EMBA June 2022 Newsletter

UPDATES FROM YOUR EDMONTON MOUNTAIN BIKE ALLIANCE

  • This Newsletter! Thank you for your continued support for EMBA and mountain biking in Edmonton! We are excited to bring you our 3rd Edition. We have some great news to share with those who have not already heard, as well as some updates on what we are doing in the upcoming weeks and months. Want to see your Edmonton mountain bike-related event, content, or group featured in our newsletter? Drop us line and we will give a shout-out about it here.

  • Trail Days! We know many of you are looking for ways to give back to the trails and earn some sweet trail karma! Wait no longer! Trail Days are here!
  • July 5 Westpointe Ravine:

    Join our trail day in Westpointe Ravine where we will work on trails like Mustang, Mooseknuckle, and Skoot n Shoot. We will have giveaways courtesy of Blindman Brewing and Hardcore Bikes! We will be trimming to maintain the single trail corridor and sight lines, fixing minor drainage issues or potholing to ensure long term sustainability of the trail network.

    Join the trail by signing up via this link.
    July 14 Kinsmen/Family-Friendly Event:

    Bring the family out to trim trails and show them what volunteering looks like! Adults will be armed only with hand trimmers (Bring Your Own or use EMBA’s), while smaller hands can help clear our trimmings from the trails. An adult must accompany minors and also sign up under their own name. Giveaways for all ages courtesy of Revolution Cycle and Blindman Brewing.

    Join this trail day by signing up via this link.
  • In Action: Clubs and groups in our alliance have been busy, with work being done on Too Much, Canada Cup Network-1, Gnome trail, Root and Roll, Canada Cup Network-4, Old Timers, Hustler, Golddigger, Moonraker, Capilano Crescent, Risky Business, Sideline, Kessel Run, and Hoot and Holler trails. The type of work being performed includes trimming for sightlines, fixing drainage issues like filling potholes, and providing minor trail contouring/sloping. This work is important as it improves the long-term sustainability of our trails; it also speeds up how quickly a trail can be used after a rainy day, as it ensures water drains off the trail and does not stagnate on the trail.

  • Ribbon of Green/River Valley Modernization Plan Project: On Friday, June 10, Edmonton City Council approved cycling and maintenance in Preservation areas and recommended the development of a service package for a River Valley trails strategy. This permission has been hard-won and will require corresponding concrete action from the mountain biking community to demonstrate our willingness to address the legitimate concerns raised by opponents to cycling on Preservation trails. In case you missed it, read our previous news release about it. This decision is a giant step towards establishing a long-term strategy for a single-track trail network in the river valley. We are hopeful that the trail strategy plan introduced by the council will be comprehensive. We believe it should inventory and assess the established single-track network of trails, identify areas of concern, and develop mitigation strategies for those concerns. We hope this plan will enable trail signage and wayfinding to be established. EMBA knows the status of trails needs to change, to mature, and believes this is the right path forward. We know there will be times when trails need to be re-routed or closed entirely, as there may not be a way to mitigate concerns in all areas.

  • Unsanctioned/Illegal Trail Building: Nothing can take back the incredible advocacy work EMBA and all the trail community has done faster than building and modifying trails in the river valley without consent from the City. EMBA has a long-standing legal framework established with the City that allows us to perform trail maintenance and build single-track trails. EMBA does not condone any trail work done without the approval of the City. We encourage our community members to reach out to anyone who may be building trails without approval, talk with them, and ask them to stop.

  • New Trails/Adding to EMBA’s Network: The decision by City Council is still very fresh. However, EMBA executives have already been able to meet with their city administration counterparts to start to figure out which trails can be quickly added to the inventory of trails we are able to maintain. Our first priority is to work on trails we have previously had permission to work on, such as Six Shooter and Ray Gun. We have also requested permission to maintain trails in areas near Emily Murphy Park and the valley below the U of A Campus and Belgravia and Forest Heights/McNally. While City Council has opened all Preservation area trails up for potential maintenance. we are respectful of the fact that afer site visits with City Administration, it may be that we will still not be permitted to work on all trails. Many trails in the river valley are built in dangerous areas, such as areas in active landslide conditions. It is understandable that the City will not be able to permit work in these areas and that they also ask people to keep out of these areas for safety reasons.

