THE DIRT BY JORBA
VOL 1 | ISSUE 1
THE MTB SCENE
OF NJ The quarterly roundup of the best of what the mountain biking community of NJ has to offer
PUBLISHED BY JORBA
Results from the 2021 member survey
LETTER FROM KEN
CR IDA UPDATE
Welcome to the NEWsletter
The good, bad and the muddy
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: ELLEN WHITE
Local celebrity. Founding member. Sings during races.
HIGH BRIDGE FLOW TRAILS
NJ's Best Kept Secret
NJ MTB BIKE FESTIVAL
It's back for 2021 MUSIC THAT MOVES US
The first member-made Spotify playlist
22 09 CRANKS AROUND THE
2021 SURVEY RESULTS
The trends of JORBA members
The Woodstock of NJ mountain biking
26 TALES OF THE 31/31 FINISHERS
Can't stop, Won't stop, At least not before Aug 1.
WISH ESSEX COUNTY HAD MORE TRAILS? SO DO WE. That's why JORBA is looking to start an Essex County Chapter. Advocating for trail access is done on the local level by residents talking to their politicians. JORBA is looking for Essex county residents to help start an Essex County chapter. If you're an Essex resident, this is your chance to ensure MTB trail access in your county and keep the sport local. You bring the passion, JORBA provides the support. Ready to go? Email Tom@JORBA.org
Greetings fellow JORBAns, and welcome to the new and improved JORBA newsletter. Since 1999, JORBA has served the
mountain bike community, advocating for equal standing among trail users while building and maintaining sustainable trails. Our efforts have made a tremendously positive impact on the trail riding experience across the state, both in added miles, new trail systems and regular maintenance. As our unofficial
motto states, “We Dig.” While we have enjoyed so much success in trail access, building and maintenance, we have often fell short in publicizing these efforts. As a member funded organization, 100% fueled by volunteers, we must do better in highlighting the amazing work
KEN by Ken Seebeck
that our volunteers accomplish. We must also provide our members, present and future, with a solid explanation of the value in joining. This newsletter, and the enhancement of our development team, will help to tell our story and highlight the great benefits that JORBA provides to New Jersey’s trail community. Please join me in welcoming our new Development Team, who are responsible for the work you see here. Our new Development Director is Norm Zurawski. Joining Norm on the Development Team are Joy Selnick, Elana Berk, and Jason Fletcher. Our long-time Treasurer Dave Clark is also pitching in with this newsletter. Norm is a long-time supporter of JORBA and the “Mayor” of mtbnj.com. He and the team at mtbnj.com represent a diverse group of mountain bikers, and the forums are a wonderful source of information! We encourage our members to join the discussion and check out the “Guide to the Rock Garden State!” Be sure to check out your region’s subforums for trail maintenance dates. The future is bright for JORBA and for the trails that we love thanks to the monumental effort of our staff and generous support of our members and sponsors. We welcome everyone who loves trails to join us in our journey to expand and improve access while maintaining some of the best trails in the region. Please join me in celebrating over 20 years of success by helping us spread the word. JORBA needs your support! We are stronger together, and as we grow the membership roster our collective voice gets louder. Happy trails,
Ken Seebeck, Executive Director
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: ELLEN WHITE by Elana Berk Name: Ellen White Bike: Pivot Chapter: Ringwood Home trail: Ringwood Trail How did you get into mountain biking? My husband was a mountain biker, and he encouraged me. I didn’t do it at first but eventually, I did and fell in love with the sport. Now I've been at it for 29 years! What is your favorite thing about cycling/ what keeps you coming back to the sport? It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing, but I love to be in the woods and I love being in nature. I love the movement of being on a bike, it’s like being a bird, flying through the woods. On top of that, you meet the coolest people. Very rarely do you meet a grumpy mountain biker, it’s just a great community in general. . Do you have any cycling accomplishments? I’ve been involved since the beginning of JORBA and the mountain bike scene has changed a bit since then. Originally, when I started, everyone raced, it was the only way to meet other women cyclists. Racing was an important part of my involvement in the community and I raced for 25 years. I’m not that competitive but it gave me something to work towards and I actually have 4 master national champion titles! I also was on a mentor team and taught clinics to other women. It’s so great for me to see other women continuing to bring new women into the sport and mentor them.
When did you join JORBA? It was founded by Sarah (Frost) Richards, we had a thing called Pay Dirt (which we still have now) and I was a racer at the time so my husband and I started the trail maintenance at Ringwood. The original founder had to leave, so my husband and I and a few other people joined in and took over the open positions. I was the secretary, nobody wanted to be secretary, so I stayed in that role for 15 years but eventually I found someone to take over the job. So that’s how we got started. Since then we’ve had some outstanding leadership within JORBA who have really taken it to the next level. We didn’t have the leadership from the beginning and besides Sarah, I was one of the only women in the club. The sport is different now, there are so many more kids and women riding. What role do you think JORBA plays in the cycling community? JORBA supplies the resources and the tools for volunteers, both physical tools and activism tools to let individual parks do their jobs. There is a lot of communication that needs to be maintained and JORBA is a way to share those ideas and collaborate on solutions. JORBA is able to supply that moral support and education and creative problem solving, as well as power in numbers. Our members are such hard workers. They’re so good at solving problems on the job and working with land managers, and managing expectations in the group setting, and they are amazing at juggling it all. It’s a tough task and it takes patience, understanding, creativity, and the ability to listen. The one thing we don’t do very well is we don’t advertise ourselves very well. The organization is made up of a lot of hardworking people who are very humble.
