Friday, August 19, 2011

Granite Creek Park Pump Track Update

Things are moving fast on PMBA’s Pump Track project! On August 16, we got word that PMBA has won a $1,000 grant for pump track construction from Fox Shocks and IMBA, which will be matched dollar for dollar by PMBA member Eric Nelson!

Two days later, PMBA hosted a site visit to the proposed pump track location in Granite Creek Park with decision makers from Prescott Parks & Recreation and PMBA Board members Pat Fraher, John Shumaker, Chris Hosking, Paul Katan and Brad DeVries, and Advocacy Committee member Tom Sanio.  PMBA reps answered questions about costs, construction, fences, dust suppression, weed control and other issues, and agreed in principle to sign an agreement with the city to take on maintenance of the facility.

We are putting some finishing touches on the project budget, and then the ball is in the city’s court. PMBA has an experienced designer on board for the project, so as soon as we get the nod, get ready to start shaping rollers and berms into a pumped-up experience!

PMBA Equestrian Meeting Report

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for mountain bike & horse riders in the area, with two serious incidents that left an equestrian injured on Trail 396, and three riders and at least one horse hurt on Trail 347.
On Tuesday August 16th, representatives for PMBA met with folks from the Backcountry Horsemen of Central Arizona, Prescott Saddle Club, Granite Mountain Riders and the U.S. Forest Service to address these incidents and continue steps we’ve taken to help keep everyone on the trails safer.
After reviewing what we knew, we discussed positive steps that we can be taken immediately or in the very near future to reduce the likelihood of conflicts between various types of trail users. Some of these ideas to be explored included:
  • Identifying problem spots – blind corners, for example – and identifying the best ways to address them on a case-by-case basis, possibly by adding technical challenges for bikes or short bypasses for horses, 
  • Increased trail brushing to improve sightlines,
  • Increased and more visible signage at trailheads and on trails that get a lot of mixed usage to alert users that they are likely sharing the trail and to strongly discourage the use of earphones while riding,
  • Joint trail trips and trailhead talks that can help mountain bikers, equestrians and horses know better how to react around each other,
  • Educational efforts, including helping mountain bike riders better understand what the horse sees when it encounters a bicycle or hiker,
  • Horse safety & “desensitization” clinics that can involve mountain bikers,
  • Trail Courtesy Crews organized by the user groups.
While we all agreed it’s impossible to remove all hazards for trail users, participants in the meeting all agreed that we can be doing more to improve the safety of everyone who sets foot, hoof or tire on Prescott area trails.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trail Maintenance Bulletin Board

An effort to keep the trails we enjoy in the best shape possible

With all of us out riding all the time on the multitude of trail options in the Prescott area, it would be great if we could all work together to report issues we see.  Overgrowth, erosion, trees down, shifting rocks or damaged waterbars, missing or damaged signage.  What parts of your favorite trails have been neglected?

Here is how this bulletin board will work.  As with all posts on this site, the comment option at the end of each is open to all users... even anonymous users.  If you see something that needs attention during your time in the back-country, please post up what you have found.  Trail numbers will be very helpful and the better description you can give of location as well as the issue needing attention the better the action that can be taken.

From there, PMBA can work to create trail maintenance events along with the PFS when required.  Through using this website and our page on Facebook volunteers can be located and individuals can be made better aware of what needs to be done. This bulletin board approach is a bit experimental, but lets see the kind of results we can produce working as a community and not solo cyclists.

Without this awareness, any sort of group effort in regards to repair or maintenance doesn't even have a place to start.

One tip... please click the above title of this post to link to the actual permanent post address.  Then bookmark that address as to allow you to easily return and post up what you have found.  There is also a link to this bulletin board on the upper left margin of our site.

Thanks in advance for your participation.

Report it to fix it.  
Volunteer when you can to maintain it.  
Simple as that.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Trail Courtesy Reminder

There have been two reports of MTB vs Equestrian accidents on the trails in the past few days that resulted in hospital visits for the Equestrians that were thrown. Please advise riders that may be coming to town to be aware of high use on our local trails for ALL USER GROUPS. Understand that each individual mountain biker represents us a group to the community and respect is key to our continued enjoyment of what we all hold dear... dirt beneath our wheels.

As a reminder, cyclists yield to all other trail users. Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you're coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to ALL other non-motorized trail users. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.

Riders who choose to listen to music must be extra aware that with their sense of hearing diminished many of the sounds that let you know others are around you will be missed.  If you have isolated yourself with tunes, then it is your responsibility to take extra caution for those around you.

When a cyclist comes upon an equestrian, it is important to communicate with the rider.  Make clear to each other how to best handle the situation.  Ask for instructions on how to pass safely. If possible, it is generally best to pass lower than the horse so the horse does not perceive your actions as that of a predator.  Remember, even if a horse has become conditioned to other trail users, it may take a few moments for the animal to comprehend the situation and understand all parties are friendly.

Stop... stand... speak.

Enjoy the trails, find your flow and roll all those magnificent singletrack miles Prescott has to offer.  It is very easy to forget with the vast selection of routes we have at our disposal that other users may be just around the next blind corner.


Be safe... be aware... be courteous... have fun