Ride in Peace, Bob Taylor

Our GORC family lost a cycling brother on Tuesday December 20th.  While Bob Taylor made the most of the past 15 months – continuing to ride even after 2 brain surgeries and chemo treatments, he lost his battle with brain cancer early Tuesday morning.  He lived life to the fullest and was a great friend to have on any ride.  Not only did Bob love riding, but he truly believed in what GORC stood for – even so far as wearing the GORC jersey at his funeral.  We could not ask any more from a member.  He is survived by his two adult daughters.  

Ride in Peace, Bob.


Trail Tools: Spartacus (Revisited)

Spartacus, our rock moving tool developed by one of our own members, last made an appearance on our blog back in 2008 when Ron debuted it with links to the plans.

I am revisiting Spartacus here to centralize the information we have about the tool and link to the blueprint plans.

In our original post back in 2008 we wrote:

"Tom Erb designed Spartacus several years ago to help with much of the rockwork at Klondike, but since we've been using it quite a bit as of late, I thought I'd mention it again.  This is a very clever device, made out of chains arranged in concentric circles, that lets you move heavy objects, usually rocks, when you don't have the luxury of bringing in heavy equipment. The rock is maneuvered onto Spartacus, and then up to 8 handles allow for a number of people, strong of back, weak of mind, to carry or drag it to the desired position. 

The plans for building your own have been released under the Creative Commons license, or you can pay Tom to build one for you."

Well, it's not clear if Tom has the time anymore to build one for you but we are sharing the plans with you. We have enhanced the Spartacus concept by applying the same design using nylon straps like those designed to tie down large truck loads. This has decreased the standalone weight of Spartacus by over 20 pounds (or more). This is a huge improvement as the complaints from volunteers who have had to carry Mr. Spartacus more than a half-mile have been silenced.

Image of nylon Spartacus in use 
(poor visibility)

Finished product courtesy of Spartacus 
rock delivery method

Below you will find the original document describing Spartacus:


The Spartacus is a chain sling used to enable people to move heavy rocks and objects during trail work. It is ideal for moving rocks bigger than a few people can move, to enable crib walls, stunts, and other rocky features. It's also the ultimate tool for closing renegade trails and building choke points into your trails to discourage unauthorized user groups.

! Specifications:

* Constructed of over 40 feet of 750 pound working load proof chain
* Connecting links are stronger than the chain
* Eight handles allow everyone a comfortable grip

! Directions:

1. Use multiple pry-bars to roll a heavy rock onto the Spartacus.
2. Get a bunch of strong people to pick up or drag the rock to near the desired place.
3. Roll rock into place.
4. Keep a sledgehammer handy to help rocks fit where you want them to.

! Warnings:

1. Not for overhead lifting
2. Use at your own risk
3. Only people should use the Spartacus. Connection to mechanized equipment is not recommended and should only be attempted by qualified personnel.
4. Inspect your spartacus daily for damaged links and connecting link
closures. After years of use, we haven't had one fail yet, but you
could be the first. See numbers 1 and 2 again.
5. Wear boots and gloves, duh. Consider steel toe boots if you do this a lot.
6. If thrown like a fishing net, Spartacus may cause brain trauma.
7. Spartacus is not a toy.
8. Do not taunt Spartacus.


Plans, assembly directions, and parts lists are available free of charge under the creative commons license.

Download the blueprints in PDF format (117KB)

Contact GORC via our message board if you need one pre-built.

We do ask that if you build a Spartacus, please send us photos of it in action at gateway_mtb yahoo com.

Best of luck in your trail building endeavors.

Happy Holidays from GORC

You'd think it would be easier to find a good holiday themed image searching for

bicycle + holiday + wipeout

but it would seem that this tree in a box on a trike.bike will have to do (thanks a lot google images). Hipster not included with purchase (but that's an assumption).

However, v this v  did happen over the weekend. 
They knew nothing but rolled with it...

Carnage post-package-parcel-delivery derby. 
Gonna need a damage claim form for a lot of those presents.

See you all on the blog in 2012 -

or next week.

Until when.............

SIUE Workday 12-10-11 Pictorial

Wow, a big Thank You! to everyone who showed up at our SIUE workday this past weekend. Forty-nine (49!) people showed up and we completed the new section of trail...yes completed. It was a total of 0.3 miles of trail, while not a lot, it is still something.