What is your vision for the sport at large? It’s such a great experience for all types of people to get out in the woods and on the trails and do something physical. Mountain biking is such a great sport and it’s nice to see it become more available to a broader spectrum than when I started. Even through the COVID times, more people have taken to the trails, even in this unfortunate situation, it’s really great to see people coming out. There isn’t a lot of open land left, and we need people behind the sport to protect the land and younger people to fill the shoes of JORBA. My hope is that most people have a place to go that’s close to home where you can take your family and get on a trail, even in cities. That’s my THE DIRT
vision, more access for more people and people
ELLEN'S HOT TAKES: FAVORITE TRAIL: It changes but my favorite trail this week is the loop at sterling forest "I'M KNOWN FOR MY_____": Well, I’m just well known. Everyone recognizes me when I’m riding. BEST ADVICE FOR NEWBIES: Just have fun. Do what you’re comfortable with, but don’t be afraid to be a little scared once in a while. WORDS TO LIVE BY: Try to have 500 laughs a day. We sometimes fall short but one of our friends started this on a biking vacation and it just sorta stuck with my husband and I.
THE MUSIC THAT
MOVES US By Elana Berk and JORBA members
Presenting the first official JORBA member-made playlist featuring songs guaranteed to get your adrenaline flowing. Even though we all wear helmets, it’s clear our members are 100% metalheads.
Here’s what the people are saying about songs they love: Rage Against the Machine - Mic Check “Kind of a throwback to my hardcore training days. I used to have this on my playlist when I wanted to burn out a lot of miles on the road bike as fast as humanly possible. At the time, this song always managed to kick me into a higher gear.” Silversun Pickups - Panic Switch “Usually have it in my head when descending a flowy trail” Titus Andronicus-Dimed Out “Not Nickelback”
Something missing? Click here to submit your song. THE DIRT
by Norm Zurawsky
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, the last weekend of each August was reserved for the
annual 24 Hours of Allamuchy race. At some point, 24-hour racing started to fade across the country, as the 100-mile format started to become more and more popular. With that movement, the iconic 24-hour race at Allamuchy
faded, and for a short time, there was a hole at the end of the summer. Enter Cranks Around the Campfire. As the saying goes, nature abhors a vacuum. With the vacuum
created by the departure of the 24-hour race, Dan Brodeen stepped in and came up with the idea of filling that vacuum with the fun parts of the 24hour weekend, without the nonsense of the overnight racing in the pouring rain.
The idea started much as it is today. Just a collection of like-minded individuals that hung out at the Boy Scout Camp, rode bikes during the
day, and camped at night.
In between there was lots of talking, laughing, and general good times. That first event had maybe 12 people if memory
THE FIRST YEAR
serves. The 2021 Cranks Around the campfire event had
12 PEOPLE CAME.
over 400 people registered. To say it has come a long way is an understatement. We have participated in 3 of the last 4 events, and many
THIS YEAR, OVER
of our friends join as well. For us, it’s a chance to ride bikes, hang out, eat food, ride bikes, hang out, and just enjoy the weekend with a bunch of
people we like hanging out with
This year was cut short as the usual summer rains rolled overnight, crashing into Sunday. Still, we got in 2 solid days with Friday and Saturday rides, and much fun was had by many people, myself included. You may be wondering what this
While JORBA does maintain the trails, none
event has to do with JORBA. Let me break it down
of this would happen without the support
of the BSA, which has been on the side of ·
Allamuchy North: All the notable trails here
the bikers through all these events in
were built, and are currently maintained, by
addition to the 24-hour races before this.
For over 20 years, the BSA has been not
only supporting our hobby but encouraging
Stephens: An emerging star of the NJ
mountain bike scene, this park is also built &
it as well. Keith has been incredibly
maintained by JORBA
welcoming, and Dan has made sure this
torch continues to march forward.
Deer Park: Lesser known of the 3 Mooch
parks, also maintained by JORBA I reached out to a bunch of people who In short, the trails used to host the Cranks
were there, and some of what you see
Around the Campfire event are currently
below represents what people thought of
maintained by JORBA. Some of them are old
the weekend and the event.
motorcycle trails that slowly converted over the
years. But today, all of this is maintained by JORBA. Because of the organization, an event of this magnitude can even happen. Without these trails, this is just a camping weekend in the woods. . THE DIRT
It was a challenging but energizing ride Mia M
(despite the fact that we all got stung by
This was my first time at Cranks around the
wasps) and I really appreciated the shower
Campfire, and one word I would use to summarize
afterwards. Chilling around the campfire,
it is awesome. I’m not big into camping, so I just
eating smores, and sleeping with the
came for the day times, but the atmosphere was
sounds of the woods is always an amazing
still there. It was great meeting a bunch of new
experience! Saturday morning, I joined
people sharing the same interest as me and
another group ride at Stephens, hung out at
talking about everything concerning bikes. It was
the campsite and due to the weather made
also awesome seeing other kids my age and
the decision to head home later Saturday
women on bikes! On my first day there, I got to
afternoon. We have been to Cranks
ride with a bunch of my MTBNJ crew and Dan
weekend every year for the last 6 years and
Brodeen, who was very welcoming and gave me a
would never miss it!
