Tuesday, December 18, 2012

crying...

literally.  anyone who knows what I've been up to the past 16 weeks knows what this means to me....



peace and riding!!!

phew...

officially done with the semester.  let's ride bikes

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dis how we do...

There's no lack of rock at Roanoke Park...


Thanks Jon Peck for the photos!

Peace and riding!!!









Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Roanoke Park Trail building, come help!!!

I build here:


We have this done and almost 1/3 of Phase 4 done already:


You should come help on these days:

 so we can go build here:

Check out swopetrails.com and go build there too!


Peace and riding!!!


Monday, November 5, 2012

roanoke park BIG workday this weekend!!!

Hola Peeps!!!

PLEASE come help Saturday morning from 9:00-Noon (ish) during the Roanoke Park Trails BIG Workday!!! at the Roanoke Park Trails. We are aiming to have over 100 volunteers at this event (we had 84 last March during our initial BIG Workday):http://www.facebook.com/events/297279083720723/

We have almost a mile of trail in the park now and want to more than double that by next summer, but need lots of help! Everything to do on this workday from clearing new corridor (cutting back branches & honeysuckle) to dragging brush to the curb to hacking out wintercreeper with rogue hoes to raking leaves to tread work & bench cutting, etc. etc. etc. If you can't make the whole time, come out for the time you can; every little bit counts!!!  Pass it on :)

Please come out and help make trails a reality within Kansas City's urban core!!!

peace and riding!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Upcoming Swope Trail Work!!!!!


HOLA PEEPS!  

Santa Fe was awesome!  Got some great write-ups and pix coming soon.  But wanted to pass this along from Craig, Scott, and Travis...you know I'll be there!!!


TRAILBUILDING...It's getting to be that time of the year again and your belly will be full of Halloween candy.  This could be a great way to burn off that nervous sugar energy.
 
We will be finishing up the Rancho-d-lux loop on November 3rd.  This will be the final phase of Rancho which will clean up several intersections, eliminate some legacy trail, and make a kid's specific loop.  We are very excited about how this will make the upper area of Camp Lake of the Woods flow for all users.
 
Once this section is complete we will be spending the remainder of the winter on working on the Wudchuk Run loop connecting the Eight Pin across the back of the Camp Lake of the Woods Property to the Red Cabin area.  This will probably be a 2yr project and add 4-6 miles to the Camp Lake of the Woods area.
 
Meeting Place:
Hogan/swimming pool at Camp Lake of the Woods on top of the hill. From the main Swope trailhead, drive up Oakwood Drive, take a left at the "Y" and continue on about 300 yards. See map on the right hand side of the Swope trails webpage for directions to the Swope Park trails.
 
Tools:
The usual trail tools...Rakes, Shovels, McLeods, Pulaskis, Rogue Hoes, Handsaws, Chainsaws, etc. If you don't have tools, come anyway...we should have plenty.
 
Recommended Clothing:
Long pants
Boots/Shoes with protection
Work Gloves
Safety Glasses
Bug Spray
 
Trail Tasting Afterwards:
If the trails are rideable and/or hikeable, we'll do a trail tasting of the new stuff. Workdays are the only time you'll get a chance to check out the new trail before it's open, so come work then get your ride on!

PEACE AND RIDING!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My IMBA breakout session presentation...

This is a video from my IMBA World Summit presentation given earlier this morning (10.11.12).  I talk about the Roanoke Park Project and how urban core trail systems can be catalysts for community sustainability through social connections and ecological restoration.



Peace and riding!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quick thoughts...

I got to ride my bike for fun yesterday.

It was a blast.

Clinton Lake skills park, Cactus Ridge and Campground 3 loops.  Super fun.  I was actually ripping too (at least it felt like I was).  One section of Cactus Ridge is STUPID technical...cleaned it all, but barely.  I forgot how good of tech rider I am.  The handling skills have always been there, but the cardio is not, and definitely not right now.

Some other things...

People are starting to realize that MTB racing is dead around here.  After 2 years of yelling and half a year of not giving a fuck anymore, other people are finally realizing what I've been seeing for a long time.  We have 0 races scheduled for next year MTB-wise.  Z.E.R.O.  Whatever, not my problem anymore...