Big Thanks to The Cyclery for providing lunch! Please stop by and tell them thanks. Also, thanks for to the Bike Surgeon for providing our swag give aways for the day and showing up to work on the trail. Please go in and thank them for their time and swag.

We are continueing our trail building in the new area on Jan. 21st. GORC hopes to see you all out there again.

Thank you very much for taking the time to help make the SIUE trail system bigger and better.

Here are a few photos from the workday;

Just cleared corridor getting ready for some mild bench work

Maplewood has sent one of their paid staff to the last three workdays - this is huge! Jessica is working some benchcut.

Rodney and his daughter Maya taking a break.

Mike Dunston's section looked perfect - of course.

Taking a break from perfection

Ron striking a trail terminator pose

Ross is ready for some Iditabike trail conditions

Post-workday swag giveaway. It was a bit too wet to ride after the hard work so some of us went to the Global Brewery in Edwardsville.

Rock Hollow Workday: A Few Images

Over 40 volunteers (GORC, Americorp and school students) helped clear the trail corridor and build a sustainable benchcut near the beginning of the trail. This workday will help the contractors who are bidding on this project see what the finished trail should resemble.

Here are a few images from the workday:

Volunteers hiking in from the Glencoe Mini-Railroad

Signage at the Rock Hollow entrance provided by the Great River Greenway organization.

Volunteers clearing the corridor

Bryan Adams and crew worked on this water crossing the entire workday

You can see the trail on both sides of the drainage

Black Friday Gravel Rally - Rolla-Style

Reported by Matt Hayes

15 riders finished the 30 mile loop

Lisa and I were headed down to my Grandpa's for Thanksgiving in Vienna, MO and towed our bikes along for a 30 mile gravel ride put together by Dan Fuhrman of Route 66 Bicycles. The ride was on Black Friday and the weather couldn't have been any more mild for late November.

We rolled up to the tiny river town of Devil's Elbow on the Big Piney and parked across from the Elbow Inn. The crusty old dive-bar exterior made it easy to discount as a "biker bar" but as I'm often told, looks are deceiving. More about Elbow later.

The silo after dropping out of the Kaintuck trail

Precisely at 10am a group of 18 or so riders left Elbow to ride a 31 mile clockwise loop encompassing low-use pavement roads, gravel roads, ATV paths, part of the Kaintuck trail and narrow fireroads that were a hybrid between the look of ATVs-on-Kaintuck and the feel of horses-on-Kaintuck. The dirt portions were a bit wet but only two areas would be considered bog-like. Three tall, steep punches to the gut precisely at the beginning, middle and end-of-middle portions of the ride ensured that the secondary helpings of our everything-plus-turkey dinner would be purged one way or another.

It was refreshing to ride with complete strangers who quickly became two-wheeled friends. I'm great with faces and terrible at names so my internal naming system now includes "just back from germany guy", "flower earrings gal" and "beer sales guy". By no means am I being disrespectful, it's just that I'm more of a landmark than street names kind of guy.

Rail trestle approaching Devil's Elbow

The no-drop ride full of single speeders, a couple of cross bikes, (er, not recommended on this loop) mountain bikes, and a vintage Barracuda with hybrid tires rounded out the two-wheeled train.

Wrapping up our route was a beer-lunch-beer stop at the Elbow Inn. This river side establishment located on old Route 66 has been around since 1929 and is a piece of roadside Americana.  We all sat outside on their side patio with Boots the cat hanging out to say hi and get some quality laptime. The beef brisket sandwich was awesome and the no-charge PBR cans courtesy of "beer sales guy" were a definite plus. Be sure to look up at the ceiling for some bra-tastic interior decorating ideas. Next time you are around the region treat yourself to some Elbow.

The final mile into Devil's Elbow along the Big Piney River

It's a great change of pace to ride with strangers-turned-friends on gravel and trails never traversed in unseasonably warm weather. It's all too easy to come up with excuses to not do something but I'm glad I took up Dan's Facebook invite.

The Elbow Inn serves up terrific smoked BBQ, cheap beer and bar cats.

Gravel rides are the new ticket to staying in shape outdoors (keyword: outdoors) during the cold, wet, damp, bog months of Missouri's wet season. Like I keep saying, I see a Surly Ogre (with fenders and drop bars) in my future.

Keep on keepin' on.

Track Link: GPS Track

Update 1: In Dev: GORC 3.0

This project started in early October and is being built after-hours and when I have the time.

Of course, it is much more complicated than I originally envisioned and I had already anticipated a steep climb.