great tour of Allamuchy on trails that I had never ridden before. The ride was great except for the
bees that stung most people on the ride but
Cranks Around the Campfire is a highlight of
missed me. Sitting around a picnic table trying to
our summer whenever we can attend, and
pull a bee stinger out of Jim Nagy’s foot was
this year was no different. Mrs. G and I
arrived at 1PM Friday, and it was notable how many campers had already gotten
Coming in on day two, I was really excited to get
there. Clearly, people were excited for the
out and ride to see more trails in Allamuchy. I did
Rollie Pollie and Candyass, which were two incredible trails that clearly had a lot of work
We set up camp as friends arrived, and I
done to them, which is very much appreciated. I
joined the group for Dan’s Advanced
also demoed two bikes from Tenafly Cycles on
Allamuchy ride, while Mrs. G went down to
the demo-loop, which was mapped out perfectly
the lake to relax. Hot and humid as it was in
for getting a good grasp of the bikes. The ability
the woods, our group had a blast, even with
to demo bikes was especially good since it has
the uninvited yellow jackets forcing our
been so difficult to find demos recently. Even
with the threat of rain, Cranks was lively and
An excellent campfire with good friends
everyone I saw throughout my time there had
was the perfect end to the day.We had such
smiles on their face including me. I’m already
a good time Friday riding the rocks in
looking forward to next year!
Allamuchy, some of us decided to take advantage of being “right there”, and we hit
some of the other highlights we hadn’t time
Cranks weekend didn't disappoint! We arrived on
for the day before. It’s pretty awesome to
Friday and were happy to see so many cars,
camp right next to some of the coolest
bikes, and people all over the campgrounds which
trails in NJ! With the storm predicted to roll
was the perfect vibe for a fun weekend. We set
in later in the day, Mrs. G and I decided to
up our camp and quickly hopped on our bikes to
break camp and head home early, but we‘ll
join Dan for the Allamuchy Advanced ride in the
be looking forward to Cranks 2022 soon
July 2019 Fall 2021
Saturday was also great. I led a group Steve M
around some of my favorite trails at
Another great year at Cranks even it was
Allamuchy, and then I did a bit more with a
shortened due to a storm on the third day. As
friend. The BBQ on Saturday afternoon is
expected, the multiple rides were great,
always a highlight, and this year more-so
especially getting to go out with people I
than ever. There were so many friends and
wouldn't normally ride with. The relaxation
acquaintances at Cranks this year, that it
aspect and fun of hanging out around a campfire
was basically impossible to visit every
and eating junk food. I really appreciated having
campsite and see everyone. I was able to
a food truck available for hot coffee in the
see many of them at the BBQ though, even
morning and a breakfast sandwich, the hot
if we didn't get much time to talk.
showers, and clean bathrooms available, and the
Something I always look forward to is
easy access to the trails.
seeing this dude I know only from Cranks. He's from PA, and we literally see each other every year at Cranks, and that's all.
We shared a campsite at an early Cranks,
I've been to almost every Cranks Around the
and since there were very few people that
Campfire. I think I missed the first one, and I
year, we hung out a lot. We basically said hi
definitely missed one somewhere in the middle
and fist bumped at the BBQ and that was it,
years, but I've always done everything in my
but it wouldn't be Cranks without seeing
power to make it every year. It's such a fantastic
event, at a great place with amazing facilities, and it raises money for an incredibly worthwhile
Many people left Saturday night to sleep in
cause -- more kids on bikes. When I saw the
their own beds and be dry, but I decided to
insane number of pre-registrations, I was
stay, even though I knew it was going to be
amazed. I was also a little concerned about how
a washout on Sunday. It started to rain
crowded it would be, but it turned out to be a
around 9pm, and my friends that were left
non-issue. It's great to hang out with old friends,
laughed at me when I busted out my
meet new friends, and just wander around seeing
umbrella and continued to sit at the
like-minded people. It was fantastic to see such a
campfire. Listening to the rain pelt my tent
great NICA presence this year too!
all night was surprisingly nice, and it's also nice to know my tent is still waterproof.
Leading into the weekend this year, it looked like
There was a gap in the rain around 7:30am,
rain might play spoiler, but we really lucked out. I
so I was able to pack up, hit the food truck
ducked out of work early to set up camp and then
for an awesome breakfast sandwich, and
did an Allamuchy ride, mostly with a bunch of
head home. I'm typically too tired and
teammates, led by the main man of the event,
exhausted to ride on Sunday anyway, so I
Dan. He's a great rider and knows the trails well,
don't really feel like I missed out on
so it's always fun following him on the tech
trails. As usual, there was lots of fun and hanging out that night around the campfire. Even getting
Thanks to Dan Brodeen, Rich Zipper, the
attacked by yellow jackets didn't put a damper on
BSA leadership, all of the volunteers, and
the fun of the weekend.
everyone that came out. I can't wait for next year already!
