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Bicycle association builds, repairs trails

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Susanville Area Bicycle Association members Mark Hodges, left, Mark Kovacic, David Slusher, Matt Urquizu, Mike Wright, Brian Tilford, Randy Robbins, Andrew Fisher, Chuck McCloughan, Aaron Johnson, Lisa Urquizu, Bubba Wright and son Zayne spent the morning Saturday, March 8 building a new section of trail at Susanville Ranch Park.  Photo by Brian Tilford and Randy Robbins

March 20 — The Susanville Area Bicycle Association loves trails. It’s a love visible on many local trails, which are used, groomed and built with the help of the dedicated group of cyclists.

On Saturday, March 8, SABA club members spent the morning showing love for a new section at Susanville Ranch Park. The group built a new section of trail near the upper loop of a trail currently referred to as the “Lazy Lizard Trail.” The section is on the Bureau of Land Management’s property and was flagged by SABA President Brian Tilford and BLM trail manager Stan Bales as having potential to be a new trail.

 

Thirteen SABA members and two children showed up to make the idea for the new trail a reality. After a brief trail-building instruction session given by Tilford, the group completed a 150-yard section of trail in about two hours. The team used trail-building practices used by the International Mountain Bicycling  Association for trails that drain and require minimal maintenance.

 

 

In addition to creating the new trail, the group also repaired and groomed one and a half miles of trail on the hike to and from the new trail. The area, located on the west side, had suffered damage from recent heavy rains and, although it dries fast, it is still easily damaged when wet and soft. SABA plans to have another trail day when the east end of the park dries and becomes useable.

 

After putting in some hard work on trails at the park, several members decided to have some fun and ride the western trails, including the newest trail, which will be part of the course during the club’s third annual Ridin’ High at the Ranch cross country race May 31. The event attracts racers from all over Northern California and Nevada and will feature three challenging courses for pro, sport and beginner level riders.

 

SABA refers to itself as a dedicated group of mountain bikers and road cyclists who are active in building and maintaining the trail system at Susanville Rank Park.

 

“Since we are one of the larger user groups, we cooperate with the county and their trail manager Joel Rathje, as well as with BLM trail manager Stan Bales to help repair and improve the ranch park trail system,” said SABA member Mark Kovacic.

 

“We have one of the finest trail systems in Northern California and our club has pledged to be involved with maintaining this jewel of Lassen County.”

The club has more scheduled events which will take place this year, including the fourth annual Cougar Challenge duathlon in summer and the third annual Super D race in the fall.

 

The club welcomes anyone who would like to get involved, even if they don’t want to race, as it can always use volunteers on race and trail days.

SABA has a facebook page where people can become dues-paying members, enter events and follow news about cycling members. Membership fees cover club insurance for invitational rides and includes discounts at club races. The group also has a website; sabadirtriders.com, which includes links to trail and race information, as well as pre-entry to club events.

 

This article, along with photos, is featured on page 6C of the Tuesday, March 18 edition of the Lassen County Times.

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