Some features may or may not make it in the first generation of the new site but I'm trying with the help of Rob B. to make it happen.

The site platform will be Drupal 7.x with CiviCRM 4.x handling membership and volunteer hours. I'm also researching a good message board that can 'bridge' the user information so that we all don't need three sets of id/passwords to get around the site. The IPBoard looks promising and is the same one over there on stlbiking.com

How committed am I to this project? Well, I've bought two books so far (about 950 pages total), joined the STL Drupal Users group, teamed up with Rob B and his technical skills and testing server environment, joined Drupal.org, CiviCRM and Issue Tracker (bugs). Spry Digital in St. Louis looks promising for technical framework issues regarding CiviCRM.

However, the club needs money to 'finish' the site's development concerning features and frameworks I may lack the time/expertise to develop. I would say that we roughly need $2,500 - $5,000 to completely finish the site.

Did I mention a site-wide Sponsor system will be in place?

Anyway, what I'm trying to convey is that this project has a long way to go. Once the content is in place, permissions and roles are set, bugs are fixed (yes, there are problems), the final step will be theming; as you can see below, I don't care what it looks like at this point in the project - I'm just happy it works.

Features, opinions, site flow, other mountain bike related sites that you like, send them my way via comment on this post.
Under active development: Some time next year you can touch

I enjoy doing this, I find it interesting. But, it is somewhat stressful knowing the club's modernization hinges on what I know and can do (and I know just enough right now to stay clear of programming code at this stage). With bike time on the back burner and working on this from 7pm-12am almost every night, it's easy to forget that this is a hobby task and not a job.
It'll be cool when it's finished. Especially the administration side.


GORC Gives Back at Cranksgiving 2011

GORC portrait in front of a tiny portion of the food items

Several GORC members showed up to St. Louis 2011 edition of Cranksgiving, the nation's largest satellite event by far. Originally started by bike messengers in NYC, Cranksgiving is a combination bike ride/food drive, with all proceeds going to local food pantries. It involves cyclists following a route that goes past a couple grocery stores.  There, they purchase food items that can be used to help others in need.

Matt hauled a BOB trailer filled to capacity

Lisa and Matt recruited additional members Randy, Kirby and Mike featuring JasonBoyd. Other GORC folks were present but I couldn't see them through the mass of over 600+ riders. After completing their 22 mile ride on cross/road bikes and stopping at 5 area grocery stores, all told St. Louis bikers donated 7,506 items - a record both locally and nationally.

Beer me up

What started at a microbrewery ended at a microbrewery and as you may guess some beer was involved, followed by copious amounts of Nicaraguan Fritanga. Consider joining another round of Cranksgiving next year, it's always an adventure.

Task complete

Bike parking

2011 Volunteer Appreciation Party

Cake from last year's party

This year it's at Creve Coeur Park following the workday on Nov. 5th. Now we've held these parties for the last 5 years, starting at Greensfelder, and moving to Cliff Cave last year. Strangely enough, the promise of free beer, food and cake(!) has not been enough to draw many additional people. The first few parties were in Dec. so it's understandable that many might not like to be out in the cold all day, but they've since been moved to an earlier date, so there are no excuses!
If you've attended a workday this year, or even if this is your first one, let us know you're attending by signing up here, and then come on out. Weather permitting, it will be a day of trail building, riding, and free food and beverage. What more could you ask for?-- well, maybe don't answer that one...

Berryman (Trail) Epic

First, I'll introduce myself. Hi, I'm MashOr or Mitch the Masher or just plain Mitch. I've been riding (and crashing) mountain bikes obsessively for over 20 years, building trail for almost as long, worked in various bike shops for over 10 years and generally like to tell people about whatever is going on. This past weekend was the Berryman Trail Epic or BTE, a 55 mile mountain bike race through some beautiful Ozark woodland all of which is part of the Mark Twain National Forest and I thought a few of you might wonder what it's all about.

Epic would be how most would describe the 24 mile loop that is the Berryman Trail. While lots of you have conquered this hidden gem in the Ozarks, many haven't taken the plunge. This loop is actually named by IMBA as an "Epic" on their blog. Each year the International Mountain Biking Association takes nominations and selects a few elite trail systems to be added to this list.

Now throw in an additional and spectacular 15 miles of the 45 mile Courtois(pronounced code-away) section of the Ozark Trail along with 16 miles of rolling gravel roads, and you truly have an epic day. Start that day with 250 other mountain bikers, and you have the BTE.