Kjarrett This was my first Cranks Around the Campfire. Really great experience overall and I got what I came for. Must say it was a little dicey finding a site, surprised to see the camp so full at 12:30 pm on Friday. 🤣Happy with where I ended up though, met some great people and had easy access to the shower house (wonderful facility, clean & well maintained) which was a nice plus. Skills clinic was fun. Great instructors, enjoyable time Did the Novice ride Saturday and am glad I did; it was fun, interesting and within my ability. Jeff Lenosky and I believe his son were with us, that was cool. Huge group! That tunnel we went through (twice!) was nuts, unnerving to ride literally in almost total darkness until my eyes and Transition lenses adjusted. Back at camp, had some difficulty following the pie plate loop (because I’m a moron). I still managed 14 miles over two rides, all solo, which meant I had to be extra cautious; those rocky bits and stream crossings you locals don’t bat an eyelash over were potentially deadly for me so I walked them. No shame in avoiding injury especially when riding alone, I say. Decided to bounce on Saturday when I saw the Sunday forecast worsening, but as a result I didn’t have to pack wet gear (that's never fun). Missed the BBQ (dammit!) and the group pie plate ride Saturday afternoon but hey, shit happens. Thanks to Dan and all the volunteers that made the event possible. Looking forward to next year!
As for myself, my rides were the same as Mia & Chris above. We did the Allamuchy advanced rides both days and hit all the highlights on the way. We got attacked by the hornets both days, on different trails. The first day I was missed, but the second day my number was up. Regardless, hornets or not, the rides were good, and the company was great. I can take or leave the camping, because I never sleep well on that first night and this round was no different. But I enjoy the vibe and I find myself wishing for another event like this sooner than later. I guess this is sort of how it goes every year with me. If you haven’t done this event, I would say you’re doing a disservice to your experiential self by not trying it at least once. You can always come for the day and just ride with your friends then go home and sleep in your own bed and come back the next day. But where’s the fun in that? Hope to see you next year. Better yet, hope to see you next time there’s a TM session at 1 of the 3 Mooch parks. Mark your calendar for the last 2 weeks of summer, and keep an eye out for that in 2022. You can always check in on MTBNJ.com for more information or follow their Facebook page.
by Norm Zurawsky
On Wednesday, September 1st, Hurricane Ida
slammed into New Jersey and wreaked major havoc across the state. Of particular note was the damage it inflicted on the combination of Washington Valley Park/Chimney Rock. Many know this combo as, “Chimney Rock,” but it’s actually 2 parks that operate as a single riding
experience. Usually that makes little difference, but when it comes to maintenance, you have double the administration and approvals, not to mention slightly different rules to work within.
The park was absolutely slammed, and experienced some incredible damage, the likes of which we have never seen before. Some of the pictures after the event can be seen here on this thread. There were others on various social media sites. But you get the picture. It’s not a pretty one.
JORBA rep Kirt Mills jumped right into the fray, and immediately worked with both parks to get the recovery process moving. Work was started
within the week to bring both parks up to speed ASAP. We’ve started an ongoing thread which you can see on MTBNJ, here. We’ve been seeing
details posted almost daily on this thread.
BEAT US DOWN, BUT WE DO WHAT WE CAN TO ADJUST & RECOVER.
Sign up for the JORBA Chimney Rock mailing list here. Follow that thread for updates, as information gets added to that almost daily. We’re working on setting up TM sessions in the coming weeks. We will announce those dates when we know them and will socialize them on various social media platforms. Mother Nature can beat us down, but we do what we can to adjust & recover. Hopefully you can join the effort and come out to help in the next few months.
by Dave Clark
Tucked away in west-central NJ is High Bridge
Borough. Located just outside the Ken Lockwood Gorge, you’ll find some excellent scenery, great trout fishing, a nice downtown, and last but certainly not least, lots of bicycling options. From the Columbia Trail that stretches up to Morris County, the Nassau trail system, as well
as the pump track and flow trails, this little gem of a town is a fantastic place for all things twowheeled. The most unique part of the riding opportunity in
High Bridge are the flow trails. The flow trails are the brainchild of Avid Trails, lead by Justin Lax. Avid Trails describes themselves as “a planning, design and construction firm founded in 2014 by a group of passionate outdoor enthusiasts and
experienced trail builders.” Avid initiated the plan when they approached the borough with a plan to use available open space to build a small system of one-way, downhill mountain bike trails.
After many discussions and presentations, and addressing township concerns (which were cost and liability) the town was 100% behind the project. Avid began its partnership on the project with
JORBA in early 2019 with JORBA providing a large chunk of the funding for the project. The project was concluded in 2020 taking just over a year to
MAY BE ONE OF
complete. In addition to this project being the first downhill
NJ'S BEST KEPT
directional mountain bike-only trails on public land in NJ, the way the project was constructed
was also unique compared to the way most trails we ride on are built. The build was primarily a mechanized trail build versus the typical hand built trail one comes across in NJ which are built using shovels, McLeods, and rakes. Mechanized trail builds have noticeable advantages over hand built trails, including the speed at which a trail
After that, session some flow trails, hit the
can built, as well as superior water runoff
pump track, then walk into town for
mitigation designs can be created and
restaurants (Circa for example, and the
implemented. Machines give builders the ability
rumor is the owner rides), ice cream
to raise trail tread, put in bench cuts, and grade
(Gronsky’s Milk House just outside of
areas. This type of trail building is the direction
downtown has great sundaes and backs up
in which most trail building is going, moving from
to the river), or a stop at the local brewery,
the trails built by hand, to a combination of
High Rail Brewing.
machine use and hand tools. Currently there are a few projects in the The final product resulted in a fun, safe, and
works using this model to build more trails
sustainable downhill trail network, at no cost to
in state. If we can get more towns to
the town. JORBA has Eric De Santo and Eric
consider taking on these types of mountain
Mariom leading the way on maintaining the trails.
bike trails, and allowing these types of trail builds using modern equipment, and trained
Currently, High Bridge may be one of NJ’s best
volunteers, it would be a win for everyone.
kept secrets. You can drive into town, ride the Columbia Trail with the family, and maybe ride on over to Nassau Trails for something a little more adventurous.
