Mountain Bikers, an update on CAMBC, the ongoing projects we are working on, some background on various advocacy issues and a schedule of trailwork and social events for the next 2-3 months.
I inherited the role as President in January 2019, taking over for Sean Tevendale. Thank you Sean (and our past Presidents) for your leadership of and commitment to CAMBC, promoting trails advocacy and growing our mountain biking community in Charlottesville.
Let me know if you have any questions or need any clarification.
John Lewis and the CAMBC Board
A reminder of our Club’s mission: Our goal is to promote sustainable multi-use public trail systems within Charlottesville and surrounding counties. We emphasize responsible trail use and bicycle safety. We strive to foster positive relationships with other trail users, clubs and municipal and federal land managers. We also ride bikes!
Who We Are
CAMBC is a community of mountain bikers and trail advocates. We are an affiliate of IMBA, who help manage our membership. The club currently comprises of 179 paid members. Our main club mailing list has almost 400 subscribers. We have a shed with a variety of trail building tools that we use for our trail building and maintenance efforts.
Our board of directors currently comprises the following biking and trail advocates:
- John Lewis – President
- David Stackhouse – Treasurer
- Sam Lindblom – Vice President
- Shannon Tevendale – Secretary
- Sean Tevendale
- Bobby Casteen
- Eric Magrun
- Jip Palakawongs
- Will Stanford
We meet every other month to vote on club decisions, and provide updates on ongoing projects. Our January meeting minutes are available.
CAMBC is offering to fund the design, materials and construction of the site, and help with maintenance of it in partnership with the City’s Parks and Rec team. This is our major 2019 effort, and we expect to do fundraising for the track, and solicit membership support for the build and maintenance of it.
We are currently working with City Parks and Rec to get formal permission on a site in McIntire Park. We have three options:
- We’d wanted the location to be adjacent to the new skate park, but since this was never in any master planning, we’re concerned that the approval process would take too long, if we got approval at all.
- The second best option is in the flat area between the softball fields, but this site is needed by the Dogwood Festival, so also would likely run into approval issues.
- The third option is at the bottom of the McIntire parking area. There are not user conflicts that we are aware of, has parking and water access, and is close to the McIntire trails.
We presented our proposal on February 25 to Parks and Rec. Next steps are to hear back from the city, and possibly present to the Parks and Rec advisory board to get permission. After that, we formalize the pump track design, engage a contractor to build it, acquire and deliver the dirt, and get building!
Our dream is to have it in place, or in progress in time for the May 5 Bike Festival that is in planning for McIntire park.
Fundraising Items for Sale
We have the two items for sale for fundraising
- CAMBC Cups – $20 each – Aluminum cups, silver or black, with the CAMBC logo. These are the same ones we’ve sold in the past.
- Tinder Bells – $25 each – Bells for the handlebar with a slider to leave the jingle on when needed vs. using your thumb to ring it. Great for crowded trails to give fair warning that are coming vs. scaring walkers/runners with a manual bell when it’s too late.
We will be selling these at events, and are working to make them available on our website.
Albemarle High School Trails
John Lewis has been building support and permission to improve and expand the trail system on the School property that surrounds the AHS, Jouett Middle School and Greer Elementary school property. There are several hundred acres, with about 4 miles of trail now, and potential for another several miles. This is a great opportunity to create a trail system for the local kids team to practice on, have races on, and provide more local trails for the community to use. More updates and planned trail work events will be announced.
Trail System Monitors
We are looking to find people who are willing to be the formal “trail monitors” for our area trail systems. Our hope is that these monitors can act as liaisons between CAMBC and the trail system land managers, as well as keeping an eye on the trails, reporting issues, recommending work and leading work days. We’ll publish the list of local trail systems shortly and existing monitors shortly. If you ride a particular trail system regularly, please consider stepping up to be our monitor.
