Biking Association To Visit Chautauqua County

The International Mountain Biking Association is set to spend four days in Chautauqua County.

The goal of the IMBA visit is to help area residents, members of the Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association and the Western New York Mountain Bike Association improve the quality and sustainability of the trail systems throughout the county.

IMBA’s 17th trail care crew, Jesse Livingston and Lori Reed of Springfield, Mo., will host presentations at Jamestown Community College on Friday and Saturday.

According to Thomas Wright, a NAMBA member who has been building and maintaining trails in the county for nearly 10 years, IMBA will help him rethink some of the existing trails, such as the Earl Cardot Eastside Overland Trail, which was designed in the early 1970s and currently has some unsustainable fall line areas, he said.

“The trail just continues to erode year after year,” Wright said. “So, IMBA will come in to reflag a reroute, show community volunteers how to properly close down a trail corridor and open a new one.”

Friday’s presentation, which is set for 3:30-5 p.m. at the Carnahan Theater, will focus on Better Living Through Trails. The information provided aims to help the community successfully market and manage trail systems, attract regional visitors as well as increase business opportunities.

“If anyone is interested in learning how trails could economically benefit the area, the Better Living Through Trails presentation is what I would urge them to come down to,” Wright said.

Saturday’s presentation, which is set for 9 a.m. to noon at the Carnahan Theater, will include a workshop on sustainable trail creation and management. The presentation is geared toward providing area residents and members of the Friends of Chautauqua County Greenways, www.friendsofchautauquagreenways.org, with the skills to address a fall line section of the Earl Cardot Eastside Overland Trail and to turn it into a sustainable rolling contour trail.

“Following the presentation, from 1-4 p.m., we’ll go out to put what was taught, into practice,” Wright said. “If people are willing to put in some volunteer hours or get their hands dirty in the future, this is the presentation where they can learn to be the most effective in maintaining the trails.”

After the IMBA representatives leave, Wright hopes that by next spring area residents can be organized and ready to start getting the trails tweaked for the summer months, he said.

“Hopefully we have a more energized volunteer base that’s going to be able to work in conjunction with the Parks Department to get the trails open,” Wright said. “There are also talks of Overland loops, and a continuing to work on a section of mountain bike trails called Harris Hill Extension that we have put in about 12 miles in the past six years.”

For more information email Wright at twrighthere@gmail.com.