Welcome to the public discussion of CORP and what it takes to build trails.

Nelson
Former Club President
I ride bikes

July 17, 2013, 09:55 AM

CORP/IMBA members.  We have a crisis.  THe local MTB scene is in a fragile state where too few are being asked to do too much.  Demands of ambitious land mangers or the patent lack of action by other land managers or governmental agencies have created a situation putting CORP at a crossroads.

We simply have too much on our plate for the very very few volunteers that are sacrificing significant personal and business time to keep the trails in rideable condition.

We have too few active members willing to take a role in any project. Everyday I hear "What does CORP do for me?"  Need I reference President Kennedy here?  Come on people CORP does a crap ton for you.  Without the over 10 years of people busting their ass you would not have a single trail to ride an MTB in Dane County.  In simple terms that is what CORP has done for you.  Now more than ever we need to hear "What can I do to help CORP create more riding opportunities?"

Blue Mounds without CORP, nothing to ride.  CamRock without CORP, no trail, no WORS race.  Quarry Ridge without CORP, no features or jumps, just woods.  Nothing.  Middleton Bike Park without CORP, more parking for golfers at Pleasant View.  Dawley, Brigham, Elver, Glenway??  Never heard of these places?  That's because we are working on those with insufficient manpower to get anywhere. 

That is what CORP is doing for you.  Do we ask for much?  Hell yes CORP asks.  We ask you join and pay the IMBA dues.  First and foremost that gives us a few bucks and more importantly membership numbers.  Those numbers translate in to real legitimate opportunities to gain grant money.  That money can be turned in to more trails.  More place to ride, more events to attend, more places for kids and families.  That's what CORP is doing for you.

We need more leaders.  More people willing to lead a group ride.  That is not swinging a tool or getting dirty.  Lead a regular ride.  We need folks with grant writing experience, not getting dirty but wordsmithing a document.  We need folks to stand at events like Ride-the-drive or the Saris Gala and promote CORP. We need members to talk about CORP, wear some kit, chat up the bike shop employees that for some reason are completely unaware of the local trails, hand out cards, deliver brochures, hang up posters.  We are more  than a bunch of doods that browbeat everyone who steps in to drudging through a work weekend swinging tools.

This is a call to arms.  A plea for help.  Step up folks.  When you are on the trail, ask every rider you happen to chat with if they know about CORP, if they would consider joining, and if they can lend a hand. 



~ i like social d


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Walt Hougas
Trail Steward - Blue Mound SP
To Be A Man...

July 21, 2013, 08:59 AM

Thanks Nelson, for putting out this call for help.

I think it's also important to point out that people like me will find a way to keep the bike trails operating regardless of how much or how little help we get. With no modesty whatsoever, I'm very good at patching things up, prioritizing essential work, and generally busting hump to get the job done.

But, like most things in life, there's always a trade-off. The hours I spend chopping weeds, cutting deadfall, and doing other routine maintenance are hours that could be spent doing other things. I'd like to put berms into some of the turns on the swooping downhills in Over Lode, but finding the time is difficult. I'd like to make the downhills in Chert Dip and Holy Schist fun to ride fast. It is hard to justify working for the fun stuff though when there are more pressing needs.

Maybe you are happy with how things are going with your trails. I'll continue to keep Blue Mound open as long as I'm able. But if you want more than the basics, someone(s) else is going to have to step up and contribute. My guess is the same applies to the other trails, and club functions.

Walt

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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

July 21, 2013, 09:31 AM

Thanks Nelson, for putting out this call for help.

I think it's also important to point out that people like me will find a way to keep the bike trails operating regardless of how much or how little help we get. With no modesty whatsoever, I'm very good at patching things up, prioritizing essential work, and generally busting hump to get the job done.

But, like most things in life, there's always a trade-off. The hours I spend chopping weeds, cutting deadfall, and doing other routine maintenance are hours that could be spent doing other things. I'd like to put berms into some of the turns on the swooping downhills in Over Lode, but finding the time is difficult. I'd like to make the downhills in Chert Dip and Holy Schist fun to ride fast. It is hard to justify working for the fun stuff though when there are more pressing needs.

Maybe you are happy with how things are going with your trails. I'll continue to keep Blue Mound open as long as I'm able. But if you want more than the basics, someone(s) else is going to have to step up and contribute. My guess is the same applies to the other trails, and club functions.

Walt

You nailed a big one here. We have leaders spending dozens of hours just trying to keep weeds and trees cut while materials sit and budget periods near their end.

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Walt Hougas
Trail Steward - Blue Mound SP
To Be A Man...

July 21, 2013, 10:42 PM

Someone pointed out to me today that my comments could be taken in a way that I didn't intend.

When I say "Maybe you are happy with how things are going on your trails..." I'm not drawing a distinction between Blue Mound and anywhere else. They are all "your" trails to ride. The fact that I spend most of my volunteer hours at one park doesn't make it "my" trail vs. "your" trail.*

Back to the original point I was trying to make. Are you satisfied with the riding in south central Wisconsin? If so, there's nothing farther to be said, and you need do nothing. If not, if you think the riding in this area is lacking, there is a way to do something about it.

Walt

*It's more like someone has to make sure maintenance things get done, talk to the park staff, report to the CORP Board, etc. and so far no one else seemingly wants to do all the non-bike riding stuff that needs to be done. In that sense, Blue Mound is "my" trail. My headache, not mine, mine, all mine hahahahaha.

