Adirondack Park Mountain Biking Initiative

Steering Committee Minutes

November 7, 2002  9:30 AM

Hall of Fame Room, Olympic Center

Lake Placid, NY

 

 

Attendance:

Steering Committee:

Lee and Judi Borland, APMBI Facilitators; Rosemary Redmond, (for Randy Beach), Empire State Development; Brian Delaney, High Peaks Cyclery, Adk. Mt. Bike Club; Steve Erman, APA Economic Affairs; Terry Martino, Exec. Dir., ANCA; Tom Martin, Regional Forester, DEC), Paul Capone, APMBI Trails Chmn., Ron Ofner, Director Essex County Tourism; Tim Tierney, Director of Field Programs, Adk Mt. Club, Duane K. Gould, (for Tim Holmes), Holmes & Associates, ANCA

Other Members of the Initiative and Guests:

Bert Yost, Wilmington MTB Coordinator; Jeanne Ashworth, Wilmington Town Supervisor; Chuck Smith, Lake Pleasant/Speculator MTB Coordinator; Dean Nervick, Lake Pleasant Trails Comm.; Ted Christodaro, MTB Coordinator, Inlet; George Short, Old Forge; Jon Kopp, Tupper Lake Chamber Exec. Dir.; Becky Getman, Lake Placid Essex Cty. Visitors’ Bureau; Jim Brundage, Long Lake; Robert Gibson, Long Lake Parks Recreation and Tourism; Lance Gregson, Schroon Lake; Jon Voorhees, Indian Lake Bike Coordinator; Lee Marion, Town of North Hudson; Zoe  Smith, Wildlife Conservation Society;

Excused/ Absent: Robert Eccleston, Trails Comm; Joe Moore, Adk Council, and APMBI Trails Comm.; Gary C. Thomann, Trails Comm.

 

Lee Borland opened the Meeting at 9:32 AM with a welcome to all. Each person in attendance was asked to introduce themselves.  Lee showed a colored map of the 24 Adirondack Towns and Villages that are associated with the APMBI, as one of 3 “Model Towns, one of 5 “Class of 2003 Towns” and another 16 Towns that have “signed on” to be a part of the Initiative. Also noted was the Lake Placid to Saranac Lake Recreation Trail, which is one of the projects the APMBI is invested in.

 

I.                   Introduction of New Towns in the “Class of 2003

 

A.     Town of Tupper Lake:  Jon Kopp, Exec. Dir. of the TL Chamber of Commerce told the group of their gathering together a local biking committee which is actively working on plans for prospective trails.  Lee and Judi Borland met with the Chamber Board on Monday October 28th to outline the purpose and plans of the APMBI, and how APMBI can help them.

B.     Town of Long Lake: Robert Gibson, of the Long Lake Tourism Office is lead person in their efforts to get a mountain biking center in their town.  He was accompanied by Jim Brundage, an avid mountain biker who has professional experience in trail building and organizing of mountain biking interests. Jim worked in Colorado for the Headwaters Trail Alliance doing construction coordination; He is familiar with many of the trails in the Town.

C.     Town of Indian Lake: Jon Voorhees, who is a Bd. Member of the IL Chamber, and VP of the Indian Lake Assoc., reported that they now have 6 biking committee members.  They are in the process of roughing out a proposed trail system, with the help of their area DEC Ranger.  They have plans for multipurpose trails and a snowmobile loop.

D.    Town of North Hudson: Lee Marion reported that he has a small committee that is trying to get a biking center established.  They have about 200 acres of Town land that would be suitable for bike trails, but they have some wet areas that need to be addressed. Lee Borland

has been helping him via phone to get the correct information re needs for permits, etc.  He will be meeting with his Town Board very soon to present them with information on the APMBI and his findings on the permit process. Steve Erman of the APA offered to meet with their Board to clarify issues and concerns.

E.     Town of Webb (Old Forge): George Short, Old Forge Mountain Biking Coordinator and “Chip” Kiefer, Town of Webb Tourism Director and Exec. Director of the Central Adirondack Association were in attendance.  George brought maps of the area and told of their desire to develop trails near the very popular Nicks Lake Campground.  They have a lot of unofficial trails in the area, which could be included in a Town multi-purpose/biking trail system. He brought a new trail map of currently available trails.