One thing I pride myself on is that I cut through the bullshit, period.  I don't care who you are, what your "title" is, when your were born, or how much money you have.  If other people did the same thing, then a lot of stuff in our world would be better off.  If you wanna step up and be a leader, then step up.  If you want things to change, then change them.  If you want to do something, then do it!

Don't die wishing you had done something or treated someone differently.

peace and riding!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

See you in December!!!

Taking 15 hours of graduate credit...working 20 hours a week at Mid-America Regional Council...trying to finish the Roanoke Park Trails project...trying to start the Kessler Park Trails project...

I never sleep.  Literally.

I definitely never ride my bike, other than to get to/from the next place I need to get to and am most likely running a few minutes late for.  Not the ideal life right now, a little TOO busy, but that should mean that this springtime should be a little TOO un-busy :)

MANION'S SATURDAY!!! GO RACE CROSS.

Man cross....haven't even thought of it and it's already here.  I know this complete season is gone too.  I am not racing or planning on racing any time soon and have -75 minutes to give to training.  To say I'm in horrible shape is a tad of an understatement.

keep coming to build trail with me...keep riding your bike...I'll be joining again soon, promise!

peace and riding!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Save the date jerks...

Save the date! 

The best winter gravel adventure is coming up fast!!!

December 15, 2012
Start/finish @ Sunflower Bike Shop
9:00 am start
100k of your favorite Kansas crunchiness.
*There is a shorter route available that skips the Wellsville loop.

Course map here: http://www.mapmytri.com/routes/view/26131428

Get on it!!  Hope to see you there!

Peace and riding!!!

PS - Is it ever going to rain??  I honestly have had zero desire to go ride trails until it rains...a third trip in three years to the hospital because of dryness is not in my cards so I've been pussing out on ripping the trails up.  We can't even finish up trails at Roanoke cause there's no soil moisture...zero zilch nada.  It's bad.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Colavita Cross Country Challenge thank-yous



Two weeks ago we had a badass mountain bike race.  My front room and I are finally recovered.  After reflecting for a while it was truly amazing the quality of event we put on.  Dirt lovin' good times were had by everyone there.  The one complaint I got was that I only made medals for the kids and not everyone (and maybe a couple USAC infractions that our wonder official, Curtis Martell, let slide).  We had a great course, great scoring/registration, great prizes, great venue.  We were cleaned up and could have left the park before 1:00 pm if the last few of us hadn't stayed to take it all in for a few minutes; most other MTB races aren't even finished by 1:00 pm and we had all awards out, the entire course markings picked up, all the trash in the right spots, and it literally looked like no one had been out there.  After expenses we ended up donating quite a chunk to the Trail Masons for continued work at WYCO (and CAT 1/SS/Marathon got paid and paid decently well, which is also unheard of for a local MTB race).  You all may not know, but the Trail Mason's master plan with WYCO parks calls for over 30 miles of trails like those to go all around the lake.  They have built the current 6 miles with less than $1500.  The race $$$ will go a long way to getting their next 2.5 mile section and more opened soon.  It is because of our great team and volunteer group that we brought it.  Everyone on this list helped clean up afterwards too!!!  Special thank you to the following for their contributions:

Thank you to UFD and the 118 racers that braved the heat!!!
Britton: Parisi coffee, Celler Rat gift certificates, numbers, prizes, Volker Bikes sponsorship, Tallgrass beer.  BK's the best.
John W: Food!!!  Amazing as always sir!
Ann Pai: Registration/Scoring.  
Venasa: Registration/Scoring.  Venasa and Ann held the reg/scoring down!!!  Without these ladies things would have been lost.
Kris Presnell: Reg/Scoring.  Irreplaceable.  Thanks, Kris!
Dan O.  Reg/scoring, finding pappy when his head was not good.  Thanks DanO!
Michael Ellis - Registration/scoring
Justin Bay - Registration/scoring.  Justin and Michael were part of our indispensable reg/scoring team.  You guys literally carried our event.  So critical in MTB races and all the more difficult with our number cluster.
Jake S: Parking duty, reg/scoring, Door to Door Organics gift certificates.  Jake also helped with pretty much anything asked of him.
Roger W: Water hoses and water!, chinese hats, course markings Saturday morning.  And he won the marathon race, amazing.
Erik Elving: Registration/Scoring, water hoses, Applebee's Gift Certificates, general badassery.  Erik, I can't even remember everything you helped with, which is nothing new, thank you!
Josh B: Parking duty.  Critical with what we were working with.
Jon Sink: Parking duty.  Showed up, took a piece of paper without me saying much, and it worked.  
Levon: Parking duty, staple gun, course marking Saturday morning, final clean up.  Thanks bro!
Adam K: Parking duty, Port-A-Potties, final clean up.  We didn't have shit everywhere.  That's a win!
David N: Parking duty, course marking Saturday morning, final clean up 
Nate S: Midwest Mountain Bike Patrol (MMBP), water hoses.  Thank you Nate and MMBP for your assistance, helping Pappy out, and for getting all our course markings after the races!!!
Curtis Martell - Our chillin' official.
Andy Schuette - UFD results, UFD webmaster/promoter, and USAC results
Cliff Jones - Co-promoter.  Cliff did as much or more work than I did getting this event ready.  He personally weedeated every single inch of our course, designed the race layout with Shane (really designed the whole system), hooked up the county permitting process, helped me mark the course Friday night, led group rides/race preview rides, got us zip ties in the morning, helped reg/scoring, did MMBP, helped with final clean up, etc etc etc.  He was truly the co-promoter of this event and it could have not gone off without Cliff or any of the rest of your contributions.

Finally, we gotta shout out to our sponsors.  Nothing is free/cheap without them :)
Trail Masons!
Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation!
Pot Pie!
Door to Door Organics!
Celler Rat!
Applebee's!
Parisi Coffee!
Colavita Pasta and EVOO!
and of course,
Volker Bicycles!!!

I know I forgot a lot...

We do it all again in 6 weeks for Manion's Cyclocross baby!!!  Then Colavita Cup in November!

thank you all again.  After it's been 2 weeks, I can say, yes, I do want to promote a race again :)  ...one thing is for sure, C4 will definitely be back at WYCO!!!

--brett

PS:  Since this is super long, here are some of the upcoming MTB opportunities still left:

Swope Dush Dash, A group night ride, Swope Park Trails, 8.11.12
Cruise the Blues 5 hour endurance solo/team race, Glen Elder Kansas, 8.25.12
24 Hours of Iowa solo/team race, Boone Iowa, 9.8/9.12 (I WANT TO DO THIS AS A TEAM!!!)
Slaughter Pen Jam (all disciplines), Bentonville Arkansas, 9.8/9.12 - or this would be cool too :)
Sac River 6/12 hour endurance solo/team race, Springfield Missouri, 9.8.12
Tour de Lizard, Ark City Kansas, 9.9.12 XC/Marathon, UFD West #8
Northwest Arkansas Championships (all disciplines), 9.15.12, West Fork Arkansas (Devil's Den)
Tall Oak Challenge 6 hour solo/team race, Jeff City Missouri, 9.23.12
Rhett's Run, Columbia Missouri, 9.30.12 XC/Marathon, UFD West #9, Series Championship
Castlewood Race Two XC/Endurance, UFD East #10/UFD Series Finale
Burning at the Bluff 6/12 hour solo/team race, Potosi Missouri, 10.13.12
Berryman Epic, Steelville Missouri, 10.27.12
Attila the Hun XC/marathon, 11.18.12, Little Rock Arkansas

Sunday, July 22, 2012

CCCC is over....

The Pirate pretty much sums up the Colavita Cross Country Challenge...


More on it later...I need sleep...

Peace and riding!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

come race in my race!!!


Details here:  http://www.facebook.com/events/115980758539805/

See you tomorrow!  Free beer, how can you turn that down?  Plus our course is the tittzz.

peace and racing!!!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Colavita Cross Country Challenge

Hey jerks.  I'm promoting a race this year.  A real race.  Like sanctioned and you have to pay for it and all that jazz.  Come do it.  The course is fucking awesome.  



