GORC Website Launch Party This Friday March 29th, 5pm, Civil Life Brewery, STL

OK, I'm having a party to celebrate the launch of GORC3.0 as I like to call it.

I've invited the Spry Digital team down for drinks - they are the developers that did all the major programming, functionality, process logic and theming for the new site.

This is an informal gathering... do not wait for long-winded speeches as they will not come easily after a drink or three. This is a celebration of a very long 6 months of my life dedicated to taking GORC to the next organizational level.

I truly believe our new site will surpass 90% of all mountain biking club / organization sites. I am very proud of it.

That said, let's all gather and hang out at Civil Life. They have a loft, they have dart boards, they have tours of the the place.

Civil Life is awesome. It is also a cash only establishment. The people are great, the beers are amazing. It's by far my favorite brewery. The partners are cool.

Even if the website is a little late to the party I'm still having it THIS COMING FRIDAY STARTING AT 5pm at

The Civil Life Brewing Company
3714 Holt Ave.
St. Louis, Mo 63116
Planet, Earth


Building A New Resource For Mountain Bikers and Volunteers: GORC's New Web Site

Since August of 2012 GORC has been quietly building its new web site behind the scenes. The large project is being managed by GORC's web administrator who has been working long nights to ensure the new site is both functional and usable.

GORC submitted two grants which were both awarded. One is an Every Day grant from the National Environmental Education Fund (NEEF) which is made possible by Toyota. The other is an REI grant that is focused on non-profits that are making it a goal to get more volunteers out to local 'giving back' events such as our trail building days. We are very thankful for receiving these major grants as this project would not be possible.

We have partnered with the local web development firm, Spry Digital that specializes in non-profit site building and the Drupal/CiviCRM platform. This content management system was extensively researched and is currently the best open-source membership-focused system. This platform allows for decentralized content management and a feature-rich contact resource management (CRM) system that will allow GORC to attract new members, track volunteer activities and report to land agencies. CiviCRM is the same platform IMBA has chosen to use in its Club Chapter program and overall membership tracking.

It has been our goal to showcase the development going on in the background but it hasn't been until this past week that time could be devoted to anything else but the development of the new GORC site. We have included only screenshots of the back-end management system and not the public domain web site as it is still currently being themed by Spry Digital.

The tentative launch date is March 21st but that is dependent on several factors. Think of it as a floating launch date. GORC is planning a website launch party at the Civil Life March 23rd (tentative). Stay tuned for additional details - and once we know the site will be up and running.

Project Summary:
Site Platforms: Drupal 7, CiviCRM 4.2.0, IPBoard 3.4.2
Other Platform Tie-Ins: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google Business Mail, Mailchimp, Paypal
Development Time: About 7 months

Funding Sources: 
NEEF Every Day Grant made possible by Toyota
REI Gives Grant
Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ)
Other private monetary donations.

Screenshots of the Back-End Administration and Contact/Membership System:

Check back in the coming weeks for additional blog posts about this exciting new project that is about to launch.

Greensfelder Trail Review

 Some of the participants

This past Sunday, we got a group of interested people out to review the new section of trail at Greensfelder which will be built on Saturday, Feb. 23rd. See here for details. The Greensfelder Trail Crew- Matt, Bryan, Ron & Scott had scouted the area previously with clinometers, and taped a rough line signifying the approximate trail layout. This was then used this to pin flag a more detailed route, which would typically be used on the day the trail gets built to mark where to dig. Usually, prior to the build day the crew will then get together and review the pin flags, and make sure there aren't any areas that would cause problems. 
For this review, we posted a message on the GORC Message Board, and invited anyone who was interested to come out and participate.

 What existing trail looked like around noon

Back in the old days, when GORC had a lot fewer members, this was the way we used to do things. Every scouting session was posted, and anyone who was interested was welcome to come along. This functioned pretty well when we only had a few trails to deal with- Castlewood, Lost Valley, Chubb, Quail Ridge, a small bit at Greensfelder, and the original section of Matson were about it. As GORC built more trail and grew-- currently 14 trails and counting that we have a hand in either building or maintenance, it became harder to coordinate on getting together for design work, and we sort of got away from general invites. Also, the number of people who took us up on the offer to come out kept going down.

 Top layer thawing

Greensfelder is always interesting; because the trails are used by hikers, runners and equestrians, some design concessions have to be made. Yes, we'd love to have some steeper grades, and more rocky elements, but sometimes we have to rule things out. One interesting sideline to note about this current trail- working name Clementine, is that it will feature some alternate lines that will emphasize some of Greensfelder's great rocky character. 
While the flag line that we examined here would have passed a review based on IMBA specs, once you start getting more eyes on it, someone always manages to spot a way to make the trail a little better. We moved the trail in a few different places in ways that will make it even more fun, as well as limiting any potential maintenance problems.

Trailbuilder Bowling

With so many miles of trail to deal with, it is becoming more and more important to train the next generation of trailbuilders, so hopefully, there will be many more of these scouting and review days posted. This will also give you an opportunity to help shape area trails, or at least understand why certain decisions are made. If you're interested, please contact the steward of your favorite trail, and see what you can do to help. The contact information for each trail is listed on the message board.

