March 2017 Newsletter!


In this Issue of The Dirt…

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

Upcoming Events Around RVA

Bell Joy Ride and LIV RVA Season Kickoff: When? This Saturday, March 4th. For Who? Female mountain bikers of all skill levels. They are back again for another year! Richmond is fortunate to have two ambassadors, Kendell Ryan who is an ambassador for Bell Joy Ride and Marlie Smith who is an ambassador for Giant Liv RVA.  What’s Happening? This is the 2017 season kickoff with trail work at Ancarrow’s East (aka the Poop Loop) followed by a social (with lots of food) at Capital Ale House. Having not just one, but two different  ambassador programs in RVA is a unique gem. These events and programs are designed to inspire, empower and enable female mountain bikers with regular, structured, social rides, as well as offer different types of mountain bike related skills clinics. Please join the trail work, the social at Cap Ale or both! Registration and more details can be found on Eventbrite (click here).

BMX Season Opener – March 5th at the BMX track in Gillies Creek. Check out more details at the RichmondBMX site here.

Banff  Mountain Film Festival  World Tour – March 9th-11th. We are very grateful to have Chesterfield County host the Banff Mountain Film Festival at the James River High School again this year. Tickets usually sell out within the first week, but if you do you have tickets, please stop by and say “hello” to volunteers working the rvaMORE booth. It’s also a perfect time to show your support for Richmond trails by renewing your rvaMORE membership.

National Trails Day – June 3rd the JRPS crew, along with other support organizations, are planning an RVA Trail Day. There will be several trail projects, pruning, and, of course, fun. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details.

Club Rides – rvaMORE will be hosting monthly community mountain bike rides. Dates and more details will be posted soon via Facebook and email.

Trail Work Updates

Ancarrow’s East (a.k.a. Poop Loop):  Continuing into March will be more tread-raising work to improve drainage. Also, unless you live under a local river rock, you already know there is a new trail head sign and the trail is now directional.

Belle Isle Skills Park: Lots of maintenance and improvements have taken place to the big pump track and trail work was scheduled to be completed on February 25th.

Deep Run Park:  A schedule for volunteer trail and armoring work will be announced soon!

Gillies Creek – The trail crew had an awesome work day with lots of progress on February 4th. Volunteers helped install split-rail fencing around the expert jumps and installed a new kiosk. The next step will be construction of beginner and intermediate level jump lines.  Stay tuned for work dates which will take place this winter/spring.

Larus Park:  The first of two bridges has been completed. The trail crew also did some armoring at the entrance to the tunnel. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to help and thanks again to Outpost Richmond for spear heading the fund-raising for this project. Stay tuned for at least one more work day in Larus Park this winter/spring.

Pocahontas State Park:  Did you know that Richmond is building out an IMBA certified “Ride Center” (Richmond Regional Ride Center – RRRC). The plans are to first bring the Richmond Area together by expanding the trail systems at Pocahontas State Park. Check out this map which shows the different phases of trail building (click here).

Phase 1 and 2 have been completed, and phase 3 is now in progress. Clark Jones is leading the completion of all the phases with the help of volunteers, as well as some fun toys which include a donated trail dozer, Mini Excavator  and Ditch Witch. Over the course of the last month, work has started on trail #11 (reference the map linked above) and trail #15c will be next. Trail #11 will be 1.25 miles long. To date, about 2k feet have been completed.

Volunteer Opportunities: The phase 3 trails are not yet open to ride but they are open for help from volunteers. Clark is working on the trails throughout the day Monday through Friday and generally also on Sundays. He is always looking for help, even if it’s just a small amount of time after you finish your mountain bike ride. If you are interested in coming out to volunteer, you can find Clark on the trails, or contact him directly at (804)205-0679. More details to come on all of the amazing work completed, currently happening and planned for Pocahontas!

Thank you David Kern and Ryan Thompson, from RideKore, for helping to dial in the new features on trail #11 and giving them a little test:

The Dirt Community News

What’s very new news: The rvaMORE website! Please check out the site and give a shout out to Chris Bohle who volunteered his time to rebuild the rvaMORE website with a new layout, design, content and navigation. Thank you so much Chris and thank you to the board members who also assisted in this project. This is the first of many future phases to improving the information provided by rvaMORE online.