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dburatti
Builder of trails. Rider of bikes.

July 22, 2013, 07:20 PM

Has CORP considered installing a large sign at each trail head advertising the work we do and asking for people interested in helping to become CORP members?  I realize that a portion of the community is not interested in becoming a member or volunteering their precious free time, but we might reach a few people who have no idea about the effort CORP makes to build and maintain all  these trails.  Furthermore, you might reach people who don't go online much and/or do not have a Facebook page. 

Just a thought...

D


~ I love my job!


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Gary S
Board Member, co-Trail Steward Blue Mound SP
Administrator

July 22, 2013, 07:54 PM

I know there is a sign at Blue Mounds that has our name and website on it. It is not that big, but it's well-positioned.

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imwjl
Pleasant View Trail Steward

July 22, 2013, 09:02 PM

Has CORP considered installing a large sign at each trail head advertising the work we do and asking for people interested in helping to become CORP members?  I realize that a portion of the community is not interested in becoming a member or volunteering their precious free time, but we might reach a few people who have no idea about the effort CORP makes to build and maintain all  these trails.  Furthermore, you might reach people who don't go online much and/or do not have a Facebook page. 

Just a thought...

D

I know there is a sign at Blue Mounds that has our name and website on it. It is not that big, but it's well-positioned.

At bike park we have a sign noting our role, and the kiosk where we put CORP business cards, brochures, and other info including instructions, announcements, and race posters.

We're out of cards and brochures. It has been more than a month since Aaron asked for his posters to be printed. We're really set with signs at the bike park but need help with stuff like printing and somebody taking the marketing or social director role and working with the site staff to promote.

The Blue Mound kiosk is not as focused on us, we can't open it on our own, but I know it's helped over the years just like at Pleasant View.

It would be awesome to see a bunch of CORP volunteers helping with marketing and social events, and at minimum help keep our signs and kiosks fresh. All the trail stewards and a small group of dig and build posse are overworked and need that help.

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XXX

July 23, 2013, 11:47 AM

QR also has a small sign pointing out who builds and maintains the trail, but maybe we should go bigger or put the QR code on them so while people are setting up their Strava they can also check our site.

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Nelson
Former Club President
I ride bikes

July 23, 2013, 11:53 AM

We need to go big on our signs.  We have a real recognition problem and one very effective way to remedy that is prominent horn blowing at the trailheads.  QR codes are also a great idea.


~ i like social d


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TheMayor1
Trail Steward - CamRock
Trail Steward
608-772-7833

July 23, 2013, 11:59 AM

We don't have much at CamRock other than a notice on the trail map.


~ Chuck Hutchens


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XXX

July 25, 2013, 01:34 PM


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XXX

July 25, 2013, 05:04 PM

Signs and media are great but it's no replacement for face to face contact.  We all should make an effort to engage other riders. It's really easy to startup a conversation with any cyclist, just compliment their bike, ask what their favorite part of the trail is, then lead into how things gets built and that we're always desperate for help. You don't have to get pushy or even suggest that they come out, just plant the seed by giving them all the information they need to jump in.

The weekly rides that William and others have been trying to get going, along with other events, are extremely effective in getting the word out too. Toss in a little ad-hoc trail work around those rides and it makes the idea of helping out a lot less intimidating for newcomers when they see guys in bike cloths doing some trimming before they ride.


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augs
President
Board Member

July 28, 2013, 10:09 PM

I don't think our signs at trailheads can be too big, and Rich has a point about face to face contact.

It seems like there is a little too strong a reliance on this forum for getting the word out.  People (myself included) operate under the assumption that if you posted your event or call for help here, you have publicized it.  I may be wrong, but I suspect that there are no more than 40 or so dedicated followers of the forum, many of whom are the already over-burdened.

A couple of ideas for spreading the word further:

Traditional media:  Local TV news and newspapers love to have stories handed to them.  A mountain bike race in the dark?  I would be surprised if we couldn't get stories in multiple outlets if we sent out press releases about CORPFest/PBST.  A little write up in Isthmus would reach alot of eyes.  If we can't get a story, even buying an ad would likely be worth it.  Even Paddle and Portage runs full page ads, and everyone knows about it.  It was back in the dark ages, but I learned about work days at BM through the Isthmus activity calendar.  People do still pay attention to that stuff.

A high quality poster.  Something without dates, but maybe a list of trails and annual events.  The key would be to have the art and production be good enough that whoever we gave them to (I am mostly thinking of bike shops) would want to put them up and leave them up.  I was in a shop the other day and while waiting for something, noticed Bombay Bicycle Club's poster; just here name and a stylized road bike and, "Come ride with us."  If I didn't know there were roadies in this town and wanted to ride with any of them, I would be all set.

I have no experience with graphic design, so could not be much help on the second.  As far as press releases, I have never done one, but could find out the procedure if we want to try that.

Jon

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Walt Hougas
Trail Steward - Blue Mound SP
To Be A Man...

July 29, 2013, 07:29 AM

I don't think our signs at trailheads can be too big...

Jon

I need to check this with the park manager at Blue Mound. IIRC, this topic came up in the past and there may indeed be a limit on sign size on state land.

Walt

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Tim Barber
Board Member at Large

July 29, 2013, 07:56 AM

What about a simple tagline under our logo:"we build the trails you ride"?

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