4.5 miles, 700 foot of climbing...gonna be awesome.


Peace and riding!!!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

eureka springs coming up..

Actually been on the bike a bit recently...

Rode up to KCI from downtown to meet my sister flying in from South Carolina.  That was an adventure.

Rode EFI at Blue River and Swope with Matt.  Awesome.

Did some McCoy's ride Colavita Lovin'.  Ya baby.

Rode up with the Pirate and MaxiThad and did a smithville humpday ride.  shenanigans were undoubtedly had.  we rode everything and then some more in the dark.  very fun.

Did a hammer fest dirty urban loop with Chuck and Micah...30+ mph on MTBs the whole way on Manchester from Winchester/Coal Mine Road to 17th Street.  Killer.  Dirty double track, isle of capri trail, and levee gravel.  Finished with a climb up Roanoke and a climb up Paseo to home.

Did a super late night ride by myself one night riding the boulevards.  Paseo, Linwood, Karnes, Roanoke, Plaza, Cleaver, Paseo.  Short but fun at 4 am.

Did this with Griffin.  

Other than being slowed up by another dude and being way behind schedule, and it being 100*, we killed it.  Thanks to Matt for hooking us up with water and a ride from BSL to Quik Trip a few miles away.  That AC and H2O was lifesaver.

Rode some sweet squishy bikes at the Specialized demo at Swope, also with Matt.  Saw pretty much everyone and their brother their.

Catted up to a 1 and finally bought my license.  Registered for Eureka Springs Fat Tire Fest.  I'm gonna get my ass kicked.  I think if I just ride my pace and survive the heat I might surprise myself once the other people blow up.  The hard tail 29er is made for that race too.  I eat leatherwood like Mike Tyson eats your children.

Riding to work has been hot.  Been hopping the bus a bit more frequently but got the new code to our shower today so full on commuting is back on.  Even riding the mile to class sucks, dripping by the time I get there.  Always fun walking into class looking like you ran through a sprinkler.

Went home last weekend, chilled, and watched some Tour of Lawrence action.  A Colavita Tradition.

So ya, good rides, good times, and great people.  Boom.

Peace and riding!!!








Friday, June 8, 2012

For Sale: Pake

hey blog gang:


i need money ASAP to pay tuition so I am selling my pake.  here's a picture of her and i in all our glory:


i built this up using all parts I personally chose....that means this bike is indestructible.  Some of the spex:

pake c-muter frameset 52cm
IRO Carbon fork
velocity A-23 rims laced to shimano 105 hubs
truvativ FireX crankset
hollowtech bottom bracket
ritchey seatpost/headset/stem
salsa bell lap bars
the rear is set up as a single speed with spacers (currently geared at 34-16)
surly tugnut
tektro linear pull brakes
shimano hoods

I also have the following sets of tires I will throw in if you want them: continental tour ride 28c road tires (really good shape), iro crossfires 32c (worn but still good), hutchinson piranhas 34c (really good condition).

you can run this bike single speed, as a 1x, or with full range of gears.  Great tire clearance (gotten 42c on before).  good for a road bike or CX bike.  great commuter also (hence the frame name).

price: $600.

let me know if you or any one you know is interested.

peace and riding!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

didn't know I had it in me...

So I wrote Sunday early morning that I was thinking about riding 50+ miles that day.

I rode 92.




Find more Mtn Biking in Kansas City, MO



Didn't know I had that in me after riding singletrack only 4 times all year and only having 0 rides over 30 miles all year...and after breaking my leg in half last halloween.

My nutrition was great, the weather was great, trails were great, bike was great.  Everything was perfect.

I've been needing a good soul cleansing ride and this was the one.  I rode from my house down Paseo to behind the Bannister federal complex.  Rode around that to the Indian Creek trail and took that all the way to 127th in Olathe.  Took 127th west to the Mill Creek Trail, which I took north into Shawnee Mission Park (except for about .5 miles of rail road gravel I took to avoid the nasty ass metal tunnels underneath the railway).  Between my house and SMP along this route it is amazing how much "other" off-road opportunities: from rogue single track, to worn in dirt shortcuts, to grassy parks, whatever.  Plus hauling ass down a paved trail really does help the dirt handling skills when you are laying in at 55 PSI :)

At SMP I rode promptly to the parking lot and marina to sit down for a SAG.  I hadn't really stopped other than slowing down a couple times for passer-byes since I had left my house and was sitting over 30 miles already.

