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Archive for the ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’ Category

The Sitka Cycling Club will host a monthly steering committee at noon on Friday, June 25, using Zoom. This meeting is open to the general public.

Meeting topics include refining our mission statement and club goals for 2021, a review of our single-track mountain bike trail-building schedule and fundraising efforts, an update on the Salty Spoke Bike Cooperative, Info about a bicycle commuting class on June 30, setting some monthly club rides in July and August, working on a bicycle safety plan for Sitka (which includes reminders about cyclists not riding on sidewalks downtown and drivers giving cyclists three feet of clearance when they pass), a discussion of steering club committee roles and recruitment of new members, a discussion of club membership and possibly adding annual dues, creating a fundraising plan, and setting our next meeting for July (usually at noon on the fourth Thursday of the month).

For those wanting to participate in the meeting, contact Doug Osborne at 738-8734 or douglaso@searhc.org for the meeting log-in info.

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The Sitka Cycling Club will host a free workshop on commuting to work by bike and utility cycling (using a bicycle for transportation) from 6:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30, at the Salty Spoke Bike Co-op (located in the back of Hames Wellness Center.

Participants will receive a $10 gift certificate to the Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop, a Bicycle Benefits helmet sticker that gets commuters discounts at 12 local business, a helmet if needed, a place to do some basic bike maintenance, educational resources, and Sitka-specific riding tips for commuters.

The outdoor workshop will start at the Salty Spoke Bike Co-op and will include a short ride downtown. This event is supported by the Sitka Cycling Club and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC).

For more information or to sign up for one of the 10 spots, call SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne at 966-8674.

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Local cyclists are invited to a Sitka Cycling Club monthly group ride, starting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.

Riders will gather at the Salty Spoke Bike Co-op located behind the Hames Wellness Center. The final route will be selected by the cyclists who show up, but the tentative plan is ride on the multi-use trail along Sawmill Creek Road to Thimbleberry Trail and then up to Heart Lake for optional swimming.  

The event will have door prizes, including a gift card to the Yellow Jersey Cycle shop, a bicycle benefits sticker, and a new high-visibility helmet.  For more information or to join the Sitka Cycling Club, go to sitkacycling.wordpress.com or contact Doug Osborne at 738-8734.

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Saturday, June 5, is National Trails Day this year, and the Sitka Cycling Club will celebrate by hosting a work party on its newest single-track mountain bike trail, Haa Latseen.

The work party takes place from 9 a.m. to noon, and takes place on the new loop off the Sitka Cross Trail. To reach the new loop, enter the Cross Trail from the Sitka High School entrance and go north (left from the spur) for about 120 yards. If you get as far as the gravel pile, you’ve gone about 60 feet too far.

The trail was named by the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), which contributed $1,500 toward its construction. In Tlingít, Haa Latseen means strength of mind, body, and spirit. Work started on the trail on May 1, and there are regular work parties from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons this summer.

This is part of a series of single-track mountain bike trail loops the Sitka Cycling Club started building in 2020. Last summer the club built four loops, plus another loop was built by a group sponsored by the Sitka Conservation Society Community Conservation Corps. The goal is to build three more trails this summer, while also moving forward on a pump track project.

Speaking of the proposed pump track, the City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation Committee will meet at noon on Tuesday, June 8, in Harrigan Centennial Hall, 330 Harbor Drive. Agenda items include: Sitka Cycling Club Pump Track; Upper Moller Field Use; Lower Moller Field; Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan. The meeting is open to the public.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and state health mandates encouraging residents to practice social distancing, and limit group gatherings, individuals that would like to participate by teleconference can contact jessica.earnshaw@cityofsitka.org or call 747-1826 by 10:00 a.m. the day of the meeting to obtain information to join the meeting.

These trails don’t build themselves. While we use (and so much appreciate) our volunteer labor, we still need to purchase gravel, shovels, wheelbarrows and other supplies. That’s where you come in, please donate to our efforts today. 

We are applying for a grant to help finance more trails, and the grant requires matching funding. We need people to pitch in so that we can match dollar for dollar. Please send a few bucks (or a few hundred) to the Sitka Cycling Club through our PayPal site, which accepts PayPal as well as credit/debit cards. You also can mail checks to Sitka Cycling Club, c/o Charles Bingham, treasurer, 405 Marine Street, Apt. No. 6, Sitka, Alaska 99835.

We also are looking for people to volunteer on our trail-building teams, with work parties from 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday and at a time TBA on the first Saturday of the month. We now have an online volunteer registration page, where people can sign up for specific work parties so we can make sure we stay Covid-safe on the trails.

We appreciate everybody’s help on this project. Thank you for your assistance. For more details on how to volunteer, contact single-track project leader Amy Volz at amy.volz@outlook.com.

A slideshow of trail-construction photos from May is linked below. These photos, including the one at the top of this post, were taken by Lione Clare.

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The Sitka Cycling Club will host a monthly steering committee at noon on Thursday, May 27, using Zoom. This meeting is open to the general public.

Meeting topics include refining our mission statement and club goals for 2021, a review of our single-track mountain bike trail-building schedule and fundraising efforts, an update on the Salty Spoke Bike Cooperative, a review of National Bike Month events in May (including finalizing plans for our Sitka Community Bike Ride on Saturday, May 29), setting some monthly club rides in June and July, working on a bicycle safety plan for Sitka (which includes reminders about cyclists not riding on sidewalks downtown and drivers giving cyclists three feet of clearance when they pass), a discussion of steering club committee roles and recruitment of new members, a discussion of club membership and possibly adding annual dues, creating a fundraising plan, and setting our next meeting for June (usually at noon on the fourth Thursday of the month).

