The Year In Review

2007 was a busy year for GORC. I had to go back and look at the calendar to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Some of the workdays from last spring seem so long ago now. In case you weren't able to keep track of things, here's a review of what's happened in the past year:

- Trail 4 at SIUE completed
- The Rollercoaster at Castlewood completed
- Work begins on extension of DeClue Trail at Greensfelder
- Connector trail between Chubb Trailhead and Flint Quarry Trailhead completed
- Broemmelsiek and Indian Camp Creek Parks open in St. Charles County, each with several miles of trails
- Midwest Mountain Bike Festival in Peoria
- GORC trip to Winter Park, Colorado
- 24 Hours of Landahl
- Burning at the Bluff 12 hour race
- Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day
- Klondike skill structures are installed
- More work on DeClue
- More work at Broemmelsiek
- More work at Indian Camp Creek
- 10th Anniversary Party at Klondike

All of this, in addition to the regular weekly and monthly rides at Lost Valley, SIUE, and Greensfelder, not to mention work on the Ozark Trail, and a few maintenance days here and there, keeping what's already been built ready to ride. I probably left something out, but hopefully it's obvious that it was another successful year for GORC, and with YOUR help, we can do even more in 2008. Happy New Year!

Mariachi twins

Yea, I know the title is dorky. But don't worry, Bryan and I won't start wearing matching sweaters or anything.
Christmas came early for this young man and what better day to try out the new ride then at SIUE in the snow.
Kirby, Mike D. Randy, Bryan and I went out for a nooner. Well, ride that is. Riding in the snow is kind of difficult. It combines the two of the things that drive me batty. 1. Inability to clip in, and 2. Riding in mud.
Of course it was just snow, but you still snail it around like you are in mud or sand. The great thing was the slow motion falls into the stuff. That was fun.
Anywhoo, great time out there!
Oh, and here is the newest member of our family.

Here is some sexy side action.


Klondike workday-appreciation party!
10 years of GORC

Ah! I remember it so clearly. It was a dreary Saturday morning. Bryan and I found ourselves traveling off to Klondike. We chattered about how much fun it was going to be. Start the day off with trail work, follow that up with a ride and then it is PARTYTIME!!!! I was worrying about having enough food, beer, cake, etc. There were so many people signed up that I wanted to make sure everyone had enough. Then THOR took his hammer in hand and placed his magic belt around his waist.

For those of you who have not heard, my husband Bryan has an alter ego (or two). His alias is Thor. You know who Thor is, the Germanic god of thunder. He had red hair and a beard and rode upon a chariot drawn by goats. Goats? Well that's good because horses don't seem to want to do anything for Bryan anyway, let alone draw a chariot, but that is another story. I assume Ron chose the name Thor because the name has power! According to the Romans Jupiter Pluvius is the rain god, of course so is Zeus. Zeus is too powerful and Jupiter, well, it's Jupiter!
As we get closer to Klondike the god of thunder becomes larger than life. Oh yea, the rain just keeps coming and coming. Our hopes of a large turn out were slowly dwindling away. The gallons of chili, 4 kegs of beer, and a whole sheet cake started to seem a bit like overkill.
We arrive at the park and get directed to the maintenance shed. Woohoo! Shelter and heat, great combo. This is where the downed teeter is brought back to life. Thor brought along an E-Z up because he knows all to well about his secret powers. So the rock drops were able to be dropped in.
We gathered at the conference center for BBQ provided by St. Charles county. Mike and Craig & Co. headed out afterward to do some finishing teeter touches. The rest of us stayed inside for plan B.
What was plan B? Well it isn't the emergency birth control. Plan B is code for the keg of stout must die. Oh yea, it fought bravely, but we persevered. Of course the movie Beerfest helped keep our spirits high.
At some point there was a Donjo sighting.

