This past weekend, the Frederick Bicycle Coalition and MORE welcomed IMBA’s Trail Care Crew (TCC), Chris and Leslie Kehmeier, to Frederick for a weekend of mountain biking advocacy. Things started off on Friday with a morning of seminars in the City’s municipal Annex. The first presentation, Land Management Training, focused on incorporating ALL trail users into a land management plan, advocating for responsible trail construction, and working closely with local government and advocacy groups. (photo credit: Chris & Leslie)
The second presentation, Better Living Through Trails, gave an overview of the many benefits of fostering a healthy trail system in your community. Healthy trail systems not only provide safe surroundings for an active lifestyle, they can also increase property value, improve the overall livability of a community as well as increase local tax revenues. It is estimated that roughly $1.6 Billion dollars in state and federal taxes are generated annually in the South Atlantic Region. A study of the Raystown/Allegrippis Trails estimates that day guests spend roughly $98 per trip while overnight guests spend roughly $227. Frederick is fortunate to have a well developed system of trails, and we hope to work closely with all stakeholders in order to fully appreciate all potential benefits.
We were very excited to have in attendance some of our key stakeholders including three of our Aldermen (Alderman Aloi, Alderman Russell, and Alderman O’Connor) as well as representatives from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Emmitsburg City Council, downtown business owners, and Frederick County transportation planning. Alderman Aloi was especially interested to learn how Frederick’s trails can gain the honorable IMBA Epic status. This is something we hope to achieve in the not too distant future!
Saturday’s events started out in the Talley Rec Center, where Chris and Leslie conducted a Trail Building School for thirty mountain bikers from across the region. Here mountain bikers (and other trail users) learned to identify appropriate trail grade, design trails to accommodate the needs of various trail users, reduce soil erosion, create proper tread outsloping, and install necessary trail armor. From the classroom, we then headed out to the Frederick Municipal Forest where participants put to action some of the principals covered earlier in the day. Together we successfully rerouted a piece of trail that had become a problem area over time as a result of excessive erosion. The new trail follows the contours of the surrounding area, and is therefore far more sustainable for all trail users.
The IMBA TCC weekend wrapped things up on Sunday with a group ride comprised of over 30 riders. It was a beautiful fall day, the leaves were popping with color, and the trails were in perfect condition. The men’s and women’s rides started off down the New Blue Trail and proceeded to highlight the many challenging trails that continue to inspire and frustrate cyclists from near and far; A perfect way to finish a weekend of mountain biking advocacy.
It truly was an honor for Frederick to be included in the 2010 IMBA TCC tour and we couldn’t have made it happen without our FBC and MORE members. Thank you for your continued support! We would also like to thank Chris and Leslie for all their hard work and dedication! We truly appreciate all you have done to help us make Frederick an even better place to live and ride!
See Chris and Leslie’s weekend recap at Live, Learn, Ride (Frederick, MD: The Future of Mountain Biking).