F.      Town of Schroon: Ron Ofner has been in dialog with them and Town Mountain Biking Coordinator Roger Friedman.  Ron passed out an email from Roger and their new multi-color Bicycling brochure with map. Representing Roger and the Town was Lance Gregson of Schroon Lake who said he was involved with the development of their brochure/map.  Lee will contact Roger to determine whether Schroon wants to be in the “Class of  2003” Towns

 

II.  Updates/Status of APMBI Activities

 

A.     1st Year “Model” MTB Towns: 2002 Reports / Plans for 2003

1.      Inlet: Ted Christodaro, Town of Inlet Mountain Biking Coordinator reported that they have been concentrating on Fern Park, which is an over 20 mile long trail system.  They have redesigned the system, and included 4 loops: an easy, an intermediate, and an expert loop, plus a perimeter loop.  Each loop is designated with one of 4 different color trail markers.  Ted brought their new trail map and distributed copies.  Ted reported that Bike Magazine staff spent 5 days with him and other area bicycle enthusiasts in Inlet and Old Forge riding the trails and gathering pictures and information for an 8 page article for one of the magazine’s  Spring 2003 issues (April-May).  Ted believes it is unprecedented for a major bike magazine to include the Adirondacks in their reporting. Ted was congratulated by the group attending.

 

2.      Wilmington:  Bert Yost reported that they have produced a brochure/map of their DEC approved trails in the Wilmington Wild Forest near the Flume. They were delighted to have received a $38,000. Tourism Enhancement Grant (Main Street Program) which is to be used for the Flume area multi-purpose trails. Eight people, including 4 non-Wilmington area residents helped complete a turnpike at a trail workday on Sunday Nov 3rd.  Volunteer hours and Town in-kind resources are needed to count toward the $19,000. of matching funds. A Trail group from Vermont has offered to come and work on the trails. They will be completing their signage and kiosk soon. A Ribbon Cutting celebration is being planned for 2003. They are still benefiting from the national publicity they got for Pres. Bush’s work on Earth Day (April 2002) on the “Bush Bridge” near the flume. Jack LaDuke of Channel 3 News filmed a TV spot on the Wilmington Biking Trail efforts, which was aired this past week.

 

Bert and Brian Delaney, Steering Committee Member and owner of High Peaks Cyclery in Lake Placid have been discussing the possibility of organizing bicycle races in conjunction with Cadyville, and the possibility of a “Bike the Adirondacks” Race Series in the future.  Brian also runs the ORDA Mountain Biking Centers at Whiteface and Mt. Van Hovenburg.  Brian said that there are plans to expand the horizontal trail network at Whiteface in the future, with connection to the Wilmington Flume trails.  They may stop or cut down the mileage of vertical trails down the mountain, and/or restrict them to Experts only. At present only about 10% of the bikers they see are “extreme” bikers.  They want to appeal to the other 90%.

 

Jeanne Ashworth, Wilmington Town Supervisor, thanked Tim Tierney of the Adirondack Mountain Club for his help on the budget section of their Grant Application, and the DEC for their help on their UMP.  She explained that the Unit Management Plan (UMP) has to be in place before they go much further. Tom Martin of the DEC said he hopes for their UMP to be completed by Spring. 

 

 

3.      Lake Pleasant/ Speculator: Chuck Smith and Dean Nervik reported that the Speculator Loop Trail system was opened for riding on June 1st, as planned.  They placed 4 kiosks and several dozen directional trail signs.  They enjoyed an August 18th Ribbon Cutting with a Bike Safety Clinic for children, a free barbecue and guided trail rides. All of their present trails are on leased-agreement International Paper Co. roads. They plan to have 3 loops, including the present Speculator Loop; the others will be DEC-approved single and double track on and around Oak Mt. and in the Perkins Clearing area. The I.P. lease got no complaints about the bikers, and the bicyclists using the trails wrote glowing responses in their kiosk sign-in registers.  They produced a tri-fold brochure, which includes a map and biking education dos and don’ts. Over 1500 brochures were picked up in 2 ½ months.  They closed the kiosks and the I.P. leased trails Columbus Day, per the lease.