Sorry St. Charles county, we have renamed this billy goat Donjo! Apparently he is a free wheeling guy & an opportunistic whore just like his namesake. He has been at the park for a couple of years just grazing along.
After the movies it was chow time! The elk chili that the Knopps brought was demolished There wasn't much left of it. There was also mild chili, hot chili and lil smokies. Tons of food left, but everyone stuffed to the gills.
Then more BEER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And of course CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After we killed the cake, we headed up to the cabins. All of the cabins were donated to GORC by St. Charles. How awesome! We each had our own cabins practically. Cameron and Co. had their own. He, his wife, and two daughters nestled down in Cabin F.
Then there was fire! Two blazing fires kept our toes and buns warm as we sipped on some fine Schlafly beer. Then it was time to retire for the night.
Of course in the wee hours of the morning Thor had to shake his hammer again. It started to thunder and lightening outside. But we were all nestled in our beds so he couldn't cause to much havoc.
You all missed a great party! We'll have to celebrate again when the weather is nicer and more hospitable!

The Thaw

You're riding along on your favorite trail on a nice winter morning. It's frozen solid and you're having a great ride. After awhile, the sun comes out and a few minutes later the beautiful hardpacked trail has turned to mush, and you and your bike are coated with mud. In this article, originally intended for the GORC newsletter, Sam Mitchell explains how this happens.

Every winter, the dirt we love to ride on freezes when the local atmosphere goes below 32 degrees F. The water in the dirt freezes and acts as a cement, making the dirt more solid than at other times of the year. The amount of water in the dirt varies from none (dusty) to saturated (muddy), that percentage mostly depending on the fineness of the material making up the surface. Very fine materials like clay can hold lots of water before they become plastic, when their shape can be changed easily. Water can act as cement or lubricant, making dirt solid or liquid.

While there is some warming of the surface of the earth by the hot core of the planet, it is tiny and constant, and does not enter this process. The temperature of the air controls the process. As cold weather continues, the thickness of the frozen dirt increases. We do not notice this because the dirt was solid to begin with, and remains solid as the ice thickens, and we have a good ride. In the central Midwest, frost depth can reach a foot or more, and 18 inches is considered safe for burying water pipes, to see they do not freeze. In the late 70s here, the winters were very cold, and the frost occasionally was more than 18 inches. In Minnesota, the frost can be several feet deep, and in Alaska the frost line is very deep and can be permanent, “permafrost”.

The trouble for our trails begins on warm, especially sunny days, in late winter or spring. The surface reaches 32 and the ice begins to melt, at first just making the trail slick. Much more worrisome is when the thaw continues, melting the water to a depth that does not yet reach the bottom of the frozen dirt. The remaining frozen layer is an impervious blockage to the melted water above, which in warm, unfrozen dirt would percolate down from the surface, as it would in a summer rain, keeping the dirt from becoming plastic and too soft. When the last of the frozen dirt does thaw, percolation can take place, the water descends from the surface, and the trail dries and becomes ridable. There can be several freeze/thaws over a winter, making a rider very frustrated.

Full thawing of the frozen layer can take days, maybe weeks in 35 degree weather, and use of the trails during the thaw can be destructive to them. After deep ruts dry and harden, they are slow to wear away, difficult to repair, and can cause a crash. Different parts of the trail thaw at different rates depending on the material at the surface, and whether the trail faces the sun or not. There is not much science for predicting the thaw in a particular place, but work is being done, see here .

A rider can start a ride on a stable trail, then come to an incompletely thawed part. TURN AROUND, DO NOT RIDE ON THAWED TRAILS. That can be very frustrating, but is for the best, for all trail users.

Monthly Meeting Wednesday, Dec. 5th 7 p.m.

Here's a picture of Kirby modeling his latest idea (shot with a wide-angle lens) for a GORC promotional item. He said something about his next idea involving a thong, so if you don't want to see stuff like this, you had better show up at the meeting and stop him.

