Monday, May 30, 2016

Crossover Trail Open!

Today the Crossover Trail project that was started in 2013 is officially open and complete. What started as a vision by James, our Ringwood crew leader in 2012, was jointly planned and proposed to the park and routes run through state data base. It was approved and fine tuned with shovels in the soil in March 2013. Three plus years of trail building and finally the new section of trail is marked and open from Warm Puppy (red) to the intersection of Crossover and Pierson Ridge trail (blue). Jorba and the Ringwood Trail Crew would like to thank the many volunteers that have come out and made this project happen. Over 1500 volunteer man hours went into construction which is valued by the park as $34,500. of free labor.

The trail serves a variety of levels of mountain bikers, as well as hikers, making it a very popular trail. Although most people have been riding the trail out and back since they enjoy it so much, portions of the trail help link together many other popular trails in the park. So please do go explore the beautiful forest and many trails. Right now wild roses and lady slippers are blooming, toads, efts and centipedes are everywhere. It's a great time to be out there!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spring 2015

A long cold winter has finally given way to spring. The trail conditions have been excellent! Volunteers have already put in over 70 hours this season on the Crossover Trail build. If you have not been up there, please do check it out. We are progressing each week and hope to reach the top by the end of the year, but that depends on all of you, and how many volunteers come out to work. Think of it like investing in more future riding trails.

Dirty Thursdays will run all year until September. Crews start around 4:00 and best to rsvp for location and updates. There will also be some weekend dates that will be added to the schedule this week. Please check back for them or go to Ringwood Trail Crew FB page for more dates.

Happy Trails!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thanks to Volunteers!

The 2014 Ringwood Trail work season is complete. Jorba would like to thank all it's 45 dedicated volunteers that came out to lend a hand at Ringwood this past year. We logged 579 man hours. The park values those hours at $13,000. of labor. Whether you came for an hour or returned every week to work, your efforts are appreciated and the trails are in great shape because of you. Section 3, 4 and 5 of the Crossover Tr re-route are compete. Section 2 has been started and we hope you all come back next year to help finish that section.

With the pipeline construction going on the past few years, Ringwood state park has been a mess to ride through. The pipeline work is finally done and the corridor has been restored. You should be able to find most crossings by a path in the grass or trail marker. Enjoy!

I hope you all get out for riding before too much snow falls. See you all next spring!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Project Update

Summer is winding down and there is much to report on what has been done and is about to begin this week. Yes, we are paused and ready to start our next push of new trail up to Pierson Ridge. Our next weekend work day is Sunday Aug 10. Meet at Ryerson School 130 Valley Rd Ringwood NJ 07456. Be prepared to ride bikes to the work site, as it is a few miles in.

Summer projects have gone really well, thanks to the hard working volunteers. Warm Puppy is now connected to last years work and is riding really well according to reports. Last Thursday, a minor repair was done near Warm Puppy. Dirty Thursday plans to meet again tomorrow Aug 7th in Lot C to do another repair. The last Dirty Thursday Aug 21, crews will be working near Webly Pond on the new section or where needed. Please RSVP for location.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

National Trail Day

National Trail Day build day may have been a last minute addition to the schedule, but enthusiastic volunteers worked in a large way today! The bulk of the trail is complete and may be opened up for use in a week or two. Jorba would like to thank it's National Trail Day trail crew for giving 34 hours today:


Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 Progress and Work

It may have seemed like spring took it's time to get here, but volunteer trail workers were out there working as soon as the snow melted. Art and I led the first few trail sessions working directly for the park service trying to re-route a trail that had been obliterated by the development of some rogue lines leading people off the trail. We had laid out a new route in the winter before the snow came, so that we could get right to it in the Spring.

As work began, the new line suffered vandalization the first few weeks. We consistently returned and repaired it with crews and moved ahead. It was challenging to keep volunteers from getting discouraged about the vandalization, but we advised them that we are many strong and do not plan to give up that easily. The new trail laid in beautifully and many have come to us and said "the trail should have been there from the beginning". So, although we needed to return to this trail 3 years after it was built, I think we have a better trail now. I am not backhandedly thanking the rogue builder, but many good things have come from this experience, and I think many have learned and are better trail builders and advocates today.