REI teamed up with rvaMORE for the “All Out 2017 at Reedy Creek Meadows” event which took place on January 28th. There were a total of 46 riders, of all skill levels, who took to the trails that chilly Saturday morning. REI provided coffee, snacks and volunteers who prepared an awesome cookout for the riders upon their return. Along with help from rvaMORE volunteers, there was an amazing response and willingness from members of the local MTB community to be part of this event.  Folks from from 3Sports, RCWR- River City Women’s Racing, WMR- Women’s Multisports of Richmond, Altius and RVA Racing participated as ride leaders and sweeps. Thank you to everyone for a great event.

Ann Gongora worked hard to coordinate All Out 2017 at Reedy Creek. Thank you Ann and volunteers!
Jim Temple volunteering as a ride leader at  the All Out 2017 at Reedy Creek.

The first Trail Forum was held on February 1st at the Byrd Park Roundhouse. The event was moderated by Brantley Tyndall of the Richmond Sports Backers’ Bike Walk RVA. The panel included representatives from Richmond Road Runners (Michael George), The James River Hikers Meetup Group (Dennis Bussey), rvaMORE (Greg Rollins), and JRPS staff (Nathan Burrell, Mike Burton, and Andrew Ali).
While being live streamed and recorded, crowds of trail enthusiasts, runners, hikers, and mountain bikers assembled together to hear a history of the Richmond city trails, the role of the JRPS staff regarding preservation and development of our local trails and hear answers to trail related questions that were submitted online. If you missed the very cool footage on the history of our trails, you can access it here (click here) Huge thank you TijoMedia for this awesome video and live coverage.Scott Scudamore National Volunteer Leadership Award was given to our very own Clark Jones, along with a $1k grant to rvaMORE. Clark is no stranger to trail building and trail advocacy in our community. If you ride trails in the Richmond or surrounding area then you can bet your favorite IPA that Clark has put a shovel, McLeod or pulaski in the dirt that is underneath your tires. Thank you Clark for everything you do and being a great leader in our community. Here’s a link to the full story  (click here) .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).

rvaMORE Board Member Spotlight – Kitt West

Since joining the rvaMORE board about 4 months ago, Kitt West’s primary role on the board has been to oversee the Gillies dirt jumps (located behind the BMX track at Gillies Creek Park) and serve as the liaison with the BMX Community. We are very fortunate to have Kitt, and his positivity, as part of our community. Here’s what Kitt had to say when we interviewed him:

What goal or goals do you have for your involvement with rvaMORE?
“Bmx was my portal to everything. Music, art, culture, meeting and interacting with all sorts of people, traveling, respect for the environment, health, everything. If bmx had not found me I would be eating chips on the couch right now watching football and hating my life. So for me personally, I just want as many kids as possible to experience the same thing. (rva)M.O.R.E is the best way that I can think of to get as many people stoked on riding bikes as possible. That’s all that I want to do. Get people stoked on riding. The same could be said for any type of activity. Skateboarding, throwing horseshoes, basket weaving, whatever. Riding bikes just happens to be the area in which I am able to make my little contribution to a better world. 
Also I have this theory that getting kids on bmx bikes and riding pumptracks/dirt jumps early makes them better bike riders when they move on to mountain bikes and, more importantly, they are more confident on their commuter bikes so maybe they will be more inclined to ride to work or ride to the grocery store rather than driving. Thus consuming less fuel and causing less emissions and the world is a better place.”

What’s your favorite trail (track) in RVA and what’s your favorite trail outside of RVA?
In Richmond, obviously Gillies, but for mountain bikes I really like Pocahontas.
Outside of Richmond, Pennsylvania is to bmx what Hawaii is to surfing. And for mountain bikes, I would say the Rattlesnake in Missoula, Montana. 

Favorite food? “Christina’s breakfast burritos on a Sunday morning with coffee and a record.” 
Favorite band? “I’ve been on a Neil Young kick lately. Did you know that he only records music on a full moon?” 
What’s your favorite beer? Busch, Camo cans

Favorite post ride activity? “I usually ride until dark, eat dinner, catch up on our programs and then go to bed.” 
Any other fun hobbies?  “Christina and I like to go backpacking. Also I really enjoy trail work. I’d say that I get as much from the process of building the things that I ride as I do riding them.” 

If you have suggestions for an event, would like to become a volunteer, or have ideas or content for The Dirt, please contact Again, thank you for being a part of this great community and supporting rvaMORE.