Redline Monocog 29er Review

Here's a review of the righteousness of his Redline Monocog 29er by Cameron Brown (yurmom on the GORC Forum), that was intended for last Spring's newsletter which was never published. I'm sure he's put a lot more miles on it from when the review was written, and the color on Redline's website might be out-of-date.

Should I try this SS rigid 29er thing everyone is talking about? It's a question more and more people are asking themselves. You can read the countless commentaries about the pros and cons of the larger 29” wheels vs. the standard 26” wheels at places like and, but the basic idea is the bigger the wheel, the less displacement it experiences in rolling over uneven ground. Why would anyone elect to ride with only one gear on a totally rigid bike, ignoring decades of technical advancements in light weight suspension and gear componentry? I’d have to say it’s a combination of applied physics, one-with-nature zen philosophy, mechanical simplicity, and a bit of testosterone.

Riding single speed definitely has its challenges, but it’s not nearly as difficult as one might think. First, you are always in the right gear, whether you want to be or not. No more flubbing up a climb because you unsuccessfully tried to change gears at the last minute. Second, you develop your climbing skills, becoming much more conscious of the terrain and your physical state and riding position/technique. Riding builds more leg strength and forces you to use more muscle groups giving you a better overall workout. Also, with the fixed gearing, you find you get up those climbs faster than you used to in granny gear, expending what feels like the same amount of energy. And with a smaller single ring up front, you’ll clear those logs and rocks without bending teeth.

Giving up suspension was the toughest step for me. However, I decided to give the rigid fork a good test run before upgrading to something more exotic, especially since the leading suspension fork out there for 29ers (Rock Shox Reba) is about $450. Expect to pay about $275 for a carbon fork which will drop about a pound off your ride and soak up the bumps a bit more than a steel fork.

Riding SS rigid 29ers has a feel all its own. The rigid setup allows you to more fully experience not only the trail, but your bike as well. You quickly learn how your bike responds on a variety of terrain. The ride is faster than you might think, both uphill and down. Some say they experience a loss in steering agility due to the larger wheels. I don’t share their sentiment. With a rigid front fork finding the right tire pressure is key. The larger 29er tread patch provides added traction and allows for lower pressure riding with less risk of pinch-flats. My 175 lb back side typically rides on 30 PSI in the rear and 27 up front.

I can’t tell you how excited I was to get my Redline Monocog 29er, gleaming in Satin Brown, or what I like to call Fecal Green. I’ve only put about 30 miles on it, but I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to my hard-tail gear bike.

Monthly Meeting Wednesday, Nov. 7

The regular monthly meeting will be held at the Schlafly Tap Room at 7 pm on Wed. Nov. 7th. If you're lucky maybe JoshK (aka Tabletop) will give you some tips on the finer points of the proper way to tuck and roll, like he did for his friend Tom here at the MMBF in Peoria.

Workday Season Begins- Saturday 11/3/2007

After what seems like an unusually long break, GORC workdays are beginning for the Fall. First up is Greensfelder, where we'll continue to work on an extension of the DeClue Trail which will eventually eliminate any need to ride the bridle path between the radio tower and the Roundhouse parking lot. We'll meet at the Radio Tower Parking off of Allenton Rd. at 9 am. As usual, food and a ride will follow. Further details are on the GORC Forum. Information on upcoming workdays can also be found there.

Burnin' at the Bluff Volunteers

Another Burnin' at the Bluff has come and gone, and by all accounts, was one of the best ever. One of the reasons everything ran so smoothly was because of the behind the scenes work done by the GORC Volunteers shown in the picture. They had to deal with a lot of things that most of us don't think about-- sweaty, yucky batons, having lights shined in their faces, semi-coherent racers wanting to know their lap times, and they were always friendly and eager to help. A big thanks to Mari, Lisa, Barb, Steph, Josh & Tammie, and Bryan for spending the whole day doing everything. Scott Whitaker, Steve Smith, Mike Dunston, Jared Rosson & Craig Seibert also patrolled the course for the entire 12 hours.

