Zoom online meetings to discuss new single-track trail possibilities.

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. Other single-track loop possibilities are located in the lime green areas on this map.

The Sitka Cycling Club is looking at one or two other possible loops off the Cross Trail, plus there are long-range trail possibilities in the No Name Mountain/Granite Creek area. To learn more about the new 907 loop, KCAW-Raven Radio aired this audio postcard on Wednesday. The new trail officially opened on Monday.

Amy Volz, who coordinated the volunteer crews that 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!

To join the meeting, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86930295487?pwd=QVA4c0JlWGJZTEZDcmRCamxndVgxQT09.  The meeting ID is 869 3029 5487, and the password is 706054. If you’re on your phone and not a computer, you can dial into the meeting by calling 1-253-321-8782 or 1-669-900-6833, then entering the meeting ID and the password when prompted (link updated at 11:30 a.m. Thursday).

For more information, contact Doug Osborne at 738-8734 or douglaso@searhc.org or Amy Volz at amy.volz@outlook.com.

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 will have to pay for signs, tools, fill dirt or rocks, etc. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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The Sitka Cycling Club will hold its monthly meeting from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, 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 now that 907 is finished, revamping the club ride and 2020 schedule, figuring out how we can promote bikes during a pandemic, updating our 2020 goals and other considerations, 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.

In addition, Josh Houston will discuss his progress on mapping bicycle parking in Sitka and what help he needs to further the project. You can find his online map at this link, and a Google document at this link that lists various locations. There also is a Facebook group called Mapping Sitka.

Also, June 3 is World Bicycle Day, so let’s celebrate. Se below for a printable page for the kids to color.

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 873-1198-1011# and the meeting password of 022774# when prompted.

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

• Sitka Cycling Club 2020 goals

• Sitka Cycling Club monthly group ride schedule (pre-COVID-19)

• Draft Sitka Cycling Club bicycle parking standards (from November 2019)

• Draft Sitka bicycle parking rack inventory (same as Google Doc link above)

• World Bicycle Day 2020 coloring page for the kids

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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 host a volunteer appreciation party at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 1, at the exit to the new 907 single-track mountain bike loop to celebrate its recent completion and approval by the city.

Please bring your bikes and wear masks for this celebration and volunteer appreciation event (there will be some swag given out). We also need to record your volunteer hours, and we plan to discuss new trails. Please bring clippers, so we can start cutting brush for the next trail.

For more information, contact volunteer coordinator Amy Volz at amy.volz@outlook.com. Click this link to read a May 26 letter to the editor thanking people who worked on the new 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.

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