Posts Tagged ‘mountain biking’

Into the night, JATD 2012

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

“When the wind blows, it blows your name. Today you were a hurricane. You blew from day into the night. Your memories filled the dim twilight.”

Johnny and Alex Trail Day 2012, Travis Peek Photo

Johnny and Alex Trail Day 2012, Travis Peek Photo

This hook ran through my mind all day as I went from place to place checking on the crews hard at work all over the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve. Not only were the words running through my head but I had a true sense that Johnny and Alex were watching down over us and that they were enjoying what they saw.

The normal JATD weather is hot enough to fry an egg on a Mccleod head, snakes numbering more than they had on that damn plane, bugs swarming thick enough to have floated the Titanic, jungles of poison ivy to thrash through; with all these heinous conditions making climbing not even an option even for the most committed gumby…. I guess the bushwhack gods got a visit and a stern talking to from Johnny this year and he told them we had enough and  had proven ourselves , so he thought we needed a break… The weather was as good as August in Kentucky can get, which had me worried everyone would back out and we would have to go to the crags to guilt them into moving some dirt (trust me, I’d guilt my granny into throwing a shovel if I had to).  I was absolutely amazed that the opposite happened. Once registration opened up at Lago Linda’s it was like the dirtbag flood gates were opened and the hippies were released like a spring trout stocking. The official number was around 180 folks, but even with me only being able to count to 19, I’m betting we hit over 200 smelly volunteers as others joined the work force throughout the day.

The amount of work that got done this year was off the hook and truly blew this hillbilly away. As an organization we have learned by failures, trail classes, trail god osmosis and of course through success on how to start repairing old screw ups and to develop new areas without creating future problems. It seems everyone is taking this to heart and allowing us to focus on opening new areas, instead of solely focusing on fixing the same problems year in and year out.

This year’s trail day completed some of the best and probably the most work done on a trail day. We were able to open up two new crags, Velo and Throwback crags. We were able to open up an old crag and its new routes, Getaway. We were able to complete the first mile loop of a five mile multi use trail system in flat holler. This trail has already been getting plenty of mountain bike and climber traffic and is pushing the limit of legal fun, well, and speaking from plenty of illegal fun experiences , its pushing those limits too….We will have updated crag and trail information posted soon for the new areas. We were also able to do some huge fixes to the Gallery, stairs and new trails at the Volunteer Wall, much needed reroute at Left Field, big improvements to the Drive By/Marley short cut and many other small projects all over the property.

As the work day drew to a close we all headed back for some much needed refreshments, rest and telling climbing lies to old and new friends alike. Everyone had came prepared with their rain gear , flippers and snorkels since every year when the 23 string band enters the pavilion it rains hard enough to sink the Ark. Not this year, the hippies and hillbillies danced well into the night with nary a drop of rain in sight.

As the last drink was finished, the last string plucked and the final embers of the fire burned out I looked around. Content, pride and utter bliss was on everyones face I saw. As my eyes drew to the clear skies I saw a couple stars blink and knew that was Johnny and Alex filling the dim twilight……

We would like to thank the sponsors that help keep us rolling year in and year out and make days like this possible

Access Fund Bluegrass Bouldering Red River Outdoors
Miguel’s Pizza Rockquest Climbing Gym Benchmark Outdoors Outfitters
J&H Outfitters Gordon Food Service REI
Clif Bar West Sixth Brewing Lago Linda’s Hideaway
Mtn Ranks Red River Rockhouse Gore-Tex
Elodie Saracco Photos Wes and Tania Allen Photography

And that’s not to mention the many, many behind the scene sponsors and folks.

Take care and enjoy the world around ya

Matt Tackett

Great News for Mountain Bikers

Friday, March 4th, 2011

As mountain bikers in Kentucky when we really crave to escape into the wilderness and to truly be able to pedal epic mileage we pretty much are stuck with having to travel out of state to get our fix. As much as we all enjoy road tripping we are really quite tired of having to pack up the rig and having to travel every time we need a visit to Dr. Feelgood….luckily we are not the only ones chasing the fat tired dragon. The great Commonwealth of Kentucky is too. They have been extremely helpful in developing the means for small communities and non-profits to develop trails by administering the Recreational Trails Program grant system. By doing so they are not only addressing the needs of local bikers but are pumping air into economies that are on the verge of collapsing.

We are extremely pleased and beyond amped to announce that the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition was awarded the 2010 RTP grant and has just recently been given the official OK to proceed in full scale building of the PMRP Adventure Trails System.

Paul Vidal and Matt Tackett were invited to Frankfort by the First Lady and her committee to accept a check on behalf of the RRGCC on August 26, 2010. Beyond this amazing news we would also like to point out that this is the first time Matt has worn anything other than Carharts and Paul has been without his hat in 10 years. Remember where you were when you heard this ground breaking news….

Paul and Matt

This year’s grant will allow the RRGCC to build a minimum of 5 new miles of single track IMBA standard trails and repair up to 2 miles of trails that were destroyed in 2006 and others around the region that need repair. The RRGCC is very dedicated to the development of human powered recreation on the property and look forward to the increase in members and volunteers as the trails get developed. As a group we are also proud to be part of something that is extremely beneficial to the health and economic growth of the local regions residents and business.

The PMRP is world renowned for its rock climbing scattered over the 700acres owned by its members and open to the general public. But in all reality the amount of land that we use is very little compared to what is actually owned .The prospect of having 30, 50 or more miles of trails across the PMRP is not out of the question and is welcomed news by climbers, bikers, hikers and trail runners alike. Variety is the spice of life and the land is prime for all types of trails and abilities. Responsible, planned development is the most important factor and all new trails will follow these set rules ensuring sustainable trails are done right the first time.

Imagine rolling out on your fat tire for a 20 miler and being able to stop and get pitches in along the way. You don’t have to imagine much longer, all you have to do is help.

Grants like the RTP and others that are in process are generally 50/50 matching grants. Meaning we have to donate time, material or money in order to receive the money from the grant as a organization and be able to apply for more in the future.

The RRGCC will be hosting regular trail days on every third Saturday of the month and special trail days throughout the year. Please stay tuned to www.rrgcc.org, www.redriverclimbing.com, the RRGCC fan page on Facebook and www.pedalthered.com to learn more and to see pictures of the trails as they develop. We will also be hosting trail building clinics for groups such as school groups, gym and individuals. Tools and materials are available as needed.

We’d also like to give special thanks to KYMBA for all of their support and for promoting adventure in Kentucky.

If you are interested in helping or have any questions please feel free to contact Matt Tackett of Red River Outdoors.