Signs-ups are open for Portland’s first-ever interscholastic MTB team

Posted on June 11th, 2018 at 3:09 pm.

Coaches at the first Leaders’ Summit held in Portland in mid-April.
(Photo: NICA Oregon Chapter)

If you know a young person in Portland who’s stoked on mountain biking, now, for the first time ever, they can sign up for a team through their school.

The Portland Metro Composite MTB Team is the latest evolution of the fledgling Oregon chapter of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association we first reported on back in December.

In April, over 30 volunteer coaches from throughout Oregon participated in the inaugural Leaders’ Summit held in Portland. Now they’ve fanned out across the state to build their teams in advance of the first races which are set to begin this September.

With a team of certified and insured coaches, NICA Oregon is ready to get rolling. All that’s missing are the students! Let me make sure the Portland area fields a strong team and does us proud! Read below the jump to find out about how to get involved…
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Ride new coastal forest singletrack at the inaugural Whiskey Run MTB Festival

Posted on June 1st, 2018 at 1:11 pm.

Fresh new singletrack to be ridden on the southern coast!
(Photos: Whiskey Run MTB Fest)

[This post is part of a paid promotional partnership.]

You probably don’t know there are 11 miles of new, professionally-built singletrack trails open and ready to ride on Oregon’s southern coast just north of Bandon. And that’s why the Whiskey Run MTB Festival exists: to help you discover one of Oregon’s best-kept riding secrets. That’s also why we’ve teamed up with local businesses and tourism promoters to help spread the word about it.

The inaugural event is on June 9th and consists of a ride in the morning (three routes to choose from) and a big afterparty celebration at Bandon Brewing Company. The rides are lead by members of the Wild Rivers Coast Mountain Bicycling Association.
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River City Bicycles launches “Low Pressure” mountain bike program for women

Posted on April 20th, 2018 at 12:00 pm.

Unlike many bike shops, River City Bicycles in southeast Portland has long had a reputation as a place where women feel safe and welcome. In 2008 the shop was named the most “female friendly” in the nation and they have sponsored many top women racers.

Now the shop wants to use mountain biking as a vehicle to help women build confidence — both on and off the trails. Their “Low Pressure Women’s Mountain Bike Series” is described as, “A stress-free, female led mountain bike event, clinic, and ride series through which we hope to build, educate and inspire a supportive community of women in our sport.” The series will include weekly practice sessions at The Lumberyard’s indoor bike park, on-trail clinics and weekly rides. There’s a launch party at the shop tonight (4/20) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

With help from Elaine Bothe of Wenzel Coaching and shop staff, River City is opening this LGBTQ+ friendly initiative up to all levels and all ages (sixth grade and over) of riders.

River City’s Lisa Luna told me this week that she put this together to encourage “positive self-talk” and to build women up from the inside.
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In off-road plan letter, Parks Board supports trails in Forest Park and River View Natural Area

Posted on April 13th, 2018 at 1:15 pm.

River View was the site of a big protest after cycling was banned in 2015.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s Off-road Cycling Master Plan got a shot in the arm today from an influential city advisory committee.

The Portland Parks Board expressed strong support for the plan in a letter to Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Project Manager Tom Armstrong. The letter clears the way for Portland City Council to approve the plan — and to push back against those who are using false narratives to oppose it. The Parks Board has dismissed two of the main talking points of people trying to stop the plan: That that off-road cycling is incompatible with nature and that it can’t be done safely in an urban environment.

The letter (PDF), dated April 11th, comes after the Board received hundreds of public comments and hosted a special meeting on the plan earlier this month.

Signed by Parks Board Chair Patricia Frobes, the letter outlined a few relatively minor concerns and said the Board is “generally supportive” of the plan because it is, “a good conceptual road map for a city-wide system of off-road cycling.” And that system, Frobes wrote, should include even more places to ride. “Although the ORCMP proposes a good locational mix of bicycle parks,” she wrote, “it proposes no new urban off-road cycling trails on the west side. Further, the ORCMP does not adequately identify opportunities to connect parks to parks, parks to schools and parks to trails.”
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Cycling advocates pack meeting of Parks Board as they consider Off-road Cycling Plan

Posted on April 4th, 2018 at 1:14 pm.

Not nearly a big enough room for all the people who took time out of their day to show support.
(Photo: Gabriel Amadeus)

Yesterday dozens of Portlanders took time out of their day to send a simple message to the Portland Parks Board: Our urban parks should have better — and more — opportunities for off-road cycling.
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With lawsuit dismissed, Timberline will break ground on new bike park this summer

Posted on April 4th, 2018 at 9:44 am.

