June 2017 Newsletter!


In this Issue of The Dirt…

Upcoming Events Around RVA
Trail Work Updates
The Dirt Community News
rvaMORE Member Spotlight

Upcoming Events Around RVA

June 3rd, Saturday: National Trails Day –  Celebrate National Trails Day with REI and rvaMORE at Pocahontas. This is a free event for all ages to come out and enjoy trail work, bike riding, socializing, and complimentary food from REI. Click here to register.

June 21st,  Wednesday: rvaMORE Biannual Club Update –  Get the latest news on the trails and what’s coming up next with rvaMORE. This social and open discussion will take place at Triple Crossing Fulton location starting at 6PM. More details and registration will be provided shortly via the rvaMORE Facebook site.

June 27th, Tuesday: Altria Sponsored Trail Building at Poco – Consider coming out to volunteer, or to be a trail building leader, for work on trail #11. Meet at the Pocahontas Loop Forest Parking Lot at 9AM.

July 6th, Thursday: rvaMORE Social Mt. Bike Ride – Get to know your mountain bike community by joining this social no-drop ride which ends in food and fun. There will be multiple led groups which vary from advanced to very beginner. Details of location, time and registration can be found here.

June 10th, Saturday: Scout Camp Work and Ride – Scout Camp trail work on the “Shirley” reroute from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Be sure to bring work gloves, bug spray, hydration and boots (bring loppers if you have them.) Bring your bike and ride gear because as usual, we will be riding after working on the trail!

September 16th, Saturday: Tour de Fall Line Fundraiser – Mark your calendars for our annual Tour de Fall Line.This is your opportunity to hit all major trails systems in the City of Richmond (50 mile 28 and 14 mile options). All courses are marked and plenty of food (and food options) will be awaiting you at the end of the course. Click here to register.

Heading out to the Poop Loop during the May social ride
Ending the evening ride with some cool refreshments at Legends.   

Trail Work Updates

JRPS: Most of the Saturday volunteer trail work around the JRPS trails has stopped for the season. JRPS trail work will pick back up in the Fall (with the possible exception to a few volunteer days at Gillies Creek).The JRPS staff will be working through the summer on the increasing problem of trail widening, as well as the number of cut-thru and cheater lines which have popped up. Per a recent statement from the trails manager, Michael Burton:

“Our goal is to preserve the technical and single-track nature of the trails as much as possible while still allowing the necessary ability for users of all types to get past each other safely and efficiently. Despite having good intentions, we ask that users not take it upon themselves to close any alternate lines that appear without express permission to do so.”.

rvaMORE asks that we the community politely educate other trail users to stay on the designated trails to help prevent trail erosion and the creation of social trails.

Buttermilk: Road Runners recently helped with a re-build of the small bridge on Buttermilk just east of Slick-rock.  At some point this summer, the JRPS staff will be re-building the bridge just above the arch bridge on Buttermilk.

Gillies Creek: A new 3-line loop course is being built.  It features a beginner, intermediate and advanced line that all share a common start mound.  They are progressive in nature and all “rollable.”  The idea is that these features will serve as skill-building blocks for the expert-level dirt jumps that are already out there. Work will continue at Gillies over the summer with possible volunteer days. More details to come.

Deep Run Park:  On April 8th rvaMORE hosted an Eagle Scout project oversaw by Patrick Lyons. Patrick planned, furnished materials and volunteer labor to build a 30 foot boardwalk in Deep Run Park. This boardwalk is one of the last we will need to cross several wet areas on east side of the park.  The goal is to have a complete 2.5 mile all weather loop on the outer edge of the park. There is one more boardwalk and some armoring needed to elevate some perennial wet areas.

The second project in the planning stage is to build a beginner & intermediate pump track. Stay tuned for more details.

Pocahontas State Park:  Great work continues on Trail #11 in Swift Creek. This trail is a one-way trail which will leave you smiling with plenty of intermediate level “bumps and pumps”. The style of trail being built will require approximately a total of 14′ of armored drainage crossings. The plan is to have the 3 mile trail completed sometime in November.

A group of 15 trail building volunteers drove all the way from Hobart & William Smith College (upstate New York) to volunteer at Pocahontas during their spring break. One of the projects worked had the team installing 2 half culverts next to the oldest and largest tree living on the parks 8,000 acres. The “Big Poppy” tree can be found on the Big Poplar Trail. The volunteers were taught how to create a gentle non-invasive path around the tree with little to no impact on the tree and it’s surrounding roots.

When the group was asked why they didn’t spend their spring break on a tropical beach, they replied with “we thought it would be warm here in Virginia” (it was 37 degrees that week!). Side note: rvaMORE primarily advocates and supports mountain biking trails, but this project included using the volunteers and the organizations equipment to assist on steeper areas and larger deep bench cuts on a hiking only trail. Other volunteers, who were primarily hikers, were very impressed with the work completed and some have even started volunteering on trail #11.