This is an event, I didn't say race because only a handful of people are actually racing anyone but themselves and simply try to beat their time from last year or out do their friends. Also, to encourage non-racer folks to get out and enjoy this annual gathering as its promoters provide us with a clean trail, places to refuel and a great atmosphere to test ourselves in.

This year the field was stacked with top level riders, weather was perfect and the trail conditions have never been better. The Ozark Trail Association has spent countless hours re-routing the west side of Berryman that is also part of the Courtois section of the OT, bringing it up to IMBA trail construction standards and much of this work has been completed since last year's BTE. Removed were sections of trail that followed creek beds and had developed into unsustainable washes that would rattle your teeth. Added are flowing sections of benchcut trail that crosses the same creeks as before, but on solid rock faces that will stand the test of time. The new trail adds a bit of distance to the loop meandering up and back down the valleys that the old trail passed right by. I didn't get a chance to see the work completed at the 2011 fall Mega Event , an OTA work day, due to an early exit from the race but that's a whole other story.

This new trail and the stellar conditions allowed a new unofficial course record of 4 hours 9 minutes to be set by Kansas native and long time pro Steve Tilford. Columbia Missouri's Jon Schottler, the 2010 and 2009 winner and previous course record holder, took 2nd. Locals Dwayne "Smiley" Goscinski and Jim Vandeven took 3rd and 4th respectively, while Garth Prosser, a Cannondale rider and super nice guy from Columbus, Ohio took 5th. From Illinois, Andy Gibbs claimed a top ten finish, some cash and a spot on the back of the t-shirt for next year's BTE. Official results haven't been posted yet so I'm not sure of the other top ten placings.

So, what's the point of this post? 1)To shed light on the vast amount of incredible trail we have available to us and the work that goes into taking care of such huge amounts of trail. There are plans to continue this work on the Berryman with a major re-route that will eliminate the only unridable section that drops you down 4 steep switch backs to Brazil Creek. The new trail will head over to hwy W on a less steep hillside and no longer will you have to cross the often deep Brazil Creek. This was tough to do in the winter time and keep dry feet. 2)To bring the BTE out to the masses that might not consider themselves racers but like a good challenge. And 3), to bore you with the first of hopefully many write-ups from this racer wanna-be, trail builder and master of mountain bike crashing.

Thanks for reading!


Brown County Breakdown, Yeehaw Edition

Both Lisa and I came to the conclusion in early August that we would again attend the Brown County Break Down in Nashville, IN the weekend of October 8th. Unfortunately the BCB always conflicts with the Burnin' 12 hour race.

Demo zone featuring Giant, Trek and Felt along with other component companies. Lisa fell in love with the small-frame 2012 Superfly 100 Elite. Uh-oh...

However, the BCB is so damn enjoyable, stress-free and awesome that I have no problem traveling the four hours to hang out with other like-minded midwestern mountain bikers looking for great food, fantastic blue-grass music and legendary flowy trails.

Yep, that's her new love. She said it handled well and felt really fast on board. I'd agree with that; we were hauling!

The Brown County Breakdown is HMBA's (Hoosier Mountain Bike Association) big fund-raising event for the year where they rake in upwards of $20K to fund their ongoing mechanized trail building at Brown County State Park and other local parks. The entry fee to the BCB is steep ($80-100 depending on sign up date) but you are rewarded with the above-mentioned music, food, beer, bike demos, raffles, and organized rides.

Lisa and I signed up for the 45 mile ride (on review of the GPS the 45 miler climbed 3,600 feet. The 100 milers got something like 9,000-11,000ft of climbing!!!!!). They also offer 25, 65, 80 and 100 mile lengths, however, the bulk of the 500+ attendees typically choose the 45 or 65 mile routes. The 80/100 milers are left for the racers because you really do need to haul butt... this year the 100 milers started at 8am and rolled in between 6-7:30pm... and remember, this ride takes place on a Sunday.

Yes, Sunday. That's the only bummer for us folks in St. Louis. After the fantastic 45 mile ride and buffet-style mega dinner you can revel in some top-notch bluegrass but take note - you have a 4 hour drive home with work awaiting you the next day. Ugh!

Start/Finish zone as we all get into our respective mileage groups. We rode Pine Valley, North Tower, Aynes, Green Valley, Hesitation Point, Walnut, Limekiln and some open-only-this-weekend trails.