Samples of trail work by Gravity Logic, the firm working with Timberline to build the new bike park.
(Photos: Gravity Logic)

Fresh off the dismissal of a lawsuit that has tied up their mountain bike park plans for nearly six years, Timberline announced this morning that they are “moving forward.”[Read more…]

Judge denies motion of conservation groups trying to stop Timberline MTB Park

Posted on April 3rd, 2018 at 12:51 pm.

A 2011 map created by Timberline of the proposed bike trails and chair-lifts.

A plan to create a full-service, lift-assisted mountain bike park on the southwestern slope of Mt. Hood got a boost last week when United States District Court Judge Ann Aiken denied a motion by three nonprofit groups who aim to stop it.

Judge Aiken’s 21-page opinion (see it below) signed on March 31st denies a Motion for Reconsideration filed by four plaintiffs: Bark, Friends of Mount Hood, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Sierra Club. The defendants on the case were the U.S. Forest Service, three regional forest staffers, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The conservation groups have made several attempts to derail it through the courts and this is just the latest judgment to go against them.

As it stands, the project would build 17 miles of bike trails and a small skills park. When we first covered the park in 2010 we likened it to a major destination on the order of Whistler’s famous bike park. On a website (that has since been removed), Timberline said, “We see mountain biking as an integral part of our year-round recreation plan, and will treat this project as one of the primary pillars of our company’s future.”

Everything was going according to plan after the USFS issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” with their 2012 permit approval. Then in May 2013, several nonprofits filed a complaint seeking judicial review of that decision. The groups alleged that the USFS has failed in their duty to uphold the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and that more rigorous environmental analysis was required. In August 2013, a conservation group discovered the presence of Western bumblebees in the project area. USFS biologists analyzed that finding and determined the project, “may impact individual bees or habitat but will not likely contribute to a trend toward federal listing or loss of viability of the population or species.” Shortly thereafter, the plaintiffs filed another lawsuit7 saying that the USFS failed to perform additional environmental analysis on bumblebee populations and on steelhead.
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Editorial: Portland’s irrational fear of off-road cycling

Posted on March 26th, 2018 at 3:57 pm.

How could more of this be a bad thing for our local parks?
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As Portland’s Off-road Cycling Master Plan (ORCMP) rolls ever closer to its big date at City Council, interest groups throughout the city are taking notice.

The usual opposition to better bike access on dirt trails in Portland is very well-known. But I’ve noticed something new in the past few weeks: Advocates for local parks who oppose parts of it based on fears that anything that attracts more off-road bikers will negatively impact the park and its current users.

I find this reflexive opposition very unfortunate.
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Crunch time for off-road cycling plan with all eyes on Portland Parks Board meeting

Posted on March 23rd, 2018 at 9:53 am.

An advisory committee meeting for the plan in March 2017.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In case you haven’t read or heard yet, it’s crunch time for the City of Portland’s Off-road Cycling Master Plan.

After years of meetings and planning, advocates are making their final arguments, a draft version is being reviewed by the influential Portland Parks Board, and a date at City Council for final adoption is likely this summer.

Everyone agrees this is a plan our city needs; but it’s less clear if this is the plan our city wants.

I was at the March 12th Parks Board meeting and shared a snapshot of how Mayor Ted Wheeler and a few advocates are feeling about the plan. Earlier this week I shared a guest post from Daniel Greenstadt, an advocate who has followed the plan’s development very closely and has participated in several of the planning meetings.

Those two stories, along with a search of our archives on terms like “forest park singletrack” and “off-road cycling master plan” should give you plenty of background information to understand this issue and make an informed opinion about it. (We’ve covered every twist-and-turn of this issue for over a decade, so there’s a clear historical thread that can be easily woven by anyone with the energy and interest. If you have a question about the plan, the process, or the politics, feel free to ask in the comments!)
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In nod to off-road cycling, Mayor Wheeler urges Parks Bureau to stay relevant

Posted on March 12th, 2018 at 3:37 pm.

Mayor Wheeler at the Parks Board meeting last Tuesday. (Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

As they prep for its big day at City Council this spring, the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is in the final stages of their Off-road Cycling Master Plan.

The plan has already been over two years in the making and Portlanders have made nearly 900 individual public comments about what type of trails they want and where new trails should go.

Now comes the politics and last-minute lobbying.
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