. THE DIRT
by Norm Zurawski
It’s been a long year. 2020 was longer, and what made it longer was the lack of a bike festival as a
start to the fall riding season. 2019 was a banner year for the festival, where countless people showed up to do various rides. In all, the festival was a wild success, and everyone was looking forward to what 2020 would bring. In the end, it brought nothing. But now we are back.
Brushing off the playbook for 2021 are the event directors, Mary Beth & Dave Van Wart. Those of you familiar with…well, anything bike-related at all, will know this duo. Be it NICA, the festival in
year’s past, Rumble in the Jungle, the old Mountain Creek XC race, or the Ringwood XC race, among other things that I’m probably forgetting, you likely know their names. If you’ve been around mountain bikes in any sense, you likely know 1 or both pillars of the community.
With that, we are back! Right now, the dynamic duo is planning this year’s event, which is on Sunday, September 26th. You can register for the
event here. Due to the world-impacting virus that shall not be named, the park is asking that attendance be limited. While this is an outdoor
event, certain precautions need to be taken to ensure that everyone is as safe as can be. The event will be capped in terms of total
attendance, but we think this is plenty of people to have a good time. Rides will also be limited to pre-reg only, to ensure we meet the park’s
requirements to hold the event. Make sure you get in while you can.
I spent a little time talking to Mary Beth in the last week. Here is some of that conversation. Norm: Talk to me about some of the challenges of the 2021 bike festival…
MB: Tom actually dealt with our park reps this year with the permit. We have a
MB: We're dealing with the same things as
wonderful relationship with our land
everyone else this year - COVID. Lots of questions
managers at Ringwood; he started the
- from "Can we get a permit?" to "What will our
discussion with them in May, with
event look like - same format, or something
everything finalized in August. We did have
completely different?" and "How big an event are
to have a COVID ops plan as part of our
we comfortable with?" etc. There was a lot of
permit this year, which is obviously not
back and forth on all of this until we settled on a
something we've dealt with in the past. It's
somewhat similar format event, on slightly
one of the reasons we're doing pre-reg only
smaller scale - but still a celebration of mountain
for the event, in case we need to do any
biking in NJ and a chance to introduce or remind
contract tracing. This year's Festival will
people about JORBA and all the work they do
have less emphasis on demos and more on
throughout the state.
rides and clinics (especially given the bike industry's supply chain issues!)
Norm: So on that first question you bring up about the permit. How hard was it to get but
Norm: At the end of the day, for me, this
more importantly, what limitations does it put on
means we get to have a festival which we
this year’s festival?
were not lucky enough to have last year. Is
there a cap on the total number of people, or is there some math involved in trying to figure out how many people can go, total number of pre-reg spots, or anything like that?
MB: Exactly my feelings. I know there will
MB: Pave Sports Group will have some
probably be people who are disappointed that it's
Rocky Mountain bikes to demo, and I believe
not chock full of demos, etc., as it has been in the
Bicycle Workshop will also have some
past, but I'm just glad we can do something to
Reebs to test out as well.
promote JORBA and give people an excuse to get together in a fun, casual way to ride their bikes.
This year we will have 2 beginners skills
And at every Festival, we hope to introduce new
clinics taught by Kathi Krause of Dirt Rock
people to JORBA and get them involved!
and Root Training. Her clinics are fantastic and are always popular - she does a great
We settled on a 400 cap because we didn't want
job teaching beginners the skills they need
it to be as big as it has been in years past (I
to gain confidence on the trail. There is also
believe we had 700+ at the last fest), but we
at least 1 beginner ride on the schedule.
wanted to still be as accessible to as many people as possible. We are limiting signups on
Norm: Kathi is a great resource to the
most rides to 15 for safety reasons - we've had
community! Any other personalities, like
big rides in the past, and they really wind up
Jeff Lenosky or Matt Damon?
being hard to manage. A few of the NICA rides are bigger in order to accommodate more current and
MB: We tried to get Hugh Jackman, but alas,
prospective NJ NICA students. We're especially
he's busy baking bread. We are, however,
psyched to have a NICA GRiT ride (Girls Riding
super stoked to have the Trail Boss himself,
Together) so that our middle school and high
Jeff Lenosky, leading a ride for us. Jeff has
school girls can have a ride just for them. We
always been a strong supporter of JORBA,
have several intermediate rides, a ladies ride,
and we're super grateful to him for
and 2 beginner clinics as well, led by Kathi Krause
spending some time with us on Sunday
of Dirt, Rock and Root Training, which are always
morning. We're also stoked to have Gene
fantastic and popular. We tried to have a little
Arnold, the mastermind behind Regular Guy
something for everyone!
Mountain Biking, hosting a ride in the afternoon. Top it off with Ellen White, the
Norm: Ok, 2 questions. Will there be any demo
godmother of JORBA, who will be leading
bikes? Second question is more to the beginner
the NJ NICA GRiT (Girls Ride Together) ride,
riders. Ringwood has some of the more advanced
along with a ton of volunteers from MTBNJ,
terrain in the state. How many rides will be
as well as Black Bear, and Team Town
available for the beginners and how does the
Cycle, and it should be a hoot!
terrain there lend itself to a fresh rider (of which we have seen many in the last year+)?
