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Archive for August, 2020

Lee House moves a rock from the new single-track trail as Doug Osborne works a shovel behind him. (Photos by Lione Clare)

Click map to enlarge. This map shows the three completed single-track mountain bike loops. It is in the bright green area to the right in the other map.

The Sitka Cycling Club has been busy this summer and already has completed three single-track mountain bike loops off the Sitka Cross Trail. Now it’s time for volunteers to continue work on the fourth trail, Middle Machete Loop, during the weekly 5-7 p.m. Thursday work party.

“We will be doing the usual, hauling rocks and gravel — we can’t get enough of it,” Sitka Cycling Club trail volunteer coordinator Amy Volz wrote in an email to volunteers. “Please be sure to bring and wear your mask and work gloves. Wearing masks keeps all of us healthy to ride.”

Meet up on Thursday at 5 pm at the gravel pile on the Cross Trail, near the exit of 907 and the difficult entrance to Little Machete. Other duties include placing big rocks in muddy spots, fabric cutting and laying, gravel hauling and placement, etc.

Due to the pandemic, we are limiting the sizes of the work parties. Please contact Amy by text at 907-957-6009 or email at amy.volz@outlook.com if you plan to help, so she can manage the size of the group. We want to make sure there is enough space between workers so we don’t spread the coronavirus.The club completed the 907 Loop in June, then completed Little Machete and Ewok loops earlier in August, with the city giving approval for all three trails. The Middle Machete Loop is short, but it will require the work of an excavator for part of the trailwork.

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 Ewok Loop also is in this area.

In an effort to promote health and safety during the trail construction, please bring (and wear) your mask, work gloves and a bucket with a handle if you have one. The Sitka Cycling Club does have a wheelbarrow, shovels and buckets. All volunteers will need to sign a liability waiver.

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. Michael’s newest video includes a ride on Little Machete Loop.

According to our engineering report for the 907 Loop, these trails have the following features:

  • The trail is located at the base of an alluvial fan where drainage moves across the fan frequently and subsurface material is largely cobble and gravel with organic debris on top
  • Drainage is largely subsurface with two defined intermittent streams which activate during rainfall
  • Drainage across the trail has been accommodated using French drains, inverted dips, and cobble/gravel (intermittent stream) crossings
  • Streambanks along the intermittent stream crossings have been strengthened using boulders to reduce erosion and sedimentation
  • If/when stream naturally diverts across the alluvial fan we are prepared to accommodate drainage (through trail maintenance), as needed

Amy Volz rakes gravel on the new single-track trail

The Sitka Cycling Club also wants to thank some Sitka residents who recently donated to help us build these trails. Donors include Charles Olson and Theresa Allen-Olson, Bill Hughes of Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop, and Reba Trani. In addition, the club also received some money from Sitka Trail Works (originally from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services) that was left over from hosting the Alaska Walk and Bike Conference in June.

We also want to thank the six-week Sitka Summer Work Program crew led by Joel Hanson of Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL), which just completed its program last week. This crew did much of the work on the Ewok Loop.

You can support this and other projects by donating 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 eventually we will 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.

A slideshow of photos from some of the trail-building work at the Aug. 20 work party is linked below (Photos by Lione Clare).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Click map to enlarge. This map shows the three completed single-track mountain bike loops. It is in the bright green area to the right in the other map.

The Sitka Cycling Club has completed three single-track mountain bike loops off the Sitka Cross Trail this summer. Now it’s time for volunteers to start work on the fourth trail, Middle Machete Loop, during the weekly 5-7 p.m. Thursday work party.

“Meet up on Thursday at 5 pm at the gravel pile on the Cross Trail, near the exit of 907 and the difficult entrance to Little Machete,” Sitka Cycling Club trail volunteer coordinator Amy Volz wrote in an email to volunteers. “We’ll divvy up duties (big rock placing in muddy spots, fabric cutting and laying, gravel hauling and placement). Bring your work gloves and a mask, please.”

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 Ewok Loop also is in this area.