The musical guests this year included Danny Barnes on Saturday night (fantastic genre-bending banjo player from Austin's Bad Livers who works solo now and has travelled with Dave Matthews Band) and the White Lightning Boys from Nashville, Indiana. This large bluegrass band rocked and filled the air with the yeehaw vibe.

Beer sampling on Saturday included Uplands Brewery and a newcomer called Flat 12. Both breweries were terrific. Had we arrived Friday night, we would have been treated to Big Woods Brewery, the local and talented microbrewery in Nashville.

The camping around the pool house with hundreds of other MTBers was just right due to the fantastic mild weather. And I can't forget to mention the hot showers all weekend! Other folks from St. Louis included Luke (newport) and his friends, along with Dianna (muleskinner) and her family. Both groups ended up on the 45 mile route.

The ride on Sunday lasted about 5 hours including all of our stops.

Riding on the new Green Valley loop? Check!

Banjo in them woods

Random fiddlers and banjos in the hollers playing to the passers-by? Check!

On top of Hesitation Point chomping on cookies (5!) and getting ready for some technical Walnut

Homemade cookies on top of Hesitation Point while listening to the Whipstitch Sallies? Check!

Tech on Walnut? Check!

Ripping it pump-track style on Limekiln? Double-double check!!

Drop in to the Nebo Cabin for refreshments and music? Check Check!

The Cabin at the 45 mile turnaround. In a tight valley, this cabin is quintessential hillbilly deluxe.

At the end of the ride we both agreed that we would most likely be back next year. The vibe, enjoyable people, organizational prowess, music talentness, tasty good foodness and shred-nastic trail wonderfondness adds up to one hell of an event.

To miss the Brown County Breakdown is a bummer, indeed. See y'all out there next year??!

Cranksgiving 2011 - Let's Make It A GORC GIVES BACK Event

Cranksgiving 2011

Date: 11/06/11
Time: 10AM - 1PM

Where: Schlafly Bottleworks
7260 Southwest Ave
Host: St. Louis Bicycle Works for Food Outreach

Route: 25 mile loop from Schlafly Bottleworks

From Cranksgiving:
The Cranksgiving tradition has spread across the country, with events held in Los Angeles; Chicago; St. Louis; Madison, WI; and Des Moines, Iowa, among others. We are proud to say that St. Louis has the largest event in the country. Last year Cranksgiving hosted over 500 riders who collected over 4000 food items. This year we are looking for over 800 riders!

What happens at a Cranksgiving ride is that cyclists gather where they are given a shopping list of specific items needed by a local food pantry, plus a map of stores along a specific route (10 or 25 miles) from which to buy these items

A typical shopping list will have a dozen or so items, and maybe set back the riders $10-20. It's a terrific way to kick off the holiday season and be out on your bike, doing something good with the community alongside your fellow cyclists. Plus, it's an early start on burning off all the calories you'll be inhaling during November and December.

Cant ride with us but still want to help? Join us at the Handle Bar on Manchester at 8 p.m. on Nov 5th. New Belgium and PBR will be trading 4 cans of food for 1 beer!!

A huge thank you to our sponsors: Big Shark Bicycle, Rehab Care and Ameren.


From Seamonkey:
This is a great event to attend. Lisa and Matt and a few other GORCers rode the 25 mile route last year and had a wonderful time hanging out with other bikers. There are sag wagons to load your purchased goods if you don't want to carry them to the finish at the Bottleworks. We hauled a BOB trailer last year and it held everything.

Cranksgiving is on a Sunday - the day after the GORC Appreciation Party. I hope to see my other GORC friends at Cranksgiving. If you have a GORC jersey, plan on wearing it so the community can see the club doing what it does best - volunteering and giving back!

Look for info on the message board in the coming days/week.

See you there,


Link to BicycleWorks info.

A Busy Month

The next 30 days are going to be very busy. Ride your bike and help build some trail.
Coming up in the next month:

October 8th: Burnin at the Bluff
October 8-9th: Brown County Breakdown
October 14th: Moonlight Ride at Indian Camp Creek
October 15th: Matson Hill Workday
October 22nd: Cliff Cave Workday
October 22nd: Berryman Trail Epic
October 29th: Matson Hill Workday
November 5th: Creve Coeur Workday and Volunteer Appreciation Party

This Tagged along for my ride on the Berryman

(Photo from bugguide.net)

After I finished my ride on the Berryman this weekend, I took off my helmet and found this not-so-little fellow lodged under one of the vents. I've had a lot of spiders in there before, but this was definitely the biggest, the green and black part being probably close to the size of a dime! In case you're wondering, it's a Marbled Orb Weaver, and totally harmless- unless you're a fly. I was still happy to have been wearing a skull cap! It was quite strong. Had to help it out with a stick, because it couldn't be dislodged by tapping on the helmet.

img: Horsepower

Meeting in the stable: fast crabon is introduced to golden fibreglass.
Ignore the bucket of walnuts. Discuss.