Southern Illinois Fat Tire Festival

Our old friend, and former GORC member, Brett Billings is putting together this bash at beautiful Lake Glendale near Vienna, IL on Oct. 26-28, 2007. If you've never been down to Southern Illinois, you'll probably be in for a big surprise with the rocky nature of the trails down there. All of the details, including registration info are listed at the Bike Surgeon's website.

Brett promises that this is going to be a much bigger event than the one some of us attended 3 years ago. It looks like there will be more attention to some riding on the eastern side of the Shawnee, so hopefully it won't be a whole day spent searching for the elusive "John Deere Trail". It will also give SMBA a chance to show off all of the hard work they've done improving the trails on the west side.

Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day

Mike Dunston and others have been working hard with St. Charles County Parks in preparation for IMBA's "Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day" to be held Saturday, Oct. 13th at Broemmelsiek Park.
Further details and registration info can be found on the GORC website.

A Brief History of the Chubb Trail

Ever wonder about the history of the Chubb Trail, or why it looks different than the neighboring Flint Quarry Trail? This article by Sam Mitchell appeared in Trailhead, the GORC newsletter in the Fall of 2006.

R. Walston Chubb was a graduate of  Harvard College and Columbia Law School. He worked as an attorney in Washington D.C. and St. Louis. Mr. Chubb was involved on behalf of civil rights issues and environmental issues. He died in 1977. 
Mr. Chubb was founder of the Open Space Council, a group organized to remedy the Meramec River, and for this work the trail from West Tyson Park to Lone Elk Park was named for him when the trail was dedicated in 1984.

Dennis Hogan designed the trail for St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation in the early eighties. Dennis did the scouting and marking on horseback because it was quicker, and the trail would be used by hikers and equestrians. No one thought of bicycles, and the head of the department, and its first director, Wayne C. Kennedy, was an equestrian. Dennis scouted the north side of the park for days before finding the break in the Kimmswick outcropping that bicyclists call "The Step". The two steep climbs at the highest ridge on the trail, before and after the picnic table, were preexisting horse trails that were to be improved, but have not been.

My first ride on the Chubb was in the spring of '86 with a group of engineers from McDonnell Aircraft. The trail was not much used, and horses were the biggest group of users. Soon many bicyclists found it, and there were some conflicts. There were threats to close the trail to bikes, and the workdays began. Often there were only a few workers, but they were mostly bicyclists.

I had made suggestions to the Parks Dept. that were mostly ignored, except one: when I asked Mike Luedde if there could be a picnic table at the high point of the trail, and it appeared about two weeks later. Well, one other idea did get carried out: The Flint Quarry Trail.

In the mid 90's before GORC was invented, I suggested a new trail for West Tyson Park, thinking that it would lengthen the fun, take some pressure off the Chubb, and be a great ride because of the nature of the park. Lots of maps and plans were exchanged, then changed, and finally in 2000, with GORC organizing the workday, and with 92 volunteers, we built the Flint Quarry Trail.

Both West Tyson and Lone Elk were part of a large parcel of woods and farm land called the Crescent Hills, the Crescent being the long turn in the Meramec River starting at Times Beach and ending at Lincoln Beach. These hills are higher than the surrounding land, about 400 feet above the river, where the hills in Castlewood are about 200 feet above the river. The Burlington Escarpment is nearby, and is considered the geologic edge of the Ozarks, and is the source of the chert, or flint that was used by early Americans for tools. The flint quarries are the pits in the Crescent Hills where a tree would topple in a storm and the tool makers would jump in and mine the rock, carrying it all over, including Cahokia, where tools made from flint from West Tyson have been unearthed. The most prized flint is called Crescent Rainbow Chert because of its lines of different colors. Unfortunately none of that is found in West Tyson Park.

A good history of the area can be found here.

