January 2023 Mendocino Coast Cyclists Newsletter
Save the date: Sunday, March 19th for our annual meeting. Details will go out shortly on the listserv.
2022 was a big year for the club, with trail construction, a new website coming online and membership soaring. We also were able to have a little fun on our bikes! I won’t try to recap everything we did over the year, but here are a few highlights.
Our New Trailer and E-bike:
We procured our new tool/equipment trailer in April, with a generous grant from the Mendocino Community Foundation. Nick went to town, stripping the inside of the trailer and outfitting it for carrying the Steam Donkey Trail Crew equipment. It allows us to store and transport our trail equipment no matter who is running a crew, so is already providing us with greater flexibility as we work on the local trails.
At year’s end, IBIS provided us with an additional e-bike for moving equipment out onto the trails, and we have a grant request out for a 3rd e-bike. The e-bikes with trailers allow us to move a full collection of tools to remote trail locations on volunteer workdays and will also be deployed to allow our sawyers and others to get their individual equipment to a work location. Having multiple e-bikes available gives us the ability to do all these projects efficiently.
Thank you to the Mendocino Community Foundation, and IBIS Cycles!
Sawyers Nick and Jake certified
In June the club sent Nick Taylor and Jake Latham to Santa Cruz to get their S-212 chainsaw certification. Thanks to both Nick and Jake for taking several days out of their busy schedules to head to Santa Cruz and take the classes. I understand that any riding they did in Soquel while on this trip was purely in the interest of trail research! The certification allows them to run chainsaws in JDSF on our trails and has significantly improved our ability to get big wood out of our way while building and maintaining trails. An excellent example of their work is at the bottom of Boiler, where Jake sawed a path right through that huge log!
Meet the New Boss
Elias Steinbuck joined the MCC board in November, and in so doing took the helm as Trail Boss. Elias brings a love for our trails and years of experience carving earth. In his own words: “I've been digging in the dirt for as long as I can remember, and there are some things that aren't meant to be outgrown.” The Steam Donkey Trail Crew is in good hands.
Nick Taylor has stepped down from the board and the position of Trail Boss to spend more time working on sculpture, but he is staying close at hand as one of our Sawyers and a member of the JSDF Recreation Task Force. His contributions to our trail network are huge, after leading the MCC trail crew for over a decade. In addition to heading the Steam Donkey Trail Crew, Nick has been instrumental in trail design and negotiations with our land managers. He deserves a big thanks from all of us!
Our major trail project for 2022 and heading into 2023 is Lindquist Loop. This trail replaces Purple Skirt with a fun new graceful descent. It also provides a slightly less challenging climbing route out of the Caspar watershed up to 409, incorporating frequent low-gradient rest sections. For those new to the area or from out of town, the trail drops from a little West of EOP. A popular loop is to drop down Lindquist, ride up Sweetpea, and take Road 408 around to the top of Observatory Trail (OT). Flow down those graceful turns of OT and then follow Parallel or meander through Jiro’s Playground back to your car at EOP. This +-15-mile, 1800 ft loop takes you on 3 of the club’s flagship trails, which also are some of our most popular, with a nice variety of riding.
I can’t say enough about the many volunteers who spent weekend days doing some serious physical work to carve this trail out of the hillside. It was a pleasure to work with them, clearing, shoveling, and cribbing, with Nick and Elias leading the way. We anticipate finishing the final upper section of Lindquist when things dry out this Spring.
Ca Sil Xale Dah (Redwood Tree Path)
We collaborated with CalFire and Valerie Stanley, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and Tribal Elder, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians to adopt a Pomo name for one of our sanctioned trails. The trail that we know as Parallel, leaving the scales and heading out next to road 500, will be named Ca Sil Xale Dah, translated as Redwood Tree Path. Valerie Stanley proposed the name, and we chose Parallel because of its popularity with hikers, equestrians, and bikers from the community. There will be some fanfare with the rename of Parallel, including a ceremony with traditional dancing and singing.
We went live in August with our new website at www.mendocc.org. The new web platform has a lot to offer, with an event calendar, online event registration, photo albums and more. We are still building out content, and if there is anyone out there who would like help to further develop the website, please let us know. The best part of the new website is that you can effortlessly join or renew your club membership.
Membership and volunteers:
With the new website offering easy sign-up and renewal, our membership has soared from 35 to 102 active members. If you have been waiting to renew, there is no time like the present. We will soon be announcing discounts for members at local businesses!
The volunteer support for our trail and other club efforts has been outstanding. Our trail crew put in over 1,000 hours in 2022 and you all deserve a big round of applause. We had lots of folks from all over, stepping up to guide and otherwise help with the IBIS migration, and with volunteer help we were able to host the Caspar Classic, Woodlands Edition. I also want to extend a thank-you to the other board members, all volunteers, who spend many hours each month on club administration and helping at these events. It takes a village! Another shout-out to Nick Taylor, our retiring trail boss, for all he has done for our trail system.
Current Club Board Members:
Dan Sweet – President
Jake Madden – Vice President
Jason Hurst – Treasurer
May Martin – Secretary
Elias Steinbuck – Trail Boss
Erin Alvey – Communications (retiring)
Myke Berna – Board member at-large