September Meeting on 9/6

The next WNYMBA meeting will be Wed. September 6.  As usual, ride at Sprague first and then meet at Colden Country Inn @ 8:30.

See you there!

HV set to do MB-2 Trail updates with excvator

bermWNYMBA met with Holiday Valley to discuss needed improvements in the MB-2 Trail (formerly known as the flow trail) due to the wet summer.  Updates to newly built trails are usually needed after the first year of use.

Holiday Valley will be renting an excavator for the next month to shore up areas with poor drainage, including the seep area on Champaign.  Also where needed, rock and boardwalk will be installed in other seep areas.  Additionally, some bermed turns will be reconfigured for better flow.

Holiday Valley did an amazing job getting this trail built quickly last year, installing many culverts and moving a lot of dirt.  At this point, we want to assist their crew in the repairs to make sure updates are made from the rider's perspective - to test ride the work and make sure things flow.  The plan is to have riders assist in the work by being present during much of the activities.

The work will be performed 7 to 3:30 each weekday, Of course most of us are at work then and won't be able to help out, but we are looking for volunteers who may have the time.

Dennis, from Bike and Bean will try to make it out most mornings before his shop opens which will cover a lot of ground.  If others who have some time, like maybe school teachers light on work in the summer ;-) are also welcome to assist HV in the repairs.  If you can help, please contact WNYMBA.

Tracy Ridge to Be Partially Open to Bikes!

tracy ridge mapGood news on the proposal to open (Only!) those trails shown in yellow on the left.  The Forest Service published their findings today and have approved the draft plan to open these trails.  Details can be found here:  

This does not mean that they are open right now. As stated in the Cover Letter, "This decision is subject to an objection process pursuant to 36 C.F.R. 219, subpart Band 36 C.F .R. 218.... Objections will only be accepted from those who submitted substantive formal comments specific to the proposed plan amendment during scoping or the 30 day public comment period. Objections must be based on previously submitted substantive formal comments, unless based on an issue arising after the opportunities for formal comment ended."

The trails will only be open until any objections to this decision are responded to.

While we would expect that those who objected to the opening will object, the evaluation process was very thorough, and it would be hard to see how restating previously submitted comments could change the outcome.

Please remember that when the trails do open, only the yellow trails will be shared use. Riding any other of the trails will lead to a retraction of this permission.  Be sure to get the word out to all cyclists about this as it is very important.

We would like to thank the Forest Service for their thorough and objective evaluation of this action.

Some boring stuff: An overview of WNYMBA's Permits with the local land managers


Ever wonder how WNYMBA gets trails built in the county forests and state parks and forests? You may be most familiar with the volunteer work days that gets the picks in the ground and the singletrack on the ground. But it starts way before that. Even before the planning and marking stages. It all starts with WNYMBA’s agreements with the land managers.

Land managers – we are talking Erie County Parks Department, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, and NYS State Parks – only allow work on their properties with the proper permissions. You can imagine why. For example, I think most of us would be pretty upset if an ATV group decided to ride in a bunch of new trails through Sprague Brook park.

Getting permission is not the most glamorous part of WNYMBA’s activities. So there’s not a lot about it on the website or facebook. But with this post, we thought we would post up our permits.

Closest to home, we work with Erie County Parks (technically, Erie County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry). We have had a series of permits with Erie County. Our latest dates from late 2013 and can be read at this link. This permit, called a “Revocable License” allows us to work at Hunters Creek and Sprague Brook, currently the only two parks allowing mountain bike use. However, the permit is clear to point out that “WNYMBA may neither develop extensions to existing Trails listed on Exhibit "A", nor create additional Trails, without obtaining prior written consent of the Commissioner.” Fortunately, we have been able to develop good trail proposals and get some great new trails on the ground.

For the state forests, NYSDEC requires a “Volunteer Stewardship Agreement” or VSA. A copy of our current VSA, for the period 2014 – 2019 is at this link. This is the latest in a series of permits WNYMBA has held with NYSDEC. Among other things, this VSA allows WNYMBA to “Design, build and maintain sustainable single track mountain bike trail under direction of DEC Forestry staff. All new trail features, segments and improvements must be approved by a land manager.

Finally, we do work on state parks, including Allegany and Darien Lakes. The State Parks Dept. (OPRHP) issues permits (called Temporary Revocable Permits or TRPs) on a project-specific basis. For example, the TRP for the stone tower construction at Allegany State Park is at this link.

It’s very important that trail work performed on local parks be performed in cooperation with the managing agencies. WNYMBA has been on top of this for quite a while, and the results have been fantastic.

42nd Parallel Ride

14 42ndParallel e1498054334856

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:

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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:
  3. 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:

In summary, we have some of the best riding in the country in our area.  Get out and ride!

More Articles ...

Our insurance company has "strongly suggested" that we tell you that Mountain Biking can be dangerous. If you're visiting this site it's very likely that you're already aware that if you insist on having a good time by riding your mountain bike, eventually you will almost certainly fall down and collect any number of boo-boos, dings and injuries, serious or otherwise, but we have to tell you anyway.

Mountain Biking is a potentially hazardous activity carrying a significant risk of bodily injury and even death. Mountain biking should only be undertaken if you have a complete awareness of these risks. You can reduce the level of risk by wearing a helmet and by riding within your own skill level.