Binder Lake

Last Tuesday I treated myself to some new dirt. Since Binder Lake in Jefferson City MO has been on my to do list for a while and BigJimMac was available for a few hours after work to give a guided tour, I couldn't pass it up.

The plan was to drive out, set up a campsite for myself, ride some, then fish the lake from a belly boat, then grab a night ride (which is quite legal at Binder by the way). Of course I was running late so the fishing portion got dropped. I was able to ride the Yellow Loop on the east side of the trail, 1 lap counterclockwise on a 29r and then a portion of a lap clockwise on a double-boinger 26r, after setting up my tent and hammock and making sure all my little baby beers were nestled snugly in their icy beds for later.

I liked the Yellow loop a lot. It's all singletrack with a hardpack dirt surface with a lot of forest floor debris on it (rustic!) and plenty of embedded rocks. Going ccw it mostly just winds, twists, and switchbacks up and down the hillside that is the eastern shore of the lake until you hit a little clearing at the northernmost point where you turn back and cruise a rocky shoreline trail back to the beginning... 4 miles-ish. There were some neat bits of well-done rock armoring done at a few of the drainages and the whole trail flowed nicely.

Then it was beer-thirty.

As the daylight faded, Jim showed up and we headed across the little dam at the south end of the lake. We rode north on the Dark Blue to Light Blue to Dark Green to Light Green (staying right/east) then looped back (staying right/west). It was dim on the way out and dark on the way back.

That big loop route on the west side was awesome. There were some man-made features here and there but the star of the show (for me) was the fast and flowy sections (and there were plenty!). There were a few spots that required you tuck your bars through some close-spaced saplings and quite a few tight-ish switchbacks but that just kept things interesting. Definitely going back to ride this again, fo' sho'.

Also worth mentioning, the campground was quite nice. It's more oriented for RVs and pop-ups but most of the sites had a flat spot suitable for a 2 or 3 person tent. Besides just a flat spot, you're getting a 2 car paved parking pad, a picnic table, BBQ grill, trash cans, Forest Service-style fire ring, a wooden canopy, water spigots every few sites, and (get this) hot showers and flush toilets in the newer-looking campground bathroom. Nice.

I was really impressed with Binder. Kind of a nice mixture of Brown County (hot showers, flush toilets and bike-oriented trails) and Council Bluff Lake (Ozark dirt and rock riding and... a, well, lake in the middle).

Greensfelder Deadfall Cleared

All the fresh deadfall at Greensfelder has been removed with 2-stroke power. Thanks to rider Gary who stopped to help me move the massive tree on the DeClue Six Flags climb (three year old extension.)

Other removed deadfall locations include the Radio Tower (old) rockin' descent and another just below the radio tower parking lot on DeClue.

Salsa and Trailer Bob took a beating but that's what friends are for. The trails are free-flowing again and that's what matters.
Just below radio tower on DeClue

Large tree on DeClue near Six Flags

Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day - Saturday, Oct. 1st

Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day
Saturday October 1, 2011
10:00am til 2:00pm
Broemmelsiek Park, O Fallon, Mo

Gateway Off Road Cyclists ( GORC ) with St Charles County Parks invites children (8-14) and parents to celebrate International Mountain Bike Association ( IMBA ) sponsored “National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day”. Free bicycle/helmet safety inspection, instructions on riding techniques, a skills practice area, and guided trail rides tailored to different age groups and skill levels. Participants should bring a bike and an approved helmet. Limited Number of Demo Bikes/ Helmets from local bike shops will be available.

When: Saturday, October 1, 2011 ( 10am – 2pm )
Where: Broemmelsiek Park in St Charles County

So come out and bring a kid with you for some good, clean fun in the dirt. Bring plenty of water and an adventurous spirit.