GORC Returns from Winter Park, CO

GORC has returned from another successful invasion of Colorado. Great fun was had by all, with only a few mishaps such as Rip destroying his Niner, and the one by Josh detailed here. Keep an eye on the GORC forum for stories and photos.

Monthly Meeting Location Change

The room at the Tap Room where we normally hold our monthly meetings is booked for August 1st, so it's being moved to Lemmons. More information, including a link to a map, is available here. There's no telling who will show up!

Council Bluff/Ozark Trail Ride

I rode at Council Bluff for the first time in awhile this weekend. The trail was in good shape with 3 or 4 downed trees.
For those of you interested in a change of pace from riding the lake shore trail once in each direction you might consider throwing in a few bits of the Ozark Trail which begin at the bridge over the Telleck Branch. I rode around the lake clockwise, and then headed up the OT first on South Trace to Hwy. 32, then up the Middle Fork to the DD/32 trailhead and back, skipping the North Trace to DD section this time. According to the mileage from this ride and the OTA's mileage measurements, the 3 OT out-and-back sections alone are about 15 miles. The OTA's members have done a great job keeping these trails clear, especially in the wake of last year's storms. There were only a couple of trees down on the Middle Fork.
Council Bluff is a great base to use for exploring the area, plus a swim in the lake afterward is fantastic, especially after a ride on a warm summer day.
More info can be found on the GORC Trails Page, or on the Ozark Trail Website

GORC Recognition at St. Charles County Parks

Thanks to the efforts of GORC's Mike Dunston, and Kent James with St. Charles County Parks, there are signs up at all 5 of the trailheads in the SCCP system where GORC has done work in helping to build and maintain the trails. Updated descriptions and maps of the 2 newest parks, Broemmelsiek and Indian Camp Creek will be up on the Trails Page in the near future.

Dopers Suck! 2007 Tour winner stripped of title!

PARIS, FRANCE (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) - Three agencies integral to the sport of professional cycling held a joint press conference today, in order to make a number of important announcements regarding the 2007 Tour de France.

North Trace Creek Cleared

Thanks to the efforts of a small crew on Saturday, GORC's North Trace Creek Adopt-A-Trail section is clear from just south of Hazel Creek to the Telleck Branch Connector. If you haven't been on one of the Ozark Trail Maintenance runs, you should sign up for the next one. They're great fun, and if you've never seen the BOB trailers bouncing around behind a bike you'll have a good laugh.

New Trail at West Tyson Park

We all know what a blast it is to come barreling down the Chubb and finish up a ride at the Circle. What could be better? How about being able to ride back to the parking lot on singletrack rather than on the road? Well, if there are enough volunteers at the Flint Quarry Trailhead at 9 am this Saturday, March 10, you'll be able to do just that.
This trail is short, only about 3/10 of a mile, but it's very rocky and complicated, and will require a lot of benchcutting and moving of rocks. The trail crosses two creeks, and actually uses one of them for around 100 feet.
Because of all the digging, we'll need a really good volunteer turnout to finish this, so please come out and help if you can. This makes 2 new sections of trail in 2 weeks!

The Rollercoaster at Castlewood

Thanks to the more than 50 volunteers who braved the wintry conditions this weekend, there is a new trail at Castlewood. If you go clockwise from where it starts across from the Ranger Station Cut-Off you might find the trail a little hard to follow at the moment. Just keep following the orange flags and paint. Sam says he's going to try and get out this week and blow the leaves off the tread, so get out and help beat it in once the trails have dried out. The updated map and description should be up on the Trails Page soon.

Yo, Big Dummy

These shots are ripped off directly from Surly where there are more on the blog. You may already know they're working on a frame called the Big Dummy. It's basically an Xtracycle-inspired frame and I think it'll cost about $800 or so. It's supposed to be available sometime in the summer.

