Wednesday, January 13, 2016

No History of Arm Noogies: A Roundup

Apparently I’m going to be on the radio this coming Thursday.  Gary Bentley hosts Bike Talk (on a rotating basis with John Fry) on Thursdays at 1pm.  You can listen to Bike Talk on WLXL 95.7 fm or tune in at
Hopefully I won’t choke and start trying to sing old Guns N Roses ballads while giving Gary arm noogies.  I’m not saying I have a history of this kind of thing, but I have been interviewed on the radio before.
Maybe next Fatty will put me on the FattyCast and we can talk about how I have absolutely failed to return to Leadville to claim a belt buckle.  I did let the lottery window slam shut on me this year.  I didn’t even throw my name in the helmet.  In other racing news Tomahawk and I have been talking about going up to State College, PA for the Wilderness 101 instead of doing the Mohican this year.  While I would miss going up to Loudonville I think the W101 would be a nice change in scenery and would be just the challenge to get me inspired to get into early season shape and keep my mtbing skillz honed. 
Speaking of.  Since summer I have been focused more on creating and leveraging opportunities for mountain biking as opposed to actually mountain biking.  It’s fun until you look back and realize that trail scouting, flagging, and building miles don’t equate too much of a Strava training record.  It’s hard to get KOMs swinging a rogue hoe.
Not my tire tracks...
The Training Partner and I have been trying to crack the Powder Mill Trail nut.  The lower section scouting/flagging went well and we think we have a pretty good layout to present to the Forest Service, but the upper section is an enigma wrapped in a mystery.  At first I just figured the trail builders of auld took the path of least resistance with no thought for the long term sustainability.  I mean, that trail was “built” in the mid to late ‘90s.  But after wandering around the upper drainages of Powder Mill I have concluded they did the best they could.  And I was afraid we were going to have to concede hike-a-bike defeat.  And ultimately if we conceded to a mandatory hike-a-bike section then there’s no reason to even move forward with rehabbing the trail.
But after long studies of topos and a final quick scouting run to the upper drainages I think I may have found the northeast passage!  I need to drag Dave out of his bikepacking fantasies and scout what might be a reasonable diversion to gain Hatton Ridge.  If we can find a potential physical connection we’re fairly certain the FS will go for it to get the trail out of the creek and off of the current steep and unsustainable hike-a-bike exit section. 
Geez, some people are obsessed!
I’ve also had a conversation with a Slade local in the know about the sleeper project to create a mountain bike trail at the state park.  There has been some work done and there is potential outside the nature preserve area for a world class mountain bike trail.  That project just needs to be revived and nudged forward.  What got me interested in it again is the state parks’ interest attracting more users to the system.  While Natural Bridge is probably the most visited state park in Kentucky it also caters to a very narrow user profile.
The PMRP trails have not died.  I need to get a small crew up there and do some creek crossing work.  Once we knock out two short crossings and the bog crossing on Sore Heel then the trails should start winding out across the landscape again.  The weather has finally turned winter, so I don’t know when we’ll get back in there.  Hopefully early enough that by summer there will be some rideable trailage.
And finally, two things that I really wanted to throw out.  First, right now Senate Bill 80 is before the (Kentucky) Senate Transportation Committee.  SB80 is the “Safe Passing Law” that has been proposed and championed by Dixie Moore. 
Basically SB80 is:
AN ACT relating to the overtaking of bicycles on a roadway.
      Amend KRS 189.300 to require operators of bicycles to travel upon the right- hand side of the traveled portion of a highway; provide that bicyclists shall not have to ride on the shoulder of the highway; amend KRS 189.340 to require vehicles overtaking bicycles to pass at a distance of at least three feet; specify when a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle to the left of the center of a roadway.
And secondly, there is going to be a Kentucky Mountain Bike Workshop in London on January 30 and 31.  It has been organized as a kind of ad hoc get together to discuss statewide opportunities and potential for new trails and to preliminarily plan a 2017 statewide mountain bike summit. 
Bike was too clean, decided to ride it down that muddy road
That’s the news roundup here on the Chainring Report for the second week of 2016.  Stay tuned for (hopefully) another Ramming Speed Friday post in a couple of days.

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