Schedule of Events
10am – 11am Registration
10am – 11:30am Helmet Fit / Bike Safety Inspection
10am – Noon Skills Building Area available
11am – 1pm Trail Etiquette and Guided Trail Rides
1pm – 2pm Drinks, Snacks - Prize Drawings
Advanced Registration is recommended, but not required.
For More Information or to register:
Call St Charles County Parks at 636-949-7535

Directions To Broemmelsiek Park 

From US 40/61
Bear Right (North)onto Ramp Winghaven Blvd

Bear Left (North-West) onto Local road

Turn Left (south-West) onto Mo-DD

Keep straight on Mo-DD for 3.9 miles

Turn Right (West) onto Schwede Rd

Go approx. ½ mile, Parking for Park is on the left side of road.

From Bryan Road / Winghaven Blvd in Ofallon, Mo.
(Bryan Road/Winghaven Blvd changes to Hwy Mo-DD after crossing US-61)

Keep straight on Mo-DD for 3.9 miles

Turn Right (West) onto Schwede Rd
Go approx. ½ mile, Parking for Park is on the left side of road.

About the Event
The St. Charles County Parks Department encourages children ages 8 to 14 to get outside and celebrate the seventh annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 1 at Broemmelsiek Park, 1615 Schwede Road, south of O’Fallon. This fun, free, family event is sponsored by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and Gateway Off-Road Cyclists (GORC), and offers skills clinics, guided trail rides, safety inspections and demo bike use. More than 150 riders are expected to participate in the event.

“This is a great opportunity for us to pass our passion for peddling on to children,” said Parks Director Bettie Yahn-Kramer. 

In support of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Initiative, this nationwide event is expected to get 30,000 children participating in 300 cycling events across the nation.

For more information or to pre-register, please contact St. Charles County Parks at 636-949-7535 or visit www.stccparks.org. Early registration is recommended and the first 100 will receive a free goody bag.

In addition, Granada Cyclery, Momentum Cycles, Peloton Cyclery, REI, Wheel Sports, 2nd Street Bike Café, Big Shark West Bicycle Company, Alpine Shop, Ballwin Cycles, Backwoods, Clif Bar, The Hub, and Mesa Cycles are also supporting the St. Charles County event.

Building Community . . . and Trails (Def Trails!)

What keeps gorctrails.com all together, you ask? I don't really know. Passion, I suppose. Maybe a bit of hobbyism to keep tabs on the online industry. I used to do this everyday, now I just play at night, sometimes all night, trying to keep it all going.

It's not that hard really; I bring it all on my own. And that's the thing... the club is more than one person; it's all about what members put into it. Input quality=output quality. The club's soul and vibe is the culmination of all our active members contributing to the greater good that is mountain biking advocacy in St. Louis.

Maybe you weren't riding 10 years ago but check it out -> Chubb and Castlewood were your main line options. You could ride doubletrack Lost Valley if you were really wanting to explore. St. Louis trail riding has come A LONG WAY since GORC formed in 1998. We started with Matson and expanded to include all the trails that are listed on our Trails tab.

I personally want our club to be the best in the midwest. Something other clubs would like to copy. I want to increase our membership, retain all you awesome people and offer even more in the way of events, socials and, ahem, merchandise. I feel that we are on the cusp of the next great phase.

We want - no - need, that. All of the above.

Somewhere along the way I've grown from an average GORC member to the website administrator to what I would now say, club marketer. I've been with GORC since 2001 and it was a life-changing social/outdoor activity move for me. I may be a somewhat shy person until you get to know me but I feel that it is necessary to promote the club online in all social circles.

You would not believe how many mountain bikers don't even know we exist. It's impressive the number of people who think trails magically appear overnight courtesy of the Stimulus Plan.

This isn't the most well-written call-to-action plan. I'd say it was written on a whim just before bed time, actually. I don't have all day to dial in my thoughts, you know, work and all......

What I'm trying to say in all of this is that we need you. You probably have skills we don't possess. We need writers, we need trail stewards and we could use some good connections to other like-minded folks who might be entirely outside the bike circles.

Here's what I want you to do; spread the word, tell everyone about GORC, the website, bookmark us on Facebook, and Twitter and YouTube and keep telling everyone you see out on the trail that GORC is there for the biking community.

We have big ongoing plans for trail riding opportunities in St. Louis and the surrounding region.

Keep in touch!

FWIW, here's a slight lift of the curtain. Never mind the guy behind the laptop. Tap your Sidis and grab your bike. Awesome local trails await. See you out there.