Norm: Sounds like a great lineup. A few people are asking this very important
MB: Pave Sports Group will have some Rocky
question. What are the food options looking
Mountain bikes to demo, and I believe Bicycle
Workshop will also have some Reebs to test out
. THE DIRT
MB: Working on it, we had a hiccup with that, but
MB: 50ish? Not a hard count.
fingers crossed! Still looking for a backup if you know anyone!
Oh, quick reminder - everyone (including campers) has to pay $5 to park. That goes
Norm: I’m sure it’ll work out. So, if someone is
to the state, not JORBA. Bring cash!!
not a JORBA member, can they join up at the Norm: Ok, any final thoughts? Is there
anything we haven’t covered? MB: We hope they do! Come visit us at the JORBA tent any time during the day and we'll hook you
MB: I think we've covered most everything.
up. Most JORBA memberships come with fun
You and Tom and others have put a ton of
JORBA swag - making it even cooler to join!
time into this year's event. Fingers crossed for good weather! we hope everyone comes
Norm: So going back to the pre-reg. You
out, supports JORBA, renews their
mentioned that pre-reg is required to ride. I
membership (maybe do it online before the
assume this will be for contact tracing, and to
Festival!), and just has a good time
fulfill the park permit requirement? If people
remembering why we ride bikes!!
can’t get in on any rides, will there be marked loops for people to follow?
Norm: Don’t forget all the time you guys have put in! Thanks so much for taking the
MB: Pre-reg is required to attend, whether you go
time to answer some questions about the
on a guided ride or not. It helps us keep the event
a little smaller this year, and as you said, it enables us to contact trace if necessary - all part of our permit conditions. There will definitely be some marked loops for those who want to strike out on their own. Make sure you have Trailforks on your phone, and we'll make some QR codes for everyone to use. . I did forget to mention Norm Albrecht is leading a bikepacking group to the Festival on Saturday. There's a thread about it on MTBNJ if you're interested. Also, don't forget there is camping! Register on the Festival website and you can get the party started early on Saturday! Norm: How many people can camp?
MTBNJ-JORBA RIDER AND PARK
OVERVIEW This summer we put out a survey to get to know who is riding in NJ and what is important to them. We sent it out using MTBNJ, JORBA and other social media channels to reach riders throughout the NJ area. We had more than 1,000 riders respond! Here are some highlights:
WHO ARE YOU? The majority was between 30-60 years old, with a small portion of younger riders. Hopefully we see this segment grow along with the increasing popularity of NICA, as we engage the future of our sport.
Not a surprise, but most of the respondents were male. This highlights the importance of efforts being made by organizations and promoters to engage a more diverse rider base. A great example is NICA’s GRiT/NJ Girls Rock! program.
THE DIRT | 21
MTBNJ-JORBA RIDER AND PARK
RIDING HABITS More than 75% of you ride trails between 1-3 times a week.
You all are some skilled riders, with more than 80% rating themselves as intermediate or advanced.
More than one-third do overnight/extended bike vacations.
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MTBNJ-JORBA RIDER AND PARK
THIS REFLECTS THE
AMOUNT OF QUALITY TRAILS
WE HAVE THROUGHOUT THE
STATE, WITH ALMOST 85%
OF PEOPLE REPORTING
THEIR USUAL TRAVEL TIME
IS UNDER AN HOUR.
THE DIRT |23
MTBNJ-JORBA RIDER AND PARK
FAVORITE PARKS We asked you to rate parks on a 5-point scale, here are the top 10, with average ratings all hovering around 4 (Great). No surprises, and few could argue with this list.
THANKS FOR TAKING THE
TIME TO FILL OUT THE
AS A MEMBERSHIP-DRIVEN
INPUT IS CRITICAL TO OUR
THE DIRT | 24
by Norm Zurawski
The name is a mouthful, we get it. But it brings
home the point well enough… Every year for the past few years, Jason Fenton of Halter’s Cycles puts together a “ride for gift certificates” challenge in July. It’s not a competition, per se. Maybe it’s a competition
against yourself – the self that wants to stay on the couch and not ride if the weather is too hot, or rainy, or whatever excuse you want to come up with. The real competition is with you. The rules are simple: ride every day in July. If you make it,
come to the shop and get a $100 gift certificate. That’s all. This year, Jay teamed up with MTBNJ & JORBA to
FINISHERS THE DIRT
put together a slightly different version of the competition. For those of you with time to waste, you can see the whole month here
One caveat to this year’s challenge was that everyone needed to be a JORBA member. Riders were also encouraged to post words & pictures
through the month, in an effort to help others get out there. It’s always a good collection of bike motivation, and this year was stronger than ever. In total, 34 people finished the full 31 which is a new record. The month often starts off well, but
34 PEOPLE FINISHED THE
reality is often a limiting factor. This year was bigger than ever, and next year will likely shape up to be more of the same. Keep an eye out on the
board next summer to take part. For those of you who don’t have all day to peruse
the thread, here are some highlights from the thread.
