Friday, April 15, 2016

Ramming Speed Friday: If You Build It Edition


A lot has been going on behind the scenes with mountain bike development in the Red River Gorge area.  The USFS Trails Specialist has walked our proposed reroute of the Powder Mill Trail and he’s satisfied with what we (Training Partner and I) came up with.  Now we wait for the NEPA process.  I’ll give annual updates J
Tomorrow is the big trail day in Flat Hollow.  It’s looking like we’ll have a decent turnout and the weather is going to be stellar.  I’m hoping we can knock out the bulk of the gap in the loop.  I’ve already got another trail day scheduled in May to finish whatever we don’t get done this weekend.  We’re sooooo close!
The universe desperately wants a Red River Gorge IMBA chapter.  That just keeps rising to the surface.  It’s coming from every direction.  There’s no doubt in my mind that there is a need, and with it will come big changes.
And then there is the development which I can’t reveal at this point, but hope soon to be able to share.  It’s a game changer.  It accelerates my timelines and opens up possibilities that I didn’t think would materialize.  And it feels real.
What I’m saying is that right now the Red River Gorge area isn’t a mountain biking destination.  But in a couple of years that will likely have changed.
 

Because of positive control points like this
 
And this
I’m not doing this for the glory.  If my home area ends up with dozens of miles of mountain bike trails I’m still going to be the guy that goes out on solo dawn patrol to get my mountain biking fix.  I’ll still avoid Saturday afternoons on the trails.  On holidays I will take my wife to the beach.
I’m making this effort because it needs to be made.  No one else is driving it.  I hope that will change as well.  I hope other champions for the cause will step up and make this dream partly their own.  Of course I have so much invested now that I’m not going to completely turn the dream over.  I’ve earned that. 
The truth is I don’t want to be the guy driving all of this.  I just want to go out and ride my bike on nice trails.  Unfortunately no one else is stepping up to the plate.  I also don’t want to be the guy who in twenty years that says “man, if I had just started working on this twenty years ago!”
I’m tired of the status quo.  I’m tired of listening to the spoken assumptions that nothing will ever change.  I’m tired of settling for less than what is considered standard fare for other communities.  Why can’t we have mountain bike trails on our local National Forest when other Forests around the country have hundreds of miles of mountain bike trails?
The short answer is that there is no good reason.  It’s simply a lack of effort against ambivalence on the part of past land managers.  Current land managers are different.  The climate has changed.  The future looks bright.
I want this for selfish reasons.  But I also want this for altruist reasons.  This could bring solid and fresh economic development to my community.  It could change some health outcomes for my community.  It would definitely improve the quality of life for people like me who want this.  And I am not Quixotic in this pursuit.  I just happen to be the point man in this case.  Those are dragons and not windmills that need to be slayed.  Other people see the dragons too.  I’m not crazy.  No, I’m NOT.
Anyway, I joked to Dave that Jesus didn’t command that we go into all the world and build mountain bike trails, but I still feel like what I’m doing is a good thing for my fellow man.  If the economic climate improves in my impoverished region then am I not doing something for the poor around me?  I know that sounds delusional, but if I can glean some greater perceived benefit from my efforts that just helps me stay on target long enough to hit the exhaust port with proton torpedoes.  Like I said, I want this for selfish reasons, but I also want to do good things for my community and this is what aligns with my own values. So there!  

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