Matt H
aka seamonkey

Greensfelder Workday- Saturday, Sept. 24th

Date: Sat, September 24th, 2011, 9am to 1pm (FREE LUNCH!)
Location: Greensfelder Park, St. Louis County

What: We will begin construction of a Northern Green Rock Trail re-route. This will possibly take you to places you have never been in the park. The re-route is approximately 0.7 of a mile long and will replace 0.5 miles that drifts on to private property.

Where: Greensfelder Park, Allenton Rd. behind Six Flags (Park at Tower Lot)

Take Interstate 44 to the Allenton/Six Flags Exit 261. Go north on Allenton Rd, past the Six Flags entrance. Allenton Rd. bisects Greensfelder Park. Lunch will be afterwards at the Mueckerman Shelter located at the corner of Allenton and Hencken road.
(See www.gorctrails.com for directions and details of the park)

What to bring: Gloves, Sturdy shoes, eye protection, and something to drink on the trail.

GORC & St. Louis County Parks provide: Trail building tools, instructions on trail building, and safety guidelines.

Info and sign up on the GORC Message Board.

Green Rock at Greensfelder to Receive Generous Makeover

So, you know that one spot where the horse jumps are down in the huge Greensfelder valley? Right there where you're cruising on the crushed gravel Eagle Valley trail where it curves left and you wonder where that single-turning-to-doubletrack goes off to the slight right?

Come help GORC next Saturday and let us open your eyes to parts of Greensfelder you may have never traveled.

Taking a worded tour, I'll fill you in the best I can.

Well, steer off to the slight right and ride up and over a weird knoll in the middle of the woods. That fast roller is what remains of a lake that used to be on the Greensfelder property over 100 years ago. It lasted something like one or two years before blowing out during a hard rain. Yep, that's a manmade feature in the middle of what appears to be virgin woods.

That camera is going to cost you - one knee should do. I pray you aren't on the one gear.

Now, stray to the left and cross the creek. Going right - before crossing the creek - would take you up a jeep road (maybe it was singletrack once???) that will break your heart. It climbs and climbs and then shoots up the last 200 feet. At the top is the Greensfelder Scenic Overlook that gives you a great view of the valley you just climbed (or walked) with your bike.

But anyway, cross that creek I mentioned. Continue and stay on the singletrack trail that veers slightly right. Going left takes you up another, um, death by hill. That drops you off on Allenton Road where you can hitchhike back to town since your legs may be smoked by then.

What was I saying? Oh, stay in that valley, veer slight right and you'll be continuing on Green Rock. This is a trail the Boy Scouts built many, many moons ago that goes all the way from Rockwoods Range through Greensfelder and wraps up deep in Rockwoods Reservation. Well, the Boys didn't have GPS gadgets back then and they ended up on private property. Boundary fail and such. Well, it was brought to St. Louis County's attention and they are tackling this issue and plan on having it resolved as quickly as possible.

That's where GORC, your local 501-c3 (tax-deductible!) non-profit trailbuilder extraordinaire, comes in.

The reroute offers a mix of fast dirt, karst technical, and climbing turns.

We've realigned the northern portion of Green Rock that crosses boundaries so that it will now be completely on County property. With the help of St. Louis County Parks we will be closing about a .5 mile of Green Rock and replacing it with almost a mile of new trail to reconnect both ends of Green Rock that are on Greensfelder's property.

Camera phone pictures nearly always fail at capturing depth. This climbs is deceptively boring in appearance. Wait till it opens to tires...

The new reroute will feature some rocky vistas, technical tread and some sweet descents. A short, original portion of Green Rock will remain to gain much-needed elevation and it is a crank bender. It is definitely rideable as I usually ride the Fixed Monkey out there in the winter months. Think Chubb steep with Chubb rocks and you'll have a good idea.

This GORC-built reroute, when complete, will tidy up the northern end of Green Rock inside Greensfelder's boundaries. This trail is considered an out-and-back because you have to turn around at the large Rockwoods Reservation sign if you are on your bike or horse.

Dropping back down into the Green Rock valley (just before the SoD) it's hard not to be impressed by the depth of the valley, the size of the trees and the amount of water that flows during heavy rains.

For the near future (as in years) this trail will be Greensfelder's only northern trail. Possibly, someday, in a galaxy far, far away, we may expand on this singletrack and assess the feasibility of connecting it to Melrose completely on Greensfelder's property or to make a lollipop/loop at that end of the park.

But for now, the tour is over, turn your bike around and descend back to the horse jumps. The park trails go in all four directions.

Which way will you go?