I stated my nutrition was great.  Well actually it was perfect.  Here's the rundown:

4 sandwiches comprised of cinnamon raisin bread, peanut butter, honey, and protein powder...2 curry basil chicken breasts...2 flowers of broccoli...15 baby carrots...1 can Campbell's chicken and stars soup at hand....1 can campbell's chunky chicken noodle soup, 1 can original beenie weenies...1 12 ounce bag of mixed cliff electrolite with Trader Joe's protein powder...1 gel flask full of espresso flavor.  1 24 oz bottle of water on bike.  1 20 oz bottle water mixed with 3-5 oz Cliff/TJ powder.

I had made 4 PB/Honey/.25 scoop Protein powder sandwiches on cinnamon raisin bread.  Talk about good.  And talk about nutrient and calorie dense.  I ate two on my ride to SMP and two on my ride between SMP and WYCO.  With Ben Bolin's advice, I wrapped them up in waxed paper, and 2 at a time in my feed box along with a flask of Hammer Espresso gel.  The waxed paper is THE way to go for packaging homemade goodies.  Easy to unwrap or tear into, plus if you drop it (they are easy to wad up and shove in the jersey for a minute though) wax paper will actually biodegrade pretty quickly.  Tin foil don't play that shit.

I had cut my 2 chicken breasts into 5 strips while letting them simmer down in the curry, basil, and a FUCK ton of salt.  From past experiences I know my body needs tons of salt and protein for long rides, muscle fatigue (cramping) usually always does me in.  Well no more.  I ate one of these with the can of campbell's chunky soup, ate some carrots and broccoli, hit some gel and felt like I had just stepped out of a car in the vast parking lot of SMP.  I was staying plenty hydrated too.  Plus the Cliff/TJ powder mix I was rocking was keeping my electrolyte and protein levels at a constant intake, and it tasted fucking amazing.  Perfect creamy lemony taste, kind of like frozen lemonade (the cliff was lemon-lime, TJ protein was vanilla).  I knew it was a good sign cause I was still pissing normally with no weird coloration.  *I know talking about piss color is pretty out there, but it is important, especially on long rides.  "Normal" piss is good piss.

So at SMP I rode Orange to Violet to red to Orange, filled up my bottles, then headed the reverse direction until I hit marker X on the trails, then hopped that outlet to the fire road and paved trail north to the kansas river.  Hit some more single track a la Pirate style then kept on for the 435 sprint of death.


At the Kansas River I stopped and ate some more carrots and broccoli, another strip of chicken and the can of beenie weenies.  By this time the temps were around 80 and I wasn't hot necessarily, but I was sweating my ass off.  Especially on the road section in WYCO from the river to the lake trails.  Talk about fucking hills after a flat ride, goddamn.  And no shade anywhere on the road.  I stopped about halfway in between the river and lake at Stoney Point Park.  Fitting name.  Nice shade too...no water though.  

After getting lost in the nasty burbage of KCK a couple times and backtracking, I finally found something that looked familiar and got into the park.  Watered up, hit some gel and started the bridle trails north to the ripping MTB trails closer to the lake.


Rode Smores to Boy Scout to the small fisherman's loop back around to Mason's first then Shelter 9 trail back to the bridle trail.  I was going to ride more, and still felt good, but something was telling me to just be happy with and go rip Roanoke on the way home.

Made the trounce through KCK and somehow ended up on the 70 on-ramp instead of the Turner Diagonal...that was almost sketchy for a minute.  KS Avenue is flat a a pancake so I hit the Argentine levee for a gravel mix-up, then some other railroad gravel in the Bottoms before hitting the 31st hill.


