Well, it's been almost a year, but finally I am posting an article about this. What prompted me is that Dirt Rag has finally posted the article I co-wrote with Anthony Suncan (our IMBA regional rep) that was published in the dead-trees vesrion of the rag last year. Here's the link: http://dirtragmag.com/access-the-42nd-parallel/
All the details are in the article, but in a nutshell, I wanted to do a ride almost entirely on dirt from Ellicottville to Jakes Rocks. Partly just because we can, and partly to build awareness of three of the missing links in the route, all of which are in various stages of fruition.
First, I would note this was not an official WNYMBA event, but a group ride of about a dozen friends. I know that may sound elitest, but there was method in the madness. Any event in state forests and state parks over 20 people needs permits, insurance, etc. and that's a lot of work. Secondly, part of the route traverses private property. Everything was 100% legit as we either got explicit permission for that day, or else it was on private timber or oil&gas roads that are non-posted. Non-posted is one thing, but bringing a publicly-advertised ride on them is another. And last but certainly not least, there were only about a dozen people on the ride, all which I knew and were good riders, and still we had a hell of a time keeping people together and minimizing the number of wrong turns!
But as for the ride: it was awesome and we do hope to do portions of this again as a publicly announced ride.
The three sections that we are hoping to get more dirt to replace pavement are as follows:
- Stone Tower Trail: The first actually wouldn't replace pavement, but we did ride right past the trailhead. This is the new trail that we started building in Allegany State Park and hopefully will soon be getting funding for the first four miles to be constructed similarly to Jakes Rocks. Stay tuned!
- Cain Hollow Trail: This is another authorized trail in Allegany, yet to be built. As I wrote in the article, after 41 miles of riding the first day, we had been on dirt the entire time except the pavement to the start of Eagle, and then crossing the Allegheny in Salamanca. At that point, there is a planned singeltrack descent into the Cain Hollow campground. INfo on this and the Stone Tower Trail is here: http://wnymba.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=477:allegany-state-park-planning-process&catid=55&Itemid=399
- Tracy Ridge Trails: We have been working with the National Forest Service to get trails at Tracy ridge (home to bears - read the article!). Hopefully these will be opened soon. More info: http://wnymba.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=820:forest-service-environmental-assessment-on-proposed-opening-12-5-miles-of-trails-at-tracy-ridge-find-no-significant-impact&catid=41&Itemid=393
In summary, we have some of the best riding in the country in our area. Get out and ride!