We’ve always heard that Prescott, AZ has good riding. This past weekend we finally sampled it for ourselves; let me tell you, it’s not good, it’s great. In fact, put it on your bucket list.
It’s rare that a Trail Care Crew returns to places we’ve been to earlier. When we do, it’s always exciting to see and hear what’s been accomplished in the time in between. After taking part in a community stakeholder meeting and a strategic planning session in January of 2010, we left Prescott last winter feeling confident that things were coming together for the mountain bike community. A little over a year later, we’re happy to report, things are going very well.
As a result of that effort, the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance was formed and has worked tirelessly since to bring together all of the positive things already happening in the area. It’s a place that already had that magic combination: quality of life, great amenities, and excellent trails.
Their success has come by developing a club with a sustainable approach; no single soldiers here. They’ve taken their vision, established some goals, and are working towards success by committee. They’ve broken down their objectives into four categories: Trails, Advocacy, Outreach, and Rides/Social. During the course of our visit we had the opportunity to take part in each one.
With a core group of PMBA members we tackled Advocacy and Outreach during our Club Care and Political Advocacy presentations. We had the chance learned as much from them as they did from us. One the greatest things any club can do for their community is to bring solutions to the table. PMBA is doing this well; they have been able to elevate existing relationships and develop new ones since forming last year.
During the rest of our time in Prescott we focused on Trails and Rides/Social. We rolled into town early to attend Pint Nite, PMBA’s 2nd annual fundraiser (remember, they formed last spring…). It was great to kick back and hang with a very energized and friendly mountain bike community. It was all about being together and celebrating trails. This fall they are hosting The WonderSchlautt (link coming soon), a festival to celebrate Prescott’s outstanding trails.
Our Saturday Trailbuilding session was focused on the Circle Trail and it was a beautiful day to add to something that will eventually become 50 miles of (mostly) singletrack surrounding the city. Throughout our visit, we had the pleasure of riding throughout the Prescott National Forest and The Dalles, two places that offer distinct and remarkable experiences. For most, riding and being social is the best part of any club’s activities; it’s the fun that keeps people happy, motivated, and active in the movement.
If you live in Prescott, or even visit their frequently, consider joining their movement, we guarantee you’ll be part of something special.
BIG Thanks to Michelle and Steve Schaefer for housing us and to John ‘Shu’ Shumaker for being our host and guide. Thanks to the rest of the PMBA folks for making our visit very successful – we are psyched about your efforts and look forward to hearing more great things. Thanks to everyone who attended our evening presentations and Saturday trailbuilding workshop. Thanks to Rob H, Chris H, Prescott National Forest, and the City of Prescott for their wonderful trails. Finally, thanks to everyone in Prescott for supporting mountain biking and trails – you’re building a tremendous community asset!
Photos from the weekend can be found here