So I said I had felt great, and I knew I was over 75 miles, but still wanted to hit some more dirty.  Thank god for Roanoke.  While short right now (not counting the sneaky you can see on my map) it will be a few miles to play on very soon.  Gillham Park also offers some urban single track that is always fun to haul ass on.  Felt so good I even hit the steep ass Troost hill at mile 91 right before cutting through Rockhurst, hitting our stair drop and curb kickers, then sprinting down the street towards home.


Ya buddy.  Now that was a fucking epic ride.  Had no idea it was this long until I pulled up the map later.

Join me next time.  I could use a draft for that headwind :)

Peace and riding!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I am a dumbass...

So, after riding in Lawrence all last weekend, I took my fork and headset out to give it a good cleaning, which I've been pretty good about keeping up with the Carbon29.  In this process, I (thought) I had sat everything perfectly on the work table and had it ready to put back together.  Get it all back together and the headset is loose, you all know the feeling: everything is perfect tight and straight but still wiggle in the head and really bad when applying brake.


So I spent all week wondering what the hell was wrong, tried everything I knew, tried switching the spacers around, tightening to different torques nothing.

Well come to find out, one of my 1.5 mm headset spacers was lost in the cleaning process.

I've missed a week of perfect riding all because of my own stupidity.  


Finally looked up the headset manual to see if I was reinstalling wrong (which is pretty much impossible with the Ritchey Pro Logic Drop-In, for tapered head tube) and instantly realized, "shit, mine is about 1 mm above the stem top. duh."



So I lost a week of perfect dirt because of skipping the little things.  Lesson learned.

For you other self-wrenches, it's those small things we've done a million times that we gotta remember to check and make sure it's done right, not just go through the motions and expect it to come out like it (almost) always does. 

So I think I'm going to go ride 50+ miles today....it sounds fun.

Peace and riding!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Clinton Lake Killer





Clinton Ride last Sunday...44 PSI in the tires, no tubes or tools.  Made it!

on another note If anyone can come do trail work at the Roanoke Park Trails tomorrow (Friday) after 3 pm, Saturday, or Sunday please let me know. We need to hammer out some stuff for National Trails Day.

Peace and riding!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

ride @ home




Find more Mtn Biking in Lawrence, KS


funnnn

peace and riding!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

hmmmmm....


Don't say I didn't warn you all last November...

http://chrislocke.blogspot.com/2012/04/bonder-bender-36-hour-report.html

MTB in KC is dying a slow painful death...

Hell I don't even have time to ride anymore, and that's not changing anytime soon it looks like.  I'll be doing Croc Rock in July as a one year deal.  Sorry peeps, but I plan on not being around here anymore, unless for some god-forsaken reason I decide to go to KU or do my PhD at UMKC.

So, 3 events off this year's schedule are already done for next year: God's Country, BoneBender, and Crocodile Rock...what events will die off next?

peace and riding!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

life

is precious enjoy it.

My pops finally passed away after a near 9 year battle with cancer. I've come to hate that shit. Fuck cancer.

Hope he'd be proud of this...too bad it came 6 days too late for him to see...

Tender loving care: Neighbors take charge of refurbishing Roanoke Park
By LYNN HORSLEY
The Kansas City Star


They call themselves “honeysuckle warriors.”

They are the dozens of residents living near Roanoke Park who have battled tirelessly over the past two years to remove invasive honeysuckle, pick up trash, build trails and reveal the park’s hidden beauty.

They’ve won awards and have persuaded the city to provide $150,000 for bigger improvements to the 38-acre park, roughly south of Karnes Boulevard near Roanoke Road.

It’s been a lot of hard work, especially on weekends, when many residents could be relaxing or tending to their own homes. But it’s also been a lesson in people’s collective power to turn a neglected property into a wonderful community asset.

It’s a story of “so many people not just helping with shovels but with wisdom, talent, ideas and dedication,” said Curt Watkins, who lives in Roanoke, one of four historic neighborhoods abutting the park. Residents have also rallied to the cause from the Coleman Highlands, Volker and Valentine neighborhoods.

Roanoke resident Miles Krivena remembers how it all got started, with a Christmas party conversation in 2009. Krivena started chatting with Watkins about the park’s deplorable condition, and how people were afraid to go there.