 

Dean Nervik reported that Peter Kick, who has published a book on 25 Bicycling Trails in the Adirondacks, similar to Steering Committee Member Gary Thomann’s book, came to Speculator and rode the Speculator Loop System in preparation for writing an article for the Spring issue of Adirondack Life magazine.  He liked the trails so much he rode the whole loop twice!  Also, Outside Magazine recently included a paragraph on the Speculator Loop Bicycle Trails.  Other Towns can get publicity in Outside Magazine in Santa Fe by contacting Katy Showalter at 800-688-7433, X 209.

 

B.     Lake Placid-Saranac Lake Rail Trail: Terry Martino, Exec. Director of ANCA, reported on the history of the efforts to create a recreational trail next to the recently reactivated scenic railroad between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, using the prototype of ‘active train and trail’. Initial funding for investigation of the possibility and the TEA-21 Grant application for the Rail Trail came from “Bikes Belong”.  In June of this year a Community Meeting for the Rail Trail was held in Saranac Lake, with great area support.  Sherry Conway was their Grant writer, with the required municipal sponsor being the Town of North Elba. On Oct. 1st the grant of almost $800,000 was announced, with a required $325,000 Community match (29% of the approx. $1,125,000. project).  The Town of North Elba Board has the contract, which needs to be signed by them, but with recent cutbacks in state and national funding to the Town and other Town budget problems, their Town Board has requested that partners first be defined in helping them meet this financial commitment. A sub-committee meeting has been scheduled next week to discuss funding possibilities.  There are also some contract questions and issues, which need to be answered; a committee meeting with John Ryan of the DOT has been scheduled for Dec. 17th.  The first critical component is the first $100,000 ($70,000 from the Grant, and $30,000. in matching funds from the Town).  Competitive Bids for the engineering consulting need to be obtained, and the APA will have to be involved after the initial engineering studies are completed. The DOT gave ANCA a list of qualified bidders for the engineering studies.   Terry answered questions from the group present as to projected trail width and surface and other particulars. 

 

 C.  Recent Grant Successes..$ 75,900!

1.      ANCA $25,000 for on-line MTB Trail Inventory/Maps of Park Mt. Biking Trails

Steering Committee Members and others were sent an email attachment of the information on this project, and these were also distributed at the meeting.  Tim Holmes of Holmes and Associates, who is also an APMBI Steering Committee Member, wrote the Grant Application, and he and his firm will be working on this 6 month project.  The Adirondacks will be divided into six regions, and 30 trails from these regions will be identified and mapped and added to the BikeAdirondacks.org website.  Duane Gould of Holmes and Associates was present at the meeting.  Tim will need a committee of people to identify suitable trails and help provide information for the Inventory.  Suggested participants were Paul Capone, Joe Moore, Tim Tierney, Joe Kahn, Gary Thomann, Rob Eccleston, Ted Christodaro, Tom Martin, Jim Brundage, and possibly Peter Kick, along with Lee and Judi Borland and Terry Martino.

2.      Wilmington’s $38,000. Tourism Enhancement Grant, discussed earlier.

3.      Speculator/Lake Pleasant’s $12,900 Grant from the Community Enhancement Fund.

to be used for development of mountain biking trails. 

 

D.  Publicity/Promotion: Lee Borland showed the group several examples of recent publicity about the activities of the APMBI and the Towns involved, including:

·        Newspaper articles, e.g. Plattsburgh Press Republican, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Hamilton County News (Speculator Ribbon Cutting)

·        Adirondack Explorer (Nov. 2002) about APMBI and Mountain Biking  (copies of the Nov. issue, compliments of publisher Richard Beamish, were distributed).

·        Adirondack Life- Speculator (future article—Spring 2003?)

·        Bike Magazine- Inlet (Spring 2003)

·        Adirondack Discovery Program on Mountain Biking in the Wilmington Region; speaker was Bert Yost, who gave an excellent Power Point presentation in August.

