"Not all those who wander are lost." – J.R.R. Tolkien

Fat Bike Mammoth Meeting Notes: 10.21.13

Fat Bike Mammoth Meeting Summary: 10.21.13 / 6pm at The Clocktower Cellar

15 people attended (even without free pizza and beer).
Our meeting was mostly a “round table” discussion.  This is my interpretation of the discussion.
– What do we want to stand for/ accomplish as a group?

  • Stewards of the land – volunteering, trail work, etc – offer man-power and expertise to stewardship efforts (ex. MLTPA Summer of Stewardship Trail Days)
  • Advocates for maximizing mountain biking trail access
    • (examining, improving, and inventorying existing trails/ short term)
    • (hopes of expanding trail systems throughout the Eastern Sierra, creating new trails/ long term)
  • #RIDEBIKESWITHFRIENDS – Spreading the stoke of riding bikes – group rides, grassroots races, socializing with like-minded people, making friends, social events, etc – maximize enjoyment of the trails we have now, while trying to improve our riding opportunities for the near and long term
  • Create and nurture a mountain biking community in the Eastern Sierra
With this input, Jen Girard is working on making a “Mission Statement” for the group.Should we keep “Fat Bike Mammoth” as the group name, or create a less confusing, more general “mountain biking” name for the group?  Maybe have “Fat Bike Mammoth” be a sister group to the bigger “mountain biking group”?

  • This one was tough.  Lots of pros and cons on both sides.  Good discussion, stoked on all the input.  I’ll start with the pros for changing the name:
    • Many people don’t know what a fat bike is
    • If they do know, they assume you need a fat bike to be affiliated with us
    • They don’t necessarily associate a fat bike with a mountain bike
    • Some people have expressed confusion about what the group is about, because they think we’re only about riding fat bikes on snow
    • We might be losing possible members/supporters because of this confusion (i.e. mountain bikers that assume we’re only about fat biking
    • Mammoth is narrow.  Eastern Sierra has a broader reach.  Maybe something with Eastern Sierra in the name would be better.
  • Pros for keeping the name:
    • It’s already established.  The USFS, BLM, etc recognize us as a legitimate advocacy group based on our trail work efforts at the Lower Rock Creek Trail Day, etc.  A website is established, as well as a logo, and a brand.
    • The content of what we do will allay confusion over time.  (the more we do mountain biking rides, events, advocacy etc – the more people will understand that we are a year-round off-road cycling group)-
    • The name is catchy, intriguing and memorable.
    • Fat bikes are any bikes fatter than a road bike, so it includes mountain biking.
    • The name doesn’t mean anything – if it’s a good group, word of mouth throughout a small town will spread it.

anyone that wasn’t at the meeting who wants to chime in, now’s the time…  no vote was taken or anything like that… but it seems the majority of people wanted to keep the name as is and continue on the path we’re on now

We spoke about our pending “Special Use Winter Fat Biking” permit application – more info should be coming in by week’s end letting us know if the permit will be accepted (if so, it would allow 4 fat bikers and 4 guest fat bikers access to a few groomed osv trails for trail impact analysis that could lead to getting the forest order amended).  Jon Widen (groomer for the orange diamond trails that MMSA accesses will be involved in the analysis – he grooms the trails daily and will be able to make observations on fat bike trail impact)
We touched on the Fat Bike Summit on January 24-25 in Ogden, UT.  Hunter and I are going.  Anybody else interested in riding fat bikes and meeting with land managers from around the country who want to join, let me know.
We touched on efforts Justin Walsh is spearheading to sanction Rattlesnake Gulch Trail up by Conway Summit.  Fat Bike Mammoth will try support the effort in any way possible
We touched on the possibility we’re looking into of re-opening Mammoth Scenic Loop Trail as a non-motorized trail (since it began as a mountain bike trail years ago before it was shut down).
We touched on organizing carpooling and group rides down in The Buttermilks/ Tungsten Hills during winter.  These trails are on BLM land and they’ve expressed a willingness to improve this trail system for mountain biking – so we’re gonna try and scout/ ride this area with BLM reps to see what we can do.
We need have somebody spearhead the effort to help identify closed (previously opened to motorized traffic) trails that would be good candidates to rehabilitate into singletrack mountain bike/ non-motorized trails.  This involves connecting with Marty Hornick (USFS Trails Supervisor in Bishop) and looking at maps, taking scouting drives, etc so we can make recommendations that would help us improve possible bikepacking/ adventure cycling routes connecting different areas of the Eastern Sierra
We discussed a short-term trail maintenance project: Removing a big log that just fell across Starkweather Trail and giving the trail a “once-over” since it hasn’t seen any love in a while.  Jon Widen and I are going around lunch tomorrow to saw the tree.  We’ll try and coordinate another day (soon, before it snows) to “clean it up”.
We discussed temporary signage opportunities that would make bike routes like “Inyo Craters Loop” possible to navigate.  Maybe start with one trail, forest service would supply us with the “brown square” signs that would be “p-touched” with “Inyo Craters Loop” – this would be temporary and functional for now, until “permanent” signage would replace them.  General consensus was that something is better than nothing, and if we can improve the signage for free right now, we should do it so people can get out and confidently ride more terrain.

We discussed, brainstormed upcoming events

  • MTB rides in Bishop throughout the winter
  • Full Moon Bike Ride (might be able to coordinate with MMSA to ride up to Minaret Vista and then have food/drink at the Yodler – Caroline Casey is checking into it) – also brainstormed Tamarack, Rock Creek Lodge, McGee Creek – if you have thoughts, please share
  • World Fat Bike Day on December 7 – Trying to coordinate a demo day for fat bikes.  Get a manufacturer to send us 10 demo bikes, getting MMSA to allow us to ride a few groomed snowmobile trails – I’ll be working with Jon Widen on this one.  Will talk to QBP or smaller manufacturer (Borealis, etc) to sponsor the demo…
  • Throwback grassroots race of the Sierra 7500
  • Double High Five Why Ride/Race
  • Coyote Traverse
  • Glass Mountain Traverse
  • Mono Lake Fat 40 Loop
  • Sand Canyon, Wagon Wheel, Lower Rock Creek Super Enduro
  • Bikepacking Overnighters
  • Saturday Morning Group Rides during Summer
  • Some type of event in June Lake Area (Justin and Sarah)

Then we discussed IMBA and the options/ pros and cons of becoming a chapter – consensus was that we’re not quite there yet.  We need to establish our group, and what we are.  Baby steps.  Way too early to think about dues, non-profit status, etc

Drink Beer.  Good Times.  #ridebikeswithfriends

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One response

  1. Likes that your posting the minutes from the meeting thank you!

    October 24, 2013 at 7:19 am

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