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FatBike Fiend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the latest newsletter of the Valley Mountain Bike Alliance. Please note the plans for a sewer and water line across some of the sweetest trails in SouthCentral Alaska and also the IMBA Trail Building School we will be hosting in the valley this summer.

"Newsletter #5 March 2004

Greetings all and hope you are having a good winter. Thought I’d
get the word out about some coming events and breaking news in
the bike world. Here’s hoping you are enjoying this “real” winter
and getting some pedal or ski/board time in. The days are getting
longer and believe it or not spring is just around the corner. We
will resume our regular newsletter schedule in April, but in the
meantime
:
Colony Christmas Triathlon
Wildfire Designs Bicycles sponsored the 4th annual Colony
Christmas Triathlon on December 13. Conditions were good and 33
individual racers and four teams showed up to bike 10 km, run 5
km , and top it off with a 1/2 mile swim at the pool. James
Knudson won the men’s race in 58 minutes, 29 seconds and Janna
Miller won the women’s division in 1 hour 4minutes and 36
seconds. Thanks to volunteers Dave Freer, Keenan Retherford,
Julie and Tony Berberich, Dan Lucas, Bill Merchant, and Kathi
Hirzinger for being race marshals at the intersections and all
the other volunteers that made the race a go
.
Winter Races In February
Hope some of you had the chance to check out some of the
winter multisport races in the valley. The Susitna 100 and Little
Su 50k were on Feb 14 and the Alaska Ultrasport started on Feb
28. Congratulations to Anchorage mountain biker Peter Basinger
who piloted one of Palmer’s own Wildfire bikes to a first place
finish to McGrath. two brits, Carl Hutchings and Allen Tilling
also rode Wildfire FatBikes to place in the top five cyclists. I
did a ride with Carl in Feb to the Knik Glacier and even though
it was his first time ever riding on ice and snow he never
crashed once. He did, however, crash in the race and caught a
plane out to Mcgrath, had the clinic put nine stitches in his
head, then flew back out to Rohn to rejoin the race and still
finished well! Stiff upper lip and all that, way to go Carl.

VMBA to host IMBA Trail Building School

At press time we have just got word that our club has been
selected to host a Trail Building School conducted by the Trail
Care Crew of the International Mountain Biking Association. We
became an affiliate member of IMBA in September and I applied
for a TCC visit in October. To our pleasant surprise, we were
selected. They will also be conducting a Trail Care School in
Fairbanks. Details have yet to be worked out, but we are
shooting for a June 19 to 20 date for the two day workshop.

The Trail School is a hands on workshop teaching the principle
of sound trail design and construction. It’s likely that workshop
will focus on constructing a short demo loop either at Crevasse
Moraine or at Kepler Bradley park pending permission from the
land managers

. We view this as a great first step in showing the land
managers that we are interested in expanding the trail system
and that we can build sustainable multi use trails following the
principles taught at the school. Now the next step is trying to
get all the land managers and trail user groups to come to an
agreement on location, get permission, deal with local politics,
etc. I’ll update you in the April newsletter on how this is all
going. I will be calling on some of you to assist. Many thanks to
the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation
Assistance program for providing some of the funds for this and
helping to coordinate it.

Trail Maintenance Day A Success
Over a dozen club members showed up at the Mint Glacier Trail in
mid September on a sunny day. We installed GeoBlock material on
some muddy sections of the trail to stop future erosion, did
some brushing, and general maintenance of the trail. Thanks to
all who showed up. Melissa DeVaughn of the Anchorage Daily News
participated and did a great article on the work and our club
that was in the Outdoors section of the ADN. Also thanks to
Kevin Keeler and Kevin Meyer of the NPS RTCA for providing the
GeoBlock material and technical expertise in the installation, and
to the Alaska State Parks Division for their cooperation and
assistance. Everybody had a great time and we will probably do
another trail work day up there next summer to make sure
everything is holding together.

Crevasse Moraine Trails Association Applies for Trail Grant

The CMTA is in the process of applying for a grant for
materials and equipment for upgrades to the Crevasse Moraine
Trail system. If accepted this will mean improvements to this
heavily used trail in the form of trail hardening materials and
possible reroutes of several problem (wet) areas of the trail Our
club will probably be called upon to assist.

Proposed Sewer Line to New Hospital

At press time we have learned that the City of Palmer has been
awarded the contract to construct a new water and sewer line to
the new site of the Valley hospital which is to be located at
the Parks Highway and Trunk road intersection. While this is good
news for the City of Palmer, we have serious concerns about
their proposed route and lack of public input and notification to
the various user groups which would be impacted.

Apparently the plan is to cross the Glenn Highway near the AS&G
gravel pit, run it through the pit and follow a route leading
just north of Long Lake along the edge of Kepler Bradley State
Recreation Area and Mat-Su Borough lands, then feed it through
the University of Alaska Experimental Farm fields to the new
site.

Anybody familiar with that are knows that the terrain there is
rugged with many steep hills, wetlands, and gulches. The plan
apparently calls for the use of as many as seven pumping
stations along the way which would obviously call for the
construction of vehicle access roads and other infrastructure
in addition to the line itself.

Not to mention the fact the this line would seriously alter
and/or obliterate many of our favorite local singletrack trails
used not only by us bikers but skiers, trail runners, hikers, and
equestrians. This area has become very popular with all these
uses. We find it very ironic that the borough has refused VMBA
permission to construct low impact new trails in the area but a
sewer line, hey no problem.

VMBA members along with other user groups have put a lot of
sweat equity into these trails to keep them maintained. The
borough has only last year contracted with the International
Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) to provide a plan for
sustainable new trails and the IMBA folds have put a lot of time
into mapping the existing trails and made recommendations for
new trails and alterations to old ones. This utility line would
directly impact plans for these new trails.

A big concern is that the utility line right-of-way and
associated roads would allow snowmachine and four wheeler
access into the area which until now has been essentially
nonmotorized. It would also cut in two one of the last
undeveloped continuous tracts of land in the core area of the
valley. There has been a lot of press on trails issues of late
in the valley and Anchorage media and I think we’ve done a lot
to make them a consideration in new projects like this. As many
of you are painfully aware, many local mountain biking trails in
the valley have been lost to development and it’s ver important
that we try to preserve what little we have left, especially
world class singletrack like the trails in this area. There have
also been increasing numbers of out of area folks using these
trails and they have all benefited the Palmer and Valley
economy. Trails like this have done a lot to enhance our
lifestyle in the valley.

Another troubling concern is the lack of notification to the
public and affected user groups. We only found out about this by
putting two and two together. There has been some articles in
the local media but no specifics on where the line would be
constructed. it almost seems as if the City of palmer is trying
to keep the route low profile until construction, which I believe
would start this summer, begins and it’s too late.

Once a septic/power/water line goes through this area there is
bound to be pressure by real estate developers for land
disposals of borough and university lands. After all, what’s the
sense of a utility line if no one can hook up to it. This
corridor is immediately adjacent to the land that was designated
for public recreation following the public outcry during the
recent land swap/subdivision proposal.

While no one questions the need for a utility line to the
hospital, we do think reasonable alternatives exist i.e. along the
Glenn and Parks corridor or out Palmer Wasilla Highway and down
Trunk Rd. This would benefit local residents and business
allowing them to hook up and generate revenue to the city in the
form of utilities payments.

We invite you to submit letters of concern to your local Borough
Assemblyman, also:

Mayor Jim Cooper
City of Palmer
231 W. Evergreen
Palmer AK 99645
email [email protected]

Mat-Su Borough
Parks and Rec Dept
W. Dahlia St
Palmer AK 99645

Also please spread the word and let’s see if we can have some
input into this process.



Alaska Railroad Palmer Projects

The Alaska Railroad has some projects on the slate for this
summer which will benefit Palmer Area cyclists. Ground has been
broken on an intermodal commuter hub at the Alaska State
fairgrounds which will allow commuters to park and ride the
train to Anchorage. There will be parking facilities for busses,
cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. Also in the works is a paved
bike path extending through Palmer from the fairgrounds to the
North end of town providing for a hook-up to the old railroad
grade trail to Moose Creek. Also the railroad has donated the
right of way from Palmer to the Tsadaka Canyon on Moose Creek
to the Borough for use as a non-motorized trail. It’s unclear
whether the Borough has plans to improve the trail but this is a
great first step.

Wildfire Cycles to Celebrate 5th Anniversary

Can’t believe it’s been five years since I quit my real job and
opened up the shop, but April fool’s day will mark start of my
fifth year in business. Thanks to all my customers
for your support and patronage to make it possible and stay
tuned for a party announcement in the April newsletter.. We will
resume our summer schedule in April. If you need to get your
bike ready for spring, don’t wait too long for repairs and
tune-ups as there can be longer turnarounds as we get busier.
That’s all for now, see you in the spring or stop by the shop
for the latest gossip. - Mark Gronewald

Note: OK folks, time to pony up a $20 donation to the club. We’ve
got some big projects for this year and it’s gonna take a little
money to make it happen. I spent a lot of my own modest supply
of money last year plus put in a lot of time so would appreciate
some financial help to keep this club going. Please send a check
to Wildfire Designs/VMBA or call with a credit card number. To
those who donated last year I thank you and also thanks to all
the volunteers in the club events. Talk to you soon.













Valley Mountain Bike Alliance
824 S. Colony Way
Palmer, AK 99645

(907)-745-2453

email: [email protected] "
 

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Registered
Joined
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How about an address for your shop......

Wildfire said:
Here's the latest newsletter of the Valley Mountain Bike Alliance. Please note the plans for a sewer and water line across some of the sweetest trails in SouthCentral Alaska and also the IMBA Trail Building School we will be hosting in the valley this summer.

"Newsletter #5 March 2004

Greetings all and hope you are having a good winter. Thought I’d
get the word out about some coming events and breaking news in
the bike world. Here’s hoping you are enjoying this “real” winter
and getting some pedal or ski/board time in. The days are getting
longer and believe it or not spring is just around the corner. We
will resume our regular newsletter schedule in April, but in the
meantime
:
Colony Christmas Triathlon
Wildfire Designs Bicycles sponsored the 4th annual Colony
Christmas Triathlon on December 13. Conditions were good and 33
individual racers and four teams showed up to bike 10 km, run 5
km , and top it off with a 1/2 mile swim at the pool. James
Knudson won the men’s race in 58 minutes, 29 seconds and Janna
Miller won the women’s division in 1 hour 4minutes and 36
seconds. Thanks to volunteers Dave Freer, Keenan Retherford,
Julie and Tony Berberich, Dan Lucas, Bill Merchant, and Kathi
Hirzinger for being race marshals at the intersections and all
the other volunteers that made the race a go
.
Winter Races In February
Hope some of you had the chance to check out some of the
winter multisport races in the valley. The Susitna 100 and Little
Su 50k were on Feb 14 and the Alaska Ultrasport started on Feb
28. Congratulations to Anchorage mountain biker Peter Basinger
who piloted one of Palmer’s own Wildfire bikes to a first place
finish to McGrath. two brits, Carl Hutchings and Allen Tilling
also rode Wildfire FatBikes to place in the top five cyclists. I
did a ride with Carl in Feb to the Knik Glacier and even though
it was his first time ever riding on ice and snow he never
crashed once. He did, however, crash in the race and caught a
plane out to Mcgrath, had the clinic put nine stitches in his
head, then flew back out to Rohn to rejoin the race and still
finished well! Stiff upper lip and all that, way to go Carl.

VMBA to host IMBA Trail Building School

At press time we have just got word that our club has been
selected to host a Trail Building School conducted by the Trail
Care Crew of the International Mountain Biking Association. We
became an affiliate member of IMBA in September and I applied
for a TCC visit in October. To our pleasant surprise, we were
selected. They will also be conducting a Trail Care School in
Fairbanks. Details have yet to be worked out, but we are
shooting for a June 19 to 20 date for the two day workshop.

The Trail School is a hands on workshop teaching the principle
of sound trail design and construction. It’s likely that workshop
will focus on constructing a short demo loop either at Crevasse
Moraine or at Kepler Bradley park pending permission from the
land managers

. We view this as a great first step in showing the land
managers that we are interested in expanding the trail system
and that we can build sustainable multi use trails following the
principles taught at the school. Now the next step is trying to
get all the land managers and trail user groups to come to an
agreement on location, get permission, deal with local politics,
etc. I’ll update you in the April newsletter on how this is all
going. I will be calling on some of you to assist. Many thanks to
the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation
Assistance program for providing some of the funds for this and
helping to coordinate it.

Trail Maintenance Day A Success
Over a dozen club members showed up at the Mint Glacier Trail in
mid September on a sunny day. We installed GeoBlock material on
some muddy sections of the trail to stop future erosion, did
some brushing, and general maintenance of the trail. Thanks to
all who showed up. Melissa DeVaughn of the Anchorage Daily News
participated and did a great article on the work and our club
that was in the Outdoors section of the ADN. Also thanks to
Kevin Keeler and Kevin Meyer of the NPS RTCA for providing the
GeoBlock material and technical expertise in the installation, and
to the Alaska State Parks Division for their cooperation and
assistance. Everybody had a great time and we will probably do
another trail work day up there next summer to make sure
everything is holding together.

Crevasse Moraine Trails Association Applies for Trail Grant

The CMTA is in the process of applying for a grant for
materials and equipment for upgrades to the Crevasse Moraine
Trail system. If accepted this will mean improvements to this
heavily used trail in the form of trail hardening materials and
possible reroutes of several problem (wet) areas of the trail Our
club will probably be called upon to assist.

Proposed Sewer Line to New Hospital

At press time we have learned that the City of Palmer has been
awarded the contract to construct a new water and sewer line to
the new site of the Valley hospital which is to be located at
the Parks Highway and Trunk road intersection. While this is good
news for the City of Palmer, we have serious concerns about
their proposed route and lack of public input and notification to
the various user groups which would be impacted.

Apparently the plan is to cross the Glenn Highway near the AS&G
gravel pit, run it through the pit and follow a route leading
just north of Long Lake along the edge of Kepler Bradley State
Recreation Area and Mat-Su Borough lands, then feed it through
the University of Alaska Experimental Farm fields to the new
site.

Anybody familiar with that are knows that the terrain there is
rugged with many steep hills, wetlands, and gulches. The plan
apparently calls for the use of as many as seven pumping
stations along the way which would obviously call for the
construction of vehicle access roads and other infrastructure
in addition to the line itself.

Not to mention the fact the this line would seriously alter
and/or obliterate many of our favorite local singletrack trails
used not only by us bikers but skiers, trail runners, hikers, and
equestrians. This area has become very popular with all these
uses. We find it very ironic that the borough has refused VMBA
permission to construct low impact new trails in the area but a
sewer line, hey no problem.

VMBA members along with other user groups have put a lot of
sweat equity into these trails to keep them maintained. The
borough has only last year contracted with the International
Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) to provide a plan for
sustainable new trails and the IMBA folds have put a lot of time
into mapping the existing trails and made recommendations for
new trails and alterations to old ones. This utility line would
directly impact plans for these new trails.

A big concern is that the utility line right-of-way and
associated roads would allow snowmachine and four wheeler
access into the area which until now has been essentially
nonmotorized. It would also cut in two one of the last
undeveloped continuous tracts of land in the core area of the
valley. There has been a lot of press on trails issues of late
in the valley and Anchorage media and I think we’ve done a lot
to make them a consideration in new projects like this. As many
of you are painfully aware, many local mountain biking trails in
the valley have been lost to development and it’s ver important
that we try to preserve what little we have left, especially
world class singletrack like the trails in this area. There have
also been increasing numbers of out of area folks using these
trails and they have all benefited the Palmer and Valley
economy. Trails like this have done a lot to enhance our
lifestyle in the valley.

Another troubling concern is the lack of notification to the
public and affected user groups. We only found out about this by
putting two and two together. There has been some articles in
the local media but no specifics on where the line would be
constructed. it almost seems as if the City of palmer is trying
to keep the route low profile until construction, which I believe
would start this summer, begins and it’s too late.

Once a septic/power/water line goes through this area there is
bound to be pressure by real estate developers for land
disposals of borough and university lands. After all, what’s the
sense of a utility line if no one can hook up to it. This
corridor is immediately adjacent to the land that was designated
for public recreation following the public outcry during the
recent land swap/subdivision proposal.

While no one questions the need for a utility line to the
hospital, we do think reasonable alternatives exist i.e. along the
Glenn and Parks corridor or out Palmer Wasilla Highway and down
Trunk Rd. This would benefit local residents and business
allowing them to hook up and generate revenue to the city in the
form of utilities payments.

We invite you to submit letters of concern to your local Borough
Assemblyman, also:

Mayor Jim Cooper
City of Palmer
231 W. Evergreen
Palmer AK 99645
email [email protected]

Mat-Su Borough
Parks and Rec Dept
W. Dahlia St
Palmer AK 99645

Also please spread the word and let’s see if we can have some
input into this process.



Alaska Railroad Palmer Projects

The Alaska Railroad has some projects on the slate for this
summer which will benefit Palmer Area cyclists. Ground has been
broken on an intermodal commuter hub at the Alaska State
fairgrounds which will allow commuters to park and ride the
train to Anchorage. There will be parking facilities for busses,
cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. Also in the works is a paved
bike path extending through Palmer from the fairgrounds to the
North end of town providing for a hook-up to the old railroad
grade trail to Moose Creek. Also the railroad has donated the
right of way from Palmer to the Tsadaka Canyon on Moose Creek
to the Borough for use as a non-motorized trail. It’s unclear
whether the Borough has plans to improve the trail but this is a
great first step.

Wildfire Cycles to Celebrate 5th Anniversary

Can’t believe it’s been five years since I quit my real job and
opened up the shop, but April fool’s day will mark start of my
fifth year in business. Thanks to all my customers
for your support and patronage to make it possible and stay
tuned for a party announcement in the April newsletter.. We will
resume our summer schedule in April. If you need to get your
bike ready for spring, don’t wait too long for repairs and
tune-ups as there can be longer turnarounds as we get busier.
That’s all for now, see you in the spring or stop by the shop
for the latest gossip. - Mark Gronewald

Note: OK folks, time to pony up a $20 donation to the club. We’ve
got some big projects for this year and it’s gonna take a little
money to make it happen. I spent a lot of my own modest supply
of money last year plus put in a lot of time so would appreciate
some financial help to keep this club going. Please send a check
to Wildfire Designs/VMBA or call with a credit card number. To
those who donated last year I thank you and also thanks to all
the volunteers in the club events. Talk to you soon.













Valley Mountain Bike Alliance
824 S. Colony Way
Palmer, AK 99645

(907)-745-2453

email: [email protected] "
I for one would stop by and donate $20 to the VMBA . It's more fun in person......I met you a few years ago at Keppler when Joey and his trail crew partner were here and did a ride/walk around at Keppler. I was there as a rep of REI at the time.
Dave
 

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FatBike Fiend
Joined
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974 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
AkDave said:
I for one would stop by and donate $20 to the VMBA . It's more fun in person......I met you a few years ago at Keppler when Joey and his trail crew partner were here and did a ride/walk around at Keppler. I was there as a rep of REI at the time.
Dave
Dave,
I remember you and thanks for the interest. You might also be interested in the IMBA Trail Care School this summer. I'll post the details on this forum as they become finalized.The shop is on the main st (S.Colony Way) in downtown Palmer. 745-2453.

Mark
 
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