Never mind the StokeMonkey red thing in the middle, that's a pricey extra bit. I think the wheels are 26in. and can take up to a 2.5 tire. Theyhave a proto rigged with 40 pounds of gear, including a mini keg.

I think the frame could be a good idea for trail maintenance deep in the Ozark backcountry - such as Middlefork, North Trace and even Council Bluffs. As a bonus, you could bulldoze the downhills.

There's a hundred ways to outfit the frame to haul all the tools into the worksite and it handles better than a trailer setup. Not to mention it's one less (odd) tire size to deal with when it flats or gets ripped from the trailer.

This could be a wise GORC investment, you know, since the club is all rich now. Who knows, maybe we could get some sort of club discount from Surly for using it for a good cause. We could also build it up with donated components.

Chubb Rules of the Trail

Not too long ago, I was at the Flint Quarry Trailhead and I happened to look up at the sign and noticed the words on the bottom: "Trail Rules on Back." Huh? I don't know how many times I had looked at the sign and never seen that. So I walked around back and looked. Whaddya know, St. Louis County Parks Rules of the Trail, complete with a phone number to report trail maintenance problems.

Watch out Peleton, here comes Mr Ed!

I bet this rookie will be a solid time trial contender in the '07 tour!

Greensfelder Scouting Report

I scouted on Saturday and Sunday to pick and choose control points, points of interest, technical lines, fast lines, groovy curves, and flowing scenery. The park offers terrain unlike any other public land in St. Louis. It features deep Ozark valleys, exposed layers of rocky Kimmswick limestone, sinkholes, maybe some caves and a ton of abundant wildlife. It's all still preliminary but the vision is becoming clearer. I predict we can fit 2 miles into the hillsides we are allowed to work on. This doesn't include the other side of the Scenic Loop road.

If you look at our work to date on an aeriel map you would see that mountain biking is only permitted in less than 10% of the overall park. But you'd think with the existing Dogwood and Declue trails that you cover a lot of ground. Not really. We've just stacked the trail on the hillsides to maximize the length and touch on as many points of interest as possible. Let's keep the momentum rolling to ensure this park is the premier hiking and biking destination. Why drive to the Ozarks when the best trails are right out your backdoor?

A chill in the air!

Kirby and I hit SIUE on Saturday afternoon. Also out enjoying the cool crisp air was MikeD. Mike was doing his own thing though, so we just had the occasional run-in when we weren't able to hide from him.

It was around 20 degrees that day, with the trail being nicely frozen solid. A few ruts here and there from people a little too anxious to ride, but for the most part the trail was in excellent shape. Kirby wanted to ride the perimeter with the added Trail 4 to get a total mileage. From our calculations, it will be about 7 miles total. Trail 4 is going to be killer once it's finished and smoothed out.

Here's a nice photo of Kirb coming down the double dippity doo on Trail 3 right before turning onto the connector to Trail 4.

Remember the upcoming workday on Feb. 24th to complete this part of the SIUE puzzle. It's your chance to give back and help finish this important trail. Check the GORC forum for details and register for your chance at free food and great prizes!

Greensfelder Trail Design Progress

We're busily weighing all our options as we keep walking the hillsides of Greensfelder to reroute and lengthen the DeClue trail from the tower lot to the Roundhouse loop lot. Everything is still preliminary but it's shaping up to be yet another amazing addition to an already top notch St. Louis County park. Stay tuned to the blog for additional information and updates.

Hope to see you at the first Greensfelder workday at the end of March.

Bikes and Horses: A Case for Sharing

IMBA has an interesting article on their site about bikes and horses coexisting on the same trails. While we've seen through our efforts at Greensfelder that properly designed trail can withstand normal use from bikers and equestrians, there are still a lot of people out there on both sides who would like to see the others off the trail. The article basically sums it up as: These trails belong to all users, hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Work together and deal with it.

