OK, OK, so it has been tried before, but now more than ever it seems important for mountain bikers in Pennsylvania to get organized. There has been some chatter on PA forum at MTBR.com about this as well. And being organized doesn’t need to be a top heavy structure with no fun allowed. What is probably needed is a means of communication and better coordination between clubs and land managers.
Why is this important? For one thing, the PGC is about to roll out their program for allowing mountain bikers back into State Game Lands. The draft proposals for this change would require a local club to “adopt” a game lands trail and agree to maintain the trail using recognized trail maintenance standards. It is important that information on the various points of this can be shared, leading to more successes and more trails to ride.
In addition to the PGC, State Parks are looking at expanding their bike access. Right now, trails in State Parks are closed unless posted open, making it much easier for a land manager to avoid appearing to be the bad guy for not allowing bikes. There is a push going on right now in Harrisburg to expand recreational opportunities, with bike facilities being pretty high on the list.
To this end, we here at the Nittany Mountain Bike Association, in conjunction with IMBA, have reserved a camp in the Rothrock State Forest here in Centre County for the weekend of May 9-11 for a “Pennsylvania Mountain Bike Summit.” The purpose of this is to meet in person and discuss our opportunities to work together in improving access throughout the state, and have some fun riding the awesome trails in Rothrock while we’re at it. The discussion will be facilitated by Ryan Schutz, IMBA’s new grassroots advocacy consultant.
The camp is reserved from Friday through Sunday. The plan is to have our “meeting of the minds” on Saturday evening, but plan to make a ride weekend of it. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and please use “PA Summit” in the subject line. Questions can be addressed to either Frank or Kevin, who is at email@example.com.
What: PA Mountain Bike Summit
Where: Rothrock State Forest,
When: May 9-11
Who: Anyone who wants to improve mountain biking in PA. Mulitple representatives from the same club is not a problem. The 4H camp can has room for 100 people camping, the meeting hall will hold about 50.
Why: Why not?