Trail access restrictions on Catch & Release have been lifted.
The USFS's West Bend thinning project efforts have shifted to sections along The Cascade Lakes Highway by green gate, closing a small section of Storm King on the south side of the highway, as well as continued weekday closure of a section of Grand Slam.
Trail access restrictions on Catch & Release have been lifted.
In January, 2018, COTA's Crook County Chapter was awarded a $45,000 Community Action Grant from Facebook's Prineville Data Center, to be used to help construct and upgrade the Lower 66 trail system in Prineville, creating an easy three-mile trail accessible to strollers, walkers, cyclists and more. The trail will include park benches and picnic tables. COTA is one of 20 recipients for the 2018 round of Facebook's Community Action Grants.
Our Crook County Chapter team, spearheaded by board members Amber Toomey and Darlene Henderson, learned of Facebook's community oriented grant opportunities last year, determined what type of in-town trail system the community would benefit from the most and completed the grant application in the fall.
Facebook’s Prineville Data Center has also supported COTA’s Crook County Chapter efforts with a $7,500 grant for the Prineville Bike Park and a $15,000 grant for the Ochoco trail rehab project of the heritage Potlid, Scotty and Cougar Creek trails.
US Forest Service logging operations are shifting to different areas, to include sections of:
• Catch & Release trail, roughly between the new Cascade Lakes Welcome Center and Storm King. Trail temporarily rerouted onto FS Rd 41/Conklin.
• Grand Slam trail, near Upper Storm King and the new Ticket to Ride trail tie-in.
Please note for your safety and the safety of others, these areas are closed until further notice. Loggers have access 7 days a week.
This year - 2017 - marks COTA’s 25th anniversary. In November we celebrated with legacy and current COTA members and enjoyed a fun evening of old stories, new developments, and a fine pint of 10 Barrel beer.
There were so many COTA folks there I’m sure we’ve unintentionally missed some, but some of the founders, past Board Chairs and members, and “old timers” that were there included Brad Chalfant, Eric Vickers, Jimmy Terhaar, Paul Hammerquist, Paul Thomasberg, Mark DeJohn, Kent Howes, Chris Kratsch, Katy Bryce, Mike Pulzone, Jade Mayer, Cinda Strauch, Brian Nelson, and Brad Boyd. Most of our current Board members and many current trail adopters and key volunteers were there, as well as key donors and our land management partners the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We are so humbled by what Central Oregon’s trail network has become and the work everyone has put in through the years to get us where we are today!
COTA’s founding goes something like this: At the very beginning the trails, all on USFS or BLM public lands, were either expanded wildlife trails, user-built trails, or old logging roads. Mountain biking was in its early adolescence and those who wanted to pursue the sport further had to go it on their own. In time, land managers took note of the growing user-built trail network. In 1992, a happy compromise was met: local trail builders and advocates – COTA’s founders – agreed not to proliferate any further user-built trails until a full inventory was taken, and the land managers agreed to add these trails to their system, necessitating signage and trailhead kiosks. This was essentially the humble beginning of the now vast trail network just west of Bend.
Check out Bob Woodward’s video of how mountain biking got started in Bend (created by Kent Howes):
And some photos from the party...
In 25 years Bend itself has seen its fair share of changes. When COTA was launched in 1992, wood-related industries were humming along, Bend’s population was a modest 26k, Deschutes Brewery was the only beer game in town, and there were no ‘official’ mountain bike trails. Fast forward to 2017 and our burgeoning population is over 91k, there are at least 16 breweries and Central Oregon has well over 500 miles of single-track heaven. As M. Conway said, ‘change is the only thing you can count on’. Yes indeed.
And so, you ask, what is COTA up to now?
Shorter and longer term projects include continued work on the Cascade Lakes Welcome Center trail system, a Sunriver connection to Wanoga, Cascade View trail network (off Hwy 126 near Eagle Crest), Cascade Crest trails west of Sisters, Lower 66 Expansion in Prineville, Ochoco trails and a demonstration project in Madras.
Plus!…the new, permanent addition of the Winter Fat Bike Trail System at Wanoga AND we’re involved in bike parks in Prineville, Bend, & Sisters. Whew, it’s been busy around here.
In the more general sense, wonder how mountain bikes have changed in 25 years? Watch GMBN’s Retro VS Modern – How Have Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Changed? 1992 VS 2016
COTA’s Fatback Bike Raffle Drawing event on Friday, December 15th was a success in every way. As you may recall, Fatback Bikes donated one of their Rhino’s to be raffled off to generate funds for maintaining our winter fat bike trail system based out of Wanoga Sno-Park.
The raffle was limited to 300 tickets, and generated $5,000! Grooming of the trails is expensive, not only because it requires snowmobiles and extensive grooming equipment, fuel and machine maintenance, but countless hours from the volunteer trail groomers.
OK, OK, but who scored the bike?!
Matt Wesley was the lucky Fatback Rhino FLT winner! Way to go, Matt. See you out there on the snowy trails.
So many other local businesses generously donated items for the bonus prizes, including a carbon wheel set from Knight Composites! Congrats Daniel Berry for snapping up these killer wheels.
Other awesome prizes included tires, helmets, gators, gloves, socks, T-shirts & hoodies, sno-park passes, shuttle passes, bike rental certificates, HydroFlasks, bike art and pogies. All these came from the good people at WebCyclery, Pine Mountain Sports, Bend Cyclery, Hub Cyclery, Project Bike, Cog Wild, BendTrails.org, local artist Greg Leister, and HydroFlask. Thank you all.
We’d also like to thank WebCyclery for hosting the drawing and Cruz Fermentation Project for supplying us with tasty refreshments.
Of course huge thanks to Greg Matyas and Fuzzy John Mylne of Fatback Bikes. You guys rock. Simple as that.