A NEW RECORD
The first post of the contest was from kearnyb, who had a leg up on us all by starting in Portugal “Extended family vacation in Portugal. Have a department store 29 hardtail to ride. Heavy and noisy, but it works. I thought I was getting up and going early today, but everyone was pretty much awake as I was leaving. Just went for a quick trip south along the beach road to be back for breakfast. Overnight clouds starting to burn off in the east, should be sunny and high 70s.” .
"I’M STILL INSPIRED AND HUMBLED BY THE PLACES A BIKE CAN TAKE US." Super congrats to everyone who participated and or completed this challenge. We’ve run this a bunch of times and it always impresses me to see the outcome. I’m aware that at times it makes people hate their bikes, but I’m always hopeful that this competition let many of you find a new place or way to ride your bike. Bikes have been my life for 40 years and I’m still inspired and humbled by the places a bike can take us. —Jason Fenton Owner, Halters Cycles official sponsor of the 31/31 classic
On day 2, D and I were up in Vermont . On day 2, D and I were up in Vermont .
“We are in Rutland, Vermont and rode Pine Hill for an hour+. Bonus is that we are staying at a place
“Up in Stowe today and met up with teammate
that is within riding distance to the trails. Always a
Capers who is not doing this challenge but
bonus. After the long drive up we just did the
came along for the ride. Did a double park
needful and called it a ride. Trails were
(Cady Hill & Adams Camp) and almost hit a
slick/moist. Not terrible but not ideal fun factor.”
third but we ran out of steam.”
Day 3, and Dan was worried about making it to the end already, as you can see on his face here: .
Day 5 and people are starting to bow out already. But not Dave, who was out in the steam with his son at CR: .
“Looked at the forecast last night and was mentally prepared for an afternoon-evening ride today…. And ate/drank accordingly. But “Mother Nature” offered an opportunity….. sooo…. Slow motion morning neighborhood spin it is.”
“A hot one with the boy at Chimney Rock.” .
Day 6 and our team is up in the Kingdom! .
Day 8 and we are starting to figure out who is in, and who is out. This is Dan’s picture but my words. If you are reading this wondering what the rhyme & reason is to what I selected, I am picking the pics that show faces – who we all are! .
“We have made it to Kingdom after a tour of Vermont & New Hampshire. The yearly MTBNJ team house has started.” . Day 7 is wet in NJ, as the month threw out a lot of
“It was supposed to rain up here today in
rain to kick things off. Piston Honda was not
under 3 hours. They built a new trail
connecting 2 systems that will change things
for the better once the new trail beds in. Good
Vermont. It' didn't. We got 21+ miles in just
trails are always good times.” . Day 9 and Sherry is showing off her fashion sense. I mean, if you post this on the internet you can’t be surprised when it comes back up! .
“This is the wettest (is that a word?) 31/31 I've ever been a part of. Love it 😊” .
“Halters, MTBNJ, and JORBA - I win best dressed!”
Day 10 Dave is back out with the kid, this time at 6 Mile.
Day 12 and the heat & humidity keep on going in NJ. Meanwhile, Beck & Pete work on the father & son circus routine.
“I went out to the miles of six with my son. It was alright. Obviously there were puddles, no peanut butter. Gotta get back in with trimmers it’s insane
“Try riding an hour on one of these! (Or even 5
how fast stuff is growing. Stopped to help a crew
mins!) smiles at first, shortly followed by
out who needed a wrench - crank arm fell off.”
. Day 11 Dominique wraps up our 10 day Vermont
. Day 13 and Kevin is riding on the surface of the
moon, it seems.
“Grossness level 10 has been achieved. Met up “Our final day at KT… we return home after 10 days
with the local old roadies (50’s) since the trails
of mountain biking in Vermont and New
were 100% no go after the rain yesterday.
Luckily it seems we didn’t get as much rain as
Ian but still dumped. I left my garmin at work (I hope) yesterday so no garmin watching today. Casual pace since the conditions didn’t scream ride hard today.” THE DIRT
Day 16 and we have crossed midfield! Sherry
Day 14 and people are starting to slog through it,
is either riding with an overly energetic child,
fewer and fewer pictures as the middle of the July
or s kid with no head.
sandwich drags on. That said, we’re still going!
“I found a mountain bike park on Trailforks that is close to Myrtle Beach, so I checked it out “Today was a sporadically chaotic day at work, so we had to wait until 5:00 to ride. We got rained on but it was actually really pleasant out. Maybe a bit warm & humid but after the last 10+ days, it was quite nice.”
today. I brought one of the kids in our party with me. We both thoroughly enjoyed the park. Very sandy soil, so the park had ‘carpet’ on all the tabletops and berms. It was 6miles of onedirection, super flowy trail. Good find!” .
. Day 15 brings us to the doorstep of the halfway
Day 17 I rode with Jim, Capers, and Kirt at
point. Ken is content to sit on the beach while his
daughter plays in the ocean with the dog.
“Another day of knocking out a ride when it made sense between family things. I made some segments on base to keep it interesting. Some
“I met up with Kirt, JimN, and Capers to ride
dood who rode it in 2019 was really fast. Will try to
Ringwood this morning, I knew it was going to
snipe some kom's maybe if I can swing an early
be hot. But it was hotter than that. Good god,
morning. Temps by 10am are way too hot to push
just absurd. I forgot my HRM which is probably
hard. Now sitting on a pretty secluded beach at the
good, because it would have shown just how
mouth of the Chesapeake Bay waiting to take in
porrly I fared today. I have not struggled on a
the sunset while doing our best to stay far from
ride this badly in maybe 10+ years. This
the heat. Daughter doing her best to keep the dog
brought back memories of the Mooch 50k and
wet until he jumps back into the truck. Jamestown
absolutely scraping myself forward. In the last
10 minutes I pretty much only rode downhill and got off to walk uphill.”
