A rider finds the groove on a trail in Gateway Green, a signature project for Northwest Trail Alliance. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
[This is the second part of a two-part post from Northwest Trail Alliance President Chris Rotvik. Don’t miss Part 1, a recap of 2017.]
Almost 30 years ago, Theo Patterson spoke up to make sure mountain bikes weren’t banned from Forest Park. To help, Patterson founded Portland United Mountain Pedalers, or PUMP. In 2009, PUMP became Northwest Trail Alliance, and we turn 30 this year. With our Big Three-Oh looming, let’s glance back and gaze forward.
A father and daughter enjoy the new trails at Gateway Green’s Dirt Lab. (Photos: J. Maus)
Standing with our partners (I’m on the left in green shirt) — including City Commissioners Amanda Fritz, Nick Fish, and Portland Parks Director Mike Abbaté — at opening day for the Dirt Lab at Gateway Green.
Throughout 2017, more than 1,700 mountain bikers — from shredders to striders — dropped in to Northwest Trail Alliance-hosted digging and riding events. And, all tolled, our volunteers carved a smidgen over 12,000 hours into our trails and the political arena that sustains the flow of riding in our region. Those hours equate to $360,000 of hard labor invested in elevating both our sport, and the tide on which our local cycling industry floats. Think of it as your membership and sponsorship currency, multiplied tenfold, and paid forward.
The urban scene captured the lion’s share of 2017’s effort. To date, we’ve brought forward more than 1,500 hours (and we’re not yet at the finish line) shaping Portland’s Off-Road Cycling Master Plan (ORCMP). Simultaneously, our expertise, labor, and equipment helped bring the Dirt Lab at Gateway Green — the prototype of how ORCMP will reshape our urban riding scene — to life.
Opened in late June, the Dirt Lab has reinvigorated riding and advocacy, and there’s much good yet to come of it— in Forest Park, River View Natural Area, Washington Park, and drizzled across the smaller parks in Portland. Icing that cake is our sweet partnership with Metro, who’ll soon be bringing delectable riding in the North Tualatin Mountains beyond Forest Park, in Oregon City, and in the Gabbert Buttes to the east of Portland.
So, after 30 years, the urban tide is turning. Are you out there, Theo Patterson?
Let’s step from the urban scene to our front-country venues: First, we wrote Stub Stewart State Park the equivalent of a $60,000 check in the form of 2,500 volunteer hours, the highest across all our sites (Gateway Green and Growler’s Gulch ranked second and third at 1,800 and 1,600 hours, respectively). At Stub, we put paid to two new bridges, two new coach-ready, skill-building loops, a significant trail re-route, and two riding events. Next, the trail gnomes of Southwest Washington topped the mileage charts by adding — with their usual surgical precision — another five miles of new line to the fabled Growler’s Gulch system. (Digging is your ticket to entry, so if you’d like to ride Growler’s magic carpet, sign up for the work parties … find them on nw-trail.org.)
Elsewhere in the region, we buffed-out the trails. And buffed some more, for a total of 1,900 hours of wax on, wax off at Sandy Ridge, St. Helens, Coldwater Lake, Scappoose, Tillamook, Lacamas, Cascade Locks, Eichler, Powell Butte, Hagg Lake, and Whipple Creek. That’s the equivalent of re-shaping and brushing seven hours a day, five days a week, year-round. Mister Miyagi would be proud.
OK, then. We’ve brought almost two thousand of our new best friends to the party, opened a bike park, gained significant urban mountain biking momentum, raised Stub and Growler’s yet another notch, kept Sandy Ridge a premier destination despite the onslaught of almost one hundred thousand gravity-fueled runs, and sustained 10 other regional riding destinations. Not bad, eh?
While 2017’s achievements just might be a high water mark for the organization, we’re already over it, aside from just one thing … our gratitude. If it weren’t for you — member, sponsor, volunteer — mountain biking in the region would be dirt poor. Thank you for all you do for our shared passion.
Oh, and 2018 promises to be a gangbuster. Care to join us?
— Chris Rotvik, President, Northwest Trail Alliance
Where will we ride in the future? It’s time to weigh-in with your comments. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
This post was written by the Northwest Trail Allliance, a Portland-based nonprofit and a BikePortland supporter.
Portland’s Off-road Cycling Master Plan (ORCMP) is now in its final stage of development, the Draft Plan Phase. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is asking the public for feedback on the Draft, which will be incorporated into the Proposed Plan presented to City Council for adoption. As an off-road cyclist in Portland, this is an important opportunity for you to tell the City what you think about the Draft. If you want urban trails, now is the time to elevate your voice.
[Note: This post was submitted by BikePortland Business Subscriber Northwest Trail Alliance through our Subscriber Post system. We think it deserves a wider reach so we’ve posted it here on the Front Page. Remember, if you are a subscriber you can also be a contributor! We would love to amplify your voice and share your experiences with a wider audience. Sign up here. – Jonathan]
Hi! We’re new to the BikePortland community — and there’s a good chance the Northwest Trail Alliance is new to you — so we’d like to take a moment to introduce ourselves. [Read more…]
Having a place to talk about bikes with other people who love bikes is an essential building block of successful advocacy. While opportunities to talk about urban and utility-oriented cycling abound in Portland, up until now there has not been a go-to place for those whose prefer their cycling to happen off-road. [Read more…]
In their 12-page decision published on June 3rd (PDF here, scroll down for embed) LUBA explains that the case does not fit within the bounds of their jurisdiction because the City of Portland’s actions did not constitute a land use decision. LUBA said that local governments, acting in their capacity as “custodian and manager of public lands,” are withing their legal right to make decisions that restrict public access.[Read more…]
Show your support for the non-profit Northwest Trail Alliance by ordering some of their new kit. Check out the ordering info below… And make sure to do it before the NWTA store closes on May 11th. [Read more…]
Photo taken in August 2012, before biking was illegal. (Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)
The City of Portland says the State Land Use Board of Appeals has no jurisdiction over its decision to prohibit bicycling on trails at River View Natural Area.
In a “motion to dismiss” filed on April 13th (which we obtained through a public records request, PDF here), Chief Deputy City Attorney Kathryn Beaumont argues that Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish acted within their “managerial discretion” when they informed the community via a letter on March 2nd that bicycling would no longer be allowed on the 146 acre parcel.
The decision shocked riders and biking advocates. People have been riding the trails at River View for decades. And, following its purchase by the City of Portland in 2011, advocates were working in partnership with the Portland Parks & Recreation and Environmental Services bureaus on a management and trails plan under the assumption that bicycle trails would be allowed. The Northwest Trail Alliance, a Portland-based non-profit that builds, maintains and promotes off-road bike trails, responded by filing a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the State Land Use Board of Appeals on March 23rd.[Read more…]
On Wednesday of last week, the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau hosted a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting for the River View Natural Area. It was the first such meeting in 14 months for the group charged with developing a management plan for the 146-acre parcel.
Mountain bike advocates have been eager to re-engage with the process and learn more about why their activity was banned by Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish last month. (Prior to the city’s purchase of River View, Portlanders had ridden bikes on its many trails for over two decades.) That decision came without warning and was made completely outside of the established public process.
While he can’t keep Portland’s anti-mountain biking stances out of the headlines, at Wednesday’s meeting Parks Director Mike Abbaté did his best to make sure the topic of biking remained out of the public process around River View.
Here’s Abbaté attempt at doing that in his opening address to the committee and the assembled public:[Read more…]