Central Maine chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association
April 8, 2014 meeting minutes
The Central Maine Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association held its regular monthly meeting on April 8th, at Augusta City Hall, starting at 6pm. President Chris Riley presiding.
Members present: Chris Riley, Pres.; Brian Alexander past Pres.; Ellen Wells; Mack McAfee; Ian Oglivie; Ted Eames; and Garry Hinkley, Sec.
Chris provided 2014 member decals for members’ bikes.
Treasurers Report. Chris gave the Treasurer’s report. He reported a balance of $5707.90. There were no expenses reported since the last report. We received $100 from NEMBA for our quarterly reimbursement for membership dues.
Cape Cod NEMBA conference. Chris gave a report on the recent NEMBA NE trail advocacy conference held on Cape Cod. Chris reported that there were approximately 125 participants. Each chapter gave a report and shared ideas. Chapters were urged to stress building membership. NEMBA plans to mail reminders to approximately 4500 lapsed members.
Speakers also stressed the importance of supporting local bike shops. Need to work with local land owners and with allied groups. Speaker noted that research shows bikes do not damage trails any more than hikers.
The northeast has a diverse trail system, often multiuse. Trail connectivity is becoming an important issue. Mountain biking is becoming an important tourism component.
Grant: Chris mentioned the possibility of the four Maine NEMBA chapters pursuing a joint Recreational Trails Program grant to hire a trail builder or trail crew. . (Partner with ATV clubs as a way to ensure grant success?)
Youth movement also was stressed, including kids’ rides and races. We agreed to look into sponsoring an event or series of events in the Augusta and/or Waterville areas for kids.
Membership goal. CeMENEMBA has approximately 55 paid members. We established a goal of 100 paid members by end of 2014. Chris noted that Mathieu’s will be signing up seven employees. Discussed other options for building membership. One idea suggested was in exchange for allowing local bike shops to advertise on our trailer, the shops would buy a membership for each new mountain bike sold (over a certain dollar threshold.) Chris will approach local shop owners to discuss this idea and hone in on the concept.
Member Coupon books: Discussed the possibility of soliciting discounts from local businesses and putting together coupon books as membership incentive. The value of the discounts could far exceed the cost of membership. Chris will explore the concept.
Ellen reported on “Let’s Go Mountain Bike Day”, part of the Family Fun Series, scheduled for May 31 at Quarry Road, Waterville. The event is sponsored by Inland Hospital in partnership Healthy Home ____ Council. She reported that bikes are available, but staffing is needed, including a bike safety instructor. Brian, Chris, Ian, and Ted volunteered to assist with the event. Ellen will find a bike safety instructor. Free helmets will be available.
CeMeNEMBA spring gathering. Chris reported on the plans for the April 16th spring gathering at the Weathervane, Waterville. E-invitations have gone out, with about 25 RSVP’s so far. Chris and Ellen will collaborate on a slide show. In addition to being a social event, Chris wants to gather peoples’ thoughts on what the organization should work on; plan projects etc. Also ways to boost membership. (Bigger membership equals bigger projects, and more grant opportunities.)
Trail master/Trail stewards. We agreed we should focus on maintaining our current trail system rather than pursuing new trails. Agreed that Brian Alexander would be our overall trail master. Stewards were appointed for the following trails:
Belgrade Highlands, Brian /Hallowell Res, Carol Johnson & Jeff Lord / Summerhaven, Garry / Bond Brook, Chris Riley / Pine Ridge, Ellen with help from Chris O’toole and Ian.
Stewards are responsible for monitoring the trail conditions and reporting issues to the trail master.
Wednesday Night Rides. Brian will continue to lead many of the WNR’s. Others will be asked to fill in on an as needed basis when Brian is unavailable. We will be having split rides when the group gets larger, or there are many riders with differing abilities and interests. A faster group could split off with different leaders. Also discussed and probably will try implementing the “second rider drop” concept. Under this plan, at an intersection, the second rider in the group waits and directs the group until all riders have passed. That rider goes to the end, and the next second does the same. The ride keeps moving, and no one gets left behind. Chris reported it worked well on his rides on the Cape.
•Brian will call the first WNR in May for the rail trail.
•Tuesday Night Work nights. The first TNT will be May 13th at the Res. TNT’s will be held bi-weekly. Brian is working to get the tool trailer ready.
•Quarry Road/Pump Track. Funding for the Quarry Road pump track has been diverted. There is a possibility city funding will be restored. Still hope to work on the pump track this year. Perhaps some other arrangements can be worked out for materials, equipment and labor. Would like to have available for Ellen’s early fall event.
•FAT BIKE RACE/EVENT: Discussed sponsoring a winter series, perhaps a bi or triathalon (bike, ski, snowshoe) at Quarry. More discussion to be had at following meetings.
Signage/Trail closures. Trail closure signs need to go up. Brian and Ted will see to it. Ted also discussed the possibility of getting some signs to mark our trails. He will investigate and report.
T-Shirts/Swag. Chris will look into ordering T-shirts for sale/rewards.
Garry Hinkley, Sec.