Day 21 and 3MTA3 is out with his daughter,
Day 18 robmaurizi rode Creek while his son did
bringing new people into the sport.
the KOM endure.
“Creek laps with my second-born whilst my firstborn raced in the KOM enduro. Mileage (and map) may be out of whack because my watch
“Short ride introducing new girl to biking!”
battery died as we were wrapping up and it didn’t come back online until we got home, but the time
.Day 22 and Ryan is just letting it all out with a
is legit after cropping the drive out.. That’s my boy
118 mile ride.
on the right.”
Day 19 Café Dave did the CR Fun Monday ride . with the gang. .
“mtbNJ.com Chimney Rock Fun Monday.” Day 20 and people are really not posting pics of other people anymore. As we enter the final drive of the competition, the pictures get more and more thin as people drop out and those remaining have run out of people to ride with.
“I suckered Dominick into a big loop I’ve been wanting to do. Part 1 of a gravel/road 2 part mega loop. 40+ miles of gravel with 5 miles of singletrack and 1 flat. I guess my fat ass still has some endurance hiding in there. Not a bad day! Can I punch out after this and my month is
Day 26 nobody posted a human in a picture so Day 23 shows that Ryan is truly insane.
you get Pete’s bears.
“Nice and humid” . “Seeing if I have energy left after yesterday’s ride.
Day 27 and Jeremy is up at one of the wonders
203 miles from the past 2 days with 70+ miles off-
of New England, the Green Woodlands
road. I can’t feel my hands or my ass.”
.Day 24 and xtrpureguts rolls on. .
“Union County Parks loop. South Side Johnny
“Green Woodlands Foundation - some big
playing free tonight at Oak Ridge Park.”
climbs award you with long flowy machine built single track. Ride here next time in NH!”
Day 25 and we can all feel the end coming. I saw
Patrick and Warren in the CR parking lot at the end of my ride. We’re still out there! . “Back to CR. Saw Dave walking his dog, then Pat & W_B. And like 900 other people. Pretty packed today. Kinda got tired of avoiding people and wrapped it up a tad early.” .
Day 30 and I Was in Vermont with Jeff Lenosky in Day 28 and stb222 is at Killington with his son.
“Up in Vermont again for Flow State bike festival at Ascutney. Rode with Dave VW for a bit but mostly just me & Johnny G who is a lights out skilled rider. Also ran into Lenosky up there today on the trail.” “Day 1 at killington. Drove up this morning and
pretty much went right to the park. I have the rest of the family in tow so this isn’t a riding only trip but I cashed in some of my mtb time since it is the
Day 31 was the end and 34 people made it this
nicest weather of the week.”
far. To wrap it up, robmaurizi just showed how much this added up.
Day 29 and asm-mtb is still smiling! . .
““I can’t believe I finished this thing… Thanks to everyone for putting it together and getting everyone out and riding this month. I had a great time and have some new people to follow & kudos on Strava, and I look forward to actually meeting some of you in real life at some point! Beautiful day for a ride today. Looking forward to eggplant parm tonight.
“Finished off this 31 day challenge with a race, MASS series The Challenger at Camden County College, doing Endurance SS. Almost 42 miles and 7 laps for 4th place. So many personal milestones to mention. Longest ride of the month. Most days riding in a month. Most miles, hours, etc. Congrats to all the other 31 day finishers. Thanks to Dave for keeping the score.”
Happy trails everyone!”
I was still in Vermont, this time with Dave Van
Wort. The view was ok. . .
Ian was also out on the lifts the last day .
“Wrapped up my month with another ride up at “Mtn Creek with my long time teammate from
Ascutney, this time with Dave VW. Did 2
NY, Mike and a more recent teammate from DC,
different legs of this one. It was pretty
Cathy (who also rides a Megatower).”
awesome up there today.”
. a personal note, my numbers looked like On JDurk finished an endurance race looking about
worn out, though in a hell of an impressive way to end it.
20 MTB/13 road rides Total time: 62:25
Moose, Zoe, and Diana finished the 31, 31, and
Ken was up in Vermont with me, but not
20+ respectively on the last day of the month.
entirely. Close at least.
“My plans for Flow State had a bit of a wrench thrown into them by our dog. He had a pretty rough 1st night camping and kept Marisa and I up most of the night. I was on dog duty from “Thank you to all who ran and sponsored the
sunrise until 10am ish so the fam could sleep,
contest. Was a great month and lots of family
so we explored the camp a bit.”
time was spent. I was fortunate enough to be able to ride all 31(30) days with my daughter and 25 with my wife. And managed 24 days with all 3 of us riding together.”. Sherry finished her month like Ian, on the lifts.
A TRUE WIN-WIN Many of the people who completed the 31/31 challenge did not claim their prize and instead gave it to us as a donation to help build the foundation we already have. That money was converted to 15 new JORBA memberships. In the end, we had over 70 people start the competition and they were all current JORBA members. With the donations, we added 15 more that were directly affected positively by this challenge. St_john gets the nod for having the first picture with the stickers we sent out in the field.
“Another day at Killington. No rain but still a mud fest.”