“Indeed, it was kind of creepy,” Watkins recalled, describing how it was overrun with bush honeysuckle thickets, nuisance trees, weeds, trash, discarded furniture and some homeless camps.

The park has a natural amphitheater, playgrounds, tennis courts, a ball diamond and basketball goal, but was still depressing and underused.

At first, Watkins said, neighbors just complained and wondered, “Why doesn’t the city do something about it?”

Then Krivena drove by Gillham Park in early 2010 and noticed its appearance had improved from previous years. He called Watkins, who called veteran parks advocate Dona Boley. Boley has galvanized volunteers to tackle honeysuckle and other problems in Penn Valley Park, Gillham Park and elsewhere.

Boley mentored the Roanoke Park folks and told them they needed a plan. So Watkins started emailing neighbors, and the idea took off.

Residents and their friends pitched in with just the right skill-sets; they included architects, naturalists, website designers and outdoor enthusiasts.

While writing a master plan, they researched the park’s history and found it was one of legendary park designer George Kessler’s jewels. Developed between 1906 and 1909, it encompassed a lovely forested ravine surrounded by limestone bluffs and at least one cave. The park was part green space but also provided a welcome slice of wilderness right in the midst of the big city.

Watkins said that as volunteers removed the honeysuckle, they discovered two rugged rock cliffs that nobody even knew were there. They uncovered native trees and wild flowers that had been hidden by invasive plants.

They created a website (roanokeparkkc.org), held day-long public forums and conducted surveys that got more than 200 people involved in planning park improvements. In December, Watkins and others formed the non-profit Roanoke Park Conservancy, which has allowed them to raise several thousand dollars in donations for park amenities.

City Councilwoman Jan Marcason has high praise for the park restoration project, which is in her council district.

“They have mobilized whole neighborhoods and even beyond,” she said. “They have worked like dogs every Saturday.”

Park Director Mark McHenry commends the group, especially for producing a professional-caliber master plan that would have otherwise cost the department thousands of dollars. That plan helped persuade the city to provide $150,000 this year for new sidewalks and lighting. More funding could be awarded in the future.

The effort has garnered awards, including a recent citation from the Missouri Park and Recreation Association.

Roanoke Park also became the second Kansas City park to merit attention from Earth Riders, a recreational trails advocacy group that is developing 65 miles of trails in Swope Park.

Trail steward Brett Shoffner coordinated volunteers to complete the first 1/5th-mile section of a new Roanoke Park nature trail that will be 2.5 miles in a few years.

“We really saw it as an opportunity for increasing trail access within an urban neighborhood,” Shoffner said.

In late March, several dozen people also turned out to start planting about 250 tree and shrub seedlings donated by the Missouri Department of Conservation. The aromatic sumac, redbuds, dogwoods, oak and other seedlings will enhance the forested areas where the honeysuckle has been removed.

“We’d like to see a wide variety of native plants,” said Waldo resident and volunteer naturalist Chris DeLong, who learned about the Roanoke Park effort from a relative who lives nearby. DeLong designed the website and has helped with much of the park cleanup.

Randy Moore, conservancy secretary, is also part of a core group of about 25 people who have given countless hours to the cause.

“I love working outdoors” he said, adding that it’s a welcome change from being stuck behind a computer all week.

The most gratifying result, Watkins said, is that people are starting to return to the park. Moms bring their children to the playgrounds. Athletes regularly use the soccer field and sand volleyball court.

Last fall, a band concert in the amphitheater lured crowds with blankets and picnic baskets and was so successful that it’s on tap again for this fall.

Krivena notes that, in Europe, people flock to their city parks, and that’s his goal for Roanoke as well. Put down the cellphone, leave the computer behind, and savor the park as an essential part of the neighborhood fabric.

“It’s like our own Central Park, right in the backyard,” he said. “It makes it beautiful to live here.”

PEACE AND RIDING!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

dec 29, 2009

That day I had added it all up and done 48 hours total of trail work...

I've done more than that the past month...

WELL over 1000 hours now of volunteer time for ERTA, KC area trails, and the Ozark Trail...

This doesn't count the hundreds of hours I've spent on United Federation of Dirt (UFD) the past few months...

