Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘Duthie Hill’

Great Expectations: Top 10 Bicycling Issues for 2010

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes on January 1, 2010 at 3:42 am

Here are our Top 10 things to watch for in the world of cycling for the coming year. Yes we thought about a Top 2,010 list for numerical compliance, but hey, that’d be way too much work.

1. In the Washington State legislature, a “Vulnerable User” bill. Similar legislation failed last year but the Cascade Bicycle Club and its relentless advocacy director, David Hiller, will be trying again. A Traffic Justice Summit in October set the agenda for why legislation is needed: Too many cyclists are being injured or killed with at max a traffic ticket being issued. Growing cycling awareness among elected leaders, particularly in Seattle and King County, should help Cascade’s efforts.

Nationally, watch for additional 3-feet-please laws stipulating wider berth for bikes v. cars.

2. Seattle native Jill Kintner gets her world championship. Kintner narrowly missed the 2009 rainbow jersey in Australia, and the 2009 season that was supposed to be a gradual comeback after winter knee surgery turned into a breakout year. Barring injury, 2010 should belong to Jill. She’s featured btw in a new DVD, “Women of Dirt,” that will premiere in Seattle Feb. 5th.

3. On the road side, how high can Tyler Farrar go? The Wenatchee lad put his stamp on pro sprint competition with a number of impressive showings in 2009, and only a bullet named Mark Cavendish stood in his way for a Tour stage win or two. It’ll be a tall order to beat the Manx Missile, but if anyone has the tools and moxy, it’s a one-year-wiser Farrar.

Flyboys will like it

Stevens Pass Mountain Bike Park: Great things in store

4. Stevens Pass mountain bike park. This has been on the books for what seems like forever, but with release of a sweeping Environmental Impact Statement in December looks ready to finally roll. During the mountain bike season thousands of Seattle-area riders go to Whistler B.C.’s MTB park; it’s time that money and those resources stayed in Washington. Stevens won’t be another Whistler out of the gate of course, but its closer proximity and potential for expansion hold huge promise for the locals.

5. Mayor Mike McGinn’s cycling agenda.
We have big hopes for Seattle’s new cycling mayor and the city’s cycling blueprint. Not that everything will change overnight, but McGinn truly appreciates the bicycle’s role in urban transportation networks, and from his insights and leadership we believe Seattle could emerge as the leading bike municipality in America (currently held by Portland). If nothing else, the mayoral gas bill is sure to shrink from his predecessor’s SUV-hoggin’ totals.

6. Helmet cams rock on. We’re seeing these things everywhere, on freeriders, XC epics, roadie rides. The technology has finally improved to the point where wireless and HD are de facto in new models, plus battery advances mean lighter, less bulky units. The downside is a lot of trail video showing the backside of a guy in front. But for a personal record of your big adventures with virtually no fiddle factor, you can’t beat a helmet cam.

7. More comeback from Lance Armstrong.
The “Lance factor” played a big role in cycling’s expansion through the 2000s and it looks like at least through the coming year Lance will continue to draw headlines. We don’t expect Lance to win, say, the Tour de France, but somehow just being in the race makes him the winner, at least in the American public’s mind. A host of other pro cyclists have more power and ability than Lance at this point in his career, but until someone with enough charm and charisma emerges to take his place, Lance will remain King.

8. Cross-country mountain biking,
too, makes a comeback. This may sound weird, but the signals we’re getting from shops, riders and tour agencies is that the mountain-bike-park thing is starting to flip. (This despite all the excitement over Stevens’ opening.) A new generation of riders whose longest climbs involved a chairlift are going for lighter, longer-distance frames and equipment as a whole new matrix of high-country riding awaits their discovery. Old-timers like us just nod in amusement. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance’s work on South Snoqualmie Fork trails will pay off in 2010.

9. The economy continues to hammer the bike biz. 2009 totals aren’t available yet, but data through the third quarter suggest a 10 to 20 percent pullback on sales and profit. While much of that is in high-end equipment, and isn’t catastrophic on an annual basis, it nonetheless threatens the sustainability of numerous smaller shops and businesses. Our gut sense is that things will continue — using a bike suspension term — to wallow through 2010, neither much worse nor much better. Only a turnaround in the jobs picture, which will put more people on bikes for transportation and give them discretionary spending for bling and trips, will signal any upside for cycling.

10. Northwest freeride expansion continues. In addition to whatever Stevens Pass comes up with, Galbraith Mountain will undoubtedly continue its march to world-classdom with its ever-expanding, more challenging trails network. Kudos to all the gang up in Bellingham who do such a great job on Galby. Closer to Seattle, Evergreen’s work on Duthie Hill outside of Issaquah is getting all kinds of props. And Evergreen’s Colonnade mini-park under I-5 will remain the best place to sharpen skillz — watch for it in forthcoming DVD format as well.

Duthie Hill from Walter Yi on Vimeo.

Evergreen Alliance calls for the question

In Bicycle advocacy, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes, Trail Access on August 27, 2009 at 7:59 am

The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, in the midst of member turmoil and a leadership shakeup, has reached out to followers to submit questions and raise concerns before next Tuesday’s Town Hall summit at 6 p.m. at Duthie Hill Lodge. Contact information is on the Evergreen Web site.

“We’ve received a great deal of input already, but I’d like to distill this into the core issues and be sure to cover them next Tuesday,” wrote board member Scott Edison in an e-mail to key Evergreen stakeholders.

Edison also noted there will be a ride at Duthie, where considerable trail work has been done recently, as well as a barbecue with food provided (people should bring their own beverages).

Edison noted the alliance already has received “a great deal of input,” including postings on the Yahoo! e-mail list as well as privately circulated group e-mails. Issues raised concern leadership, communication and advocacy, particularly on the wilderness front.

Some key points still to be addressed include:

Will John Lang, whose unexpected resignation takes effect on Tuesday, be replaced? As executive director, Lang oversaw progress on several fronts, particularly in reaching out to other trail groups and agencies. But paid talent comes at some expense, and the alliance is facing considerable financial challenges by the end of the year.

If Lang is replaced, how much will the membership be informed of the process and be able to provide input into the selection? Lang’s appointment in the spring of 2008 came as a surprise to the rank and file, in part because he was unknown in the mountain biking community. Whatever expertise and connections he brought to the job were overshadowed by questions over how much personal investment he had in the sport.

Fundraising: A crash fundraising appeal to members brought in $37,000 recently, but despite belt-tightening, finances remain a concern. Several ideas for fundraisers along the lines of organized rides and events have been suggested by members.

Communication: It’s been suggested that alliance leadership participate more in the Yahoo list and be more aggressive in inviting members to participate in decision-making, including attendance at board meetings. Interactive features on the Web site also could be a plus.

A new forum, GotSingletrack.com, has been started by Evergreen regulars Tim Banning and Erik Alston. Although not specifically an alliance endeavor, the forum addresses mountain biking issues and could play a strategic role in airing issues to a wider public.

The forum software also enables threaded discussions and archiving by topic as well as other features not possible in a Yahoo group.

Finally, what to do about alienated long-time members remains a pressing concern for the alliance. Several active and well-known BBTC icons have said they feel excluded and unwanted by club leadership. Drawing their expertise, networking capabilities, rolodex and popularity back into the mix has been raised as a key initiative facing the alliance.

A review of other issues in our report of July’s tumultuous board meeting.