With that behind us, we are back to working on the Jorba Cross-over trail re-route project. This next section will connect last years work to the intersection at Warm Puppy Rock. We are more than halfway through that section. Our next work day will be Saturday June 7, National Trails Day. We would love to see you all come out and lend a hand in completing this section. Meet at Lot C by 9:00 am. Be sure to let the park employee at the toll booth know that you will working with Jorba Trail Crew.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

To Paydirt or not to Paydirt?

Every year someone raises the question “Should there be Paydirt?” usually this question comes from a racer, but in reality it is about more than just racing. I would like to take some time to explain what it is all about.

First, what is Paydirt? Paydirt is the program that records volunteer trail work hours for JORBA (Jersey Off Road Bicycle Assoc). The program has several purposes. It creates incentives for mountain bikers to volunteer in local public parks. It encourages mountain bikers to build working relationships with land mangers. It encourages trail maintainers to record their volunteer hours so that the hours can be used towards grants. It helps build working relationships between trail maintainers, race promoters and land mangers, assuring bike access and the continuation of bike community fund raising events like racing on public lands.

So, where and how did Paydirt start? Paydirt, a concept brainstormed by trail advocates Wally Tunison and Sarah Frost in 1996, was the birth of Jorba. Wally, a long time motorcycle racer adopted the idea from enduro racing where dirt bike racers had to do trail work to allow access onto public lands for racing. Sarah created a similar program called Paydirt to encourage mountain bike racers to step up and help land managers maintain trails to keep bike access in New Jersey Parks. At that time, both Essex and Bergen Counties had banned bikes from the trails leaving many mountain bikers with no local trails to ride. Since then, Paydirt has logged over 60,000 volunteer man hours in actual trail work, and has received recognition from many land mangers. If you have ridden trails in NJ, you already know that there are some pretty cool trails that mountain bikers have built and maintained legally.

As a trail maintainer, I can confirm that the series race point system brings in many hours, especially in the final month. I am sure that many serious racers find Paydirt very annoying, and would rather spend 100% of their time training. They may say it has nothing to do with racing, but in actuality, it has everything to do with racing on really cool trails on public land. These trails would not exist to race on if racers did not come out to help. Of course not all racers know this, because they do not take the time to get involved or look beyond racing, hence the need for education. Every year a new wave of racers enter the fold, uneducated about trail access and the future of the sport. As they take the hook, they immediately learn about Paydirt and come out to get their points and see what it is about. Many of Jorba's trail care leaders started as racers. Some still are racers. It is not "me" or "them", it is "us". Paydirt is built in education for those that enter the sport through racing. There are places for serious racing like National Championships, which by the way are on private land. However if you want racing on cool public trails to live on, your best bet is to support the Paydirt program.

As far as the grants go. Each Jorba park has a volunteer leader or trail boss. Ideally, each park should have 4-5 leaders to keep things running smoothly. Jorba is lucky to have one person per park that will handle the responsibilities. We all know that when we are not at our paid jobs, we want to be out riding our bikes. Besides exercise being good for our physical health, mountain biking is an important part of our emotional health in the form of stress relief. Trail bosses take their personal time to lead trail work crews, and they still need to take time to record hours, file reports and make proposals with the park. This is where Paydirt comes in. You may think that you are the annoying racer that is pleading to get signed off for points, but you are actually helping Jorba get recorded for grant purposes. Jorba thanks the trail bosses and the racers for following through with paperwork that not only advertises what Jorba does, but helps the project and tool grant process as well.

As the Paydirt Administrator, I may be biased about how great Paydirt has been for mountain biking in New Jersey, but by having my eye on it every week, I have seen great things happen for the sport. In 2013 racers in the H2H series performed close to 1200 hours of volunteer trail work. The state of NJ values it's volunteer trail work at $23. an hour. That is $27,600. that Paydirt brings in for it's trails from racers. Do you like riding Jungle Habitat, Six Mile Run, Ringwood, Allaire and Allamuchy? ...much of them built on Paydirt. I urge you to support Paydirt and most importantly, get involved. For those of you that have participated and support Paydirt, Jorba thanks you! .... Now let's go out and ride!