Scout Camp Trails: Currently, we are working to reroute a section called “Shirley Hill”. Bill Swann, Scout Camp trail boss, states this section was dedicated to a good friend and mountain biker, Bruce Shirley, who beat the odds and lived through a life changing cardiac event on that hill. Bill indicates the climb is about 200′ in gain, so the idea is to make it fun! You WILL know you’re climbing but there will be plenty of sections where you can gain momentum to help move you further along the trail.

The terrain at the camp has great potential for some really fun trail so please consider coming out to help on our trail work days. When you come to work, make sure to bring your bike as you will have the opportunity to ride the trail with the other workers! Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer for some good fall riding as well as some fun racing!

The Dirt Community News

Trail dude has competition with this sweet girl. Ella loves dirt as much as we do!

Event Booths: rvaMORE has been busy these past few months sharing news on trail advocacy and growing memberships! Dominion Riverrock had a fantastic turnout with 30 new memberships and lots of bike bell sales. Other events where volunteers worked the rvaMORE booth include Pedal & Gears Bike Festival, Pedal through Petals, Bell Joy Rides, an event at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, and REI’s Women’s Outdoor Symposium. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped at these events!

Bid for Pocahontas Trail Build: A bid for work is currently out (closing June 15th) for 3.5 miles of more intermediate to intermediate advanced trail. This work is for  Phase 2 on trail  #12, #15c and #15d (see map).

REI Grant: rvaMORE was just awarded a $9,000 grant from REI which will be used to purchase a Canycom to be used at Gillies Creek Park and other areas around the JRPS. Thank you REI for this grant and for all the support you’ve given to us throughout the years.

Angry Mountain Biker: You’re missing out if you haven’t heard the podcast! Roger Sattler and Brandon Mojito (two rvaMORE board members) were recently interviewed on the Angry Mountain Biker Show. The full podcast can be found here.

rvaMORE Member Spotlight – Heather Keeley

Heather Keeley’s passion, generosity, hard work, and business sense have helped rvaMORE take it to the next level. You can generally find Heather behind the rvaMORE table answering questions about membership or on the trails with a shovel in hand. We are grateful for all of her hard work in growing our club while also educating folks on what rvaMORE does and the importance of becoming a member. Here’s what Heather had to say when we interviewed her:

What’s your affiliation with rvaMORE? I am the Membership Coordinator for the club, handling enrollment at events, recording and tracking all new and renewal memberships, working with IMBA in Boulder to maintain accuracy of memberships, as well as providing data to the club on current member counts. I also compile lists of lapsed members from the IMBA database in order to send “please rejoin” letters to those individuals.

What goal(s) do you have for your involvement with rvaMORE? Pretty simple, really. Enroll more members! We are looking to grow the club’s membership significantly. We have already doubled it in less than a year, and we think 1K is doable, considering how many people ride in Richmond and at PSP. And why wouldn’t someone want to support the club? Membership is very reasonable and all the money we raise through memberships goes towards building more trails, or purchasing tools and material to build and maintain trails. We do get donations and secure grants, but there’s nothing better than putting some skin in the game. And considering no one has to pay to ride the trails in town, it’s a small amount to give. People can easily drop more cash at one outing to a local brewery or restaurant, or for that matter, bike upgrades, riding gear, etc. than would be the cost of an annual membership. My motto has always been, “Walk the talk!” Or maybe, “Put your money where your wheels are!”

Favorite trail/track? I am a super newbie rider and was initiated through “trial by fire”, via Belle Island. It was fun but terrifying; got scrapped up on a rock garden, huffed and puffed up climbs and was riding a borrowed bike. Not the best “first time” experience. I’ve ridden bikes since I was 5, but mountain biking was a different animal. I have mainly ridden Pocahontas Swift Creek trails and for now, I am happy there. And now I have a wonderful new bike.

Trails outside the area? I lived in NH for over 30 years and rode local single track around the lake and on snowmobile trails in my little rural town. We didn’t call it mountain biking then.  Just rode from my house right to the trail system. Or just bushwhacked through the woods. All while chasing rowdy, fearless boys who happened to be my sons and their friends.

Favorite food/drink? Thai food and artisan/unique cocktails. Or wine.

Post ride/ post trail work? A nice cold beverage, and food at the closest establishment to where I am, then home for a shower. On trailwork days it’s a long day- 8am to 6pm by the time tools are put away, the rvaMORE trailer is secured and the area is cleaned up.

Music? If I can dance to it, sing to it, or just groove to it, that’s my jam. I don’t subscribe to one genre. I enjoy everything from 40s jazz standards to Hip Hop, and everything in between. If it’s live music, even better!

Hobbies? I love to garden, cook, and generally play in the dirt.  Always up for road trips, and my happiest place is at the ocean. A summer without a “beach week” or two is just not summer. Having a cold beer on the beach with friends is one of the sweetest ways to spend a lazy summer afternoon.

Please support our local trails. Having your rvaMORE membership is critical for obtaining the resources needed to help build and maintain the trails in the Richmond Region. If you are not a member, or need to renew, please (click here). Again, thank you for being a part of this great community and supporting rvaMORE.