 

E.     Comments/Input from those present:

 

1. Uniformity / Standardization of Trail Signs and Kiosks: 

a.      Lee Borland emphasized the importance of standardization, as it will make us “look bigger than we are”. Tim Blumenthal of IMBA (the International Mountain Bicycling Association) in Boulder told him that if we can accomplish this we would be the only large area in North America to do this.

b.      Tom Martin of the DEC stated that any signs or kiosks on State Land or on easement land must be to DEC specifications.  On private land it is not mandatory to use DEC specs, but it would help if there were uniformity. Tom distributed samples of round red plastic trail markers made for the DEC that have on them a mountain biker, NYS DEC, and “Bike Trail”; they are presently only available in red, but we can get blue and yellow also.  He felt we might be able to design a color scheme for difficulty rating.  In the future there will be multi-use trail signs available.  Lee B. and Rosemary Redmond have information on signmakers; Lee will investigate what is available in the private sector.

c.       Chuck Smith of Speculator warned the other towns to do some shopping around and know the final price before ordering; their Speculator Region bike trail stickers cost more than expected; the group felt that group (bulk) orders would help cut costs.

d.      Paper Co. leased lands: Bob Gibson of Long Lake asked if Speculator had to plan for alternate routes when the paper company was to be actively using their bike trail for logging; Chuck Smith replied that IP said they would give them advance notice so they could move their trails to alternate routes.

2.      Brochures:

Tim Tierney emphasized the importance of including educational information on the safe use of trails on their brochures and kiosks.  IMBA’s website www.imba.com has excellent educational pieces on it.

 

3.  Northern Forest Canoe Trail: Terry Martino reported that ANCA is also partnering with        the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which is a 740 mile waterway beginning in Old Forge

      and continuing through to Fort Kent Maine.

4.  Rosemary Redmond told the group that there is a NY Economic Summit coming up, and                        that Quebec is pushing mountain biking, and developing partnerships, which we may wish

      to be a part of eventually.

5.  Ron Ofner told about the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council Conference next week              which will emphasize the promotion of the whole 7 counties of the Adirondacks as a

      tourism destination, and suggested some of the APMBI leadership may benefit from       attending.

6.  Paul Capone, Trails Chairman reminded the model towns and the Class of 2003 towns that        when they are developing trails that they should strive to develop them for year-around

      multiple (non-motorized) use.

 

III.       Breakout Sessions

 

A.     “Class of 2003” Towns met with “Model Towns”  Chuck Smith, Moderator

Topics to include maps, signage, kiosks, GPS, software, sharing ideas, Q & A, etc.

            See attached summary of Notes of this breakout group from Dean Nervik

                                               

B.     Permanent Steering Committee Members met; Lee Borland, Moderator

Topics to include strategic planning, update of goals and plans for 2003, Discovery Program, Epic Ride 2003. (Participants included: Tom Martin, Brian Delaney, Judi and Lee Borland, Duane Gould (for Tim Holmes), Ron Ofner, Rosemary Redmond, Steve Erman and Terry Martino.

 

Topics discussed included:

1.)    Importance of “Packaging” APMBI for greater visibility, recognition.

·        Press releases to keep the media informed of successes, long range plans.

·        Participate in the Corridor Management Plans so Mtn. Biking is included.

·        Request the presence of mountain biking trails in Unit Management Plans          

·        Recommendation that we have an APMBI Annual Meeting each November, to update, celebrate, relate the success stories and to network.  Invite ‘I Love NY’ officials, Directors of the APA and DEC, local elected officials of the Adirondack Towns and villages, (Town Supervisors, mayors). Tourism Directors, Chambers of Commerce Directors, everyone on the original Focus Group list, other interested persons from the “B” and “C” lists who have requested they be kept informed.  Charge for the dinner, cash bar. Invite the Press to cover the event (gratis).

·        Once the On-line Inventory of Mountain Biking Trails in the Adirondacks is collected as the infrastructure, we can use the information as the basis of an I Love NY Mountain Biking Brochure, (hopefully in 2004).

