At CeMeNEMBA we are looking back at not only the last month, but also the season feeling proud of the energy our chapter has created around the riding in our area. By the time this goes to press we will be fully ensconced in the winter season; the dark hours will far outnumber the light, the mud from the fall rains will be frozen into semi-permanent tire imprints that remind us of warmer days, and the leaves of the Beech trees will be the only ones clinging to the trees in wait for a strong winter storm. While many in the riding community are beginning their winter hibernation, we are still riding hard and excited for the snow to grace our winter riding grounds.
The last month has been full of group rides, both large and small events and a continued effort toward trail building and maintenance.
Our “WNR” rides still see an average of a dozen even now that we start in the darkness and the temps require at the least tights and a long sleeve jersey. An impromptu Sunday ride has grown organically out of thin air, and in the last two weeks we’ve seen groups of almost 20 for
3-5 hour adventures. These Sunday rides are a great excuse for us to venture further afield and sample the delights of other regions. Our group rides are always mixed skill level and are as much a social event as they are focused on the riding. There have been smaller groups that get after it regularly as well in an effort to keep skills as sharp as possible and “put the hammer down”.
CeMeNEMBA was a partner sponsor with Augusta Trails in the first annual Bond Brook Tread Fest on October 21. The event was a race that offered both running and riding events for athletes. We were asked to help coordinate and orchestrate the event. At first we hoped to merely attract 50 riders for this inaugural effort. A dedicated crew from both organizations worked hard on the trails, the course, promotion, and all the myriad details of putting on such an event. Although we were dealt the blow of a heavy rain the day before the race we awoke to blue skies, a breeze to help dry things out, and 115 riders!! The event was a fantastic success and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Riders came from as far away as Conneticut and Presque Isle. Interestingly.
the Presque Isle riders had almost as long a drive to get here as the Conneticut riders. Plans for the 2013 Tread Fest are already in the works and it will most definitely be even better. Make sure you put the 3rd weekend of October on your calendar for next year and come ride a great trail system.
For the immediate future we are excited about the plans our winter ride series. With winter riding growing in popularity, more and more people making the investment into fat bikes, and studded tires becoming a normal part of many peoples arsenal, the crew of winter riders is gaining ground. Our winter ride series will be a 7 part series that starts in December. We’ll host 3 mid-week evening rides and 3 longer Sunday rides. The final ride will a larger event and will include both a citizens fun race, and a longer competitive race. For more information see our website and Facebook page for updates.
Calling all ladies who don’t mind a lil’ bit of dirt, rocks, roots, flowy single track and most importantly…’FUN’. Carol Nunemaker Johnson and Ruth Lessard would like to form a group ride just for the chicas. We’re thinking Monday nights at 5:30 and will mix it up by exploring a variety of our wonderful trails so all levels of riding will be accomodated. So boys tell your girlies…and girlies we hope to see you for MNWR. First ride to be posted soon. Please check back here or visit the CeMeNEMBA Facebook page for more info.
If you want more immediate info on mountain bike happenings in the CeMeNEMBA area please check out our Facebook page. Please take me to the CeMeNEMBA Facebook page!!
Augusta – The Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s board of directors has presented awards to the following individuals for their work to improve bicycling in Maine:
- Brian Alexander, founder and president of the Central Maine chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (CeMeNEMBA).
Alexander, a self-employed contractor, has played a leading role in expanding the network of central Maine mountain bike trails and encouraging more people to try the sport. Under his leadership, CeMeNEMBA has built more than 20 miles of singletrack in Augusta, Waterville and Hallowell. He has forged good, working relationships with local and state officials to open up more areas for mountain biking, such as the Bond Brook Recreation Area in Augusta and the Quarry Road Recreation Area in Waterville.
Alexander often can be found tromping in the woods with his dog, looking for new places for trails, said Ellen Wells, a chapter member. “He’s a doer,” she said. “He dedicates hundreds of hours to designing and building and maintaining trails…He’s really led the revitalization of mountain biking in central Maine.”
December is a great time to look back and take stock of what the past twelve months have brought to bear. Typically, at this time of year, we are inundated with end of the year reviews about the most popular movies or books, who has died, top news stories and the like. So it’s probably not a big surprise that here, for your perusal, is a look at what CeMeNEMBA was able to do over the course of 2011.
The trail development at both the Quarry Road and Pine Ridge recreation areas in Waterville has progressed in a major way since the fall of 2010. In 2011, trails designed to bring the two networks closer were built thanks to an agreement with Colby College (and others). Nearly 75% complete, these trails will eventually provide a continuous track that runs from one side of town to the other. Some of the work involved bringing in an excavator to correct water issues on the Pine Ridge Loop as well the building of two bridges – one for biking and hiking, the other for both snowmobiles and non-motorized use.
On the Quarry Road trails, a one mile loop was built in the field that allows for some quick jaunts and fun-filled runs. This helps round off the QR experience with a wide range of trails for beginners to experts. These trails saw year round riding and a Winter Festival that accommodated almost 700 people. The number of Fat Bikes showing up at off-season rides has grown and because of that and other good work being done through CeMeNEMBA, there has been a good deal of excellent press coverage. The first Family Mountain Biking Festival was held on the eve of the summer’s big hurricane and despite the impending weather, we still had a healthy number show up to ride and enjoy post-ride festivities that included live music and a hearty cook-out.
Routine maintenance and drainage work was done on both trails and because of the CeMeNEMBA volunteers and dedicated board, these trails will serve our membership well in 2012. Please make sure you renew your membership for 2012 to help CeMeNEMBA continue to provide some of Maine ’s best riding. And while you are at it, invite a friend to join as well.
Then go for a ride….
For those of you that need a tax write-off or another tax deduction (it’s not too late) feel free to write a check to CeMeNEMBA and send it to 40 Nickerson Lane Rome , 04963…………. NEMBA is a non-profit organization.
Thanks for everyone’s support in the past year.