Editor's note: This is the first installment of a new trails column that is being produced for The Source by the Central Oregon Trail Alliance. Look for COTA's weekly reports in The Source to keep you updated on the latest news from around Central Oregon's always bustling trails, including, closures and events. Ride on. - EF.
Welcome to the first installment of the Central Oregon Trail Alliance's (COTA) Weekly Trail Report. I hope to provide you, dear trail lover, with up-to-the-minute information on trail conditions, COTA work events and progress and trail etiquette tips and timely issues facing trail access. If you have some pertinent trail info you think needs to be shared, please send me an email: chairman @ cotamtb.com
This being the first week of June and a sort-of cold, wet spring season, the trails are in fine condition close to town but remain under snow at elevations above the Swampy Lakes area. Just because there are fewer trees fallen across trails in the lower elevations doesn't mean it will be that way up higher. We shall soon see whether COTA's certified Chain Sawyers will be busy "getting the cut out."
Since the blowdown in some areas is lighter this year, more trails are ready to ride. That's a good thing because COTA is six months into a two-year grant cycle to construct 35 miles of new trails in the area south of Century Drive, otherwise known as the Wanoga Event Area. On May 22, COTA hosted its 11th annual Spring Fling and 135 people showed up to help us build a new trail to be called the Steve Larsen Trail, in honor of the accomplished local biker and triathlete who died suddenly last year during a training session. From little more than a few pink ribbons hung on branches to a clear corridor complete with a finished tread, about three miles of trail were built in one day. Of course we can't do all that ourselves, the generous support from U.S. Bank, BendBroadband, REI, Pine Mountain Sports, Deschutes Brewery and Cog Wild Bicycle Tours made it possible to show our volunteers how much we appreciate them and the importance of pre- and post-work event nourishment!
If you missed out on the Spring Fling, don't sweat it. COTA work events are held every Wednesday and leave from various outdoor shops. This Wednesday, June 2 meet at Gear Peddler at 5 p.m. prepared to head out. Next Wednesday, June 9 we will meet at Pine Mountain Sports. Speaking of being prepared, COTA requires the following work event attire: Long pants & long-sleeve shirts, sturdy shoes, gloves and eye protection. Dress in appropriate layers and bring snacks and plenty of water, too. At each COTA work event we provide the tools and expertise. A COTA Trail Work event is a great way to meet like-minded people and to learn a new appreciation for what it takes to maintain one of the best trail systems in the country.
The benefits of that system go beyond just riding opportunities. A recent visitor survey conducted by Visit Bend found that a majority of visitors come to Central Oregon to enjoy our trails. COTA is an integral part of providing quality trails for everyone. If your business relies even partially on visitors, please consider supporting COTA as a business member or corporate sponsor. There are other benefits to this, too. For more information on COTA's Sponsorship opportunities please visit our website and click the Sponsors tab. www.cotamtb.com/sponsors/.
Since COTA believes that the world is run by the people who show up, we look forward to seeing YOU out there!