·        Wayne Glass of the AEDC is involved in the “Sustainable Tourism Initiative” which highlights the Central Adirondacks, e.g. Old Forge and Inlet.

·        Develop brochures to place in B & Bs, Visitor Centers, Chambers of Commerce, and hotels and motels.

·        Adopt an APMBI logo to use on trail signs, letterhead, etc.  The group adopted the caricature mountain bike that Speculator adopted for its bike trails. (See heading on page one!)

2.) Collection of tax-deductible donations and funding for APMBI projects through a “Trustee” group such as ACT (the Adirondack Community Trust, under Cali Brooks) or through local Chambers of Commerce.  For APMBI to become a 501C corporation would take too much money and a lot of effort. .

 

3). Epic Ride (through IMBA). It was felt that we should postpone doing this for one more year.  We would hope to apply by Dec. 1st of 2003 for a 2004 Epic Ride in the Adirondacks. Inlet may be an ideal location.

 

4.) Connect with the Adirondack Discovery Program (headquarters in Inlet): provide speakers for this program discussing mountain biking in the Adirondacks.  (Bert Yost did a great job in Wilmington this past summer; Ted Christodaro has also been involved.

 

5.) Volunteers Chairperson: Lee outlined his specific proposal

·        Objectives:

a.       Maintain a database of interested persons / trailworkers.           

b.      Communicate with those who show interest

c.       Act as an interface person to be contacted by towns needing workers and those interested in volunteering; most could be done via email.

·        Possible Sources of names and contact info. for database:

a.       those sending in emails or making phone or written contact volunteering to help

b.      the list of Trail Care Crew Workshop attendees

c.       Brian Delaney has a large database (on paper) of about 5000 names.

d.      John Sundquist’s database of names in NYS bike clubs?

e.       IMBA membership?

f.        Names Paul Capone, Lee and Judi and other AMPBI members have collected.

·        Discussion: The bikeadirondacks.org website perhaps could be programmed to take names, phone #s, email addresses, addresses etc. of volunteers, and to list trail work dates and places. A column could be added to indicate where the volunteer could work (i.e. in one the 6 Bike Trail Regions in the Adks. that Tim Holmes is setting up on the website.)

Rosemary Redmond volunteered to put together a database on Excel or Access, but she could not maintain it. 

Jeanne Ashworth said that once the database was set up they could get a volunteer at the Wilmington Visitors Bureau to maintain the database (e.g. a high school student). 

                        6.) Recommendation for 2003 Tourism effort

Steve Erman will chair a sub committee with Terry Martino and Rosemary Redmond to bring back one solid recommendation to promote sports recreation tourism for 2003.  Possible ideas: lodging with cycling in mind, package deals, etc.

 

IV. Summary of Breakout Results: were reported to the entire group.  See separate attachment re the Towns’ Breakout session and the report of the Permanent Steering Committee Breakout above. (III B)

 

V. Special Recognition to APMBIBrian Delaney, High Peaks Cyclery

A.     Anonymous Donation: Brian was contacted by a woman who had been rescued by a mountain biker: NYS Forest Ranger Scott Murphy.  She was so grateful that she wanted to give an anonymous donation to a local mountain biking organization.  At Brian’s suggestion, she gave APMBI a check for $275. to be used for APMBI trail development efforts!  A copy of the letter commending Ranger Murphy was forwarded to the DEC for his personnel files.  Judi and Lee will use the money to pay for out of pocket expenses of the Steering Committee such as postage, future APMBI hats, and special APMBI activities.  Judi and Paul Capone will make a joint audit of available funds/ expenses every six months (e.g. May and November). 

 

B.     “Special Store Credit” for APMBI at High Peaks Cyclery:

Brian donated $225. of store credit which he used to have 20 special APMBI baseball type caps with the APMBI logo made for members of the Steering Committee and the Coordinators from the 3 model towns. Caps were distributed to those present.  THANKS Brian!!!

 

VI.     Next Steering Committee Meeting: Thursday March 6, 2003, at the APA in Ray Brook.

 

VII.           Adjournment was at 12:05 PM.

 

 Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judi Borland, Co Facilitator, APMBI