  • Can I now ride every trail? The decision by City Council states that riding on Preservation area trails is now okay; we need to be the best ambassadors of the river valley there is. Make smart choices on which trails you will ride and when. Be respectful and courteous. There are many areas in the river valley where human activity can have a negative impact. Please keep to the core network of singletrack trails.

  • Trail Day Sponsorship! Blindman Brewing is back this year, providing post-trail day refreshments to our volunteers! A huge thank you goes out to Blindman Brewing for their continued support. Well-hydrated volunteers always do magnificent work on our trails—cheers to healthy, safe, and sustainable trails for all.

  • Did you know? Your group does not need to be a formal club or group to become an Adopt a Trail group. Do you have a few friends you regularly ride with and are interested in adopting maintenance responsibilities for a trail or two? Get in touch with us. All we need from your group is one person to be dedicated as the lead, and we will train your lead on how to go through the motions of hosting a trail day and the work request system. We also offer yearly in-person trail-building schools and pruning courses from a certified arborist. Not only that, but we also offer incentives for hosting your own trail day. Adopt a Trail leads are responsible for regular review and assessing their assigned trails, creating maintenance plans, and hosting trail days, and we will be there to help you along the way.

  • Thank you, Milwaukee tools! For arming our volunteers with top-quality gear! We do not use gas-powered tools on our trail days, so having big capacity, quality batteries is especially important to us. Also, with the quick-growing brush that lines the trails, we like to tread the line on maintaining safe sight lines for all while keeping the single track single and keeping the forest view pristine.

  • Mountain Bike Skills Park: The first public concept plans are not too far off! In our latest meeting with the City, we are reviewing environmental assessment requirements to determine whether previously completed assessments are sufficient for the Bike Park or if a new one is needed. We will have more updates as the Bike Park plans progress.

  • Fort Saskatchewan Trail Alliance: Officially a non-profit association, the Fort Saskatchewan Trail Alliance has been busy. They have been continuing to work hard to get some work done on local trails with the support of the City of Fort Saskatchewan, including meeting with the City works department and a local conservation group. Trail maintenance continued most recently at the boat launch, including some major trimming to restore a trail to be rideable.

  • EMBFest: Early activity registration for Friday and now Saturday is open. EMBfest has ways for you to get involved! Why not volunteer and get some perks for it! Become a part of the Very Important Biker (VIB) Team.

  • EMBA Singletrack Trail Master Plan: We recently formed a committee to develop EMBA’s vision for the Single Track Master Plan. A lot of work is ahead for these commendable volunteers. Developing this plan aims to help build and communicate EMBA’s vision for a sustainable, connected, single-track trail network today and in the future. If you have had experience developing these sorts of things for other communities in the past, we would love to hear from you!
  • EMBA Shop: Check out our online shop! We have recently added some fresh EMBA Wear. Available in a variety of colours, we have Hoodies, T-Shirts, and Hats now available. We also still have a few pairs of our ‘retro’ EMBA Socks kicking around still! Grab some while you can
  • Did YOU Get Your Membership Yet?

    Thank you to those who already purchased a membership for 2022!  You are now entered into a draw for an awesome giveaway for Cranky’s, Revolution Cycle, AND Shift Happens! Three Winners each get a $50 gift certificate!!!

    AND anyone else who purchases a membership, you aren’t forgotten! When we reach 500 members, we will do it all over again with THREE MORE $50 gift certificates! We are not done yet as we want to do even another THREE MORE $50 gift certificates at 750 members!

    THEN when we reach 1000 members, we will do one more draw! This time for THREE $100 Gift Certificates for Cranky’s, Revolution Cycle, and Shift Happens!!!

    EMBA's Response
    Special thanks are due to the members of the Urban Planning Committee for recommending the motion to Council, particularly Councillor Salvador, who introduced the motion, and the Chair, Councillor Hamilton. We also wish to thank Councillor Cartmell for introducing and championing the motion at City Council and Councillor Wright for moving the amendment to the first resolution, to specifically include cycling (with maintenance) as a permitted activity on Preservation area trails.
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