Although there's a thaw going on while I write this, we are in the midst of fat biking season. This year, fat biking is really taking off around here.
Campus Wheelworks is running there second annual race out at Byncliff XC ski center in Varysburg. Last year's race was a hit with a huge turnout. Don't miss this year's event, being held on Valentine's Day (hence the lack of a singlespeed category!)
Meanwhile, Thom Wright has received a grant to help groom the trails at Harris Hill. Check it out. Or Contact new VP Thom for more info.
WNYMBA is trying to set up a meeting with Erie County regarding Fat Biking on the XC trails at Sprague Brook. There is quite a bit of research out there showing that true fat bikes, i.e. minimum of 3.5" tire width and low pressure don't sink into snow and float similarly to skating XC skis. We want to present this to Erie County to get the current prohibition of bikes on the XC trails during groomed skiing conditions revised or overturned. This prohibition was put in place before fat bikes were invented, and regular mountain bikes do sink into the snow and impact conditions. Currently, both the County Parks Commissioner and the Sprague Park Manager positions are vacant, making it difficult to set up a meeting.
In the meantime, the park has been adamant about not having bikes on the trail, and in an effort to keep the trails open to bikes the rest of the year, everyone should respect that. Please limit fat biking at Sprague to the other trails in the park (although this means most of the east side is inaccessible.)
Remember, the county is not discriminating against bikes. Hiking and snowshoeing have been around a lot longer than biking, but those activities are also not allowed on the groomed trails (and yes, we know some folks still do that).
We hope to make some progress with Sprague/Erie County. At the very least, allow the section from the end of Creek to the start of the main singletrack to be opened to allow access to the east side singletrack. Stay tuned. In the meantime, wherever there are some tracks (i.e. the two ski-tracks set into the snow) rather than just a packed surface, remember to *not* ride in the tracks - stick to flat packed surfaces.
Lastly, here's the link to the IMBA's best practices for fat biking: https://www.imba.com/resources/land-protection/fat-bikes
WNYMBA’s first meeting of the New Year will be your only chance in 2016 to do your civic duty while simultaneously drinking beer and eating pizza. Trust us, when you vote in November, it won’t be this much fun. Join us at 7:00 PM – Wed. Jan. 20th - Santora’s Restaurant, 1402 Millersport Hwy, Amherst, NY 14221 – in the plaza across the street from the Marriott.
We’re required to elect new officers each January, but that doesn’t mean that the meeting will be a boring one. First of all, there’s lots to talk about besides voting – like new trails in the Outer Harbor area of downtown Buffalo and at Holiday Valley. And, when we do get around to electing our new officers, we do our best to keep election speeches to zero seconds or less. To this end, mockery of the candidates is strongly encouraged!
Sometimes it’s just not a good idea to skip a club meeting. Especially if you have an aversion to politics.
Our November meeting resulted in a great mix of nominees for 2016 office. Some volunteered to stand for January election on their own, others were “volunteered” in their absence. Either way, we’re happy to present the current list of candidates for WNYMBA’s 2016 executive and advisory boards.
The nominees are:
President – Jon Sundquist
Vice-President – Jerry Barbour, Todd Fiore, Melissa Melnik, Max Walker, Thom Wright
Treasurer – Joe Crumlish
Secretary – Jerry Barbour, Melissa Melnik, Mary Walker
Advisory Board (4) – Jim Allen, Ben Clauss, Greg Culver, Paul Marko, Melissa Melnik, Mike Moscato, Max Walker, TJ Zydel
Other news ...
You won’t be able to strike your actual blow for a corruption-free mountain biking world until election-time in January, but this is the next best thing – your chance to nominate your own favorite crooks for WNYMBA office.
Join us for our next meeting on Wednesday November 18th at 7:00 PM at Santora’s Pub & Grill, 1402 Millersport Hwy in Amherst, right near UB North when we’ll take nominations for a new slate of officers.
Up for grabs in January will be the offices of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and four Advisory Board positions, but at this meeting … all we’ll need is your input on who you think should guide the club in 2016.
As usual, it won’t be all business. Santora’s website advertises 43 brands of draft beer and their pizza is legendary. Come on out and sample your way to democracy!