The club completed the 907 Loop in June, then completed Little Machete and Ewok loops last week, with the city giving approval for all three trails. The Middle Machete Loop is short, but it will require the work of an excavator for part of the trailwork.

Due to the pandemic, we are limiting the sizes of the work parties. Please contact Amy Volz by text at 907-957-6009 or email at amy.volz@outlook.com if you plan to help, so she can manage the size of the group. We want to make sure there is enough space between workers so we don’t spread the coronavirus.

In an effort to promote health and safety during the trail construction, please bring (and wear) your mask, work gloves and a bucket with a handle if you have one. The Sitka Cycling Club does have a wheelbarrow, shovels and buckets. All volunteers will need to sign a liability waiver.

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.

According to our engineering report for the 907 Loop, these trails have the following features:

  • The trail is located at the base of an alluvial fan where drainage moves across the fan frequently and subsurface material is largely cobble and gravel with organic debris on top
  • Drainage is largely subsurface with two defined intermittent streams which activate during rainfall
  • Drainage across the trail has been accommodated using French drains, inverted dips, and cobble/gravel (intermittent stream) crossings
  • Streambanks along the intermittent stream crossings have been strengthened using boulders to reduce erosion and sedimentation
  • If/when stream naturally diverts across the alluvial fan we are prepared to accommodate drainage (through trail maintenance), as needed

The Sitka Cycling Club also wants to thank some Sitka residents who recently donated to help us build these trails. Donors include Charles Olson and Theresa Allen-Olson, Bill Hughes of Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop, and Reba Trani. In addition, the club also received some money from Sitka Trail Works (originally from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services) that was left over from hosting the Alaska Walk and Bike Conference in June.

We also want to thank the six-week Sitka Summer Work Program crew led by Joel Hanson of Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL), which just completed its program last week. This crew did much of the work on the Ewok Loop.

You can support this and other projects by donating 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 eventually we will 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.

A slideshow of scenes from some of the trailbuilding work this summer is linked below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

The Sitka Cycling Club will hold its monthly meeting from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 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, including a celebration of the recently completed 907 loop in June and the completion of the Little Machete Loop and Ewok Loop single-track trails off the Sitka Cross Trail in July, revamping the club ride and 2020 schedule, the Sitka Trail Works-hosted Whale Park to Medvejie Bike Ride on Aug. 8, figuring out how we can promote bikes during a pandemic, updating our 2020 goals and other considerations, discussion of the building of a mountain bike skills course and new trails, planning the Sitka Half Century Ride on Aug. 22-23, follow-up actions, and a summary and close.

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 860-3492-8224# and the meeting password of 446627# 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)

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Volunteers are needed to pull alders along the Sawmill Creek Road separated path during the Sitka Trail Works trail maintenance event at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2.

Individuals should bring water and gloves and meet at the gravel parking lot about a quarter of a mile past Whale Park on the left side of the road.

Tools and a limited number of gloves will be provided. A mandatory COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire and a liability waiver must be completed prior to participation.

Social distancing between different household groups and the wearing of face coverings (masks) are being encouraged. Teens wanting to help must attend with an adult.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, there will be a 14-mile Herring Cove to Medvejie Bike Ride (seven miles each way). For this event, meet at 10 a.m. at the Herring Cove Trail parking area off Sawmill Creek Road. This mountain bike ride is moderate in difficulty over gravel roads.

On Saturday, Aug. 15, there is a five-mile Verstovia Hike. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Verstovia Trailhead for a strenuous uphill climb.

There also is a Sitka Half-Century Bike Ride scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 22-23, where people will ride a course as individuals then record their rides with the Sitka Cycling Club. Last year there also were shorter courses for those riders who didn’t feel up to doing a full 50 miles. Details for this event are still being finalized, so watch the Sitka Cycling Club website for more info.

These events are free, but donations to Sitka Trail Works will be accepted. The donations for the Verstovia Hike will be split 50-50 with Waypoint For Veterans, a Sitka-based nonprofit that provides outdoors opportunities for veterans and first responders.

For more information about these events, call 747-7244 or visit http://www.sitkatrailworks.org.

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