And to Scott Wolf of Knight Composites. Thank you so much.
Winter fatbike season is almost here! While snowmobile trails are available for riding we all crave the feel of a real singletrack experience. We have a solid crew of 7 that are ready to take on the grooming responsibilities for this winter. These trails are time-consuming to maintain along with expenses for fuel and maintenance of equipment.
That said, Fatback Bikes, Greg Matyas and John Mylne have once again generously donated a Fatback Rhino! Any color, any size, shipped to anywhere in the lower 48. This is a huge help in offsetting the costs of grooming the Wanoga trails!
ENTER RIGHT HERE VIA SECURE SITE
The raffle goes live at COTA movie night on November 16th. We will have a Rhino there for you take a look at. Tickets are 1 for $20, 3 for $50 AND only 300 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be December 15th at WebCyclery. You don't need to be present to win the bike but you should as there will be other prizes which you must be present to win. WebCyclery, Pine Mountain Sports, Bend Cyclery, CogWild and Bendtrails.org are all providing prizes.
When you see John or Greg thank them for their support.
The renewed Oregon Mountain Bike Community Summit will be held in Bend October 28th and 29th. The event is focused on bringing the off-road cycling community together to learn, build relationships and find solutions to the challenges in developing and maintaining our sport and trail networks around the state. Recreation, conservation and planning leaders are invited to attend, along with policy makers and trail advocates. Join us for a day of education, networking and sharing best practices to shape the future of the most sustainable trails in Oregon.
This event will be held in concert with the Oregon Trails Summit which will be Friday, October 27th and will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon. Registration for both events can be found here! Saturday's sessions open to all; Sunday session for biking organizations.
This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Central Oregon Trail Alliance, Trans-Cascadia, Northwest Trail Alliance, Humm Kombucha, Backporch Coffee Roasters and Mother’s Juice Cafe.
9:00-9:10 Welcome and logistics
9:15-10:10 Session Panel 1: Strengthening existing access and addressing overuse
10:15-11:15 Session Panel 2: Recreational immunity and risk management
11:20-12:10 Oregon MTB organization’s community updates
12:10-1:00 Networking lunch (provided)
1:05-2:10 Session Panel 3: Gender roles, equity and inclusion within mountain biking
2:15-2:45 Session Panel 4: Oregon Timber Trail: Beyond the concept, a story of collaboration
2:50-3:15 Session Panel 5: Expanding beyond the core: Membership engagement strategies
3:35-5:00 IMBA’s relationship with the mountain bike organization of Oregon: A conversation with IMBA Executive Director David Wiens
5:00-5:10 Closing and evaluation
5:15-7:00 Group social event at Bend Brewing Company
9am-12pm The next steps for Oregon mountain biking: Special breakout session to collaborate on the creation of a state-level mountain bike organization
Per Prineville BLM office: Cows will be out on pasture in the Horse Ridge area for the month of October, starting October 6th.
• Cows present in Horse Ridge Pasture from Oct. 6 to Nov. 1st.
• Cows present in Flat Pasture from November 1st to December 1st.
• All gates must remain closed. Ride slowly in group around cattle so you don’t scare them.
In a nutshell: COD, Grand Slam, Catch & Release trails all open (temporarily) until early September, when logging resumes. Go ride!
Per the US Forest Service: Area Closure Temporarily Lifted in West Bend
Beginning Monday, July 31, 2017 the Deschutes National Forest will temporarily lift the area closure in West Bend, north of Cascade Lakes Highway and south of Forest Road 4601, from the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station west to the Storm King Trail. Trails include COD and Grand Slam as well as numerous Forest Roads.
The closure has been temporarily lifted because timber harvesting operations are currently not taking place in this area. Subsoiling and mowing activity will continue to take place in the area but do not pose a threat to the public using the trails and roads. Forest officials anticipate they will need to reinstitute the closure when operations resume after Labor Day. Log truck traffic will continue operating on Forest Roads 4110, 4615 and 4610 and Forest Road 41. Forest officials encourage visitors to use caution when driving on or camping near these roads.
The Forest Service encourages visitors to KNOW BEFORE YOU GO by bookmarking their interactive map: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/webmaps/deschutes/west-bend/
We’re thrilled to announce that after years of advocating for winter fat bike trails out of the Wanoga Snow-park, the project has moved from a trial basis to permanent status at the Forest Service.
COTA board members Bruce Schroeder and Woody Keen, along with our very own Winter Trails Coordinator, Gary Meyer, have been instrumental in getting this project through the system.
The USFS final decision is as follows:
‘After an interdisciplinary team review and scoping, I (Kevin Larkin) have decided to implement the following actions:
• Incorporating approximately 1 mile of snowshoe trail and 2 miles of ski trails into the FS winter trails system for non-motorized, multi-use.
• Incorporating 6.7 miles of fat tire snow bike trails into the Forest Service winter trails system for non-motorized, multi-use.
• Grooming ski trails when sufficient snow is present to a width of approx 10-12 ft or 15 ft in open areas using a 6 ft wide implement towed behind a snowmobile.
• Grooming fat tire snow bike trails when sufficient snow is present to a width of approx 6 ft using a 3 ft wide roller towed behind a snowmobile.
• Installing a metal donation tube (“Iron Ranger”) in the Wanoga Sno-park parking lot along with additional signage at the trailhead. Donations will go to COTA to support grooming and maintenance activities.'
We sincerely thank Bruce, Woody and Gary for their dedication to this project, Kevin Larkin, Forest Service District Manager, and Lauren DuRocher, NEPA Planner for the Bend Forest Service office.
To read the complete decision memo from by the local USFS’s Deschutes Nat’l Forest District Ranger, Mr. Kevin Larkin, click here.