Freeze/Thaw at SIUE

If you're leaving ruts like this, you should be riding on the road or gravel.
We'll probably have to schedule a workday to fix this kind of stuff instead of working on the new singletrack across University Drive that was begun yesterday.

Walking out is lame.

I've been riding with some Backcountry Research gear instead of a hydration pack for a while now. My Osprey pack still gets put to use for longer trips out on the Ozark Trail or similar backcountry rides, and my big CamelBak comes out for Patrol gigs, but for shorter local rides I've enjoyed shedding the monkey on my back. I thought it might be useful to share my (non-comprehensive!) hydration pack-free set up for newer riders interested in ditching their packs but still having the appropriate complement of tools and supplies necessary to preclude a crappy, long, hot/cold/humid/mosquito-y/lame walk off of the trail in the event of a mishap. I like this 3-piece set up... Genuine Innovations "Mountain Pipe"
Plus a Backcountry Research "Awesome Strap Race II"
Plus a Backcountry Research "Tulbag"
I like the redundancy principle with the Mountain Pipe. It's a CO2 inflator, which is absolutely necessary for re-seating your tire bead if you're running tubeless, plus a (crappy) pump as a back up. The barrel is hollow so you can stash a few tube patches and a few tire patches in there.
The Awesome Strap will hold a tube, a 16g or 20g CO2 cartridge, plus a pair of tire levers securely under your seat. A few wraps of good old duct tape around that CO2 cartridge might come in handy as a tire boot or as an improvised repair for your shorts, or your shins or your bike. Craig has admonished me of the virtues of always having duct tape at your disposal on more than one occasion. The Tulbag (or other similar small container... like an old sock or whatever) has the rest of the junk you'll need to prevent a walk-out safely tucked away in a jersey pocket. Here's what I like to bring: -a shifter cable (you might add brake cable if you're running bb7s or similar) -cleat bolt (you might add an entire cleat if you're cautious) -a valve stem -a valve core -a schrader adapter -a quick-link for your chain -a tube of vulcanizer for your patches (helps if it's not dried out) -a chain pin -Park tire boots -a few more tube and tire patches -a multi-tool with an integrated chain breaker plus Torx head for rotor bolts -spare derailleur hanger -a zip-tie or 2 -an alcohol or antiseptic wipe packet or 2
Steve Smith once mentioned a bandana or cravat as an valuable addition and I've since included it. It comes in handy for cleaning sealant from the inside of a tire that you plan to patch or boot, suspends a busted arm/clavicle, mops sweat, makes for dire emergency TP, etc. A shortcoming of this pack-free setup is not being able to easily carry spare spokes and nipples. You're more limited on how much water you can carry as well. Obviously this doesn't cover your first aid, lighting, or seasonal clothing needs but it's a decent base kit for most of your close-to-home rides and it's been working fairly well for me so far. I usually forgot to check the contents of my hydration pack before rides anyway which left me hoofing it with a big bag full of empty patch wrappers, a quintuple-snakebit tube covered in old sealant boogers, dried patch cement, and a rock-hard fossil of a Clif bar.

2012 Volunteer Appreciation Party Recap

GORC hosted the Volunteer Appreciation Party at Greensfelder Park in St. Louis county. Over 40+ people showed up to celebrate each other's hard work in 2012. With many more miles cumulatively built all around the region, each year mountain bikers have better and longer singletrack options.

This year featured a stellar raflle with prizes provided by REI, E-Trailer, Maplewood Bicycle, Mesa Cycles and by a fellow who donated a $25 Quicktrip gas card to the booty pile. Dogfish donated a large portion of our brand new Trail Builder T-shirts which he handed out all day!

Join us on the trail to make our region the best place to get that magical singletrack fix. Here's how the day went down told through images.

All great parties involve cake, right? GORC doesn't skimp on cake and we ended up with a custom-built full sheet from Federhofer's Bakery.

To kick the day off right, a 10am poker run got everyone on the trails and guessing where the next obstacle course / deck card would appear. 

Matt and Lisa's poker run station involved consuming insulation biscuits that double as food stuffs. We are using the leftovers to fashion key ring floaters and selling them at Osage Beach.

Again, no proper GORC gathering can be without fire. The Glassberg shelter at Greensfelder offered a great outdoor fireplace.

Bad poker run hand? Step on up and earn your bonus card the fun, er, hard way...

The pogo stick was a hit.

JohnF brought his jump bike which was used successfully at times. Other times it sorta just made grinding noises sliding on its side.

Raffle winner taking the prize

Meats on the grill (and circular pressed vegetables) for the hard-working trail volunteers who have made a difference in 2012 by attending our numerous trail building days.

Kirby keeping the hungry crowd satisfied.

Raffle callouts lasted about a half hour with an intermission thrown in.

Ron accepting his swag

Tom won the Mesa Cycles Rockshox Recon 29er fork. Sweet! This photo highlights the inverted fork design.

GORC fed the fire well into the evening

JimB brought a bean bag game that was a crowd hit. Of course, he schooled us all! 

No caption needed

A great event that wound down in front of the fire. GORC cannot say it enough: