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Don't worry, be happy!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm one the founding members of our new MTB club here in town, and the first event is Satuday. I'm the spearhead of this particular project. I'm so stoked! We are doing a trail clean up of one of the city parks, an undeveloped area that is used primarily by - you got it - bikers!!!

We only had our first meeting in January. Now we have 20 paid members, and email list of 80+. About a month after the first meeting I saw an article about an "adopt a park" program the city put in place for organzations, so naturally we applied for our club to adopt this one park ( camp sekani) that is full of single track, natural rock technical features and dirt jumps. the city was totally thrilled that we wanted to adopt the area, and before I could even ask what the club could or could not do, we got approved for trail mainetenance and cleanup activities.

We did a walk though a couple of weeks ago to see what all is going up there. It's kind of been a free for all in the stealth building department. The bottom line is that our club got approval to put together a group for legal building. (!!!) ( and see if we can't get a handle o the guerrilla stuff :rolleyes: )

So the clean up - it's going to be a typcial clean up, picking up trash and dumped items. Glamourous, eh? It's been so cool how many people have come up and offered to help, whether they are going to be crew leaders, shop donations for schwag, running the sign in tables, bringing trucks or just showing up.The local 7 UP bottler made us a 6 foot banner, and the outdoors editor of the newspaper has given us lots of press.

I've been getting asked a lot , "how many". Hahaha, like I could even guess. I think this thing is pretty well publicized in the bike circles: we've gotten a lot of outdoors related press, and shop publicity. So, hope for sunshine and hope for the best.

I did go through a phase last week where it was keeping me up at night,but I'm feeling pretty organized right now. I have lots of good people working on parts of it. But things like "is there TP in the porta potti up there" are driving me nuts....

so if you are up around Eastern Washington, come on by on Sat and I'll give you a trash bag..... :D

formica
 

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Probably drunk right now
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6,753 Posts
Congratulations

formica said:
I'm one the founding members of our new MTB club here in town, and the first event is Satuday. I'm the spearhead of this particular project. I'm so stoked! We are doing a trail clean up of one of the city parks, an undeveloped area that is used primarily by - you got it - bikers!!!

We only had our first meeting in January. Now we have 20 paid members, and email list of 80+. About a month after the first meeting I saw an article about an "adopt a park" program the city put in place for organzations, so naturally we applied for our club to adopt this one park ( camp sekani) that is full of single track, natural rock technical features and dirt jumps. the city was totally thrilled that we wanted to adopt the area, and before I could even ask what the club could or could not do, we got approved for trail mainetenance and cleanup activities.

We did a walk though a couple of weeks ago to see what all is going up there. It's kind of been a free for all in the stealth building department. The bottom line is that our club got approval to put together a group for legal building. (!!!) ( and see if we can't get a handle o the guerrilla stuff :rolleyes: )

So the clean up - it's going to be a typcial clean up, picking up trash and dumped items. Glamourous, eh? It's been so cool how many people have come up and offered to help, whether they are going to be crew leaders, shop donations for schwag, running the sign in tables, bringing trucks or just showing up.The local 7 UP bottler made us a 6 foot banner, and the outdoors editor of the newspaper has given us lots of press.

I've been getting asked a lot , "how many". Hahaha, like I could even guess. I think this thing is pretty well publicized in the bike circles: we've gotten a lot of outdoors related press, and shop publicity. So, hope for sunshine and hope for the best.

I did go through a phase last week where it was keeping me up at night,but I'm feeling pretty organized right now. I have lots of good people working on parts of it. But things like "is there TP in the porta potti up there" are driving me nuts....

so if you are up around Eastern Washington, come on by on Sat and I'll give you a trash bag..... :D

formica
I know it's easier said that done, but don't sweat it. Things will work out great. Chances are you'll have forgotten something or overlooked an item but the overall time and effort you've put in to organizing the workday will ensure it's success.

And they get easier as you get a couple under your belt. Again, congratulations. Advocacy is a pretty thankless job that takes far more effort than most people realize. I wish I weren't a couple thousand miles away or I would be there.

Ken
 

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Homegrown
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143 Posts
Congrats!

What a great accomplishment! I'm sure your event will go off without a hitch! You should get in touch with Philip Keyes - he is the access editor for Dirt Rag magazine, and could give you some press about these events in your area. You can reach him at pk @ nemba . org (remove all of the spaces).

Philip is also the Executive Director of NEMBA - the New England Mountain Bike Association. I'm sure he can help answer some questions about these types of events, or act as a resource for you!

Good luck this weekend!

-- Cathy
 

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life is a barrel o'fun
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2,502 Posts
Way to go!

I can relate: We just started up our local club's newsletter all over again, after it was dormant for three years. I'm the editor, and it's frustrating because so much of what we do- night riding, cutting trails in the state park, etc.- can't be written about!

Although we've been doing these things for 20+ years (well not me but the veteran mtb'ers), these activities aren't officially sanctioned or allowed. :( I had to do a lot of careful re-writing for the first issue!

Since I'm not working right now, and have a background in ad sales, I've started soliciting for ads from local businesses. They all want to do it......so they say, but when it comes right down to a commitment it's hemming/hawing/excuses. :rolleyes: I have to create some of the marketing materials, too, which is actually the fun part......as long as they meet approval from the Board.

It's such a small thing to everybody else, but to me and the others working on the newsletter, we're thrilled that it's already paid for itself in new memberships, and going into a second printing.

Yesterday, went to the supermarket next to one of the trails to ask for a donation for the work party this weekend, and they shuffled me around a bit before finally handing over a "gift card" towards the purchase of food for the volunteers :) Nothing like begging for help to knock down one's ego a few pegs! They can't get you out of the store fast enough.

Plus, I just responded to an e-mail criticizing my first newsletter piece, which is hard not to take personally! Still, that's better than when people say they *didn't* read it at all, though :eek:

Getting things up-and-running is probably the hardest part, so I give you a LOT of credit! I'm trying to learn what I can from those who've already been doing this for quite some time- they're the pioneers.

In turn, these projects give me a sense of purpose and accomplishment during unemployment, which is a tremendous help psychologically!

Can't wait to hear more about the progress of your club, it's already being very well-received. :)
 

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Homegrown
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143 Posts
Congrats!

What a great accomplishment! I'm sure your event will go off without a hitch! You should get in touch with Philip Keyes - he is the access editor for Dirt Rag magazine, and ould give you some press about these events in your area. You can reach him at pk @ nemba . org (remove all of the spaces).

Philip is also the Executive Director of NEMBA - the New England Mountain Bike Association. I'm sure he can help answer some questions about these types of events, or act as a resource for you!

Good luck this weekend!

-- Cathy
 

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Don't worry, be happy!
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8,141 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks everyone.
Christine I think it would be cool if there were a place or a listserve to share ideas for what works and what doesn't, what people have tried with sucess and just all the behind the scenes stuff for clubs. I asked around in the save the trails forum but other than the IMBA informational emails there isnt' anything.

I've had a lot of moral support from two e-buddies, one who's with MORE and one who's with Jar.

For me, this was a case of putting my money where my mouth is. Our area has a lot of groups that ride: bike shops, race teams, subsets of other clubs ( road, outdoors etc) but no groups that's just mountain bikers. We are pretty lucky in that we haven had huge issues but that doesn't mean we don't need to look out for our interests. There certainly hasn't been a "voice" for any sort of advocacy. I was talking to an old client of mine, he felt the same way and voila` a club is born.

It's an interesting process. You have to keep the greater good in focus, and not be thinking "aha, now I'm the queen of the world with my own club" uh-uh, not that at all. You have to be inviting enough to get other involved, and yet directed enough to get things done when there aren't a ton of people involved, yet. But it's so cool: we've had a lot of people offer up skills whether it's graphics for a flyer, web site hosting and tech support, schwag from their shops and so on. We've also had land managers being really positive. More than once we've heard, "yes we had a multi user group meeting and we wanted mountain bikers but there was no one to contact....".

here's the web site I made. It's functional, not beautiful. But you can see we've gotten a whole lot going in 4 months. www.fttrc.org

formica
 

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Bike to the Bone...
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Formica

What can I say? Really good news, congratulations :) If i lived there I would gladly go give a hand. In Mexico I think there are sometimes road clean up days, but I've never been able to atend one. Hope to do that next time! I think it would make it like, 'my piece of trail', and maybe special to ride!

Have fun and lots of luck!
 

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Right on Formica!!!

I wish that there were enough MTBer's here in Kodiak to form a group. I admire what you are putting together, and I can't believe that you got persmission for legal building!
 
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