In addition, we are hosting the annual Sitka Community Bike Ride on Saturday, May 29. Cyclists should meet at Totem Square Park at 10:30 a.m., with a short ride around downtown Sitka starting at 11 a.m. The ride commemorates the arrival of Sitka’s first recorded bicycle, on May 28, 1891.

For those wanting to participate in the meeting, contact Doug Osborne at 738-8734 or douglaso@searhc.org for the meeting log-in info.

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TRAIL HELP –  Jessika Bean, project coordinator in SEARHC’s Health Promotion Department, left, presents a $1,500 check from SEARHC to Amy Volz,  the single-track trails project manager for the Sitka Cycling Club, recently. The money will be used to support the construction of a new single-track mountain bike trail, Haa Latseen, a spur off the Sitka Cross Trail. Volunteer work parties are held from 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday this summer and from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of the month. At the May 1 work party volunteers built the first 40 feet of trail and removed 820 pounds of rusty metal, litter, and trash that was in the area of the new trail behind Sitka High School. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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BIKE GIVEN – Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School third-grader Rosie Starbuck stands with her mom, Ariel Coleman Starbuck and brother, Cedar, after Mt. Verstovia Masonic Lodge member Darrell Windsor presented her with a new bicycle recently at the school. The Masons are giving a bicycle to one student in each third-grade class at the 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 winner. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo)
BIKE GIVEN –  Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School third-grader Sam Ploetzner, 9, holds up a new bicycle after Mt. Verstovia Masonic Lodge member Tom Brown presented it to him recently at the school. The Masons are giving a bicycle to one student in each third grade class at the school. Third grade teachers are selecting the recipients based on students’ behavior in class and the students’ display of good citizenship. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo)
BIKE GIVEN –  Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School third-grader Ben Lihou gives his mom, Heidi, a hug as Mt. Verstovia Masonic Lodge member Gregg Dunn, right, presents him with a new bicycle and helmet recently at the school. Ben’s dad, Robert, at left, looks on. The Masons are giving a bicycle to one student in each third-grade class at the school. Third-grade teacher Anita Simic asked her class to nominate a classmate. Most nominations were for Ben, who was described as hardworking, upbeat, kind, helping, thoughtful, generous, positive, understanding and a good friend to have. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo) 

BIKE GIVEN –  Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School third-grader Emily Wingard holds a bicycle helmet as she stands with her parents after receiving it and a new bicycle from Mt. Verstovia Masonic Lodge member Darrell Windsor, at left. The Masons gave a bicycle to one student in each third-grade class at the school this year. Third-grade teachers selected the recipients based on students’ behavior in class and the students’ display of good citizenship. (Photo Providedto the Daily Sitka Sentinel)

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During its inaugural single-track mountain bike trail-building work party of the year last week (MaY 1), Sitka Cycling Club volunteers collected and hauled away an amazing 820 pounds of trash in the forest just off the Sitka Cross Trail. 

The debris was in and around our newest trail under construction. Many items appeared to have been there for years or decades.

Let’s honor those stalwart volunteers. How about a dollar for a pound of trash? We aim to raise $820 in the coming weeks to purchase of rock and gravel for the three trails we plan to build this summer.

Click here to provide financial support for our single-track mountain bike trail-building efforts. We also plan to have regular 4-6 p.m. work parties on Tuesdays, and you can register to volunteer at this link.

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Sitka Trail Works will offer a variety of hiking, bike rides and other events as part of its annual summer guided hike series.

After losing much of the 2020 summer guided hike series to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sitka Trail Works will have Covid mitigation policies in place this year to prevent the spread of the pandemic. This includes pre-event screening. The events are led by volunteer board members.

The series opens at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, with a Sitka Cross Trail bike ride that starts at the Salty Spoke Bike Co-op (behind Hames Wellness Center). This bike ride will give cyclists a chance to ride the five new single-track mountain bike loops built off the Cross Trail by the Sitka Cycling Club last summer.

Other events in town include the Ben Grussendorf Forest and Muskeg Trail and Starrigavan Trail Loop hike on Sunday, May 16; a Herring Cove and Beaver Lake Trail hike on Saturday, May 22; an Indian River Waterfall hike on Saturday, June 12; a Mosquito Cove Trail hike on Saturday, June 26; a Gavan Trail to Harbor Mountain hike on Saturday, July 3; a Verstovia Trail hike on Saturday, July 24; and a Thimbleberry to Heart Lake to Sawmill Creek Loop hike on Saturday, Aug. 7. The in-town events are free, but membership donations are encouraged to help with trail maintenance. In addition, there is a National Trails Day maintenance party at a trail to be announced on Saturday, June 5.

There also are three out-of-town events costing $110 each (price includes boat trips to the trails). These events include the Mount Edgecumbe Hike on Sunday, July 18; the Shelikof Bike Ride on Sunday, Aug. 1; and another Mount Edgecumbe Hike on Sunday, Aug. 15. Space is limited on these trips, so register early.

Finally, there are two running events on the calendar, both with limited space. The Medvejie Solstice Run is on Saturday, June 19; and the Alpine Adventure Run is on Saturday, July 17. These events are hosted by other groups, but included on the calendar.

For more information and schedule updates, go to the online calendar at https://sitkatrailworks.org/weekend-hikes/. For other details, call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244, or visit http://sitkatrailworks.org.

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A Back-to-Biking Workshop takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, as part of Sitka’s National Bike Month celebration. The free workshop will start at the Salty Spoke Bike Co-op, located in the back of the Hames Wellness Center. 

The purpose of the outdoor event is to review the basics of safe recreational and commuter bicycling in Sitka. The workshop will include a group ride, participation gifts, and a chance to work on maintaining your bicycle.   

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 966-8674 or go to our website at https://sitkacycling.wordpress.com/ to see the full National Bike Month calendar. 

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