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Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

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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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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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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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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The Sitka Cycling Club is just more than a month away from 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.

The Sitka Cycling Club will host 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, starting on April 30 and going every Thursday the entire month of May.

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 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.

Laurent Deviche, who is supervising the trail-building project, said this is trail work 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.)
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 Sitka Cycling Club will hold its monthly meeting from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, at the Sitka Public Library. This 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 brainstorming ideas on how to grow our Sitka Cycling Club; a discussion about covered bike parking, building single-track mountain bike trails off the Sitka Cross Trail, the grand opening of the Salty Spoke Bicycle Collective, club goals for 2020, the renewal process for our Bicycle Friendly Community designation this summer, and other topics.

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

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During its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the Sitka Assembly passed by a 7-0 vote (link goes to video from meeting) a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Sitka Cycling Club to build singletrack trails off the Sitka Cross Trail near Sitka High School.

The project will start small, with one or two trails being built according to the map above. The planned trails already are used as game trails, and the plan is to clean them up so a cyclist can ride a mountain bike on them. Singletrack trails are narrow trails through the woods that promote more technical cycling skills than the larger multi-use Cross Trail. The singletrack trails are designed for cyclists only, no hikers, and the trails will put cyclists deeper into the woods and away from other trail traffic.

If the first trails are considered a success, the Sitka Cycling Club plans to build more singletrack trails on city, USDA Forest Service, and other land around town. In addition to promoting health, singletrack trails also have been shown to strengthen local, state and national economies. Towns with extensive trail systems that include singletrack trails have seen a growth in bicycle tourism, where people travel specifically to a location to ride bikes they either bring with them or rent on location.

The trails will be built to the guidelines established by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) for the construction of new singletrack trails.

• Sitka Assembly motion to pass the MOU with Sitka Cycling Club

• Interim City Manager Hugh Bevan’s memo to the Sitka Assembly about the MOU

• The MOU between the Sitka Cycling Club and City and Borough of Sitka

• The Use and Maintenance Agreement (Permit) between the Sitka Cycling Club and City and Borough of Sitka

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