Wonder what our MTB/cycling in-general scene would be like if EVERYONE gave back just a little bit...

peace and riding!!!

colavita croc rock--postponed!

Hello all:

It is with great regret that I must postpone the Colavita Crocodile Rock originally scheduled for Saturday, April 7, 2012. My father is quite near to losing his 9 year battle with cancer, and the next few days/couple weeks are going to be dedicated fully to him, my mom, and the rest of my family. I've already missed one week of work and school and will likely miss all this week as well. I just do not have the time, and frankly will not make the time over my family, to tie up the last loose ends, and do the finishing & preparation work that needs to be done the next 2 weeks so that I can promote a successful event.

It kills me that I have to postpone, especially since it is my first "real" promotion attempt, and since we have had perfect weather so far this season. My head is just not in the right spot right now to promote a race within the next 2 weeks. There is also a possibility that we will be in Arkansas for his burial depending on when he finally does pass. I guess this is more of a precaution than anything; I'd rather do it now than have to do it the day before the race.

We will reschedule for July 21 (the original date of the "Endurance Race"). The endurance event will be replaced with the typical XC/3 hour events (basically the endurance day will now be our series race). I would like to make this weekend into more of a festival type atmosphere, perhaps even doing the races at night for a change of pace/something cool to do in the summer.

Thank you all for your guidance and support,
Brett Shoffner

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Some Roanoke Trail Day photos...

Find them all here:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/210486432369795/photos/


















peace and riding!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Devil's Dip now open!

Roanoke Park Trails. Phase A. Devil's Dip. Go ride/run/hike it!



I gotta say, it's pretty exciting and rewarding to have some trail opened up that I designed and coordinated all the work for...

peace and riding!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

see below ...

roanoke workday saturday morning!!!!



Roanoke Park Hiking and Biking Trail
Saturday, March 10.
Stay for the complimentary lunch.

The Earth Riders Trails Association has been at work through the winter adding this section to the over 70 miles of trails they have built in parks throughout Kansas City. This is the first section in Roanoke Park and is representative of the trails that will eventually meander throughout the park.

Prior to the brief noon ceremony and inaugural walk down the trail on the way to the "trail dog" lunch spot there will be the opportunity to observe and ask questions about some pretty amazing trail engineering feats designed by ERTA in building the first section.
Try to arrange to come early to help pick up around this area of the park and watch the amazing ERTA trail builders finishing up this first section.

• Coffee / pastries from 8:45 to 9:30am in front of the Community Center.
• General pick up/ clean up 9am -noon.
• Ceremony and lunch at 12: 30p

Hope to see you there!

Peace and riding!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

hell yes!

Thanks to Andy Clarke and Dr. Jacob Wagner :) I'm just the one who submitted it...



maybe I'll get to ride one of these days...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

feelings...



peace and riding!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

sucks...

i hate that i'm so busy that i'm usually doing something when i want to be doing 2 or 3 other things at the same time. usually that something would not be my first choice out of the 2-3 other options.

am I choosing "wise" now so those 2-3 things can be more easily available and fun in the future, or am I wasting my life doing shit thats not bad by any means but I'd rather not be doing versus other stuff?

good question.

i'm applying to cal-berkeley soon. i'm feeling really good about it, we'll see.

peace and riding!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

races...

so, I'm promoting 2 officially sanctioned USAC races this year...april 7 and july 21...save the dates jerks...





peace and riding!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

wow...

i'm somehow caught up on my life, somewhat. wrote a 15 page paper in 4 hours today, 5.5 if you count the time it took me to do the reference page. had a really good outline and idea in my head i guess.

so im gonna do some bike stuff this weekend.

blue river parkway trails workday! (click me)

sunday meeting at kessler park for some top secret mission, that's not so really top secret. I want to meet with folks before I say too much. very exciting though.

gonna try to get out to roanoke sometime this weekend too to flag stuff out for the March 10 workday! (click me)

gonna try to race urban cross too at street cred saturday at 3. (click me) west bottoms. 2 years ago I got 3rd, last year I got 2nd...maybe this will be my comeback race...

here's some recent pictures from roanoke:





peace and riding!!!

Rasta Rider Archive