There are a variety of ongoing trail access and funding initiatives in play right now. CAMBC is monitoring them all, and will provide updates and calls to action as needed.
Last we heard the City and County were supposed to meet with a Judge on February 15 to arbitrate over the current lawsuit. A reminder that the County sued the City for allowing uses on the City Property in the County that violated the County codes.
- Biking should be allowed at Ragged Mountain. It does not pose any threat to the water supply (as stated by RWSA).
- We support the City plan to have both shared use and hiking only trails at Ragged.
If there are any updates or action needed, we will let you know.
We are pushing the county to work with us on trail design and building, and to have a “soft opening” of the park ASAP. While a Master Plan has been approved for the park, it requires millions in funding, none of which is in the County’s 2019 or 2020 budget planning.
- Allocate funding needed for a Soft Opening (which requires a minimal public access location, and allows use of existing trails).
- Open the park as a “trail park” like Preddy, then incrementally add in the other features per the Master Plan as funding becomes available.
- Have the County work with us in trail planning, building and maintenance.
The county Budget planning for 2020 is in progress. Please see the call to action posted February 19.
Hedgerow has funding in the 2020 County budget proposal.
- Allocate funding only for a “soft opening” to provide basic public access and an initial trail loop.
- Have the County work with us in trail planning, building and maintenance.
- Allocate the unused funds for the Biscuit Run soft opening.
CAMBC is working closely with the RTF, and we’ve contributed significantly recently to trailwork and re-routes. Some recent news
- The Willoughby section is very close to becoming a formal part of the RT
- With the Woolen Mills developement comes a promised pedestrian bridge across Moores Creek at Woolen Mills. This would provide access to that section of trail (Woolen Mills to Rt. 20), AND provide future trail access to Monticello.
Trailwork is an important part of what we do as a club, and helps establish our reputation as trail advocates and trail stewards. CAMBC is now considered a resource for trail design expertise by the local land managers. We are establishing a monthly trailwork schedule, on the third weekends of every month. We need your help getting trailwork leaders to sign up to fill out our calendar. Trailwork leaders don’t need to be trail builders, they just need to help with choosing the location, type of work needed, and organizing the event.
We’ve had several recent trail work days. Thank you to all of you who have participated.
- January – Dave Stackhouse led continued work on the OHill Reactor Trail. This was building a new section of trail, extending the Reactor trail up the hill.
- February – Jason Hiser led a group to extend the Reactor trail further, connecting with the Perimeter trail.
Next workday – March 16 – John Lewis will be the leader. Location most likely will be at Albemarle High School, finishing a new connection trail between the Jouett trails and the Greer trails.
Future dates need leaders and locations. Who can volunteer to lead? What locations need work?
Trail Work Opportunities
We will be having monthly Trailwork days on the third Thursdays of every month. Usual timing is 9-12AM on Saturday mornings, but we want to keep it flexible depending on the Trailwork leader’s preference during that weekend.
- March 16, Saturday – Monthly CAMBC Trail Work Weekend – (AHS Trails – John Lewis)
- April 20, Saturday – Monthly CAMBC Trail Work Weekend – Location TBD
- May 18, Saturday – Monthly CAMBC Trail Work Weekend – Location TBD
We’d like to start having monthly socials, starting with the third thursdays of every month. We’ll start with touring the local establishments. Usually the timing will be 7PM to whenever…
- March 21, Thursday – Monthly CAMBC Social – Location TBD
- April 18, Thursday – Monthly CAMBC Social – Location TBD
- May 16, Thursday – Monthly CAMBC Social – Location TBD
We’d also like to have quarterly CAMBC club events that include guided rides, skills training, fire pits and food, kids and camaraderie (and even some camping…) We’re working on something this Spring, and will let you know as soon as we have something locked down.
Upcoming Mountain Bike Races
- Blue Ridge School MTB Fest and Moonshiner’s Enduro, March 30-31
- VORS race schedule
- VAHS race schedule