Broemmelsiek Park Workday- Saturday Jan. 27th

Haven't heard of Broemmelsiek Park? Probably for good reason, since it's St. Charles County's newest park, and it's not open yet. Mike Dunston has been working hard along with SCCP to get ready for the park opening in the not-too-distant future.

If you want to see for yourself what it's like, then come on out to the workday this Saturday January 27th. More details and directions can be found here. As usual, lunch will be provided afterward. Here's his description of the park:

2 miles currently have been completed. Approx. 10-12 more miles in the future. Trail surface includes rocky creek crossings, hard packed dirt trails, restored prairie crossings, and several rock gardens. The trails in the park will be made of multiple loops as it is developed. Broemmelsiek will also be open to equestrians and hikers, so please follow trail etiquette while riding there.

The first trail loop built in this 500+ acre park is accessed via the concrete bridge that is just off the first parking lot. It's a mix of wooded single track and open meadow, with several short but steep climbs. Rocky in the beginning, it switches to a dirt base as you start up the ridge. A combination of meadows, flowing trail, and small ravines are experienced while on top of the ridge, then a quick descent with a very rocky creek crossing, leads back to follow the creek and on to the opposing ridgeline. This ridgeline trail loops around giving an excellent view of the park’s amenities as it brings you back to the bridge where your adventure began.

Back Section (under construction)

While following several tree lines to the Back section of the park, the trail crosses a large meadow then follows the power line alley to another ridge line. A winding hillside dirt trail mixed with rocks leads to a creek crossing, then a rocky ascent to the next meadow crossing which was terraced for water control. The trail follows the high banked terrace through several small thickets then dives into a wooded area which features an area filled with memorable items from past times on the Broemmelsiek Farm. The trail meanders along another ridge line which leads to a picturesque view of a local equestrian farm and pond; this section features a wide swooping turn which leads back to the power line alley which divides this section of trail.

SIUE Trail 4 Work Continues

Pete shows off some of his handiwork near the southern end of Trail 4

Work continues on Kirby's master plan for a perimeter loop at SIUE which will allow you to ride what will end up being nearly 8 miles of singletrack and a couple of hundred feet of bike path. Considering the small area and the difficulty of finding sufficient terrain because of the large drainages, soil type, and flat nature of the area, this trail system is pretty amazing.
Over 30 volunteers showed up Saturday on a cold, damp day to work towards the completion of Trail 4. Come out on Sat. Feb. 24th if you can and help finish this trail. We'll have an updated map up on the Trails page soon, plus there will finally be some signs out there marking the trails to go along with the new kiosks.

SIUE Trail Site- Then and Now

Recently, JohnnyD posted a link to some pictures of the old Mississippi River Festival site on which the current mtb trails at SIUE are located. I took one of the pictures and overlaid it on a shot from a similar angle in Google Earth to illustrate how the site looked then, and what it looks like now. Because the altitude I picked was off slightly, and so was the viewing angle, it doesn't match exactly, but it's good enough to show how quickly nature reclaimed the area once it fell out of use.

St. Charles County Trail Conditions Hotline

Mike Dunston also tells us that St. Charles County Parks has set up an experimental Trail Closure phone hotline. Since this is experimental, neither he, nor the rangers have worked out all the details of how it's going to function. Those parks which are included are: Matson Hill, Klondike, Indian Camp Creek, Quail Ridge Park, and Broemmelsiek (not open yet). The number is 636-949-7475. Updates will follow both here and on the GORC forum as soon as we find out more information.

Remember, GORC is not here to tell you when you can or can't ride your bike, but part of our mission is to educate trail users about all aspects of developing trails from advocacy and design, to construction and maintenance. If you're interested, come out to some workdays and find out more about trailbuilding and sustainability, and learn how your riding affects the lifespan of a trail. All of our trails our multi-use, so don't forget that there are users other than bikers. A hiker who comes across a section of trail that has been trashed by bikes probably feels the same way about bikes as you might feel about horses after seeing damage done by irresponsible equestrians.